Southwest Arkansas Daily
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LOCKESBURG CITY COUNCIL PASSES ORDINANCE CONCERNING WATER AND SEWER PROJECT 10/17/14
Tuesday night, the Lockesburg City Council held a public meeting concerning the city's water and sewer project.
Michael Moyers, Jr. briefed those in attendance about Ordinance 2014-7 that authorizes the construction of betterments and improvements to the water facilities of the water and sewer system for the city. The ordinance also authorized the issuance of bonds for the purpose of financing the project and other matters that are related to the project.
Following the public meeting, aldermen voted to adopted the ordinance.
Aldermen then approved two water bill adjustments, however, one will be put on hold for three months so an average billing could be determined because the customer is new.
De Queen Code Enforcement Officer Ray Sowell addressed the Lockesburg City Council about code enforcement and beautification for the city.
Aldermen then hired Sowell to help the city develop a code enforcement program.
MARY AND MARTHA FUNDRAISER THIS SATURDAY 10/17/14
This Saturday, the Mary and Martha Center will be holding a Fall fundraiser at the new center on the corner of Coulter Drive and Rockefeller Street near the Sevier County fairgrounds.
De Queen High School senior Lucy Lugo explained that the center was building a new building and the fundraiser would help them complete their building.
Lugo stated there would be a lot of activities for children for just $3 admission and they are selling pumpkins and wooden art.
Lugo also mentioned that residents may also donate to help the center paint the inside of the building. The center is seeking donates of $75 for a five-gallon bucket of paint.
Lugo stated the center currently meets at the First Baptist Church after school program that helps a lot of students in the community, as well as providing an after school snacks to area children.
If you are interested in donating to the Mary and Martha Center, you may mail a donation to PO Box 473 or call Olivia Romine at 582-2207 or Robin Cribb at 584-2227.
POND CREEK SUBJECT OF COMPATIBILITY REPORT 10/17/14
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the availability of four Draft Compatibility Determinations for Pond Creek National Wildlife Refuge for public review and comment.
These determinations encompass fishing, horseback riding, wildlife observation, wildlife photography, environmental education, interpretation and commercial forest management on the refuge.
The public comment period will extend from October 8th to October 22nd. Interested parties are asked to review the draft determinations and provide written comments to the Refuge manager.
A compatibility determination is the end result of a process whereby the Refuge Manager reviews a proposed use on the refuge and helps determine whether the use is compatible with the purpose for which the refuge was established.
The Draft Compatibility Determinations are available on-line at fws.gov/pond-creek or you may obtain them at the Pond Creek headquarters visitor center in Lockesburg.
SEVIER COUNTY 4-H CLUBS REORGANIZING 10/17/14
Sevier County Cooperative Extension Service’s Rex Herring announced this week the Sevier County 4-H clubs were reorganizing and they were seeking new members and leaders.
The purpose of the 4-H clubs is to give youth ages 5 to 19 an opportunity to participate in the youth development educational programs of the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.
Youth in 4-H clubs learn life skills, enhance leadership skills, and increase their self-esteem while serving in a number of community service projects. Youth in 4-H clubs have the opportunity to compete in a number of competitive activities, attend camps and earn scholarships for education.
And this is a list of the Sevier County 4-H clubs along with the leaders name, phone number and meeting time and place:
For more information about the meeting times, 4-H club membership or program benefits, contact the Sevier County Cooperative Extension Service which is located in the Agri Building on the De Queen campus of UA Cossatot or call 584-3013.
SEVIER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT 10/17/14
Last week, in the Sevier County Circuit Court, Marco Vasquez was convicted by Circuit Court Judge Tom Cooper for sexual assault in the fourth degree.
According to Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Erin Sprick, Vasquez's charges were reduced to a misdemeanor under the facts of the case. He had been charged with sexual assault in the second degree, which was a felony.
Vasquez was given credit for time served in the Sevier County jail and he must register as a sex offender.
Judge Cooper issued two Failure to Appear warrants for Ezekiel Christie and James Marsh.
Christie has been charged with theft by receiving, aggravated assault and fleeing, while Marsh has been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and theft by receiving.
A trial date of November 19th was set for Aaron Moreland for the charge of delivery of a controlled substance, methamphetamine.
Four defendants received a trial date of February 25th. They were Kerry Bond who plead not guilty to theft of property. Kalyn Shope plead not guilty to possession of a controlled substance-marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and two counts of possession of Hydro. Charity Kyle plead not guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia and Anthony Reed plead not guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of controlled substance-marijuana with the purpose to deliver and possession of meth or cocaine with the purpose to deliver.
TWO DE QUEEN RESIDENTS FINISH CHICAGO MARATHON 10/17/14
Chicago hosted the running world last Sunday as nearly 45,000 runners took to the streets for the 2014 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
Runners snaked through several Chicago neighborhoods on a grand tour of the city, which continues to make its way to the forefront of the running scene.
The Chicago Marathon is one of the six World Marathon Majors along with Boston, New York, London, Berlin and Tokyo.
Two local runners, Jason Barker and Lacey Young, qualified to run in this year's race. The Chicago Marathon was Barker's second Major marathon after running in the Boston Marathon in April and it was Young's first.
Young has qualified for the Boston Marathon and will run there in April of 2015.
Young finished the Chicago Marathon in 3-hours, 13-minutes and 34-seconds, which put her at the 2,251st place overall and the 287th female to cross the finish line. That means, Young was in the top 5-percent overall male and female and in the top one-and-a-half percent of females.
Barker finished the race in 3-hours, 13-minutes and 2-seconds, which put him at the 2,190th place overall and 1909th male to cross the finish line. This puts him in the top 5-percent of all runners and in the top 10-percent of male runners.
YARBOROUGH COMMUNITY MEETING 10/17/14
The Association for a Greater Yarborough will hold its quarterly meeting on Tuesday, October 21st at 6 p.m. at the Yarborough Community Center.
Elections will be held for three board members and if you have someone in mind, you asked to please attend and nominate them.
Board members will be hosting three elected officials from Little River County who have worked to improve the community of Yarborough to show their appreciation for their service.
The Yarborough community will be providing housing and a dinner for the Wounded Warrior's from Fort Sill, Oklahoma in November.
Housing will be provided from November 19th thru November 22nd by two local families. The dinner will be on Saturday, November 22nd at the community center.
The Lion's Club of Ashdown will be providing breakfast for three mornings, but all community members are invited to help make this event a success for these American heroes.
Everyone is invited to attend Tuesday's meeting to help make the Yarborough Community a wonderful place to live.
GREAT SHAKEOUT EARTHQUAKE DRILL 10/17/14
On October 16, 2014, at 10:16 a.m., people across North America and around the world participated in the Great ShakeOut earthquake drill, including students at Margaret Daniel Primary School in Ashdown.
The main goal of #ShakeOut is to get people prepared for major earthquakes and use the event as an opportunity to learn what to do before, during, and after an earthquake.
Every continent on the planet experiences earthquakes; the U.S. Geological Service estimates there are several million earthquakes a year globally and, while a vast majority of these are very small or undetected, about 100,000 quakes per year are felt.
All 50 U.S. states and territories have earthquakes so the ShakeOut is an opportunity to practice how to protect ourselves during earthquakes. Anyone who participates is instructed, wherever he may be, to Drop, Cover, and Hold On as if there were a major earthquake occurring at that very moment, and stay in this position for at least 60 seconds. ShakeOut also has been organized to encourage everyone to update emergency plans and supplies, and to secure your space in order to prevent damage and injuries.
ADCOCK’S LICENSE SUSPENDED 10/16/14
Former Mineral Springs School District Superintendent Max Adcock’s educator’s license was suspended for one year last week by the Arkansas Board of Education.
According to Cheryl Reinhart who is an attorney for the Arkansas Department of Education Professional Licensure Standards Board, the board also permanently rescinded Adcock’s administrator’s endorsement and assessed him a $100 dollar fine.
The board’s decision comes two months after the Arkansas Department of Education Professional Licensure Standards Board recommended the state board of education impose a seven-year suspension on Adcock’s license.
Reinhart stated Adcock’s suspension went into effect immediately, which means Adcock will not be able to hold a position that requires a teaching license until October of 2015 and he has been permanently barred from serving as a school administrator.
CITY OF DIERKS VOTES TO CONSTRUCT NEW LAGOON 10/16/14
Monday night, the Dierks City Council passed an ordinance, a resolution and approved the construction of a new waste water lagoon.
Mayor Terry Mounts informed KDQN that the ordinance concerned the protection of the city's drinking water source and the resolution gave Mayor Mounts the authority to sell an unused trash truck.
However, Mounts said the council then addressed the fact that the city had been out of compliance with the department of health for some time.
Mounts stated the council considered a couple of options, but agreed with the city's engineer that an additional lagoon was the best option.
Mounts explained the city will sell bonds to finance the project, which will cost about $315,000.
Mounts also stated he will be meeting with a representative from the Arkansas Rural Water Association later this week to hear their recommendations when it comes to a water and sewer rate increase.
Mayor Mounts also wanted to remind residents that the city of Dierks will celebrate Halloween on Thursday, October 30th.
COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK 10/16/14
It's Fall, but there are still a lot of things happening at the Cossatot River State Park and new park Interpreter Andrew Rawlings stopped by the KDQN studios to mention a few upcoming events.
Rawlings said this year's Half-Marathon Trail Run was going to be limited to 100 runners and there were only a few spots left for this Saturday's event.
To register, go to getmeregistered.com or call the park at 870-385-2201. The cost is $40 and all runners will receive a t-shirt.
Park guests can also take a hike with Rawlings on Sunday at 10 a.m. up to Goats Bluff to view the Fall foliage.
Rawlings also reminded area residents that the park will be offering hunter education classes on Monday, October 27th through Wednesday, October 29th from 6 to 9 p.m. nightly.
Rawlings said there will also be a Dutch oven workshop on Saturday, November 1st.
But, Rawlings was real excited about the park's guided kayak tours.
For more information about the upcoming events at the Cossatot River State Park, call 870-385-2201 or visit our website at KDQN.net.
GOVERNOR APPOINTS TWO WITH TIES TO DE QUEEN 10/16/14
Governor Mike Beebe announced this week 26 appointments to state boards and commissions, including two with ties to the city of De Queen.
Beebe appointed Cindy Hale of De Queen to the Arkansas Arts Advisory Council. Her appointment will expire June 30th of 2016.
Hale is replacing Anne Douglas.
Beebe also appointed Dr. Michael Buffington of Fayetteville to the Arkansas State Board of Acupuncture and Related Techniques. His appointment will expire in July of 2017 and he replaces Dr. Jonathan Norcross.
Dr. Buffington is formerly of De Queen.
MOBILITY IMPAIRED HUNT SET FOR NOVEMBER AT POND CREEK 10/16/14
Applications for the Pond Creek mobility impaired hunt are now being accepted. The hunt will take place November 6th and 7th. All interested applicants must contact the Pond Creek National Wildlife Refuge by Friday, October 17th.
Applicants must be confined to a wheelchair, missing an arm or leg or classified as terminally ill and must have a doctor’s verification.
The drawing will be held on Friday, October 24th.
For more information, contact the Pond Creek office at 870-289-2126.
NEW MINERAL SPRINGS BOARD OF EDUCATION APPROVES 10 PERCENT RAISE FOR TEACHERS 10/16/14
Monday night, the newly elected Mineral Springs Board of Education approved a 10 percent raise for all Mineral Springs School District employees.
Superintendent Curtis Turner recommended the raise to reward the employees that stayed at the district during its recent bouts with fiscal distress and to help the district remain competitive with other districts in the area.
The raise will be retroactive to July 1st of this year. The increase is expected to cost the district about $365,000 a year.
Turner reported the district has a balance of over $6 million dollars in part to a correction in the way local tax revenues are calculated and a $20 million dollar increase in local assessments.
The raise will increase the base salary of a first-year teacher with a bachelor’s degree from $29,244 to $32,168 dollars per year, while teachers with 15 or more years of experience and a master’s degree will now earn $45,243 compared to $41,130 that they made before.
Turner’s salary was increased by $1,000 a year, making his yearly salary $100,000.
AJHS RECEIVES $2500 GRANT FROM DOLLAR GENERAL TO SUPPORT YOUTH LITERACY 10/15/14
The Dollar General Literacy Foundation recently awarded Ashdown Junior High School a $2,500 grant to support youth literacy.
The grant will furnish a Literacy Lab for the sixth through eighth graders at the junior high, according to AJHS Instructional Facilitator Eliza Simmons, who wrote the grant proposal. Simmons states that the goal of the lab is three-fold: "to increase our IEP (individualized education plan) students' scores on the STAR Reading Test, . . . to increase our school library circulation by 15%," and to provide students with "a safe, comfy place to enjoy reading and develop a passion for learning."
"Reading improves thinking skills, fosters imagination, and creates life-long learners," Simmons continues. "I envision this literacy lab to be a place where our students can grown as readers, writers, and speakers." The lab, as Simmons describes it, will include computers for researching and writing, listening stations for hearing voice inflections of a fluent reader, printers to publish students' original writing, a microphone/presentation stand for students to deliver reports and viewpoints, and a place to sit and talk about what they have read.
"Youth literacy grants from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation make a distinct impact on the communities we serve by supporting programs that improve education and enhance literacy," said Rick Dreiling, Dollar General's chairman and CEO. "At Dollar General, we are passionate about our mission of Serving Others and it's exciting to see the real difference literacy and learning make in people's lives."
The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is proud to support initiatives that help others improve their lives through literacy and education since its inception in 1993. In the past 21 years, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $97 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 5.8 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy or continued education.
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CONFIRMS TORNADO IN LITTLE RIVER COUNTY 10/15/14
The National Weather Service confirmed that it was an EF-2 tornado that touched down in the Ashdown area Monday morning, killing one and injuring three others.
The twister was estimated to have packed winds of 111 to 135 miles per hour and lifted a mobile home just off of Highway 32 from its foundation and carried it 50 feet before it fell back to the ground and exploded.
According to the Little River County Sheriff's office, Eddie Witham died from his injures during the storm, while his wife, Roxanne is reportedly in critical condition and has undergone surgery at Wadley Regional Medical Center in Texarkana.
The three children reportedly suffered cuts and bruises. The children ranged in age from seven to 13-years-of-age.
SEVIER COUNTY MASS FLU CLINIC POSTPONED 10/15/14
The Sevier County Mass flu clinic that was scheduled for October 22nd at the Sevier County Fairgrounds has been postponed due to a delay in the shipment of the flu vaccine's from the distributor.
Sevier County Health Unit Director Teresa Morris announced that a new flu clinic date will be announced as soon as it is rescheduled.
The Arkansas Department of Health is recommending that residents get a flu vaccine from wherever they are available, such as pharmacies and other health care providers.
The department says it is very important for pregnant women to get a flu shot and individuals wishing to get a flu vaccine at the Sevier County Health Unit should call 870-642-2535 to ensure that vaccine is available.
The flu is easily spread through coughing and sneezing and by touching a hard surface with the virus on it and then touching the nose or mouth. While the vaccine is critical to preventing the flu, it is still important to wash your hands often, avoid those who are sick, cover your cough and stay home if you are sick.
SEVIER COUNTY QUORUM COURT HEARS REPORT FROM SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS CRISIS CENTER 10/15/14
Courtney White of the Southwest Arkansas Crisis and Resource Center made a presentation to the members of the Sevier County Quorum Court Monday afternoon in an effort to secure financial backing for the center from the county.
White explained that reason for her request was because the Arkansas Department of Finance had cut the center's budget by $50,000 and was requiring the center to raise that amount to demonstrate that the center had the support of the communities that it serves.
White informed the Justices of the Peace that the center had served 180 victims since January and 70 of those victims were from De Queen and Sevier County.
White reported that the center now has a five-member board and they are meeting monthly, but they still need volunteers.
County Judge Greg Ray reported that the Quorum Court members then approved a 50 cent raise for the head librarian of the Sevier County Library system, Johnye Fisher.
Sevier County Library Board member Debbie Pickering informed the JPs that Fisher had been doing a great job for the past five years and had saved the Library Board money because she was able to do several things that the board had to pay someone to do in the past. She also reported that the library received no recommendations of changes following the 2013 audit, which had never happened before.
Judge Ray also reported that the board re-appointed Cathy Tallant to the Sevier County Rural Development Board and confirmed the appointment of Dick Tallman to the board to fill a vacancy.
The next meeting of the Sevier County Quorum Court will be Monday, November 17th at 2 p.m. in the courthouse conference room.
SINGLE PARENT SCHOLARSHIP FUND FISH FRY 10/15/14
Jamie Marshall is a field representative of the Sevier County Single Parent Scholarship Foundation and she announced that the foundation would be holding its 5th annual Fish Fry this Thursday.
Marshall said you have the choice between chicken or fish and it's only $6 a plate.
Marshall said if you are a single parent and considering going back to college that you should apply for the single parent scholarship.
For more information about the 5th annual Sevier County Single Parent Scholarship Fund Fish Fry, contact Mac McDaniel at 642-2960 or Marshall at 479-287-8213.
READING COUNTS NIGHT 10/14/14
De Queen Elementary will be hosting a Reading Counts Night, this evening from 4 to 6 p.m. in the elementary cafeteria.
Parents of third, fourth and fifth grade students, are invited to join their children and read. After, reading a book, students will be able to then take the Reading Counts test over that book and earn some extra reading points.
Parents and students will go to the elementary cafeteria, where they will read together and then students will go to the computer lab to take their test.
All students are invited to attend Reading Counts Night, but this will be an excellent opportunity for students who are behind on their reading points.
PRYOR, COTTON ROUND TWO 10/14/14
Candidates in Arkansas' heated Senate race stuck to familiar themes during their first debate that was televised last night on the Arkansas Educational Television Network.
Senator Mark Pryor accused Republican U.S. Representative Tom Cotton of being beholden to billionaire donors and Cotton cast Pryor as the president's closest ally in Arkansas.
Pryor once again accused Cotton of putting his ambition before the state, saying outside groups were investing in his bid in hopes of a payoff.
Cotton repeatedly mentioned President Barack Obama and stated the two-term senator represented the president's policies.
The two are set to face-off again this evening at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville for a debate that will be televised on KATV.
This race is one of the most expensive races in the country with the candidates and outside groups spending nearly $34 million dollars.
EDUCATIONAL REVIEW SET FOR FORMER HORATIO GRAD 10/14/14
Former Mineral Springs School District Superintendent Max Adcock appeared before the Arkansas State Board of Education on October 9th to appeal the potential revocation of his education licensure in Arkansas.
Adcock is a graduate of Horatio High School.
According to Cheryl Reinhart who is an attorney for the Arkansas Department of Education Professional Licensure Standards Board, the meeting was in reference to allegations involved under the professional licensure standards stemming from a March 2013, audit letter to the Mineral Springs district by the Arkansas Division of Legislative Audit.
Adcock appealed the board’s recommendation that his state education licensure be revoked. Adcock was represented during the appeal by attorney Randy Coleman.
According to the Arkansas Board of Education website, the hearing noted alleged violations of two standards of professional conduct.
One was a violation of Standard 3, which states an educator must honestly fulfill the reporting obligations that are associated with professional practices and a violation of Standard 4, which says an educator that is entrusted with public funds and property, including school sponsored activity funds, must honor the public’s trust with honest and responsible stewardship.
MINERAL SPRINGS MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO DRUG POSSESSION 10/14/14
A Mineral Springs man has plead guilty to drug possession charges in two cases.
49-year-old Ronald Brown was charged with possession of a controlled substance after being arrested during a traffic stop on Monday, October 6th. He also had expired tags.
When deputies made the stop, they witnessed Brown throw an object out the driver’s side window. That item was a blue bandana that had been tied together and contained a set of digital scales and a plastic bag of suspected methamphetamine.
Brown will serve a total of four years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections.
JUDGE DECLARES SIGNATURES OK IN ARKANSAS MINIMUM WAGE CASE 10/14/14
A special judge appointed by the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled that the backers of the proposal to raise the state’s minimum wages had turned in enough valid signatures for the measure to qualify for the November ballot.
In the lawsuit filed by Little Rock businessman Jackson Stephens Jr., He argued that the Secretary of State’s office erred when it gave canvassers more time to collect the 62,507 signatures that were needed to qualify for the November ballot.
In the report that was filed last Friday, Special Master John Robbins determined that Give Arkansas a Raise Now had submitted enough signatures earlier this year to qualify for an extra 30-day period to gather more names.
The report will now go to the Arkansas Supreme Court, which has ordered that briefs be submitted this week.
If the proposal is approved in November, it will increase the state’s minimum wage to $8.50 an hour by the year 2017.
ONE FATALITY DURING MONDAY MORNING STORMS 10/14/14
The National Weather Service from Shreveport is reporting that a survey team from their office will be surveying an area in Little River County where four people were injured and one person later died. The team will determine if the damage was caused by a tornado or straight line winds.
Around 6 a.m. Monday morning, a trucker reported that a tornado was on the ground in Arden community which is between Ashdown and Foreman in Little River County.
Residents in Sevier, Little River and Howard counties reported high winds and several trees and power lines down throughout the county, but mainly south and east of De Queen.
Sevier County Office of Emergency Services Director Walter Smith reported trees and limbs were across the roadways on Highway 70 East, Mount Pleasant Road, Highway 41 South and Highway 329. Other residents reported trees down on Gardner Chapel, Strawberry Hill, Beacon Hill, Piney Road, Bear Creek Cut Off, Farm to Market Road, Central, Provo and Red Bridge Road.
About 8:30, Smith reported that about 75 percent of the debris had been cleared from the highways, but trees were still down in the Ben Lomond area.
Smith stated he was pleased with the work of the county volunteers.
Earlier that morning about 2,000 SWEPCO and REA customers were without power. Crews worked throughout the morning to restore power by repairing down power lines and replacing broken poles.
The only school closing was the Horatio Pre-school.
Superintendent Lee Smith reported that there was a lot of debris and a down power line near the pre-school and the district elected not to hold classes at the pre-school. However, classes at the elementary and high school started about 30-minutes behind schedule.
VOTERS ENCOURAGED TO UNDERSTAND THE ISSUES BEFORE GOING TO THE POLLS 10/14/14
This November, voters will consider new ethics rules for state elected officials, a statewide alcohol sales and a raise in the state’s minimum wage, along with two other issues.
To help voters understand the complexity of the issues and the arguments on both sides, the Public Policy Center of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture has developed an easy to understand fact sheet on each ballot item.
The fact sheets are available for download or through the Sevier County Extension Office. The sheets are edited by a coalition of experts to ensure they are neutral presentations of the issues.
Drafts of the fact sheets are made available to proponents and opponents for comment and review before they are printed, as part of the process to ensure the information is an unbiased representation of the issues and the arguments of proponents and opponents.
Stacey McCullough is the director of the Public Policy Center and she stated these issues have far-reaching consequences and voters are being bombarded with advertisements and opinions through the media, so the center wanted to create a tool where voters could cut through the noise and understand the issues and arguments.
The issues are available for download by their popular name at uaex.edu/business-communities/voter-education/state-ballot-issues.
Issue 1 is an amendment empowering the General Assembly to provide for legislative committee review and approval of state agencies’ administrative rules and distribution.
Issue 2 is an amendment to allow more time to gather signatures on a state-wide initiative or referendum petition but only if the petition was originally filed contained at least 75 percent of the valid signatures required.
Issue 3 is an amendment regulating contributions to candidates for state or local office, barring gifts from lobbyists to certain state officials, providing for setting salaries or certain state officials and setting term limits for members of the general assembly.
Issue 4 is the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment and Issue 5 is an Act to Increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage.
As of October 1st, Issues 3, 4 and 5 were facing court challenges.
Janet Cantrell of the Sevier County Extension Office will be presenting an educational meeting on the ballot issues in the Agriculture Building on the UA Cossatot campus on Tuesday, October 21st at 5:30 p.m.
Hard copies of the fact sheets will be available at the educational meeting and everyone is encouraged to attend.
For more information, visit uaex.edu/ppc, or contact the Sevier County Extension office.
SCHOOL DISTRICTS PARTNER WITH ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH TO OFFER FREE FLU SHOTS 10/14/14
Area school districts have joined forces with the Arkansas Department of Health to offer free flu shots to students.
For instances, every student of the Ashdown School District, along with all school employees, were offered a free flu shot on October 8th under the direction of the Little River County Health Unit.
Under the direction of the Ashdown School nursing staff, over 650 shots were administered, covering almost 43 percent of the total school population.
A free flu immunization clinic was offered on the Horatio School campuses on October 9th under the direction of the Sevier County Health Unit.
According to Director Teresa Morris about 460 shots and doses of mist were administered at Horatio and another 499 shots were administered by the Howard County Health Unit on the campuses of the Dierks School District.
Morris also mentioned that a free flu clinic will be held on the campuses of the Foreman School District on Tuesday and the De Queen School District on Wednesday, but parents must sign and return the permission forms before their child can receive a free flu shot or the flu mist.
The clinics are being held because the flu is a contagious disease that spreads around the country every winter, unusually between October and May. Therefore, area school districts and county health officials are attempting to protect students from the virus and help eliminate the spread of the flu through the school districts.
Health officials report that anyone can get the flu, but the risk is highest among children and flu vaccinations are recommended every year.
LOCAL BOY SCOUTS SELLING POPCORN 10/14/14
Local Cub Scouts have started selling popcorn to help fund local scouting programs and the local Cub Scout leader mentioned that they will be selling popcorn this Sunday at Wal-Mart.
Scouts will be selling chocolate caramel crunch and white chocolate pretzels as well as a variety of popcorns from white cheddar cheese corn to unbelievable butter microwave popcorn.
Scouts will also be holding a flag retirement ceremony at the Redman Cemetery.
So, help the local scouts by purchasing some popcorn because 70 percent of the purchase will come back to the local program to help fund camping and other programs for the local scouts.
Chalice Cupboard report for september 10/13/14
The Chalice Cupboard assisted 38 families in Sevier county in September. Thanks to supporters, lst month 140 people consisting of 70 adults and 70 children and youth received food. The total monthly distribution of food weighed 755 pounds.
The bank balance on September 1, 2014 was $104.53. The balance on September 30, 2014 was $360.04. Funds received during the month totaled $695, of chick $439.39 was spent to replenish food for the pantry.
St. Brbara Catholic Church donated 85 pounds. Together, purchased and donated food, added 840 pounds to the Chalice Cupboard.
Suggested items for food donations during October and November are: peanut butter and canned fruit.
addendum: In the August report a donation of food from Chapel Hill Baptist Church was inadvertently listed as an anonymous donation. Thank you Chapel Hill, for your support.
Submitted by Grant Groves
BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH CHARITY CHECK 10/13/14
From snacks to bags, pizza boxes to pajamas, ‘tis the season when pink-ribbon products pile up on store shelves all across Arkansas for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
But one group says if the goal is to one day eradicate breast cancer, it’s important to “Think Before You Pink.” Karuna Jaggar heads up the watchdog organization Breast Cancer Action. She says while many purchases do benefit breast-cancer programs, marketers can put a pink ribbon on anything, without actually donating any money to the cause.
Jaggar recommends taking the time to find out how much money, if any, will go to breast cancer organizations, as well as which organizations receive the money, how they use it, whether or not there is a cap on a company’s donations, and whether the product contains ingredients that are known or suspected with links to cancer.
Jaggar says the “Think Before You Pink” campaign is in no way an effort to discourage contributions. Rather, she stresses the goal is to empower consumers to feel confident.
CITIZENS FOR LOCAL RIGHTS OPPOSE ISSUE 4 10/13/14
Citizens for Local Rights opposes the Alcohol Amendment, and spokesperson Brian Richardson explained that Issue 4 will remove any law concerning the sell or manufacturing on alcohol from the Arkansas law books.
Richardson stated that there isn’t a good reason for anyone to vote for Issue 4 if they live in a wet county because it will allow current dry counties to sell alcohol and therefore take revenue from their own county.
Richardson said that Arkansans need to be informed about what exactly a vote for Issue 4 will do in the state and he explained that according to a recent survey, 79 percent of Arkansans agree that counties should have the right to decide for its self whether it is a wet or dry county.
Richardson also stated that a vote against Issue 4 would not change the current state law.
Richardson said that the group wanting to see Arkansas pass Issue 4 are all out-of-state corporations.
For more information, check out the website www.citizensforlocalrights.com.
IMPORTATION OF FIREWOOD BANNED ON ARKANSAS’S WMAs AND NWRs 10/13/14
During the September meeting of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, commissioners approved an emergency ban on the importation of firewood on all Arkansas Game and Fish Commission owned wildlife management areas.
This ban affects people who camp at the state’s Wildlife Management Areas to prevent the spread of an exotic insect known as the emerald ash borer. The insects feed on and are likely to kill all of Arkansas’s ash species trees.
The insect has been discovered in six southwest Arkansas counties including Ouachita, Clark, Columbia, Dallas, Hot Spring and Nevada.
Firewood can easily transport harmful foreign pests and diseases causing other problems to our forests.
