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ADE ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING FUTURE ACADEMIC ASSESSMENTS      6/12/15

 

In light of the recommendation by the Governor’s Council on Common Core Review regarding statewide assessment, the Arkansas Department of Education will not renew its contract with the Partnership for  Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers when it expires June 30th, 2015, and will pursue negotiating a contract with ACT and ACT Aspire to provide testing services for the 2015-2016 school year.

 

Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key stated, the Arkansas Department of Education appreciated the work of Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin and the council, and the department of ed. supported Governor Asa Hutchinson’s adoption of this recommendation.

 

Key said the department of ed. will ask the State Board of Education to consider a formal action to approve the transition to ACT and ACT Aspire.

 

Key stated the primary goal of the department of ed. was to graduate students from high school that are ready to enter either college or into a career. He said the department of education felt ACT and ACT Aspire assessments will be an effective tool in measuring how well the state is meeting that goal.

 

Arkansas will still receive the results from the PARCC assessments that were administered during the 2014-2015 school year, however, because this was the first year that the assessment had been given, the results will not be available until this fall.

 

The governor’s council will continue to review Arkansas’ academic standards and present a complete report later this summer.

 

 

 

APPLICATION PROCESS FOR ALLIGATOR HUNTING PERMITS STARTS NEXT WEEK        6/12/15

 

Arkansas hunters can apply for alligator hunting permits for the 2015 season online from midnight, June 15th until midnight, June 30th at www.afgc.com.

 

Permits will be drawn in July, and winners will be notified by email.

 

Each permit authorizes the taking of one alligator, which must be at least four feet long and alligator hunting is only allowed 30-minutes after sunset until 30-minutes before sunrise during the approved alligator hunting season dates of September 18th through the 21st and September 25th through the 28th. Both hunts are Friday through Monday.

 

Applicants must be at least 16 years of age the day the hunt begins. For more information regarding the special alligator permit hunts or to apply, visit www.agfc.com.

 

 

 

TRESPASS CHARGE      6/12/15

 

About 10:30, Wednesday night, Patrolman First Class Wayne Baker of the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to 123 Cottonwood in reference to a possible break-in after a witness reported seeing someone enter the residence through a back window.

 

When Officer Baker arrived, he reported that he secured the back of the house where he found a broken window. He stated when he came around to the front of the house, he discovered a white female standing at the front door.

 

The female was identified as 31-year-old Jessica Carraway and she allegedly informed Baker that she was given permission from Georgette Bell to gather her belongings from the house.

 

The owner of the home, Steve Blankenship reported he had evicted the tenants and the house was vacant. Carraway was taken into custody and charged with criminal trespass.

 

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY CLERK OFFERS GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT UPCOMING SCHOOL ELECTIONS        6/12/15

 

Sevier County Clerk Debbie Akin announced this week that the 2015 School Elections will be held on Tuesday, September 15th, but anyone interested in running for a school board position in Sevier County should contact her office for information regarding the positions that will be elected this year, as well as the requirements and filing deadlines.

 

Akin stated some dates regarding filing, fall as early as July 1st.

 

Akin also encouraged Sevier County residents to register to vote. She said the deadline to register to vote in this election is August 17th, but if you are a registered voter in another Arkansas county, you can transfer your registration to Sevier County by September 11th and still vote in the School Board elections.

 

Akin said residents may need to update their registration if their name or address has changed, because it is necessary to update that information to ensure you vote on the correct ballot.

 

Absentee voting is available for qualifying applicants and residents may contact the County Clerk’s office to obtain an application. Absentee voting is designed to help voters who are unable to be present at the polls.

 

Early voting will be conducted in the County Clerk’s office only and anyone can vote early without any reason or qualifying circumstances. Akin explained that early voting was simply for the voting publics’ convenience.

 

Early voting for the September School Board elections will be from September 8th through the 14th from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. in the County Clerk’s office.

 

Akin stated you can contact her office with any questions or for more information by calling 870-642-2852.

 

 

 

SWREC HORTICULTURE DAY JUNE 18        6/12/15

 

Cooking demonstrations, fruit and vegetable research, butterflies and birds, a clinic with the plant doctor and of course beekeeping for beginners will all be a part of the program during the Southwest Research and Extension Center's Horticulture Field Day on Thursday, June 18th in Hope.

 

The center is located at 362 Highway 174 North in Hope and biscuits and honey will be served beginning at 7:30 a.m. and the program will start at 8:15. The event will include educational programs along with field tours.

 

"Cooking with Greens and Honey" will be presented by the Ouachita District Family and Consumer Science agents. Wings over Arkansas will present a program about the birds in the state, as well as, a program about how to attract birds and butterflies to your property.

 

Registration is $17 in advance and $20 at the door. The deadline for early registration is June 17. To register in advance, pick up a registration for at the Sevier County Extension Office on the De Queen campus of UA Cossatot or call 870-777-9702.

 

 

BEWARE OF VACATION SCAM        6/11/15

 

Earlier this week, Sevier County Extension Agent Rex Herring informed KDQN about a vacation scam that anyone can become a victim of if they stay in a hotel this summer.

 

Herring stated con artists are attempting to steal credit card information by calling guest hotel rooms and pretending to be from the front desk.

 

Herring said con artists are calling hotel guests and telling them that there was a problem with their computer system and the hotel lost all of their credit card information and ask if they would be willing to give them the information over the phone.

 

People who have reported this scam, say the callers are polite and apologetic and they even offered to give the guest a discount on their room due to the inconvenience.

 

Herring said if you receive a similar call while staying at a hotel, you should tell the caller that you will come down to the front desk and handle the situation, but you should never give out your credit card information over the phone.

 

Hotel companies have also announced that hotel employees will never call you after 9 p.m. and they will never ask for your credit card information over the phone.

 

 

 

CITY OF DE QUEEN PREPARING FOR LET FREEDOM RING CELEBRATION     6/11/15

 

Chris Hale of the De Queen Parks and Recreation Department announced plans are underway for the city's annual "Let Freedom Ring" celebration at the De Queen Sportsplex on Friday, July 3rd.

 

Hale said any local vendors will need to sign up in the park office, but they only have five spots still available as of Thursday, June 11th.

 

This year's featured act will be the Midnight Hurricanes and this year, they will have an open mic event. Each person or group will have about 10 minutes to perform, but they will need to sign up by Friday, June 19th.

 

Hale said last year's event was a huge success, but if you have any questions, you can contact the park office at 642-4140.

 

Hale said the grand finale will be a giant firework show and the event is free to the public.

 

 

 

DIERKS CITY COUNCIL APPROVES PILOT PROGRAM        6/11/15

 

Monday night during the regular monthly meeting of the Dierks City Council, aldermen approved the Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreement between the city and Weyerhaeuser.

 

Dierks Mayor Terry Mounts reported the PILOT program will benefit the city and the Dierks School District.

 

Mounts said Weyerhaeuser was also planning a big celebration when the new mill goes on line in 2018, because it will be the mill's 100th anniversary.

 

Mounts announced the city would continue working with property owners who are out of compliance with city ordinances and the council approved a $1 an hour raise for a new city employee.

 

 

REPRESENTATIVE DEANN VAUGHT TALKS ABOUT HIGHWAY SAFETY       6/11/15

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported that every year nearly 500 people die on Arkansas roadways and with summer trips around the corner, she wanted to take the time to remind her constituents about a few laws that were past in an effort to save lives.

 

Vaught stated texting while driving is one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving and in recent months police have stepped up their enforcement of laws that prohibit texting while driving in Arkansas.

 

State laws prohibit the use of cell phones for texting, typing, email or accessing the internet while driving, regardless of the driver's age and it is a primary offense which means officers may pull you over if they suspect you are breaking this law.

 

Arkansas law also prohibits drivers from using a hand held device while driving through a school or work zone. Another law requires drivers to move to the farthest lane possible away from an authorized vehicle that's stopped on a road, street or highway.

 

All cell phone use, including the use of hands free devices is prohibited for any driver under the age of 18, however, drivers between the ages of 18 to 20 can use a hands free device, but not a hand held cell phone while driving.

 

Vaught reported she felt this reminder was needed as families begin to take their vacation trips this summer.

 

 

 

SCHOOL'S OUT POOL PARTY AT DIAMOND SPRINGS     6/11/15

 

This Saturday, the Crater of Diamonds State Park will host a School's Out Pool Party at the park's Diamond Springs from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

 

According to Park Interpreter Waymon Cox, the water park will be decked out with decorations, refreshments, games and there's going to be fun for all ages.

 

Local bluegrass musicians John David Watson and Tyler McRae will be performing and a separate water park admission will be required for the School's Out Pool Party after 6:30.

 

Admission is $6 for swimmers over 42 inches tall, $4 for swimmers under 42 inches and $2 for non-swimmer chaperones. Children two and under will be free.

 

For more information, contact the Crater of Diamonds State Park at 870-285-3113 or visit their website at www.CraterofDiamondsStatePark.com.

 

DE QUEEN AUTO GROUP AND UA COSSATOT ADD PARTNERSHIP  06/11/15

DE QUEEN – UA Cossatot has announced a new scholarship made available by De Queen Auto Group, formerly known as De Queen Ford.

De Queen Auto Group owners, Jay and Mary Ellen Dooley, recently strengthened an already strong partnership with UA Cossatot by contributing $2000 for automotive student scholarships. 

“We are excited about providing a scholarship for automotive students.  We hired a UA Cossatot automotive graduate and want to make sure students have the opportunity to be successful,” said Jay Dooley.

 

The UA Cossatot graduate, Jessie David “Davy” Cirkles, Automotive Technician with De Queen Auto Group, earned a certificate from UA Cossatot’s Automotive Technology Department after graduating from Wickes High School and then entered an Apprenticeship Program.  Cirkles also went through several factory training programs. 

“Because of Jessie’s education, hard work, and proper training, he could go to any new car franchise and find a good paying job,” said Dooley.   “That’s why we want to support the automotive programs at UA Cossatot.  It provides an opportunity for a career.” 

 

John Terrell, of De Queen is a 24- year veteran of De Queen Auto Group.  He also received his education at a community college and pursued the manufacturing trainings.  He is certified to work on all major brands of vehicles including hybrids. 

De Queen Auto Group is also providing a 2015 Ford F-250 to the UA Cossatot Colts Rodeo team members and coach who are traveling to Casper, WY for the National College National Finals Rodeo.  The truck will be used to pull a trailer with the team’s horses.  The trip is over 2200 miles roundtrip from De Queen.   

 

“Jay and his staff at De Queen Auto Group have been generous to the Colts Rodeo team,” said UA Cossatot Colts Rodeo Coach, Valerie Stone.  “It takes a big team effort to make a rodeo program successful.  I appreciate the confidence and support that De Queen Auto Group gives us.  They are really a community partner.”

 

Jay Dooley has served on the Board of Visitors for UA Cossatot since the college joined the UA System in 2001. 

“Jay has demonstrated his dedication to this community many times over,” said UA Cossatot Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole.  “From vehicle rentals to his small business experience he brings to the boardroom and now his donation to fund scholarships, Jay is an excellent friend to our college – he sees how important education is to the future of our community.” 

 

 

BUFFALO SOLDIERS VISIT L.F. HENDERSON  06/11/15

When L. F. Henderson Intermediate School social studies teacher Janet Phillips was teaching her fifth grade students about the Civil War, she invited two local citizens to help bring it to life.  Alonzo and Dianne Williamson, both members of the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club of Texarkana, visited the classes and spoke to the students about the contributions of the African-American regiment of volunteer soldiers who became known as The Buffalo Soldiers, both during the Civil War and afterwards.

Assurance of shelter, medical attention and clothing led 186,000 freed black men to join the Union Army in 1866, with thousands others enlisting in the navy, as nurses, etc.  "The indians referred to the black infantrymen as 'buffalo soldiers' because of their dark skins and their resiliency and courage as fighters,"  Dianne Williamson told the students as she presented an informational power point. "They continued as soldiers of the U.S. army after being freed in 1866 and won many Congressional medals of honor."  For many years and into the new century, the Buffalo Soldiers were influential in mapping out the western territory of the United States.

​Dianne, or "Lady Di" in her biker's lingo, also told the fifth graders about one particular soldier of interest -- Cathay Williams -- the first African-American female to enlist.  Cathay was also the only documented to serve in the U.S. Army posing as a man.  When asked to give her name, she simply reversed her given name and posed as a Buffalo Soldier named William Cathay.

The Williamsons, along with the other members of the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club, are dedicated to keeping the legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers alive since they all have ancestors that fought and served.  "We take pride in our communities and participate in assistance programs," they state.  The club will be taking part in the Wounded Warriors project on June 13.

Picture attached:  Dianne and Alonzo Williamson are pictured with granddaughter Darrah Muldrew, a fifth grade student in Janet Phillips social studies class at L. F. Henderson Intermediate School in Ashdown.  The Williamsons, members of the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club of Texarkana, spoke to Phillips' classes about the history and contributions of the Buffalo Soldiers, who were organized in 1866 during the Civil War.

 

BOIL WATER NOTICE FOR THE CITY OF ASHDOWN HAS BEEN LIFTED.     6/10/15

 

 

CHALICE CUPBOARD REPORT     6/10/15

 

The Chalice Cupboard assisted 47 families in Sevier County, including 83 adults and 66 children, totaling 149 people, by distributing 1.120 pounds of food.

 

St. Barbara's Catholic Church donated 65 pounds of food during the month of May, while individuals donated another 114 pounds.

 

Food distributions are held every Tuesday and Wednesday from 2 to 3:15 p.m. at 315 North Fifth Street in De Queen.

 

Supporters of the Chalice Cupboard may donate their choice of non-perishable food items; however, cupboard volunteers recommend canned fruit, cereal and/or peanut butter. Financial donations are tax deductible and local residents may make a deposit at the De Queen branch of Bear State Bank.

 

Cupboard volunteers also reported the Chalice Cupboard sign has been damaged on two separate occasions recently and reports have been filed with the De Queen Police Department. If you have any information regarding these acts of vandalism, contact the De Queen Police Department at 870-642-2213.

 

 

 

CHAMPIONSHIP BULL RIDING IN MENA SATURDAY, JUNE 13       6/10/15

 

Members of the Polk County Fair Board Association had to postpone the Ultimate Challenge Championship Bull Riding event last month due to the excessive rainfall and the event has been rescheduled for this Saturday at 7 p.m.

 

Sevier County Extension Agent Rex Herring reported, everything's going to be the same, but they're hoping for some decent weather.

 

Herring said some of the best bull riders in the world will be in attendance, including Smithville, Oklahoma's Lane Toon who is currently the number four cowboy in the world.

 

Herring said Saturday's event will feature about 14 different stock companies and judges will judge the cowboys and the bulls.

 

Tickets are just $10 each but for more information, visit the website www.visitmena.com.

 

 

 

CONSUMER ALERT: STAY SAFE IN THE WATER     6/10/15

 

Pools are opening for the summer, and families are heading to lakes and beaches to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life and this means more people will be spending hot summer days in and around the water.

 

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a consumer alert to educate Arkansans about the importance of water safety and the risks of drowning.

 

Rutledge released the following tips to having fun and safe summer around the water:

 

Supervise children in and around open bodies of water, giving them your undivided attention; consider formal swimming lessons for children; teach children to swim with an adult and to never go near or in the water alone; inexperienced swimmers or those swimming in deep water should wear a life jacket; consider fencing around residential and private pools; steps and ladders should be removed in above-ground pools when not in use; make sure drain covers are up to date in pools and spas; take the time to learn CPR and avoid alcohol consumption before or during swimming and do not drink alcohol while supervising children in an open body of water.

 

According to the Arkansas Department of Health, approximately 10 drowning deaths occur per day across the country, and many more drowning victims require hospitalization with their injuries resulting in severe brain damage.

The Arkansas Infant and Child Death Review reports drowning as the second leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 17.

 

For more information, visit the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, U.S. Coast Guard, Arkansas Department of Health, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or PoolSafety.gov websites.

 

 

 

MEMBERS OF FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF CASON RETURN TO DE QUEEN      5/9/15

 

Members of the First Baptist Church of Cason, Texas returned to De Queen last Friday to help with the continuing clean-up efforts.

 

Pastor Scott Darby stated members of the church have been helping in storm clean-up efforts for the past 40-years and they arrived last week with chainsaws, rigging and a tractor to help those who couldn't help themselves.

 

Darby said church members have been all over the country helping people and enjoy serving others with the talents that God has given to them and someone in the church is volunteering somewhere every week, but Darby felt compelled to return to De Queen until he was sure everyone had received help that needed it.

 

The group went home Saturday afternoon to rest, but they will restock and send out some more volunteers to help clean-up communities  after the flood waters start receding.

 

Darby informed KDQN that they love serving others, but the residents of De Queen truly made them feel welcome and seemed to appreciate their assistance more than any other location they've been in a long time.

 

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY QUORUM COURT FOCUSING ON CLEAN-UP      6/10/15

 

Members of the Sevier County Quorum Court spent a little time hearing reports and taking action on issues dealing with the storm that pasted through the area on Memorial Day.

 

JPs also approved the re-appointment of Larry Hale and the appointment of Bill Blackwood to the Sevier County Equalization Board.

 

An ordinance to formally authorize Sevier County Judge Greg Ray to complete the vehicle swap between the county and the City of De Queen was approved. The City will receive a 1991 Ford F-800 flatbed truck in exchange for a 1982 International dump truck.

 

Judge Ray requested JPs amend the 2015 budget by transferring $40,000 from the county's vehicle line item to the parts and repairs line item along with adding an additional $69,000 to the account so the county can have the power train rebuilt on one of it's road graders.

 

JPs approved a resolution to authorize a Contract of Obligation between the county and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality.

 

JPs also voted to allow the county to set up a separate budget for the storm clean-up after hearing a report concerning the county's clean-up efforts and Judge Ray reported county crews would be working to clean-up storm debris on various roads throughout the county over the next several days.

 

Quorum Court members then voted to help the Horatio School District obtain a COPS grant so the district can hire a school resource officer for the 2015-2016 school year.    

 

 

BECOME A CASA VOLUNTEER       6/9/15

 

Right here in our community, there are abused and neglected children who live in the shadows of our lives and they need your assistance to make sure that they are being protected.

 

So far this year, 55 children have been placed in foster care in the Ouachita Region due to abuse or neglect and Cynthia Martin of the CASA of the Ouachita Region announced there is a need for more CASA volunteers.

 

Martin explained CASA volunteers advocate on behalf of children in foster care to ensure that their rights are being defended.

 

She said the main qualification of a CASA volunteer is a love and compassion for children.

 

Martin said in most cases, CASA volunteers work with one child or family, while employees of the Department of Human Services work with several cases at a time.

 

Martin said the training was an overview of the foster care system, but even if you don't volunteer, you can still help the CASA of the Ouachita Region.

 

For more information, call Martin at 479-243-9277.

 

 

 

BODY OF MISSING LITTLE RIVER COUNTY MAN FOUND      6/9/15

 

Little River County officials reported they have found the body of a missing boater.

 

Constable Brandon Kennemore reported search teams found the body of 27-year-old Dugan Ward around 10 a.m. Sunday morning about 50 yards from where his dog was found.

 

Little River County Sheriff Gary Gregory reported three people got on the Red River in a boat around 7 a.m. on Wednesday, May 27th. The three were reported missing on Thursday morning and two of the three were rescued Thursday, May 28th.

 

 

 

BOIL WATER NOTICE FOR THE CITY OF LOCKESBURG      6/10/15

 

The Department of Health has confirmed the boil water notice that was issued by Lockesburg Mayor Danny Ruth for the entire system.

 

The order was issued as a precautionary measure because of the possibility that contaminated water may have entered the distribution system as a result of a partial loss in the normal system pressure.

 

Under the boil water notice, all affected customers are advised that the water may be unsafe for human consumption, and water used for drinking or food preparation must be boiled for one minute prior to use. All ice cubes should be discarded and only boiled water used for the making of ice.

 

This precautionary boil water notice will be lifted by the Department of Health when one set of water samples indicates that the water is free of bacterial contamination and an adequate disinfectant level has been established throughout the distribution system.

 

According to Mayor Ruth, the boil water notice was due to a water main break.

 

 

 

BOIL WATER ORDERS ISSUED       6/9/15

 

Sunday evening, Ashdown Mayor James Sutton issued a precautionary boil water notice after the city of Ashdown began to experience low water pressure.

 

Ashdown Waterwork crews located the leak at a fire hydrant that was located in a remote area and were able to restore water Sunday night, however, due to a complete loss of system pressure, Ashdown residents are being asked to boil their water for a minimum of one minute before consuming it.

 

The Arkansas Department of Health announced Monday morning that as a precaution, all affected customers are being advised that the water may be unsafe and water used for drinking, cooking, making of ice, brushing teeth or washing dishes should be boiled prior to use.

 

The department of health reported the boil water notice will remain in effect until an adequate disinfectant level has been established throughout the distribution system and water surveys show the water is safe to drink.

 

Another boil water notice also remains in effect for the members of the North Howard County Rural Water Association in the Umpire area, especially the customers in Umpire and to the South and West.

 

The reason for the North Howard County Rural Water Association boil water notice was a leak in water main that resulted in a partial lose of system pressure.   

 

 

 

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF DE QUEEN OFFERING SUMMER SUPPERS       6/9/15

 

This summer, the members of the First Baptist Church of De Queen will be serving Summer Suppers every Tuesday from June 9th through August 11th from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

 

Associate Pastor Micah Martin announced everyone is invited and it's free.

 

Martin said the meal is free and is being prepared by members of the church, but they would like for everyone to call, so they can get an estimate of how many people will be attending each Tuesday beginning tonight at 5:30.

 

The church is located at 1535 West Collin Raye Drive, just west of UA Cossatot, or you can call 870-642-2151 if you have any questions or if you would like to make a reservation.

 

 

 

NEWHOPE RESIDENT KILLED IN ACCIDENT      6/9/15

 

A Newhope resident died Saturday afternoon following a two vehicle accident at the intersection of U.S. Highway 278 and State Highway 32 in Hempstead County.

 

According to the accident report from the Arkansas State Police, 83-year-old Leroy Bogan was killed when he failed to stop at a stop sign and turned into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

 

Bogan was transported to Wadley Hospital in Hope where he was pronounced dead by Dr. Glen Monk. 

 

 

 

PARENTS ASKED TO KEEP SAVING BOX TOPS 4 EDUCATION THROUGH SUMMER      6/9/15

 

Kids are out of school for the summer, but parents of the Ashdown School district are being encouraged to keep collecting Box Tops 4 Education.

 

Four Ashdown campuses collect Box Tops to assist in purchasing playground equipment and classroom needs that are not covered by the district's budget.

 

Each box top is worth 10 cents, and they add up quickly and can result in a nice check being mailed to the participating campus twice a year.

 

Since beginning its collection program in 2010, Margaret Daniel Primary School has received almost $8,000 in return for coupons on selected store item boxes that would otherwise have just been thrown in the trash.

 

In addition to the Margaret Daniel Primary, C.D. Franks Elementary, L.F. Henderson Intermediate School and the Ashdown Junior High are also collecting box tops. Box tops may be dropped of in the school office any month of the year.

 

 

AREA SCHOOLS RECEIVE FUNDS FOR BEING IN TOP 20 PERCENT OF ARKANSAS SCHOOLS       6/8/15

 

Recently, District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught presented checks to area schools for being in the top 20 percent of Arkansas schools.

 

Vaught presented a check for over $27,000 to the De Queen Primary School, a check in the amount of $24,248.19 was presented to the De Queen Elementary School, a check in the amount of $17,143.75 was presented to the De Queen Middle School and the De Queen Junior School received a check in the amount of $15,113.40.

 

Vaught also presented a check in the amount of $17,569.22 to Horatio High School for also being in the top 20 percent of schools in Arkansas.

 

 

 

ARKANSAS DAIRY FOODS CONTEST WINNERS NAMED       6/8/15

 

Jordan Williams of Bonnerdale and Zack Williams of Nashville were winners at the 58th annual Arkansas Dairy Foods Contest held June 3rd at the state fairgrounds in Little Rock.

 

Jordan Williams is the 15-year-old daughter of Jessica Vincent and she took first place in the Main Dish competition with her "Spinach and Artichoke Pasta." Zack Williams is the 15-year-old son of David and Tina Williams and he took first in the Party Idea competition with his "Italian Cheese Pillows."

 

Both winners received $150.

 

Judges placed contestants based on recipe, use of dairy products, originality, and availability of ingredients and serving technique. Arkansas Farm Bureau, Southwest Dairy Museum and Arkansas Dairy Cooperative Association sponsored the event.

 

In the Party Ideas competition, Brook Bradford of Shirley took seconds with "Fiesta Cheesecake." Jazzlan Rudd of Bismark took third with "Dezanay's Creamy Dip." And, Baylie Clay of Glenwood took fourth with "Marscapone and Mandarin Orange Salad." 

 

 

 

ASHDOWN FFA STUDENT NAMED BORLAUG SCHOLAR     6/8/15

 

Ashdown High School sophomore Karen McMillan was recognized during the end-of-year Ashdown FFA banquet and again on June 3rd at the Arkansas FFA Convention at Camp Couchdale in Hot Springs as one of the eight 2015 BorLaug Scholars from the state of Arkansas.

 

Named after the 1970 Nobel Prize winner Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, the Borlaug Scholars are named through the World Food Prize youth program and are chosen based on the student's written research and group discussion on a critical food security issue.

 

BorLaug was awarded the Nobel Prize for "a lifetime of work to feed a hungry world," and it is said that Dr. Borlaug has "saved more lives then any other person who has ever lived" through his programs of agricultural research and development and his philosophy of teaching the world to feed itself, a movement widely known today as the Green Revolution.

 

The World Food Prize honors outstanding individuals who are predicting to make vital contributions towards improving the quality, quantity or availability of food throughout the world.

 

McMillan is the daughter of Eric and Heather McMillan, and she wrote a plan and composed a research paper based on increasing food availability in the third world country of Bolivia, which she then presented in April at the Arkansas Youth Institute at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. She was chosen in the top eight, one of only 64 scholars chosen since the program's inception in 1990, and will now serve a fully-paid internship with the USDA anywhere in the United States, as long as she is enrolled in a U.S. school or college.

 

Along with congratulating McMillan, Cody Gallagher, Ashdown's FFA sponsor and teacher, awarded 12 Greenhand degrees and six chapter degrees during the annual FFA Banquet. In addition, Gallagher recognized 18 FFA judging team members who qualified for state competition.

 

Special guests for the banquet were the 2014-2015 Friends of the FFA, who were recognized for their donations to the FFA program.

 

 

 

BEWARE OF SCAMS IN AFTERMATH OF SEVERE WEATHER     6/8/15

 

Scam artists often use severe weather as an opening for theft and fraud. Arkansas officials urges residents to be on guard against potential scams in the aftermath of recent storms and flooding in our area.

 

Common scams include workers showing up uninvited and offering to clean up debris or make repairs to homes or other property. The con artists will ask for payment before during the work, and once they receive payment, they leave and never complete the job.

 

Another common technique is calling a resident and pretending to be a government official offering aid. Often, the con artists can mask their telephone number to make the number appear to be legitimately from a government agency, but in order to steal someone's identity, the con artists ask for bank account and other personal information. Government officials stress that they never initiate a call and ask for personal information such as bank accounts.

 

Arkansas Department of Emergency Management Director David Maxwell stated people who have suffered through a severe weather event, such as a flood, are extremely vulnerable to scams and his department encourages people to be informed and cautious if approached with offers of aid or for work to be done for them.

 

To report a complaint, contact local law enforcement agents or call the Arkansas Attorney General Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-482-8982.

 

 

 

DINNER AND A MESSAGE AT BEACON HILL SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH JUNE 15       6/8/15

 

Monday, June 15th, at 6 p.m., the Beacon Hill Seventh-Day Adventist Church will host Chef Mark Anthony for dinner and a message.

 

Chef Mark Anthony said while he was working with hospitals across the country he realized he needed to do something about his weight. So, he gave up eating red meat for 45 days.

 

Chef Anthony has been a personal chef to Jack Nicklaus, Joan Jett, STYX, Journey and dozens more, but now he works with the Three Angels Network and in churches to teach people how they can control their bodies and how they can enjoy a plant rich diet.

 

Chef Anthony stated he will not only teach a few easy recipes but how to rearrange your kitchen to ensure your healthy success.

 

Seating is limited but for more information, contact the church at 870-642-3421. The church is located at 1446 Red Bridge Road in De Queen.

 

 

 

UPDATE ON STORM RECOVERY IN SEVIER COUNTY       6/8/15

 

Sevier County Judge Greg Ray and Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Walter Smith announced Friday morning that Sevier County has been declared a disaster area by Governor Asa Hutchinson and the county will be receiving some public assistance, but no determination on individual assistance had been made yet.

 

Ray said county residents can take their storm debris to the De Queen Business Park on Highway 71 North, Monday through Saturday, but he asked them not to leave it outside the gate on Sunday’s.

 

Ray said 35 counties have been declared disaster areas including Howard and Little River counties.

 

Smith reported the debris collection site was for storm debris only and for residents not to put other items, including household debris in the pile.

 

Smith also said if you live in the county and received some storm damage, you should contact his office at 642-4292.

 

For more information about road closings or debris clean-up call Judge Ray's office at 642-2425.

 

 

ASHDOWN ART STUDENT HONORED      6/5/15

 

Ashdown High School senior Melanie Barwick was chosen as a runner-up in the Downey Publishing "Art for Education" cover contest, recently.

 

Barwick's artwork appeared inside the back cover of the 2015-2016 Downey Texarkana Metro directory, which was distributed recently to homes throughout southwest Arkansas and northwest Texas.

 

Barwick is the daughter of Jimmy and Christy Green of Ashdown and was awarded a $250 gift card as a prize from Downey Publishing.

 

She was an Art III student of Linda King and her mixed media drawing was done in colored pencils and charcoal.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

MDP STUDENTS WIN PAINT THE COUNTY PURPLE CONTEST      6/5/15

 

 

Katelyn Dudley's first grade class at the Margaret Daniel Primary School was the Best of Show and First Place School winner in the Little River County Relay for Life Paint the County Purple school contest.

 

The event was sponsored by the Little River County American Cancer Society.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DRIVING ON A SUSPENDED LICENSE      6/5/15

 

On Sunday, May 30th, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Matt Webb observed a Toyota pickup drive left of the center line on Highway 70 West.

 

Webb reported the vehicle was traveling east and crossed over into the west bound lane on a couple of occasions. Webb made a traffic stop on Mud Creek and he spoke to the driver, 41-year-old Nina Bailey of De Queen.

 

Bailey allegedly informed Webb that she had previously been charged with driving while intoxicated, but had not been to court yet. However, Webb was informed that Bailey's license had been suspended for DUI Alcohol.

