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Local News archives







Tuesday, September 15th, the Lockesburg City Council held a re-scheduled regular session since a quorum could not be found on September 8th.


During the meeting, aldermen interviewed James Maish for the position of Co-City Superintendent and Waste Water operator. After an executive session that lasted over an hour, aldermen voted to hire Maish.


Assistant Fire Chief Mike Gathright discussed the need to remodel the office and classroom area of the Lockesburg Volunteer Fire Department building. Aldermen decided they would search for a grant and contact the Southwest Arkansas Planning and Development council to see if they could secure some funding for the project.


Aldermen approved a resolution levying the city tax rate at 5 mills.


Aldermen then voted to pay the final $300 that they committed to the Sevier County Humane Society for the year 2015, but voted not to sign a new contract for services because they did not feel the humane society had fulfilled its promises with the city when they agreed to set aside monies for the society.  






During a special called meeting of the Foreman Board of Education, Superintendent George Kennedy reported the board approved a resolution to transfer $119,475.01 from the district's General Operating Fund to the Building Fund.


Board members also accepted the resignation of a bus driver and the district's maintenance supervisor.






A former Mineral Springs youth minister has been sentenced to prison after being convicted on sexual assault charges in the Howard County Circuit Court.


Jonathan Neeley was sentenced to 18 years in prison with five years suspended after being convicted of first degree sexual assault of a minor female member of the Mineral Springs Church of Christ where he was serving as the minister of youth.


Police said multiple women filed reports in August of 2014 about being sexually abused by their youth minister.


The alleged assaults occurred in 2009 and 2010.


Prosecuting Attorney Brian Chesshir reported Neeley is also facing charges in Russellville where he was employed as a college minister.






Current Sevier County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Manya Wood, announced she is seeking the office of Sevier County District Judge, after current District Judge, Stephen Tedder, announced on KDQN Thursday morning that he would not be seeking re-election.


Wood is a graduate of Wickes High School and she earned a Bachelor of Political Science degree from Southeastern Oklahoma State University and her Juris Doctor Degree from the University Of Arkansas School Of Law.


Wood said for the past 11 years, she has been practicing law in Sevier County and has served as a Deputy Prosecutor for seven. Wood explained that she not only prosecutes all criminal actions in Sevier County as the Deputy Prosecutor, but she also advises the county in certain civil matters.


Wood said she felt being an attorney and current Deputy Prosecutor, along with her experience of being a wife, mother and a life-long resident of Sevier County, she is prepared for the honor of serving as the next Sevier County District Judge.


Wood said she would consider it a privilege to continue to serve the citizens of Sevier County and would ask for their support on March 1st, 2016. She also said residents may contact her with any concerns or issues by calling her at 870-584-2061.






Last Sunday about 300 people turned out to show their support for the members of the Sevier County Sheriff's Office and the De Queen Police Department at a Backing the Badge rally in the Town North Shopping Center.


Sevier County Sheriff Bennie Simmons told KDQN that his department appreciated the community’s show of support and De Queen Police Chief Richard McKinley stated we live in a great community, but the show of support meant a lot to his officers.


Dana Gentry is the wife of Sheriff Investigator Robert Gentry and has a son who is an officer for the De Queen Police Department. She and other officers’ wives are asking area residents to wear blue tomorrow and attend a Thank a Cop event on Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Sportsplex.


For more information about the Thank a Cop event visit the Facebook page, Thank a Police Officer Day/Rally.






Tuesday night during a regular meeting of the De Queen City Council, aldermen voted to purchase a new sanitation truck and agreed to a wage increase for two employees in the sanitation department.


Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy reported the council passed an ordinance waiving the requirement for competitive bidding on a new sanitation truck.


McKelvy stated the new truck will be a 2016 model Freightliner chassis and will be replacing the city's 2003 model, which will be sold.


Following a lengthy discussing concerning a wage increase for two sanitation employees, aldermen agreed to an hourly wage increase of $12 an hour.


McKelvy also stated he sent letters to the five organizations that currently have contracts of services with the city, asking them to attend the October 6th city council meeting.






Sevier County Clerk Debbie Akin announced Tuesday evening that the incumbent, Randy Hedge defeated challenger, Barry Reed by four votes to retain his Zone 5 seat on the De Queen Board of Education.


Akin said Hedge received 54 votes while 50 Zone 5 voters cast their ballots for Reed.


Akin said a total of 131 ballots were cast in the School Election. 108 votes were cast for the De Queen School millage, while 19 votes were cast in opposition of the current millage of 27.5 mills, which is one of the lowest millages in the state.


Akin said only three percent of the De Queen School District voters cast a vote this year. She said the votes will be certified Friday morning at 10 a.m.






Treasurer of State Dennis Milligan announced the winners of the 75 County Award drawing for the Arkansas 529 GIFT Plan during an event at the State Capitol. At the event, awardees from counties all across the state were able to accept a proclamation from Governor Asa Hutchinson declaring September College Savings month, and to accept their $529 Arkansas 529 account from Treasurer Milligan.


Area winners were Lindsey White from Howard County, Lonni Dollarhide from Little River County, Lisa Douglas from Miller County, Sara McKinney of Pike County, Ashton Herod of Polk County, and Judy Johnson from Sevier County.


Milligan said it had been a top priority of his to promote and grow the Arkansas 529 College Savings program. He said a post-secondary education, whether in a four-year, two-year, technical or vocational institution is essential to an individual's future success.


The Arkansas 529 College Savings program includes The GIFT Plan and iShares investment options and unlike traditional savings vehicles, the Arkansas 529 savings plans can help your college savings grow tax-deferred through an investment strategy tailored to your investment schedule, risk tolerance and management comfort.


The plans offer the flexibility to use the funds at any eligible, accredited public or private two-year or four-year college, university, vocational or technical institution worldwide.


In Arkansas, an individual can receive up to a $5,000 annual state income tax deduction. The withdrawals for the beneficiary are tax free for qualified expenses and initial contributions can be as low as $25.


For additional information visit the website,






Members of Sevier County Farm Bureau enjoyed a Bar BQ Beef dinner before hearing a good report at Tuesday night’s annual membership meeting in the De Queen High School Cafeteria.


Sevier County Farm Bureau President Bruce Jackson presented a plaque to Phillip Van Voast in recognition of his 57 years of service on the local Farm Bureau Board. The Monte Davis family was presented a plaque for being named the Sevier County Farm Family of the Year.


Bruce Jackson serves on the state-wide committee that determines benefits offered with a Farm Bureau $35 annual membership. Chuck Tucker, Vice-President of Farm Bureau Member Services, outlined several of those benefits including the child seat program that has saved Arkansas Farm Bureau members over $14 million dollars in the past ten years. Savings are offered through purchases from businesses like General Motors, Choice Hotels, Polaris, Air Evac, Sam’s Clubs, and hundreds of restaurants. There’s a new program offering up to $1,000 in savings on a tornado shelter. For more information on Farm Bureau member services, go to


Farm Bureau Agency Manager Allen Stark reported that there were no increases in homeowner’s premiums this past year, and lower auto insurance rates are now being offered under the new FAVE-RATES program. Stark reported that there are 1,400 Farm Bureau members in Sevier County.


Vice President Brian Walker read three resolutions that will be presented to the state for consideration.


High School student Jacob Glasgow reported on his experiences at the summer Teen Challenge Camp.


Elected to three year board terms were: Bobby Bailey, John Nix and Preston Smith. Voting delegates at the State Convention will be Bill Soden, Don Naney and Alan Lee.




Ralph Barrera (Level 3 sex offender)

147 Old Hwy. 71 North

De Queen, Arkansas 71832


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.




Provo Road has been re-opened as of noon, according to a spokesperson from the Sevier County Sheriff's office.




A Sevier County Sheriff's spokesperson announced Provo Road has been closed from the Church of Christ church on Provo Road to Steele Street in Lockesburg.


The Sevier County Sheriff's office reported several homes in the area of a ruptured gas main were evacuated and currently there is no estimated time for the re-opening of the road.


According to the spokesperson, the gas main was ruptured by a utility construction worker.





Sevier County Judge Greg Ray announced Tuesday afternoon that he was declaring a burn ban for Sevier County effective today due to the long duration of dry weather. Ray said that with only intermittent and spotty rainfall, it has created a dry and hazardous condition throughout the county.


Ray said the County Court of Sevier County found that an emergency situation existed in Sevier County and the hazard potential to both, life and property, was such that a ban and the prohibition against outdoor burning was necessary effective, today, and it will remain in effect until such time that the order is lifted.


The burn ban will be enforced by the Sevier County Sheriff's Office, the chief fire official of the various fire districts and the director of the Office of Emergency Management for Sevier County.


Outdoor burning may be permitted under special circumstances when the court is assured that all necessary and proper precautions are being enforced to ensure that burning constitutes no hazard to life or property, and, burning will not be permitted without a written permit from the Sevier County Office of Emergency Management.






The Arkansas Arts Center Artmobile will roll into De Queen Elementary School on Tuesday, September 22nd.


Animals: Familiar and Fantastic is the Artmobile's 2015/2016 traveling exhibition and it highlights various artistic methods and techniques that are used to bring to life creatures both real and imaginary. This exhibition of works encourages the exploration of the human-animal connection and an assessment of our role in the animal world.


Animals and fantastical creatures have been a favored subject of artists throughout history. Prehistoric cave painters once covered their walls with animals in an attempt to understand and interpret the mysteries of the natural world. Today, animals continue to excite our imaginations and inspire examination.


The Arkansas Arts Center's Artmobile has been serving the state for over 50 years as one of the nation's only mobile art museums. By reaching people in their own communities, the Artmobile has allowed the center to fulfill its mission of providing quality art experiences to the entire state.


The Artmobile will be at the De Queen Elementary School on Tuesday, September 22nd from 5 to 7 p.m. For more information, contact Patricia Higgins, GT Coordinator, 870-584-4311.






Monday, during the regular meeting of the De Queen Board of Education, board members approved several statements of assurance and set the date for the 2016 graduation.


Superintendent Bruce Hill explained the board is required to approve several statements of assurance each year, stating the district is following the laws and regulations of the state.


Hill reported the district had a financial balance of $7.2 million dollars on June 30th, but the operating balance was around $3 million, which was the best ending balance since 2010.


Hill described his vision for a turf field, new field house and weight room, but explained the district will continue to finance the district's needs and not purchase everything they want.


Board members approved Hill's recommendation to set graduation for Sunday, May 22nd at 2 p.m. on the Bill Blackwood field in Leopard Stadium.


Board members scheduled a public meeting for Monday, October 5th following the board's regular meeting. They also approved the transfer of five students into the De Queen School District and the transfer of five students to the Horatio District, one to the Ashdown School District and three to the Dierks District.






Monday afternoon, several county organizations presented reports to the members of the Sevier County Quorum Court before JPs selected the members of the 2015 budget committee.


Sevier County Judge Greg Ray presented a request from Sevier County Head Librarian Johnye Fisher for the appropriation of a $2,200 donation, so the De Queen branch can remodel a section of the library into a meeting room.


Fisher said the meeting room will be named "The Dailey Room" because Michael and Donald Dailey donated the funds in memory of their parents.


Ray stated the Quorum Court also appropriated a General Improvement Fund grant for a new air conditioning unit for the Gillham branch.


Fisher reported the Library Board voted to close the Ben Lomond branch due to a lack of patronage. Fisher said over the past several years there has been a decline in circulation and that it was just to costly to keep it open.


Ray informed KDQN that the 2016 Budget Committee will consist of four members. They will be Michael Archer, Roxy Stephens, Earl Battiest and Angie Walker.


Ray also reported JPs approved a resolution allowing the county to conduct business with Tires Plus.


Judge Ray also informed the JPs that the county could not donate land to a non-profit organization, but the Quorum Court could authorize him to enter into a multi-year lease with the Sevier County Developmental Center.






Saturday, September 12th, Patrolman First Class Levi Browning of the De Queen Police Department reported he was patrolling along 9th Street behind a Dodge Durango that was traveling at a high rate of speed.


Browning pulled the vehicle over at the intersection of 9th and Haes (Hayes) and discovered the driver, 30-year-old Leonard Davis, was driving on a suspended license and the passenger was 34-year-old Daniel Hibdon, both of De Queen.


Browning was informed by dispatch that Hibdon was wanted on an outstanding felony warrant out of McCurtain County, Oklahoma for possession of a controlled substance.


Patrolman David Higgins assisted Browning and they placed Hibdon under arrest for the outstanding warrant.


While searching the vehicle, officers found a black bag in the backseat that contained a broken glass smoking pipe along with a syringe that was wrapped up in a white paper towel.


Browning then took Davis into custody.


As Browning was transporting Hibdon to the De Queen Police Department, Hibdon allegedly informed Browning that he had a glass pipe, a bag of meth and a straw with meth in it, on his person.


When Officer Higgins arrived at the station, he informed Browning that Davis had slipped his hands from behind his back to the front and that he had found some broken glass and the end of a syringe in the back of his patrol car.


Davis was charged with two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and Hibdon was charged with possession of a schedule II controlled substance and two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia.






Saturday afternoon, Sergeant Chad Bradshaw of the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to Wal-Mart in reference to another shoplifting incident.


When Bradshaw arrived he was informed by a member of the Wal-Mart Asset Protection Team that they observed 42-year-old Tina Bailey place a Kool-Aid package over the barcode on a bag of cat food and then leave the store without paying for it.


Bradshaw took Bailey into custody and charged her with shoplifting.


Then Monday afternoon, Patrolman First Class Wayne Baker returned to Wal-Mart for another incident of shoplifting.


When Baker arrived he was informed that three black females had placed two trashcans in a shopping buggy and was placing items in the trashcans.


Store employees then observed one of the women go to a car and another stand outside the store while the third pushed the buggy outside the entrance where she was stopped by a member of the asset protection team.


While speaking with one of the females, employees noticed 33-year-old Lora Dunbar of Idabel, Oklahoma at the self-checkout counter. Baker was informed that Dunbar had been caught shoplifting before and had been trespassed.


The other woman was identified as 31-year-old Crystal Dunbar of Idabel. Allegedly, Crystal refused to answer any questions, but Lora informed Baker that she and the others had loaded the buggy with the intent of stealing the items.





The De Queen school board election is today, here in Sevier County, Barry Reed is challenging current board president Randy Hedge for the Zone 5 position.


According to Sevier County Clerk Debbie Akin, 31 votes were cast early and eight ballots were cast absentee, as of 1 p.m. Monday.


The polls will open today at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. 






On September 10th, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Hankins and Deputy Thomas Jackson took a report from a De Queen resident who stated some of her jewelry had been stolen.


Virginia Baughn stated she noticed three pieces of jewelry missing on September 6th. She said the last time she had seen the jewelry was on July 6th.


Baughn stated her granddaughter's friend Jayden Brown needed a place to stay, so she allowed him to move into her house on August 9th. Baughn stated she was gone for about a week visiting her son about the same time Brown moved in.


Sevier County investigators discovered Brown had sold two gold necklaces at the Hog Pawn in Mena. Employees of the Hog Pawn stated they no longer had the jewelry but Brown had sold them two necklaces.


Brown was then interviewed by investigators at the Sevier County Sheriff's office. During the interview, Brown allegedly admitted to taking the jewelry from Baughn’s bathroom and selling it at the Hog Pawn in Mena for about $250.






According to Foreman School District Superintendent George Kennedy, District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught visited the Foreman High School campus, last week and spoke with students about her role as their representative in Little Rock during the state's "Take Your Legislator to School Month."


Kennedy and the Oscar Hamilton principal informed the Foreman Board of Education about the district's new RAVE Panic System. Kennedy said the district also held a meeting with local emergency personnel after they implemented the system.


Kennedy reported he will also be one of 20 state superintendents attending the Arkansas Superintendent Academy this year.


Kennedy said the board then approved a resolution allowing the district to conduct business with local vendors. The resolution allows the district to conduct business with Tanner Sheet Metal, Turner Heating and Air, Gator Graphics, Young's Grocery, Rocky Comfort Car Care, the Gift Box, the Wooden Spoon and Gauldin Septic Tank.  




SEVIER COUNTY LAND AUCTION NETS $20,704.63       9/15/15


The recent auction of tax-delinquent properties in Sevier County collected over $20,000 for county and state governments, according to the office of the Commissioner of State Lands.


The Land Commissioner's office conducted the auction of delinquent properties recently at the Sevier County Courthouse. This year's auction drew 12 bidders and sold seven parcels of land, for a total of $20,704.63 for Sevier County and the state government.


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.


According to Commissioner John Thurston, only a small percentage of certified parcels are eventually auctioned, because the majority of the properties certified are redeemed when the original owner pays the back taxes.


While redemption of property is the preferred method of disposing of tax-delinquent lands, Thurston notes the important role of land sales in returning inactive parcels to the tax role.


Registered bidders may purchase land at the auctions. Registration to bid at land sales is free, and upon the sale of tax-delinquent property, the Commissioner issues a limited warranty deed to the highest bidder.


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


In 2014, the Commissioner of State Lands' office returned more than $20 million to school districts and county governments, of that, Sevier County received $105,668.90. Thurston says this process ensures stable revenue for local public schools.


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






Sunday, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Greg Davignon was informed a suspect with three outstanding warrants had been seen at a residence in Lockesburg.


When Davignon arrived at the residence on North Park Avenue, the suspect 40-year-old Jerimy Adams ran and hid in some bushes. When Adams realized Davignon had seen him, he continued to flee on foot.


As Adams jumped over a fence, Davignon deployed his Taser, but only one lead made contact with him and Adams continued to run across a field toward a wooded area.


As the two men crossed a creek, Davignon deployed his Taser again and this time both leads struck Adams and he went to the ground.


Davignon reported the pursuit lasted just over seven-minutes and covered over a quarter of a mile.


Adams was booked into the Sevier County jail on the three active warrants and he was charged with fleeing in Sevier County.






On Tuesday, July 8th, the Sevier County Election Commission voted to combine the polling places for the De Queen School District, 2015 School Election, which will be held on Tuesday, September 15th.


County Clerk Debbie Akin said the following precincts or portions of precincts that are located in the De Queen School District will vote at the De Queen Church of Christ on Collin Raye Drive.


Those precincts or portions of precincts include: Bear Creek East and West; De Queen North Central, Northwest, Southwest and East; Clear Creek; Jefferson; Monroe; Mineral; Ben Lomond; Paraclifta; Red Colony; Saline East and West; and Washington.


The Election Commission also announced that since there were no other ballot issues in the Horatio School District, besides the district's millage renewal, the Horatio Board of Education voted not to open a polling place and all votes will be cast absentee or by early voting only.






The Arkansas Department of Human Services wants to remind Arkansans that one of the best ways to protect their child’s health is to renew their ARKid’s coverage.


If your child is on ARKids, you’ve probably received a letter recently telling you that it is time to renew your coverage and you need to understand that the process to renew has changed.


Now residents can renew their child’s coverage online at and respond to the registration question by clicking ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ Then on the next page, click on the yellow button that says ‘log-in/apply or renew’ and fill out the information that is being requested.


However, if you do not want to renew online or if you don’t have access to the internet, call or visit your local DHS office to get an application for health coverage. Applications must be mailed back to the DHS Pine Bluff scanning center at PO Box 5670 in Pine Bluff, Arkansas 71611.


If your kids don’t have health insurance, go to www.arkidsfirst .com to see if they are eligible.






The Wellness Clinic, Legacy Initiatives and the Arkansas Prostate Cancer Foundation are teaming up to offer area men the opportunity to take a simple blood test to measure their PSA levels.


Dr. Jason Lofton said they will start drawing blood Thursday morning on September 17th and Legacy Initiative has secured a grant to provide 100 blood tests for free to men without insurance.


Lofton also announced they will be holding a diabetes education class at 2 p.m. and a weight loss seminar at 3.


Lofton said they will be selling chicken and fish dinners for donations only beginning at 4 and they are selling raffle tickets for an autographed football.


Last year, the De Queen PSA event was the largest in the state with almost 100 men attending, but Lofton said over 200 men have already signed up for this month's event.


For more information or to sign up for the blood test, contact the Wellness Center at 642-4000.  






Rebecca Tinley of the Clinton Foundation announced recently that the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock is open seven days a week. The center is open every Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.


Tinley said the center has 20,000 square feet of exhibit space with several permanent exhibits as well as temporary exhibits throughout the year.


Visitors will review the history of President Bill Clinton’s campaign, inauguration and his work as president. There are re-creations of the cabinet room, the oval office and portraits and timelines of Clinton’s service.


The Clinton Presidential Center also houses actual memos and rough drafts, countless unique artifacts.


Admission to the Clinton Presidential Center is $7 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and college students and $3 for youth ages 6 to 17. Active military members and school groups with reservations are free. The center also has free admission on President’s Day, the Fourth of July, and the Saturday before Clinton’s birthday and Veteran’s Day.






Members of the Dierks Chamber of Commerce have decided to help fund some community projects after another successful Pine Tree Festival.


Chamber member Jerry Mounts said the chamber helped purchase new helmets for the local pee wee football program by donating $500. Mounts said this will allow organizers to provide safer equipment for local ball players.


Mounts explained the chamber donated $450 to the Howard County Fair board. According to Mounts, the funds will be used added money during the annual premium sale for the 18 Dierks students who showed livestock at the fair this year.


Mounts said the chamber was able to add a section of grandstands to the rodeo area along with some other repairs with funds from the 2014 Pine Tree Festival and chamber members are currently in the process of identifying repairs and upgrades to the parks playground equipment.


Mounts said they hope to replace the benches and repair or replace the slides, swings and other equipment, as funds will allow.






Fall is on its way, which means football season is here and unfortunately so are scalpers looking to take advantage of ticket buyers. Many Arkansans may be planning trips to check out their favorite team and watch the action in person. Some may choose to see the Razorbacks, Red Wolves or any other team in college towns across the state over the next several months.


Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a consumer alert to encourage Arkansans to be cautious when purchasing tickets. One of the most common scams is selling tickets that do not exist.