Three National Wildlife Refuges, Felsenthal, Overflow and Pond Creek, are within the quarantine zone in southwest Arkansas are also suspending firewood cutting permits for home heating purposes.
Signs of the Emerald Ash Borer include, canopy dieback beginning at the top of the tree and progressing through the year until the tree is bare; sprouts growing from the roots and truck; split bark with an S-shape gallery; D-shaped exit holes; and more woodpecker activity, creating large holes as they extract the larvae.
To report signs of the beetle to the Arkansas State Plant Board, call 501-225-1598.
MEDICARE OPEN ENROLLMENT STARTS OCTOBER 15TH 10/13/14
Each year beginning October 15th, Arkansas consumers who are eligible for Medicare have the opportunity to change existing coverage or sign up for new benefits during Medicare’s annual open enrollment period.
From October 15 to December 7th, senior citizens ages 65 and older have the option to review their current plans and make whatever changes they may choose. The federal government encourages Medicare beneficiaries to evaluate their plan options as soon as possible so that coverage can continue uninterrupted in 2015.
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued a consumer alert to inform consumers about Medicare open enrollment and encourage senior citizens to stay alert for Medicare scams.
During the open enrollment period, senior citizens can select coverage, compare plans and estimate costs at www.Medicare.gov. The federal government’s Medicare site includes a “Plan Finder” that allows beneficiaries to enter the types of prescription drugs they take and see how Medicare Part D plans measure up in cost and quality.
Beneficiaries may also call 1-800-MEDICARE, a 24-hour hotline, or in Arkansas, contact the Arkansas Senior Health Insurance Information Program at insurance.arkansas.gov/seniors or call 1-800-224-6330.
In addition, the Attorney General’s Office, AARP and other state agencies will host free “Arkansas Fighting Fraud” workshops in Fort Smith on October 20th and Bentonville on October 21st.
The Attorney General shared these tips from AARP, our “Arkansas Fighting Fraud” partner, about what to watch for when it comes to Medicare scams: despite calls and emails to the contrary, Medicare is not issuing new cards, so don’t provide personal information like Social Security numbers or account numbers in response to unsolicited calls or emails.
Just because a caller claims to be from a hospital, doctor’s office or state and local health agency doesn’t mean that he or she is and when you are in doubt hang up and dial the organization directly.
Remember, many offers of free medical supplies or complimentary checkups are ways for unscrupulous entities to gain access to personal information.
For more information about Medicare open enrollment or other consumer issues, visit the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division website, www.gotyourbackarkansas.org or call 1-800-482-8982.
MIL-WAY CELEBRATES INTERNATIONAL CREDIT UNION DAY OCTOBER 16TH 10/13/14
On October 16th, Mil-Way Federal Credit Union will join 57,000 credit unions and their 208 million members around the world to celebrate International Credit Union Day.
As a not-for-profit financial cooperatives, credit unions make life better for millions of people everyday by saving them money, providing financial education and helping them reach their goals.
Celebrate International Credit Union Day on Thursday, October 16th with Mil-Way.
On Thursday, October 16th, credit union members worldwide will celebrate International Credit Union Day and the superior service they receive at their credit unions.
If saving and receiving great, convenient financial services sounds appealing to you stop by Mil-Way Federal Credit Union and see what we can do.
MINERAL SPRINGS RESIDENT ARRESTED ON DRUG RELATED CHARGES 10/13/14
A Mineral Springs resident has been arrested on drug charges.
49-year-old Ronald Brown has been charged with possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine following a traffic stop October 6th on Garner Loop.
Howard County Sheriff’s Deputy Steven Wakefield reported that he observed a Ford pickup driving into the ditch that also had expired tags.
Deputy Wakefield reported he observed an object being thrown from the driver’s side window before the vehicle came to a stop. Wakefield recovered a blue bandana that had been tied together. It contained a set of digital scales, a clear bag of suspected methamphetamine and a piece of foil that contained suspected meth.
Howard County Sheriff Butch Morris reported that when Brown was being booked into the jail that another bag of suspected methamphetamine was found by a jailor.
ASHDOWN STUDENTS RECEIVE FLU VACCINATIONS 10/13/14
All students on every campus of the Ashdown School District, along with all school employees, were offered flu immunizations on Oct. 8, made possible through the Arkansas Department of Health and under the direction of the Little River County Health Unit. Coordinated by the school nursing staff, over 650 immunizations were administered, covering almost 43 percent of the total school population.
Since influenza ("flu") is a contagious disease that spreads around the United States every winter, usually between October and May, the school district and county health officials recognize the importance of protecting children from this virus and its spread. Anyone can get the flu, but the risk is highest among children. Flu vaccination is recommended every year, and the Ashdown School District has been making this Flu Immunization Clinic available for several years now, with consent of parents.
DE QUEEN CHEERLEADERS HOLDING FUNDRAISERS 10/10/14
Tonight, the De Queen High School cheerleaders will be selling tickets for a 50/50 drawing to raise funds to help pay for their expenses.
Tickets may be purchased from any De Queen High School cheerleader or you may contact their sponsor, Cheryl Floyd. The winning ticket will be drawn during the third quarter of tonight's game and you must be present to win.
The cheerleaders have also declared a Pink Out for Friday, October 31st during the Leopard football game against the Magnolia Panthers.
Beginning tonight, the cheerleaders will be selling "Think Pink; Bleed Black and Gold" t-shirts for $15 each. Orders will also be taken until Monday, October 20th.
For more information, contact Floyd by calling the De Queen Middle School at 642-2428.
TAX DEADLINE IS OCTOBER 15TH 10/10/14
This is a friendly reminder that all personal property and real estate taxes in Sevier County must be paid on or before October 15th, in order to avoid a penalty.
The Sevier County Collector's office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., however, they are closed from 1 to 2 for lunch. The office will also be open this Saturday from 10 to 2.
Residents are asked to please bring their tax statement that they received from Bennie Simmons, the Sevier County Sheriff and Collector.
After October 15th, a 10 percent penalty plus interest will be assessed to your personal property and real estate taxes.
For more information, contact the Collectors office at 642-2127.
SEARCHERS IN LITTLE RIVER COUNTY UNCOVERS SHOES AND CLOTHING 10/10/14
A spokesperson from the Little River County Sheriff's office reported that searchers have discovered additional bones, pieces of clothing and shoes in a field near the home where a 6-year-old girl discovered a skull earlier this week.
Authorities are searching an area off Little River County Road 251 near Ogden after a child discovered the skull next to a tree while she was waiting on the school bus Tuesday morning.
The little girl thought the skull was part of some Halloween decorations and took it home to show her parents. They then contacted the Little River County Sheriff's office.
Members of the Arkansas State Police and the Office of Emergency Management have joined the search, which resulted in the discovery of an arm bone, back bone, torso and a leg bone.
The spokesperson also stated that they had found a pair of blue jeans and a pair of athletic shoes.
According to the Texarkana Gazette's Jim Williamson, Little River County Sheriff Gary Gergory suspects the bones are that of Zachary Wagner who has been missing since February.
Wagner is a suspect in an arson case involving a log truck, but he has not been seen since that incident.
Wagner had been on parole from the Arkansas Department of Corrections after serving time for residential burglary and theft, so Wagner's DNA is on file with the state.
The bones have been sent to the Arkansas Crime Lab for identification.
SEVIER COUNTY EXTENSION HOME MAKERS CLUB HOLDING FUNDRAISER 10/10/14
The Sevier County Extension Home Makers Club is raising funds to continue the community services that it provides in the area.
In the past, the Home Maker Clubs have donated magazines to different area businesses and offices so patrons would have reading material while waiting. They have also donated food to the backpack programs at the De Queen Elementary School, as well as, make items for local hospitals, the Arkansas Children's Hospital and local nursing homes. They have also provided educational classes and training demonstrations.
This year, they will have a booth at the annual Hoo Rah Days where they will be selling several homemade items.
They will be selling mesh wreaths, jalapeno jelly, black berry jam, spirit bracelets in De Queen Leopards colors, baked goods, scarves, children's hair bows, a wooden cutting board, mug rugs, hankies, a tic tac tow game that was made from wood and painted stones, small quilts, potted plants, children's items and more.
So stop by the Sevier County Extension Home Makers Club booth and help them continue their projects in our community.
If you have any questions or if you would like to join the EHC, contact Janet Cantrell at 870-584-3013.
SCHOLARSHIP FOUNDATION BANQUET 10/10/14
ROSS VISITS DE QUEEN ON JOBS FIRST TOUR 10/10/14
Wednesday afternoon, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Ross stopped in De Queen on his statewide Jobs First Tour.
Ross discussed the differences between himself and his opponent Asa Hutchinson following Tuesday night’s debate.
Ross stated that he was traveling to every corner of the state on his Jobs First Tour to spread his positive vision for Arkansas.
Ross stated that he felt Governor Mike Beebe had been great for the state and he plans to build upon the foundation that Beebe has laid during his term as governor.
Tuesday, Ross made stops in Texarkana, Ashdown, De Queen, Nashville and Hope.
DE QUEEN DISTRICT STATUS DOES REFLECT TOTAL PICTURE 10/9/14
Members of the De Queen Board of Education had a full agenda Tuesday night that included expulsion hearings and a review of the district's status.
Board members conducted five expulsion hearings and voted to accept the administrator’s recommendations to expel the five students.
Superintendent Bruce Hill then informed the board that the district's expenses were down and revenue was up and the district’s finances looked better than they have in years.
Board members voted to purchase three trailers. The trailers are for the Agri department, the band and the athletic department.
Hill recommended the board approved the transfer of three students from the Horatio School District to the De Queen School District and two students from De Queen to Horatio. Hill stated the district currently has 11 fewer students this year than they did last year during this time last year.
Hill also reported that the leaking roofs had been repaired, but Doug Arnold will be visiting the junior high campus to re-evaluate the floor.
Assistant Superintendent Paul Shelton then reported that the district had received a needs improvement status from the state but several campuses rank in the top five in the Southwest region.
Shelton stated every school in the district is scoring higher then the state and regional average, but because the district has performed so well on test the district isn't growing as much as the state would like.
The board also presented Victor Rojas and Jose Luna, two former De Queen students, with Friends of the District awards for volunteering at the Primary School.
The board's next meeting will be November 3rd at 5:30 p.m. in the administration building.
TRIAL SET FOR ARKANSAS MAN IN FATAL SHOOTINGS 10/9/14
The trial of an Arkansas man who has been accused of fatally shooting his estranged wife, mother-in-law and niece has been set for November in the Pike County Circuit Court.
Timothy Hill of Delight has been charged with capital murder in the deaths.
According to an affidavit, Hill told investigators that his wife, Dana, was coming to retrieve his two boys from a home near Murfreesboro because they were going through a divorce.
The affidavit states that while Dana was inside of the home, Hill went outside to a car his mother-in-law and niece were in and opened fire with his rifle, killing them.
Police say Hill was angry with his mother-in-law because he believed she was trying to turn his two boys against him.
DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL AMENDS LAND USE BOOK 10/9/14
Tuesday night during a regular meeting of the De Queen City Council, aldermen passed an ordinance that amends the city's setback requirements of corner lots.
Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy stated the change will reduce the setback to 40 feet from the center of the street.
McKelvy reported that the city's raw water line was complete, but the water plant was struck by lightening Monday morning and fried a CPU unit.
Aldermen started working on the 2015 budget Tuesday night and Mayor McKelvy invited representatives from organizations that currently have contract of services with the city to make a presentation to the aldermen.
McKelvy also said aldermen did not lift the moratorium on food trucks and trailers within the city limits.
The next meeting of the De Queen City Council is scheduled for Tuesday, October 21st at 5:30 p.m. in the council room of the De Queen City Hall.
ARKANSAS LEMON LAW PROTECTS CAR BUYERS 10/9/14
When considering a vehicle purchase, consumers may choose to invest in a new car in hopes that a new vehicle may be more reliable than a used one.
Generally, newer cars cost substantially less to maintain and most repairs are covered by a manufacturer’s warranty, but in rare circumstances, a new car may be considered a lemon and require repeated service and repairs. And, Arkansas law protects consumers in the event that a new vehicle is a lemon.
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued a consumer alert to inform Arkansas consumers about the state’s New Motor Vehicle Quality Assurance Act, also known as the Arkansas Lemon Law.
Asserting a claim under the lemon law should be considered a last resort for consumers if a new vehicle experiences multiple problems. Only vehicles that are under two years old or have fewer than 24,000 miles are subject to the Lemon Law provisions. The two-year or 24,000 mile stipulation still applies even if ownership is transferred during that period.
However, the law does not automatically give car buyers a right to a refund or a new vehicle. New cars are sold with a manufacturer provided warranty. Defects are to be repaired by the manufacturer’s authorized dealer during the term of the warranty.
The vehicle may be considered a lemon if there have been multiple, unsuccessful attempts to fix a problem that impairs the use, value or safety of the vehicle.
The Attorney General’s Consumer Guide to the Arkansas Lemon Law contains detailed information about the law and offers tips for consumers who believe their vehicles may be lemons. The guide is available at GotYourBackArkansas.org.
Automobile dealers are also required to provide a copy of the Lemon Law guide to every new vehicle owner.
For more information, visit GotYourBackArkansas.org or call 1-800-482-8982.
GIRL FINDS HUMAN SKULL IN LITTLE RIVER COUNTY 10/8/14
Deputies in Little River County are investigating a possible homicide after a 6-year-old girl found a human skull near her home in Ogden.
Investigators say the girl found the skull under a tree around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday morning as she was on her way to catch the school bus. Deputies say the girl through the skull was part of some Halloween decorations and picked it up and brought it home to her parents.
The girl's parents then contacted the local authorities.
Little River County investigators say they found more pieces of human remains later Tuesday afternoon and they have taped off a wooded area off County Road 251 in Ogden.
According to the Little River County Sheriff's office, it is unclear if these remains are related to the skull that was discovered Tuesday morning. Sheriff Gary Gregory reported that it's too early to even determine if the skull is that of a male or female.
The skull was sent to the Arkansas Crime Lab for additional testing, but the Little River County Sheriff's office and the Arkansas State Police are investigating the finding as a possible homicide.
ARKANSAS' 10 NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGES PROHIBIT ALL IMPORTED FIREWOOD 10/8/14
A recent finding by the Arkansas State Plant Board and the United States Department of Agriculture indicates that the Emerald Ash Borer has been found in several Arkansas counties.
Precautionary measurers are now underway to prevent the spread of the beetle throughout the state including a 25-county quarantine zone in southern and southwest Arkansas and three of the 10 National Wildlife Refuges in Arkansas are located within the quarantine zone.
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, firewood will no longer be allowed to be imported on any National Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas until further notice.
Felsenthal, Overflow and Pond Creek will also suspend firewood cutting permits for home heating purposes. In refuges that allow camping, individuals may collect downed trees, logs and limbs that are no more than 100 feet from roads and trails that are open to motorized vehicles. It is also prohibited to damage a standing tree and all debris must be removed from the road, shoulders and ditches.
BIKE IN MY DRIVEWAY 10/8/14
Saturday morning about 3 a.m. Patrolman First Class Levi Browning of the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to 207 Crosstrails Road after someone reported a suspicious motorcycle in their driveway.
Browning was joined by Patrolman Bucky Sawyer and they interviewed the homeowner and the owner of the motorcycle.
The homeowner reported that when he got home, he discovered a yellow motorcycle sitting on the corner of his driveway.
The owner of the bike was identified as 31-year-old Arturo Sanchez.
Sanchez stated he did not want to make a lot of noise in the trailer park, so he parked his bike across the street and walked to a friend’s house.
Patrolman Sawyer suspected Sanchez had been drinking and administered a breath test, which resulted in a reading of .102. He was then placed into custody and citied for public intoxication.
BLUEGRASS SHOW IN HOPE 10/8/14
The Hope/Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce will be holding its fall Bluegrass Show on Saturday, November 1st from noon to 6 p.m. at the Fair Park Community Center in Hope.
The program is free and will feature three different groups.
Bill Grant of Hugo, Oklahoma will be returning by popular demand. Grant is a Bluegrass pioneer and staged the first Bluegrass festival west of the Mississippi River in Hugo. He has toured the world and has recorded scores of popular albums and has preformed at several events in Hope and Washington, Arkansas.
The Hartley Family of Arkadelphia will also be returning for the program. The family group has been appearing at the Hope festivals for several years and has proven to be a crowd favorite.
The Hempstead County Melody Boys from Hope will kick off both the early show and the afternoon show.
Admission is free, but the chamber will be operating a concession stand with hamburgers, colas, popcorn, Moon Pies and other snacks.
The program will be held at the Fair Park Community Center, which is located in the fair park. For more information, call 870-777-3640 or visit their website, hopemelonfest.com.
CRUISING, SMOKING AND DRINKING ON A SUNDAY MORNING 10/8/14
Sunday morning about 2 a.m., Patrolman First Class Levi Browning of the De Queen Police Department observed a silver Toyota Camry drive back and forth on Crosstrails Road several times.
After getting behind the vehicle on Highway 71 North, the driver of the car slammed on his brakes and started driving very slow.
Patrolman Browning stopped the vehicle and noticed the smell of both alcohol and marijuana coming from the car.
While Browning was searching the vehicle, an off-duty parole and probation officer informed him that one of the occupants tossed something into a heavily wooded area next to the car.
When Browning asked if he had tossed something, the suspect, 18-year-old Gustavo Martinez admitted that he tossed a marijuana cigarette and was placed into custody.
The driver, 18-year-old Alejandro Hernandez, was also taking into custody after he blew .77 on a portable breath test.
Both men were charged and cited with minor in possession of alcohol and Martinez was charged with obstruction of government operations.
HARVEST TEXARKANA RECEIVES $60,000 GRANT FROM WAL-MART 10/8/14
Thanks to the support of area communities, Harvest Texarkana finished in the top 50 of Wal-Mart's Fight Hunger Spark Change initiative, and therefore, Harvest Texarkana will receive a $60,000 dollar grant with $15,000 being divided among five of its partner agencies.
Harvest Texarkana was 41st out of 200 Feeding America food banks.
Harvest Texarkana officials say they will use the money to add refrigeration and freezer space, which is a project that is expected to cost between $100,000 and 125,000.
Officials explained that by adding cold space, they will be allow them to store more fresh produce in addition to other frozen products.
Harvest Texarkana's partner agencies that will receive some grant money includes the Randy Sims' Outreach Shelter, St. Edwards Catholic Outreach, Flower Acres Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas, New View Church of Christ in Nashville and First Baptist Church in Redwater, Texas.
HELPING HANDS FROM HORATIO FIRST ASSEMBLY OF GOD 10/8/14
According to the pastor of the Horatio First Assembly of God Church, John Gutierres, the Working Hands Men's Ministry is about to start a series of projects around the Horatio community to help seniors remain in their homes.
Gutierres explained that the men of his church felt it was their ministry to do the physical labor for those who were not able to do it themselves.
Gutierres stated their first project was a roof replacement job and they are looking for donations of tar paper, nails, insulation and other roofing supplies.
Gutierres said the goal of the church is to be the hands and feet of God in the community Horatio.
For more information, contact the church.
ROJAS NAMED TO COMMUNITY COALITION 10/8/14
Victor Rojas, Jr. of De Queen was recently named to the Arkansas United Community Coalition Board of Directors.
The coalition is an immigrants’ right nonprofit organization that was founded in 2010 to bring together Arkansas-based organizations and individuals, across sectors, with the mission to promote meaningful immigrant integration at the local and state levels, as well as, supporting immigrants and other multicultural communities to be agents of positive change in Arkansas.
In addition to this position, Rojas serves on the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice Board.
Rojas was appointed to the juvenile justice board in January of 2014 by Governor Mike Beebe.
SAVE AR TERM LIMITS TROJAN HORSE 10/8/14
Monday afternoon, the Arkansas Term Limits organization brought their Trojan Horse display to De Queen to campaign against Issue 3 on the November ballot.
Members of the Little River Tea Party Patriots explained the ballot title states “The Arkansas elected official ethics, transparency and financial reform amendment of 2014.” However, they reported the bill also establishes a seven-member independent citizen’s commission to set salaries for the members of the General Assembly, elected Constitutional Officers of the Executive Department, Justices and Judges.
The citizens commission will be made up of two members appointed by the Governor; two members appointed by the President Pro Tem of the Senate; two members appointed by the Speaker of the House and one member that’s appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
Libertarian candidate Marc Rosson pointed out that the ethics bill also contains a provision for term limits, which he pointed out was approved by Arkansas voters in since 1992 when 60 percent of the state approved them and then voted to keep term limits in 2004.
COTTON TO HOST CONCERT WITH COUNTRY SUPER STAR COLLIN RAYE 10/7/14
U.S. Senate candidate Tom Cotton announced last Friday that his campaign will be hosting a free concert featuring county music star and Arkansas native Collin Raye.
The concert will take place October 12th at the Arkansas Convention Center in Texarkana and Cotton is inviting all Arkansas residents to attend the concert free of charge.
Raye is a native of De Queen and has had a successful career as one of country music’s true hit makers. He has 24 top-ten records, 16 number one hits, and is a ten time male vocalist of the year nominee.
Cotton stated that he was excited to put on a great show for the people of Southwest Arkansas with Raye. He said Raye is a part of a great Arkansas tradition of entertainers and artists and he was excited to continue using new and creative ways to spread his conservative message.
This is the second country concert that Cotton has sponsored this year. Back in July, Cotton hosted a concert in El Dorado with country music star Jo Dee Messina.
DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL TO CONSIDER AMENDING SIDE YARD SETBACKS ON CORNER LOTS 10/7/14
Tonight, aldermen of the De Queen City Council will consider passing an ordinance that would amend the side yard setback requirements on corner lots if the Planning Commission votes to make the recommendation.
Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy reported that the city had marked off the proposed setbacks on three lots so aldermen and homeowners can see how the proposed change looks.
Those lots are located at Fourth and Wallace, Fourth and Altena and Fifth and DeQuincey.
Aldermen will also start discussing the 2015 budget and hear a request from the De Queen Parks and Recreation Department for a field groomer.
The meeting will be held in the council room of the De Queen City Hall at 5:30 p.m.
Members of the De Queen Board of Education will also be meeting tonight at 5 p.m. in the district's administration building.
Board members will elect officers and consider a proposal to purchase several trailers for different district organizations.
Following the regular scheduled board meeting, the public is invited to attend the district's annual report, which will cover all of the programs of the district.
HARVEST CARNIVAL AT BEACON HILL 10/7/14
Beacon Hill Seventh Day Adventist Junior Academy will be hosting its annual Harvest Carnival on Saturday, October 18th and Carla Wolcott stated the church is located on 1446 Red Bridge Road.
Wolcott said they've even added a few things to this year's carnival including bounce houses and a fire truck will be on display.
Wolcott said the cost is 50 cents per game, but everyone will be a winner.
For more information, contact Wolcott at 784-1899.
HOMECOMING WEEK AT DHS 10/7/14
The De Queen High School Student Council announced October 6th through October 10th as Homecoming Week and will be holding homecoming activities through the week to show their Leopard Pride.
Student Council members; Jeffery Davis, Lucee Lugo, Harmoney Rich and Shayde Kitchens, announced the themes for each day as Wear Pink on Wednesday, wear your class colors on Thursday; seniors will wear blue, juniors will wear red and sophomores will wear purple; and everyone should wear black and gold or dress up on Friday.
Kitchens also asked all businesses and individuals to decorate their store and vehicle windows.
Friday's activities will include the Homecoming Parade at 1:30 p.m. which is themed "Terminate the Trojans."
The parade will move downtown and then arrive at the high school at about 2 p.m. and will be followed by Homecoming pep rally at 2:30 in the De Queen High School Auditorium.
Friday night, the Homecoming ceremonies will begin at 6:30 at Leopard Stadium followed by the game between the De Queen Leopards and the Hot Springs Trojans.
This year's Homecoming Court includes: Lila Martin as the crown bearer and Micah Vance as the football bearer.
The Senior Maids are Montie Hennard, Miriam Dominguez, Justyce Brown, Kenzie Tatta, Mallory Miller, Paige Morphew, Rachel Lipsey, Alexandra Martinez, Marjle (Marley) McClelland, Ashleigh Zeigler and Margaret Parker.
The Junior Maids are Krishan Patel and Kylie Bowens and the Sophomore Maids are Erika Zamora and Martha Mosqueda.
Lucee Lugo is the 2014 Homecoming Queen.
NATIONAL 4-H WEEK 10/7/14
More than six-million young people across the country will celebrate National 4-H Week this week, which is an annual celebration of 4-H during the first full week of October.
Dawn Leeper is the 4-H Program Assistant with the Sevier County Extension Service and she explained this week will showcase not only Sevier County's livestock showing teams, but all nine clubs and different activities.
Leeper stated there are about 11 to 13 4-H members that compete on state and national level through the shooting sports program.
Research has proven that participation in 4-H has a significant impact on young people. A recent study revealed that 4-H members are four times more likely to contribute to their communities, are two more likely to pursue healthy behaviors and two times more likely to engage in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math programs during their out-of-school time.
Many 4-H groups will start that community service projects this week, and Leeper explained that this year's Sevier County 4-H service project is a food drive that will benefit the Methodist Church in Horatio and the Chalice Cupboard.
Leeper also stated that Sevier County residents can help support the local 4-H program by purchasing a Paper Clover at Tractor's Supply starting this Wednesday, October 8th through October 19th.
4-H is the nation's largest youth development and empowerment organization and helps cultivate confident kids who tackle the issues that matter most in their communities.
PRIVATE LAND ANTERLESS DEER HUNT OPENS OCTOBER 11TH 10/7/14
A five-day hunt for antlerless deer begins on Saturday, October 11th for much of Arkansas.
The hunt is only for private land and not for federal or state lands like wildlife management areas, wildlife refuges and national forests. Land that is leased from timber companies is considered private land.
The October 11-15 hunt is open over much of the state. The deer zones that are open for the hunt include 1, 1A, 2, 3, 6, 6A, 8, 8A, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 16A and 17. This includes Sevier, Little River, Howard, Miller, Polk, Pike counties.
The only zones are will be closed are 4, 4A, 4B, 5, 5A, 5B, 7 and 11 in the eastern part of the state and portions of Polk county north to Sebastian and Franklin counties.
The term antlerless means doe deer and button or nubbin bucks, which are male deer with antlers that have not grown through the skin. Many times, hunters cannot see the bumps on a deer’s head where antlers will eventually sprout. Button bucks are legal to take and they must be checked as bucks and not as does. Bucks with antlers longer than two-inches are not legal to take in the antlerless hunt and hunters are encouraged to be certain of their target to ensure no bucks are accidentally harvested during the antlerless only hunt.
During the five-day antlerless hunt, modern guns, archery and muzzle-loaders can be used. Hunter orange must be worn by persons using any type of weapon.
Deer must be checked within 24-hours by phone by calling 1-866-305-0808, by smart phone applications or online at agfc.com.
Deer taken during this hunt will count toward a hunter’s season limit, including zone limits and the statewide six-deer limit. A hunter reaching the limit in one zone can move to another zone and take more deer until reaching the total of six.
Hunting hours are the traditional 30-minutes before sunrise to 30-minutes after sunset.
NEED FOR 911 ADDRESSES 10/6/14
Director of Emergency Management in Sevier County, Walter Smith, mentioned this week that residents need to place their 911 addresses on their mailboxes and homes to help emergency services providers.
Smith said state officials will be in the county for two days this week to verify the 911 addresses of 2,500 hot spots throughout the county.
Smith also requested that county residents put their 911 addresses on their mailboxes and homes with 3-inch numbers.
Home health officials agree that by clearing placing 911 numbers on homes and mailboxes, it would improve their service to their clients in rural areas.
Smith also mentioned that there is an ordinance that requires all homes to have a 911 address visible on homes.
Smith and other county officials will be working next week to locate the hot spots to verify the addresses and then they work to complete the county mapping project.
PRECAUTIONARY BOIL WATER NOTICE FOR LITTLE RIVER COUNTY RDA 10/6/14
The Department of Health has confirmed a boil water notice that was issued by Carla Settlemoir for the entire system of the Little River County RDA Water, including the cities of Foreman and Winthrop.
The order was issued as a precautionary measure because of the possibility that contaminated water may have entered the distribution system as a result of a partial loss in normal system pressure.
Under the boil water order, all affected customers must be advised that the water may be unsafe for human consumption and water that is used for drinking or for food preparation must be boiled briskly for one minute prior to use.
All ice cubes should be discarded and only boiled water be used for making of ice.
This precautionary boil water notice will remain in effect until the problem has been corrected, an adequate disinfectant level is established throughout the distribution system and a bacteriological survey shows that the water is safe to drink.
The boil water order was due to a loss of pressure that resulted from the loss of power at the water treatment plant.
PRECAUTIONARY BOIL WATER NOTICE FOR NORTH HOWARD COUNTY RURAL WATER ASSOCIATION 10/6/14
The Department of Health has confirmed a boil water notice that was issued by Daniel Faulkner for the entire system of the North Howard County Rural Water Association, including the cities of Umpire and Athens
The order was issued as a precautionary measure because of the possibility that contaminated water may have entered the distribution system as a result of a partial loss in normal system pressure.