 

Webb stated he could smell alcohol and asked Bailey if she had been drinking. Bailey reportedly informed Webb that she worked at a bar and had a beer while she was at work.

 

Bailey failed a field sobriety test and she was arrested for suspicion of driving while intoxicated and for driving on a suspended driver's licenses. After refusing to take a blood alcohol test, Bailey was charged with refusal to submit to test.

 

 

 

MEMBERS OF THE ARKANSAS CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION ANNOUNCE OVER $6.5 MILLION FOR AIRPORT IMPROVEMENTS     6/5/15

 

U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton, along with Congressman Rick Crawford, French Hill, Steve Womack and Bruce Westerman, announced recently that 11 Arkansas airports have been awarded more than $6.5 million from the Department of Transportation to support facility  upgrades and expansions.

 

Senator Boozman stated, transportation infrastructure is vital for local commerce and private sector job growth and Arkansas will benefit from these airport improvements because they will help accommodate future development throughout the state.

 

Texarkana Regional - Webb Field will receive $3,403,151 to rehabilitate the airport runway and Waldron Municipal Airport will receive $318,812 to rehabilitate its airport runaway.

 

The other airports receiving funds included: Sharp County Regional Airport, Saline County Regional Airport, Clarendon Municipal Airport, Clinton Municipal Airport, Corning Municipal Airport, De Witt Municipal Airport, Newport Municipal Airport, Russellville Regional Airport and Searcy Municipal Airport.

 

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT       6/5/15

 

In the May 30th session of the Sevier County Circuit Court, Jessica Hudson changed her plea to guilty on the charge of forgery in the second degree and was sentenced to five years probation and a $2,118.35 in fines and restitution.

 

Sonia Lowrey changed her plea to guilty on the charge of possession of drug paraphernalia and received a sentence of five years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections along with a $1,000 fine.

 

Wesley Hirschi entered a plea of not true in his probation revocation case. Hirschi was sentenced to three years probation in July of 2014 for theft of property.

 

A trial date of June 24th was set for Katrina Maxwell on the charge of forgery in the second degree.

 

Cody Romine had a trail date of August 12th set for the charges of theft by receiving and possession of a controlled substance and a trial date of August 23rd was set for Dalton Kitchens on the charges of stalking in the first degree and possession of a firearm by a certain person. Kitchens is being held in the Sevier County jail on a $50,000 bond.

 

 

BLACKWOOD HIRED AS HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL       6/4/15

 

Monday night following a lengthy executive session, members of the De Queen Board of Education voted to hire Bryan Blackwood as the high school principal.

 

Superintendent Bruce Hill said Blackwood has served the district as a middle school principal and was the high assistant principal this year. Hill said school administration was in Blackwood's DNA.

 

Hill said board members accepted the resignation of four teachers, but three of them are going to teach closer to their hometowns.

 

Board members voted to hire five aides, three cafeteria workers and six certified staff members. Hill said he expected Nicole Staford, Courtney Hankins, Magan Dorsey, Monica Murphy, Misty Gentry and Camryn Mitchell to be great additions to the De Queen staff.

 

During old business, Hill mentioned that six trees fell at the old Elementary during the storm on May 27th and several buildings were damaged, but the district's insurance company is working to ensure the repairs are made quickly and correctly.

 

Hill then recommended the board accept the insurance bid from the Arkansas School Board Association in the amount of $96,918.32 with a $10,000 deductible.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN ALDERMEN UPDATED ON DISASTER CLEAN-UP     6/4/15

 

Tuesday night, the department heads for the City of De Queen reported on their response time following the storm that hit the city on May 25th. They also mentioned different items that didn't perform properly moments after the storm.

 

Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy informed KDQN that city crews are now focusing on picking up the debris that was left behind.

 

Aldermen also passed a resolution to hold a public meeting, Tuesday, June 16th to discuss closing Jansen Street at the request of Kern Heights Baptist Church.

 

Mayor McKelvy updated the aldermen concerning the city's retirement meeting that was held with the city employees and he presented them with a spread sheet, identifying the most urgent needs from each city department. McKelvy stated he felt the Water Department had the most needs at this time.

 

The De Queen City Council will meet for a regular meeting on Tuesday, June 16th following the public hearing concerning the closing of Jansen Street.

 

 

 

CONSUMER ALERT: CAR SELLERS BEWARE     6/4/15

 

Reports are increasing of a scam targeting the private, online sale of vehicles. The National Insurance Crime Bureau is warning consumers of a scheme targeting people who are selling their vehicles on the popular online marketplace, Craigslist. Law enforcement has reported nearly 100 instances of a phony bank check being used to pay for vehicles across the country.

 

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a consumer alert to warn Arkansans about the scam that leaves sellers liable for money still owed on cars, while the criminals get away with vehicles.

 

According to Rutledge's office, con artists are printing counterfeit checks that look real and sellers should be cautious because some of these checks can even fool bank tellers.

 

Rutledge also released the following tips for consumers who are selling their own vehicles: sellers should insist on speaking to serious buyers over the phone in order to gauge if they are genuinely interested in the car; consider only selling to local buyers; do not give out your home address; schedule test drives in the middle of the day and in a public place; once you have settled on a price, meet the buyer at his or her bank to complete the transaction and beware if the buyer recommends a specific escrow service, and do your own research by checking with the Arkansas Insurance Department License Division.

 

After the sell, you should keep documents or paper records of everything and never sign over a title until you have the money in hand.

 

Rutledge also encourages sellers to be cautions of overpayment scams and to avoid payment plans.

 

Victims should alert the website's administrator of the scam, as well as, local law enforcement and the Attorney General's office.

 

For more information, call 1-800-482-8982 or visit the website, ArkansasAG.gov.

 

 

 

CRATER OF DIAMONDS BEGINS SUMMER SEASON     6/4/15

 

The Crater of Diamonds State Park kicked off this year's summer season on Memorial Day weekend and from now until August 15, the visitor center, the Diamond Discovery Center and the diamond search area will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. From August 16th through Labor Day, September 7th, the park building and search area will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday through Thursday and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

 

With the start of summer, the Kimberlite Cafe and Diamond Springs are also officially open.

 

Kimberlite Cafe is a restaurant that is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, serving breakfast and lunch.

 

Another way to take a break after diamond mining is by visiting Diamond Springs, which is a water park featuring spray geysers, water jets, cascades, two water slides and a waterfall hideaway.

 

Diamond Springs is open daily from noon to 6 p.m. Admission is $6 for swimmers 42 inches or taller, $4 for swimmers shorter than 42 inches and $2 for non-swimmer chaperones sitting poolside. Children under the age of two are also admitted for free.

 

Park Interpreter Waymon Cox recommends that while visiting the Crater of Diamond State Park, this summer, you should remember to take plenty of breaks in a cool, shaded area, drink plenty of water and wear a hat and sunscreen to prevent heat-related illness and sun damage to your skin.

 

For more information about the Crater of Diamonds State Park, visit their website at craterofdiamondsstatepark.com or call 870-285-3113.

 

 

 

THREE ARRESTED FOR DRINKING ON A HIGHWAY; ONE FOR DRIVING      6/4/15

 

On Saturday, May 30th, Sevier County Sheriff’s Deputy Matt Webb stopped a white car after observing it cross the center line several times on Bellahmine Road.

 

When Webb approached the vehicle, he reported he witnessed the passenger sitting in the backseat drinking a beer and there were several other open beer containers in the floorboard.

 

The driver was identified as Norman Crump, Jr.

 

Crump allegedly admitted to drinking and failed a field sobriety test and was arrested for driving while intoxicated.

 

One passenger who was identified as Wesley Crump was arrested and charged with drinking on the highway along with the third passenger, Michael Elmore.

 

 

TODAY IS NATIONAL RUNNING DAY       6/3/15

 

Today is National Running Day and running groups and clubs across the country will be hosting community running events.

 

Here in De Queen, Dr. Jason Lofton and De Queen Girls Basketball Coach Jason Barker will be hosting a community run this afternoon at 5 p.m. starting in the De Queen Regional Medical Center parking lot.

 

Coach Barker stated it's not a race, but it's going to be a time for experienced runners and beginners to socialize and have fun. He said there are a variety of loops and distances, so today's event is for all levels of runners.

 

Lofton said if running wasn't your idea of fun, you might want to join a group that rides bikes on Friday mornings at 8 a.m.

 

For more information, contact AMP fitness. 

 

 

 

SUMMER REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS JUNE 4      6/3/15

 

UA Cossatot Coordinator of Admissions Tommi Unruh-Cobb announced Tuesday morning that the deadline to register for summer classes is this Thursday.

 

Cobb stated students may also register for fall classes, whether they are an incoming freshman or a non-traditional student seeking a technical certificate.

 

Cobb mentioned the new online textbook program at UA Cossatot will save students about a thousand dollars a semester since some used textbooks cost over $250 each.

 

Cobb said the demographics of the UA Cossatot campus is changing but their priority is still students.

 

Cobb said if you have any questions, contact the college and they will help.

 

For more information, visit their website at cccua.edu.

 

 

 

HELP AVAILABLE FOR RESIDENTS IN LITTLE RIVER COUNTY       6/3/15

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught announced Tuesday morning that families in Little River County who need help with disaster relief or have been displaced by the flooding and need a place to stay, should contact the Little River County Office of Emergency Services Coordinator, Don Hale at his office by calling 870-898-7203 or on his cell phone at 903-824-1907.

 

Vaught explained Hale will contact the American Red Cross for displaced families and he has the paperwork for families who need assistance with disaster relief.

 

If you are unable to contact Hale, contact Kellie Broomfield in Little River County judge's office at 870-898-7202.

 

Little River County Judge Mike Cranford announced the following roads west of U.S. Highway 71 and south of Arkansas Highway 32 West are closed in Little River County: including county roads 1; 155; 4; 2; 75; 6; 23; 21; 26; 180; 169; 170; 8; 9; 515; 32; 70; 35; 33; 288 and 62. He stated only people who live on those county roads or that have property on those roads will be permitted to travel them at this time.

 

As well as, U.S. Highway 71 South of Ashdown, Arkansas Highway 41 South of Foreman to the Texas border and Highway 108 from Foreman to the Oklahoma border.

 

 

 

DWI - DRUGS ARREST MADE       5/3/15

 

On Sunday, May 31st, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Greg Davignon reported he observed a red Ford truck with expired tags traveling on Tower Road in Gillham. Davignon reported the expired tag also came back to a Chevy vehicle when he checked the registration.

 

After observing the vehicle cross the center line of several occaisions, Davignon stopped the vehicle to speak with the driver, 46-year-old Lynwood Scott of De Queen.

 

Davignon reported that Scott was agitated and what he described as unsettled. Davignon reported he suspected Scott was under the influence of a controlled substance.

 

However, Scott did give Davignon consent to search his vehicle and Scott allegedly admitted to smoking meth out of a pipe, just before he got pulled over. Scott also reportedly admitted that there was marijuana in the truck.

 

Scott was taken into custody and charged with driving under the influence of drugs, possession of marijuana, refusal to submit to test, driving left of center, fictitious tags, and no proof of insurance.

 

 

 

DIXON BEING HELD ON THEFT OF PROPERTY CHARGES      6/3/15

 

On May 18th, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Hankins was dispatched to Lockesburg to take a theft report.

 

Roy Griffin of Lockesburg reported that an air conditioner was missing from his rent house on Spring Street.

 

Griffin stated the air conditioner had been sitting on the front porch, and the house had been empty since the last renter had moved out.

 

A neighbor reported that they saw a man in a red faded Ford truck take the air conditioner.

 

On May 28th, Deputy Hankins interviewed Michael Dixon of Lockesburg concerning the missing air conditioner at the Sevier County jail where Dixon was being held on an absconding warrant.

 

Dixon allegedly stated he took the air conditioner because he thought it was scrap because the yard was all grown up around the house. He also said he didn't know who the house belonged to, but he sold the air conditioner to a guy for $50.

 

Dixon is being held on one count of theft of property.

 

 

 

BENEFITS OF $87 MILLION IN BONDS FOR LOCKHEED MARTIN       6/3/15

 

Monday, District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught discussed how the $87 million in bonds will benefit Arkansans.

 

Vaught stated in the 1980's, the Pentagon awarded a contract to develop the High Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle that was designed to transport troops and cargo. That vehicle became known as the Humvee and was used extensively in the Persian Gulf War in the early 1990's.

 

However, the Humvee wasn't designed as a combat vehicle and offered little protection against explosive devices, but now, Arkansas has an opportunity to play a major role in the development of the Humvee's replacement.

 

Lockheed Martin in Camden is one of three companies currently competing for a contract from the Department of Defense to produce close to 55,000 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles.    

 

Last week, the Arkansas House of Representatives approved $87.1 million in bonds to assist in financing the manufacturing. $83 million of the bonds will be used for land acquisition, site preparation and wastewater treatment. The remaining amount will be used for job training.

 

According to Vaught, if Lockheed Martin is awarded the contract, it will create close to 600 new full time jobs with an average salary of $46,720.

 

Due to this project, another 600 jobs are expected to be created in South Arkansas.

 

 

REPRESENTATIVE VAUGHT ADDRESSES SEVERE FLOODING IN LITTLE RIVER COUNTY      6/2/15

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught is asking residents in her district to avoid driving in areas where emergency officials are working to help those impacted by the recent flooding.

 

Vaught stated she realizes that everyone is concerned about their neighbors and loved ones, but at this time citizens are being asked to stay out of areas where first responders are working.

 

First responders have reported extra traffic on roads by individuals taking pictures or just looking at the damage and its hampering their efforts.

 

Vaught and other elected officials are also reminding residents not to drive through water if it is covering the roadway.

 

Vaught said this puts everyone in a dangerous situation, not only the drivers and passengers, but also the emergency crews that are called out in response to a rescue operation.

 

Little River County Judge Mike Cranford is also asking residents to stay off of watercraft in all bodies of water in the county until further notice.

 

Currently State Highway 41 South of Foreman; U.S. Highway 71 South of Ashdown and Arkansas Highway 108 from Foreman to the Oklahoma line are closed. 

 

 

 

ASHDOWN CANCELS REMAINDER OF SCHOOL YEAR     6/2/15

 

Ashdown Superintendent Jason Sanders announced Monday afternoon, that June 1st will be the last day of school for the Ashdown School District.

 

He stated due to the historic weather conditions, flooding and the safety of students and personnel who live in the affected areas, the district was going to cancel the last four days of school.

 

All personnel are being asked to contact their immediate supervisors for year-end check out procedures for equipment and records. They may also contact their campus supervisors for any additional questions.

 

 

 

ACCIDENT RESULTS IN ARREST AND SEVERAL CITATIONS      6/2/15

 

Sunday, May 31st, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Barnes was dispatched to Lockesburg in reference to a single vehicle accident that resulted in about $500 worth of property damage.

 

When Deputy Barnes arrived, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Matthew Webb was on the scene and Webb reported he smelt the odor of alcohol on all the individuals that were involved in the accident.

 

20-year-old Alexandra Staton of Ashdown was identified as the driver and after failing a series of field sobriety test; she was arrested for driving while intoxicated.

 

After Staton was placed in Barnes' patrol vehicle, 23-year-old Joseph Smith stated he was actually driving the car and allegedly admitted to drinking six beers.

 

However, an eyewitness reported Staton had exited the 2008 Ford Focus on the driver's side.

 

Smith was then arrested and charged with public intoxication.

 

The other passenger in the vehicle at the time of the accident informed the deputies that he had also been drinking and that Smith had purchased the beer for him and Staton.

 

Jared Stultz was then citied for public intoxication and released into the custody of his mother.

 

Deputies then added two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor to Smith's charges.

 

While inventorying Staton’s vehicle, deputies found a marijuana smoking devise under the driver's seat and added the charge of possession of drug paraphernalia to her charges.

 

Both Staton and Smith are being held in the Sevier County jail.

 

 

 

CASON, TEXAS FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH AID RESIDENTS OF DE QUEEN     6/2/15

 

Nine men from the First Baptist Church of Cason, Texas arrived in De Queen with their equipment Friday morning to assist De Queen residents with the storm recovery.

 

Reverend Scott Darby contacted the De Queen City Hall on Wednesday of last week to offer their assistance. Darby explained that volunteers change, due to personal schedules, but the he said he could have a team ready by Friday morning.

 

Volunteers brought chainsaws, rigging and a big Kubota tractor equipped with a loader and brush grapple and they started working on Lake Avenue where they cut and remove a tree for a woman who lives alone. They then moved over to the trailer park on South Rockefeller Street where the tractor enabled them to support a toppled oak tree while others cut the tree from a home.

 

The group worked through the afternoon rain storm on Friday and spent the night at the De Queen Fire Station.

 

Darby explained his church supports these types of mission trips all across the United States.

 

Darby stated the group will rest, restock and then send out a crew to help clean up after the flood waters recede in Texas.

 

If residents would like to send a thank you note to the church, they may send them to the First Baptist Church of Texas men's group at First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 10, Cason, Texas 75636.

 

 

 

FUND SET UP TO HELP WARD FAMILY         6/2/15

 

The search for Dugan Ward who went missing in the Red River last Wednesday will continue as the weather improves and the river stops rising.

 

Ward went missing when he and his parents went to check on their property in the Red River bottoms, southwest of Ashdown. Ward's parents, Steve and Dee Dee Ward, were rescued about 8 a.m. Thursday morning. They were found holding onto a fence gate surrounded by the flooding Red River.

 

Dugan Ward fell into the river and remains missing.

 

Area residents have been donating food and other items to the family, and a fund has been set up to help support Ward's family at the Mil-Way Credit Union in Ashdown.

 

 

 

KIAMICHI OWA-CHITO FESTIVAL OF THE FOREST MOVED DUE TO FLOODING       6/2/15

 

The 43rd Annual Kiamichi Owa-Chito Festival of the Forest will be moving to the Broken Bow City Park due to flooding at the Beaver's Bend State Park.

 

The Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce announced all events will continue as planed except for the canoe races and they will be scaling back the art show. The art show reception has been canceled.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN HIGH SCHOOL ACT SUMMER PREP SCHOOL       6/2/15

 

Applications are being accepted at the De Queen High School for their summer ACT prep classes which will be held July 20th through the 23rd and July 27th through the 30th from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. each day.

 

De Queen students may attend for free, but the cost for students from other school districts is $100. De Queen students who attend every day will be able to take the September 12th ACT exam for free.

 

Students will also be able to attend two refresher nights on Tuesday, September 1st and Tuesday, September 8th from 5 to 7 p.m. prior to the September 12th ACT.

 

Applications should be turned in at the De Queen High School office by Thursday, July 9th in order for teachers to plan for the correct number of materials.

 

For more information, call the De Queen High School at 642-2426.

 

 

 

PICKING UP A FEW ITEMS AT THE DOLLAR TREE       6/2/15

 

On Wednesday, May 27th, Sergeant Gary Cunningham went to the new Dollar Tree store in De Queen in reference to a shoplifter.

 

Dollar Tree Manager Justin Holland reported that a white male who was standing between the two doors confessed to stealing some stuff from the store and that he would pay double for the items if they wouldn't call the police.

 

According to Cunningham, 26-year-old Devin Felipe appeared to be nervous and his pupils were pin pointed.

 

Cunningham stated that Felipe tried to pull away while he was putting handcuffs on him.

 

Cunningham stated that he found three knives on Felipe and Sevier County Jailer Santiago Gonzalez reported he found two small bags of meth in a black box in Felipe's sock along with a syringe and a black smoking device that was packed with marijuana while searching Felipe at the jail.

 

Felipe was charged with shoplifting, possession of a controlled substance-Meth, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and two counts of furnishing prohibited articles into the Sevier County jail.

 

 

 

POLICE SEEK PUBLIC'S HELP IN FINDING MISSING WOMAN     6/2/15

 

The Hope Police Department is asking for the public's helping in locating a missing 24-year-old Hempstead County woman who was last seen May 20th.

 

Madeline Tomlin was last seen on May 20th in Hope and according to Hope Assistant Police Chief, Tomlin's family believe it's unlikely that she would willingly go this long without contacting them.

 

Tomlin was last seen wearing light blue cotton pants and a white or cream colored top. She is 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs about 115 pounds with brown-red hair and green eyes. Tomlin also has a butterfly tattoo on her foot, the name "Cash" on her ankle and a horseshoe on her shoulder.

 

The Hope Police Department is seeking information regarding her whereabouts. If you have information concerning the disappearance of Tomlin, you are being asked to contact the Hope Police Department at 870-777-3434.

 

  

 

TRAILER HOUSE FIRE IN GILLHAM      6/2/15

 

Early Monday morning, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Barnes and members of the Gillham Fire Department responded to a house fire at 143 Gillham Lake Road.

 

When Deputy Barnes arrived, the Gillham Fire Department was on the scene and waiting for an employee of SWEPCO to arrive and cut power to the trailer house.

 

Gillham Fire Chief Brandon Herrington reported the trailer was fully engulfed when they arrived, but no one was home.

 

The owner of the trailer house, Jeff Overturf, reported that he and his wife had been out of the town since May 28th, helping their daughter move to Wickes.

 

Herrington reported the fire appeared to start in the North end of the trailer and was most likely caused by an electrical malfunction. No foul play is suspected, but fire fighters were sent back to the trailer around 9:30 Monday morning after the wind kicked up some flames.

 

UA COSSATOT CONTINUES RENOVATIONS AT LOCKESBURG  06/02/15

 

LOCKESBURG - The oldest building on the old Lockesburg High School campus was taken down in a controlled burn by the Lockesburg Volunteer Fire Department last week.

 

The old building was built circa 1929 and served the Lockesburg School district as an elementary, music, and ISS facility before the campus was closed following the 2010 school year.  UA Cossatot now owns the old Lockesburg High School property and plans to keep renovating the grounds to prepare for college and workforce classes to be held there.

 

According to UA Cossatot Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole, there are two older buildings that are suitable for use.  “In our slow but steady renovation, we have found that the old elementary and music building was a public danger and could not be rehabilitated, so we partnered with the Lockesburg Fire Department in a controlled burn to safely take the structure down.”

 

Extensive mold and termite damage had rendered the building useless. The other building that has been razed on the grounds is the old bus shop.

 

Renovating and preparing the old Lockesburg High School campus is taking more time than originally thought according to Cole, “We are taking a bit more time in the renovation process but we want to ensure the infrastructure is suitable before working on the cosmetics of the site. For public safety reasons, we have also posted no trespassing signs on the property.”

 

UA Cossatot has a target of January 2016 to begin offering classes at Lockesburg.

 

ARKANSAS HEART HOSPITAL TO LEASE HOWARD MEMORIAL HOSPITAL SPECIALTY CLINIC       6/1/15

 

Starting in August, the Arkansas Heart Hospital will lease the Specialty Clinic on the Howard Memorial Hospital campus.

 

Dr. Andre Paixo is an interventional cardiologist and will be in Nashville on the first and third Mondays of each month. He announced he also plans to apply for consulting staff privileges at Howard Memorial.

 

Additional clinic days may be added if necessary and Radiology Director Stacy Harberson and Ultrasound Tech Tessa Jamison reported they are planning to make a site visit to the heart hospital's Peripheral Vascular Institute to determine what equipment and training the hospital will need to provide so the hospital can offer peripheral vascular screening exams.

 

Howard Memorial is also considering offering stress test services once again.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN HIGH SCHOOL ANNOUNCED BOYS AND GIRLS STATE REPRESENTATIVES       6/1/15

 

De Queen School District Media Relations Director Tammy Whatley announced 11 students will represent De Queen High School during the Arkansas Boys and Girls State events today until Friday, June 5th.

 

Boys and Girls states are sponsored by the American Legion and teach students how government works while developing leadership skills and an appreciation for their rights as citizens.

 

While attending the program, students will run for office, learn public speaking, create and enforce laws and participate in all phases of creating and running a working government.

 

Boys State was started in 1935 and is held on the campus of the University of Central Arkansas in Conway.

 

De Queen will be represented by Zachary Acker, Jeffery Davis, Jacob Glasgow and Michael Monroy at Boys State.

 

Girls State is held on the campus of Harding University in Searcy.

 

De Queen will be represented at Girls State by Savanna Hill, Leslie Vertiz, Krishna Patel, Italia Bustamante, Jessica Rogers, Danielle Duggan and Anna Grace Cauley.

 

 

 

FOREMAN SCHOOL DISTRICT PROMOTES COACH HALL TO ATHLETIC DIRECTOR      6/1/15

 

Superintendent George Kennedy announced the district has canceled two bus routes for the remainder of the school year and board members of the Foreman Board of Education approved the district’s school choice applications, but Kennedy said he feels the change in the deadline date may have impacted the number of transfers this year.

 

Board members approved some policy changes to the certified and classified personnel policy handbooks that were recommended by the Arkansas School Board Association.

 

Board members also accepted the resignation of elementary teachers, Nicole Stanford and Cody Friday along with a computer lab aide, Randi Lyn Dawson.

 

Kennedy also announced head basketball coach John Hall was promoted to Athletic Director on an 11-month contract.

 

Board members also voted to hire Natasha Click as a Kindergarten teacher.

 

 

 

JUST DOING A LITTLE SHOPPING      6/1/15

 

On Sunday, May 24th, Patrolman First Class Levi Browning of the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to the Dollar General Store to take a report concerning a shoplifter.

 

Dollar General Manager Crystal Clark reported she witnessed two suspects sitting in the store parking lot, shoving things into the backseat.

 

28-year-old Niquisha Smith and 33-year-old Crystal Hill were sitting in a Ford Expedition in front of the store.

 

Browning reported he knew that Smith was wanted on an outstanding warrant and immediately placed her into custody.

 

Browning then watched the surveillance video that showed Hill place some items in a backpack. The video also showed the two women walk out of the store together.

 

After searching Hill's bag, Browning discovered several items that appeared to have been taken from the store and Hill was taken into custody.

 

The total amount of the items taken from the Dollar General Store was $43.95.

 

Both women were cited for shoplifting of $1,000 or less.

 

 

 

VAUGHT REPORTS SPECIAL SESSION WRAPPED UP ON THURSDAY      6/1/15

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported the special session wrapped up the final pieces of legislation Thursday afternoon.

 

Vaught reported the House passed an amended version of a bill that will move the state's May primary to March. The amended portion of the bill includes a sunset clause that was passed by the Senate.

 

The sunset clause says the primary will be held in March for the year 2016 only and will then move back to the May date for future elections.

 

House members also approved a Senate bill to move the Fiscal Session from February to April, 2016.

 

Vaught reported legislators also approved an $87 million dollar bond issue to help Lockheed Martin expand their facilities in Camden if they win a military contract to manufacture a new tactical vehicle for the Army and Marines.

 

UA COSSATOT CHANCELLOR STEVE COLE SPEAKS TO DE QUEEN LIONS   06/01/15

 

DE QUEEN, AR -  Dr. Steve Cole, Chancellor of UA Cossatot, was the guest speaker Tuesday, May 5th at the noon meeting of the De Queen Lions Club.

 

After Chancellor Cole discussed the yearly budget of the college and pointed out that spring graduation will award a record 342 diplomas, he mentioned the innovative textbook program.

 

“Let’s face it, today’s college student simply is asked to pay too much for textbooks, so UA Cossatot decided to end the madness and start an innovative new textbook program, said Cole.  “Beginning this fall, our students will pay no more than $30 per course for a textbook, and in many cases they will have to purchase no textbooks for the semester.”

 

Cole talked about the savings to families, citing that the average student and their family will save over $1,000 per year on the cost of textbooks, while not diluting the learning in the classroom.

 

Dr. Cole then fielded questions from the club, explaining how students will be able to attend UA Cossatot and eVersity this fall which is fully transferable and leads into a four-year degree from the University of Arkansas.  He also answered questions regarding how Arkansas can help undocumented students by making it where they only have to pay in-state tuition. 

 

The De Queen Lions Club is a member of district 7-L and fulfills many local humanitarian projects, including providing eyeglasses for youth in need.

ASHDOWN 4TH GRADERS-WALKING FOR CHRIST   06/01/15

The key to success in any great endeavor is support, and Bro. Jim Cross, pastor of Ashdown/Richmond First United Methodist Church, emphasizes that "the wonderful community support from Ashdown is what has led to the great success of Impact 2015 - Walking for Christ."

Cross's 30-mile solo Walk for Christ, now in its third year, has raised over $50,00 thus far, with the largest amount - $21,600 - being raised this year.  The ten-hour-long walk on April 11 ended at Dick Hays Stadium, where Cross was greeted by over 200 supporters enjoying catfish dinners and dozens of kids enjoying games and jump houses -- exactly the kind of scene Cross thrives on. 

Walking for Christ was the vision of Bro. Jim, a tireless mentor for young people, in 2012 when he felt led to raise awareness and financial support for several causes where children are in need.  He has divided the funds he has raised between scholarships for high school graduates with medical issues, Relay for Life, and UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief), a world-wide distribution center in Baldwin, Louisiana, who are using his contributions toward building a dormitory to host volunteer workers at the center. 

He also divides the funds to support various school campus needs, such as a pavilion for the L. F. Henderson Intermediate School playground and new turf for the Ashdown High School football field.  In addition, Cross has donated financial assistance to families of Ashdown school children who have suffered loss and illness, including Brandon Cramer, who is still fighting to recover from massive brain injuries during an accident in 2013.

Pictured with Bro. Jim Cross (center) are members of the fourth grade student council at L. F. Henderson Intermediate School, who are part of the network of supporters for Bro. Jim's walk.  These students organized a coin drive called "Changing Lives with Change" and collected $259.39 at their school, which they donated to Impact 2015 - Walking for Christ.   Fourth Grade Student Council members posing with Cross are (front - l to r) Marty Lansdell, Adrian Salazar, Derek Hilton, Gracie Young, (back) Dylan Rose, Yajairah Medrano, Lilyan House, Dal Ringgold, Kaydence Briggs, Abby Butler, Jared Day, Stacy Walker, and StuCo sponsor Mrs. Linda Davis. 

 

ASHDOWN SCHOLARSHIP TEA  06/01/15

The annual Ashdown Scholarship Tea was held on Sunday, May 3, 2015 at 2p.m. in the Ashdown High School Cafeteria. Forty-six scholarships of $ 23,750 were given to 39 Ashdown High School Seniors.

The Scholarship Committee has awarded over 100% of all donated moneys for some time due to investments. We plan to continue this trend and strive both to recognize students’ needs and to reward their hard work and high aspirations.

