Southwest Arkansas Daily
published by KDQN
870-642-2446 or 870-898-3624

[Home]     [Announcements]    [Branson Tickets]    [Cattle Report]    [Churches] [Classifieds]   [Comments]   [Contact Us]   [EEO Information]   [Live Remotes]   [Local News] [Obituaries]   [Photo Album]   [Sports]   [Swap Shop  [Trophy Room [Upcoming Events]  [Weather]


All news stories published to this web-site are the direct property of KDQN Radio Station and may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without direct consent from the radio station.


Local News archives





Seven teachers from the Cossatot River school district attended the College-and Career-Readiness Standards Networking Conference hosted by the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) July 14-16 in Nashville, Tennessee. Four of the teachers in attendance were from Cossatot River High School: Beverly Higgins (English), Jill Hunter (Counselor), Tim Walston (Music), and Leona Martin (Math Coach). Mary Ferguson and Sharon Miles represented the Cossatot River Elementary Wickes Campus math department.  Umpire High School was represented by math teacher Carla Golden.

Over 1,100 teachers, administrators, and experts attended the conference in which Melinda Gates was the keynote speaker. Arkansas had the largest teacher representation with 130 participants.

Teachers attended training sessions by SREB staff and presentations by teachers from across the nation, gaining valuable techniques, strategies, and ideas to implement in their classroom. Three of the local teachers also presented at the conference. Higgins presented the strategies used to successfully implement Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC), one of the main comprehensive literacy programs recommended by the Arkansas Department of Education, in a rural district. Golden’s  and Martin’s presentation detailed the steps taken to train other teachers to utilize Formative Assessment Lessons as part of the Math Design Collaborative (MDC) which is designed to enable students to become problem solvers. Cossatot River High School, as the former Wickes High School, was one of the eight high schools in Arkansas chosen to pilot LDC and MDC in 2011.

These teachers received scholarships from both SREB and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to fund the trip.

Pictured above from left to right: Mary Ferguson, Beverly Higgins, Sharon Miles, Leona Martin, Jill Hunter, Carla Golden, Tim Walston


Submitted by Leona Martin, CRHS Math Coach




During Tuesday's meeting of the De Queen City Council, aldermen approved a report by members of the Sevier County Humane Society concerning their plans to purchase some land and construct a shelter and dog park.


Humane society member Dr. Floyd Gonzales stated the society plans to purchase the property and begin cleaning off the property and construct a chain link fence around the property. The property is adjacent to Pilgrim’s Pride.


Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy informed the council that the members of the Craig Westbrook Memorial Tournament committee had offered to donate some funds to purchase three scoreboards for the ball fields at the Sportsplex.


Aldermen approved a request from the parks and recreation department to purchase a new pool vac.


Last week, the city pool had to be closed for a couple of days because of what was described as a combination of issues.


McKelvy reported that the pool vac quit working, the water's ph levels were off and they were experiencing an algae issue.


McKelvy recommended purchasing a new pool vac and have the old one replaced under the manufacture warranty. Aldermen approved ordering the new vac at a cost of $2,950 from BlueWater Pools in Little Rock. The new vac should be delivered by Friday. 






Memorial Baptist Church pastor Jason Carlton reported that campers from Bogg Springs conducted a "Day of Service" in De Queen on Wednesday.


Carlton stated this was the second year that his church has organized the service event.


Carlton said camp attendance is up 40 percent this year so about 145 high school students converged on De Queen to help with several projects in the community of De Queen to show residents how much they care about them.


Carlton said groups worded around town from 11:30 to 3:30 and they held a free car wash at Bailey's Discount Building Supply.


Some campers returned Thursday to serve lunch to the members of  the local law enforcement and fire departments.






Roy Lincoln of Little River County presented his complaints to the Little River County Quorum Court concerning damage to his property that is being caused by campers and parties at the river.


Lincoln is a timber land owner and he stated that during periods of low water levels, campers and party goers have damaged some of his timber that is near the river by driving steel spikes into his trees.


Lincoln stated that the damage was being caused in an area near Winthrop.


The area is referred to as Stallion Ford and is a low level rock bar where folks like to host parties.


Lincoln owns 280 acres of timber land along the Little River. The land has an estimated value of $700,000.


Quorum Court members suggested that he contact the Department of Interior or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers because they control the water in the Little River or the department of pollution and control.






The four candidates for Arkansas governor debated topics such as the private option, minimum wage and taxes late last week.


Republican Asa Hutchinson, Democrat Mike Ross, Libertarian candidate Frank Gilbert and Green Party candidate Joshua Drake participated in the debate that was held at the annual convention of the Arkansas Press Association in Hot Springs.


When asked about the private option, which is Arkansas' version of Medicaid expansion, Hutchinson said the program is doing a great job for our rural hospitals, but stated there were a lot of questions to ask, including, whether the state can afford its eventual 10 percent share of the expansion cost.


Ross said he voted in Congress against the Affordable Care Act and voted to repeal it, but said it has good parts and bad parts. Gilbert said the private option is a terrible idea and Drake said that he supports universal health care.


Ross also said that he supports a ballot proposal to raise the state's minimum wage from $6.25 to $8.50 an hour over the three years. Hutchinson said he would prefer the legislature enact a minimum wage increase.


Gilbert has proposed issuing pardons to all non-violent drug offenders and Drake said he backs legalizing gay marriage.






Arkansas is at the front of the line for healthy summer meals for students and the Food Research and Action Center says the state has boosted its participation rate in the Summer Nutrition Program by 39 percent from last year, and is on track for a record number of summer servings.


Signe Anderson at FRAC says top-performing states are offering mobile meals, which means they are going where the kids are spending their time.


The report shows Arkansas reaches more than one in five students during the summer who normally receive free or reduced-price lunches during the school year.


Even with summer vacation half-over, it isn't too late for children to pick up a meal.


Anderson says some of the feeding sites that are reaching the most students are being offered through churches, YMCAs, parks and recreation departments and boys and girls clubs.


Here in this area, the Horatio School District is offering a summer lunch program every Monday through Friday from noon until 1 p.m. at the Horatio Elementary School.


The meals are free for students 18 and younger and only $3.25 for anyone 19 and older.


The St. Barbara Catholic Church is serving meals every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. in the pastoral center. The meals are free to all children.


Plus, there's no paperwork to fill out for the free meals and no questions are asked. For a list of sites, go to the website,



Heartfelt thanks     07/17/17


A benefit was held recently Leta Baxter and her family.  Leta has cancer and proceeds went toward medical expenses. 


Following is the message from Leta:

"THANK YOU.  On behalf of myself and my family, I would like to thank everyone involved in the benefit held for me.  So many people came together to show their love and support.  I am thankful from the bottom of my heart to all who helped in any way.  Please continue to keep me in your thoughts and prayers...and thanks again.   Love, Leta Baxter and Family."




Tomas Edward Blume     D.O.B.: 02-11-94
260  Hwy. 71 North Lot #4
De Queen,  Arkansas 71832


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

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

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





Monday evening, the De Queen Board of Education voted to hire a new high school boys basketball coach, accepted milk, bread and insurance bids and sold seven buses.


Superintendent Bruce Hill recommended hiring Bo Brickell as the new high school boys basketball coach after interviewing five candidates.


Hill stated that all five candidates would be a great choice, but felt Brickell understood the district was looking to build a program and felt he was willing and capable of building something special.


Brickell was an assistant high school coach and ninth grade boys coach at Camden Fairview for the past four years. He was an all-state basketball and baseball player at Lake Hamilton High School and played college basketball at Arkansas Tech before transferring to UALR to play baseball.


Board members also approved the milk bid from Highland Dairy and the bread bid of Flowers Bakery.


Hill also recommended the district purchase secondary insurance from Dwight Jones Insurance to cover every student attending school in the district.


Hill informed the board Monday night that the state's facilities board had disapproved the district request to build a new high school, but the district has appealed the decision and is expecting a response from the facilities board within the next 90-days.


Hill also mentioned that the district was going to spend almost $100,000 to install fire alarms in the old gym that sits beside the field house and the old elementary that has been recently renovated for DI classrooms.


Board members accepted bids from Ken Philips, B.Y. Gardner and Ronnie Ayers for the purchase of seven school buses that the district took out of service. Hill stated the district still had one bus that it would like to sell.


Board members also passed a resolution for the school election, which will be held September 16th. The election will be held by early and absentee voting only since there are no contested races on the ballot.


The next school board meeting will be Monday, August 4th at 6 p.m.






On Saturday, July 12th, Officer Bucky Sawyer of the De Queen Police Department was advised by a member of the South Central Drug Task Force that he had been advised that two suspects were at a residence on Old Highway 71 North that had stolen a car.


The vehicle was allegedly stolen from Miller County.


When members of the De Queen Police Department arrived at the residence, they discovered a 2004 Buick LeSabre parked in the drive way.


Officers were assisted by the owner of the residence and were allowed to enter a shed that where the suspects were at. Officers arrested Trisha Bruce and Bryan Walling, who were suspected of stealing the vehicle.


But, while placing Walling under arrest, he started fighting with the officers. Walling was eventually subdued with the use of a taser.


Bruce is being charged with theft by receiving, while Walling is being charged with theft by receiving, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.






Circuit Court Judge Tom Cooper accepted the plea of guilty based on factual basis from James McLeroy for the charge of possession of controlled substance.


McLeroy was sentenced to 5-years in the Arkansas Department of Correction, but under the terms of his agreement, he will not serve any time if he completes drug court.


McLeroy was originally charged with possession of meth or cocaine with the intent to deliver, but his charges were reduced to simple possession once he qualified for drug court and because he didn't have any priors.


A new trial date was set for Teddy Lee Parmer who was found fit for trial.


Parmer will appear in the Sevier County Circuit Court on October 1st when he will by tried for the charges of aggravated assault and a habitual offender.


Christopher Norris appeared July 10th representing himself and will be back in court on July 23rd.


Joey Rymer was formally arraigned and had bail set at $5,000. He is being charged with possession of a controlled substance, while Kalyn Shope was arraigned and charged with possession of controlled substance-marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of Hydro-codine.


Cody Nava made a first appearance July 10th and will be formally arraigned this Thursday. Bail was set by Judge Cooper at $20,000.


A failure to appear warrant was issued for Tomas Pacheco after he didn't appear last week for his formal arraignment.






Sevier County Justices of the Peace met Monday afternoon for their regular July meeting and passed an ordinance to amend the 2014 budget through July 31st, but they also approved a couple new appropriations and a couple of transfer of funds.


County Judge Greg Ray explained that the Quorum Court approved two new appropriations in the amount of $3,200.


Five hundred dollars will be used by Sevier County Coroner Rusty Williams for a mask and Hazmat suits, while $2,700 will be used to purchase a new computer for the Sevier County Courtroom.


The funds for the new computer will be taken from the Court Automation Fund.


Judge Ray requested the transfer of $10,000 from the County Road Department's budget-vehicles to concrete after the county made several repairs to some galvanized culverts that the bottom had rusted out.


County Clerk Debbie Hughes explained that the request for the transfer of funds was due to a coding mistake earlier this year within the 2014 Elections Budget.


Judge Ray also informed the Quorum Court that the roof on the north side of the courthouse went to bid last week and that will leave only the center section that needs to be replaced.


JPs also reviewed a report from the prosecutor's office concerning hot checks. Judge Ray explained that these funds will be distributed to merchants that had been given hot checks.





Walter L. Smith, Jr. announced today that he will run for Ward Two, Position Two on the De Queen City Council in November. He assumed the position in October 2012 when he was appointed by the City Council to fill out the term of Linda Polk.


Smith is a graduate of De Queen High School and has lived at his current address in De Queen for the last 33 years.  He is an active member of the De Queen Fire Department where he has held several officer positions including fire chief.  He is a reserve officer for the De Queen Police Department and a member of Holly Grove Missionary Baptist Church.


He and his wife, Bonita, have been married 37 years.  They have two grown daughters, Jennifer and Elizabeth and are proud grandparents of their first grandchild, Lincoln Maddox Woodard.


Smith has been employed in Sevier County his whole life.  He worked for Mountaire Poultry/Pilgrim’s Pride beginning in high school through 1990 in the truck shop and supply room.  He was Mold Technician for Engineered Products, Inc. for 20 years and for the last four years he has worked as Emergency Management Coordinator for Sevier County.


When announcing his candidacy, Smith said, “I choose to live in De Queen.  I think it’s a good place to work and raise your family.  I am trying to be the voice of the working man and woman.  I’ve worked all my life and will use that experience when helping the council make decisions that affect De Queen residents way of life.  I ask for your vote and support in November.”




If you didn't attend Covert's Country Bash, you missed a good time . . . and a chance to be included in a good cause.  

Dr. George Covert hopes to continue Covert's Country Bash as an annual fundraiser and a way to give back to the community that has supported him for so many years.  "Anything we can do to help" has been and will be his motto for the annual events, with hopes of helping many groups in need of funds who may reap the benefits of his generosity.  Some may remember his first pay-it-forward event -- the Apple Cider Festival in November 2011 when he served dozens of free Thanksgiving meals to those who needed them.

This year the need for new playground equipment at L. F. Henderson Intermediate School on Burke Street in Ashdown was mentioned by clinic staff members, so Dr. Covert went to check it out.  He came back to the office asking them for a plan to make it happen, and in two weeks' time, the Covert's Country Bash happened and was enjoyed by several hundred attendees -- old and young, local and visiting.  Good music, good food, and good fellowship were mixed with perfect weather on July 3 as donations were accepted and almost $3000 was given to the LFH playground fund.

The staffs of Covert Medical Clinic and L. F. Henderson Intermediate School are especially grateful to the dozens of sponsors and volunteers who made the Bash possible.  From the courthouse staff and County Judge Clayton Castleman on the dunking booth to surrounding medical facilities and local businesses who freely gave their support, the list of generous volunteers is lengthy. 

Along with big-hearted community members and entertainers who donated their labor, talents and time are the sponsors who donated food, raffle prizes and other items:  Bounc-a-Lot of Ashdown, Rhonda's Salon, Tangled Up, Exxon Road Mart, Pizza Hut, Brookshire's, CSR Rentals, Kim Plant Photography, Farm Bureau Insurance, Shape-Up Nutrition, Port-a-John, True Value Hardware, Ashdown Veterinary Clinic, Little River Nursing Home, Pleasant Manor Nursing Home, Gift Emporium, Big Jake's BBQ, Anytime Fitness, Salon in the Square, Shelter Insurance, Burger King, Wal-Mart, Subway, and Pilgrim's Pride.

Above: Dr. George Covert, staff and friends are still smiling at the end of a successful Country Bash! Pictured are (front) Glen Seymore, Patricia Kelly, (row 2) Haley Pack, Christina Gonzalez, Ivey Moulton, Marshall Sullivan, Nathan Burnham, (row 3) Mike Covert, Cathy Marshall, Mary Moulton, Patricia Sullivan, (back) Phillip Burnham, and Dr. George Covert.  Other staff members not pictured but who also helped are Mary Trusty, Robert Richard, and Ida Ricks.

more photos




Teresa Bunyard announced Tuesday that she will seek re-election to an eighth term as Alderman, Ward Two, Position One on the De Queen City Council in November.


Bunyard earned a B.S. degree in secondary education from East Texas State University in 1987, a master’s degree in 1993, and passed the C.P.A. exam receiving her license. After being employed for two years as the Office Manager at the Sevier County Farmers Co-operative, Bunyard worked for seven years as Chief Fiscal Officer at Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas. She is certified to teach both Math and English at the high school level, and business and accounting at the college level. She and her husband, Jay, own and operate radio stations in Arkansas, including KDQN AM-FM in De Queen.


Alderman Bunyard has two sons, Jacob, age seventeen, and Jack, age twelve. The Bunyards are members of the First Assembly of God Church.


Prior to serving on the City Council, Bunyard served for three years on the City’s Planning and Zoning Variance Board from 1995-1998.


In announcing her candidacy, Alderman Bunyard made the following statement: “It has been an honor and privilege for me to serve you on the City Council. My educational background and business experiences have prepared me well to work with budgets and administer grants, as well as understand revenues and expenditures in state and local government. Feel free to call me at 642-3104, as I always pledge to be accessible to listen to your concerns and suggestions. I humbly ask for you vote and continued support”, she said.





Saturday evening about 6:30, deputies from the Sevier County Sheriff's office were dispatched to a reported accident involving an ATV and a tractor-trailer rig on Red Cut Road.


However, when deputies arrived, they discovered a 2000 Freightliner and trailer in the ditch, but no collision had occurred.


Jarrin Platt of De Queen reportedly informed the officers that the incident was his fault because he was traveling to close to the center of the road and the truck swerved to avoid hitting him.


Platt was traveling west in his side-by-side ATV headed home after leaving his deer lease on Red Cut Road when he took a curve near the center line.


Platt said both he and the driver of the truck, David Wright of De Queen, swerved to avoiding hitting one another, and that was when Wright's truck slide off into the ditch and got stuck.


No one was injured and no citations were issued at the time of the incident.






Everyone needs a hero on occasion and the residents of Dierks and the surrounding area will have the opportunity to be someone's hero during the upcoming Cuffs and Hoses Blood Drive on Tuesday, July 15th in the Dierks Community Room.


The event is a friendly competition between the Dierks Volunteer Fire Department and the Dierks Police Department. Each department will attempt to have residents donate blood in their honor.


The department that has the most blood donated in their honor will receive a trophy from LifeShare Blood Centers and all donors will receive a Cuffs and Hoses t-shirt.


LifeShare Blood Centers encourages all donors to eat a good meal and drink lots of fluids before they donate and to know the names of all of the medications that your taking.


Donors must also be 16 years of age or older and meet the height, weight and other donation eligibility requirements to donate.


So be a real hero and donate blood during the Cuffs and Hoses Blood Drive, Tuesday, July 15th between 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. in the Dierks Community Room on Second Street in Dierks.






Sunday afternoon about 4 p.m., 16 firefighters and three trucks from the De Queen Fire Department responded to a call in reference to a hay bailer that was on fire.


When firefighters arrived the bailer was fully engulfed in flames and they worked for almost an hour and a half to extinguish the fire.


After extinguishing the fire, fire fighters removed the hay from the bailer to ensure that it would not re-ignite later.


According to the De Queen Fire Department, the cause of the fire is unknown. They stated the blaze could have started in the mechanical components of the bailer or the hay may have been the cause of the fire.






During a special called meeting of the Dierks Board of Education, board members approved an out-of-state trip request from the high school FCCLA.


The group qualified for the national STAR competition in San Antonio, Texas in the Life Event Planning category.


Life Event Planning is a contest that shows students applying skills that they learned in their Family and Consumer Sciences courses to help them manage the costs of an event. The event could be anything from preparing to move into a dorm room, to hosting a party or hosting a family reunion.


Board members accepted the resignation of Pam Davis as a high school Special Education instructor and Terri Shelton who was an elementary teacher that accepted a position in the De Queen School District.


They hired Linda Tollmen as a elementary teacher and they gave new superintendent, Holly Cothren, permission to hire some summer help at minimum wage.






During a special called meeting of the Foreman Board of Education on Thursday, July 10th, board members voted to remove the name of former superintendent Jason Sanders from the signer list for the district's Regions credit card.


Board members also added new superintendent, George Kennedy as an authorized signer. They also approved the Special Education Form SP-1, which the board was required to do after hiring a new superintendent.


Superintendent Kennedy recommended accepting the resignation of Randy Summers, effective July 2nd. Summers was the district's Transportation Director and bus mechanic.


Kennedy also recommended the board accept the resignations of two elementary teachers effective July 9th.


Board members accepted the resignation of Rhonda Boyd and Andrea Garrett.






Howard County Sheriff's deputies have arrested two men in connection with a theft at the County Line Baptist Church that occurred back in March.


Howard County Sheriff Investigator John Eric Glidewell reported that 40-year-old Anthony Lynn, who has a Texas address and 51-year-old Louis Richard of Lockesburg have been charged with theft of property for allegedly stealing an air conditioner from the church which is located on Highway 371 West.


Bond has been set at $25,000 for both men.



 De QUEEN–The Board of Visitors from UA Cossatot recently met on the Sevier County Campus. 

After the minutes from May were approved as printed, the board proceeded with approved the revisions of College Policies and the process of aligning the numbering with the UA System Board of Trustees Policies as well as simplifying the language of the policies and making sure the language is consistent.      

UA Cossatot Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole regretfully informed the Board of the resignation of Board Member Billy Dawson and asked the board to ratify the employment of Gabriela Balderas as Career Coach for De Queen High School.


Vice Chancellor Charlotte Johnson gave the financial report.  UA Cossatot has a cash balance of slightly over $2 million for the end of the year.  There is over $758,000 in certificate of deposits and over $77,000 in endowment funds.


The Chancellor gave the Academic Report noting that according to the College Transparency website UA Cossatot has the highest graduate rate of any of the two year colleges in the UA System. Cole accredited this success to the intrusive academic advising model UA Cossatot has implemented with 7 advisors on staff.

Vice Chancellor Mike Kinkade reported that all of the existing construction projects are nearing completion. The Automotive/Collision Repair/Radio Complex on the De Queen campus is only lacking interior work and the radio tower is set to be installed soon.  The Medical Education Department has undergone some renovation in classrooms and labs on the De Queen campus as well.  The curbing and parking project in De Queen is nearly completion as well as the final stage of the renovation on the Ashdown campus.  The project should be completed in a few weeks and a grand re-opening is planned for this fall.  The design is still being finalized for the student commons area in De Queen


Chancellor Cole gave the Public Service and Workforce Development Report stating that Domtar invited the college to join them with the Department of Labor to help organize an annual safety conference held at Domtar.  Domtar also invited students from the new Industrial Technology Department to attend the conference.  They would like for Chancellor Cole to open the conference by speaking about the college and the partnership with Domtar. 


De QUEEN–The UA Cossatot Police Department recently sponsored an active shooter training class through the Criminal Justice Institute out of Little Rock.

This course assists law enforcement in obtaining information necessary to implement rapid intervention techniques in the event of an active shooter incident at a school, church, business, or other event where large groups of persons may be in attendance. Topics included the history of active shooter situations and instruction on immediate deployment, rapid intervention tactics, and techniques used in rescue and contact team situations. Day two of the training included practical exercises using Simunitions, or mock ammunition, during imitation scenarios to gain experience in applying the tactics and techniques learned in the classroom.

The class was held at the Horatio School and was attended by officers from six different agencies including:  UA Cossatot, Sevier, Little River and Howard County Sheriff’s offices, and Police Departments from Nashville and Prescott.  Horatio School District offered the use of their facilities as well as provided staff to be used in the role playing portion of the training. 




If you are looking for something to do this week, visit the Cossatot River State Park to learn how to kayak, snorkel or enjoy a peaceful sunset hike.


Monday from 10 to 11 a.m., park interpreters will provide a crash course in kayaking and during the class, hopefully, you'll learn how not to crash.


From 2 to 3 p.m., park interpreters will attempt to teach you how to sneak up on a fish during a snorkeling trip of the Cossatot.


On Tuesday, there will be an opportunity to go on a Macro-Invertebrate hunt from 10 to 11 a.m. and more snorkeling from 2 to 3.


Wednesday, guests can join a park interpreter for snorkeling from 2 to 3 p.m. and then experience a beautiful sunset along the river, during a hike along Harris Creek Trail from 7 to 9:15.


Park Interpreters recommend that guest wear the appropriate clothing and shoes for each activity and to bring plenty of water, snacks and sunscreen.


For more information about the programs at the Cossatot River State Park call 870-385-2201 or visit our website at






The librarian at the Sevier County Library in Gillham has found a way to encourage children and adults to read and that's to offer them a cash prize.


Susie Tollett announced the Gillham Library will be holding a reading contest for the month of July and the winner will receive $25 in cash.


Tollett said a local business owner made a donation to the library and told them to use the funds to encourage folks to read this summer.


So, to earn a little extra cash this month, stop by the Gillham Library, you get entered in the drawing by just stopping by. You get another entry if you check out a book and if you bring someone with you, even if it is your wife, husband, brother, sister or best friend, you get two entries.


The Gillham Library is open Tuesday and Thursday from 8 to 5 and from 9 to noon on Saturdays.


The prize for the July reading contest will be a $25 give away. According to Susie at the library, there are three ways to enter the contest. You can visit the library, check out a book or bring a new friend to the library, which means you can enter three times per visit. The drawing will be held on Tuesday, July 29th at 3 p.m.






De Queen Parks and Recreation activities coordinator Chris Hale announced this week that the park will start accepting registration for Pee Wee Football on Monday and he mentioned you can get a registration form from the city’s website or stop by the parks and recreation office.


Hale stated that the park was also able to lower the cost of the program to just $35 per player, if they have last year's jersey from last year, but players must bring their jersey with them when they register to ensure the jersey is in good shape.


Registration begins Monday and Hale reminded parents that they need to fill the form out completely.


Registration forms will also be handed out at school when it starts, but for more information call the park at 642-4140.






Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin's office is asking a judge to deny a request to block a voter ID law, saying it would cause "irreparable harm" to the state.


Martin's office asked Pulaski County Judge Tim Fox to deny a motion to lift the stay on his decision against the law on Wednesday. The state's voter ID law requires voters to show a photo ID before they are able to cast a ballot.


Fox ruled the law was unconstitutional in May, but suspended his decision, while the ruling is being appealed to the Arkansas Supreme Court.


The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas has asked Fox to life his stay. They say more than 1,000 voters were disenfranchised during the primary because of the law.


Martin's office asked Fox for a hearing the ACLU's motion.






A proposal to allow alcohol sales in all Arkansas counties has moved closer toward appearing on the ballot, after election officials said petitions for the measure had passed an initial signature count.


The secretary of state's office reported that more than 84,000 signatures had been counted on the petitions, which is more than the required number of 78,133. The office is now checking to make sure the signatures are from registered voters.


Clearing the initial count means supporters have 30 more days to gather additional signatures if they fall short during the verifications process.


The proposal would legalize alcohol sales in all 75 Arkansas counties. Alcohol sales are currently illegal in 37 counties.





De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy has announced that he will seek re-election to the office of mayor in the Nov. 3 General Election.


He issued the following statement:


“It is an honor to serve the citizens of De Queen and be entrusted with the responsibility for the city’s business affairs. I have served as mayor of the City of De Queen since May 19, 2005.


“I have lived in De Queen for more than 30 years. I have a Bachelor’s degree from Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and a Master of Science in Business Administration degree from Texas A&M—Texarkana.


“During my time as mayor, the City of De Queen has constructed a new $7.9 million waste water treatment plant which reduced the city’s operating costs and put the city back in compliance with state environmental regulations. In 2017, the city will be able to restructure the two loans on the project in order to reduce interest costs and cut the length of the loan.


“Construction is presently underway on a new raw water supply line to the Cossatot River east of De Queen. This $2.6 million project will increase water capacity and allow U.S. 70-71 east of De Queen to be widened to four lanes in the future. The water line project will be paid for without the need to borrow money.