Rutledge released the following tips for safely purchasing tickets:

  • She recommended you research the seller or broker with the Better Business Bureau and ensure they are a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers

  • only buy tickets from a reseller that provides clear details about the terms of the transaction

  • always use a credit card to place the purchase because a buyer has some recourse if the tickets are fraudulent

  • you should ask for a section, row and seat number to avoid obstructed views and purchasing tickets that do not exist

  • stick with well-known ticket sellers who offer guarantees and policies that protect buyers and have the ability to investigate and restrict accounts of merchants who violate the policies

  • and if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.


According to AARP, nearly 5 million consumers receive fraudulent concert, sporting event and theme park tickets each year.


Consumers who think they may have purchased a counterfeit ticket can contact the National Association of Ticket Brokers at 630-510-4594 or visit the Attorney General's website at





Sunday afternoon, area residents will be participating in a Backing the Badge event here in De Queen beginning in the Town North Shopping Center at 2:30 p.m.


The event is being organized by the wives of De Queen and Sevier County law enforcement officers and Pricilla Baker stated everyone is invited to join them and show their support for the men and women of law enforcement in Sevier County.


Baker said they will also be remembering officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. She said the goal is to line the sidewalks and shoulders of the highway with a sea of blue, while carrying signs showing support for law enforcement officers.


Baker said the event will be a peaceful demonstration and no negativity will be allowed.


Baker said the local officer’s wives group is also planning some fundraisers and a special event on ‘Thank a Police Officer Day’, which is September 19th.


For more information, visit the Facebook page, Backing the Badge.






On September 6th, about 8:30 p.m., Patrolman Justin Gentry of the De Queen Police Department stopped an unlicensed 2004 Cadillac in the loading area of the Tractor Supply parking lot.


Gentry reported he identified the driver as Lavonda Icenhower and the front seat passenger as 34-year-old Charles Valdez of De Queen. Valdez reportedly stated he had been drinking but Icenhower had not.


Valdez reportedly told Officer Gentry that he had the bill of sale and proof of insurance. He then allegedly told Gentry to give him a warning and let him go.


According to the incident report, the bill of sale showed a sale date of June 2014 and Gentry wrote Icenhower a citation for failure to pay registration, plus 60-days.


While Gentry was speaking with Icenhower in front of his patrol vehicle, Valdez existed the Cadillac and started walking toward Gentry, complaining about the citation.


Valdez also started acting aggressive and cursing at Officer Gentry. According to the report, Gentry informed Valdez to return to his vehicle or he would be taken into custody.


Gentry reported Valdez then took an aggressive stance toward him and continued to be belligerent. Gentry took Valdez by the arm and informed him that he was under arrest. Valdez then allegedly pulled away from Gentry and told him quote, “You don’t want none of this.”


After threatening to subdue Valdez with his service tazer, Gentry was able to take Valdez into custody.


Valdez was booked into the Sevier County jail and charged with resisting arrest, public intoxication, and obstruction of government operations, disorderly conduct and terroristic threatening in the second degree.  






Crater of Diamond State Park Interpreter Betty Coors announced the park staff recently installed eight new diamond marker panels in the diamond search area. In 2014, the interpretive staff began researching and planning for the new markers and the work was completed this summer.


Park Superintendent Caleb Howell said there were markers on the search field but they were in bad disrepair and the new markers are more notable and call attention to the stories of some of the park's most famous diamond finds.


The new markers are located on over-sized shovels throughout the diamond search area and feature color photos of the diamonds, as well as a brief history.

For more information about the Crater of Diamonds State Park, call 870-285-3113.






About noon on Labor Day, officers with the De Queen Police Department were dispatched to a residence on Vandervoort Street in reference to a vehicle theft and alleged kidnapping.


When Patrolman First Class Wayne Baker arrived, he observed a black female sitting in a chair in the front yard crying. He reported she also appeared to have an injured hand. The female was identified as 23-year-old Laquinta Threadgill of De Queen.


Threadgill reported that she and her boyfriend Montez Jordan had gotten into a physical altercation. She said Jordan than got into their vehicle and attempted to leave with their mutual four-month-old child in the backseat.


Jordan returned to the residence and continued to approach Officer Baker even though he was informed to stop. Jordan said he wanted to speak to Baker, but when Baker grabbed the back of Jordan’s shirt, Jordan turned around and started cursing and posturing up toward Baker.


According to Baker’s report, Sevier County Sheriff’s Deputy Brain Hankins arrived to assist him. Jordan was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. Threadgill was also cited in the incident.






Wednesday afternoon, Governor Asa Hutchinson set execution dates for eight Arkansas inmates whom Arkansas juries have convicted and sentenced to death.


Hutchinson was asked by the Arkansas Attorney General's office to set the dates for the inmates, many of whom have been on death row for over two decades.


One of the inmates was Stacey Eugene Johnson, who was convicted in Sevier County of the April 1st, 1993, murder of Carol Heath of De Queen. Governor Hutchinson set the date of November 3rd for Johnson's execution along with Terrick Nooner, who was convicted in 1993 for the murder of Scot Stobaugh of Little Rock.


Bruce Ward and Don Davis are scheduled for execution on October 21st. The execution date for Marcel Wayne Williams and Jack Jones Jr. was set for December 14th. And, the execution date for Jason McGehee and Kenneth Williams was set for January 14th, 2016.


All of the criminal judgments and sentences of death have been reviewed by both state and federal courts and these dates are final.






Members of the Horatio FFA announced they are selling raffle tickets for 10 guns during their annual gun raffle. Tickets are $20 each, but Chapter President Michaela Caudle said they are only selling 500 tickets.


Caudle and Chapter Reporter, Marlee Carver said if you wanted to purchase a ticket, you may contact a FFA member or visit their Facebook page.


Caudle also said the proceeds will help FFA members attend the National FFA Convention later this year.


The drawing will be held on October 9th.


Chapter Secretary Grace Harris stated the Horatio FFA members earned over $23,000 this year, during the Sevier County Fair Premium Sale and she thanked area businesses that helped them raise funds for their next animal projects.






Youth Pastor Johnathon Reynolds of the De Queen First Assembly of God Church reminded area golfers that the 2015 Red River Dodge Fall Classic is Saturday, October 3rd at the Glenwood Country Club and its a two-person scramble.


Reynolds said there will be several prizes featured in the hole-in-one challenge, including a chance to win $1 million dollars.


Reynolds said the event supports missions and is a statewide event.


Reynolds invited all golfers to sign up for the event and invest in eternity.


For more information or to sign up, contact Reynolds at 870-584-3435.






Summer temperatures of 100 degrees and high humidity across Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas sent usage of electricity by customers of AEP SWEPCO to a 2015 high-level mark. The peak customer demand was established on Monday, August 10th with a 5,149 megawatt load on the SWEPCO system. The all-time peak load record was a 5,554 megawatt demand on August 3rd, f2011.


The 5,194 megawatt load was set August 10th at 5 p.m. when the Shreveport temperature was 106 degrees. SWEPCO's peak demand for the summer of 2015 was 1.9 percent under the projected load for the summer. SWEPCO's peak for 2014 was set on August 25th with a 4,836 megawatt load on the system when the temperature was 99 degrees in Shreveport.


A megawatt is a million watts, or enough energy to supply power to about 250 to 500 homes in the summer heat.




A De Queen woman was killed in an ATV accident at the Muddy Bottoms ATV and Recreation Park in Webster Parish in Louisiana.


34-year-old Sonya Turner was one of two people killed in separate accidents at the park over the weekend, according to a report from the Webster Parish Sheriff's Office.


Turner was airlifted to a Shreveport hospital, where she died from her injuries.


Muddy Bottoms ATV and Recreation Park is on private property in Sarepta, Louisiana and according to its website includes thousands of acres of trails to ride on.


An airman from the Barksdale Air Force Base was also killed in an ATV accident at the park earlier in the day on Sunday.






A Wounded Warrior deer hunt has been scheduled for October 22-24 at Millwood Lake for 10 soldiers who are recovering from stress or physical injury, according to the chairman of the Millwood Lake Citizens Focus Committee, Jim Stanton.


The deer hunt is co-sponsored by the association, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Marine Corps League Detachment 1149.


According to Stanton, the Warrior Transition Unit in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, will bring 10 soldiers to Millwood for the deer hunt.


Activities and amenities will include hunting, meals for three days and lodging for four nights.

Stanton said due to rising costs and limited funding, the association is asking for the communities help in providing this event for these heroes.


For more information or to make a donation, contact Stanton at 870-898-3534 or Brooke Kervin with the Corps of Engineers at 501-340-1462.






The annual School Board Election is Tuesday, September 15th and early voting began Tuesday, September 8. 


The school board election in Sevier County will have one contested race. 


Barry Reed is challenging Randy Hedge in the De Queen Zone 5. De Queen School Zone 5 runs north of Highway 70 to the county line and west of Highway 71 to the state line. County Clerk Debbie Akin said Zone 5 does not include the city limits of Gillham and there is another exception in the Whistlestop area.


Only voters who live in the De Queen School District Zone 5 will vote in the school board election, but all district voters are being asked to approve the district's millage of 27.5 mills, which is unchanged from last year.


According to Akin, the only polling site that will be open on September 15th will be the De Queen Church of Christ, but county voters may vote early in her office or by absentee.


All other races in Sevier County are uncontested. 


In Little River County there are no contested school board races and the Little River County Clerk reported the millage for both the Ashdown and the Foreman School Districts will remain the same as last year at 35.7 mills for Ashdown and 35.5 mills for Foreman.


In Little River County, only early and absentee voting will be held.






Jaunelle Gage and Martha Fines of the Sevier County Humane Society announced the society will be holding a low-cost spay and neuter clinic September 15th, 16th and 17th at the Sevier County Fairgrounds.


Gage said the vets operate on between 50 and 60 animals per day, but they try to schedule fewer animals on Thursday.


Gage said the vets are from Arkansans for Animals and they conduct about 45 spay and neuter clinics a year throughout the state.


Gage also explained the Sevier County Humane Society is supported financially by the cities of De Queen and Lockesburg along with Sevier County. She said these entities provide funding for discounts that are passed on to county residents.


For more information or to make an appointment, call 870-584-9096.




GOT IN THE BAG        9/10/15


Saturday night about 8 p.m., Sergeant Gary Cunningham of the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to the Wal-Mart Supercenter in reference to a possible shoplifter.


When Cunningham arrived, he was informed by a member of the Wal-Mart Asset Protection team that a man who identified himself as Michael Smith had attempted to leave the store with over $250 dollars in meat.


However, when Cunningham was interviewing Smith at the De Queen Police Department, Smith informed Cunningham his name was actually Michael Williams.


29-year-old Williams of Texarkana, Arkansas, allegedly told Cunningham that he and his wife came to De Queen to pick up some meat. He reportedly admitted to bringing Wal-Mart bags into the store and putting packages of meat in them.


Williams was banned from all Wal-Mart properties and charged with shoplifting.


Sunday afternoon, about 4 o'clock, Cunningham responded to another shoplifting call at the De Queen Wal-Mart.


This time, Cunningham was informed that 27-year-old Virginia Ward of Dierks had been caught with stolen property from the store in a diaper bag.


As a member of the Wal-Mart Asset Protection team was completing the paperwork, Ward started arguing with the store personnel. When Patrolman David Higgins of the De Queen Police Department attempted to cuff Ward, she jerked away. Ward had to be restrained and was then led out of the store.


Ward allegedly admitted to attempting to steal some meat and was charged with shoplifting.


At the Sevier County jail, officers discovered Ward was also wanted on an outstanding warrant in Pike County.





Recently, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released an opinion concerning a law referred to as the carrying a weapon law, which supports open carry in the state.


Sevier County Sheriff’s Investigator Robert Gentry explained the new version of the law requires law enforcement officers to determine a person's intent for carrying a firearm and he mentioned officers will approach people who are openly carrying a firearm to determine their intent.


Gentry also explained there are locations that no one including law enforcement officers can carry a firearm, and that includes a concealed firearm. He said even officers are not allowed to carry a weapon into a federal courtroom.


The debate is whether armed citizens will make society safer. Gentry stated that by openly carrying a firearm, you could also make yourself a target.


Gentry said the Sevier County Sheriff's Office has consulted with the county prosecuting attorney concerning his department's interpretation of the law and local law enforcement will enforce the law in accordance with his explanation.     




NEW DEPUTY SWORN IN             9/9/15


Sevier County Sheriff Bennie Simmons announced he promoted a jailer to the position of deputy.


New deputy, Thomas Jackson, was sworn into office recently by Sevier County Judge Greg Ray.


Simmons said Jackson is currently riding with training deputy Brian Hankins and will attend the Arkansas Police Academy later this year.






The 13th Annual Hoo Rah Days Beauty Pageant will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 19th in the De Queen High School Auditorium. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. and continue to 9:30 on the day of the pageant. The crowning ceremony will be held at 2:30 p.m.


According to organizer Jackie Gonzales, there are nine divisions. The divisions are 0 to 11 months; 12 to 23 months; 2 to 3 years; 4 to 5 years; 6 to 7 years; 8 to 9 years; 10 to 12 years; 13 to 15 years and 16 and up.


Gonzales said a divisional Queen will be selected from the nine divisions and the winners will be awarded to the highest score in beauty only.


Two Mini Supreme Queens will be selected from the age divisions 0 to 5 and 6 and up. The Mini Supreme Queens will be awarded to the highest scoring contestants in the beauty, photogenic and outfit of choice categories.


Three Grand Supreme Queens will be selected in the 0 to 3; 4-9 and 10 and up categories for the highest scores in beauty, photogenic and outfit of choice.


And the Ultimate Grand Supreme Queen will be awarded to the contestant with the highest combined score in beauty, photogenic and outfit of choice.


Pre-registration will be held on Sunday, September 13th from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Sevier County Museum Annex building. All contestants must pre-register by phone or email no later than September 14th.


For more information, contact Gonzales at 870-279-1787.






On Monday, August 31st, Sevier County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Barnes was dispatched to a residence on Burgess Road in reference to an individual trying to break into a house.


According to Barnes’ report, Deputy Matt Webb arrived on the scene first and took 28-year-old Dustin Terry into custody.


According to Don Crabtree and his girlfriend, LaJeanna Burt, Crabtree was asleep when Terry came into the house and woke him up. When Crabtree got up, he told Terry to leave and when Terry walked outside, Crabtree closed and locked the door behind him and he called the sheriff’s office.


Terry then allegedly kicked the door in and attempted to start a fight with Crabtree.


Crabtree stated he didn’t wish to press charges, however, Terry was charged with residential burglary, public intoxication and terroristic threatening in the 2nd degree.






August 29th, Sevier County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Hankins was patrolling on Highway 41 South and noticed a blue Ford Escape with expired Oklahoma tags.


Hankins was able to make a traffic stop near the Handi-Mart in De Queen and he was assisted by Officer David Higgins of the De Queen Police Department.


According to the incident report, there were four occupants in the vehicle including the driver, Ronnie Boyd, a front seat passenger, 27-year-old Johnathon Wilkerson of Idabel and the back seat passengers, Mary Boyd and a minor child.


While searching the vehicle, Hankins found a pink and black zip-up bag that contained a clear smoking pipe containing suspected methamphetamine residue, along with a cellophane bag with another small clear bag and a crystal like substance of suspected meth.


Wilkerson allegedly admitted the items were his and said he forgot they were in the vehicle. He also said the Boyd’s didn’t know anything about the bag.


When Ronnie and Mary Boyd were asked about the bag, they explained they were just trying to help Wilkerson get back on his feet by helping him repair his truck.


Wilkerson was charged with possession of a controlled substance, meth and possession of drug paraphernalia.


The Boyds were released.






When used appropriately, social media sites are an enjoyable and effective way to keep in touch with friends and family. But there are potential dangers associated with these sites, including predators. Social networking sites can provide a false sense of security for users who ignore the risks in making connections online.


Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a consumer alert to provide online safety tips to Arkansans to keep everyone and their personal information safe.


Rutledge released the following tips for parents and families to keep their teens and children safe online:

  • Parents should keep tablets, laptops and cell phones in a shared area of the house;

  • establish guidelines about the use of those devises;

  • be aware of what Internet sites are frequented by children and teens;

  • consider how different social networking sites operate before deciding if a child should join;

  • remind teens that once information is posted online, it cannot be removed;

  • warn children to be wary of friends they know solely online and never give out their telephone number, address or personal information;

  • Discuss the dangers of meeting new online friends in person and review the privacy policy and terms of usage for sites that require registration of personal information such as email addresses.


Social networking sites have exploded in popularity in the past decade. According to Pew Research survey last month, Facebook reports that 72 percent of U.S. adults who are online are active users, meanwhile 23 percent are on Twitter, 28 percent are on Instagram and 18 precent are on Snapchat. Snapchat is reportedly the fastest growing social media platform especially among children, teens and young adults.


For more information, call the Attorney General’s office at 1-800-482-8982 or visit the website




As the AHS juniors and seniors began the 2015-2016 school year, they were challenged by motivational speaker, Paul Vitale to “Make Today Count”. They were also given the message that people are always watching, whether you are doing good or bad.  So, what opinions are they forming about you?

Other points he made were:

Nothing is owed to you!  You have to do the WORK to get what you want!

Ashdown High School consists of those who occupy space and those who

bring it to life.  Be task-oriented, but people focused.

They were given five simple ideas to accomplish these tasks:

1.     Dare to dream courageously

2.     Establish a course of action

3.     Empower others to imagine

4.     Unite a common bond

5.     Be resilient like none other


Ashdown Superintendent, Jason Sanders, Representative DeAnn Vaught, and Stacey Southerland (De Queen-Mena Coop)


Stacey Southerland (De Queen- Mena Coop), Representative DeAnn Vaught, Jimmy Ivers (Domtar), Paul Vitale, Treyana Fielding (Domtar), and AHS Principal Kay York


Rhonda Pounds





De QUEEN, AR – The student census numbers have been tabulated for UA Cossatot 2015 Fall semester showing once again a record enrollment. 


When comparing the number of students from last spring semester to this fall semester, there was a 7% increase. 

Brenda Morris, Registrar and Director of Institutional Research at UA Cossatot, confirmed the numbers on the 11th class day, which is the called the census date.  This is the day enrollment numbers are certified and sent to the state. 

“We are proud of another record enrollment,” said Dr. Maria Parker, UA Cossatot Vice Chancellor for Academics.  “We have seen a particularly high growth in high school students taking college classes concurrently.  This is part of our mission and is an incredible opportunity for students.  They learn to feel comfortable with college classes and we hope they choose to stay after high school.” 


Hispanic student enrollment has also had a large increase at UA Cossatot, now up to 25% of the total student population.  UA Cossatot will be awaiting certification to soon become the first Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) in the state of Arkansas. An HSI is an institution that has a greater than 25% Hispanic population as determined by the U.S. Department of Education. Part of the college’s strategic plan has been to increase recruiting efforts within the Hispanic demographic. 


“Part of being a community college is being able to serve the residents of our area,” said Parker.  “We feel our student population should reflect the demographics of the community.  We have worked to make students from all walks of life feel comfortable at UA Cossatot.”  


The Fall 2015 class includes a 63% female population, 68% are returning UA Cossatot students and the overall average age is 19 years.  

WE “ARE” ASHDOWN  09/08/15

The 2015-2016 school year for the Ashdown School District has started and “We ‘ARE’ Ashdown” will be the theme for the school year.  We are Ashdown and we are proud!

During the 2015 summer, changes were made to our elementary/intermediate schools.  Kindergarten through second grade is now Ashdown Elementary and classrooms are located in the Margaret Daniel Building.  Support staff has classrooms in the C.D. Franks Building.  Teresa Wake is the principal on that campus.  Third grade has moved to the L.F. Henderson Building where Keith Fricks is principal.  Fourth and Fifth grade students are still located on that campus.  James Jones is principal at Ashdown Junior High School and sixth through eighth graders attend classes there.  Kay York now serves as Principal at Ashdown High School after serving as principal at Margaret Daniel Primary for 15 years (26 years in the district). 

Every campus of the Ashdown School District is the place to be for the 2015-2016 school year.

Ashdown Elementary will be continuing Family Night Library on Monday nights from 4:30-6:00 offering a great opportunity for parents and children to spend quality time together reading and taking AR tests.  We are also working to put a Chromebook in the hands of each second grader this year.  Due to the increasing demands for technology knowledge, our goal is to provide a Chromebook for every student Kindergarten through second grade in the next couple of years.   Additionally, we are excited about our new playground equipment.  Currently, we are working to improve the basketball court with a brand new goal and new nets.  We appreciate all the support from our parents and community in these endeavors.

At L.F. Henderson Intermediate, we are using the Remind 101 app.  This is a one-way communication tool to keep parents and guardians updated by each teacher. They are also planning to add more Chromebooks so that they are available in each classroom, and for the third year, every student at the school will be provided free breakfast every morning through Arkansas Hunger Alliance.  Third Graders will again be learning cursive writing and fifth graders will be taught an introduction to technology in addition to computer lab.  This year students will be taking the ACT Aspire Assessment in place of PARCC.  More information will be forthcoming.

Ashdown Junior High will continue the Night Library program; this will allow students to take missed tests after school instead of missing class time.  Computers will also be available during Night Library to complete classwork and projects.  Tutoring for math and literacy will also be provided.  Teachers are using the Remind 101 text messaging system to communicate with parents and students.  New this year at AJHS will be a cross-country track team.  Our sixth and seventh graders are learning Information and Communications in their technology classes since the keyboarding is now taught in the lower grades.  Our teachers are using Chromebooks for Google Drive applications, Google Classroom, Accelerated Reading, Accelerated Math and online testing.  Our goal is to provide Chromebooks for all core classes.

Ashdown High School students have the opportunity to take classes at UA Cossatot as part of the Secondary Career Center.  The classes are offered as concurrent credit where students receive both high school and college credit.  This is a collaborative effort between Texarkana Area Technological Center, Texarkana College and UA Cossatot.  The three programs offered are culinary, welding, and industrial technology.  These are offered at no cost to the students and the credits earned are counted toward the college degree plan in that program of study.  A new facility on the Ashdown campus has begun to house the welding program.  The Serenity Café Coffee Shop is now open each morning before school, after school and during football games.  They are open to the community during these times and the drinks are delicious. 