Under the boil water order, all affected customers must be advised that the water may be unsafe for human consumption and water that is used for drinking or for food preparation must be boiled briskly for one minute prior to use.
All ice cubes should be discarded and only boiled water should be used for making of ice.
This precautionary boil water notice will remain in effect until the problem has been corrected, an adequate disinfectant level is established throughout the distribution system and a bacteriological survey shows that the water is safe to drink.
The boil water order was due to a loss of pressure that resulted from water main break.
PARENTS INVITED TO ASHDOWN SCHOOLS' ANNUAL TITLE I MEETING 10/06/14
The 2014-15 Annual Title I Meeting for parents of students who attend Margaret Daniel Primary School, C. D. Franks Elementary School, and L. F. Henderson Intermediate School in Ashdown will be held on Monday, Oct. 13, at 6:00 p.m. in the Ashdown High School auditorium.
The meeting will be directed by Ashdown Schools Superintendent Jason Sanders, along with MDP Principal Kay York, CDF Principal Teresa Wake, and LFH Principal Keith Fricks, and will provide specific information to parents of students receiving Title I services.
Agenda items will include description of the school's curriculum, forms of academic assessment used to measure student progress, and proficiency level that students are expected to meet. Other agenda items to be covered are Parents' Right to Know, Annual Report Card, Individual Student Assessment Reports, Progress Review, and Written State Complaint Procedure.
Parents will be informed about rights of disabled parents, the school's Parental Involvement Plan, and the School-Parent Compact.
All parents of the district's three Title I schools (Margaret Daniel Primary, C. D. Franks Elementary, and L. F. Henderson Intermediate) are encouraged to attend this informative meeting.
ACCIDENT CLAIMS LIFE THURSDAY NIGHT 10/3/14
An accident that occurred during the thunderstorm Thursday night claimed the life of a 27-year-old female resident of De Queen.
According to the Arkansas State Police, 38-year-old Brad Lovell was driving west on Highway 24, just West of Horatio, when the vehicle swerved off the right hand shoulder and struck a concrete culvert, which caused the vehicle to overturn.
Amber Sharp was ejected from the 2003 Mazda MPV and was pronounced dead at the scene by Sevier County Coroner Rusty Williams at about 9 p.m.
Lovell was transported to the De Queen Regional Medical Center.
COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK PROGRAMS 10/3/14
This weekend at the Cossatot River State Park, guests will have the opportunity to take a guided kayak tour on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.
The adventure will start with some classroom instructions and the park will provide the kayaks, paddles and life jackets.
The cost of the tour is $30.94 and includes shuttle transportation and interpretive guide service.
Sunday afternoon, guests can help feed the park critters from 2 to 3 p.m.
For more information about the programs at the Cossatot River State Park, visit our website at kdqn.net or call 870-385-2201.
FOREMAN DISTRICT ESTABLISHES A PREVENTION PROGRAM 10/3/14
During the September meeting of the Foreman Board of Education, Superintendent George Kennedy informed the board that the district had started a new program to help students who needed additional credits for graduation.
Kennedy reported the Community Alternative Prevention Program would provide students with tutoring and the opportunity to recover credits that were needed for graduation.
He stated the classes would be supervised by retired teachers every Monday through Friday from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the high school.
Kennedy also introduced Foreman students who were winners at the Little River County and Four States Fair.
At the Little River County Fair, Rebecca Webb had the grand champion Brahma bull, Marina Clayton had the reserve champion market hog, Carlinda Shelton won the grand shire hog showmanship award, Raylie Merrell won the grand intermediate goat showmanship award and Rebecca Webb showed the supreme heifer.
At the Four States Fair, Carlinda Shelton won first place in the pure breed Hampshire hog division, Gabriel Leon won first place in the cross breed hog division, Marina Clayton took second place in the pure breed Yorkshire hog division, Brailee Fondren won fourth place in the pure breed Hampshire hog division, Derek Magby took fifth place in the pure breed Hampshire hog division and Kailor Wright was sixth place in the market goat division.
Board members were also informed that High School Principal Kim Cody and Christy Whisenhunt had accepted an award on behalf of the district from AdvancED for 50 years of meeting the requirements that were established by the AdvancED Accreditation Commission.
GENE LEATHERS JR. BENEFIT 10/3/14
Friends and family will be hosting a benefit for Gene Leathers, Jr. on Saturday, October 11th at the Lockesburg Volunteer Fire Department.
Tracey Steward Leathers is a wielder and has lived most of his life in the Lockesburg area. He stated that Leathers had been diagnosed with stage four cancer and was undergoing treatment in Texarkana.
Steward stated volunteers will be preparing a dinner, holding a auction and hosting a concert.
Steward said they are also selling raffles tickets to help raise funds for Leathers' medical expenses. They are selling tickets for a Browning rifle and a $500 Wal-Mart gift card.
Steward complimented the residents of Lockesburg for their willingness to help those in need and he thanked the members of the Lockesburg Volunteer Fire Department and the City of Lockesburg.
For more information, call 479-216-6530 or 870-784-4712.
HOO RAH DAYS PAGEANT 10/3/14
The 2014 Hoo Rah Days will be Friday, October 10th and Saturday, October 12th, but the 12th Annual Hoo Rah Days Beauty Pageant is this Saturday at 11 a.m. in the De Queen High School Auditorium.
Jackie Gonzalez informed KDQN this week that it’s not too late to register for the pageant.
Gonzalez stated there are nine different age divisions and there will crowns awarded in all nine categories, plus Grand Champion crowns including a Grand Supreme crown.
Gonzalez also said the winners will introduced and participate in the walking parade on Saturday morning during the Hoo Rah Days.
Gonzalez said if you are interested in participating in the pageant you can pick up a registration form at the KDQN studios, on the stations website, KDQN.net, and on at the museum. She said the forms were in a desk on the porch of the museum.
For more information, contact Gonzalez at 870-279-1787.
HORATIO STUDENT MINISTRY HOLDING FUNDRAISER TONIGHT 10/4/14
The Driven Student Ministries of the Horatio First Assembly of God Church will be holding its annual Homecoming tailgate party in the J.L. Walker fellowship hall tonight.
The fellowship hall is across the street from the Horatio football field and everyone is invited to join the students beginning at 5 p.m. for a burger meal deal.
The meal will consist of a burger, chips and a drink and will cost just $5 dollars.
All proceeds from the tailgate party will go to the "Speed The Light" missions program.
ROSS FOCUSING ON SENIORS AND VETERANS 10/3/14
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Ross announced he believes that our senior citizens and veterans should be cared for and honored for their service to our state and he plans to propose a senior bill of rights.
Ross also plans to honor the quarter of a million veterans that call Arkansas home by letting them know, they matter.
Ross stated he wants to make Arkansas a place where senior citizens and veterans feel at home.
SEVIER COUNTY FLU CLINIC SET FOR OCTOBER 22 10/3/14
Sevier County Judge Greg Ray announced Thursday morning the date for the 2014 Sevier County Mass Flu Clinic at the Sevier County Fairgrounds on Wednesday, October 22nd.
All participates are asked to pick up a consent form and have it filled out before you arrive at the fairgrounds for your shot.
Judge Ray recommended residents pick up the consent forms at the following locations at the KDQN studios or copy them from the stations website, KDQN.net, all area banks, Sevier County Health Unit or the courthouse.
Officials from the Sevier County Health Unit announced that if you have insurance, they will ask your insurance company to pay for the cost of giving the vaccine, but if you do not have insurance or if your insurance does not pay for flu shots, there will be no cost to you.
ARKANSAS GO PINK FOR THE CURE DAY IS FRIDAY 10/2/14
Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe has declared this Friday, October 3rd as Arkansas Go Pink for the Cure Day.
The Susan G. Komen organization encourages you to wear the color pink in support of the fight against breast cancer. The exact cause of this disease is unknown, and at this time, there is no cure.
Breast cancer affects women and men of all ages and races with about 1.3 million people diagnosed each year. But, thanks to heightened awareness, early detection through screening and improved treatment methods, people have a greater chance of survival than ever before.
To make a donation or to find out more information about breast cancer, visit komenarkansas.org website.
STATE SUPREME COURT TO TAKE UP VOTER ID CASE 10/2/14
The Arkansas Supreme Court will take up a case this week that could decide if voters will be required to show a photo ID at the polls during the November election.
Oral arguments will be heard on Thursday.
Legislators approved the voter ID law last year, overriding a veto by Governor Mike Beebe.
At the time, Beebe called the proposal an expensive solution in search of a problem.
Under the law, which took effect January 1st, voters who don't show a photo ID are only allowed to cast a provisional ballot, which is only counted if they provide an ID to county election officials or sign an affidavit stating that they have an objection to being photographed by noon on Monday, following the election.
The law also requires Arkansas to provide free photo IDs to voters who do not have one.
Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox ruled in May that the new law violated the state constitution.
DRUNK DRIVER HITS TRAILER 10/2/14
A Foreman resident was charged with driving while intoxicated after he lost control of his vehicle and hit a trailer that was sitting on the side of the road.
21-year-old Davis Scott allegedly lost control of his vehicle and struck a trailer that was sitting along the side of Little River County Road 28.
Little River County Sheriff's Deputy Brandon Tatum reported that he discovered a green SUV that appeared to have been traveling south before it ran off the road and struck the trailer.
Scott reportedly told Deputy Tatum that the power steering had gone out on his vehicle and he lost control.
Deputy Tatum reported that he suspected Scott had been drinking and had Scott take a field sobriety test. Scott was then taken to the Ashdown Police Department and given a breathalyzer test and arrested for DWI and careless and prohibited driving.
FOREMAN STUDENT NATIONAL MERIT SCHOLARSHIP SEMIFINALIST 10/2/14
Foreman High School senior Jessie Smith has been named a 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalist.
The National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced that approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 60th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
Smith will now have the opportunity to compete for one of 7,600 National Merit Scholarships that are worth about $33 million dollars that will be awarded this spring.
To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, Smith had to fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing and more than half of the finalist will win a National Merit Scholarship, giving them the title Merit Scholar.
Smith is the daughter of Clay and Jamie Smith. She has attended the Foreman School District, her entire school career and she plans to major in journalism in college.
FOUR DEFENDANTS PLEA GUILTY IN SEVIER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT 10/2/14
Wednesday morning, potential jurors were sent home after four defendants changed their pleas to guity in the Sevier County Circuit Court before Circuit Judge Tom Cooper.
Teddy Lee Palmer plead guilty to two counts and was sentenced to 12 years with 6 years suspended and a restitution fine of $5,058.24.
Palmer acknowledged that he was guilty of criminal mischief because he damaged the vehicle of the victims by backing into their vehicle a couple of times and pushing it into the ditch in 2012.
Palmer then followed the victims to their home and threatened them with an 8-inch knife.
Justinano Santiago plead guilty to aggravated assault and received a sentence of one-year probation and a $2,000 fine.
Santiago admitted that on New Year's Eve, 2013, he fired a firearm off within the city limits of De Queen. Prosecuting Attorney Bryan Chesshir explained that Santiago was shooting into the ground and bullets were ricocheting and some of the bullets went into the home of a neighbor.
Chesshir stated a total of 80 rounds were fired the night of New Year's Eve and New Years Day.
Trisha Bruce plead guilty to a reduced charge of theft of property and was sentenced to time served and a $500 dollar fine after admitting that she took a relative's vehicle for a joy ride in July of this year.
Bradley Wolcott also plead guilty to reduced charge of possession of a controlled substance and was sentenced to one-year in the county jail and a $500 dollar fine.
Charges were dismissed against Bryan Walling and David Santiago.
LADY OUTLAWS POWDER PUFF TOURNAMENT 10/2/14
Dierks High School will be hosting its annual powder puff football tournament on Tuesday, October 7th at 5:30 p.m. at the Dierks High School Football field.
Teams representing the freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors will compete in a four team tournament to determine the school champions. Members of the Dierks varsity football team will serve as team coaches.
The freshman girls will take on the seniors in the nights first contest at 5:30 p.m., followed by the juniors and sophomores at 6. A consolation game will be played at 6:30 and the championship will start at 7.
Admission is $3 per person and the gates will open at 5 and all students and faculty will pay to attend. A concession stand will be open serving candy, chips and drinks.
OPEN ENROLLMENT FOR MEDICARE PART D BEGINS OCTOBER 15 10/2/14
Medicare's Part D annual open enrollment begins October 15th and will run through December 7th.
This is the time that people 65 and older begin thinking about their Medicare coverage and should be ready to shop and compare plans. Drug costs, including, premiums, deductibles and formularies, change every year.
If you are unhappy with your plan, this will be the time to select a new one, by using the Medicare Plan finder at www.medicare.gov, or call the Area Agency on Aging at 1-800-272-2127 for assistance.
Anyone 65 and older, people who have received disability benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board for at least 24 months and people who have end-stage renal disease or ALS are eligible for Medicare.
People turning 65 and have not yet received a Social Security check can sign up for Medicare starting three months prior to their birthday month, or up to three months after their 65th birthday.
This is the seven-month Initial Enrollment Period. If this enrollment period is missed, then an individual can enroll between January 1st and March 31st. But remember, late enrollment penalties of 10 percent will apply for each year that you could have enrolled but didn't.
Individuals may apply online at www.ssa.gov.
For more information or help with Medicare, call the Area Agency on Aging of Southwest Arkansas, Inc. at 870-234-7410 or toll free in Arkansas at 1-800-272-2127.
ROSS PLANS TO MAKE ARKANSAS SAFER THROUGH BIPARTISAN POLITICS 10/2/14
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Ross stated that one of the most important duties of a governor is to ensure that everyone is safe and he plans to make Arkansas safer through bipartisan politics.
Ross stated he has consulted with people who work on the front lines to develop a plan to reduce crime in the state.
Ross said to make Arkansas safer, he will work with anyone to ensure that Arkansas is a great place to work and live.
Ross stated he will treat everyone respect and reach across party lines to ensure that Arkansas continues to move forward.
DRIVE BY SHOOTING PLANNED 10/02/14
It's time to make plans for the annual Flu Shot clinic sponsored by the Sevier County Health Unit. The clinic is planned for Wednesday, October 22nd from 10 am until 6 pm at the Sevier County Fairgrounds. This year they are bringing back the "drive by shooting". Participants will remain in their vehicles and medical personnel will to to them to administer the vaccination.
It is very important that you have your paper work filled out BEFORE you go. Registration forms are available at the Sevier County Courthouse, De Queen City Hall, local banks, and at KDQN.
GARCIA OFFERS ETHICS PLAN FOR STATE TREASURERS OFFICE 10/1/14
Karen Garcia is the Democratic candidate for the office of state treasurer and says she plans to use her experiences at the local government level and the private sector to bring integrity back to the office that was tainted by the conviction of the previous state treasurer.
Garcia is certified public accountant and has served as a city director of Hot Springs and has worked for about 26 years for Weyerhaeuser.
Garcia explained that she was pretty much doing the job of the state treasurer while she was working for Weyerhaeuser.
And, Garcia released a code of ethics for the treasurer’s office to ensure that history doesn't repeat itself.
For more information about Garcia, visit her website GarciaforTreasurer.com.
JURY TRIAL SET FOR WEDNESDAY 10/1/14
A jury is expected to be selected Wednesday in the Sevier County Circuit Court for one of four potential trials.
First out is expected to be Teddy Palmer, who is being charged as a habitual offender, criminal mischief and aggravated assault for an incident that occurred in November of 2012.
Second out will be David Santiago who has been charged with aggravated assault following an incident in December of 2013.
Aggravated assault is a Class D felony and if found guilty Santiago could face up to 6-years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections and or a fine up to $10,000.
Third out will be Marco Vasquez who has been charged with attempted sexual assault in the second degree and the fourth out will be Trisha Bruce who is being charged with theft by receiving.
Any cases that are not heard Wednesday will be assigned a new pre-trial and trial date by the circuit judge.
PERSONAL INFORMATION EASY TO GIVE AWAY 10/1/14
Contests at fairs and festivals that give consumers a slim chance to win a vacation, merchandise or cash often give businesses a sure chance to gain more information about a consumer.
Consumers should not assume that contest entry form that include details such as home addresses, phone numbers and email addresses are thrown away once a winner is selected. Instead, some companies may use that information for mailings or sale calls.
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued this consumer alert to make sure Arkansans are aware of the consequences of signing up for contests or sweepstakes, whether it be in person at the fair or the mall, through the mail, or on the Internet.
Most contests have terms and conditions that apply. If the fine print is not on a contest form, then consumers should ask questions about the company’s marketing policies to the company holding the contest.
Consumers who sign up for sweepstakes or contests could be turning over data that would be sold or shared to other businesses or affiliates of the company operating the contest.
The terms and conditions on contest entries may state that companies operating the contests consider an entry as a waiver of rights under federal and state telemarketing laws, but even if the entries include such a waiver, it’s probably invalid. Consumers should contact McDaniel’s Consumer Protection Division if they sign up for contests in which the terms state that do-not-call protections are waived.
Also keep in mind that information may be used as a lead generator for businesses that offer home improvements or timeshares.
McDaniel encouraged consumers to remember this advice prior to signing up for a contest or sweepstakes in person, online or through the mail:
For more information, visit the Attorney General’s website, www.GotYourBackArkansas.org. or call 1-800-482-8982.
RACHEL’S CHALLENGE IS GROWING STRONGER AT ASHDOWN 10/1/14
Friends of Rachel Club organizers conducted as assembly in the gymnasium at Ashdown Junior High School on Friday, September 19th, with many club members participating in the program and skits.
Pennington stated, AJHS has taken on
F.O.R. Clubs have now been established at both Ashdown Junior High and the Ashdown High School. When asked if he noticed any changes in the school atmosphere since the formation of the Friends of Rachel Club, high school Principal Tim Erwin stated, absolutely. He said students are looking out for other students, teachers are looking out for students and students are looking out for teachers.
At the Ashdown Junior High F.O.R. Club assembly, students spoke to the rest of the student body, the faculty and visitors about Rachel, their mission and about the differences that’s been made in their lives and on their campus.
One student read a passage out of his journal, talking about how other students have treated him since the Rachel’s Challenge program was presented at their school. He then sang “You Are Not Alone” by Michael Jackson.
The F.O.R. Club meets weekly to discuss how students can follow in Rachel’s footsteps then performed skits about behaviors that happen day to day in the halls of the junior high. The skits covered subjects from how to include a new student to how to stop bullying and meanness.
F.O.R. Club members are also responsible for stapling strips of paper together to create a chain of random acts of kindness. During the assembly, club members revealed the chain that stretched from one end of the gym to the other.
At the end of the assembly, F.O.R. Club members had all the students, staff and community members to join them in the middle of the gym where they joined hands and vowed to accept Rachel’s Challenge as Rachel Scott’s favorite song “Bitter Sweet Symphony” played.
RAW-WATER LINE PROJECT COMPLETE 10/1/14
The new raw-water supply line for the City of De Queen was completed last week and began delivering water to town since last Friday afternoon.
The tie-in process began at 7 a.m. last Friday morning when pumps were shut off and the old 16-inch AC transite line was cut away. Contractors then installed about 60-feet of new pipe and casing to connect the new water line to the water plant. The new line is made of 24-inch ductile iron pipe.
The new pipeline was filled with water in sections as it was installed. Pipe laying was completed on Friday, September 19th. The line was pressurized and tested for leaks earlier last week.
The new line is delivering 3.6 million gallons per day, which is a 25 percent increase over the old line and it is still being tweaked to match production at the plant.
S&J Construction of Jacksonville was the contractor for the project, which totaled approximately 29,000 lineal feet of pipe. Vaughn Engineering of Mena engineered the project and the project cost about $2.5 million dollars.
Contractors will now move to the west end of the line where they will replace about 700-feet of old pipe near Wal-Mart.
Courtesy of De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy
SEVIER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT 10/1/14
Last Thursday, three defendants changed their pleas to guilty based upon factual basis, including Edmond Lewis who pled guilty to 19 counts and was sentenced to a total of 467 years, however, according to the agreement he will serve 65 years concurrently with the other sentences in the Arkansas Department of Corrections.
Lewis will not be eligible for parole until he is 70 years of age.
Joey Rymer also changed his plea to guilty on the charge of possession of a controlled substance. Rymer was sentenced to 4-years probation and a fined $2,000.
Ashley Strong changed her plea to guilty on the charge of theft of property and possession of a controlled substance and sentenced to 4-years probation and fines totaling $1,373.
December trial dates were set for Joseph Winton, Kerry Allen, Jayme Barnes, Brandon Morrison, John Wayne Billingsley and Jamie Blankenship.
February trial dates were set for Mary Allen, Noel Flowers, Jonathan Walker, Bryan Welling and Jennifer Vincent.
WINNER OF CRISIS CENTER DRAWING ANNOUNCED 10/1/14
Tuesday morning, the Southwest Arkansas Crisis Resource Center drew the name of the winner of a lifetime resident hunting and fishing sportsman permit and Executive Director Courtney White contacted KDQN and announced that Aaron Morris was the winner.
White also mentioned that the center would be continuing its fundraising efforts by holding a Power of the Purse raffle during the month of October.
White said the center was attempting to raise $50,000 to demonstrate to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration that the community supports its services after the department of finance cut the center's funding by $50,000.
White stated if you or your organization would like to volunteer or make a donation, all you have to do is call her at 642-2141.
ASHDOWN BOARD MEMBER SEEKING POSITION AS REGIONAL 12 DIRECTOR 9/30/14
Ashdown Superintendent Jason Sanders reported that Rosa Bowman of the Ashdown Board of the Education is interested in running for the position of Regional 12 director and Dorothy Henderson made a motion to nominate Bowman for the position.
Board members voted to spend about $35,000 on new security systems. Sanders explained the new systems will improve student safety, district wide by allowing administrators to buzz in guests.
Sanders also mentioned that the district will spend about $170,000 on other renovations on the L.F. Henderson and Junior High campuses.
Sanders informed KDQN that Gene Hawk of the De Queen-Mena Educational Cooperative conducted a facility audit earlier this month and will be making recommendations for future facility needs.
Several students and groups were recognized for their recent successes during the monthly Panther Pride presentations, but Sanders emphasized two achievements that highlighted the efforts of the entire district.
Following a executive session, board members accepted the resignation of Don Nesbitt as the high school Spanish teacher due to a licensure issue and then voted to hire him as a long term substitute until the unusual circumstances can be resolved.
HOO-RAH DAYS 9/30/14
Hoo-Rah Days are quickly approaching and its time to make plans to take part in the many activities that supports the Sevier County Museum.
Hoo-Rah Days will start at noon on Friday, October 10th when the food and vendor booths open for business. The Civil War Encampment will also set up at noon on Friday in the Museum’s Antique Village.
There will be a dog show at 5 p.m. on Friday on the Annex Porch and Jim Arnold will led guests through a walk back in time through the Antique Village as he describes life in Sevier County way back when.
Activities will begin on Saturday with the annual Rotary Club breakfast in the senior citizen center. Registration for the antique car show will begin at 8 a.m. at the museum information booth and vendor booths will open at 9.
At 10 a.m. there will be a veteran’s parade, a flag-raising ceremony and the National Anthem. Museum officials will also announce the winners of the Hoo-Rah Days pageant.
The car show will be held just North of museum and there will be a fiddlers contest on the Annex Porch at 11 a.m. The spelling bee will be held at noon and gospel music will be performed at 1:30 followed by the annual talent show at 3:30.
If you are interested in competing in the talent show, you will need to register by October 6th, by contacting Glenda Barton by mailing your name and phone number to 322 East Ft. Towson, De Queen, AR 71832 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All performances will be limited to five minutes and only the first ten entrants will be accepted. You must also provide your own accompaniment.
Tailgaters can also participate in the Second Annual Tailgate Cook-off that’s being sponsored by the UA Cossatot Foundation.
Cooks can set up and begin cooking at 4 p.m. on Friday and the judging will begin at 10:30 Saturday morning with the dessert category, followed by the BBQ contest at 11. Community members will be able to sample the BBQ beginning at 11:30 and the winners will be announced at 12:30.
Entry fees will be $25 for a beef brisket entry, $15 for a chicken entry, $25 for a pork rib entry and $5 for a dessert entry.
For more information, contact Dustin Roberts at 584-4471.
The Hoo-Rah Days will come to an official end at 5 p.m. with the raffle drawings on the Annex Porch.
HORATIO HOMECOMING COURT 9/30/14
Horatio High School introduced Morgan Brackett as the 2014 Horatio Homecoming Queen and she will reign over the homecoming ceremonies on Friday, October 3rd at 6:30 p.m.
This year’s senior maids include: Adi Arellano, Audrey Smith, Megan Perez and Cheyenne Whitlow. The junior maids are Sarah Swain and Allison Jones and the sophomore maids are Laney Baker and Elvelyn Martinez.
The Crown Bearer will be Bella Baker, the Flower Girl will be Ashton Alexander and the Football Bearer will be Eli Vann.
DIERKS HOMECOMING COURT 9/30/14
The 2014 Dierks High School Homecoming Court includes: Queen Lillie Woodruff and Maid of Honor Skylar Baker.
The Football Maids are Marisa Marquez, Isabel Fox and Grace Martin. The Class Maids are Kaitlin Kitchens, Carli Davis and Blair Garner.
The captains for the Dierks Outlaws will be Layne McWhorter and Cameron Brewer.
Attendants will be Lilly Hogg and Cohen Pond.
Homecoming is scheduled for Friday, October 31st.
HORATIO SCHOOL DISTRICT DONATES WINTHROP SCHOOL PROPERTY TO THE CITY OF WINTHROP 9/30/14
Friday afternoon, the Horatio School District held a press conference to document and informed the community concerning the transfer of ownership of the Winthrop School property to the City of Winthrop from the district.
Superintendent of the Horatio School District, Lee Smith, stated that the event was to recognize the efforts of both the Horatio Board of Education and the Winthrop City Council and to make the transfer official.
Smith and Winthrop Mayor, Heather Mitchell signed a Real Estate Sale and Donation Agreement, as well as, a Quit Claim Deed. According to the agreement, the City of Winthrop purchased the Winthrop School property for the sum of $10.
The documents will be filed with the Little River County Clerk’s office.
According to Smith, the official signing of the agreement was the final step in a process that started under the leadership of Horatio’s former superintendent, John Ward, and the school board.
The only provision to this donation is stipulated by Arkansas state law, which says the property must be used for educational purposes.
The Winthrop School District consolidated with the Horatio School District in 1992.
The event was attended by members of the Horatio Board of Education, the Winthrop City Council and members of the Winthrop School Restoration Committee, as well as, some Horatio students that formerly attended the Winthrop School.
SEVIER COUNTY LIBRARY GOING TO WINTER HOURS IN OCTOBER 9/30/14
Several changes will take place during the month of October at the Sevier County Library.
At the Horatio branch, the library will be open from 9:30 to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday; from 1 to 5 p.m. on Wednesday and from 9 to noon on Saturday.
The librarian felt the extra afternoon will benefit Horatio students by giving them more time to do research.
The Gillham Library will be open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday and from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturdays.
Beginning October 31st, the De Queen Library will be open from 9 to 5, Monday, Wednesday and Friday; noon to 5 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday and from 9 a.m. until noon on Saturday.
The Lockesburg Library will be working in coordination with the Lockesburg Lions Clubs by sponsoring the Lions International Peace Poster Contest for students 11 to 13 years of age.
This year’s theme is “Peace, Love and Understanding” and the rules and poster boards will be available at the library beginning Wednesday, October 1st. The posters must be turned in at the library by November 5th.
Library patrons will judge the eligible entries on November 6th and all entrants will receive a gift bag for their participation and the winning poster will proceed to the Regional Lions Club competition.
The Ben Lomond Library will be having spooky story time starting the first Saturday of October. They will also be watching the “Chucky” movies and making Halloween decorations and costumes for the annual Ben Lomond Halloween Carnival.
The Library Witch will be reading a story on Wednesday, October 29th and all children will receive a goody bag.
ARREST MADE IN SEXUAL ASSAULT 9/29/14
September 19th, De Queen Police Department investigator, Sonny Kimmel, made an arrest related to a sexual assault on a minor.
Kimmel reported that Antonio Luna was charged with sexual assault in the fourth degree, which means the defendant was over the age of 21 and the victim was younger than 16 at the time of the incident.
According to the report, the victim notified law enforcement officials about the incident after attending a lecture on sexual predators. The victim spoke with a De Queen School Resource Officer and an investigation was opened into the incident, which allegedly took place over a year ago.
Kimmel informed KDQN that Luna does have any priors of this nature.
In an unrelated case, Kimmel reported that he arrested 33-year-old Jamie Blankenship Friday, September 19th and charged her with introduction of a controlled substance into the body of another after her new born baby tested positive for several drugs at an area hospital.
The infant was taken into custody by the Arkansas Department of Human Services.