Last year, we awarded 39 scholarships with a total value of $15,948. This brings the total scholarships to over 477 awarded to 984 students over the course of our 28 year history. The committee has authorized an alumni fund through which former students of Ashdown High School, businesses, or other individuals may contribute to the program in any amount and at any time. Such contributions may be made in honor or memory of friends and loved ones. Scholarships are tax deductible and may be sent to Ashdown Public Schools, 511 N. 2nd St., Ashdown, AR 71822. You may attention your correspondence to: Ashdown Scholarship Committee. You may call 870-898-3208 if you have any questions.

We would like to thank all of the donors for allowing us to continue honoring our deserving seniors from Ashdown High School. We would also like to encourage businesses, as well as individuals to support the scholarship program.

Pictured:  (l-r) Front row: Taylor Tallant - Brian Stapp Memorial, Nekhoe Hogan - AHS Beta Club and Bishop & Bishop,  Zane Lovell - AHS Band Boosters, Logan Trafford - AHS Band Boosters, Alex Coleman - Ashdown Alumni Association,           Payton Turner - Cecil & Beth Bowman Memorial and Bob Porter, Tiffany Gabbard - Domtar, Brittanie Bertrand - Jalen Lewis Memorial, Cortnie Greeson - Family Medical Associates.

Second Row: Amari Davis - Wesley Strange Memorial, Dakota Davis - Shirl & Nancy McCoy, Cierra Staten - Jalen Lewis Memorial, Brittany Martin - Class of 2007, Zentrella McClain - Mr. & Mrs. Jim Mounts, Eboni Hopkins - Ashdown Scholarship Committee, Kienda McFadden - Ashdown Athletic Booster Club - Coleman Pearson, Curtina Harper - Coca- Cola.

Third Row: Starnes York - Vestco LLC and James E. Sutton Jr. Memorial, Emily Mulholland - William L. & Mary E. Welch Memorial, Allie Anderson - Mil-Way Federal Credit Union, Allison Brewer - Little River County Retired Teachers, Rachel Pounds - William Coker Memorial and Little River County Extension Homemakers, Asphen Beard - Ashdown Alumni Association and Jackson Auto Mark, Madison Newton - Class of 1989 and Rotary Club, Mercardo Anderson - Hillis Family Dental.

Last Row: Lexy Wake - Cecil & Beth Bowman Memorial and Coleman Pearson Memorial, Jada Beth Fricks - Vestco LLC and Ashdown School Administrators, Abby Burchfield - Ashdown Alumni Association, Rebecca Wood - Little River Hardwoods, Inc., Alexis Houck - Ashdown Alumni Association, Kayley Miller - Jalen Lewis Memorial, Chelsie Stewart - Ashdown Eye Care, Aubrey Burchfield - Ashdown Alumni Association, Drew Akins - Davis Feed and Fred C. Jester Memorial.

Not Pictured:    Jason Fields - Ashdown Athletic Booster Club, Melanie Barwick - First Guaranty Insurance, Stefan Sanders - Kaufman Seeds Memorial, Dakotah Wilson - Ashdown Scholarship Committee & Lamontrick Turner - Wesley Strange

 

 

 

RELAY FOR LIFE EVENT IS FRIDAY NIGHT       5/29/15

 

Sevier County Relay for Life event organizer Emmy Bailey announced this year's event will be begin at 6 p.m. tonight at the Sportsplex, unless it rains and then it will be moved to the 9th Street gym.

 

Bailey said 107 members of eight county teams have raised over $17,000 so far this year, but will not close the books on their fundraising until August.

 

Bailey stated Relay for Life helps fund research and has been helping the American Cancer Society for the past 65 years. She said the American Cancer Society provided $1.9 million dollars for childhood cancer research and everyone can help win this fight by joining their efforts tomorrow night.

 

  

UPDATE FROM SWEPCO AT 10:00 a.m. Friday, May 29, 2015

 

As of 10 a.m. Friday, service has been restored to 4,462 of the 4,600 customers who lost power during severe storm that swept through SWEPCO’s service territory Monday night. Approximately 138 customers remain without power in De Queen.

 

In the De Queen area, crews have restored power to about 95 percent of the 4,600 customers who lost power when 70 mph winds, heavy rains and already saturated ground resulted in uprooted trees and heavy damage to the electric system. Approximately 138 customers remain without power. Estimated time of restoration for most of the remaining customers who can receive power is 10 p.m. today.

 

More severe weather and high water over the next few days may impact restoration efforts and cause additional power outages.

 

More than 900 line, service and tree personnel are working to restore power across SWEPCO’s territory, including crews from Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama. 

 

If the weatherhead or meter base at your home or business has been damaged or pulled away from the structure, you will need to have it repaired by a licensed electrician before SWEPCO can safely reconnect service. Once the repair is made, contact SWEPCO so your service can be reconnected. In DeQueen, get meter bases at the DeQueen Fire Station, 219 North 2nd St.

 

Residents are reminded to stay away from downed lines and keep others away. All lines should be considered energized and dangerous. Call SWEPCO or 911 to report downed power lines.

 

IF you use a portable or RV generator, do not plug the generator into your circuit box. Portable generators "backfeed" electricity up the line and risk the lives of repair workers and the public. Follow the manufacturers' instructions carefully, and plug essential appliances directly into the generator.

 

SWEPCO will keep customers informed as information is available – on Facebook, SWEPCO.com and through SWEPCO Alerts. Customers can sign up for SWEPCO Alerts, including estimated restoration times, at SWEPCO.com/Alerts. Once you enroll, you will get an email, text message or both when an outage has been reported in your area.

 

 

  

DIERKS CITY COUNCIL APPROVES PILOT PROGRAM FOR WEYERHAEUSER       5/29/15

 

Dierks Mayor Terry Mounts reported Thursday morning that the City of Dierks faired pretty well during the most recent storm, however, he had to close the city park because most of it is currently under water.

 

Mounts stated the city council held a public meeting earlier this month to discuss the council's desire to enter into a PILOT program with Weyerhaeuser. Mounts said PILOT stands for payments in lieu of taxes.

 

Mounts said the city would be giving Weyerhaeuser a 65 percent tax break for about 15 years for expanding their facilities within the city.

 

Mounts also reported the city has purchased two new vehicles and that the city's water and sewer audits were underway.

 

Members of the Dierks City Council will be asked to approve the ordinances and resolutions concerning the PILOT program during their June council meeting.

 

 

 

OEM DIRECTOR SHARES SOME THOUGHTS      5/29/15

 

Sevier County Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Walter Smith proved an update on the clean up effort in Sevier County and offered a little advice to residents concerning the next emergency.

 

Smith stated crews have made most of the roads in Sevier County passable, but cautioned motorists when traveling near county and city workers.

 

Smith said several houses were damaged by trees during the storm last Monday night, but more damage may be discovered during the clean up phase.

 

Smith stated county and city crews including the sheriff's office and the De Queen Police Department all worked well together during the moments after the storm, but requested non-emergency personnel to stay in their homes during emergencies, so emergency personnel can do their jobs.

 

If you discover a road that is blocked by debris contact the Sevier County Judge at 642-2425. 

 

 

 

REA WARNING CUSTOMERS ABOUT SCAM        5/29/15

 

Southwest Arkansas Rural Electric Association is warning their customers about a telephone scam involving a TV giveaway.

 

Based on initial reports, the scam involves a telephone call from someone claiming to represent Southwest Arkansas Electric Cooperative and informing the customer that they had won a TV. The caller then informs the REA member that they need to provide their credit card information, street address; account number and other information before the can claim their prize.

 

Southwest Arkansas REA strongly recommends that members and individuals not give out their personal information over the phone to anyone.

 

If Southwest Arkansas REA customers receive one of these suspicious calls, they are being asked to contact REA at 1-800-782-2743 to make a report.

 

 

 

STATE SWIMMING AREAS CLOSED DUE TO E. COLI THREAT       5/29/15

 

A number of swimming areas in Arkansas have been closed as of 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, due to an E. coli threat, according to the Arkansas Health Department.

 

In Southwest Arkansas, Albert Pike has been closed along with several swimming areas on Greers Ferry Lake in Cleburne County and in Marion, Logan, Washington, Carroll and Stone counties.

 

Kerry Krell with the Arkansas Department of Health stated the high amount of rainfall is a large factor in these closures because runoff from the land surrounding the swim beaches picks up more bacteria that is naturally present in the waste of nearly all animals.

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, E. coli is a large group of bacteria and some kinds of it can cause diarrhea, while others can cause urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and pneumonia along with other illnesses.

 

 

HIGHWAY 41 CLOSED DUE TO HIGH WATER      5/28/15

 

Early Thursday morning, state highway officials posted on IDriveArkansas.com that Highway 41 South from Foreman to the Texas border has been closed due to water on the highway.

 

High water is begin reported on State Highway 41, north of the Red River. The closure includes 5.1 miles of State Highway 41 between the Texas state line on the south end and Mud Line Road on the north end. This section will remain closed until the water recedes from the highway and Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department engineers can assess the damage.

 

The alternate route from Foreman south is to travel east on Highway 32 to Ashdown and then travel south on Highway 71.

 

For the most up to date information on road closures visit IDriveArkansas.com.

 

 

 

MAYOR MCKELVY UPDATES RESIDENTS ON STORM RECOVERY     5/28/15

 

AEP/SWEPCO reports about 1,300 customers in De Queen without power as of Thursday morning. About 20 crews are currently in De Queen with an additional six crews scheduled to arrive later today.

 

AEP/SWEPCO hopes to have about 95 percent of the city back online today, if customers are able to receive power. Customers who have damage to their meter loop will need to have an electrician make repairs before the power can be restored.

 

The De Queen Business Park on U.S. Highway 71 north has been designated as a collection site for trees and brush. Anyone who hauls their own brush is asked to go to the back of the park and unload as close as possible to the existing pile.

 

All city streets are open to traffic and work on removing storm debris will begin in the next few days. Property owners will need to get debris moved to the curb for removal. City crews cannot work on private property and folks who need help with cutting up and moving trees should contact a contractor or tree removal company.

 

McKelvy said the City of De Queen is working with Sevier County officials in storm response and records are being kept in case the county qualifies for disaster assistance.

 

 

 

UPDATE FROM SWEPCO      5/28/15

 

This is the latest update from SWEPCO. As of 10:30 a.m. this morning, service had been restored to 54,000 of the 60,000 customers who lost power during the severe storms that swept through SWEPCO’s service territory Monday night.

 

Approximately 6,000 customers remain without power, including 1,400 in Arkansas.

 

Significant work remains in the hardest hit areas of Henderson, Texas, and De Queen, Arkansas.

 

A tornado struck Henderson, causing heavy damage and outages for 7,500 customers. In De Queen and surrounding towns, 70 mph winds, heavy rains and already saturated ground resulted in uprooted trees, and heavy damage and outages for 4,600 customers. Downed trees and flood conditions along with additional storms are making recovery efforts difficult.

 

More than 900 linemen, service men and tree personnel are working to restore power. SWEPCO crews have been joined by crews from Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama.

 

SWEPCO is estimating that the remaining 1,300 customers will have their power restored by Friday at 10 p.m.

 

If the weatherhead and meter base to your home or business has been damaged or pulled away from the structure, you will need to have it repaired by a licensed electrician before SWEPCO can reconnect service. Once the repair is made, contact SWEPCO so your service can be reconnected. For areas impacted by Monday's storm, you can obtain meter bases at the De Queen Fire Station at 219 North 2nd St. in De Queen; in Nashville at the SWEPCO Nashville Operations Center at 624 S. Mill St. in Nashville; and in Ashdown at Ashdown Hardware at 42 E. Main St. in Ashdown.

 

SWEPCO recommends everyone stay away from all downed lines and keep others away. All lines should be considered energized and dangerous. You should contact SWEPCO or 911 to report any downed power lines.

 

IF you use a portable or RV generator, do not plug the generator into your circuit box. Portable generators "backfeed" electricity up the line and risk the lives of repair workers and the public. Follow the manufacturers' instructions carefully, and plug essential appliances directly into the generator.

 

LATEST INFORMATION – SWEPCO will keep customers informed as information is available – on Facebook, SWEPCO.com and through SWEPCO Alerts. Customers can sign up for SWEPCO Alerts, including estimated restoration times, at SWEPCO.com/Alerts. Once you enroll, you will get an email, text message or both when an outage has been reported in your area.

 

 

ADHE SCHOLARSHIPS DEADLINE JUNE 1       5/28/15

 

The final deadline to apply for all Arkansas Department of Higher Education financial aid programs, including the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship, is Monday, June 1st.

 

According to ADHE Director Dr. Brett Powell, state scholarship programs, including the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship, are important to helping students and families manage the cost of higher education and his department doesn't want any eligible student to miss the deadline.

 

The online YOUniversal scholarship application will be accessible on the new financial aid site at scholarhips.adhe.edu or the mobile application until midnight Sunday but will be unavailable to accept any new applications or supporting documents after the deadline passes.

 

The Arkansas Department of Higher Education is responsible for carrying out the policy directives of the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board, approving and reviewing college and university academic programs, and developing funding recommendations for the state's 11 public universities and 22 public two-year colleges as well as several other post-secondary entities.

 

In addition, the agency is responsible for distributing approximately $170 million annually from state revenues and lottery funds intended to ease the financial burden of students seeking an education beyond high school.

 

For more information, visit scholarships.adhe.edu or call 1-800-54-STUDY.

 

 

 

HELP MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIFE OF A FOSTER CHILD      5/28/15

 

May is National Foster Care Month and the Sevier County Department of Human Services is seeking donations of commonly needed items for kids as they enter into foster care.

 

Sherry McGowan of the Sevier County DHS said having items on hand can help ease the transition of a children and she mentioned they were needing, diapers and wipes, toothbrushes and toothpaste, backpacks or duffle bags, hair brushes, combs and hair ties, pacifiers, bottles and sippy cups, children socks, underware sizes 2T and up, pajamas, soap and baby soap, shampoo, body wash, deodorant and lotion.

 

McGowan explained some foster children come into the system with nothing and these new items help build their self-esteem.

 

McGowan said it's hard to figure out how much they need to keep on hand because you just never know how many kids will enter foster care during a particular month.

 

She also stated this is the first year the Sevier County Department of Human Services as conducted a donation drive, but felt people in the Sevier County area would be willing to help make a difference in the lives of the county's foster children.

 

For more information, contact the Sevier County Department of Human Services at 870-642-2625.

 

 

 

RUTLEDGE ANNOUNCES $6 MILLION MULTI-STATE SETTLEMENT WITH CREDIT REPORTING AGENCIES      5/28/15

 

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, with 30 other state attorneys general, have announced a major settlement with three national credit reporting agencies. The settlement is a result of a multi-state investigation initiated in 2012 by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

 

Under the terms of the settlement, the credit reporting agencies have agreed to pay the participating states a total of $6 million, of which Arkansas will receive $113,876.33, and make a number of changes to their business practices to benefit consumers.

 

The 2012 investigation focused on consumer disputes about credit report errors, monitoring and disciplining data furnishers, accuracy in consumer credit reports and the marketing of credit monitoring products to consumers who call the credit reporting agencies to dispute information on their credit report.

 

Under the settlement, the credit reporting agencies have agreed to increase monitoring of data furnishers, to require additional information from furnishers of certain types of data, to limit direct-to-consumer marketing, to provide greater protections for consumers who dispute information on their credit reports, to limit certain information that can be added to a credit report, to provide additional consumer education and to comply with state and federal laws, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

 

 

COUNTY JUDGE SURVEYS STORM DAMAGE      5/27/15

 

Sevier County Judge Greg Ray reported Tuesday morning that the courthouse was open even though there was no electricity, however, there were no injuries reported in the county.

 

Judge Ray said if your road is blocked, you should contact his office at 642-2425.

 

Judge Ray stated county crews were working to clear county roadways, but he was more concerned about the Little River.

 

The Sevier County Office of Emergency Management reported residents along the Little River are being advised to evacuate because the river is expected to rise 10 feet or more over the next couple of days.

 

In Little River County, Judge Mike Cranford announced that the four bridges in Little River County that cross the Red River are open.

 

Cranford also reported several homes were damaged in last night's storm and some residents could possible be without power for sometime.

 

Judge Cranford also stated he will keep the residents of Little River County informed concerning river levels.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN RESIDENT ARRESTED FOR THEFT BY RECEIVING     5/27/15

 

On Tuesday, May 19th, Patrolman Justin Gentry of the De Queen Police Department took a report of stolen property from Ashley Williams who resides on Ballard Avenue.

 

Williams reported that when she went home for lunch, she noticed a window was open, but didn't realize her laptop was missing until she got off work.

 

A little later, Williams reported she told her neighbor, Cristino Martinez that someone had stolen her laptop. Martinez then went to his home and retrieved a blue tote that contained a laptop and asked Williams if it was hers.

 

The blue tote had a printed label with Cody Romine's name on it.

 

While putting the blue tote into evidence, officers discovered a pill bottle containing suspected Hydrocodone in it.

 

Later that day, Romine was located and questioned concerning the laptop. Romine stated he purchased the laptop from a friend the day before.

 

Romine was transported to the Sevier County jail and charged with theft by receiving and felony possession of a controlled substance, not meth or cocaine.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN RESIDENT CHARGED WITH RESISTING ARREST      5/27/15

 

About 10 a.m., Thursday, May 21st, Officer David Higgins of the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to Tractor Supply in reference to a suspected shoplifter.

 

According to the incident report, the store manager informed Higgins that a white female came into the store but didn't purchase anything. She said the female then returned a short time later with a Hispanic male who attempted to return two idler sprockets, but they didn't have a receipt.

 

The manager then pointed out the two suspects. Higgins stepped outside the store to wait on the suspects and when they walked outside, they were confronted by Officer Higgins.

 

Higgins asked the female who was identified as 29-year-old Courtland Smith if she had anything in her pockets. Smith produced a spray nozzle that was still in the factory package.

 

Smith stated she had taken the nozzle into the store with her and that she had the receipt in the vehicle.

 

Smith and the male suspect, 29-year-old Michael Felipe, were then escorted back into the store.

 

When Felipe emptied his pockets, Higgins discovered several items still in the factory packaging.

 

As Higgins was escorting Felipe to his patrol vehicle, the cashier asked Higgins if a wallet belonged to Felipe. Higgins told Felipe to stay where he was while he went back to the counter to retrieve the wallet. When Higgins looked back, Felipe was running out the door.

 

Felipe was apprehended just west of the Dollar Tree.

 

After Felipe was secured in the Higgins patrol vehicle, Smith ran out of the store toward the Herman Dierks Park where she was apprehended by other officers.

 

At the Sevier County jail, Detention Officer Thomas Jackson discovered a capped syringe in Felipe's pocket.

 

Felipe was charged with shoplifting, fleeing, possession of drug paraphernalia, and resisting arrest.

 

Smith was charged with shoplifting and fleeing.

 

 

 

PEDESTRIAN IDENTIFIED IN FATALITY ACCIDENT      5/27/15

 

An Ogden man who died after being struck by a passing vehicle last Wednesday has been identified by the Arkansas State Police as 56-year-old Adrian Deadner.

 

According to the incident report, Deadner was walking west on the shoulder of Little River County Road 70 beside his bicycle when he was hit by a 1988 Plymouth on the right front of the vehicle at about 9:40 p.m.

 

Deadner was transported to Christus St. Michael Hospital in Texarkana, but died at about 1:12 a.m. Thursday morning.

 

The driver of the Plymouth was identified as 31-year-old Mark Merrell of Ashdown and he was not injured. However, Merrell was arrested and charged with negligent homicide and leaving the scene of an accident.

 

According to Trooper Chris Bussey, the road conditions were dry and clear at the time of the accident.

 

 

 

STORM SURVEY IN THE CITY OF DE QUEEN     5/27/15

 

De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy and several other public officials reported on the storm damage in the City of De Queen this morning.

 

Mayor McKelvy stated he was surprised how quickly power was being restored to the city, but there's still several areas in town without electricity.

 

As of 10 o'clock Tuesday morning, almost 3,000 SWEPCO customers and another 1,049 REA customers were without power in Sevier County.

 

De Queen Police Chief Richard McKinley reported there was one injure Monday night and his department would be increasing patrols around areas that were severely damaged.

 

Superintendent Bruce Hill reported there was damage to the district's facilities, but repairs were being made by the school’s maintenance staff.

  

De Queen Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt also cautioned residents about using generators while their power is out.

 

Mayor McKelvy stated when city crews begin picking up storm debris; residents will need to place items near the curb.

 

 

ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE FOR STORM VICTIMS      5/26/15

 

Residents in Hempstead, Howard and Pike counties affected by the storms and flooding of May 8th may be eligible for Arkansas Disaster Assistance.

 

Assistance is available for eligible homeowners and renters whose primary residence was destroyed or severely damaged and who had eligible uninsured losses. Businesses are not eligible for this program.

 

Categories of assistance include home repair, personal property and primary transportation repair and/or replacement. Information needed when applying includes damage address, phone number, email address, Social Security number and a detailed description of the damage.

 

The application period will be May 27th through June 9th. A call center will be open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday during that time. The number is 1-888-683-2336.

 

To apply online, visit http://www.adem.arkansas.gov/IA/Applicaiton.aspx.

 

 

 

ASHDOWN BOARD OF EDUCATION VOTES TO FILL SEVERAL POSITIONS       5/26/15

 

During a special called board meeting, members of the Ashdown Board of Education voted to accept the recommendation from Superintendent Jason Sanders to expel a student for the remainder of this school year and the first semester of the 2015-2016 school year, following a closed hearing.

 

Board members then accepted the resignation of Alisha Lowery and voted to hire Diana Blankenship as a Special Education teacher at the junior high and Lawrence Wright as an Ag teacher.

 

Board members then voted to hire Ashley Sanders as a Speech Pathologist at the highest position on the district's salary schedule in accordance to her degree range.

 

 

 

DIERKS BOARD OF EDUCATION HEARS A REPORT CONCERNING WEYERHAEUSER       5/26/15

 

Dierks City Attorney Erin Sprick explained to the Dierks Board of Education how the new $191 million dollar Weyerhaeuser mill will benefit the district.

 

Sprick stated Weyerhaeuser will be entering a PILOT or payment in lieu of taxes agreement with the CITY over a 15 year term, which means the new mill will result in higher tax appraisal for the district on their regular tax collections.

 

Board members also accepted nine students from the Public School Choice Act of 2015 and approved the legal transfer of one student to the De Queen School District and one to the Nashville School District.

 

Board member voted to add $500 to the certified salary schedule with a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees for the 2015-2016 school year and increased the high school and elementary school principal's salary by $3,000 each. They also voted to add $300 to the classified salary schedule and the long-term certified substitute daily rate was increased to $150.

 

All school employees will also receive a non-recurring bonus in the amount of $500.

 

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY LIBRARY SUMMER READING PROGRAM       5/26/15

 

Wendy Clay of the Lockesburg branch of the Sevier County Library announced the theme of the summer reading program was "Every Hero Has a Story.”

 

Clay said the program is for readers of all ages and it's free.

 

Clay stated each librarian interpreted the theme differently and she said the Lockesburg and Ben Lomond libraries would focus on comic book super heroes, while Horatio would focus on everyday heroes like fireman and policemen. The De Queen and Gillham libraries will focus on the heroes in the animal kingdom.

 

For more information, contact your local library.

 

 

 

SPECIAL SESSION SET FOR DAY AFTER MEMORIAL DAY      5/26/15

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught informed KDQN that the state House of Representatives will convene today to address several items during what is expected to be a brief Special Session.

 

Vaught reported the agenda includes an economic development package for Lockheed Martin in Camden. She stated the Legislature is being asked to approve an $87 million dollar bond issue to expand the plant's manufacturing facilities in an attempt to win a defense contract from the federal government to manufacture a new tactical vehicle.

 

According to Governor Asa Hutchinson's office, the contract could double the number of employees at the Camden facility.

 

Legislatures will consider an Amendment 82 bill that allows the state to issue bonds to companies who are making a significant investment in the state. Arkansas voters approved the Constitutional Amendment in November of 2004.

 

The first project that was approved under the amendment was the Big River Steel Project in Northeast Arkansas and that steel mill plant is currently under construction.

 

Governor Hutchinson has also stated he will ask Legislators to move the state's election primary from May to March and a change to the state DWI laws to ensure the state stays in compliance with the federal government, so the state will continue to receive federal funds.

 

 

 

STATE TREASURER'S CHIEF OF STAFF VISITS DE QUEEN       5/26/15

 

Jim Harris is the Chief of Staff for State Treasurer Dennis Milligan and he made a visit to De Queen Thursday morning, while in De Queen Harris met with Sevier County Judge Greg Ray, County Treasurer Risa Krantz, Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy, and members of the De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce.

 

One of the issues that Harris talked about Thursday was the treasurer's office new blind bidding process concerning state investments.

 

Harris also took the time to visit with representatives from UA Cossatot concerning the state's 529 Gift program.

 

Harris stated the state treasurer's office is required to keep $250,000 to $300,000 in a vault at the state Capital to ensure that the state and cover it’s payroll. He said Arkansans can visit the treasurer’s office and have their picture taken with the money.

 

For more information about the State Treasurer's office, visit the website www.artreasury.gov.

 

 

 

ULTIMATE CHALLENGE CHAMPIONSHIP BULL RIDING IN MENA      5/26/15

 

Sevier County Extension Agent Rex Herring announced Friday morning that Mena would be hosting the final Championship Bull Riding event of the year before the National Rodeo in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

 

Herring said what is going to make this event special is the fact that a local cowboy from Smithville, Oklahoma is competing and he has a chance to win the world title.

 

Herring said 35 of the top 50 cowboys will be competing for an opportunity to advance to the finals in Wyoming.

 

Herring said the CBR event will be this Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Polk County Fairgrounds.

 

 

STATE TREASURER DENNIS MILLIGAN VISITS DE QUEEN      5/22/15

 

State Treasurer Dennis Milligan conducted a phone interview with KDQN Thursday morning and informed the KDQN listeners that even though he had been in public office in the past, there was still a pretty steep learning curve for the state treasurer’s office.

 

Milligan stated the state's short term investments were performing well so far this year with the state earning about $700,000 during the month of April in interest.

 

Milligan also spoke about the state's 529 Gift Program and, the new ABLE Act that was past during this year's regular Legislative session.

 

Milligam also invited all Arkansans to visit the Capitol and tour his office. He stated everyone can tour the vault and have their picture taken with thousands of dollars.

 

For more information about the state treasurer’s office, visit the website, www.artreasury.gov.

 

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT         5/22/15

 

During the May 14th session of the Sevier County Circuit Court, three defendants changed their pleas to guilty and accepted the prosecutor’s plea offer.

 

Anthony Burleson was sentenced to three years probation after changing his plea to guilty on the charge of forgery in the 2nd degree.

 

Orlando Graham plead guilty to driving while intoxicated #4 and was sentenced to three years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections with one-year suspended.

 

Darrell Hall was sentenced to three years with one suspended on the charge of possession of a firearm by a certain person.

 

A trial date of September 23rd was set for Michael Wester who has been charged as a habitual offender after being charged with theft of property, residential burglary, and two counts of theft by receiving, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a firearm by a certain person, simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms and possession of meth or cocaine. 

 

 

 

HORATIO SCHOOL DISTRICT WORKING WITH CITY ON SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER        5/22/15

 

During the May board meeting of the Horatio Board of Education, board members passed a policy not to allow dogs on campus along with the regular monthly reports.

 

Superintendent Lee Smith announced the board also clarified the job descriptions and policies in the district's classified handbook.

 

Smith said the board accepted the resignations of Shannon Wilkerson and Stephanie Pinegar, and hired Brittany Allen as a special education para-professional.

 

Smith also stated the board approved the district's school choice transfers.

 

Smith said the board also discussed the school resource office, but they have not made a final decision on the issue.

 

The Horatio Board of Education will meet on June 8th in the administration building at 6:30 p.m.

 

 

 

AREA TEEN REVIVAL THURSDAY MAY 28TH        5/22/15

 

De Queen Junior High School teacher Terry Brackett helped organize the Christians in Action on the junior high campus. And, with the help of the staff of Kern Heights Baptist Church, she has planned a one-night revival for area youth.

 

Thursday morning, Brackett, Bradi Young and Antonette Worthey stopped by the KDQN studios to invite area youth to this one of a kind event.

 

Young and Worthey announced transportation will be provided for students from school to the church.

 

Brackett said the fun will start around 4 p.m. and enjoy food, games, music by the Horatio Assembly of God Church and a message from the pastor of Kern Heights Baptist Church.

 

Brackett said for more information, call her at 870-784-4215 or call Bro. Jordan at 816-263-1618.

 

 

 

5th ANNUAL PROSPECTOR'S GEMBOREE IS JUNE 20TH     5/22/15

 

The Crater of Diamonds State Park will host the 5th Annual Prospectors Gemboree on Saturday, June 20th to celebrate diamond miners in Arkansas, along with the 9th Annual Famous Crater Diamonds Exhibition.

 

This cornerstone park event will feature games and activities for all ages, including the ever-popular Diamond Digging Contest, Diamond Toss, egg toss, relay race and more. A complete game schedule will be available the day of the event.

 

From 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. of the Gemboree, the 9th Annual Famous Crater Diamonds Exhibition will be held in the Diamond Discovery Center classroom. Guests will have the opportunity to meet the Crater diamond finders and collectors and hear the stories "behind the finds" during this rare display of beautiful diamonds found in Arkansas.

 

All games and activities are free with purchase of a mine admission, which is $8 for children 13 and up; $5 for ages 6 to 12; ages five and under are free.

 

For more information contact the Crater of Diamonds State Park at 870-285-3113 or visit their website at www.craterofdiamondsstatepark.com.

 

 

AREA BURGLARIES UNDER INVESTIGATION      5/21/15

 

Investigators with the Sevier County Sheriff's office are looking into several area burglaries that may be related after Mike Elias of De Queen reported several items were missing from his residence on Sunday, May 17th.

 

After interviewing several suspects on May 19th, investigators received information concerning several other burglaries in the county.

 

Investigators discovered the home of Bill Bigham at 394 Highway 70 B had been burglarized and suspects had taken several musical instruments and some costume jewelry.

 

The investigation continued at the home of Marty Smith's deceased parents at 590 Chapel Hill Road. And according to the report, a welder and two garden tillers had been stolen, but the family was conducting a inventory to see if there were other items missing.

 

Investigators also noticed an air compressor had been left outside a shop building as if suspects had planned to return and take the compressor.

 

Deputies then investigated the theft of a 15,000 BTU air conditioner, four wheels and tires and a radiator off a Ford Ranger pickup, along with several antique what-nots at a residence on Rink Road that belonged to James May.

 

Investigators stated these incidents are still under investigation and suggested area resident’s check on their property that may appear old or abandoned.

 

The sheriff’s office is also seeking the public's assistance with this investigation. If you have any information concerning these thefts, you are being asked to contact the Sevier County Sheriff's Office at 870-642-2125.

