Southwest Arkansas Daily
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Local News archives
2015 MINE CREEK CONSERVATION FORESTRY AND LAND JUDGING CONTEST 3/13/15
The Mine Creek Conservation District and the Pike County Conservation District held their annual Forestry and Land Judging Contest on March 10th at the Center Point Community Building.
The contest is held each year to give FFA teams some experience before competing in their district and state competitions.
The forestry contest was held on land owned by Joe and Norma Martin near Center Point and the land judging contest was held on the Bryan Billings Farm.
Students representing 10 schools competed for county and overall awards. Teams participating in the contest included: De Queen, Foreman, Mena, Nashville, Dierks, South Pike County, Kirby, Hermitage, Harmony Grove and Caddo Hills.
The Mine Creek Conservation District and the Pike County Conservation District recognized the first place team and high point individual in both contests among county contestants. Each winning team received a plaque and each team member received a t-shirt. The high point individuals received hooded sweat shirts and windbreakers.
The Dierks FFA won the Howard County Forestry contest. The team members include Curtis Nutt, Dylan Fatherree, Garrett Robertson and Jake Eudy. Nutt was the Forestry High Point individual.
Nashville FFA won the Howard County Land Judging contest.
De Queen FFA was the overall winner in the Land Judging contest.
The De Queen Land Judging team consists of Logan Hall, Emily Rodriquez, Carrie Craver and Antonnette Worley. Worley also won the overall high point award.
BETA SIGMA THI 2 PERSON SCRAMBLE 3/13/15
Jennifer Martin and Christy McCullough of the Beta Sigma Thi organization announced the group would be hosting its first annual two person scramble April 11th at the De Queen Country Club to raise funds for their community projects.
Martin and McCullough said the organization purchases shoes for students in the area schools, helps the residents of Christopher Homes as well as providing scholarships to local high school seniors.
Martin stated they were holding the crawfish dinner and golf tournament to raise funds for those projects.
Martin said the registration fee was $100 for an individual, $200 for a team and a sponsorship fee was $300. She said you can copy an entry form from the radio station’s website, KDQN.net or contact her at 870-584-2973 or Ben Branson at 850-530-4266.
McCullough and Martin said there will be prizes awarded to the winners.
FREE EVENTS AT THE COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK, THIS WEEKEND 3/13/15
Cossatot River State Park will be hosting several free events this weekend and Park Interpreter Andrew Rawlings said things will get started with breakfast at the sandbar this Saturday at 10 a.m.
Park Interpreter Shelley Flanary announced the park would be hosting a Cast Iron Workshop on Saturday, March 21st.
Flanary said participates will learn the history and techniques of cooking with a Dutch oven. She said everyone will also receive a free piece of cast iron cookware.
Participates will make an entree and dessert.
Admission is $40 per person, with a piece of cookware or $15 for just the meal.
For more information about programs and events at the Cossatot River State Park, call 870-385-2201.
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE FROM REPRESENTATIVE VAUGHT 3/13/15
District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported Wednesday night that the House passed Senate bill 221 which will require the Department of Workforce Services to prepare an economic report of employment and earning outcomes for degrees at state supported institutions of higher education.
Vaught explained the bill will provide middle and high school students with more information about how furthering their education can impact their financial futures.
The report will be issued to 7th through 12th graders. Vaught said incoming college freshmen will also receive a similar report to help guide them in selecting a field of study.
Vaught said the House passed a bill that would require the legislature to vote on whether to create a state run healthcare exchange, but the bill is contingent on the outcome of a case before the United States Supreme Court concerning the Affordable Care Act.
Vaught also reported the House passed legislation which will allow Arkansans to donate a portion of their state income tax refunds to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
Vaught explained tax returns would include a check-off box for those wishing to have the donation deducted from their tax refund check.
LADY LEOPARDS SOFTBALL TEAM HOLDING FUNDRAISERS 3/13/15
De Queen Lady Leopards softball coach Tracy Nealy and several Lady Leopards stopped by the KDQN studios Thursday morning to mention the team would be holding a couple of fundraisers to help purchase equipment for the team.
Freshman Reisa Bakenhus stated the team would be hosting a chicken dinner fundraiser on April 3rd.
Coach Nealy said they were also selling banners for the outfield fence. Cost is $300 the first year and $150 renewal fee every year after that.
Coach Nealy said he had been coaching for 21 years and he has always stressed good grades. He said this year’s team has four players with 4.0 GPAs.
Coach Nealy said if you are interested in purchasing a banner for the softball field. You may contact James Williams at 584-1909, Lisa Miller at 784-0178 or Gaytha Bakenhus at 784-1575.
CHAMBER SEEKING DONATIONS FOR ANNUAL EGG HUNT 03/13/14
You know spring is near when you start seeing the Easter baskets, candy and stuffed animals in the area stores. If you enjoy seeing children hunting eggs, the De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce invites to you their annual Egg Hunt.
This year’s hunt will be held Saturday, April 4th at the De Queen Sportsplex (Fields 2 & 3) beginning at 1 pm. The hunt is free and will be divided into three age groups: Children walking age through two years; age 3 through 5; and age 6 through 3rd grade. Children must be able to hunt by themselves. The Easter Bunny will be on hand to pose for photos with your child for $3.
If you or your business would like to donate items such as the filled Easter baskets, stuffed animals, or bags of candy to give as prizes, please drop them off at Bear State Bank or KDQN studios by Wednesday, April 1st.
ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM TOOK CENTER STAGE THIS WEEK IN TEXARKANA 3/12/15
The 2015 Arkansas Governor's Conference on Tourism concluded Tuesday night in Texarkana with the annual Governor's Banquet and Arkansas Travel Blogger Kim Williams expressed the department's appreciation to the City of Texarkana for hosting this year's conference.
Williams said the annual conference provides the governor's office with the opportunity to spotlight the work of everyone that supports tourism in the state.
KDQN's Jay Lindly was a finalist in the Media Support category. The Media Support Award is presented to a distinguished individual or organization for extraordinary attention to and/or support of Arkansas' tourism industry through the use of media.
Williams also stated the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism launched its new website last Friday. She said the reason they updated the website was to drive more traffic to Arkansas' hundreds of industry partners.
Williams said it's a responsive web design that delivers all of the websites content to mobile devises. So, check it out at Arkansas.com.
COMMODITIES TO BE DISTRIBUTED THIS WEEK 3/12/15
Sevier County Senior Adult Director Mary Litchford announced the distribution of commodities this week at the Sevier County Senior Adult Centers.
Litchford said commodities will be distributed on Thursday from 9 a.m. until noon at the Horatio Senior Adult Center and at the De Queen Senior Adult Center from 1 to 4 p.m.
Commodities will be distributed Friday in Ben Lomond from 9:30 until 10:30 a.m. and at the Lockesburg Senior Adult Center from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Litchford said if you are picking up commodities for someone else, you must have a signed statement from them and everyone must bring an ID.
Litchford said everyone will need to update their household information. Everyone must provide the names, address, Social Security numbers, birth dates, household size and income.
Litchford stated this is a regular distribution and clients can only receive one distribution per household and clients can only get commodities at one center.
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE FROM REPRESENTATIVE VAUGHT 3/12/15
Two hundred and fifty bills were filed Monday by House members, according to District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught. She reported that just over 1,000 bills have been filed in the House this session.
Vaught stated one bill was headed to the governor's desk that would allow the Legislative Council to approve a state plan for reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
Senate Bill 183 states the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality shall not submit a plan regarding fossil-fuel-fired electric plants to the Environmental Protection Agency without first seeking the approval of the governor and the Legislative Council.
Vaught reported the House passed a bill redirecting fees from the professional firefighter special license plates to the Arkansas State Firefighters Association. She said for the last few years, the fees had been going to the Arkansas Fallen Firefighters' Memorial Board to help build the Fallen Firefighters' Memorial which was built on the Capitol grounds. The memorial has been paid for and now the funds will go to the firefighters association.
House members also passed a bill that would allow property owners associations to authorize the sale of alcoholic beverages for on-premise consumption. The bill states the association would have to have a population of at least 5,000 and be located in a county which authorizes liquor sales.
SEVIER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT 3/12/15
Last weeks session of the Sevier County Circuit Court was held on Friday in the Sevier County Courthouse.
Circuit Court Judge Tom Cooper set a trial date of May 20th for Sabrina Dinger who has been charged with forgery in the second degree and Andrew Mills who is being charged with theft of property and residential burglary.
Shane Kennedy changed his plea from not guilty to guilty Friday and was sentenced to 12 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections for possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of meth or cocaine.
Joey Rymer plead guilty to two counts of theft of property, breaking and entering and commercial burglary and was sentenced to 31 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections with 10 suspended.
Shane Vazquez was sentenced to 10 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections for delivery of methamphetamine after changing his plea to guilty.
SEVIER COUNTY QUORUM COURT 3/12/15
Monday afternoon, the members of the Sevier County Quorum Court heard reports from Courtney White of the Southwest Arkansas Crisis and Resource Center and Dick Tallman on behalf of the Sevier County Airport Commission.
White reported the crisis center had officially changed its name to Southwest Arkansas Crisis and Resource Center. She said the center had received a $50,000 grant and they were working to obtain more grants in the future.
White said the center had served 35 victims since January 1st and they were focusing their efforts on Sevier, Howard and Polk counties.
Tallman informed the JPs that the airport commission was working on a $750,000 grant to complete the parallel taxiway and for the installation of a new lighting system.
The airport engineer, Dan Clinton, explained the county would need to commit about $154,000 to the project, but the county would be reimbursed by the state after the project was finished.
Clinton told JPs, the Sevier County Airport was a really good airport and could handle most corporate jets.
JPs gave Tallman verbal permission to proceed with the grant application.
JPs then approved a resolution to destroy District Court records that had been maintained for the required amount of time and an ordinance stating the District Court office will collect all fines and fees assessed in the District Court.
The Quorum Court then approved the appointment of Gailon Godwin to the Sevier County Library Board to replace Joy Simmons who resigned because she is moving out of the county.
The next meeting of the Sevier County Quorum Court will be Monday, April 13th at 2 p.m. in the Sevier County Courthouse conference room.
DE QUEEN PARKS DEPARTMENT CANCELS SPRING SOCCER 3/11/15
Chris Hale of the De Queen Parks and Recreation Department announced Tuesday morning he was canceling the park's spring soccer program due to weather delays. Hale said he has never had to cancel a program due to the weather.
Hale stated the park would be waiving the registration fee for fall soccer for anyone who registered their child for spring soccer, but if you have any questions, you may contact the park at 642-4140.
This spring, 160 children were registered for soccer.
Hale also announced that t-ball registration will run through Friday, March 13th.
For more information, about soccer or t-ball, call the park at 642-4140.
DE QUEEN SCHOOL BOARD HEARS PRESENTATION FROM ARKANSAS GAME AND FISH COMMISSION 3/11/15
Tuesday night during the March meeting of the De Queen Board of Education, board members upheld the recommendation from Superintendent Bruce Hill to expel a student for continued disruption issues.
Hill stated the student had been sent to ISS for over 20-days and had been suspended five or six times and nothing worked. He said he hoped this would get the child's attention.
Board members also approved Hill's recommendation to add four snow days to the end of the district's calendar to make up for the days that the district missed recently. Hill said he felt it was better than adding an hour a day for the next 24 days.
Board members accepted the teacher’s recommendation for the 2015-2016 school calendar. Hill said the only difference between this year's calendar and next year's calendar is a flex day in April.
A representative from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission gave the board a presentation about the commission's youth shooting sports program.
Board members were informed that students would compete in American trap and the commission would provide ammo and targets to start up the program along with a $2,000 grant so the district could purchase a trap machine.
Board members voted to table a decision until their April meeting. Board President Randy Hedge asked Coach Dennis Chaney to prepare a cost analysis and get some pre-enrollment numbers.
Hill stated he wanted to do some more research before making a recommendation to the board concerning a trap team.
Hill reported Dayco was finished with the renovation of the old elementary building, but the district will continue to work on the building to provide more classrooms.
Hill said the district also needs more space on the Middle, Junior and Senior High campuses, but fortunately, they still have options, like turning the old cafeteria into a library with computer labs.
The April meeting of the De Queen Board of Education will be Monday, April 6th in the administration building at 5:30 p.m.
SINGLE PARENT SCHOLARSHIP FUND HELPING PROMOTE DOLLARS FOR SCHOLARS PROGRAMS 3/11/15
The Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund helps low-income single parents who are pursuing a post-secondary degree and is administered by affiliate organizations and volunteers in each county of Arkansas.
Jamie Marshall is the field director for Southwest Arkansas and she said the program helps single parents earn a degree.
Marshall said the Single Parent Scholarship is different from other scholarships because it can be used for books or gas.
Marshall said the Single Parent Scholarship Fund is working with UA Cossatot to promote the college's Dollars for Scholars events in Nashville this Thursday and on the De Queen campus of UA Cossatot on Tuesday, March 17th from 5 to 7 p.m.
If you are interested in applying for a single parent scholarship, Marshall said you should check out their website or if you need more information, call Marshall at 479-287-8213.
MINERAL SPRINGS RESIDENT ARRESTED ON DRUG CHARGES 3/11/15
A Mineral Springs man was arrested Sunday night following a traffic stop by the Howard County Sheriff's Department.
Deputy Steven Wakefield reported he stopped a pickup truck for various traffic violations around 10:45 p.m. on Bright Star Road and while speaking with the driver who was identified as 53-year-old Gary Deloney, the deputy said he could smell alcohol.
Wakefield stated he also noticed a small white object in Deloney's left hand and as he reached for the paperwork, Deloney tried to put the object behind his back, but it fell between the driver's seat and the door of the truck.
Deputy Wakefield asked Deloney to retrieve the item and that is when the object fell to the ground.
The object was determined to be a small folded piece of paper that contained a substance thought to be methamphetamine.
Deloney was arrested and transported to the Howard County jail. He is being charged with possession of controlled substance - meth.
After taking a breath test to determine Deloney's blood/alcohol level, the results indicated that he had been drinking but was under the legal limit.
DE QUEEN FIRE DEPARTMENT BUSY THIS PAST SATURDAY 3/10/15
De Queen Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt reported Monday morning that his department responded to two fire calls this past Saturday.
Pruitt said about 1:50 p.m., 14 firefighters responded to a grass fire with four trucks at 377 South Treating Plant Road.
Pruitt explained a resident was burning a brush pile, thinking that it was safe to burn since the area had received so much moisture lately, but the fire got out of hand.
Pruitt said the sun and wind had dried out the top layer of grass and made it easy to burn.
Later Saturday night at about 8:20, 13 firefighters responded to a structure fire at 128 South Bennett Street with three trucks.
Chief Pruitt said he was the first on the scene and he reported the fire had vented through the bedroom windows and was rolling. Pruitt said the home owner brought out a garden hose and he started battling the blaze before the fire trucks arrived on the scene. He reported they were able to contain the fire to the one bedroom.
Pruitt commended his firefighters for their quick response and gave them credit for being able to save the remainder of the home.
HOWARD WONT FACE DEATH PENALTY IN NEW TRIAL 3/10/15
45-year-old Timothy Howard won’t face the death penalty in his new trial next month for the murder of Brian and Shannon Day and the attempted murder of their infant son back in 1997.
Originally, Howard was found guilty following a three day trial in the Little River County Circuit Court in December of 1999. The jury sentenced Howard to two death sentences, 30-years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
But since then, the Arkansas Supreme Court has ordered a new trial for Howard and on February 24th, Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Al Smith announced that he will not be seeking the death penalty. However, Howard will now face life in prison without the possibility of parole.
In December of 1997, Brian Day was found dead in the back of a U-Haul trailer on a farm that was owned by a member of Howard's family.
Shannon Day's body was discovered in a closet in the Day's home and their 7-month-old son was found alive in a zipped duffle bag with a cord around his neck.
In 2012, the Arkansas Supreme Court said Howard deserved a new trial because the defense never received a crime lab report concerning wood particles found on the boots that were used to connect Howard to the murders and other evidence that may have lead the jury to sentence Howard to life in prison instead of sentencing him to death.
Howard has been incarcerated since his arrest in December of 1997.
Jury selection for Howard's new trial is set for April 23rd and 24th.
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE FROM DEANN VAUGHT 3/10/15
District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught stated a key component to the health care reform this year involves the creation of a task force which will be studying the healthcare of Arkansans, instead of focusing on Medicaid expansion.
Vaught said the task force is made up of 16 legislators and they are required to submit their findings and recommendations to Governor Asa Hutchinson and the Legislature by the end of 2015.
The law also requires them to recommend an alternative health care coverage model to ensure the availability of services for people that are currently being covered by the private option and make recommendations to modernize Medicaid.
Vaught reported the House passed legislation to cease participation in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers after June 30th, 2015.
Vaught said if this law is passed, the governor's Common Core task force would need to present alternatives for the assessment test for next year.
The House also passed legislation which allows trained personnel to administer insulin to students if a school nurse is not available.
Vaught said this week, legislators will begin looking at legislation aimed at reducing prison overcrowding and proposed Constitutional amendments.
NEW WET SIFTING TROUGH OPENS AT CRATER OF DIAMONDS 3/10/15
This winter the staff of the Crater of Diamonds State Park completed several projects to prepare for the upcoming spring and summer seasons.
A major project that was completed was a wet sifting trough in the North Washing Pavilion that sets on the park's 37.5 acre diamond search area.
Park Superintendent James Howell said the new wet sifting trough will allow better accessibility for guests with disabilities and children.
The new trough was designed by the park maintenance department and built by Fab Tech Plus of Nashville. It is made of 304 stainless steel for strength and durability and it features low sides and a sloped bottom for easier access and cleaning.
Supplies for the project were ordered in October of 2014, and construction began in December. Park maintenance installed the new trough and accessible tables on the east side of the washing pavilion. They also built a roof over the new area to shield visitors from rain and the sun.
The Crater of Diamonds State Park is open year-round, seven-days a week, closing only on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. The park provides free identification and certification of diamonds and offers interpretive programs and exhibits to explain the site's history and to offer tips on how to recognize diamonds in the rough.
For more information about the Crater of Diamonds State Park, call 870-285-3113.
UA COSSATOT DOLLARS FOR SCHOLARS PROGRAM 3/10/15
UA Cossatot Media Relations Director Alisha Lewis announced the college would be holding its annual Dollars For Scholars program this year on the campuses of Ashdown and Nashville high schools and on the De Queen campus of UA Cossatot over the next two weeks.
Lewis said the first program will be on the Ashdown High School campus today from 5 to 7 p.m., Nashville High School on Thursday, March 12th and on the De Queen campus on Tuesday, March 17th. She said will need to bring their 2014 tax returns to fill out the FAFSA.
Lewis stated it's very important for students to fill out the FAFSA, so they can receive all of the financial aid that they qualify for.
Lewis also mentioned that students will need to complete the FAFSA in order to apply for scholarships and the deadline to apply for UA Cossatot scholarships is April 1st.
For more information contact, the financial aid department at 1-870-584-4471.
FOREMAN SENIOR ATTENDS CIVIC LEADERSHIP ACADEMY IN D.C. 03/10/15
Foreman High School senior, Samantha Bell was one of 24 Civil Air Patrol’s outstanding cadets that was chosen to attend the Civic Leadership Academy in Washington, D.C. during the week of Feb. 21st -28th.
This was part of a real-world, hands-on experience long recognized as one of America’s premier civic education activities. Samantha had the opportunity to experience behind- the- scenes tours and briefings at the U.S. Capitol, Supreme Court, State Department, CIA, Arlington National Cemetery and other places of interest in the nation’s capital.
In addition to a blend of lectures, seminars and assigned readings from historic and current sources, she also visited the National Archives: legislative offices; and the Smithsonian Holocaust Museum, as well as the World War II, Korean War, Vietnam Veterans, Women in Military Service and Lincoln memorials. At each of these locations she heard from VIPs who provided insights designed to deepen her understanding of government in action.
DE QUEEN ARCHERY TEAMS ATTEND REGIONAL TOURNAMENT 3/9/15
De Queen and five other schools participated in a regional archery tournament at the Murfreesboro High School and the top three teams from each division advanced to the state archery tournament.
The participating teams were from De Queen, Horatio, Genoa, Kirby and Murfreesboro.
The winners in the elementary division included first place-Blevins, second place-Kirby and third place-Murfreesboro.
Blevins won the middle school division followed by Murfreesboro and De Queen. And, the De Queen High School team won the senior high division. Genoa placed second and Blevins finished third.
The tournament was sponsored by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
DE QUEEN FIRE FIGHTERS BATTLE TWO BLAZES IN BITTER COLD CONDITIONS 3/9/15
Last Thursday morning as Sevier County was thawing out from an overnight winter weather system, members of the De Queen Fire Department were toned out for a fire on Beacon Hill Road.
Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt reported 11 fire fighters responded to the blaze with three trucks. He also mentioned that his department was assisted by the Horatio Fire Department in saving the chicken house.
Pruitt stated small chickens were penned up at the opposite end of the house away from the fire and no chickens were lost due to the blaze.
Pruitt said it took about an hour to extinguish the fire.
Then, about 2:49 Friday morning, 15 fire fighters battled a house fire at 500 Rink Road. The home belonged to Wade Sutton.
Pruitt said it was so cold that it kept the foam truck from producing foam and his department had to be assisted by the Cossatot Volunteer Fire Department with their tanker trucks.
Pruitt said the fire appeared to start in the living room and when firefighters arrived on the scene the fire was venting through the living room windows and the home was fully involved.
Pruitt said the house was a complete loss, but the family had smoke detectors installed, which alerted them, and they were able to escape without any injures.
DOING SOME SHOPPING WHILE INTOXICATED 3/9/15
About 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon, Sergeant Chad Bradshaw of the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to Wal-Mart in reference to a man sleeping in the store.
As Bradshaw entered the Garden Center, he noticed 31-year-old Donald Gillespie sitting on the floor leaning against the emergency exit in the North West corner of the store, asleep.
Bradshaw noted that Gillespie was holding a water hose and some sheers in his lap and was wearing a black backpack.
After Bradshaw woke up Gillespie, he asked him why he was asleep. According to the incident report, Gillespie stated that he had taken some medication and it had made him sleepy.
After Gillespie handed the backpack to Bradshaw, a Wal-Mart employee reported Gillespie had taken the price tag off of it, so Bradshaw searched the backpack but did not find any merchandise in it.
Gillespie was arrested for public intoxication, but while searching Gillespie's person for weapons and other items, Bradshaw found a Mag-Bar in his pants pocket and two flashlights that were open in his hoodie pocket.
Gillespie was then charged with one count of shoplifting less than a thousand dollars.
NASHVILLE MARCH FOR PARKS SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT RESCHEDULED 3/9/15
The Nashville Parks and Recreation Department announced that the Annual March for Parks softball tournament and fundraiser that was scheduled for Saturday, March 7th had to be re-scheduled for Saturday, March 28th due to wet field conditions.
Registration for the softball tournament will continue until Monday, March 23rd. Cost is $300 per team and the tournament will include the following age divisions, 8 and under; 10 and under; 12 and under; and 14 and under.
There is a three game guarantee.
The park staff is also selling raffle tickets for $1 each for items that have been donated to the park from area businesses including a $150 gift certificate; a Husqvarna Yard Care Package that includes a chainsaw, trimmer and blower; and Echo Backpack blower; and a Stack-on 22 gun safe.
Park Director Nikki Cherry said the park was raising funds to purchase chair back seats for the renovation of the baseball complex. The drawing will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 28th at the Softball Complex.
If you would like to purchase a raffle ticket or register a team in the tournament, call the park office at 870-845-7405.
NATIONAL CONSUMER PROTECTION WEEK 3/9/15
It's National Consumer Protection Week and Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is taking this opportunity to remind consumers that con artists are constantly trying to find new ways to target consumers and steal their money.
Each year, thousands of Arkansans contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Arkansas Attorney General's office to ask for assistance with legitimate business disputes, or to report a scam or suspected fraud.
In conjunction with National Consumer Protection Week, Attorney General Rutledge named the 10 most common types of complaints that were fielded by her office in 2014. She reported the office handled and closed 8,120 consumer complaints in 2014 and recovered more than $1.9 million dollars through informal mediation efforts.
Rutledge said the 10 most common complaint categories included: automobile sales, service, financing and repair issues; credit services, credit repair and other financial services; health care; wireless and landline telephone services; debt collection; home improvement, repair and construction; utilities; landlord/tenant issues; mortgages, foreclosures and home financing; and payday lending.
Rutledge said for the past three years, automobile related transactions have been the most common type of complaint reported to her office. The credit and financial services are the second most common complaint for the second year in a row and the third most common complaint was health care related disputes.
The Arkansas Attorney General's website contains information about every common complaint category, as well as other general tips. Consumers can also contact the attorney general's office by calling the Consumer Protection hotline at 1-800-482-8982.
RELAY FOR LIFE - LET’S GET TO FLOCKING 3/9/15
Sevier County Relay for Life event coordinator Emmy Bailey announced Friday morning that its time to get signed up for this year's Relay for Life. She said currently there are seven teams and collectively they have raised almost $9,000.
Bailey said you can purchase luminaries this year and have a little mischievous fun at the same time, but flocking your friends and family with purple flamingos.
For every $5 you spend on the flamingo fundraiser, you will get one luminary display in honor of or in memory of someone. She also mentioned the luminaries touch the lives of those walking around the track during the Relay for Life event, which is scheduled for May 22nd this year.
Luminary bags are $5 each and tiki torches are $25. To place your order for the flamingo flocking fundraiser, call 580-306-7371 or 784-3053.
She said if you or someone you know has been diagnosed with cancer, you can call 1-800-227-2345 for assistance from the American Cancer Society.
For more information about the Sevier County Relay for Life, contact Bailey at 784-3053.
SHE TRIED TO HIT HIM WITH THE RIGHT PARTS AT O'REILLYS 3/9/15
Around noon on Thursday, Corporal Bobby Bagley of the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to the O'Reilly Auto Parts parking lot.
When Bagley arrived, he was informed by 48-year-old Phillip Perez that he was trying to fix his truck when 40-year-old Gala Richardson stopped and started yelling at him and asked him for some drugs.
Perez said when Richardson didn't get what she wanted, she started hitting the driver's side window of his truck. He said she then reached into the back of the truck for something and tried to hit him with it. Perez said she also picked up some rocks and started throwing them at his truck.
Bagley reported that Richardson was very argumentative and would not comply with his instructions, so he placed her into custody and charged her with disorderly conduct.
Perez said Richardson was his ex-girlfriend.
UMPIRE SCHOOL HOLDING PI DAY 3/9/15
Umpire Principal Carla Golden is inviting parents and grandparents to the school's Epic PI Day celebration on Friday, March 13th beginning at noon.
Golden stated the celebration will begin with a school-wide assembly in the rock building and learn about nutrition, exercise, pi-math, literacy tutoring and encourage students not to bully one another.
Golden said they will then move outside, if the weather permits, for a 3.14 mile run/walk. Parents and grandparents are encouraged to walk with their children or join the faculty in the cheering line to cheer for students as they cross the finish line.
Students are currently submitting art work to be selected for the race medal which will be presented to each participate.
Following the run/walk, everyone will be served hot dogs, pie and a drink.
If you have any questions, contact Golden at 870-583-2141.
February's Report on One of Sevier County's Food Programs 03/09/15
The Chalice Cupboard assisted 38 families in Sevier County last month: 114 people, with 67 adults and 47 children. Food distributions totaled 906 pounds from its pantry to provide for these households.
The bank balance on February 1, 2015, was $4,957.84. The balance on February 29, 2015, was $5,062.32. Funds received for the month totaled $308.00.
In February $203.42 was spent from financial gifts received, adding 172 pounds of food to the pantry. Food donations in February totaled 88 pounds. Donors were St. Barbara Catholic Church (68 pounds); individuals (16 pounds); and an anonymous donor (4 pounds). Purchased and donated food in February provided 260 pounds of food added to the pantry last month.
Food suggested for donations during March and April are cereal and canned fruit.
The Chalice Cupboard, located at 315 North Sixth Street in De Queen, distributes food in its ministry on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Note: food assistance normally ends at 3:15 p.m. This helps volunteers with paperwork for the day, and often assists the arrangement of food items in the pantry for later distributions. Thank you for your help.
SPRING FORWARD SATURDAY NIGHT 3/6/15
Southwest Arkansas Daily/KDQN wants to remind our readers to spring forward this weekend.
Daylight Savings Time starts this Sunday, March 8th at 2 a.m, so Saturday night before you go to bed, you should set your clock forward one hour.
WINTER WEATHER UPDATE 3/6/15
Residents across the state woke up Thursday morning to a winter wonderland, as snow covered the ground and roadways throughout the state.
Forecasters say an overnight storm dropped about 1.3 inches of snow in De Queen and up to eight inches in the northeast part of the state.
Early Thursday morning the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department reported that every highway in the state was covered in snow or ice with the exception of some routes in northwest Arkansas, which were only partly covered.
Road conditions in Southwest Arkansas forced the closing of all area schools and preschools and several businesses delaying opening until 10 a.m. to allow for road conditions to improve.
The Sevier County Sheriff's office reported there was one reported accident this morning and it was in the City of De Queen on Ninth Street.
Little River County Sheriff's office reported three vehicles slide off the highway on US Highway 71 South. The spokesperson said one car slide off into the ditch and the other two vehicles slide into a median, but there was no property damage.
According to a deputy with Sevier County Sheriff's office, most motorists stayed off the roads until conditions improved.
COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK PREPARING FOR EXCITING OF KAYAKING 3/6/15
Cossatot River State Park Interpreter Andrew Rawlings stopped by the KDQN studios to announce that its time to start planning your kayak tour down the Cossatot River.
Rawlings stated the Cossatot River is known for the Cossatot Falls which produce some Class 4 and 5 rapids, but these kayak tours are for beginnings and begin about 400 yards below the Cossatot Falls at the River Ridge Campsite.
Rawlings said groups can kayak on the Cossatot River when the water level is between 2.3 and 3.5 feet.
Rawlings said the yearly kayak tours are planned in advance and there will be some tours this May, but space is limited.
For more information about programs and events at the Cossatot River State Park, call 870-385-2201.
COUNTERFEIT MONEY REPORTED IN DE QUEEN 3/5/15
Over the past several months, three stores have reported that they had received counterfeit money, so the De Queen Police Department is recommending that all business owners and employees properly check for counterfeit money.
De Queen Chief of Police Richard McKinley stated he didn't think there was a serious issue, but wanted to inform the local businesses to be diligent about checking for fake bills.
McKinley stated there have been two 20s and one hundred dollar bill passed within the last four to five months, but he didn't want any business to suffer a lose because they weren't paying attention or following company policy.
The general manager of a local department store informed KDQN that cashiers are trained to hold a bill up to the light to see the shadow to make sure the shadows match, because some bills will pass the pen test.
DE QUEEN ALDERMEN HEAR SEVERAL REPORTS, BUT DO NOT VOTE 3/5/15
Tuesday night, aldermen of the De Queen City Council heard a report concerning the Turtle Creek Sub-division, reviewed the 2014 budget and heard Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy's recommendation about hiring a consultant to negotiate a new franchise agreement with Vyve Broadband.
Mayor McKelvy recommended the council pass a resolution authorizing him to sign a contract with Greg Fender of LGS to audit the city's past franchise fee payments and negotiate a new franchise agreement, however, the council elected to table a vote on the resolution until their next council meeting.
McKelvy said the city received a letter in February of 2013 from the cable TV company stating Vyve's intent to renew their franchise contract.
Aldermen reviewed the 2014 budget with City Clerk/Treasurer Donna Jones and voted to table a vote on the budget until the March 17th meeting.
McKelvy reported that he had sent a letter to Janet Carson concerning the Bradford pear trees in the downtown area. She responded to the mayor's letter in her column in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. McKelvy stated she suggested several smaller trees, like tulip trees.