CRISIS CENTER FUNDS DRAMATICALLY CUT 9/29/14
Southwest Arkansas Crisis Resource Center executive director Courtney White discussed a recent meeting with the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration when she was informed that the department was cutting the center’s budget.
White stated that even though the center’s budget has been cut, they have continued to serve the area and she explained that they were accomplishing all of this with four employees and some volunteers.
White stated the department of finance cut their budget by $50,000 and, is requiring the crisis center to raise $50,000 by the end of October.
White said the crisis center will begin focusing its resources on Sevier, Pike and Howard counties and are asking the communities in those counties donate to the center, so they can continue providing services to those in need. For more information, call 584-3441 or 642-2141.
LEWIS RECEIVES A TOTAL OF 467 YEARS IN ADC 9/29/14
43-year-old Edmond Lewis accepted a plea agreement Thursday afternoon in the Sevier County Circuit Court before Circuit Judge Tom Cooper and was sentenced to a total of 467 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections.
However, under the plea agreement, Lewis will serve 65 years and will not be eligible for parole until he is 70 years of age.
Lewis also plead guilty to three counts of commercial burglary in Howard County and was also sentenced to 65 years, which will run concurrent with the Sevier County sentence.
According to Prosecuting Attorney Bryan Chesshir, Lewis was sentenced to 60 years for the charge of attempted arson for tampering with a gas line when he broke into the First Baptist Church of De Queen and five-years for theft of property.
Lewis was also officially sentenced to 150 years on five counts of commercial burglary, 40-years for possession of a firearm by a certain person and 40-years of possession of a prohibited weapon, which was two pipe bombs that he claimed he used for fishing.
Lewis was sentenced to 80-years for residential burglary, 30-years for two counts of breaking and entering, and 42-years for three counts of theft of property.
PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP AT CRATER OF DIAMOND STATE PARK 9/29/14
With milder temperatures and beautiful colors, fall is a great time to get outside and photograph the ever changing world around us and the Crater of Diamond State Park offers photographers a unique backdrop this time of year.
On Saturday, October 25th from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., digital photographers ages 13 and up are invited to join Park Interpreter Waymon Cox for the park's fall photography workshop.
Participates will learn about camera settings, accessories and composition techniques that take great photos of peak fall foliage. Participants are also invited to bring their cameras, tripods and other accessories for an afternoon field trip to photograph the fall scenery and landscapes around the city of Murfreesboro.
Space is limited to 15 people and the cost is $20 per person, including a registration fee of $10 that is due by October 18. To register call the park at 870-285-3116.
ROSS PROMOTES MORE JOBS; FEWER RULES AND REGULATIONS 9/29/14
Having built a family owned small business in Prescott, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Ross believes there should be fewer rules and regulations that deter Arkansas residents from becoming business owners.
Ross stated that he believes the path to success in Arkansas is dependent on creating good paying jobs and he hopes to accomplish that by partnering with the state's community colleges and vo-tech schools.
Ross said Arkansas needs to be able to assure companies that are looking to locate in the state that we have a workforce of highly trained people that can help their company be profitable.
SEVIER COUNTY SCHOOL FLU CLINICS SCHEDULED 9/29/14
Flu consent forms were sent to all of the Sevier County schools recently and if parents have not received the forms and would like to have one, they can contact their child's school or the Sevier County health unit.
The flu consent form and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act forms must be returned to the school before the student can receive a flu shot or the flu mist.
Flu shots will given on the Horatio School campuses on Thursday, October 9th and on the De Queen School campuses on Wednesday, October 15th.
If you have any questions regarding the school flu clinics, you may contact your child's school nurse or the Sevier County health unit.
TOUR DE QUEEN 9/27/14
The annual De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce Tour de Queen Bike ride is scheduled for Saturday, October 4th and the ride includes a 15-mile, 25-mile, 36-mile and a 47-mile route.
Registration will be held the day of the race at 7 a.m. in front of the chamber office on Stilwell Ave and the ride will begin at 8 a.m.
The registration fee is $30, but for more information, contact Nancy Gore at 870-582-2315.
HIGH SPEED CHASE ENDS IN SEVIER COUNTY FRIDAY MORNING 9/29/14
Friday morning a high speed chase that started in Little River County came an end in Sevier County just south of the De Queen City limits near ACR Service on Highway 70/71.
According to Ashdown Police Department Lieutenant Bobby Walraven, the pursuit started after the Little River County Sheriffs office received a report that a suspect had threatened some people with a gun at the rest stop south of Ashdown.
Little River County Sheriffs deputies were traveling south when they made contact with the suspect at the Ashdown city limits.
According to Walraven, he and Police Chief Doyle Crouch joined the pursuit in Ashdown and continued to pursue the suspect north into Sevier County at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour.
Walraven reported that he attempted to pit the suspects vehicle at Falls Chapel, but the suspect started shooting at the officers and they pulled back to a safer distance.
Officers reported no shots were fired by any of the law enforcement officers that were involved in the pursuit, but some of their vehicles were damaged during the chase, but no injuries were reported.
As the pursuit approached De Queen, officers with the De Queen Police Department deployed stop strips at the old ACR building and the suspect reportedly hit the strips and wrecked out a short distance later.
The suspect was identified as 48-year-old Randy Jewell of Texarkana. Jewell apparently died of a self-inflicted gun shot wound and was pronounced dead at the scene by Sevier County Coroner Rusty Williams.
Jewell reportedly had a warrant for his arrest on the charge of assault of a public servant. The incident is being investigated by the Arkansas State Police.
COLT BOLT 5K 9/26/14
This Saturday, the UA Cossatot Foundation will be hosting it second annual Colt Bolt 5K to raise funds for scholarships to the university.
Executive Director Dustin Roberts and Monti Stringfellow announced Thursday morning that its not to late to participate in the event and Roberts stated that someone will win a $500 dollar tuition waiver from UA Cossatot.
Stringfellow mentioned the weather is suppose to be perfect for running this Saturday, plus he said the course was easy.
Roberts said the winner of the 5K will win $100 dollars and a trophy. The runner-up will win a trophy and $50 dollars.
They also mentioned there will be a drawing and all participates will receive a t-shirt and goodie bag.
The Colt Bolt 5K will start at 9 a.m. but runners will need to arrive a little earlier to register. For anyone not wanting to run the 5K can take part in a one-mile fun run.
Roberts also stated that for every 25 runners the foundation will add another $500 tuition waiver to the raffle drawing.
For more information call UA Cossatot at 584-4471.
PIZZA WARS FRIDAY NIGHT AT ASHDOWN TAILGATE PARTY 9/26/14
Members of the Ashdown Pantherettes basketball team will be sponsoring Pizza Wars as a fundraiser for the team during the 2014 Homecoming Tailgate Party this Friday prior to the Ashdown-Mena game.
Senior Pantherettes Amari Davis, Curtina Harper, Jada Beth Fricks, Brady Latson and Lakendra Radford joined Head Coach Rachelle Bonner at the KDQN studios this week to describe what you can expect Friday night.
Tickets are $5 each and anyone can set up and tailgate during the Homecoming Tailgate Party, which will start and 5:30 outside of Dick Hayes Stadium.
Homecoming activities will at 6:45 and the game will kick-off at 7:30.
HORATIO APPROVES STIPEND FOR NATIONAL BOARD CERTIFICATION 9/26/14
Earlier this week, the Horatio Board of Education met and elected officers for the 2014-2015 school year and Superintendant Lee Smith informed KDQN that the board voted to pay a stipend to the band director and to any teacher that earns their National Board certification.
Smith also invited parents, teachers and stakeholders of the Horatio School District to hear their annual report on Monday, October 13th in the elementary cafeteria.
The Horatio School District will also be holding a press conference Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. Smith said the district will be officially donating the Winthrop School property to the City of Winthrop and everyone is invited to the administration building for the presentation.
FOOD DRIVE 9/26/14
Your Number One Country 92.1 and First National Bank is once again hosting a food drive to benefit the Chalice Cupboard in De Queen.
Items will be collected at the KDQN studios and the First National Bank in De Queen. For each item of non-perishable food that you drop off between now and October 31st, you'll receive an entry into a drawing for a Pruett's Food gift card.
So, take some time and help families in our area by donating some non-perishable food. The winning name will be drawn Friday, October 31st during the Morning Brew show, on Your Number One Country 92.1.
STATE ASKS COURT TO DISMISS WAGE MEASURE CHALLENGE 9/26/14
Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin is asking the state Supreme Court to dismiss a Little Rock businessman's lawsuit who is trying to block a proposed minimum wage increase from the November ballot.
Martin's office asked the court to dismiss Jackson T. Stephens Jr.'s lawsuit, which is challenging the proposed initiated act that would raise the state's minimum wage from $6.25 an hour to $8.50 an hour by 2017, on Wednesday. Martin's office certified the proposal for the ballot earlier this month.
Stephens is challenging the validity of signatures that were submitted for the proposal and argues the state used the wrong deadline for accepting petitions.
The chairman of Give Arkansas A Raise Now, which is campaigning for the proposed increase, has asked to intervene in the case.
CAMDEN BARN SALE SET FOR SATURDAY 9/26/14
The 45th Annual BPW Barn Sale will be from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. this Saturday in Camden at Oakland and Monticello Streets.
The BPW Barn Sale has become one of Arkansas' major tourist attractions and every year, thousands of people attend so they can shop for handcrafted items from over 180 vendors and artists from all over the country.
All crafts are original and handmade and you can expect to find wooden pieces, ceramics, paintings, floral arrangements, clothing, jewelry, stained glass and one-of-a-kind toys.
There will be a variety of food vendors and there will be musical entertainment throughout the day with vendors performing at their booths, as well as, some regional musical favorites on the BPW Barn Sale main stage.
There will be a Antique and Classic Car Show, Kids Zone with a rock climbing wall and several bounce houses, along with festival traditions like the Kiwanis pancake breakfast, 5K run and the St. Louis Catholic Church spaghetti supper.
ROSS MAKES WOMEN'S ISSUES A PRIORITY 9/26/14
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Ross understands that women are not being treated fairly in the workplace and had vowed to make sure that our daughters and granddaughters receive equal pay for doing equal work.
Ross also stated that he plans to do more when it comes to domestic violence in Arkansas.
Ross believes that everyone should have the right to achieve their American dream and he will work to ensure that gender and violence isn't standing in a woman's way.
WOUNDED WARRIOR EVENT BEING PLANNED FOR MILLWOOD LAKE 9/26/14
The Millwood Lake Focus Committee and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Millwood Lake are working together to host the 2014 Wounded Warrior Deer Hunt, this November 20th through 22nd.
The Warrior Transition Unit at Fort Sills, Oklahoma will be bringing seven soldiers to Millwood Lake for a wonderful outdoor experience.
The Warrior Transition Unit's mission is to facilitate the healing and rehabilitation of soldiers and return them to active duty when possible or prepare them for a successful life as a veteran in their communities.
The members of the Millwood Lake Focus Committee are excited about offering this recreational opportunity to these members of the United States arm forces.
Committee members will be providing games, meals for three days and lodging for four nights and an opportunity to go deer hunting.
However, due to rising costs and limited funds, the Millwood Lake Focus Committee is seeking donations from the community to help support this event for our Wounded Warriors. So, they can make this an experience that these soldiers will cherish forever.
For additional information or to make a donation, contact Brooke Kervin with the Corps of Engineers at Millwood Lake by calling 501-340-1462 or mail your donation to the Millwood Lake Focus Committee at 1528 Highway 32E, Ashdown, Arkansas 71822.
DE QUEEN'S RAW WATER PROJECT COMPLETE 9/25/14
Aldermen of the De Queen City Council approved a resolution to set the city's millage for 2014 at 5 general mills and .4 mills for the city's Fireman's Pension. Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy reported that this resolution must be passed every year.
Aldermen decided to do more research concerning food trucks and trailers and the city's moratorium on mobile food establishments will remain in effect until they can get some advice from City Attorney Laura Lindly.
However, in a letter to the council from Kevin Olson of Victoria, Texas, Olson stated that he plans to move to Sevier County in the near future and will open a BBQ trailer. He informed the council that if they did not lift the moratorium, he would simply set up his trailer outside the city limits.
Aldermen approved a resolution stating that the city would be supporting the efforts of the Southwest Arkansas Coalition in its attempt to have a maximum security prison located in Southwest Arkansas.
Mayor McKelvy stated Pike County and the cities of Newport, Fort Smith and Conway were also submitting proposal for the new prison. He explained that he felt it would be more beneficial to the city if they joined the regional coalition instead of presenting a proposal on their own.
McKelvy also reported the plumbing portion of the raw water line project was complete and they would be connecting the line to the water plant this Friday.
Aldermen discussed the city's proposal to provide sanitation services to Pilgrim's Pride, but did not repeal the portion of Ordinance 807 until they are certain; Pilgrim's will accept their proposal.
The De Queen City Council is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, October 7th at 5:30 p.m. for their next meeting.
GILLHAM MAN ARRESTED ON DRUG CHARGES 9/25/14
A Gillham resident was arrested Saturday, September 20th after a Howard County Sheriff's deputy made a traffic stop for a busted tail light.
33-year-old Phillip Hackney was stopped by Howard County Deputy Steven Wakefield on Highway 70 west of Dierks for having a busted tail light and discovered that Hackney had outstanding misdemeanor warrants in Howard and Polk counties.
Wakefield obtained consent to search Hackney's vehicle and found a cigarette box containing a clear plastic bag with suspected methamphetamine inside along with a loaded syringe with suspected meth.
Hackney is currently being held in the Howard County jail, but no bond has been set at this time.
DISTRICT FAIR PARADE AND QUEENS RESULTS 9/25/14
The Southwest District Fair parade was held Tuesday in downtown Hope and dozens of entries delighted the spectators along the way.
In the Queens division, First place went to the Nevada County Fair Queens with Second place going to Little Miss Sevier County Myleigh Marshall and Miss Sevier County Marjle McLelland.
Lauren Kidd of Hempstead County was named Miss Southwest District Fair, while Sarah Clayton of Columbia County was named First runner-up and Brianna Porchia of Clark County was named Second runner-up.
Caitlyn Light of Hempstead County was named Junior Miss. Alixandra Ayers of Pike County was named First runner-up and Regan Hammonds of Saline County was named Second runner-up.
Suzanne Beason from Little River County was named Little Miss. Kerbie Anderson of Pike County was the First runner-up and Presley Bennett of Saline County was named Second runner-up.
The talent winner was from Pike County.
DE QUEEN SCHOOL INFORMATION 9/25/14
Tammy Whatley of the De Queen School District reported that the De Queen cross country and golf teams are performing well and the gold team will be competing in the district tournament in Pine Bluff, while announcing several upcoming events Tuesday morning.
Whatley stated a representative from the University of Central Arkansas visited with students last week and that a representative from Henderson will be there this week.
Whatley stated Hall Wars were continuing this week and parents are invited to help students decorate Wednesday after school. The winning hall will win the spirit award.
Whatley also mentioned that progress reports were mailed out last Friday and parent/teacher conferences are scheduled for October.
For more information about events that are taking place on the campuses of the De Queen School District contact the administration office at 584-4312.
BOOZMAN PROMOTES NATIONAL DRUG TAKE BACK DAY 9/25/14
Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the country and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified prescription drug abuse as an epidemic.
To help fight the widespread abuse, U.S. Senator John Boozman is encouraging Arkansans to participate in Arkansas' Take-Back event this Saturday and get their expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs out of their homes.
Boozman stated prescription drug abuse is a growing danger and by providing a safe option to dispose of old and unneeded medication will help reduce the risk of someone developing an addiction to prescription drugs.
More than 130 collection sites have been set up across Arkansas, including the Sevier County Sheriff's office here in De Queen. Residents may take their old and unneeded prescription drugs to a collection site on Saturday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
More than 33 tons of unneeded medications have been collected since 2010 in Arkansas.
Boozman and other senators are also encouraging the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs to establish similar programs to address prescription drug abuse among service members and veterans.
If you have any expired, unused or unwanted medication in your medicine cabinet, you are being asked to stop by the Sevier County Sheriff's office at 139 Robinson Road in De Queen.
ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE ISSUES OPINION TO DHS 9/25/14
The Attorney General's office is required to provide opinions, when properly requested, when they are related to certain employment records under the Freedom of Information Act.
Last week, the Department of Human Services submitted such a request on behalf of former employee Leslie Rutledge, who is the Republican nominee for attorney general.
To avoid the appearance of conflict or political motivation, the Attorney General recused himself, the Chief Deputy Attorney General and the Chief of Staff from any involvement in this matter.
The Attorney General asked former Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Annabelle Tuck to consult with and oversee Deputy Attorney General Beth Walker on the drafting and release of the opinion. Both Deputy Attorney General Walker and former Justice Tuck have signed the published opinion.
Former Justice Tuck donated her time at no cost to the state. Her integrity is impeccable, and the Attorney General appreciates her service on this matter.
The request for the opinion stems from a Freedom of Information request to the Department of Human Services in regard to emails pertaining to Rutledge who was a former employee.
The Attorney General's opinion states that some of the emails were not properly classified and therefore, the Department of Human Services must reevaluate by applying a four-part test to those emails to determine if some of the questionable emails are subject to the Freedom of Information Act and should be release to the public.
70TH ANNUAL SOUTHWEST DISTRICT FAIR 9/24/14
The 70th annual Southwest Arkansas District Livestock Show and Bull Riding is set for this week at the Hope Fair Park.
The fair will kicked-off Tuesday with a parade.
Myleigh Marshall represented Sevier County in the Little Miss contest. Kaylee Morgan competed in the Princess pageant and Marjle McLelland represented Sevier County in the District Fair Queen contest. According to Linda Frachiseur, the three Sevier County contestants did not placed, but will represent the county during the Arkansas State Fair, October 13th in Little Rock.
Danielle Duggan also represented Sevier County in the district talent contest.
Today, the exhibit hall will open at 9 a.m. and will feature the arts and crafts, food preservation and horticulture exhibits and Frachiseur reported that several Sevier County residents earned ribbons in the canning and home art categories. Carnival rides will open at 5 p.m. and all livestock will be checked in Wednesday afternoon.
Thursday will be arm band day at the fair and advance arm bands are on sale now for $18 and are available at Super 1 Foods in Hope and at the downtown locations of First Bank, BancorpSouth and Bank of the Ozarks. These locations also have advance bull riding tickets. Arm bands will be good from 2 to 10 p.m.
Thursday will also feature the District Fair Jamboree at 6:30 p.m. on the Tyson Stage and will feature talent from across Southwest Arkansas.
Friday will feature a variety of livestock shows including market hogs and breeding hogs.
The U.P.R.A. bull-riding will get underway Friday night at 7:30 p.m. in the coliseum and if those who buy their bull-riding tickets in advance will receive free gate admission to the fair Friday and Saturday.
Elvis "interpreter" Bruce Wilburn will perform Friday night on the Tyson Stage at 7 p.m.
The final day of the fair is Saturday and judging will begin at 9 a.m. for cattle, steer, breeding beef and commercial heifer. Exhibits will open at 11 a.m. and the carnival will open at 2 p.m.
Bull-riding will continue Saturday night and Amigo Juan's will present Mexican Country Music on the Tyson Stage from 6 to 9 p.m.
For more information, contact Don Fuller at 870-777-5229.
ASHDOWN MAYOR RESIGNS 9/24/14
Ashdown Mayor Carroll McLarty submitted his resignation effective October 12th.
McLarty did not seek re-election earlier this year and has decided to resign effective October 12th, which is the day before the next regularly scheduled Ashdown City Council meeting.
McLarty stated that if the council chooses they can appoint someone to complete his term, which would have ended on December 31st. This will also allow mayor-elect James Sutton the opportunity to work with the council on developing the 2015 budget.
McLarty said it had been an honor to serve the city of Ashdown and he appreciated the support that he has received from the majority of the citizens.
McLarty reported that when he took office almost four years ago, the city couldn't pay some of its bills and now the city has a surplus of funds. He also pointed out that the city did this without a tax increase.
McLarty also pointed out all of the renovation that has taken place in the downtown area during his tenure. He also noted that city employees received a pay raise for the first time in four years, while he was serving as mayor.
GO GOLD NIGHT 9/24/14
Members of the De Queen High School Student Council announced Tuesday morning that they want everyone to wear Gold Friday night during the De Queen Leopard-Hope Bobcat ballgame because September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
Senior Class President Harmoney Rick, Senior Class Vice-President Lucee Lugo, Student Council Tech Coordinator Karen Villeda and Student Council President Shayde Kitchens explained what Go Gold Night is and announced the student council would be conducting several fund raising events Friday night at the De Queen ballgame.
So, make plans to attend Friday night’s conference opener for the De Queen Leopards and Go Gold to help bring awareness to childhood cancer.
HIGHWAY CLOSED FOLLOWING ACCIDENT 9/24/14
A log truck accident south of the B and B Junction on Highway 70/71 South has closed the highway until the debris is cleaned up.
Before 8 a.m. this morning, the Arkansas State Police reported a single vehicle accident occurred and was asking motorist to use extreme caution if traveling south of De Queen toward Lockesburg.
About 10 a.m., the Arkansas State Police officially closed the highway from the B and B Junction to Lockesburg so they can have crews clean up the debris and remove the tractor and trailer.
If you are traveling south from De Queen, you should take Highway 41 to Lockesburg until further notice.
LAWSUIT FILED OVER ARKANSAS MINIMUM WAGE MEASURE 9/24/14
A lawsuit has been filed with the Arkansas Supreme Court aiming to block a proposal that would gradually raise the state's minimum wage from the November ballot.
The lawsuit was filed Monday and asks justices to prevent the state from putting on the ballot a proposed initiated act, which would raise the state's minimum wage from $6.25 an hour to $8.50 an hour by 2017. Election officials certified the measure for the ballot earlier this month.
The lawsuit claims the state used the wrong deadline for accepting petitions for the measure, and also challenges the signatures submitted.
CDC CONFIRMS CASE OF ENTEROVIRUS IN ARKANSAS 9/24/14
The Arkansas Department of Health says a virus that causes severe respiratory illness among some children has been confirmed in Arkansas.
The agency says one sample that was sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week, tested positive for the enterovirus D68. Gary Wheeler is the branch chief of infectious disease at the state health department and he reported that about 12 other samples have been sent from the state to the CDC for testing.
The illness can cause cold-like symptoms but has been unusually severe this year in some areas.
The CDC says infants, children and teenagers are more likely to become infected because they do not have an immunity to the virus.
NATIONAL DRUG TAKE BACK DAY 9/24/14
This Saturday, the Sevier County Sheriffs office, the De Queen Police Department and the South Central Drug Task Force will be participating in the National Drug Take Back event between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Sevier County Sheriff's office at 137 West Robinson Road.
If you have expired, unused or unwanted drugs in your medicine cabinet, this event will give you the opportunity to dispose of them safely and securely.
Its a free and anonymous service and the main goal is to reduce prescription drug abuse and overdose deaths. In 2010, more than 22,000 people in the United States died from prescription drug overdoes.
Family and friends are the main source of access to over half of all abused prescription drugs and in many cases the users simply take the drugs from someone's medicine cabinets, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
In 2010, nearly three-quarters of prescription drug overdoses involved powerful prescription painkillers called narcotics and in 2011, there were more than 420,000 emergency room visits that were related to the misuse and abuse of prescription narcotics.
In 2012, more than 12 million Americans abused prescription narcotics by taking them without a doctor's orders or for reasons other than their original purpose.
This will be the tenth National Drug Take-Back event, and more than 3 million pounds of prescription drugs have been collected over the past four years, according to the Federal Drug Administration.
To find a drop off location near you, go to the website www.ARTakeBack.org and type in your zip code, but here in Sevier County, take your medications to the Sevier County Sheriff's office on Robinson Road.
UA COSSATOT NEW BOARD OF VISITOR IS APPROVED 09/24/14
MORRILTON– The University of Arkansas System Board of Trustees, in a regularly scheduled meeting, ratified the appointment of Dr. Glen Lance to the UA Cossatot Board of Visitors.
Dr. Lance owns his own business in Nashville, Lance Family Dentistry.
“Dr. Lance is beyond reproach when it comes to service to the community and higher education,” said UA Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole. “His service will be a great asset to our college and to our Board of Visitors.”
Lance will serve on the Board of Visitors and represent the Nashville community.
He is a member of Rotary and an Officer in the Army Reserves. Lance is married to Cynthia and they have three children, Kathleen, Jonathan, and Garett and attend Sunset Church of Christ.
ARKANSAS ART CENTER MOBILE MUSEUM VISITING DE QUEEN THIS WEEK 9/23/14
This week, students from the De Queen School District will be viewing art on the Arkansas Art Center's Art mobile during their art classes.
Gift and Talented Coordinator Linda Warren stated this is the first time that the art mobile as visited De Queen, but several teachers and staff members have toured the art mobile when it visited other districts.
Warren also stated that the art mobile will be open to the public on Tuesday from 5 to 8 p.m., but students will be taking tours everyday during their art classes.
Warren stated that she normally schedules theater visits for traveling theater groups and she discovered the art mobile and realized this would be a great opportunity to expose students to framed art.
For more information about the art mobile, you may contact Warren at the De Queen Elementary at 584-4311.
DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL TO MEET TUESDAY 9/23/14
Aldermen of the De Queen City Council will be meeting Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in the Council room of the De Queen City Hall to consider three resolutions and one proposal.
Aldermen will consider a resolution to levy the millage rate on taxable property within the city for the year 2014.
Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy informed the council that there will be no change recommended to the millage rate and that this is a resolution that they consider every year.
De Queen current millage is 5.4 mills.
Aldermen will consider a resolution supporting a southwest Arkansas initiative that is trying to get a new state prison located in the area.
The group, which is being led by state Senator Jimmy Hickey of Texarkana, met last week and has listed a timberland site south of Ashdown as a possible location
Aldermen will also consider a resolution concerning mobile food establishments.
Mayor McKelvy informed the council my letter that a gentleman from Victoria, Texas wants to open a trailer to sell sandwiches on Collin Raye Drive. McKelvy stated the property has water, sewer and sanitation services available and the gentleman plans to donate a portion of his sales to the Sevier County senior citizen center.
The reason for council action is because in 2011, the council passed an ordinance putting a moratorium on any more mobile retail food establishments and the resolution would lift the moratorium.
Mayor McKelvy also plans to present the council with a proposal to provide solid waste collection service to Pilgrim's Pride, since Pilgrims is considering changing its trash operation.
IF YOU DRINK AND DRIVE; YOU WILL GET CAUGHT 9/23/14
On Friday, September 19th, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Greg Davignon observed a white Ford F150 truck on Stringtown Road that had a cracked driver side tail light lens.
Davignon continued to follow the truck onto Fischer Road when he witnessed the driver discard a lit cigarette out of the window.
Davignon stopped the truck and identified the driver at 31-year-old Joshua Callahan of Winthrop.
Davignon reported that he smelt alcohol and asked Callahan to take a series of field sobriety test, which he failed. Callahan was charged with driving while intoxicated.
On Saturday, Davignon was dispatched to Highway 71 North after a caller reported that some people were tossing empty beer cans out the window of a brown Chevy Monte Carlo.
Dispatch informed Davignon that the vehicle was headed South on Highway 71 and he was able to make contact with the vehicle at the intersection of Highway 71 and Robinson Road.
While searching the vehicle, Davignon discovered an open beer can on the passenger side and the passenger 26-year-old Viveca Daniels of Wickes admitted that it belonged to her.
Daniels was cited for drinking on the highway.
Later on Saturday evening, Davignon observed a blue Chevy truck drive left of the center line on several occasions while traveling down Collin Raye Drive in De Queen.
After pulling over the truck, Davignon administered a series of field sobriety test to the driver, 63-year-old Salvador Gomez of De Queen.
Gomez was cited for driving while intoxicated, driving left of center and refusal to submit to test.
SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CENTER HOLDING RAFFLE 9/23/14
If you like to hunt or fish or if you know someone that likes to hunt or fish, then you need to purchase a ticket for a lifetime hunting and fishing license from the Southwest Arkansas Crisis Resource Center.
Executive Director Courtney White said the center is needing to raise funds to provide assistance to victims of domestic abuse .
White stated the Sportsman permit raffle is an annual fundraising event for the center and they are only going to sell 350 tickets.
White stated women in an abusive situation may contact the center 24-hours a day; 7-days a week. The number is 870-584-3441.
Tickets are $20 each or 6 for $100 and the winner will be announced at 10 a.m. at Harris Drug and Gifts on Tuesday, September 30th and you do not have to be present to win.
VOTERS DON'T FORGET YOUR ID 9/23/14
In 2013, Arkansas Legislators passed Act 595 which requires all voters to present a valid ID before being able to cast a ballot.
Sevier County Clerk Debbie Hughes informed KDQN explained that there are several different types of photo IDs that are acceptable including drivers license, school IDs from an Arkansas college or university and military IDS.
However, if the ID shows an expiration date, it cannot be expired by more than four years before November 4th.