 

 

 

ACCIDENT KNOCKS OUT POWER      5/21/15

 

Tuesday morning about 2 a.m. Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Matt Webb was dispatched to a single vehicle accident on Highway 371 East near the Howard County line.

 

When Deputy Webb arrived, the driver Kassie Hibner of Story, Arkansas, informed him that she and her three children were ok and did not need medical attention. Passenger Ryan Jarman stated he doze off and that he woke up when Hibner ran into the ditch and hit the light pole.

 

Hibner stated she was traveling east towards Blue Bayou from Lockesburg. She said she was getting drowsy and must have fallen asleep at the wheel.

 

According to the accident report, the 2003 Chevy truck left the roadway near a driveway at 879 Highway 371 and traveled 66 feet, striking two hedge bushes and coming to a stop after hitting a light pole. The report stated the pole set 25 feet off the shoulder of the road.

 

The pole broke into three sections and caused the residence to lose power.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL CONSIDERS CHANGES TO CITY'S RETIREMENT PLAN        5/21/15

 

Tuesday night during a meeting of the De Queen City Council, aldermen heard suggestions concerning the city's retirement plan.

 

Alderman were informed by Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy that the city's retirement plan was a non-contributory plan and suggested changes may need to be considered in the future to make the plan more employee friendly.

 

McKelvy announced the city would be holding an employee's meeting Thursday morning to discuss the city's current plan and review some other options.

 

McKelvy reported the city has been having some issues with the street lights in the downtown area, but he hopes the problem has been resolved after an electrician pulled some new wire.

 

McKelvy said SWEPCO would be delivering the new bucket truck on Friday, May.

Assistant Chief of Police Scott Simmons informed the aldermen that an officer had been involved in a single vehicle accident this past weekend. McKelvy reported the city has filed a claim with the Municipal League. He also mentioned the officer was not injured.

 

Aldermen also reviewed a request from the De Queen branch of the Sevier County Library concerning the city assisting the library with the utility bills.

 

In the letter, head librarian, Johnye Fisher, stated the cities of Lockesburg, Gillham, Ben Lomond and Horatio help their local libraries with their utilities.

 

Aldermen voted to table the issue and asked McKelvy to invite Fisher to the council's next meeting on June 2nd.

 

 

 

HORATIO RESIDENT BEING HELD FOR STALKING       5/21/15

 

On Friday, May 15th, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Barnes was dispatched to a residence on Camellia Street in Lockesburg after someone reported an individual was breaking windows and trying to gain access to the trailer house.

 

Amanda Tipton reported that she woke up about 3 a.m. to the sound of her bedroom window being broken. She told Deputy Barnes that she had an order of protection against 35-year-old Kyle Kitchens of Horatio and that he had come to her home on several occasions in the past week.

 

Tipton informed Barnes that she had installed security cameras around her house and that two of them had been stolen.

 

After watching the video surveillance, Barnes reported the video clearly showed Kitchens taking the camera from the front porch.

 

Tipton's son reported that when he heard a noise outside his mom's window, he ran in to check on her and saw someone throw one of the security cameras through her bedroom window. He told Deputy Barnes that he yelled out the window that they needed to leave because he was calling the police. He said he then saw Kitchens outside the window.

 

Tipton reported the security cameras were valued at about $100, the damage was estimated at $400 and the value of the windows $300.

 

Kitchens was arrested and charged with stalking in the 1st degree and is being held in the Sevier County jail on a $50,000 cash only bond.

 

Other charges are also pending against Kitchens. 

 

 

 

KIAMICHI OWA-CHITO BATTLE OF THE BANDS         5/21/15

 

The 2015 Kiamichi Owa-Chito festival's Battle of the Bands will be on Thursday, June 18th, starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Beavers Bend State Park Amphitheatre. This year, there will be three bands competing. They are Mud Feather, 2 Gun Justice and Jeff Smithhart.

 

Mud Feather was established five years ago and they strive to have a diverse sample of all genres of rock from classic to alternative to modern.

 

2 Guns Justice is a five-piece band from Southeast Oklahoma. All five band members are 2nd and 3rd generation musicians that have been playing music most of their lives. So, whether it's classic rock, classic country, pop to Top 40, they can play it.

 

Jeff Smithhart is a Texas native singer/songwriter who draws no boundaries. He is a seasoned entertainer who has performed for the past 30 years and has developed a strong and loyal Texas fan base that enjoys his high energy yet down to Earth shows.

 

The Grand Prize winner will be awarded a $1,000 and be the opening act for the Saturday night headliner, Mac Powell on June 20th.

 

 

HORATIO HIGH SCHOOL CO-VALEDICTORIANS RECOGNIZED    05/21/15

Horatio High School's 2015 valedictorians both say they have long striven for unique, family-related reasons to earn top honors at their senior graduation.

Like last year, Horatio's graduation ceremony Tuesday featured two valedictorians. Megan Perez and Audrey Smith, both lifelong students of the Horatio School District, said they were thrilled when it was announced that the two would share the title. 

"It was something I worked really hard for so, yeah, I was pretty excited when I realized it," said Perez, who was a member of the National Honor Society, a student council officer and a Lions cheerleader.

The valedictorian distinction meant many hours of studying after school and doing everything possible to keep grades up, but Perez said she was determined. One of her top motivators was becoming the first person in her family to attend college.

"I think that was the biggest drive for me and I know it would mean a lot to my family," she said. 

Smith, who also recalled many hours reading textbooks and studying for exams, said she also had a personal connection to giving her academic best. Her great-grandfather, Robert McCoy, was the valedictorian at his graduating class.

"I always thought it would be really neat to be valedictorian too and honor him for what he did," she said, who served in the school's Future Business Leaders of America chapter and was a member of the National Honor Society and the Lions cheerleading team.

Although Perez and Smith enjoyed their time at Horatio High School, both say they are ready to move on to experience other things. Smith plans to attend Henderson State University and study nursing. She hopes to become an RN. 

Perez will also begin her nursing studies this fall. She plans to enroll at UA Cossatot and then UAMS in Little Rock to eventually become a doctor. 

Neither are sure where they'll end up after earning their degrees, but said they are willing to let opportunity take them where they're needed. 

Both agreed they will remember fondly their experience in Horatio, and said the people they knew were always there to encourage them. 

"I'm really thankful for my mom, who always showed me that, if you work hard, you will find success in whatever you do," said Smith. 

Perez said she will miss  her teachers who were always there to help, especially during a difficult moment.

"Having teachers like them was a huge help to me because whenever I was having difficulty or just feeling depressed, they'd always help me through it," Perez said. "They were awesome mentors and I'm glad I had them as teachers.”

Smith is the daughter of Morris and Kathy Smith of Horatio. Perez is the daughter of Gala Richardson and Phillip Perez, also of Horatio.

By Patrick Massey, De Queen Bee 

JACOB BUNYARD NAMED 2015 DHS VALEDICTORIAN  05/22/15

The valedictorian of the Class of 2015 at De Queen High School said he is excited to earn the distinction and is looking forward to new opportunities in the future.

Through determination, dedication and many hours of studying, Jacob Bunyard climbed his way to the top of the academic ranks at De Queen High School and is this year's top graduate. 

"It wasn't easy and it took a lot of hard work, but I'm honored to be our valedictorian," he said. Bunyard said he was grateful to his teachers and parents for always pushing him to perform at the highest standards.

"My parents always pushed me into doing my best and I thank them for that," he added. "They've been my role models over the years and I really look up to them."

Bunyard - who is a member of the National Honor Society, a bass clarinet player on the high school band, and treasurer for the school's Future Business Leaders of America chapter - said he is excited for graduation Friday night and the chance to start a new chapter in his life. 

Bunyard will attend the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville this fall and major in accounting. His hope is to eventually become a general manager for a major league baseball team - a dream fostered in part by his visit, alongside his father, Jay, to every major league baseball field in the United States. 

"That was one of my dreams come true, and I think it's a big part of what got me so interested in becoming a general manager," Bunyard explained. 

Bunyard said he's already planned out the start of a path towards reaching this goal. He hopes to begin an internship with a minor league team located near the university. 

"I'm really excited to give that a try and it's something I'm going to work really hard to get," he said.

Bunyard also has a backup plan involving a career in radio broadcasting. His parents own Bunyard Broadcasting which operates radio stations in De Queen and elsewhere, and he has already gained some valuable experience in the field. 

Among other mentors Bunyard listed was his math teacher for four years, Mr. Walthour. "He was great because he helped me learn a lot but he also made us laugh, which is really cool in a math class," said Bunyard, laughing.

Orientation at the University of Arkansas will begin this summer and Bunyard said he looks forward to learning more about the college. He plans to be as active there as he was at De Queen High School. Fortunately, he knows a few students from De Queen who will also be enrolling at Fayetteville in the fall.

Looking back at his 13 years in the De Queen School District, Bunyard said he gained a lot of fond memories and will miss his time there. "De Queen schools have always been a part of my life so it's going to be a little weird going somewhere else," he said. "I made a lot of friends and really enjoyed my classmates. They helped make this a great school to be."

Bunyard is the son of Jay and Teresa Bunyard of De Queen.

By Patrick Massey, De Queen Bee

 

DE QUEEN CITY POOL SET TO OPEN MEMORIAL DAY       5/20/15

 

Callie Miller of the De Queen Parks and Recreation Department announced Tuesday morning that the De Queen City pool is set to open Memorial Day with a free swim day. She said the kiddie pool will also be open for the first time in several years.

 

Miller said the pool will be open Monday through Friday and on Saturdays throughout the summer and the cost is $3 a day per person, but season passes and family passes may be purchased through the park office.

 

Miller said most towns don't have a city pool and all of the lifeguards are Red Cross certified. She also stated they will be offering swim lessons during the months of June and July.

 

If you are interested in reserving the pool, joining the De Queen Dolphin Swim Team or the adult swim times, contact the park office at 642-4140.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN RESIDENT ARRESTED FOR DRUG POSSESSION       5/20/15

 

Patrolman First Class Levi Browning of the De Queen Police Department reported that he observed a Plymouth Neon with expired tags on Saturday night about 6:30 p.m.

 

Browning reported he made a traffic stop in the Pruett's Food parking lot and spoke with the driver, 27-year-old Jermaine Hollins and his passenger 23-year-old Samona Kendrick of De Queen.

 

Hollins was citied for failure to register his vehicle, driving on a suspended license and for not having proof of insurance.

 

While speaking with Sergeant Chad Bradshaw, Kendrick produced a clear plastic bag containing suspected methamphetamine along with two empty bags.

 

Kendrick was arrested and placed into custody. During a search of the vehicle, officers found a digital scale under the passenger's seat.

 

While Kendrick was being booked into the Sevier County jail, members of the jail staff discovered another bag of suspected meth in her shorts.

 

Kendrick was charged with possession of methamphetamine or cocaine with the purpose to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

The total weight of the two bags of meth was 1.1 grams on an uncertified scale at the jail.

 

 

 

KIMMEL SELECTED FOR GIRL SCOUT DESTINATION TRIP      5/20/15

 

De Queen High School junior Destiny Kimmel has dreamed of taking a Girl Scout Destination trip since she was five years old.

 

Kimmel said she and 17 other Girl Scouts will travel to San Juan, Puerto Rico  this summer and help restore a part of the Old San Juan community.

 

Kimmel said she has been working a part time job to cover the cost of her trip but she is also accepting donations.

 

For more information or to make a donation, call 582-2310.

 

 

 

LOCKESBURG LIBRARY RECEIVES LITERACY GRANT     5/20/15

 

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded the Lockesburg Branch of the Sevier County Library a literacy grant to support the local literacy programs.

 

The grant is in the amount of $500 and is part of over $5.8 million dollars in grants that were awarded to 720 different schools and organizations.

 

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation funds are used to support programs aimed at enhancing summer, family and adult literacy programs.

 

 

JOANN WALTERS STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN MAKE-A-WISH FUNDRAISER      5/20/15

 

Students at JoAnn Walters Elementary School in Dierks participated in a fundraiser for the Arkansas Make-A-Wish Foundation and raised $1,450.

 

Students participated in Fun Fridays over a six-week period of time. Students donated a dollar a week and were allowed to wear their pajamas or hats; bring a stuffed animal to school or receive a free recess, chew gum or get snowcones.

 

 

MINOR CHARGED WITH DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED        5/20/15

 

Early Sunday morning, Patrolman First Class Levi Browning of the De Queen Police Department made a traffic stop after observing a Honda Accord drive left of the center line on several occasions.

 

The driver was 19-year-old Alexis Diaz of Nashville. Diaz reportedly informed Browning that he had been drinking and allegedly stated that he had been charged with DWI on two other occasions, once in Nashville and once in Sevier County.

 

Diaz failed a series of field sobriety test and blew .142 on a portable breath test.

 

Diaz was transported to the Sevier County jail and charged with driving while intoxicated #3.

 

 

 

OLD TIME MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH SINGING SCHOOL      5/20/15

 

JP Atkins of the Old Time Missionary Baptist Church in De Queen announced the church would be hosting their annual singing school this June 8th through the 12th.

 

Atkins said the school will be lead by Marty Phillips of Crossett and he mentioned Phillips would be available for private piano lessons that week.

 

Atkins stated the school is for anyone that enjoys singing whether they are a seasoned professional or if they just simply enjoy singing.

 

According to Atkins, classes will be held from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. each day and there will be a concert on Friday night.

 

For more information, call Atkins at 584-9557 or Melvin Sullivan at 584-8991.

 

AREA LEGISLATORS SPEAK TO DE QUEEN ROTARY CLUB       5/19/15

 

District 4 State Representative DeAnn Vaught and District 11 State Senator Jimmy Hickey spoke to the De Queen Rotary Club last week during their weekly meeting.

 

Vaught reported she wrote nine bills in her freshman term as representative and all nine bills were signed into law.

 

Senator Hickey informed Rotarians that he was the Majority Whip during the 90th General Assembly and that he serves on the Legislative Audit Committee, the Lottery Oversight Committee, the Revenue and Taxation Committee and the Transportation Committee.

 

Hickey sponsored 22 bills and 19 were signed into law.

 

Hickey said his district encompasses portions of five counties and he works with five representatives from his district.

 

Hickey also informed the Rotary Club that committees are studying how to make committee meetings more efficient, the private option and Common Core.

 

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has also called a special session for later this month. The main issue on the agenda is an Amendment 84 issue concerning a defense contract for Lockheed Martin in Camden.

 

 

 

LOCKESBURG CITY COUNCIL UPDATED ON SEWER PROJECT     5/19/15

 

Progress is being made on the City of Lockesburg’s water and sewer projects although there appears to be a few obstacles needing to be addressed by the city council.

 

Mayor Danny Ruth informed aldermen that the contractor on the sewer project had requested the city pay for the permit to install a culvert on Highway 24. Ruth stated the permit would cost $1,000.

 

Aldermen then voted not to pay for the permit, stating it was the contractor's responsibility.

 

City Attorney Erin Hunter informed the council that she was working on the Railroad permit for the sewer project, and hoped to have that issue resolved by the end of the month.

 

After hearing a report from Utility worker Justin Ruth, aldermen voted to have the hydraulic cylinder repaired on the city's John Deere tractor and to purchase a new Husqvarna mower.

 

Aldermen approved the purchase of two new portable radios and heard a report from park commissioner Sheila Ruth concerning some grants that the park commission was going to apply for. She also reported on the progress of the parks Fourth of July celebration.

 

 

 

MAY IS NATIONAL ELECTRICAL SAFETY MONTH      5/19/15

 

May is National Electrical Safety Month and AEP/SWEPCO is offering the following Residential Safety Checklist to assist customers in making their homes and offices more electrically safe this month and throughout the year.

 

SWEPCO recommends customers check for outlets that have loose fitting plugs, which can overheat and lead to a fire.

 

Make sure cords are in good condition and not frayed or cracked. Check to see that extension cords are not overloaded and that plugs fit the outlet.

 

Check the wattage of all bulbs in lighting fixtures to make sure they are the correct wattage for the fixture size and don’t leave plugged in appliances where they might come into contact with water.

 

If an appliance repeatedly blows or trips a circuit breaker unplug it and have it repaired or replaced and remember electric-powered mowers and power tools are not used in the rain, on wet grass or in damp conditions.

 

 

 

TRI-LAKES CLASSIC POSTPONED DUE TO HIGH WATER        5/19/15

 

Sevier County Judge Greg Ray announced Friday morning that the Big Bass Classic has been postponed indefinitely due to high water on the De Queen, Gillham and Dierks lakes.

 

However, Monday afternoon, the De Queen Sevier County Chamber of Commerce announced that due to extremely high waters and continued rainfall, the 26th Annual Tri-Lakes Big Bass Festival that was scheduled for Saturday, May 23rd, has been rescheduled for Saturday, June 27th at De Queen, Gillham and Dierks Lakes.

 

At De Queen and Gillham Lakes, campgrounds and boat ramps are currently closed.

 

In hosting the tournament, the fisherman’s safety is most important and tournament officials hope that by June 27th, water will be at a safe level.

 

This only the second time in the 26 years of the tournament that it has been rescheduled.

 

If an entry form has already been submitted, it will be good for the June 27th tournament. The late entry date has been extended to June 26th.

 

The Tri-Lakes Big Bass Festival is hosted annually by the De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce.

 

Entry forms can be obtained by calling 870-584-3225 or from the Chamber website at www.dequeenchamberofcommerce.com.

 

Judge Ray also stated Bear Creek Cut-off has been reopened after the bridges were inspected following the storms that moved through the area on Mother’s Day.

 

Judge Ray said that several vehicles were spotted driving around the road closed signs on Bear Creek Cut-off and he wanted to remind motorists that the signs were put up for a reason and encouraged residents to obey all traffic signs.

 

 

54 DIAMONDS FOUND AT CRATER IN APRIL     5/18/15

 

During the month of April, 34 visitors registered 54 diamonds at the Crater of Diamond State Park, making it the single most successful month for diamond finds since October of 2014.

 

Visitors from 18 states including: Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Vermont and Wisconsin and Washington, D.C. registered diamonds in April.

 

Thirty-three of the month’s finds were white gems, six were brown and 15 were yellow. The total weight of all of the diamonds found was 13.86 carats, including a 3.69 carat white gem found by a visitor from Evening Shade. It is also the largest diamond found at the park this year.

 

While most diamonds were found in wet sifted gravel last month, eight gems were found on top of the plowed search area that were uncovered by more than six inches of April showers that fell on the park.

 

During the summer, the park will extend it’s hours of operation from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

 

For more information about the Crater of Diamonds State Park, visit the website craterofdiamondsstatepark.com or call 870-285-3113.

 

 

 

ARKANSAS LAWMAKERS OK CONSULTANT CONTRACT FOR MEDICAID PLAN     5/18/15

 

Arkansas lawmakers have approved a $1 million contract with a consultant looking at the future of the state’s compromise Medicaid expansion, but the House speaker says he’ll recommend working with another firm as well.

 

The Arkansas Legislative Council approved the contract with the new Hampshire-based Stephen Group last Friday. The consultant will study the state’s Medicaid program and recommend alternatives to the state’s private option Medicaid expansion. The private option uses federal funds to purchase private insurance for low-income residents.

 

A task force looking at the private option’s future approved the contract, but the chairman of the panel had recommended the council not sign off on the agreement.

 

Speaker Jeremy Gillam said he’ll recommend the task force consider signing with another consultant to also study the Medicaid program.

 

 

 

ARKANSAS LOTTERY CUTS WILL BOOST MONEY FOR SCHOLARSHIPS     5/18/15

 

The director of Arkansas’ lottery says cutbacks from an overhaul of the games will increase the amount of money available for college scholarships next year, but said its revenue is behind expectations so far this year.

 

Lottery Director Bishop Woosley told a legislative panel that he expects net proceeds for the games to increase by $1.4 million in the coming fiscal year, which begins July 1. The gain comes primarily from cuts to the lottery program, including the closing of three claims centers and positions that were eliminated.

 

The lottery is projecting a drop in sales of draw game tickets such as Powerball and Mega Millions and a slight increase in scratch-off ticket sales.

 

The panel’s meeting was its first since lawmakers eliminated the independent commission running the games.

 

 

 

MARY AND MARTHA CENTER SEEKING DONATIONS TO SEND STUDENTS TO SUMMER CAMP       5/18/15

 

Kim Martin and Olivia Romine of the Mary and Martha reported recently that their new building was nearing completion and should be open by the new school year, this fall. They also reported the building should be debt free when it opens. However, they need $10,000 for that to be a reality.

 

According to Martin, the Mary and Martha Center has been meeting in Romine’s home since January, but only the older children are attending because of a lack of space.

 

This summer, the Mary and Martha Center is planning to take the students to the Ramp in Hamilton, Alabama as they have for the past 10 years.

 

The cost is $225 per child and they are planning to take 40 kids, which will be their biggest group ever and they are seeking donations to help rent another van, the cost of the camp, gas, food and lodging.

 

If you are interested in donating, contact Martin or Romine at the Mary and Martha Center.

 

 

26th annual tri lakes big bas tournament postponed    05/18/15

 

Due to extremely high waters and continued rainfall, the 26th Annual Tri-Lakes Big Bass Festival scheduled for this Saturday, May 23rd, has been rescheduled for Saturday, June 27, 2015 at De Queen, Gillham and Dierks Lakes.

 

At De Queen and Gillham Lakes, campgrounds and boat ramps are closed.

 

In hosting the tournament, the fishermen’s safety is most important and tournament officials hope that by June 27th, water will be at a safe level.

 

This is only the second time in the 26 years of the tournament that the tournament has had to be rescheduled.

 

If an entry form has already been submitted, it will be good for the June 27th tournament.  The late entry date has been extended to June 26th.

 

The Tri-Lakes Big Bass Festival is hosted annually by the De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce.

 

Click Here for entry form or call 870-584-3225 for more information. 

 

 

 ONE LESS 5K        5/15/15

 

Coming up on Saturday, May 30th is the 5th annual 1 Less 5K and Alisa Lindsey and Christina Lites announced runners have until this Friday to pre-register for the event.

 

Lindsey said in the past the event raised money for a specific child, but this year they are helping a family in North Little Rock who have adopted twins.

 

Lindsey stated the start and finish line is at the De Queen High School track next to the district’s administration building and you can also participate in a 400 meter race for kids 6 and under at 9:15; the Family Fun Walk/Run at 9:30, and the Mile Race for ages 7 to 12 at 9:30.

 

Awards will be given to the top three overall racers in each race and the top three male and female winners per age division in the 5K.

 

Lindsey said if a business would like to sponsor the event, they should contact the First Baptist Church of De Queen.

 

 

 

ANNUAL BLUEGRASS SHOW AT OLD WASHINGTON STATE PARK THIS WEEKEND       5/15/15

 

The Hope/Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce will hold their 19th annual Spring Bluegrass Show this Saturday at the Historic Washington State Park. The program is free to the public and this year’s event will feature five bands.

 

Headlining this year’s show is Eddie and Martha Adcock of Nashville, Tennessee.

 

The Adcocks are known worldwide for their music over the past 40 years. Eddie Adcock was also a member of the Country Gentlemen for many years and recently won the Steve Martin award. Adcock is one of the most revered banjoists in Bluegrass music.

 

Other groups will include Red Stick Revival from Baton Rogue, Louisiana, the Hartley Family from Arkadelphia, High Mountain Grass from Magnolia, and Hope’s Hempstead County Melody Boys.

 

The show begins at 10 a.m. and will feature each group twice with the show to finish at 8 p.m. The program will be held on the porch of the 1874 Courthouse. In case of rain it will be moved to the Washington Methodist Church.

 

Everyone should bring their lawn chairs, but for more information, call the chamber at 870-777-3640. 

 

 

 

ARKANSAS STATE PARKS CELEBRATING KIDS TO PARKS DAY      5/15/15

 

The State Parks of Arkansas will be joining local and national parks across America in the annual national celebration of “Kids to Parks Day” this Saturday.

 

This will be the fifth anniversary of this nationwide day of outdoor play, which is traditionally held the week before the official start of summer vacations.

 

“Kids to Park Day” is a call for parents and grandparents to engage the children in their lives in the outdoors. It’s an opportunity to experience the inspiring world outside.

 

The Arkansas state park system administers over 54,000 acres that include 143 trails totaling 400 miles to explore and enjoy. The 52 state parks are a living legacy that teach and inspire generation after generation.

 

In addition to the many recreational opportunities and self-guided activities that can be enjoyed by visitors in Arkansas’ state parks daily, state park interpreters around the Arkansas will offer a wide variety of special activities and programs this Saturday.  To learn about programs in our area, visit the website ArkansasStateParks.com.

 

 

 

LITTLE RIVER QUORUM COURT     5/15/15

 

Little River County Judge Mike Cranford reported the Little River Quorum Court voted to adopt to two ordinances to transfer some funds and appropriate it to certain areas to satisfy the findings from the county's recent Legislative audit.

 

Cranford also stated that he and OEM Director Don Hale Jr., updated the JPs concerning river levels and damage caused by last weekend’s storms.

 

Cranford said the county was making progress on the county roads but the recent rain storms have led to some work delays and road closures.

 

Cranford announced he declared Little River County a disaster area based on the reports from county employees and will apply for disaster relief funds.

 

Cranford also reported the Quorum Court will be conducting a financial workshop on Monday, May 18th at 9 a.m. in the county Annex Building.

 

 

 

RUSTY RELICS TRACTOR SHOW         5/15/15

 

The Rusty Relic Antique Tractor Club is holding their 12th annual Tractor Show this Saturday on the farm of club President Roger White.

 

White said the club started because they enjoyed the sound of old tractors and Saturday’s event is going to be a lot of fun for the entire family.

 

Club members are also selling chances on a restored 1945 B Longhood John Deere tractor for $5 each or 6 for $25 as well as tickets on a handmade quilt for $1 each or 6 for $5. 

 

The Tractor Show is at the corner of Highway 355 and Corn Bridge Road.

 

For more information, call White at 870-451-2096, Bob White at 870-845-9237 or Rose Johnson at 870-200-0562.

 

 

 

TRADE AND SALE DAYS AT SEVIER COUNTY MUSEUM       5/15/15

 

Sevier County Museum Board member Jim Bo Arnold announced the museum will be holding their annual Trade and Sales Day Saturday beginning at 10 a.m.

 

Vendor booths are $10 each and Arnold said you can set up early and stay late.

 

Booths will be set up next to the street for better visibility, but for more information, you can call the museum at 870-784-0039.

 

 

 

CATTLE AND CRAWFISH         5/15/15

 

Megan Smith of the Sevier County Cattlewomen's Association stopped by the KDQN studios to remind area residents that the 2nd Annual Sevier County Cattlemen's Jackpot Show was Saturday at the Sevier County Fairgrounds.

 

Smith said there will be a concession stand available all day, but you can come out early at 7 a.m. and enjoy breakfast with the show kids.

 

Smith explained the show was similar to the county fair livestock show, except this is a jackpot show and participates will receive cash prizes.

 

Registration starts at 7 a.m. and the books will close at 9. The entry fee is $30 per head and $10 for the showmanship competition.

 

Smith stated the event is a fundraiser for the cattlewomen and all of the proceeds will go toward local scholarships. For more information, call Christy Lee at 903-908-4080.

 

 

BEAVERS BEND ROD RUN       5/14/15

 

The 2015 Beavers Bend Rod Run is this Saturday and Sunday at the Beavers Bend Resort Park, group camp #1 and is sponsored by the Kiamichi Street Rods. Dwayne Bean is a member of the street rod club and explained this is a Pre-'73 event.

 

There will be a Saturday evening meal, games for all ages, door prizes, along with hot wheel races, a poker run and a Sunday morning worship service.

 

Bean said registration will begin at the park at 9 a.m. Saturday morning and the cost is $25.

 

For more information, call Bean at 580-584-2345 or Sharon Webb at 580-584-6467.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN SCHOOLS RECEIVE GRANT      5/14/15

 

De Queen Junior High School teachers Meagan Strain and Carol Hall recently applied for and received a grant for the district's Outdoor Classroom project.

 

Strain and Hall explained the outdoor classroom will be utilized as a tool to enhance the learning experience of students attending the De Queen Public Schools. The classroom will be used by the 8th grade science and creative writing classes, as well as the environmental science classes of the high school.

 

The habitat will also be made available to the community. The schoolyard habitat will include a butterfly garden, a hummingbird garden, a walking trail, a tracking box, bird houses and bird feeders.

 

The outdoor classroom will also allow students to explore and learn more about nature. It will also give teachers the opportunity to turn the classroom over to the students.

 

The schoolyard habitat will open student's eyes to alternative ways to learn new content and become active in a unique classroom setting.

 

Construction of the habitat will start in the spring of 2015 and will be constructed by 8th grade and high school students, as well as members of the junior high science club and volunteers.

 

The grant was presented to the school by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, but other funds were donated by local businesses.

 

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT        5/14/15

 

Last week during a session of the Sevier County Circuit Court, a trial date of August 12th was set for Jamie Blankenship and Dustin Chandler.

 

Blankenship has been charged with introducing a controlled substance into the body of another person.

 

According to the affidavit, Blankenship allegedly introduced a controlled substance into the body of her unborn child on or before August 31st, 2014.

 

The charge is a Class Y felony and if convicted Blankenship could be sentenced up to 40 years in prison.

 

Chandler has been charged with theft of property and residential burglary after he allegedly entered a home and took some property that was valued at less than $25,000 but more than $5,000 on or about October 27th, 2013.

 

Orlando Graham of Nashville and Darrell Hall made their first appearance in the Sevier County Circuit Court last week and entered pleas of not guilty.

 

Graham is being charged with driving while intoxicated #4 and Hall has been charged with possession of a firearm by a certain person.

 

 

 

SYLVESTER GETS THREE LIFE SENTENCES FOR KIDNAPPING AND RAPE      5/14/15

 

A man arrested in Sevier County has been sentenced to three life sentences after being found guilty of kidnapping, rape and aggravated robbery by a Sebastian County jury.

 

37-year-old Ardwin Sylvester was convicted of kidnapping and raping a woman in Fort Smith last summer.

 

The man drove down Highway 71 South and stopped for gas in Ashdown at an E-Z Mart where the woman was able to jump out of the car and run into the store. 

 

Sylvester then fled and was taken into custody on state Highway 27 halfway between Ben Lomond and Mineral Springs in Sevier County.

 

 

 

UA COSSATOT OFFERING VARIETY OF CLASSES THIS SUMMER      5/14/15

 

Zebbie Minton of UA Cossatot announced this morning that registration for summer continuing education classes is underway and the college is offering a variety of classes.

 

Minton said they are also offering a salsa making class on Tuesday, May 19th and if anyone is interested in the class, they will need to register this week, because classes will fill up fast.