Within the district there are several forms of communication.  The Ashdown Elementary and L.F. Henderson PTOs have Facebook Pages.  Ashdown Junior High and Ashdown High School have pages as well.  And, this year, there is a district Facebook page (Ashdown Public Schools).  L.F. Henderson will also be sending monthly newsletters home.  You will get the most up-to-date information and pictures on these pages.  All other comprehensive information for the district can be found on our district web page  (

Technology is very important and our district is continuing to support that.  All campuses received new Wi-Fi networks and gigabit network switch upgrades.  Three business computer labs were replaced at AJHS and AHS and chrome desktops were installed in the Ashdown Elementary computer lab.  With the restructuring at Ashdown Elementary, ten smart boards and projectors were relocated.  A new fire alarm system was installed at AJHS Ag Shop/ALE building.  Each campus also received a new high volume copier/printer.  And, a new 100-foot radio antenna tower was installed to improve bus communication.

There are also many opportunities to volunteer throughout the district.  You may contact the campus office and they will provide you with the needed information.


The Ashdown School District invited local, county and state police, emergency workers, district administrators and staff to discuss current and future district safety.  Superintendent, Jason Sanders called the meeting so that all necessary personnel would be as informed as possible in case of an emergency and to plan for the future.  He stated that students must be safe in order to learn and our staff must be trained in order to provide that. 

Dean Lillard, District Maintenance Supervisor, presented those in attendance a copy of the district safety and emergency plan and explained district protocol in case staff/district needed to have a crisis response.

Each principal presented their campus safety and emergency plans and handed out copies to law enforcement officers.

Mr. Sanders and David Billingsley, District Technology Coordinator explained the new RAVE Security System that was implemented according to state requirements on September 1st.  Staff can download the app and when one of five buttons (Active Shooter, Fire, Medical, Police, or 911/Other) is pushed, the necessary emergency and district personnel are notified. This system will cut down on response time and automatically pinpoint where emergency personnel should go.

There was open discussion about the Magnetic Door Locks currently in use at every campus to ensure that only those entering the buildings are safe to enter, as well as future options that could be implemented to ensure the safety of students.   Those in attendance agreed this was a great starting point for open and unified communication.




At the start of the 2015 school year, the Ashdown School District welcomed eight new teachers.


Diana Blankenship is a Special Education Teacher at L. F. Henderson Intermediate. She has been a paraprofessional since 2002 in the Ashdown School District. She graduated from Texas A & M. She has a six-year-old daughter and loves spending time with her. Ms. Blankenship believes that all children can learn and it is her responsibility to find out how they learn and teach them to the best of her ability.

AJHS added, Mrs. Lorna Yochum as their new seventh grade math teacher. She has thirty years experience as a third grade teacher. She graduated from East Texas State University with a B.S. in Education. She has two grown children and loves to spend time with her children, fitness, and travelling and long walks in the park. Mrs. Yochum hopes to relate well with her students and that she will be able to teach them what they need to know about math.

AJHS also added, Beau Tillery. He is the girl’s basketball coach, but will also teach track, cross-country, PE and health. He has a bachelor’s degree in history from Blue Mountain College. He coached at Southwest Junior High for one year and at Blue Mountain College. He loves sports of all kinds and is married. His desire is “to be the best I can in the classroom and on the court, and prepare young men and women for life outside of school. Hopefully, we can win a few games in doing so.”

AHS welcomes back Melissa Kilgore as a Business Education Teacher. She graduated from Southern Arkansas University and is currently working on her MAT. While working on her degree, she was the counselor’s secretary at AHS. She is married to Mike Kilgore and one son, Bradley, daughter-in-law Nikki and grandchildren, Reed and Natalie. She enjoys camping, hunting and fishing. She expects to, “engage students through an enthusiastic environment and provide them with the skills and knowledge to set them on course for a successful future.”

Jessica Weatherl teachers Special Education at AHS, she graduated from Arkansas Tech University with an early childhood education degree. She is currently working on Special Education at Arkansas State University. She has been a substitute in the district and at Friendship Pediatrics. She enjoys spending time with family and friends and will be married to Chance Jewell in October. She said, “I am very excited about this new opportunity and the opportunity to work in this district.”

Josh Fleming joined the AHS Staff and will be teaching civics/economics and coaching junior high football, basketball and high school baseball. He graduated from Southern Arkansas University with a BSE in Education and a minor in History. He is married to Amber, who teachers at Ashdown Elementary and they have one son, Aiden. He shared 2 Timothy 4:7 – I have fought the good fight., I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 

Ashdown High School also welcomes Karen Vice.  She is teaching sophomore English,ELA Drama, and Creative Writing.  She has a Bachelors of Business Administration and a Masters in Education.  She has attended Texas A & M, Texarkana and Southern Arkansas University.  She has taught at TASD, Ashdown, Malvern and Fountain Lake.  She has a daughter Rachel and a large extended family.  She enjoys music, traveling, and home decorating.  She is very excited to be back home and looking forward to a great year preparing her students for life after high school.  Her classroom philosophy: "The greatest reward is the satisfaction of a job well done."

Ashley Sanders will be working within the district in speech. She has her bachelor’s degree and master’s from the University of Central Arkansas. She and her husband, Jason have three children, Jacob, Micah, and Grayson. She enjoys gardening, reading, and traveling and she is looking forward to meeting everyone and working in the district.





Dr. Jason Lofton of the Wellness Clinic announced the organizers of the September 17th Health Fair are selling raffle tickets for an autographed Bret Bielema football. Lofton said Prostate cancer was an important issue to Coach Bielema and his family.


Lofton is also asking area residents to contact his office at 642-4000 to sign up for the simple blood test. He said he had received a grant from Legacy Initiative for 100 free blood tests and wanted to make sure that everyone that needed assistance received it.


Lofton said residents will also be able to purchase a chicken or fish dinner for a donation to the Legacy Initiative.


For more information, contact the Wellness Center at 642-4000.






Sunday, August 30th, Sevier County Deputy Greg Davignon was patrolling on West Line Road when he noticed the driver of a Nissan pickup not wearing a seatbelt.


Davignon made a traffic stop on Dog Town Road and questioned the driver, 56-year-old Russell Whitney. Whitney reported told Davignon that he had drank four or five beers.


Davignon also discovered Whitney had an active warrant out of Howard County and that he was driving on a suspended driver’s license. Whitney also informed Davignon that he couldn’t take the field sobriety test because he had a bad back.


The passenger, Marty Lovell, was informed that he could call someone to pick him up, but he could not drive because he was also over-the-limit.


Whitney was taken into custody on the outstanding warrant and charged with driving while intoxicated, refusal to submit to test, no seat belt and driving on a suspended license.








Dierks High School recently announced this year’s homecoming court.


The 2015 Homecoming Queen will be Katelynd Fennell and the Maid of Honor will be Charlotte Cothren.


The Senior Football Maid is Isabel Fox. The Senior Class Maid is Alyssa Gibson. The Junior Football Maid is Grace Martin and the Junior Class Maid is Alyssa Ward. The Sophomore Football Maid is Destiny Nutt and the Class Maid is Alison Kitchens.


Homecoming activities will be held on October 23rd.






The following members of the Ashdown FFA earned reserve or grand champion titles during the Little River County Fair.


Madison Kidd earned the Reserve Champion goat title. Lyndon Youngblood was named the Grand Champion in the market hog category. Maddie McAllister won the Grand Champion title in the Market Lamb category. Kasey Jo Krause earned the Reserve Market Lamb title. Trace Kennemore won the Grand Champion Commercial in the Heifer category. And, Rylee Youngblood earned the Reserve Grand Champion title in the Heifer category.  






The De Queen Medical Center Auxiliary announced they will be holding their annual Awards and New Member luncheon on Wednesday, September 9th, at 11:30 a.m. in the hospital conference room.


The Auxiliary also needs volunteers to work in the hospital Gift Shop, the refreshment cart and to visit the local nursing home every Wednesday morning. Auxiliary members sing gospel music and give a short inspirational talk.


If you would like to serve as a volunteer, you are invited to attend the luncheon on September 9th.


For more information, stop by the Gift Shop or call the hospital and ask for an auxiliary member at 870-584-4111.






A man who was sentenced to death by a Sevier County jury for the murder of a woman in De Queen in 1993 is among the eight death-row inmates waiting for an execution date to be set by Governor Asa Hutchinson.


Stacey Johnson was convicted of killing Carol Heath during the night of April 1st and the early morning hours of April 2nd, while her then 6-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son hid in a closet.


Johnson was convicted and sentenced to death, but the Arkansas Supreme Court overturned that conviction in 1996 because a police officer testified the victim's daughter identified Johnson as the killer and the court said the hearsay evidence was improper and ordered a new trial.


Johnson was convicted again in 1997 without the hearsay evidence.




STAY AWAY        9/7/15


On Thursday, August 27th, Sevier County Housing Authority security officer, Kim Culp, contacted the Sevier County Sheriff’s office and reported a person who had been trespassed from the property in February of this year, was on the premises.


When Sevier County Sheriff’s deputies arrived, they were informed that 25-year-old Dwight Humble was visiting the occupant of apartment 47.


When Mary Pettigrew answered the door, she informed the deputies that Humble had just left through the back door.


Officers soon located Humble and charged him with Criminal Trespass.






As the price of attending college continues to rise, it is more important for parents, families and friends to become educated on how to afford higher education. Earlier this week, the Arkansas state Treasurer’s office recognized September as College Savings Month, emphasizing Arkansas’ commitment to helping residents prepare financially for the costs of college.


According to a college planning website, the cost of college continues to rise faster than inflation.


Executive Director of the GIFT AR 529 Plan, Beth Anne Rankin said this month gives the state’s treasurer’s office a chance to talk about savings options and how Arkansas families can begin planning for the next generation’s education costs.


According to the 2010 census data, there are currently 216,799 households in Arkansas with children under the age of 18 as residents, yet there are only 12,707 GIFT AR 529 Plan account owners.


To learn more about the GIFT AR 529 Plan, check the website,






Morgan Walters is organizing a 5K to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association, October 3rd because her grandfather has MD.


Walters said runners will save $5 if they register before September 23rd.


For more information, contact Walters at 870-784-2867.






Adam Kersey was named Mr. Baby during the 2015 Sevier County Fair Pageants.


Klansey Lowrie was named Tiny Miss Baby. She also won the Best Personality and Best Smile categories. Emily Williamson was named Most Beautiful and Best Fashion.


Mila Torres was named Miss Tiny Petite. She also won the Most Beautiful, Best Personality and Best Smile categories. Tinnley Stewart won Best Fashion.


Sunni Mason won the Little Miss Sevier County title and will represent the county in the district and state pageants.


Bella Baker won the Young Jr. Miss title and she was named the Most Beautiful and Best Dress. Paige Williamson won the Best Smile and Best Personality categories.


Demi Leonard was named the 2015 Jr. Miss winner. She also won the Best Dress and Best Smile categories. Madison Bagley won the Most Beautiful and Best Personality categories.


The 2015 Sevier County Fair Queen is Danielle Duggan and the 2015 Sevier County Fair Princess is Laney Baker and both girls will represent Sevier County in the district and state pageants.


Kate Baker won the Jr. Talent contest and Cody Lites won the Sr. Talent contest. Both Baker and Lites will represent the county in the district and state competitions.


Morgan Sweeden was named the 2015 Rodeo Queen and Abbie Clay was named the 2015 Rodeo Princess.




FROM A NAP TO AN ARREST        9/4/15


Wednesday afternoon about 5:45, Sergeant Chad Bradshaw of the De Queen Police Department went to a residence looking for an individual on interest whom he had been informed was at a house on Locke Street.


When Sergeant Bradshaw knocked on the door; someone inside said come in. As Bradshaw stepped into the house, he asked the resident, Tammy Smith, if the individual he was looking for was there. Smith said the individual had left about 15 to 20 minutes before Officer Bradshaw arrived.


While speaking with Smith, Bradshaw noticed someone lying on the couch with about half his face covered up. Smith informed Bradshaw his name was Zachary.


When Bradshaw approached the individual to wake him up and positively identify him, he saw a zip lock bag with suspected marijuana in it on the coffee table along with some rolling papers.


When Bradshaw asked who the marijuana belonged to; the individual on the coach who was identified as 20-year-old Taylor Smith said it belonged to him.


Once again, Bradshaw asked Tammy Smith if the individual that he was looking for was in the house and she allegedly informed him that he could take a look around.


Taylor Smith led Bradshaw through the house and when they went into Taylor's room, Bradshaw noticed what appeared to be a grinder sitting on a bedside table. When Bradshaw asked Taylor Smith if it was a grinder, he said yes.


Taylor Smith was then arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance - marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.






Last week, District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught announced September was "Take Your Representative to School" month in Arkansas and she started visiting District 4 schools on September 1st.


Vaught said her goal was to build bridges with school children and encourage them to reach for the stars.


Vaught said when she and Arkansas Senator Jimmy Hickey visited the Ashdown School District; they were impressed by the district concurrent agreement with UA Cossatot.


Tuesday, Vaught visited with the junior and senior classes of the Horatio High School and she encouraged them not to let a test define them.


Vaught then spoke to a Civics class on the De Queen campus of UA Cossatot. Vaught said she explained how local, state and federal governments work together and what she does in the state legislature.


Vaught said she plans to visit every school in her district.






The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department announced this week that 27 road and bridge projects that were pulled from the agency’s bidding schedule earlier this year will be reinstated at its October bid-letting.


The projects were reinstated after Congress approved transferring $8.1 billion dollars from general revenue to the federal Highway Trust Fund.


One of the 27 projects is in Little River County.


Highway officials say they plan to bid out the project to replace the traffic signal at the intersection of Arkansas Highway 32 and Arkansas Highway 32Y in Ashdown in front of the Ashdown Wal-Mart Supercenter.






Dierks Superintendent Holly Cothern stated the district is encouraging parents to fill out the free and reduced lunch forms. She said if 70 percent of the students qualify, the district will receive more funding.


Cothern stated the board also approved the purchase of more security cameras and the board is working to implement the Arkansas School Board Associations' polices. She said the board started implementing the new policies in May and she hopes they complete the transition by April of 2016.


The September meeting of the Dierks Board of Education will be held September 28th in the high school library.



Report on Food Ministry--August 2015          09/04/15


The Chalice Cupboard assisted 53 families in Sevier County, including 89 adults and 90 children, totaling 179 people.  They received food distributions totaling 1,264 pounds from donated and purchased food.


Saint Barbara Catholic Church donated 72 pounds.  Selected food items purchased for the pantry during August totaled 827 pounds. Total food added last month--899 pounds.


The bank balance on August 1, 2015, was $2,496.94.  Deposits for the month were $147.39.  $617.27 was spent replenishing food items for the pantry.  The bank balance on August 31, 2015, was $2,027.06.  


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


Non-perishable food items, such as cereal and canned fruit, help both young and older people in need.


Three Ashdown schools are inviting grandparents to their campus on Friday, Sept. 11, 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.

Ashdown Elementary School (Margaret Daniel Building), kindergarten through second grade invites their grandparents to join them in their classrooms from 9-10 that morning.

L. F. Henderson Intermediate grades 3-5 welcome grandparents from 10:00-11:00 a.m.  Their book fair will be open until 3:30 that day in the library.

At Ashdown Junior High School (grades 6-8), grandparents may enjoy breakfast with their grandchild from 7:45-8:45 in the cafeteria.  The adult breakfast costs $2.00.  Students are $1.35.  The menu will be sausage biscuits, milk and juice.




De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy informed aldermen of the De Queen City Council the city's street paving project is underway, but the city only received one bid on the proposed SCADA system for the water department.


City Engineer Greg Vaughn informed aldermen the system will provide the water superintendent Jeff Brown with notifications which will allow him to make appropriate changes to the city's water treatment process.


The total cost of the SCADA system project will be $152,916, but that includes the engineer fees and a new variable frequency drive motor for the river pump. Vaughn said the new motor should pay for itself in about 5 years by lowering the city's energy cost.


Aldermen also approved amending the city's budget to purchase a portable pump for the waste water department and to reimburse Sevier County for tipping fees at the Upper Southwest Arkansas Regional Solid Waste Management District landfill for the disposal of storm debris ash. McKelvy said the city's part totaled $3,351.14.


McKelvy also asked aldermen to consider giving raises to four employees in the water department, three in the waste water department, one in the street department and two in the sanitation department.


Aldermen stated they would agree to the increase, but wanted McKelvy to speak with these 10 employees about taking pride in their work.






Sunday afternoon about 4:30, Sergeant Gary Cunningham was dispatched to a call in reference to a naked, drunk man.


When Cunningham arrived, he spoke to a witness who informed him that she was on her way to Wal-Mart when she noticed a naked man standing outside an apartment on Driver Street because he was screaming at passing cars.


Cunningham then walked around the building and discovered a man standing inside a doorway naked, along with several empty beer cans, a broken cooler and a folding chair in the parking lot.


When Cunningham asked the man who was identified as 38-year-old Eric Mangiapelo, what he was doing outside naked? Mangiapelo stated he was not outside.


When Cunningham asked him to put some pants on, Mangiapelo stepped outside and he was taken into custody and charged with public intoxication.






About 2:30 a.m. Sunday morning, Patrolman Bucky Sawyer of the De Queen Police Department witnessed a grey Mitsubishi 4-door sedan traveling with paper tags. Sawyer reported he could not read the tag, but before he could change lanes, the vehicle sped up to about 55 miles per hour.


The vehicle finally came to a stop at the intersection of Collin Raye Drive and 13th Street.


The driver was identified as 24-year-old Wallace Willis of Durant, Oklahoma.


Sawyer reported he noticed some empty beer cans in the back seat floor board, along with one full bottle of beer. There was also a half-empty beer bottle in the front floor board.


Willis allegedly informed Sawyer and Patrolman Justin Gentry that he had drank too much to pass a field sobriety test.


Willis was cited for driving while intoxicated and no proof of insurance.






Jonathon Reynolds of the De Queen First Assembly of God Church announced the church would be hosting the Red River Dodge Fall Classic 2-man scramble at the Glenwood Country Club, October 3rd.


Reynolds said the proceeds will benefit the mission project, Speed the Light.


To sign up for or for more information about the Fall Classic golf event, contact Reynolds at 870-584-3435.






Continuing Education Coordinator Zebbie Launius announced UA Cossatot campus police officer Monte Stringfellow will be leading a personal safety class this fall on the De Queen campus starting September 15th from 8 a.m. to noon.


Stringfellow explained the class is a National Rifle Association class, but it won't focus on self-defense or guns. He said the class would benefit anyone, but recommended it for college students


Stringfellow said the class is mainly common sense stuff, but he will have a display table of personal protection items.


Launius stated the deadline to sign up for the class is Monday, September 7th and the cost is $20 and that includes the book.


They also stated the college would be willing to offer the class on all three UA Cossatot campuses.


For more information, contact the Continuing Education at 870-584-4471 or toll-free at 1-800-844-4471.




The former Home Economics building, built in 1951, is the new home of the Ashdown High School Alumni Association, thanks to the generosity of the Ashdown School District.  Improvements to the structure are underway.  The district will be paying the utilities and insurance.  The Association will be responsible for renovating the interior of the building for our use.  Plans have been made by the school district to create an alumni area surrounding the building and install alumni gates leading into Dick Hays Stadium.  Superintendent, Jason Sanders, and the Ashdown School Board have been instrumental in making this dream a reality for us.  The building will be a great asset for our association and the community to use for meetings and reunions. 



There are 6 rooms to be renovated:  the living room, kitchen, multipurpose/meeting room, workroom, office and restroom. The major expense will be renovating the kitchen to prepare and serve a banquet for up to 75. As you know, this can only become a reality if we work together.  Your tax deductible financial donations and volunteer labor can make it happen!  (We are an organization that can accept matching donations from your company.)

Here’s what you can do! 

  1. Click Here for a membership/donation form and send an additional donation to the Alumni House fund. Your additional donation will not affect the scholarships.  (Join others to refurbish a room and honor a graduating class, a family, a business, a teacher or an outstanding alumnus.)

  2. Volunteer!  Many of you have skills to help in the renovation project. 

They need your help to make this project a reality.  Will you help in some way?  For further information call any of the officers.  Please check the Ashdown High School Alumni Association Facebook page for updates and photos.



The Ashdown High School Alumni Committee and Officers are pleased to announce the ninth annual Alumni Dinner. The dinner will be held on Saturday, October 31, 2015 at the High School Cafeteria. The honored guest this year will be Joe Robert Davis, retired as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Consolidated Graphics and an AHS class of 1961 graduate.

Tickets for the dinner will be $25.00 per person. This "includes" your Alumni dues of $10.00 for the coming year. You must be Alumni to buy dinner tickets. Tickets will go on sale Tuesday, September 8, 2015 at 3:00 PM. Ticket sales will end Saturday, October 17, 2015 at Noon. By popular request, we will be offering tables of eight (8), as well as individual tickets. Doors will open at 4:30 and dinner will be served at 6:00.

Four hundred tickets will be available. When all the tickets are sold, sales will be closed. Don’t’ wait……..

INDIVIDUAL TICKETS can be purchased locally at Castle Antiques (120 Rankin St.), Betty Ruth McDowell Kidd (115 Elm Street, Ogden, AR 71853, 870-898-8391); Sandra Shackelford Furlow (P. O. Box 158, Ogden, AR 71853, 870-898-6803, or Susan Setliff Simmons (161 South Fifth Street, Ashdown, AR 71822, 870-898-3851,

TO PURCHASE TABLE OF 8 contact Diane McLarty (870-898-6179, Designate one person to collect the money. The table will be reserved when the money ($200.00) is received by Diane. Make all checks payable to AHS Alumni Association.

This will be an extra special evening for the Class of 1965. They will be celebrating their 50th graduation anniversary.