Hughes stated that if you did not have a valid ID, but have sufficient documentation that proves who you are, your address, and your registered voter status, you can get a free voter ID through the county clerk's office.
There are limited exceptions for a person who is a resident of a long-term care or residential care facility that is licensed by the state that allows the administrator of the facility to provide documentation that the voter is a resident of that facility.
For more information contact the Sevier County Clerks office at 642-2852.
DRINKING, DRIVING, AND HITTING A BUILDING 9/23/14
Saturday night, a juvenile walked into the Pine Bowl on Highway 70 West and informed the workers that he had been involved in an accident.
Employees contacted 911 and Sevier County Deputy Greg Davignon was dispatched to the scene, but before he arrived Sergeant Chad Bradshaw of the De Queen Police Department had already arrived and administered a portable breath test to the juvenile driver.
The juvenile was also complaining of arm pain and was transported to the De Queen Regional Medical Center emergency room by the Southwest EMS.
At the hospital, Deputy Davignon was informed that the young man still lived at home with his mother, so De Queen Police Officer James Gilbert was dispatched to the suspects home to inform his mother that he had been involved in an accident.
The juvenile reported that the swerved to avoid hitting an oncoming car and lost control of his vehicle and drove into the De Queen Animal Hospital.
Officers discovered that the minor had been cited for driving while intoxicated in May of 2014 and was cited for driving while intoxicated number 2 and driving on a suspended license. He was released into the custody of his mother.
YOU MUST HAVE INSURANCE 9/23/14
Saturday afternoon around 5 p.m., Sevier County Sheriff's office was notified of an accident on Highway 329 about five miles southeast of De Queen.
Deputies reported that the driver Savanna Smith was attempting to take a left hand curve and lost control of her car and went into a ditch where she traveled about 252 feet before re-entering the highway and traveling another 274 feet before coming to a stop.
According to Smith, she was going between 55 and 60 miles an hour. She was cited for not having proof of insurance.
FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN WITH CANCER NEED OUR SUPPORT 9/22/14
De Queen Head Football Coach Justin Kramer spoke with KDQN this week and spoke about how people can support families that have children that have been diagnosed with cancer.
Kramer stated that it was actually a blessing when his daughter was diagnosed because it was the last day of school and he and his wife were able to focus their attention on her and her battle.
Kramer stated that when this thing comes. It changes everything and you must decide if you are going to sit around whining and complaining or you can get up and start attacking the cancer. He said his family knew that they had the support of their family and friends.
Kramer stated that when your family is going through this difficult time, it's nice to know that people care because life goes on.
This month, the Morning Brew Crew will be accepting donations for the American Childhood Cancer Organization of Arkansas to help find a cure of all childhood cancers. If you would like to donate, stop by the parking lot pep rally this afternoon from 4 to 6 p.m. at the corner of 9th and Locke Streets across from the De Queen Leopard practice field or stop by the studio at 921 Collin Raye Drive.
HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER TEAM CONTINUING TO RAISE FUNDS FOR CHAMPIONSHIP RINGS 9/22/14
Thursday morning, Soccer Coach Stephen Sloan and Kerry Rogers drew the name of Betty Tollette and she is the winner of her choice of a grill, fryer or Wal-Mart gift card after she bought a raffle ticket from a member of the De Queen High School 2014 Championship soccer team.
Coach Sloan stated the team has raised about $6,500 to help defray the cost of their championship rings, and they also worked this past weekend during the Pilgrim’s Pride Family Fun Day for a donation from an out of state event company.
Coach Sloan also mentioned that he and the team was very thankful for the communities support.
Coach Sloan also announced that last season’s Most Valuable Player, Estevin Garcia will be playing Division I soccer for the University of Memphis in the fall of 2015.
THIS IS BANNED BOOK WEEK 9/22/14
September 21st through September 27th is Banned Book Week at the Sevier County libraries, which is actually an opportunity to celebrate our freedom to read.
Banned Book Week is an annual event that celebrates our freedom to read and it highlights the value of free and open access to information and this year will focus on comics and graphic novels.
Banned Book Week brings together the entire book community, including librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers and readers of all types and ages, to support our freedom to seek and to express our ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.
Some groups attempt to remove or restrict access to certain books and Banned Book Week draws attention to the harms of censorship.
Every year, a list of books that have been targeted for removal or restrictions is complied each year. In 2013 that list included: Captain Underpants, Fifty Shades of Grey, The Hunger Games, Looking for Alaska and Bone. A complete list of banned books can be found on the website www.ala.org.
During Banned Book Week, the staff of the Sevier County Libraries is encouraging residents to stop by their local library and see what banned or challenged books they have on their shelves and read a book that has been banned or challenged. Also take some time and read a comic or graphic novel next week to see what all the hub bub is about.
Head Librarian Johnye Fisher stated that De Queen Library also has a display of burning books and a dead body. So stop by and checking it out for your self and while your there celebrate your freedom to read
ARKANSAS JOBLESS RATE INCHES UP IN AUGUST 9/22/14
State officials say Arkansas' unemployment rate rose slightly in August to 6.3 percent. It's the first time the state's jobless rate has increased in 2014.
The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services announced Friday that August's rate crept up one-tenth of a percentage point over July's. The agency says the civilian labor force declined by 2,100 jobs during July.
Three industry sectors added jobs last month, with government positions increasing by 2,800 jobs thanks to the start of the school year. Educational and health services added 1,300 jobs, while construction jobs increased by 1,300 as well.
Seven sectors posted declines last month, including a drop of 800 jobs in the trade, transportation and utilities sector and a loss of 500 jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector.
ASHDOWN PARK DIRECTOR RESIGNS 9/22/14
Earlier this month, Ashdown Park Director David Bearden resigned after being accused of using a city truck for his personal use. The accusation was brought by city treasurer/clerk, Kirk Mounts.
According to a published report in the Little River County News, Mounts stated that he noticed an unusual increase in the amount of gas that was being purchased. He said, he was informed by two city employees that they saw Bearden coming back to Ashdown when they were taken a tractor to De Queen to be repaired.
Mounts then suggested the city put GPS tracking systems on all city owned vehicles. He also allegedly determined that the city had purchased about 30 gallons of gas when Bearden was not at work.
Mounts reportedly put a tracking devise on the city vehicles between July 22nd and August 28th and discovered 18 instances where city vehicles might have been improperly used.
According to an email that Ashdown Mayor Carroll McLarty that was sent to council members, he stated that he intended to retain Bearden after he resigned until a replacement was hired and trained.
McLarty reported in the email that the city has a shortage of employees in the park department due to another resignation and he needed Bearden to remain on the job; however he would not be allowed to drive a city vehicle or purchase gas.
The city council met last Friday night and informed Mayor McLarty that Bearden should be released immediately and cited the 18 alleged instances of improper conduct.
According to the Little River News, the council informed Mayor McLarty that they would defund the position and move the funds to other departments if Bearden was retained.
COUNTY JUDGES OPPOSE ALCOHOL BALLOT MEASURE 9/22/14
The County Judges Association of Arkansas has voted to adopt a resolution in opposition to the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment.
If the proposed amendment to the state constitution passes this November, it would go into effect July 1st, 2015 and would permit the manufacture, sale, distribution and transportation of intoxicating liquors in all 75 counties of Arkansas.
Fifty-four county judges cited infringement of local control as their main reason for opposing the ballot measure.
GRANTS AWARDED FOR AIRPORT UPGRADES 9/22/14
U.S. Senators Mark Pryor and John Boozman and Representative Steve Womack have announced a total of more than $4.1 million dollars in federal grants to eight Arkansas airports.
The Federal Aviation Administration grants are to be used to support upgrades and expansions at the airports.
The eight airports are the Calico Rock-Izard County Airport; Fordyce Municipal Airport; Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport; Paris Municipal Airport; Searcy County Airport; Woodruff County Airport; Waldron Municipal Airport and the Mena Intermountain Municipal Airport.
The various upgrades and expansion projects at the airports include expanding a terminal, updating master plans, runway repairs, widening taxiways and installing weather reporting equipment.
PRYOR BILL MAKES STORM SHELTERS MORE AFFORDABLE 9/22/14
U.S. Senator Mark Pryor has introduced legislation to make safe rooms and storm shelters a more affordable option for Arkansas homeowners.
The Storm Shelter Affordability Act of 2014 provides a federal tax credit of up to $1,000 for homeowners who install safe rooms or storm shelters in high-risk tornado areas like Arkansas. This legislation complements the state's current safe room rebate programs in Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Ohio by implementing a federal tax credit that can be used in addition to any state rebate program.
Pryor stated that the April storms that hit Arkansas proved once again that storm shelters and safe rooms save lives. However, he said this level of protection is cost-prohibitive for many families and his bill would reduce the cost of storm shelters by up to a third, which will save lives when disaster strikes.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, a 10-square-foot residential safe room has an average cost of $3,000. The tax credit created in this legislation combined with Arkansas' rebate program would reduce the cost of installing shelters by up to $2,000.
REMAINS IDENTIFIED AS MISSING ASHDOWN WOMAN 9/22/14
Remains that were found on a sandbar in the Red River have been positively identified as those of 42-year-old Janice Northcross of Ashdown, according to the Caddo Parish Sheriff's office.
A forensic dentist in Baton Rouge used dental records to make the identification.
Northcross had been missing since February 8th when she either jumped or fell into the Red River near Fulton to avoid a tractor-trailer that was skidding toward her on an icy bridge.
A single bone was discovered on September 5th and more bones were found by members of the Caddo Sheriff's office in the days that followed and by September 11th, the Caddo Parish Coroner's Office and other officials had collected an adult female skeleton and transported it to Baton Rouge for further testing.
Dental records were provided by the Arkansas State Police to help confirm the ID.
SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS FAIR AND RODEO PARADE 9/22/14
The 70th annual Southwest Arkansas Fair and Rodeo Parade will begin a 6 p.m., Tuesday, September 23rd, at the intersection of 6th and Elm Streets in Hope and once again, pre-registration is required.
All parade participates must pre-register by noon on Tuesday, whether your entry will be judged or not. You can pre-register by calling 870-777-6772 until noon on Tuesday. All judged entrants must visit the green tent at 6th and Elm to pick up their number before 4:30 p.m. All horses must be checked in by 5:45 at the green tent that will be located on South Elm Street, behind Main Street Cleaners and Domino’s Pizza.
The parade will begin at 6th and Elm and will head North on Elm to Division Street and then turn right, travel two blocks to Walnut Street, turn right and go one block to 2nd Street and then turn left, go three blocks to Shover Street and then go right and end up at the Village Shopping Center parking lot.
All horses must have proof of a current Coggins test before they will be allowed to participate in the parade. No candy will be thrown and three and four-wheelers will not be allowed.
The theme of this year’s parade is “Broadway Nights” and the Grand Marshall will be State Representative Brent Talley.
If you have any questions, contact Eddie Brazzel at 870-777-6772.
AUCTION AND CONCERT TO BENEFIT SEVIER COUNTY MUSEUM 9/19/14
Saturday, the Sevier County Museum will be holding a benefit auction and concert to raise funds for the renovation of the museum annex.
Karen Mills explained that the museum board wants to remodel the museum annex and develop a Art and Entertainment Center.
Mills said she was excited to announced that the Bill Powers Band will be performing Saturday night on the annex porch and everyone is invited to bring a lawn chair and enjoy the music, but if it rains, Mills said there is plenty of room in the Museum Annex.
Mills even mentioned some of the items that will be auctioned off including some old tools, dolls, quilts and furniture.
For more information or to donate an item for the auction, contact Mills at the museum at 870-642-6642.
MAKE PLANS TO VISIT THE COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK 9/19/14
Many times, we overlook the treasures we have in our backyards and sometimes that is the case concerning the Cossatot River State Park.
Park Interpreter Shelly Flanary stated the park-natural area stretches for 12-miles along the wild and scenic Cossatot River and is Arkansas' premier whitewater experience.
She said the Cossatot River is renowned as the best whitewater float stream in mid-America because the Cossatot forms the Cossatot Falls, which is a rugged and rocky canyon that challenges the most experienced canoeists and kayakers with its Class IV and V rapids.
Flanary explained that the Cossatot is a watershed basin with flow levels dependent on rainfall, but following significant precipitation, the river level rises and allows experienced paddlers the opportunity to test their skills in the challenging whitewater.
Flanary said the river is usually floatable until late-fall, winter and spring with late winter and early spring being the peak whitewater paddling season. She also noted that Class III to V whitewater is for experienced or expert paddlers.
And, this weekend the park will feature a Cossatot River Weekend Adventure, which will include an overnight trip that will feature kayaking, backpacking, fishing, hiking, camping, Dutch oven cooking, snorkeling and evening programs.
The adventure will begin at noon on Saturday and conclude about 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
The cost is $95 and covers the kayak and tent rentals, food, guides and other equipment that's needed for the tour.
Next weekend on September 27th, the park will host a guided kayak tour from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., a nature hike from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. and a snorkeling tour from 2 to 3 p.m.
Sunday, September 28th will feature a guided kayak tour from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., a nature investigation from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and guests can help feed the critters from 2 to 3 p.m.
For more information about park activities, contact the park by calling 870-385-2201.
TIP LEADS TO POT PLANTS BEING CONFISCATED 9/19/14
A tip to the Foreman Marshal's office resulted in the arrest of a Little River County resident for the manufacturing a controlled substance, after the tip lead officers from the Marshal's office, the South Central Drug Task Force, the Arkansas State Police, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the Little River County Sheriff's office to a residence in Foreman where they discovered a crop a marijuana.
49-year-old James Green was arrested and is being held in the Little River County jail.
According to the marshal's office, they received the tip several weeks ago and had been observing the residence in order to get a warrant to search the property.
According to the report, officers discovered 10 large plants, several smaller plants and some marijuana being prepared for distribution. The estimated value of the plants was between $10,000 and $15,000 dollars.
According to a published report, this was the first case of growing marijuana in nearly 20 years in Little River County.
Courtesy of the Little River News
AREA SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS 9/18/14
Tuesday, a couple of Howard County school districts held school board elections.
In Dierks, Brad Garner defeated Barry Stuard for a position on the Dierks School Board by 93 votes and will be sworn-in prior to the October meeting of the Dierks Board of Education.
Stuard had served on the Dierks Board of Education since being appointed by the board in January of 2007. Stuard was appointed following the resignation of Mark Hooper.
Mineral Springs elected seven new board members after the state dissolved the district's school board in May of 2013 after the district was placed on the fiscal distress list for the 2012-2013 school year.
Former De Queen School District Superintendent Bill Blackwood served as the Mineral Springs School District interim superintendent until the state appointed Curtis Turner to be the new superintendent.
Turner is a native of Murfreesboro and served as the superintendent of the Delight, Murfreesboro, Glenwood/Centerpoint and Eureka Springs school districts before being appointed by Dr. Tom Kimbrell of the Arkansas Department of Education.
Sheila Jackson, Dorothy Vaughn, Zemeria Newton, Mike Erwin, Robert Hawkins, Sr., Jaimie Jackson and William Dixon will serve has the new members of the Mineral Springs Board of Education.
The Mineral Springs District was removed from the state's fiscal distress list in May of 2014.
ARREST MADE IN UMPRIE BREAK-IN 9/18/14
The Howard County Sheriff's Office made an arrest in connection with a residential burglary that was reported earlier this week near Umpire.
Monday, Kent Manely of Umpire reported that his home on Bethel Road had been broken into and some prescription medication had been taken.
After taking the report, Deputy Blake Eudy gathered some information that led to the arrest of 19-year-old Alex Sharp of Umpire.
Sharp is being charged with residential burglary and theft of property. His bond was set at $50,000.
BACKERS ASK COURT TO DISMISS ALCOHOL-SALES LAWSUIT 9/18/14
Backers of a measure that would legalize alcohol sales in all 75 Arkansas counties are asking the state's highest court to dismiss a lawsuit seeking to remove the proposal from the November ballot.
Representatives from Let Arkansas Decide filed court papers Tuesday seeking the dismissal of the suit that was filed earlier this month by Citizens for Local Rights. The opponents say petitions were due on the July Fourth holiday, which fell on a Friday.
Secretary of State Mark Martin's office accepted the petitions the next business day, or Monday, July 7th.
In the response that was filed Tuesday, backers of the proposed constitutional amendment say it's been the state's standard practice to push back a deadline if it falls on a holiday.
Oral arguments have been set for October 9th in the case.
CHEMICAL LEAK CONTAINED IN LITTLE RIVER COUNTY 9/18/14
A chlorine leak was contained Tuesday morning at the Millwood Treatment Plant near the Green Acres housing addition just south of Ashdown.
Little River County Emergency Management Coordinator Don Hale Jr. reported a one-ton cylinder valve broke off and released about 50 pounds of chlorine.
Hale explained that workers were replacing a valve when it broke.
The Ashdown Fire Department was notified at about 10:30 a.m. and placed on stand-by and four Ashdown firefighters were equipped with self-contained breathing apparatus to assist the treatment plant employees, if needed.
According to Hale, the plant was secured, and no evacuation was needed, however Ashdown officials were preparing to evacuate about 5 miles surrounding the plant if the leak had not been contained so quickly.
Chlorine is used in the water purification process from Millwood Lake. The plant provides water to the city of Texarkana and is apart of the Texarkana Water Utilities.
CORPS WAIVES DAY USE FEES IN HONOR OF PUBLIC LANDS DAY 9/18/14
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will be waiving the day use fees at its more than 2,200 operated recreational areas nationwide in recognition of National Public Lands Day on September 27th. On Saturday, September 27th, fees that are normally charged at boat ramps and swimming beaches will be waived.
The waiver does not apply to camping and camping-related services, or fees for specialized facilities such as group picnic shelters.
In recognition of National Public Lands Day, day user fees will be waived at DeGray, Greeson and Lake Ouachita.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been involved with National Public Lands Day since its inception in 1994 and has consistently been one of the event's largest providers of sites and volunteers. The corps manages 404 lake and river projects in 43 states.
The Vicksburg District, which includes Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi, includes 15 recreational sites and hosts approximately nine million visitors a year. It also employees nearly 2,700 people and impacts the local economies with approximately $200 million dollars annually.
HARVEST TEXARKANA REGIONAL FOOD BANK NEEDS YOUR VOTE 9/18/14
Harvest Texarkana Regional Food Bank is hoping the public can help them click their way to a grant from Wal-Mart by voting for them in the “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” initiative, a national campaign where money is awarded to the food bank that gets the most votes for their programs that help alleviate hunger.
The public will decide which organizations will receive the grant through a voting campaign at walmart.com/fighthunger that includes more than 200 different hunger relief organizations from across the country. The more votes a Feeding America food bank gets, the better the chances they have to winning the money. The funds that are won will be used to support local hunger relief programs.
Camille Parker is the executive director of Harvest Texarkana and she said the food bank is in the running for $45,000, which will be used to purchase freezer and refrigeration space.
She explained that if Harvest Texarkana wins, $15,000 will be given to five of their partner agencies, which will help both the food bank and the community, but they need everyone to go online and vote as often as they can.
The public will be able to vote on their favorite food bank starting at midnight on September 15th through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, October 5th at walmart.com/fighthunger. Visitors to the page can award one vote a day to their favorite program. At the conclusion of the voting, 50 food banks with the most votes will split $3 million dollars in funding from Wal-Mart.
Funding for hunger relief programs is especially critical given the significant need that exists. According to the USDA, over 49 million people in the United States struggle with hunger. In Harvest Texarkana’s service area, there are an estimated 52,000 individuals, including 17,000 children, who struggle with hunger.
For more information and to vote daily for Harvest Texarkana Regional Food Bank, please go to facebook.com/harvesttxk.
ROSS' VISION ON TAXES AND JOB CREATION 9/18/14
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Ross acknowledges the importance of cutting the state's income but stated he plans to cut other taxes as well and he explained that by cutting taxes, he hopes to create more jobs in Arkansas.
Ross stated if the state wants to move forward differences of opinions must be put aside and do what is good for the state of Arkansas and its citizens.
ASHDOWN SHOOTING SPORTS TRAP TEAM 09/18/14
The five members of the Ashdown Shooting Sports Trap Team were treated to a special dove hunt near Dumas on September 8-9 by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, in honor of their State Championship at the 2014 Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports Program Tournament .
Logan Henry, Jordan Cowling, Jon Michael Molock, Trevor Myers, and Alex Simmons are all part of the winning team from the Ashdown Junior High Shooting Sports Program in June.
Chuck Woodson, AYSSP State Coordinator at the Education & Outreach Division of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, invited the young sportsmen and stated that he, along with the AGFC Commissioners and several of the AGFC Administration, "will do our best to make it a day they will cherish and hold in their memory bank for a long time."
All who attended agree that it was indeed a great hunt, with just under 300 doves harvested between students, coaches, and AGFC personnel. Other students who hunted were the high school champion trap team from Greenwood. Accompanying the Ashdown team were coaches Mike Molock and Ray Henry and school team sponsor Terry Simmons.Pictured after the hunt are Ashdown Trap Team members (front - l to r) Trevor Myers, Jordan Cowling, (back) Jon Michael Molock, Logan Henry, and Alex Simmons.
SEARCH LEDS TO CITATION FOR POSSESSION 9/17/14
Monday night about 11 p.m., Sevier County Deputies Greg Davignon and Matt Webb were patrolling in the Horatio area when they observed a maroon colored Kia without working taillights.
Deputies stopped the vehicle to inform the driver that their taillights weren't working, but when they approached the driver's side, they could smell alcohol coming from inside the vehicle.
The driver, 31-year-old Daniel Garza of Eagletown, Oklahoma passed a series of field sobriety test.
Deputies asked Garza if he had any weapons on him and he gave them permission to search him. Deputy Davignon discovered a plastic bag containing suspected marijuana.
According to the report, Garza admitted that he had some pot and was citied for possession of a controlled substance, marijuana.
ROSS SEEKS TO CONTINUE STATE'S HISTORY OF FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY 9/17/14
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Ross announced that he believes Arkansas can cut taxes, while maintaining fiscal responsibility.
Ross explained that Arkansas taxes are too high and something needs to be done for the state's working families.
Ross said state leaders need to conduct business; the same way Arkansas families and small businesses are forced to conduct theirs.
Ross stated that if elected he will continue to uphold the state's history of fiscal responsibility and work to maintain the a balanced budget.
INSTRUMENT OF CRIME DISCOVERED DURING TRAFFIC STOP 9/17/14
Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Greg Davignon observed a red Nissan drive left of the center line on a couple occasions Monday night about 10 p.m. near Horatio.
The driver, 20-year-old Dewayne Chaney, informed the deputy that he had some slack in his front end of the vehicle and that caused him to drive left of center.
After receiving permission to search the vehicle, Deputy Davignon discovered a metal smoking pipe in the passenger side door panel.
Chaney reportedly admitted the pipe was his and that he was growing marijuana at his home.
He was citied for possession of an instrument of crime that's drug related.
FALL FESTIVAL AT CRATER OF DIAMOND STATE PARK 9/17/14
This October, the Crater of Diamonds State Park will be dressed up to celebrate fall during their Fall Festival. From 3 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, October 11th, the park will be hosting a family-friendly event and the cost is just $4.
The entrance fee pays for a wrist ticket to the state park grounds, which will be turned into an old fashioned carnival of fun. Attractions will include carnival games for all ages, food, craft vendors, live music, including a karaoke contest and bounce attractions and finally a spooky hayride.
Games will test the skills of children of all ages, like a golf putting green, go fish and a treasure box.
Ten game tickets come with the $4 admission price and additional game tickets for 50 cents each or 12 for $5.
The bounce attractions will include a 30-foot obstacle course for the older children and a 5-in-1 Sponge Bob bounce house for younger children.
KMTB’s Jonathan Canaday and a local musical group will perform throughout the evening. At 5:30 p.m. Canaday will host the karaoke contest. To perform your favorite song, contact Canaday at 1-800-295-2995 or 870-845-3601.
There will also be craft and food vendor booths. If you would like to reserve a booth call Debbie Wright at 870-285-3113. If you sign up by the end of September, the booth fee will be $20, after September 30th, the fee will be $25. This year, the booths will be under a circus tent with lighting.
The hayride will be from 7 to 9 and will circle around the campground. Campers will be invited to decorate their campsites and the park staff will add some spooky features to make the ride fun.
For more information about the Fall Festival at the Crater of Diamonds State Park, call 870-285-3113.
DIERKS SCHOOL BOARD CONSIDERS PAYING TEACHERS BONUS FOR ATTENDANCE 9/17/14
Monday night during the September meeting of the Dierks Board of Education, board members heard a recommendation from the district's certified personnel policy committee concerning a teacher attendance bonus policy.
Committee Chairperson Crystal Smith presented the board with the committee’s recommendation that stated teachers would be paid a bonus twice a year for their attendance.
Smith said the committee was recommending paying teachers a $500 bonus for not missing any days of class down to $200 for missing only two days of class per semester.
Board members tabled the recommendation so they could review the amount that the district has spent on substitutes over the past five years.
Superintendent Holly Cothern informed KDQN that the policy is to help encourage teachers to remain in the classrooms.
Cothern informed the board that staff members were still training when it comes to the new website and programs that the state is requiring districts to use this year.
Cothern reported the district will receive a District Level Accreditation plaque and award during the Advanc-ED Awards Luncheon on September 24th.
High School Principal Jody Cowart reported that teachers were using sample items from the internet to help with the schools PARCC assessments and teachers had expanded the schools FBLA and created a Health Club for students.
Cothern encouraged board members to review the district's new website at dierksschools.org and Cowart mentioned that parents also have access to their children's grades online through the Home Access Center.
Cothern reported the final issue is being resolved concerning the district's new shelter building and that new heating and cooling units were being installed at the elementary gym. She also informed the board that the district would be paying off a bus this year, which would free up some extra funds for the 2015-2016 school year.
2014 CONSERVING OUT PASTURES WORKSHOP 9/17/14
Landowners and Livestock Producers interested in cost-share programs and best management practices are encouraged to attend the 2014 Conserving our Pastures Workshop.
The workshop will be held on September 23rd at the University of Arkansas Research and Extension Center in Hope, starting at 10 a.m and running until 12:30. Lunch will be provided following the informative session.
Natural resource professionals with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Natural Resource Conservation Service and Arkansas Natural Resource Commission will discuss management of grazing lands including rotational grazing, alternative water sources and stream side fencing.
Presenters will also tie these practices into available cost-share programs and provide information on how to obtain cost-share if desired.
Jeff Taverner with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission says they have tried to set up a program that will cover nearly all financial incentive programs that are available. He said if you are a cattle producer, they will demonstrate how you can improve your bottom line while improving water quality.
Taverner said these programs can help prevent severe erosion from stream banks as well as provide a source of fresh clean water for livestock.
To RSVP call 870-777-9702 ext. 100, the RSVP is encouraged so they can estimate the number meals to provide, but for more information call Mike Budd at 870-473-2869.
25 ARKANSAS COUNTIES UNDER FIREWOOD QUARANTINE 9/17/14
The Arkansas State Plant Board has implemented an emergency quarantine on certain types of wood in 25 counties to help slow the spread of an invasive beetle.
Residents in the affected counties area asked to not move firewood and wood from ash trees out of the county in hopes of slowing the spread of the emerald ash borer.
The beetle was first discovered in Michigan and is blamed for killing millions of ash trees in the United States and Canada.
So far, the emerald ash borer has been confirmed in Clark, Columbia, Dallas, Hot Spring, Nevada and Ouachita counties. Other counties included in the quarantine are: Ashley, Bradley, Calhoun, Cleveland, Drew, Garland, Grant, Hempstead, Howard, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lincoln, Little River, Miller, Montgomery, Pike, Saline, Sevier and Union counties.
ARKANSAS ATTORNEY GENERAL ASKS COURT TO UPHOLD GAY MARRIAGE BAN 9/17/14
The attorney general’s office is asking the Arkansas Supreme Court to uphold the state’s gay marriage ban, arguing a county judge was wrong to say it violated the state and U.S. constitution.
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel’s office asked justices to uphold the 2004 constitutional amendment and an earlier state law defining marriage as between a man and a woman on Monday. Pulaski County Judge Chris Piazza struck down the ban earlier this year, and 541 same-sex couples were married before the ruling was suspended by the state Supreme Court pending appeals.
McDaniel’s office argued that a constitutional amendment cannot be ruled unconstitutional, and is arguing the state’s voters have the right to define marriage.
A group of same-sex couples is also challenging the ban in federal court.
LOCKESBURG CITY COUNCIL APPROVES MILLAGE RATES 9/16/14
During the September meeting of the Lockesburg City Council, aldermen approved a resolution levying the millage rates on taxable property within the Lockesburg city limits.
City Attorney Erin Hunter also read an ordinance calling for an election on the question of levying a three-quarter of one percent sales and use tax within the city of Lockesburg. The ordinance was passed on August 20th and residents will vote on the sales tax ordinance during the November General Election.
According to the ordinance, one-quarter of a percent will be designated for capital improvements on the Lockesburg campus of UA Cossatot, which plans to renovate the old Lockesburg High School campus, so they can start offering classes in Lockesburg.