Mayor McKelvy informed aldermen that the Planning Commission would be meeting March 26th to consider a zoning change concerning the Turtle Creek Sub-division. He said they should have a recommendation from the commission by the council's April 7th meeting.
FORMER HORATIO HEAD FOOTBALL COACH HIRED BY GENTRY 3/5/15
The Gentry School Board voted to hire former Horatio High School football coach Paul Ernest as their new head football coach.
Ernest has been coaching for 14 years. He was the head coach at Horatio for nine seasons, but as coached the last five seasons at Nashville where he has been an assistant football coach and the head softball coach.
Ernest informed the Nashville School Board that he plans to finish out his contract this semester at Nashville and coach the softball team this season.
Gentry is a 4A school and currently has about 30 athletes.
MINERAL SPRINGS TO START WATER SYSTEM IMPROVEMENTS 3/5/15
The Mineral Springs City Council gave their approval for the start of a $34,000 water project.
Crews will be installing several valves that will allow the city to be sectioned off into four sections. This will allow the water department to shut down one section of the city to repair leaks in the system.
Currently, if there is a major leak, the city's entire water system must be turned off to make the proper repairs.
Funds for the project will come from the city's depreciation account.
Aldermen voted to allow the city to hire a CPA firm from Arkadelphia to complete the past due water and sewer audits which have not been completed in four years.
The council also voted to install a metal roof on the town hall building at a cost of $18,000 and to sell the old fire station to Charlie Smith, who plans to build some apartments on the property.
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE FROM DEANN VAUGHT 3/5/15
District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported the House approved a bill that would allow a school district with a student population that is below 350 for two consecutive years to request a waiver from mandatory consolidation if the district is not in academic, fiscal or facilities distress or on probation for accreditation violations.
Representative Justin Gonzales said schools that have already been closed by Act 60 will not be given an option to reopen, but said it may prevent other schools from closing.
Vaught reported the House Education Committee heard testimony Tuesday on three bills including a bill that would require the State Board of Education to cease participation in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.
If passed the bill would require the state to cease the PARCC assessment tests after June 30, 2015. It would also require the Governor's task force on Common Core present alternatives to the PARCC assessment test for the next school year.
Vaught said the deadline to file a bill is Monday, March 9th.
In a related ruling, the Arkansas Senate passed a bill that eases the restrictions on the creation of new school districts.
The Senate approved and sent the bill to the governor's desk, which will lower the number of students needed for a new district to splinter from an existing district. The legislation lowers the requirement from 4,000 students to 2,500.
Supporters say it would allow Maumelle or Sherwood to split from the Pulaski County Special School District after clearing other state and federal hurdles.
Opponents say the change will harm lower-income students and widen racial divides in the state.
RECEIVE OUTAGE ALERTS ON YOUR PHONE 3/5/15
SWEPCO customers can now sign up for outage alerts and be notified by text message or email when there is a power outage in your area. SWEPCO will also send updates notifying you when your service is expected to be restored.
The service is free and you can enroll at swepco.com/alerts.
Once you have enrolled, you will receive an email, text message or both when an outage has been reported in your area. You can confirm you outage by reporting it at SWEPCO.com or by calling 1-888-218-3919.
If you have multiple people in a home or business who would like to enroll in the SWEPCO alerts, each person should register with a separate user identification and password on SWEPCO.com
FUTURE ENGINEERS???? 03/05/15
Horatio 2nd grade students recently worked to build a suspension bridge after their study of bridges.
They also had a guest speaker come and talk to them about the job of a bridge engineer. Bill Hockaday, Assistant Resident Engineer of the Arkansas Highway Transportation Department came and spoke to the students about his job and showed the students pictures of bridges he has been the lead engineer on.
They were able to see the process of building a bridge and were also given an insight of what the new Little River Bridge will look like.
UA COSSATOT AND THE GREAT BOOK CONUNDRUM 3/4/15
Monday night during the UA Cossatot Board of Visitors meeting, Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole informed the board that the school had decided to cancel its contract with the company that operates its bookstore and operate it themselves.
Cole reported that the reason for the change was the cost of textbooks and he stated the college would be offering an incentive to faculty members who created their own material to use or found acceptable open sources. For classes that need textbooks, such as nursing, he said the college would rent textbooks to students for $20 a semester.
Vice-Chancellor Mike Kinkade reported the college had finished all of its big projects and was now checking into paving a large parking lot on the De Queen campus as soon as it warms up.
Kinkade stated they were having a survey completed on the Lockesburg campus to ensure they installed lighting on the college's property.
Cole also reported that 75-80 students from Ashdown and Foreman would soon be able to participate in secondary career training on the Ashdown campus once an agreement is finalized with Arkansas High in Texarkana.
The next meeting of the UA Cossatot Board of Visitors will be April 6th at 6 p.m. on the Nashville campus.
CONCERT GOERS GET DISORDERLY 3/4/15
Saturday night, Patrolman First Class Wayne Baker of the De Queen Police Department and Patrolman J.J. Lopez was dispatched to the EZ-Mart at the 70/71 intersection in reference to a verbal argument between two women.
Upon arriving at the scene, Baker and Lopez interviewed 31-year-old Andrea Sheets and 28-year-old Alisha Burr, both of Mena.
Sheets reportedly told the officers that she and their designated driver who drove them to the Charley Farley concert at the De Queen Country Club left the concert and shortly after they left, Burr called them and asked them to come get her because she had gotten kicked out of the concert.
Sheets stated she and Burr got into an argument and she asked the driver, Tiffany Lopez to pull over at the EZ Mart and that is when Burr reached over the front seat and grabbed her by the hair.
Sheets said she got out of the car and went inside the store to call 911, but hung up because she couldn't hear the dispatcher.
Burr admitted to the officers that she and Sheets had an argument and she allegedly stated it was over some guys that they met at the concert.
The driver reportedly stated both women were very intoxicated and Burr had attacked Sheets who was sitting in the front seat.
The store clerk reported that she saw the vehicle pull into the parking lot. She said Sheets got out of the vehicle and came into the store and asked to borrow the phone so she could call 911 but she hung up and walked outside. The clerk said dispatch called back shortly later and she reported the two women were arguing in the parking lot.
Burr and Sheets were arrested and cited for disorderly conduct.
ACCIDENT LEADS TO MULTIPLY CHARGES 3/4/15
On Friday, February 27th Sergeant Chad Bradshaw was dispatched to a hit and run accident.
Jessy Churchwell reported that a vehicle rear ended him at a 4-way and then left the scene, so, he followed the vehicle until he got to the intersection of 6th and Collin Raye Drive.
When Bradshaw arrived at 6th and Collin Raye, Churchwell informed him that he saw a black male jump out of the passenger side of the vehicle that hit him, run away.
The suspected driver of the vehicle that rear ended Churchwell's vehicle then allegedly pulled into the Fat Chance's parking lot.
When Bradshaw approached the vehicle he noticed an unopened beer can lying under the truck. Bradshaw then arrested 18-year-old Brandon Cornett for being a minor in possession.
While conducting an inventory of the vehicle, Bradshaw discovered a small wooden box with a smoking device inside it along with what appeared to be marijuana residue on it.
Cornett also did not have any proof of insurance.
Cornett was charged with leaving the scene of a property damage accident, no liability insurance, minor in possession of alcohol and possession of drug paraphernalia.
VAUGHT EXPLAINS eVERSITY 3/3/15
According to District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught, 22 percent of Arkansans over the age of 25 have taken some college level courses but never finished their degrees, while the national average is 21 percent.
Vaught said a college degree can have a significant impact on the economic status level of a person. She explained according to a recent census, the poverty rate of someone with some college is 12.5 percent, while that percentage drops to 4.3 percent if they earn a bachelor's degree.
Vaught said research shows that working more than 20-hours a week will increase the amount of time a student reaches graduation, but it will also decrease the likelihood of someone getting a degree.
Therefore, last week, the House passed legislation that could open the door for thousands of adults who want to go back to school and finish their degree, who are limited by time and money.
Senate Bill 265 will allow the University of Arkansas to establish an eVersity.
The University of Arkansas System eVersity is a 100 percent online institution that was created by the UA Board of Trustees in March of 2014 to serve students who are unable to access traditional higher education campuses.
The core principles of the institution includes providing high quality courses, affordable tuition and workforce relevant degree programs, along with promoting student success in programs.
Currently the program is in its planning stages, but the University of Arkansas System eVersity hopes to start offering classes in partnership with existing University of Arkansas institutions in late 2015.
NEW MEMBERS INDUCTED INTO FOREMAN NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY 3/3/15
The Foreman Chapter of the National Honor Society inducted six new members on Friday, February 27th during a candle lighting ceremony.
District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught was scheduled to speak, but the weather caused her to have to stay in Little Rock. So, she sent her speech and Principal Kim Cody read it.
The Foreman National Honor Society inducted Keely Butler, Ethan Anderson, Erin Chewning, Julia Frye, Myranda Gross and Cass Lindsey.
The current National Honor Society members are Jessie Smith, Chelsea Stephens, Trevor Stevens and Samantha Bell.
Following the induction ceremony, a reception was held in the FACS Department for the National Honor Society members, their family and friends and faculty.
LITTLE RIVER COUNTY TO START CHARGING FOR TRASH DISPOSAL 3/3/15
Little River County Judge Mike Cranford announced that the county has started charging for county trash disposal service this month.
Residential and commercial customers will be charged for the removal of solid-waste. The new fee system was approved February 9th during a meeting of the Little River County Quorum Court.
Cranford explained that there will be no change to the service, but residential customers will now pay $17 dollars a month, while commercial customers with green boxes will pay $75 a month per container for biweekly pickup or $100 a month per container for weekly pickup.
Since 1996, the trash-collection service has been funded by a half-cent sales tax, but sales-tax revenue has been declining while the cost to collect and haul the trash to the regional landfill in Nashville has increased.
DON'T DOUBLE DOWN ON TAX DEBT 3/3/15
In many cases, tax-relief companies know when they contact consumers who owe taxes, that these consumers are desperate to find ways to settle their tax debt with the IRS or the State of Arkansas.
Tax-relief companies often claim they can reduce or even eliminate an individual's tax debts and stop the collection of back taxes by applying for legitimate IRS hardship programs. However, the tax-relief companies don't usually settle the tax debt and, in many cases, don't even send the necessary paperwork to the IRS.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a consumer alert cautioning Arkansans to avoid falling victim to promises that they are eligible for tax relief.
Consumers should view paying taxes just like paying other bills. It is often better to negotiate a payment plan with the creditor than to pay someone else to finalize those details and the same is true when you owe the IRS or the state.
Consumers who are having trouble meeting their tax obligation should avoid the companies that make promises that consumers are eligible or qualified for a tax-relief program because only the IRS can make that determination.
Consumers should be wary of any program that asks for upfront fees or advance fees and any program that promises results that seem too good to be true.
The IRS offers tax-relief programs to help consumers who owe taxes: including an installment agreement which is generally available to people who can't pay their tax debt in full at one time and an offer of compromise, which allows taxpayers to permanently settle their tax debt for less than the amount that they owe.
The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent organization within the IRS that provides free help to people who are experiencing financial difficulties or who need help resolving a problem with the IRS. To contact the IRS, call 1-877-777-4778 or you may contact the Attorney General's office at 1-800-482-8982 or go to the website ArkansasAG.gov.
UA COSSATOT RODEO WRAPS 03/03/15
UA Cossatot held its annual rodeo last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at the Four States Fair and Rodeo Arena in Texarkana.
Despite sketchy weather conditions, crowds turned out all three nights to cheer for students competing in the events.
“The production brought in a record attendance for the 5th annual rodeo,” according to UA Cossatot Rodeo Coach Valerie Stone. “GizMo McCracken had crowds rolling every night, and J&J Rodeo's livestock had college competitors bringing their best to the arena. The talent of Garrett Yerigan's announcing and musical engineering of Jarred Campbell kept the crowd entertained and the show moving smoothly.”
While the UA Cossatot Colts didn’t rank in the finals, they all helped with the production of the rodeo and a production of this magnitude takes a team effort.
Thursday was FFA and student night but students were in attendance every night. Friday night was designated to honor military and on Saturday night, fans were treated to tee shirts thrown into the crowd as well as some of the best rodeo action in the area. Spectators were encouraged to take photographs and videos and post on social media with the hashtag: uacossatotrodeo (#uacossatotrodeo). You can check out photographs and videos on UA Cossatot’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
UA COSSATOT MAKES BOOK DONATION TO LOCKESBURG LIBRARY 03/03/15
As part of the renovation and updating of the newly acquired Lockesburg High School, UA Cossatot made a recent donation to the Lockesburg Public Library of many books once belonging to the school.
“We are excited to preserve as much history in the Lockesburg area as we can through this renovation,” said UA Cossatot Chancellor Steve Cole. “Donating these books from the old Lockesburg High School just made sense. Past generations of Lockesburg students read these books, and now they can be read by their children and grandchildren. ”
Many of the books donated were more than textbooks. Books including novels, fiction, and non-fiction previously placed in the high school library were donated for area citizens to check out.
Wendy Clay, Lockesburg Branch Librarian said “We thank UA Cossatot for thinking of the Sevier County Library System with their donation of Lockesburg High School books.”
The Lockesburg Library is a branch of the Sevier County Library System.
DE QUEEN FFA 3/2/15
National FFA Week has been shortened this week due to inclement weather that kept students out of school for four days this week, but members of the De Queen FFA are still promoting the benefits of FFA.
De Queen's chapter has 41 members and is led by advisors Ryan Hanney and Morgan Frachsieur.
This year's officers include: President Rex Standridge, Vice-President Aaron Morris, Treasurer Tyler Johnson, Parliamentarian Tiffany Becerra, Sentinel Brandi Frachiseur, Reporter Kayla Martin, Historian Catlin Carver and Secretary Carrie Craver.
This year, chapter members hosted the Sub-Area Leadership Contest and earned first place in several categories like Opening and Closing; Discussion Meet; Creed Speaking and Prepared Public Speaking.
FEBRUARY MEETING OF THE COSSATOT RIVER BOARD OF EDUCATION 3/2/15
During the February meeting of the Cossatot River Board of Education, board members extended Superintendent Donnie Davis' contract through the 2017-2018 school year and voted to purchase a truck and two buses.
Davis stated the district purchased a 2015 Dodge Ram 2500 crew cab for the Umpire campus for just over $25,000 along with two buses that not only have heaters, but also have air conditioners.
Davis stated the extension of his contract will provide stability to the district and the board renewed the contracts of the campus principals and other administrators.
Davis reported the board also approved the purchase of technology equipment for all of the Cossatot River campuses for $165,527.33 and Cossatot River will be hosting the 3A state basketball tournament this week.
The March meeting of the Cossatot River Board of Education is scheduled for March 12th at 6 p.m. in the administration building.
FORMER SEVIER COUNTY RESIDENT ARRESTED FOR SEXUAL ABUSE 3/2/15
A former Sevier County resident who was the youth minister of the Mineral Springs Church of Christ has been arrested and charged with first degree sexual assault.
In August of 2014, three girls filed a report with the Nashville Police Department accusing 31-year-old Jonathan Neeley of sexually abusing them in 2009 and 2010.
Victim A was 17-years-old, while victims B and C were 18-years-old at the time of the abuse.
All three victims reported that the incidents occurred primarily at Neeley's residence.
Neeley was interviewed by Nashville Police Officers in Illinois and was arrested and charged with first degree sexual assault in regards to victim A.
Neeley was extradited back to Arkansas and is being held in the Howard County jail on a $100,000 bond.
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE FROM DEANN VAUGHT 3/2/15
District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported Thursday night that the House Education Committee advanced a bill that would provide a waiver for rural school districts that are in danger of being consolidated if they meet state adequacy standards.
Currently, a district must consolidate with another district if its enrollment falls below 350 students.
Vaught said the House Education Committee also advanced a bill that would allow public college faculty and staff members who have a concealed-carry permit to carry a weapon on campus.
An amendment to the bill, however, would allow colleges and universities to require some additional training for those who have permits before they could take a firearm on campus.
The current law allows colleges and universities to opt out of allowing faculty and staff who have permits to bring a weapon on campus and every school of higher education in Arkansas opted out after the law was passed two years ago.
Vaught reported the full Housed approved a bill to make it a misdemeanor for a person 18 or older to distribute sexual images of a family member or a person from a past or present relationship in order to harass, frighten, intimidate, threaten or abuse that person.
And, the House voted in favor of a bill that would require the Department of Human Services to notify everyone on the Private Option program that it will end on December 31st, 2016.
MILLWOOD BEARD'S LAKE AND COTTONSHED CAMPSITES AVAILABLE STARTING TODAY 3/2/15
The Army Corps of Engineers, Millwood Project Office announced that campsites at Beard's Lake and Cottonshed parks on Millwood Lake will be reservable beginning March 1st.
Campers can reserve a site online at www.recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777. Visitors can make reservations at the park beginning March 1st.
When making a reservation, campers will be asked for the campground name or state, arrival and departure dates, type of site required, method of payment, and your Golden Age/Golden Access or America the Beautiful passport number (if applicable).
For more information about Millwood Lake call the Millwood Project Office at 870-898-3343.
HORATIO HIGH SCHOOL ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION 03/02/15
The Horatio High School Alternative Education was honored on Thursday, February 19th, at the Capitol, in Little Rock at the Arkansas Alternative Education 2015 Leadership Day. Those honored were Sharon Lindsey, ALE Director and Assistant Principal, and Vicki Devore, ALE Teacher. The ALE was honored as one of the model programs in the state of Arkansas. There are 450 plus ALE programs in the state, and 20 programs were honored with plaques given by representative Dee Vaught. The Horatio Alternative program continues to gain the attention of school districts in Arkansas with emphasis on school accountability required by virtually every school district in the state. The partnership of determined, student-orientated principals, innovative instructors, committed students and an engaged community will ensure more students graduate and fewer students drop out of school.
ACCIDENT CLAIMS NASHVILLE WOMAN'S LIFE 2/27/15
Arkansas State Police say a 64-year-old Nashville resident died Wednesday morning in a two vehicle accident on a snow covered Highway 371.
Authorities reported, Ann Lawrence was traveling east, when she lost control of her 2002 Ford SUV and crossed the center line. Her vehicle was then struck by a west bound Chevy pickup that was being driven by 32-year-old Joseph Trembley of Lockesburg.
Police say Lawrence was thrown from her vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene by Howard County Coroner, John Gray.
Trembley was injured and was transported to the Howard Memorial Hospital.
Trooper Mason Glasgow reported the accident happened west of Nashville, near the Highway 371/Blue Bayou Road intersection at around 10:50 a.m.
COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK EVENTS 2/27/15
Park Interpreter Shelley Flanary of the Cossatot River State Park informed KDQN that the park will be holding a Nature Hike along the Cossatot River to discover what wildlife is stirring around this Saturday from 10 to 11 a.m..
Flanary will also be teaching a class on wildlife symbols Saturday from 3 to 4 p.m. She said symbols are all around us, at home or at the store on packages or cans, television or magazine ads, team logos on shirts and hats, signs and more.
According to Flanary, the class will include hunts, walks, music and food. If you are interested in learning about wildlife symbols join Flanary at the Visitor Center at 3 o'clock.
On Sunday, the park will be hosting a feed the critters event from 2 to 3 p.m. and a campfire story from 7 to 8. Sunday night, guest will enjoy some hot chocolate and some interesting campfire stories.
For more information about programs and events at the Cossatot River State Park, call 870-385-2201.
DE QUEEN WOMAN ARRESTED FOR OKLAHOMA SHOOTINGS 2/27/15
A De Queen woman was arrested Tuesday in Gillham for allegedly shooting at three people in a couple of incidents in McCurtain County, Oklahoma.
33-year-old Alice Dunn is suspected of shooting two people February 15th after spending the night drinking at the Blue Bar on the Arkansas/Oklahoma line. She is then allegedly shot a third person February 22nd.
All three victims survived, but one is still in the hospital.
Dunn was arrested in Gillham by members of the Sevier County Sheriff's office and will be extradited to McCurtain County where she will be charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon.
JUDGE TEDDER ANNOUNCED START OF DISTRICT COURT AMNESTY PROGRAM 2/27/15
Judge Steven Tedder announced Thursday morning that this year's District Court amnesty program will begin Monday morning for people who have warrants for old fines.
Tedder stated the program will continue through the entire month of March and if you have any questions, you may contact the District Court office at 584-7311.
Tedder stated the Sevier County District Court offers the program once a year to help people pay off their old fines, but if a person is arrested on an outstanding warrant, they are not eligible for the amnesty program and he said there is no expiration date on fines.
Tedder said fines may be paid in cash, but they are working on a program to allow fines to be paid with a debit or credit card. For more information, contact the District Court office at 584-7311.
ARREST IN HOWARD COUNTY MAY HELP CLOSE INVESTIGATIONS IN SEVIER COUNTY 2/26/15
On February 10th, Terry Spears reported to the Howard County Sheriff's office that his home had been burglarized and a safe had been stolen.
Investigators David Shelton and Jade Hughes made two arrests very quickly after receiving information from eye witnesses and a roommate of Spears.
While working on the Spears case, the sheriff's office was notified by Tony Britt that his home on Cornbridge Road had been burglarized and numerous guns and electronics were stolen.
On February 13th, a Nashville Police Officer stopped a vehicle that was being driven by 26-year-old Steven Gillham of Nashville along with a passenger that was identified as 18-year-old Anthony Wilson of Mineral Springs.
Authorities discovered two pistols that were stolen from Britt's home and the two men were arrested for theft of property and investigators obtained information that led them to a suspected drug house in Texarkana where they believed the stolen property had been taken, however, officers were not able to obtain a search warrant for the residence.
Then on Feburary 17th, 18-year-old Vicenta Rocha of Mineral Springs was arrested for his involvement in the Britt case.
Deputies then arrested Spear's roommate, 20-year-old Jason Smith of Nashville for the theft of the safe from Spear's home.
An arrest warrant has been issued for 18-year-old Paige Worley of Mineral Springs along with two juveniles in the Britt case.
The information that was obtained during these two investigations has also helped the Sevier County Sheriff's Office tie some of these suspects to recent burglaries and thefts in the southeastern portion of Sevier County.
DIERKS BOARD OF EDUCATION PURCHASING NEW VIDEO SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM 2/26/15
Tuesday night, the Dierks Board of Education heard a presentation from Bill King from KLC which is a video surveillance system company with suggestions about upgrading the district's security system.
King reported his company has installed security systems on 80 campuses in Arkansas and 120 in Texas.
KLC's bid was for the installation of 44 cameras on both campuses.
Superintendent Holly Cothern stated the district stated looking at upgrading their system about four years ago when the Faulkner family asked them to upgrade their system after their daughter had some items stolen off a bus.
Board members approved the bid from KLC in the amount of $51,935.00. Board President Todd Moore said the project would be paid for in full from the district's building fund.
Cothern reported the district was doing well financially and they had only spent about 52 percent of their budget so far this year.
Cothern said the district tax revenue was up this year and they were receiving student growth funds from the state, but another impact was the district's new absentee policy.
High School Principal Jody Cowart informed the board about the high schools recent tornado drill. He stated they were able to get all of the students from the high school to the safe room in seven minutes and 50 seconds.
Elementary Principal Karla Byrne informed the board that the elementary had taken a trial PARCC test and students will be taking the PARCC test March 9th through the 13th.
INCLEMENT WEATHER COVERS AREA 2/26/15
Inclement weather moved into the area earlier Wednesday morning and Sevier County Judge Greg Ray stopped by the KDQN studios to discuss area closings.
Judge Ray stated that he and county superintendents were in constant contact when inclement weather was possible, discussing road conditions. Ray said the only way to determine road conditions was by putting boots to pavement.
Judge Ray said the county has hundreds of miles of paved roads and even more secondary roads.
Judge Ray said its easier to clear gravel roads but paved roads may be slick even after blading them because you can't put the blade flat against the road.
Sevier County Sheriff Bennie Simmons' office reported numerous accidents Wednesday morning and reported that roads were getting increasingly dangerous.
SECOND MURDER TRIAL ON HOLD 2/26/15
The second murder trial for Tim Howard, which was scheduled for March 2nd, has been delayed following a pre-trial hearing Tuesday in the Little River County Circuit Court.
Howard was convicted of murdering two Ashdown residents and has been on death row since 1999.
Howard was found guilty on December 9th, 1999 of the murder of Brian and Shannon Day and the attempted murder of their 7-month old child. The baby survived without any injuries and is now 17 years old.
During the appeals process, the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that Howard should receive a hearing to determine if the DNA evidence from hairs and blood gathered at the crime scene was contaminated.
A crime lab scientist testified the DNA tests were valid and if retested, the results would be the same. The scientist stated Howard's DNA would still be on the boots that were found near a pond on East Ogden Road.
A new trial was ordered in November of 2013.
VAUGHT REPORTS LOTTERY COMMISSION WILL BE ABOLISHED 2/26/15
Tuesday evening, District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported the House had passed a bill that would abolish the Arkansas Lottery Commission. The lottery commission currently oversees the operation of the lottery whose net proceeds provide scholarships to Arkansas students that attend college in Arkansas.
Senate Bill 7 will transfer the powers and duties of the lottery commission to the Department of Finance and Administration. It also allows the governor to appoint a Lottery Director.
Another bill that will now head to Governor Asa Hutchinson's desk is a bill that gives terminally ill patients the right to access experimental treatments which have successfully completed phase one testing of the Federal Drug Administration.
Vaught also reported the House Education Committee advanced a bill that would allow the University of Arkansas to establish an eVersity, which would offer online courses at an affordable rate. She said the program is aimed at helping Arkansans who have some college credit but did not finish their degree.
REPRESENTATIVE VAUGHT REPORTS HOUSE WORKING ON GOVERNOR HUTCHINSON'S PRISON PLAN 2/25/15
District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported that there are over 2,500 state inmates being held in county jails that are waiting on beds at a state facility and the state prisons are currently holding more than a thousand more inmates than they were designed to accommodate.
Vaught said when this year's session opened, many expected the Legislator would consider building a new $100 million dollar prison to provide the additional space, however, last week, Governor Asa Hutchinson presented a three part approach to the crisis.
Hutchinson's plan includes funding for more prison beds, the creation of a more effective parole and re-entry system and the investment in alternative sentencing programs, which according to the governor's office will cost about $64 million dollars over the next two years.
Vaught reported that the House passed a bill which will allow inmates to work in the private sector for companies that have a program in place.
The House also passed a bill which would allow inmates to participate in a re-entry program within 18-months of his or her projected release date. According to Vaught, the program is designed to help lower the number of inmates who re-offend following their release.
Vaught reported that after six weeks of the regular session, Governor Hutchinson has signed over 130 bills into law.
For more information about the House sessions go to the website, arkansashouse.org.
UA COSSATOT FFA 2/25/15
It's FFA Week and area high school chapters have several activities planned to help share the benefits of agricultural education with their fellow students, well, at UA Cossatot, FFA provides students with the opportunity to develop relationships with people in the agricultural field, while they purse a career in agriculture.
UA Cossatot FFA Chapter Advisor Kelli Harris said UA Cossatot provides a solid foundation for students who plan to purse a degree at another institution or a career in an agricultural field.
Harris said the UA Cossatot started celebrating National FFA Week, last Friday during the Colt Classic, but held a fundraiser Tuesday at the Tractor Supply Company in De Queen.
For more information about the UA Cossatot chapter of FFA, contact Harris at 584-4471.
AREA FISHERMEN COMPETE IN SOUTHERN CONFERENCE EVENT 2/25/15
The Central Oklahoma University team of Colten Hutson and Brock Enmeier won the FLW College Fishing Southern Conference event last Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 13 pounds, 15 ounces. The duo earned $2,000 and advanced to the FLW College Fishing Southern Conference Championship tournament.
However, several area anglers competed in the tournament.
The Henderson State University team of Michael Gross of Gurdon and Cobey Wingfield of Malvern finished tenth, while the Texas A&M University-Texarkana team of Josh Cole and Logan Byrd, both of Texarkana finished 15th. Both teams will advance to the Southern Conference Championship tournament on Grand Lake.
Southern Arkansas University had two teams in the tournament.
The duo of Charles Swilly, Jr. of Ashdown and Troy Elliot of Waldo finished in 30th place, while the team of Hunter Bruce of Powderly, Texas and Steven Self of Kirby finished in 36th.
FLW College Fishing teams compete in qualifying tournaments in one of five conferences and the top 15 teams from each regular-season tournament qualify for one of five conference championship tournaments. The top ten teams from the conference championship tournaments advance to the 2016 FLW College Fishing National Championship.
MARCH 1-7 IS AG SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK 2/25/15
Across the country, Farm Bureaus are making safety a top priority this spring through the Agricultural Safety Awareness Program. As part of the program, March 1st through March 7th has been designated as Agricultural Safety Awareness Week.
This year's theme is "Ride Like A Pro...Wherever You Go," and it will focus on ATV safety.
All-terrain vehicles are used on most farms and ranches in Arkansas, but despite the availability of good safety equipment and training programs, injuries and fatalities involving ATV operators happen much too often.
According to the latest figures from the Consumer Product Safety Commission:
There are about 804 ATV related deaths nationally every year. Fifty-six percent of these death occur between May and September and one-third of these death occur on paved surfaces.
Arkansas averages 12 ATV related deaths per year and three of these are children under the age of 16.
According the Arkansas Children's Hospital Trauma Department, 101 of its admissions in 2014 were ATV-related.
Jason Kaufman is the safety coordinator for Arkansas Farm Bureau and he recommends that you get dressed to ride an ATV by putting on your helmet, safety glasses, long sleeves, gloves, long pants and boots to help reduce the risk of injury.
Kaufman also recommends all riders take an approved training course. He said the Cooperative Extension Service of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture provides courses through the ATV Safety Institute's 4-H ATV Rider Course.
For more information, call 501-671-2053 or contact the Sevier County Extension office at 584-3013.
UA Cossatot Hosts Judging Contest 02/24/15
UA Cossatot hosted the annual Colts Classic, a high school FFA judging contest, on the De Queen campus last Friday.
There were 995 students from 43 high schools from Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma. Students competed in many different judging events including: livestock, land, forestry, vet science, poultry, diary, ag mechanics, and several other categories. Most of the staff of UA Cossatot and many community businesses and people volunteered to help with the contest.
Kelli Harris, Agriculture Instructor for UA Cossatot, coordinates the event each year.
“Each year we get smarter about how to host this many people on our campus and in our community,” said Harris. “As a result, each competition runs smoother but we couldn’t do it without the help of folks like Pilgrim, Weyerhaeuser, Tractor Supply, Rex Herring, Al Wright, Jo Paul Stuart, Harrell Sherwood, Terri Hart and countless others. I am just hopeful that next year, when we host, the temperature will be above freezing!”
UA Cossatot’s collegiate chapter of FFA hosts the contest and along with Simple Simons Pizza provided lunch to all of the volunteers and students.
ASHDOWN JUNIOR HIGH ASSESSING RECENT THREAT 2/24/15
An anonymous note containing some threatening language was found on the floor of a Ashdown Junior High School classroom on February 18th by a student who then gave the note to a teacher.
Administrators were immediately notified and school officials contacted the local law enforcement agencies.
After a review with law enforcement officials, it was determined that there was no imminent threat but the investigation continued. Superintendent Jason Sanders also raised the level of security awareness and the district maintained a greater law enforcement presence on all campuses to ensure students and staff were safe.
On Friday, February 20th another threatening note was found in a classroom and administrators immediately contacted the local police and the ensuing investigation revealed the person responsible for the note. During the course of the investigation, the person responsible for the first note was also identified.
Sanders stated these two persons will be dealt with appropriately under the school's disciplinary policy and under the law.