MEMBERSHIP DUES ONLY: See attached form. Becoming a member will keep you in the loop about what is happening with the Association and your support will be appreciated. Your membership dues of $10.00 will make a difference in providing additional scholarships for a deserving Ashdown senior of 2016. Thanks to your participation the Alumni Association provided five $1,000.00 scholarships last year.

RECOGNITION BRICKS: See attached form. You may purchase these bricks at the dinner or by sending in the attached form with your money.

ALUMNI HOUSE: See attached form.     Application for Alumnus membership and Alumni House Bricks

The Ashdown High School Homecoming game and parade will be Friday, October 30, 2015.





Cossatot River Superintendent Donnie Davis reported the district was able to transfer $900,000 from the district's operating fund to the building fund during a special called meeting of the Cossatot River Board of Education.


During a regular meeting of the board in August, Davis said board members approved a change to the district's student handbook concerning the student dress code.


According to the district's handbook, if a student is out of compliance with the dress code, the student will receive a warning for their first offense. After the first offense, students may be sent to ISS for one to ten days.


Davis reported the district as approved the purchase of 60 Dell computers that will be used for distance learning classes.


Davis said they also hired a couple of kindergarten teachers, one for the Wickes Elementary campus and one for the Vandervoort Elementary campus.


Davis said board members also approved a policy that states the district will report any student who brings a firearm to school to the criminal justice system by notifying the local law enforcement officials.






Members of the De Queen High School cheerleading squad announced Tuesday morning that they were ready, willing and able to help business owners decorate their windows, so they can show their support for the Leopards.


Kai Smith, Maecy May, Anna Grace Cauley and Jessica Rogers stopped by to encourage area Leopard fans to support the Leopards every Friday night. Cauley stated if business owners would purchase the material, the cheerleaders would decorate their windows.


Rogers said they want every one to wear black and gold on Fridays, but the booster club has announced a White Out for next week's home game against the Nashville Scrappers.


For more information about the window decorating, contact the De Queen High School at 642-2426.




DRUNK AT WORK        9/2/15


About 4:30 Saturday afternoon, Sergeant Gary Cunningham of the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to Pilgrim’s Pride in reference to a drunk employee.


Brody Funderburk of Pilgrim’s Pride informed Cunningham that an employee was drunk at work and trying to urinate on the line. Funderburk said he administered a breath test to the employee and fired him on the spot.


Cunningham was assisted by Officer David Higgins who administered another breath test to 49-year-old Bruce Armstrong of Valiant, Oklahoma.


According to the incident report, Armstrong informed the officers that he had drank several beers and a pint before work.


Armstrong was charged with public intoxication and transported to the Sevier County jail.






Saturday afternoon around 4 p.m., Gary Cunningham of the De Queen Police Department was informed by Shayla VanHoose that she had been assaulted by her husband.


Vanhoose reported her husband, 32-year-old Brandon Coulter of De Queen, had hit her in the face and chocked her.


Cunningham found Coulter at his mother’s home and spoke to him about what happened between him and Vanhoose. He said she came over and started calling him a deadbeat dad and that he would never be able to see his kids. He said she got in his face, so, he slapped her and pushed her away.


Coulter was then taken into custody; however, while searching Coulter for weapons, Cunningham found a small package containing suspected marijuana.


Coulter was charged with domestic battery in the third degree and possession of marijuana.






Sunday afternoon about 5 o’clock, Patrolman Justin Gentry of the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to the De Queen Wal-Mart Supercenter in reference to four shoplifters.


When Gentry arrived, a member of the Wal-Mart Asset Protection team had four minors in her office.


Gentry was informed three of minor boys took two cups of popcorn chicken and three bottles of milk and proceeded to walk around the store, consuming the items without paying for them.


The parents and guardians of the minors were notified and were asked to meet Gentry at the De Queen Police Station. Two of the minors allegedly admitted to consuming the chicken and drinking a bottle of chocolate milk without paying for them, but the other minor refused to be interviewed.


The three minors were citied for shoplifting and released into the custody of their parents.






The 2015 School Board Election is scheduled for Tuesday, September 15th and for the first time in a long time there is a contested race in the De Queen School District.


De Queen School Board President Randy Hedge is being challenged by Barry Reed for the Zone 5 position on the board and Sevier County Clerk Debbie Akin announced early voting will start on Tuesday, September 8th and run through Monday, September 14th from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. in the county clerk's office, however, her office will be closed on Saturday, September 12th.


On Tuesday, September 15th, the only open polling site will be the De Queen Church of Christ on Highway 70 West and the polls will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.


Akin said all De Queen School District voters may vote on the district's millage which is unchanged at 27.5 mills, but only residents in Zone 5 will vote in the school board election.


According to Akin, Zone 5 runs north of Highway 70 and west of Highway 71. She said there is an exception in Gillham. She said Zone 5 goes around the city limits of Gillham and there is another except in the Whistlestop area, so those residents may contact Akins office to confirm whether they are in Zone 5 or not.


Akin said voters in the Horatio District will vote to approve the district's millage of 44.0 mills, but school board member Jeff Irvan is running unopposed, so, residents may only vote early or absentee.


Akin said it is not too late to vote absentee, but voters need to contact her office soon, by calling 642-2852.



Initiative Launched To Help Children Exposed To Trauma  09/02/15


Victor J. Rojas, a Member of the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice Board, has announced that the A-Chance School Initiative is being implemented in Sevier County. “A-Chance” stands for Arkansas Cultivating Healthy Attitudes & Nurturing Children to Excel. The A-Chance initiative helps mitigate the negative impacts of violence and trauma on children by identifying those who come into contact with law enforcement and ensuring that school personnel are aware of that fact.


Very few children ever receive help in recovering from the psychological damage caused by traumatic experiences. Children exposed to violence and trauma often experience academic, behavioral, and social problems in the classroom. These children are also at a higher risk of engaging in criminal behavior later in life and becoming part of a cycle of violence.


Exposure to violence and trauma is a national crisis that affects approximately two out of every three children, according to a report by the U.S. Attorney General’s National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence. The A-Chance program will ensure that when children are present at a violent, criminal, or traumatic event, law enforcement will notify their school by the next morning.  The school will then be better able to interact with and educate the child.


This simple program was developed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Arkansas. The initiative requires no funding, but the commitment of schools and law enforcement agencies is essential in making it a success. It has already been implemented in 13 schools throughout six counties in western Arkansas. The De Queen School District, De Queen Police Department, Horatio School District, and Sevier County Sheriff’s Office are now participating in the program.


When a law enforcement officer responds to the scene of a “traumatic event” and a child is present, the officer will fill out a simple form. The “Handle With Care Notice” contains only the child’s name, school, age, and that law enforcement encountered the child at a traumatic event. A “traumatic event” includes but is not limited to a child witnessing domestic violence, a battery, drug use, or execution of a search warrant. Schools will not be informed of the details that trigger a “Handle with Care Notice.”


Law enforcement will send the notice to the school’s district office who will then forward it to the appropriate school principal by the beginning of the next school day. The child’s teacher(s) and counselor will be notified. Upon notification, school officials may implement the appropriate action(s) it deems necessary, if any is warranted. 

Potential measures schools could take when receiving the notice may include but are not limited to notifying the child’s teacher(s) that the child may need special attention; re-teaching important lessons and/or postponing testing; permitting the child time to rest if he/she has trouble focusing or staying awake; or referring the child to the school counselor if he/she exhibits behavioral or emotional problems in the classroom.


“Some children may grow up in safety and stability, but when millions do not, our entire society suffers. The long-term negative outcomes of exposure to violence and trauma can be prevented, and children exposed can be helped to recover. Children can heal if we identify them early, and give them the proper care and support. 

I envision this initiative spreading across our state. I have already spoken to an elementary principal from Cabot. She understands this program supports schools in addressing kids with backgrounds that include tragedy or traumatic experiences. I encourage any school or law enforcement agency interested in the A-Chance initiative to contact me ( or the U.S. Attorney's Office at 479-783-5125. 


It's time to ensure that exposure to violence and trauma no longer goes unanswered and that the lives of children affected are not further impacted by our failure to act. The key to ensuring that these children succeed in school and later life depends on communication, collaboration, and simply handling these children with extra care.” 


– Victor J. Rojas




The De Queen City Council will meet tonight at 6 p.m. in the council room of the De Queen City Hall and aldermen were informed recently that the city only received one bid on the water department's SCADA system.


According to Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy, the bid was from Instrument and Supply of Hot Springs in the amount of $120,015 and the city's engineer, Greg Vaughn, will be in attendance tonight to answer any questions aldermen may have about the system.


Aldermen will also consider a resolution to levy the city's taxes for the year 2015. McKelvy reported there will no changes from last year's rates.


The agenda also includes two amendments to the city's budget for the purchase of a portable spare pump for the Waste Water Department and for the reimbursement of tipping fees to Sevier County for the disposal of ash.



GRAZING IN WAL-MART        9/1/15


On August 27th, Patrolman Justin Gentry of the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to the De Queen Wal-Mart Supercenter about 7:30 p.m. in reference to a reported shoplifter.


When Gentry arrived, he was informed by members of the Wal-Mart Asset Protection team that two suspects had been seen walking around the store eating and drinking items that they had not paid for.


A Wal-Mart employee reported they witnessed 27-year-old Gary Franks and 31-year-old Julie Ward, both of De Queen, eat some potato wedges from the deli, while drinking a Rockstar energy drink and a Dr. Pepper.


The employee said when the couple finished their snack; they placed the containers on a shelf and left the store without paying.


Franks and Ward refused to answer any questions from Gentry, but before he arrived, Franks allegedly admitted to drinking the energy drink and eating the potato wedges. He also stated that he intended to pay for the items but was going to his friend's car to get something first.


Franks and Ward were charged with shoplifting a $1,000 or less.


According to the De Queen Police Department, three more incidents of shoplifting were reported over the weekend.





Justin and Sara Stewart of De Queen announced they are attempting to start an Arkansas Youth Fishing Association group after the state director of the association asked them to host an organizational meeting this Thursday at 7:30 p.m.


Sara Stewart said the association works to promote youth fishing in Arkansas through education and conservation.


The organizational meeting will be held at the 5S Outdoors store on Highway 71 North. Stewart said they need six members between the ages of 11 to 18 to form a local club.


For more information, contact 5S Outdoors or visit the Facebook page: TBF of Arkansas of Youth Fishing.






District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported that almost 6,000 Arkansas school buses transport about 260,000 students across 250,000 miles every day.


Vaught said statistics tell us that students who ride the bus to school are 50 times more likely to arrive at school alive than if they drive themselves or ride with a friend and they are more than 20 times safer riding the bus than if they ride with a parent or other adult.


Vaught stated it’s also important for drivers to obey traffic law when near a stopped school bus. She said the Arkansas Department of Education kicked off its annual school bus safety campaign, called "Flashing Red. Kids Ahead." The campaign reminds motorists that it is illegal to pass a stopped school bus whenever the buses red lights are flashing, and when students are getting on and off the bus.


As of 2005, Isaac's Law increased the fines, penalties and punishment for anyone found guilty of illegally passing a stopped school bus.




Annette Worley of the De Queen High School Christians in Action group announced this morning that they would be hosting their third teen revival Tuesday, September 1st at the Kern Heights Baptist Church at 6:30 p.m.


For more information, contact Kern Heights Baptist Church at 584-4361.






On August 26th, members of the De Queen Police Department responded to two calls in reference to possible shoplifting at the De Queen Wal-Mart Supercenter.


About 10:45 a.m., Patrolman J.J. Lopez spoke with a member of the Wal-Mart Asset Protection team and was informed that a Hispanic female had put some packages of meat and a bag of shrimp in her purse.


Lopez was told the suspect paid for several other items in her buggy, but left the merchandise in her purse and began to walk out before she was stopped in the store's foyer.


Allegedly, the suspect, 56-year-old Marcelina Ramirez admitted to walking out of the store with the meat. Ramirez reportedly told the store employee that she really didn't think it was that big of a deal.


Ramirez was arrested and charged with shoplifting a $1,000 or less.


Then about 4 p.m., Sergeant Chad Bradshaw was dispatched to Wal-Mart for another shoplifting incident.


When Bradshaw arrived, he was informed that 25-year-old Travis Pressley and 26-year-old Casey Johnson had taken several items.


Bradshaw was informed that Pressley placed the items in his pants while Johnson served as his lookout.


Both, Pressley and Johnson were arrested and charged with shoplifting $1,000 or less.






On August 17th, Amado Hernandez filed a report with the De Queen Police Department about Amado's step-brother using his debit card without his permission.


According to Hernandez, his step-brother, Armando Hernandez, took his new debit card out of the mail without him knowing it and started using it.


Hernandez reported his step-brother used the card several times at different businesses in De Queen and Horatio.


According to bank records, the card was used from August 3rd until August 16th, for a total amount of $648.70


On August 25th, Lieutenant Sonny Kimmel of the De Queen Police Department interviewed Armando Hernandez.


During the interview, Armando allegedly told Kimmel that he took the card out of the mail and used it because he had permission from his step-brother to do it.


Armando Hernandez was arrested and charged with fraudulent use of a credit or debit card.






Area residents are invited to experience the appeal of Southern Living at South Arkansas’ largest Arts and Crafts Show during the 47th Annual BPW Barn Sale on Saturday, September 26th from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Camden.


The BPW Barn Sale has grown into one of Arkansas’ major tourist attractions. Join thousands from all around the region to shop handcrafted southern favorites as you browse over 180 unique vendors and artists from all over the United States featuring traditional crafts and contemporary styles.


The massive old oak trees provide a breathtaking fall landscape as you stroll beside the historic barn site while listening to an old gristmill that will grind cornmeal throughout the day. You can also watch a potter or woodcarving artist at work or purchase a newly made treasure from hundreds of accomplished artists.


All crafts are original and handmade. So, you can expect to find handcrafted wooden pieces, ceramics, paintings, floral arrangements, handmade clothing, jewelry, stained glass, one-of-a-kind toys, and much more.


You can also enjoy a myriad of authentic foods as vendors from all over the South descend on the Barn Sale with their own unique southern favorites and festival treats.


Musical entertainment will take place throughout the day with individual performances by the artists at their booths, as well as, featured artists on the BPW Barn Sale main stage.


There’ll be an Antique and Classic Car Show, a kids zone with climbing walls and blowups, the traditional Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast, 5K Run, and the St. Louis Catholic Church Spaghetti Supper.


For more information, visit or call 870-836-6426.






Dr. Jason Lofton announced Friday morning that the Wellness Clinic will be the site of a Men's Health Fair, September 17th.


Lofton said the event is in conjunction with the Arkansas Prostate Cancer Foundation and Legacy Initiatives. He said last year's event was the largest in the state, but this year's event may draw over 200 men.


Lofton announced they will be giving away a Yeti cooler and raffling off a autographed football and area residents may also pick up a chicken or fish dinner for a donation starting at 4 p.m.


For more information or to sign up for the Men's Health Clinic at the Wellness Center. 






Want to give your child something so they won’t forget their first Arkansas hunting moment.


The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is now offering full-color certificates to commemorate the taking of their first dove, rabbit, squirrel or duck.


The new certificates go along with the first deer, fish and turkey awards that were made available last year.


Hunter’s can access the fillable PDF document online at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commissions website and print out it out on your color printer.


The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is also partnering with Project ChildSafe to remind hunters that safety remains at the core of America’s hunting tradition, and the hunt isn’t over until firearms are S.A.F.E. and secure.


Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Hunter Education Coordinator Joe Huggins says hunting season is a fun and exciting time, but also an important time to practice safe and responsible firearm handling and storage.


The Hunt S.A.F.E. campaign is Project ChildSafe’s annual reminder to hunters to: secure firearms when they are not in use. You should also be aware of those around you who should not have unauthorized access to firearms. Hunters should also focus on their responsibility as a firearm owner and educate themselves and others about safe firearm handling and storage.


Project ChildSafe reminds hunters that securing firearms when they are not in use is the best to prevent firearm accidents.


Along with the Arkansas hunter safety program, Project ChildSafe makes several resources available, which can be found on The Project ChildSafe website.






Historic Washington State Park will host the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth Watermelon Weigh-off Contest on Saturday, September 5th.


The event is also sponsored by the Old Washington Farmer’s Market and the Hope-Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce.


The official weigh-in site for watermelons will be held at the Farmer’s Market on September 5th at 11 a.m. Pre-registration is not required, but farmers of watermelons should begin registering their entries by 9 a.m.


Prizes will be awarded for the largest watermelons.


For more information, contact Josh Williams at 870-703-8256.






Cossatot River State Park will be hosting a Dutch oven cooking workshop on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Park Interpreter Shelley Flanary reported outdoor cooking is a strong tradition in Arkansas state parks. This Saturday, park staff will teach the history and techniques of Dutch oven cooking.


Participates will receive a 4-quart Dutch oven, along with a cookbook full of recipes.


Flanary said park staff members will be preparing a couple of entrees and a dessert.


Admission is $50 per person or $15 a meal. Reservations are required and space is limited. To make a reservation, call the park at 870-385-2201.


Sunday, the park will host a Breath of Life - Earth's Invisible Blanket event from 10 to 11 a.m. and park guests will feed the park critters from 2 to 3 p.m. in the Visitor Center.


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






U.S. District Judge Susan Hickey granted a request for a psychiatric evaluation from the lawyer of 22-year-old Nathan Karl Thomas of Lockesburg after Thomas expressed a lack of memory regarding the events associated with his alleged offenses.


Thomas was arrested last year in connection with an Internet child pornography investigation that began in Canada. He was arrested in December after he was accused of arranging sexual encounters with a 15-year-old female from Texarkana.


In January, Thomas was indicted on five counts, accusing him of creating child pornography with the girl. In July, four additional charges were filed, which accuses Thomas of using the Internet to coerce the teen into having sex, taking the minor across state lines with the intent to have sex, producing child pornography and possession child pornography.


KDQN contacted Thomas’ lawyer for a clarification of his charges, but our calls were not returned.


A trial date will be set after the court receives a report detailing the finding of the mental examination.






Dierks Mayor Terry Mounts informed KDQN that the city has hired a part-time employee to work in the city park and his office has already received some good feedback from the community concerning the upkeep of the park.


Mounts said the part-time employee will work about three hours a week during the winter to repair any damage that may result due to the weather.


Mounts said this year's Pine Tree Festival was a huge success and the Dierks Chamber of Commerce is already preparing for next year's event.


Mounts said the new mill project is progressing and the dirt work is just about finished and he said the city's tax revenue was up due to Weyerhaeuser's renovation project.


Mounts said the state recently conducted a safety inspection of the city’s facilities and it turned up only a few minor findings.






Tuesday night about 11 p.m., Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Greg Davignon observed a silver 4-door Chevy speeding on Highway 70.


When Davignon approached the vehicle, he noticed a black nylon pistol holster in the back floorboard on the driver's side. Davignon asked the driver, 51-year-old Edwin Smith of Gillham, if there were any weapons inside the vehicle because he had noticed the holster. Smith stated no that he was taking the holster to his brother.


Davignon reported he noticed Smith's hands were shaking as he handed Davignon his driver's license.


After running Smith's and his passengers information through dispatch, Davignon was informed that one of the men was a convicted felon.


Davignon was then assisted by an Arkansas State Police trooper and asked the occupants to exit the vehicle.


The passenger, Danny Suggs, stepped out of the vehicle but Smith became agitated and refused, but finally stepped out.


While searching the vehicle, Davignon discovered a blue zipper case in a pocket on the passenger seat. According to the incident report, the case contained a glass smoking pipe along with three clear plastic ziploc bags. Two of the bags contained suspected methamphetamine. The case also contained two plastic straws and a metal marijuana smoking pipe.


Suggs was released, but Smith was charged with a Class D felony count of possession of a controlled substance - meth, a Class B felony count of possession of drug paraphernalia and a Class D felony count of possession of drug paraphernalia. 


Smith is currently being held in the Sevier County jail.






Several ideas were exchanged during a meeting that was held in Ashdown this week about reducing pollution in the Lower Little River Watershed and concerning the development of best management practices.


The meeting was conducted by a Little Rock based firm that is working on a watershed management plan for the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission.


Those in attendance were informed that the recent floods increased the amount of bank erosion and the Cossatot River was altered by trees that fell into the river.


Participates were also informed that the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and conservation districts have started implementing a program called CALF, which stands for Controlled Access Livestock Fencing.


Through the program, cattle farmers can receive fencing and materials to provide alternative water sources for their livestock that's fenced off from pasture streams


Another meeting has been scheduled in December to review suggestions from Wednesday night.






Sevier County Judge Greg Ray announced Tuesday afternoon that some area boat ramps are re-opening following the spring flooding that also closed area camping areas.


Ray said the Paraloma boat ramp has re-opened thanks to the help of the Army Corps of Engineers and several volunteers. He said the park is still closed, therefore there is still no camping at Paraloma.


Ray said the White Cliffs boat ramp is open and the park is scheduled to re-open for camping September 1st.


For more information, contact the Sevier County Judge's office at 642-2425.






Area residents are being warned about a phone scam where callers pose as representatives from the local tax collector's office.


According to one reported incident, a caller posing as a representative from the local tax collector's office informed the taxpayer that their taxes were delinquent and requested a credit card number for a down payment so the taxpayer could avoid losing their property.


Officials are reminding residents that Arkansas county tax collectors do not call county residents concerning their tax bills and they would never request personal financial information over the phone.


According to the Sevier County Tax Collector's office, official business is only conducted in their office, which is inside the Sevier County Courthouse and the Sevier County Office does not currently accept debit or credit cards as a form of payment.


If you receive a suspicious phone call concerning your personal property tax bill, contact a local law enforcement agency.






Sunday afternoon about 5 p.m., the Sevier County Sheriff's office was notified that a county residents vehicle had been hit but the other vehicle drove away.


According to the incident report, Debra Martin of De Queen was driving a 2002 Ford 4-door sedan when she struck a 2002 F-150 pickup that was parked on the side of the road.


The owner of the truck, Alfredo Ramirez of De Queen reported his truck was parked off the road across the street from his house and a neighbor saw Martin hit his truck and drive off.


As Deputy Greg Davignon was on his way to the scene, he saw a woman inspecting the front end damage to her car.