The UA Cossatot one-quarter cent sales tax will also have a sundowner clause of 10-years.
The other two-quarters will be used for general improvements within the city.
Aldermen accepted a bid from Diamond Lawn Care in the amount of $85 dollars twice a month for maintaining the Coulter Memorial Cemetery.
Aldermen also approved five building permits. One was for the construction of a porch on an existing residence. The other four were for the set up of mobile homes.
IVAN SMITH BUILDING CATCHES FIRE FRIDAY NIGHT 9/16/14
Firemen from several area departments spent several hours Friday night and into early Saturday morning battling a blaze at the Southwest Ivan Smith Furniture Store on North Main Street in Nashville.
Nashville firemen were dispatched at 9 Friday night, when police officers reported flames shooting through the store's roof.
Fire Chief Jerry Harwell says the fire started in the attic of the second floor in the south end of the building. An approximately 18 inch firewall separated the south section of the store from the middle section of the building. The center section of the building received light smoke and water damage, and the North section of the building received little to no smoke damage.
Store Manager Wanda Carter says plans are to move into the former Charlie's Thriftway location on a temporary basis while cleanup efforts are ongoing.
In addition to Nashville, departments from Mineral Springs, Center Point, County Line, Yancey, Bingen, and Nathan also assisted in extinguishing the blaze.
Courtesy of Jonathan Canaday of KMTB 99.5
COTTON'S STAFF TO HOLD VA ASSISTANCE SESSIONS 9/16/14
Staff members from the office of Fourth Congressional District U.S. Representative Tom Cotton will conduct three veterans’ assistance sessions on September 23rd in our listening area.
Staff members will be available to provide information and answer questions about Veterans Administration related issues.
Staff members will be at the Dierks Community Building on Second Street in Dierks from 9 to 10:30 a.m.; in the Sevier County Courthouse conference room in De Queen from 12:30 to 2 p.m.; and in the small courtroom of the Little River County Courthouse from 3 to 4:30 p.m.
DRIVER CITIED FOR LEAVING SCENE OF ACCIDENT 9/16/14
About 4:30 Sunday morning, Patrolman First Class Wayne Baker observed a pickup traveling South on Homesite Lane and veer off the roadway on the right side of the street before turning East on Collin Raye Drive where it merged into the inside lane.
When Officer Baker approached the truck, he observed an open bottle of Corona and asked the driver to exit the truck. The driver was identified as 40-year-old Miriam Ruiz of De Queen.
While Officer Baker was conducting a series of field sobriety tests, Officer Levi Browning was dispatched to 218 Wanda Street in reference to some damage to a mailbox and potted plant.
After being informed about the property damage, Officer Baker observed some damage to the driver's side of Ruiz's truck and a large amount of potting soil at the base of the windshield.
When asked if she had hit a mailbox, Ruiz reportedly stated that she had.
Ruiz was placed into custody and citied for leaving the scene of a property damage accident, driving while intoxicated, for not having a driver's license and no proof of insurance.
HELP PREVENT PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE 9/16/14
Prescription drug abuse and misuse is growing at such at such an alarming rate that drug overdoses have eclipsed motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of accidental death in the United States.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of all drug overdose deaths are caused by pharmaceuticals, such as prescription pain relievers. The problem of prescription drug abuse is particularly critical in Arkansas, which has led the nation in the abuse of prescription drugs by teenagers.
That’s why Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has partnered with other agencies to host this week’s Arkansas Prescription Drug Abuse Summit. More than 650 participants including medical professionals, law enforcement officials and educators attended the summit to hear from national experts on the best ways to prevent prescription drug abuse and provide treatment to those who need it.
The third annual summit came just days before the Ninth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, which is scheduled for Saturday, September 27th. McDaniel issued this consumer alert today to promote awareness of this issue and encourage Arkansas consumers to participate in the September 27th take-back effort.
McDaniel announced that prescription drug abuse epidemic touches all our lives, as it’s likely that everyone knows a friend or family member who has been addicted to prescription medication. He said because it affects everyone, it will take everyone to solve the problem, whether it’s the physician who heard about an innovative and more appropriate way to treat a patient, or a consumer who merely takes the time to safely discard unwanted pills.
Since the national take-back initiative began in 2010, Arkansans have safely and securely disposed of 52 tons of pills, and Arkansas is one of the leading states for participation in the program.
Secure take-back locations will be available to consumers statewide from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on September 27th. For consumers who are unable to dispose of their unused and unwanted pills on September 27th, there is a permanent disposal site at the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office.
In addition, pharmacies and other medical facilities will be allowed to register as a collection site under the new Drug Enforcement Administration guidelines that take effect on October 9th.
Disposing of drugs at the take-back sites help keep medications out of the hands of potential abusers, and it also benefits the environment. Throwing pills away or flushing them down the toilet poses significant health and safety risks.
McDaniel urged consumers to help prevent prescription drug abuse by keeping these tips in mind:
You should monitor every prescription. You should take note of how many pills are in each bottle and keep track of refills.
Secure all medications, even over-the-counter drugs, in locations that are inaccessible to children, teenagers or potential abusers because the leading source of prescription drugs taken for non-medical use is the medicine cabinet of a friend or family member.
You should also dispose of expired, unused or unwanted prescription drugs promptly at collection sites sponsored by law enforcement agencies.
You should also prevent unauthorized refills by removing personal, identifying information from pill bottles or packaging before disposal.
For more information about prescription drug abuse or misuse, contact the Health Care Bureau of McDaniel’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-482-8982 or visit the website www.gotyourbackarkansas.org.
NEWS FROM THE DE QUEEN SCHOOL DISTRICT 9/16/14
Tammy Whatley of the De Queen School District announced that the district is holding a school spirit competition on the Middle School campus, a parents meeting Tuesday night and that several students are participating in the Four States Fair in Texarkana this week.
Whatley stated that parents are invited to help the Middle School students create a poster that shows their school spirit each week. The competition will be between students in the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth grades and is being called Hall Wars.
Each grade has a theme.
The theme for the eighth and ninth grades is Black and Gold. The seventh grade theme is Teenage Mutant Ninja Cubs and the sixth grade theme is Super Cubs and parents are invited to help decorate the hall walls on Wednesday after school.
She also mentioned that the Middle School ranks in the top 20 for their Math benchmark scores.
Tuesday night at 5:30 p.m., thee district's English as a Second Language teachers will be hosting a parent's meeting and Whatley commended the ESL parents for supporting the program.
Whatley stated that when she gets the results from the Four State's Fair, she will pass those along to our listeners. She even mentioned that the district purchased a used Duramax Diesel truck to the Vo-Ag department to help transport student's livestock to fairs across the state.
For more information about events that are taking place on the campuses of the De Queen School District, you can visit their website at dequeenleopards.org.
WANTING TO LOSE SOME WEIGHT; JOIN ML2 9/16/14
Angie Ragan of the Wellness Center in De Queen recently started holding free meetings for people who want to lose weight by changing their eating habits and learn how to develop a healthy lifestyle.
Ragan stated that she doesn't recommend fad diets or diet pills because they make work in the short term, but it won't change the habits that caused you to gain weight in the first place.
Ragan also prepares healthy snacks and recipes that participates may not try on their own.
Ragan explained that the class is free and anyone can participate. For more information call the Wellness Center at 642-4000 and ask for Angie.
SEVIER COUNTY LAND AUCTION NETS $1,207 9/15/14
The recent auction of tax-delinquent properties in Sevier County collected almost $5,000 for county and state government, 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. A single bidder purchased both parcels that were being offered, for a total of $1,207.59 in revenue for Sevier County and 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.
Commission John Thurston said a small percentage of certified parcels make it to public auction because a majority of the properties that are certified to his office is redeemed, which means the back taxes are paid by the original owner.
While redemption of property is the preferred method of disposing of tax-delinquent lands, Thurston notes the important role of land sales in returning inactive parcels to the tax rolls.
Registered bidders may purchase land at the auctions. Registration to bid at land sales is free. Upon 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.
Thurston said his office returned over $21 million dollars to school districts and county governments in 2013. Of that, Sevier County received $26,123.68, which ensures stable revenue for local public schools.
If you are interested in public auctions, residents may contact the State Land Office by phone at 501-324-9422, or email her at email@example.com to subscribe to the Catalog of Tax Delinquent Lands, a free quarterly publication listing all parcels that are being offered for sale at auction.
LEWIS REFUSES PLEA BARGAIN; TRIAL SET FOR NOVEMBER 9/15/14
Last week, Prosecuting Attorney Brian Chesshir offered 43-year-old Edmond Lewis a plea deal in which Lewis would have served 75 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections.
Lewis refused Chesshir's offer and will face a jury in November on 22 counts, which will be enhanced for being a habitual offender because he has been convicted of four or more other felonies in the Sevier County Circuit Court.
Lewis has been charged with breaking and entering and theft of property for allegedly breaking into a storage building that was owned Tommy Drummond and taking some property that was valued at $1,000 or less.
Lewis allegedly also committed the offense of residential burglary on or about December 16th when he broke into the home of Rodney Richardson Sr. and a building that belonged to Vera Blalock. He also has been accused of breaking into a commercial building that belonged to the Corp of Engineers of Dierks Lake.
Lewis has been charged with three counts of theft of property in connection with the previous offenses.
Lewis is also being charged with residential burglary and commercial burglary for breaking into the home of John Paul Johnson and the Old Union Church on or about February 15th, along with two counts of theft of property.
Lewis is being charged with attempted arson for tampering with a gas line with the purpose to cause a fire or explosion at the First Baptist Church in De Queen on February 20th.
Lewis is being accused of breaking into a commercial building on Benito's Car Lot and the Cornerstone Monuments, along with the First Baptist Church of De Queen along with three counts of theft of property on February 20th.
Lewis has also been charged with criminal use of a prohibited weapon and possession of a firearm by a certain person.
If convicted and sentenced to the maximum amount of jail time, Lewis could be sentenced to 465 years in prison.
IT'S CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS MONTH 9/15/14
De Queen head football Coach Justin Kramer and the De Queen Leopards are wearing gold ribbons on their helmets this month to draw attention to the fact that September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
Coach Kramer stated childhood cancer month is important to him and his family because his daughter was diagnosed with cancer when she was just two and half years old.
Coach Kramer explained that everyone knows October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but we need to realize that cancer is the number killer of young people under the age of 20.
Coach Kramer said it amazes him that when he tells someone that September is childhood cancer awareness month that they don't already know.
Coach Kramer wants to encourage people to become more aware of childhood cancer and realize that there is more than one form of cancer that children suffer from.
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month's theme is 46/7 and Kramer explained that 46 children are diagnosed with cancer everyday and of that 46, seven will not survive.
Coach Kramer explained that people would be moved to help find a cure of childhood cancers if they stopped to compare their childhood memories with those of a child that's battled cancer.
Kramer stated that only four percent of the funds allotted for cancer research is designated for childhood cancers and the survival rate has improved over the past several years, but if researchers had more money they could save more kids.
So, for the remainder of the month the Morning Brew Crew will be collecting donations for childhood cancer research. You may donate at the station or at the De Queen Leopard parking lot pep rally. Let's not only root the Leopards on to victory, but let support this children who can't beat cancer alone.
DIERKS MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO THEFT 9/15/14
A Dierks man has plead guilty to theft by receiving this week in the Little River County Circuit Court.
36-year-old Gregory Boeckman was charged after police began investigating the theft of a John Deere tractor and baler from Nevada County on May 24th in 2013.
The tractor was later recovered in Sevier County and the baler was found in Howard County.
Boeckman was arrested in February and was sentenced to five years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections.
CRATER OF DIAMONDS TO HOST WIRE WRAP JEWELRY WORKSHOP 9/15/14
The Crater of Diamonds State Park will be hosting a jewelry-making workshop on Saturday, September 20th from 1:30 to 4 p.m. for individuals, ages 13 and up for people who are interested in learning the art of freeform wire wrapping.
This easy and beautiful method of jewelry-making requires only a few tools. The most important tools are the hands and imagination.
Many types of stones can be used, including several that are found at the Crater. And since there are no strict patterns or guidelines to follow, freeform artisans are free to create a variety of styles.
The workshop will begin with a discussion of basic tools and materials used in wire wrapping and the freeform method, in particular. Participants will then try their hands at freeform wrapping, using copper practice wire and polished Crater jasper or agate.
This year participants will also have a chance to add colorful jasper bead accents to their design and in addition, each participant will receive a wire wrapping kit, including wire, pliers, and instructions to get started in this fun craft.
Cost of the workshop is $20 per person, including a $10 registration fee that is due by September 17. The remaining $10 will be due on the day of the workshop and space is limited to eight participants, with a minimum of three.
For more information or to make a reservation, call the Crater of Diamonds State Park at 870-285-3116 by Wednesday, September 17th.
ARKANSAS SCHOLARSHIP LOTTERY PROVIDES SCHOLARSHIPS TO 36,000 STUDENTS 9/15/14
With over 36,000 Arkansas students awarded Arkansas's lottery-funded Academic Challenge Scholarships to attend the state's public and private colleges and universities this year, the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery transferred $40 million dollars to the Arkansas Department of Higher Education to cover the Fall Semester's scholarships.
Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Director Bishop Woosley stated this is like their big harvest. He said it was always a big day when they turn $40 million dollars into real opportunities for Arkansas students.
Woosley stated that many students would not be able to attend college without the Academic Challenge Scholarship and they would then be forced to put off their dream of success indefinitely. He explained that a college education is like currency on the world's new economy and everyone at the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery is excited to be helping students compete in that new global economy.
The Arkansas Lottery was approved in 2008 by Arkansas voters and has raised over $452 million dollars for scholarships for over 160,000 students.
RAYFIELD NAMED AS GRAND MARSHALL OF 2014 AHS HOMECOMING PARADE 09/15/14
Long-time educator Shirley Rayfield has been named as the Grand Marshall of the 2014 Ashdown High School Homecoming parade to begin at approximately 2:00 on Friday, Sept. 26. Rayfield will also crown the 2014 Homecoming Queen at coronation ceremonies at 6:45 prior to the 7:30 kick-off of the Ashdown vs Mena Homecoming football game that evening.
Rayfield has 31 years experience as an educator before retiring in 2003. After receiving her B.S.E. from ETSU-Texarkana (presently TAMU-Texarkana) , she worked first as an elementary math teacher in Nash, Texas, and then began her teaching career in Ashdown with four years at kindergarten, eight years at second grade, and finally fifteen years as an administrator for grades K-4. Between her teaching years and her administrative years, Rayfield also served as a Reading Specialist for the Arkansas Department of Education for a year and for the DeQueen-Mena Education Cooperative for two years.
During those working years, Rayfield also earned a kindergarten certification, a Master's degree in reading K-12, and an administrator's certification from TAMU-Texarkana.
Rayfield comments that she "loved every day in school and, if I had it to do over, I would do exactly the same thing." She also states that what she misses most is knowing all the children in town. "I love when they come up," she says, "and ask if I remember them."
Rayfield's children Tommy Jr., Brent, and Callie Jo are all graduates of Ashdown High School. Callie Jo continues her mother's calling as an educator by serving as an elementary school principal in Arkadelphia, and Rayfield's daughter-in-law Quincey is the counselor at Ashdown High School. Rayfield also has another daughter-in-law Mary and seven grandchildren .
AHS HOMECOMING 2014 THEME "BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS!" 09/15/14
Ashdown High School is stirring with excitement about Homecoming 2014, which is themed "Breakfast of Champions!" for this year's activities, with each class choosing a cereal brand to incorporate into their float and banner designs. The entire week of Sept. 22-26 is filled with opportunities for students and the community to show their spirit and support of Ashdown High School and the AHS Panthers, leading up to the Homecoming football contest with the Mena Bearcats on Friday, Sept. 26.
Spirit Dress-Up Days for all Ashdown students gives everyone a chance to participate in competition. Monday, Sept. 22 is Makin' It Maui Monday (Beach Day); Tuesday the 23th is Turn Your Swag On Tuesday (Dress your best!). Represent your class with color on Color War Wednesday -- Seniors wear red, Juniors - blue, Sophomores - green, and Freshmen - orange. Thursday is Throwback Thursday - 70s style! Friday, Sept. 26, of course, is Flaunt Your Fan Style; wear Purple and Gold! The journalism staff is awarding prizes for the best-dressed students each day.
In addition to Spirit Dress-Up Days, classes also will challenge each other in competitions throughout the week. Each will create and display a banner in the cafeteria, play against each other in the annual Powder Puff games on Tuesday night, participate in a canned food drive for the local DHS food bank, and enter a float in the Homecoming Parade on Friday afternoon.
The Tuesday Night Lights Powder Puff games on Tuesday, beginning at 6:30 in Dick Hays Stadium, are sponsored by the AHS Student Council, and because it is the only fundraiser for the StuCo, every attendee, including participants, will pay a $3 entry charge. The competition is fierce between the teams, and the Powder Puff "cheer-guys" are always entertaining. The public is encouraged to attend and enjoy.
AHS students invite everyone to kick up the spirit and be part of the fun and excitement leading up to Homecoming night in Dick Hays Stadium. Ashdown schools will dismiss at noon on Friday, Sept. 26 so that everyone is free to attend a public pep rally at 1:00 in the stadium, when the Homecoming Court and Senior Panthers will be introduced. The parade through downtown will follow immediately. Coronation of the 2014 Homecoming Queen will be at 7:00, and the Ashdown-Mena game will kick off at 7:30.
Homecoming is principally a time for AHS alumni to reunite and celebrate. This year, classes that end in "4" will be recognized at all of the public events, and each is encouraged to enter a float in the parade on Friday afternoon, tailgate in the alumni facilities adjacent to the football field, sit together during the Homecoming game, and then attend the Alumni Banquet on Saturday evening, Sept. 27 in the AHS cafeteria. For further information about any of these opportunities, the high school office phone number is 870-898-3562.
UA COSSATOT COLLEGIATE FFA GUN RAFFLE 09/12/14
UA Cossatot Collegiate FFA chapter is holding a gun raffle. Chapter members are selling tickets until October 27th. The money raised will help send the students to Arkansas State Fair and National FFA Convention, as well as fund the FFA contest they hold every spring. Tickets will be drawn and ten different guns will be awarded. Drawing will be held Monday, October 27th during the UA Cossatot Collegiate FFA Chili Supper which will be held at 6:00 pm in the Adams Building on the De Queen Campus. Free admission to the chili supper with a raffle ticket. Raffle tickets are $20 each and only 500 tickets will be sold. Winner need not be present to win.For more information contact Kelli Harris, UA Cossatot FFA Advisor at firstname.lastname@example.org or (870) 584-4471, ext 1218.
TO BENEFIT HOWARD COUNTY MUSEUM 9/12/14
COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK 9/12/14
Cossatot River State Park will be hosting a Dutch Oven cooking workshop this Saturday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Park staff members will teach guests the history of Dutch oven cooking along with techniques for cooking in a Dutch oven. Participates will receive a 4-quart Dutch oven and a cookbook full of recipes.
Park interpreters will prepare a couple of entrees and desserts.
Cost is $50 per person if you want to receive the cast iron cookware or $15 per person if you just want to enjoy the meal. Reservations are required and space is limited. You may contact the park office for more information or to register at 385-2201.
On Sunday, Park Interpreter Shelly Flanary will lead an animal hike along the Cossatot River in an attempt to discover what animal life may be stirring around at 9 in the morning.
Flanary recommends that everyone wear appropriate shoes, dress for the weather and bring a couple bottles of water.
At 2 p.m. guests are invited to help feed the park critters and at 3:15, a park interpreter will give a lecture about how you can land a trophy buck this deer season.
For more information about the programs at the Cossatot River State Park, call 385-2201.
DIERKS MAYOR REPORTS CITY SEEKING HEALTH CARE PROVIDER 9/12/14
Dierks Mayor Terry Mounts reported that the Dierks City Council had a short but productive meeting this week.
Mayor Mounts stated that he and several other community leaders met with the owner of Healthy Connections of Mena to discuss the possibility of them opening a clinic in Dierks.
Mounts stated the city was out of compliance with the Arkansas Department of Health on its waste water system, but they were making an effort to resolve those issues.
Last month, Mounts reported that he had been receiving complaints about four-wheelers being operated in an unsafe manner, as well as, property owners needing to clean up their property, but residents are making efforts to clean their properties and Mounts said that he has not heard anymore complaints about the four-wheelers since the police starting speaking with riders.
Mounts stated that he was informed that Weyerhaeuser should begin renovating the Dierks Mill by 2015 after their permits are approved.
Weyerhaeuser spokeswoman Nancy Thompson stated they will be renovating the Dierks Mill in phases, but reiterated that work will not be impeded by the new construction work.
FLASH FLOODING IN AREA 9/12/14
Several streets and roads were under water this morning due to the amount of rain that fell in the area Thursday morning.
A spokesperson for the Sevier County Sheriff's office reported that they had received several calls from motorists that had stalled out in water that was running across streets. She also reported that the outside lane of Collin Raye Drive had running water in it and was recommending that drivers use caution.
Sevier County Judge Greg Ray reported that county workers were hauling slate to Robinson Loop because water had cut the road and made it impassable this morning.
He stated county crews were driving the roads and reported that water was over the roadway in several locations, but he expected the water to recede shortly have the rains stops falling.
Here at your number one country studios, we received over 3 inches of rain in about 3 hours.
Judge Ray also wanted to remind drivers that they should not drive into water that is running across the highway because according to one website, it only take 4 to 6 inches to sweep a vehicle off the roadway.
ROCK FOR A
THASSA LOTTA WATTA! 09/12/14
Number One Country's official rain gauge registered 5.95" of rain that fell on Thursday. Creeks and rivers were overflowing their banks. Roads and streets were washing away. Thankfully, the heavy rain slacked off around noon and gave Mother Nature the time needed to take care of the run-off.
COUPLE OF MINORS INVOLVED IN ACCIDENT 9/11/14
About 10:30, Tuesday morning, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Chris Wolcott was dispatched to a single vehicle accident on Westline Road about five miles West of Horatio.
When Wolcott arrived he was informed that a 15-year-old minor had been involved in an accident along with a minor passenger.
According to the report, the driver was traveling along a dirt road when a deer ran out in front of his 1993 GMC pickup. He stated he hit the brakes, which caused him to lose control of the vehicle.
Wolcott reported that there were skid marks on the road that measured about 150 feet, before the pickup left the roadway. The truck knocked down about 30 feet of fencing before skidding another 75 feet prior to hitting an electric pole.
The two minors were transported to the De Queen Regional Medical Center by Southwest EMS for treatment.
DE QUEEN BOARD APPROVES RESOLUTION CONCERNING LOCKESBURG HIGH SCHOOL CAMPUS 9/11/14
Members of the De Queen Board of Education voted to approve an amendment to a resolution concerning changes that may be made to the Lockesburg High School campus.
UA Cossatot Vice-Chancellor Dr. Maria Parker explained that the amendment also provided the De Queen School District the right of first refusal if Cossatot does not use the property for educational purposes.
Dr. Parker also informed KDQN that there was no start date for making improvements to the Lockesburg campus because Cossatot currently does not have any funding to make any improvements.
De Queen Superintendent Bruce Hill reported that the district had a hearing scheduled for September 24th with the state's facilities committee concerning the district's appeal on the district's request to build a new high school.
Hill stated the renovations on the old elementary are about 99 percent complete, but no work has been done on the new flooring in the junior high building. He said there has been no visible change to the floor, but a door had to be cut off on the second floor and he will be consulting with the contractor to have them re-check the floor.
Board members accepted the transfer of five students from the Horatio School District to the De Queen School District, while approving the transfer of three students from De Queen to Horatio.
GOVERNOR RE-APPOINTS LOCKESBURG RESIDENT TO STATE BOARD 9/11/14
Earlier this week, Governor Mike Beebe announced 58 appointments to state board and commissions, including the re-appointment of Bruce Jackson to the Arkansas Agriculture Board.
Jackson explained to KDQN that the agriculture board helps advise the Arkansas Department of Agriculture on issues that are of importance to Arkansas farmers and ranchers.
Jackson said this will be his second term on the board and they meet once a quarter in Little Rock. He stated he represents the contract poultry growers on the board.
Jackson said that he has helped clarify some wording in some recommendations that were sent to the USDA, but expects the board will be consulted during the upcoming legislative session.
Jackson's appointment will expire August 15th, 2018.
PICKED UP ON WARRANT, BUT CHARGED WITH FELONY POSSESSION OF PARAPHERNALIA 9/11/14
On Saturday, September 6th, Patrolman First Class Levi Browning of the De Queen Police Department approached a white Tahoe that was in the parking lot of Baker's Pawn Shop and spoke with the driver, 33-year-old John Billingsley.
After being informed that Billingsley did not have a valid driver's license, Browning ran Billingsley's information through dispatch and discovered that he was wanted on a warrant in Howard County and he had a probation and parole warrant for his arrest, so he placed Billingsley in custody.
Billingsley gave permission to Browning and Patrolman First Class James Gilbert to search his vehicle and they found a clear glass smoking devise with suspected methamphetamine residue in it.
Billingsley was arrested on the outstanding warrants, but was also charged with felony possession of drug paraphernalia.
ROSS FOCUSING ON EDUCATION 9/11/14
Arkansas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Ross announced that he wants to be the educational governor, because everything is connected to education.
Ross explained that everything from homelessness to jobs is related to education in the state.
Ross talked about several options that the state has to provide Arkansans with the training that they need to land high-paying jobs, and he said it starts with Pre-K.
Ross said he supports providing Pre-K to every student in Arkansas, so they will have every opportunity to succeed.
STATE PLANT BOARD TO DECIDE ON FIREWOOD QUARANTINE THIS WEEK 9/11/14
A decision on a proposed quarantine to end the threat of the emerald ash borer insect is expected to be made this week by the Arkansas Plant Board.
One option on the table is an emergency rule that would establish a quarantine in 25 southern and southwest Arkansas counties including: Sevier, Howard, Pike, Miller, Little River and Miller counties for 120 days.
According to the Arkansas Plant Board, less then two percent of the merchantable trees in the state are ash, but the emerald ash borer is a huge problem.
Residents are being encouraged to use only locally sourced firewood to help slow the spread of the insect.
The emerald ash borer has been confirmed in six counties including: Clark, Columbia, Dallas, Hot Spring, Nevada and Ouachita.
The Arkansas State Plant Board will make the final decision concerning the quarantine and will set the rules under which it will operate.
UA COSSATOT HAS ANOTHER RECORD ENROLLMENT 9/11/14
The numbers have all been calculated for student enrollment at UA Cossatot and once again, it is a record-setting semester.
Brenda Morris is the registrar and director of institutional research at Cossatot and she announced that at the close of the census date, the college's enrollment stood at 1,584 compared to 1,575 from the same semester in 2013.
Morris stated that although this number represents only a slight increase, predictions across the state had UA Cossatot staff prepared for a slight decline in enrollment.
UA Cossatot Vice Chancellor Maria Parker stated that she was thrilled with the enrollment numbers and UA Cossatot’s seeing an increase in overall enrollment, but they are excited it sees an increase in the number of Hispanic students.
Parker said they feel like their student population reflects the demographics of their community and they work to make students from all walks of life feel comfortable at UA Cossatot.
For more information about attending UA Cossatot, contact that De Queen campus at 642-3320.
PARENTS, COMMUNITY ENCOURAGED TO USE ASHDOWN SCHOOLS WEBSITE 09/11/14
09/11/14Ashdown Schools views its contact and communication with parents and community as one of its foremost responsibilities and has established its district website for that express purpose.
Located at www.ashdownschools.org, the Ashdown School District website offers just about any information a visitor would be seeking -- campus and faculty contact information, lunch menus and pay systems, school calendar and events, even a recorded version of the AHS Alma Mater and Fight Song played by the AHS Purple Pride band!
Campus and district news, both archives and the most up-to-date, can be found on the website, along with all state-required documentation including board meeting minutes, personnel policies, ACSIP plans, and Average Yearly Progress reports, plus more.
Ashdown School District subscribes to School Success for Parents and posts both Elementary and Secondary School Success Ideas for Parents on its homepage. These posts are updated daily and include Idea of the Day, Timely Topics, Ask the Experts, Weekly Quiz, and School Success Library. In the same area of the homepage, viewers can also find Today's Tip for Parents in both elementary and secondary versions.
Ashdown School District encourages all parents and other involved community members to use the district website as their go-to-site location for school-related information and to be always informed where our school children are concerned. A copy of the district handbook, in full, can also be located on the website by clicking "Parents & Students" on the menu bar.
August's Report on Food Ministry at the Chalice Cupboard 09/11/14
The Chalice Cupboard assisted 58 families in Sevier County (176 people) including 104 adults and 72 children and youth. Food distributed totaled 1,049 pounds donated and purchased food items which made this ministry possible.
The bank balance on August 1, 2014, was $198.68. The balance on August 31, 2014, was $104.53. Donations for the month totaled $390.00. $484.15 was spent to replenish food for the pantry weighing 600 pounds. 1,084 pounds were added in August.