The district is limited by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act from releasing the names of the students or the details of their conduct or even the notes themselves.
Sanders stated student safety is the district's number one concern and they were not going to put students or staff at risk.
Sanders said social media outlets may tell a far more exciting and different story, but these are the facts of the case that can be released. He said that if he thought students were not safe at school, they would contact parents, close the schools or take whatever action was necessary to ensure their safety.
HORATIO FFA 2/24/15
It's National FFA Week and the members of the Horatio FFA chapter are celebrating with several activities this week including a teacher appreciation breakfast and Farm Olympics.
Horatio FFA President Matt Cribb and Vice-President Michalla Caudle mentioned the chapter will be conducting several fundraisers this week to support the chapter's Career Development Education teams and Leadership Development Education teams, including their annual chili supper and workday auction.
Nicki Litchford is the Horatio FFA advisor and she reported the chapter’s CDE and LDE teams have competed in livestock, electricity, vet science, food science, parliamentary and other competitions. Members also competed during the annual Colts Classic on the campus of UA Cossatot last Friday.
LATE JUDGE'S PORTRAIT DEDICATED 2/24/15
Friends and family gathered in the foyer of the Little River County Courthouse Friday afternoon to attend the dedication ceremony for a portrait of the late Little River County Judge Clayton Castleman.
Little River County Judge Mike Cranford described Castleman as a statesman because he was loved and supported by everyone and because he worked for the good of Little River County.
Castleman's photograph will be placed in the row of photos of Little River County judges in the foyer of the courthouse.
Castleman died November 22nd, 2014. He was set to retire December 31st at the end of his fourth term in office.
CONGRESSMAN VISITS DE QUEEN PUBLIC SCHOOLS 02/24/15
U.S. Congressman Bruce Westerman and his wife, Sharon, recently visited De Queen Public Schools and was impressed with the progress made by the district and described the Direct Instruction (D.I.) Reading program as "phenomenal" and "worthy to be replicated". The district has been recognized nationally for its accomplishments in teaching children to read. Congressman and Mrs. Westerman visited numerous classrooms, ate lunch with students, and held a roundtable discussion with school administrators.
For more pictures from Congressman's visit: https://www.facebook.com/RepWesterman/posts/597105370424584
Achieving the dream in De Queen: http://arkansasnews.com/sections/columns/news/steve-brawner/achieving-dream-de-queen.html
FOREMAN STUDENTS – NATIONAL MERIT FINALIST & BAND ALL STATE/ALL REGION 02/24/15
Jessie Smith is the 18 year old daughter of Clay and Jamie Smith and a senior at Foreman High School. Jessie recently achieved status as a National Merit Finalist. In order to be eligible for this prestigious honor, Jessie took the PSAT her junior year along with l.5 million juniors. Of this group of students, 50,000 were selected for commended or semifinalists. To qualify as a finalist the process was further narrowed down and students were required to take the SAT and write an essay. From these students and further elimination, only 15,000 students qualified for the National Merit Scholarship and Jessie was among the top achieving students.
Jessie is also a member of the National Honor Society, Science Club, Library Club, Drama Club, and the yearbook staff. She will graduate from Foreman this year and currently plans on attending Harding University.
Members of the Foreman High School band recently participated in Arkansas All-Region auditions and clinics. After completing the audition process, two students were selected to represent the Foreman High School band as members of the 2014-2015 Arkansas All-Region Bands.
Ninth grade band member, Patrick Eaves, successfully earned the first chair, of the first junior high band, on contra alto clarinet. Tenth grade band member, Tyler Phelps, successfully earn the fourth chair, of the first senior high band, on tenor trombone. With his score and chair placement, Tyler also qualified to audition for the Arkansas All-State bands.
Foreman High School is very fortunate to have these students, honored to have shared them with the Arkansas All-Regions bands, and wish them success as they further their music education.
Edge City Cycling announces the 3rd Annual Ark-La-Tex Challenge for Saturday, April 11, 2015. Benefiting Texarkana Resources, the Ark-La-Tex Challenge is a cycling tour through Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana with 70, 52, 46, 35 and 22 mile route lengths. The 70 mile tour enables the rider to visit three states in one ride. A supported return route enables the cyclist to experience all three states with a 35 mile one-way tour. Cyclists will ride through the beautiful countryside with routes which include some challenging rolling hills and long fast flats as they wind through several rural towns. The tour rally will begin at 9 a.m. from Liberty-Eylau High School, Texarkana, TX.
Bikes must be in good working order. Helmets are required any time the rider is on the bicycle. The routes will have an abundance of rest stops and support.
Along with Participants, the Ark-La-Tex Challenge is currently seeking additional Sponsors and Volunteers. Texarkana Resources is a private non-profit organization providing training and support to enable adults with a disability reach their highest potential in the community.Further Details / Contact: www.arklatexchallenge.com
Online Registration: www.bikereg.com/ark-la-tex-challenge0
BEHIND THE SCENES: AN INSIDER’S LOOK AT UA COSSATOT’S 5TH ANNUAL COLLEGE RODEO 02/24/15
DE QUEEN, AR - UA Cossatot will host its 5th Annual College Rodeo at the Four States Fairgrounds in Texarkana, AR on Feb 26, 27 and 28.
The show begins at 7:30pm and will feature Bareback Riding, Calf Roping, Breakaway Roping, Saddle Bronc Riding, Steer Wrestling, Goat Tying, Team Roping, Barrel Racing and Bull Riding with competitors from over 15 colleges and universities in the Ozark Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association.
UA Cossatot Colts Rodeo Coach, Valerie Stone, is expecting this to be UAC’s largest and most entertaining rodeo yet. Stone said, “The quality of the UA Cossatot College Rodeo is comparable to any professional rodeo you will go to.”
Admission for Adults will be $10 a person, all students are $8 each and ages 5 and under are free. UA Cossatot students with student ID and high school FFA members wearing their FFA chapter jackets or t-shirts, in honor of National FFA Week, get in free on Thursday night, and all military personnel (past, present and future) can get in free Friday night with a government-issued military ID. Saturday, there will be a 4D Barrel Race, sponsored by 5-Star Equine. For those interested in competing, books will open at 9am and the show will start at noon. Saturday night’s Championship Round will be televised and aired at a later date on HRTV.
Here is a look at what you can expect to enjoy at this year’s UA Cossatot College Rodeo!
THE RODEO CLOWN: Gizmo McCracken has been entertaining crowds across the Country for 38 years. He became a member of the PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) 22 years ago. Since that time, the list of accomplishments has grown beyond belief. He has worked 13 PRCA Circuit Finals Rodeos, Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo, Cheyenne Frontier Days twice, nominated Coors Man in the Can 3 times, nominated for Comedy Act of the year 3 times and –his biggest accomplishment—being a feature act at the 2005 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
Gizmo takes pride in the fact that his humor is good, clean, family style comedy.
"Sometimes it just don't seem right to have this much fun and get paid for it." said Gizmo.
Gizmo travels the country from Canada to Texas, from the East Coast to the West Coast logging some 45,000 miles a year through dozens of states. Gizmo started his career as bullfighter and moved into stand-up comedy on a show in Branson, MO. Gadgets and gizmos that went sour were often part of his routine, hence the name "Gizmo, The World's Greatest Inventor."
"A lot of clowns and specialty acts sell themselves with a bucking car or a dancing horse," said Gizmo. "I supply a character." That is just what Gizmo is. Many characters will find their way into your town and your arena. "I like to keep people looking for me and wondering what I am going to do next," said Gizmo. The acts share a high energy, clean, family-oriented feel which adds a fresh new atmosphere to any rodeo. Gizmo is the best comedy entertainer that rodeo has to offer. Regardless of whether you have seen him before or this is your first experience, you will leave laughing.
THE LIVESTOCK PRODUCER: J & J Rodeo Company, formed in 2008, is owned and operated by Jason Murray of Cooper, Texas. It is a family operated business and they pride themselves in quality stock on both ends of the arena. Murray got his start in the rodeo business by working for Sammy Andrews, of Andrews Rodeo Company in 1997. That grew into Jason and his brother, Judd, leasing roping calves to Sammy and other rodeo contractors. He has worked for many of the greats including Sammy Andrews, Neal Gay and Harry Vold.
J & J Rodeo got its start contracting for high school rodeos. In 2010, J & J Rodeo Company became the stock contractor for the Texas Junior High Finals in Gonzales, Texas. For the last 5 years, he has provided stock for that particular rodeo. J & J Rodeo Company bought a UPRA stock contracting card in 2010 and has been a finals stock contractor since 2011. For the 2012 UPRA finals, Jason provided 8 horses, 5 bulls and all the timed event cattle. J & J partnered with Wilson & King Bucking Bullz in 2012 and in 2013, they had the bucking bull of the year.
Every year has gotten better for J & J Rodeo Company. They now hold a NIRA stock contracting card and produced its first college rodeo last year for UA Cossatot. They look forward to provide a great show for this year’s college rodeo!
THE ANNOUNCER: Garrett Yerigan is one of professional rodeo’s youngest and most talented announcers. At 20 years young, Yerigan has been around rodeo all his life. His dad, Dale, is a former rodeo competitor and mom, Kathy, still competes in Barrel Racing. Kathy is a former International Finals Rodeo qualifier in the Barrel Racing and Dale is an 11-time World Champion in the Steer Wrestling and is currently the General Manager of the International Professional Rodeo Association. Garrett is a 2013 graduate of Pryor High School in Pryor, Oklahoma.
Yerigan has been a very active member in the FFA serving as the Chapter Sentinel and later Vice-President. He was blessed enough to be the 2012 Oklahoma FFA Proficiency Winner in Agricultural Communications and went on to be the National Winner that same year. In 2013, he finished in the Top 3 for Northeast District Star in Agribusiness, received his State FFA Degree, and was the State and National Outdoor Recreation Proficiency Winner.
Yerigan is currently a member of the International Pro Rodeo Assoc. (IPRA) and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Assoc. (PRCA) and works approximately 10 professional rodeos per year. In 2014, Yerigan set a record as the youngest announcer in the International Finals Rodeo's (IFR) 44-year history! He also has been selected to work events such as the National Junior High Finals Rodeo, Oklahoma and Texas State High School Finals Rodeos, Youth Bull Riders World Finals, Better Barrel Races World Finals. Garrett can be heard in states such as Oklahoma, Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Ontario.
THE MUSIC DIRECTOR: For the third in a row Jarred Campbell of JC Productions will be behind the music for the UA Cossatot College Rodeo. Campbell a native of Harris, OK and graduated from Oklahoma State University. He has announced and provided sound all over the country for amateur and PRCA rodeos and bull ridings. He used his talents at the 2014 CPRA Finals in Angleton, Texas, and he will be announcing and providing sound at the annual Mike White Invitational PBR Touring Pro and Open To The World Pasture Roping during 2015 Easter weekend in DeKalb, Texas.
THE BULLFIGHTERS: Colby Klumb rejoins the UAC College Rodeo this year, as he did the last. Co-owner of Bear Creek CrossFit complex in De Queen and former UA Cossatot student, Klumb is a three time ABBI World Finals Bullfighter, as well as fighting in the PRCA and PBR.
“The reason I chose to be a bull fighter is because the rodeo clowns were always my favorite growing up, said Klumb. “My dad and uncle rode but that just wasn’t for me.” Growing up in Mesquite, Texas, Klumb saw many great bullfighters like the late Jimmy Anderson and barrel man Frank McCain. Being a bullfighter is a dream realized for Klumb.
“I’ve been all over the United States, and it means a lot to be the one protecting the bull riders and getting to be around the bulls,” said Klumb. “It’s a dream job for sure. I love it!”
Justin Flowers is a 23 year old UPRA, CRRA, AND CPRA bullfighter, and a native of Bonham, Texas. His exposure to bullfighting began when his bull riding father realized that his love for rodeo was on the other side of the bucking chutes. So Flower’s father started fighting bulls and he joined him when he was 18 years old. Flowers grew up watching his father, knowing that he would follow in his footsteps.
“Fighting bulls is what I have always dreamed about doing and I give all the glory to God for giving me the athletic ability to do so,” said Flowers. “I am an architectural draftsman by day and bullfighter by night,” Flowers shared.
He works for Renlita Doors in Bonham, TX and designs and manufactures commercial size steel frame doors. One of the things that drives his passion for bullfighting is the Bible verse John 15:13, Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
THE TEAM: UA Cossatot Colts Rodeo has much to celebrate as they enter this year’s home rodeo. In 2014, the Men’s Team closed out the season tenth in the nation, with Team Roping duo Brody Braden and Tanner Caudle placing second at the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Associate College Rodeo Finals held in Casper, Wyoming this past summer. The Men’s Colts Rodeo Team includes sophomore Team Ropers Brody Braden and Tanner Caudle, both of Horatio, and freshman Team Roper Jace Woods of Conway. The Women’s Colts Rodeo Team includes sophomore Break Away and Team Ropers Whitney DeSalvo of Springfield and Marissa Robbins of Mena, Lacey Jo Singleton of Hope (also competing in Barrel Racing), and sophomore Barrel Racer Ashton Bailey of Kirby and freshman Barrel Racer Madison Webb of Glenwood. The UAC Colts Rodeo Team is led by rodeo veteran Valerie Stone for the third consecutive season.
“I enjoy coaching these students not only in rodeo, but also in their education and career goals,” Stone said, “I invite everyone out for one of the best college rodeos in the region!”
70TH ANNUAL DE QUEEN/SEVIER COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BANQUET 2/23/15
Thursday's evening over 350 people attended the 70th Annual De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce's Membership and Awards Banquet at the De Queen High School cafeteria.
Those in attendance were entertained by the De Queen Show Choir which will be traveling to Florida next week to participate in the America Sings program and they were served by the members of the De Queen High School Cross Country team.
2014 chamber president, Megan Smith mentioned 11 new businesses joined the chamber in 2014, which brings the chamber's total membership to 150.
Smith then introduced the 2015 chamber president Susan Alspaw.
Awards were presented to the area Teachers of the Year. Each nominee received a certificate along with a citation from District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught.
The De Queen Teacher of the Year nominees were Sarah Hooper, Brenda Clowers, Pat Higgins, and Jeff Adaway. The Horatio nominees were Tammy Russell and Pam Click. The De Queen-Mena Educational Coop nominees were Regina Grubbs, Lynn Nolen and Angela Harder.
De Queen's Teacher of the Year was Terry Brackett. Curtis Black was named the Horatio Teacher of the Year. The De Queen-Mena Educational Coop Teacher of the Year was Maricela Villamil and the UA Cossatot Teacher of the Year was Robbie McKelvy.
The winner of the Renovation/Beautification Award was Dr. Randy Walker’s office.
The winner of the New Construction Award was to UA Cossatot.
The Small Business Award went to First State Bank and the Large Business Award was presented to Tri-Lakes Services.
The Business Family of the Year was the Larry Romine Family and Travis Bingham was named the Citizen of the Year and the Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Lygia Autry in honor of her late husband, Larry Autry.
BEAR STATE FINANCIAL ANNOUNCES MERGER OF THREE CHARTERS 2/23/15
Bear State Financial, Inc., the holding company for First Federal Bank, First National Bank and Heritage Bank, has completed the merge of all three ban charters under one name, Bear State Bank.
The rebranding efforts, which affect all First Federal Bank, First National Bank and Heritage Bank locations in Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma, will be complete by the end of the first quarter of 2015.
Emerging from the rich history of the state, the new name is inspired by Arkansas' reputation as "The Bear State," earned in recognition of its abundant population of black bears in the 18th and early 19th centuries. That nickname eventually gave way to the Wonder State, the Land of Opportunity and then to the Natural State.
The new Bear State Bank will consist of 43 branches and two loan production offices in 27 cities throughout Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. While the merger of the three charters was official on Tuesday, February 17th, the transformation to Bear State Bank's signage at the branches throughout these communities will take place throughout the first quarter of 2015.
DEADLINE TO ORDER HORATIO YEARBOOK MARCH 15 2/23/15
Horatio Yearbook editor Alexis Richardson announced Friday morning that the last day to purchase a yearbook will be March 15th. Richardson said due to the cost of the yearbooks, the yearbook staff will not be ordering any surplus copies, so she said it was important that everyone to place their order before the deadline.
Richardson said students can order their yearbook online at jostensyearbooks.com or they can place an order in Mrs. Swift's room.
Richardson stated that with today's digital capabilities, graduation, prom, softball and baseball will be in this year's yearbook, however it will be in digital form, which means students who purchase a yearbook will be issued a special code that will allow them to see all of the digital uploads that were not submitted by the print deadline.
Richardson said the yearbook staff will be able to provide memories from class days, the awards banquets and other highlights that are at the end of the school year, including the announcement of Prom King and Queen.
Cost of this year's Horatio High School yearbook is $38.50 with tax and if you have any questions, contact the high school at 832-1900.
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE FROM REPRESENTATIVE DEANN VAUGHT 2/23/15
District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught has been very busy over the past several weeks attending community events, attending sessions during the current legislative session and speaking with students at area schools.
Thursday night, Vaught attended the De Queen/Sevier County annual chamber membership and awards banquet and then sent some time reading to students at the De Queen Primary School Friday morning.
Vaught informed KDQN that things were going well in Little Rock.
Vaught reported that the House approved a bill that would allow school districts to make up days by adding time to school days, while several districts have canceled classes this week due to inclement weather.
She also mentioned that a bill was now headed to the governor's desk concerning the presence of a doctor when women are giving abortion medication.
Vaught stated if you wanted to provide some input on legislation, you may follow her on Facebook at Representative DeAnn Vaught.
NATIONAL FFA WEEK 2/23/15
Each year, FFA chapters from around the country celebrate National FFA Week, which is a week-long tradition that began in the late 40's when the National FFA Board of Directors designated the week of George Washington's birthday as National FFA Week in recognition of his legacy as an farmer.
The first National FFA Week was held in 1948 and this year, National FFA Week will run from Sunday, February 22nd through Saturday, February 28th.
And KDQN will be featuring area FFA chapters during National FFA Week. Many chapters will have activities throughout the week to demonstrate the diversity of FFA. It will also provide each chapter the opportunity to advocate for agricultural education.
WINTHROP SCHOOL RESTORATION FUNDRAISER 2/23/15
Members of the Winthrop School Restoration Committee met last Tuesday and discussed holding a Bingo Night fundraiser on Saturday, March 7th at 6 p.m. in the school lunchroom.
Cost will be $1 per card, per game and the restoration committee will also set up a concession with all the proceeds going toward the restoration project.
Committee President Loren Hinton reported, they had moved the trophies and other sports memorabilia down stairs to the ground floor of the schoolhouse into the room that was previously used by the City of Winthrop as its city council room.
The schoolhouse also houses items representing residents who served in the Military and general history of the community.
For more information, about the Winthrop School Restoration Committee, contact Hinton at 870-584-6176.
ARKANSAS GOVERNOR UNVEILS PLAN FOR PRISON OVERCROWDING 2/20/15
Wednesday morning, Governor Asa Hutchinson presented his plan to elevate overcrowding in Arkansas' prisons and he said the solution is not a new prison, but would seek beds in existing facilities and develop programs to help released prisoners stay out of jail.
Hutchinson stated Arkansas needs to reverse the trend of repeat offenders by developing programs to change prisoner’s behavior.
Hutchinson's plan totals $64 millions dollars and according to Hutchinson's plan, $50 million dollars will be used to provide an additional 790 prison beds for state inmates. Hutchinson said $16.5 million dollars will be used to hire more parole and probation officers and treatment managers, as well as, re-entry centers. And, $2.8 million dollars will be used to provide alternative-sentencing grants to every district in the state.
State legislators and members of the Department of Community Correction applauded Hutchinson's plan.
ARKANSAS SENATOR PROPOSES BILL TO REIMBURSE COUNTY JAILS FOR STATE INMATES 2/20/15
A big issue facing the Arkansas legislature is figuring out a way to pay counties that are housing state inmates.
According to a Sevier County official, the county did not receive any funding for state inmate for the months of January, February, September and December during 2014. However, the county received a total of $82,000 for housing state inmates, which was above the counties forecasted amount.
They also stated monthly reimbursements are not consistent. They said it may be several thousands of dollars one month and then only a $150 dollars the next.
Senator Jimmy Hickey of Texarkana is working on legislation that could relieve some of the financial burdens that county jails are experiencing by filing Senate Bill 329 that will address the method and time frame in which a county jail is reimbursed for housing state inmates.
Hickey's bill stipulates the reimbursement to the counties be made on the 15th of each month.
DHS CONFIRMS CHILD BEING TESTED FOR MEASLES IN ARKANSAS 2/20/15
The Department of Human Services has confirmed that a child who attends a preschool in Greenwood is being tested for the measles.
Arkansas DHS spokesperson Amy Webb announced they've notified the preschool that a child is being tested, however, there are currently no confirmed cases of measles in Arkansas.
Health officials say they have tested a 5-year-old girl and they should have the results by Friday.
The preschool notified parents by letter that they had been informed by the state's infectious disease doctor because the child was being tested and they cleaned the building and left the windows open for 24-hours, which is recommended by the Department of Human Services.
HORATIO SUPERINTENDENT SEEK TO REASSURE DISTRICT PATRONS 2/20/15
Horatio Superintendent Lee Smith posted a message to the patrons of the Horatio School District concerning an article in the Little River News that he felt may be a little misleading.
Smith explained to KDQN that the headline in the paper mentioned a Fiscal Distress List and then later in the article listed Horatio along with some other districts and he wanted to assure the patrons of the Horatio District that they were not in fiscal distress.
Smith said the district has also resolved its violations and will be removed from the state's standards list during an upcoming meeting of the Arkansas Department of Education and he reiterated the district is doing well finically.
Smith stated if you have any questions about the district's status, you can contact his office or the members of the Horatio Board of Education.
HOWARD COUNTY MAN ARRESTED AFTER USING STOLEN DEBIT CARD IN LOCKESBURG 2/20/15
A Nashville man was arrested in Mineral Springs, Friday, February 13th in connection with a stolen debit card that was used to withdraw funds from an ATM at the Lockesburg EZ Mart.
According to the Mineral Springs Police Department, 41-year-old Kenneth Hickman was arrested after being interviewed concerning the incident.
Hickman allegedly used a debit card that was stolen from a home in Mineral Springs and withdrew $100 dollars on February 1st.
Hickman was reportedly identified by using the store's video surveillance system. He is currently being held in the Howard County jail on a $25,000 bond after being charged with theft of property and fraudulent use of a credit or debit card.
ARREST MADE IN HOWARD COUNTY THEFT 2/18/15
Two Howard County men have been arrested in connection with a burglary at a residence on Cornbridge Road. The break-in was reported on Thursday, February 12th by the homeowner, Tony Britt.
According to the incident report, several items were taken, including an Ipad, a flat screen TV and some handguns.
Howard County Sheriff Bryan McJunkins reported 26-year-old Steven Gilliam of Nashville and 18-year-old Anthony Wilson of Mineral Springs were arrested Friday, February 13th and are being held in the Howard County jail.
According to the arrest report, the two men were found to be in possession of two handguns that were reported stolen from Britt's home.
DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL FOCUSING ON TREES AND STREETS 2/19/15
Tuesday night during a regular meeting of the De Queen City Council, aldermen discussed the city's plans to replace the Bradford pear trees that were planted around the downtown area, the procedure to close a street and the property located on Hervey Drive, which has been declared a nuisance.
Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy informed aldermen that the city was waiting on a letter from Pilgrim's Pride asking them to close the streets that run through the plant area before he schedules a public hearing on the matter.
McKelvy stated he’d received a bid from Gary Cunningham for the demolition of a house on Hervey Street that the council declared a nuisance during their January 6th meeting.
But, Tuesday night’s main discussion revolved around the Bradford pear trees in the downtown area.
McKelvy reported that the city had cut down two trees and was planning to replace them with crape myrtles; however, Alderman Teresa Bunyard reported that several downtown business owners had contacted her and said they didn't want the trees cut down.
McKelvy stated if a downtown business owner wanted to express their opinion, they could contact him at city hall or attend the next city council meeting.
McKelvy reported the leak at the intersection of Lakeside Drive and Stilwell Ave. had been repaired last Thursday. He said the source of the leak was an old, abandoned copper service line.
Aldermen also approved a resolution to allow Alderman Walter Smith sign checks in the absence of Mayor McKelvy and City Clerk/Treasurer Donna Jones.
The next meeting of the De Queen City Council will be Tuesday, March 3rd at 6 p.m. in the council room of the De Queen City Hall.
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE FROM REPRESENTATIVE DEANN VAUGHT 2/19/15
District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported the House Education Committee passed legislation this week that will allow superintendents to make up missed school days by adding time to the beginning or ending of a regular school day, whether the days were missed due to inclement weather or emergencies. Legislators explained that this will allow teachers the opportunity to prepare for tests, rather than at the end of the school year.
The Education Committee also passed legislation to establish the Building Better Futures Program which will give intellectually disabled high school graduates a college like experience at the state's institutions of higher education.
The Public Health Committee advanced a bill that would give terminally ill patients the right to receive experimental treatment that has passed the Federal Drug Administrations phase one testing.
TRAFFIC VIOLATION LEADS TO ARREST FOR OBSTRUCTION 2/19/15
De Queen Police Officer J.J. Lopez reported that he witnessed a vehicle run a stop sign on Highway 399 at about 3 a.m. Sunday, February 15th while he was doing paperwork in the Don's EZ Storage parking lot.
Lopez conducted a traffic stop at the intersection of Highway 70 West and the De Queen Homesites.
During the traffic stop, Lopez attempted to identify the passenger who was a white male, but the passenger was trying to be quiet and according to Lopez didn't want to speak with him.
When Lopez asked for some ID, the passenger stated he didn't have any and told Lopez his name was Gary Mills and that he was born on January 6th, but after Lopez ran the name and date of birth there was not record of a Gary Mills.
Lopez was assisted by Patrolman First Class Wayne Baker who identified the passenger as Andrew Mills.
The driver, Kara McCain, gave the officers permission to search the vehicle and while searching the vehicle, they discovered a defaced green pill bottle that contained one pill in a purse.
The pill was identified as a Xanax bar and when Lopez asked who the pill belonged to; Mills allegedly confessed that it belonged to him.
Mills was arrested and charged with obstruction of governmental operations and possession of a controlled substance.
ASH WEDNESDAY SERVICES 2/18/15
The First United Methodist Church and the St. Barbara Catholic Church will be holding Ash Wednesday services tomorrow.
The First United Methodist Church will hold a brief service in the Sanctuary at 12:15 and there will be another service along with Holy Communion at 6 p.m.
The St. Barbara Catholic Church will hold services at noon and 6:30 p.m. and both services will be bi-lingual.
ASHDOWN BOARD OF EDUCATION EXTENDS SUPERINTENDENT'S CONTRACT 2/18/15
During the February meeting of the Ashdown Board of Education, board members renewed Superintendent Jason Sanders contract for one-year, which will extend his contract through the 2017-2018 school year.
Sanders explained to KDQN that the extension provides the district with stability, plus the board voted to re-hire the district's certified administrators and directors.
Sanders reported the district is continuing to look at future facility projects and the board as asked the district's architect to render some plans for the renovation and re-purposing of the old high school.
Sanders stated by moving the Gifted and Talented Program to the old high school, the district could convert that building into an Alumni House with the cooperation of the Ashdown Alumni Association.
Sanders also reported that the district will receive $258,000 as a result of the high school lawsuit and they plan to use those funds to put a rubberized coating on the high school roof to stop any further leaks.
Sanders expressed his appreciation to the Margaret Daniel Foundation and the Parent-Teacher Organizations for helping the district purchase Apple computers for the Margaret Daniel Primary School and a Live Wire Zipline for the C.D. Franks Elementary campus.
Following an executive session, the board approved the hiring of Curtis Mudford as a long term substitute teacher for the Agri department for the remainder of the school year.
DE QUEEN FIRE FIGHTER HAVE BUSY WEEKEND 2/18/15
The holiday weekend was anything but a holiday for the members of the De Queen Fire Department, as Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt reported his department responded to five calls between Friday, February 13th and Sunday, February 15th.
Pruitt stated eight fire fighters responded to a fire on Glasgow Road where an apparent squatter caught their tent and property on fire which spread to some pine trees that belonged to the landowner around 3 p.m. on Friday, February 13th.
On Valentine's Day, fire fighters responded to two brush fires and then were encoded to help inform De Queen business owners that SWEPCO had planned to shut off the electricity in the city while they made some upgrades to a sub-station.
Pruitt said 14 fire fighters spent several hours checking on elder residents and helping them hook-up their portable oxygen tanks and assisting other residents.
Pruitt said the power was off in De Queen from about 8:45 to 11:45 p.m.
On the 15th, fire fighters responded to a false alarm at the elementary building.
Pruitt stated he appreciated his fire fighters being willing to drop their plans and answer the call when the community needs their assistance.
DE QUEEN RESIDENT ARRESTED ON OUTSTANDING WARRANT 2/18/15
On Valentine's Day, Patrolman First Class Wayne Baker observed a man walking along North 5th Street that he thought had an active warrant for absconding.
Baker called the suspect by his nickname and he stopped and looked at Baker, confirming that the man was 36-year-old Michael Bowers of De Queen.
Baker reported Bowers continued to walk north as Baker advised him to stop. Bowers then turned west onto Wallace Street and began running. As Baker pulled up beside Bowers, he turned south and continued to run through an open area toward Collins.
Officer Baker reported he lost sight of Bowers and exited his patrol unit on Lakeside Drive where he was joined by Sergeant Chad Bradshaw and Patrolman J.J. Lopez.
Bowers was apprehended by Sergeant Bradshaw a short time later.
After placing Bowers into Bakers patrol unit, officers retrieved two flashlights and a small black bag that contained a clear smoking device that appeared to contain a white residue along with a small red plastic bag that contained a green leafy substance that was wrapped in tin foil.
Bowers was then transported to the Sevier County jail where he was jailed on the absconding warrant and then charged with fleeing, two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of controlled substance - marijuana.
HORATIO BOARD OF EDUCATION VOTES TO RE-HIRE DISTRICT ADMINISTRATORS 2/18/15
Horatio Superintendent Lee Smith reported the Horatio Board of Education voted to re-hire the district administrators, last week, during their February meeting and he said the board approved renewing a contract with the Arkansas School Board Association and accepted the ASBA's model policies for their handbooks.
Smith reported the district also accepted an ethics policy for the district's food service director and board members approved his recommendation for the positions of surrogate parent and foster parent.
Smith stated Horatio State Bank was donating a generator to the district and he expressed his appreciation to the bank for supporting the school.
Board members also accepted the resignation of a bus driver and the maintenance supervisor as well as the transfer of three students from the De Queen School District to Horatio.
ASHDOWN CITY COUNCIL VOTES TO REPLACE LIGHT POLES AT CITY PARK 2/17/15
During the February meeting of the Ashdown City Council, aldermen voted to upgrade the lighting system at the city park with state-of-the-art equipment.
Mayor James Sutton said a woodpecker revealed the need for new poles. He said a pole was bumped and the lights fell of the top of the pole, hitting a city owned truck.
City employees informed Sutton that a woodpecker had been pecking holes in the pole for about four years and contributed to the weakening of the pole.
Sutton reported the council then voted to approve a five-year, $189,345 loan to replace the lights on the three softball fields. He explained the poles will be made of steel and woodpeckers will not be a problem in the future.
Musco will install 48 factory-aimed assembly light on 12-poles and they company will finance the project.
Sutton informed the council that Musco had installed the lights for the Ashdown High School track.
The project is expected to start the first of March and should be completed before the start of the softball season.
JAIL EMPLOYEES ARRESTED FOR ALLEGED BATTERY OF INMATE 2/17/15
Two Clark County jail employees were arrested Friday, February 13th for the alleged battery of a Clark County inmate, according to an Arkansas State Police press release.