Deputy Davignon asked Martin why she drove off, instead of calling the police. She said, she tried to tell the owner but no one was home.


Martin was citied for leaving the scene of a property damage accident.






Saturday, August 22nd, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Matt Webb observed a white Nissan Sentra cross the center line on several occasions.


Webb conducted a traffic stop at King Overpass and spoke with the driver, Armando Robles-Ochoa and his passenger.


Webb reported Ochoa presented him with a Mexico ID card, but was informed that he did not have a driver's license.


Webb stated he could smell alcohol and asked Ochoa if he had been drinking. Ochoa reportedly could not understand the field sobriety test instructions, so he was transported to the Sevier County jail where jailer Christian Rodriguez translated the instructions into Spanish for him.


After failing the test, Ochoa was cited for driving while intoxicated #1, driving left of the center line and for not having a driver's license.






District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught announced this week that during the 2015 regular session of the Arkansas General Assembly, legislators passed a resolution designating September as "Take Your Legislator to School Month."


Vaught explained that just like music and art, an appreciation of democracy is something that can be enhanced in the classroom.


Arkansas lawmakers are making themselves available to help students learn more about the legislative process and to help legislators understand the issues and challenges that face Arkansas' public schools.


School districts are being encouraged to plan special events with their local legislators.


Teachers may also download material from the website for their students.






Livestock judging is underway at the 78th annual Sevier County Fair and Fair Board member Donna Rivas announced the winners from Saturday's Rabbit and Poultry shows.


Rivas said winners were selected in the Fancy Doe and Buck categories and the commercial Doe and Buck categories. The Grand champion Fancy Doe - Ellie Morphew; Reserve Champion Fancy Doe - Hannah Simmons; Grand Champion Fancy Buck - Lorel Morphew; Reserve Champion Fancy Buck - Monica Rivas; Grand Champion Commercial Doe - Kyle Bivings; Reserve Champion Commercial Doe - Abbigail Stinson; Grand Champions Commercial Buck - Amber Ebarb; Reserve Commercial Buck - Kyle Bivings. The Overall Champion Doe was Ellie Morphew and the Overall Champion Buck was Lorel Morphew.


She also named the winners of the poultry show. The Grand Champion Pen of chickens - Kane Faulkenberry; Reserve Champion Pen of Chickens - Carter Faulkenberry; 3rd place - Kyleigh Faulkenberry; 4th place - Monica Rivas; 5th place - Payton Hibbs and 6th place - Jacob Hibbs.


The Sevier County Fair and Rodeo will feature the annual parade Thursday at 6 p.m. and a 4D barrel race in the rodeo area at 8.


The annual Premium Sale will be Friday at 10 a.m. and the annual rodeo will begin at 8 p.m.






As an infant Horatio's Rocky Barnett suffered severe burns over a large portion of his lower body and as he grewup he attended a camp for burn victims, called Camp Sunshine.


Today, Barnett is a counselor at the camp.


Barnett said this past summer was the 24th year for Camp Sunshine in Arkansas and he said the camp helps burn victims’ deal with their personal difficulties. 


Barnett said the camp is funded with donations from the Arkansas Firefighter Association and the burn unit of the Arkansas Children's Hospital.


Barnett said some fire departments donate the funds from their "Fill the Boot" campaigns.


Barnett said there are several Camp Sunshine around the country but the Arkansas camp was started in 1991 and has been held at several locations. Currently, it is held in Little Rock.


The camp director is Gretta Wilkinson and if you need more information concerning Camp Sunshine, you may contact her at 501-364-1323. You may also like them on Facebook at






The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service has planned a free workshop on the topic of feral hog control.


The workshop will be held in Hope at the Southwest Research and Extension Center this Thursday, August 27th. The workshop will begin at 6 p.m. and is also sponsored by the state forestry association and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service.


Feral hogs are prevalent in many portions of the southeastern United
States and Arkansas. Their feeding and wallowing behaviors create a number of problems, including agriculture crop loss, pasture damage, wildlife habitat loss, water pollution, and disease transmission to livestock and in rare cases, people.


Non-native feral hogs compete directly with native wildlife species for limited food supplies, disturb habitat, and consume small mammals and reptiles.


The feral hog population in the state has increased and expanded dramatically in recent years, because they are very adaptive and have learned how to avoid hunters and traps.


To register for the workshop, contact Becky McPeake at 501-671-2285.






Sevier County Fair Board member Michelle Sawyer introduced the contestants for this year's Rodeo Royalty Pageant.


The contestants are Sarah Wollcott, Gracie Wollcott, Kaylee Wollcott, Ashton Wollcott, Karley Wollcott and Morgan Sweeden.


The 2014 winners were Little Miss Hadlie Dixon, Princess Heather Bradshaw and Queen Bailey Denton.


This year's winners will be announced Saturday night during the 78th Annual Sevier County Rodeo.






The Division of Industry Outreach and Continuing Education at UA Hope and Texarkana is providing a free series of small business development classes beginning September 8th.


The eight week training program is designed to help those who want to start or expand a business toward becoming a successful business owner and operator.


The series will provide information on: Development of the business plan, financial tips for first time business owners, and how to create a website.


Participates must register by Friday, September 4th by calling 870-722-8126.






On Friday, August 21st, Sevier County Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to a residence on Froglevel Road in reference to a domestic dispute.


However, before Deputies Wendall Randell and Brian Hankins arrived, they were informed that the victim had left the house. Deputies were also informed that the suspect, 50-year-old William Doan of Horatio was under the influence of alcohol and was in possession of a firearm.


Deputies met the victim, Joy Doan at the Central Store. She informed them that her husband had been drinking and had put her in a headlock. So, she left. Doan also stated that her husband had a warrant for his arrest and she informed them that he had a white pickup truck.


As deputies arrived at Doan's residence, they were passed a black Corvette.


They were then informed that the suspect William Doan was driving the Corvette.


Sevier County Investigator Robert Gentry and Deputy Chris Wolcott reported they were waiting on the suspect at the Central Fire Station. However, Deputies Randell and Hankins were able to stop Doan's vehicle at the intersection of Bradley Chapel Road and Central Road.


According to the report, deputies had to remove Doan from the vehicle after he refused to get out.


Deputy Hankins reported he could smell alcohol on Doan, but they were unable to administer any field sobriety test because Doan was being combative and would not cooperate.


Doan was arrested on the outstanding warrant and charged with driving while intoxicated and refusal to submit to test.






This month during the August meeting of the Ashdown Board of Education, board members approved the purchase of 50 Chrome Books from CDW for less than $18,000. Superintendent Jason Sanders stated the Chrome Books will be purchased with federal funds.


Sanders said board members also accepted a bid from Greg Orr Auto in Ashdown on a new pickup for the Ag department.


High School Principal Kay York presented Debra Collins and Elmorris Hopkins awards for perfect attendance last year.


Collins works in the district as a paraprofessional in the special education department and Hopkins is an English teacher.


Sanders said there is a huge benefit to students when facility and staff are present at work 95 percent of the time during the school year.


Board members also approved the hiring of a food service manager and director along with two bus drivers.






The Arkansas Department of Health recently announced that the department’s in-home service operations would be transitioning to a private sector provider.


In a release from Dr. Nathaniel Smith, the director and state health officer, the agency can no longer support the program “due to financial constraints and competition from the private sector.”


Health officials say no services will be discontinued with a six month transition process. Public Information Officer Kerry Krell says a large reason for the decision is a decline in both patients and employees.


Services include home health care, personal care, hospice care, maternal/infant services and case management.


In-home service contract providers in our local area will be laid off; including 24 employees in Sevier County, 85 in Hempstead County, 61 in Pike County and 37 in Howard County.


There are over 350 patients in Hempstead County, around 160 in Howard and 189 in Pike County. Krell says these numbers include patients with the Nurse Family Partnership and so the actual number of patients may be slightly below those numbers.


A call center is now available to respond to questions and provide more information about the transition of In-Home Services to the private sector. The number for the call center is 1-800-554-5738.






If you are interested in voting during the March 2016 Preferential Primary Election, you will need to register by February 1st, 2016.


If you are already registered to vote, but your name or address has changed, it’s necessary for you to update your registration in order to vote on the correct ballot. All registered voters can stop by the Sevier County Clerks office or call and the county clerk will mail the appropriate form.


If you are registered to vote in another Arkansas county, you can transfer your registration to Sevier County by February 26th, 2016 and still vote in the primary.


If you would like to vote absentee, you must request your application for an absentee ballot by contacting the County Clerk’s office. Absentee voting is designed to help voters who are unable to be present at the polls.


County residents can vote early without any reason or any qualifying circumstances. Early voting is strictly for the convenience of registered voters.


Early voting will be from February 15th to the 29th, 2016, between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.


For information about elected positions, requirements and deadlines, contact County Clerk Debbie Akin at 870-642-2852.


The primary election will be held on March 1st, 2016.






August 10th, Little River County Sheriffs deputies were dispatched to a Foreman residence in reference to a reported assault.


According to the report, a 25-year-old white male had been stabbed several times by a 15-year-old minor.


According to the minor's statement, the victim jumped on him for throwing a juice box at a female that was in the house. He said while he was being hit by the victim, he grabbed a knife from the headboard and stabbed him.


The female witness said the minor and the victim came running through the house from the bedroom where they were fighting and the victim collapsed in the driveway.


The weapon was located on the kitchen counter, but it had been wiped clean and the female witness stated she mopped up the blood that was in the kitchen.






Hunger advocates in Texarkana and across the country will be wearing orange on Thursday, September 3rd in an effort to raise awareness for the estimated 50 million people in the U.S. who face hunger everyday. This is just one event that is taking place during the month of September in recognition of Feeding America's Hunger Action Month.


Harvest Food Bank will kick off national Hunger Action Month on Tuesday, September 1st with their annual luncheon at noon at the Williams Memorial United Methodist Church. Tickets are $10 and reservations can be made by calling 870-774-1398.


According to the executive director of the Harvest Regional Food Bank affects over 50,000 people in the Texarkana area. That means one in six adults and one in every four children deal with a lack of food.


For more information, visit the Harvest Texarkana website at




Tax Delinquent Land Sale Scheduled for Sevier County   08/24/15

LITTLE ROCK, Ark – A public auction for the sale of tax delinquent land in Sevier County will be held at the Sevier County Courthouse on Thursday, Sept. 10, at 10 a.m., according to John Thurston, Arkansas Commissioner State Lands. Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m.

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

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

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




Burn Ban for Little River County has been lifted  08/24/15


Little River County Judge Mike Cranford announced today based on the information from the Arkansas Forestry Commission, Little River County is no longer under a burn ban effective 12:00 noon today.


For more information you can contact Mike Cranford at 870.898.7202





According to a press release from the Ashdown Police Department, the August 19th fire on Frisco Street in Ashdown that claimed the life of one person.


According to the incident report, members of the Ashdown Police and Fire Departments were informed that there was an individual trapped on the second floor of the structure.


When officers and firefighters arrived, they discovered the two-story home did not have an outside staircase. Members of the Ashdown Police Department and deputies from the Little River County Sheriff's office attempted to rescue the individual, but were forced out of the house by the smoke and heat.


According the report, two apartments were occupied in the home that had been divided up into several apartments. Apparently, the deceased individual was related to the occupants who lived on the first floor.


Last Thursday, officials discovered a body that is believed to the tenant. The body was sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for an autopsy to determine the cause of death and for a positive ID.


Ashdown Police Chief Mark Ardwin said the fire appeared to have started upstairs but the cause of the blaze is still under investigation.






LifeShare Blood Center is having a blood drive on Tuesday, August 25th at the Horatio High School from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on the LifeShare Donor Coach.


LifeShare officials said there are four main steps to donating blood: medical history, quick physical, donation and snacks after donating blood.


They said after donating blood, the fluid is replaced within hours and the red blood cells within four weeks, but it takes eight weeks to restore the iron that's lost after donating. For more information, you can visit the website or call 903-794-3171.






A couple of years ago, the De Queen School District was visited by a writer with the Huffington Post after they heard about a little school in Southwest Arkansas where many of the students were learning English as a second language and yet still performing near the top of state tests.


Karin Chenoweth said when she visited De Queen, she met dynamic educators who believe their students are capable of learning at a high level and who work hard to figure out what's best for their students.


Chenoweth said she was told if students didn't learn something the first time, the teachers changed their approach.


But, she said she was very impressed with the Direct Instruction in reading. She said the program seems to be very effective at teaching children how to read.


De Queen Elementary Principal Terriann Phillips was a teacher when the district adopted the DI program and she said although the program was scripted, it helped children learn to read which allows them to be more creative later in life.


Recently, the district changed its schedule to ensure that pulling children out of their regular classes for extra help would not interfere with the core instruction. The district also continues to add books to the elementary library that will benefit all students.






The 78th Annual Sevier County Fair began Saturday with the pre-registration of all animals along with the rabbit and poultry shows.


Fair Board member Linda Frachiseur said livestock will start arriving on today at 6 p.m. and the weigh-in is at 9.


The education building exhibits will be judged Tuesday at 10 a.m. and the fair gates will open at 4 p.m. Admission is $4 and the breeding goats, market goats, breeding sheep and market lamb show is set to begin at 5 followed by the swine show.


Frachiseur said this year's livestock shows will feature over 160 animals, as well as a barrel racing contest on Thursday and a two-day rodeo will be held Friday and Saturday.


Wednesday is dollar day and gate admission and all carnival rides will be a dollar each. Friday and Saturday nights, the carnival will feature armband nights for $20.


This year's concession stand will be run by the The Pentecostals of De Queen and will be open extended hours during the fair and rodeo. The concession stand will open at 9 a.m. daily and will remain open throughout the evening.


If you have any questions about the fair, contact the fair office at 870-642-5112.






This school year, the Sevier County Sheriff’s office will be providing a school resource officer for the Horatio School District.


Sevier County Sheriff Bennie Simmons announced Chuck Emmerich will serve as the resource officer in the Horatio District after serving as a deputy with the department for the past six-years.


Simmons said Emmerich is retired military and is familiar with the county and the city of Horatio. Emmerich graduated from Horatio and continues to reside just outside of town.


Emmerich will be a county employee, but his salary and benefits will be reimbursed by the district. The sheriff’s office will also provide Emmerich with a car and uniforms.


Emmerich will work on both campuses enforcing laws, working traffic and will attempt to develop positive relationships between students and law enforcement.


Emmerich will also patrol the grounds during all home athletic events and other after school activities.






Members of the De Queen High School Student Council are encouraging everyone in De Queen to show their Leopard Pride this school year by wearing black and gold every Friday.


Student Council Vice-President Danielle Duggan said this is not just for students and you can purchase a Leopard t-shirt from several organizations, including the De Queen Athletic Booster Club, the De Queen High School Student Council and the De Queen High School cheerleaders.




WHERE'S THE BEEF       8/24/15


Thursday afternoon De Queen Police Officer J.J. Lopez was dispatched to Wal-Mart in reference to a shoplifting incident.


When Lopez arrived, he was informed by members of the Wal-Mart Asset Protection Team that they observed white female place five or six packages of meat in her personal bag.


Lopez was also informed that when a Wal-Mart employee attempted to stop the female from leaving the store, the suspect shoved the employee to the side and kept walking.


Employees gave Lopez a description of the vehicle that the suspect got into along with the tag number and reported she turned East on Highway 70.


Sevier County Sheriff's Investigator Jeff Wahls was able to stop the vehicle in the county and identified the suspect as 34-year-old Jessica Harold of Gillham, however, he was unable to find any stolen items in the vehicle.


While Lopez was still interviewing Wal-Mart employees, he was informed that Harold had been banned from the store.


When Lopez was interviewing Harold, she informed him that she had gone to Wal-Mart to change her Wic and noticed she was being watched so she decided to leave because she knew she wasn't suppose to be there.


Lopez reported he ended the interview when Harold starting crying hysterically. She was then transported to the Sevier County jail and processed for shoplifting and criminal trespass.





Sevier County Judge Greg Ray announced Wednesday afternoon that the burn ban in Sevier County has been lifted.


Judge Ray informed KDQN that he still recommends area residents not to leave a fire unattended if they elect to burn, but the burn ban has been lifted.


Little River and Polk counties are still under a burn ban, but according to the Arkansas Forestry Commission, Miller and Howard counties have also lifted their burn bans.






Faith Lynch of the Grannis Bilingual Coalition informed KDQN listeners that the Southwest Arkansas counties of Sevier, Howard and Polk have an untapped resource in the number of bilingual residents that live here.


Lynch said she helped form the coalition with the help of Grannis Mayor Dwight Billings; Noel Bard; Dr. Steve Cole of UA Cossatot; Dr. Phillip Wilson of Rich Mountain Community College; Representative Nate Bell and his wife, Phyllis; Representative DeAnn Vaught; Representative Justin Gonzalez and State Senator Larry Teague.


Lynch said the goal of the coalition is to develop a program with the help of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission that will attract a company willing to locate a bilingual call-center in the Tyson building in Grannis.


Lynch said the project started with a $2,100 grant from the UA Cossatot Foundation and the coalition is now working to develop a website that will be linked to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission's website.


Victor Rojas Jr. stated he was helping the coalition to collect data about the area's workforce and present it to the economic development commission.


Lynch said she hopes the coalition will attract a business to Grannis that needs a bilingual workforce.


For more information, visit their Facebook page at Grannis Bilingual Employment.






Tuesday afternoon about 1 p.m., Patrolman First Class Wayne Baker of the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to Wal-Mart in reference to a customer pushing a buggy full of merchandise out of the store without paying for it.


When Baker arrived he was informed by a member of the Asset Protection Team that she had been hit in the face while attempting to stop a black female from leaving the store with the merchandise.


Wal-Mart employees were able to provide a description of the vehicle that the suspect left in, along with the license plate number.


De Queen Police Sergeant Chad Bradshaw reported he was in the Lockesburg area headed west and located the vehicle and was able to apprehend the two adults on the charge of robbery.


Baker was informed the Wal-Mart employee’s glasses were bent when the female suspect, 28-year-old Shemika Brown of Nashville struck her.


Wednesday morning, officers spoke with the driver of the vehicle, 35-year-old Warren Wiley of Nashville who allegedly informed Officer Baker that he told Brown not to do anything stupid before she went into the store.


Brown allegedly told officers that she had agreed to get some scrubs and a set of sheets for a friend who would pay her $120, so she could pay her gas bill.


Brown and Wiley have been charged with hindering apprehension or prosecution and attempted robbery.






Wednesday night about 8:30 p.m., members of the Ashdown, Wilton, Richmond and Ogden Volunteer Fire Departments responded to a major house fire near Frisco and Commerce streets in Ashdown.


According to a couple of reports the home was completely engulfed in flames when firefighters.


While firefighters were attempting to put out the fire, the wind started blowing the flames toward the Ashdown First United Methodist Church and the Little River County Chamber of Commerce office.


The cause of the fire is still under investigation.






Jamie Marshall is the field director for the Southwest Region of the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund and she announced this week that area counties had extended their fall deadlines to allow more students time to apply.


Marshall said to apply for a scholarship you should visit the website and select the county that you reside in.


Marshall also explained the Single Parent Scholarships may be used for more than just books and tuition.


Marshall said the scholarships can also be used to obtain a vocational certificate.


For more information about the Single Parent Scholarship Fund in your county of residence, visit the website or call Marshall at 479-287-8213.






Tuesday afternoon, Sevier County Sheriff’s Deputy Greg Davignon arrested 58-year-old Doyle Whisenhunt on a felony warrant near Lockesburg.


Davignon reported he pulled over a gold Ford F-150 realizing the driver was wanted on a felony warrant for possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver.


As Davignon was searching Whisenhunts person, he discovered a clear plastic bag that contained a green leafy substance of suspected marijuana along with one piece of rolling paper.


Whisenhunt was booked into the Sevier County jail on the felony warrant and charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.


According to the Sevier County Sheriff’s office, the felony warrant was the result of an ongoing investigation.


On July 10th, law enforcement authorities were informed that Whisenhunt was on his way to a residence in the Greens Chapel Community via the Provo Road with a metal box, wrapped in black electrical tape full of methamphetamine.


Sevier County Deputy Kris Hundley stopped Whisenhunt on Provo Road for speeding, but could not find and drugs. Whisenhunt was cited for speeding and released.


Authorities were informed later that Whisenhunt had informed an acquaintance that he had thrown the drugs into the ditch before he was stopped.


Deputy Davignon and Arkansas Game and Fish Wildlife Officer David Hall returned to Provo Road and discovered a metal box with black electrical tape around it in the ditch. Officers then set up surveillance for several hours and waited on Whisenhunt to retrieve the drugs.


According to the report, about 3 a.m. Whisenhunt returned to the scene to apparently retrieve the box, but he saw Officer Hall and left on his motorcycle.


According to the sheriff’s office, the metal box contained nine-clear Ziploc bags with just over five-grams of meth.






Wednesday afternoon, the Sevier County Sheriff's Office received a request from the Mc Curtain County Sheriff's Office to help them with a stolen vehicle that was discovered in Sevier County on Highway 24 West.


When Deputy Chuck Emmerich arrived he discovered a truck in the ditch. After Emmerich ran the tags, he discovered the vehicle had been reported stolen out of Broken Bow, Oklahoma.


A short time later, two Mc Curtain County Sheriff's deputies arrived with two suspects in their vehicle. The two suspects were identified as 29-year-old Joshua Burcham of De Queen and Santana Johnson.


During an interview at the Sevier County jail, Burcham told the deputies that he was at his brother's house in Eagletown when a man they knew drove up in a 2005 gray 4X4 GMC crew cab pickup with a black hood.


Allegedly the man offered to sell Burcham the truck for $500. Burcham said he only had $120 on him, but he would pay the rest later.


Burcham said he received a key, but still had to touch two wires together to get the truck to start.


Burcham was then charged with theft by receiving property valued less than $25,000 but more than $5,000. Burcham also stated Johnson was only riding with him, but had nothing to do with the deal.