 

Minton also stated UA Cossatot will be offering a couple of history courses through the Old Washington State Park.

 

And, they will be offering classes from basic photography to painless grammar classes, during the noon hour in June.

 

Minton said they were still offering their truck driving class, but will also be offering a log truck driving class, as well as, a refresher program.

 

 For more information about classes and programs at UA Cossatot, contact Minton at 870-587-4471.

 

 

DE QUEEN BOARD OF EDUCATION ACCEPTS SEVERAL RESIGNATIONS     5/13/15

 

Monday evening, the De Queen Board of Education upheld the recommendation from Superintendent Bruce Hill to suspend a female student for 180 days for multiple drug offenses. They then accepted two students into the De Queen School District next year through the state's School Choice program.

 

Hill also recommended the board accept the resignation of the following staff members: Dana Porton – ALE; David Stevenson – JR. High Science; Sharon Dorsey – bus driver; Linda Tolison – housekeeper; Callie Parker – 1st grade teacher; Antonia Hernandez – housekeeper; Sara Smith – 4th grade teacher; Barbara Stevenson – 4th grade teacher; Roger Busse – High School Principal; Kerry White – 5th grade teacher; Laken Faulkner – FACS and Julie Gonzales – cafeteria.

 

Board members then hired the following staff members: Brittany Williamson – FACS; Leona Martin – High School Math; Keisha Aynes – Middle School Math; Derrick Aynes – coach and Junior High Science; Steve Lester – High School Math and Science; Lindsey Hudgens – 4th grade teacher; Shannon Wilkerson – 4th grade teacher and Amanda Gray – 4th grade teacher.

 

Hill announced graduation would be held on Friday, May 15th and report cards will be available June 5th.

 

 

 

FOREMAN AD RESIGNS        5/13/15

 

Foreman Superintendent George Kennedy recommended the Foreman Board of Education accept the letter of resignation from Athletic Director Denzil Cowling and Elementary teacher Emily Gentry during a special called meeting of the Foreman Board of Education.

 

Board members will consider replacements for Cowling and Gentry during the board regular May meeting.

 

 

 

NATIONAL EMS WEEK       5/13/15

 

May 17th through 23rd is National EMS Week, but the employees of Southwest EMS want to express their appreciation to all the first responders, fire fighters and law enforcement members that help them throughout the year.

 

Megan McMahen announced Tuesday morning that Southwest EMS will say thank you with a cookout this Thursday in the Herman Dierks Park at 5:30 p.m.

 

For more information, contact McMahen at 642-2611.

 

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY QUORUM COURT       5/13/15

 

Sevier County Judge Greg Ray informed the members of the Sevier County Quorum Court that the county’s 911 system was down after being struck by lightening Sunday night. He said a representative from AT&T was scheduled to start making repairs Monday afternoon, but until it is up and running, calls will be routed through the Little River County 911 system.

 

During the meeting, Justices of the Peace voted to set the dollar amount threshold at $500 for items on the counties inventory list and they passed an ordinance concerning the counties debt service funds.

 

JPs also gave final approval for the truck swap between the City of De Queen and the county and members of the Quorum Court re-appointed fellow JP Roger Whitmore as a Commissioner for the Sevier County Housing Authority.

 

Judge Ray also announced Bear Creek Cut-off Road will be closed until the flood water recedes and the bridges have been inspected.

 

 

 

UA COSSATOT SETS NEW RECORD GRADUATION   05/13/15

DE QUEEN, AR -  UA Cossatot students earning a degree or a certificate for the May 2015 semester were part of a history making class. 

After all of the grades were tallied and calculated, 340 degrees and certificates were awarded to students.  The commencement ceremony was held at the De Queen High School on Saturday, May 9. 

“Our graduation rates speak volumes about our goals for UA Cossatot students,” said Vice Chancellor of Academics, Dr. Maria Parker. “We have concentrated our efforts on retaining students and hands-on advising.  We want our students to be comfortable with their degree plan and have a clear path about how to accomplish their goals.” 

The graduation rates are traditionally higher during the spring semester since many students begin in August.  However, the trend for UA Cossatot is that graduation rates consistently have improved.   The following graphic charts the graduation award rates.

UA COSSATOT STUDENTS PLACE WELL AT COMPETITION  05/13/15

HOT SPRINGS, AR -  UA Cossatot students enrolled in the Secondary Vocational Center and Postsecondary Technical programs attended the annual Skills USA Convention and Competition held recently in Hot Springs. 

 

Students take a written knowledge test and hands-on skills test in their area of study.  UA Cossatot consistently has many students who place in their area. 

 

The team of James Stewart and Reyna Lopez, won first place, securing a Gold Medal finish in the Audio / Radio Production competition.  Both are students in the secondary program on the De Queen campus. 

 

Curtis Nutt, a Senior from Dierks High School placed 2nd in the Pipe Welding competition, earning a Silver Medal.  There were about 50 students competing in that category.  In the General Welding category, Brock McMillian, also a senior from Dierks placed 3rd and brought home a Bronze Medal. The General Welding category had about 100 competing.  These students have been in the Nashville Secondary Career Center since their junior year of High School.

 

The team of Kayla Martin and Kacy McGough, both students in the Cosmetology Program, won the Bronze Medal in the Esthetics category.  Another Cosmetology student,   Alexandria Coulter won the Bronze Medal in the Cosmetology Display Hair competition. 

 

The Skills USA competition is held every April in Hot Springs. 

 

DIERKS SCHOOL DISTRICT HIRES STAFF DURING SPECIAL BOARD MEETING      5/12/15

 

The Dierks Board of Education approved the purchase of 100 Chromebooks at a cost of $23,200 through the Tips/Taps program from White River Services during a special called board meeting on Tuesday, May 5th.

 

Board members then approved the hiring of Beth Shelton as a Kindergarten teacher, Michele Godwin as a 5th grade Math and Science teacher, Zach White as a 3rd grade teacher and Kaci Quinn as a high school Special Education teacher and Junior High Cheer Coach.

 

 

 

L.F. HENDERSON STUDENTS CONTRIBUTE TO IMPACT 2015       5/12/15

 

The key to success in any great endeavor is support, and Jim Cross, the pastor of the Ashdown and Richmond First United Methodist Church, emphasizes that "the wonderful community support from Ashdown is what has led to the great success of Impact 2015-Walking for Christ."

 

Cross's 30-mile solo Walk for Christ is now in it's third year and has raised over $50,000 thus far, with the largest amount being raised this year. The ten-hour-long walk on April 11th ended at Dick Hays Stadium, where Cross was greeted by over 200 supporters who were enjoying catfish dinners and dozens of kids enjoying games and jump houses.

 

Walking for Christ was the vision of Cross in 2012 when he felt led to raise awareness and financial support for several causes where children are in need. He has divided the funds he has between scholarships for high school graduates with medical issues, to the Little River County Relay for Life, and the United Methodist Committee on Relief program in Baldwin, Louisiana.

 

Cross also uses some of the funds to support various school campus needs, such as a pavilion for the L.F. Henderson School playground and new turf for the Ashdown High School football field.

 

Cross has also donated financial assistance to families of Ashdown school children who have suffered a loss or illness, including Brandon Cramer who is fighting to recover from a massive brain injury.

 

 

 

HORATIO VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENTS ANNUAL FISH FRY       5/12/15

 

Monday morning, Rich Dorsey of the Horatio Volunteer Fire Department announced everyone is invited to their annual fish fry this Saturday at the First Assembly of God Fellowship Hall next to the Horatio High School football field from 2 to 6 p..m.

 

For more information, call 870-584-9578.

 

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY SENIOR ADULT CELEBRATION      5/12/15

 

Sevier County Judge Greg Ray and Sam Cobb of Dr. Randy Walker's office stopped by the KDQN studios last Friday to remind everyone that the 2015 Senior Adult Celebration and the Big Bass Classic will be held on Memorial Day weekend.

 

Cobb stated last year over 40 vendors participated and he said there will be vendors offering all kinds of services.

 

Judge Ray said the event is for anyone 55 and older, but it wouldn't be possible without all of the volunteers.

 

The Annual Senior Citizens Appreciation Day will be from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on the Sevier County Courthouse square.

 

 

 

HOWARD FOUND GUILTY - AGAIN      5/12/15

 

After two weeks of testimony from witnesses, local and state investigators and forensic experts, a Little River County jury found Tim Howard guilty of second degree murder of Brian and Shannon Day and guilty of attempted murder of their infant child around 10 p.m., Friday, May 8th.

 

Around 1 a.m., the jury sentenced Howard to 14 years each for the second degree murders of Brian and Shannon Day and 10 years for the attempted murder of their 10-month-old son.

 

The sentences will be served consecutively and with time served following his first conviction in 1999, Howard will not serve any more jail time.

 

 

 

LOCAL OFFICIALS SURVEY STORM DAMAGE       5/12/15

 

Sevier County Judge Greg Ray and De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy reported Monday morning that residents were fortunate in Sevier County.

 

However, Judge Ray stated some roads were closed due to water. He also reported that they had received some reports of some fallen trees, but the counties 991 system suffered the most damage, due to a lightening strike to the Sevier County jail.

 

Mayor McKelvy stated the City of De Queen faired pretty well Sunday night and the De Queen Fire Department assisted the sheriff's office Sunday night by handling the dispatching duties after the lightening strike.

 

De Queen Police Chief Richard McKinley reported Monday morning that residents may call the police station at 642-2213 or 642-2215 for emergency assistance.

 

SWEPCO reported 1,572 customers were without service Monday morning in Howard County, while another 1,582 were without service in Hempstead County.

 

REA reported 343 customers without power in Howard County, 24 in McCurtain County, Oklahoma, 45 in Sevier County and another 18 in Little River County.

 

 

 

UA COSSATOT CHANCELLOR STEVE COLE SPEAKS TO DE QUEEN LIONS CLUB     5/12/15

 

Chancellor of UA Cossatot Dr. Steve Cole recently spoke to the members of the De Queen Lions Club concerning the college’s yearly budget and other advancements on the campus.

 

Cole reported 342 diplomas were awarded during the spring graduation, which was held last Saturday and he mentioned UA Cossatot's new innovative textbook program.

 

Cole told the Lions Club that many students won't purchase textbooks because they will be using open resource materials.

 

Cole said it will save families over $1,000 per year on the cost of textbooks, while not diluting the learning in the classroom.

 

Cole then answered questions, explaining how students will be able to attend UA Cossatot and eVersity this fall which is fully transferable and leads into a four-year degree from the University of Arkansas. He also answered questions regarding how Arkansas can help undocumented students by making it where they only have to pay in-state tuition.

 

The De Queen Lions Club is a member of district 7-L and fulfills many local humanitarian projects, such as providing eyeglasses for youth in need.

 

 

 

WEATHER SERVICE GIVES NASHVILLE STORM EF-2 RATING      5/12/15

 

A survey team from the National Weather Service in Shreveport has given a preliminary rating of an EF-2 on the tornado that struck the western and northwestern sections of Nashville late Sunday night, killing two people.

 

According to the weather service, the storm was estimated to have winds in excess of 125 miles per hour, but adjustments may be made to the wind speed and rating.

 

Authorities identified the two people killed in the storm as 28-year-old Michael Mooneyhan and 29-year-old Melissa Mooneyhan.

 

The two were residents in the R&J Trailer Park off Sypert Street. Police reported the couple had a young daughter, who was unharmed. Several other people in the trailer park were injured, including two, who suffered critical injuries.

 

Monday afternoon, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that his office has made a disaster declaration for 10 counties, including Howard County.

 

An assessment is being conducted to see if the declaration meets federal requirements so that additional funding can be available.

 

Hutchinson visited Nashville Monday afternoon to see the damage firsthand and to meet with county and city officials.

 

 

CIRCUIT COURT OF SEVIER COUNTY     5/11/15

 

Trial dates were set for four defendants during the April 30th session of the Sevier County Circuit Court.

 

A trial date of July 15th was set for Juan Hernandez-Herrera after he plead not guilty. Hernandez-Herrera has been charged with possession of methamphetamine.

 

A trial date of September 23rd was set for Jennifer Caswell and Randall Glasgow after they plead not guilty to the charges of possession of meth with the intent to deliver, simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

Caswell and Glasgow were arrested on Sunday, April 19th following a 6-month investigation by the Sevier County Sheriff's Office, the South Central Drug Task Force, the Arkansas State Police, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the De Queen Police Department.

 

A search warrant was executed on Glasgow's home on Monday, April 20th and turned up drugs, firearms, smoking pipes, digital scales and other paraphernalia.

 

After pleading not guilty, a trial date of September 23rd was set for Barry Talley who is being charged with breaking or entering, theft by receiving and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

Gala Richardson was sentenced to three years probation and fined $2,000 after changing her plea to guilty on the charge of possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

 

 

US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS TAKING STEPS TO CONTROL ALLIGATOR WEED ON MILLWOOD       5/11/15

The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers has taken a step to control Alligator Weed on Millwood Lake.

Corps rangers have released 7,000 Alligator Weed Flea Beetles to consume the weed on the lake. The Corps says these beetles are species specific and only consume Alligator Weed, which is an invasive, non-native aquatic plant that originated in South America, but has spread to many parts of the world.

When the weed invades waterways it can reduce water flow and quality by preventing light penetration and oxygenation of the water. It can also reduce water bird and fish activity and cause the death of fish and native plants.

Alligator Weed can form large, interwoven mats over the water or along shorelines, creating a favorable habitat for breeding mosquitoes. It is also very difficult to control.

 

 

MAN ARRESTED IN OKLAHOMA SHOOTING DEATH     5/11/15

 

A person of interest in the fatal shooting of a Haworth, Oklahoma man on Wednesday was arrested Thursday in Hempstead County walking on the shoulder of a state highway.

 

49-year-old John Williamson of Idabel was taken into custody about 8 a.m. by an Arkansas State Police trooper on Highway 32.

 

Agencies in Southwest Arkansas and Southeast Oklahoma were alerted about 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday regarding the shooting and started searching for a silver Ford F-150 with stolen Oklahoma license plate.

 

Authorities spotted the truck in the Hope Wal-Mart parking lot and officers began searching Williamson in the Hope area.

 

Williamson is being held in the Hempstead County detention center, but is expected to be extradited back to McCurtain County to face multiple charges.

 

 

 

FORMER DE QUEEN MAYOR APPOINTED TOP HUCKABEE AIDE      5/11/15

 

Former De Queen Mayor Chad Gallagher has been named the Senior Leadership Director for the Huckabee for President Campaign following former Governor Mike Huckabee’s announcement last week that he will be running for President of the United States.

 

According to a press release, Gallagher is the founder and senior consultant with Legacy Consulting and started working with Governor Huckabee in 1992.

 

Since 2012, Gallagher has overseen and ran the Governor’s leadership PAC.

 

Prior to opening his own firm, Gallagher worked in Huckabee’s 2008 bid for the White House and served as his political director during his last term as governor. In this capacity Gallagher handled appointments, city, county and local affairs and the liaison the Governor’s relationship with the White House, Bush campaign, Republican National Committee, RGA, NGA, the state GOP and candidates.  

 

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY LIBRARY TIDBITS       5/11/15

 

Sevier County Head Librarian Johnye Fisher announced this week that the library had received a donation of approximately 300 children’s books from Sarah and Debbie Vincent of Gallatin, Tennessee and Jean Nichols of Clarksville, Tennessee.

 

And, the library will be celebrating Patron Appreciation Week at the De Queen Library, May 18th through the 22nd by giving away snacks, coffee and prizes.

 

In Horatio, the library has had a Little Library Project box mounted on the front lawn. The box was built by Raymond Garcia of De Queen and painted by the Horatio High School art class and their instructor Shirley Tipton.

 

The Little Library Project works on the honor system. You take a book, read a book, and leave a book when the library is closed.

 

This year, the Horatio Library is focusing on the theme, “Every Hero has a Story.” They will be focusing on local heroes such as firemen, city workers, school bus drivers and home health nurses.

 

In conjunction with Lockesburg Mayor Danny Ruth’s proclamation declaring May Historic Preservation Month, the library will display a presentation board illustrating some historic facts about the City of Lockesburg. The library also has copies of the book “The Kindling Dawn” that was written by Judge Will Steel, which is set in Lockesburg around the turn of century.

 

The Gillham Library also received a donation of several young adult book series.

 

The Ben Lomond Library will be teaching classes on herbs and flowers every Saturday during the month of May.

 

 

 

MAN SENTENCED TO 60 YEARS GOING BACK TO COURT FOR KIDNAPPING, RAP AND ROBBERY CHARGES       5/11/15

 

A man that was sentenced to 60 years on firearm charges in Sevier County has been sentenced to another 60 years in Sabastian County for being a felon in possession of a firearm and his probation was revoked for a 1999 rape conviction.

 

38-year old Ardwin Sylvester is expected to face another Sabastian County jury this week for the charges of rape, kidnapping and aggravated robbery. 

 

Sylvester was arrested in Sevier County in June of 2014 after allegedly kidnapping and raping a woman in Fort Smith.

 

The woman escaped from Sylvester at a gas station in Ashdown.

 

Sylvester fled in the vehicle, but was later stopped and surrendered to law enforcement officials on Highway 27 near Ben Lomond.

 

 

 

CONSUMER ALERT: YOUR IDENTITY IS STOLEN. NOW WHAT     5/11/15

 

Identity thieves can hit at any time, wrecking your financial integrity. According to the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network, nearly 2,500 Arkansans filed ID theft complaints in 2014, ranking 15th in the nation.

 

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a consumer alert to educate consumers on the steps they should take to restore their credit if their identity is stolen.

 

Rutledge released the following tips for those who have fallen victim to ID thieves:

 

File a fraud alert with one of the three national credit bureaus; file a police report and get a got of it; get a copy of an identity theft booklet, which provides step-by-step instructions for dealing with identity thieves; file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission; cancel any accounts you believe have been compromised; consider placing a security freeze on your credit report to restrict access; and consider applying for an ID Theft Passport from the Attorney General’s office.

 

Committing identity theft in Arkansas is a felony and comes with a sentence that could include incarceration, fines up to $25,000 and restitution. The Arkansas Administrative Office of the Courts reported 150 ID theft convictions in 2014.

 

For more information, contact the Attorney General’s office at 1-800-482-8982.

 

 

 

ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE LAUNCHES MILITARY AND VETERANS INITIATIVE        5/11/15

 

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced that she is launching a Military and Veterans Initiative at the Attorney General’s Office. This initiative will assist active duty military, reservists, veterans and their families with consumer related issues, veterans’ courts, the Hiring Heros program and many other collaborative efforts.

 

Rutledge also introduced Colonial Marcus Hatley, a 30-year veteran of the military, who will lead the new initiative as the senior director of military and veteran affairs.

 

This past week, Rutledge also hosted a roundtable discussion with more than 15 military and veteran stakeholders to discuss the challenged faced by veteran and active duty servicemen and women and how the attorney general’s office can better assist them.

 

Some of the conversations centered on raising awareness for substance abuse, pointing veterans toward treatment courts, creating employer partnerships across the state to encourage the hiring veterans and active duty members and building a communication network to inform members of the military and veterans.

 

Rutledge also signed a Statement of Support for the National Guard and Army Reserve, which encourages the employment of guardsman and reservists across the state and in the Attorney General’s office.

 

 

 

KIAMICHI OWA-CHITO GOSPEL NIGHT       5/11/15

 

The 2015 Kiamichi Owa-Chito festival Gospel singing will be on Friday, June 19th, starting at 6 p.m. in the Beavers Bend State Park Amphitheatre. There will be four groups performing this year, including the Jerry Times Band, Red Roots, Victory Life of Broken Bow Praise Team and the featured group, Debra Black Ministry.

 

Debra Black grew up in a Christian home and her new single, "Bright," is an upbeat song that charges the believer to be a light in the darkness. Debra said her desire is to be a beacon of hope to people.

 

The Red Roots have a stage persona that's as fiery as their blazing red locks. These triplets, Nika, Natalie and Nicole will engage the crowd with their story through real life lyrics and rolling banjos intertwined with rocking guitars.

 

In 2012, the Red Roots were contestants on "The American Bible Challenge" which was hosted by Jeff Foxworthy and Kirk Franklin and earned $5,000 for their charity "The Home of Grace."

 

In 2014, the Red Roots released their third album and it was recently nominated for a Dove Award in the category of "Country Album of the Year."

 

 

 

RECORD NUMBER OF GRADUATES FOR UA COSSATOT       5/11/15

 

Dr. Steve Cole of UA Cossatot announced Thursday afternoon that the college's Board of Visitors approved the schools budget and calendar during their May meeting on May 4th.

 

Cole stated the board approved Cossatot's $10.1 million dollar budget which operates three campuses and they approved several changes to the college’s fee structure in an effort to save students money.

 

Cole said UA Cossatot will be changing their summer hours on May 18th.

 

Cole reported the Board approved a slight increase in the school's tuition but will save students money by using open resource materials instead of student purchasing textbooks for their classes.

 

 

 

LITTLE RIVER COUNTY RELAY FOR LIFE IS MAY 15      5/11/15

 

Linda Fielding of the Little River County Relay for Life announced Thursday morning that everyone is invited to their event on Friday, May 15th at the Ashdown High School track.

 

Fielding said everyone still has time to purchase a luminary in honor of or in memory of a loved one.

 

The Little River County Relay 4 Life event is Friday, May 15th at the Ashdown High School track beginning at 6 p.m.

 

 

 

Dierks Scholarship Banquet    5/11/15

 

1. Kaydra Ayers- Kaydra is an honor graduate and received the Academic Challenge Scholarship.  She received the Board of Visitors Scholarship from CCCUA valued at tuition for one year, a $1000 scholarship from the Thornton/Chandler Scholarship Fund, a $100 scholarship from JoAnn Walters Elementary faculty and Shelter Insurance and local agent Mr Todd Moore are pleased to award Kaydra with a $2500 scholarship.

 

2. Skylar Baker- Skylar is Valedictorian of this years senior class and an honor graduate.  She received the Academic Challenge Scholarship and she receives a $1000 Thornton Chandler Scholarship.  Skyler also receives a $300 scholarship from Mr. Brandon Cogburn.  Skylar has also been awarded a Ouachita Merit Scholarship valued at $8200 per year.

 

3. Dillon Bobo- Dillon is an honor graduate and received the Academic Challenge Scholarship.  He also receives a Thornton/Chandler Scholarship valued at $1000 and a $100 scholarship from Melton and Linda Smith.  Dillon has been awarded a top ten percent scholarship from SAU valued at $3300 per semester.  He also qualified for a work study program valued at $4800 per year.

 

4. Breanna Bohon- Breanna received the Academic Challenge Scholarship and also receives a $100 scholarship from the DHS Scholarship Fund.

 

5. Brenda Bolanos- Brenda receives a $100 scholarship from the DHS Scholarship Fund.

 

6. Colton Colbey- Colton receives a $100 scholarship from the JoAnn Walters Elementary faculty.

 

7. Brittnee Dinger- Brittnee is eligible for the Academic Challenge Scholarship and she receives a $100 scholarship from York Gary Autoplex.  Dinger has also been awarded a Blue & Gold Scholarship from SAU valued at $3300 per semester.

 

8. Caleb Dunn-  Caleb received the Academic Challenge Scholarship.  He also received a $100 scholarship from the DHS Scholarship Fund.  Dunn has also been awarded a VA Chapter 35 Scholarship valued at $1000 per month.  Mr. Scott Stapp presented Dunn with the Brian Stapp Memorial Scholarship, valued at $1000.

 

9.  Dylan Fatherree- Dylan received the Academic Challenge Scholarship and also received a $100 scholarship from the DHS Scholarship fund.

 

10.  Shelby Faulkner-  Shelby received the Academic Challenge Scholarship and also the Quinn/Cumba Nursing Scholarship valued at $1000 per year for four years.  She also received the Chip and Wayne Ward Memorial Scholarship valued at $500.

 

11.  Michael Glasgow- Michael received the Academic Challenge Scholarship and also received a $100 scholarship from the DHS scholarship fund.

 

12. Derek Hill- Derek received the Academic Challenge Scholarship and the Flynn Justus Memorial Scholarship from Bear State Bank valued at $1000.  Mr. Charles Jackson, National Director for Dixie Youth Baseball also presented Derek with a $2000 scholarship.

 

13. Kisha Isaacs- Kisha received a $100 scholarship from the DHS Scholarship fund.

 

14. Devyn Jones- Devyn received the Academic Challenge Scholarship and also received a $1000 scholarship from First State Bank of Dierks.

 

15. Jalen Key- Jalen received the Academic Challenge Scholarship.  Rhonda Blanton of DeQueen Regional Medical Center also presented a $500 scholarship to Jalen.

 

16. Kaitlin Kitchens- Kaitlin is an honor graduate and received the Academic Challenge Scholarship.  She also received the Bonnie Kirby Whitmore Memorial Scholarship valued at $1000, the FCCLA Scholarship valued at $750 and a Thornton/Chandler Scholarship valued at $1000.  Kaitlin has also been awarded a Blue & Gold Scholarship from SAU valued at $3300 per semester.

 

17.  Kyla Kompkoff- Kyla is an honor graduate and she received the Academic Challenge Scholarship.  She received a $1000 Thornton/Chandler Scholarship and a $100 scholarship from the JoAnn Walters Elementary faculty.  Kyla is also recognized as the Female winner of the Wendys High School Heisman for Dierks High School.

 

18. Brock McMillian- Brock received the Academic Challenge Scholarship and he receives a $500 scholarship from Suttle Equipment, Inc.

 

19. Layne McWhorter- Layne received the Academic Challenge Scholarship and he also received a $500 scholarship from Suttle Equipment, Inc.

 

20. Rachael Manasco- Rachael received the Academic Challenge Scholarship, the James Arnold Memorial Scholarship valued at $200 and a $100 scholarship from Nashville Coca Cola Bottling Company.

 

21. Marisa Marquez- Marisa received the Academic Challenge Scholarship and she also received a $100 scholarship from the DHS Scholarship fund.

 

22. Curtis Nutt- Curtis received the Academic Challenge Scholarship and he receives a $250 scholarship from DeQueen Auto Group.

 

23. Tyler Parker- Tyler is an honor graduate and he received the Academic Challenge Scholarship.  He also receives a $1000 Thornton Chandler Scholarship.  Tyler has also been awarded the Weevil Excellence Scholarship from the U of Ark at Monticello valued at $750 per semester for 8 semesters.  Tyler has also been awarded a $3000 University Scholarship at UCA.

 

24. Marcus Parsons- Marcus receives a $200 scholarship from the Arkansas Order of the Eastern Star and a $100 scholarship from the elementary faculty.

 

25. Kelsey Pickett- Kelsey is an honor graduate and she received the Academic Challenge Scholarship.  She receives a $1000 Thornton Chandler Scholarship, a $250 scholarship from Wilkerson Funeral Home and a $300 scholarship from UACCH.  Kelsey has also been awarded an Honors Scholarship from UACCH valued at $2000 per year.  Mr. Scott Stapp also presented the Brian Stapp Memorial Scholarship to Kelsey, valued at $1000.

 

26. Garrett Robertson-  Garrett recieves a $100 scholarship from Mr. and Mrs. James White.

 

27. Hilda Sanchez- Hilda is an honor graduate and she received the Academic Challenge Scholarship.  She receives a $1000 Thornton/Chandler Scholarship.  Hilda has also been awarded a Commitment to Excellence Scholarship valued at $11000 per year.

 

28. Luke Tollett- Luke is Co-Salutatorian of this years senior class.  He received the Academic Challenge Scholarship.  Luke received a $500 scholarship from Howard Memorial Hospital and a $1000 Thornton/Chandler Scholarship.  Luke has also been awarded a University Scholarship valued at $4500 per semester at Arkansas Tech and the Vann Kerns Memorial Scholarship valued at $750 per semester.

 

29. Adriana Walston- Adriana received the Academic Challenge Scholarship and she also received a $100 scholarship from the DHS Scholarship Fund.

 

30. Josh Welch- Josh is Co-Salutatorian of this years class.  Josh has been awarded the Governors Distinguished Scholarship which includes a scholarship of $10000.  He receives a $1000 Thornton/Chandler Scholarship, he also receives the Chip and Wayne Ward Memorial Scholarship valued at $500 and a $100 scholarship from the JoAnn Walters Elementary faculty.

 

31. Caleb White- Caleb receives a $100 scholarship from Mr. and Mrs. James White.

 

32. Lillie Woodruff- Lillie receives a $100 scholarship from the DHS Scholarship Fund.

Drew Walston Memorial Scholarship recipients of $750 included Layne McWhorter, Josh Welch, and Adriana Walston.

 

 

 

DEEPER THAN SKILLS FOOTBALL CAMP      5/11/15

 

De Queen High School graduate Greg 'Fatty' White announced this week that he will be hosting a Deeper than Skills Football Camp in June in the Herman Dierks Park for players entering 3rd-12th grade.

 

White also said several college players will speak to players during the camp and players will participate in Pro Day exercises.

 

White earned a full scholarship to the University of Missouri and graduated in the fall of 2013 and is currently working on a master’s in Human Performance Science.

 

The cost is $75 for one camper; $125 for two siblings and $175 for three siblings. Each camper will receive a free t-shirt if they register by May 22nd.

 

For more information, call White at 870-557-6051 or the De Queen Park and Recreation Department at 642-4140.

 

DAILY REMINDERS 05/08/15

 

The annual Sevier County Relay for Life Survivors Dinner will be held this Friday, May 8th at 6 pm at the De Queen Church of Christ Multipurpose room. They will be cooking fish & chicken. All survivors and their care givers are welcome! 

 

The Adult Education Program on the UA Cossatot, Sevier County campus is open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. and from 7:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Friday. The program provides assistance to adults preparing for their GED or adults learning English.

 

The Sevier County 4-H annual Rabies Clinic will be held [today in the Herman Dierks Park in De Queen from 3 to 5 p.m. and] on Saturday, May 9th in the Herman Dierks Park in De Queen from 9 to 11 a.m. Cost is $7 per dog or cat. For more information, call 642-8387 or 584-3013.

 

The Belleville Lodge of Lockesburg will hold a scholarship fundraiser fish fry on Saturday, May 9th at 4 p.m. Lodge members will present two-$500 scholarships; one to a student from the old Lockesburg School District and one from the Horatio School District. Tickets are $5 in advance and $7 at the door. Proceeds go to the scholarship program, St. Judes Children's Hospital and other lodge charities.

 

A fundraiser for the Love for the Cure Fund will be held on Saturday, May 9th from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Hot Tails Crawfish on Highway 71 near the Red River Bridge. All proceeds go to cancer patients' medical, living and travel expenses.