“In the last nine years, the City of De Queen has spent more than $1 million on street paving. The city received a GIF grant to replace sidewalks in the downtown area and that project is underway now. All city departments are operating with their budgets. The water, sewer and sanitation departments are well funded by the revenues from their operation.


“The Police Department and the Fire Department are well-equipped in terms of vehicles and technology.



The Ashdown Police Department Auxiliary Officers have joined with the Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock to help assist families who have children being treated in the hospital.

Everyday children are rushed to the hospital in little Rock as results of an injury or sudden illness.  Upon arrival the child is admitted while the family has to wait to see what happens.  Many times the family members were not able to prepare and arrive at the hospital without many of the essentials necessary for their stay.

This cooperative effort with the hospital is to supply the much need items to the families free of charge during the treatment of their children. 

Boxes are available for donations around Ashdown at various businesses.  These include the Ashdown Police Department, Mil-Way Federal Credit Union, State Farm Insurance, Cowling Title, and the Little River County Court House.

Complete lists of items that are need are available at the drop off locations.  These items include travel size tooth paste, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, Body wash, and shaving cream.  Also individually wrapped snack items that are nonperishable are needed.





Parents and coaches of the 10 and Under Sevier County All-Star team is holding a couple of fundraisers this Saturday to help players attend the 2014 state baseball tournament in Searcy, July 25th.


Clayton Yates stated the team would be holding a car wash in the parking lot of the Tractor Supply Company and a bake sale at Wal-Mart beginning at 8 a.m. He said they will also have a dunking booth at Wal-Mart to up raise funds for their trip.


Yates said you could also purchase a ticket for a gun raffle at either fundraiser.


Tickets are $2 each or 6 for $10 and the winner will have a choice between a 7mm08 or 270 Rugar American pistol, which has been donated by Baker's Bargain House.


Yates said funds will be used to provide rooms, food and jerseys for the team.


So, get your car washed and stock up on some baked goods while helping the Sevier County All-Stars represent our community during the Dixie Youth 10 and under state tournament.






Members of the 2014 5A championship soccer team will be conducting a fundraiser this Saturday, July 12th from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Salvation Army to raise funds for the team’s championship rings.


Coach Stephen Sloan explained that the Salvation Army was donating 50 percent of the store's sales that day to the team.


Coach Sloan said each player paid a $50 deposit, but the team needs to raise about $5,000 more.


So, help purchase rings for De Queen 5A State Champions by shopping at the Salvation Army this Saturday between 10 and 3.






Extension Homemakers Council clubs in Sevier County can offer prospective new members lessons in a variety of educational programs, while also offering them a social outing with their peers.


The mission of this organization is to empower individuals and families so they can improve their quality of living through continuing education, leadership development and community service. The words Family, Community and Education stand out in this statement, because family is the number one reason for the existence of Extension Homemakers Clubs, but the community is its outreach and education is how it reaches the family and the community.


The Arkansas Extension Homemakers Council is one of the largest nonprofit volunteer groups in the state with a membership of over 8,000.


Extension Homemakers, the Cooperative Extension Service, the University of Arkansas and the United States Department of Agriculture are partners in providing this educational opportunity to families in Arkansas.


These agencies extend educational resources to homemakers through organized groups and special interest classes. To enroll in an educational opportunity, contact Janet Cantrell who is the Sevier County Extension Agent-Family and Consumer Sciences by calling 870-584-3013 or email her at or stop by the Extension office, which is located in the Agriculture building on the De Queen campus of UA Cossatot.


Sevier County has four EH Clubs. They are the De Queen EH Club, which meets on the second Wednesday of the month at the REA Building in De Queen at 9:30 a.m., for more information, call 642-2637; the Gillham EH Club, which meets on the second Friday of the month in members homes at 10 a.m., for more information, call 214-707-1495; the Seam Rippers EH Club, which meets every other Thursday at the Senior Citizen Center in De Queen at 6:30 p.m., for more information call, 642-2637; and the Wickes Re-Loaders EH Club, which meets the first Saturday of the month at David Jacobs home in Wickes at 1 p.m., for more information call, 784-1990.






Members of the De Queen Board of Education met Wednesday at noon for a special meeting to approve a couple changes to the district's student handbooks.


Superintendent Bruce Hill explained that the changes had to be approved this week, so the handbook could be delivered to the printer by Friday. Hill said if the changes able to be approved this week, so the handbooks will be ready for the first day of school.


Changes were made to the district’s drug and alcohol polices. Hill explained that the board approved making the punishment for a first offence of drinking or possessing alcohol at school to a 10-day suspension; second offence – 20-days and the third offense – 45-days.


If a student is caught in possession of or under the influence of drugs, the punishment for a first offense is 30-days for Kindergarten through seventh grades and 45-days for eighth through twelfth grades. The second offense is a minimum of 90-days suspension. Hill said if a student is suspended for 45-days, they basically lose the whole year.


Hill explained that he didn't feel the district had any bigger drug or alcohol problem than any other district, but he felt these changes would serve as a deterrent by giving kids a reason for not doing drugs or drinking alcohol.


The board will be meeting Monday, July 14th at 5:30 p.m. in the administration building for its regular July meeting.






Tuesday night during the July meeting of the Lockesburg City Council, Alderman James Jester reported that he had been receiving questions about the city's dog ordinances.


And according to city records, Lockesburg has three ordinances on the books that deal with dogs within the city limits.


One ordinance establishes the position of animal control officer, another define dog control and one regulating what the council deemed as dangerous animals.


Ordinance 2000-1 states pet owners must have their dogs vaccinated for rabies and defines a vicious dog. The ordinance was amended in 2002 to include a fine up to $500 for not having a dog vaccinated, found running at large or is considered vicious.


The third ordinance prohibits certain breeds from being kept within the city limits of Lockesburg unless you apply for a special permit and purchase an annual permit for $50 a year.


Residents who own a pit bull and keep it within the city limits may be fined up to $2,000.


Jester stated that he would being picking up animals that are found running at large, but wanted to give residents the opportunity to properly restrain their pets.


Aldermen also heard a report from Park Commission Chairperson Sheila Ruth about the Fireworks in the Park event, which was held on the Fourth of July.


Ruth stated the park commission registered 37 cars and 13 tractors for the car show and the Lions Club had 43 runners for their 5 and 10K races Friday morning.


Ruth stated that they only had nine contestants in the pageant and the event will most likely be canceled unless there is more participation next year.


Near the conclusion of the meeting, aldermen discussed placing a sales tax issue on the November ballot to provide the city with extra revenue and possibly designate a portion of the tax to support UA Cossatot.


Aldermen asked Mayor Danny Ruth to invited UA Cossatot Chancellor Steve Cole.






The Sevier County Farmers' Market is open every Wednesday and Saturday under the pavilion in the Herman Dierks Park from 7:30 to 11 a.m.


This week, volunteer Lori Vallee called in and mentioned several items that were available at the market and encouraged everyone to stop by and pick up some fresh vegetables Saturday.


Market organizers have stated that the selection may vary from week to week and from Wednesday to Saturday, but so far this summer, there as been an excellent selection of farm fresh produce and homemade crafts. The farmer's market is now open every Wednesday and Saturday from 7:30 to 11 a.m.






The Saint Barbara Catholic Church is participating in the Summer Food Service Program by providing meals to all children for free.


Meals are being provided in the pastoral center of the church at 503 West De Queen Ave from now until August 15th every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 4 to 6 p.m.





Last Thursday, Circuit Court Judge Charles Yeargan granted a continuance and set a new trial date in a sexual assault case involving a minor.


According to the deputy prosecuting attorney, 19-year-old Erick Maldonado was arrested on January 27th after a De Queen Police officer noticed a vehicle parked near the De Queen football field.


According to the report, when the officer approached the vehicle, he discovered Maldonado engaged in a sexual act with a 13-year-old female.


Maldonado allegedly confessed to the officer that the female was underage.


Judge Yeargan set a trial date of September 10th.


Maria Mosqueda also had a trial date of September 10th set last week during a session of the Sevier County Circuit Court after a continuance was granted in her case.


Mosqueda is charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, maintaining a drug premises, simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms and trafficking of a controlled substance - methaphetamines.






If you are looking for something to do this weekend, check out the Cossatot River State Park.


This Thursday from 9 to 11 a.m., park interpreters will lead guest on a river corridor trail ramble over the newly renovated section of the River. The hike is approximately 2 miles long.


From 2 to 3 p.m. take the time to do some snorkeling or enjoy a macro-invertebrate hunt from 3:30 to 4:40 p.m.


Then top of your day by enjoying some homemade cobbler that's prepared in a Dutch oven from 8 to 9 p.m.


Friday, the park will host an old fashion fishing event from 9 to 11 a.m. Participates will learn about river ecology while fishing with a cane pole and bobber and then Friday night from 8:30 to 9:30, guest can discover a whole different world at the park, during a evening hike.


On Saturday and Sunday, the park will offer a couple of opportunities to snorkel from 10 to 11 a.m. Then on Saturday, you can go on a macro-invertebrate hunt from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. and on Sunday, you can help feed the park critters from 2 to 3.






The filing period for candidates to file for county school board seats closed on Monday and according to Sevier County Clerk Debbie Hughes only the four incumbents filed for a position on the De Queen or Horatio School Boards.


For the De Queen School Board, District 1, board member Skip Bell filed for re-election, while in Horatio, Dana Vance filed for re-election of the Zone 2 position, Troy Allen filed for re-election for the Zone 4 position and Elizabeth Walker filed for re-election for the At-Large Position 1.


The annual school board election will be September 16th.


Hughes also mentioned that the Municipal Election filing period will open July 25th and close at noon on August 15th.


If you have any questions, you may contact the County Clerk's office at 642-2852.






Five trials have been scheduled for Wednesday, July 23rd in the Sevier County Circuit Court.


On Thursday, July 10th, Circuit Court Judge Charles Yeargan heard pre-trial motions from five defendants who are scheduled for trial in a couple of weeks.


Darin Tate's motion to dismiss the charge of theft by receiving was denied along with a request for bond.


Tate is accused of allegedly stealing a 1976 Massey-Ferguson tractor along with an 18-foot trailer in January of 2014. Prosecutors also filed a motion to amend Tate's charges to include the habitual offender clause, which if convicted could increase Tate's sentence.


Levi Durham is scheduled for trial July 23rd.


Durham is charged with three counts of being an accomplice to theft of property and three counts of being an accomplice to commercial burglary.


Durham was one of the suspects arrested in connection with the commercial burglary of the First Baptist Church in De Queen along with Edmond Lewis.


Lewis has been charged with 9-counts of theft of property, 7-counts of commercial burglary, 2-counts of breaking and entering, criminal use of a prohibited weapon, possession of a firearm by a certain person and arson.


Lewis was granted a continuance on July 3rd and a new trial date was set for August 10th.


Ardwin Sylvester of Fort Smith had a trial date of December 10th set for the charges of possession of a firearm by a certain person and fleeing in Sevier County. He will also be tried as a habitual offender. He is being held in the Sevier County jail on a $50,000 bond.


Sylvester is also facing charges in several other jurisdictions in connection to an alleged kidnapping in Fort Smith.






Janet Carson is a Horticulture Specialist with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service and the host of "Gardening from the Gardens" television segments on KATV.


Carson will be presenting the program, "Continuous Color in Your Garden, All Summer Long," at the Howard County Extension Homemakers Educational Center, which is located behind the Howard County Courthouse on Tuesday, July 15th at 10 a.m.


The program is being hosted by the Howard County Extension Homemakers and is open to the public.


Carson has worked with the Cooperative Extension Service for over 20 years and was instrumental in initiating the Master Gardener program in Arkansas. She has been featured on several AETN and radio programs and she always presents a timely program on gardening and landscaping.


For more information, contact the Howard County Extension Service at 870-845-7517.






During the July meeting of the Lockesburg City Council, aldermen discussed letters that the city had received from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and the Arkansas Department of Health.


The letter from the health department was in reference to state's regulations pertaining to public water systems.


According to the letter, the health department was reminding all of the cities in Arkansas that property owners are required to provide the public water system provider with documentation that showed a sewage disposal system had been approved and a plumbing inspection had been performed for any new building or residence before water service was approved.


However, the letter from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality informed the council that Lockesburg's waste water system had 12 reported violations since 2012 and that they would need to consult with an engineer to develop a Corrective Action Plan.


Mayor Danny Ruth informed the aldermen that he had consulted with the city engineer, A.L. Franks and they had submitted a Corrective Action Plan on behalf of the city.


According to the plan, the city plans to install a rotating brush aerator in the sewer pond and replace 11,000 linear feet of sewer main during phase one and replace the reed population in the rock reed filters during phase two.


Mayor Ruth stated he would report back the council has soon as the ADEQ responded to the city's letter.





Eight defendants changed their pleas to guilty last Thursday during a session of the Sevier County Circuit Court before Judge Charles Yeargan.


Yeargan accepted the guilty pleas and handed down a total of 21-years of probation and 47-years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections.


April Miller was sentenced to 2-years probation for theft by receiving and residential burglary, while Wesley Hirschi received 3-years probation for theft of property.


Kenneth Cary received 8-years probation for maintaining a drug premises, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver.


Sean Adams was placed on probation for 3-years for deliver of a controlled substance-marijuana and Jerry Don Brown received 5-years probation after pleading guilty to fleeing.


Christopher Vaughn was sentenced to 25-years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections after pleading guilty to 2-counts of delivery of controlled substance-methamphetamines.


Vaughn was also being charged as a habitual offender.


At the time of his plea, Vaughn was serving 40-years for a conviction of delivery of controlled substance in Howard County. One count of Vaughn's conviction will be served consecutively with the Howard County conviction, while the other count will be served concurrently.


Daniel Flourney received 16-years with 4-years suspended in the Arkansas Department of Corrections for possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of meth or cocaine with the purpose to deliver.


Tammy Harder plead guilty and was sentenced to 6-years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections on the charge of delivery of a controlled substance-Xanax.


Tomas Pacheco and Joey Ryner made first appearances last week and will return to Circuit Court on Thursday, July 10th.


Pacheco has been charged with battery in the 2nd degree and is being held on a $20,000 bond, while Ryner is being charged with possession of methamphetamine and is being held on a $10,000 bond.






Members of the De Queen Fire Department responded to an accident on Highway 41 South on Monday, June 30th to assist in opening the doors on a vehicle that had overturned.


According to the Arkansas State Police, Susan Barrow of Longview, Texas was traveling North on Highway 41 when the 2013 Dodge Ram pickup that she was driving left the roadway and traveled a short distance in the ditch.


According to Barrow, she attempted to regain control of the vehicle when she traveled back across the highway and overturned.


Barrow and a passenger, 69-year-old Charles Barrow were removed from the vehicle and transported to the De Queen Regional Medical Center for treatment.






On his first day on the job, new Ashdown Superintendent Jason Sanders held a special called meeting of the Ashdown Board of Education to make some personnel changes. Sanders stated the board hired a couple of teachers at the high school along with special education teachers and a few transportation personnel.


Sanders stated the Board met Tuesday afternoon to select an internet service provider for the district.


Sanders explained that this is a busy time of the year for the district's administration as they prepare for the upcoming school year.






Dr. Steve Cole informed KDQN that UA Cossatot is continuing to move forward with their plans to provide classes on the old Lockesburg High School campus.


Dr. Cole said sample were taken Monday for another environmental study, but he expects the results later this week.


Dr. Cole also mentioned several renovation projects on the De Queen, Ashdown and Nashville campuses and pointed out the work of local representatives and senators in obtaining funding for these projects.


On the De Queen campus, Dr. Cole stated renovations were coming along, but soon a new jewel would be revealed on the De Queen campus when they start construction on a glass and steel student center that will connect the existing buildings.


Dr. Cole said UA Cossatot was also expanding a couple of areas of study on the Ashdown campus that will benefit the entire area and, the new welding facility is close to be completed on the Nashville campus.


Dr. Cole said all of the renovations should be completed by this fall, but academics will remain the main focus at UA Cossatot and he pointed out that the school graduation continues to rise each year.


If you are interested in touring one of the three UA Cossatot campuses, contact the school at 1-800-844-4471.




Fourteen-year-old Maddie McAllister of Ashdown needs your online vote to put her into the Top 20 of the 2014 Stand & Be Heard Anthem Singing Contest, as announced by FMC (Food Machinery and Chemical Corporation) Agricultural Solutions in their recent online publication "Investing in Farming's Future."

Maddie, the daughter of Robin and Steven McAllister of Ashdown, can be viewed singing her entry of The Star Spangled Banner on the contest website at, and voting for her can be accessed on the same page. Simply locate the "Search the Entries" box about mid-page and type in "Maddie McAllister" in the search box.  From there, viewers can hear Maddie's version of The National Anthem, vote immediately by entering their email address and casting their vote, and continue to vote once per day through July 21. 

Vying for $25,000 in college scholarships, over 230 students from across the country submitted their National Anthem videos, and after the Top 20 (five videos from each of the four voting regions) is determined by viewer votes until July 21, a panel of judges will narrow the field to four finalists.  From there, a second round of online voting will determine the grand prize winner.

Each of the four finalists will be awarded a $5000 college scholarship, an all-expense paid trip to Nashville for the student and parents for a recording session with a professional music producer, and a recorded interview/performance on national TV.  The Grand Finalist in the contest will receive an additional $5000 in scholarship money.

FMC Corporation, which has been serving agriculture since 1883, is promoting its new Anthem and Anthem ATZ herbicides through its annual Anthem Singing Contest.  The company is "dedicated to meeting [farming] challenges head-on with innovative herbicides, pesticides and fungicides that add value" to farming operations.  The corporation is also diversified, serving industrial and consumer markets globally, and employs approximately 5000 people throughout the world.



Thursday, July 3rd, Patrolman First Class Levi Browning of the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to the De Queen Courtyard motel in reference to a hit and run accident.


About 9 p.m., Officer Browning interviewed Julie Lowery who reported that someone had hit her vehicle.


While interviewing Lowery, Browning received a second call informing him that there was a car behind the Pizza Hut and that the occupants had run from the car. When Browning arrived behind Pizza Hut, he discovered a vehicle stuck on a curb in front of Dr. Jones' office.


An eye witnessed reported seeing three Hispanic males get out of the car and run into the Shady Grove trailer park.


After searching the area, Browning discovered a Hispanic male behind C and C Glass Company. The suspect was identified as 20-year-old Ediber Luna-Marrufo. After taking Marrufo into custody, Browning was informed that someone had taken his car and that he was looking for it.


Later officers located a second suspect, 40-year-old Uriel Gomez-Hernandez who was suspected of being involved in the accident.


After taking their statements, both men were charged with public intoxication. Gomez-Hernandez was also charged with driving without a driver's license and leaving the scene of a property damage accident.






On Saturday, July 12th, the Crater of Diamonds State Park will host a Night Photography Workshop from 7 to 9:30 p.m. in the enclosed pavilion.


The workshop will cover the basics of nighttime digital photography and light drawing before heading outside for some hands-on practice with your camera.


Participants should have a working knowledge of manual DSLR camera setting, including shutter speed and aperture, wear comfortable, walking shoes and bring your camera, tripod, and flashlight. It's recommended that you wear dark-colored clothing but it's not required.


Admission is $20 per person and that includes a $10 pre-registration fee that is due by July 9th. Space is limited with a minimum of three participants.


To make a reservation, call the park at 870-285-3116 by July 9th.






This summer's reading program, "Fizz Boom Read" was a huge hit with area children with approximately 265 children participating by reading more than 250 books.


Head Librarian of the Sevier County Library System, Johnye Fisher announced that on August 6th, Linda Goodner of the Arkansas Game and Fish will be hosting a program at the De Queen Library about Arkansas mammals and everyone is invited to attend.


Story time will be held in Horatio, July 10th and 17th at 11 a.m. and the Lockesburg Library has started a new contest from now until August 6th, but patrons will need to read some books for their chance to win this set of prizes.


This month at the Ben Lomond Library, they will be learning about Marion Mitchell Morrison, aka, John Wayne.


John Wayne starred in 142 movies and this month, the Ben Lomond Library will be showing a John Wayne movie every Saturday at 10 a.m.


Alayna Hobbs won the reading contest for June at the Gillham Library. The prize for the July reading contest will be a $25 give away. According to Susie at the library, there are three ways to enter the contest. You can visit the library, check out a book or bring a new friend to the library, which means you can enter three times per visit. The drawing will be held on Tuesday, July 29th at 3 p.m.






The Little River County RDA water district would like to inform it's customers that it's experiencing an issue with elevated levels of Manganese in its water samples.


According to the Little River County RDA samples for Manganese have been and continue to be taken throughout the system, however, the sample that was sent to the Arkansas Department of Health showed .258 milligrams per liter. Other samples have had levels as high as .357 milligrams per liter.


Bacteria samples have also been taken and returned as absent of coliform bacteria.


Manganese is included on the federal and state Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level list for drinking water.


Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level's are based on aesthetic considerations, not health considerations, and the Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level for Manganese is .05 milligrams per liter. Higher levels can lead to water discoloration, staining of fixtures and/or a bitter, metallic taste.


The Little River RDA is taking steps to correct the problem and return the Manganese to normal levels, by flushing water mains and by taking samples throughout the system to eliminate the problem.






The loss of a child is never easy, but the family of Abby Hanway are establishing a legacy in her memory by establishing a toy drive in her memory.


Abby's mother, Katie Hanway, decided to hold a toy drive to benefit other children who have to spend time at the Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock.


Katie stated that Abby would have turned 6-years-old on July 13th, but she took the time to tell KDQN about Abby's battle with cancer.


Katie stated that during Abby's treatment, the Arkansas Children's Hospital also had something to help take Abby's mind off her situation and so they decided to give back to the hospital.


Katie stated that they will also accept new and unopened hot wheels, razorback items, travel size toiletries, board books and medical play kits; however, a complete list is on the website.


Katie explained that she was conducting the toy drive because of the care that Abby received at the Arkansas Children's Hospital to express her family’s appreciation to the doctors, nurses and staff.


If you would like to make a donation, call Katie at 870-582-2210 or 870-832-4618 or you can drop toys off at the First National Bank in De Queen.






The US Postal Service has been conducting a survey among the residents of Wickes and will be holding a public meeting at the Wickes City Hall on Thursday, July 10th at 7 p.m. to answer any questions that residents may have and to provide additional information about the postal services future plans.


According to the US Postal Service, the Wickes Post Office was among some offices evaluated under the POST Plan.


The survey will help the Postal Service determine the best course of action for providing postal services to the residents that are served by the Wickes Post Office.


The survey asks customers to choose which alternative they prefer. The options include: keeping the post office open, but realigned weekday window hours, which means the window hours would be reduced from eight hours a day to six hours a day; or permit the Postal Service to conduct a discontinuance study for the office and provide only roadside mailbox delivery; find a suitable alternative location that would be operated by a contractor; or relocate the PO Box service to a nearby Post Office.


However, the Postal Service says that unless they receive an overwhelming request for a discontinuance study, they plan to maintain the Wickes Post Office with six-hour window service each weekday, but a final decision will not be made until after the public meeting.



health department expansion     07/07/14

Dr. Nate Smith, head of Arkansas Health Department, Michael Knox, Medicaid Expansion Facilitator, and Don Adams, Southwest Regional Director for Arkansas Department of Health visited De Queen for a preview of the expansion of the health unit in De Queen. 

The project includes a 4,200 square-foot addition to the existing health unit, making a total of over 9,200 square feet of space. The new addition should be completed by mid-July. An open house for the public has been scheduled for July 29, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.





The breach of contract lawsuit between the owners of De Queen Therapy and Brookewood Nursing and Rehab and Realization Rehab went to the jury of eight women and four men last Wednesday afternoon.


After hearing testimony for about two days, the members of jury received their instructions from Circuit Court Judge Tom Cooper before listening to the closing arguments from the defendants and plaintiffs lawyers.


Members of the jury were instructed to consider the evidence of the lawsuit in three areas. Jurors were to consider if Brookewood Nursing and Rehab breached its contract with De Queen Therapy when they  terminated De Queen Therapy's contract and if Brookewood and Realization Rehab interfered or conspired against De Queen Therapy.


About 5 p.m. Wednesday night, the jury brought back a judgment in favor of Darrin and Kim Tollett, on behalf of De Queen Therapy.


According to the Tollett's lawyer, Dan Turner of Arkadelphia, the jury found Brookewood Nursing and Rehab guilty of breach of contract and civil conspiracy and awarded De Queen Therapy $4.5 million dollars.


Brookewood Nursing and Rehab will pay $4 million dollars and Realization Rehab will pay $500,000.


Realization Rehab was also found guilty of intentional interference with a contract.


The jury also awarded De Queen Therapy $2 million dollars in punitive damages against Brookewood Nursing and Rehab.






The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management will soon begin accepting applications for its shelter rebate program and Sevier County Office of Emergency Management Director Walter Smith informed area residents that it is not too early to get your applications completed.


Smith stated to be eligible for the program, people have to already installed an above-ground safe room or an in-ground shelter after January 21st, 1999 and applicants have own their home at the time of filing their application.


The Department of Emergency Management says it will reimburse people for some of the costs that were associated with the installation of above-ground safe rooms or in-ground shelters. Reimbursements will be half of the associated costs or $1,000 whichever is less.


The agency will accept applications on July 14th and 15th.


The agency has $1.25 million dollars for the program. The funds were approved by the Legislature for the new fiscal year.






Two men that were arrested in Sevier County following a car chase that started in Oklahoma appeared in the Sevier County Circuit Court last week and had a trial date of October 1st set before Circuit Court Judge Tom Cooper.


24-year-old Johnathan Walker of Forest Grove, Oregon and 23-year-old Ezekiel Christie of Lauderdale Lakes, Florida were arrested June 5th in De Queen following a pursuit that started in Broken Bow, Oklahoma through Eagletown on Highway 70 into Sevier County.


Both men have been charged with theft by receiving, aggravated assault and fleeing.


Walker allegedly was driving a stolen Nissan Maxima from Florida when the pursuit started. As the suspected entered Sevier County members of the Sevier County Sheriff's office, the De Queen Police Department, the Arkansas State Police and the South Central Drug Task Force located the vehicle on Highway 70 and deployed stop sticks, but the pursuit continued and ended at the Sevier County Fairgrounds.


Walker was apprehended shortly after the pursuit ended. However, Christie was arrested at a residence on Piney Road some time later.


Walker and Christie are being held in the Sevier County jail. Walker's bond has been set at $75,000 and Christie's bond has been set for $50,000.


Makayla Smith plead guilty last week and was sentenced to 5-years probation on the charges of possession of drug paraphernalia, maintaining a drug premises and possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.


Daryl Rink changed his plea to guilty on the charge of fleeing and was sentenced to 5 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections.


Barbara Kelly plead guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of meth or cocaine with the purpose to deliver and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, while Roy Lee Patterson was sentenced to 6-years in prison with 3 suspended after pleading guilty to theft of property.