Debra Collins, paraprofessional in the special education department, and Elmorris Hopkins, English teacher, were recognized during the monthly meeting of the Ashdown School Board for having perfect attendance for the 2014-2015 school year.
Ms. Collins graduated high school from Laona, Wisconsin. She was a substitute teacher in Ashdown for 3 years before becoming a paraprofessional at Margaret Daniel Primary. She is currently on the staff at Ashdown Elementary and has started her second year. Last year, she taught/assisted in resource literacy and math in kindergarten and first grade. Her hobbies include jigsaw puzzles (1000+ pieces and spending time with family and friends. She is a member of E.T. Allen Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Ashdown.

Mr. Hopkins graduated from Ashdown High School in 1991 and has been teaching in Ashdown for 11 years. Last year, he taught English III and AP English Language and Composition. His hobbies are music and photography.

The Ashdown School District is so proud to employ these two dedicated staff members. Their commitment to be in the classroom, is a standard that can be followed by everyone.






The Arkansas Parole Board has approved Jaci Jackson of Mc Curtain County, Oklahoma for parole.


Jackson was convicted in 2014 on two counts of criminal conspiracy related to the theft of horses from Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia.


The board does not have the authority to deny parole since the offenses that she was convicted of is non-discretionary and they may only stipulate a course of action that must be completed prior to her release.


Jackson is scheduled to be released at a future date if she has obtained an approved residence plan and has completed a course in Thinking Errors.


Upon release, Jackson will be subject to the standard conditions of release applicable to every parolee and additional special conditions of maximum supervision, community service hours, a curfew, periodic drug testing and a requirement that she develop an employment plan if unemployed.


Jackson was sentenced to 10 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections in Columbia County.


Jackson was originally charged with four counts of theft of property over $5,000 and two counts of theft of property over $25,000. In April of 2013, she pleaded guilty to six counts of conspiracy to commit theft of property.


All of the charges stemmed from the theft of five horses, a trailer and tack from the SAU Rodeo Team stables.





Ashdown Superintendent Jason Sanders announced Tuesday afternoon that the Ashdown School District will be using the Rave Panic Button System along with approximately 1,000 public school in Arkansas as part of the 2015 School Safety Act.


The panic buttons will allow emergency personnel to respond quickly to situations such as active shooter, medical or any on-site disruption.


The Rave Panic Button can be downloaded to a smartphone as an app. The app has five buttons, which faculty and staff members can activate by selecting the type of emergency there is; such as, active shooter, medial emergency, fire, or on-site disruption. By simply pushing a button, staff members will be connected to 9-1-1 immediately and it will also notify on-site personnel of the location and type of emergency.


The technology will automatically send 9-1-1 and emergency personnel information including the caller's exact location, floor plans, emergency exit locations and emergency contacts.


Sanders said he would like to thank Governor Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas State Legislators for enacting this initiative. He said he felt the Rave System will help provide an additional level of safety to the Ashdown Schools. He said even though the district's focus is educating children, their ultimate goal is to ensure the safety of each child.





Aldermen of the De Queen City Council meet and heard concerns from a De Queen resident concerning the Redman Cemetery and trash that is being left by the city sanitation department employees.


Mayor Billy Ray McKevly said he consulted with the city of Rogers and they have an ordinance that does not allow a resident to park a vehicle on the grass between their house and the street.


McKelvy reported the city has received several complaints about cars being parked on the grass in front of area homes. McKelvy stated the city currently only has an ordinance that deals with inoperative vehicles, but will attempt to use the city’s ordinances to clean up the residential areas throughout the city.


McKelvy informed aldermen that the city will receive $250,000 from the State Aid for City Streets program, but the work will not be completed until next summer.


McKelvy said the state highway department will bid out the project and it will include portions of Stilwell Ave, Gilson Street, North and South 9th Street, Wallace and Driver Streets.


McKelvy reported the tipping fees for the storm debris clean-up at the Southwest Arkansas Landfill was over $10,000 and Sevier County Judge Greg Ray had asked the city to pay a portion of that amount.


Aldermen verbally agreed to pay a third of the tipping fees, but the motion will not be formally voted on until the next De Queen City Council meeting, September 2nd.





During the monthly meeting of the Howard County Quorum Court, Justices of the Peace tabled a request from the owner of the Howard County Ambulance Service for an exclusive franchise for the majority of the county.


John Gray, the owner of the Howard County Ambulance Service, asked the Howard County Quorum Court for a four-year extension to his agreement that expires at the end of this year.


JPs considered a one-year extension, but rejected the four-year agreement, saying they wanted more time to review the agreement they approved last year.


The new agreement does not include the Dierks and Umpire Volunteer Fire Department service areas, which would allow another ambulance service to move into that area and provide coverage to that area.


JPs were also informed by Prosecuting Attorney Bryan Chesshir that he is seeking a grant that would allow him to add two more employees to his staff.


Chesshir told the Howard County Quorum Court that he had met with the officials who would approve the grant and he felt his chances of getting the grant was good.


At one time, Chesshir's office had a Victim Witness Coordinator, but his office lost that employee when the grant was not renewed.


Chesshir stated if he received the grant, he wanted to hire a Victim Witness Coordinator and an investigator. He said both positions would serve in all four counties in the 9th West District, including Pike, Howard, Sevier and Little River counties.


Chesshir said he hoped he would know if the grant was approved by October 1st.





During the August meeting of the Horatio Board of Education, board members voted to hire Justin Mills as a food service consultant. Superintendent Lee Smith said Mills is with K-12 Culinary Connection and he will work with the chefs at Horatio to make even better tasting school lunches.


Smith said the district will also work to develop inclement weather bus routes to help eliminate some "snow days" this winter.


Board members also approved a recommendation from Smith and De Queen Superintendent Bruce Hill to deny any school transfers after September 15th and January 15th of each semester.


Board members then granted the transfer of five students to the De Queen School District and accepted the transfer of four into the Horatio District.





A spokesperson for the Sevier County Sheriff's office is encouraging area residents to be observant when they swipe their credit or debit cards through a card reader at gas stations and Redbox kiosk.


The Sevier County Sheriff's office reported there are devises that can be placed on the card reader that will allow them to steal your credit or debit card information when you swipe your card.


The spokesperson said the devise can be placed on top of the reader and may appear to be more bulky than usual. They said if the card reader looks different than normal or seems out of place, to first notify the store management and then contact the sheriff's office or the local police department.    





Sevier County Clerk Debbie Akin reminds residents to register so you can exercise your right to vote!!


If you are already registered but your name or address has changed, it is necessary to update your registration in order to vote the correct ballot.  Come by the County Clerk’s office to update your record or call and we can mail you the appropriate form.

·         The deadline to register to vote in this election is February 1, 2016.

·         If you are registered to vote in another Arkansas county, you can transfer your registration to Sevier County by February 26, 2016 and still vote in this election.

·         Absentee Voting is available for qualifying applicants.  Please request your application for an absentee ballot by contacting the County Clerk’s office. This is designed to help voters who are unable to be present at the polls.  We want to make it possible for you or your loved one to vote!

·         You can Early Vote in the County Clerk’s office without any reason or qualifying circumstance.  Early voting is strictly for your convenience!  You may early vote from February 15 – 29, 2016.  During those dates we are open for voting on Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (on the last day of early voting, the polls close at 5:00 P.M.), and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Avoid the lines on Election Day and early vote!

·         You can acquire a sample ballot when they become available by contacting the County Clerk’s office.


Anyone interested in being placed on the ballot should contact the County Clerk’s Office for information regarding positions to be elected as well as requirements and deadlines. (some dates regarding filing, etc. fall as early as August 11, 2015)



Contact County Clerk, Debbie Akin, or her staff with questions or for more information at (870) 642-2852.







Little River County Judge Mike Cranford reported the Little River  County Quorum Court had a light agenda this month, but they did discuss the future of the Little River Memorial Hospital. Cranford said nothing was voted on and there would be a lot more discussion before they made a final decision.


Cranford explained funding was the biggest issue facing the Quorum Court.


According to Cranford, the Justices of the Peace did approve the addition of two employees for the county road department and the county received its permit to dispose of the county's storm debris.


Cranford reminded area residents that most counties in Southwest Arkansas are under a burn ban.


Cranford also stated he and the other elected officials from Little River County attended the Association of Arkansas Counties meeting recently and they have started working on preparing the 2016 budget. He said he hopes to present the budget to the Quorum Court members during their November meeting. 






Earlier this month, Arkansas continued to make history by putting Act 950, the 2015 School Safety Act, into motion, by announcing every public school student, faculty and staff member in the state will be protected by the Rave Panic Button.


The Rave Panic Button will provide faster response to active shooter and other emergency situations on campuses all across the state. Legislators announced August 11th that the Rave Panic Button will enable authorities to respond to crises much faster and with greater precision, providing a higher level of protection for the more than a half million students, faculty and staff.


The Rave Panic Button was developed by Rave Mobile Safety and it connects 911, first responders and school personnel in the event of a crisis and shortens the time between the onset of an incident and the arrival of first responders to the scene.


Through a simple five button interface, faculty and staff activate the app by selecting the type of emergency whether it's an active shooter, police, fire, EMS or other, which immediately connects to 911 while notifying selected on-site personnel of the location and nature of the emergency.


911 and first responders will automatically receive critical data such as the caller's exact location, floor plans, emergency exit locations, emergency contacts along with key procedures and it can deliver critical emergency notifications to on-site contacts.






De Queen School District's Media Relations Director, Tammy Whatley announced Tuesday morning that things went well on the first day of school.


Whatley said the De Queen Primary will hold a Back to School night on Thursday. Kindergarteners and their parents will visit with the teachers and staff at 5:30 p.m., first graders at 6 and second graders at 6:30. She said the district will be hosting a English as a Second Language forum on Monday, August 24th in the high school cafeteria at 6 p.m.


Whatley said the golf and tennis teams have already started competing, and the De Queen Leopard and Cub football teams will hold scrimmages next Monday and Tuesday.


For more information about programs and activities on your child's campus, contact the school office.



DON'T TAKE THAT      8/18/15


Saturday afternoon, Sergeant Chad Bradshaw of the De Queen Police Department responded to Wal-Mart in reference to a reported shoplifter.


When Bradshaw arrived he was informed by a member of the Wal-Mart Asset Protection Team that they witnessed a young Hispanic male pick up a pregnancy test, take it to another department in the store and remove it from the package. The Wal-Mart employee reported they then witnessed the minor then put the pregnancy test in his pants.


The minor and a female was stopped by a Wal-Mart employee has they were walking out the front door. The female was identified as 38-year-old Josephen Perez.


When Bradshaw interviewed the minor, he stated Perez had asked him to steal the pregnancy test for her.


Both were arrested and charged with shoplifting less than a $1,000. The minor was released into the custody of a family member. 






Dr. Jason Lofton of De Queen announced the Wellness Center will be hosting a prostate clinic this September during Prostate Awareness month.


Lofton stated the clinic received a grant to provide blood test for 100 uninsured residents, but this year's event will be more than just blood work; it will be a health fair.


Lofton said the health fair is scheduled for Thursday, September 17th and there will also be group education classes all day.


Lofton said last year's event was the largest in the state and his office is expecting over 200 this year.


For more information, call the Wellness Center at 870-642-4000.






The National Weather Service recognized Little River County as a StormReady County Monday during a ceremony at the Little River County Courthouse in Ashdown.


Little River is the 17th county in the state to be recognized as StormReady and is the second county to be declared StoreReady in Southwest Arkansas since Howard County was recognized in 2004.


Little River County Judge Mike Cranford said this will be one more tool the county will use to help protect its citizens.


The StormReady community preparedness program uses a grassroots approach to help communities develop plans to handle local severe weather and flooding threats.


Cranford explained that to be recognized as StormReady, Little River County had to establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center and have more than one way to receive severe weather forecasts and warnings. 


According to Bill Parker of the National Weather Service, Little River County joins the ranks of just over 1,000 counties and parishes that have achieved StormReady status and only one of 17 in Arkansas.







Victor Rojas Jr. informed KDQN that he was still excited to be serving as a board member of the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice and he is looking forward to serving out the remainder of his term which expires August 15th, 2016.


Rojas mentioned some of the board’s accomplishments. He stated he plans to release a plan to improve school climate and discipline in Arkansas schools. He said the state’s plan also calls for some specialized training to be provided to school resource officers.


Rojas reported he helped approve the distribution of federal funds to community-based programs that are aimed at preventing juvenile delinquency. He said thousands of young Arkansans will benefit from the programs. Rojas said the programs encourage community service, develop leadership skills and increase their employability skills.


Rojas stated he was also very pleased with the partnership between Shorter College and the Division of Youth Services.



     Ashdown Public Schools will now be using the Rave Panic Button System along with approximately 1000 public schools in the state of Arkansas as part of 2015 School Safety Act.  The panic buttons will allow emergency personnel to respond quickly to situations such as active shooter, medical, or any on-site disruption.

     The Rave Panic Button (downloaded on smartphones as an app) has five buttons, which faculty and staff can activate by selecting the type of emergency needed:  active shooter, medial emergency, fire, or on-site disruption.  By pushing a button, staff will be connected to 9-1-1 immediately and also notifies on-site personnel of the location and type of emergency.

     The technology will automatically send 9-1-1 and emergency personnel data such as the caller’s exact location, floor plans, emergency exit locations, and emergency contacts.

     Jason Sanders, Ashdown Superintendent said, “I would like to thank the Governor and our Legislature for enacting this initiative. We feel that the Rave System will help provide an additional level of safety to Ashdown Schools. Even though our focus is on educating children, our ultimate responsibility is to ensure the safety of each child.”



ASHDOWN, AR - Groundbreaking has begun for a facility to house the new welding program on the Little River County Campus in Ashdown. 

The program is part of the Secondary Career Center and classes will be offered to high school students from Ashdown High School and Foreman High School for the Fall 2015 semester.  The secondary classes are offered as concurrent credit where students receive both high school and college credit. A collaborative effort between Texarkana Area Technological Center, Texarkana College and UA Cossatot provided this opportunity for the students in these communities.

The three programs which will be offered through the Secondary Career Center in Ashdown are Culinary, Welding and Industrial Technology.  These college credit classes are offered at no cost to the students and the credits earned are counted toward the college degree plan in that program of study.

If a student is interested in participating in the Secondary Career Center, they can speak with UA Cossatot staff members Julie Rhodes or Steve McJunkins at 870-584-1343. 




A trial date has been rescheduled for the former teacher of the Ashdown School District who served as coach and sponsor of the skeet shooting club.


A trial date of October 19th has been set for 41-year-old Terry Simmons who has been accused of stealing guns that belonged to the Ashdown district in the Little River County Circuit Court in Ashdown.


According to court documents, Simmons is charged with two counts of theft of property for allegedly selling or trading shotguns at a pawn shop in Ashdown.


According to the Little River County Sheriff’s office, on January 12th, Arkansas State Police Special Agent Hays McWhirter was informed that some guns that belonged to the Ashdown School District had been taken from a gun safe that was being kept at the sheriff’s office.


The shotguns were used by the district’s shooting team and were purchased in May of 2008 with a grant from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.


In 2014, Debbie Greathouse took over as the shooting team’s advisor and asked to inventory the shotguns that were being stored at the sheriff’s office. In December, Simmons and Greathouse went to the sheriff’s office and Simmons unlocked the safe, but the safe only contained three shotguns.


Simmons brought three shotguns to the office from his vehicle and he said the guns had been at his house.


Allegedly in January of 2014, Simmons went to the Davis and Jones Pawn and sold or traded three guns for four other guns.


During the course of the investigation, McWhirter confirmed the serial numbers on the shotguns that were sold or traded at a local pawn shop were guns that belonged to the Ashdown School District.






Leopard Booster Club member Stacey Faulkenberry announced booster club will be hosting a golf tournament this Saturday, August 22nd and everyone is invited to come out to the De Queen Country Club and enjoy a chicken dinner. He also said there will be a lot of activities for the whole family.


Faulkenberry said the club will use the funds that are raised for homecoming, senior gifts and if the funds are available, they plan to purchase some equipment that the teams need.


If you are interesting in joining the Leopard Booster Club, Faulkenberry said there are several different membership options and if you are interested in joining the booster club, stop by the golf tournament this Saturday or call him at 870-784-0357.


He said the club is also selling paw prints for 9th Street, t-shirts, rally towels and lawn stakes.


Faulkenberry also encouraged local businesses to compete in a Black and Gold decorating contest.


The next meeting of the Leopard Booster Club is Tuesday, September 1st at 6:30 p.m. at the De Queen Church of Christ, but for more information, contacts Faulkenberry at 784-0357.






Jimmie and Rhonda Bice and Lewis Barringer announced their daughter, Erin Pavioni has been accepted into the Doctoral Program with the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock starting this fall.

Pavioni earned a master's degree in Applied Communications from UALR and graduated magna cum laude with a cumulative GPA of 3.8 in 2013. While attending UALR, she was a member of the Alpha Epsilon Lambda and Lambda Pi Eta honor societies.


Pavioni is a 2001 graduate of De Queen High School, where she also graduated with honors. She is planning to pursue a research study of mental health reform within the state's prison system.






Sevier County Judge Greg Ray stopped by the KDQN studios to remind area residents that there’s a burn ban in effect for Sevier County, along with Polk, Little River, Miller and Howard counties.


Judge Ray and Sevier County Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Walter Smith stated area volunteer fire departments are not has well prepared for grass and forest fires as they are for structure fires.. 


If you have any questions about the area burn ban, contact the county judge’s office at 642-2425.






Harvest Regional Food Bank announced a $55,000 grant from the Wal-Mart Foundation to fund a new position for the specific purpose of working with local and national retailers to secure more donated food.


The need for this position stems from the understanding that retail store donations are a critical component in being able to serve more people who are struggling with hunger. A staff person that's dedicated to working with retailers, both small and large, to rescue and distribute food that might otherwise go to waste will not only help build the capacity of the Harvest Regional Food Bank but, also better meet the ongoing needs in the area.


Harvest Regional Food Bank is one of 15 Feeding America member food banks across the country to be awarded a grant for a retail store donation coordinator. The grant is designed to support the first year salary and benefits costs.


While the position is funded through a Wal-Mart Foundation grant, the new retail store coordinator will work with all retailers in the area in an effort to secure more food for the food bank. The coordinator will also help educate store personnel on the appropriate guidelines for donations through the food bank's retail donation program.






Activities coordinator for the De Queen Parks and Recreation, Chris Hale, announced this week that registration forms for Pee Wee football is underway.


Hale said the registration fee is $80 if this is the first year to play.


Hale said registration forms will be passed out at the De Queen Elementary, but 6th graders will need to stop by the Middle School office.


Hale also stated fall soccer registration will begin around the first of September.


For more information, call the park office at 870-642-4140.






Federal laws protect our active duty servicemen and women and their families from mortgage foreclosures and exorbitant interest rates.


Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a consumer alert to educate Arkansas’ active duty servicemen and women and families about safeguards that are in place if they plan to buy or currently own a home.


The Service members Civil Relief Act of 2003 protects active duty service members from potentially harmful civil legal matters. These protections cover insurance, mortgage payments, interest rates, contractual arrangements and civil judicial proceedings.


SCRA limits mortgage interest to 6 percent during military service and up to one year after service ends. It prevents a mortgage creditor from selling, foreclosing or seizing an active duty service member’s mortgaged property during service and up to nine months after military service terminates.


Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips to help service members who need to take advantage of the protections provided under the SCRA: they can inform the mortgage company that they are seeking protection under the SCRA and provide the lender with written notice of their military service.


They will also need to send the lender a copy of their orders calling them to active duty. They should also research time constraints that could impact eligibility for some protections and to consult the nearest Armed Forces Legal Assistance Office with questions regarding qualifications for SCRA.


Rutledge’s office launched the first ever Military and Veterans Initiative at the Attorney General’s Office and seeks to assist active duty military service members, reservists, veterans and their families with consumer related issues.


For more information, contact the Attorney General’s Office at or call 1-800-482-8982.






Arkansas Treasurer of State Dennis Milligan announced his office earned the hardworking taxpayers of Arkansas $622,540 in interest on short-term investments for the month of July, which brings the total for the six months to over $2.8 million.


During the month of June, the Treasury again expanded the types of short term investments to include insured Cash Sweep accounts. The Treasury was able to secure favorable returns, keep up with the ever changing market conditions and not increase the risk to the state’s portfolio.


Milligan’s office announced the additional revenue earned will be placed in the Securities Reserve Account, which assists in funding issues the people of Arkansas care about, like, highway funding, four lane highway construction, game and fish, and other accounts.





UA Cossatot's Erika Buenrrostro and Tommie Cobb announced Wednesday morning that UA Cossatot’s new textbook program will begin this semester and the program will save students up to a $1,000 per semester.


Cobb said UA Cossatot is offering several 2 Plus 2 degrees including Psychology, Criminal Justice, Physical Education, Wellness and Leisure or Associate in Education-Middle School. She said students can start at Cossatot and then transfer to either SAU or Henderson State University to finish their 4-year degree plan.


Cobb said they were still offering technical certificates in a variety of fields such as welding and truck driving


Classes start Monday, August 17th, but if you are interested in registering for classes, contact UA Cossatot by calling 870-584-4471.






Little River County Judge Mike Cranford announced Wednesday afternoon that the Little River County Transfer Station has experienced some equipment difficulties in the last few days.


Cranford said the equipment that compacts the Class 1 household trash is currently down for repairs and this will cause some delays in the truck routes and possibly when county residents visit the transfer station.


Cranford said alternative measures have been put into place to manage the disruption of service, but residents should make every effort to separate their Class 1 and Class 4 waste to expedite the unloading process when they visit the transfer station.


Cranford said county officials appreciate the patience of county residents and apologize for the inconvenience.


If you have any questions, you may contact the Little River County Judge's office at 870-898-7202.






About 9:45 Saturday night, Patrolman Justin Gentry with the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to Burger King in reference to a possible drunk driver in the drive-thru.


When Officer Gentry arrived Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Greg Davignon was on the scene and had placed several glass bottles of alcoholic beverages on top of the vehicle.