Two churches (St. Barbara's Catholic and First Presbyterian) donated 86 pounds of food; there was an anonymous gift of 78 pounds of food, and Tyson's Foods gave 320 pounds—for a monthly total of 484 pounds.
Residents of Sevier County needing food may be present at scheduled times (Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 2:00 till 3:30 p.m.) at the Chalice Cupboard located at 315 North Fifth Street in De Queen. Recipients of food may be assisted once during each three-month period of the year (upcoming quarter October, November and December).
Suggested items for donation are canned fruit and cereal.
Submitted by Grant Groves
Donation account for Breanna Russell 09/10/14
A Donation account has been set up at Diamond Bank in De Queen to help with funeral expenses for Breanna Russell who was the fiancé of Aaron Butler of De Queen. She was the daughter of Diane and Steve Russell of Eagletown.
Friends say any donations will be greatly appreciated and will go towards Breanna's funeral services.
5 PEOPLE ARRESTED IN FOREMAN BURGLARY 9/10/14
Five Little River County residents were arrested for allegedly stealing more than $22,000 worth of property from a home near Foreman.
21-year-old Holly Beall, 40-year-old Lou Flores, 21-year-old Tyler Gardner, and 27-year-old David Lansdell, all of Foreman and 22-year-old Tori Royal of Ashdown were arrested and charged with theft of property and residential burglary for breaking into the home of Rebecca and Bill Jansen on Highway 32.
Little River County Sheriff Gary Gregory stated that his department was assisted in the investigation by the Arkansas State Police.
All five suspects are expected to appear in the Little River County Circuit Court, September 16 for their first appearance.
According to the incident report, the Jansens had moved from Little River County to Northwest Arkansas and left the house fully furnished so they could use the home on the weekends.
Friends of the family reported that a door had been kicked in and the house was a mess.
The defendants reportedly stole a five-drawer dresser, a recliner, bunk beds, a sectional sofa and several other pieces of furniture along with a heating and cooling unit, a tractor and a water heater.
Several of the items were recovered from a flea market in Foreman.
Beall allegedly took photos of some of the stolen items and was attempting to sell them over the internet and on Facebook and she and Lansdell were allegedly taking potential buyers to the Jansens' home to pick up the furniture that they purchased.
AUTHORITIES FIRE SHOTS TO STOP VEHICLE 9/10/14
A suspect that allegedly threatened his family and members of the Little River County Sheriff's office with a shotgun had his pickup truck disabled by officers after attempting to flea Sunday afternoon.
Little River County deputies reportedly disabled the truck by firing 17 rounds of ammunition into the tires and engine of his truck.
51-year-old Dwayne Porter was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and felon in possession of a firearm.
The family disturbance was reported about 12:41 p.m. by Porter's sister. She reported that Porter had discharged a 12-guage shotgun and was threatening some family members.
When deputies arrived, Porter drove his truck into a field and allegedly pointed the shotgun at the officers.
Porter then attempted to flee from the scene and officers disabled his vehicle.
According to the report, deputies found two more loaded shotguns in the cab of the truck.
GOVERNOR TO GRANT PARDON FOR DIERKS MAN 9/10/14
Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe has announced his intention to grant a pardon for a Dierks resident.
Russell White of Dierks was convicted of Burglary and Grand Larceny in 1965 in Howard and Sevier counties.
All of the term's of White's sentences have been completed and there has been no further criminal violations.
According to the governor's office, there were no objections from local law enforcement agencies concerning White's application.
ROSS SEEKS TO MOVE ARKANSAS FORWARD THROUGH EDUCATION AND TRAINING 9/10/14
With the November election just around the corner, Arkansans are considering their options when it comes to the office of governor.
This week, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Ross was asked why he was running for the office and he explained that he is running so he can give something back to Arkansas after all the opportunities that it has provided him.
Ross stated that a lot of focus has been placed on students attending college, but he wants to emphasize vo-tech or career-tech for students who do not attend college or graduate from college.
Ross explained that career-tech allows the state to offer a highly trained and skilled workforce to attract in companies that provide high-paying jobs.
Ross stated his vision is to work with others while making Arkansas an example for other states to follow.
SEVIER COUNTY QUORUM COURT ACCEPTS GRANT FOR AIRPORT 9/10/14
Monday afternoon during the September meeting of the Sevier County Quorum Court, JPs accepted a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration for the designing and engineering phase of a project to construct a parallel taxiway.
County Judge Greg Ray explained the county had received the federal portion of the grant in the amount of 49,300 and they will be receiving the state portion of the grant at a later date.
Ray stated the members of the Quorum Court appointed the 2015 budget committee and approved a contract of obligation with the state department of environmental quality.
Quorum Court members also voted to purchase a new air conditioning unit for the De Queen Library after head librarian, Johnnye Fisher reported that the unit had stopped working.
ASHDOWN GIFTED & TALENTED 09/10/14
It was a fun day for sixth grade gifted/talented students at Ashdown Junior High School when they got to teach and practice their chess skills with visiting students whom they will meet later for the real thing! Students from the G/T programs at Genoa Central and Dierks traveled to Ashdown on Sept. 8 to learn how to play the age-old strategy game of chess in preparation for fall and spring chess tournaments.
As early as the 6th century, strategy games similar to chess have been popular. Dubbed "The King's Game," early games were used to teach war strategy. Over the last 650 years, the game of chess has evolved to today's most popular strategy game and is taught to children in schools around the world.
Benjamin Franklin wrote in his article "The Morals of Chess" in 1750 that "The Game of Chess is not merely an idle amusement" but that "by playing Chess, we may learn foresight, circumspection, and caution."
This is the second year that Hope Pierce, G/T coordinator for Ashdown School District, has welcomed students, along with G/T coordinators from surrounding schools, to use her classrooms as training and practice fields for tournaments to be held in schools of the De Queen-Mena and Southwest Arkansas Educational Cooperatives.
Ashdown will host its chess tournament in the spring, probably April. Other schools involved include Blevins, Mt. Ida, Ouachita River, Nashville, Genoa, Dierks, and other schools included in DMEC and SWAEC. Tournaments involve students from third grade through high school.
AREA GETTING READY FOR FLU SEASON 9/9/14
Dr. Jason Lofton of the Wellness Center provided Jay Lindly and myself a flu shot live on the air to promote the importance of getting your flu shot this season.
Dr. Lofton explained how the Center for Disease Control develops the flu serum every year and stated this could be a bad flu season considering the weather conditions.
Dr. Lofton stated that his office has shots available now, but will be providing a drive by flu shot clinic later this month.
Dr. Lofton also explained that you may still catch the flu if you get a shot but your symptoms will not be as severe.
For more information contact your personal physician or call the Sevier County Health Unit.
ARKANSAS HEALTH AND WELLNESS SOLUTIONS EARNS ACCREDITATION 9/9/14
Celtic Insurance Company is the license holder for Arkansas Health and Wellness Solutions and they have earned an interim NCQA accreditation for its Exchange PPO plan, Ambetter of Arkansas.
The National Committee for Quality Assurance has awarded the interim accreditation to Celtic Insurance for its service and clinical quality that meet or exceeds NCQA's rigorous requirements for consumer protection and quality improvement. To receive the seal of approval the health plan is measured on over 60 standards in 40 different areas.
NCQA announced that the seal is a reliable indicator that an organization is well-managed and delivers high quality care and service.
ARKANSAS LOTTERY HELPING RECOVER UNPAID TAXES AND CHILD SUPPORT 9/9/14
In its five years of operations, the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery has raised nearly a half-billion dollars in scholarships to help 135,000 Arkansas students attend in-state public and private colleges and universities. But thanks to often forgotten provision of the Arkansas Code, the Lottery has also benefited state operations by recouping nearly $1 million in unpaid taxes and child support payments.
The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Act of 2009 requires the Lottery to cooperate in identifying debtors who owe money to the state, specifically prize winners with unpaid state taxes or child support payments.
Since awarding its first prize on September 28, 2009, the Lottery has collected over $650,000 in unpaid taxes, that was transferred to the Department of Finance and Administration. In the same period, almost $300,000 dollars was collected and transferred to the Office of Child Support Enforcement.
ASHDOWN STUDENTS AND COMMUNITY ACCEPTING RACHEL'S CHALLENGE 9/8/14
Members of the community and students of the Ashdown Junior and Senior high schools are hoping that everyone will be able to see and that it will make a difference.
Over 200 students, along with their parents and members of the community, accepted Rachel's Challenge during the week of August 19 and now they are making an organized effort to start a chain reaction of kindness in their schools and community.
Rachel's Challenge was issued by the family and friends of Rachel Joy Scott. She was the first victim of the tragic Columbine High School shooting in 1999 in Colorado, after they read Rachel's essay "My Ethics, My Code of Life, which was written for a class assignment just weeks before she was killed.
In her paper, Scott stated that she believed: "People will never know how far a little kindness can go." After issuing challenges to the reader to look for the best in every person, she concluded her paper with this statement, "You might just start a chain reaction."
With an office staff of about 50, Rachel's Challenge has now reached millions of students and their communities worldwide with the five challenges it issues. They are 1) look for the best in others, 2) dream big, 3) choose positive influences, 4) speak with kindness and 5) start your own chain reaction.
Their mission is to motivate and equip students to start and sustain a chain reaction of kindness and compassion that can transform schools and communities.
Ashdown students were introduced to Rachel's Challenge by Neil McIntyre of Colorado and later that afternoon, they were trained by members of the Friends of Rachel Club. That evening, a public assembly was held to introduce the community to Rachel's Challenge. The public was asked to support the students by helping them create a safe environment of respect and compassion that combats bullying and raises self-esteem.
In less than a week, over 100 high school students and more than 50 junior high students had gathered and established a Friends of Rachel's Club.
The junior high students immediately started a Links of Kindness chain that consists of acts of kindness that's performed by students.
McIntyre told students at the assembly, "Today, we started a chain reaction of kindness. You are here as a community to try to keep this chain reaction going."
DE QUEEN RESIDENT PURCHASES NEW ID 9/8/14
On Saturday, August 30th, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Matt Webb observed a Maroon Dodge Charger run a stop sign at the intersection of Highway 371 and Highway 71 in Lockesburg.
Deputy Webb was informed by the driver that he was Marc Curlott Jr. and presented an Oklahoma ID, which turned out to be an identification card only and not a driver's license.
Webb then proceeded to write Curlott a ticket for not having a drivers license when Sevier County Deputy Greg Davingnon identified the driver as Jose Duran.
When asked if Jose Duran was his real name, the driver provided his whole name to the officers.
Duran informed the deputies that he obtained the ID from someone in Oklahoma for $1,500 dollars.
Duran was then arrested and processed for forgery in the second degree.
FIGHT OVER SNUFF RESULTS IN ONE SUSPECT GOING TO JAIL 9/8/14
Sunday evening about 6 p.m., Sergeant Gary Cunningham of the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to 520 West Stilwell Ave. in reference to a fight.
When Cunningham arrived he noticed Patrolman JJ Lopez interviewing a male subject on the south side of the street and another male subject standing in front of the residence at 520 West Stilwell.
Cunningham reported that the subject was holding a broom and yelling across the street.
Markita Loans translated for Cunningham and informed him that her boyfriend, Simon Hiene, had been fighting with his cousin Jabmy Makvy for not giving him a dip of snuff. Hiene then stated that he was going to beat Loans son when the police left.
Hiene was taken into custody and placed in Cunningham's patrol car. While Cunningham was speaking with Lopez, Hiene stared kicking the drivers side rear glass out and started yelling at his girlfriend.
Hiene was then taken to the Sevier County jail and charged with Second Degree Assault and Criminal Mischief.
FORMER LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR REIMBURSES STATE 9/8/14
Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced Friday morning, September 5th that his office had received a payment from former Lieutenant Governor Mark Darr in the amount of $10,973, which was the amount that was identified by the Division of Legislative Audit for collection by McDaniel.
Darr provided the Attorney General's Office with a check for the entire amount Friday morning, thus resolving the matter without a need for litigation.
HONEYBEAR RANCH HOLDING FALL FESTIVAL 9/8/14
The HoneyBear Ranch in Broken Bow is holding a Fall Planting Festival on Saturday, September 13th from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Presenters include Dr. Jim Shreffler from Oklahoma State University; Brad Bain of the McCurtain County OSU Extension Office; and Kenda Woodburn who is a Horticultural Extension Educator from Tulsa.
They will be covering several topics including: sold fertility, extending the growing season with small hoops, growing small fruits like Pawpaws, Jujubes, Sand Plums, Pomegranates and Native Mulberries.
The festival will take place in the gardens of the HoneyBear Ranch. So, bring a chair to sit in and dress for the weather. If it is raining, the presentations will be moved indoors.
Attendance to the festival is free, but to make a reservations or for more information call 580-584-6022.
LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS URGED TO ENROLL IN DISASTER ASSISTANCE PROGRAM BY OCTOBER 1ST 9/8/14
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is encouraging producers who have suffered eligible disaster-related losses to act to secure assistance by September 30th, as congressionally mandated payment reductions will take place for producers who have not acted before that date.
Livestock producers that have experienced grazing losses since October 2011 and may be eligible for benefits but have not yet contacted their local Farm Service Agency office should do so as soon as possible.
The USDA is encouraging producers to register, request an appointment or begin a Livestock Forage Disaster Program application with their county FSA office before October 1st to lock in the current zero percent rate. Producers may apply online at www.fsa.usda.gov/disaster-register.
Applications for the Livestock Indemnity Program, the Tree Assistance Program and the Noninsured Disaster Assistance Program must be completed by September 30th.
The Livestock Forage Disaster Program compensates eligible livestock producers who suffered grazing losses due to drought or fire between October 1st, 2011 and December 31st, 2014. Producers who were forced to liquidate their livestock may also be eligible for program benefits.
NEW REGULATIONS FOR ARKANSAS GAME AND FISH 9/8/14
Tracy Stuart of Bakers Bargain House announced that bow season starts this month and he brought two game wardens from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission to talk about some new regulations for area hunters.
Sevier County Wildlife Officer David Hall and Howard County Wildlife Officer Jon Partain stated that they providing some information, but hunters needed to pick up a copy of the 2015 Hunting Guidebook to ensure that they understood all of the new regulations.
Officer Partain first mentioned that Arkansas will have a bear season and new regulations concerning feral hogs.
Officer Partain also mentioned that if a hunter loses his license in another state they will not be able to hunt in Arkansas.
Officer Hall reported the cost of non-resident hunting license, as well as checking deer over your smart phone. Hall stated you can find the fees online at agfc.org or pick up a copy of the state’s hunting guidebook.
Officer Partian stated that there were regulations concerning a bow's weight, and the size of broadheads.
Officer Hall reported that hunters need to understand the hunting regulations when hunting in a state Wildlife Management Area.
Hall stated that move hunting accidents involve tree stands, so hunters need to ensure that their safety equipment is in good shape.
For more information, you can visit agfc.com or stop by Bakers Bargain House.
TAKE STEPS TO PROTECT PERSONAL INFORMATION 9/8/14
With news this week about yet another security breach at a major retailer and a cyber attack that led to some celebrities private photographs being posted publicly online, consumers are justly concerned about the safety of their personal and financial information.
Companies and consumers alike can take steps to prevent fraud, identity theft and public dissemination of personal information. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued a consumer alert to inform consumers about how to keep sensitive data out of the wrong hands.
Consumers who have had their sensitive information stolen are at greater risk of identity theft, fraud and other scams. McDaniel said consumers impacted by security breaches should be more diligent in review of bank statements and credit card bills.
McDaniel recommended these proactive ways to help make your sensitive information more secure:
Personal information can be as valuable as cash, so think twice before providing your Social Security number, bank account or credit card numbers to someone.
Use long and strong account passwords. Mix in letters, numbers and use special characters to create a password that's at least 10 characters long.
Recognize that photos, videos, text messages and other data that's stored on a phone may be backed up somewhere else and consumers should read their service provider's privacy policies to determine whether or not they want to back up their data in the cloud.
If you use the cloud, you should implement a two-step verification, which does not all account or password changes to be made unless a consumer is notified through another means.
When shopping online, use a secure browser.
Always assume that anyone can see anything being sent over a public wireless hotspot and make sure that your home wireless networks are encrypted to prevent unauthorized access.
Use the latest security software and make sure computers, smart phones and tablets are always running the newest software versions.
And, don't over share on social network sites. Never post Social Security numbers, account numbers, addresses or phone numbers publicly.
For more information contact the Attorney General's office at gotyourbackarkansas.org or call 1-800-482-8982.
ASHDOWN SCHOOLS RECOGNIZED NATIONALLY FOR MUSIC EDUCATION EFFORTS 09/09/14
The NAMM Foundation (National
Association of Music Merchants) recently recognized Ashdown Public
Schools for its outstanding commitment to music education with a
Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) designation. Ashdown
Public School joins 376 districts across the country in receiving
the prestigious distinction in 2014.
UA COSSATOT HAS ANOTHER RECORD ENROLLMENT 09/09/14
The numbers have all been calculated for student enrollment at UA Cossatot and once again, it is a record-setting semester.
Brenda Morris, Registrar and Director of Institutional Research at Cossatot, announced at the close of the census date, the college’s enrollment stood at 1584 compared to 1575 from the same semester in 2013. Although this number represents only a slight increase, predictions across the state had UA Cossatot staff prepared for a slight decline in enrollment.
“I am thrilled with the enrollment numbers,” said Maria Parker, UA Cossatot’s Vice Chancellor for Academics. “A record enrollment is truly a group effort. From the business office to advising, and many people in between, we are proving that we care about student success. We also have a record enrollment of high school students taking advantage of the opportunities we offer. This means more students than ever will graduate from high school with college credit – either in University transfer classes or from a technical program. These students are already familiar with the college atmosphere and studies show, they are more prepared to succeed and graduate.”
Hispanic student enrollment has also had another increase at UA Cossatot. The enrollment is now 22% Hispanic students. Part of the college’s strategic plan has been to increase recruiting efforts within the Hispanic demographic. Fall semester in 2013, Hispanic enrollment was 19%. “We are especially proud of this increase,” 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.”
WILSON PLEADS GUILTY 9/5/14
The former treasurer of the Sevier County Humane Society plead guilty last week in the Sevier County Circuit Court and was sentenced to three-years probation, a $500 fine plus court cost after paying all of the required restitution up front.
Wilson was charged with felony theft of property after being accused of embezzling nearly $4,000 from the Sevier County Humane Society while serving as the organizations treasurer.
According to court records, Arkansas State Police Investigator John Rhone became involved in the investigation following an audit of the humane society was conducted by Richey McCullough, CPA of De Queen, which revealed $3,966 in fraudulent expenditures made by Wilson between January of 2011 and June of 2012.
Wilson allegedly purchased a TV and refrigerator with some of the money.
The expenditures were discovered after Wilson stopped working with the humane society.
STOLEN PROPERTY DISCOVERED HIDDEN 9/5/14
A Little River County resident reported that he found a trailer with a John Deere engine and a generator on some land that he leased outside of Foreman.
Ronnie Green contacted that Little River County Sheriff's office and informed them that he discovered the items and it appeared that someone was in the process of disassembling them. He also reported that the gate hinges had been removed.
Little River County investigators reported that they found a tarp that had been set up to help hide the disassembly process.
According to county records, the trailer belonged to Virginia Nestor of Foreman who confirmed that it belonged to her, but she didn't realize it was missing. She stated that it was normally parked beside her house.
The generator was traced back to Bob Pyron of Foreman. Pyron's brother had reported a generator missing from his brother's chicken houses.
The case is still under investigation, but if you have any information concerning this incident, you are being asked to contact the Little River County Sheriff's office at 898-5115.
RECOGNIZING SOME SERVICE IN THE COMMUNITY 9/5/14
Sevier County Sheriff's Office Investigator Robert Gentry mentioned that he would like to provide the community some insight on one of the assets that serves this community.
Gentry explained that he was talking about the De Queen Volunteer Fire Department and Extrication Team.
Gentry reported that he responded to an accident recently and the extrication team was asked to respond. He said within a few minutes, members with the De Queen Volunteer Fire Department had responded to the accident scene.
When they arrived on the scene, Gentry stated he observed the men working like a well-oil machine, working quickly, without hesitation. He said, Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt called out what equipment was needed and members of the team had the equipment where it was needed almost immediately, but not only the equipment but the personnel to operate the equipment properly until the work was completed.
After they had completed the extrication of the occupant of the vehicle, they assisted the Southwest EMS units that were on the scene and offered to assist with traffic control.
Gentry stated all of the members of the De Queen Fire Department are volunteers and have jobs inside the community, but the job that they do for the community is an asset that goes unrecognized unless the skills are used to help a family member or loved one.
Gentry said the members of the Sevier County Sheriff's Department would like to express their appreciation and support to their local volunteer fire departments and thank them for the jobs that they are doing in our communities.
MOM ARRESTED STEALING FROM SON 9/5/14
On Sunday, August 31st, Bryce Keaton contacted the Sevier County Sheriff's office to report a theft. He explained that he had checked his finances through his on-line banking app and noticed two unauthorized transactions.
Keaton reported that one transaction was made on Wednesday, August 27th at the De Queen Wal-Mart and another transaction was made at the Wal-Mart in Broken Bow.
Sevier County Deputy Brian Hankins went to the De Queen Wal-Mart and collected evidence; including video footage of a white female that used the stolen check.
Authorities asked Keaton to come the Sevier County jail and see if he could identify the suspect.
Keaton informed Hankins that after speaking with him earlier that day, he called his mother to ask her why she was stealing from him. He stated that he also discovered several items missing from his home.
Allegedly, 46-year-old Karen Keaton informed her son that she had pawned some of the items. After speaking with Hankins, Bryce Keaton identified the suspect in the surveillance photo as his mother, Karen.
MINIMUM WAGE AMENDMENT ON NOVEMBER BALLOT 9/5/14
Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin announced on Wednesday that An Act to Increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage has met the signature requirements of the Arkansas Constitution and would be on the November General Election ballot.
Martin's office announced that the initiated act needed 62,507 valid signatures and the sponsors had turned in 129,989 signatures for verification. As of this week, at least 70,000 signatures had been verified.
The Secretary of State has certified the proposed initiated act to the County Boards of Election Commissioners and it will be Issue Number 5 on the November 4th ballot.
If approved, the measure will increase the state's minimum wage from $6.25 to $7.50 per hour on January 1st, 2016 and to $8.50 per hour on January 1st, 2017.
The deadline to register to vote during the November General Election is October 6th. To register to vote, stop by the Sevier County Clerks office in the courthouse.
DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER WORKING IN SEVIER COUNTY 9/5/14
From August 29th through August 31st, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Greg Davignon took three drunk drivers off the county roadways.
On August 29th, Davignon stopped a gray Chevy pick-up on Highway 71 North near Lockesburg. The driver, Royce Scott, failed the field sobriety test and Davignon discovered an open bottle of vodka in the vehicle.
Scott was charged with driving under the Influence #2 and Driving on a Suspended License.
Then on Saturday, August 30th, Davignon witnessed a Toyota pickup who's tags were unreadable due to an obstruction, so he stopped the vehicle on Westline Road.
The driver, 50-year-old Thomas Parr of De Queen, reportedly had glassy, bloodshot eyes and his passenger, 41-year-old Michelle Lowery of Horatio was holding a cup that contained a mixed drink.
Parr failed the field sobriety test, but while searching Parr after taking him into custody for driving while intoxicated, Davignon discovered a small plastic bag that contained suspected marijuana. He also found a bag that contained suspected methamphetamine residue, along with a smoking pipe in the passenger floorboard.
Both were taking into custody. Parr was charged with DWI, Refusal to Submit to Test, Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Lowery was charged with Drinking on the Highway and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
And finally, Davignon stopped a black Honda Accord that drove left of the center line several times on Sunday, August 31st.
The driver, 37-year-old Carlos Rodriguez failed a field sobriety test and was cited for Driving while Intoxicated Number 1 and Driving Left of Center.
ARKANSAS LODGE SET TO REOPEN IN 2015 9/5/14
An Arkansas state park lodge is scheduled to reopen after $6.7 million dollars in renovations are completed.
The Queen Wilhelmina State Park Lodge near Mena is set to reopen in the spring of 2015. The lodge has been closed since March of 2012.
The park superintendent says it was scheduled to reopen in 2013 but problems with the contractor and weather delayed it. The renovations will expand the building by about 10,000 square feet and will include a hearth room and two additional guest rooms.
The lodge has 38 guest rooms, a restaurant, a meeting room and other amenities. All other facilities at the state park have remained open.
The state park director says the renovations will enhance the view of the mountain for visitors.
COOKBOOK FUNDRAISER FOR THE SEVIER COUNTY FARMERS MARKET 9/5/14
Earlier this year, Angela Smith of the Sevier County Farmer's Market mentioned that they were collecting recipes so they could print a cookbook and sell them as a fundraiser for the market.
Smith informed KDQN that they were wanting as many tried and true recipes as possible and the funds will be used to support the farmers market.
Smith said the market will be open this Saturday from 7:30 to 11 a.m., and it will remain open until the gardens stop producing.
She also stated that new vendors are welcome and they have single day vendor rate.
Smith said recipes could be taken to the Sevier County Library in De Queen and they were willing to put a box in any business that would be willing to collect recipes for them.
For more information about the Sevier County Farmer's Market call 582-2903.
UPCOMING EVENTS IN THE DE QUEEN SCHOOL DISTRICT 9/5/14
Tammy Whatley of the De Queen School District stopped by the KDQN studios this week to announce several events that are taking place in the district, but she started by thanking the parents of students for attending the district's parent/teacher nights.
Whatley reported that 46 students from the district participated during the 2014 Sevier County Fair and many will be moving on to the Four States Fair later this month.
Whatley stated that students and the staff of the De Queen Junior High are selling tickets on a 5 foot cedar swing to benefit the Terry Brackett family.
And, she reminded senior high students about the deadlines for the upcoming ACT and SAT exams in October. Whatley stated students could check with Counselor Ramona Hill for those dates.
For more information about activities on the De Queen School campuses, you may contact the administration office at 584-4312 or your child's school office.
BUY LEOPARD TICKETS EARLY AND SAVE 9/4/14
Admission to the upcoming Leopard and Junior High football games will be $5 for senior high games and $4 for junior high games. The prices were set by a district agreement, but Leopard fans have the opportunity to purchase advance tickets for home games and save a dollar.
The week of a home game, tickets were be sold in advance for $4 for senior high games and $3 for junior high games.
Programs will be sold for $2 each at home varsity games and Leopard fans also have the opportunity to purchase season tickets at a cost of $35. The pass will get you into all regular season home games and the passes may be purchased at the De Queen Administration Office.
The De Queen District will also honor all senior adults age 65 and older with free admission to all sporting events, but you must stop by the administration office and pick up your pass.
If you have any questions, you may call the administration office at 584-4312 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
COMMUNITY SHOWING CHOIR THEIR SUPPORT 9/4/14
Last month, the De Queen Show Choir received permission from the De Queen School Board to start raising funds for a trip to Orlando, Florida to participate in the America Sings program.
About a month later, choir director Stefani Jones is reporting that the group has raised about half the money they need for their trip, thanks to the community's support.
Jones mentioned that the De Queen Show Choir was invited by John Jacobson after hearing a recording of the choir performing.
Jones explained that students will perform and attend some workshops but they will also help in the community during a day of service.
Jones expressed her appreciation to the community and businesses of De Queen for helping these students make a memory of a lifetime.
Media Liaison Tammy Whatley mentioned that the choir is holding a weekly bake sale at the high school and the show choir will be performing the National Anthem this Friday night prior to the De Queen-Mena football game.
For more information or to make a donation to the show choir, contact Jones at 642-2426.
COUNCIL RECOMMENDS CHANGES TO LAND USE PLANNING BOOK 9/4/14
Aldermen of the De Queen City Council made a recommendation to change the city's Land Use Planning Book Tuesday night during their regular meeting.
Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy informed KDQN that the city's Planning and Zoning Commission will meet next week to consider the change before the council passes an ordinance to officially change the set backs for the side yard of a new home construction.
McKelvy reported that Arkansas Senator Jimmy Hickey has formed a coalition of five counties in Southwest Arkansas in an effort to land a proposed maximum security prison in the area. The five counties include: Little River, Lafayette, Hempstead, Miller and Howard.
McKelvy also presented the council with the criteria that the state is looking for. He explained that the state needs four to five hundreds acres that's flat with no environmental issues in close proximity to major medical resources, adequate utilities and a commercial airport.
McKelvy also recommended that the city council pass a resolution supporting the regional effort, instead of trying to win the project on its own.
Aldermen then voted to hold an executive session to address some personnel issues. However, no action was taken once they returned from the executive session.
McKelvy reported that the raw water line project was about 70 percent complete and the contractor expects to finish the job on time by the end of this month.
McKelvy also presented the council with a letter from Vyve that says they are increasing the cost of their expanded basic package by $5 a month.