Wednesday afternoon, the De Queen Fire Department was contacted by the De Queen Police Department concerning a potential fire in a storage room at the De Queen City Hall.


Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt reported that his department discovered a room filled with smoked along with an electrical fire smell. Firefighters discovered a ballast in a fluorescent light malfunctioning had caused the issue.


Chief Pruitt stated that fluorescent light ballast are a common cause of fires and if this incident had happened over the holiday weekend, the damage could have been more substantial. He also cautioned business owners and home owners that have the two-and single-pin fluorescent light bulbs that they are about to be discontinued and they should consider replacing them with a more efficient lighting system.


Pruitt stated that you can tell when the ballast is going out by looking at the ends of the bulbs. He said if the ends are getting dark, the ballast is going out.


No damage was reported at the police department, but several doors had to be opened to air out the building.





As folks honor the country this Fourth of July, they're being encouraged to follow proper flag etiquette when flying Old Glory. Mike Buss with the American Legion says the American flag represents our freedom and should be honored by all citizens, regardless of their political views.


According to the Federal Flag Code, the US flag can be displayed 24-hours a day only if it is properly illuminated at night. And it can be displayed in inclement weather if it is an all-weather flag. Buss says if the flag is not a fitting emblem for display and is tattered and torn it should be taken down and an American Legion post will properly dispose of it in a ceremony.


Buss encourages all Americans to fly the flag every day of the year, especially on patriotic holidays and he says it's okay to decorate or dress in items that resemble the flag.


The American flag was officially adopted 237 years ago, one year after the United Stated declared its independence from Great Britain. The original design has been modified 26 times and the current 50-star flag was ordered in 1959.






Motorists depend on reliable and safe vehicles to get them where they are going, so a recent wave of vehicle recalls may lead to questions about the recall process or the safety of certain automobiles.


The National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration may order recalls of vehicles that have safety-related defects or that fail to meet federal safety standards. In addition, automobile manufacturers may voluntarily initiate recalls when safety defects are discovered. For instance, General Motors has issued recalls for more than 25 million vehicles this year alone, with many of them related to potentially faulty ignition switches.


So, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued this consumer alert to provide information to Arkansans about vehicle recalls and how to determine whether your vehicle is subject to a recall.


When vehicles are recalled, manufacturers must notify all owners of the affected vehicles by mail with information about the recall, identifies the problem and evaluates the safety risk. Consumers must be told how the problem can be corrected, how long it will take to correct the issue and where the repairs can be made.


In most instances, repairs must be provided free of charge.


If the recall is related to certain equipment, such as tires or child-safety seats, notification is provided to owners who have registered the products with the manufacturer, but the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration may require the manufacture to notify the public through advertisements or other notices.


To determine whether a vehicle is subject to a recall visit the website,, where consumers can search the database by year, make and model.


Consumers may also contact the vehicle manufacturer or the car dealer directly. They can also sign up to receive email information from the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration, call the federal vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or 1-800-424-9393.


For more information go to the website or call 1-800-482-8982.






Mike McCrary of the Spring Hill community in northeast Texas will present a program entitled 'Steamboat Navigation on the Upper Red River and its Tributaries, Little River and Sulphur River from 1831 to 1948' during the July 8th meeting of the Little River County Genealogy Society at 6 p.m.


Mike and his wife, Carolyn, are both natives of Bowie County, Texas and have been engaged in genealogical and historical research for 40-plus years.


Mike said that during their research, he and his wife have documented more than 200 steamboats, by name, which navigated the Upper Red River, the Little River and the Sulphur River.


He explained that for the past 10-years, he has concentrated on the early history of the counties boarding the Red River, in Northeast Texas, Southwest Arkansas and the Choctaw Nation.


Carolyn is equally interested in history and is president of the Friends of the Williams House, which is an organization that operates De Kalb's Williams House Museum and she serves as the museum's curator.


Tuesday's meeting is part two of the steamboat series and will include a brief recap of part one, by examining what initially attracted steamboats to the Upper Red River, it will also detail obstructions to navigation, the types of cargo that was carried to and from this area by the boats and the accommodations for passengers on the steamboats.


Photographs of boats that have been documented to have been in this area will be shown, along with accounts of some local wrecks and a brief discussion of places the boats were constructed, including information about two boats that were built on the Little River.


The program will include the booming business experienced by the boats after the drought subsided and the essential role that was filled by steamboats in bringing railroads to the area, as well as the effects that the Civil War had on the steamboats on the Upper Red River.


The meeting is open to the public, but for more information call Roxie Jones at 870-898-7224.



The Ashdown School Board of Directors invites everyone to a public reception for new Ashdown School District Superintendent Jason Sanders on Thursday, July 17 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in the Ashdown High School Cafeteria.

Sanders began his new position as District Superintendent of Ashdown Schools on July 1 and is excited about the opportunity to work for the Ashdown District.  He lists his primary goal for his first year in the Ashdown Superintendent's job as "Unity." 

"I look forward to building trust and developing quality relationships within the district," Sanders states.  He began advancement toward that goal by setting up a School Board Conference with the Ashdown Board of Directors on June 26 at CCCUA-Ashdown.

 During that conference, moderated by Dr. Roger Guevara of Southern Arkansas University, Sanders and the seven-member School Board established a 3-year plan of goals for the Ashdown School District.  The three focal points of the plan are (1) create a positive perception of ASD in everything the district does, (2) continue developing quality partnerships between ASD and the Ashdown community, and (3) recruit and retain quality staff at Ashdown schools.

A native of Stamps, Arkansas, Sanders received BSE and MS degrees in education from SAU in 1998 and 2000 respectively, while majoring in kinesiology and minoring in biological science.  Additionally, he received Building and District Level Administration certifications from SAU.

Since 1998, Sanders has been employed at Pleasant Grove High School as a teacher/coach; at SAU as a faculty member in the Health, Kinesiology & Recreation department and as defensive line coach and recruitment coordinator for the SAU Muleriders; and from 2000-2002 as an instructor and head football coach at Stamps High School (prior to its consolidation as Lafayette County Schools).   In 2003-04, he was a teacher and assistant head football coach at Mt. Home, Arkansas.

Sanders began his administrative career at Foreman School District in 2004, where he served as Athletic Director/Head football coach and Dean of Students for five years, then two years as Foreman High School principal, and finally as the Foreman Superintendent of Schools for three years from 2011-2014.

While working at Foreman, Sanders was one of twenty Arkansas school superintendents selected to attend the year-long Superintendent Leadership Academy conducted at Lamar University in Texas.  Sponsored by the Wal-Mart Foundation and in collaboration with Arkansas Tech University, the academy included workshops held at Columbia University in New York City and in-house visits to a variety of public schools in New York, demonstrating how any school, regardless of demographics, can be successful.

"I really, truly believe that, working as a team, we can offer one of the best educations in the state of Arkansas," Sanders states.  "It's all about the kids.  We ask the students for three things:  (1) Do what it takes in the classroom; (2) Have positive conduct, both in and out of school; and (3) Strive for success in whatever they choose."

Jason and his wife Ashley (formerly Ashley Walker of Foreman) have three sons -- Jacob (11), Micah (9), and Grayson (4).

Sanders looks forward to meeting many students, parents, and community members at the reception on July 17.  The School Board encourages everyone to take this opportunity to greet the school district's new superintendent and to become involved in the educational programs for the district's students.






Arkansas Municipal League Elects New Officers at 80th Convention   07/04/14


LITTLE ROCK—The Arkansas Municipal League at its 80th Convention has elected a new slate of officers for the 2014-2015 year. Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola was elected president. Batesville Mayor Rick Elumbaugh was elected first vice president.


Other officers elected for 2014-2015 include Blytheville Mayor James Sanders, District 1 Vice President; Searcy Mayor David Morris, District 2 Vice President; Russellville Mayor Bill Eaton, District 3 Vice President; and De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy, District 4 Vice President.


More than 1,300 municipal officials and participants from across Arkansas attended the 80th Convention, where they discussed the League’s agenda for the upcoming year.


Arkansas gubernatorial candidates Asa Hutchinson and Mike Ross shared their visions for the state with the League on Thursday, as did the candidates for the state’s constitutional offices. The Convention also included a session of the League’s Voluntary Certified Continuing Education program for elected officials, and a variety of workshops covering topics of municipal interest, including land use issues, emergency preparedness, avoiding lawsuits and more.


The Arkansas Municipal League is a service and advocacy organization for the municipalities of Arkansas. The League has a voluntary membership comprised of all 500 cities and towns in the state and was created to assist cities with information and representation in the public affairs of our state and nation. To find out more, please visit


let freedom ring   07/04/14

If you didn't attend the Let Freedom Ring celebration at the De Queen Sportsplex last night, you missed a great free show! The Midnight Hurricanes entertained the crowd of hundreds before the spectacular free fireworks show.




Friday morning, the Lockesburg Lions Club will be hosting their annual Fourth of July Freedom from Blindness 5 and 10K run/walk at 7 a.m. at the Ida Margaret Stone Park in Lockesburg.


Runners can register Friday morning prior to the race for $30 dollars and the proceeds will be used to benefit Mid-South, which is an organization that helps funds eye surgeries for people who are unable to afford the cost.


Park Commissioner Sheila Ruth also mentioned that they would be hosting a car show from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. She stated 47 trophies will be presented along with 40 goodie bags, dash plaques and door prizes. 


Ruth said the cost to enter the car show is $20 and they have categories for 1939 and back to 2000 and new, as well as, a Corvette and Rat Rod category.


According to Ruth, there will be an auction at 5 and the No Plan B Band will be performing on the park stage followed by Marlon Sharp and the Cowboys at the Cross.


Fireworks are expected to be displayed at 9 p.m. in Friday.






If you are looking for something to do this holiday weekend, check out the activities at the Cossatot River State Park.


On Friday, July 4th, park interpreters will be offering a crash course in kayaking, by teaching you how not to crash while kayaking the Cossatot River from 10 to 11 a.m. then make plans to join the park interpreters from 2- 3 on a snorkeling exploration to observe the underwater life.


The park will provide all of the necessary equipment for the kayaking demonstration and the snorkeling adventure. However, park interpreters recommend that you wear appropriate swimwear and bring plenty of water and sunscreen.


From 3:30 to 4:30, you can try your luck at catching fishing with a cane pole and bobber and then enjoy a sunset hike from 7:15 to 9:30 to Goats Bluff along the Cossatot River.


On Saturday, there will be a snorkeling adventure from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. You'll snorkeling a section of the Cossatot River and have lunch at the River Ridge Camping area.


The cost of the snorkeling adventure is $6.12, but the park will provide all of the snorkeling equipment, but they recommend that you bring plenty of water and snacks.


Park interpreters will also be preparing some Cossatot cuisine from 2:30 to 3:30 and if you bring you own bowl and spoon, you can sample some homemade cobbler that was prepared in a Dutch oven.


On Sunday, there will be another opportunity to take a snorkeling adventure from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; feed the critters from 2 to 3 and a sunset hike from 7:15 to 9:30.


For more information about the programs at the Cossatot River State Park, visit our website at






Testimony continued Tuesday in the breach of contract trial between De Queen Therapy and Brookewood Nursing and Rehab in the Sevier County Circuit Court before Judge Tom Cooper.


Tuesday, the jury of four men and eight women heard testimony from Sarah Ash-Bishop and Kim Tollett.


According to court documents, Bishop was hired by Brookewood Nursing and Rehab as a rehab coordinator.


According to testimony on Tuesday, Bishop conducted an audit of the Physical and Occupational Therapy records and reported to the Brookewood administration that several of the patient records did not contain therapy notes.


Tollett is the owner of De Queen Therapy along with her husband Darrin and she testified that no one at Brookewood complained about the service that they were providing and no one complained about the way they were turning in paperwork until June 11th, 2012, which was the day their contract was terminated.


Testimony is expected to continue Wednesday, but is expected to go to the jury sometime Wednesday afternoon.






With the Fourth of July holiday upon us, we'd like to remind you about firework safety.


Last year, there were eight deaths and an estimated 11,400 consumers injured in firework related incidents, which was an increase from 8,700 injuries in 2013.


Most of those injuries were the result of a firework that malfunctioned or was being used improperly.


Last year, sparklers and bottle rockets accounted for more than 40 percent of the estimated injuries.


Manufactures recommend that you light one firework at a time and to move away from them quickly after they are lit. Fireworks should never be pointed or thrown at another person and you always keep a bucket of water or garden hose nearby.


Here in De Queen, it is illegal to sell, use or explode fireworks within the city limits of De Queen, except for July 3rd, 4th and 5th between the hours of 11 a.m. and midnight.


The City of De Queen will also be hosting a community firework display tonight at the De Queen Sportsplex beginning with a concert by the Midnight Hurricanes at 7 p.m.


There will be a variety of refreshments, a train ride, face painting and a dunking booth for everyone's enjoyment.


For more information, contact the De Queen Parks and Recreation office at 642-4140.






Sevier County District Court Judge Stephen Tedder stopped by the KDQN studios to remind area residents that if they enjoy the Fourth of July holiday too much they may appear before him at a later date.


Tedder also reminded drivers not to drink and drive because local authorities will be conducting sobriety check points over the holiday weekend.


Members of the De Queen Police Department, the Sevier County Sheriff's office and the Arkansas State Police have increased their patrols to ensure that all Arkansans have a safe holiday.






Tuesday morning, members of the South Central Drug Task Force and the De Queen Police Department executed a warrant on a residence on Athena Street after receiving information that the resident was illegally selling alcohol.


According to De Queen Police Chief Richard McKinley, that when officers arrived at 118 Athena Street the resident was not home, but they discovered about 10 cases of beer and 2 - Fifths of Jose Cuervo.

McKinley stated it appeared that one ice box was being strictly for the bootlegging operation.


McKinley stated that while the officers were confiscating the alcohol, 51-year-old Salvador Gomez arrived and was taking into custody without incident.






The North Howard County Rural Water Association has been placed under a precautionary boil water order for the entire system, including Umpire and Athens.


The reason for the order was a water main break about 1 a.m. Wednesday morning. Repairs were completed by 11 a.m., but the system suffered a complete loss of pressure and therefore as to be placed under the boil water order.


Customers of the rural water association are being asked to boil their water for a minimum of one minute.


The boil water order will remain in effect until the association submits two water samples that test within the appropriate water quality ranges. So, the order will remain effect until further notice.






Wednesday morning, the De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce held a reception for the new Pilgrim's Pride complex manager, Don Burrows, at the First State Bank.


Burrows stated that he was happy to be home after moving around for the past 30 years with Tyson.


Burrows stated the differences between the De Queen complex and every other complex that he has ever worked at was seniority of the management team and the longevity of the work force.


But, Burrows biggest announcement was Pilgrim's commitment to build a feed mill in De Queen, as Burrows stated that announcement stresses Pilgrim's commitment to De Queen and the surrounding area.






Little River County officials are warning residents that a company named "Record Transfer Service" has been mailing letters to homeowners in the county attempting to sell them copies of their property deeds for $83.


According to the Little River County Circuit Clerk's office, Little River County provides this service for free.


Officials reported that property owners are receiving these letters and they are afraid that some older residents may not be aware that this is a solicitation and that they can get a free copy of their property deeds for free.


The letters are being sent out by the Record Transfer Services Deed Processing Center in Thousand Oaks, California and they inform the recipient that if they need a copy of their current deed or property profile, Record Transfer Services will send you a copy for $83.


For more information, contact the Little River County Assessor's office at 898-7204 or the Little River County Circuit Clerk at 898-7212. 






Nashville Chamber of Commerce Director Mike Reese visited De Queen to invite area residents to the 25th annual Stand Up for America program in Nashville this Fourth of July.


Reese explained that it's the 25th Stand Up celebration, but they've been honoring area veterans for 35 years.


Reese said this year's event will feature Michael Hix from Dallas, Texas.


Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children, but for some special seating up in front of the stage, Reese said the cost was only $10.


Stand Up for America will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Nashville City Park.






The US Postal Service has been conducting a survey among the residents of Lockesburg and will be holding a public meeting at the Lockesburg Community Building on Hickory Street on Thursday, July 17th at 7 p.m. to answer any questions that residents may have and to provide additional information about the postal services future plans.


According to the US Postal Service, the Lockesburg Post Office was among some offices that were being evaluated under the POST Plan.


The survey will help the Postal Service determine the best course of action for providing postal services to the residents that are served by the Lockesburg Post Office.


The survey asks customers to choose which alternative they prefer. The options include: keeping the post office open, but realigned weekday window hours, which means the window hours would be reduced from eight hours a day to six hours a day; or permit the Postal Service to conduct a discontinuance study for the office and provide only roadside mailbox delivery or conduct a discontinuance study for the office and find a suitable alternative location that would be operated by a contractor or conduct a discontinuance study for the office and relocate the PO Box service to a nearby Post Office.


However, the Postal Service says that unless they receive an overwhelming request for a discontinuance study, they plan to maintain the Lockesburg Post Office with six-hour window service each weekday, but a final decision will not be made until after the public meeting.






Folks are gearing up for a huge celebration in Vandervoort this Fourth of July weekend, by holding events Thursday, Friday and Saturday concluding with a huge firework display on Saturday night at 10.


Jasper Hartley told KDQN that they will kick things off Thursday with their annual cake walk at 6 p.m.


Hartley said Friday will start with a parade at 9 a.m. and they had to add an extra block to the parade route due to the number of floats.


But, things aren't over until Saturday and Hartley said you won't want to miss this year's firework display at 10 p.m. Saturday night, which will be one of their largest fireworks display in the history of their annual celebration.


Hartley explained that Vandervoort has been celebrating the Fourth for the past 125 years and the community would love to see you there, but for more information about the activities or in you want to be a vendor call 479-216-1628.






On Saturday, June 21st agents with the District 17 Drug Force, the South Central Drug Task Force, the Idabel Police Department and the Choctaw and Pushmataha Sheriff's offices executed a pair of search warrants on two locations in McCurtain County Oklahoma near the Arkansas-Oklahoma border.


According to the case agent, authorities arrested three suspects at two locations on Red Oak Drive.


Officers discovered several guns, cash and approximately a half ounce of methamphetamine following a three and half year investigation into the illegal activities of 41-year-old Ricardo Martinez, 20- year-old Anna Mosqueda and 69-year-old Hobo McKinney.


According to the case agent, Martinez is the owner and operator of a bar where drug activity was taking place. During the investigation, several illegal transactions were witnessed and authorities built a case against Martinez and his associates.


According to the case agent, Martinez had also been involved in illegal horse races.


As of Monday afternoon, Martinez was free on bail.






Pastor Jay Reynolds announced the members of the De Queen First Assembly Church will be presenting the movie "God's Not Dead" for free this Sunday night at 6 p.m.


Pastor Jay did ask everyone interested in attending to please pick up a free ticket from the church to ensure that they had enough seating for everyone.


Pastor Jay even mentioned that if you are planning to attend the Let Freedom Ring event at the Sportsplex in De Queen Thursday night that the church will be providing free parking at the church.






A breach of contract trial began on Monday in the Sevier County Circuit Court between De Queen Therapy and Brookewood Nursing and Rehab before Judge Tom Cooper and a jury of four men and eight women.


Darrin and Kim Tollett are the owners of De Queen Therapy and they are alleging the owner, Steve Merrick of Brookewood Nursing and Rehab illegally terminated their contract.


Jury selection was completed Monday morning and opening statements were made after some jury instructions and lunch.


Darrin Tollett took the stand for over two hours Monday afternoon and testified that at no time had he or his wife had any conversations with the administration of Brookewood over unsatisfactory performance, however, he testified that he received several forms of communication from Merrick describing a desire to increase Medicare billing.


According to Darrin Tollett's testimony, his company, De Queen Therapy entered into a 20-year contract with Brookewood to offer their therapy services to the residents exclusively and even though they had the opportunity to work for other nursing homes they honored their contract with Brookewood.


Tollett also testified that Brookewood owed De Queen Therapy money for services rendered at the time their contract was terminated.


The trial will continue Tuesday and is expected to go to the jury sometime on Thursday.






The filing period for the 2014 School Elections opens today and will close at noon on July 8th.


Sevier County Clerk Debbie Hughes announced that filing period for the De Queen School Board District 1 position and the Horatio School Board Zones 2, 4 and At-large Position 1.


Skip Bell is the current representative on the De Queen School Board District 1. Dana Vance holds the Horatio Zone 2 position; Troy Allen holds the Horatio Zone 4 and Elizabeth Walker is the current At-Large Position 1 representative.


Potential candidates may pick up a petition at the Sevier County Clerk's office or from their district's superintendent office's.


Each candidate will be required to obtain the signatures of 20 registered voters in their district or zone in order to qualify for a ballot position.


The School Board election will be on Tuesday, September 16th.


Hughes also mentioned that the Municipal Election filing period will open July 25th and close at noon on August 15th.


Hughes stated city aldermen serve two-year terms, while mayors serve a four-year term.


If you have any questions, you may contact the County Clerk's office or your town’s city hall.






Authorities say a Mena man was killed after he lost control of his truck and hit a tree in Montgomery County Sunday evening.


Arkansas State Police report says 46-year-old Bruce Miller was unable to negotiate a curve while traveling on Arkansas Highway 88.


Miller's truck left the roadway and struck a tree.


Miller's death was the 206th traffic fatality of the year.


Tyson Foods donates to the Vandervoort Picnic Committee     7/1/14

Grannis HR Manager, Bryan Higgins presented a $1000 Tyson donation to the Vandervoort 4th of July Picnic Committee Member, Rollie Nunn on July 1st

The Committee plans, and organizes the annual event held in Vandervoort, AR that draws crowds of people from Arkansas, Oklahoma and surrounding States each year. Their traditional July 4th fireworks display is supported in part by the Tyson Foods donation.






Arkansas State Police investigated a single vehicle accident on Monday, June 23rd after a tractor-trailer hit a bridge west of De Queen on Highway 70.


According to the incident report, Shawn Duggan was traveling west on Highway 70 about 7 o'clock in the morning when he crossed the westbound fog line and struck the Cane Creek Bridge. The accident left a sizable hole in the bridge's railing, but Duggan was not injured.


The other incident occurred at the intersection of Mount Pleasant Road and Red Bridge Road about 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 29th.


According to the incident report, Rebecca Gideon was traveling on Mount Pleasant Road when she ran a stop sign and ran into the ditch, while attempting to make a sharp left turn.


Gideon reported that some people helped pull her vehicle out of the ditch and she proceeded to drive home on Central Road.


When she arrived home, she discovered the extent of the damage, which consisted of damage to the hood, right headlight, and lots of dents and scratches and her passenger Fernando Ocampo started complaining of pain in his right arm, forehead and collarbone.


Ocampo was transported to the emergency room at the De Queen Regional Medical Center by Rebecca's father, Paul Gideon.






Cossatot River State Park will have a busy week with activities scheduled for Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.


Tuesday morning park interpreters will lead guest on a macro-invertebrate hunt from 11:15 to 12:15. Guest will discover what creepy crawly things live in the river.


Guest will then have the opportunity to snorkel a section of the Cossatot River and observe the underwater life while enjoying the clean, cool water from 2 to 3 p.m.


The park will provide the necessary snorkeling equipment, but guest will need to wear appropriate swimwear.


On Thursday, park interpreters will lead a snorkeling adventure from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. and participates will enjoy lunch at the end of the tour at the River Ridge Camping area.


The cost of the snorkeling adventure is $6.12 per person. Guests are reminded to bring three quarts of water, sunscreen and snacks.


At 2:45, folks can enjoy some Cossatot Cuisine after participating in a Dutch over cooking demonstration. Guests will help make and then sample some homemade cobbler, so bring your bowl and spoon and enjoy the outdoor cooking.






On Saturday, June 28th, Sevier County Sheriff Deputy Michael Barnes observed a tan Chevy pickup traveling at a high rate of speed on Highway 70/71, while sitting at the Lockesburg Grocery.


Barnes reported that he caught up with the vehicle at the Sycamore Creek Bridge on Highway 71 North and initiated a traffic stop on Highway 70 just East of the Cossatot River Bridge.


Barnes reported the driver, 28-year-old Benjamin Butler, appeared nervous and shaky.


When Barnes asked Butler why he was so nervous, Butler reportedly stated that he had been drinking, however, Butler passed the field sobriety test.


Barnes received permission to search Butler's vehicle and he discovered some rolling papers and what appeared to be marijuana cigarettes along with an open container of alcohol and a bag full of yellow pills.


The pills were identified as Hydrocodone and Butler was arrested and charged with possession of schedule III controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance - marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.




FIGHT AT THE JAIL       7/1/14


Sevier County Sheriff's deputies and jail personnel were called upon  to break up a fight at the county jail last Wednesday at about 5:15 in the afternoon.


Tower operator, Jeremy Lockeby notified jail staff that there was a fight in progress in Pod D.


When Deputy Chris Wolcott, jailer Anthony Johnson and Deputy/jailer Johnny Morris arrived, they discovered Summer Swim and Kaisie McClendon engaged in a fight behind the pod door.


Officers were able to pull the suspects apart and Swim was placed in the Isolation Cell one, while McClendon was placed in the Drunk Tank number two.


Following an investigation into the incident, authorities determined Swim was the aggressor and was charged with assault.






Arkansas legislative leaders hope to quickly tackle the three issues facing them in this week's special session, but the addition of a bill to restrict the lottery's games and objectives to changes in teacher insurance could complicate those plans.


The House and Senate convened today for a special session that was called in order to deal with the teacher insurance program, the state's prison overcrowding situation and the addition of state lottery games.


It will be the third special session held since Democratic Governor Mike Beebe took office in 2007.


Renovations to the House chamber have moved representative to the Old State House for the session, which marks the first time substantial legislative, has been taken up in the building since 1909.


The Senate will continue meeting in the state Capitol. 






Organizers of the Sevier County Leadership class are hoping to host organize another class of future leaders from the Sevier County area.


Fonda Hawthorne stated that last year's class was an amazing group.


Following the success of last year’s class, interested participates have until July 15th to register for consideration in this year's class.


This year's class will travel to Camp Preston Hunt to work on team building skills and then spend the night at the Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center September 9th and 10th and then meet once a month to study several different aspects of leadership, like local, county and state government.


Hawthorne stated the purpose of the leadership class is to train and motivate emerging leaders in Sevier County.


The cost of the class is $350, but covers all of the travel and meals during the course. For an application, contact the De Queen City Hall or go to the De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce website at or the members of last's year's class have applications. Hawthorne stated that you may also call her at 903-277-8689. 






Members of the Sevier County Sheriff's office are investigating an attempted break-in at 104 Edmondson in Horatio.


On Friday, June 27th, Deputy Amy Lockeby interviewed Pamela Kelly who informed her that Kelly's granddaughter had informed her that someone had tried to break-into their house while several juveniles were home alone.


According to Kelly, her daughter, Decondra Oliver was at work when the incident occurred.


The juveniles reported that they were in the front part of the house when they heard something hit the glass portion of the backdoor. They also reported that someone was jiggling the doorknob.