 

The Board of the Tri-County Regional Library System, which consists of 12 libraries in Howard, Little River and Sevier counties, will meet for their quarterly meeting on Tuesday, May 12th at the De Queen Library at 6 p.m.

 

The Ashdown School District will honor four retiring staff members during a reception on Tuesday, May 12th from 4 to 5 p.m. on the grounds of the Little River County Courthouse.

 

The De Queen High School scholarship banquet will be held on Thursday, May 14th at 6 p.m. in the high school cafeteria. Anyone who would like to provide a scholarship to a member of the Class of 2015 may contact Ramona Hill at 642-2426 by May 8th.

 

The UA Cossatot Nursing program will host the Deflating Hypertension 5K on Saturday, May 23rd at 9 a.m. and all of the proceeds will benefit  Sevier County community members in attaining blood pressure equipment at no cost. Pre-registration deadline is May 15th. For more information contact Brad Patterson at UA Cossatot in Nashville.

 

The Sevier County Museum in De Queen will host a trade and sales day along with country-bluegrass music on Saturday, May 16th from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Vendor booths are $10 each. For more information, call 784-0039.

 

The New Zion Baptist Church of De Queen will host a Men and Women's Retreat on Saturday, May 16th at 10 a.m. For more information, call 642-7722.

 

A benefit dinner for Varda Bohannon and her family will be held on Saturday, May 16th beginning at 7 p.m. at the Central Fire Department and Community Building. The meal will be a pulled pork dinner for donations only. For more information, call 870-784-0953, 870-279-5158 or 870-582-4240.

 

The Rusty Relics 12th annual antique tractor show will be held on Saturday, May 16th from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the corner of 355 North and Yorks Chapel Road in Nashville. For more information, call 845-2769.

 

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH HOSPICE HOLDING DOLLAR DAY IN LOCAL CHURCHES       5/8/15

 

Laura Cox is the volunteer service coordinator for the Arkansas Department of Health Hospice in Southwest Arkansas and she is asking churches in Pike, Howard, Hempstead, Nevada, Little River, La-Fayette, Miller and Sevier counties to participate in the Dollar Day program to help provide items to hospice patients that not covered by Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance companies.

 

Cox explained Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance companies pay for medications and equipment that is needed by terminally ill patients, but her department also helps provide other items that are not covered and they are needing some assistance.

 

Cox said area churches can help by participating in their Dollar Day program on any Sunday during the months of May or June, because Hospice, like mothers and fathers, provide love and care to patients with a terminal illness.  By donating just $1 each members can help provide much needed supplies for Hospice patients that are not paid for by Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance.

 

For more information or to sign up to participate, contact Cox in Murfreesboro at (870) 285-3155.                    

 

Cox also expressed her appreciation to local volunteers that were honored during a luncheon at Stilwell's Restaurant earlier this month. Sevier County volunteers include Kathleen Miller, Chaplain Ann Holley, Travis Bingham and Darrell and Patsy Lawless.

 

ASHDOWN RETIREMENT RECEPTION  05/08/15

Four employees of the Ashdown School District will be honored at a reception to be held on Tuesday, May 12, from 4:00-5:00 on the front lawn of the Little River County Courthouse. (Inclement weather will move the reception inside to the lobby of the courthouse.)

Those being honored include Tim Erwin, Carolyn Henderson, Faye Jones, and Pam Wells, who total over 127 years of service to public education between them.  Erwin, Ashdown High School principal, has been an educator for 28 years with nine of those being in the Ashdown District.  Henderson, presently a teacher and the district public relations coordinator, began her first year as an educator in 1971 and has worked in the Ashdown District for 32 years.  Jones has worked in food service for the district for over 30 years, and Wells, a second grade teacher, has taught for 33 years with nine of those in Ashdown.

RESULTS FROM THE CACA ART SHOW        5/8/15

 

Winners from the 44th Cossatot Arts and Crafts Association were announced following the association's annual Art Show and Sale in King.  (Click here for photos of some of the entries)

 

Ribbons and monetary awards were presented to the following winners in the Adult division:

 

Best of Show was presented to Shirley Tipton of Horatio.

 

The first place winner in the animal division was Nancy Martin of Texarkana. Second place went to Lori Chambers of De Queen and third place went to Anita Caudle of Horatio

 

In the floral division, Myrtle Sims of De Queen won first place. Second place went to Jerri Lynn Rivers of De Queen and third place went to Anita Caudle of Horatio.

 

In the landscape division, Carol Flori of Texarkana won first place. Second place went to Jo Blakeley of De Queen and third place went to Judith Cantrell of  Mena.

 

In the protrait division, Glida Meyers of Hodgen won first place. Second place went to Danny Helms of Texarkana and third place went to Jim Brace of Hatfield.

 

In the Cossatot country division, Lucretia Walker of De Queen won first place. Second place went to Carol Flori of Texarkana and third place went to Van Ledbetter of De Queen.

 

In the western division, Rod Kidwell of Stonewall, Louisiana won first place. Second place went to Eileen Stearman of Texarkana and third place went to Lori Vallee of De Queen.

 

The first place winner in the still life division was Becky Harrison of De Queen. Second place went to Jerri Lyn Rivers of De Queen and third place went to Eileen Stearman of Texarkana.

 

The first place winner in the old barns division was  Sherry Ward of De Queen. Second place went to Van Ledbetter of De .

 

The first place winner in Arkansas recreation division Ronnie Sladovnik of New Boston, Texas. Second place went to Lucretia Walker of De Queen.

 

The first place winner in abstract/contemporary division was Anita Caudle of Horatio. Second place went to Laurie Kerr of Texarkana and third place went to Elizabeth Salin of Broken Bow.

 

The first place winner in the genre division was Shirley Tipton of Horatio. Second place went to Lori Chambers of De Queen.

 

Ribbons and monetary awards were presented to the following winners in the Photography division:

 

Best of Show was presented to Ben Bramlett of De Queen, Kurt Bickerstaff of Mena and Donna Atkinson of Mena.

 

The winners in the photography categories were: Jo Eldridge of Mena in the animal category; Jeffrey Holcombe of De Queen in the landscape category; Kathy Beuden of De Queen in the Cossatot Country category; Ann Gleen of Mena in the Recreation of Arkansas category and Michael Leonard of Fort Smith in the General category.

Ribbons and monetary awards were presented to the following winners in the Children's division:

 

Best of Show was presented to Melanie Campos of De Queen; Edith Garcia of De Queen and Logan Knowles of Texarkana.

 

The first place winner in the first grade division was Emma Chambers of De Queen. Second place went to Emmie Hale of De Queen and third place went to Elaine Tovar of De Queen.

 

In the second grade division, Heidi Hardaway of De Queen won first place. Second place went to Jaylee Pollard of Wickes and third place went to Samantha Gibson of Genoa.

 

In the third grade division, Eden Parks of Wickes won first place.

 

In the fourth grade division, Emily Ugarte of Wickes won first place. Second place went to Renzo Garcia of De Queen and third place went to Josue Hernandez-Santiago of De Queen.

 

In the fifth grade division, Laura Flores of Wickes won first place.

 

In the sixth grade division, Summer Coterby of Wickes won first place. Second place went to Brooke Read of Texarkana and third place went to Brooke Morrow of Redwater, Texas.

 

Ribbons and monetary awards were presented to the following winners in the Youth division:

 

Best of Show was presented to Kalee Gafford of Texarkana; Chris Murry of Horatio and Samatha Knowles of Texarkana.

 

The first place winner in the seventh grade division was Brandon McFall of Texarkana. Second place went to Cole Herberg of Wake Village and third place went to Alma Puga of De Queen.

 

The first place winner in the eighth grade division was Sierra Noey of De Queen. Second place went to Gerardo Rojas of De Queen and third place went to Jace Sims of De Queen.

 

The first place winner in the ninth grade division was Reana Roberson of De Queen. Second place went to Ryan Lee of Parks and third place went to Samantha Knowles of Texarkana.

 

The first place winner in the tenth grade division was Reagan Wilkerson of De Queen. Second place went to Madison Riddle of Waldron and third place went to Alexis Rubio of De Queen.

 

The first place winner in the eleventh grade division was Tyler Surgeon of De Queen. Second place went to Cheyenne Hand of Mena and third place went to Andrea Battiest of Horatio.

 

The first place winner in the twelfth grade division was Sandy Cortez of De Queen. Second place went to Montie Hennard of De Queen and third place went to Pedro Camacho of Horatio.

 

DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL APPROVES ORDINANCE TO CLOSE PORTIONS OF FOUR STREETS         5/7/15

 

Tuesday night, representatives from Pilgrim's Pride and the community surrounding the processing plant attended the public hearing concerning the closing of four city streets.

 

Pilgrim's complex manager Don Burrows explained to the council that the plant wanted the city to abandon portions of four city streets that surround the plant’s property for safety reasons.

 

Burrows explained the plant will take ownership of the streets and maintain them. He stated Pilgrim's spent about $16,000 to repair the street in front of the truck shop.

 

Burrows said Pilgrim's will close the streets to through traffic with the use of signage.

 

Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy said the street closings will benefit the city because the city will not have to maintain those streets and no homeowners in the surrounding area will be affected by the closing of the streets.

 

McKelvy also informed the council that SWEPCO donated a bucket truck to the city and that it will be delivered to the city on Monday, May 11th.

 

McKelvy also announced the city's mosquito spraying program will begin later this week.

 

 

 

HUCKABEE LAUNCHES SECOND WHITE HOUSE BID IN ARKANSAS     5/7/15

 

Former Governor Mike Huckabee has declared his candidacy for president in the hometown that he shares with former President Bill Clinton, Hope, Arkansas.

 

Huckabee told supporters Tuesday morning at a rally in Hope, that it's a long way from Second Street in Hope, Arkansas to the White House in Washington, D.C. and that it was in Hope that he first learned about the government of the United States and even started working for Haskell Jones at a local radio station.

 

Huckabee is running eight years after his first efforts to expand on the support of evangelical Christians helped him win eight states in the 2008 primaries.

 

Huckabee's the third Republican this week to enter the race.

 

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY OFFICIAL PROCLAIMS MAY HISTORIC PRESERVATION MONTH        5/7/15

 

Lockesburg Mayor Danny Ruth is among 118 officials in 62 counties who have declared May as Historic Preservation Month and Arkansas Heritage Month, according to Frances McSawin, the director of the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program.

 

McSwain stated she hopes Arkansans will take the opportunity this month to visit the local historic sites, especially those sites that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

In Sevier County, residents may visit the De Queen-Eastern Railroad Machine Shop; the De Queen Commercial Historic District - Downtown; the First Presbyterian Church in De Queen and the First United Methodist Church in Lockesburg; the Gillham Jail; the Little Cossatot River Bridge and the Lockesburg Waterworks, as well as several others.

 

Mayor Ruth's proclamation reads as follows:

 

Whereas, historic preservation is an effective tool for managing growth, revitalizing neighborhoods, fostering local pride and maintaining community character while enhancing liveability; and

 

Whereas, historic preservation is relevant for communities across the nation, both urban and rural, and for Americans of all ages, all walks of life and all ethnic backgrounds; and

 

Whereas, it is important to celebrate the role of history in our lives and the contributions made by dedicated individuals in helping to preserve the tangible aspects of the heritage that has shaped us as a people; and

 

Whereas, we celebrate each May as National Preservation Month and Arkansas Heritage Month, cosponsored by the City of Lockesburg, the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, the Department of Arkansas Heritage and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

 

Now, Therefore, I, Mayor Danny Ruth, do proclaim May 2015 as National Preservation Month and Arkansas Heritage Month and call upon the people of the City of Lockesburg to join their fellow citizens across the United States in recognizing and participating in this special observance.  

 

For a complete list of Sevier County National Register properties visit the website www.arkansaspreservation.com.

 

 

 

TWO AREA HISTORIC PROPERTIES NAMED TO ENDANGERED LIST      5/7/15

 

Two historic properties in southwest Arkansas have been placed on the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas' 2015 Most Endangered Places List.

 

The buildings include the Howard County Museum in Nashville and the historic Foreman State Bank building, which is located on Schuman Street.

 

Foreman's historic bank dates back to the 1940's and currently does not have very good structural integrity and portions of the roof has fallen in.

 

The Howard County Museum is currently being restored by the Howard County Historical Society and dates back to 1912.

 

Historic Preservation Alliance Executive Director Vanessa McKuin says the list strives to bring awareness of historic properties across the state that’s threatened by demolition or neglect. The Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas has maintained a Most Endangered Places List since 1999.

 

 

Chalice Cupboard April Report 2015    05/07/15

 

Sevier County residents put needed food on the tables of eighty-six families last month.  At those tables, 255 people (169 adults and 86 children) ate food at their tables from the 1,950 pounds of food they received in the distributions.

 

The Chalice Cupboard's account had a balance of $4,299.80 on April 1, 2015.  Gifts of funds totaled $ 60.00 last month.  $668.44 was spent in April to buy 960 pounds of food.  The balance on April 30, 2115, was $ 3,631.36.

 

Gifts of food for the pantry totaled 204 pounds.  Two churches, Saint Barbara Catholic Church, and the First United Methodist Church Women, gave 146 pounds of food; and anonymous food gifts totaled 58 pounds.

 

The Chalice Cupboard's address is 315 North Fifth St., in De Queen.  Distributions of food are made on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 2:00 until 3:15 p.m.  (Records of assistance through supplemental food distributions are kept for three months.)  All residents needing food in Sevier County may receive food ONCE each quarter:

 

                        January – March                          April – June

                        July – September                         October – December

 

 

DE QUEEN PRIMARY COLLECTING PENNIES FOR THE PLAYGROUND      5/6/15

 

The De Queen Primary PTO has challenged the students of the De Queen Primary to collect pennies until Thursday, May 14th.

 

PTO member Jennifer Martin stated the funds raised by the Primary School students will be used to purchase a piece of playground equipment and students are being encouraged to put their change in the penny jugs that are sitting outside the Primary office.

 

Martin said the goal of the PTO is to provide anything teachers and staff needs to educate students and the PTO’s also collecting Box tops for Education.

 

Martin stated the administration will match the student's donations and the winning grade will be rewarded with a popcorn party.

 

 

 

FOREMAN BOARD OF EDUCATION UPDATED ON DISTRICT'S STATUS       5/6/15

 

During the April meeting of the Foreman Board of Education, Superintendent George Kennedy presented several reports to the board concerning the district's status with the state Department of Education.

 

Kennedy reported the Oscar Hamilton Elementary and the High School were both Accredited, but cited and he also reported the district expected a decrease in state funding next year, however, the district was not placed on the state's fiscal distress list.

 

Board members voted to re-hire all of the districts certified and classified staff members, but Kennedy said the district may need to hire some new staff members during another meeting.

 

Kennedy reported the district received a B for the Oscar Hamilton Elementary and a C for the high school on the state's new report card system. He said the high school was one point from a B and he was pleased with the grade.

 

Board members also voted to purchase 20 laptops for the elementary campus at a cost of $12,632.21. Kennedy explained to the board the laptops will be purchased with federal funds.

 

 

 

HAZARD LIGHTS DRAW ATTENTION OF DEPUTY    5/6/15

 

Saturday, May 2nd, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Greg Davignon observed a white Ford F-150 driving in the turning lane just east of the De Queen Wal-Mart with it's hazard lights on.

 

However, when Davignon pulled in behind the truck, the driver turned off the hazard lights and drove partially into oncoming traffic.

 

Davignon conducted a traffic stop and both occupants in the truck admitted that they had been drinking.

 

20-year-old Richard Chaney of Lockesburg and 20-year-old Bobby Bounds of Ashdown told Davignon that they had purchased the beer in Oklahoma.

 

Both men were citied for being minors in possession of alcohol.

 

Later, Davignon was in the EZ-Mart next to Coy Wiles Tires in De Queen when he was informed that the black male getting into a white Chevy Impala smelt like alcohol.

 

Davignon followed the vehicle south on Lakeside Drive and witnessed it turn west onto Stilwell Ave.

 

Davignon reported the vehicle traveled left of the center line and didn't have a working tag light. 

 

When Davignon approached the vehicle, the driver, 46-year-old Orlando Graham of Nashville had red, glassy, bloodshot eyes.

 

After conducting a background check, Davignon discovered that Graham had been convicted of Driving While Intoxicated #3 in March of 2015.

 

Graham was arrested and charged with felony DWI #4, driving on a suspended driver's license, refusal to submit and driving left of center.

 

 

 

LITTLE RIVER COUNTY SENIOR ADULT CELEBRATION        5/6/15

 

This Thursday, the Little River Health System will host the 11th Annual Little River County Senior Adult Celebration in the Ashdown City Park beginning at 7 a.m. with the heath screenings.

 

Keener said everyone 55 and older is invited to register for door prizes and to be eligible for the Oldest Man, Oldest Woman and Longest Married Couple awards.

 

For more information, call the Little River Hospital at 870-898-5011

 

 

 

2015 RELAY FOR LIFE SURVIVOR'S DINNER      5/5/15

 

For the past 12 years, Linda Frachiseur has helped organize the Sevier County Relay for Life Survivor's Dinner and was honored last month with the Excellence in Caring for those with Cancer award.

 

Frachiseur will continue caring for those battling cancer this Friday, May 8th at 6 p.m. during the Sevier County Relay for Life’s annual survivor’s dinner.

 

Frachiseur said caregivers and family members of cancer survivors are also invited and the dinner was not just for Sevier County residents.

 

This year's Survivor's Dinner is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the De Queen Church of Christ.

 

This year's Relay for Life event is scheduled for Friday, May 29th at the De Queen Sportsplex on Highway 70 West.

 

 

 

CAR OWNER CITIED FOR PERMITTING UNAUTHORIZED PERSON TO DRIVE THEIR CAR       5/5/15

 

Last Friday, Patrolman Chad Bradshaw of the De Queen Police Department witnessed a driver that was known not to have a driver's license, driving a red Dodge on Collin Raye Drive.

 

Bradshaw reported he stopped the vehicle in the Fred's parking lot and issued 34-year-old Jose Martinez a ticket for driving without a driver's license. He also wrote a ticket to the owner of the motor vehicle, 24-year-old Marisela Garcia-Landoras for permitting an unauthorized person to drive her vehicle.

 

 

 

COMMON CORE LISTENING TOUR TO STOP IN TEXARKANA TUESDAY      5/5/15

 

Area residents will have an opportunity to voice their opinions about Common Core today when the Governor's Council on Common Core Review makes a stop in Texarkana.

 

The council team will be at the Four States Fairgrounds Fine Arts Building tonight from 5 to 7 p.m.

 

Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin announced there will be five hearings in Little Rock regarding the Common Core education standards and over eight weeks the council will travel to nine cities and spend approximately 60-hours listening to Arkansans opinions on Common Core.

 

Diana Lowe of the Texarkana School District is the district's secondary curriculum specialist and advanced placement coordinator. Lowe was appointed to the council, which also includes educators, parents, business leaders and students from all over the state.

 

The Common Core Tour will also stop in Hot Springs and Fort Smith. 

 

 

 

DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL TO HOLD PUBLIC MEETING TONIGHT     5/5/15

 

The De Queen City Council will hold a public hearing tonight at the beginning of their regular May meeting to hear the public's opinion on closing several streets around the Pilgrim's Pride plant.

 

Pilgrim’s Pride petitioned the city earlier this year about closing Third Street from just South of Wallace Road to Red Bridge Road; Red Bridge Road from Third Street to the KCS Railroad tracks; Lake Ave. and Collins Ave. from Fourth Street to Third Street.

 

Following the public hearing, aldermen will consider passing an ordinance to close those streets.

 

Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy reported to aldermen that the city's new Bobcat Skid Steer loader has been delivered and the street and sanitation departments are already using it to load brush.

 

McKelvy also informed the council in a letter that the city pool was ready to be opened this Memorial Day weekend and the kiddie-pool will be open this summer for the first time in several years.

 

Tonight's meeting will be at 6 p.m. in the council room of the De Queen City Hall.

 

 

 

RUN FOR THE SOLDIERS 5K SATURDAY       5/5/15

 

Charlie Company of De Queen and Mena is holding a Run for the Soldiers 5K this Saturday at 8 a.m. in the Herman Dierks Park in De Queen.

 

Alicia House with Charlie Company said medals will be awarded to the overall top three male and female finishers in each age division.

 

She said there will also be a 1-mile fun run for children 10-years-old and younger.

 

Registration for the Run for the Soldiers 5K is $30, the day of the race.

 

For more information, call House at 501-413-7258.

 

 

 

SEVERAL MINORS CITIED FOR POSSESSION OF ALCOHOL     5/5/15

 

Friday, May 1st, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Greg Davignon stopped a couple of vehicles that led to several minors being citied for possession of alcohol.

 

While patrolling in Horatio, Davignon observed the passenger in a black Chevy Trail Blazer not wearing a seat belt.

 

Davignon conducted a traffic stop and after speaking with the driver 22-year-old April Burleson of Lockesburg he asked and received permission to search the vehicle.

 

During the search, Davignon discovered two open cans of beer where 20-year-old Danielle Middleton of Foreman was sitting in the backseat. When asked if the beer belonged to her, Middleton said yes.

 

Burleson was citied for not having proof of insurance and Middleton was citied for being a minor in possession of alcohol.

 

In another incident, Davignon observed a tan Toyota Camry going 65 miles per hour in 55 miles per hour speed zone on Highway 70 West, just west of De Queen.

 

After making a traffic stop, Davignon noticed four cases of beer in the back seat.

 

19-year-old Luis Rosas and 18-year-old Fernando Hernandez, both of De Queen were taken into custody and charged with minor in possession of alcohol.

 

UA COSSATOT RODEO STUDENTS CASPER BOUND   05/05/15

 

DE QUEEN, AR -  Three UA Cossatot Rodeo Colts have qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming.

The team roping pair of Brody Braden and Tanner Caudle, both from Horatio, qualified again this year to compete in the finals.  The duo won the second place in the nation last year.  Whitney DeSalvo, Morrilton, also qualified to compete in the breakaway roping event. 

To qualify, the student athlete must place in the top three in the region in their event.  The three Colts will travel to Casper for the Championship Rodeo on June 14-20.    

“Despite a rough start, the team really finished well,” said UA Cossatot Rodeo Coach Valerie Stone.  “They worked hard and persevered.  They will be practicing a lot before June and holding fundraisers to help with the travel expenses.” 

The College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) is the “Rose Bowl” of college rodeo. It is where the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association crowns individual event champions in saddle bronc riding, bare back riding, bull riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, team roping, barrel racing, breakaway roping, and goat tying. National team championships are also awarded to both men’s and women’s teams. Over 400 cowboys and cowgirls from over 100 universities and colleges compete in Casper each year. Contestants compete all year in one of the NIRA’s 11 regions for a chance to rope or ride at the CNFR.

 

AREA HIGH SCHOOLS ANNOUNCE GRADUATION DATES        5/4/15

 

De Queen High School will have 137 seniors graduate on Friday, May 15th at 7 p.m. in Leopard Coliseum. Seniors at Cossatot River High School will graduate on Friday, May 15th at 7 p.m. in Stevenson Gymnasium. Murfreesboro High School will have 49 graduates walk on Friday, May 15th at 7 p.m. on the football field.

 

Broken Bow High School’s graduation will be on Saturday, May 16th at 8 p.m. at Broken Bow Memorial Stadium. Mineral Springs’ graduation will be held on Saturday, May 16th.

 

Nashville High School will hold graduation on Sunday, May 17th at 2 p.m. in Scrapper Arena.

 

Forty-eight Dierks High School seniors will graduate on Monday, May 18th at 7 p.m. in the J. & L. Johnson Gymnasium.

 

Horatio High School will have 65 seniors graduate on Tuesday, May 19th at 7:30 p.m. at Horatio Lions Stadium.

 

95 seniors at Ashdown High School will walk on Thursday, May 21st at 7:30 p.m. at Dick Hayes Stadium.

 

Foreman High School has 43 graduates and they will walk on Friday, May 29th at 7 p.m. at Foreman Memorial Stadium.

 

 

 

CONSUMER ALERT: BE CAUTIOUS WHEN HELPING WITH INTERNATIONAL DISASTERS      5/4/15

 

A recent report on AtlasofGiving.com ranks Arkansas as one of the top 10 states for charitable giving in 2014, and many Arkansans will continue that trend by helping those in Nepal who are suffering in the aftermath of last Saturday's devastating earthquake.

 

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a consumer alert to encourage Arkansans who are looking for ways to help when donating to relief efforts.

 

Rutledge stated scammers often prey on charitable people and Arkansans should arm themselves with the knowledge to tell a reputable nonprofit organization from a charity scam.

 

Rutledge recommends you follow these steps: if you receive a phone or door-to-door solicitation for donations, remember, high-pressure tactics are a red flag that you may be dealing with an unscrupulous charity; do your research - get the organization's name, address, website and phone number; use guidestar.org to compare nonprofit organizations and to get more information; and ask the organization how it will spend your donation.

 

Rutledge also stated that Arkansans should never give out their personal or financial information over the phone or through an email and never send cash.

 

For more information on charitable scams, or to check the status of a specific nonprofit organization contact the Arkansas Attorney General's office Public Protection Division at 1-800-482-8982.

 

 

 

DNA EXPERT TESTIFIES IN HOWARD RE-TRIAL       5/4/15

 

Testimony continued for the fourth day, last Thursday, in the re-trial of 45-year-old Timothy Howard for the 1997, murders of Brian and Shannon Day and the attempted murder of their infant son.

 

For the second day in a row, the Arkansas State Crime Lab Chief Medical Examiner took the stand and testified that Brian Day was shot once in the back of the head.

 

Brian Day's body was discovered in the back of a U-Haul truck on a farm that was owned by a member of Howard's family in Ogden.

 

The medical examiner said Shannon Day died from strangulation. When her body was discovered in a closet, she had a leather strap wrapped around her neck and her hands were also cuffed.

 

The medical examiner also testified that there was no evidence that Shannon Day was pregnant at the time of her death.

 

The jury also heard testimony from two DNA experts concerning DNA that was found in Howard's boots and the Arkansas State Crime Lab fingerprint examiner testified that the fingerprints that were found on some picture frames did not belong to former Little River County Sheriff Danny Russell, Brian or Shannon Day or other members of law enforcement who entered the Day's house the day of the murders.

 

Testimony is expected to continue this week.

 

 

 

PESTICIDE CLASS MAY 11      5/4/15

 

Rex Herring of the Sevier County Extension Office announced Friday morning that he would be hosting a pesticide training class a week from Monday, on May 11th in the Ag building on the De Queen campus of UA Cossatot at 2 p.m.

 

There is a $10 fee to take the class, but participates do not have to pre-register.

 

Herring said if you have questions, contact the extension office at 584-3013.

 

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY SENIOR CITIZEN CELEBRATION AND TRI-LAKES FISHING TOURNAMENT MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND      5/4/15

 

Sevier County Judge Greg Ray and Angie Walker announced Friday morning that the annual Senior Citizen Day Celebration and the Tri-Lakes Fishing Tournament has been scheduled for Memorial Day weekend.

 

Walker said the Senior Citizen celebration will be Friday, May 22nd beginning at 9 a.m. on the Sevier County Courthouse square.

 

Walker said this year's event will feature a stick horse race between Jay and JP of the Morning Brew around the square along with the health screenings. Judge Ray also stated his office was accepting door prizes from area businesses.

 

Judge Ray also mentioned anglers can start signing up for the Tri-Lakes Big Bass Fishing Tournament, which will be held on Saturday, May 23rd on De Queen, Gillham and Dierks lakes.

 

Judge Ray said they will start checking boats at 5 a.m. The tournament will begin at 6 and the first check-in is at 7. He also mentioned there will be a "late" early registration event at the chamber office on West Stilwell Ave. from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday, May 22nd.

 

For more information about the Tri-Lakes Big Bass Fishing Tournament visit the KDQN.net website or contact the Sevier County Chamber of Commerce by calling 584-3225.

 

 

TWO DE QUEEN RESIDENTS ARRESTED FOR SHOPLIFTING     5/4/15

 

On Wednesday, April 29th, De Queen Police Officer J.J. Lopez was dispatched to Wal-Mart in reference to a suspected shoplifting.

 

When Lopez and Lieutenant Sonny Kimmel arrived, they interviewed the Wal-Mart Asset Protection Manager. She reported that about 10:25 a.m., she was notified by the customer service manager that they suspected two females of shoplifting.

 

The asset protection manager was informed that the women had a green camo backpack and when she found them in the store, she observed them place items from the hardware aisle, the deli, the dairy cooler and some reduced baked goods into the backpack.

 

She reported the two then proceeded to the self check out and paid for one item before attempting to leave the store.

 

At that point, the asset protection manager stopped the two women who were identified as 25-year-old Amanda Branscum and 49-year-old Karen Zajac and asked them about the items in the backpack.

 

The total sum of the items stolen was $27.83.

 

Branscum and Zajac were arrested and charged with shoplifting a $1,000 or less.

 

UA COSSATOT HOSTS DE QUEEN MENA EDUCATIONAL SERVICE BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY MEETING  05/04/15  

ASHDOWN -  UA Cossatot will hosted the  De Queen-Mena Education Service Cooperative Regional Education & Business/Industry Partnership Meeting on the Ashdown campus last Friday.

The goal of the meeting was to host business and industry leaders to facilitate a conversation of the skills and technical aptitude needed for tomorrow’s workforce.  Local businesses were represented as well as local school district personnel, elected officials, area Chambers of Commerce, and representatives from UA Cossatot.  House Representative DeAnn Vaught was present as well as the State Commissioner of Education, Johnny Key. 

“We are always appreciative to host our partners at the De Queen Educational Co-Op,” said Barry Reed, UA Cossatot’s Director of the Ashdown Campus.  “We also gained knowledge that we can use when it comes to teaching skills that will make our students more successful in the job market.”

Attendees heard from different speakers and participated in a panel discussion.  Lunch was provided by Pilgrim’s.  

 

 

AREA BLOOD DRIVES       5/1/15

 

LifeShare Blood Centers will hold several blood drives next week on the campuses of area high schools.

 

LifeShare is having a blood drive on Monday, May 4th, at the De Queen High School from 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. in the school Atrium; on Tuesday, May 5th at the Umpire High School on the bloodmobile from 1 to 6 p.m.; and on Wednesday, May 6th at the Dierks High School from 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. on the bloodmobile.

 

About one in seven people who enter a hospital will need a blood product. One blood donation, which is approximately one pint of blood, can save up to three lives.

 

For more information, call 903-794-3173 or visit their website at www.lifeshare.org. 

 

 

 

DE QUEEN DOLPHINS TO HOLD ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING     5/1/15

 

Earlier this week, members, of the De Queen Dolphins swim team, stopped by the KDQN studios to invited area swimmers to an organizational meeting. Team members Alec Lowrey and Ashley Dykes said the meeting is Monday, May 11th at the city pool at 6 p.m.