28-year-old Robert Williams of Arkadelphia and 25-year-old William Sayre of Nashville have been charged with 2nd degree battery of an unnamed inmate following an incident that occurred on or about February 9th.
An investigation into the incident began early last week after the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney Blake Batson requested it.
According to the Arkansas State Police, the case is still open and the investigation is ongoing.
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE FROM REPRESENTATIVE DEANN VAUGHT 2/17/15
District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported the House addressed the overcrowding of the state's prisons in terms of funding. She stated there are currently over 15,000 inmates being held in state facilities that were designed to house 14,330 and there are another 2,500 inmates awaiting transfer to a state prison but are being held in a county jail.
Vaught reported the House passed a supplemental appropriation of $6 million dollars to reimburse counties for housing state inmates.
Vaught said House members filed 26 Constitutional Amendments before the February 11th deadline, while Senators filed 14.
Bills that were passed by the House last week included a bill requiring elementary schools to teach cursive handwriting, a bill allowing a 17-year-old work the same number of hours as an 18-year-old, and a bill allowing anyone between the ages of 18 to 21 who have served in the military to qualify for a concealed carry permit.
On Friday, the House passed a bill that seeks to protect Arkansans from government policies that interfere with their right to exercise their religion. The House also approved Senate Bill 202, which would prohibit cities and counties from passing ordinances that would prohibit discrimination on any basis that is not protected by state law.
House members also voted to extend the regular session to April 10th and to allow Legislators to return to Little Rock May 8th to take care of any unfinished business.
LITTLE RIVER COUNTY SUSPECT SURRENDERS TO SEVIER COUNTY AUTHORITIES 2/17/15
A Little River County resident that was wanted for parole violations turned himself in to Sevier County authorities after eluding officers for three days.
38-year-old Casey Tallant surrendered to Sevier County officer about 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 11th.
Tallant was then transferred to the Little River County jail on Thursday and made his first court appearance in the Little River County Circuit Court on Friday.
Tallant was wanted on parole violations for the delivery, possession and manufacturing of drugs and possession of drugs and firearms, according to the arrest affidavit.
Tallant was spotted by Little River County Deputy Jon Butler on Sunday, February 8th at about 4:30 p.m., but Tallant refused to stop and led Butler on a pursuit down Little River County Road 106. The pursuit ended when Tallant's vehicle collided with Butler's patrol vehicle.
Tallant then allegedly jumped out of the truck and ran into some nearby woods, leaving his wife and child in the vehicle.
LOCKESBURG CITY COUNCIL HEARS PROGRESS REPORT ON SEWER PROJECT 2/17/15
Prior to the February meeting of the Lockesburg City Council, Mayor Danny Ruth swore-in Alderman Gayle Gathright and then they made a couple of changes to the 2015 budget.
Alderman Donna Gallaher made a motion to move $500 from the Contracts line item in the General Fund to the Publications line item and to add a line item for Publications to the Street Fund and then move $1,000 from contracts to publication.
Robin Rice of A.L. Franks Engineering presented the council with a copy of the advertisement bids for the Sewer Construction Project. She stated bids will be accepted until 2 p.m. on March 5th.
Rice presented a cost estimate for the wastewater improvements. The council then asked her to proceed with a Price Estimate Report so they can check on some funding for the project. Rice informed them that she was drafting a letter for the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality to show that progress is being made on the project.
Rice also provided the council with the preliminary project cost on the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department's Transportation Enhancement Program, which funding for the sidewalk and walking bridge project.
Buster and Becky Dellinger addressed the council with their concerns with a culvert that had been washed out on East Magnolia Street. Mayor Ruth announced that he would contact Sevier County Judge Greg Ray and request the county's assistance to replace the culvert.
Aldermen discussed the set-up of three mobile homes on K and B Lane that are not in compliance with city regulations concerning the set-up of mobile homes. Council members voted to approve the building permits once the homes are inspected and found to be in compliance with city ordinances.
Aldermen also voted to confiscate the water deposit of Morgan Hamilton and to write-off the remainder of the bill and tabled an adjustment request by Monica Sharpe until she provided proof that the leak had been repaired.
The next meeting of the Lockesburg City Council is scheduled for Tuesday, March 10th at 6:30 p.m. in the Lockesburg City Hall.
REPRESENTATIVE NATE BELL FILES BILL TO CLARIFY WHO IS A PERSON IN ARKANSAS 2/17/15
Representative Nate Bell of Mena filed a bill in the Arkansas House of Representatives to clarify the definition of a person in Arkansas law.
The bill was filed on the heels of a landmark conviction, which Prosecuting Attorney Andy Riner was able to convict Melissa McCann-Arms of De Queen of introducing a controlled substance into the body of another person.
McCann-Arms was convicted in January of 2014 and sentenced to 20 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections after giving birth to a child at the Mena Regional Health System, addicted to methamphetamines. Her conviction was upheld earlier this year by the Arkansas Appellate Court, but Judge Phillip Whiteaker said the state legislature needed to clarify the definition of a person in state law if they intended for this law to include unborn children.
So, Representative Bell filed House Bill 1376 on Friday, February 13th, to change the definition of person to "Also include an unborn child in utero at any stage of development."
The bill would also apply to injuries to unborn children caused by a person driving while intoxicated and battery on a pregnant woman.
Riner has also filed charges against a Polk County woman who is accused of introducing drugs into the system of her unborn child, as well.
McCann-Arms is currently appealing her conviction to the Arkansas Supreme Court.
UA COSSATOT TO HOLD 5TH ANNUAL RODEO 2/17/15
On Friday, February 20th , over 1,000 high school FFA students from Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma will be on the UA Cossatot campus competing in the annual Colts Classic Judging Contest.
Students will be competing in land judging, horse judging, vet science, electricity and more and UA Cossatot is needing some volunteers to help with the contest.
UA Cossatot Public Relations Director Alisha Lewis said you do not have to have any knowledge of the events to help because they need all kinds of volunteers, even if its only serving pizza.
If you are interested in volunteering, contact Kelli Harris at UA Cossatot by calling 870-584-4471.
Then February 26th thru February 28th, UA Cossatot will be hosting it's 5th Annual Rodeo at the Four States Fairgrounds in Texarkana.
This year's event will feature rodeo events with competitors from across the region and local residents are invited to support the Cossatot Colts.
The rodeo will start at 7:30 p.m. each evening and Saturday's event will feature a tribute to area military veterans.
Gizmo McCracken is scheduled to entertain the crowd. McCracken was nominated as the Comedy Act of the Year in 2002, 2005 and 2014 by the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association.
Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for students. Children 5 and under are free. For more information or to purchase advance tickets, call 1-800-844-4471.
SOUTH ARKANSAS REFUGES SEEKING TO INCREASE RECREATION FEES 2/17/15
South Arkansas Refuges Complex is seeking the public's opinion about increasing the Quota Hunt Permit fees for Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge, the Overflow National Wildlife Refuge and Pond Creek National Wildlife Refuge.
Beginning July 1st, the Complex is proposing to increase the current fee from $12.50 for successful applicants to a $5 nonrefundable application fee for all applicants and a $15 Hunt Permit Fee for those successfully drawn.
Refuge fee prices and structures have remained unchanged since 1996. Although the fees have stayed the same, the administrative costs for the Public Use program has continued to increase and the proposed modification would allow the Complex to retain a portion of the fees to supplement the overhead costs of the program.
To review the Recreational Fee Increase Proposal, go online at www.fws.gov. Interested parties will have until March 13th to comment on the proposal.
For more information, call 1-870-364-3757.
Maintaining Health Insurance Coverage Documentation for the Tax Filing Season 02/17/15
Gathering documents and maintaining well-organized records make it easier to prepare a tax return. They can also help provide answers if the IRS needs to follow-up with you for more information.
You will not need to send the IRS proof of your health coverage. However, you should keep any documentation with your other tax records. This includes records of your family’s employer-provided coverage, premiums paid, and type of coverage. You should keep these – as you do other tax records – generally for three years after you file your tax return.
When preparing 2014 tax returns, most people will simply have to check a box to indicate they and everyone on their tax return had health care coverage for the entire year. You will not need to file any additional forms, unless you are claiming the premium tax credit or a coverage exemption.
You will attach Form 8965, Health Coverage Exemptions to your tax return to claim a coverage exemption. Do not attach supporting documentation to the tax return. If you applied for an exemption from the Marketplace and received an Exemption Certificate Number, or you have other documentation to support your exemption claim, keep these with your tax records.
You will attach Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit to your tax return to claim the credit. Do not attach the Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement that you use to complete Form 8962. Keep Form 1095-A with your tax records.
To find other tax-related information about the health care law, visit irs.gov/aca. To find information about Form 1095-A and tools that will help in the completion of the tax return, visit Healthcare.gov/taxes.
SEVIER COUNTY CATTLEMEN'S ASSOCIATION 2/16/15
Tonight's meeting of the Sevier County Cattlemen's Association has been postponed due to inclement weather. The meeting was scheduled for tonight at 7 p.m. on the De Queen campus of UA Cossatot.
AGFC LOOKING FOR NEW WILDLIFE OFFICERS 2/16/15
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is looking for a few men and women who are interested in becoming wildlife officers for the agency.
Wildlife officers are certified law enforcement officers with statewide jurisdiction and full police authority. They are primarily responsible for the enforcement of all Arkansas Game and Fish Commission regulations, but are capable of enforcing all state laws as well.
Wildlife officers work to apprehend poachers who are illegally taking wildlife to protect Arkansas' wildlife resources. Officers are also charged with the duty of enforcing state and federal boating laws on the state's thousands of acres of lakes, waterways and rivers. They teach hunter and boating education classes and participate in community and school-based programs, as well as, providing protection to the threatened and endangered species of fish and wildlife.
Colonial Todd Callaway said wildlife officers may be called on to work any hours, day or night and must work weekends and holidays with regular days off during on weekdays.
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission wildlife officer cadet training consists of classroom instruction, in-field training and hands-on applications. Cadets must complete 16 weeks of intensive training, covering 90 subjects.
The current job posting expires on February 20th.
If you would like to learn more about becoming a wildlife officer, you can download a printable brochure by clicking the link below or call 1-800-364-4263 or at www.ark.org.
ASHDOWN TEACHER PLEADS INNOCENT TO THEFT CHARGES 2/16/15
An Ashdown School District agriculture teacher plead not guilty last Tuesday to charges of allegedly stealing guns from the district.
41-year-old Terry Simmons of Little River County was arrested recently on two counts of theft of property for allegedly selling or trading shotguns that were owned the by the school district for it’s skeet shooting team.
A pre-trial date was set for March 31st and a trial date was set for April 13th by Circuit Court Judge Charles Yeargan.
Simmons is currently free on bond.
Charges against Simmons were filed after the Arkansas State Police were contacted by Little River County Sheriff Gary Gregory in January concerning the alleged thefts of shotguns, which were stored in a gun safe at the sheriff's office.
According to court records, the shotguns were purchased in May of 2008 from Gander Mountain in Texarkana, Texas and the money used to purchase the guns was supplied by a grant from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission for $3,518.02. The grant promotes gun safety and hunting skills.
During the fall semester, Debbie Greathouse took over as the director of the shooting sport teams.
In December, Greathouse asked to inventory the 10 guns and on December 10th, she and Simmons went to the sheriff's office and Simmons opened the safe, and it only contained three shotguns.
Simmons allegedly brought three shotguns into the office that had been in his vehicle. He stated that he had been keeping them at his home.
On January 3rd, 2014, Simmons allegedly went to Davis and Jones Pawn in Ashdown and sold or traded three guns and a 20-gauge shotgun for a Winchester 270 model 70.
Then on March 27th, 2014, Simmons reportedly went back Davis and Jones Pawn and sold or traded a rifle and a shotgun for a Bar Browning 243 rifle.
Authorities confirmed the shotguns that Simmons sold or traded to the pawn shop belonged to the school district by using the serial numbers.
Simmons has been a leave of absence from the district since he was arrested in January.
BURGLARY IN HOWARD COUNTY UNDER INVESTIGATION 2/16/15
Howard County law enforcement authorities are investigating a burglary that happened on Tuesday, February 10th at 10484 Highway 278 West.
Terry Spears reported the break-in and informed the Howard County Sheriff's office that a safe had been stolen, along with several thousand dollars and property totaling around $20,000.
A witness stated that they saw a white colored truck drive away from the residence at about 5:30 p.m.
Spears stated there it took at least two people to move the safe because it's so heavy and deputies reported it appeared the safe was taken out of the house through the back door, based on the drag marks on the floor.
Howard County Sheriff Bryan McJunkins is asking for the publics help in identifying the person or persons involved in this incident. If you have any information concerning this incident, contact the Howard County Sheriff's Office at 870-845-2626.
MINERAL SPRINGS TRAIN DEPOT RESTORED 2/16/15
Work has been completed to restore the historic town depot in Mineral Springs.
The Memphis, Paris and Gulf Depot was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 and was built in 1908 to serve the railroad, which connected Memphis, Tennessee to Paris, Texas.
Mayor Bobby Tullis said residents wanted to see the historic depot restored and displayed to the public. He says the building will be used to store city records and will contain items from the town's history.
Any resident that would lie to contribute an item or photo is welcome to do so.
Tullis explained the building is a wood frame structure with a double-width loading entrance on both sides and housed a telegrapher's office on the east end. He said it was the only depot ever built in Mineral Springs.
SURVIVAL SKILLS WEEKEND AT DAISY STATE PARK 2/16/15
Next weekend is the annual survival skills weekend at the Daisy State Park on February 20th through 22nd.
Patricia Thomas said the weekend will start with an introduction to Geocaching on Friday from 3 to 4 p.m. followed by a meet and greet campfire from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and stargazing from 7 to 8.
Thomas said Saturday with be jam packed with activities from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. with free workshops and a few workshops that requires a $5 to $10 dollar admission.
And of course the weekend will end with a survival skills challenge course beginning at 9 a.m. on Sunday.
For more information about the survival skills weekend, contact the park at 870-398-4487.
Counselor Appreciation Week at De Queen Public Schools 02/13/15
Counselors at De Queen Public Schools were celebrated the week of February 2. This was a week of appreciation for the many wonderful things they do. Counselors work with students, teachers, and principals. They also serve as their building’s test coordinator for all state mandated exams. The counselors in grades 6-12 assist students when they are choosing classes to take. They put a schedule together for their entire campus. High school counselors also help seniors acquire scholarships. Pictured are the counselors for K-12.
ARRESTS MADE IN ATTACK ON CLARK COUNTY JAIL PRISONER 02/13/15
Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division have arrested two Clark County Jail employees who are charged with Battery (2nd degree).
William D. Sayre, 25, of Nashville and Robert L. Williams, 28, of Arkadelphia were taken into custody today following an investigation that began earlier this week at the request of Blake Batson, Clark County Prosecuting Attorney.
On or about February 9, 2015 Syre and Williams are accused of the battery of a jail inmate.
The Arkansas State Police investigation is continuing. Any questions relating to the administrative status of the two jailers should be directed to the Clark County Sheriff’s Department.
BE AWARE OF BOGUS IRS CALLS 2/13/15
Tax-return season is well under way in the Natural State and across the country, but with that comes scam artists trying to prey on consumers.
Recently, a number of Arkansans have reported that they have received calls from purported agents with the IRS demanding the consumer share their private information in order to receive a refund or to pay taxes immediately to avoid being arrested.
These con artists commonly alter their phone numbers so it appears that they are IRS agents in an attempt to steal a person's identity or take their money.
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said some of these con artists can sound authentic and some are very convincing, as well as demanding, but consumers should pay attention to some red-flags. She stated consumers should also remember that no government entity, including the IRS, will ask for your personal financial information through an unsolicited call or e-mail.
Recently, the IRS reminded consumers that an IRS agent will never demand immediate payment or call about taxes that are owed without first mailing you a bill.
They will also not demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount that they say you owe.
IRS agents will not require you to pay your taxes with a prepaid debit card or ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
And, they will not contact the local police to have you arrested for not paying.
If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS or asking for money are encouraged to call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 or the Arkansas Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division hotline at 1-800-482-8982.
For more information on the IRS scam or others, visit www.IRS.gov or www.ArkansasAG.gov.
BURGLARY IN HOWARD COUNTY UNDER INVESTIGATION 2/13/15
Howard County law enforcement authorities are investigating a burglary that happened on Tuesday, February 10th at 10484 Highway 278 West.
Terry Spears reported the break-in and informed the Howard County Sheriff's office that a safe had been stolen, along with several thousand dollars and property totaling around $20,000.
A witness stated that they saw a white colored truck drive away from the residence at about 5:30 p.m.
Spears stated there it took at least two people to move the safe because it's so heavy and deputies reported it appeared the safe was taken out of the house through the back door, based on the drag marks on the floor.
Howard County Sheriff Bryan McJunkins is asking for the publics help in identifying the person or persons involved in this incident. If you have any information concerning this incident, contact the Howard County Sheriff's Office at 870-845-2626.
DIERKS COUNCIL TO REVIEW WATER RATE RECOMMENDATION IN MARCH 2/13/15
Dierks Mayor Terry Mounts stated he informed aldermen of the Dierks City Council that he is waiting on a report from the Arkansas Rural Water Association before making a recommendation concerning a water rate increase.
Mounts also reported that work should begin on the street resurfacing and rehabilitation within the next couple of months after the city was approved for funds from the State Aid City Streets Program.
Mounts informed KDQN that they city had ordered a couple of new vehicles for the water and police departments and he's expecting the water and sewer audit to be finished later this week.
Mounts said the state has started the city's legislative audit and the city will be looking for a new sanitation employee after the retirement of Larry House.
Mounts stated the city was doing well and ground work has started on the new Weyerhaeuser mill.
The next meeting of the Dierks City Council will be March 9th in the Dierks City Hall.
UPCOMING EVENTS ON THE DE QUEEN SCHOOL DISTRICT CAMPUSES 2/13/15
De Queen School District Media Relations Director Tammy Whatley announced several upcoming events on the campuses on the De Queen School District this week.
Whatley reported that the De Queen High School FFA hosted the Little River FFA Sub-Area Leadership contest on February 5th and several De Queen Students won a majority of the contests.
FFA members from Ashdown, Foreman and Horatio competed in the contest.
Whatley also mentioned that students at the De Queen Junior High School have volunteered to serve in different areas of the community, like Relay for Life and helping at the Sevier County Museum..
Whatley announced students are now signing up for the High School Show Choir and a Closing the Achievement Gap meeting will be held on February 24th in the administration office at 5 p.m.
Progress reports were sent out on February 6th and Whatley said if you did not receive your child's progress reports, you should contact your child's school office.
For more information about programs on the campuses of the De Queen School District, contact your child's school office or call the administration building at 584-4312.
WINNERS OF THE 2015 MISS FOREMAN PAGEANT 2/13/15
Saturday night, the Foreman High School yearbook staff hosted the 2015 Miss Foreman Pageant and today they announced this year's winners.
In the Miss Tiny Foreman division, Kynlee Barraza was named winner. Carsye Young was the First Runner-up and Aven Rad Eddings was the Second Runner-up.
In the Miss Petite Foreman division, Mallory Abercrombie was named the winner and Skylar Kruse was named the First Runner-up.
In the Miss Young Foreman division, Kylie Forrest was named the winner. Michelle Smith was the First Runner-up and Angela Ridge and Ashley Hickox were named the Second Runners-up.
In the Miss Pre-Teen Foreman division, Ashalin Casper was named the winner and Ashlee Waller was the First Runner-up.
In the Miss Foreman Junior High division, Gabrielle Leon was named the winner. Nicole Scott was the First Runner-up and Marie Wright was the Second Runner-up.
And the 2015 Miss Foreman winner was Samantha Bell. The First Runner-up was Lauren Lovewell. The Second Runner-up was Michelle Anderson. The Third Runner-up was Elizabeth Purtell and the Fourth Runner-up was Laine Reich.
TORNADO SIRENS TO BE TESTED FRIDAY - WEATHER PERMITTING 2/12/15
Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Walter Smith announced Wednesday morning that his office would be testing the counties tornado system this Friday at 3:30 p.m. if the weather permits.
Smith said the test will be canceled if there is a chance of inclement weather in the area Friday afternoon.
OFFICERS LOOKING FOR FUGITIVE FOLLOWING CHASE AND ACCIDENT 2/12/15
A suspect that's wanted for parole violations eluded deputies with the Little River County Sheriff's office Sunday afternoon after crashing his pickup and fleeing on foot.
38-year-old Casey Tallant of Little River County is wanted for parole violations for delivery, possession and manufacturing of drugs or possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of drugs and firearms.
Sunday afternoon, Tallant was spotted while driving a Chevy pickup on Arkansas Highway 234 by Little River County Deputy Jon Butler.
Butler attempted a traffic stop, but Tallant continued to travel toward the Oklahoma border. Butler was joined by Chief Deputy Tim Brown and the pursuit continued for about nine miles to Little River County Road 106.
The pursuit came to an end when Tallant's truck collided with Deputy Butler's patrol vehicle.
Tallant then jumped out of the truck and ran into some nearby woods, leaving his wife and 2-year-old child in the vehicle.
Members of the Little River County Sheriff's Office, the Arkansas and Oklahoma State Police and rangers with the U.S. Forestry Serviced searched the area for Tallant until about 10:30 Monday night, but they did not find any sign of him.
Little River County Sheriff Gary Gregory is asking for the publics help in locating Tallant. If anyone has any information regarding Tallant's whereabouts, you should contact the sheriff's office at 870-898-5115.
COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK EVENTS 2/12/15
Park Interpreter Shelley Flannery of the Cossatot River State Park informed KDQN that the park would be hosting a Sweetheart Couples Hike this Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m.
Flannery said the park was also going to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count this year and the public is invited to help them count the birds that call the Cossatot River State Park home.
Flannery said the park was attempting to catalog the birds so they can ensure the proper habitat is available for the birds.
Flannery said the Great Backyard Bird Count is held every February and thousands of people of all ages participate to help create an annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of birds.
For more information about programs and events at the Cossatot River State Park, call 870-385-2201.
UPCOMING EVENTS FOR THE SEVIER COUNTY EXTENSION OFFICE 2/12/15
Wednesday morning, Sevier County Extension Agent Rex Herring informed the KDQN listeners that the extension office was conducting its annual Coggins Clinic this month. Herring said you can call the De Queen Animal Hospital to make an appointment or call the extension office for more information.
Herring also mentioned the extension office would be conducting a basic tree pruning workshop at the Horatio High School on Thursday, February 26th at 1 p.m.
And, then coming up later this spring, Herring said they are planning a grazing school in April and a Basic Horse Owner workshop in May.
For more information about any of the extension programs, contact the Sevier County Extension Office at 870-584-3013.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR ANNUAL COLTS CLASSIC 2/12/15
Friday, February 20th , over 1,000 high school FFA students from Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma will be on the UA Cossatot campus competing in the annual Colts Classic Judging Contest.
Students will be competing in land judging, horse judging, vet science, electricity and more and UA Cossatot is needing some volunteers to help with the contest.
UA Cossatot Public Relations Director Alisha Lewis said you do not have to have any knowledge of the events to help because they need all kinds of volunteers, even if its only serving pizza.
If you are interested in volunteering, contact Kelli Harris at UA Cossatot by calling 870-584-4471.
DE QUEEN BOARD OF EDUCATION VOTES TO RE-HIRE ALL ADMINISTRATORS 2/11/15
Monday evening during the February meeting of the De Queen Board of Education, board members heard a report concerning renovations on the old elementary building from Superintendent Bruce Hill.
Hill reported Dayco had completed their work on the old elementary building, but the district’s going to paint the building and make a few changes.
Board members upheld the expulsion of one junior high student and Hill explained why they approved the transfer of two students to Horatio and one student to Nashville.
Hill stated all district administrators were all re-hired.
Troy Cravens with presented a "Friend of the District" plaque in recognition of his service to the school district.
The next meeting of the De Queen Board of Education will be Monday, March 9th at 5:30 p.m.
SEVIER COUNTY QUORUM COURT APPROVES SHERIFF'S LINE OF SUCCESSION AND REPORT FROM SOUTHWEST EMS 2/11/15
Monday afternoon, the Sevier County Justices of the Peace meet in the Sevier County Courthouse and appointed David Wright as their delegate for the Arkansas Association of Quorum Courts.
JPs approved an appropriation of $1,000 from the Sevier County Assessor Judy Smith's Amendment 79 fund to upgrade a computer in her office.
Sevier County Judge Greg Ray asked the members of the Quorum Court to re-allocate $2,882 in the county Road Department Budget and he explained to KDQN what those funds will be used to purchase a truck bed with mud flaps for a 2009 truck that the county owns but does not have a bed on it.
Ray also talked about the county sheriff's line of succession. If Sheriff Bennie Simmons is incapacitated in any why, Chief Deputy Chad Dowdle, Jail Administrator Kim Culp or Investigator Robert Gentry would secede him.
JPs heard a report from Megan McMahen of Southwest EMS and she informed them of several upgrades that are coming in the near future including a new facility and a new ventilator for one of the ambulances.
She said the ventilators were being purchased with grant money for all of the Southwest EMS operations.
McMahen reported response time increased in October, but they have had a lot more calls over the last couple of months.
Several weeks ago Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Walter Smith asked area residents to put numbers on their homes, McMahen mentioned to the Quorum Court the importance of those numbers being large enough for them to see especially after dark.
Judge Ray also announced that Dollar Tree would be opening in the old Wal-Mart building next to the Tractor Supply Company and that Troy Cravens is the new juvenile intake officer for the area. He said this is the first time that a juvenile intake officer had been stationed in Sevier County.
2015 ARKANSAS HENRY AWARDS IN TEXARKANA 2/10/15
Coming up this March, the 2015 Arkansas Henry Awards Banquet will be held in Texarkana March 8th, 9th and 10th at the Texarkana Arkansas Convention Center.
Arkansas Travel Blogger Kim Williams stated there will several different categories in which awards will be presented during the event, including the Arkansas Heritage Award, the Grand Old Classic Special Event Award, the Tourism Special Achievement Award, the Outstanding Volunteer Award, Community Tourism Development Award, and the Natural State Award.
Williams said this year's Media Support Award was special because two of the finalists are from Arkansas. One of the finalist is Jay Lindly of the Morning Brew on KDQN in De Queen.
Williams said for more information, you can go to the website www.Arkansas.com/governors-conference.
The Governor's Banquet will be Tuesday, March 10th and during the Henry Awards ceremonies, the inductees into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame and the Tourism Person of the Year will be announced.
ARKANSAS HIGHWAY COMMISSION APPROVES BID FOR IMPROVEMENTS IN HOWARD AND LITTLE RIVER COUNTIES 2/10/15
The Arkansas State Highway Commission approved a bid for improvements to roadways both in Howard and Little River counties, according to officials with Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department.
The purpose of the projects is to resurface and rehabilitate 1 mile in the city of Dierks and 1.6 miles in the city of Ashdown.
Both projects are being funded through the State Aid City Streets Program that was approved by lawmakers in 2011 and voters in 2012. This program provides $20 million dollars annually from the state motor fuels tax to assist cities with projects that are selected by a nine-member panel of Arkansas mayors.
C & F Construction of Smackover was awarded the two contracts. The bid for the Dierks project was $203,579.50 and the bid for the Ashdown project was $289,525.50.
They will be resurfacing Fourth Street in Dierks from Missouri Ave. to Main Street; Front Street, which is Old Highway 70 from Highway 70 to the city limits and Old Highway 70 North from Highway 70 to the city limits.
They will be resurfacing North Beech Street from Bryan Ave. to Main Street; Belmont Drive from Peacock to near Shadow Lane; Frisco Street from Fulton Street to Main Street; Gordon Drive; Lakewood Drive from Crestview Ave. to Greenview Street and Rufus Torrance Drive from Foster Street to Highway 32.
Construction is expected to begin in two to four weeks and should be completed by this spring.
HOWARD COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT 2/10/15
During the February 4th session of the Howard County Circuit Court, 24-year-old Aljawaun Cole of Mineral Springs plead guilty to residential burglary and theft of property for breaking into a couple of homes on Blue Bayou Road in September of 2014.
Cole was also charged with domestic battery in the third degree and was sentenced to 13 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections.
And, 34-year-old Jessica Melton of Dierks plead guilty to driving while intoxicated and was sentenced to one year in the department of corrections.
STOLEN FIREARM RECOVERED IN LITTLE RIVER COUNTY 2/10/15
A firearm that was reported stolen in Sevier County was recovered February 5th when members of the Little River County Sheriff's office, the South Central Drug Task Force and the Arkansas State Police executed a warrant in Little River County.
On February 2nd, Deborah Akin contacted Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Hankins and informed him that she had discovered her handgun missing on January 29th.
Akin stated she kept the handgun in the glove compartment in her vehicle and that the only time the vehicle hadn't been locked was when she had the oil changed at a Toyota dealership and that the only other person that had access to her vehicle was her son, 18-year-old Hunter Hughes of Ashdown.
After taking Akin's report, Hankins notified NCIC that the gun had been stolen.
After the firearm was recovered in Little River County, Hughes was interviewed by Deputy Hankins at the Sevier County Sheriff's Office concerning the stolen gun.
Hughes reportedly informed Hankins that he was staying with him mom during the Thanksgiving holiday and took the pistol. He also stated that he had planned to sell the gun, but the guy he was going to sell it to, wouldn't give him the money.
Hughes was arrested and charged with theft of property.
2015 POLAR PLUNGE 02/10/15
It's time to be freezin' for a reason! The 2015 Polar Plunge participants will jump into the really cold winter water of the outdoor pool at Minton's Sportsplex in Texarkana, Texas, on Saturday, February 21. BRRR!
Plungers, both individuals and in teams, take the annual daring dip in support of Special Olympics Arkansas and to raise money for and awareness of the mission Special Olympics represents. Also known by the acronym SOAR, Special Olympics Arkansas works to provide year round sports training and Olympic-type competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities in Arkansas.
Currently, more than 14,000 Special Olympics athletes participate in training and compete in a year-round program of 20 different sports, including aquatics, track and field, gymnastics, soccer, basketball, tennis, golf, powerlifting, and other sports at the local, regional, state and international levels. SOAR states that "the vision of Special Olympics Arkansas is to transform communities by changing lives through sports. Our athletes are training for life itself."
Registration for the 2015 Polar Plunge in Texarkana is at 10:00 a.m., with awards at 10:45 and the icy plunge at 11:00. Awards will be presented to the individual and team with the best costumes, as well as to those who raised the most money.
A $50 minimum donation per plunger allows the individual to plunge and own an official Plunge t-shirt. In addition, collected donations of $250 adds a beach towel, $500 earns all of that plus a 60"x 50" fleece sherpa blanket, and $1000 also adds a 32-can rolling cooler.
Special Olympics is more than medals or winning. It's the special athletes who are at the heart of the movement. Anyone interested in donating or bravely showing support by "taking the plunge" can contact Ann Hudson at 501-993-7610 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Ashdown, contact Elisha Stone at 870-898-4420/4410 or email@example.com. Please make checks payable to Special Olympics Arkansas.
FATHER & DAUGHTER WINTER WONDERLAND 02/10/15
Over 77% of the young ladies who attend Margaret Daniel Primary School in Ashdown were escorted by handsome fathers or grandfathers to the Father & Daughter Winter Wonderland on the evening of January 29. The special event was one of the parent nights planned throughout the year by the MDP staff.
The school was filled with beautiful little princesses as the girls, all dressed for the evening, led their charming escorts through ten literacy/math stations with such titles as "Symmetry Snowmen" and "Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?" Every station was decorated with the Winter Wonderland theme, including the stage for the father/daughter "Snowflake Dance" and the photo booth where the young ladies and their gentlemen posed for photos with Princess Elsa and Olaf.