When the juveniles went toward the back of the house, they reported seeing someone running south away from the house wearing a white t-shirt and black denim type shorts.


Lockeby reported that the glass was cracked and the door knob was loose.


Authorities are requesting information concerning this incident from the public. If you have any information, contact the Sevier County Sheriff's office at 642-2125.






Kent Webb reported that while he was bush hogging his deceased aunt's property, he noticed that a 100-gallon propane tank was missing.


Webb made his report to the Sevier County Sheriff's office on Saturday and stated the tank contained about 50-gallons of propane.


Webb said he remembered seeing the tank the week before, but it was gone by 5 p.m. June 28th. He described the tank as being silver but rusted in color and said it was about 50-years old.


Webb estimated the value of the tank at $100 and estimated the cost of the propane at $150.


Webb provided the sheriff's office with the names of some possible suspects, but no arrest has been made in the case.






Lockesburg Park Commissioners Sheila Ruth and Anita Jester announced Friday morning that Lockesburg's annual Fireworks in the Park event is expected to be bigger and better this year beginning with the Little Mister and Miss Firecracker Pageant and Talent Competition.


Ruth announced the pageant will be in the Lockesburg Elementary Auditorium at 6 p.m. There will be six age categories and the entry fee is $15. Ruth stated cash prizes will be awarded for the first, second and third place winners in each category.


Entry forms need to be returned to the Lockesburg City Hall by July 1st along with the entry fee. Winners will then be introduced on July 4th during the Marlon Sharp and Cowboys at the Cross concert.


Ruth mentioned the Lion’s Club 5K run at 7 a.m. and the car and truck show at 9 a.m. along with the live entertainment and softball tournament.


So, enjoy the day at the annual Fireworks in the Park on the Fourth of July at the Ida Margaret Coulter Stone Park in Lockesburg.






Members of the Foreman Board of Education dealt with several items related to technology during a special meeting of the board this week.


Superintendent Jason Sanders recommended that board hire a technology consultant and a technology director for the 2014-2015 school year.


Following an executive session, board members voted to hire Bill Brown as a consultant on an as needed basis. Brown will be paid $3,000 a month when his services are needed.


Board members voted to hire Blake Walker as the district's technology director. Walker's salary was increased from $22,941 to $28,128. The position will also be placed on a 247-day contract at eight hours a day.


High School Principal Kim Cody presented the board with her recommendations along with the high school handbook committee's recommendations for the student handbook.


Following a discussion, the board provided Cody with some revisions that they would like to see in the handbook.


Superintendent Sanders asked the board to go ahead and approve the handbook with the revision, which they did.


However, the board tabled the district's facility use policy until the new superintendent assumes his duties on July 1st, so that he can be involved in the formulation of the policy.






The Arkansas Department of Health is alerting restaurant owners statewide about possible fraudulent inspectors.


The department is warning restaurant managers that there have been reports of some people posing as health inspectors who are not with the Arkansas Department of Health.


In the past, some restaurants received phone calls from entities claiming to be from the State Health Department and informed that they were calling to schedule an inspection. Some of the callers were even giving restaurant owners a telephone number with a code number and asking the restaurant owners to call the phone number and provide the code.


The Arkansas Department of Health is not calling restaurants to schedule inspections or giving them a code to call for an inspection.


Inspections are made unannounced by department environmental health specialists and before a restaurant owner or manager allows anyone into their kitchen to conduct an inspection of their food prep area, they should ask to see some proper identification. Health department environmental specialists wear badges.


If you are unable to verify that a person is an environmental specialist, you should contact the local county health unit.






Thursday morning about 4 a.m., Patrolman Bucky Sawyer of the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to a residence on Cub Drive in reference to a woman disturbing the peace.


Officer Sawyer reported that when he arrived, Officer James Gilbert was on the scene and was interviewing a white female who was identified as 31-year-old Raven Tollett.


Tollett reportedly stated that she came to her cousins house to speak with her cousin's wife, Windy Harris, because she was mad about something Harris had put on Facebook.


While speaking with Tollett, officers noticed the back windshield broken out of a blue Mazda that was parked under the carport.


Tollett allegedly admitted to breaking the windshield, but said she would pay for it.


The owner of the vehicle, Antony Tollett, stated he didn't want to press charges at first, but when he was informed that once the officers left there was nothing that they could do about his windshield, he changed his mind and decided to press charges.


Tollett was taken into custody and charged with criminal mischief in the second degree.






Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin has announced that a new exhibit is being featured at the State Capitol called, “See You at the Fair.”


Secretary Martin salutes the Livestock Show Association’s 75-year tenure and the exhibit features: rare photos, instruments autographed by stars who have appeared at the Fairgrounds’ famed Barton Coliseum venue, a saddle presented to the Fair’s Rodeo Queen in 1966 and a muslin “horse blanket” used to publicize the first fair every held in Hot Springs in 1906.


According to Secretary Martin, Arkansas has had a long history of livestock shows and state fairs and it’s not all just fun and games. Not only does it generate revenue for the local economy, which was up to $16 million dollars in 2013, but behind the scenes the fair is in the business of making Arkansas farmers competitive in the world markets.


The exhibit will be on display in the Capital’s first floor galleries now through Labor Day from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.  






As part of an ongoing effort to improve the health of local communities, Doctor Nate Smith, who is the director and State Health Officer with the Arkansas Department of Health, visited the Sevier County Health Unit Friday.


Smith explained that these visits provide an opportunity to better understand the health needs of citizens in the community to help create new polices and refine other to meet the community’s needs in the future.


The Arkansas Department of Health provides services that affect everyone in Arkansas everyday and the Sevier County Health Department is working to make local citizens healthier by providing Women, Infants and Children Services to over 1,800 patients each year.


The department of health also inspects food service establishments to make sure they are clean and that the food they serve is safe to eat, as well as, testing the quality of the state's water systems and to ensure that swimming pools are safe.


The department also investigates threats to the public's health during incidents of whooping cough and salmonella. They also provide preventive health services such as immunizations to help reduce and eliminate vaccine-preventable diseases.


Sevier County Administer Teresa Morris reported the Sevier County unit provided 3,450 flu shots during this past flu season.


The health department also provides in-home care to the elderly and others with serious medical conditions.


Last year, the Arkansas Department of Health celebrated a century of achievement and progress. Even though improved public health conditions and advances made in modern medicine have eliminated many of the threats from days gone by, those problems have been replaced by new challenges that pose major obstacles to healthy living in today's world.


Several issues are among the challenges that the health department is facing today, including obesity, tobacco use, teen pregnancy, poor dental health, high infant mortality and low health literacy.


Morris also stated the advances during the first century of the Health Department were not made without the cooperative efforts of many dedicated health professionals, the department realizes the state's health problems will not be solved by one individual or group and they are working with a wide variety of partners in the public and private sectors to address the state's current health issues.



FIREWORK SAFETY             6/27/14


The Fourth of July is a time to celebrate and many of these celebrations will include fireworks. But, fireworks can be dangerous and many grass fires result from improper use or disposal of fireworks.


According to a state fire marshal, sparklers burn at 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is almost six times hotter than boiling water and so, they recommend attending professional firework displays in your community.


De Queen residents are also reminded that it is illegal to sell, use or explode fireworks within the city limits of De Queen.


Fireworks are defined as any firecracker, sky or bottle rocket, sparklers, roman candles or any other explosive device that is used for the purpose of amusement.


However, fireworks may be shot or exploded on July 3rd through the 5th between the hours of 11 a.m. and midnight except for bottle rockets.


If you are citied for possessing or using fireworks in violation of the city's ordinance, you may be fined up to $200 or punished with public service up to 10 days and citations may be issued by any law enforcement or code compliance officers.


If you use fireworks in compliance with De Queen firework ordinance, you should follow these safety rules:

never consume alcohol while firing off fireworks, read all directions and warning on the individual products, use fireworks in a clear and open area, purchase fireworks from a licensed and approved dealer, never point or throw fireworks at others and keep a bucket of water nearby in the case of an emergency.


The City of De Queen will be holding a community firework display on Thursday, July 3rd at the UA Cossatot amphitheater. The annual event will feature a concert by the Midnight Hurricanes at 7 p.m.


Citizens are invited to enjoy a variety of refreshments like tacos, hamburgers, roasted corn and more, which will be provided by local clubs and organizations. According to the De Queen Parks and Recreation Department, there will be a train ride, face painting and a dunking booth.


If your non-profit group is interested in setting up a booth, contact the park office at 642-4140. 






Former Ashdown native, Kim Davis, has written a biography about the life of photographer Mike Disfarmer of Heber Springs and he will be holding a book signing from 10 a.m. until noon this Saturday at the Two Rivers Museum in Ashdown.


And, Davis mentioned that he was looking forward to seeing old friends and acquaintances during his visit to his hometown.


In Davis’ book he explains how Disfarmers' glass plate photographs were discovered and his rise to fame.


Davis stated he became interested in Disfarmers' life after attending an exhibit in Little Rock and decided to write a book about Disfarmers' life.


The book signing is this Saturday from 10 to noon at the Two Rivers Museum and this is an opportunity to meet a local author and learn about an interesting gentleman from Arkansas' past.






A Grannis man was arrested in Dierks following a traffic stop.


Dierks Police Department officer Drew Pannell stopped a vehicle on Main Street for not having a license plate and identified the driver as 57-year-old Edward Putman.


It was determined that Putman did not have a driver’s license or insurance and according to Pannell, Putman was acting nervous. Pannell reported that Putman kept shaking his head back and forth while rubbing his legs.


Pannel reportedly asked Putman to step out of the vehicle and the officer noticed a large bottle of Vodka in the passenger seat. According to the report, the bottle was unopened, however, Putman was having trouble maintaining his balance and his speech was slurred.


During the search of the vehicle, Pannell discovered a metal case that contained a metal spoon and an open uncapped syringe that contained a clear liquid in the trunk. He also found a razor blade under the driver’s seat.


Putman was taken into custody and transported to the Howard County Jail. He has been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, obstructing governmental operations, no driver’s license, no vehicle license and no proof of insurance.



Director visits Sevier County Health Units 6/27/14

As part of an ongoing effort to work with communities to improve their health, Dr. Nate Smith, Director and State Health Officer at the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH), visited Sevier County Health Unit Friday, June 27.

Public health and the services ADH provides affect everyone every day. The Health Department works to make the citizens of Sevier County healthier by:

·        Providing Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Services to over 1,876 patients each year.

·        Inspecting food service establishments to make sure they are clean and serve food that is safe to eat.

·        Testing the quality of water systems and swimming pools to make sure they are safe.

·        Investigating public health diseases and threats such as whooping cough and salmonella.

·        Providing preventive health services such as immunizations to reduce and eliminate vaccine-preventable diseases.   Over 3,450 flu shots were given through the Sevier County Health Unit this flu season.

·        Providing in-home care to the elderly and others with serious medical conditions.

Input from the community is important as new polices are developed and others are refined to meet the needs of the future.  “These visits provide an opportunity to better understand the health needs of the citizens in the community,” said Smith. 

Last year ADH celebrated a century of achievement and progress.  Even though improved public health conditions and advances made in modern medicine have eliminated many of the threats from days gone by, those problems have been replaced by new challenges that pose major obstacles to healthy living in today’s world. “Most experts agree that we currently face a real health crisis in America, and we as public health professionals have our work cut out for us as we begin the next 100 years serving the people of our state,” said Smith.

Numbered among the current significant challenges are the obesity epidemic, tobacco use, teen pregnancy, poor dental health, lack of health insurance, high infant mortality, and low health literacy. Dedicated public health professionals working in a variety of scientifically-based disciplines are working to address these problems.

“Just as the advances of the first century of the Health Department were not made without the cooperative efforts of many other dedicated health professionals, we know that all of the state’s health problems will not be solved by one individual or group.  We are collaborating with a wide variety of partners in the public and private sectors to address the health problems facing our citizens” said Teresa Morris, Sevier County Administrator.


Sixty-three  students attended the summer ACT program held at De Queen High School June 16 – 26.  Students from De Queen and surrounding schools attended Monday through Thursday from 8 – 4 each day.  Four sample ACTs were administered and students graded the tests and ask questions about areas of concern.  Rotating classes provided students instruction in reading, English, math and science.  The computer lab was used in order for participants to become familiar with the ACT website and take practice tests online.  Test-taking tips and scholarship searches added to the program. 

Teachers included:  Carol Hall, Stacy Faulkenberry, Todd Pinkerton, Brian Walthour and Ramona Hill.


Nine members of the Ashdown FFA chapter attended the 86th annual Arkansas FFA State Convention at Camp Couchdale in Hot Springs on June 3-6.  State delegates from the Ashdown chapter were Alexis Houck, Taylor Kirby, Chelsie Stewart and Charles Swilley.  Ashdown FFA member Madison McAllister participated in the talent contest while at the state convention.

Also during the convention, Charles Swilley was awarded his State Farmer Degree, the highest degree that can be bestowed on an FFA member by the state.  Earning the FFA Degree requires chapter involvement, participation, academics, and leadership, along with a minimum of 25 hours of community service.   

Attendees pictured from the Ashdown FFA are (from left to right) Erica Erwin, Rebecca Wood, Alexis Houck, Chelsie Stewart, Madison McAllister, Charles Swilley, and Taylor Kirby.  Also attending but not pictured were Madison Kidd and Colton Ard, along with AHS FFA sponsor Dennis Guidry.



Charles Swilley, a 2014 graduate of Ashdown High School, was recently presented the school’s highest agricultural honor, the DEKALB Agricultural Accomplishment Award, sponsored by Monsanto Company.

Swilley, the son of Dewey and Debbie Swilley, received the award for excellence in academics, leadership and agricultural work experience.  Swilley’s significant experiences and accomplishments have included serving as Ashdown High School FFA chapter president and as a delegate to state and national FFA conventions.  He has also participated on district and state poultry judging teams and exhibited market goats, under the guidance of AHS’s FFA sponsor and Ag instructor Dennis Guidry.

This year the DEKALB Agricultural Accomplishment Award celebrates its 67th anniversary.  Over these 67 years, more than 168,000 high school seniors from across the country have received the Award, which has become a symbol for excellence and the school’s highest agricultural honor.

As the winner of the 2014 Award, Swilley’s name will be recorded on a permanent plaque displayed at Ashdown High School.

Monsanto, a long-time supporter of agricultural education, FFA, 4-H, and other farm youth organizations and initiatives, sponsors the DEKALB Agricultural Accomplishment Award.  Monsanto is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality.




The Arkansas Municipal League elected a new slate of officers for the 2014-2015 year during its 80th convention last week. Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola was elected president, while Batesville Mayor Rick Elumbaugh was elected first vice president.


Other officers that were elected included Blytheville Mayor James Sanders for District 1 Vice President; Searcy Mayor David Morris for District 2 Vice President; Russellville Mayor Bill Eaton for District 3 Vice President and De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy for District 4 Vice President.


More than 1,300 municipal officials and participants from across Arkansas attended the convention, where they discussed the League's agenda for the upcoming year.


Arkansas gubernatorial candidates Asa Hutchinson and Mike Ross shared their visions for the state with the members of the League on Thursday, as did the candidates for all of the state's constitutional offices.


The convention also included a session of the League's Voluntary Certified Continuing Education program for elected officials, and a variety of workshops that covered topics of municipal interest, including land use issues, emergency preparedness, how to avoid lawsuits and more.


The Arkansas Municipal League is a service and advocacy organization for municipalities of Arkansas. The League has a voluntary membership which is comprised of all 500 cities and towns in the state and was created to assist cities with information and representation in the public affairs of the state and nation.


For more information about the League, visit their website at






The summer travel season is underway and many Arkansans are preparing to be on the road over the Fourth of July holiday, because many celebrations can take a tragic turn when a person decides to drive under the influence of alcohol or ignore the posted speed limit.


In order to promote safer travel, the Arkansas State Police and local law enforcement agencies will join forces to crackdown on drunk driving and speeding beginning this Saturday, June 28th and continuing through Monday, July 14th.


Law enforcement agencies will be increasing sobriety checkpoints and speeding patrols as part of the two week enforcement operation.


According to the Arkansas State Police, there were 552 traffic fatalities on Arkansas roads in 2012 and 26 percent of those fatalities involved a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. Speeding was a contributing factor in 76 of the total fatalities.


The Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office recommends that everyone buckle up and that drivers should always obey the posted speed limit.






De Queen Aldermen passed a resolution accepting the donation of some property from the Horatio State Bank Tuesday night during their regular monthly meeting.


According to the deed, the property has a house setting on it and Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy stated the fire department may burn the house for a training exercise and then the property could be converted into a flood way.


City Clerk Donna Jones informed the council that the physical address of the property is 510 North 1st Street.


McKelvy also reported that work has started on the raw water line.


He also informed aldermen that an 8-inch drain had been installed in the clarifier by Cossatot Builders. McKelvy reported that the city had budgeted $35,000 for the installation of the drain, but the total cost was only $13,000.


Aldermen discussed the mid-year budget amendment, but elected to table a vote on the issue until they could review the amendments until their next meeting on July 15th.


McKelvy also updated aldermen on the traffic light project at the intersection of Lakeside Drive and Stillwell Avenue.


McKelvy also reported that the city's sales tax revenues were up over the past 12 months and that the Department of Labor had made an inspection and the city had no violations.






Around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Ashdown Police received a 911 call from the E-Z Mart from a woman who identified herself as 54-year-old De-Ann Opitz of Van Buren. She reported that she had been a victim of a carjacking and kidnapped from a parking lot in Fort Smith earlier that day.


According to the Ashdown Police, Opitz was able to escape when the suspect stopped for gas at that E-Z Mart store.


While the suspect was filling the tank with gas, Opitz ran from the vehicle and went inside the store and asked for help. The clerk called 911, while some store customers assisted Opitz.


The suspect left the parking lot and started driving North on Highway 71.


Detective Zane Butler attempted to overtake the suspect's vehicle. Butler was joined by officers with the Arkansas State Police and the Sevier County Sheriff's office when the vehicle was located at the intersection of Highway 71 and Highway 27.


The suspect refused to stop and pursuit ensued until the suspect stopped the vehicle on Highway 27 between Ben Lomond and Mineral Springs in Sevier County.


The suspect was identified as 37-year-old Ardwin Sylvester of Fort Smith.


Sylvester is being held in the Sevier County jail on a absconding warrant and his bond has been set at $50,000. Sylvester also had a hold placed on him for Sebastian County.


According to a spokesperson from the Sevier County Sheriff's office, Sylvester is also being charged with felony fleeing and possession of a firearm by a certain person.


The incident is under investigation and multiple charges are pending in several jurisdictions.






The members of the First Baptist Church of Lockesburg are offering the public the opportunity to view the movie "God's Not Dead" for free this Sunday evening at 6 p.m. in the church sanctuary.


According to the pastor, Jack Gilliland, the film is about faith and the limits that one young man will go to in order to defend his faith.


Gilliland stated that the members of his church felt they should share this message with their community during these difficult times.


According to the film's website, the film will educate, entertain and inspire you to explore what you believe about God and will ignite real conversations and lead to life-changing decisions.






Circuit Court Judge Charles Yeargan granted a continuance to the defense team of Emilio Gutierrez and set a new trial date of August 13th, during last week's session of the Sevier County Circuit Court.


Gutierrez has been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, maintaining a drug premises, simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms and trafficking a controlled substance - methamphetamine.


A trial date of July 23rd was set for Barbara Kelly on the charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of meth or cocaine with the purpose to deliver.


Brett Hall's trial for disorderly conduct, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a scheduled I or II controlled substance but not meth or cocaine was set for August 10th.


Ezekiel Christie, Kasie McClendon, Natalie Mills, Vicky Ortega, Sabrina Dinger and Jonathon Walker, all made first appearances last week in circuit court and had their official charges read to them. They will return to court this week.






An arrest warrant was issued after authorities discovered methamphetamine and firearms at a local residence.


According to the Sevier County Drug Task Force, deputies with the Sevier County Sheriff's office obtained a search warrant for a residence on Chapel Hill Road where an individual was suspected of selling drugs.


While preparing to execute the search warrant, authorities discovered several marijuana plants growing in the backyard.


No one was home at the time of the search, but officers discovered some meth and several weapons.


The owner of the residence is James Culp of De Queen and warrants have been issued for his arrest for the charges of possession of controlled substance, cultivation of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of firearms by a certain person.


If you have information about the whereabouts of Culp, you are being asked to contact the sheriff's office at 642-2125.

Courtesy of the Texarkana Gazette





De Queen Fire Department held a specialized training class for any qualifying fire departments/firefighters.  This class was conducted through the Arkansas Fire Academy located in Camden. 


The class entitled, L.P. Gas,  as offered to better prepare firefighters who might encounter a Liquid Petroleum Gas incident ranging from a ruptured pipeline to a an L.P. Gas vehicle that is leaking fuel or one that has caught fire.


Six other area fire departments also attended the training; some traveling to De Queen from as far away as the hot Springs area. 


De Queen Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt said that he would like to "shed some light" on the requirements for attending this class.  "In order for a firefighter to attend this class, the following training prerequisites must be met:  Firefighters have to take six other classes that must be taken prior to this class and all aspects of those classes must be successfully completed.  Each class consists of 16 hours of training for a total of 96 hours which includes a combination of both classroom and hands-on training."


Chief Pruitt explained that the logistic aspects of conducting this class took the De Queen Fire Department almost two years to achieve and how hard the De queen Fire Department had worked in order to qualify for this training.  However, once that was completed, all 26 members of the De Queen Fire Department were eligible to take the L.P. Gas class.  Chief Pruitt stated that "23 of De Queen's firefighters were present for the class and all members successfully completed the training which has enabled them to be better prepared should such an event ever arise within our community."  There were thirty-two firefighters who successfully completed the L.P. Gas class Saturday.


The De Queen Fire Department would like to thank all those who so graciously made donations to make this valuable training a success.  UA Cossatot for the use of the Weyerhaeuser training room, Southern L.P. Gas for the donation of 250 gallons of fuel for the live burn exercise, local law enforcement officers from city, county and state who assisted with the spectators, Southwest EMS who provided personnel onside, Town North Shopping Center for the use of the parking area to conduct the training exercise,  Tyson Foods for the donation of chicken and Nick Strother for donating his time to prepare the meal for all those involved in the training exercise.


Chief Pruitt also stated that the last time this training was offered in our was in the late 90's.  He concluded by saying, "I am very proud of our fire department and all the fire departments that were in attendance at this training session.  As firefighters, we are always striving to gain the latest knowledge and training that the fire service has to offer."     More photos

UA Cossatot Colts Place Second in Nation   06/25/14

Casper WY – The UA Cossatot Colts Team Roping duo of Brody Braden and Tanner Caudle both of Horatio, finished as Reserve Champions in the Team Roping event to secure a 10th place men's team finish at the 2014 College National Finals Rodeo. 


The UA Cossatot rodeo team finished the 2013-2014 season Saturday evening at the CNFR with UA Cossatot being represented in the prestigious finals for the first time since the program's inception in 2010. 


The team of Braden-Caudle finished in 21st place in team roping in the first go Monday.  Their time of 11.3 seconds was slowed with a 5 second penalty. Their second go around run of 5.6 seconds was good enough for a 3rd place finish.  A 7.4 second run on their third steer placed them 10th in the third go. They were 6th overall in the event going into the finals on Saturday night.  The top 12 qualifiers in each of the nine events qualify for Saturday's championship finals.  When the dust settled in the Casper Events Center, Braden and Caudle's run of 7.0 was not only good enough for a 3rd place finish in the round but also earned them the title of reserve national champions in the team roping.


“I could not be more proud of these two guys,” said Rodeo Coach Valerie Stone.  “They represented themselves, their college, and Arkansas with pride.  This is the reward for all the long hours and hard work not only in the practice pen but also the classroom.  This was their chance to prove that dedication and hard work does pay off."


“When we began UA Cossatot’s Rodeo Program, we had visions of being represented in Wyoming by our students,” said UA Cossatot Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole.  “This is something that not only Brody and Tanner have been working towards, but also our entire college.  With Coach Stone and kids like these, the sky is the limit for our program.”


Additionally during the regular season, Coach Stone's rodeo teams finished sixth in the men's standings and eighth in the women's standings of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association's Ozark Region.  Individually, Braden and Caudle were ranked first regionally in their respective team roping header and heeler categories despite competing in only 8 of the 10 rodeos.  The Braden-Caudle tandem claimed team roping titles at Murray State University, East Mississippi Community College and University of Tennessee at Martin rodeos to help seal their regional championship.


One of the greatest of all rodeos on the North American continent is the College National Finals Rodeo.  The CNFR was held June 15-21. More than 400 cowboys and cowgirls from 100 universities and colleges compete in Casper each year. College cowboys and cowgirls compete all year in one of the eleven different regions in the United States and four Canadian Provinces for a chance to enter the CNFR arena in an effort to win national titles in saddle bronc, bareback, bull riding, steer wrestling, calf roping, team roping, barrel racing, breakaway roping, and goat tying.  The top three students in each event, and top two men's and women's teams from the NIRA's 11 regions, qualify for the CNFR. The 2014 event marks the 66th year for the rodeo. 


The Saturday championship round was televised and will air August 15th on ESPNU. Check your local listings. For more college rodeo information, log on to www.collegerodeo.





Coming up this weekend it’s the Superbowl of bass fishing tournaments in Arkansas. It's the Arkansas Big Bass Classic on the Arkansas River and Montine McNulty of the Arkansas Hospitality Association stated it’s the biggest amateur fishing tournament in Arkansas and she said, it's not too late to register and you don't have to fish all three days. All you have to do is go to their website at


The largest bass ever caught during the Arkansas Big Bass Classic was over 8 pounds, but several 5 to 6 pound bass have taken the top prize.


McNulty stated that the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission have a gift for every fisherman that weighs-in a bass on Friday.


For more information, go to their website at






Last Friday about 8:30 p.m., Patrolman First Class Levi Browning of the De Queen Police Department saw a vehicle with a driver that he realized had a city warrant at the guard shack at Pilgrim's Pride on Third Street.


Browning initiated a traffic stop in the Pilgrim's Pride parking lot and informed the driver, 32-year-old Maurice Piggee that he had a warrant for his arrest.


Browning reported that as he was speaking with Piggee, Piggee kept reaching toward his back pocket. So, Piggee was asked to get out of his vehicle and place his hands on Browning's patrol car.


Browning discovered a clear bag containing a green leafy substance along with a clear smoking device with residue and burn marks on it.


Piggee was arrested on the warrant and then charged with possession of a controlled substance - marijuana and felony possession of drug paraphernalia.






Monday night, Dierks Superintendent Donnie Davis attended his final regular Dierks Board of Education meeting after announcing his retirement earlier this year.


Davis stated that he was looking forward to retirement after serving as a superintendent for 32 years and he mentioned it was nice to be leaving the district on a high note.