 

Lowrey and Dykes said there were about 50 swimmers last year, but anyone can sign up if they can swim a recognizable stroke for one length of the pool.

 

For more information, call Coach Teri Chapman at 870-289-2871.

 

 

 

DEFENSE TEAM ASKS FOR MISTRIAL IN HOWARD RE-TRIAL     5/1/15

 

Wednesday afternoon, a defense attorney asked for a mistrial after hearing testimony from the state's medical examiner in the retrial of a man accused of killing an Ashdown couple and attempting to murder their infant son in 1997.

 

45-year-old Tim Howard has spent almost 16 years in prison after being convicted in 1999 by a jury in Little River County for the murders of Brian and Shannon Day. Howard received two death sentences plus an additional 30-years after begin found guilty of attempted capital murder and two counts of capital murder.

 

The defense asked for the mistrial after the state medical examiner failed to provide the defense with a copy of some lab notes that were misplaced in February 2014, but later placed in the crime lab's report.

 

The prosecutor argued the notes didn't amount to evidence that Howard's lawyers could have used to defend him and thus asked the judge to deny the request for a mistrial.

 

 

 

DIERKS SCHOOL DISTRICT ACCEPTS 17 SCHOOL CHOICE TRANSFERS     5/1/15

 

During the April meeting of the Dierks Board of Education, board members approved the transfer of 17 students into the district by way of the Public School Choice Act.

 

Superintendent Holly Cothern informed KDQN that the board also voted to change the district's policies to reflect their approval of the new Public School Choice Act. She said the district will publish the new policy in the board's policies, the student handbooks and the district's website.

 

Board members also approved the re-employment of the district's classified staff members.

 

Cothern reported the district received a letter grade of B for both the high school and the elementary schools. She said this shows the district is doing a good job closing the achievement gap between TAG and non-TAG students.

 

Cothern also announced the district would be receiving an increase in state funding, based on student growth.

 

Cothern said the academic banquet will be held on Tuesday, May 5th and graduation is Monday, May 18th.

 

 

 

TRIAL BY JURY PROGRAM AT WASHINGTON STATE PARK SATURDAY    5/1/15

 

Historic Washington State Park is hosting a brand new "Trial by Jury" program this Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m.

 

Guests are invited to experience justice in 1880 Washington, as you take part in a new twist on the Trial by Jury series. This trial is a re-enactment of an actual murder trail that took place in the 1874 courthouse.

 

The program also includes a meal, but reservations are required. Cost of the program is $25 for adults and $20 for children under the age of 14.

 

For more information, contact the Historic Washington State Park at 870-983-2684.

 

 

 

VANDERVOORT ELEMENTARY KINDERGARTEN, PRESCHOOL AND ABC REGISTRATION     5/1/15

 

Vandervoort Kindergarten, Preschool and ABC registration for the 2015-2016 school year will be held Monday through Friday, May 4th through May 8th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 

Parents of Kindergarten students will register in the elementary office. Preschool and ABC parents will register their children in the Preschool and ABC classrooms.

 

Parents are asked to bring a birth certificate or other legal document, Social Security card, immunization records and physical exam documentation.

 

Kindergarten students must be 5 years old on or before August 1st. Children, ages two and a half to five, may attend Preschool and children 3 to 5 may attend the ABC program.

 

Pre-Kindergarten Day for students who will be attending the Vandervoort Kindergarten is Friday, May 8th. Students are invited to spend Friday morning at school getting acquainted with the teachers and classrooms before starting Kindergarten in August.

 

Parents may bring their children to school at 9 a.m. and they will need to be picked up at noon. Students will also eat lunch in the cafeteria.

 

If your child has not been enrolled in the ABC or Preschool program, send $3 for lunch or send a packed lunch.

 

 

AHS Trap Shooting Team Wins First Place at Hospice of Hope Top Gun Shootout   05/01/15

Ashdown High School's Trap Shooting Team 1 took first place in the Hospice of Hope Top Gun Shootout on Friday, April 17, in a field of 20 schools at the Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center near Columbus, Arkansas.

The five-man team from Ashdown High School shot a 231 out of a possible perfect 250, leading one of the event organizers to describe them as "amazing."  The same five-man team, all ninth graders at AHS this year, also won the state championship last year as eighth graders at the Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports Program (AYSSP) Junior State Tournament on June 6, 2014, winning all six rounds in the bracket.

The winning team members are Trevor Myers, Alex Simmons, Logan Henry, Jon Michael Molock, and Jordan Cowling, who are coached by Mike Molock and Ray Henry and were sponsored in the Top Gun Shootout by Domtar.  AHS Shooting Team 2 also competed in the tournament and were sponsored by H. E. Wright & Sons Construction.  Other results from the Top Gun Shootout include Nashville High School - second place, and Caddo Hills and Genoa Central tying for third. 

The trap shoot fundraiser benefits Hospice of Hope and Texarkana, who are celebrating 30 years of non-profit service this year, and raised approximately $18,000 towards the construction of the new Hospice of Texarkana's Inpatient Care Center, the in-house facility being constructed near the Christus-St. Michael Fitness Center in Texarkana.  "This facility will be a real asset to our community," states Jerry Thomas, Hospice of Texarkana's vice president.

Presenting sponsor for the Top Gun Shootout was SWEPCO, Tyson Foods was food sponsor, and Edward Jones and Century 21 Team Texarkana were premier sponsors.  "Stephanie Brazill and Cindy Marsh with Hospice were instrumental in helping put the event on," says Thomas, who continued, "Ken King, Tom Moore, Pete Snow, Joe Schoen, Judy Gray and Bubba Powers were the committee who worked on this for months."   He expressed appreciation to all team sponsors and all other sponsors for their contributions and for "how much they helped in making this event a huge success."

Shown above:  Ashdown High School Trap Shooting Team 1 members in the picture are (l to r) Trevor Myers, Alex Simmons, Logan Henry, Jon Michael Molock, and Jordan Cowling.

 

Submitted by Carolyn Henderson

 

Arkansas Education Commissioner Visits De Queen Schools   05/01/15

Former De Queen High School graduate Victor P. Rojas coordinated a school visit by state officials.  Education Commissioner Johnny Key, Representative Warwick Sabin, Representative DeAnn Vaught, State Board of Education member Mireya Reith, and Arkansas United Community Coalition (AUCC) liaison Omar Gallardo visited with principals and teachers at De Queen Public Schools.  The group fielded questions concerning the future on Common Core State Standards and other education topics.  Afterwards, the group toured De Queen’s campuses and observed several classrooms.

Mrs. Reith is the Executive Director of Arkansas United Community Coalition.  This is Arkansas’s first nonprofit organization at the state level that works with immigration issues.  She will continue to serve on the Arkansas State Board of Education through 2018.  Mr. Omar Gallardo is a graduate of De Queen High School.

Rep. Sabin said he enjoyed the visit and would talk with his colleagues on the House Education Committee about arranging a legislative meeting at De Queen Schools. 

The district has been recognized for its high math and literacy scores. The Education Policy Office at the University of Arkansas says De Queen Schools are "high-achieving".


Pictured left to right at De Queen Primary School are Shyamala Naik, Terri Hill, Mireya Reith, Warwick Sabin, DeAnn Vaught, Johnny Key, Victor P. Rojas, Omar Gallardo, Patti Clay, and seated is Alisha Tatum



 

Submitted by Victor J. Rojas & Tammy Whatley

Ashdown school honors volunteers    05/01/15

Teachers and staff at Margaret Daniel Primary School in Ashdown hosted a reception on April 28 to say "Thank you to our wonderful MDP volunteers," states MDP Principal Kay York.  

"We have documented over 120 volunteers for MDP," York continues. "I know there are more.  We have so many community people that help us that I am sure we failed to include."  She also expressed how invaluable the assistance provided by the volunteers is and how they make school better for everyone.  

Pictured attending the reception are volunteers (from l to r) Reverend Milton Dent, Billy Cox, Kathy Smith, Becky Reynolds, Gloria Potts, Nan Beedle, Diane Babb, Martha Wright, Ginger Hillis, Edith Cox, Kiley Cody, Stacy Barker, and Jeane Pearson.

 Submitted by Carolyn Henderson

 

 

AGFC CONDUCTING STUDY ON DIERKS LAKE       4/30/15

 

Biologists in southwest Arkansas are currently conducting a study on Dierks Lake in Howard County to determine annual catch rates of crappie.

 

Many crappie were tagged with special blue tags behind the dorsal fin and released in January.

 

Anglers who catch one of these fish are encouraged to do whatever they would normally do with the fish and keep the tag. They can then call the phone number on the tag and answer a few questions about their fishing experience.

 

Results from this study will be used to determine the percentage of crappie removed from the population each year and will be used in the future to help manage the lakes productivity for years to come.

 

 

 

 

 

ARKANSAN FINDS 3.69-CARAT WHITE DIAMOND      4/30/15

 

Susie Clark of Evening Shade, Arkansas discovered a 3.69-carat diamond on her second visit to the Crater of Diamonds State Park on April 23rd.

 

Clark found the white diamond near the South Washing Pavilion on the diamond search area on the surface of the field after she asked God, to bless her and let her find a diamond. She said shortly after her prayer, she saw the diamond sticking out of a furrow ridge in the plowed dirt.

 

Since Clark found the teardrop-shaped diamond after saying her prayer, she named it the Hallelujah Diamond.

 

According to Park Interpreter Waymon Cox, the diamond is about the size of a pinto bean. He said the gem is frosted white with a pearlescent metallic shine.

 

The Hallelujah Diamond is the largest diamond found so far this year and it is the largest diamond found since April 16th, 2014 when a 6.19-carat white diamond, which was named the Limitless Diamond, was found at the park. It is also the 122nd diamond found this year.

 

Cox noted the park has experienced a lot of rain over the past couple of weeks, plus the park maintenance staff plowed the search field earlier in the week, which loosens the diamond-bearing soil and helps bring more diamonds to the surface.

 

Cox stated with all the rain, there is a good chance for more diamonds to be found on the surface in the days to come. He explained that diamonds are a bit heavy for their size and they lack static electricity, so rainfall slides the dirt off the diamonds leaving them exposed on the surface.

 

For more information about the Crater of Diamonds State Park, call 870-285-3113 or visit their website www.craterofdiamondstatepark.com.

 

 

 

ARKANSAS EDUCATION COMMISSIONER VISITS DE QUEEN SCHOOL      4/30/15

 

Former De Queen High School graduate Victor Rojas coordinated a school visit by several state officials.

 

Last Friday, Education Commissioner Johnny Key, Representative Warwick Sabin, Representative DeAnn Vaught, State Board of Education member Rireya Reith and Arkansas United Community Coalition liaison Omar Gallardo visited with principals and teachers of the De Queen Public Schools.

 

The group also fielded questions concerning the future of Common Core State Standards and other education topics.

 

Afterwards, the group toured De Queen’s campuses and observed several classrooms.

 

Representative Sabin stated he enjoyed the visit and would recommend holding a legislative meeting of the House Education Committee on the De Queen campuses.

 

The district has also been recognized for its high math and literacy scores by the Education Policy Office at the University of Arkansas. The De Queen School District is ranked as a high-achieving district.

 

Reith is the Executive Director of the Arkansas United Community Coalition, which is Arkansas’ first nonprofit organization at the state level that works with immigration issues. She also serves on the Arkansas State Board of Education.

 

Gallardo is a graduate of De Queen High School.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN GIRL SCOUT SEEKING DESTINATION TRIP       4/30/15

 

De Queen High School junior Destiny Kimmel has been a Girl Scout since she was five years old, so, this year, she has signed up for a Girl Scout Destination trip.

 

Girl Scout Destination trips can either be nationally or internationally. The purpose of the trips is to connect girls from around the world.

 

Girl Scout Destination trips are reserved for Girl Scouts of a certain age and Kimmel signed up for a trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

 

Kimmel and 17 other girls will experience the trip together. They will kayak thorough a bioluminescent bay, hike through the cloud rainforest and help restore part of the Old San Juan community.

 

Cost of the trip is around $3,000, not including round trip airfare and Kimmel is seeking donations from area residents to help her fulfill her destiny.

 

Kimmel announced she would be willing to work as a paid intern, but for more information contact her at 582-2310.

 

 

 

SCHOOL DISTRICT REPORT CARDS       4/29/15

 

Earlier this month, the state department of education released a report card for each school district in Arkansas.

 

According to the report, every school in the De Queen School District earned a B, while the Ashdown School District received a D for the Margaret Daniel Primary and CD Franks Elementary, a C for the L.F. Henderson Intermediate School, a D for the junior high and a B for the high school.

 

According to Ashdown School District Superintendent Jason Sanders, the report looks simple because each school is assigned a letter grade, but how the grade was determined is actually a very complex formula.

 

Sanders explained student test scores accounts for only 25 percent of the formula; another 25 percent of the formula depends on how well TAG students are performing.

 

Sanders said the district's graduation rate helped area high schools, even if the high school included 7th through 9th grades and the final part of the report card puzzle deals with the scoring gap between TAG and non-TAG students.

 

Sanders said he understands how the report card looks, but he can assure the parents of Ashdown students, the school is providing a quality education.

 

De Queen Superintendent Bruce Hill said he was happy with the score, because it reflects on the work of the district's students, teachers and administration.

 

The Horatio School District received an A for the high school and a C for the elementary, while Foreman received a C for the high school and a B for the elementary.

 

 

 

KIAMICHI OWA-CHITO WILL HOLD THE BATTLE OF THE BANDS AT BEAVERS BEND STATE PARK       4/29/15

 

The Kiamichi Owa-Chito will hold the Battle of the Bands at the Beavers Bend State Park on Thursday, June 18th at 6 p.m.

 

The Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce is currently accepting entries until May 1st. At the time bands submit their entry form, they must also submit a $50 entry fee that will be refunded if your band is not chosen.

 

Bands will be notified on or before May 15th whether they have been chosen or not.

 

Only five bands will be chosen to perform to participate in the Battle of the Bands and only one band will win. The Grand Prize winner will receive $1,000 and they will have the opportunity to open for Mac Powell on Saturday night.

 

Entry forms may be downloaded from the chamber’s website at www.brokenbowchamber.com.

 

For more information call the chamber director, Charity O’Donnell, at 580-584-3393 or Brad Box at 580-579-9783. 

 

 

 

UA COSSATOT STUDENT IS NAMED VICE PRESIDENT OF DISTRICT PTK   04/29/15

 Brettny Lynch, UA Cossatot Student and the Public Relations Secretary for UA Cossatot’s Beta Beta Omega chapter of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, was recently appointed Vice President of the Central District. 

The Oklahoma-Arkansas Region’s Central District has 41 chapters in two states.  Lynch will serve for a one year term. 

Lynch, a Sevier County native, graduated from Lockesburg High School in 2001.  Currently pursuing UA Cossatot’s Associate of Arts in Teaching degree, pre-K through 4th, she plans to utilize Southern Arkansas University’s extension program through UA Cossatot to earn her BA in teaching Pre-K through 6th grade.

“Brettny is the eldest of a dozen siblings and is a natural leader,” said Ally Deen, UA Cossatot’s Phi Theta Kappa Advisor.  “In addition to PTK, she currently serves as a UAC Student Ambassador and is active in her community.”

Lynch and Deen traveled to the PTK Annual International Convention in San Antonio, Texas this past  week. 

 

AHS TRAP SHOOTING TEAM WINS FIRST PLACE AT HOSPICE OF HOPE TOP GUN SHOOTOUT  04/29/15

Ashdown High School's Trap Shooting Team 1 took first place in the Hospice of Hope Top Gun Shootout on Friday, April 17, in a field of 20 schools at the Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center near Columbus, Arkansas.

The five-man team from Ashdown High School shot a 231 out of a possible perfect 250, leading one of the event organizers to describe them as "amazing."  The same five-man team, all ninth graders at AHS this year, also won the state championship last year as eighth graders at the Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports Program (AYSSP) Junior State Tournament on June 6, 2014, winning all six rounds in the bracket.

The winning team members are Trevor Myers, Alex Simmons, Logan Henry, Jon Michael Molock, and Jordan Cowling, who are coached by Mike Molock and Ray Henry and were sponsored in the Top Gun Shootout by Domtar.  AHS Shooting Team 2 also competed in the tournament and were sponsored by H. E. Wright & Sons Construction.  Other results from the Top Gun Shootout include Nashville High School - second place, and Caddo Hills and Genoa Central tying for third. 

The trap shoot fundraiser benefits Hospice of Hope and Texarkana, who are celebrating 30 years of non-profit service this year, and raised approximately $18,000 towards the construction of the new Hospice of Texarkana's Inpatient Care Center, the in-house facility being constructed near the Christus-St. Michael Fitness Center in Texarkana.  "This facility will be a real asset to our community," states Jerry Thomas, Hospice of Texarkana's vice president.

Presenting sponsor for the Top Gun Shootout was SWEPCO, Tyson Foods was food sponsor, and Edward Jones and Century 21 Team Texarkana were premier sponsors.  "Stephanie Brazill and Cindy Marsh with Hospice were instrumental in helping put the event on," says Thomas, who continued, "Ken King, Tom Moore, Pete Snow, Joe Schoen, Judy Gray and Bubba Powers were the committee who worked on this for months."   He expressed appreciation to all team sponsors and all other sponsors for their contributions and for "how much they helped in making this event a huge success."

 

AHS DRAMA TO PRESENT MURDER MYSTERY DINNER THEATRE  04/29/15

An online review describes the two-act murder mystery comedy play "Murder Me Always" by Lee Mueller like this:  "During a very bad performance of 'Murder Me Always' , an actual murder takes place off stage. The Director is shot. The 'fake' play comes to a screeching halt and a 'real' murder mystery begins."

So that's how the murder mystery dinner theatre presented by the drama department of Ashdown High School will begin.  The public performance of the production will be on Thursday, May 7, in the AHS cafeteria at 6:00 p.m, with a full dinner being served.  Admission cost is $10 for adults and $6 for students; reservations may be made by calling 870-898-3562, ext.#1002. 

The drama students will also perform the play for the AHS students at 1:00 on May 7, when tickets will be $6, and a drink, snack and dessert will be served.  Tickets must be purchased in advance at the school office.

The play, since it is a murder mystery dinner theatre, will revolve around the audience, with "Detective Joe Mamet" (played by Logan Trafford) staking out the audience during his investigation.  Other actors in the play will also interact with the audience to discover if "one of these very bad actors is really a very bad person."

Drama teacher Jennifer Walker hopes for a good attendance to see the drama students' spring play and encourages everyone to call for reservations to see this "art imitating life" production.

 

 

LEVEL 4 SEX OFFENDER IN DE QUEEN  04/28/15

Edwin James (Level 4 sex offender)
606 North 2nd Street
De Queen, Arkansas 71832

THIS OFFENDER IS NOT WANTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT AT THIS TIME.

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

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

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

INDUSTRIAL LEADERS ​PARTNER TOGETHER FOR ​MORE SKILLED AND TECHNICAL FUTURE 04/28/15

Area students, teachers, and administrators assembled at the CCCUA Barbara Horn Civic Center on Friday, April 24, to hear area industry professionals speak in an Industry Partnership Meeting about career and technical education. Introduced by Career and Technical Education Coordinator Stacy Southerland of the DMESC, newly appointed Arkansas Commissioner of Education Johnny Key  praised teachers, schools, and community colleges in southwest Arkansas saying that these professionals have already been modifying classroom instruction to meet industry needs.

Dr. Steve Cole, Chancellor of UA Cossatot, informed the over 100 attendees that UA Cossatot has worked hard to bring industry education to our area. In the fall of 2015, CCCUA will be offering an Occupational Therapy Assistant program, Physical Therapy Assistant program, Culinary Arts, and HVAC maintenance, along with many others. In further comments, Dr. Cole described how UA Cossatot will be partnering with Ashdown High School, Foreman High School and the Texarkana Area Vocational Center to bring secondary career center educational programs to the UA Cossatot campus saying, “That’s how we change the workforce in Southwest Arkansas.”

After being led through labor and market statistics in the area of Little River, Howard, and Sevier Counties by Ray Henson of Arkansas Career Education, Andrew Parker of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce shared information on the state’s Be Pro, Be Proud initiative  -- educating students at an early age to be proactive in their education -- finding skills over multiple competencies that inevitably will come up every single day in workforce life.

Industry Partnership panel members included Dr. Steve Cole, Chancellor - UA Cossatot; James (JJ) Jackson, Director of Recruiting & Public Relations - Smiles of Arkansas Dental Center; Ken Young, complex HR Manager - Tyson Foods, Inc.; Jimmy Ivers, Training & Organizational Development Manager -Domtar; Sharon Peterson, Complex Human Resource Manager - Pilgrim’s; Clint Nelson, Production Superintendent - Ash Grove Cement Company; Debra Wright, CEO - Howard Memorial Hospital; and Billy Pearce, Quality & Control Supervisor - Weyerhaeuser Company. Also attending were Representative DeAnn Vaught, Little River Chamber of Commerce Director Fonda Hawthorne, and Little River County Judge Mike Cranford, and leading the panel discussion was industry professional Loren Hinton, Radio Broadcasting Instructor for UA Cossatot.

Ray Henson

 

Steve Cole, JJ Jackson, Ken Young, Sharon Peterson, and Clint Nelson

 

 

 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE FROM DEANN VAUGHT       4/28/15

 

4th District Representative DeAnn Vaught reported the 90th Regular Session officially adjourned last week, but legislators are far from completing their service to their constitutes.

 

One hundred and fourteen bills were referred to interim study. Topics to be studied include everything from taxing e-cigarettes to expanding the use of telemedicine in the state.

 

These topics will be considered by the legislators 10 standing committees, once a month during the interim.

 

Several task forces were also established. Task forces will review Health Reform and Common Core education standards, as well as, highway funding, computer science and prison reform measures.

 

In addition, joint committees and the Legislative Joint Auditing Committee and subcommittees will meet frequently. These committees will review changes to rules and regulations of state agencies, in addition to the financial operations of state agencies, departments and institutions.

 

Vaught said she and other legislators are still available to assist their constituents with difficulties arising from government regulations.

 

 

 

KIAMICHI OWA-CHITO ANNOUNCES MAC POWELL TO HEADLINE THIS YEARS FESTIVAL      4/28/15

 

Mac Powell will headline the 43rd Annual Kiamichi Owa-Chito Festival of the Forest on Saturday, June 20th at 8:15 p.m.

 

Mac Powell, the lead singer of the contemporary Christian band Third Day, is now embarking on building a career as a solo country artist also. His release of the country solo album, Southpaw, shows country fans a taste of his warm Georgia draw with both high-octane southern rock and beautifully rendered ballads.

 

This year's festival chairman, Brad Box, asked Kiamichi Owa-Chito Festival Facebook fans to vote on who they would like to see at this year's festival, back in the fall and when Mac Powell received the most votes, Box went to work trying to secure him.

 

Mac Powell is a big star in Christian music circles, but he's taking the hard road as a country solo artist. The Alabama native has fronted Christian rockers Third Day for three decades, winning four Grammy Awards and amassing a huge international audience. And while Powell is still fully committed to the group, he stepped outside of those confines in 2012 for a country solo album that displayed his penchant for more traditional Southern sounds. He has recently followed up with 'Southpaw,' his sophomore country solo album. Powell isn't just dipping his toe into commercial country-pop, he's gone all-in with a rootsy album that displays a stronger dedication to the roots of the genre than the majority of what you'll year on country radio today, featuring contributions from Travis Tritt, Darius Rucker and Kristian Bush of Sugarland.

 

Kiamichi Owa-Chita is a three day festival held annually on the 3rd weekend of June at Beaver's Bend State Park. Each night features entertainment and Friday and Saturday feature lots of activities and entertainment, making the weekend a great family gathering. Most of the events and activities are offered free to the public.

 

Kiamichi Owa-Chito is well underway for this year, many of the event entry forms and vendor forms are on the Broken Bow Chamber website ready to be downloaded and filled out. Event organizers are also bringing back the Battle of the Bands Competition this year. The event will be held on Thursday night and the winner of the Battle of the Bands Competition will open for Powell on Saturday night.

 

For more information, visit the chamber website, www.brokenbowchamber.com.

 

 

 

CONSUMER ALERT: BE RESPONSIBLE      4/27/15

 

In an effort to keep our communities safe, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is encouraging those who consume alcohol to do it responsibly.

 

April is Alcohol Responsibility Awareness Month and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility is asking everyone to learn more about the importance of alcohol responsibility. This month is also a good time to remind Arkansans about the dangers of drinking and driving.

 

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the number of drunk driving fatalities in Arkansas has dropped 27 percent since 2009, but alcohol is still a factor in more than a quarter of all traffic deaths across the State.

 

The Foundation notes that car crashes are one of the leading causes of death among teens, and in 2013, 29 percent of young adults killed in crashes had a blood level of .01 or higher. Also in 2013, Arkansas had more than 120 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities, with 16 of those involving impaired drivers under the age of 21. During that same time period, 7,800 Arkansans were arrested for driving under the influence.

 

Rutledge’s office advises parents to begin talking with their children about alcohol consumption when they are old enough to ask questions about what their parents are drinking or ask to taste. The conversation should continue through college to make sure teens and young adults know the health and safety risks of over consumption and impaired driving.

 

Rutledge also offered these tips for consumers who make the choice to consume alcohol: designate a non-drinking driver; don’t let your friends drive impaired; if you’ve been drinking, get a ride home; and if you’re hosting a party, remind your guests to plan ahead and offer alcohol-free beverages.

 

For consumer related questions, contact the attorney general’s consumer protection division at 1-800-482-8982.

 

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY 4-H HOLDS INDOOR O-RAMA      4/27/15

 

Sevier County 4-H held their Indoor O-Rama on April 14th.

 

Aaron Morris presented a speech about how to select the best show goat and Amber Morris presented a demonstration speech where she showed how to make deviled eggs.

 

Aubrey Seymour modeled an outfit in the Fashion Revue-purchased casual category and Attalee Frachiseur modeled an outfit in the Fashion Revue-purchased dressy category.

 

They all will now have the opportunity to compete at the next level in the District O-Rama. The district competition will be held in Gurdon this June.

 

 

The winners from the 4-H Indoor O'Rama pictured L to R: Aaron Morris, Aubrey Seymour, Amber Morris, and Attalee Frachiseur. 

 

 

DIERKS CITY COUNCIL PASSES THREE RESOLUTIONS CONCERNING LEGISLATIVE AUDIT FINDINGS      4/24/15

Dierks Mayor Terry Mounts reported the City of Dierks received its Legislative audit recently and needed to pass a few resolutions to bring the city into compliance.

Mounts explained a Legislative audit is conducted every two years and all of the findings were for minor issues.

Mounts also reported the city’s street overlay project has been completed and he said he plans to re-apply for another street grant.

Mounts said the city also signed a contract with an accounting firm from Arkadelphia to conduct their yearly audits of the city’s water and sewer departments.

The next meeting of the Dierks City Council will be Monday, May 4th in the city building.




NATIONAL DRUG TAKE BACK DAY IS SATURDAY      4/24/15

Saturday, April 25th, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., the Sevier County Sheriff’s office will be participating in the National Drug Take-Back Day at the sheriff’s office, which is located at 137 Robinson Road in De Queen.

Deputies will be collecting expired, unused and unwanted medications in the state’s 10th Take Back event.

The drop off is completely anonymous and no questions will be asked and medications may be returned in any container or removed from the original pill bottles for increased privacy. Area residents may drop-off prescription medications, over the counter drugs and vitamins and other nutritional supplements.

A sheriff’s department spokesperson said the point of this program is to provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of medications, while also educating residents about the potential of prescription drug abuse.

It’s also a great time to clean out your medicine cabinet to protect kids, families and the environment by properly disposing of unwanted and expired medications.

According to a study by the Drug Enforcement Agency, medicines in the home are a leading cause of accidental poisoning and medication that is flushed or trashed can end up polluting the water supply.

If you are unable to dispose of your expired or unwanted medications on Saturday, residents may stop by the Sevier County Sheriff’s office anytime between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and dispose of your medications in the med return box in the lobby of the sheriff’s office.



HOO-RAH FOR RELAY EVENT IS SATURDAY     4/24/15

 

Sevier County Relay for Life Chairperson Emmy Bailey announced Wednesday afternoon that Relay for Life would be holding a kick-off event called Hoo-Rah for Relay this Saturday in the old rock gym behind the De Queen Junior High School.

Bailey said there is no admission cost, but it will cost a little to play the games.

 

This year's Survivor's Dinner will be Friday, May 8th at the De Queen Church of Christ.

 

Bailey said they were also still accepting orders for flamingo flocking and if you would like to purchase luminaries or make a donation to Relay for Life, call her at 870-784-3053, or visit the KDQN.net website and print an order form. 

 

 

 

MALLORY MILLER AWARDED DEBRA MCMASTER SOFTBALL SCHOLARSHIP      4/24/15

 

De Queen senior softball shortstop, Mallory Miller, has been awarded a $500 academic scholarship by the Debra McMasters Memorial Scholarship committee.

 

According to Todd Finley of the Spring Hill School District, McMasters was killed in June of 2010 during the flood at the Albert Pike campgrounds. Finley said McMasters was a math teacher in the Spring Hill School District and the Debra McMasters Scholarship softball tournament was formed to honor her legacy and to help fund scholarships for area softball players.

 

According to the committee, it’s a one-time scholarship that recipients may use during their freshman year of college.

 

Others in the area that received a McMasters Memorial Scholarship were Stephanie Stuart of Dierks and Mattie Jamison of Nashville.

 

 

ASHDOWN BOARD OF EDUCATION HIRES NEW HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL      4/23/15

 

Ashdown Superintendent Jason Sanders reported he updated the Ashdown Board of Education concerning the use agreement between the district and the Ashdown Alumni Committee about converting the Target building into an Alumni House.

 

Sanders also informed KDQN that Ashdown School Board members, Rosa Bowman and Dorothy Henderson were honored for their service after they were featured in a recent addition of Report Card Magazine.

 

Sanders also announced that Mark Pounds has been hired by the board as the new high school principal.

 

Board members also accepted Sanders recommendation to renew the contracts of the certified and classified personnel.

 

 

 

ATTORNEY GENERAL TO HOLD FREEDOM OF INFORMATION TELE-MEETING       4/23/15

 

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge will hold a statewide tele-town hall meeting Thursday at 3 p.m. to educate the public about the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.

 

The meeting will be the first in a series of informational meetings, both traditional and webcast, to inform Arkansans about the state's Freedom of Information Act.

 

If you are interested in participating, sign up by emailing foia@arkansasag.gov with your name, telephone number and city.