Aldermen will meet on Tuesday, September 16th at 5:30 p.m. to consider an ordinance to change the city's Land Use Planning Book and pass a resolution supporting the regional effort that is being led by Senator Hickey in attracting the new prison to Southwest Arkansas.
GREAT CRATER CLEANUP SEPTEMBER 6 9/2/14
Visitors from all over the world have made a visit to the Crater of Diamonds State Park this summer and many have found a rock or mineral treasure to take home with them, while others have treasured memories of our walking trails, Kimberlite Cafe, Diamond Springs and more, but, unfortunately, some have let some litter.
That litter can tarnish memories of an outdoor adventure, like searching for diamonds. It also ruins the beauty of the park and by disposing of trash properly, it helps preserve the parks natural surroundings.
So, to show visitors how beautiful the Natural State can be, the Crater of Diamonds State Park will host the 7th Annual Great Crater Cleanup on Saturday, September 6th from 1 to 4 p.m. in conjunction with the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission's Great Arkansas Cleanup.
Gloves and trash bags will be provided, and Great Arkansas Cleanup t-shirts will be given away while supplies last. All ages are invited to attend. Volunteers should arrive at the Visitor Center by 1 p.m. to register and gather supplies.
Volunteers should dress for the weather, wear sturdy shoes or boots and bring drinking water. After the cleanup, volunteers are invited to meet in the Visitor Center Theater for refreshments and a drawing will be held for some great prizes.
For more information contact the Crater of Diamonds State Park at 870-285-3116.
LITTLE COUNTY AUTHORITIES SEARCHING FOR BURGLARY SUSPECTS 9/4/14
The Little River County Sheriff's Office is still investigating several burglaries in the Winthrop area from a couple of weeks ago.
Authorities announced that the Winthrop branch of the Little River County Library and Nelsons store was broken into and two suspects attempted to break into the Small Town Video store, but only damaged the lock. However, a surveillance video showed two suspects attempting to break into the store.
Currently, the Little River County Sheriff's office is following up on some leads that resulted in evidence that was recovered at the scenes, but no suspects have been named. The case is still under investigation.
LOCKESBURG RESIDENT CITED FOR HARASSING COMMUNICATIONS 9/4/14
Friday, August 29th, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Hankins took a report from Mary Evans of Horatio concerning a Lockesburg resident harassing her over the phone.
Evans reported that 50-year-old Norman Roberts was calling her almost every hour of every day and she was tired of it. She said that she also had to call the Sevier County dispatcher to inform them to stop sending a deputy out to check on her because Roberts had been calling the sheriffs office and asking them to conduct a welfare check on Evans when she would ignore his phone calls.
Evans stated deputies had come to her house on four different occasions.
Evans also reported that she had an order of protection against Roberts but it had expired, but she was planning to have another one put in place.
According to official records, Deputy Roger Ridley had advised Roberts not to contact Evans, so, Deputy Hankins went to Roberts' residence and placed him under arrest.
Roberts told the deputies that the reason he was calling Evans so much was because she was deaf and he was in love with her.
Roberts was issued a citation for harassing communications and released.
According to records from the Arkansas Department of Corrections, Roberts was sentenced to prison for violating a protection order for the same circumstances in 2011.
SHOWING OUR LEOPARD PRIDE 09/04/14
Many De Queen Public Schools’ students showed their livestock at the Sevier County Fair. Mr. Morgan Frachiseur, Mr. John Frachiseur, and Mr. Ryan Hanney have worked with the students. Having an animal is a good way to teach responsibility. Many jobs in Arkansas are working in agriculture. De Queen Public Schools make every effort to have students college and career ready.
Some of the students won grand champion and grand reserve. The Four States Fair is the next level of competition. The Four States Fair is held in Texarkana, Arkansas.
As we say, “Home of the Leopards and so much more.”
Students pictured are:
Front row- Austin Cannor, Monica Rivas, Autumn Frachiseur, Jake Martin, Jake Seymour, Laura Harp, Ty Lindsey, Hudson Marshall, Jacob Hibbs, and Hannah Mendez.
Row 2- Sydney Hill, Stacy Higgins, Aubrey Seymour, Kane Faulkenberry, Steven Peppers, William Peppers, and Lorel Morphew.
Row 3- Aaron Figueroa, Steven Birmingham, Austin Johnson, Chase Pearce, Payton Hibbs, Brandi Frachiseur, Veronica Rivas, Kayla Martin, Maddie Martin, Baylee Harder, Amber Mooris, Antonette Worthey, and Ashlie Johnson.
Back row- Mr. Ryan Hanney, Mr. Morgan Frachiseur, Tyler Johnson, Aaron Morris, Weston Harp, Kade Martin, Zayne Chapman, Caterra Morphew, Brennan Seymour, Jake Birmingham, Ruby Peppers, Dawson Harp, Trent Gentry, Riley Johnson, and Mr. John Frachiseur.
Not pictured- Tristan Chapman, Zack Birmingham, Kevin Keller, and Heather Bradshaw.
ASHDOWN STUDENTS, COMMUNITY ACCEPT RACHEL'S CHALLENGE 09/04/14
They hope everyone will be able to see it -- that it will be noticeable. And, most importantly, that it will make a difference. Over 200 students in Ashdown Junior High and Ashdown High School, along with parents and community members, accepted Rachel's Challenge during the week of August 19-22 and are making an organized effort to start a chain reaction of kindness in their schools and community.
Rachel's Challenge was issued by the family and friends of Rachel Joy Scott, the first victim of the tragic Columbine High School shooting in 1999 in Colorado, after reading Rachel's essay My Ethics, My Code of Life, written for a high school English class just weeks before she was killed. In her paper, Rachel stated her belief: "People will never know how far a little kindness can go." After issuing challenges to the reader to look for the best in every person, she concluded her paper with "You might just start a chain reaction."
With an office staff of about 50, including motivational speakers, Rachel's Challenge has now reached millions of students and their communities worldwide with the five challenges it issues: (1) Look for the best in others, (2) Dream big, (3) Choose positive influences, (4) Speak with kindness, and (5) Start your own chain reaction. Their mission is to motivate and equip students to start and sustain a chain reaction of kindness and compassion that can transform schools and communities.
Ashdown students in grades 7-12 were introduced to Rachel's Challenge on Tuesday, August 19, when Rachel's Challenge specialist Neil McIntyre of Colorado told Rachel's story and issued her five challenges in a morning assembly. The afternoon was spent training student leaders in forming F.O.R. Clubs (Friends of Rachel) on their campuses and offering membership to every single student. The evening of Aug. 19 offered a public assembly for the community to be introduced to Rachel's Challenge and to join and support the students in creating a safe environment of respect and compassion that combats bullying and raises self esteem.
McIntyre, in his delivery, told his student audience, "You can't bully bullies so that they won't bully any more. You gotta start with love." He challenged them to transform their school and help their communities. The first step was to accept Rachel's challenge of starting a chain reaction. Students were then encouraged to sign a banner showing their commitment and to start a F.O.R. Club on their campus. He finished with, "In the end, only kindness matters."
Before the week was out, over 100 AHS students and more than 50 at AJHS gathered to establish F.O.R. Clubs on their campuses. The junior high students immediately began a Links of Kindness chain, to which students may add links at lunch periods. Each link represents one act of kindness performed by another; the completed chain will be hung in the school each Friday, a tangible representation of their chain reaction of kindness.
The AJHS F.O.R. Club also invites the public to their Kindness Pep Rally on Friday, Sept. 5, at 3:00, states F.O.R. Club sponsor Eliza Simmons along with fellow sponsor Joni Pennington. The kids and faculty will be performing skits and presenting poetry they have written for the occasion. Also the public should watch for F.O.R Club on a Facebook page to be set up soon.
The AHS F.O.R. Club's first meeting was huge, with over 80 attendees, led by sponsors Melanie Cobb and Sandy Bishop, and an additional 40 or so who were unable to attend on Aug. 22 but committed in writing to the membership roster. The students spent their hour organizing groups and brainstorming project ideas. Dozens of ideas were presented by the group, many of which involved the whole town or community and not just their campus.
As McIntyre told them in the assembly, "Today we started a chain reaction of kindness. You are here as a community to try to keep this chain reaction going." Watch for it.
ARKANSAS GAME AND FISH SNAGS MORE THAN A LARGE MOUTH BASS 9/3/14
Sunday, August 31st, Arkansas Game and Fish Officer David Hall contacted the Sevier County Sheriff's office for assistance on East 80,000 Road and the Cossatot River bridge.
When Deputy Matt Webb arrived, Officer Hall informed Deputies Webb and Charles Emmerich that he was checking the river and discovered several individuals parked near the water. Hall was also conducting an inventory of a 2000 Dodge pickup that belonged to Jeffrey Pollard.
Officer Hall told the deputies that he had been informed by a Michael Skelton that his 17-year-old son had been drinking beer with them, since no one was had to tell the officers who the beer belonged to, Skelton was processed for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Officer Hall reported that he had observed a corn cob pipe in the driver's side door. Deputies Webb and Emmerich reported the pipe contained suspected marijuana residue. Jeffrey Pollard's brother, Bruce Pollard, reportedly stated that the corn cob pipe belonged to him. Bruce Pollard was taken into custody and possessed for possession of an instrument of crime.
Officers also discovered a small amount of suspected marijuana inside an empty cigarette box under the seat of the truck.
Jeffery Pollard was then taken into custody and processed for possession of a controlled substance-marijuana.
ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE AMENDMENT MAKE NOVEMBER BALLOT 9/3/14
Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin announced last week that the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment met the signature requirements of the state constitution and will be on the November General Election ballot.
The constitutional amendment needed 78,133 valid signatures and the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment sponsors turned in 127,265 and at this time, the proposed amendment has at least 87,000 valid signatures.
The secretary of state's office stated that there are still signatures to be verified, so the total number of valid signatures may increase.
The Secretary of State has certified the proposed amendment to the County Boards of Election Commissioners and it will be Issue Number 4 on the November 4th ballot.
Registered voters will now decide on the proposed amendment that if approved, would legalize the sale, manufacture and transportation of alcohol statewide.
The deadline to register to vote during the General Election is October 6th. For more information on voter registration, go to the Arkansas Secretary of State's webpage, www.sos.arkansas.gov.
Sevier County Clerk Debbie Hughes announced that Sevier County residents may register to vote in her office until October 6th for the November General Election.
CIRCUIT CLERK RECEIVES ANOTHER GRANT 9/3/14
Circuit Clerk Patti Chaney announced that her office had been approved for a grant to convert the mortgage and deed books from hardcopies to digital copies for the county computers.
Chaney explained that this process started last year when she applied for the first grant, but the process started last Thursday and will continue for at least the next 11 days.
Chaney also applied for a grant for the second and third phases this year and she explained that they will be cropping the digital pages to make them easier to read.
Chaney stated that she was proud to be able to provide this service to the citizens of Sevier County.
DE QUEEN FIRST ASSEMBLY REVIVAL SEPTEMBER 14TH - 16TH 9/3/14
Pastor Ray Reynolds and Youth Pastor Jonathon Reynolds announced Tuesday morning that the First Assembly of God Church of De Queen will be holding a revival starting Sunday, September 14th.
Jonathon Reynolds stated that what impressed him about Larry Moore and Ken Maness was the fact that they are relevant in today's day and age.
Services will begin at 10 a.m. Sunday, September 14th and at 6:30 p.m. Sunday night. Services will start at 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.
For more information contact the church at 584-3435.
DRUNK PASSENGER ATTEMPTS TO FLEE FROM AUTHORITIES 9/3/14
Sunday evening about 11:30 p.m., Patrolman First Class Levi Browning stopped a white Pontiac Firebird for swerving on Collin Raye Drive.
The driver identified himself as Mario Rivera and the passenger stated that he didn't have a ID but would write down his information. The passenger reported that he was Damien Lampkins with a birth date of February , 1990.
When Browning ran a background check on the driver everything came back fine, but no information returned on the passenger.
After asking the passenger several times for his date of birth and receiving several different answers. Finally, Browning asked the suspect how old he was and he said 21. Browning stated that there was no way he was 21 if he was born in 1990 or 1991.
Browning did noticed a wallet and asked the passenger if it was his. He stated it was and but informed Browning that he had been told not to let the cops look through his stuff.
Browning then informed the suspect that he was going to jail and not move his hands from his patrol car. While Browning was speaking with the Rivera, the suspect began to flee on foot.
A short time later, Officer JJ Lopez witnessed the suspect running behind a house and the suspect was taken into custody without further incident.
After being taken into custody, the officers were advised that the suspect had tossed his wallet while fleeing.
When they found his wallet, they discovered that the suspect was 23-year-old Quevon Lampkins of Texarkana. They also discovered that he was wanted had felony warrants out of Miller County and is being held without bond. He was also charged with fleeing, obstruction of government operations and public intox.
STATE HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUMS PROJECTED TO DECREASE NEXT YEAR 9/3/14
The governor's office says Arkansas' health insurance premiums under the "private option" Medicaid expansion are expected to decrease by two percent next year.
In a news release, the governor's office said there won't be a blanket reduction that some of the premiums may rise slightly and others may stay the same or go down. Overall, policyholders will pay about two percent less in the coming year.
The governor's office says it is releasing the projection because some incomplete information was mistakenly posted on a state Insurance Department website.
However, the governor's office stated the official rates won't be set until the U.S. Health and Human Services Department certifies the plans for next year, but the final numbers are expected to be known before the start of the open enrollment period on November 15th.
Legislators will consider renewing the program in 2015.
WATERFOWL HUNTING SEASON SET 9/3/14
For the 18th consecutive year, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has approved a 60-day hunting season for waterfowl.
Officials say habitat conditions have improved or are similar to last year in many areas due to the average or above-average amount of rainfall the state has received. They say the continued wet conditions appear to be driving good habitat.
With more than 422,900 mallards harvested, Arkansas had the third highest waterfowl harvest and highest mallard harvest in the nation last year.
This year's duck season dates include November 22nd through the 30th, December 4th through 23rd, and December 26th through January 25th. The youth hunt is planned for January 31st and February 1st.
One regulation change for the upcoming waterfowl season calls for a restriction on the closing time of certain wildlife management areas and lakes during waterfowl season. The new regulation prohibits access on certain Wildlife Management Areas from 2 a.m. until 4 a.m. each morning, except in designated campsites, parking areas, boat launch ramps and designated boat staging areas. In addition, no boats are allowed from 1 p.m. until 4 a.m. each day.
More information can be found online at agfc.com.
ASHDOWN STUDENT CREATES WINNING DESIGN 09/03/14
Jacey Dupree, a sixth grade student at Ashdown Junior High School, created the winning design for the 2014 Komen Texarkana Kids for the Cure t-shirt contest, announced Christy Walls, committee member for the kids division of the Komen Texarkana Race for the Cure.
Dupree's design was selected from 375 entries for the contest and will now be printed on over 800 t-shirts as the official 2014 Texarkana Kids for the Cure logo. Jacey entered her design idea last spring when she was a fifth grade student in Mrs. Carolyn Henderson's art class and was surprised with an announcement presentation in the AJHS cafeteria on Thursday, Aug. 18, during sixth grade lunch period.
As the design winner, Jacey was presented with the first official t-shirt printed with her design, her original entry framed for hanging, and a prize package of goodies. All of the sixth grade class also enjoyed pink cookies, provided by the school principal Mr. James Jones and his Leadership Team.
Jacey will be invited to share the race platform during the 2014 Komen Texarkana Race for the Cure on October 18 at the Four States Fairgrounds. Last year over 7200 participants, including 584 kids, walked, ran, or pushed strollers to raise awareness for finding a cure for breast cancer. This year any child age 2-12 who registers to participate will be given one of the t-shirts with Jacey's design.
Any individual or team who wishes to participate in the Komen Texarkana Race for the Cure may go online at www.komentexarkana.org, click "Komen Race for the Cure" and register. The Texarkana committee for the event will also be set up for registration at Central Mall beginning September 29.
30TH ANNUAL PROVO KIDS RODEO 9/02/14
The 30th Annual Provo Kids Rodeo, BBQ and Fish Fry will be held on Saturday, September 20th, but volunteer Jamie Marshall announced they need for you to order a t-shirt by September 3rd to ensure your size with be available. T-shirts will cost $15 the day of the rodeo.
Marshall stated that vendors are also invited to setup at the event.
To preorder a t-shirt or reserve your vendor booth space call or text TJ Newton at 870-582-1328.
Marshall stated the Provo Volunteer Fire Department will be serving BBQ and fish plates and kids can sign up between 12 and 2 p.m. and each child will have to have a liability release signed by a parent.
Marshall mentioned several events for the kids but they didn't forget the adults, like a giant panty race and the cow patty bingo.
Marshall said the Provo community was on Provo Road between Dierks and Lockesburg. She also stated if you needed more information, you could contact a Provo Volunteer fire fighter.
ARKANSAS ATTORNEY GENERAL REJECTS MARIJUANA PLAN 9/02/14
Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has rejected the proposed wording for a prospective ballot item that would let voters decide whether to legalize marijuana in the state.
McDaniel's office announced that the name and ballot title on the proposal, which is sponsored by Rockie Barley of Malvern is ambiguous and has "misleading tendencies." McDaniel says changes are needed so that the name and ballot title correctly and fully summarizes the proposal.
McDaniel has approved two other marijuana-related ballot proposals for the 2016 ballot.
One would legalize medical marijuana and the second would allow voters to decide whether to approve making it legal to grow and possess marijuana.
ASHDOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT PARTICIPATING IN STATE "CHILD FIND CAMPAIGN" 9/02/14
The Ashdown School District is participating in an ongoing statewide effort to identify, locate and evaluate children from birth to the age of 21, who have a physical, mental, communicative and or emotional disability, as part of the Child Find Campaign.
According the district's Special Services Director Jan Ueckert, this is something the district is constantly doing.
According to Ueckert, early identification of children in need of special education services is important to each child. Furthermore, this information that is gathered from contacts with parents and other agencies will be used to help determine present and future program needs in the district as progress is made toward the goal of providing a free appropriate public education to all children with disabilities.
The Ashdown School District works with the local Head Starts, Human Services, the Department of Health and the area mental health agencies, as well as local educational agencies, doctors and other individuals to identify and locate children in school and out of school who may be in need of some special education services.
Anyone who knows of a child who may have a disability is asked to contact Ueckert at 870-898-4404 or visit her office at 460 Northwest Front Street.
CORPS EXTENDS DRAWDOWN AND TEMPORARILY CLOSES TWO PARKS DURING DAM INSPECTION 9/2/14
The Army Corps of Engineers will extend the drawdown of Millwood Lake until Sunday, September 7th while it completes bank stabilization work at Cottonshed Park and begins inspecting the Millwood Dam.
River Run East and River Run West parks will close at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, September 5th and remain closed through Saturday, September 13th while the dam is being inspected.
Alternative camping and boat launching facilities are available at Beard's Bluff, Beard's Lake and Yarborough Landing parks.
For more information about Millwood Lake, visit them online at: www.swl.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreatino/Lakes/MillwoodLake.asp.
DE QUEEN MEDICAL CENTER TO HOST BLOOD DRIVE 9/2/14
LifeShare is having a blood drive on Wednesday, September 3rd from noon until 4 p.m. at the De Queen Regional Medical Center.
LifeShare Blood Centers announced that every blood donation can save up to three lives and one in every seven people that are admitted to a hospital will need some type of blood product.
LifeShare Blood Centers supply all of the blood components for the hospitals in Southwest Arkansas, so your donation may save the life of someone you know.
BENEFIT FOR SLIM MANN 9/2/14
Pilgrim's Pride and the friends of Slim Mann will be holding a benefit fundraiser for him on Friday, September 5th from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. in the Town North Shopping Center parking lot in De Queen.
They will be serving chicken quarter lunches for $5 each and they are willing to deliver within a two mile radius for orders of five or more and all deliveries will be made by 11:30 a.m.
For more information or to place an order call Alan Derington at 784-6278, Lonnie Johnson at 584-8170 or Charlie Tallant at 584-9961.
DE QUEEN STUDENT SELECTED AS PEOPLE TO PEOPLE STUDENT AMBASSADOR 9/2/14
15-year-old Elizabeth House was selected to serve as a People to People Student Ambassador and will be joining a delegation of students on a 20-day educational tour that take them to seven European countries.
House is a sophomore at De Queen High School and is taking concurrent classes at UA Cossatot.
House explained that the delegation will be led by a group of experienced teachers and they will learn about the history, culture and people of the regions.
House will have the opportunity to meet a member of the British Parliament, interview a World War II veteran on the beaches of Normandy, visit the International Court of Justice, the Anne Frank Museum and many other places.
House also mentioned that this opportunity comes with an $8,000 price tag, which includes the cost of airfare, meals and lodging, so she would like to ask the area business owners and individuals about sponsoring her or to donation gift cards or merchandise that she can use to hold a raffle.
House stated she will be holding several book and bake sales, and would appreciate the donation of new or used books that are in good condition.
If you have any questions, would like to make a donation or volunteer to help her with a fundraiser, House said you may contact her at 870-642-5912.
EMERALD ASH BORER CONFIRMED IN SIX COUNTIES 9/2/14
Twenty-five counties in southern and southwest Arkansas could be subject to a quarantine on the movement of firewood, ash nursery stock and ash logs in an effort to halt the spread of the emerald ash borer, according to a state official.
The emerald ash borer was accidentally imported from Asia and confirmed in the United States in 2002 and has been blamed for the deaths of tens of millions of trees in the U.S. and Canada and it has now been confirmed in six Arkansas counties. These counties are: Clark, Columbia, Dallas, Hot Spring, Nevada and Ouachita.
The proposed quarantine would include all hardwood firewood, all ash nursery stock and ash from both saw logs and pulpwood, mulch and compost. The area included in the quarantine would include the six infested counties and 19 other counties that would serve as a buffer zone, including: Ashley, Bradley, Calhoun, Cleveland, Drew, Garland, Grant, Hempstead, Howard, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lincoln, Little River, Miller, Montgomery, Pike, Saline, Sevier and Union counties.
A decision on the proposed quarantine will be made September 11th by the Arkansas State Plant Board. One option is to enact an emergency rule that would establish a quarantine that would last 120 days. This time period would allow the board to initiate a process that includes public hearings on the issue.
A task force with members from the Arkansas State Plant Board, USDA, Arkansas Forestry Commission, University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, Arkansas Forestry Association, Arkansas State Parks, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts and Natural Resources Conservation Services met on Monday, August 25th to discuss a possible quarantine.
The quarantine would bar movement of firewood and nursery stock out of the quarantined area to slow the insect's spread. Firewood should be sourced locally and burned locally, according to state officials.
The insect, a mere half-inch long, has expanded its range by hundreds of miles since being discovered in southeastern Michigan. It has been confirmed in 27 states, including Arkansas.
Jon Barry is an extension forester for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and he said Arkansans should be on the lookout for symptoms of infestation like: multiple jagged holes excavated by woodpeckers feeding on ash borer larvae, distinctive D-shaped exit holes left by emerging adult beetles, canopy dieback from top of tree, sprouts arising from the base of the tree and larval tunnels or galleries immediately under the bark of dying ash trees.
Barry said if any of these signs of infestation appear that you should contact your county extension agent.
FOREMAN BOARD OF EDUCATION TRANSFERS FUNDS FROM BUILDING FUND TO OPERATING ACCOUNT 9/2/14
During the regular board meeting of the Foreman Board of Education, board members approved a resolution to transfer over $49,000 from the Building Fund to the district's General Operating Fund .
Board members also approved a resolution stating the district's intention to conduct business with related parties. Kennedy stated this resolution was needed so the district could conduct business with local businesses that may have a relationship with someone working in the district.
The board approved conducting business with Grill Hill Dozier, Tanner Sheet Metal, Turner Heating and Air, Hadaway Tire Shop, Gator Graphics and Young's Grocery.
Board members accepted the resignation of Monica Sharpe who was teaching First grade, and according to Kennedy was able to hire Samantha Young during a special called meeting a week later. He stated Young had been working as a substitute for the district since the beginning of the school year.
The board approved the transfer of five students to the Horatio School District and was informed that the district's enrollment stood at 497 students.
GILLHAM RESIDENT KILLED IN ACCIDENT 9/2/14
Thursday morning about 11:59 a.m., members of the De Queen Fire Department assisted Arkansas State Police Trooper Ryne Shelton at the scene of a fatal accident on Highway 71, about a mile North of De Queen.
According to the incident report, 66-year-old Lloyd Kirkpatrick of Gillham pulled onto the right shoulder of Highway 71 and attempted to make a U-turn and was struck by a 2013 Freightliner truck, pinning Kirkpatrick in his 1988 Jeep.
Members of the De Queen Fire Department worked to extricate Kirkpatrick from the vehicle. He was then transported to the De Queen Regional Medical Center by Southwest EMS.
Kirkpatrick was pronounced dead at the hospital by Sevier County Coroner Rusty Williams.
The driver of the Freightliner, Jeffery Lee Walters of Columbia, South Carolina, was not injured in the accident.
JULY CRIME VICTIM REPARATIONS ANNOUNCED 9/2/14
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced this week, that the Arkansas Crime Victims Reparations Board awarded $232,649.90 to victims of crime in July. Awards were made in 102 new cases and additional expenses were paid in 49 previously submitted cases.
The Attorney General's Office administers the state's Crime Victims Reparations Program, and the Crime Victims Reparations Board determines which claims are eligible for payment and how much money will be awarded to each claimant.
Victims of violent crime in Arkansas may submit claims to the Program to help defray the costs of medical treatment, mental-health counseling or other unexpected expenses associated with the crime. Most awards are limited to $10,000 or less, although the maximum award may be as high as $25,000 for a crime victim who receives catastrophic injuries.
One supplemental award was made to a resident in Little River County in the amount of $140.80.
A total of $10,610 was awarded in two new cases and one previously submitted case in Miller County.
LITTLE RIVER COUNTY FAIR 9/2/14
Judging at the Little River County Fair concluded Thursday night with the Market Lamb show and Cattle show.
Angie Lewis of the Little River County Extension Office provided KDQN with the category winners and Grand Champions of the Market Lamb and Cattle shows.
Lewis reported that there were five classes of market lambs and in class 1 with a weight of 105 pounds, the winner was Nicole Pool followed by Madison Kidd.
In class 2 with weights between 112 to 113 pounds, the winner was Maddie McAllister followed by Hunter Pool.
In class 3 with weights between 115 and 118 pounds, the winner was Raylei Merrell followed by Maddison Kidd and Kinley Wright.
In class 4 with a weight 125 pounds, the winner was Maddie McAllister.
In class 5 with a weight of 138 pounds, the winner was Maddie McAllister followed by Maddison Kidd.
Maddie McAllister exhibited the Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion Market Lambs.
Nicole Pool won the Junior Showmanship award. Raylei Merrell won the Intermediate Showman title and Maddison Kidd was named the Senior Showman winner.
Rebecca Webb won the Supreme Grand Heifer category, while Lyndon Youngblood took the Supreme Reserve Heifer title.
Rebecca Webb won both the Grand Supreme and Reserve Grand Champion awards in the Brahma Bull category.
Lyndon Youngblood was named the Grand Champion in the Charolaise Composit category. He was also named the Supreme Bull, while Rebecca Webb was named the Reserve Supreme Bull winner.
Judd Kennemore won the Peewee Showmanship award. Rebecca Webb won the Senior Showmanship award. Trace Kennemore won the Intermediate Showman award and Lyndon Youngblood won the Junior Showman award.
TYSON FOODS AND HILLSHIRE BRANDS COMPLETE MERGER 9/2/14
Tyson Foods, Inc. announced the completion of its merger with The Hillshire Brands Company. The transaction will position Tyson Foods as a clear leader in the prepared foods business. In connection with the merger, shares of Hillshire Brands common stock was delisted and ceased being traded on the New York and Chicago stock exchanges on Friday, August 29th.
The combination of Tyson Foods and Hillshire Brands creates a single company with more than $40 billion in annual sales and a portfolio that includes recognized brands such as Tyson, Wright, Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, State Fair and Hillshire Farm.
The integration of the two companies is currently expected to generate synergy savings of $225 million in 2015 and more than $500 million by 2017.
Teams of people from Tyson and Hillshire have been working on integration plans since July to help make sure the combined company gets off to a good start.
A new leadership team has been selected and includes a mix of existing senior leaders from Tyson Foods and Hillshire Brands.
GREENE ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY FOR ASHDOWN SCHOOL BOARD 9/02/14
Tommie Greene has announced that he is seeking a seat on the Ashdown Board of Education during the school election that will be held on Tuesday, September 16th.
Greene is a resident of Ogden and earned a B.S. degree in industrial/vocational arts education from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
Greene also attended the Army Material Command School of Engineering and Logistics and retired from civilian service with the Department of the Army at the Red River Army Depot where he worked as a production controller, maintenance management specialist, logistics manager and supervisor of production planning and control operations when it came to the life-cycle management of military weaponry.
Greene is currently attending seminary in Texarkana, Texas through the Bowie Baptist Association.