As Davis mentioned, Representative Fonda Hawthorne presented the district with a check for $13,654.79. The funds were presented to Jo Ann Walters Elementary Principal Karla Byrnes because the school's test scores were in the top 20 percent in the state.


Board members voted to hire First Security has the district's financial advisor for the next three years after hearing a presentation from Ray Beardsley. Davis explained that the move from Stephens Inc. to First Security would save the district money.


Elementary Principal Byrnes reported that test scores were looking pretty good and High School Principal Holly Cothern stated literacy scores appeared to an improved over last year scores.


Cothern also mentioned that one Dierks High School band member was named the state's second band while attending band camp this summer.


Davis also informed the board that the safe room had been completed and was ready for use.


Board members approved the district's proposed 2015-2016 budget and approved the renewal of the district's insurance with the Arkansas State Board Association.


Four Freedom of Choice requests were approved for students wanting to move into the Dierks School District, while nine requests were granted for students wanting to attend other schools.


Following an executive session, resignations were accepted for Chad and Tammy Lites, Thomas Sweeten and Tammie Fry. All four teachers have accepted employment with the De Queen School District. 






More and more people are suffering from diabetes and a lot of people are pre-diabetic, so, Doctor Randy Walker's office is presenting a free diabetic education class this Saturday on the De Queen campus of UA Cossatot in the agri room in the Frank G. Adams building at 9 a.m.


LPN Stacy Dowdy and Angie Walker announced Tuesday morning that there's two types of diabetes and they explained that Type I diabetics are insulin dependent, but Type II diabetics are not, but their diabetes can be controlled with medication along with diet and exercise.


Dietician Beth Beckel stated that Saturday's program will provide diabetics with the latest information about diabetes care and she mentioned that they will cover diet, counting carbs and the benefits of exercise along with several other topics.


If you are interested in attending the class, you are being asked to contact Dr. Walker's office at 584-3000.   




MINOR ACCUSED OF THEFT         6/25/14


On June 14th, 49-year-old Debra Boyd of Horatio filed a report with the Sevier County Sheriff's office concerning the theft of some items from her home.


Boyd said she came home on Thursday, June 12th and discovered her room was a mess with several items tossed all over the floor.


Boyd stated she assumed her children and left the mess and started cleaning her room, however, as she was cleaning she discovered that some of her jewelry was missing along with some other items.


When Boyd's son arrived home, she asked him if he knew what happened in her room and he reportedly informed her that when he came home earlier he witnessed a minor male suspect running out of their house.


Boyd's son claimed to recognize the suspect and she called a relative of the minor in order to speak with him. The suspect informed Boyd that he didn't take anything from her home, but one of her neighbor's children had shown him some jewelry.


Then on Sunday, June 15th, Boyd returned to the sheriff's office and reported that the minor suspect had sold a pair of earrings that matched a pair that was taken from her home.


Allegedly, the earrings were sold to Aaron Moreland who was in custody at the time on an unrelated incident.


Moreland informed deputies that a minor boy had given him the earrings because he was going to buy them for his daughter.


The case is still under investigation.






A one-vehicle accident Monday in McCurtain County, Oklahoma claimed the lives of three people and left two seriously injured.


Oklahoma State troopers reported that a 1999 Ford that was being driven by 24-year-old Johnny Collum of Broken Bow was traveling west on State Highway 3 when it crossed the center line and went off the left hand side of the roadway and hit a culvert.


The accident happened about 11:30 a.m. about eight miles east of Idabel and emergency workers worked until about 12:48 p.m. to free the final victim from the vehicle.


According to the report, there were four passengers in Collum's vehicle. They were 30-year-old Natasha Gamble of Idabel, her son, 12-year-old Devin Chesney and her daughter 10-year-old Sarah Lester and 24-year-old Kenneth Gann of Heavener.


Collum, Chesney and Gann were pronounced dead at the scene and according to the report, no one was wearing a seat belt.


Gamble was airlifted to a hospital in Texarkana in serious condition with internal and external injuries to her belly and arm.


Lester was airlifted to the Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock in critical condition with injuries to her belly and head.


No one was ejected from the vehicle and troopers are still investigating the cause of the accident.





TURN IT DOWN OR ELSE        6/24/14


Friday night, Sevier County Sheriff Deputy John Cooke was dispatched to 1095 Highway 71 North in reference to a noise complaint.


Cooke reported that the music was coming from a house where they were holding a coming of age party and asked them to turn down the music because the sheriff's office was receiving complaints about the noise.


About 11 p.m., Cooke was dispatched to the same residence and once again informed them to turn down the music or he would have to write a citation to the owner of the home. 


Then a little bit after midnight, Cooke was sent back to the residence for a third time and informed the owner of the home, Liliana Durain, that she was being cited for loud music, however, Durain's sister Maria Barba asked if the citation could be written to her and not her sister.


Cooke agreed and then informed the DJ that if he returned again, he would get a citation and the party would be over. According to the sheriff's office report, there were no further incidents.






A Lockesburg resident has been charged with criminal attempted suicide after deputies from the Sevier County Sheriff's office were dispatched to a residence at 4236 Highway 71 South.


When Deputy Michael Barnes arrived, he reported that 40-year-old Veronica Moles of Lockesburg was in the back of Deputy Kristopher Hundley's patrol car being checked out by first responders from Lockesburg.


According to a witness, Moles called her from the living room. The witness stated that when she walked into the living room, Moles was standing on a table with a rope around her neck. Moles then allegedly stepped off the table. The witness reported that she cut the rope and removed it from around Mole's neck.


Moles then allegedly broke a TV and VCR along with several windows and picture frame, while attempting to harm herself.


According to police records, this is not the first time that Moles has attempted to harm herself.






Cossatot River State Park will be hosting a 3-day summer camp Tuesday through Thursday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.


Campers will have fun learning and understanding during Cossatot's Wilderness Survival 101 class, as well as, try to catch some fish with an old fashion cane fishing pole.


The camp is $35 per child and is for ages 9 to 13. For more information or to register your child for the camp call the park at 385-2201. The deadline to register is today.


Park staff will pick up and drop off campers at three locations, including Scotty's in Cove, the Van-Cove High School parking lot and at the Union Bank in Wickes.


This Saturday, the park will host a Cossatot River Weekend Adventure.


Guests will join the park interpreters for an overnight adventure on the Cossatot River. The event will feature kayaking, backpacking, fishing, hiking, camping, Dutch oven cooking, snorkeling and evening programs.


The cost of the Cossatot River Weekend Adventure is $95 and that covers the kayak and tent rental, food, guides services and any equipment needed for the adventure.


Sunday afternoon, guests may help feed the park critters from 2 to 3 p.m.


Monday morning, the park will host a bird walk along the Cossatot River while discovering what birds are stirring from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and Monday afternoon, park interpreters will be leading a snorkeling tour from 1 to 2 p.m.






Winthrop Baptist Church and the Southern Sportsmen Foundation will be offering a free boating education class this Saturday and organizer Mike Cranford explained that boaters of all ages will learn state laws and safety information.


Cranford stated the course is mandatory for anyone born on or after January 1st, 1986, but it will benefit anyone that loves being on the water.


Cranford recommended that boaters of all ages attend the free event this Saturday at 9 a.m. at the Winthrop Baptist Church.






Former Foreman Board of Education member, Matt Corley, was recognized by the board for his six-years of service during their June meeting.


Corley resigned from the board after moving out of the district and Superintendent Jason Sanders presented a service plaque to him on behalf of the board.


New board member, Will Segraves was in attendance and informed of the boards role in the district.


Elementary Principal Pat Tankersley reported on the progress of the elementary school library renovations. She stated the painting was completed and the carpet was expected to be installed by July 1st. Following the renovation of the library, students from Southern Arkansas University are scheduled to set up the shelving and books.


Superintendent Sanders reported that the district's 2013-2014 audit report had been filed with the Arkansas Legislative Audit Committee and that the district's special education department had been monitored by the Department of Education in February and the district was in complete compliance with all state and federal regulations.


Lunch prices were raised from $1.60 to $1.75 to keep the district in line with the federal lunch regulations.


Insurance coverage for the district's vehicles, buildings and contents  was purchased through the Arkansas School Board Association in the amount of $35,896.56 and Common Core material was purchased from Collaborative Learning, Inc. in the amount of $12,700/


Changes to the elementary handbook were approved, but the board elected to table the acceptance of the high school student handbook, until board members could have time to review the changes.


Emily Gentry and Kayla Barazza were hired for Kindergarten through third grade teaching positions and one student transfer was approved from the Foreman School District to the Horatio School District.






On June 19th about 9 p.m., a one vehicle accident on Highway 84, just east of Umpire, claimed the life of one person and injured two others.


The Arkansas State Police reported that a 1996 Toyota Camry that was being driven by 16-year-old Sebastian Ratliff of New Hope was traveling east on Highway 84 in Howard County when the vehicle veered into the westbound land.


The accident report states Ratliff over-corrected and the vehicle left the roadway and struck an embankment.


One of the passengers, 15-year-old Jaime Garcia of Athens was ejected and pronounced dead at the St. Vincent Hospital in Hot Springs.


The other passenger, 14-year-old Khristian Ratliff and Sebastian were injured.






The grades are in and Arkansas earned a low D in terms of support that it gives to new parents in the workplace.


A study has looked at such things as family leave and job protections around the country. Vicki Shabo is one of the report's authors and she says Arkansas got credit for policies that help nursing mothers, but that about all.


The report from the National Partnership for Women and Families is titled "Expecting Better: A state by state analysis of laws that help new parents."


It is being released to coincide with the White House summit on Working Families. Shabo says some discouraging grades were handed out nationwide.


She also stated that she finds reason for optimism in the report.


The group's previous report was in 2012 and Congress is currently debating the Family Act, which would establish a national paid family and medical leave insurance program.







LifeShare Blood Center will be holding a community blood drive at the De Queen Medical Center on Monday, June 23rd from noon until 4 p.m.


According to LifeShare Blood Centers, someone needs blood every two seconds, which means about one in seven people that enter a hospital will need a blood product.


It is estimated that 4.5 million Americans will need a blood transfusion this year and only 37 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood and less than 10 percent donates annually.


Donors must be at least 17 years old and weigh a minimum of 110 pounds. All donors must present ID and be in good health and know the names of any medication that they are taking.


LifeShare recommends that donors get a good night's sleep, eat regular meals and drink plenty of fluids before donating.


LifeShare Blood Centers of Texarkana provides all of the blood products for the De Queen Medical Center, the Little River Memorial Hospital and Howard Memorial Hospital.


So, make plans to donate Monday between noon and 4 p.m. at the De Queen Medical Center.






Last week, KDQN reported that the Arkansas Sheriff's Association had asked the governor's office to add the overcrowding issue to the agenda of a Legislative special session this summer.


According to the sheriff's association, there are more than 2,714 state inmates being held in county jails throughout the state and the association requested some funding for the Arkansas Department of Corrections, which would allow the state to house inmates with a third party.


The sheriff's association also asked the state to place a cap on the number of state inmates that may be housed in county facilities.


The association stated that due to the number of state inmates being housed on the county levels, local sheriff's departments were unable to serve arrest warrants, collect fines and restitution or enforce civil orders and misdemeanor violations because they do not have enough space to house local offenders.


And, according to Governor Mike Beebe's office, it has found $6.3 million dollars in the budget to fund up to 600 additional prison beds.


Beebe's office said that the additional funding will relieve some of the backup that is being caused by state inmates being housed in county jails. But, the funding depends on the Legislature passing the proposal during a special session this summer.


The governor says he'll add the item to the agenda for a special session if the House and Senate assures him that it will pass.


Legislatures are currently working to win a consensus on a proposal concerning the state's public school employee health insurance and a bill that would block the lottery from adding monitor games.


A spokesperson for Beebe's office stated that the $6.3 million dollars would open up 330 state beds and at least 250 beds in Pulaski County, which the county built but can't afford to operate.






Glen Seymoore announced that Doctor George Covert's office will be hosting a fundraiser on Thursday, July 3rd to help raise funds to refurbish the playground on the LF Henderson campus.


Seymoore mentioned they will be serving BBQ and hosting several activities for the community to participating in as they get ready for the Fourth of July holiday.


Seymoore stated that a couple of people in Doctor Covert's office attended LF Henderson and they were looking forward in giving back.


For more information about the fundraiser for the LF Henderson playground, call 870-898-6940.






Unemployment in Arkansas has dropped for the eighth consecutive month, falling two-tenths of a percentage point to 6.4 percent in May.


The Department of Workforce Services announced today that the state unemployment rate was down more than a full percentage point from May a year ago.


The national unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.3 percent in May, but in May of 2013, both the national and the Arkansas jobless rates were 7.5 percent. Since then, the state has added 13,500 non-farm jobs.






A state senator will try again to win passage of a resolution that would ask the Arkansas Supreme Court to uphold the state's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.


In May, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza ruled that the state's gay marriage ban was unconstitutional and over the next week, more than 500 same-sex couples obtained marriage licenses before the state Supreme Court issued a stay and said it would look at an appeal by the state.


Republican Senator Jason Rapert of Conway intends to ask the Legislative Council to approve a resolution to keep the ban as a state law.


Rapert failed in his first attempt on May 16th to get the non-binding measure to a vote before the panel. He has also called for the impeachment of Piazza.






According to a recent survey that was released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Arkansas ranks second in the nation for smokeless tobacco use among youth.


In 2013, 14.8 percent of Arkansas youth used smokeless tobacco; this rate is an increase from the 2011 rate of 11.6 percent and is well above the national rate of 8.8 percent.


The director of tobacco prevention in Arkansas says that with the rates of smokeless tobacco use on the rise among youth, it is important that the state educates everyone about the dangers of using smokeless tobacco.


According to the Arkansas Department of Health, in as little as three years of use, 60 to 78 percent of smokeless tobacco users develop oral lesions and seven to 10 percent of those lesions develop into cancer.


Research also suggests that smokeless tobacco users are at a higher risk for other health issues like heart disease, stomach problems and decreased physical performance.


The Arkansas Department of Health reported that these new statistics, as well as, the information about the impact of smokeless tobacco on athletes, reinforces the need for tobacco control advocates to intensify their efforts to prevent youth people using smokeless tobacco and to encourage current users to quit.


If current tobacco users are interested in quitting, they can call the Arkansas Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-Quit-Now or visit for more information.





Members of the De Queen Board of Education met Wednesday night during a special session to approve the 2015-2016 expenditure budget and discuss the district's future growth.


Superintendent Bruce Hill explained that the state mandated that the district pass the 2015-2016 budget but they are not anticipating a mileage increase.


Ray Beardsley of the First Security of Arkansas met with the board to advise the district on financial matters and help position the district for future growth.


Hill explained that for the past several years the district has been experiencing a good problem with steady growth in class sizes. Hill explained that even with the closing of several businesses in De Queen, the district has not experienced a decrease in student enrollment. He also stated that every room in every building is being used to teach students.


Hill stated that board members accepted the resignation of a couple of district employees and hired a half-time physical education teacher and half-time DI instructor. Alicia Mitchell will also serve as an assistant girls’ basketball coach.


The next meeting of the De Queen Board of Education is scheduled for July 14 in the school administration building.






Former Little River County Sheriff Danny Russell entered a plea of no contest Wednesday to the citation of obstructing a government operation involving a law enforcement officer.


Russell was originally charged with interfering with a law enforcement officer, which is a Class A misdemeanor. However, Russell pled no contest after accepting a plea bargain agreement to a lesser charge of obstructing a governmental operation, which is a Class C misdemeanor.


Russell made his plea before Lafayette County District Court Judge Edward Cochran during a special session of the Little River County Circuit Court.


Russell was fined $100 plus court cost, which he must pay within the next 30-days.


According to the agreement, the charge will be dismissed and Russell can have the record sealed after paying the fine.


A second charge of disorderly conduct was dismissed.


The case was based on an altercation between Russell and Little River County Sheriff Gary Gregory on March 22 after the sheriff's office was asked to check on an agent with the Department of Human Services Child Maltreatment Division at Russell's son's home.






The state's not doing a good job meeting the long-tern care needs of its citizens, according to the AARP. But, the AARP report states that Arkansas could save a lot of money and make more people happy, if it worked to help folks stay in their homes.


AARP recently released a national state-by-state scorecard on long-term services and Arkansas ranked 40th overall.


However, Herb Sanderson of AARP Arkansas says there is some good news. He said the state could save at least 77 million dollars a year by helping keep people in their own homes, but a major key is the state doing more to support family members who do the bulk of the care for the family members.


Sanderson stresses that the state is running out of time on the issue because of the aging of the state's population.


Sanderson gives the Department of Human Services credit for the steps that they have taken. But, he says they state should do more to inform residents, provide better incentives and provide more support of in-home care givers.


Sanderson suggests more services that provide relief to exhausted family members and more assistance to help people transition from a nursing home after they spend a short period of time in a nursing home following a illness or injury.


Sanderson says overall the state is not spending tax dollars as wisely as it could, given that it's cheaper and makes people happier, when they can stay in their own homes. But he says many states have started to make that shift and Arkansas should follow their example.






A state representative says he's drafting a bill that would require government boards that go into closed session to record the proceedings and have them reviewed by a prosecutor to ensure they didn't discuss matters that should have been made public.


Republican Representative Nate Bell of Mena mentioned his bill as the end of a hearing on expanding Arkansas' Freedom of Information Act on Wednesday.


Bell said a prosecutor would have to get the recordings within 30-days and that if a portion of the meeting should have been held in public, that the segment of the recording would have to be immediately released to the public.


The hearing before the State Agencies Committee mainly focused on the ways that the public can learn more about spending in state contracts.






Mike Ross and Asa Hutchinson are both addressing the members of the Arkansas Municipal League during their annual convention in Little Rock today.


Ross is the Democratic nominee and Hutchinson represents the Republican Party and their speeches will be followed by other candidates for the state's other constitutional offices.


Organizers say the convention will feature numerous workshop sessions that are related to issues of interest to city government officials, including emergency preparedness, land use challenges and how to avoid lawsuits, along with other topics.


More than 1,200 municipal officials and other participants are expected to attend the convention that will conclude on Friday.






The Arkansas attorney general's office has rejected the wording of a proposed ballot item that would allow vote getters in primary elections, regardless of party affiliation, to advance to the general election.


Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's office announced Wednesday that the proposal would violate the First Amendment in that it would block political parties from the freedom of association.


The measure was sponsored by David Dinwiddie and it would create a blanket primary system, in which all candidates would be on a single primary ballot.


If passed it would do away with the present need for voters to select a Republican or Democratic ballot during the primary.


McDaniel's office also pointed out that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a similar law in California in 2000.






Consumers that are looking for ways to lose a few pounds may turn to dietary supplements, so-called weight-loss creams or other unconventional means. Although advertisements may tout the benefits of these weight-loss products, chances are that most consumers will lose a little weight, but it will be from their wallets and no where else.


Americans spend close to $2.5 billion per year on diet products, according tot he Federal Trade Commission. And, according to a FTCX survey, more Americans are victims of weight-loss product fraud than any other specific type of fraud.


This week, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has issued a consumer alert to remind Arkansas consumers about the dangers of quick fix weight loss schemes.


McDaniel stated that medical experts report that the only surefire way to lose weight is through the combination of proper diet and exercise over time.


According to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, the most effective way to lost weight and keep it off is by losing one-half to two pounds per week by eating better and exercising. UAMS also recommends that consumers speak with their doctor before starting any diet program.


Physicians warn that dietary supplements that can be found in stores or online that have not been approved by the FDA could contain dangerous ingredients and could be toxic when taken with other drugs or certain foods.


The attorney generals office recommends avoiding pitches that promise weight loss without diet or exercise and beware of claims of permanent weight loss, because permanent weight loss requires a permanent lifestyle changes.


McDaniel says there is no magic pill that helps you loss weight without a corresponding low-calorie, low-fat diet and regular exercise.


Products that promise lightning fast results never work and they may cause health damage and there is no cream or patch that melts away pounds. So be wary of businesses that promote their one and only products or use words like guaranteed results.


McDaniel said consumers should also be aware that businesses often hire actors to appear to be doctors in their ads and some deceptive advertisers may even alter before and after photos to promote false results.


For more information visit or call 1-800-482-8982.




De Queen Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt announced that the fire department would be conducting a propane fire training class this Saturday in the Town North Shopping Center and the community is invited to watch.


Chief Pruitt stated that this isn't an easy, but offers valuable training for area firefighters. Pruitt said that its been about 12 years since this class was offered in the area and other departments will be participating.


Pruitt said the training will begin about 6:30 p.m. but will be pretty amazing to watch after dark.


Pruitt stated that you can view a video of the training on YouTube at fire training propane burn 2014.





Ashdown Assistant Fire Chief Wes Redfearn plead guilty to theft of property for stealing diesel fuel and filling up his person truck and was sentenced to three years probation and will have to pay a $1,000 dollar fine.


According to the Little River County Circuit Clerk’s office, Redfearn may use $500 of his fine toward his restitution. Redfearn will be required to pay $2,537.36 within 90-days to repay the city for the amount that he stole from the fuel pumps.


According to court documents, Redfearn illegally charged $2,537.36 to the City of Ashdown by filling up his personal truck while refueling the fire trucks at Red River Oil in Ashdown.


Redfearn apparently had been filling up his personal vehicle since July of 2013 until October when he was confronted by the Ashdown Fire Chief.


Redfearn had been a volunteer firefighter for about 10 years but was suspended last October after he allegedly admitted to the fire chief that he had been taking the diesel.





James and Lana VanVoast of De Queen were selected as the 2014 Sevier County Farm Family of the Year by the Arkansas Farm Bureau.


The VanVoast's operate a 400-acre cattle farm and they own and operate LJ Excavating.


Mark and Karen Kitchens of Dierks have been as the 2014 Howard County Farm Family of the Year.


The Kitchens have two contract breeder production farms with Tyson Foods and produce about 678,000 dozen eggs a year. They also have 110 head of beef cattle, while operating 732 acres of land, as well as, 284 acres of timberland.


The VanVoast and Kitchen families will now join 73 other county Farm Families of the Year that are competing for district and state farm family of the year titles.


The winner of the Arkansas Farm Family of the year will be announced December 11th in Little Rock.





Last month, the Howard County Quorum Court voted against issuing a county-wide ambulance contract to the Howard County Ambulance Service after concerns were voiced about the services response time to the northern section of the county.


This week, the Nashville based ambulance provided was granted a one-year exclusive contract for emergency services to only a portion of the county.


JPs used a map that showed the coverage area of the Dierks Volunteer Ambulance service as a basis for setting up areas that will be covered by the new exclusive agreement, which will include every part of Howard County, except, Dierks, Umpire, Athens and the Newhope Fire Department territories. Portions of the Nathan and Center Point fire departments are also not covered by the new agreement, which was approved by a seven to one vote.


Before the vote was taken, Howard Memorial Hospital Administrator Debra Wright provided a report revealing the number of emergency room visits made by residents living in the northern part of Howard County.


Wright stated that from November 1st, 2013 to May 15th, the Howard County Ambulance Service transported 58 patients to the hospital's emergency room. She also estimated that another 183 patients could have been potential ambulance transfers, which meant there were 37 possible ambulance runs per month from the Dierks, Umpire, Athens and Newhope area, according to her data.





Organizer Angela Smith reported this week that after getting off to a late start due to the cooler temperatures, the Sevier County Farmers' Market is now rolling.


Smith stated that farmers' market will now be open every Wednesday and Saturday 9 to 11 a.m. at the pavilion in the Herman Dierks Park in De Queen.





Relief groups in Faulkner County say more volunteers are needed to continue with the clean-up efforts from the April 27th tornado.


Arkansas Dream Center Executive Director Drew Davis says five to six homes still need to be demolished, and about two dozen sites need extensive clean-up work. The EF4 tornado that hit Vilonia and Mayflower killed 15 people and caused extensive damage.


Davis says that 700 people in the area were affected by the storm, and that less than one-third of them have secured permanent housing. He says the most-needed donations now are furniture and small appliances.


Faulkner County Judge Allen Dodson said the county will begin its final sweep for tornado debris on June 30th.





Arkansas House and Senate leaders are counting votes for two bills that are aimed at addressing the looming insurance increases for public school employees as they see whether there's enough support on the issue before calling for a special session.


The top officials from a task force that was formed to address overhauling the teacher insurance program began circulating its proposals to lawmakers Tuesday and they stated that they hoped to know in the next couple of days whether there's enough support to pass them.


Governor Mike Beebe's office announced that he's satisfied with the legislation, but needs to see that there's enough support to pass them before he'll call a special session.


The bills include proposals to exclude part-time employees from plans and excluding spouses from coverage if they can receive insurance from their own employers.





Cossatot River State Park Interpreter Shelly Flanary announced they the park will be hosting several programs this week including a hike on the Harris Creek Trail to enjoy the wildflowers that are unique to the Ouachita Mountains.


Guests are reminded to wear appropriate footwear and to bring plenty of drinking water and sunscreen.


Wednesday afternoon from 2 to 3 p.m., guests can attempt to sneak up on fish by joining the park interpreters on a snorkeling trip. Flanary stated the swimming pools are full of perch, minnows and a lot of other river dwellers.


Then on Friday, the park will host a morning stroll from 10 to 11 a.m. along the Waterleaf Trail and then go fishing with a cane pole from 1 to 3 p.m.


The park will provide the cane pole line and bobbers, but you can bring your own bait or lucky lures, as well as some sunscreen, hat and water.


Saturday and Sunday will feature the guided kayak tour from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.


Cost is $30.94 and the park provides shuttle transportation, interpretive guide service, a kayak, paddle and lifejacket.


However, on Saturday there will be a macro-invertebrate search from 2 to 3 p.m. and from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. guest will be able to enjoy a Dutch oven dessert cooking demonstration at the visitor center.


Sunday morning from 10 to 11 a.m. guest can join a park interpreter on a snorkeling adventure and then help feed to the park critters from 2 to 3 p.m.


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






Early Thursday morning, June 12th, authorities were dispatched to a disturbance on Dunn Road in De Queen.


When Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Barnes arrived, he interviewed 25-year-old Bryce Keaton concerning the incident.


Keaton reported that he and 25-year-old Alyssa Butler saw a truck pull into his driveway and one of the people in the truck jumped out and started running toward them. The suspect was identified as 27-year-old Dustin Terry.


Keaton said he took a swing at Terry as he approached him but missed and then took off running around his house. Keaton stated that he returned to the front of the house after hearing Butler scream, but when he returned he was holding a bat and hammer and told Terry to get back in the truck and leave.


According to Keaton, the two men then engaged in a physical altercation and eventually Terry and another male got back into the truck and left.


Authorities obtained a warrant for Terry's arrest on the charge of assault in the third degree, but at this time, he is not in custody.






Howard County deputies have made an arrest after investigating a break-in at the Center Point Store on Sunday.


Store owner April Merkle notified the Howard County Sheriff's office that she discovered a large hole in the front window of the store and a rock inside the store along with the broken glass.


Following quick inventory of the store, Merkle and Deputy Travis Turner discovered that several packs of cigarettes were missing.