Lauren Edwards was identified as the driver and apparently was not drinking but the two occupants, Lisa Garcia and Robert Walling, allegedly admitted that they had been drinking.


When Deputy Davignon asked Garcia if she had anything illegal on her person, she allegedly handed him a suspected marijuana cigarette. Officer Gentry reported that he discovered a pack of rolling papers in the back seat along with a small pipe.


Garcia was arrested for possession of a controlled substance, marijuana and drinking on the highway.


Edwards was citied for driving on a suspended license and Walling was citied for drinking on the highway.






Cossatot River State Park will be hosting a treasure hunt hike this Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m.


Park Interpreter Shelley Flanary stated there is no map because the hike is designed to let guests discover the park's natural treasures and they will be drawing a map during the hike.


Everything guest find will be reported on the park's National Inventory Resource Database.


From 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon, guests will play the naming game. Flanary will lead guest to survey a water trail section and discover many fascinating things.


Flanary said this is an easy, cool water hike, but she recommends you bring plenty of water, a camera, sunscreen and wear appropriate shoes.


From 10 to 11 a.m., Sunday morning, Flanary will introduce park guests to aquatic creatures that live in the Cossatot and she will explain how they are important to the park's ecosystem and then guests can help feed the park critters in the Visitor Center from 2 to 3 p.m.


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


LITTLE RIVER FAIR & RODEO AUGUST 17-22               08/13/15

The Little River County Fair is scheduled for August 18 through the 22nd in Foreman but activities will get underway Friday, August 14th with the Fair Queen and Talent Contest at the Ashdown High School.
Fair Board President Keith Pullen informed KDQN the fair will officially begin on Tuesday, August 18th with a parade at 6 p.m. in Foreman.
Wednesday, August 19th, the exhibit building will open at 8 a.m. and the livestock judging will begin with the swine division. Pullen also mentioned there will be a Ranch Rodeo on Wednesday night and a Little Britches Rodeo and Mutton Bustin’ on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Thursday, August 20th will be Senior Citizens Day and the Premium Sale will be on Friday at noon. 
Wing Rodeo Company Rodeo, Calf scramble and Money Drop is Friday and Saturday nights at 8.  Queen contestants are selling tickets for the Little River County Rodeo.  Call: Savanna Woods or Melissa Woods 903/748-6476, Allison Gill or Kim Gill 903/278-1091, Karli Ford or Shelby Ford 870/550-5899, Nichole Poole or Misty Poole 903/908-5109, or contact Brandon Kennemore 903/824-7828 or visit My Class wikipage:






The Sevier County Leadership Program’s goal is to identify, train, and motivate current and emerging leaders who live or work in the area. The program is designed to:
 Bring together individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences;
 Foster and develop leadership skills;
 Promote awareness of Sevier County by studying various community issues and needs, and their possible alternatives and solutions;
 Provide positive encouragement to the participants to become involved in civic leadership roles within the community; and
 Establish networks to influence changes that will enhance the quality of life in Sevier County.

Program objectives include:
 Recruit candidates with diverse backgrounds and from representative segments of the community.
 Acquaint participants with the dynamics of leadership, business, education, government, healthcare, human services, industry, chamber of commerce, and cultural and civic affairs.
 Familiarize participants with the duties of those in leadership positions, including government, professional and volunteer roles.
 Motivate participants to become involved and accept leadership roles within the community at their earliest possible opportunity.
 Provide continuity through the establishment of a Sevier County Leadership Alumni program.

If you want to become more active in our community, fill out and return the attached application packet for the 2015-2016 Sevier County Leadership Program.   
Application form

Or if you would like to sponsor someone you think would benefit from the program, see the attached Sponsorship Opportunities form. 
Sponsorship form

Cost $350.00 (not due until applicant is accepted into program)
Applications must be turned in to the De Queen/Sevier Chamber of Commerce no later than August 31, 2015 to be considered for the 2015-16 class.
Mail application forms to: Lawrence Wishard, P.O. Box 1112, De Queen, AR 71832 Email application forms to:    Fax application forms to: 1-888-569-0603




Monday night, the De Queen Board of Education were informed the district has completed several projects and according to Superintendent Bruce Hill they’re ready for school to start.


Board members were informed the district's computer server would be moved later this week and the district will be without internet service this Friday.


Hill informed the board the district was in good financial shape with a higher balance this year than last year.


Board members approved the transfer of two students to the Horatio School District; one student to the Cossatot River School District and two students to the Dierks School District and they accepted four students into the De Queen District.


Board members also approved a new transfer agreement between Horatio and De Queen. Hill said he and Horatio Superintendent, Lee Smith, felt this new policy would benefit students.


Tuesday morning, the district held its annual district meeting to kick-off the new school year.


Hill opened the meeting by welcoming the faculty and staff in the high school cafeteria and introduced the new teachers to the district. Hill announced the district has over 2,400 students in Kindergarten through the 12th grade and he complimented the teachers and staff on the incredible job they do for the students.


Hill stated several other school districts have requested to visit the De Queen schools because they want to know what De Queen is doing so they can apply the same programs and strategies at their own schools. Hill said one request was from a district in Ohio.


De Queen School Media Relations Director Tammy Whatley announced school will start Monday, August 17th at 8 a.m.


The next De Queen Board of Education meeting will be Monday, September 14th at 5:30 p.m. in the administration building.






Friday, August 7th, Patrolman Justin Gentry of the De Queen Police Department was notified of a possible drunk driver driving south on Gilson Street. The caller advised the dispatcher that they witnessed the driver drinking at a residence on De Quincy Avenue. They described the vehicle as a dark green four-door Toyota sedan with Texas license plates.


Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Greg Davignon reported he found a vehicle matching the description in an ally behind Wilkerson's Funeral Home.


Officer Gentry reported he waited on 5th Street until the vehicle exited the ally and turned south on 5th Street. He stated the driver was driving down the middle of the street and he was informed that the vehicle's registration expired in 2013.


Officer Gentry initiated a traffic stop on Wallace Street but the driver proceeded to a residence on 7th Street.


Gentry identified the driver as 46-year-old Shannon Miller of De Queen and he informed her that he suspected she was impaired and asked her if she had been drinking. Miller informed Gentry that she did not have a driver's license or insurance, but she allegedly admitted that she had been drinking.


When Miller was retrieving her ID, Gentry noticed a cellophane package and she was told to hand the marijuana to Deputy Davignon.


Miller was then taken into custody for possession of a controlled substance - marijuana. She also allegedly had rolling papers in her wallet and she was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia.


At the Sevier County jail, Miller refused to take the field sobriety test and was charged with driving while intoxicated and refusal to submit.






Monday afternoon, members of the Sevier County Quorum Court were informed by County Judge Greg Ray that he has issued a burn ban, however, if a county residents wants to burn something, they may apply for a special permit through his office.


Judge Ray also presented the county's 2013 Legislative audit and informed the Justices of the Peace that the county had only one finding in the Circuit Clerk's office, but Circuit Clerk Kathy Smith has already resolved the issue.


JPs tabled a request from the Sevier County Development Center Board. The development board asked the county to deed the land that the center is located on, to the center. Judge Ray explained that he has spoken with an attorney from the Association of Arkansas Counties and he doesn’t think the county can legally deed land to a nonprofit organization.


JPs also approved an ordinance adopting the county's Code of Ordinances. Judge Ray explained the state is requiring every county to adopt this ordinance.


Judge Ray also stated the Quorum Court voted to accept a grant in the amount of over $800,000 that will be used to construct a taxiway and to install edge lighting at the Sevier County Airport.


The next Sevier County Quorum Court meeting will be Monday, September 14th at 2 p.m. in the Courthouse conference room.






The North Howard County Rural Water Association issued boil water order for the customers located south and west of the Umpire water tank. Customers are also being asked to conserve as much water as possible for a day or two, so local farmers can get enough water for their chicken house.


The order does not apply to customers in the Athens area.


The order is because the system had a blowout on Jackson Loop on Tuesday.





District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught is encouraging residents who receive benefits from Medicaid, ARKids First or the Private Option to check their mail daily for the next few days and weeks, because the state is sending out verification forms to ensure that individuals who are receiving these services are still eligible.


Vaught said if you receive one of these notices, you will need to provide proof of income to the Department of Human Services. That proof can be in the form of check stubs for the previous month, a letter from your employer, a verification of earnings form completed by your employer or a benefit award letter, such as Social Security or Unemployment Benefits. She said if you do not have an income, you can turn in a signed letter stating that you currently do not have any earnings.


If the verification forms are not returned to DHS on time, a person's benefits may be terminated.


Vaught stated Governor Asa Hutchinson announced DHS will pause for two weeks before sending out any further termination notices and he has assigned 20 DHS staffers to work solely on processing the verification and termination forms.


Verification forms are still being mailed out and everyone is being encouraged to complete the forms as quickly as possible to avoid any errors.


If your coverage is terminated and you believe it was in error, you will have 90 days to appeal the decision by providing you proof of income. If DHS then determines that you are still eligible, your coverage will be reinstated and become retroactive.


If you have any questions, contact the local DHS offices or visit the website:






Residents in the nine Arkansas counties that were declared a disaster area and who suffered damage from the severe storms of May 7th through June 15th, have only about two weeks' left to register for disaster assistance with FEMA.


The deadline to register for disaster assistance is Tuesday, August 25th.


Individuals and families who suffered losses as a result of the late spring storms may register online at; those without access to the internet can call FEMA's toll-free registration number, 1-800-621-3362.


The toll-free number will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.


Residents in Howard, Little River, Miller or Sevier counties may be eligible for federal disaster assistance, including; money for rental assistance, essential home repairs, personal property loss and other serious disaster-related needs that are not covered by insurance.


Low-interest disaster loans from the Small Business Administration are available to help with residential and business losses that are not covered by insurance.


For more information about Small Business Administration programs, applicants may contact the SBA's Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 1-800-659-2955.






Sevier County Fair Board member Linda Frachiseur announced the Sevier County Fair Queen, Princess, Junior Miss, Little Mister and Miss, Little Mister and Miss Western and Talent competitions will be held this month on Saturday, August 22nd at the fair grounds at 10 a.m.


Frachiseur said the winner of the Little Miss contest, the Princess and Queen Pageants will move on to represent Sevier County in the District and State pageants.


Frachiseur stated the fair board is hoping for more participation in this year's talent contest because they added several new categories and divisions.


Frachiseur said the deadline to enter the pageant or talent contest is today.


For more information, contact Frachiseur at 584-9592.






Little River County Fair Board member Kimber Kennemore announced the Rodeo Queen contestants are selling advanced tickets for the Little-River County Rodeo on Friday, August 21st and Saturday, August 22nd. She said if you would like advanced tickets call Savanna Woods at 903-748-6476, Karli Ford at 870-550-5899, Allison Gill at 903-278-1091, Nichole Poole at 903-908-5109 or Brandon Kennemore at 903-824-7828.


Kennemore explained contestants work hard on the education part of horsemanship and hopes the program will grow next year because the program helps young ladies earn scholarships for college.


For more information, contact Kennemore at 903-826-9212.



BURN BANS       8/10/15


Sevier County Judge Greg Ray has issued a burn ban for Sevier County effective immediately and Little River County Judge Mike Cranford said based on information from the Arkansas Forestry Commission, Little River County is also under a burn ban.


If you have any questions, contact the county judge’s office.






The De Queen Police Department is looking for a suspect that is wanted on a warrant out of Texarkana.


Monday, August 3rd, James Fisher of Texarkana was in De Queen and according to Fisher's son, his dad bailed out of the vehicle near a wooded area and fled on foot after a De Queen Police Officer turned around to follow the vehicle.


Fisher has not been seen since this incident and was last seen wearing black pants and a black AC/DC t-shirt with gray tennis shoes. 


If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of Fisher, you are being asked to contact the De Queen Police Department at 870-642-2213.






July 3rd, officers with the De Queen Police Department were dispatched to a residence on 12th Street in reference to a physical domestic disturbance.


When Patrolman First Class Wayne Baker, along with Patrolman First Class Levi Browning and Patrolman Justin Gentry, arrived at the house, they spoke to a Hispanic male in the front yard that said there was a couple fighting inside the house.


When Officer Baker entered the bedroom, he noticed broken furniture and clothing scattered around the room.


Officer Baker reported he did not see any marks on the female, but the male had marks on his hands and knuckles. 


As Baker was escorting the man out of the room, the male suspect told him his name was Edgar Vasquez. A short time later, the suspect informed Baker that his name was actually Jesse Carreon.


The suspect was then transported to the Sevier County jail.


Later, the suspect’s step-father informed Officer Baker that his name was Edgar Vasquez, but he had been using the name Jesse Carreon for four or five years for work.


Vasquez was then charged with obstructing governmental operations for falsely identifying himself to the officers at the scene.






First Baptist Church of De Queen will be hosting a Back to School Bash on Wednesday, August 12th from 6 to 7:30 p.m.


Karen Rhea stated the author of 90-Minutes in Heaven, Don Piper will be the guest speaker at the church on Sunday, September 6th.


The book, 90 Minutes in Heaven is a best-selling novel that documents Piper’s near-death experience in 1989. The book has been adapted into a feature length film and will open nationwide on Friday, September 11th.


For more information about either event, contact the church at 642-2151.




SWIM SAFETY      8/10/15


Swimming is a great recreational sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. But it's important to know how to be safe while you're in the water.


The American Red Cross offers these important swimming safety tips that you should be aware of before you head out to the pool or swim beach:


Swim only in designated areas and always swim with a buddy.


Adults should never leave a young child unattended near water and have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket. Adults should maintain constant supervision while children are around water.


The American Red Cross recommends that everyone learn to swim and if you have a pool, you should secure it with appropriate barriers.


While supervising children, you should avoid distractions and if a child is missing, you should check the water first, because seconds count.


Adults should also enroll in a Red Cross home pool safety, water safety, first aid and CPR courses to learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies.


Swimmers should also protect their skin and limit the amount of direct sunlight they receive between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and they should always wear sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15.


Also remember to drink lots of water.


The De Queen City Pool's last day of public swim during the week will be Friday, August 14. The pool will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, August 22nd, August 29th and September 5th.






Windstream Communications has accepted $13.2 million dollars in ongoing, annual support from the Connect America Fund to expand and support broadband to approximately 64,000 rural customers in Arkansas.


The Connect America Fund support will enable Windstream to deliver broadband at speeds of at least 10 Mega bytes per second for downloads and 1 mega bytes per second on uploads to about 32,000 rural homes and businesses in Arkansas where the cost of broadband deployment might otherwise be prohibitive.


FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler stated, the Connect America Fund is delivering on its promise of ensuring that all Americans have access tot he opportunities provided by modern broadband service, no matter where they live.


In Sevier County, the funds will help support 1,670 homes and businesses, 1,141 in Polk County and 731 in Howard County.


Windstream must build out broadband to 40 percent of those funded locations by the end of 2017, 60 percent by 2018 and 100 percent by the end of 2020.




LITTLE RIVER COUNTY FAIR – AUGUST 18-22        8/10/15


The Little River County Fair is scheduled for August 18 through the 22nd in Foreman but activities will get underway Friday, August 14th with the Fair Queen and Talent Contest at the Ashdown High School.


Fair Board President Keith Pullen informed KDQN the fair will officially begin on Tuesday, August 18th with a parade at 6 p.m. in Foreman.


Wednesday, August 19th, the exhibit building will open at 8 a.m. and the livestock judging will begin with the swine division. Pullen also mentioned there will be a Ranch Rodeo on Wednesday night and a Little Britches Rodeo and Mutton Bustin’ on Thursday at 7 p.m.


Thursday, August 20th will be Senior Citizens Day and the Premium Sale will be on Friday at noon.





District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported two families were helped due to the charitable giving of Arkansans on their state tax returns.


Vaught stated a committee paid three-months rent for a family whose child needs a heart transplant. They also paid for rent, child care and utilities for the guardians of a seven-year-old brain tumor patient.


Vaught said the money was available through the Baby Sharon Fund, which is one of the eight charitable organizations that Arkansans can donate to by having the amount reduced from their tax refund.


In 2003, the Arkansas General Assembly added the Baby Sharon Fund to the check-off list. Members realized the financial burden many Arkansans face when caring for a child with a catastrophic illness.


The fund was created by an Arkansas doctor whose granddaughter died when she was two months old in 2001 while awaiting surgery in Vietnam.


The Baby Sharon Fund helps families in different ways from purchasing special medical equipment that a child needs at home to transportation to and from treatments.


Vaught explained the committee is made up of volunteers and there are no operating expenses or paid employees. Their main source of funding is contributions, but committee members also solicit help from organizations and businesses.


Since the fund was established, the committee has awarded over $113,000 in grants.


If you or someone you know needs this type of assistance visit the website, Donations can also be made through the website, year-round.






During a special called meeting Superintendent Holly Cothern reported the Dierks Board of Education approved the purchase of Google Chromebooks for the high school. Cothern said the Chromebooks will be purchases with federal funding.


Cothern stated the board also voted to hire Ashley Arnold to teach at the elementary following the retirement of Mary Harris.


Cothern said Harris had taught school for 51 years and had spent 38 of those years teaching students in the Dierks District.






Sevier County Extension Homemakers Council is a volunteer group whose goals are to develop leadership, support worthy community causes and promote the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension's educational program in all parts of Arkansas. This group remains tied to strengthening and extending adult education into the home and community.


If your community does not currently have any active groups, the extension office is encouraging you to ask about an independent membership or about starting a new group.


Interested volunteers can attend a monthly meeting prior to joining a Homemaker group, or elect to shadow a current member. Leadership positions are available. The monthly meeting serves as a formal check-in and support for volunteers and gives members a chance to enhance professional relationship with other group members.


Volunteers generally meet monthly, participate in educational program, and identify community projects that they want to support. Each group has their own dynamics, so interested volunteers are encouraged to connect with a local group to find out more.


Arkansas Extension Homemaker membership is open to anyone who is interested in educating and serving the members of the Homemakers and the community. Sevier County has three Extension Homemakers Clubs. They are the De Queen EHC and they meet on the second Wednesday of the month at the REA building in De Queen at 9:30 a.m.; Gillham EHC meets on the second Friday of the month in a members' homes at 10 a.m.; and the Seam Rippers EHC meets every other Thursday at the Senior Citizen's Center in De Queen at 6:30 p.m.






Sevier County Fair Board member Linda Frachiseur announced the Sevier County Fair Queen, Princess, Junior Miss, Little Mister and Miss, Little Mister and Miss Western and Talent competitions will be held this month on Saturday, August 22rd at the fair grounds at 10 a.m.


Frachiseur said the winner of the Little Miss contest, and the Princess and Queen Pageants will move on to represent Sevier County in the District and State pageants.


Frachiseur stated the fair board is hoping for more participation in this year's talent contest because they added several new categories and divisions.


Frachiseur said the deadline to enter the pageant and talent contest is August 11th.


For more information, contact Frachiseur at 584-9592.






After hearing the concerns of Arkansans, The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management will begin accepting applications for shelters installed on or before June 30, 2015.


Applications will be accepted between August 4th and 4:30 p.m. on January 29th, 2016.


In order for an application to be complete, shelter installation must be verified by the county's local emergency manager. In Sevier County the OEM Director is Walter Smith in Little River County it is Don Hale Jr. You can contact Smith at 870-642-4292 and Hale at 870-898-7203.


Completed applications will be accepted from either the local emergency manager or directly from the applicant after they have received all the required signatures and documents. Electronic submissions will not be accepted and applications must be received by ADEM no later than 4:30 p.m. on Friday, January 29th, 2016 in order to be processed for a rebate.


As previously announced, the funds available as of July 1st will be used to reimburse applications that ADEM currently has on file. Any eligible applications received from now through January 29th will be processed as funds become available.


For more information, visit the website





Robert Gentry has announced his intention to run in the 2016 election for the position of Sevier County Sheriff/Tax Collector. Incumbent Sheriff Benny Simmons is not seeking re-election. The following is Gentry's announcement:


My name is Robert Gentry and I am announcing my intention to seek the office of Sevier County Sheriff/Tax Collector in the 2016 election. 


I am the oldest son of Linda and Wayne Gentry. I attended and graduated from De Queen High School in 1981. I married Dana Smith in 1983. Over the past 32 years many accomplishments have taken place in our marriage including the birth of our two sons, Christopher and Justin Gentry. 


Our sons have blessed us with three grandchildren: Madison, Jocelyn and Arthur Wayne. Christopher currently works for Weyerhaeuser at the Dierks Mill. Justin recently graduated from the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy and is employed with the De Queen Police Department. I am a member of Kern Heights Baptist Church.


I worked in the poultry business and farming for several years. In December 1993, I went to work at the Sevier County Jail as a part-time dispatcher/jailer. Those duties included dispatching officers, answering phone calls and encoding fire departments.  

In April 1994 I was hired as a full time dispatcher/jailer. I worked in that capacity until August 1994 when I was promoted to deputy sheriff. 


During the first few years as a patrol deputy, I obtained a golden retriever dog named Duke. I trained Duke to recognize and alert on controlled substances. At this point I took an interest in the enforcement of drug related crimes. The sheriff at this time, John Partain, allowed me to assist the South Central Drug Task Force in working cases in Sevier County. This gave me the opportunity to assist in the seizure of numerous illicit drug labs in Sevier County. I was also able to assist in cases that ranged from theft of property to homicides in Sevier County.


After a brief stint owning and operating my own truck and trailer, I was hired in 2004 by the South Central Drug Task Force as a special agent. In 2006 I was named director of this task force. 


The task force served seven counties and three judicial districts in southwest Arkansas. Duties included working closely with local law enforcement agencies to obtain information on potential drug offenders. I worked in the field as an undercover agent and made arrests and drug seizures during task force operations. During that time I worked closely with the Arkansas State Police, Drug Enforcement Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security. 


My duty as task force director included maintaining budgets to keep the unit operating and serve the citizens. 


I also supervised a fiscal officer and two special agents as well as officers from other law enforcement agencies. I signed prepared search warrants and prepared for their safe executions. I wrote grants each year to obtain additional funding for the task force, and spent much time studying laws and court cases as they were challenged in the higher courts. 