By popular demand from the young men of MDP, the staff is now brainstorming ideas for a Mother & Son parent night in the near future.
DE QUEEN FIRE DEPARTMENT BATTLE ANOTHER CHIMNEY FIRE 2/9/15
Earlier Friday morning, 17 members of the De Queen Fire Department responded to a chimney fire on Elm Lane.
Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt said a woodstove was apparently the cause of the fire that originated in the a separate building from a trailer at 137 Elm Lane. The property belongs to Sherry Miller, but Alicia Mitchell was living in the structure.
Pruitt said the fire spread from the structure to a vehicle close to the building and the corner of the trailer also caught on fire, but firefighters were able to use the city's form system to extinguish the blaze.
Pruitt said the De Queen Fire Department was assisted by the Gillham Volunteer Fire Department and the Cossatot Volunteer Fire Department was on stand-by with two tanker trucks.
Pruitt said he recommended not only having your chimney cleaned, but have it inspected also.
Pruitt also mentioned the De Queen Fire Department is collecting fire dues from residents outside the city limits that are in the De Queen Fire District and that he would be willing to conduct fire safety classes.
For more information about the fire dues or the fire safety classes, contact the De Queen Fire Department at 584-7224.
FRIENDS OF THE NRA BANQUET 2/9/15
JP Atkins of the Cossatot Friends of the NRA announced the 2015 Friends of the NRA Banquet will be held Saturday, March 7th at 5:30 p.m. in the De Queen High School cafeteria.
Atkins said the cost is $30 per person or you can purchase special packages and this year they will be giving away fewer door prizes so they don't expect the banquet to last as long as it has in the past.
Atkins mentioned that they also had table packages available along with an early bird registration drawing for those who register before March 1st.
Atkins explained the Cossatot Friends of the NRA help several local groups with the proceeds from their yearly banquet.
For more information or to register for the Friends of the NRA banquet, call Monte Bartek at 279-3239 or Atkins at 584-9557. You can also stop by Bakers Bargain House.
JOANN WALTERS ELEMENTARY QUIZ BOWL CHAMPS 2/9/15
The JoAnn Walters Elementary Quiz Bowl team won the De Queen-Mena Educational Cooperative Quiz Bowl which was held on January 30th.
Team members included Kamry Kelley, Macy Eckert, Kaden Helms, Emily Gordon, Jason Eudy, Kohl Kersey, Kai Oglesby and Darci Jones.
The team is coached by the elementary Gift and Talented Specialist, Dana Ray.
PARK VISITOR FROM LOUISIANA FINDS 2 CARAT DIAMOND 2/9/15
Dean Filppula of Shreveport, Louisiana said he learned the diamond search area had recently been plowed, which loosens the diamond-bearing soil and the rains came, which helps bring more diamonds to the surface during his recent vacation to the area. So, he visited the park to try his luck and it paid off because he found a 2.01 carat diamond Tuesday afternoon.
Park Interpreter Waymon Cox said the diamond is a light, yellow stone in the shape of a wedge and about the size of an English pea.
Cox noted conditions are perfect of diamond hunting right now, following the plowing and rain. He said diamonds are a bit heavy for their size, and they lack static electricity, so rainfall slides the dirt off the diamonds that are on the surface of the search field leaving them exposed. He said when the sun comes out, they'll sparkle and get noticed.
PREPPING FOR TAX PREPARATION 2/9/15
Many times what makes Tax Day stressful is the procrastination of waiting to prepare those returns until the day they are due. Consumers should decide now on how they will go about preparing their tax returns, either by preparing them themselves or by seeking assistance from a professional tax preparer.
Every year there seems to be more regulations and forms related to tax filing. Some Arkansas consumers may choose to seek assistance with their tax preparations rather than crunching number and reviewing documents themselves.
So, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a consumer alert to encourage Arkansans to plan in advance on how they will file their returns and to inform them about some of the free tax preparation options that are available to them.
The IRS offers free e-filing to all tax payers through brand name software and online. Taxpayers who earned less than $58,000 in adjusted income in 2014 are eligible to receive free online filing help at www.irs.gov.
The IRS also offers free, in-person tax filing and preparation assistance through the Tax Counseling for the Elderly and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance programs. For more information, visit www.AARP.org or call 1-888-227-7669.
Consumers who chose to pay for help should shop around for the best price and its recommended that you choose a well-qualified and reputable tax preparer.
After having your taxes prepared, you should read, review and ask questions. You should also check and see if they have a Preparer Tax Identification Number that's been issued by the IRS, and ask if their business is open year round.
For more information on tax preparation, contact the Attorney General's office at www.ArkansasAG.gov or call 1-800-482-8982.
TRANSITION FAIR IN HORATIO 2/9/15
Cindy Frachiseur of the Horatio School District announced this week that they would be hosting several events on Thursday, February 12th beginning at about 2 p.m. at the Horatio Elementary.
Frachiseur said they will also be holding the Elementary Art Show along with Pre-K and Kindergarten registration at the same time.
Frachiseur said the district would be hosting a Financial Aid workshop at the high school at 6 p.m.
During the Financial Aid Workshop, parents and students will learn about the requirements for the Arkansas Lottery Scholarship, financial aid deadlines and other scholarships.
Frachiseur also mentioned that parent/teacher conferences will also be held from 2 to 7 p.m.
DE QUEEN HIGH SCHOOL FUTURE BUSINESS LEADERS OF AMERICA 02/09/15
Students from De Queen High School competed at the District 4 FBLA competition in Hope on February 4. Nineteen students and two teachers attended the event. District 4 covers Sevier, Little River, Miller, Howard, Lafayette, Montgomery, Garland, Saline, Hot Springs, Hempstead, Columbia, Nevada, Clark, and Pike counties. Cody Lites was elected as Reporter for District 4 for the 2015-2016 school year. Students that placed and will progress to state are.
1st Place- Emerging Business Issues- Jessica Rogers and Anna Grace Cauley
1st Place- Electronic Career Portfolio- Jessica Miller
2nd Place- Securities and Investments- Jacob Bunyard
3rd Place- Public Speaking- Cody Lites
3rd Place- Marketing- Shane Blankenship and Tara Montgomery
4th Place- Public Speaking II- Danielle Duggan
4th Place- Insurance and Risk Management- Habram Martinez
Pictured on the front row right to left are Anna Grace Cauley, Margaret Parker, Elizebeth Downs, Tara Montgomery, Abigail Angeles, and Alexandra Martinez. Students on the middle row are Habram Martinez, Jessica Rogers, Harmoney Rich, Morgan Sweeden, Mallory Miller, Montie Hennard, and Mrs. Jennifer Collier. On the back row are Mr. Chad Lites, Jessica Miller, Cody Lites, Jacob Bunyard, Shane Blankenship, Paige Morphew, Danielle Duggan, and Tanner Lipsey.
Report on the January 2015 Chalice Cupboard Ministry 02/06/15
As this monthly report is made, it makes twenty years of food ministry by the Chalice Cupboard, as food assistance began in February 1996.
In January, the Chalice Cupboard assisted 78 families in Sevier County, with 133 adults and 57 children, totaling 190 recipients of food. Distribution of food last month totaled 1,671 pounds from donated and purchased food.
Sources of donated food in January totaling 188 pounds were Saint Barbara Catholic Church (55 pounds), KDQN (41 pounds), individuals (8 pounds) and anonymous (84 pounds). Purchases of food in January were $916.74.
Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, Inc. gave Chalice Cupboard a grant of $2,975.00 to provide food for recipients at Chalice Cupboard, and a $25 fee for membership in the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, Inc.
Residents in Sevier County may receive foods in their need as the Chalice Cupboard at 315 North 5th Street in De Queen on Tuesday or Wednesday from 2:00 p.m. to 3:15 pm. Note: food distributions are given only once every three month period yearly: January-March, April-June, July-September, October-December.
Items suggest for donation this month are crackers and soup.
AMNESTY PROGRAM STARTED IN LITTLE RIVER COUNTY 2/6/15
The Little River County Sheriff's Office and the Ashdown Police Department has started a county and city warrant amnesty program, which will allow persons with old warrants or fines to pay without penalties until March 7th.
According to the Little River County Sheriff's Office, anyone who has an outstanding warrant or a payment plan and has fallen behind can contact the district court clerk's office and the clerks will assist them.
Anyone with old fines is eligible to have the failure to pay warrant penalty fees dropped if the fines are paid by March 7th.
According to a spokesperson with the Ashdown Police Department, the program was designed to assist citizens by dropping the penalties that have been assessed, while collecting fines and eliminating warrants, so citizens can pay their fines without the fear of being arrested.
For additional information, call the Little River County Sheriff's office at 870-898-5115 or the Ashdown Police Department at 870-898-5640.
HORATIO SCHOOL DISTRICT ACCREDIT TED BY ADVANCED ED 2/6/15
Wednesday afternoon, members of the Horatio Board of Education, administration and school staff gathered to hear the exit report from the Advanced Ed accreditation team.
Those gathered were informed about the district's strengths and weaknesses, but in the end, they were informed that the visiting team would recommend that the Horatio School District be fully accredited by Advanced ED.
Horatio Superintendent Lee Smith explained the team had been on campus since Monday.
Smith said the district began preparing for their visit at the beginning of the school year.
Smith reported that the Advanced Ed team agreed with the district's review committee concerning their strengths and weaknesses.
Smith said this visit followed a district review by the state's Education Standards Board late last year.
Smith said the district will receive the Advanced Ed team's final report in about 30-days.
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE FROM DEANN VAUGHT 2/6/15
District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported Wednesday evening that bills that would impact public employees and local municipalities are moving toward the floor of the House and the State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee advanced a bill that would protect public employees from discipline or retaliation for using the state's Freedom of Information Act.
Vaught said the committee voted for a bill that would clarify the control of county election commissions in the event that a political party does not hold a majority of statewide offices. The bill will allow the use of vote totals to determine the control of the commission.
Vaught reported the City, County and Local Affairs committee advanced seven bills and among those bills was one that would allow cities to enter into a contract with an existing certified fire department in lieu of establishing its own department.
They also voted in favor of a bill that would establish guidelines for how a governmental body can determine water rates for residents.
REWARD OFFERED FOR THE KILLING OF BALD EAGLE 2/6/15
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission are seeking information concerning the shooting of a bald eagle in Pulaski County and the Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward up to $7,500 for information leading to the conviction of the person or persons responsible.
On January 31st, a bald eagle was found dead on Highway 10. It had a large caliber bullet entrance and exit wound. According to evidence recovered at the scene, a vehicle stopped on the shoulder of the highway near the eagle. Enforcement officers reported they believe the shooter was not alone and witnesses may have seen the vehicle stopped on the side of the road.
Although bald eagles are no longer listed under the Endangered Species Act, they are still federally protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
The maximum fine for killing a bald eagle is $100,000 with possible imprisonment up to one year.
Anyone with information should call the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at 501-772-8010 or the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission at 1-800-482-9262.
SEND A VALENTINE TO A PATIENT AT THE ARKANSAS CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL 2/6/15
The Arkansas Children's Hospital Foundation is asking everyone to send a Valentine to a patient at the Arkansas Children's Hospital.
Foundation Spokesperson Jennifer Pyron said they started this program last year and were amazed at how many Valentine’s they received from folks all across the country and from around the world.
Pyron said this year; they’re hoping to receive 150,000 Valentines.
She said to send a Valentine, all you have to do is go to www.giving.archildrens.org/valentine and follow the instructions.
So help put a smile on the face of child and send a Valentine this week to the Arkansas Children's Hospital.
SINGLE PARENT SCHOLARSHIP FUND - VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH 2/6/15
The Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund helps low-income single parents who are pursuing a post-secondary degree and is administered by affiliate organizations and volunteers in each county of Arkansas.
Every month, the organization selects a volunteer of the month and Ira McDaniel was of Sevier County was selected as the Volunteer of the Month for February.
Jamie Marshall is the field director for Southwest Arkansas and she expressed her appreciation for Mac's dedication and hard work. Marshall also stated that if you would like to volunteer with the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund, you can contact Mac at 642-2960.
Marshall said the program helps single parents earn a degree and she explained that students could use this scholarship for books, tuition or even gas to get to and from school.
Marshall announced the Single Parent Scholarship Fund would be working with UA Cossatot during the college's Dollars for Scholars events in Ashdown on March 10th, in Nashville on March 12th and in De Queen at the UA Cossatot Library on March 17th.
If you are interested in applying for a single parent scholarship, Marshall said you should check out their website. The deadline to apply for a Single Parent Scholarship is May 1st in Sevier County and March 20th in Howard and Little River counties.
For more information, call Marshall at 479-287-8213.
DISTRICT IV LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE 02/06/15
Horatio FBLA had thirty-five students attend the District IV Spring Leadership Conference held at University of Arkansas Community College at Hope on February 4th. District IV is comprised of forty-eight FBLA chapters from 14 counties in Southwest Arkansas.
Nine students from the Horatio chapter received awards for their outstanding performance at this district competition.
• Cassady Rankin - 1st place - Intro to Information Technology
• Laney Baker - 2nd place - Intro to Business Communications
• Adilene Arellano - 2nd place - Networking Concepts
• Adriana Gonzalez - 2nd place - Database Design
• Gustavo Perez - 3rd place - Business Math
• Raya Lemons - 3rd place - Securities & Investments
• Eleuterio Sanchez - 4th place - Agribusiness
• Reece Black - 5th place - Cyber Security
• Kelsey Rodriguez - 6th place - Business Procedures
These nine students will represent Horatio as they compete against other winners from all seven districts at the State Leadership Conference on April 13-14 in Little Rock.
FBLA is a national vocational student organization for students in high schools and middle schools who are interested in business or business education careers. Over 13,000 students in more that 300 high school chapters and over 4,000 students in 120 middle level chapters participate in Arkansas FBLA. Benefits of membership are leadership skills, business competencies, community responsibilities, and self-confidence.
ARKANSAS HIGHWAY COMMISSION APPROVES BID FOR HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENTS 2/5/15
The Arkansas State Highway Commission approved a bid in the amount of $3,441,766.12 from Surface Preparation Technologies of Pennsylvania for highway improvements in southern Arkansas.
The purpose of the project is to create shoulder and centerline rumble strips on selected sections of highways.
Construction is scheduled to being in two to four weeks and it should be completed in late 2015.
Area highways included in the project are: Highway 27 in Howard and Sevier counties; Highway 32 in Hempstead and Little River counties; Highway 41 in Sevier and Little River; Highway 71 in Little River, Miller and Sevier counties; and Highway 371 in Columbia, Hempstead, Howard, Nevada and Sevier counties.
More information you can check out IDriveArkansas.com or ArkansasHighways.com.
DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL HEARS STATE OF CITY ADDRESS 2/5/15
Tuesday night during a regular meeting of the De Queen City Council, aldermen approved the 2013 Water, Sewer and Sanitation audit, approved the purchase of a water pump and heard the state of the city address from Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy.
McKelvy informed the council the 2013 Water, Sewer and Sanitation audit was ancient history, but it had to be passed for agencies that needed copies of it.
Water Superintendent Jeff Brown informed the aldermen that a 100-hp pump went out last week and needed to be replaced. He reported that he could get a pump delivered from Malvern by the end of this week and installed for about $5,800.
McKelvy informed KDQN that aldermen voted not only to replace the pump, but to purchase a backup also.
Following the council meeting, McKelvy held a new alderman workshop for Aldermen David Krantz and Lawrence Wishard.
McKelvy also informed the council that De Queen would be hosting an asphalt maintenance meeting this month on the Sevier County campus of UA Cossatot.
DE QUEEN POLICE CHIEF UPDATES COUNCIL ON RESIDENTIAL BREAK-INS 2/5/15
Tuesday night at the conclusion of the De Queen City Council's new aldermen workshop, Police Chief Richard McKinley provided aldermen with an update on an investigation concerning a series of residential burglaries.
McKinley reported his department was investigating five residential burglaries that took place over the past several weeks.
McKinley stated no arrest has been made in the case, but they were searching for a person of interest. He also informed the council that patrols had been beefed up throughout the city in an effort to apprehend the suspect.
McKinley also stated that if anyone has information concerning these burglaries to contact his office at 870-642-2213.
FISHERMAN RESCUED ON MILLWOOD LAKE 2/5/15
According to the Little River County Office of Emergency Management, two stranded fisherman whose boat engine wouldn't start were found due to the help of a fading campfire.
George Bateman of Arkadelphia and Mason Lewis of Little Rock became stranded in an area known as mud lake on the northwest side of Millwood Lake after their boat motor quit working and would not restart.
According to the incident report filed with the Little River County Sheriff's office, the two men contacted the sheriff's office with their cell phone about 2 o'clock in the morning on Saturday, January 31st.
Volunteers Rudy Hatridge and Vynn Stuart followed the directions that the two men had given to the sheriff's office and found the men by using a 16-foot flat-bottom boat to travel upriver.
According to Dan Hale Jr. the emergency management team coordinator, the volunteers were given the number of bends in the river and followed directions on a map until they discovered the campfire.
They then towed the fishermen's boat back to Jack's Isle dock. Hale said the rescue effort ended at about 7:30 a.m. Saturday.
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE FROM DEANN VAUGHT 2/5/15
Tuesday evening, Representative DeAnn Vaught reported that a bill that would establish a task force to study the future of health care reform in Arkansas will now head to the floor of the House after the Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee voted in favor of the bill Tuesday morning.
Vaught said the bill would require the task force to make recommendations regarding the future of Medicaid in the state by the end of December. She said the full House may vote on the bill as early as Thursday.
Vaught reported that the Education Committee approved a bill that would ensure every high school in Arkansas offers a computer science course.
She said it was reported in the committee hearing that by the year 2020, there will be 1.4 million jobs in the field of computer science in the United States and at that rate, only 400,000 students will graduate with a degree in that field.
The Education Committee also approved sending a bill to the full House that would decrease the number of professional development days for teachers from 10 to six.
Tuesday afternoon, House members voted to bar Arkansas highest-level sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a church or house of worship.
Level 4 sex-offenders are designated as sexually violent predators, which is the most severe designation by the state.
Sex offenders currently living near a church would be grandfathered in under the proposal. Level 4 sex offenders currently can legally live near a school, public park, youth center or day care.
Members also voted in favor of a bill that would include crimes committed while operating a motorboat as a criminal offense of battery in the second degree, and, a bill that will allow law enforcement agencies to award a pistol that was carried by an officer to be awarded to his or her spouse in the event of their retirement or death.
MINERAL SPRINGS WORKING ON DRAINAGE, WATER IMPROVEMENTS 2/5/15
Mineral Springs Mayor Bobby Tullis reported the city is looking at installing some water valves throughout the city that would isolate sections of the city, so the entire city's water system didn't have to be shut down to fix a leak. He said the cost of the project would cost about $30,000 and could be completed in about 30 days.
Tullis is collecting bids on that project and the council will discuss the matter during their February meeting.
Residents have also been providing a list of drains that need to be unclogged and ditches that need to be dug out and Tullis said the city is still receiving complaints about dogs that are roaming loose around town. He said the city had purchased an animal trap that he hoped would supplement the city’s animal control program.
The council also voted to give a $500 dollar bonus to Eric Marks for earning his sewer operator's license and they voted to borrow $16,500 to purchase a 2011 Crown Vic patrol car.
4TH ANNUAL COMMUNITY AUCTION A GREAT SUCCESS 2/4/15
Little River County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Fonda Hawthorne informed KDQN Tuesday morning that the Fourth Annual Community Auction was a huge success.
Hawthorne reported that the event surpassed the organizing committees expectations by raising over $42,000 and the funds will be used to build a pocket park just off Highway 71 South in the downtown area.
Hawthorne said the committee will be holding a meeting this Thursday to evaluate this year's event and start planning on next year's auction and start discussing future projects.
AARP VOLUNTEERS MAKE TAX TIME LESS TAXING 2/4/15
In 2015, AARP Foundation is again providing free tax assistance and preparation for taxpayers with low to moderate income through the AARP Foundation Tax-aide program and you do not have to be an AARP member or a retiree to use this free service.
AARP Foundation Tax-Aide sites in Arkansas will be open from now until April 15th and will operate on a first come, first served basis; some sites offer appointments. Each site's opening date will depend on the days of the week on which to operate.
For more information on documentation that's required for tax filing, or to locate an AARP Foundation Tax-Aide site, visit www.aarp.org/findtaxhelp or call 1-888-AARP-NOW or 1-888-227-7669.
HOWARD COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE SEEKING INFORMATION 2/4/15
The Howard County Sheriff's Office is seeking the public's assistance in identifying some individuals who are persons of interest in connection with a felony forgery case.
On Wednesday, January 28th, a white male driving a red, Ford extended cab pickup with a pressure washer in the back, stopped at a residence near Center Point and power washed a home for a resident.
He negotiated a price with the owner of the home but then altered the check that was given to him and cashed it at the Center Point Store and he is now wanted for felony forgery.
The unknown white male was accompanied by another unknown white male.
The driver is described as being short, with a medium build, short, dark hair and approximately 50 to 60 years of age.
Howard County Sheriff Bryan McJunkins stated that he is concerned that this person may have made similar deals with other area residents and his office is seeking information that could help identify these two individuals.
In you have any information concerning this incident, you are being asked to contact the Howard County Sheriff's office at 870-845-2626.
JACKSON ENCOURAGES ARKANSANS TO CELEBRATE FARM BUREAU WEEK 2/4/15
Bruce Jackson of Lockesburg is a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation and he recently represented the state of Arkansas during the national convention in San Diego.
Jackson said during their state meetings, Farm Bureau established their list of priorities for the 90th General Assembly. Jackson said their priorities include funding for veterinary students at Mississippi State University, additional measures to prevent metal theft and funding for career and technical education under the Department of Career Education, as well as others like providing high-speed and affordable internet service.
Jackson mentioned that Arkansas is number one in the nation in rice production and he stated there were nine Discovery Farms in the state that is studying water quality before its used on the farm and after it is used on the farm.
Jackson said Farm Bureau was hoping to add some Discovery Farms in Southwest Arkansas to help study the state's water quality issue.
Jackson said the U.S. has only seven percent of the world's cattle, but produces over 20 percent of the red meat that is consumed in the world. He stated this was the result of American producers being great stewards of the land.
For more information about Farm Bureau, contact the local office at 584-3911.
JUDGE SIDES WITH STATE, ORDERS CREDIT-REPAIR AGENCY TO CEASE OPERATION 2/4/15
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced last week that a Pulaski County Circuit Court judge has granted the Attorney General's petition to enforce a civil investigative demand against a Texas company, known as CMCS Services from operating in Arkansas.
CMCS Services was involved in credit repair services in violation of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the federal Credit Repair Organizations Act.
Judge Chris Piazza granted an injunction and the business is prohibited from doing business in Arkansas until the company complies with the court order.
Rutledge stated the company used flashy signs and slogans to take advantage of Arkansans by promising to quickly fix consumers credit scores after they paid hundreds of dollars in advance.
Rutledge said consumers should beware of any credit-repair agency that requests fees upfront.
Arkansans can obtain a copy of their credit report by visiting the website, www.annualcreditreport.com.
MISS DHS PAGEANT WINNERS 2/4/15
Josie Vaught was named Miss De Queen High School 2015 Saturday night during the 38th annual Miss DHS pageant that was sponsored by the De Queen junior class as a fundraiser for the Junior/Senior prom.
Marjle McClelland was the First Runner-up and Justyce Brown was the Second Runner-up.
Evelyn Escammilla was the talent winner and Miriam Dominguez was named Miss Congeniality.
In the Mini Miss contest, Kathryn Milam was named the winner and Harper Young was named the First Runner-up and Lynli Liggin was named the Second Runner-up.
In the Little Miss contest, Landri Liggin was named Little Miss DHS, while Laura Figueroa was named the First Runner-up and Liliana Cruz was named Second Runner-up.
DOLLARS FOR SCHOLARS 02/04/15
Ashdown High School seniors and their parents are invited to attend Dollars for Scholars at Ashdown High School on Tuesday, March 10 from 5-7 p.m. Seniors and parents from other area schools are welcome to attend as well.
Dollars for Scholars is a Parent Night offered through area schools and Cossatot Community College as a community partnership. Ashdown's Dollars for Scholars night is a joint effort of Nikki Evans from CCCUA along with Sandy Bishop, Linda King, and Quincey Rayfield from Ashdown High School.
Parents need to bring their 2014 completed tax returns with them to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). All information will be confidential. The FAFSA has to be completed to receive Arkansas Scholarships such as the Arkansas Challenge/ Lottery Scholarship.
Please meet in the AHS library for instructions and move to the computer lab after that.
FAMILY LOSES EVERYTHING IN EARLY MORNING FIRE 2/3/15
Firefighters from the De Queen Fire Department, the Gillham Volunteer Fire Department and the Cossatot Volunteer Fire Department battled a house fire Monday morning on De Queen Lake Road, but the home was a total loss according to De Queen Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt.
About 8:27 a.m. Jeanetta Adams awoke and discovered a chimney fire that got into the attic. Pruitt said when the fire reached the attic the wood frame house began to burn quickly.
Pruitt said 15 members of the De Queen Fire Department responded with four trucks and a tanker, and were assisted by Gillham and Cossatot who brought their tanker to help battle the blaze.
Pruitt explained the most difficult thing about fighting a fire in a rural area is the lack of water. He said departments have to shuttle water from the nearest source.
Firefighters returned to the fire station around 10:45 a.m.
Pruitt said no one was injured, but the family of Willie Adams lost everything. Donations are being accepted at the De Queen First Assembly of God Church where the couple attends.
ARKANSAS PANEL WOULD MORE THAN DOUBLE LEGISLATORS' PAY 2/3/15
An independent commission wants to more-than-double legislative salaries and give raises to most of Arkansas' constitutional officers and judges.
The Independent Citizens Commission voted to gave approval to new salaries Monday and a final vote is expected to occur March 5th.
The panel is recommending increasing legislator's pay from $15,869 a year to $39,400. However, the panel suggests eliminating $14,000 in reimbursements that lawmakers can currently receive.
The panel also wants to increase salaries for all constitutional officers except for the lieutenant governor. The governor would see a pay jump from $87,759 to $141,000. Many judges and all of the Supreme Court justices would see a raise, too.
Voters created the pay commission as part of a constitutional amendment extending term limits and imposing tougher ethics rules.
MISSING HSU STUDENT FOUND DEAD 2/3/15
Authorities in Oklahoma say they found the body of a missing Henderson State University student around 10:30 a.m. Sunday morning in Latimer County, Oklahoma.
According to LeFlore County Sheriff Rod Seale, the vehicle of Callie Morris was found by a Buffalo Valley firefighter, overturned in a creek with the body still inside.
Authorities had been searching for Morris since she was reported missing on Friday.
According to the missing person report, Morris went missing Thursday night, after leaving Hot Springs on her way to McAlester, Oklahoma. Authorities searched by ground and air on Friday and over the weekend, the search also extended towards Mena after authorities used cell phone data to trace her possible route from Hot Springs to Oklahoma.
Henderson State University Executive Director of Marketing and Communications Tonya Smith stated Sunday that the thoughts and prayers are with the Morris family and friends and they are committed to providing support for their students, faculty and staff as needed.
THIRD SUSPECT IN CLARK COUNTY CONVENIENCE STORE ROBBERY-HOMICIDE ARRESTED IN LITTLE ROCK MOTEL 2/3/15
Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police and U.S. Marshals have arrested the third suspect that was wanted in connection with the murder of an Arkadelphia convenience store clerk.
24-year-old Craig Wade of Pine Bluff was taken into custody without incident shortly after 2 p.m. on Sunday at a southwest Little Rock motel.
Wade was identified from a photograph that was circulated through a State Police news release last week.
Wade is being charged with capital murder and aggravated robbery. 36-year-old James Gray, Jr., and 27-year-old Edward Williams both of Pine Bluff, were arrested by State Police last week and both Gray and Williams are facing similar charges.
The three are being accused of the robbery of the Jordan Kwick Stop Shell in the Caddo Valley area of Arkadelphia and the murder of 24-year-old Christopher Brown of Arkadelphia. Brown was the lone clerk inside the store when the three entered about 4:40 a.m.
Wade has been transported to the Clark County jail in Arkadelphia where Gray and Williams are also being held.
STATE TROOPER RECRUIT APPLICANTS NEEDED 2/3/15
State Police Recruiters have begun the search for qualified applicants who want to become Arkansas State Police Troopers.
The recruiters are encouraging applicants to submit their medical assessment waiver and initial contact form as soon as possible, but no later than the close of business on February 13th.
Recruit applicants can download the medical assessment waiver and initial contact form at the Arkansas State Police website.
No initial contact form will be considered without a medical assessment waiver from the applicant's personal physician stating the applicant is sufficiently healthy to pass the physical assessment test.
Applicants may also contact their nearest State Police Headquarters or call the recruiting hotline at 1-800-340-4255.
Applicant testing to identify a pool of applicants for recruit positions is already underway and recruits who are hired will be part of the May 2015 Troop School and will graduate in September.
Applicants must be 21 years of age, a U.S. citizen, have a valid driver's license, a high school graduate or equivalent, not have any felony convictions or ever been convicted of domestic violence, no visible tattoos and must pass the initial screening exam.
Starting salary is $34,500 and will be raised to $36,000 upon graduation.
UA COSSATOT BOARD OF VISITORS MEETING 2/2/15
During the January meeting of the UA Cossatot Board of Visitors, board members heard several updates from Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole and other vice-chancellors.
Dr. Cole reported on the need for trade programs that will better serve the needs of local industries and the college. He said programs that do not serve local industries are placed on an inactive status or cancelled.
Cole said rather than wasting resources when they are scarce, the college redirects those resources into programs that’s believed to produce a better graduating class and a better workforce.
Cole reported the college had expanded the truck driving program and they had started a new Physical Therapy Assistant Program at Ashdown.
Vice Chancellor of Business and Finance Charlotte Johnson reported that the colleges revenues were down from this time last year, but the schools expenditures were also low.
Vice Chancellor of Academics Dr. Maria Parker reported that the post-secondary enrollment was down by about 90 students.
Vice Chancellor of Facilities and Planning Mike Kinkade reported that the Automotive Collision repair and Ashdown campus renovations were completed and the next main project was the renovation of the Lockesburg campus.
Kinkade said work has begun on the exterior and the ground at Lockesburg and the appraisal of the Murfreesboro property came in lower than expected, but he had requested another appraisal to ensure that everything was included in the first.
TWO SUSPECTS ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH CLARK COUNTY STORE ROBBERY - MURDER 2/2/15
Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division arrested two Pine Bluff men Thursday in connection with the robbery and murder inside a Caddo Valley store early Sunday morning.
24-year-old Christopher Brown of Arkadelphia was working as a store clerk when he was shot at about 4:40 a.m. inside Jordan's Kwick Stop Shell.
36-year-old James Gray and 27-year-old Edward Williams, both of Pine Bluff, were arrested on charges of Capital Felony Murder and Armed Robbery.
Both Gray and Williams were taken into custody without incident Thursday in Pine Bluff and are being held in the Clark County jail in Arkadelphia.
PROPOSED SOCIAL MEDIA BILL 2/2/15
A proposed social media bill could give employers more access to current and potential employees’ social media accounts.
Representative Nate Bell of Mena says the bill would grant an employer more access to an employee’s social media accounts if it pertains to the hiring process.
According to Bell, this bill is quite a contrast to a bill that was passed during the 2013 General Assembly. That bill was sponsored by former State Representative Nate Steel of Nashville.
Steel’s bill prohibited employers from obtaining information like passwords or requiring current or potential employees to give their employers access to their social media pages.
Bell says the intent of his bill is to protect the employer. For example, if an employee makes slanderous statements about their employer, that the employer has the right to know.