According to the incident report, the investigation led to 19-year-old Dominique Brumfield of 3106 Highway 26 West.


After deputies obtain consent to search Brumfield's residence, they discovered some of the stolen cigarettes.


Brumfield was arrested and charged with commercial burglary and theft of property in connection with the case.






The trial date for a man that has been accused of killing a Howard County couple has been re-scheduled for September 5th in the Hempstead County Circuit Court.


25-year-old Andrew Whitaker of Nashville has been ordered to appear in court this September on two counts of negligent homicide following an incident in December which according to police Whitaker allegedly struck a Chevy Tahoe and then crashed into a Honda Accord that was being driven by 74-year-old Cecil Harris, formerly of Dierks and his wife, 66-year-old Mary Harris.


Cecil and Mary Harris were transported by Pafford EMS to Wadley Regional Medical Center in Hope, where they died from their injuries.


Whitaker was arrested May 21st in Howard County by deputies from the Howard County Sheriff's office on a warrant issued by the Hope Police Department for the deaths of the Harris'.


Whitaker was originally charged with manslaughter, but the charges have been amended to negligent homicide.






Back in May, citizens of Mineral Springs met to discuss ideas for promoting businesses in the area. Of course, the recent closing of the town's only grocery store and the loss of other businesses were at the top of the list of concerns.


The group also discussed ways to promote the community as well as the downtown area.


One of those ideas will become a reality on Saturday, June 21st during Mineral Springs' first market day event.


Organizers are encouraging community members and vendors to reserve a booth space by contacting the water department, which is located beside the Mineral Springs Town Hall.


Vendors selling crafts, farm produce or products, resale and garage sale items and antiques are being asked to reserve a booth space for the day. Booth prices range from $15 to $25 according to size.


Other activities will be held from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., including children's activities and games and drawings will be held throughout the day.


Mineral Springs plans to hold four market days per year on the second Saturday of October, December, March and June. The December Market Day will also feature the Mineral Springs Christmas parade.


Community leaders also hope to develop programs to promote the clean-up and beautification of the city, including Yard of the Month awards, renovating and using the jail and depot and renew the town's Waterfest event.






Democratic hopeful Mike Ross is reporting that he has more money in the bank than his Republican rival Asa Hutchinson after last month's primary election.


Ross reported this week that he has $1.6 million dollars on hand, although Hutchinson is reporting that his campaign has over $950,000.


The two men are both former congressmen who easily won their party primary elections on May 20th and have been mostly focused on each other since they launched their respective campaigns last year.


Both Ross and Hutchinson's campaigns announced raising more than $300,000 for the month of May, even though their campaign finance reports covered a different reporting period.


Democratic Governor Mike Beebe was barred from running for re-election this fall due to the state's term limits.





A spokesperson for the Sevier County Sheriff's office is issuing a warning to area joggers after the department received a report from a local jogger concerning some suspicious activity.


Jeff Nelson of De Queen reported that last Friday, he and his wife were running on Highway 41 from Bear Creek Crossfit to the Bear Creek Bridge when a black car pulled up behind his wife.


Nelson stated that the passenger got out of the vehicle and opened the trunk of the car.


Nelson said he started running toward his wife in the direction of the car because his wife was wearing headphones and could not hear what was going on and did not realize what was happening behind her.


Nelson reported that he ran past his wife toward the car and the suspect shut the trunk and the two men drove away, headed back toward De Queen.


Nelson was unable to provide a license plate number of the vehicle and the only description that he was able to provide of the two suspects were that they were African-American males.


The Sevier County Sheriff's office is asking the public to be aware of this incident and be on the lookout for suspicious activity especially around joggers.






Michaela Caudle of Horatio has earned a position on the Arkansas National High School rodeo team and will be competing with her fellow teammates during the 66th annual National High School Finals Rodeo July 13th - 19th in Rock Springs, Wyoming.


Caudle is a tenth grader at the Horatio High School and she will be competing in the girls breakaway roping competition.


The National High School Finals Rodeo will feature more than 1,500 contestants from 42 states, five Canadian Provinces and Australia, making it the largest rodeo in the world.


In addition to competing for more than $200,000 in prizes, contestant will also be competing for more than $350,000 in college scholarships and the chance to be named a National High School Final Rodeo National Champion. To earn the title, contestants must finish in the top 20, based on their combined times and scores in the first two rounds, to advance to Saturday evening's final round. National champions will then be determined based on their three-round combined times and scores.


The Saturday championship performance will be televised nationally as a part of the Cinch High School Rodeo Tour telecast series on RFD-TV at 7 p.m.


Residents may also follow Caudle online by visiting For ticket information call 307-352-6789.






During the June meeting of the Dierks City Council, Mayor Terry Mounts vetoed an ordinance that the council passed last month concerning the collection of past due water bills.


Mounts informed KDQN that this was the first time that he had used his veto power in his 12-years as mayor.


Mounts stated he vetoed the ordinance to collect past due bills on rental property because he felt it would place an undue burden on the property owners to collect the city's past due bills.


Mounts explained that the city's three water tanks were inspected and they received a good report concerning their filtering system.


And the city made its' final payment on a water and sewer bond that will free up about $6,000 a month of city revenue.


Mounts said the city had to repair a bridge that collapsed going toward the city's sewer plant, but the city is in good shape and plans to make some upgrades to the city's water department vehicles in the near future.






Carlee Helms of De Queen placed third in the Party Idea category during the 57th annual Arkansas Dairy Foods contest earlier this month in Little Rock with her recipe for Mississippi Sin Dip.


Helms is the 11-year-old daughter of Jonathan and Callie Helms and she received a $100 prize for her recipe.


Judges placed contestants based on their recipe, the use of dairy products, originality, availability of ingredients and serving techniques.


The contest is sponsored by the Arkansas Farm Bureau, the Southwest Dairy Museum and the Arkansas Dairy Cooperative Association.






Sunday, June 15th, Nancy Villamil of Horatio reported that in April she had posted an ad on Craigslist to sell a 2000 Chevy Blazer.


A short time later, she received a text message from a man called Tony Reinders inquiring about the Blazer. After corresponding for a while, Reinders sent her a package that contained a check in the amount of $2,970 and asked her to cash the check and keep $500 for her trouble and send the rest to his accountant in Georgia.


Villamil stated that she took the check to the Horatio State Bank and deposit the $500 dollars and sent the rest via Western Union to Marietta, Georgia.


Villamil then discovered that her account had a negative balance of $2,892.12 and then on Saturday, she received a second check in the amount of $2,947.34 from a Mark Smith for the purchase of the Blazer with a note that said to deposit the check via ATM as soon as possible.


When she informed Smith that she was waiting on the check to clear the bank, he advised her to deposit it via ATM once again.


Villamil stated that she feels like she is communicating with the same person and that it is a scam.


A spokesperson from the Sevier County Sheriff's office wants to remind residents not to cash or deposit checks that they receive from people that claim to be out of the country or that ask them to cash a check and keep a portion for their assistance that this is a scam. If you have any concerns concerning a similar situation, you should contact the local authorities and report the incident.






Teens are smoking less, drinking less sodas and are not fighting as much, but are spending more time on computers and other tech devices, according to the Central for Disease Control's National Youth Risk Behavior Survey.


The government goal of reducing teen smoking nationally to less than 16 percent has been met, but CDC director Tom Frieden notes that it's a fragile victory at 15.7 percent and it comes with a rise in the popularity of e-cigarettes.


Arkansas's teen smoking rate is higher than the national average at 20 percent.


Frieden also pointed out that condom use has become less common and most tees are still not eating a balanced diet. While most young people are spending fewer hours watching TV, they've simply replaced most of that time on the computer for other reasons than school work.


Stephanie Zaza is the director of the division of adolescent and school health at the CDC and she says while they have a lot of great data, they do not have the reasons why kids do they things they do.


Zaza says its alarming that 41 percent of teen drivers admit to texting or e-mailing while driving and urges parents to step in to stop any behavior that takes a teen's attention away from the road.


The CDC reports that car crashes are the single biggest killer of teens and young adults, causing 23 percent of deaths among 10 to 24 year olds.





During the June session of the Horatio Board of Education, board members agreed to advertise the sale of tractors and a mower by sealed bids. The bids will be opened on July 14th during the board's July meeting.


Board members hired Leah Bell, Sara Billings and Samantha Lee as secondary teachers and Mike Smith was hired as a social studies teacher and assistant football coach.


Curtis Black was hired as the dean of students for the elementary campus, while Lisa Phille was hired to teach art and Kaitlain Truster was hired as the elementary counselor.


Board members also accepted the resignations of Cynthia Shultz and Tiffany McAlister.


They also voted to purchase a school car and to purchase liability insurance for the preschool from Arkansas School Boards Association. The 2014-2015 classified salary schedule was approved and they accepted the bid from Gentry Farms for the purchase of hay.





This year's Pine Tree Festival kick-off event has been set for June 27th at the Dierks City Park.


The Dierks Chamber of Commerce says this year's festival will feature the Midnight Hurricanes and the gospel group, Harmony from Wickes on Friday night, August 1st.


The festival will close Saturday night, August 2nd with the 2nd Annual Ultimate Challenge Bull Riding and Free Style Bull Fight.


There will be lots of vendors, a carnival, and other kids entertainment on Friday and Saturday.


During the kick-off event on June 27th, chamber members will be selling t-shirts and concert tickets. They are also inviting residents to set up and bring items that they would like to sell including yard sale items, farm produce and vehicles. There will be no fee to set up a booth.


For more information, contact Jerry Mounts at 870-557-7298.





The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission says so far there have been seven deaths that have been related to boating accidents, this year.


Officials say these fatal accidents could have been avoided if the boaters had been wearing a life jacket.


Whether you are fishing, swimming, or involved in any other water related activity, it is recommended that you wear a life jacket. There are life jacket loaner stations at several area lakes.


Most of the boating deaths this year were caused by the capsizing of boats and people going overboard.





Arkansas' four members of the U.S. House of Representatives have written a letter to the Secretary of the Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service about their concerns with a proposal that would classify the Northern Long-eared bat as an endangered species.


Congressmen Rick Crawford, Tim Griffin, Steve Womack and Tom Cotton sent the letter to the Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe last week.


The letter says they are troubled by the distinction, because listing the bat as an endangered specie would eliminate forest harvesting in Arkansas from April through November. The four stated that the listing would negatively affect farming, energy development and manufacturing in Arkansas.


The letter asks for a six-month extension of the comment period to further consider more scientific data.





The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department is worried that they could lose federal funding if the U.S. Department of Transportation's Highway Trust Fund runs out of money.


That fund could run dry by late August if Congress does not take some action and Arkansas could lost $750 million dollars over the rest of this fiscal year and next year.


That could delay or cancel several projects and would cost about 20,000 jobs both directly and indirectly.


Congress needs to take action before August.


The state highway department has sent letters to the members of Arkansas' congressional delegation concerning the matter. Last week, the state highway commission approved a budget request for the 2014-2015 state fiscal year that seeks a $24.2 million dollar increase in their operating funds.




Five Ashdown Junior High School eighth graders can now call themselves “the best Junior High Trap Shooting Squad in the state of Arkansas” after taking the championship at the 2014 Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports Program (AYSSP) Junior State Tournament, where the top 64 qualifying squads from four regional tournaments competed in Jacksonville on June 6.

The five young shooters defeated a different team in each of six rounds in the bracket, shooting their way to the finals of the junior state championship where they outshot a squad from Corning 120-116 to take first place. The Ashdown eighth graders shot their two personal best scores that day – the 120/125 to win and a 122 in an earlier round to advance – and the closest opponent’s score was the 116 in the final round of the single-shot American trap competition.

In addition to the eighth grade team, the all-sixth grade trapshooting squad from Ashdown Junior High also earned entry into the Junior State Tournament, with the two squads placing 4th and 5th in the top 16 at the AYSSP Region South Tournament on May 9 in Jacksonville. The all-6th grade team was eliminated at State in the first round with a very good score of 103/125.

Two Ashdown 6th graders – Colby Dellinger and Logan Russell -- earned the coveted opportunity to compete in the State Junior Champion of Champions Shoot-Off by shooting perfect scores of 25/25 at the Regional Tournament. Ashdown was the only school with two shooters in the 12-man roster of Junior Champion of Champions, held at the end of the State Tournament. Both shot well at the Shoot-Off and made it through a number of rounds before being eliminated in the miss-and-out competition.

The Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports Program is the nation’s largest state-operated youth trapshooting league. Initiated in 2006 by the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, the program has grown from just over 900 kids to a nation-leading 5400 youngsters with 700 coaches in less than five years.
The AYSSP program at Ashdown Junior High School includes 19 students (6-8 grades) making up five squads with two coaches, Mike Molock and Ray Henry. The Ashdown squad who are now State Champions have been competing together for two years.

AYSSP is focused on providing a fun, safe environment for participating in shooting sports and reconnecting kids with the joy of being outdoors. AYSSP raises awareness of conservation-related sports, promotes safety and responsibility, and raises self-esteem.



 (LITTLE ROCK) – Twenty-eight Arkansas State Police Trooper Recruits graduated last night during ceremonies at the Arkansas State Capitol.
The recruits received the Oath of State Trooper Commission from the Honorable Clinton K. Jones, Washington County, District Judge.
The recruit class initially reported for duty on January 20th this year.  Each class member has accumulated 1,044 hours of classroom studies and practical training. The recruits are eligible for 41 college credit hours toward a Criminal Justice degree from Black River Technical College at Pocahontas.
Governor Mike Beebe was the keynote speaker addressing the graduates and Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police, presented the new troopers their commissions.
Other dignitaries present included representatives of the Arkansas State Police Commission and State Police Division, Troop and Company commanders.
 Graduates of the 2014 class included:
•  Michael A. Lance, 33, of Mena, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop H, Scott County.  Recruit Lance is a graduate of Valor Christian College in Columbus, Ohio.
 •  Ryne G. Shelton, 23, of Dierks, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop G, Lafayette County.  Recruit Shelton is a graduate of Henderson State University.
•  Christopher M. Short, 34, of Muldrow, Oklahoma, will be assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop G, Howard County.  Recruit Short is a graduate of Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.
Upon reporting for duty at their respective troop headquarters, the new troopers will be placed with a certified departmental Field Training Officer (FTO). Each graduate will work in tandem with their respective FTO for a twelve-week transitional period prior to being released to their assignment.



On Tuesday, June 10th, the Sevier County Sheriff's Department was dispatched to a single vehicle accident involving two minors.  The alleged driver left the scene prior to the deputy's arrival, but was found a short time later just a few houses down from the wreck.  Deputy Cooke reported smelling a strong odor of alcohol from the suspect and attempted to administer a portable breathalyzer test.  The suspect was uncooperative and placed under arrest for suspicion of DUI and leaving the scene of an accident.  The passenger was released to his mother at the scene after being checked by EMT's. 


Lockesburg City Council met in regular session Tuesday evening, June 10th.  The council passed a Resolution Accepting the Environmental Information Documents and Facility Plan.  An Ordinance for the Levy of a 1% Sales and Use Tax was revised to 0.5% Sales and Use Tax to be reviewed at next month's meeting. 

A used mosquito sprayer was purchased for $1,500.  Part-time employees were discussed but no action was taken.  Shelia Ruth addressed the Council on the progress for the July 4th Event.  And, other improvements to facilities at Ida Margaret Coulter Stone Park were discussed.  Building permits and a mobile home permit were passed.  Line items were moved to purchase an inside air conditioning unit for $1,800.  The board also made one hire in Tuesday's meeting, Carla McMillen was hired as a substitute City Clerk.

AR Board hires Wood as new education commissioner   06/13/04

(AP) - The Arkansas Board of Education has voted to hire Tony Wood as the new top official overseeing the state's public schools.

The board on Thursday unanimously approved Wood as the new Education Commissioner, replacing Tom Kimbrell as the department's top official. Gov. Mike Beebe in May recommended Wood, currently the department's deputy commissioner, as the new chief.

Wood will assume his new role July 1, the same day Kimbrell is set to take his new job as the Bryant School District's superintendent.

Wood is a former chemistry and biology teacher who has served as superintendent of the Kensett and Searcy school districts.

Wood will be paid the same salary Kimbrell receives, which is $228,887.



(AP) - Arkansas' two senators have voted for a bill making it easier for veterans enduing long wait times for VA medical care to receive treatment from local doctors instead. The vote comes a day after the state's House members voted for a similar measure. 

Republican U.S. Sen. John Boozman and Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor on Wednesday voted for the measure, which passed on a 93-3 vote. The legislation would authorize about $35 billion over three years to pay for the outside care, hire hundreds of doctors and nurses and lease 26 new health facilities in 17 states and Puerto Rico. 

The state's four Republican congressmen - Reps. Tom Cotton, Rick Crawford, Tim Griffin and Steve Womack - voted for a similar measure that was unanimously approved by the House Tuesday. 


Story courtesy of De Queen Bee Staff

Two men are currently in the Sevier County Jail after leading authorities on a multi state chase the afternoon of June 5. According to investigators with the Sevier County Sheriff's Office, the men fled from Oklahoma Drug Task Force agents after an attempted routine traffic stop in Idabel.

The pursuit started then and continued through Broken Bow, Okla., and Eagletown, Okla. Oklahoma authorities lost the car east of Eagletown when the suspects began driving at a high rate of speed and swerving in and out of  traffic.

The Sevier County Sheriff's Office was then notified of the pursuit.  Deputies deployed two spike strips on Highway 70 east of De Queen and  one deputy was reportedly forced to jump out of the way when the suspects looked like the were going to strike him with their car.

Despite hitting both spike strips and losing the front driver side wheel, the suspects continued driving on Highway 70 into town at speeds of 80mph.

The suspects eventually turned on to Rockefeller Avenue towards the Sevier County Fairgrounds. Not knowing the road was a dead end, the suspects had no where else to drive and both jumped from the car to flee on foot.

The driver, later identified as 21-year-old Darrius Bowleg of Florida, was then taken into custody.

The other suspect managed to escape on foot but was found approximately two hours later on Piney Road south of De Queen after a multi-agency manhunt was formed. He was arrested without incident, and identified as 23-year-old Eziquel Christie of Houston, Texas.

Both man are currently facing charges of felony fleeing and aggravated assault for llegedly almost striking the deputy with their car before hitting a spike strip.

Investigators determined the Nissan car the suspects were driving had been reported stolen from a rental agency in Florida, and both men have received additional charges of felony theft by receiving.

Bowleg and Christie are currently awaiting their first court hearing in the Sevier County Jail on bonds of $50,000.Authorities say the case is still under investigation.



DHS Sophomore, Emily Lopez, has been raising money for several months to participate in the People to People European tour.  The program was established by president Eisenhower to enable students to travel abroad to experience other cultures. On June 22nd, Lopez and her group of twelve students from Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma will meet with students from other states to visit four countries including Ireland, England, France and Wales.

Emily has been raising money for the trip by baking, cleaning, doing yard work, odd jobs and sponsorships.  She still needs about $1,500.  She is having a yard sale this Friday & Saturday at Fernando Lopez's house, 241 Gardener Chapel Road.   Sale will begin at 6 am each day.  They will have tools, electronics, small appliances, furniture and more.  If you have items you would like to donate for the sale, would like make a contribution to her fund or have a job for her to do call (870) 784-4919 or (870) 584-6184. 






The turnout was good in Little River County yesterday as the Party Primary runoff featured a race for the office of sheriff between the current Little River County Sheriff, Gary Gregory and the former sheriff, Danny Russell and a race for Ashdown mayor position between James Sutton and Michael Pennington.


The final results from Tuesday evening on the Democratic Ticket in Little River Country were:


Little River County Sheriff

Gary Gregory                      1,421 *

Danny Russell                     1,255


Ashdown Mayor

James Sutton                       567

Michael Pennington               355


*Gary Gregory will face Republican Bobby Walraven in November's General Election.


AR GAME AND FISH RECYCLING             06/12/14 

(AP) - The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has found a use for broken, damaged and discarded orange traffic barrels. Fisheries biologist Bob Limbird and assistant Frank Leone are taking the barrels from the state Highway and Transportation Department. They cut openings into the sides of the barrels, insert plastic pipe and add some concrete for weight before dropping them into lakes. The barrels provide cover for many species of fish.


Foreman School Board met in special session on June 3rd.  A resignation was accepted from Board President Matt Corley, because he will be moving out of the district.  Corley was thanked by everyone for his six years of service on the Foreman School Board.  The board voted to move Elbert Bradley from Vice-President to President, Shane Mears from Secretary to Vice-President, and Don Way to Secretary effective until the first board meeting after the annual school election in September.  The board appointed Will Segraves to fill the Zone 5 position of Corley.  One other resignation was accepted in the special meeting from elementary teacher Natasha Click.   

In other business, school choice transfers were accepted for nine incoming student transfers.  Changes were made to the maintenance supervisor's salary.  The board approved an eleven cent raise to all contracted classified employees excluding the maintenance supervisor.  And, the 3.2 ASBA policy update was approved.   

Samantha Cox was hired for the grades 7th - 12th high school math position in the special meeting.  Lisa Smith was voted to move to the K - 3rd grade music position to teach music, dyslexia, and early interventions.  The kindergarten position vacated by Mrs. Smith will be advertised.  The remaining vacant teaching positions will be discussed at the regular June board meeting Tuesday, June 17th at 6 p.m. in the Foreman High School Library.

AR farmers assistance to monitor water quality  06/12/14

(AP) - Arkansas farmers and landowners could be eligible for help through a federal program that monitors edge of field water quality on agricultural lands in 111 watersheds throughout the state.

Applicants have until July 18 to submit applications to receive financial assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. Applicants can sign up at their local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service center.

Producers can use data from the water monitoring to measure the effectiveness of conservation practices such as nutrient management, cover crop and irrigation water management.

Scientists say evaluating the effectiveness of the conservation practices will lead to a better understanding of nutrient and sediment loading and assist in implementing conservation measures.



This year’s concert on Saturday, June 7, 2014 featuring the Charlie Daniels Band was the Collin Raye Benefit Concert Committee’s 16th concert. Around fifteen hundred concert goers attended and the feedback provided to the committee has been fantastic.


The Midnight Hurricanes consisting of Shane Carver, Brett Lowrey, Jimmy Carver,  Barbie Baxter, Rick Shaw, with Shane Haarmeyer sitting in for Glen Hawthorne, and got the crowd warmed up as they played their mix of original and country songs. Charlie Daniels put on a high energy seventy-five minute show with selections from gospel to rock to country, wrapping up with his signature fiddle song, “Devil Went Down to Georgia”. 


The committee would like to extend special thanks to the all the volunteers who drove busses, set up chairs, worked in the concession stands including Terminix employees, De Queen Fire Department members who parked vehicles, businesses and individuals who purchased ads in the concert program, donated food, purchased tickets for underprivileged individuals, or picked up trash.  They couldn’t do it without you!


The Collin Raye Benefit Concert Committee is a non-profit corporation. Everyone on the committee is a volunteer.  None of them get paid!   Many of these committee members have been on board since the committee incorporated in 1996.


This year’s committee included:

John & Evelyn Helms, owners of Tri-Lakes Services, Inc. of Gillham. 

Steve Sharp, owner of Sharp Electric and employee of AEP/Swepco

Greg Ray, Sevier County Judge

Billy Ray McKelvy, Mayor of De Queen

Benny Simmons, Sevier County Sheriff

Richard McKinley, De Queen Police Chief

Patty Sharp, Sales Consultant for Bunyard Broadcasting

Bruce Hill, Superintendent of De Queen Public Schools

Tammy Coleman, Director of Public Service and Workforce Development at UA Cossatot

Cecilia Miller, Administrative Assistant at Sevier County Farm Bureau Insurance

Brenda Beltrani, owner of Hillcrest Cleaners and employee of Legacy Initiatives Lawrence Chandler, owner of Chandler Funeral Home and uncle of Collin Raye

Greg Revels, owner of Revels & Company, CPAs

and Bonita Smith, CFO for Bunyard Broadcasting


Since its inception, the committee has awarded nearly $300,000 in scholarships and grants.  Proceeds from the previous concerts have gone toward endowing one-year scholarships at UA Cossatot for graduating seniors at area high schools as well as funding educational projects each year.  Past community projects have included donating toward construction of the all-weather track at De Queen Stadium and construction of the UA Cossatot amphitheater, contributions for renovations and toward purchase of Electrocardiogram Unit at De Queen Regional Medical Center.  Funds were also donated to the Sevier County Fair Association, De Queen Fire Department, De Queen/ Sevier County Chamber of Commerce, Sevier County Museum, the Chalice Food Cupboard, as well as numerous donations to groups such as the Mary & Martha Center, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4-H, high school baseball programs, etc.


A lot of work and money goes into these concerts. Events such as these must be supported by the community.  Tickets are very reasonable. Front row tickets were available for $25 each.   If you go to a larger town you can expect to pay a minimum of $50-$75 per ticket for the nosebleed seats.   Then you have to rent a hotel room, buy your food and gas.   It can get very expensive.  For sixteen years, local residents have had the opportunity to see a big name act right here at home.  Show your support of this community by purchasing tickets and attending local activities and events right here at home.

If you had a back stage/photo op pass, call KDQN (870) 642-2446 to see how to get a copy of your photo e-mailed to you.  They will be available after June 16th.

Arkansas Pastor is New Southern Baptist President 06/11/14

(AP) - An Arkansas megachurch pastor is the new president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The Rev. Ronnie Floyd received 52 percent of votes Tuesday from delegates to the annual meeting of the nation's largest Protestant denomination. Floyd beat out the Rev. Dennis Kim, the Korean-American pastor of a bilingual Maryland church, who received 41 percent of the vote.

Floyd has been the pastor at Cross Church in northwest Arkansas for 27 years. About 8,500 people worship each week at one of the church's several locations.

He was nominated by the powerful head of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the Rev. Albert Mohler.

Mohler told the crowd of 5,000 meeting in Baltimore that Floyd is person who can lead the Nashville-based denomination at a time of "horrifying moral rebellion" in the nation.



The Party Primary runoffs today feature only one statewide race between Leslie Rutledge and David Sterling for the GOP's nomination for attorney general.  

In Little River County, the runoff features a race for the office of sheriff between the current Little River County Sheriff, Gary Gregory and the former sheriff, Danny Russell and a race for Ashdown mayor position between James Sutton and Michael Pennington. 

Voters need to go to their regular polling sites today, Tuesday, June 10th, from 7:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. 

Sevier County Clerk Debbie Hughes also wants to remind voters that only registered voters that voted in the Republican Party Primary, the non-partisan primary or did not vote during the primary on May 20th are permitted to vote in the Sevier County Republican primary runoff, but in Little River County voters who voted in the Democratic Party Primary may vote in the races for sheriff and mayor. 

Tonight after the polls close, listen for results from those primary runoffs with Terry Snead reporting periodically from the Little River County Courthouse right here on your #1 Country, 92.1. 