In 2013 I was offered a job with the Sevier County Sheriff's Office by Sheriff Benny Simmons. After a few days of soul searching and prayers, I decided to take the position as an investigator.


I believe through my training and experiences I am prepared for the duties as Sheriff and Collector. I have had the opportunity to see how seven different sheriffs operate their departments and jails. I also have experience in our three area judicial districts as well as the federal court system.


I would appreciate your vote in the 2016 election and thank you for this opportunity. Feel free to contact me at (870) 279-5056 or via email at






De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy said Sevier County and De Queen Sales show small increases year over year. Sevier County up 1.6% last 12 months. De Queen up 2 percent.


Revenue is beginning to flow from the new Lockesburg sales tax which was approved last year. Looks like about $4,000 per month for the first two full months.


Gillham’s sales tax has only about 17 months so far so not much to compare year-over-year. About $2,000 per month average.

Horatio received $58,803 over the first 12 months of its tax. That’s almost $5,000 per month.


Spread sheet at top of each graph compares last two 12-month periods, with percentage of increase or decrease.

Chart at bottom is graph of the spread sheet above.


McKelvy believes these data are a general indication of whether sales are higher or lower than previous year. I wouldn’t draw too many specific conclusions, other than that.


Gillham Sales Tax





July Report on the Chalice Cupboard Food Ministry    08/06/15


The Chalice Cupboard assisted 74 families in Sevier County last month with 137 adults and 71 children receiving food--a total of 208 people.  Distributions of food totaled 1,764 pounds.  Food was  received weighing 74 pounds from the St. Barbara Catholic Church.  Also selected food was purchased from gifts of money, adding 1,367 more pounds last month for the pantry—1,441 pounds in all.        Suggested food items to assist people in need include these items: cereal, dried and bagged pinto beans and rice, and crackers. 


The bank balance on July 1, 2015, was $3,379.18.  Deposits for the month were $105.00.  $987.24 was spent to replenish needed food items for the pantry.  The balance on July 31, 2015, was $2,496.94.  


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


The Chalice Cupboard will be closed Wednesday, August 12th.

Submitted by Grant Grove




July 29th, Lindsey Dooley of the De Queen Auto Group reported a vehicle had been stolen sometime between 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 28th and 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 29th.


Dooley informed Sergeant Chad Bradshaw of the De Queen Police Department that someone had taken a 2015 Dodge Ram 3500 Crew Cab truck.


The vehicle information was entered into the National Crime Information Center and on Friday, July 31st, Captain Scott Simmons reported that he received a call from the McCurtain County Sheriff’s Office concerning a new Dodge pick-up truck that they had found matching the description of the stolen vehicle. 


McCurtain County Sheriff’s Deputies reported the vehicle had been burnt but there was a small amount of silver paint around the tail light area, however, the Vin number and the numbers on the motor were unreadable.


No suspects have been arrested but the case remains under investigation. If you have any information concerning this incident, contact the De Queen Police Department at 870-642-2213.






Tuesday night during a regular meeting of the De Queen City Council, Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy recognized the efforts of three city employees who helped save the life of a SWEPCO employee who was injured on a job in De Queen.


McKelvy presented Nikki Nealy, David Higgins and Dennis Pruitt with a letter of accommodation and a gold coin.


Aldermen then approved a resolution authorizing McKelvy to sign a contract with Vaughn Engineering to design a SCADA system for the city's water system.


McKelvy stated the project will cost about $100,000 and revenue from the water department will be used to finance the project.


Aldermen also approved two other resolutions authorizing McKelvy to apply for two grants for the purpose of purchasing a new pumper truck for the fire department.


Fire Chief Pruitt said it will take about nine-months after the truck is ordered for it to be delivered.






Members of the Ashdown Board of Education met a couple times over the past two weeks to fill the remaining teaching and coaching vacancies.


During a special called meeting July 27th, the board voted to accept the resignation of Don Nesbitt as Spanish teacher, Rachelle Bonner as PE teacher and Coach and Tyler Sheppard as Junior High Math teacher.


They also voted to hire Lorna Youcum as Junior High Math teacher and Joshua Fleming as History teacher and Coach.


Then on August 3rd, the board voted to accept the resignation of Amy Madden as Elementary Art teacher and to transfer Susan Surber from 3rd grade teacher to K through 5th grade Art teacher.


Betty Warren was hired as a 3rd grade teacher and Beau Tillery was hired to be the new varsity girls Coach and Teacher.





Courtesy of KMTB


The Mineral Springs City Council is considering its options when it comes to purchasing a new fire truck.


Mayor Bobby Tullis said there were a couple of options still being considered and they are working with the USDA on a loan application in case the city needs some additional funding.


Tullis said the city has a $10,000 CD that will mature in September and aldermen voted to use those funds for the purchase of a fire truck.


Water Superintendent Jonathon Holden reported the city paid off the $44,000 valve project and Tullis said he was proud of the fact that the city crews were able to complete the job and the city didn't have to borrow the money to finish it.


Tullis also reported FEMA had agreed to fund 100 percent of the city's storm related cleanup expenses.





More than $2 million in assistance to date is helping the residents of nine Arkansas counties recover from the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding from May 7th to June 15th.


Recovery officials want to remind area residents that the time to register for federal help is running out. The deadline to apply for assistance is August 25th.


FEMA and the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management provided this current summary of assistance.


More than $922,323 has been awarded for housing aid, whether providing temporary housing or repairing damaged homes that were not covered by insurance, as well as, replacing homes that were destroyed.


More than $99,824 has been awarded to help pay disaster-related medical and dental costs, funeral and burial costs, clothing, household items, clean-up items, disaster-damaged vehicles, moving and storage expenses and other necessary expenses or serious needs as determined by FEMA.


Also over a million dollars has been distributed through low-interest loans to homeowners, renters, businesses and private nonprofit organizations through the U.S. Small Business Administration.


To apply for disaster assistance, visit the website or call 1-800-621-3362.


The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.


The following is a county by county summary of assistance.


In Howard County, 67 residents registered. FEMA awarded $61,443 in housing repairs and rental assistance; $40,611 for other needs assistance; $102,054 for individuals and households program; and $54,500 in U.S. Small Business Administration loans.


In Little River County, 61 residents registered. FEMA awarded $114,750 in housing repairs and rental assistance; $5,804 for other needs assistance; and $120,554 for individuals and households program.


In Miller County, 23 residents registered. FEMA awarded $86,787 in housing repairs and rental assistance; $1,716 for other needs assistance; and $88,502 for individuals and households program.


In Sevier County, 37 residents registered. FEMA awarded $37,766 in housing repairs and rental assistance; $1,428 for other needs assistance; $39,193 for individuals and households program; and $42,300 in U.S. Small Business Administration loans.


These amounts are the approved assistance as of August 2nd.






Monday morning, De Queen Police Officer James Gilbert took a report from a homeowner on Lacefield Lane concerning a stolen 4-wheeler.


According to the incident report, Terry Lacefield informed Gilbert that his 2014 Polaris sportsman 850 XP was stolen Sunday night. He reported the 4-wheeler was sitting inside a fenced-in area beside Curtis’ Body Shop.


Lacefield said he knew that it was taken Sunday night because his brother saw the 4-wheeler sitting inside the fence Sunday afternoon.


Lacefield said when he arrived about 7:45 a.m., he noticed the gate was open and the lock had been cut.


According to the report, the 4-wheeler was valued at $9,000.


Investigators with the De Queen Police Department are asking for the publics help in locating the 4-wheeler. It is described as a red and maroon 850 XP with 488 miles on it. Lacefield said everything on the 4-wheeler is stock from the factory.


If you have any information concerning this incident, contact the De Queen Police Department at 870-642-2213.






The Little River County Fair and Rodeo is scheduled for August 18th to the 22nd in Foreman and deadlines to enter the royalty contest is this week.


The deadline to enter the Tiny Tot King and Queen contest is Friday, August 7th. To enter, call Lacie Beason at 501-258-2142.


The Fair Queen and Talent Show is August 14th and contestants must enter by Friday, August 7th by calling Lonni Dollarhide at 903-278-9013.






A 74-year-old Alzheimer patient was found following an intense search of the Oak Hill Community this past Saturday.


The Little River County Sheriff's Office was contacted about midnight on August 1st by Jerrie Cannon of Ashdown. She reported her husband, Travis Cannon, had been missing since about 8:30. She informed the sheriff's office that he left on a golf cart.


Little River County Sheriff's deputies joined volunteers and members of the Oak Hill Volunteer Fire Department, the Little River County Office of Emergency Management, Little River Ambulance Service, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Ashdown Police Department to search for Cannon.


Around 3:30 Saturday morning, a civilian volunteer located the golf cart about a quarter of a mile from Cannon's home in some thick vegetation.


Cannon was found near the golf cart and was transported to the Little River Memorial Hospital where he received treatment for some minor injuries.





During a special called meeting of the Foreman Board of Education, board members voted to accept a bid from Coker Building Company in the amount of $35,425 to repair the damage that was done to the Oscar Hamilton Elementary Gym, during the recent spring storms.


Board members also reviewed a bid from BWI in the amount of $38,854.83 to repair the district's greenhouse Board members then asked Superintendent George Kennedy to get bids on having the greenhouse demolished instead of repairing it.


During another special called meeting on July 27th, the board voted to accept the resignation of Charlotte Leon as the high school counselor and hire Michelle Young.


Board members also approved the milk bid from Borden Milk Company and the bread bid from Young's Thriftway.


Kennedy reported the district was seeking bus drivers and grounds crew for the upcoming school year.  Board members will meet during their regular monthly meeting August 18th at 6 p.m. in the Oscar Hamilton Elementary Library.






Members of the Sevier County Sheriff's Office arrested a Polk County man Saturday morning who is wanted on felony warrants in Polk County Arkansas and McCurtain County Oklahoma.


Last week, members of the Sevier County Sheriff's Office were informed that a fugitive that was wanted in McCurtain County was hiding in the Beacon Hill community.

According to a spokesperson from the Sevier County Sheriff's Office, deputies went to a residence in the Beacon Hill community after they received information concerning the whereabouts of 44-year-old Jimmy Evans of Polk County.


Deputies reported they just missed Evans but they received information that he was just about a mile down the road. As deputies were following up on that lead, they made contact with the suspect's vehicle.


When the deputies made traffic stop, the two occupants, Evans and Kelly McCarley jumped out the vehicle and fled on foot.


McCarley was taken into custody a short time later and when he was arrested, he was in possession of multiple bags of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.


McCarley was also wanted for a parole violation warrants in Polk County and Mena.


Evans, however, was able to elude deputies and members of the Sevier County Sheriff's Office were joined by members of the Howard County Sheriff's office and their K-9 unit, the Arkansas State Police, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department.


Friday night, officers searched for Evans with the K-9 unit and then Saturday morning, the Arkansas State Police sent a helicopter to patrol the area.


Saturday morning, a resident in the Beacon Hill community notified the sheriff's office that a man was walking up their driveway and Evans was taken into custody without any further incident about 10:45 a.m.


Evans is currently being held in the Sevier County jail awaiting extradition to Oklahoma on felony warrants. 






De Queen Alderman Lawrence Wishard will be leading the 2015 Sevier County Leadership Class and he spoke with KDQN about how participating in the class benefited him and he learned how the state government works with city governments.


Wishard said the prime candidates for the class, are people who have a desire to be leaders and serve their communities.


Wishard said if you are interested in participating in the class to call him at 870-642-9121 and leave a message or you may pick up a leadership class packet from Chandler Funeral Home.




Sevier County OEM coordinator, Walter Smith, said he received notice from Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) that Governor Hutchinson had agreed to provide extra funding for grants to Arkansas residents who installed storm shelters by June 30, 2015. The department had been told earlier that funds had been depleted and no more grant requests would be accepted.

ADEM will accept request until January 31, 2016, but Smith said he will send in all the requests he has on hand for Sevier County residents on September 30, 2015.   He stated he will advise residents how to fill out the paperwork and what documentation they need after that date, but they will be responsible for sending it in themselves.

Sevier County residents with questions about what documentation they need to apply for the FEMA Storm Shelter Grants may contact Smith at (870)  642-4292.





On July 7, Sevier County 4-H’ers had the chance to participate in a science night conducted by Dawn Leeper Sevier County 4-H Program Assistant with Sevier County Extension Service. Seven 4-H’ers and their friends showed up for the activity. The 4-H’ers got hands-on learning with different science experiments including Stomp Rockets, Coke Geysers, Exploding Lunch Bags, and Ice Cream in a bag. Before each experiment, the kids would think about what would happen and then they got to do the experiment and see what actually happened. It was educational and fun for all. If you’re interested in learning more about 4-H, please call the Sevier County Extension Office at 870-584-3013.

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.




Photo: Grant Wilson preparing to launch his stomp rocket as Tyler Terry watches.


STATE-O-RAMA  08/04/15


Fast Facts:
• About 400 youths attended State O-Rama on July 21-24 at Fayetteville campus
• State O-Rama competitors were winners from county, district competitions
• O-Rama winds up with awards, recognitions for officers, ambassadors, winners

‘American Ninja’ contestant to bring ‘right attitude’ message to 4-H State O-Rama
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Two Sevier County youth returned home in late July exhausted but happy with awards in hand and having learned a little more from their experiences at the 4-H State O-Rama on the University of Arkansas campus.

Sabrina Rivas competed in and placed 1st in the forestry competition. She also retired as 4-H Ambassador after serving for four years. This is Sabrina’s last year to compete in 4-H and it was a great way for her to cap her years in 4-H to win 1st place at the state competition. Aaron Morris was reinstated as Arkansas 4-H Ambassador for the second year. This provides him with leadership opportunities to help plan activities for other 4-H’ers throughout the state. They both have learned valuable leadership skills including running campaigns, writing, and presenting speeches.

“We’re so proud of our Arkansas 4-H members,” said Dawn Leeper Sevier County 4-H Program Assistant for the University Of Arkansas System Division Of Agriculture. “They worked hard all year on their skills and projects, made it through county and district O-Rama competitions, and performed so well at the state level.”

In addition to the competitions and recognition assembly and banquet, the members were treated to motivational talks by 4-H alumna and Miss Arkansas competitor Katie Crow. They also heard from Hoan Do, a competitor on “American Ninja” and corporate trainer. He urged the 4-H members not to succumb to negative thoughts, but rather “change the channel” to more positive inner messages.

“With all the activities, camps and service projects they participate in, State O-Rama is still the pinnacle of each 4-H member’s year,” said Anne Sortor, associate director-extension for 4-H Youth Development. “It’s so refreshing each year to see these high achievers practicing the ideals that make 4-H such a potent force for positive development in young lives in Arkansas.”

Arkansas 4-H is the youth development program of the Cooperative Extension Service, part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. 4-H has more than 140,000 members in Arkansas.

To learn more about 4-H in Arkansas, visit or contact the Sevier County office at 870-584-3013.

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.


Aaron Morris being re-instated as Arkansas 4-H Ambassador with Dr. Anne Sortor.

Sabrina Rivas accepts award from Dr. Tony Windham for 1st place in the Forestry Competition.




Little River County Judge Mike Cranford announced today that a failing culvert located on County Road 35 approximately three quarters of a mile from the intersection of County Road 35 and Hwy 32 must be replaced. The culvert has deteriorated and settled to the point of causing the road surface to be very rough. Work is scheduled for August the 11th and 12th.

Traffic in the area will be completely blocked during the replacement. “We understand the tremendous inconvenience that this will cause to the citizens in the area, however we will make every effort to minimize the amount of time that the road will be closed, “said Cranford.

During the closure residents are encouraged to use County Road 33 as an alternative route. 

For more information you can contact the Little River County Judges office at 870.898.7202



Ashdown High School PPMB Drum Major, Jacob Purifoy attended the Steven Moss Leadership Academy” drum major camp in Belton, TX at the University of Mary Hardin – Baylor July 13th-17th.  Purifoy, along with approximately 75 other drum majors attended the camp under the direction of Steven Moss.  At the camp, the drum majors were taught conducting and how to have effective leadership skills.  On Thursday, they were even able to view a DCI (Drum Corp International) performance in Crusader Stadium.  During the camp exhibition on Friday, Purifoy was awarded the “Outstanding Drum Major Award”.  This award also provides a scholarship to the camp next year.  Purifoy is a first year drum major and looks forward to leading the PPMB this fall.  Ashdown directors are Mark Pounds and Chelsa Keathley.




Improvements to this Dirt Bike, Mountain Bike, ATV, and Hiking Trail Will Include a New Trailhead Parking Area at Daisy State Park and a Re-routed Section from the Trailhead to Kirby Landing


The Arkansas State Parks trail crew is set to begin work on the two and a half miles of the Bear Creek Trail within Daisy State Park on August 17, and this work will require the temporary closure of the first six-mile portion of the trail, according to Park Superintendent Tamara Lunsford. She said, “Bear Creek Trail begins at Daisy State Park on the lake’s north shore and there is approximately six miles of trail before the next stop at Kirby Landing Recreation Area. This six-mile stretch will be closed from August 17 until early November while this work on the park’s section is underway.” This six-mile section from the park to Kirby Landing is the roughest and most challenging part of the 18-mile trail, due to steep inclines and eroded areas. Lunsford noted that the Arkansas State Parks Planning and Development Section, Daisy State Park, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lake Greeson park managers have been working for over a year to determine the best way to make repairs and establish a safer route. “I’m excited about this project getting underway.” she said. “We have visitors who come to the park to ride this trail because there are not a lot of trails open to the public that are designed specifically for ATVs. I anticipate this project will make our frequent visitors very happy and attract new visitors to the park.”


Improvements will include a new trailhead parking area at Daisy State Park and a new re-routed section from the trailhead that will connect with the current trail between Daisy State Park and Kirby Landing. Daisy State Park’s portion of the trail is rated for expert riders only due to the steep inclines. For those extreme cycle enthusiasts, current trail sections will be left intact and identified as skill builders.


Lunsford emphasized that the rest of the 18-mile trail which stretches through lands administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) from Kirby Landing to Bear Creek Recreation Area and ending near Rough Branch will remain open and unaffected by the trail project. This portion on the lake’s eastern shoreline is rated easy-moderate. ATV riding is prohibited in all of the USACE recreation areas on Lake Greeson. ATV use in the state park is prohibited with the exception of use by individuals with a mobility disability to access park facilities. Trail maps are available at the Daisy State Park visitor center or the USACE resource manager's office for Lake Greeson in Murfreesboro.


Daisy State Park is 1/4 mile south of Daisy off U.S. 70. It is one of the 52 state parks administered by the State Parks Division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism.


For additional information, contact:  Tamara Lunsford, park superintendent, Daisy State Park,103 East Park, Kirby, AR, 71950. Phone:  870-398-4487. Email:





De Queen Athletic Booster Club member Stacy Faulkenberry announced this week on KDQN that the club will be having a membership meeting August 10th at 6:30 p.m. at the De Queen Church of Christ.


Faulkenberry said booster club members will also help clean up around Leopard Stadium on Saturday, August 15th.


To raise funds for the De Queen athletic department, the booster club will host a golf scramble on Saturday, August 22nd at the De Queen Country Club. Faulkenberry said there will be also be activities for the kids.


Booster members will also be painting the Leopard prints on 9th Street soon and Faulkenberry said you could contact him if you would like to purchase a paw print.


Faulkenberry explained the booster club supports the De Queen athletic programs and tries to build Leopard pride in the community. For more information, call Faulkenberry at 870-784-0357 or Fawn Dykes at 870-582-1815.






Crater of Diamonds State Park, Interpreter Waymon Cox announced last week that more than 63,000 people have visited the park so far this year and at the end of June, the park staff had certified 246 diamonds, including 150 white, 43 brown and 53 yellow. Seventy diamonds were registered in May.


Arkansans registered 119 diamonds, and visitors from Ontario, Canada, Washington, D.C. and 28 other states registered 127. The total weight of the diamonds registered was more than 55 carats.


The park staff has certified five diamonds weighing at least one carat, including a 2.01 carat yellow diamond found by a visitor from Shreveport; a 3.69 carat white diamond found by Susie Clark of Evening Shade, Arkansas and an 8.52 carat diamond found by a visitor from Colorado.


Thirty-five diamonds were picked up from the surface of the park's search area, but most of those finds were made after spring showers that washed away loose soil, uncovering larger gems.


For more information about the Crater of Diamonds State Park visit their website at or call 870-285-3113.





FEMA offers a wide range of free resources for Arkansas homeowners who are either rebuilding after the spring storms or preparing for the next time disaster strikes.

FEMA maintains an extensive online library, including bilingual and multimedia resources, which describe the measures contractors or do-it-yourselfers can take to reduce risks to property. FEMA publications can be viewed online and downloaded to any computer.

For rebuilding information, go to and click on “Plan, Prepare and Mitigate.” There are numerous links to resources and topics including “Protecting Homes,” “Protecting Your Business” and “Safe, Strong and Protected Homes and Communities.” There are also links to information about disaster preparedness.

The decision to rebuild stronger, safer and smarter may save lives and property in a future disaster.


FEMA's website - offers a comprehensive overview of available publications to help protect your home or business against hazards including earthquakes, fire, flood, high winds and others and - provides links to resources for protecting your community, your business and places of worship, and offers helpful links like how to protect your business from all kinds of natural hazards like earthquake, fire, flooding and high winds.





Medicaid turns 50 this week, and a new report from the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families shows when children are covered by Medicaid, it brings them benefits for life.


In Arkansas, just over half of people using Medicaid are children. The report found kids covered by Medicaid were less likely to drop out of school, less likely to have high blood pressure and emergency health issues as adults, and more likely to see incomes higher than those of their parents.


Report co-author Joan Alker calls it interesting data.


The report also notes that as Medicaid eligibility has been expanded over the years, the rate of uninsured children has declined.


Marquita Little At Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families says the data proves the lasting impacts of healthy beginnings for kids.


Medicaid has been the subject of contentious debate in Arkansas, and nationally. Alker points out that the program has adapted over the years and hasn't always been subject to the kind of partisan bickering that's going on today.