LOTTERY SCAM FINDS WAY TO SEVIER COUNTY 2/2/15
A spokesperson from the Sevier County Sheriff's office informed KDQN Friday morning that a lottery scam has been reported in the county.
Friday morning a Gillham resident presented the sheriff's office with a check and a letter from the Multi-State Lottery Association, informing the recipient that they had won two million, five hundred thousand dollars and they were sending them a check in the amount of six thousand, four hundred and fifty dollars and 80 cents to pay the insurance and lawyer fees.
The letter informs the recipient to deposit the check in their account and then contact the claims manager for more information.
It also informs them not to discuss their prize with anyone.
A member of the Sevier County Sheriff's office called the number on the letter but call was transferred to an answering service.
Residents in other parts of the state and country have received similar letters and checks from Multi-State Lottery Association and they are listed on a lottery scam list on the internet.
Residents are reminded that no legitimate lottery program will notify it's winners in this manner and if you receive a similar letter or email to please contact the local law enforcement agency.
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE FROM DEANN VAUGHT 2/2/15
Friday morning, state Representative DeAnn Vaught informed KDQN that she had a lot to learn when she started serving District 4 this month, but it's been a lot of fun and she is sponsoring three bills.
Vaught said this week, she will be presenting two bills on the floor of the Arkansas House on behalf of Senator Jimmy Hickey.
Friday morning, Vaught was sworn-in by Sevier County Judge Greg Ray for a position on the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Board.
Vaught also reported that the House passed Senate Bill 6. She said the bill will impact Arkansans who make between $21,000 and $75,000 dollars a year.
Vaught said if you want daily updates from Little Rock, you can follow her on Facebook.com/Representative DeAnn Vaught.
HUMANE SOCIETY OF SEVIER COUNTY 2/2/15
Dr. Floyd Gonzales of the Humane Society of Sevier County announced Friday morning that they would be holding a spay and neuter clinic at the Sevier County Fairgrounds on February 10th, 11th and 12th.
Gonzales explained that they were changing the name from the Sevier County Humane Society to the Humane Society of Sevier County and he thanked the community for supporting the society.
Gonzales said to make an appointment for the spay and neuter clinic, you should call 642-8640.
If you would like to volunteer during the spay and neuter clinic or if you would like to make a donation to the humane society call Dr. Gonzales' office at 642-8640.
DE QUEEN WOMAN'S CONVICTION UPHELD 2/2/15
The Arkansas Court of Appeals issued an opinion this week upholding to conviction of a De Queen woman who was sentenced to 20-years in prison after her son was born with meth in his system.
38-year-old Melissa McCann-Arms admitted to using meth the day before her son was born in November of 2012 during her trial in the Polk County Circuit Court and nurses testified the infant was jittery and shaky from suffering from withdrawals from methamphetamines.
In her appeal, McCann-Arms and her defense attorney argued that the charge against her, introducing a controlled substance into the body of another person, did not apply to unborn children.
In the opinion of the Court of Appeals, it states that even assuming the statute does not apply to an unborn child, the conviction was not reversible because McCann-Arms’ fluids continued to flow through the umbilical cord to her son for a period of time after he was born.
McCann-Arms’ lawyer argued that there was no reference to unborn children in the statue and the Arkansas law does not define an unborn child as a person except in the cases of homicide.
Judge Phillip Whiteaker has asked the state Legislature to amend the law to make the statue clearer if it applies to an in utero transfer of a controlled substance from a mother to a child.
McCann-Arms was sentenced on January 14th, 2014 to 240 months in prison and is currently being held in the Wrightsville Unit.
BEWARE OF REFUND-ANTICIPATION PRODUCTS 2/2/15
Paying off bills, setting money aside for a future vacation or building up your savings are just a few examples of what many consumers plan to do with a tax refund, if they expect to receive one. Few, if any, have carved out plans to give a large portion of the refund right back to a tax preparer or financial institution.
Unfortunately, millions of American taxpayers do exactly that each year when they obtain rapid refund products such as a Refund Anticipation Checks or Bonus Deposit Checks.
Refund Anticipation Checks are essentially high-interest loans which must be repaid by your actual tax return and in many instances are deducted directly from a taxpayers refund proceeds.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a consumer alert so Arkansans will beware of refund-anticipation products.
Refund Anticipation Checks may be offered under other names, such as instant refund or fast refund. Some also include an option for a taxpayers refund to be loaded on a prepaid debit card.
Companies that offer these products are required to comply with the Arkansas Refund Anticipation Loan Act, which requires tax preparers to make some specific disclosures if they offer refund-anticipation product services.
Those tax preparers must also display a schedule of fees for the products and they must provide consumers with a printed notice that lists any and all conditions related to the repaid refund.
If consumers are looking to expedite their refund, they should consider e-filing. Taxpayers who e-file usually receive their refund within eight to 21 days and their refund is deposited directly into their bank account.
For more information on rapid refund products or help with tax preparation, visit www.irs.gov or go to the Attorney General’s website at www.ArkansasAG.gov. or call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division hotline at 1-800-482-8982.
AREA BLOOD DRIVES 2/2/15
LifeShare Blood Centers will be hosting a couple of blood drives next week in Sevier County.
On Monday, February 2nd, UA Cossatot will hold a blood drive from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and on Tuesday, February 3rd, at the Lockesburg Baptist Church on South Camellia Street from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.
According to LifeShare about one in seven people who enter a hospital will need some type of blood product and one blood donation or approximately one pint of blood, can save up to three lives.
LifeShare Blood Centers supplies blood components to 117 medical facilities throughout Louisiana, East Texas and South Arkansas, including the De Queen Regional Medical Center, the Little River Memorial Hospital and the Howard County Memorial Hospital.
31 FLU DEATHS REPORTED IN ARKANSAS 2/2/15
The Arkansas Department of Health has reported that 31 people have died from flu-related illness since September 2014, however, no victims have been children this season.
Twenty-four of those who have died were over the age of 65, five where between the ages of 45 and 64 and two were between 25 and 44.
According to the most recent report from the Department of Health, there have been more than 13,800 cases of the flu across the state, with about 60 percent of those cases being among children.
Department of Health Spokesperson Kerry Krell pointed out that the number doesn't provide the full picture of flu cases in the state because not everyone who gets the flu goes to the doctor and not every doctor tests their patents for the flu.
Krell said she still recommends everyone getting a flu shot to help cut down on the length of time you suffering from the flu.
De Queen Regional Medical Center Media Spokesperson Rhonda Blanton reported the De Queen Medical Center treated 91 cases of the flu in December, but that number declined to just 16 cases in January.
SOCIAL MEDIA DO'S AND DONT'S 02/02/15
Carol Robinson from the Arkansas Attorney General's office will be in the Ashdown School District on February 12 to speak to interested students and parents about "Social Media -- Dos and Don'ts."
The public is invited to hear Robinson at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 12 at the Ashdown New Tradition (ALE) campus (the old high school building at 751 Rankin Street) and be part of an informative discussion about the advantages and dangers of social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.
Social networking has exploded in popularity among Americans of all ages in recent years and can serve as a valuable resource for connecting with friends and acquaintances. Unfortunately those same sites can also be prime targets for identity thieves and scam artists.
Robinson and the AG office want to offer guidance to avoid falling victim to criminals on the internet by providing helpful Do's and Don'ts for social networking users. More information about the topic can be found at http://www.ag.arkansas.gov/programs/schools-educators-and-communities/social-media-dos-and-donts/.
LEHIGH HANSON DONTES TO MARGARET DANIEL PRIMARY 02/02/15
Margaret Daniel Primary School recently received a generous gift from LeHigh Hanson Aggregates, a North American construction materials company with a local aggregates (crushed rock, sand and gravel) distributory in Ashdown.
Ed Warnken with LeHigh Hanson presented Tami Cross of MDP with a check for $1500 to help support the MDP Family Night Library program, as well as help add and replace books in the school media center.
"We are thankful for this community sponsor and appreciate their generous donation," states MDP Principal Kay York. Becky McGraw with LeHigh Hanson contacted York requesting to contribute to the school and its needs, resulting in the monetary support.
The Family Night Library program at Margaret Daniel Primary has been successful in both improving student reading levels and increasing parental involvement for the school and its kindergarten and first grade students. It is funded entirely from community donations.
The MDP staff has set a goal of at least 80% of MDP students reading at or above grade level by May DRA testing time. The percentile is already above 76%, with expectations to exceed the 80% goal soon and go beyond. Support from the parents and community are important contributions to reaching student success.
Attached photo: Ed Warnken with LeHigh Hanson Aggregates presents Tami Cross with a check for $1500 to be used to support the Margaret Daniel Primary School Family Night Library program, as well as to help add and replace books in the MDP media center.
SEVIER COUNTY SALES TAX FIGURES 01/30/15
Here are the latest sales tax figures for Sevier County, De Queen, Horatio and Gillham.
This represents two complete calendar years of sales tax revenue.
Billy Ray McKelvy, Mayor
City of De Queen, Ark.
UTILITY ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS THROUGH THE SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL 1/30/15
Earlier this month, the Southwest Arkansas Development Council announced that they had started their winter utility assistance program along with their crisis intervention program.
Joyce Short of the development council said applications will be taken for both programs Tuesday through Thursday from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. each week until the funds are depleted. However, she said this is a one-time payment program.
Short stated that all applicants should bring proof of household income for the previous month, social security numbers for all household members and a copy of all your utility bills.
For more information, call 584-3995.
TRI COUNTY SOFTBALL ASSOCIATION 1/30/15
Registration is underway for the Tri-County Softball Association and Carmen Santiago mentioned that girls ages 4 to 14 can sign up on Sunday, February 15th and Sunday, February 22nd at the community building in the Herman Dierks Park from 2 to 4 p.m.
Santiago said teams compete against teams from the surrounding area and some team compete is area tournaments.
Santiago also stated that several teams from De Queen have won state tournaments and have even competed in and won World Series titles.
Santiago said if you have any questions about the teams to contact her at 584-6516.
CHANNEL 7 BACK ON LOCAL CABLE SYSTEM 1/30/15
During the January 6th meeting of the De Queen City Council, Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy informed the aldermen that he had been informed by Vyve Broadband, the city's cable provider that Vyve was dropping the Little Rock stations because they were a duplication of the area's designated market stations in Shreveport.
McKelvy stated that he had contacted Vyve and encouraged them to reconsider this move, because most local cable subscribers wanted the Little Rock stations for Arkansas news and sports.
Thursday morning, Mayor McKelvy informed KDQN that Vyve Broadband had reinstated KATV Channel 7 on the local cable line-up for the cities of De Queen and Horatio as of Wednesday. However, he did report that it is unlikely that the other Little Rock stations will return to the local line-up.
ARKANSAS AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES 2015 CENTURY FARM PROGRAM 1/30/15
The Arkansas Agriculture Department is accepting applications for the 2015 Arkansas Century Farm program.
The Century Farm program recognizes Arkansas' rich agricultural heritage and honors families who have owned and farmed the same land for at least 100 years. The program is voluntary and places on restrictions on the land.
Since the program's inception in 2012, 240 farms have been certified as Arkansas Century Farms.
To quality, farms must meet the following criteria: The same family must have owned the farm for 100 years by December 31st, 2015 and the line ownership from the original settler or buyer may be through children, grandchildren, siblings and nephews or nieces, including through marriage or adoption. And, the farm must be at least 10 acres of the original land acquisition and make a financial contribution to the overall farm income.
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson stated, "the family farm is an Arkansas tradition, representing a way of life for generations of hard-working people. He said in honoring those families, the Arkansas Century Farm Program recognizes the historical relevance of the family farm and its important place in Arkansas's future.
Nationally, over 96 percent of all agricultural operations are family farms and Arkansas currently has over 44,600 farms on 13.8 million acres with the average farm being 309 acres.
Qualified applicants will be presented a personalized metal sign and a certificate.
There is no cost to apply for the Arkansas Century Farm program, and applications may be obtained from the Arkansas Agriculture Department by calling 501-683-4851. Applications must be postmarked by May 31st, 2015 to be eligible for designation in 2015.
AGFC TO HOLD SERIES OF PRESCRIBED BURN WORKSHOPS 1/30/15
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's private lands biologists have scheduled a series of free workshops to teach landowners the proper and safe use of prescribed burns to improve wildlife habitat.
According to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission fire can be used to shape the landscape and improves habitat for wildlife by encouraging germination of beneficial plants, while controlling undesirable plants, reducing the wildfire danger and opening forests to allow for the growth of grasses in the understory.
Central Arkansas Regional Private Land Biologist Clint Johnson explained wildlife like deer, turkey, quail and a host of nongame species benefit from and thrive on habitats that are maintained by fire.
Johnson reported the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission strongly believe in the benefits of properly-used control burns.
Johnson said during the prescribed burn workshops will educate participates about those benefits and the mechanics of a prescribed burn. He stated they will cover planning; firing strategy and equipment, fire weather, proper safety considerations, Arkansas fire laws, as well as, other topics.
Seating is limited and landowners must register to attend. For more information, contact Johnson at 877-470-3650.
The Southwest Arkansas workshop will be Saturday, March 21st at the University of Arkansas Research Station in Hope.
ARREST MADE IN PHARMACY BURGLARY 1/29/15
A Foreman resident has been arrested after the Walgreens pharmacy in Ashdown was broken into Monday night.
33-year-old Lashonda Bromsy was arrested about 10:30 p.m. Monday night at her home in Foreman.
Bromsy was charged with breaking into the pharmacy and taking about 3,000 Hydrocodone pills and a bottle of Diazepam.
According to the police report, Bromsy was a former employee of the pharmacy and she allegedly used a hammer to break the glass in the drive-thru window and then crawled through the window to gain access to the building.
According to the Ashdown Chief of Police, Mark Ardwin, the pills have a street value of $3 to $10 each.
The incident is still under investigation by the Ashdown Police Department.
23-YEAR-OLD ARRESTED FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT OF 15-YEAR-OLD 1/29/15
Following a call to the Arkansas Department of Human Services Crimes Against Children Hotline, a 23-year-old Pike County man was arrested and charged with sexual assault. He is being held in the Pike County jail on a $50,000 bond.
Kelly Harris of Murfreesboro was arrested after allegedly sexually assaulting a 15-year-old female over the New Year holiday.
According to an investigator with the Arkansas State Police Crimes Against Children Division, the girl did not report the incident because she was afraid of getting into trouble.
According to the arrest records, Harris allegedly stated that he was not aware that the girl was 15 and underage.
AREA MOM PUSHING FOR TOUGHER LAWS CONCERNING DRINKING AND BOATING 1/29/15
Nearly two years after her son was killed in a boating accident in Oklahoma, a Texarkana mom is encouraging Arkansas lawmakers to change the law concerning the penalties of boating while under the influence of alcohol.
In May of 2013, Sandy Varner's son, Trey, was killed when he went boating with some friends in Oklahoma.
She says they weren't in the boat, 10-minutes before the boat they were in hit a docked boathouse on the Grand Lake in Grove, Oklahoma.
According to investigators, excessive speed, alcohol and operator inattention were the causes of the accident.
The driver of the boat was sentenced to 15 years in prison, but 14 of those years will be served on probation.
Varner is attempting to make the penalties for boating while intoxicated the same as driving under the influence.
State Senator Jimmy Hickey of Texarkana has filed the bill in the state senate and Varner plans to testify before the committee concerning the need for this law.
Similar legislation is expected to be presented to the Oklahoma legislature.
BLACK BEAR WORKSHOP AT COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK 1/29/15
Cossatot River State Park will be hosting an advance black bear workshop this Saturday and Park Interpreter Shelley Flanary mentioned the workshop will be hands-on. Participants will make plaster casts of black bear tracks and develop teaching material to use concerning black bears.
Flanary said the program is also approved for Professional Development hours through the Arkansas Department of Education.
According to Flanary, the workshop is free, but participates will need to bring their own lunch.
On Sunday, park guests can help feed the park critters from 2 to 3 p.m. at the park's visitor center.
For more information about programs at the Cossatot River State Park, go the station's website, KDQN.net and click on the upcoming events tab or you can call the park at 870-385-2201.
DRUG RAID RESULTS IN FOUR ARREST IN PIKE COUNTY 1/29/15
Four suspects were arrested Sunday morning during a raid on three residences between Murfreesboro and Delight.
During the raid, law enforcement officials confiscated over $3,000 dollars in cash, a .25-caliber pistol, about 20 grams of methamphetamine that was packaged for sale with a street value of $2,000 and various items of drug paraphernalia.
Pike County Sheriff's Department Investigator Clark Kinzler reported that they arrested 51-year-old Pamela McKinnon and 58-year-old Gerald McKinnon for maintaining a drug premise, along with 20-year-old Jeremy Smith and 48-year-old Clyde Brown.
Smith is being charged with simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms, possession of a controlled substance-meth with the purpose to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia and maintaining a drug premise.
Brown was charged with possession of controlled substance-meth with the purpose to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia and maintaining a drug premise.
According to court records, officers from the Pike County Sheriff's office, the South Central Drug Task Force, the Murfreesboro Police Department and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission entered the three buildings simultaneously and arrested the four suspects who are being held in the Pike County jail.
SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS ELECTRIC TO SPONSOR ESSAY CONTEST FOR TRIP TO WASHINGTON D.C. 1/29/15
Two high school juniors from the Southwest Arkansas Electric REA service area will have an opportunity to win an all-expense-paid trip to Washington D.C., in June.
Wayne Whitaker is the cooperative's president and CEO and he said the winner of the essay contest will participate in the June 10th through June 18th trip, which is part of the National Rural Electric Youth Tour.
To be eligible to win the trip, the student must be a high school junior enrolled in a local high school, and the student's family must be a member of the electric cooperative.
Contest winners will be required to submit a 500-word essay discussing the "top five greatest engineering achievements of the United States during the 20th-century" and explain "which engineering achievements affect your life the most."
Essays will be judged on the basis of knowledge of the subject, originality, composition, neatness and grammar.
The deadline to submit an essay is March 27th.
This is the 25th year the local cooperative has sponsored the trip, according to Whitaker.
While in Washington, students will be part of a group of 1,500 young people from 37 states.
Students will visit several national monuments, the Smithsonian Institute and other historical sites, as well as special programs that have been developed by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
To learn more about the trip or the essay contest, contact the Southwest Arkansas Electric REA in Texarkana at 870-772-2743 or visit youthtour.coop.
CITY OF FOREMAN WITHOUT WATER 01/28/15
The City of Foreman has had an 8" main water main cut by contractors. There is no water service for City of Foreman residents. Crews are working on repairing the line. It is estimated that it will take 4 to 6 hours to repair. City officials say everything should be back to normal between 8 and 10 pm.
ASHDOWN COMMUNITY AUCTION 1/28/15
Little River County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Fonda Hawthorne announced Monday that the Fourth Annual Community Auction would be held this Saturday beginning at 4 p.m. at the Ashdown High School cafeteria.
Hawthorne explained the annual auction is a fundraiser that helps fund community projects and it has continued to grow by about $10,000 per year.
Hawthorne also wanted to remind everyone that this year's event will not be on the Ashdown campus of UA Cossatot but will be at the high school and will feature several auctions including a silent auction, a live auction, a penny auction and there will be a special raffle.
For more information contact the Little River County Chamber of Commerce at 870-898-2758.
LITTLE RIVER COUNTY WOMAN FOUND GUILTY IN FEDERAL COURT 1/28/15
A Little River County woman who is serving probation for several counts of theft of a firearm plead guilty in federal court in Texarkana, last week for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
34-year-old Michelle Reo was sentenced to two years of probation in Little River County on the original charges in May of 2013 and then last week, she appeared before U.S. District Judge Susan Hickey and entered a plea of guilty to possession of a firearm by a felon.
According to court records, Reo was in possession of a Marlin model 336 .30-30 caliber rifle on August 12th, 2013. This incident occurred just months after she plead guilty to four counts of theft of property and firearms in the Little River County Circuit Court in May.
Reo faces up to 10 years in federal prison and could be fined up to $250,000, or both.
SEVIER COUNTY PAROLE OFFICER FOUND GUILTY OF SEXUAL ASSAULT 1/28/15
A Sevier County parole officer was found guilty of attempted sexual assault of a female parolee last week by a Sevier County jury and was sentenced to two years in prison and fined $7,500.
38-year-old Anthony Lawrence of Hot Springs was found guilty following a two day trial in the Sevier County Courthouse.
Lawrence was a parole officer with the Arkansas Department of Community Correction Parole and Probation.
The jury found Lawrence guilty of sexual assault in the fourth degree and he was sentenced to one year in prison and a $5,000 fine. The jury also found him guilty of attempted sexual assault in the third degree and sentenced him to one year in prison and a $2,500 fine.
According to the incident report, the incidents occurred on December 18th and 20th in the Sevier County Courthouse.
Lawrence was accused of attempting to have sexual intercourse or deviate sexual activity with a female parolee, who was under his supervision as a probation officer.
Following the incident, the victim's mother contacted the South Central Drug Task Force about her daughter being sexually harassed by her parole officer.
An investigation was then conducted by the drug task force, the De Queen Police Department and the Arkansas State Police.
STOLEN VEHICLE RECOVERED FOLLOWING PURSUIT 1/28/15
Saturday, January 24th, Sergeant Chad Bradshaw of the De Queen Police Department was advised by Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Greg Davignon of a vehicle that had been stolen out of Oklahoma was headed toward the city of De Queen.
Bradshaw reported he located the vehicle on Highway 70 West at the west end of Johnson Bridge Road and started pursuing the vehicle until he got up with the truck near Cane Creek Bridge.
Deputy Davignon advised the McCurtain County authorities that they were in pursuit of the stolen vehicle.
According to Sergeant Bradshaw's report, the pursuit continued into Oklahoma.
In Eagletown, the suspect almost wrecked the vehicle after attempting to make a left turn onto a side street, but went through a gravel parking lot and then back onto Highway 70.
According to the incident report, Officers with the Oklahoma State Patrol set up two sets of stop sticks, west of Eagletown.
The pursuit finally ended at Bailey's on Highway 70.
The suspect, 25-year-old Michael James was taken into custody by the Oklahoma State Troopers.
According to Sergeant Bradshaw, James' vehicle reached speeds over 100 miles per hour while passing vehicles in no passing zones and while going up hills. Bradshaw said, James crossed the center line several times and had to jerk the vehicle back quickly to avoid hitting other vehicles.
DE QUEEN ELEMENTARY TEACHER OF THE YEAR 01/23/15
Mrs. Brenda Clowers is the De Queen Elementary School’s teacher of the year. Mrs. Clowers is the librarian and works with every child in third, fourth, and fifth grade. She also uses the computer lab to teach research skills as well as computer skills. Clowers also does a lot of the behind the scenes work. Pictured with Mrs. Clowers are Kamina Monna, Payne Thornton, Kane Faulkenberry, and Emily Garcia.
De Queen Elementary School will have their annual Book Fair January 26-30. Parent night is on January 27, 4-6 p.m.
MARKETING SEMINAR FOR SMALL BUSINESSES 01/23/15
UA Cossatot has partnered with Henderson State University and the Arkansas Small Business And Technology Development Center to present "Marketing Techniques for Small Businesses". This seminar will be held Monday, January 26th from 3 until 5 pm.
A small marketing budget doesn't have to mean restricted resources for your small business. Get an overview of general marketing techniques, accompanied by suggestions for small businesses with small budgets. Topics include how to create a marketing plan and calendar, determining your target markets, low cost marketing tools, and much more!
for this seminar.
Call 870-230-5184 or David Sirmon at
UA Cossatot to register.
Members of Arkansas Delegation Push for Level Playing Field for Arkansas Rice 01/23/15
WASHINGTON –U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) along with Congressmen Rick Crawford (AR-01) and Bruce Westerman (AR-04) joined colleagues in sending a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry urging him to encourage Iraq to purchase more American produced rice.
The letter asks for diplomatic assistance to improve trade relations with the Iraqi Grain Board (IGB) because of the decreased purchases of American produced rice. In recent years, the IGB has bought rice from other nations over lower cost American rice. The letter asserts that the IGB has not indicated that American rice is deficient in quality, grade or price.
Arkansas leads the nation in rice production. Rice is the top agricultural export for the Natural State. Nationwide, rice production generates approximately $34 billion in economic activity annually, creating thousands of jobs in rural America.
“We recognize Iraq’s prerogative to make these types of decisions, but it serves no purpose to discriminate against competitively-priced U.S. rice in favor of rice produced elsewhere. As an example, on November 6, 2014, the Iraqi Grain Board announced its intent to purchase 170,000 metric tons (mt) of rice. The IGB purchased 80,000 mt from Thailand, 60,000 from Uruguay, and 30,000 from Brazil. No rice was purchased from the United States, despite offers of U.S. rice that were of similar quality but nearly $24 per mt below the prices from competitors from Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. Iraqi authorities have provided no explanation for this type of decision,” the letter states.
Click here to read the letter in its entirety.
The IGB is expected to begin accepting bids on a new tender to buy 30,000 metric tons of rice soon.
The letter was also signed by Senators Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), David Purdue (R-Ga.), David Vitter (R-La.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).
Members of the House of Representatives signing the letter include Ralph Abraham (R-La.), Brian Babin (R-Texas), Charles Boustany (R-La.), Mike Conaway (R-Texas), Blake Farenthold (R-Texas), John Fleming (R-La.), Gregg Harper (R-Miss.), Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas), Alan Nunnelee (R-Miss.), Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.), Ted Poe (R-Texas), Austin Scott (R-Ga.), Jason Smith (R-Mo.), Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), David Valadao (R-Calif.) and Randy Weber (R-Texas).
FOREMAN SCHOOL BOARD REPORT 01/23/14
The Foreman Board of Education met in regular session on January 20, 2015. Mr. Bradley presented a certificate of appreciation to Mrs. Leon and the Key Club for their help with the Kiwanis pancake breakfast this past weekend.
Mrs. Tankersley, elementary principal, reported:
Formal and informal
observations are going on, all the teachers have embraced the new
teacher evaluation and I am
DMEC Reading Fair starts
tomorrow. We had local Reading Fair in December, the winners of the
local will go to compete
We are gearing up for the PARCC
assessment, the math teachers went to a PARCC update at the co-op
and came back
· We will have about fifteen Texas teachers from Region 8 schools to observe our K-6 literacy classes
Mrs. Cody, high school principal, reported:
· Myself, Mrs. Whisenhunt, and Alice Young attended a Math PARCC workshop at the co-op
· Ms. Gauldin took her 9th grade English class on January 7th to visit Central High and the Capitol in Little Rock
· TAMUT in Commerce and the Armed Services have visited with our seniors in preparation for their future plans
· The Leadership Team is continuing to have meetings twice per month
The professional development
topic on January 14th was “Praise”, which is one of our
areas of Focus for School
· Night school began tonight for those in need of credit recovery
· Student Council will have a blood drive tomorrow
The high school was recognized
as a high achieving Middle School and High School, Beating the Odds,
Mrs. Cody and Mrs. Whisenhunt presented Interim Measurable Objectives (IMO) for all four quarters as a result of high school being on Focus School status. Results in meeting each IMO were also discussed for the first and second quarters.
· Mr. Kennedy presented certificates of appreciation for each board member for Board Appreciation month
· The audit is finished and will report the findings later once we have our final exit conference
· An estimate of the greenhouse repairs were given to each board member
· The fence at the softball field is complete
Mr. Kennedy reported there were not any expenditures over $10,000 for this month.
Mr. Kennedy recommended tabling the approval of Arkansas School Boards Association School Board Legal Liability Policy until the February board meeting. The company was not able to send us the policy before our board meeting.
The board adjourned to executive session at 7:05 p.m. for the discussion of the superintendent’s yearly evaluation.
The board returned to open session at 8:00 p.m.
Mr. Bradley made a motion to extend Mr. Kennedy’s contract one more year, until June 30, 2018. Mr. Way seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.
Mr. Bradley made a motion to approve the minutes of December 16, 2014. Mr. Segraves seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.
Mr. Kennedy reported the current enrollment is 509; elementary has 258 students and high school has 251 students.
Mr. Segraves made a motion to approve the December financial reports as presented by the superintendent. Mr. Bradley seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.
Mr. Segraves made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Bradley seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.
The meeting adjourned at 8:15 p.m.
BENEFIT ACCOUNT SET UP FOR TARA KITCHEN BAILEY 01/23/15
A benefit account has been opened at First State Bank of De Queen for Tara Kitchens Bailey, daughter of Cleatis and Barbara Kitchens. She is a single mom that is battling cancer. Funds are to help with medical bills and loss of income.
Also donations may be made for a drawing on a king size Razorback quilt (94 x 98"). $2.00 donation enters your name in drawing 1 time' $10 donation enters your name in drawing 6 times. Donations may be made at any First State Bank location.
Benefit for Ricky Stanford family 01/23/15
Local musicians, Daryl Argenbright and Johnny Reed, stopped by KDQN studios Thursday morning to and invite everyone to a benefit for Ricky Stanford family on Saturday, January 24th at the Sevier County Fairgrounds.
Ricky was from Horatio and ran a construction company for many years. He lost his battle with cancer in December and his friends are holding a benefit to assist his family with medical bills and final expenses.
A Soup & Chili Supper with all the fixing served will be served by donation. David Shipman will have his crew ready to conduct a silent auction of items that have been donated. Items include everything from baked goods to loads of gravel.
If you cannot make it to the benefit Saturday night, an account has been set up at First State Bank of De Queen. For more information contact Marcell McMillian at (870) 584-9199
Three Women Arrested for Allegedly embezzling from college bookstore 01/23/15
Arkansas authorities say three women have been arrested for allegedly embezzling $280,000 from the campus bookstore at UACC in Hope.
Brandy Harvel, age 26, and Tammy Williams, age 49, both of Hope were arrested around 1 pm Wednesday and were each charged with theft over $25,000.
Previously, on January 16th, Heather Langston, age 27, of Hope was arrested on theft of property charges for allegedly stealing funds from the bookstore.
The three women were employees of the Texas Book Company Book Store located on the UACC campus in Hope. The investigation is ongoing and more arrests are expected.
FOSTER PARENTS NEEDED 01/23/15
Judy Huff with the Arkansas Department of Human Services informed KDQN that her office will be hosting a foster parent inquiry meeting on Tuesday, January 27th in Lockesburg.
Huff stated there's currently a shortage of foster homes in Southwest Arkansas. She explained they needed more foster homes to help keep children in their communities when they are removed from their parents home.
Huff said they are needing foster parents who are willing to take children of all ages.
Huff stated that if you are unable to attend next week's meeting, you can contact the Department of Human Services if you would like to serve as a foster parent.
The Sevier County Department of Human Service phone number is (870) 642-2623.
FILMING OF "MENA" MAY START IN FEBRUARY 01/23/15
Barry Seals is a well-known name to those familiar with the history of the city of Mena and he is the focus of a new movie script that was sold to Universal Studios for a reported $1 million dollars.
Seals allegedly ran drugs across state lines while operating out the Mena Intermountain Municipal airport in the 19080s.
The story alleges that Seals transported guns and drugs for the CIA and a Mexican cartel. Seals was ultimately shot to death by a member of the Mexican cartel in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, but a lot of his illegal activities took place at the Mena airport.
Tom Cruise reported has agreed to star in the new movie that will be filmed in and around the Mena area.
Proposed AR bill would remove Robert E. Lee from MLK Day
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Robert E. Lee's birthday would no longer be celebrated on the same day as Martin Luther King Day under a bill introduced by an Arkansas lawmaker.
Republican Rep. Nate Bell's bill would remove Lee's birthday from the designations of state and school holidays. It would keep Martin Luther King's birthday as a state holiday on the third Monday of January.
Bell introduced the bill Wednesday.
Arkansas is one of three states, along with Alabama and Mississippi, that jointly celebrate King and Lee.