DE QUEEN SCHOOL BOARD          06/10/14 

The De Queen School Board met in regular session Monday evening.   The board approved property insurance in the amount of $102,711.62 from the School Board Association.  A bid of $28,808 was accepted for vehicle insurance.  Breakfast and lunch meals for the 2014/15 school year were increased by 5 cents per meal.  The board approved a state minimum wage for classified employees of $8.26 per hour and approved a resolution for employees that receive more than 5% salary increase. 

Resignations were accepted from Kathy Seal, Gerald Batty, Raymond Sheldon, Lorie Ketcherside, Deborah Bickley, Amelda Taylor, Sandybel Alcocer, Summer Irvan, and JoAnna Bobo. 

Employees hired in Tuesday's meeting include:  
Trent Floyd - Social Studies, and Assistant Football/Basketball
Chelsie Floyd - Middle School Teacher
Chad Lites - Business Education at the High School
Mary Ellen Davis - High School Special Education
Amanda Kimmell - Primary Cafeteria
Maria Chavez - Primary Cafeteria
Rose Johnson - High School Cafeteria
Tammy Lites - Middle School Math
Maria Osura - Elementary Custodian
Rebecca Johnson - Special Education Aid
Thomas Sweeten -  High School Biology
Tammie Fry - Primary Music Teacher
Lance Pinkerton - Assistant Middle School Principal 

The next meeting for the De Queen School Board was set for July 14th at 5:30 p.m.

SEVIER COUNTY QUORUM COURT                                 06/10/14 

The Sevier County Quorum Court met in regular session Monday afternoon.  After working with the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and making some corrections pertaining to the county landfill's violations, County Judge Greg Ray reported that Sevier County is in compliance as of May 19th.  J.P.'s passed a motion to approve the C.A.O. and pay the fine administered to the county. 

Also, in Tuesday's meeting, Billy Foster and Frank Scott were reappointed to the Sevier County Equalization Board. 

In other business, Teresa Morris addressed the Quorum Court concerning the upgrades to the Sevier County Health Department's current telephone system and equipment.  Morris received two proposal options from Windstream, each at a cost of around $20,000, for members of the Quorum Court to discuss during the meeting.  The second option of a monthly lease agreement was approved by J.P.'s. 

Quorum Court also approved a budget transfer of $50,000 from the Capital Outlay Vehicle line item to Machinery and Equipment for the purchase of a new oil emulsions tank for the county. 

Three employees from Prosecuting Attorney Steven Tedder's office were recognized for their work on collections of outstanding fines.  They included Municipal Court Clerk Phyllis Price and Deputy Clerks Carol Parsons and Kay Smart. 

Judge Ray and the Quorum Court would also like to remind area citizens to save space in our landfills by recycling your paper, plastic, aluminum and electronics.  



ICBA Independent Banker, the award-winning magazine of the Independent community bankers of America and the nation's number-one source for community banking news, recognized First State Bank of De Queen as an ICBA Top Performer in its June Issue.  First State Bank of De Queen's recognition is based on its earnings and operational efficiencies throughout 2013.


"Whether it's a small community bank serving a rural area or a large community bank serving a metro and suburban area, you'll find they operate with the same focus by always putting their customers and communities first." said Chris Lorence, ICBA executive vice president and chief marketing officer.  First State Bank of De Queen knows their local market and they thrive because of that expertise.  We commend First State Bank of De Queen for its ongoing dedication, enthusiasm and devotion to the banking industry. 


First State Bank of De Queen is pleased to be recognized as an ICBA Top Performer," said Gary L. Golden, President/CEO, First State Bank of De Queen.  As a proud member of the Sevier County community, we credit our local local customers and dedicated employees for our success.  We look forward to serving the unique needs of our community and helping it grow and prosper in the years to come.


Left photo shows First State Bank in 1975 prior to construction of their bank on Third Street in De Queen.  Collin Raye Drive Bank above was built in 2000. 

First State Bank now has branches in De Queen, Lockesburg, Dierks, Murfreesboro and Nashville.



The GPS Research Group of Historic Cossatot River School District (CRSD) announces the arrival of a map they have created and published.

The group consists of (seated) David Frachiseur of Grannis, Royce Lee Pate of Umpire, (standing) Janice Kelley of Vandervoort, and Faith Lynch of Wickes.

The present day CRSD is located in south Polk County and runs a few miles north of Cove where it borders the Mena School District; and in North Howard County south approximately to the Saline River area and Three Chutes area on the Cossatot River where it joins the Dierks School District. CRSD lies inside nine miles of north Sevier County. It runs west to the Oklahoma line and east to the Pike County line. CRSD includes the towns of Grannis, Wickes, Vandervoort, Cove, and Umpire.

Group members located the Global Positions (longitude and latitude) of 104 schools, 60 cemeteries and 34 post offices. The map includes the history of the 104 schools.

The GPS Research Group is grateful for the financial assistance of Ed Stevenson of Mena, native of Cove, Chairman of the Board of Union Bank; North Howard County Historical Society; Polk County Genealogical Society; Delta Kappa Gamma Education Foundation of Howard County; Winona McCauley Davis Brewer, Wickes.

Creating this map would not have been possible without the following organizations and publications: United States National Archives; Arkansas History Commission; Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives; “Unfinished History of North Howard County” (Naida Tyndal, editor); Mena Star publication of “The History of Polk County”; Nashville News publication of “The History of Howard County”; Polk County Historical Society's 1963 publication of Polk County Schools.

They would like to give special recognition to Roberta Frachiseur Youngblood for her technical assistance; Mr. Charles McConnell, Umpire School Superintendent, retired; Mr. Bill Blackwood, De Queen School Superintendent, retired; Mr. Lendall Martin, Cossatot River School Superintendent.

The group stated that they have the deepest gratitude to these individuals for their contribution to this project in POLK COUNTY: Kittie L. Hughes*, R.S. Dagenhart*, Rena Frachiseur*, Lester Sims*, Mac and Delia Towery*, Iris Stemple Hamby*, Edith Kinney*, Frank A. Lee*, Grace Hamby*, Myrtle Stevens Thomas*, Johnny Stevens, Billy Hedge, Bud Ashcraft, Sara Bingham*, John Willard Hill, Pat Hill Stewart, Lamar Martin, Abe Frachiseur, Max Duggan, Rowena Morris, Floyd Morris, Jeff Hunter, Red Barrett, Raymond Richardson, Zack Frachiseur, David Frady, Alvin Baker, Jimmie Don Wilcher, Janet Walker, Oneida Fain, Jerry Johnson, Steve Bradley, Bruce Wheeler, J. C. McMellon, Aleta Peebles, Andy Watkins, Gray Watkins, Opal Sanders, Buck Cureton, Helen Fortner, Archie Stewart, Novella Manasco, James Gibbons, Dood Baker

They have the deepest gratitude to these individuals for their contribution to this project in HOWARD COUNTY: Naida Tyndall*, Zelpha Allison*, Leda Boswell, Marvin Hill, T.L. Jackson*, Winnie Watkins*, Cecil Parsons*, Metta Davis Parsons*, Edwin Dildy*, Jo Whitmore Billings*, Elese Reese Miller*, Jesse Pendergrass*, Eula Carroll Tollett*, Charles McConnell, Jeanette McConnell, Scott Kitchens

The maps are $3 each and will be widely available at banks, libraries, grocery stores, museums. Group members will be on site at decoration days, reunions, festivals, Wal-Mart and other retail stores.

For those wanting more information and to order maps by mail, you can find us on Facebook or contact Faith Lynch at 870-385-7708; Janice Kelley at 870-387-7881; David Frachiseur at 870-385-7773; Royce Lee Pate at 870-583-7546. You can write Faith Lynch at 740 Highway 278E, Wickes, AR 71973 or or Janice Kelley at 982 Highway 246, Vandervoort, AR 71972. Postage will be $1.

The GPS Research Group is non-profit and all proceeds go for costs incurred including publication of the maps by Mapping Solutions of Missouri.

*indicates person who wrote or spoke for publications about local history

may's food ministry report for chalice cupboard

The Chalice Cupboard assisted 31 families in Sevier County consisting of 69 adults and 34 children.  Distributions weighed 980 pounds of donated and purchased food items.

Five hundred twenty-one dollars and twelve cents was received in donated funds during May.  $490.12 was spent in May to help replenish food items in the pantry with 672 pounds of food.  Donated food received totaled 1,176 pounds. A total of 1,848 pounds were shelved in May. 

Donated food items were received from the De Queen Post Office Collection (127 lbs), St. Barbara Catholic church and First Presbyterian Church (104 lbs), Tyson Foods (919 lbs), Boy Scout Troup 54 (26 lbs).

Suggest food items for donation in June are jelly and cereal.

Residents of Sevier County needing food may come for aid at the scheduled times of Tuesday or Wednesday from 2:00-3:30pm at the Chalice Cupboard, 115 North Sixth Street, De Queen.  Recipients of food may be assisted once during each three-month period.


EPA Carbon Emissions Proposal 06/10/14

Coal is the largest energy producer in Arkansas, so the recently announced EPA regulations for carbon emissions will have a big impact on families and businesses in the state.

Senator Boozman joined more than 40 of his Senate colleagues in calling on President Obama to withdraw the EPA crack down and talks about these regulations in his latest column. (See link at top of this page)




The Sevier County Fair Association will host a 4D Barrel Race on Thursday, June 12th at the Sevier County Fairgrounds.  Books open at 5:30 p.m.  Race starts at 7:00 pm.  Entry Fee is $25.00.  For more information contact Leroy Nunn at 870-584-6281.  Proceeds will be used for youth events at the fair.


2014 Pine Tree Festival Kick-off Event    06/10/14

The Dierks Chamber of Commerce will have their annual Pine Tree Festival kick-off event for the 2014 festival on Friday, June 27, 2014 from noon until dark at the Dierks City Park.  Get Pine Tree Festival information, T-shirts and tickets will be on sale.  

The kick off event will include a swap meet. Bring anything you want to sell. No fee or license needed.  Just come on Friday morning and set up.  Sell anything with a motor or wheels: cars, trucks, 4 wheelers, motor cycles, bicycles, wheel barrows, lawn mowers, farm produce, antiques, yard sale items, arts/crafts, dogs/cats...anything.

This year's festival will feature the Midnight Hurricanes and the gospel group Harmony in concert on Friday night August 1 with admission price of only $1.  It closes with the Ultimate Challenge Bull Riding & Free Style Bull Fighting on Saturday night August 2. Tickets are $10 for age 13 & up, $5 for 7-12 and 6 & under free. Lots of vendors, a carnival and other kids entertainment on Friday & Saturday.


De Queen High School scholarship awards for 2014 Seniors    06/10/14

Clayton Alspaw:  Bill & Nancy Wilson Scholarship $2000

Ana Angeles:  Ann Cobb Graham Memorial $1000., Spanish Club $300, Pearl Williamson FTA $300

Rosalino Delgado Antunez:  AR Tech Distinguished Scholars $36,000, Leeper $500

Jacob Arndt:  Tri-Lakes $250, Bob Holcombe Memorial $500, Craig Westbrook Memorial $300, Morgan McRae Memorial $500, First State Bank $500, Shelter Insurance $2,000

Tayler Babb:  UCA Achievement $20,000, Murray Neely Chemistry Scholarship $250

Jordan Bingham:  UCA Distinguished $34,000, AR Distinguished Governor’s $40,000, First National Bank $500

Johnny Blagg:  AR Tech Distinguished Distinguished Scholars $36,000

Aaron Bowden:  Uof A Freshman Academic $1,000, Lion’s Club $600, First National Bank $500

Ryan Bowden:  Arkansas State $26,880, Leeper $500

Kaylee Boyles:  Bill and Nancy Wilson $1,000

Luis Campos:  AR Tech Distinguished Scholars $36,000

James Carlyle:  Lion’s Club $600, Sweet Home Masonic Lodge $500

Dedrick Cerami:  J.R. McKinley Memorial $1,000, Citizens for Youth Concern $300, Romine Family $500

Katherine Clay:  University of Arkansas $1,000, Pearl Coulter Memorial $600, Craig Westbrook Memorial $300, Jim and Shirley Pearce $2,000, Belleville Lodge #35 $500

Ashley Davis:  Ouachita Scholars $24,800, Juanita Harris Memorial $500, Janice Duggan Memorial $500, Debra McMasters $500, Craig Westbrook Memorial 4300, Anita Pearce Memorial $250, Mary Culp-Robert Louis Smith Memorial $8,000, Dorothy Coulter Fraser Memorial $125, Ma Graves Memorial $400

Surisayda Dominguez:  Romine Family $500

Oscar Ferretiz:  POST 911 GI Bill $86,000

Logan Fisk:  HSU Distinguished $56,000, Mary Culp-Robert Louis Smith Memorial $8,000, Francis T. Powell Memorial $2,000

Cristian Garcia:  CCCUA Counselor Scholarship $250

Jaqueline Garcia:  Spanish Club $200

Javier Gonzalez:  HSU Centurium  $26,000, Craig Westbrook Memorial $300

Zachary Gonzalez:  CCCUA tuition waiver $500

Victor Green:  POST 911 GI Bill $86,000

Caitlin Harding:  CCCUA Counselor Scholarship $250

Lacy Henthorn:  Arthurine Cox Mooney Memorial $1,000

Matthew Higgins:  SAU University Scholarship $36,000, Russell Higgins Fire Dept Scholarship $500

Melisa  Johnson:  SAU Blue and Gold $20,400

Wyatt Johnson:  SAU Achievement $8000, Life Scholars $750

Kayla Kirkpatrick:  Lisa Wilson Clements Memorial $1000,  American Broadcaster’s Association Intern Scholarship $600, Bill and Nancy Wilson $2000, De Queen Ford Chrysler $500, Morgan McRae Memorial $1,000

Noah Kitchens:  CCCUA tuition waiver $500

Jose Luna:  CCCUA Board of Visitors $2,200, Spanish Club $500

Esperanza Marrufo:  CCCUA tuition waiver $500

Ashley Maya:  Arnold Freshman $8000, Student Council $500, Beta Sigma Phi Cindy Williamson $500, Spanish Club $700, PEO cup and scholarship $750

Erin Mitchell:  HSU Red and Gray $2500, Quintus Crews Memorial $500

Yaneth Montes:  AR Tech Collegiate Scholars $2,000, Leeper $500

Kyler Morris:  UALR Chancellors Leadership $32000, UALR Academic Achievement $16,000, First State Bank $500, Morgan McRae Memorial $1,000

Jake Nottingham:  HSU Presidential $40,000, HSU Band $6800, Francis Trusley Powell Memorial $2,000, Gene Witherspoon Memorial  $500

Cal O’Connor:  First State Bank $500

Shawn Oglesby :  Tri-Lakes $250

Eva Puga:  Silas Hunt $20,000, Lions Club $600, Charles Lee Memorial $500, Sevier County Farm Bureau $500, Diamond Bank $500

Victor Pulido-Rojas:  American Broadcaster’s Assoc. Intern Scholarship $600, Spanish Club $200, Rotary Club $1,000, Sevier County Leadership $1,000

Jessica Rios:  Student Diversity $300

Sabrina Rivas:  Sevier County Cattlewomen $300, AR Fair Manager’s Association $800, Morgan McRae Memorial $500, Sevier County 4H $500, American Broadcaster’s Association Internship $600, Arkansas Jr. Cattlemen’s $500

Jacob Rogers:  De Queen Medical Center $500

Deysi Rosas:  Leeper $500

James Sellers:  UALR Dean’s Academic Merit $24,000, Chancellor’s Leadership Corps $24,000, Laverne Addington GT Scholarship $500, Suzanne Correll Wray Memorial $1,000

Megan Shelly:  U of A Fort Smith $6,000.

Quinn Smith:  AR State Leadership $32,880, Leeper $500

Brandon Smith:  HSU Centurium $26,000

Cameron Smith:  UCA Leadership $6,000, Romine Family $500

Bethany Tatum:  Harding University Trustee Scholarship $68,000, Roger and Carylin Dossey Memorial $1,000, De Queen High School Daughters of American Revolution Representative

Kaytlynn Tollett:  Russell Higgins Memorial $500

Kolbie Tollett:  Ouachita Scholars $24,800, Spanish Club $200, Morgan McRae Memorial $1,000, Judy Durham Memorial $500

Joshua Vann:  Lions Club $600, CCCUA Board of Visitors $2200, Viva Kolb $500

Ana Victoriano:  Morris Family $2,000

Hannah Wahls:  HSU Centurium $26,000, Romine Family $500, Morgan McRae Memorial $1,000, Archery Scholarship $500

Lacey Webb:  Laverne Addington GT Scholarship $500

Kortnie Young:  Colin Raye Endowment $1,200





Members of the Sevier County 4-H Shooters BB team will be competing in the 2014 National Daisy BB Gun Competition over the Fourth of July weekend in Rogers and while they are there they will have the opportunity to barter with 4-Her's from other states during the Annual Barter Bar.


4-H adult leader Jennifer Martin stated there will be participates from several other states and over 80 teams will be represented and the shooting team is asking for items to be donated for them to barter with.


Martin said they need 60 or more items and they can be anything from pens, pencils, rulers, t-shirts, hats, coffee cups, tire gauges , frisbees, bags, fans or anything with or without a business name or logo on it for the kids to barter with. However, she did say they will take what they can get to help the kids get to know each other.


Last week, the 4-H Shooting Sports teams competed at the C.A. Vines 4-H Center in Ferndale.


Thursday afternoon while Martin was speaking with KDQN, one group had completed the shotgun competition and another group was about to compete in the archery division.


Martin mentioned that she wanted to thank the community for its support.

If you are interested in donating some items for the 4-H clubs Barter Bar, contact Martin at 584-2973 or 642-8387.






Thursday afternoon, local authorities were notified by the Broken Bow Police Department that they were in pursuit of a white Nissan Maxima with Florida tags headed towards Arkansas through Eagletown.


According to the Broken Bow PD, the tags on the vehicle came back as stolen and they were in pursuit on Highway 70 heading toward the state line.


Officers from the Sevier County Sheriff's Office, the De Queen Police Department, the Arkansas State Police and the South Central Drug Task Force were able to locate the vehicle west of the Sevier County Airport.


Officers deployed two sets of stop sticks on the vehicle at the bowling ally, but the pursuit continued down 70B through the city of De Queen and ended at the Sevier County Fairgrounds were one of the suspects was arrested immediately, however, the other suspect fled on foot.


Officers formed a perimeter and the suspect was tracked down at a residence on Piney Road.


Authorities announced Friday morning that they believe only two suspects were in the car, but their identifies have not been released, but the incident is still under investigation and we will have more information on Monday.


Both suspects are currently being held in the Sevier County jail.






Arkansas sheriffs are in full pursuit of a solution to a critical situation.

This chase is leading them to the Arkansas General Assembly and they are looking for answers in the midst of a crisis in Arkansas.


They say it is imperative for the state inmate crisis to be added to the call for any ensuing special session this summer.



Arkansas Sheriffs Association Executive Director Ronnie Baldwin stated that there is a dire situation in our county jails and in our communities across the state. He explained that the sheriffs of Arkansas have decided to engage legislators and set the tone for this issue being added to the call for a possible special session this summer because frustrations are continuing to rise for sheriffs as they consider the public safety in their communities.


According to the sheriffs association, Governor Mike Beebe can green light the issue on the call for a special session, because county jails are dangerously bloated with more than 2,714 state inmates collectively.


Baldwin said the state must address this critical situation that is already at its boiling point. He explained that Arkansas sheriffs have already seen a severe negative impact in their communities by housing state inmates and it is getting more difficult for them to perform the duties that they were elected to do.


The sheriffs association is planning to request a one-time funding for the Department of Corrections to contract with third parties to house state inmates through the next fiscal year.


The sheriffs association is also asking that a cap be placed on the number of state inmates that can be housed in county jails. They are asking that the cap be placed at 1,600 inmates statewide.


The overcrowding of our county jails is making it dangerous for residents because many county jails are unable to detain local offenders. One county recently had to release 26 felony arrest inmates because of the lack of space in it's jail. In another instance, one state inmate has been serving his time in a county jail for over 400 days.


The sheriffs association also reported that they are reimbursed $28 per day per state inmate, but it actually cost the county jails more than $45 a day to house them. This means it costs Arkansas counties $18 million dollars a year to house state inmates.


According to the sheriffs association, sheriffs can't serve arrest warrants, collect fines and restitution or enforce civil orders and misdemeanor violations because they simply do not have any space in their jails to house such offenders.


Baldwin stated that it boils down to a public safety issue and the state needs to take responsibility for all of its inmates.






After receiving information about the possibility of some stolen firearms at a residence in De Queen, the De Queen Police Department obtained a search warrant for a residence on De Quincy Ave.


Officers discovered and recovered a stolen firearm at the residence after executing the warrant.


A suspect, Simon Ahumada was charged with a Class A misdemeanor for theft by receiving.


According to a press release from the De Queen Police Department, this incident is still under investigation.






A De Queen man who has been accused of attempting to molest an underage girl will have his pre-trial hearing bumped up again, this time into July.


During the May 29th session of the Sevier County Circuit Court, 38-year-old Marco Vazquez, was issued a new trial date for the charge of attempted sexual assault in the second degree.


Vazquez is being accused of attempting to molest his 10-year-old niece earlier this year.


His court date was pushed up in April from its original date in July through the state's Fast Track trial dating, which is common in cases involving young children.


Vazquez' defense team successfully argued that they needed more time to prepare its case and the Fast Track dating was rescinded.


Vazquez' new pre-trial date has been set for July 3rd and if he doesn't enter a plea that day, a trial has been scheduled for 9 a.m., July 23rd.

Courtesy of Patrick Massey of the De Queen Bee




The Arkansas attorney general's office has certified the wording of a ballot proposal that would legalize marijuana in the state.


Attorney General Dustin McDaniel approved the proposal on Wednesday and it opens the way for the measure's sponsor, Robert Reed, to begin gathering petition signatures in hope of placing the measure on the November ballot.


According to the proposal, voters would decide whether to approve making it legal to grow and possess marijuana and all products that are derived from the cannabis plant.


The measure would be a constitutional amendment, which means backers would have to gather 78,133 valid signatures of registered voters to win a spot on the ballot.






The 77th annual Sevier County Fair and Livestock Show is just around the corner and anyone who is a resident of Sevier County is eligible to enter an exhibit in the fair. And, if you are planning to enter a canned product then you will want to take note of some changes to the entry rules.


All entries must have been preserved within the previous 12 months and can only be entered once.


Exhibits must be labeled with the date and the method that was used to preserve the food. The method state whether it was canned in a water bath, pressure canned or other process. It must also include the process time and the pounds of pressure that was used when appropriate.


Entries without the required labeling will not be judged.


The labels, entry forms and fair tabloid may be picked up at the Sevier County Extension Office.


For judging and safety reasons, jars must be clear glass, standard canning type jars with a clean metal lid and ring, vacuum sealed and of acceptable size per recipe instructions, typically a quart, pint or smaller.


Due to safety reasons, no canned squash including summer, zucchini or spaghetti may be entered, as well as, pureed or mashed pumpkins, sweet potatoes or potatoes will be judged. However, pickled summer squash and zucchini will be allowed.


If the recipe that is used is not from either the "So Easy to Preserve, 1999 and 2004, 4th and 5th editions" or the "USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning, 2009 revision, then the entry should by accompanied by a recipe from another Extension publication that was updated or published after 1995.


The County Extension agent also stated that residents should be careful when consuming canned items. They stated a jar that is leaking or has a bulging lid may likely contain spoiled food.


They reported that if you see spurting liquid, smell an unpleasant odor, see a change in the color or notice an unusual softness, mushiness or slipperiness of the product that it may be spoiled and you should dispose of the food so it won't be eaten by someone.


For more information about the canning exhibits at the Sevier County fair, contact the County Extension Office at 584-3013.






A concerned citizen asked the Mineral Springs City Council to help make the sidewalks safer during the regular June meeting of the council.


According to this citizen, there have been several kids riding their bikes and skateboards on the sidewalks in front of the businesses. Store owners signed a petition to stop the kids from riding their bikes and skateboards on the sidewalks and presented it to the council because they are dangerous for both the kids and the adults shopping in the downtown Mineral Springs area.


Councilman Steve Dixon stated that he did not think the council needed to pass an ordinance, however, he thought the city could place signs on the sidewalks and get the city police department involved if necessary.


The council passed an ordinance that amended an older ordinance that set the city's garbage fees.


The rates were changed at the first of the years; however the ordinance was never changed.






National Manufacturing Day is in October and Alisha Lewis of UA Cossatot stated they would be celebrating the day by offering two new manufacturing programs this fall in industrial technology and pipe welding.


Lewis explained that these programs will train students for highly skilled jobs.


Lewis said the industrial technology class would be offered on the Ashdown campus and the pipe welding class would be offered on the De Queen campus of UA Cossatot beginning in August.


Lewis said that manufacturing supports more than 17.4 million jobs in America and UA Cossatot is preparing students for a future in an area that provides jobs to welders, engineers, operation managers and more.


For more information about the new manufacturing programs, contact UA Cossatot at 1-800-844-4471.




Todd Gibson, math teacher at Ashdown High School, received notification on June 3 that he has been accepted as a participant in the 2014 McDonald Observatory Giant Magellan Telescope Workshop, a Teacher Professional Development Program through the University of Texas-Austin.  Sponsored by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), the workshop is from June 29-July 1 at the facilities of UT-A's  McDonald Observatory, a partner of the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) project.

Gibson will join other teachers in grades 8-12 on an "exploration of stars, galaxies and the origin of the Universe," according to the program application.  Teachers will engage in hands-on, inquiry-based activities related to properties of light, diffraction, reflection, and how telescopes work.  Located at Fort Davis, Texas, the McDonald Observatory is touted as having "the darkest skies in the continental U.S."

A classroom teacher at AHS for nine years, Gibson states that he intends to incorporate  the student-involvement strategies and discovery techniques he learns at the workshop into his math class lessons next year, in hopes of creating new interests and real life math  connections for his students.

When completed in 2025 and set up in Chile, the Giant Magellan Telescope will be among the largest telescopes in the world.  When fully functional, the GMT will extend exploration of the universe far into the future.

The workshop is made possible by the GMT and McDonald Observatory's endowments for education and outreach from the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, Carolyn Keenan and Charlie Gaines, Hugh Gragg, Lynn Lyles Brill, Leopold Tedesco, and Bill and Alice Wright.




Office of Emergency Management Director Walter Smith announced that the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management Shelter Rebate Program will open in July.


The Arkansas Legislature approved $1.25 million dollars for the Shelter Rebate Program.


The program provides a reimbursement to Arkansas homeowners who install a tornado shelter at their primary residence. Reimbursements will be 50 percent of the associated costs or $1,000, whichever is less.


Smith explained that the program is for storm shelters that have already been installed.


Applicants must have a completed application, proof of the cost, and an inspection by the county OEM director.


Eligibility is limited to individuals who own their home at the time of the application and who have installed an above-ground safe room or an in-ground shelter after January 21st, of 1999.