The practice has been criticized by civil-rights advocates who say it doesn't make sense to recognize a black civil-rights leader on the same day as a white Confederate general.
Address comments to Representative Bell by calling 479-234-2092 or Email: Nate@NateBell4Arkansas.com
Lucky for Life™ Lottery Draw Game Arrives in Arkansas on January 27!
LITTLE ROCK - On Tuesday, January 27, nearly 2,000 Lottery retailers across Arkansas will begin sales of “Lucky for Life™,” the new multi-state draw game. Tagged as "The Game of a Lifetime™,” Lucky for Life features a top prize of $1,000 a day for life as well as a second prize of $25,000 a year for life, and twice-weekly drawings.
The “Lucky” game was introduced in 2009 in Connecticut. Three game changes since then have included an extension to the five additional New England states, and now to Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, and South Carolina. Because of the steady population expansion, the game has grown from a top prize of $2,000 a week for life, to a $1,000 a day for life top prize, a patented second “for life” prize, and additional prize levels that resonate with players. With Lucky for Life, a true “for life” win opportunity in a draw game is available. Both the top prize and second prize are payable for the entire of a winner’s natural life.
“This win style holds great attraction for Arkansas Lottery players. Because when we say ‘for life,’ we mean it,” said Bishop Woosley, Director of the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery. “We believe that winning a prize that can be paid on an on-going basis is tremendous incentive for consumers to purchase the game and that is part of the reason the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery is excited to bring Lucky for Life to our players.”
Features that make Lucky for Life a unique addition to Arkansas Scholarship Lottery game portfolios include:
1. A top prize of up to $1,000 a day for life, payable as an annuity or lump sum.
2. A second prize of up to $25,000 a year for life, payable as an annuity or lump sum.
3. “For Life” prizes are payable for the length of a winner’s
natural life. At minimum, 20 years of payments are guaranteed;
4. Twice a week drawings will be held in Connecticut (the
drawing host state) every Monday and Thursday at 9:38pm
5. Following each drawing, players will be able to view the
drawing via upload on
www.LuckyforLife.US, and on participating
6. Tickets cost $2 each.
7. Eight prize levels besides the two “for life” levels are available to win, with a minimum prize of $3.
8. Overall odds are similar to scratch game odds, and are set at 1 in 7.8.
Top prize odds offer a life changing experience but with odds more
familiar to lotto style games, and are set at 1 in
COALITION MEETING SET 01/22/14
The Sevier County Coalition will be meeting on Tuesday, February 10th at the Sevier County Health Unit. You are invited to attend a networking lunch at noon and the meeting will be from 12:30-1:30p.
The goal of the meeting is to bring new partners to the table to emphasize the importance of local participation in the coalition and to discuss 2015 Coalition programs.
Please bring a new community member to the meeting and be prepared to discuss programs you feel are important for the coalition to work together on in 2015.
MISS HORATIO SCHOOL PAGEANT ANNOUNCED 01/22/14
The Miss Horatio School Pageant will be held on Saturday, February 21, 2015. Entry forms may be picked up at all school offices. The deadline to enter is Tuesday, February 10.
Competition will be for Baby Miss (1-2 years old), Tiny Miss (3-4 years old), Tiny Mister (1-4 years old), Miss Horatio Primary (Pre-K, K, 1st grade), Miss Horatio Elementary (2nd, 3rd grades), Miss Horatio Middle School (4th, 5th, 6th grades), Miss Horatio Junior High (7th, 8th, 9th grades), Miss Horatio High School (10th,11th, 12th grades). All participants must live in the Horatio School District or attend school in Horatio.
For more information, contact Ashley Elmore at 832-1900 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also go to Horatio School Events on Facebook for updates and questions.
De Queen City Council meeting 01/22/15
The De Queen City Council approved four contracts for services and designated one of its members as an authorized check signer during the regular council meeting Tuesday evening, January 20, 2015.
Council members approved resolutions authorizing contracts for services to four organizations in the following amounts: Sevier County Historical Society Museum, $5,000; Sevier County Senior Citizens Center, $10,000; Sevier County Humane Society, $1,500 and Southwest Arkansas Crisis and Resource Center, $7,500. The council amended the resolutions to specify that the payment for the contracts would be paid quarterly, except for the Humane Society, which is the smallest. It will be paid in one payment.
The council selected Alderman Walter Smith as an authorized check signer for all city accounts. The city has four authorized signatures. The other three are the mayor, city clerk-treasurer and accounts payable clerk.
The meeting opened with a presentation by the staff of Smiles of Arkansas Dental Center concerning National Children’s Dental Health Month in February. Dr. Robert Carter and Reese Sheffield of Smiles clinic, said the clinic has seen almost 10,000 patients since it opened in 2009. The Smiles staff is working to educate children and parents on the importance of good dental health.
Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy provided the Smiles staff with copies of a proclamation marking February as National Children’s Dental Health Month in De Queen.
In other business, the mayor said the city needs to reverse the sale by sealed bid of a Ford brush loader truck because the city cannot provide a title for the vehicle. The truck was sold in 2014 for a bid price of $4,260. The truck was purchased at an auction from the City of West Monroe, La. after the 2000 ice storm. Records indicate that the title was to be mailed but it was apparently never received. The buyer of the truck did not want to have a bonded title, which is the only alternative. The mayor said they have negotiated with the buyer and offered to reverse the sale and buy the truck back for the bid price. This was approved by a unanimous voice vote. The truck will be offered for sale again with no title, or sold for scrap metal.
Finally, the mayor said he has been talking with Pilgrim about their interest in having the city abandon four sections of street that are inside the Pilgrim plant. The mayor said he will ask the company to make the request and set a public hearing on the proposal. The hearing will be well publicized to give anyone affected to make comments before a decision.
BEST CARE CLASSES DEADLINE APPROACHING 01/21/14
If you are an early childhood professional, foster parent, or early childhood educator and want to learn more about caring for young children, you may be interested in The Best Care. The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, in partnership with the Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Association, is offering training for early childhood professionals. Classes are offered free of charge and is verified training through the Traveling Arkansas’ Professional Pathways (TAPP) and supports the Better Beginnings Program.
The Best Care will begin Monday, January 26, 2015 at the Howard County Extension Homemaker Center located at 425 N. Second Street in Nashville. The training will begin with registration at 5:45 and class starting at 6:00 p.m. Additional hours will be offered February 2, 9, and 16. By attending all four sessions, participants will receive 10 hours of certification.
Topics for this year’s The Best Care training will include More Money in Your Pocket: Making the Most of Tax Credits, Making the Most of Your Health Care Dollar, Health Care: Private Option, Infectious Diseases in Early Childhood, Best Nutrition Practices for Healthy Kids, Arkansas Nutrition Myth Busters, Outdoor Learning Environments, Infant Care in Early Childhood, and Your Blueprint for Happiness.
If you are interested in participating in The Best Care, contact the Sevier County Extension Office at (870) 584-3013 to register. Please register by January 23, 2015.
The Health Care Law - Getting Ready to File Your Tax Return 01/21/14
It’s always a good idea to prepare early to file your federal income tax return. Certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act – also known as the Health Care Law – will probably affect your federal income tax return when you file this year.
You or your tax professional should consider preparing and filing your tax return electronically. Using tax preparation software is the easiest way to file a complete and accurate tax return. There are a variety of electronic filing options, including free volunteer assistance, IRS Free File for taxpayers who qualify, commercial software, and professional assistance.
Here are five things you should know about the health care law that will help you get ready to file your tax return.
The Affordable Care Act requires that you and each member of your family have qualifying health insurance coverage for each month of the year, qualify for an exemption from the coverage requirement, or make an individual shared responsibility payment when filing your federal income tax return.
Most taxpayers will simply check a box on their tax return to indicate that each member of their family had qualifying health coverage for the whole year. No further action is required. Qualifying health insurance coverage includes coverage under most, but not all, types of health care coverage plans. Use the chart on IRS.gov/aca to find out if your insurance counts as qualifying coverage.
For a limited group of taxpayers -those who qualify for, or received advance payments of the premium tax credit - the health care law could affect the amount of tax refund or the amount of money they may owe when they file in 2015. Visit IRS.gov/aca to learn more about the premium tax credit.
You may be eligible to claim an exemption from the requirement to have coverage. If you qualify for an exemption, you will need to complete the new IRS Form 8965, Health Coverage Exemptions, when you file your tax return. You must apply for some exemptions through the Health Care Insurance Marketplace. However, most of the exemptions are easily obtained from the IRS when you file your tax return. Some of the exemptions are available from either the Marketplace or the IRS.
If you receive an exemption through the Marketplace, you’ll receive an Exemption Certificate Number to include when you file your taxes. If you have applied for an exemption through the Marketplace and are still waiting for a response, you can put “pending” on your tax return where you would normally put your Exemption Certificate Number.
Individual Shared Responsibility Payment
If you do not have qualifying coverage or an exemption for each month of the year, you will need to make an individual shared responsibility payment when you file your return for choosing not to purchase coverage. Examples and information about figuring the payment are available on the IRS Calculating the Payment page.
Premium Tax Credits
If you bought coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you should receive Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement from your Marketplace by early February. Save this form because it has important information needed to complete your tax return.
If you are expecting to receive Form 1095-A and you do not receive it by early February, contact the Marketplace where you purchased coverage. Do not contact the IRS because IRS telephone assistors will not have access to this information.
If you benefited from advance payments of the premium tax credit, you must file a federal income tax return. You will need to reconcile those advance payments with the amount of premium tax credit you’re entitled to based on your actual income. As a result, some people may see a smaller or larger tax refund or tax liability than they were expecting. When you file your return, you will use IRS Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit (PTC), to calculate your premium tax credit and reconcile the credit with any advance payments.For more information about the Affordable Care Act and your 2014 income tax return, visit IRS.gov/aca
CAREER DAY AT L.F. HENDERSON INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL 01/21/14
Nine career professionals recently spent an afternoon with the fourth and fifth graders of L. F. Henderson Intermediate School, informing them of the requirements of their jobs and encouraging the students to begin preparing themselves for the careers they might choose in the future. Sponsored by Learning for Life, an organization that offers seven programs that focus on character and career education for preparing youth to be successful in handling the complexities of their futures, the speakers included medical professionals, engineers, law enforcement professionals, and other representatives from the fields of law, culinary arts and personal stylists who own and operate their own businesses. Students were able to interact, ask questions and receive solid advice from representatives of their own community.
Linda Willis, Learning for Life Director through the Caddo Area Council of Boy Scouts of America in Texarkana, has been bringing such programs to schools in the area for a number of years and enriching the communities through teaching children quality character traits and practical life skills through these programs. Learning for Life, with its PreK-12 integrated academic and character development curriculum, is based on values and ethics very similar to the traditional Scouting program that Willis represents.
Willis, with the help of school partners, recruits community and career speakers as classroom guests who encourage students to embrace education and realize its necessity. By involving local business, civic and community members in the lives of the young people, a kind of partnership is forged that is needed to make a profound difference in the lives of children.
Leading group sessions with the LFH students were pharmacist Angela Adkison, registered nurse Cindy Metzger, stylist Devona Powell, chef James Powell, chemical sales representative Darren Adkison, Ashdown Police Chief Mark Ardwin, Patrolman Glen Hankins, attorney Thad Bishop, and electrical engineer David Davis.
In the Caddo Area Council, Learning for Life serves over 5600 young people. To learn more about the Learning for Life program and how you may utilize it, contact Willis at linda.willis@LFLmail.org or call her at 903-793-2179.
Shown above: (l to r) Area Learning for Life Director Linda Willis, Ashdown Chief of Police Mark Ardwin, Ashdown Police patrolman Glen Hankins, Little River Memorial Hospital Registered Nurse Cindy Metzger, Attorney Thad Bishop, Ash Grove Cement electrical engineer David Davis, Chef James Powell, stylist Devona Powell, Kemira Chemical sales representative Darren Adkison, and Brookshire's pharmacist Angela Adkison.
Henderson State University Presidential Scholarship awarded 01/21/15
De Queen High School senior Mc Kenzie Jones has been awarded the Henderson State University Presidential Scholarship valued at $40,000 over 4 years. She is the daughter of Donna Jones and Max and Stefani Jones.
Mc Kenzie is a member of the National Honor Society, Lady Leopard basketball and soccer teams, the show choir and is enrolled in concurrent classes at UA Cossatot. She is a member of First Baptist Church in De Queen.
Mc Kenzie will attend Henderson State University in the Fall where
she plans to pursue a bachelor of science degree in nursing.
POK-TA-POK ANYONE??? 01/21/15
Students in Mrs. Karina Tun’s Spanish I class participate in a re-creation of the ancient Mayan ball game Pok-ta-Pok.
Submitted by Karina Tun, De Queen Junior High School
LOCKESBURG WATER PROJECT UNDERWAY 01/21/14
A project to overhaul the City of Lockesburg’s raw water system is now underway, with contractors already placing several miles of water line within the city.
Goslee Construction of Bonnerdale won the bid to replace all 14 miles of the city’s water line, and began work on the project last week.
Water quality has been a serious issue in Lockesburg for years, with crews constantly working to patch the 60-year old water system in town and the regular issuing of boil orders. Tree roots grow into the line, busting whole sections of it, and thousands of gallons of water regularly leak from the aging water system. But that will change once construction is completed later this year. Mayor Danny Ruth said the city was informed in 2014 that, after several years of applying, it had finally received a low-interest loan and grant from the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission to replace the water lines. The total cost of the project is around $2.2 million.
The funding includes a $1.2 million grant, with the city having to pay back the additional $1 million on a 20 year loan with an interest rate of 2.2 percent. To qualify for the $1.2 million grant, the city will have to contribute the other $1 million on its own.
Ruth said the city qualified for the funding after it was determined that Lockesburg was losing up to 40 percent of its water through old and leaky lines, which date to the 1950s and 1960s.
"They're old and they give us a lot of trouble," said Ruth. The city water crew regularly has to patch up leaks and repair sections of the lines. "I haven't been able to leave town for years without worrying about our water lines."
Ruth said once the new lines are in place, water leaks will become a very rare occurrence. Water quality, he said, will increase, too. “This is going to cut out our problems tremendously,” Ruth said. “It’ll be a really good thing for our town once it’s done.”
The project is expected to take around 300 days to complete.
Ruth said the city is continuing to work on collecting easements so it can begin another infrastructure project - one to replace over 11,000 feet of sewer main, 36 manholes and two lift station pumps.
This project will be paid for through a $380,000 USDA grant as well as $400,000 in city funds.
Ruth said the investments, while putting the city in debt, are long over due and will benefit the town greatly. Last November, Lockesburg residents approved a half-cent sales tax measure to help pay off the loans in a quicker timeframe.
"I'm hoping that renewing some of our infrastructure will make our town more attractive to residents, businesses and maybe even an industry. We just want to keep Lockesburg moving in the right direction,” Ruth said.
By Patrick Massey, De Queen Bee Editor
BROKEN BOW CHAMBER BANQUET 1/20/15
The Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce will be holding their 60th Annual Chamber Banquet on Tuesday, February 24th at the Broken Bow Assembly Family Life Center at 6:30 p.m.
The chamber will be presenting several awards including Citizen of the Year, Small Business of the Year, Large Business of the Year, Organization of the Year, the Heritage Award and Community Appreciation Awards.
A silent auction will be held with the proceeds helping with the operating expenses of the chamber.
Banquet tickets are $20 each and may be purchased from any board member or at the Broken Bow Chamber office. The 2015 board members are Derek Warren, Wenda Blankenship, Patrick Williams, Revica Fisher, Jia Johnson, Ray Gaston, Tommy Julian, Karla Queen, Sharon Payne, Chyrel Fortner, Steve Dollarhide and Evelyn Warren.
For more information, contact the chamber at 580-584-3393.
DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL TO MEET TUESDAY 1/20/15
Aldermen of the De Queen City Council will meet Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the council room of the De Queen City Hall.
Aldermen will consider four resolutions concerning contracts of services with non-profit entities in Sevier County.
Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy explained that the amounts for the contracts of services were approved in the 2015 budget, but the council needed to approve a resolution for each contract.
Aldermen approved $5,000 for the Sevier County Historical Society to help with the upkeep of the Sevier County Museum and to provide residents with an opportunity to observe historical artifacts and to learn about historical events that are significant to this area.
Aldermen allocated $10,000 to the Sevier County Senior Citizens Center and have agreed to waive rental fees for the use of the facility, which saves the center about $32,000 in rent.
According to the contract of service, the funds will be used to provide senior citizens with meals and other services.
The Sevier County Humane Society was allocated $1,500 to provide spaying and neutering clinics for dogs and cats to help control the number of animals within the city limits.
The humane society also shelters unclaimed animals that are not adopted after the city's animal control officer picks them up.
And, $7,500 was budgeted for the Southwest Arkansas Crisis and Resource Center to provide services to the residents of De Queen.
Mayor McKelvy also informed the council that Smiles of Arkansas Dental has asked for them to designate February as National Children's Dental Health Awareness Month in the city.
He explained this is an annual promotion by the American Dental Association and is to help raise dental health awareness in the community.
McKelvy also reported that the city water department installed the new streaming current meter and it is working the way it was designed and benefiting the water department.
DHS BAND MEMBERS SELECTED FOR FOUR STATES BAND 1/20/15
De Queen High School band director Jeff Attaway reported that three senior band members were selected to represent the De Queen band to participate in the 2015 Four States Band Conference, this past weekend.
Shayde Kitchens plays the clarinet and D.J. Lee plays the saxophone and they were selected by audition to the Four States Concert Band.
Ryan Whitley auditioned and placed second out of all of the participating tuba players and earned a second chair placement in the Four State Symphonic Band.
All three students performed alongside students from Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.
The concert was held Saturday at the Sullivan Performing Arts Center in Texarkana, Texas.
DIERKS MAN KILLED IN SINGLE VEHICLE ACCIDENT 1/20/15
Arkansas State Police reported a Dierks man was killed Saturday afternoon during a single vehicle accident on Green Plains Road in north Howard County.
According to the report, about 5 p.m. Saturday, a 2001 Mack truck overturned and caught fire. By the time emergency crews arrived on the scene, the truck was completely engulfed in flames, trapping the driver 51-year-old John Kirby inside.
Kirby was pronounced dead by Howard County Coroner John Gray.
Members of the Dierks Police Department, the Howard County Sheriff's office and the Arkansas State Police arrived at the scene of the accident, along with volunteers fire fighters from Dierks and Nathan and the Howard County Ambulance Service.
According to the accident report, the road conditions were clear and dry at the time of the accident.
Howard County Emergency Management Coordinator Sonny Raulerson reported Kirby was a long time fire chief of the Umpire Volunteer Fire Department.
[Courtesy of Jonathon Canaday, KMTB]
DIERKS SCHOOL BOARD EVALUATES SUPERINTENDENT 1/20/15
Members of the Dierks Board of Education met last week to make a few policy changes and to evaluate the performance of Superintendent Holly Cothern.
Cothern spoke with KDQN and mentioned the board provided her with a positive evaluation and she encouraged the board to conduct yearly performance evaluations.
Cothern provided the board with the district's financial report and stated the district's tax revenue is up and the finances are better this year than this time last year.
Cothern reported the board made a couple of changes to some district policies and they approved for two out-of-state trips for the Outlaw baseball team.
According to the board minutes, the board also approved added Sabrina Kuykendal and Carol Sharp to the substitute teachers list.
NEW BRIDGE IS SLATED FOR LITTLE RIVER 1/20/15
State Highway Department officials have announced that a new bridge will be built to replace Highway 41 bridge that connects Little River County on the south side and Sevier County on the north side after it was labeled structurally deficient, however, the highway department says the bridge is still structurally sound.
The current Highway 41 bridge was built in 1961 and has a traffic count of about 2,200 vehicles per day and should begin sometime in 2016 and take about two to three years to complete.
According to the highway department, the project will cost about $1.2 million dollars. The cost will be split 80-20 between the federal government and the state.
Highway department engineers stated the bridge has been classified as structurally deficient, but there is no danger of the bridge falling down. They explained the bridge needs to be replaced based on it age and because the bridge does not meet current design width standards.
The new bridge will be 1,982 feet long, which is two feet longer than the existing bridge, and significantly wider.
9th WEST DISTRICT PROSECUTING ATTORNEY SELECTED TO SERVE ON ASSOCIATION BOARD 1/19/15
Members of the Arkansas Prosecuting Attorney's Association met earlier this week to elect the 2015 Board of Directors.
9th West District Prosecuting Attorney Bryan Chesshir was elected secretary/treasurer, 6th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley will serve as the new President, while 23rd Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Chuck Graham was elected vice-president.
Other boards members will include: Blake Batson of the 9th East Judicial District, Scott Ellington of the 2nd Judicial District, David Gibbons of the 5th Judicial District and Cody Hiland of the 20th Judicial District. Tom Tatum II, of the 15th Judicial District will serve as the board's representative to the National District Attorney's Association.
AAA ANNOUNCES REGIONAL AND STATE TOURNAMENT SITES 1/19/15
The Arkansas Activities Association announced Thursday afternoon the locations of the 2015 spring sport tournament sites.
Cossatot River High School will host the 3A state basketball tournament and Kirby will host the 1A state basketball tournament in Nashville.
Mena will host the Class 4A state baseball tournament.
In soccer, the De Queen Leopards and Lady Leopards will travel to Hope for the 5A state tournament.
ASHDOWN HONORS SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS IN JANUARY 1/19/15
Ashdown Superintendent Jason Sanders announced that January has been designated as School Board Member Recognition Month.
Sanders introduced the members of the Ashdown School Board and said the district presented the board members with letters from kindergarteners and the city of Ashdown declared January as School Board Member Recognition Month.
Sanders reported that board member Chuck Davis had been honored by the Arkansas School Boards Association with Honor, Outstanding and Master Board member and he received the ASBA Pinnacle Award in 2008.
Dorothy Henderson is also Honor, Outstanding and Master Board Member and received her ASBA Pinnacle Award in 2002.
Rosa Bowman is a Honor, Outstanding and Master Board member and received her ASBA Pinnacle Award in 2012.
Raymond Latson is a Honor, Outstanding and Master Board member and received his ASBA Pinnacle Award in 2010.
Michael Turner is an Outstanding and Master Board member and Bradley Day is the newest elected member.
During the meeting, Sanders informed the board members that the lawsuit with a district contractor had been settled and the board hired two new personnel members and reviewed the district's financial report.
ASHDOWN TEACHER ACCUSED OF SELLING SHOOTING SPORTS GUNS 1/19/15
An Ashdown School District Agri teacher was arrested Thursday for allegedly selling or trading two guns at a pawn shop that belonged to the district's shooting sports team.
41-year-old Terry Simmons was charged with two counts of theft of property for allegedly selling or trading guns that were owned by the district's skeet shooting team.
Simmons was the district's skeet shooting club coach and sponsor.
Little River County Sheriff Gary Gregory contacted the Arkansas State Police on January 12th about the alleged thefts, after Debbie Greathouse took over as the director of the shooting sports team and asked to inventory the guns, which are stored in a safe at the sheriff’s office.
Allegedly, on January 3rd, 2014, Simmons went to Davis and Jones Pawn in Ashdown and sold or traded three guns and a 20-gauge shotgun. Reportedly, Simmons got a Winchester 270 model 70 for the four guns.
Then on March 27th, 2014, Simmons reportedly went back to Davis and Jones Pawn and sold or traded one rifle and a shotgun for a Bar Browning 243 rifle.
According to the arrest affidavit, a state police investigator went to the pawn shop and met with Dylan Davis on January 12th.
Simmons has been placed on a leave of absence from the district by Superintendent Jason Sanders.
ASHDOWN WINNERS OF DISTRICT READING FAIR 1/19/15
Eighteen L.F. Henderson Intermediate School students were chosen as winners of the annual Reading Fair competition, recently. First, second and third place winners were chosen from both the fourth and fifth grade entries in the categories of Fiction, Nonfiction and Technology. The top two places in each category will represent Ashdown in the district Reading Fair competition at the De Queen-Mena Educational Cooperate in Gillham, January 21st and 22nd.
Jace Jackson and Demarcus Duncan advanced in the fourth grade, nonfiction category; Ali Mills and Rachal Vice advanced in the fourth grade, technology category; Lilly House and Allison Garner advanced in the fourth grade fiction category.
Jaxon Jester and Lindsey Miller advanced in the fifth grade, nonfiction category; Caylee Turner and Spencer Patterson advanced in the fifth grade, technology category and Jaelyn Wolf and Landon Wright advanced in the fifth grade, fiction category.
Students who entered the fiction and nonfiction categories created eye-catching visual displays using trifold boards on which they presented information about the books that they had chosen.
The students who chose to present their book in the technology category used computer programs, such as the cloud-based Prezi or Microsoft PowerPoint, to create an interesting informative report about their book.
DE QUEEN MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS TO PARTICIPATE IN THE GREAT KINDNESS CHALLENGE 1/19/15
De Queen Media Relations Director Tammy Whatley informed KDQN last week that Middle School Counselor Linda Quinn would be leading students to participate in the Great Kindness Challenge during the week of January 25th through the 31st.
Quinn explained that a friend told her about the program and she researched it on the website, greatkindnesschallenge.org.
According to the program's website, greatkindnesschallenge.org, last year, 554,486 students produced over 27 million acts of kindness.
Quinn said the website also provides suggests on the type of acts students can do, but she's hoping they will get creative.
Quinn said she wanted the Middle School students to participate because there are so many negative stories in the news about young people.
Quinn also challenged the residents of De Queen to conduct acts of kindness.
Quinn is hoping students and adults will impact their communities by treating each other with kindness and respect.
PSEUDORABIES OUTBREAK IN SEVIER COUNTY 1/19/15
A pseudorabies outbreak has been confirmed near De Queen in Sevier County and has claimed the lives of 10 hunting dogs after they encountered some feral swine. The dogs were being used to chase feral swine away from some livestock when an infected hog was caught and mauled by the dogs.
Soon after consuming the meat, the dog's showed signs of mad-itch, which is a common side effect of the viral infection. The symptoms were reported to the proper authorities and samples of the hog and dogs were collected and analyzed by researchers at Iowa State University.
According to experts, the virus is fatal to pets and livestock, but the Arkansas Department of Health says the virus is not transmissible to humans, however, feral swine can carry several viruses, parasites and bacteria that can lead to severe illness.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission uses large-scale trapping as an efficient and economical means of reducing the feral swine population.
Sport hunting of feral hogs has been more of a hindrance to hog removal than a benefit and it is illegal to relocate hogs for hunting purposes.
In 2013, the Arkansas Legislature passed a law prohibiting the possession, sale or transporting of any live feral hog, except to Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission approved terminal facilities by licensed individuals. The intent of the law is to limit the spread and impact of feral swine, as well as the diseases they carry.
BEAR STATE BANK 1/16/15
First National Bank will be officially changing its name to Bear State Bank at the beginning of February, this according to the Senior Vice-President of Marketing and Retail of Bear State Financial Shelly Loftin.
Loftin stated the name change will also bring about several system upgrades and the reason for the change was to create a better banking experience for their customers.
According to Loftin, current First National Bank customers will be receiving notification of this change in the mail or by email sometime this week and only the name will changing.
Loftin said the signage should be coming in February and she expects everyone will love the new design.
If you have any questions about the re-branding of First National Bank, contact your local office.
COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK ACTIVITIES FOR THIS WEEKEND 1/16/15
Cossatot River State Park Interpreter Shelley Flanary stated the park is offering several activities this weekend to encourage area residents to get out and experience nature.
This Saturday, guests are invited to join Interpreter Andrew Rawlings on a hike through the park as he shares the history of the Cossatot River State Park.
The hike will begin at Brushy Creek at 10 a.m.
Then from 2 to 3 p.m., Rawlings will lead a one hour hike over the River Corridor Trail to show guests some of the most beautiful areas of the park during the winter.
The hike will begin at the Low Water Bridge which is just below the visitor center.
On Sunday, Rawlings will lead a hike in search of our nation’s symbol of freedom, the bald eagle from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Guests will hike the Harris Creek Trail to Goat’s Bluff so they can get an excellent view of the eagles that are visiting the park.
Then from 2 to 3 p.m., park guests can help feed the park critters in the visitor center. Rawlings will also talk about the animals and their eating habits.
For more information about the activities at the Cossatot River State Park, visit our website at KDQN.net or call 870-385-2201.
HORATIO SCHOOL DISTRICT HONORS MEMBERS OF THEIR BOARD OF EDUCATION 1/16/15
Members of the Horatio Board of Education met Monday night and after evaluating Superintendent Lee Smith, they voted to renew his contract for the 2015-2016 school year.
Board members approved Becky Pendergraft’s contract through the remainder of the 2014-2015 school year as the district’s speech therapist and hired Cathy Day to be a long-term sub for a teacher who will be taken maternity leave.
They also accepted the transfer of one student from the Foreman School District and adopted the district’s school bus safety plan.
Smith informed KDQN that the district also recognized the years of service by the members of the Horatio Board of Education. Smith said board President Pollyanna Smith had served on the board for the past 15 years, while Vice-President Elizabeth Walker had served four. Jeff Irvan has been on the board for nine years and is currently serving as the board secretary.
The other board members include Joe Jones who has served for five years and Greg Litchford, Troy Allen and Dana Vance who have all served for two years each.
Smith said the district is planning several events throughout the month to honor the board members.
Smith said the district was excited in joining districts from across the state in celebrating School Board Member Recognition Month and to honor Horatio’s school board for their service and dedication to the education of Horatio’s students.
IDABEL POUND CONDITIONS UNDER SCRUTINY 1/16/15
The conditions of the Idabel, Oklahoma pound are the topic of an online petition following the release of an online video.
The video which surfaced on the internet Tuesday, shows a dog in the shelter eating the bloody remains of another dog.
Abe Thomas made the video says the kennels are completely open to the elements. He said there is no heat in the winter or air conditioning in the summer.
Idabel Mayor Tina Foshee-Thomas said the recorded incident has been investigated and the animal control officer, Cecil Richards, had informed her that he had been at the pound earlier that morning and had cleaned out the dog pens, sanitized them along with feeding and watering the dogs.
Foshee-Thomas said it is possible that the dog died from natural causes or the dogs may have gotten into a fight, but she admitted that she didn't know exactly how the dog died.
The online petition has over 2,500 signatures calling for Richards to be fired.
Foshee-Thomas also invited anyone who wants to help with the animal control program to volunteer their time to help care for the animals.
MINERAL SPRINGS DISTRICT RECEIVES GOOD AUDIT NEWS 1/16/15
A recent audit of the Mineral Springs School District only turned up one small issue, according to Superintendent Curtis Turner, Monday night during the district’s monthly Board of Education meeting.
Turner said the finding stemmed from a laptop purchase that was made during the summer in which the school was billed for 30 laptops, but only received 26.
The company that sold the laptops to the district, repaid the difference, however, auditors still flagged the error during their review.
Turner said other than that, the audit turned out very good and he hoped the next one would be even better.
The board approved the district’s master plan and hired Kenneth Green as a social studies teacher for the spring semester.
SPENCERVILLE, OKLAHOMA MAN ARRESTED IN SEVIER COUNTY FOLLOWING HIGH SPEED PURSUIT 1/16/15
On the afternoon of January 14th, McCurtain County deputies and members of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol pursued a grey Chevy pickup that was pulling a white cargo trailer into Arkansas on U.S. Highway 70.
According to court papers, the pursuit turned north onto Stateline Road and up to the intersection of Bellahmine and Pine Ridge Road. At that point, the driver made a U-turn and attempted to ram a McCurtain County patrol unit.
The pursuit continued onto Kellum Road and an Oklahoma Highway Patrol vehicle left the road and came to rest next to a fence near the intersection of Kellum and Mountain Roads.
At the intersection of Kellum and Deer Road, the driver attempted another U-turn, but was stopped when the truck was struck by a McCurtain County deputy’s vehicle.
Sevier County Deputies Chad Dowdle and Chris Wolcott arrived at the scene about the time the two occupants in the truck were taken into custody.
The driver was identified as 42-year-old Clay Denny and the passenger was identified as Rhonda McCombs.
After searching Denny, deputies discovered a clear bag that contained suspected methamphetamine, a syringe; an Altoids can with two pills inside it and a Scan disk SD card, $59, and a cell phone.
According to the report, Denny informed Wolcott what he had in his pocket before he was searched.
Allegedly, Denny admitted the trailer was stolen and that it contained other stolen items.
Deputies found another loaded syringe in the passenger seat and a glass smoking devise in the driver's side floor.
Denny is being charged with possession of a controlled substance-methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and theft by receiving, under $5,000 and felony fleeing.
Deputies inventoried the trailer and discovered items reportedly stolen from Little River and Lafayette counties in Arkansas and Bowie and Cass counties in Texas.
JIM HARRIS NAMED TREASURY CHIEF OF STAFF 01/16/15
Little Rock, Ark --Arkansas State Treasurer Dennis Milligan has named Jim Harris of Bryant as his new chief of staff.
Harris, 61, is the grandson of the late George and Leona Lewis of De Queen. He was born in De Queen General Hospital.
He served as Milligan’s chief of staff while Milligan was Saline County Circuit Clerk from 2011 until the end of 2014.
“Jim was instrumental in helping to implement many of the changes we made in the circuit clerk’s office during my four years there. He has a wealth of experience in working in the local, state and federal government levels that will be invaluable in the Treasurer’s office.” Milligan said.
In 2011-12, Harris served on the Arkansas Secretary of State Review and Implementation Committee that made recommendations on improving that office to Secretary of State Mark Martin.
Before coming to work for Milligan, he was director of communications for the Beth Anne Rankin for Congress campaign in 2010.
Harris was the governor’s representative for the recovery operation
in Arkadelphia when that town was devastated by a tornado on March
1, 1997. He began advising the governor on emergency management
issues in June 1997 and worked on Homeland Security policy
issues after Sept. 11, 2001.
In 1992, he took a sabbatical from the Texarkana Gazette to serve as
press secretary for the Mike Huckabee for U.S. Senate campaign.
He is married to the former Pat Huckabee and they have two grown children and three grandchildren.
PHOTO: Jim and Pat Harris at the "A New Day In Arkansas 2015 Inaugural Ball” in Little Rock Tuesday night
UA COSSATOT AMBASSADORS MEET WITH SENATOR BOOZMAN OFFICIALS 01/15/15
ASHDOWN- The Student Ambassadors from UA Cossatot recently met with representatives from Senator John Boozman’s office to discuss educational needs in his district
Students and Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole met with Stacy McClure, Boozman’s State Director and Chase Emerson, Boozman’s Regional Representative. They discussed the accessibility of Boozman’s office to everyone but specifically students and encouraged the ambassadors to consider an internship for elected officials.
Cole expressed a deep appreciation for the Senator’s involvement in handling affairs for UA Cossatot and cited his willingness to be an advocate for Arkansas.
Pictured are: (left to right) Alex Curry of Nathan, Brettny Lynch of Horatio, Walter Dean of Nashville, Ashley Scott of Nashville, Kelsie Emerson of Nashville, Chase Emerson, Regional Representative for Sen. Boozman, Dr. Steve Cole, Chancellor for UA Cossatot, Stacy McClure, State Director for Sen. Boozman, Jessica Rios of De Queen, Clayton Alspaw of De Queen and Isaac Alvarado of De Queen.
DPD INVESTIGATING AGGRAVATED ROBBERY AT SONIC 1/15/15
On Friday, January 9th at approximately 11:50 p.m., the De Queen Police Department responded to an aggravated robbery at the Sonic Drive-In.
The closing manager reported that he had exited the store when an unknown male subject approached him and demanded the money. The suspect was wearing dark clothing and had a knife.
The incident is still under investigation and the De Queen Police Department is asking the public to contact them if they have any information by calling 870-642-2213.
13 DEFENDANTS CHANGE PLEAS IN SEVIER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT 1/15/15
Thirteen defendants changed their pleas to guilty during the January 8th session of the Sevier County Circuit Court.
Levi Durham changed his plea to guilty and was sentenced to 10-years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections along with $1,490.13 in restitution for his participation in the burglary and theft of property from the First Baptist Church in De Queen and $120 dollars restitution for his part in the burglary at Benito’s Car Lot in De Queen.
Trenton Hamm received three-years probation after he plead guilty to abuse of an adult at the Brookewood Nursing and Rehab.
Tresa Burris was sentenced to 5-years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections after pleading guilty to delivery of a controlled substance.
Edward Williams changed his plea to guilty and was sentenced to 26-years and over $28,000 in restitution. Williams was found guilty to three counts of theft of property and three counts of breaking and entering along with one count of battery in the second degree.
Barry McKinney was sentenced to 10-years in prison for theft by receiving, delivery of a controlled substance-meth and simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms.
Brett Hall plead guilty to disorderly conduct, two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a scheduled I or II controlled substance that’s not meth or cocaine and was sentenced to 15-years in prison with five suspended.
Cody Nava was sentenced to three-years in prison for possession of drug paraphernalia and maintaining a drug premises.
Eric Hammer plead guilty to delivery of a controlled substance-Xanax and was sentenced to 6-years with three suspended.
Jennifer Martinez was sentenced to 10-years with 6-suspended for delivery of a controlled substance-meth.
James Culp was sentenced to five-years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections for the manufacturing of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance, maintaining a drug premises, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a firearm by a certain person and simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms.
Raylon Brown was sentenced to 15-years in prison for possession of drug paraphernalia, simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms and possession of meth with the intent to deliver.
A trial date of March 18th was set for Michael Wester, Karla Pacheco and Laken McWhorter.
A trial date of May 20th for Maria Mosqueda on the charges of possession of drug paraphernalia, maintaining a drug premises, simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms and trafficking a controlled substance-meth.
And, failure to appear warrants were issued for Kenneth Wells on the charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession of meth or cocaine.
BOIL WATER NOTICE FOR NHRWA 1/15/15
The Department of Health has issued a boil order notice for the North Howard County Rural Water Association.
The order was issued as a precautionary measure due to the possibility that contaminated water entered the distribution system as a result of a complete loss of normal system pressure due to a water main break the weekend of January 10th.
Under the boil water notice, all affected customers are advised that water may be unsafe for human consumption, and water used for drinking or food prep must be boiled briskly for one minute prior to use. All ice cubes should be discarded and only boiled water used for the making of ice.
The order will be lifted when water samples indicate that the water is free of bacterial contamination and an adequate disinfectant level is established throughout the distribution system.
CONTRACTS FOR SUPERINTENDENT AND ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT EXTENDED 1/15/15
Monday, during the January meeting of the De Queen Board of Education, board members voted to extend the contracts of Bruce Hill the superintendent of the district and assistant superintendent Paul Shelton.
Board President Randy Hedge informed KDQN they extended Hill’s contract for 3-years and Shelton’s contract for 1-year.
Board members will be reviewing the contracts of the campus administrations next month and teachers and staff in the upcoming months.
MLK PROGRAM THIS SUNDAY AT UA COSSATOT - LITTLE RIVER CAMPUS 1/15/15
A commemorative service will honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this Sunday at 2:30 p.m. on the Ashdown campus of UA Cossatot.
The guest speaker will be Bob Nash, who served as a special advisor to former President Bill Clinton as the White House director of personnel.
Nash grew up in Texarkana and served in several positions when Clinton was the governor of Arkansas.
For more information, contact Brenda Tate at 870-898-6405 or Shirley Jackson at 870-898-2954.
NEW ANIMAL CONTROL POLICY WORKING IN DE QUEEN 1/15/15
During the January 6th meeting of the De Queen City Council, Police Chief Richard McKinley reported on the department’s new animal control program.
McKinley reported that the new animal control officer, Matt Robinson, was interested in pet adoption instead of euthanizing the animals, they are posting pictures of the dogs on the department’s Facebook page. If you find you dog there will be a $25 dollars fee if you have proof that the dog has had its shots and $35 dollars if you don’t have proof. After 5-days, dogs can then be adopted.
McKinley said the program was going well so far with all of the animals being adopted.
McKinley said that the department is also planning to purchase a chip reader to help find the owners of dogs that are running loose in De Queen. He said they are also planning to upgrade the dog pens at the county shop. McKinley said they have also received donations of blankets and dog food to help care of the animals.
McKinley told aldermen that he would like to see some changes made to the city’s current animal control ordinances to make it easier for residents to understand.
For more information, check out their Facebook page at Facebook.com/De Queen Police Department or call the department at 584-2213.
SCHOOL BOARD RECOGNIZED FOR SERVICE IN JANUARY 01/15/15
Ashdown School District joins districts across the state to celebrate School Board Member Recognition Month in January. More than 1400 Arkansas school board members are being honored for their service and dedication to public education.
“Our board members assume a crucial role in representing our students and advocating for public education,” said Ashdown School Superintendent Jason Sanders. “We are very proud of our members, and Arkansas School Board Recognition Month is a great time to recognize them and celebrate their accomplishments.”
Seven elected members serve on the Ashdown School Board. President of the board is Chuck Davis, who has represented Zone D for 28 years now. In his sixth term, Davis, a Little River County farmer and feed store owner, has been honored by the Arkansas School Boards Association with Honor, Outstanding, and Master Board Member recognitions in 1996-97 and with the ASBA Pinnacle Award in 2008.
Board vice-president Dorothy Henderson, a public educator, was elected in 1991 to represent Zone A. Now in her 23rd year, Henderson was recognized as an Honor Board Member in 1994, Outstanding Board Member in 1995, and Master Board Member in 1996, and received her ASBA Pinnacle Award in 2002.
Rosa Bowman, Ashdown Board Secretary serving Zone G, was elected to the board in 2006 and is now in her second term. A school teacher herself, Bowman has been selected as a member of the Arkansas State Board of Directors and a region director. Her ASBA Honor, Outstanding, and Master Board Member recognitions came in 2006-07-08 and her Pinnacle Award in 2012.
Board member Raymond Latson was elected in 1992 to represent Zone B and is now in his 22nd year. Recently retired from Domtar, Latson received his three Honor, Outstanding, and Master Board Member awards in 1995-1997 and his Pinnacle Award in 2010.
A contract logger and water superintendent for the city of Ogden, board member Ricky Ward began his service for Zone E in 1999 and is now starting his fourth term or 16th year. His Honor, Outstanding, and Master Board Member awards were presented in 2000-01-02 and his Pinnacle Award in 2009.
Elected in 2010 to represent Zone C, Michael Turner is a senior technical analyst for Domtar. In his first term, Turner has already earned Outstanding and Master Board Member recognition from the ASBA.
Board member Bradley Day is the newest elected member, serving Zone F since 2011. He is a self-employed contractor.
During January's School Board Recognition month, the board members were honored with a proclamation set forth by Ashdown Mayor James Sutton and individual recognition certificates sent down from the Arkansas School Boards Association, both presented at the regular meeting of the Ashdown School Board on January 12. Every member also received a packet of hand-written notes and pictures from the kindergarten and first grade students of Margaret Daniel Primary School, along with fresh baked bread from appreciative district personnel.
As publicly elected school leaders, Arkansas school board members set policy for their respective districts. Under state law, they are empowered to hire and evaluate the superintendent, oversee district finances, approve the budget, and determine the vision and mission of the district. School boards must also approve the curriculum and ensure the district maintains adequate facilities for teaching and learning.
In addition to their board duties, state law requires Arkansas school board members to earn a minimum of six hours of professional development each year in areas related to their role and responsibilities.
CORRECTION: IN THE CASE OF JEFFERY BURLESON 1/14/15
KDQN incorrectly reported that 48-year-old Jeffery Burleson of De Queen was arrested after selling suspected methamphetamine to a confidential informer who was working with the South Central Drug Task Force at the Sevier County Courthouse.
However, according to the arrest affidavit, Burleson actually sold the meth to a CI in the parking lot of the De Queen Wal-Mart.
On December 18th, a CI arranged for the purchase of 1.75 grams of methamphetamine from Burleson who was employed as a maintenance man at the Sevier County Courthouse.
According to a sworn statement from a member of the drug task force, Burleson picked up the CI and drove them to a parking spot and that is where the transaction took place.
A small Ziploc bag of suspected methamphetamine was purchased for $125 and then placed into evidence.
On December 22nd, Assistant Chief Scott Simmons of the De Queen Police Department served an arrest warrant for delivery of meth on Burleson as he was leaving work at the courthouse.
Officers discovered a clear plastic bag that contained a clear crystal like substance of suspected methamphetamine in Burleson's front pocket.
Officers also received verbal consent to search Burleson's vehicle.
Inside the vehicle, officers discovered a clear bag that contained eight-Hydrocodone pills, a working set of digital scales and several clear plastic bags of suspected meth.
Burleson was arraigned in the Howard County Circuit Court last week and charged with one count of possession of meth with the purpose to deliver, one count of possession of Hydrocodone, one count of possession of drug paraphernalia and one count of possession of meth.
If convicted Burleson could face over 40 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections and fines of over $35,000.
Burleson is being held in the Howard County jail on a $50,000 bond because he was previously a 309 inmate in the Sevier County jail.
Burleson was previously convicted of possession of methamphetamine and served time in the Arkansas Department of Corrections.
This incident was investigated by members of the De Queen Police Department, the Sevier County Sheriff's office, the South Central Drug Task Force and the Arkansas State Police.
A NEED FOR 911 ADDRESSES 1/14/15
Tuesday morning, Sevier County Judge Greg Ray, Sevier County Office of Emergency Management Director Walter Smith and De Queen Fire Marshall Dennis Pruitt explained the importance of 911 addresses being on homes throughout the area.
Smith asked all residents, even those in the surrounding counties, to put their 911 address on their homes and mailboxes.
Smith explained it would help first responders and other emergency service personal by ensuring your safety and the safety of your family.
Smith said emergency volunteers are putting their lives in danger to help others and all they want you to do, is put your 911 address up where it is visible.
Judge Ray explained that it is critical for county residents to have their 911 address visible because houses are so far apart in parts of the county.
Pruitt stated that in an emergency every second counts and emergency workers don't need to spend a lot of time looking for an address.
Pruitt also stated that the De Queen Fire Departments smoke and carbon monoxide detector program is going great, but they are only able to provide detectors for residents inside the De Queen fire district.
Smith also pointed out that the address stickers are not expensive and it doesn't take long to put them up. So, area residents are being asked to put up their address as soon as possible, for everyone's sake.
DE QUEEN DISTRICT FINANCIAL REPORT - INCREASING BALANCE 1/14/15
De Queen Superintendent Bruce Hill reported that the De Queen School District's ending balance was over $800,000 more this quarter than last year, however, one area of concern is the professional development fund, which according to Hill was cut by $43,000 dollars.
Hill also reported that the district's food service program was still operating in the black and the district was accomplishing that feat, in spite of stricter nutrition standards.
Members of the De Queen School Board of Education approved Hill's recommendation concerning the purchase of lockers for the new baseball/softball locker room.
Hill said the board accepted the bid from Superior Lockers because they could guarantee the date of delivery.
Hill also stated that January was School Board member appreciation month and he mentioned how fortunate the district for its current school board members.
Board members Randy Hedge, Skip Bell and Sandy Huntsberger had earned the certification of Master, Honorary and Outstanding board members, while Gloria Caldwell earned her Master board member certification this year.
Board members also approved the transfer of three students to the Horatio School District and Hill explained that he felt these transfers were what was best for the students.
DIERKS MAN PLEADS GUILTY IN HOWARD COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT 1/14/15
A Dierks man plead guilty to possession of a firearm by a certain person in the Howard County Circuit Court.
Forty-one year old Samuel Rogers was convicted of felony theft in 1994 and therefore lost his right to possession a firearm, however, in October of 2014, authorities were notified that he kept several firearms inside his residence on Old Highway 70.
Rogers was sentenced to one year in the Arkansas Department of Corrections and he had to forfeit four firearms.
SCHOOL BOARD RECOGNIZED FOR SERVICE IN JANUARY 01/14/15
Horatio School District joins districts across the state to celebrate School Board Member Recognition Month in January. More than 1400 Arkansas school board members are being honored for their service and dedication to public education.
“Our board members assume a crucial role in representing our students and advocating for public education,” said Lee Smith, Superintendent. “We are very proud of our members, and Arkansas School Board Recognition Month is a great time to recognize them and celebrate their accomplishments.”
The members serving on the Horatio School Board are Pollyanna Smith, President – 15 years of service; Elizabeth Walker, Vice President – 4 years of service; Jeff Irvan, Secretary – 9 years of service; Greg Litchford, Member – 2 years of service; Troy Allen, Member – 2 two years of service; Joe Jones, Member – 5 years of service; and Dana Vance, Member – 2 years of service.
As publicly elected school leaders, Arkansas school board members set policy for their respective districts. Under state law, they are empowered to hire and evaluate the superintendent, oversee district finances, approve the budget, and determine the vision and mission of the district. School boards must also approve the curriculum and ensure the district maintains adequate facilities for teaching and learning.
In addition to their board duties, state law requires Arkansas school board members to earn a minimum of six hours of professional development each year in areas related to their role and responsibilities.
BEST CARE CLASSES BEING OFFERED 1/13/15
If you are an early childhood professional, foster parent, or early childhood educator and want to learn more about caring for young children, you may be interested in the Best Care classes that are being presented by the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, in partnership with the Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Association.
Classes are free of charge and is a verified training through the Traveling Arkansas' Professional Pathways and supports the Better Beginnings Program.
The Best Care classes will be Monday, January 26th at the Howard County Extension Homemaker Center, which is located on Second Street behind the Howard County courthouse.
Registration will begin at 5:45 and the class will start at 6. Additional hours will be offered on February 2nd, 9th and 16th. If participates attend all four sessions, they will receive 10 hours of certification.
Instructors will cover topics like, 'more money in your pocket: making the most of tax credits', 'making the most of your health care dollar', health care: private option, infectious diseases in early childhood', best nutrition practices for healthy kids', 'Arkansas nutrition myth busters', 'outdoor learning environments', 'infant care in early childhood', and 'your blueprint for happiness.'
If you are interested in participating in The Best Care classes, contact the Sevier County Extension Office at 870-584-3013 to register. Everyone is asked to register by January 23rd.
CHAMBER ANNOUNCES DATE FOR 70TH ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP AND AWARDS BANQUET 1/13/15
The De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce's 70th Annual Membership and Awards Banquet will be held on Thursday, February 19th at the De Queen High School cafeteria.
A variety of business and community service award honorees will be recognized, new officers for 2015 will be introduced and you may shop for bargains at the huge silent auction when the doors open at 5:30 p.m.
The De Queen Show Choir will perform and the De Queen High School Cross Country team will serve the roast beef dinner that will be prepared by the ladies of the high school cafeteria beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets for the banquet are $17 each and are available by calling Patty Sharp or Bonita Smith at the KDQN radio station at 642-2446. Reservations are being taken for tables of eight and are eligible to enter the table decorating contest.
DE QUEEN DISTRICT HONORED FOR BEATING THE ODDS 1/13/15
Last week, De Queen School District Media Relations Director Tammy Whatley reported the De Queen Junior High had been honored with an award from the University of Arkansas for Education Policy.
Today, Assistant Superintendent Paul Shelton explained to KDQN that the Junior High was honored with a Beating the Odds Award for its work with underprivileged students in the district.
Shelton said the district is accomplishing this feat on all campuses.
Whatley informed KDQN that the De Queen High School had completed the installation of the Virtual Computer Lab and Shelton explained the district had to build the lab to be in compliance with a state law.
Whatley stated the new state law is part of the graduation requirements for this year's ninth grade class.
Shelton also mentioned that the district had received a waiver from the state concerning some End-of-Course testing in Algebra II and Literature.
Shelton said the district was excited about the awards but was more concerned about educating students who are college and career ready following graduation.
GUIDE TO THE 2015 LEGISLATIVE SESSION 1/13/15
The Arkansas Legislature convened today for its regular legislative session and here is a rundown on what you can expect during this session.
Of course, the biggest question that lawmakers face this session revolves around the future of the state's private option Medicaid expansion, which uses federal funds to purchase private insurance for low-income residents.
The program was crafted two years ago as an alternative tot he Medicaid expansion that was envisioned under the federal health care overhaul.
Reauthorizing the program for another year will require a three-fourth vote from the House and Senate and it may be a difficult hurdle to clear after anti-private option legislators were elected in November.
Two years after controlling the Legislature for the first time since Reconstruction, Republicans expanded their majorities in both the House and Senate.
The GOP holds 64 of the 100 seats in the state House and 23 of the 35 seats in the Senate.
Senate officials have reported that this year's session will cost about $13,200 a day, while the House estimates it will cost about $18,698 each day, and the session will last at least 60-days, according to the Arkansas constitution, unless two-thirds of the House and Senate approve an extension. The 2013 regular session lasted 100 days.
District 4 is represented by newly elected Representative DeAnn Vaught and Senator Jimmy Hickey.
To follow bills and legislative activity, go to the General Assembly website at arkleg.state.ar.us. and you can watch House broadcasts online at arkansashouse.org.
LITTLE RIVER COUNTY GENEALOGY SOCIETY MEETING 1/13/15
Roxie Jones of the Little River County Genealogy Society announced this week that Bo Bean of Ashdown will be the featured speaker of this month's meeting in the Millwood Room on the Ashdown campus of UA Cossatot.
Jones explained that Bean was formerly of Texarkana and was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution-South West Trails Chapter and has been involved in family history research for many years.
Jones said Bean will chronicle the history of the Van Dalsen family from 1720 to the present and will illustrate how family lore that's handed down from generation to generation, can be erroneous and how he got to the truth regarding his family.
Bean will also display documents naming battles that his family Patriots fought in during the American Revolutionary War.
The Little River County Genealogy Society will meet Tuesday at 5:30 for refreshments and visitation, but the meeting will start at 6.
All members are urged to attend and visitors are welcome, but if you have any questions, contact Jones at 870-898-7224.
TRAFFIC STOP RESULTS IN DRUG CHARGE 1/13/15
About 10:45 p.m. Friday night, Patrolman First Class Wayne Baker of the De Queen Police Department observed a red pickup traveling west on Collin Raye Drive with a driver's side tail light not working.
Baker conducted a traffic stop at TJ's and asked the driver roll down the back window because the tint was to dark to see inside the vehicle.
Baker reported that as the window went down, he immediately smelled marijuana coming from the truck.
23-year-old Bilmar Cervantes was identified as the driver and he allegedly admitted to smoking pot about a half-hour before.
Baker then searched the truck and found half a marijuana blunt in the center console.
Officers JJ Lopez and Sergeant Chad Bradshaw assisted in the search and they uncovered a pill bottle in the center console that contained a small amount of marijuana.
Cervantes was citied with a misdemeanor charge of possession of a controlled substance - marijuana.
WARRANTS ISSUED FOR MAN FOR ALLEGEDLY RAPING TWO GIRLS 1/13/15
Arrest warrants have been issued for 31-year-old Pedro Escobedo for allegedly raping and sexually assaulting two girls in a Blevins home.
The arrest warrants were issued Friday by the Hempstead County circuit Court for rape and sexual assault in the fourth degree, according to Hempstead County Sheriff James Singleton.
The warrants are based on incidents that occurred on October 24th, 2014 in a Blevins residence, where Escobedo allegedly raped and sexually assaulted two girls, ages eight and 11.
Escobedo had been living with the family of the two girls and his last known address was in Nashville.
The Hempstead County Sheriff's office announced they have received information that Escobedo has fled the state, but they are seeking information regarding his whereabouts. If you have any information, as to the whereabouts of Escobedo, you should contact the Hempstead County Sheriff's office at 870-777-6727.
UA COSSATOT NAMES STUDENT AMBASSADORS 01/13/15
UA Cossatot recently named the students selected to serve as Ambassadors for the college.
Students were chosen to represent UA Cossatot after going through a challenging selection process. Student Ambassadors are required to serve the college at events and functions as ambassadors of the student population. They also serve as recruiters and mentors to students with less college experience.
The Student Ambassadors were honored with an induction reception held in the home of Justin White, Director of Student Services.
Front row: Walter Dean of Nashville, Alex Curry of Nathan, Isaac Alvarado of De Queen
Middle Row: Ashley Scott of Nashville, Kelsie Emerson of Nashville
Back Row: Brettny Lynch of Horatio, Clayton Alspaw of De Queen, Jessica Rios of De Queen
DANGERS OF CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING 1/12/15
De Queen Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt stopped by the KDQN studios to mention how dangerous carbon monoxide is and he explained that it comes from anything that burns.
Pruitt said carbon monoxide is found in combustion fumes, such as from cars and trucks, small gasoline engines, stoves, lanterns, burning charcoal, heating units, gas ranges and fireplaces.
Carbon monoxide is a hidden danger in homes because it is an odorless and colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and even death.
Pruitt said carbon monoxide is called the silent killer and officials recommend that residents have their heating units checked by a qualified technician at least once a year, but if you suspect that you have a carbon monoxide leak, Pruitt said you should contact the fire department.
Pruitt also explained his department was offering free smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. So, if you need a smoke or carbon monoxide detector or if you suspect you have a carbon monoxide leak, call the De Queen Fire Department at 584-7224.
DEER CHECKS PASS 200,000 WITH ARCHERY HUNTING STILL OPEN 1/12/15
For the third straight season, deer checked by hunters in Arkansas have pushed past 200,000 and there are seven more weeks of archery hunting left. The high mark was set during the 2012-2013 season with 213,487 deer checked.
With modern gun and muzzle-loader hunting ended, far fewer sportsmen are in the woods, thus making the conditions favorable for those who want to hunt with a compound bows, conventional bows and crossbows, according to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
The archery deer hunt will run through February 28th on private land and on most wildlife management areas and national wildlife refuges, statewide, but some public areas will close earlier.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission encourages hunters to properly identify their target during these last season hunting opportunities because bucks are beginning to cast off their antlers, which makes identifying the sex of the animal difficult.
In Sevier County, 1,025 antlered bucks were harvested as off January 8th, along with 976 in Little River County, 1,441 in Howard County and 1,272 in Polk County.
DISTRICT COURT ADDING NEW SERVICE FOR FINE PAYMENTS 1/12/15
District Court Judge Steven Tedder announced Friday morning that people who have a fine from the Sevier County District Court will soon be able to pay their fines by using their debit or credit card.
Tedder explained the court has contracted with a national law organization that provides the service, which will give residents another way to pay their fines on time.
Tedder stated he signed 49 warrants last week for people who failed to pay their fines. Tedder said he thought this was going to be a good service.
If you have any questions about a fine, you can contact the District Court Clerk's office at 584-7311.
FLU DEATHS UP TO 11 1/12/15
Arkansas public health officials say the number of reported deaths due to the flu has risen to 11 since the flu season began in September.
The Health Department has said this flu season could more severe than in 2013-2014 when there were 76 flu-related deaths in the state.
More than 200 people were hospitalized with the flu last week bringing the seasonal total to 667.
The H3N2 strain is predominantly circulating this flu season and has been associated with the increase in hospitalizations and deaths in older adults and young children.
In addition, approximately two-thirds of the H3N2 viruses that have been tested by the Center for Disease Control is genetically different from the H3N2 vaccine virus and therefore is less effective, but officials still recommend getting a flu shot to help decrease the intensity of your flu symptoms.
HAYLAGE/NUTRITIONAL SEMINAR 1/12/15
Sevier County Extension Agent Rex Herring stated the extension office would be co-hosting a haylage/nutritional seminar Monday in Nashville and Tuesday in Mena.
Herring said speakers will talk about the forage fermentation process and the benefits of rolling the hay at higher moisture levels.
Herring said there will be two sessions, and the seminar will be led by Bernard Adam of Canada and Stuart Norman of Georgia.
Herring said the program is being sponsored by the extension offices of Pike, Howard, Polk, Clark, Montgomery, as well as, Sevier. For more information, contact the extension office at 584-3013.
ON MISSION TO HEAL 1/12/15
Terry Brackett is an Algebra teacher at the De Queen Junior High School and this past year she faced the most difficult situation that any parent will ever experience.
Following the death of her youngest son, Austin, Brackett decided that the best way she could heal was to share her story to others. So, for the past few months she has been sharing with others about how God's glory was and still is being revealed to her.
She said everyone is either going through a storm or will go through a storm and she talks about how they can find peace in the midst of those storms.
Brackett said by sharing others, its helping her heal.
Brackett has shared her testimony nine times and this summer she will be speaking at a church camp, but she is willing to speak anytime, anywhere.
WINTER SAFETY AND ENERGY-SAVING TIPS FROM SWEPCO 1/12/15
AEP/SWPECO's service area could experience the impact of snow, sleet, ice, freezing rain and extremely cold temperatures during January and February, making energy-saving tips and a home emergency kit a good idea during winter weather.
For economy, set the thermostat for 68 degrees and leave it alone.
Check and install clean filters every month and have your heating system inspected and service once a year.
Air leakage through small cracks and holes in a home's exterior is a major reason for heat loss, so install weather-stripping around doors and windows to prevent air leaks.
It's recommended to open curtain and blinds on the sunny side of the house to allow the sun help heat the home.
Since heat rises, it's a good idea to inspect the attic and check the duct insulation for tears and when the fireplace is not in use, the damper should be closed tight and the glass fireplace doors closed.
And, home owners should keep blankets, flashlights, bottled water, a portable radio and a fresh supply of batteries on hand in case the power should go off due to inclement winter weather.
DE QUEEN BASEBALL BANNER PROGRAM 1/9/15
De Queen Head Baseball Coach Beau McCastlain recently announced that they would be continuing the teams fence banner fundraiser to help fund projects and trips for the 2015 Leopard baseball team.
McCastlain explained that the program supplements the district's baseball budget to help make upgrades to the field and program.
McCastlain talked about the new indoor netting system that the team will use for indoor hitting practice that was purchased as a result of 22 businesses and individuals participating in last year's banner fundraiser.
McCastlain said the team would also like to make some upgrades to the outfield if the funds become available.
Donations are needed by February 15th to ensure the banners are displayed in time for the teams benefit game against the Horatio Lions and the Leopards 3rd Annual Hit-A-Thon.
For more information, contact McCastlain at 870-279-4479.
585 DIAMONDS FOUND AT CRATER OF DIAMONDS STATE PARK IN 2014 1/9/15
The Crater of Diamonds State Park had a fantastic year of diamond finds during 2014.
By the close of business on December 31st, 585 diamonds had officially been registered, weighing a total of 121 carats. According to the park staff, that is 130 more diamonds and nearly 25 more carats than the total of registered diamonds in 2013.
Arkansans were responsible for finding 213 of last year's diamonds, while visitors from 36 states and five foreign countries registered 372 diamonds.
The largest diamond was found on April 15th by David Anderson of Murfreesboro. It's a 6.19 carat white diamond that is also the 9th largest white diamond that's ever been found at the park.
For more information, visit craterofdiamondsstatepark.com.
ENID WOMAN INJURED AFTER HITTING TRACTOR-TRAILER 1/9/15
An Enid woman was injured early Wednesday morning when the car she was driving hit a tractor-trailer that was hauling military-grade explosives in Choctaw County, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
The accident caused the delay of classes at the Grant School and closed U.S. Highway 271 about five miles south of Hugo, overnight.
21-year-old Delany Jones of Enid was taken to the Plano Medical Center in Plano, Texas with injuries to her legs, and she was listed in stable condition.
According to the report, Jones was driving south on U.S. Highway 271 when a tractor-trailer that was be driven east by 61-year-old Renntta Williams of Malvern attempted to turn onto U.S. 271 to go north.