Monday afternoon, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Kristopher Hundley was dispatched to the Dierks Lake in reference to a camper fire.


When Deputy Hundley arrived at the campsite on Jefferson Ridge, he was informed by the owner of the camper, Barry Stuard of Dierks, that he went load the camper Monday afternoon and noticed that smoke was coming out of the side of the camper.


Stuard stated that he opened the camper door and smoke billowed out. So, he attempted to call 911, but did not have a cell signal. Stuard said he drove to the guard shack on the lake and had them call in his emergency.


Deputy Hundley reported that the camper was burnt all the way to its frame and the Army Corp of Engineers taped off the campsite so the insurance adjuster could investigate the scene.






Monday afternoon, deputies from the Sevier County Sheriff's office were searching for a suspect in the Dollar General Store in Horatio, but ended up arresting another individual for disorderly conduct and other drug charges.


Deputies Christopher Wolcott and Brian Hankins entered the Dollar General Store looking for a suspect in reference to a call, but while walking down the main aisle, Deputy Hankins discovered a white male kneeling down in the aisle with some gloves on his hands and according to Deputy Hankins appeared to be sweating and acting nervous.


The individual was identified as 27-year-old Brett Hall and Hall became agitated when the deputy stated speaking to him.


Deputies noted that Hall appeared to have something in his pocket and when he was questioned about the item, he became even more agitated and started giving the deputies several different accounts of how he got to the store.


Hall finally asked if he could have a cigarette and was escorted outside by Deputy Wolcott, after Hall went outside, Deputy Hankins asked the store employees to review the store's surveillance video to see if Hall was shoplifting.


Deputies Wolcott and Hankins were then joined by Chief Deputy Chad Dowdle and had Hall empty his pockets.


Hall removed a pill bottle from one pocket that contained several pills and the pill bottle had another person's name on it. He then removed a Royal Crown bag from his other pocket that contained a lighter, however, the deputies noted that Hall was attempting to conceal something in his hand.


When deputies patted Hall down, he threw something toward the parking lot. During the search of Hall's body, deputies discovered a plastic bag with black tape around it.


After placing Hall into a patrol car, deputies found a clear smoking devise that appeared to contain residue from methamphetamine inside it, in the parking lot.


Two witnesses provided statements saying they witnessed Hall throw the object into the parking lot.


Deputies opened the plastic bag after arriving back at the Sevier County Sheriff's Office and discovered a dark, sticky tar like substance that was suspected of being black tar heroin.


Deputies contacted a member of the South Central Drug Task Force and asked them to test the substance, and it tested positive for heroin.


Hall was charged with disorderly conduct, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance that was not meth or cocaine. 






Early voting has started for the Arkansas June 10th party primary runoff and the election is being highlighted by the increasingly contentious battle between the Republican candidates for the office of attorney general.


The secretary of state's office is predicting a light turnout for the runoff, with only 21 percent of the state's 1.6 million registered voters casting a ballot during the May 20 party primary elections.


The runoff features only one statewide race between Leslie Rutledge and David Sterling for the GOP's nomination for attorney general. Both have stepped up their attacks on each other's records and conservative credentials.


In Little River County, the runoff also features a race for the office of sheriff between the current Little River County Sheriff, Gary Gregory and the former sheriff, Danny Russell and a race for Ashdown mayor  between James Sutton and Michael Pennington.


Early voting will continue until Monday, June 9th at 4:30 p.m. at the county courthouses, however, voters will need to go to their regular polling sites on Tuesday, June 10th from 7:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.


Sevier County Clerk Debbie Hughes also wants to remind voters that only registered voters that voted in the Republican Party Primary, the non-partisan primary or did not vote during the primary on May 20th are permitted to vote in the Sevier County Republican primary runoff, but in Little River County voters who voted in the Democratic Party Primary may vote in the races for sheriff and mayor.






LifeShare Blood Centers presented a trophy to the De Queen Fire Department following the conclusion of the Cuffs and Hoses blood drive Tuesday afternoon in De Queen.


Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt brought this department's new trophy by the KDQN studios to thank all of the local donors.


Pruitt stated that he didn't realize how important blood donations were until his mom needed blood when she was in the hospital.


Pruitt even took a few jabs at the De Queen Police Department by saying that next year; the firemen may start donating blood for the cuffs to help them win.


If you didn't have the opportunity to donate blood Tuesday, you can donate on Tuesday, June 10th at the First Baptist Church in Lockesburg between the hours of 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.






Fans of the Charlie Daniels Band will be converging on De Queen this Saturday for the Collin Raye Concert Committee's 16th annual benefit concert at the UA Cossatot amphitheater.


And Sevier County Judge Greg Ray reported that satellite parking areas have been designated and shuttle transportation will be provided at the De Queen Church of Christ, the De Queen Regional Medical Center, the Town North shopping center parking lot and the De Queen First Baptist Church.


Judge Ray emphasized the fact that handicapped parking will be available at the Sportsplex.


Judge Ray stated that members of the De Queen Fire Department will be directing traffic and Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt stated they want to cater to the elderly and disabled concert goers, by providing rides in golf carts and Gators.


De Queen Alderman Walter Smith also mentioned that Corporate Sponsors will also park at the Sportsplex.


Gates will open Saturday night at 6 p.m. and the Midnight Hurricanes of De Queen will open for the Charlie Daniels Band at 6:30 and tickets will be available at the discounted prices until Friday at 4 p.m. at the KDQN studios, which is located at 921 West Collin Raye Drive. You can also purchase tickets by calling 642-2446 or by going to our website at and click on the Charlie Daniels Band banner.






Collin Raye Benefit Concert Committee will host Charlie Daniels and the CDB for their 16th annual benefit concert this Saturday, June 7th at the amphitheater on the De Queen campus of UA Cossatot.


An outspoken patriot, beloved mentor to young artists and still a road warrior at the age of 77, Charlie Daniels has parlayed his passion for music into a multi-platinum career and a platform to support the military, underprivileged children and others in need.


From his Dove Award winning gospel albums to his genre-defining Southern rock anthems and his CMA Award winning country hits, few artists have left a more of a mark on America's musical landscape than Charlie Daniels.


Charlie also has a history of lending his time and talent to worthwhile projects. He said that he has a unique opportunity to help because of being in the music community that he tries to give back to some extent, as he feels everyone should.


The Collin Raye Benefit Concert Committee feels that Charlie Daniels is a good fit since their group has given approximately $300,000 from the previous concerts toward scholarships to graduating seniors at area high schools, as well as funding various other local projects each year.


Tickets are on sale at the KDQN studios at 921 West Collin Raye Drive. Reserved tickets are $25 in advance and General Admission tickets are $15 On the Day of the Show, tickets will be $30 for Reserved and $20 for General Admission.


For more information call 870-642-2446.





About 4 p.m., Saturday, May 31st, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Charles Emmerich was dispatched to the B&B Junction to take a report about some stolen gas.


Store clerk Kristi Byler reported that a man pre-paid for $10 in gas. She said that when he went outside to pump the gas, a woman came into the store and asked for some fresh cookies, while they were preparing the cookies the woman went back out to the car.


According to Byler, they then pulled off in an orange Chevy HHR with Arkansas plates after pumping $25.61 in gas.


Byler said she thought they had turn toward De Queen.


The man was described to be in his early 20's, wearing a gray shirt with a baseball cap. The woman was between 20 and 30 years of age and was wearing a neon yellow shirt.


The couple is being sought in connection with the theft of 4.19 gallons of gas.






Donnie Vaughn and the other members of the Newhope Volunteer Fire Department will be hosting a Fishing for Fireworks tournament this Saturday.


Vaughn is a firefighter, First responder and helps out with the department’s fundraisers and he informed KDQN that the event will help them raise money for fireworks for their annual 4th of July celebration.


Vaughn explained that the Newhope Volunteer Fire Department has a large fire coverage area and the funds are used to purchase equipment and to provide training because their department is willing to help anyone through mutual aid.


If you need for information about the Fishing for Fireworks event, contact Vaughn at 557-1694.






In 1993, the American Hiking Society sponsored the first National Trails Day hike. Over the next 20 years, the event has grown to more than 2,000 events ranging from guided hikes to paddling excursions and other outdoor adventures.


This year's 22nd annual celebration will be held on Saturday, June 7th and many Arkansas State Parks, including the Crater of Diamonds State Park, have scheduled special events to mark this special day.


The Crater of Diamonds State Park not only provides visitors with the unique opportunity of searching for diamonds, but they can also enjoy the park's three hiking and/or walking trails.


The Little Missouri River Trail and the Prospector Trail are both 1.2 miles in length.


The Little Missouri River Trail head is located on the south side of the park's campground. The trail is an American with Disabilities compliant paved trail that can be used by hikers of all ages and physical abilities. The trail also contains two exercise stations, which have permanent equipment that can be used to perform a variety of exercises, like sit-ups and push-ups.


The other half of the trail is primitive, with two bridges that cross a stream and although it is not paved, it is still not very physically challenging.


The Prospector Trail head is located on the west side of the diamond search area and has a gravel base and circles around three small hills or volcanoes that are in the western part of the diamond-bearing crater.


The trail is outside the limits of the diamond search area, but many guest use this trail as a break from diamond mining.


The easiest accessed park trail is the Wildlife Blind Trail.


The trailhead is located on the west side of the main park road and is about 500 feet from the park entrance. It is also gravel based, flat and only about two-tenths of a mile long. However, at the end of the trail, there is a nice wooden wildlife blind structure where guests can often see deer grazing in the area.


Crater of Diamond State Park Interpreters has selected the Little Missouri River Trail for their National Trails Day hike. The hike will dusk hike and take place from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.


Interpreter Margi Jenks stated that they are looking forward to watching the forest go to sleep and the night creatures wake up as they walk along the paved portion of the River Trail.


The hike is free, but for more information call the park at 870-285-3113. 






Members of the Sevier County Sheriff's Office responded to a residence on Price Road after it was reported that someone was attempting to commit suicide on Saturday, May 31st.


According to the report, when Deputy Brian Hankins arrived, the person that the call was in reference to had left the residence.


Deputies interviewed a neighbor that informed them that 27-year-old Kayla Wilson had left about 15 minutes before they arrived. The neighbor also informed them that he had taken all of the guns out of the house after being asked to by Jason Miller.


The witness stated that he thought Wilson had gone to her mother's house in Howard County.


After assisting the Arkansas State Police on another call, deputies were informed that Wilson had returned to the residence on Price Road.


This time when they arrived, she was attempting to back out of the driveway, but she was stopped by Deputies Clayton Yates and Chad Dowdle.


Deputies searched the vehicle and discovered a butcher knife, a piece of glass and a baseball bat. Wilson allegedly told the officers that she wanted to harm herself.


Wilson was transported to the De Queen Regional Medical Center for treatment.






Adult leaders of the Sevier County 4-H will be hosting a bass tournament this Saturday to raise funds for 4-H scholarships and 4-H teen leaders Kayla Hicks and Sabrina Rivas stopped by the KDQN studios to invite area fisherman to participate in the event.


The Sevier County 4-H Leaders Bass Tournament is this Saturday from 6 a.m. until noon.


For more information, call PJ Minor at 784-2336, Michelle Sawyer at 784-8931 or Katrina Frachiseur at 479-216-1294.






Trial dates were set for several defendants last Thursday during a session of the Sevier County Circuit Court.


A new pre-trial date of July 3rd and trial date of July 23rd was set for Christopher Vaughn. Vaughn is currently serving time in the Arkansas Department of Corrections and has been charged as a habitual offender, which could add additional time to his sentence if he is found guilty on two counts of deliver of a controlled substance - methamphetamine.


Daryl Rink had a trial date set for July 23rd after pleading not guilty to the charge of felony fleeing. Rink has been charged after he attempted to allude an officer with the De Queen Police Department. The pursuit ended when Rink's vehicle struck one vehicle from behind and another vehicle struck his vehicle on the side.


Rink plead guilty to several misdemeanor charges in relation to the incident in the Sevier County District Court. He is being held on a $30,000 bond.


Roy Patterson had a trial date set for July 23rd after he plead not guilty to the charge of fleeing and his bond was set at $20,000.


Noel Flowers had a trial date of July 23rd set for the charges of theft by receiving, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a defaced firearm and possession of a firearm by a certain person.


Darin Tate also has a trial date of July 23rd for the charge of theft by receiving.


A trial date of September 10th was set for Susan Wilson for the charge of theft of property; Barry McKinney for theft by receiving, delivery of a controlled substance - methamphetamine and simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms; and Ryan Hawthorne on the charge of abuse of an adult.






Sevier County Extension Service Administrative Support Supervisor, Dana Stringfellow, received a certificate and pin for her 15 years of service with the Cooperative Extension Service during the annual support staff in-service training May 15th and 16th at the 4-H Center in Ferndale.


Stringfellow is a member of Chi Epsilon Sigma, which is the Beta Chapter of the National Extension Support Staff Fraternity.


The purpose of the fraternity is to maintain the standards and ideals and uphold the morale, prestige and respect of the Cooperative Extension Service support staff. It also works to develop an effective professional working relationship and a spirit of fraternal fellowship among the employees of the Cooperative Extension Service.


Each year, Chi Epsilon Sigma awards a deserving employee of each of the three extension districts in Arkansas with the honor of Support Staff Employee of the Year.


Stringfellow was nominated for her outstanding service to clients, her organizational skills and her willingness to help others. She was chosen by her peers as the Ouachita District Support Staff Employee of the Year.


The Ouachita District is made up of 25 counties in the lower Southwest section of Arkansas. Each district winner was presented a certificate, crown and $25.


This is the second time that Stringfellow has been selected for this honor. She was also chosen in April of 2005.


Stringfellow is the Ouachita District Director for Chi Epsilon Sigma for 2013-2015 and was also elected as President Elect Interim for 2014-2015.


During their annual meeting, she presented a Self Defense class for the fraternity members and participants received hands-on instructions on how to defend themselves.






The De Queen Police Department is warning the public about a scam that is taking place in the area.


According to a department spokesperson, a De Queen resident received a call from someone claiming to be a Lieutenant Gray. The number on the victim’s caller ID was 870-209-3880.


The caller advised the victim that a warrant had been issued for their arrest, however, the victim could purchase a Green Dot card to pay their fines and the warrant would be pulled.


The De Queen Police Department wants to remind residents that law enforcement officers will not call and let you know that you have a warrant, instead they will just go to your home and pick you up.


Residents are being asked to let their family and friends know about this scam and not to give out any personal information to someone claiming to represent a lawyer's office or law enforcement department, until you are sure it is a legitimate call.






On Saturday, May 31st, Deputy Clayton Yates of the Sevier County Sheriff's office was dispatched to investigate the theft of a bird bath.


Brenda White reported that she and her husband had started cleaning their yard when they noticed the bird bath was missing.


White stated that her mother had given the bird bath to her about 30 years ago. She said it was made of concrete and had an image of a squirrel climbing the base of the bath.






As Head Coach Justin Kramer and the De Queen Leopards were wrapping up spring football, KDQN sat down with Coach Kramer to discuss the team's progress since last fall.


Coach Kramer stated that there were 64 Leopards out for spring football, which was about the same number last year, but several upper classman that did not play last year have come out for the team this spring.


Coach Kramer pointed out that the defense was ahead of the offense, but he has some new pieces on offense that is learning by leaps and bounds.


Following spring football, the Leopards will host a team camp and participate in several 7-on-7 tournaments to help his new quarterbacks and receivers.


Coach Kramer stated he was very pleased with the progress of his squad and some team leaders are emerging on the field and in the weight room.


Coach Kramer stated that his players were proud to represent the community of De Queen and their high school and the community should get behind these men as they compete at their highest level.


The 2014 Leopard football team will continue to improve as the move now to the five-team, team camp that they will be hosting on June 10th as they prepare for the 2014 campaign in the 5A South Conference.






The Sevier County Library system will be hosting a summer reading program to help children retain and improve on their reading skills. According to one study, most students, even those "at-risk" students, make decent progress in reading during the school year, but fall behind during the summer months.


So, Head Librarian Johnye Fisher of the Sevier County Library system is offering a free, voluntary reading program this summer for area children. She stated the program encourages children to read through contests and prizes along with activities that are designed to engage and motivate students to keep reading during the summer.


Fisher said children and adults become fluent readers through sustained reading and the Sevier County libraries are encouraging parents to develop better family literacy behaviors and create a culture of fluent reading.


This year's theme is Science and this year's program will be based on science topics.


The De Queen branch will offer classes on June 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th at 11 a.m. The Horatio branch will offer classes on July 12th and 19th at 11 a.m. The Lockesburg branch will offer classes on June 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th at 10 a.m. The Gillham branch will offer classes on June 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th at 11 a.m. and the Ben Lomond Library will offer classes on June 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th at 1 p.m.


For more information, contact your local library office at De Queen - 584-4364; Horatio - 832-6882; Lockesburg - 289-2233; Gillham - 386-5665 and Ben Lomond - 287-4374.






The Historic Belleville Church and Cemetery hosted its 69th annual Homecoming June 1st with over 75 people attending that have ties to or interest in Bellville Church.


Sunday's program was highlighted by the annual memorials that included a recorded thank you from Dr. Tom Harrison who is the pastor of Asbury Methodist Church in Tulsa, which is largest church of Oklahoma.


Dr. Harrison attended Belleville Church as a young man and is related to several folks in the area.


After the Homecoming program, attendees gathered under the Belleville Pavilion for a potluck lunch.


The Belleville Church and Cemetery hosts Homecoming on the first Sunday of June each year and since the restoration of the church, they've hosted several open houses, the Lockesburg community Easter sunrise service and several weddings.


To book the historic church building, call 582-2192.






Sevier County Sheriff's Deputies Kristopher Hundley and Charles Emmerich were dispatched Friday, May 30th to a residence on Greenbrier Lane to investigate an unattended death.


When the deputies arrived, they interviewed Gerald Heifner who reported that he found his uncle, Billy Grant Sr. dead in the bathroom floor.


Heifner stated he had stopped by his uncle's house to check on him and to see if he wanted to ride with him to the hunting club meeting.


When Heifner knocked on the door, his uncle didn't respond. So, he went to his truck and got the house key and went into the house to find Grant.


Heifner said he found his uncle lying on his back in the bathroom floor.


According to Heifner, he thought the last person to see Grant alive may have been his son, Billy Grant Jr. on May 27th.


Grant was pronounced dead around 7 p.m. by Sevier County Coroner Rusty Williams.





The University of Arkansas' Division of Agriculture says there is an abundance of ticks this spring in Arkansas.


The statement comes on the heels of the death of an Oklahoma man who died from a virus that is spread through tick bites.


Extension Office Official Kelly Loftin says lone star ticks and American dog ticks are particularly prevalent this year and a Delaware, Oklahoma, man died from the Heartland virus, which is linked to the lone star tick.


Other ticks in Arkansas include the blacklegged tick, the winter tick, the Gulf Coast tick and the brown dog tick.


Loftin said any tick found on the body should be promptly removed by using tweezers by pulling upward with a steady pressure and then the area should be cleaned with alcohol, an iodine scrub or soap and water.




Arkansas officials say nearly 4,800 people are receiving notices that they were incorrectly deemed eligible for the state's expanded Medicaid program and will have their coverage end May 31.


The Department of Human Services on Thursday said it was notifying 4,798 people that the federal government incorrectly included their information among applications of eligible individuals for the state's "private option" Medicaid expansion. Under the private option, Arkansas is using federal Medicaid money to purchase private insurance for poor people.


The plan was approved last year as an alternative to expanding Medicaid under the federal health law.

DHS said some of the people receiving letters may be eligible but just need to provide more information, while others may be eligible for coverage through the insurance exchange.





The Southern Arkansas University Board of Trustees has approved a 3.65-percent increase in tuition and fees.


According to board minutes, tuition for a full-time, in-state student will rise from $204 per credit hour to $210.


SAU President David Rankin said the increase is needed because of rising costs and may also be used to help fund pay raises for faculty and staff.


The trustees also met last week and named a committee to search for a successor to Rankin, who has announced plans to retire June 30.




An anti-abortion group based in Texas wants to help Arkansas officials defend the state's 12-week abortion ban before a federal appeals court.


The Justice Foundation on Monday asked to file a friend of the court brief with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals defending the Arkansas law prohibiting most abortions 12 weeks into a woman's pregnancy. The group said it wanted to file the brief on behalf of women who it said had suffered physical and psychological injuries because of their abortions.


Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is appealing U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright's ruling that the abortion prohibition was unconstitutional.


The Republican-led Legislature approved the 12-week ban last year, overriding a veto by Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe.





An Arkansas electric cooperative says an Environmental Protection Agency plan to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants will reduce utility companies' use of coal in favor of more expensive fuels.


The Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation says it was disappointed by the implications of Monday's announcement by the Obama administration to cut carbon dioxide emissions from plants over the next 15 years.


The proposal suggests a cut of nearly 45 percent in emissions by 2030 for Arkansas, which derives nearly 44 percent of its energy from coal, according to EPA figures. Natural gas comes in second at 26 percent; nuclear power accounts for nearly 24 percent.


Environmentalists hailed the plan. Utilities say it could reduce the reliability of electric service and affect rates for customers





Everyone needs a hero on occasion and the residents of De Queen and Sevier County will have the opportunity to be someone's hero during the upcoming Cuffs and Hoses Blood Drive on Tuesday, June 3rd at the Community Room in the Herman Dierks Park.


The event is a friendly competition between the De Queen Fire Department and the De Queen Police Department. Each department will attempt to have residents donate blood in their honor.


The department that has the most blood donated in their honor will receive a trophy from LifeShares Blood Centers and all donors will receive a Cuffs and Hoses t-shirt.


Lieutenant Sonny Kimmel of the De Queen Police Department encouraged everyone to donate on behalf of the Cuffs because they've lost to the Hoses for the past several years.


Ray Sewell of the De Queen Fire Department encouraged donors to give on behalf of the fire department because they are the community’s real heroes.


LifeShare Blood Centers encourages all donors to eat a good meal and drink lots of fluids before they donate and to know the names of all the medications that your taking.


Donors must also be 16 years of age or older and meet the height, weight and other donation eligibility requirements to donate.


So be a real hero and donate blood during the Cuffs and Hoses Blood Drive, Tuesday, June 3rd between 2 and 6:30 p.m. in the community building of the Herman Dierks Park.






De Queen man plead true to possession of a firearm by a certain person Wednesday in the Howard County Circuit Court.


30-year-old Carlos Contreras plead true after being arrested in November of 2010, following a traffic stop. Contreras is a convicted felon and is not permitted to possess a firearm.


During the traffic stop, authorities discovered a H & R 243 rifle in his possession.


Contreras was sentenced to two years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections.


A Texas man that was arrested on drug charges Monday entered a plea of not guilty Wednesday.


50-year-old George Goin of Lubbock, Texas was arrested after Howard County Deputy Travis Turner pulled him over outside of Dierks for a traffic violation.


Deputy Turner reported that he noticed Goin attempt to hide something in the inside panel of his door car as he got out. Turner found a pill bottle that contained suspected methamphetamine.


Goin's bond was set at $10,000 and his pretrial date was set for September 3rd, with a trial date of September 9th.





Members of the De Queen High School soccer team won their fifth state championship last Friday in Harrison and Coach Steven Sloan spoke with KDQN about how exciting it was to be apart of the program since it started seven years ago.


Coach Sloan talked about the team’s dominance in 4A after winning four straight state championships, and he heard the skeptics say they wouldn't be able to compete in 5A after losing in the state tournament last year. But, Sloan gives credit to his players for refocusing and regaining their championship form.


Coach Sloan pointed out that these kids play as a team and wants them to represent their community and school, and he wants De Queen to be recognized as a soccer power house.


Junior Esteven Garcia was named the Most Valuable Player of the state championship game, but Coach Sloan points out that he is a team player first that has an amazing story.


Coach Sloan stated that team really appreciated the communities support as they left for Harrison last Friday and he encouraged folks to attend some games next season.


Senior Edgar Zamora and Suri Dominguez were selected to play for the West All-Star soccer teams.


Coach Sloan said Zamora was the Most Valuable Player of the state championship game his freshman season and primarily played forward throughout his high school career, but played in the midfield this season, but was willing to play any where on the field to help the team be better.






UA Cossatot honored students who recently completed the Pharmacy Technician program with a pinning ceremony at the Barbara Horn Civic Center on the Little River County campus.


The class is offered by the Continuing Education Department of UA Cossatot, which offers classes that are designed to teach or enhance student's job skills.


Four students were pinned during the ceremony by the class instructor Earnica Solomon and Zebbie Minton the Continuing Education Department coordinator.


The four students were Love Blackwood, Nardjie Gulley, Lovelyn Mitchell and Hunter Jones.


Minton stated that it was very rewarding to see what all the Pharmacy Technician students were accomplishing. She explained that it was crucial for UA Cossatot to provide training for students in areas that will afford students with the best career opportunities when they graduate.






Diamonds come in different shapes at the Crater, but some of the rarest and most unique gems that are found at the park are called macles.


The word macle comes from the old French word which means lozenge. While most diamonds tend to be distortions of shapes, a macle diamond is created when two diamond crystals share part of the same structure during formation, in a process called twinning.


As the twin diamonds form opposite of one another, they create a beautiful triangular gem, and often times they are nearly perfect symmetry.


Because a macle is formed from two diamonds, the crystal contains opposing grain structures that can be difficult to cut for jewelry. However, the true beauty of the stone is its naturally balanced appearance and they are often used in uncut diamond jewelry.


When visiting the Crater of Diamonds State Park, be aware of the fact that most macle diamonds are mistaken for broken glass or quartz, due to their flattish, angular appearance. However, following closer inspection, you will discover that you are one of the few lucky visitors that discover the unique gems.






A week after securing their parties' nominations for Arkansas' top office, Democratic candidate for governor Mike Ross and Republican candidate Asa Hutchinson have agreed to a statewide televised debate.


The hour-long debate will take place in October and will air on four different television stations around the state. Both, Hutchinson and Ross easily won their parties' nominations during the party primaries.


This week, Hutchinson unveiled a set of proposals to address public safety and drug crimes. The ex-congressman said the proposals include a $1.3 million annual boost in funding to hire more parole officers, more re-entry programs for parolees and drug courts. He also said that he would adjust the sentencing overhauls that the Legislature approved in 2011 as part of an effort to address prison overcrowding.






Young people entering the fourth through eighth grades have a chance to experience 19th century life on an up close and personal scale during the Historic Washington State Park's "History Alive Day Camp" starting July 30th through August 1st.


Campers will be immersed in different hands-on elements of the 1800s. New this summer is how to build a birdhouse, an outdoor adventure at the Grandview Prairie and a historic character workshop. Each day will have a different theme so students can sign up for one day or multiple days.


Programs are by reservation only and must have a minimum of six participates, with a maximum of 15.


The cost is $30 per day or with advance payment and registration, students may attend three days for $75.


For more information, contact the park at 870-983-2684 or visit their website at