 

However, individuals don't have to sign up in advance. To participate, call 1-855-756-7520 and enter extension 28434 at the beginning of the presentation.

 

Participates will be given an opportunity to ask Rutledge questions related to the Freedom of Information Act.

 

Print copies of the 16th edition of the Arkansas Freedom of Information Handbook are available upon request from the attorney general's office, and an electronic copy of the handbook is available on the attorney general's website by visiting arkansasag.gov/media-center/foia.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL APPROVES TRUCK SWAP       4/23/15

 

Tuesday night during a meeting of the De Queen City Council, aldermen approved swapping trucks with Sevier County.

 

Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy reported the county wants a dump truck that belongs to the city because it has brackets on the frame that the county can mount a snow plow to. The city will receive a flatbed truck from the county.

 

McKelvy stated city department heads also continued to present long-term capital needs to the city council and aldermen approved increasing an appropriation for a concrete paving project behind the fire station from $13,000 to $14,700 and $8,000 for the installation of a fire hydrant on Treating Plant Road.

 

McKelvy also announced there will be a public hearing on May 5th concerning Pilgrim's petition to abandon four sections of city streets around the plant.

 

The streets in question are Third Street from south of Wallace to Red Bridge Road; Red Bridge Road from Third Street to the KCS railroad tracks; Lake Avenue from Fourth Street to Third Street; and Collins Avenue from Fourth Street to Third Street.

 

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY'S ANNUAL 4-H RABIES CLINIC      4/23/15

 

The Arkansas Department of Health has confirmed one case of rabies in a skunk this year in Sevier County and the health department is encouraging residents to take advantage of area rabies clinics because Arkansas law requires that all dogs and cats three-months and older be vaccinated against rabies.

 

This year's, Sevier County 4-H rabies clinic has been scheduled for the week of May 4th through May 9th and will be conducted by Dr. Kenny Martin of the De Queen Animal Hospital.

 

The cost is $7 for dogs and cats. Dr. Martin will also be administering the DHLPP shot for dogs and the FVRCP and FELUK shots for cats.

 

This year, the clinic will be held at the Gillham Fire Department on Monday, May 4th from 3:30 to 5 p.m.; on Tuesday, May 5th at the Lockesburg Park Pavilion from 3:30 to 5; on Thursday, May 7th at the Horatio Volunteer Fire Department from 3:30 to 5; in De Queen at the Herman Dierks Park on Friday, May 8th from 3 to 5 p.m. and on Saturday, May 9th from 8 to 11 a.m.

 

For each rabies shot given during the week, a donation will be made to the Sevier County 4-H clubs. But, if you have any questions, you may call the Sevier County Extension office at 870-584-3013 or the De Queen Animal Hospital at 870-642-8387.

 

 

ROTARY ACADEMIC AWARDS     04/22/15

 

The De Queen Rotary Club annually recognizes outstanding students at De Queen High School with the Rotary Academic Awards. Each recipient received a plaque for being named the outstanding student in each subject area. Each student may receive only one award. De Queen High School Principal Roger Busse announced that Jacob Bunyard was the Valedictorian, and Lucee Lugo was the Salutatorian of the Class of 2015 at De Queen High School, and Mr. Busse presented academic awards to the following students at Wednesday’s noon meeting at Fat Chance’s Restaurant:

 

English 12 – Miriam Dominguez

Biology – Maria Dominguez

English Composition – Kaylene Smith

Geometry – Samantha Antley

Spanish II – Nereyda San Juan

Spanish III – Miguel Morales

Spanish IV – Maria Pacheco

A.P. Literature – Shayde Kitchens

Physics – Kenzie Tatta

A.P. Calculus – Cheng Long Lin

A.P. Language & Composition – Jessica Rogers

Chemistry – Jacob Glasgow

A.P. Biology – Jacob Bunyard

College Algebra – Lucee Lugo

Pre A.P. History – Italia Bustamante

American History – DeAnna Johnson

Pre A.P. English 10 – Addison Stewart

English II – Irais Escalante

World History – McKenzie Jones

A.P. Art – Karen Perez

Pre A.P. Biology – Tori Roberson

A.P. U.S. History – Esmeralda Verdin

English 10 – Martha Mosqueda

Trigonometry – Krisha Patel

Algebra II – Jin Lin

 

 

Fiber Optic line to boost Internet service locally     04/22/15

Folks around De Queen have been noticing some cable-installation activity that may result in improved Internet access for the area.

Contractors are installing 26.2 miles of fiber optic cable to connect remote boxes out in rural areas to the telephone office in De Queen. The fiber optic line will be replacing copper wires. In De Queen, the cable is being strung overhead on poles. Out in the rural areas, where it’s practical to dig, lines are being buried. Fiber installation should be complete by August, a company spokesman said by phone last week.

In addition to the fiber optic line, seven of the remote cabinets around the county will be upgraded this fall. Cabinet hardware will be upgraded by end of the year.

The work should result in increased Internet speeds for rural customers.

The project is funded through the Connect America Funds, a federal program to expand robust broadband service to Americans in rural, high-cost areas. Windstream received $60.7 million in Connect America Funds last December. The Sevier County project is part of those funds.

A company spokesman said Windstream is matching the funds received from Connect America.

Here is the statement released by Windstream on Dec. 11, 2014 in regard to the CAF announcement. Source: http://news.windstream.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=1591

"Today, the FCC has taken another major step toward expanding robust broadband service to Americans in rural, high-cost areas. We are pleased the Commission acted to better align funding and buildout timeframes with the heightened speed requirement. We thank the Chairman, the commissioners and the dedicated FCC staff for advancing this important program. We look forward to reviewing the text of the order."

Submitted by Mayor Billy Ray Mckelvy

 

TWO DE QUEEN RESIDENTS ARRESTED ON DRUG CHARGES      4/22/15

 

Sunday night, law enforcement authorities arrested two De Queen residents following a 6-month investigation.

 

A spokesperson from the Sevier County Sheriff's Office reported Monday afternoon that 42-year-old Randall Alan Glasgow and 31-year-old Jennifer Caswell were arrested Sunday night after law enforcement authorities received a tip that the two were going to a particular location to pickup suspected methamphetamine.

 

After searching Glasgow's vehicle and interviewing both suspects, authorities obtained a search warrant for Glasgow's residence on Crooked Road in De Queen.

 

The warrant was executed Monday morning about 7 a.m. and turned up a huge amount of meth, numerous firearms, drug paraphernalia, including pipes, digital scales and packaging material for the distribution of meth, several items of stolen property and a large amount of cash.

 

Glasgow and Caswell are being held in the Sevier County jail after being charged with simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms, possession of meth with the purpose to deliver, maintaining a drug premises, possession of drug paraphernalia and receiving of stolen property.

 

The investigation and arrest was conducted by members of the Sevier County Sheriff's office, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, the South Central Drug Task Force, the Arkansas State Police and the De Queen Police Department.     

 

 

 

COMMON CORE LISTENING TOUR MAKING STOP IN TEXARKANA      4/22/15

 

Area residents will have an opportunity to voice their opinions about Common Core next month as the Governor’s Council on Common Core Review makes a stop in Texarkana.

 

The team will be at the Texarkana Four States Fairgrounds Fine Arts Building from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 5th.

 

Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin announced there would be five hearings in Little Rock regarding the Common Core education standards.

 

However, the council has scheduled a listening tour to get opinions from residents all across the state.

 

Diana Lowe of the Texarkana Arkansas School District is a member of the council, which includes educators, parents, business leaders and students from all over the state.

 

The tour also includes stops in Fort Smith and Hot Springs.

 

 

 

COSSATOT RIVER SCHOOL DISTRICT IMPLEMENTS IN-DISTRICT TRANSFER POLICY       4/22/15

 

Members of the Cossatot River School Board of Education approved an in-district transfer policy during their April meeting and Superintendent Donnie Davis said the policy will be published in the student handbooks and on the district's website in an attempt to inform parents of the new policy.

 

Davis mentioned the board renewed the contracts of the district's classified staff and the board voted to table the Umpire roofing project after reviewing the two bids that the district had received.

 

Board members also approved the purchase of 27 Dell computers for total cost of $13,864.23.

  

 

 

MOTHER AND SON HAVE SOME WORDS      4/22/15

 

On Friday, April 17th, officers with the De Queen Police Department were dispatched to a residence on Highway 71 North at Dogwood Plaza in response to a reported domestic dispute.

 

When Officer David Higgins arrived, he interviewed 33-year-old Michael Gilvarry who reported that he and his mom, 57-year-old Rebecca Randolf had been arguing in the vehicle.

 

Gilvarry stated his mother hit him in the throat and that he retaliated by hitting her on the right side of the head. He said his mom then stopped the car and told him to get out.

 

Randolf reported her son hit her first and that she retaliated by hitting him in the stomach. She said he reached over and shoved the car into park and grabbed the keys from the ignition.

 

Both, Gilvarry and Randolf were transported to the Sevier County jail and cited for assault in the third degree on a family member.     

 

PUBLIC HEARING MAY 5 ON PETITION TO ABANDON CITY STREETS IN PILGRIM’S PLANT  04/22/15

 The De Queen City Council has scheduled a public hearing at its Tuesday, May 5, regular council meeting to hear a request by Pilgrim’s for the City to abandon ownership of four sections of city streets that run through the plant.

In a letter dated March 2, Pilgrim’s requested that the city relinquish ownership of four sections of city streets. Pilgrim’s owns all property on both sides of the streets that would be affected.

 

Those streets are:

 Third Street from south of Wallace to Red Bridge Road

·         Red Bridge Road from Third Street to KCS Railroad tracks

·         Lake Avenue from Fourth Street to Third Street

·         Collins Avenue from Fourth Street to Third Street

 

Property owners within 300 feet of the affected streets will be notified by letter of the request and the public hearing date.

 

Representatives of Pilgrim’s will be at the hearing to answer any questions. The public is welcome to attend the public hearing on May 5 and make comments. The hearing will be held as the first item during the regular city council meeting.

 

ASHDOWN STUDENT-ATHLETE EARNS AAA SCHOLARSHIP     4/21/15

 

Ten high school seniors have been selected to receive a $1,000 college scholarship from the Arkansas Activities Association's 2014-2015 Scholar-Athlete Program.

 

In the girls' division, the winners are: Jada Beth Fricks of Ashdown in track, Nicole Smith of Jonesboro Westside in volleyball, Paige Hill of Sheridan in basketball, Kennady Kremers of Scranton in softball and Emily Carter of Hot Springs in soccer.

 

In the boys' division, the winners are Joshua Kester of Pocahontas in football, Andrew Woodward of Valley Springs in basketball, Huntington Chastain of Magazine in track, Drew Wilson of Trumann in baseball and Seth Murders of Mulberry in swimming.

 

This is the 21st year for the AAA Scholar-Athlete Program.

 

Each student-athlete had to meet the scholastic requirements of a 7-semester grade point average of 3.5 or higher and score at least a 21 on the ACT.

 

Fricks and the other scholarship winners will be honored at a luncheon on Monday, May 18th at the Holiday Inn Presidential Hotel in Downtown Little Rock at 11:30 a.m.

 

 

 

CACA TO HOST 44TH ANNUAL ART SHOW AND SALE     4/21/15

 

Shirley Tipton is the Horatio High School Art teacher and she is also the vice-president of the Cossatot Arts and Crafts Association.

 

Monday morning, Tipton stopped by the KDQN studios to discuss the association's 44th annual Art Show and Sale that will be held May 2nd and 3rd in the historic Old King School Building.

 

Tipton said the Horatio First Assembly of God Church will be providing concessions, serving a variety of food and baked goods.

 

According to Tipton, there will be an adult and student division and artist must deliver their art to the King School on Tuesday, April 28th between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Entry fees for the adult division are $5 for association members and $8 for non-members and $1 for students.

 

For more information, Tipton said you can contact the association at 642-2419 or 642-7170.

 

 

 

EIGHT SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS COUNTIES RECEIVE TURNBACK FUNDS FROM STATE      4/21/15

 

Arkansas turnback funds totaling $764,543.16 has been designated for eight counties in Southwest Arkansas, according to the Arkansas Commissioner of State Lands John Thurston.

 

Turnback funds include both collected taxes and excess proceeds from the sale of property, according to Thurston’s office.

 

The funds are sent to the counties and disbursed to help fund county services.

 

Sevier County will receive $103,668.90; Little River County will receive $18,033.79; and Miller County will receive $264,895.51.

 

Howard County will receive $29,523; Hempstead County will receive $84,413.56; and Pike County will receive $17,002.13.

 

 

 

LITTLE RIVER BAPTIST ASSOCIATION HOSTS MISSION EVENT IN ASHDOWN     4/21/15

 

First Baptist Church of Ashdown will be hosting a missions event on Saturday, April 25th for the Little River Baptist Association.

 

The Acts 1:8 event will begin at 9 a.m. and conclude at 4 p.m.

 

Eight teams will conduct prayer walks, hold children’s activities, visit with senior adults, conduct door to door evangelistic efforts, do yard work, hold a block party, participate in a jail ministry and hold a free car wash from 10 to 2.

 

Participates will be asked to choose from three of the eight teams in case their first choice is full.

 

Lunch will be provided and a celebration rally will be held at 3:30 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Ashdown.

 

Children age 12 and under are invited to participate but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and work on the same team as their parent. Youth ages 13 to 17 must have one adult sponsor per four youth and at least one adult must serve with each youth team.

 

For more information, contact the Little River Baptist Association at 870-845-3236 or call the First Baptist Church of Ashdown at 898-5196.

 

 

 

UA COSSATOT SOCCER COLTS TO HOST SOCCER CAMP      4/21/15

 

UA Cossatot soccer supporter Ericka Buenrrostro announced the UA Cossatot Colts soccer team will be holding a youth soccer camp May 16th and 23rd.

 

Buenrrostro stated league play starts in September and the proceeds from the camp will help cover the team’s travel expenses.

 

Buenrrostro said the camp will be lead by members of the UA Cossatot Colts soccer team and the cost of the camp is $25 per player.

 

The camp for first and second graders will be held on May 16th and the camp for third through fifth graders will be held on May 23rd.

 

 

DEDICATION OF NEW HORATIO LIONS BASEBALL SCOREBOARD    04/20/15

Dedication of the new Horatio High School Baseball Scoreboard was held Thursday, April 16, 2015 prior to the start of the Dierks Outlaws vs. Horatio Lions Game

Area businesses and organizations who provided funding for the new Scoreboard at Lane Field were recognized as a contributor, and a representative was allowed to throw out a ceremonial 1st pitch.

The Horatio High School Lions Baseball team expressed their thanks stating, "We are very grateful for your contribution toward the purchase of our scoreboard and appreciative of your support throughout the years.  Thank you!"

Pictured are-Left to Right: Horatio Lions Baseball Coach- Lance Spigner; CCCUA - Alisha Lewis; Annual Devoe Bollinger, Jr. Memorial Golf Tournament- Charlotte Izzo; Horatio State Bank- C.E. “Ned” Hendrix III, Liz Hendrix Trimble, Todd Trimble; not pictured- Coca Cola Bottling Co. of Nashville. 

 

 

AREA AGENCY ON AGING OF SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS TO PRESENT MEDICAL ETHICS FOR HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS AND FAMILY CAREGIVERS WITH JOHN ROSS AND LISA SHOALMIRE      4/20/15

 

The Area Agency on Aging of Southwest Arkansas and the UA Cossatot are proud to present a workshop on Medical and Legal Ethics for Health Care Providers and Family Caregivers on Friday, May 8th on the De Queen campus of UA Cossatot.

 

Elder Law Attorney's, Lisa Shoalmire and John Ross will cover such important topics as Powers of Attorney, End of Life Issues, Competency and Guardianship, VA Benefits and Medicaid Qualifications, and Estate Planning.

 

The workshop is approved by the Arkansas Office of Long Term Care for five and half continuing education hours.

 

Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Weyerhaeuser Room of the Skill Trades Building, with the workshop beginning at 9 and closing at 3:10 p.m.

 

Cost is $10 for those not wanting continuing education units or $20 for professionals seeking the continuing education hours. Registration should be submitted by Monday, May 4th, but for more information call 1-800-272-2127 or email Nancy Bailey at nbailey@aaaswa.net.

 

 

 

DRUG TAKE BACK DAY - APRIL 25TH      4/20/15

 

When kids first experiment with drugs, they usually don't get them from a dealer.

 

That's why the Sevier County Sheriff's Office will be hosting another Prescription Drug Take Back Day event on Saturday, April 25th in the lobby of the sheriff's office from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

 

Chief Deputy Chad Dowdle stated the event is completely anonymous and there will be no questions asked.

 

This event is to get unused, expired and unwanted prescription, over the counter and vitamins or other nutritional supplements out of local medicine cabinets.

 

According to a study that was published in April of 2013 by the Partnership at Drugfree.org and MetLife Foundation, more than 40 percent of teens who have misused or abused a prescription drug obtained them from their parents' medicine cabinets.

 

In the same study, 56 percent of teens described getting prescription drugs from their parents' medicine cabinets as "easy."

 

Since the state began helping residents rid their medicine cabinets of unwanted medications, Arkansans have destroyed over 62 tons of pills, thereby removing the potential for diversion and contributing to a significant reduction in the rate of Arkansas youth prescription drug abuse over the past three years.

 

 

 

LITTLE RIVER COUNTY CHAMBER AWARD WINNERS      4/20/15

 

Little River County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Fonda Hawthorne informed KDQN that this year's Chamber Awards banquet was a huge success.

 

Hawthorne said this year's event was held at the Barbara Horn Civic Center on the Ashdown campus of UA Cossatot and it featured awards presented to the Little River County Teachers of the Year and business awards.

 

The Ashdown Teacher of the Year was Becky Aylett and the Foreman Teacher of the Year was Jamie Smith.

 

The Little River County Renovation of the Year Award was presented to UA Cossatot and the Pleasant Manor Nursing and Rehab Center. The Small Business of the Year Award went to Southerland’s Country Store in Foreman and the Large Business of the Year went to Brookshire’s Grocery in Ashdown.

 

Hawthorne said this year's banquet featured the newly named Clayton Castleman Public Service Award and the Steve Pearce Citizen of the Year Award.

 

The Clayton Castleman Public Service Award was presented to the late county judge’s widow, Carolyn Castleman.

 

And, Charles Henderson was named the Steve Pearce Citizen of the Year.

 

Hawthorne also mentioned that coming up Friday, May 1st and Saturday, May 2nd is the annual Whistle Stop Festival.

 

For more information about the annual Whistle Stop Festival, call the chamber office at 870-898-2758.

 

 

 

LOCKESBURG CITY COUNCIL MOVES FORWARD WITH SEWER PROJECT      4/20/15

 

During the April meeting of the Lockesburg City Council, aldermen voted to approve a resolution authorizing and providing for the indebtedness for the purpose of providing a portion of the cost of acquiring constructing, enlarging and improving the waste water system.

 

Robin Rice of A.L. Franks Engineering reported the city's sewer project is slated to begin later this month.

 

Aldermen also decided to advertise for an experienced waste water operator and asked Aldermen Bill Roberts to compile a list of improvements that need to be made to the City Hall building, so the council can advertise to receive bids for the project.

 

Aldermen voted to allow Mayor Danny Ruth and Park Commissioner Sheila Ruth to attend the 81st Annual Summer Conference in Little Rock and the Southwest Arkansas Planning and Development District's Park Workshop and Small Communities Committee Meeting in Magnolia.

 

Mayor Ruth announced that he was going to proclaim May as National Historic Preservation Month in the city of Lockesburg at the request of the Department of Arkansas Heritage. 

 

 

 

MINERAL SPRINGS BOARD OF EDUCATION TO CONSIDER BUILDING PROJECT    4/20/15

The Mineral Springs Board of Education approved adding five days to the end of the school year to make up for the days the district missed due to inclement weather this winter during their April board meeting.

Superintendent Curtis Turner reported the last day of school will now be June 5th.

However, Turner also spoke with the board about the possibility of constructing a new school plant. He said a study of the campus will be conducted and the board could vote to hire an architect to begin some preliminary discussions.

Board members voted to uphold the expulsion of three students and they renewed the classified staff contracts along with hiring three new employees.

The new hires include Reshad Sims who will coach football along with his teaching duties, Kim Esters and Paula McClelland who were hired to be elementary teachers. 

 

 

LITTLE RIVER COUNTY CONDUCTING A RURAL CLASS IV PICKUP APRIL 24TH      4/17/15

 

Little River County Judge Mike Cranford informed the Little River County Justices of the Peace that the county would be conducting a Rural Class IV pickup on Friday, April 24th during the April meeting of the Little River County Quorum Court.

 

Cranford said to have your name put on the pickup list, residents should call 870-898-7285, 870-898-5670 or 870-898-7202.

 

Cranford also informed the Quorum Court that county crews were working to repair some county roads, while also cleaning out some ditches because water is a primary reason for some of the county road conditions. Cranford said this was an important project because right now everybody in Little River County lives down a bad road.

 

Cranford explained to JPs that the purpose of grading a gavel road to the remove the holes and make them passable and roads were easier to grade then patch.

 

Cranford also announced the Little River County Farmer's Market will open on Friday, May 1st. The market will be open every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 7 a.m. and will remain open until the vendors sell out.

 

 

 

MCLELLAND NAMED CRYSTAL AWARD WINNER       4/17/15

 

De Queen High School senior Marjle McLelland was named the 2015 recipient of the De Queen Rotary Club's Crystal Cup.

 

The Rotary Club has presented the Crystal Cup to an outstanding female senior athlete since the year 2000 and Rotary Secretary Tammy Huddleston presented this year's award to McLelland who received a plaque for her accomplishment.

 

McLelland played basketball and soccer. She ran cross country for two years and is currently competing for the De Queen High School track team and she was a Leopard cheerleader for three years.

 

McLelland said she plans to attend the University of Arkansas and will be trying out for the U of A track team this summer.

 

According to all of McLelland's coaches, she was not only on the team, but she was a major contributor in every sport.

 

McLelland thanked the Rotary Club for the honor, but she then thanked all of her teammates for motivating her to be the best she could be.

 

McLelland is the daughter of Randy and Heather McLelland.

 

     

 

SEVIER COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE INVESTIGATING ACCIDENTAL SHOOTING      4/17/15

 

On Friday, April 10th, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Chad Dowdle was dispatched to a residence on Melrose Street in Lockesburg in reference to an accidental shooting.

 

When Deputy Dowdle and Deputy Brian Hankins arrived, they discovered 24-year-old Logan Arter standing outside and 29-year-old Brandi Arter sitting in a recliner in the living room.

 

Brandi Arter reported that Logan had purchased a .22 after he got off work and he was in the process of showing her how the gun functioned when it went off.

 

According to paramedics, Brandi had an entry wound on the top of her right breast and an exit wound at the bottom. The bullet then entered her right abdomen area and exited the lower right abdominal area.

 

Logan reported that he was showing Brandi that when you load a clip into the gun. You should keep the gun on safety, so it wouldn’t fire. He said he was standing over Brandi and when he released the slide, the gun went off.

 

Logan said he immediately called 911 and placed the gun and clip on the table in the living room.

 

Brandi Arter was taken by ambulance to the helipad in Lockesburg and air lifted to St. Michaels Hospital in Texarkana.

 

 

 

UA COSSATOT PRESENTS DIVERSITY FEST 2015     4/17/15

 

UA Cossatot will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo with Diversity Fest 2015 at the UA Cossatot Amphitheater with live music, folkloric dancing, a dog show and lots of food and games.

 

UA Cossatot Foundation Executive Director Dustin Roberts and Career Specialist Erika Buenrrostro mentioned the college will be raising money to fund scholarships for students who do not qualify for pell grants, while paying out-of-state tuition.

 

For more information, Buenrrostro said you can contact the college.

 

Last year about 500 people attended Diversity Fest and Roberts stated they were expecting even more this year. For more information, visit the UA Cossatot website at www.cccua.edu. 

 

 

Kelly Stone Gamble to speak on writing and publishing a novel   04/17/15 

 

Idabel, OK - Kelly Gamble of Southeastern Oklahoma State University McCurtain County Campus in Idabel, Oklahoma will be presenting Writing is the Easy Part, on Wednesday, April 29, 2015. The presentation, followed by an excerpt reading from her novel, They Call Me Crazy, and a book signing, will begin at 5:00 p.m.in the auditorium at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, McCurtain County campus in Idabel, Oklahoma and is free to the public.

 

Kelly Gamble grew up in a small Midwestern town, which was the inspiration for the fictional Deacon, Kansas. In addition to writing novels, her work has appeared in a variety of publications including Red Earth Review, Tower Journal, Family Digest and Chicken Soup for the Soul. Her fiction has won awards from Writers Weekly, Writers Courtyard, Women on Writing and the Ground Zero Literary Project. She holds a B.A. in Integrated Studies of History and Business from Nevada State College, a M.A. in Humanities from California State University, and a M.F.A in Writing from Southern New Hampshire University. Gamble has been on the faculty at Southeastern Oklahoma State University since fall of 2014, and has held an adjunct position at College of Southern Nevada since spring of 2011.

 

To learn more about this presentation, please contact Kendra Gross (580) 376.5213 or KGross@se.edu

 

DE QUEEN HIGH SPRING BREAK TRIP  04/17/15

De Queen High School students and sponsors recently returned from their annual trip to Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and The Islands of Adventure, with an overnight stay in Destin, Florida. Since 1995 students and their sponsors from the De Queen area have been enjoying these incredibly fun as well as educational trips.

The group visited Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood studios and EPCOT Center, which was hosting the International Flower and Garden Fest5ival. They also enjoyed The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, with the Hogwarts Express and the new Disney Springs formerly Downtown Disney and the Disney Marketplace.

Since 2001 the group has participated in a Youth Education Series (Y.E.S.) program at Walt Disney World. This year’s program was “Exploring Careers in the Zoological Sciences”. They embarked on an adventure which began with a safari on Kilimanjaro Safari which simulates an open-sided safari ride through the savanna of East Africa. They continued behind the scenes to explore “wild” careers in zoology and discovered the innovative ways that Disney staff promotes animal care and well-being. They studied the various animal science roles – from animal behaviorist to nutritionist – at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Throughout this 3-hour field study students investigated the different people that it takes to care for the animal within the park, learn their responsibilities and the value of their individual contribution to the operation.

During the interactive field study, students learned the importance of maintaining a genetically diverse population of captive animal and the roles of zoos in managing that biodiversity. They discussed how the animals at Disney’s Animal Kingdom act as ambassadors for their species by raising awareness to help prevent extinction, and they learned to think critically about the role that they can play in conservation on both a community and global level. The students and sponsors rode to Rafiki’s Planet Watch at Conservation Station to visit where surgery and medical attention is given to the animals and to the elephant barn to see where the elephants are taken each night. They also toured the kitchen where the individual animal’s food is prepared daily.

When Walt Disney originally envisioned his theme park, his dream was to create places where people could have fun and at the same time learn something about the world. The Y.E.S. Program facilitators take great pride in furthering Walt’s dream by using the theme parks to not only inspire the students to think differently about the world, but to explore the endless possibilities that await them back at home, at school and within their own community.

Students and Sponsors Pictured:

Jorge Salgado, Jesusa Hernandez, Aylin Cruz, Dahien Garcia, Brenda Mera, Christian Maldonado, Karen Perez, Estiven Garcia, Carmen Rafael, Nallely Tun, Evelyn Escamilla, Karen Villeda, Tessa Walthour, Tori Roberson, Jan Durham, Emily Rodriques, Stephen Sloan, Irvin Martinez, Brady Hanney, Prince Beasley, Karen Trammell, Wanda Smith, and Kurt Blocker.

 

Attorney General’s Office to Launch Intern Program   04/16/15

Rutledge says, ‘internships can be invaluable for college students’

 

LITTLE ROCK, ARK. – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced today that her office is launching an intern program for college students seeking to learn more about a career in government and public service.

“Internships can be invaluable for college students to gain real-world experience as they try to decide their career path,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “An internship in the Attorney General’s Office will encourage careers in public service and offer students the opportunity to directly impact people across the State. The Attorney General’s Office already has a well-established law clerk program, but our internship program will benefit students not necessarily interested in law school or not yet in law school.”

 

Departments include: Civil, Communications, Community Engagement, Criminal, Finance, Information Technology, Medicaid Fraud Control, Opinions and Public Protection.

 

Applicant packet information is available under the employment section at ArkansasAG.gov.

 

2015 internship deadlines:

 

  • Deadline to apply for the summer session is May 1. Summer session will run from June 1 to Aug. 7.

  • Deadline to apply for the fall session is July 1. Fall session will run from Sep. 1 to Dec. 11.

 

Some interns may be able to arrange for college credit for their internship, depending upon the requirements of their college or university.

 

Those with questions about the Attorney General’s Office intern program should contact the Human Resources Department at (501) 682-2007 or internship@ArkansasAG.gov.

 

 

UA Cossatot Student Ambassadors    04/16/15

 

LITTLE ROCK - UA Cossatot Student Ambassadors took the Heifer Ranch Global Challenge in Perryville, AR during Spring Break.

 

Students learned about poverty and hunger that affects the majority of the world, as well as practical ways to contribute to the solution of these problems individually. Heifer International staff also provided team building activities that allowed the Ambassadors to learn their counterparts' strengths and weaknesses.

 

"The group really pulled together as a team during the week,” said UA Student Ambassador Sponsor Emily Newlin.  “I was constantly impressed by the personal talents, skills and leadership abilities that our student leaders showed off in each activity. 

 

In addition to staying overnight in third-world mock villages, the students and sponsors prepared meals, fetched water and did chores that coincided with the country they resided in.

 

To wrap up the trip, the students visited Petit Jean State Park. After a night in the park's cabins, a four-mile hike and meal in the park lodge; they traveled back to their respective towns with a new appreciation for their country, state, school, homes and families.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN STUDENTS PLACE IN FBLA STATE COMPETITION     04/16/15

The De Queen High School Future Business Leaders of America had nine members who competed in the State FBLA Competition in Little Rock on April 13 and 14th.

FBLA members who competed were:  Jessica Miller, Jacob Bunyard, Shane Blankenship, Habram Martinez, Danielle Duggan, Tara Montgomery, Jessica Rogers, Anna Grace Cauley, and Cody Lites

The FBLA Advisers are Jennifer Collier and Chad Lites.


LEFT: Cody Lites, a sophomore, placed 2nd overall in Public Speaking I.  Cody will now advance to compete in the National FBLA Competition at Chicago, IL on June 29 – July 2

ABOVE: Anna Grace Cauley and Jessica Rogers, both juniors, placed 5th overall in Emerging Business Issues.

 FRONT ROW l to r:  Danielle Duggan, Tara Montgomery, Anna Grace Cauley, Jessica Rogers
BACK ROW l to r: Jacob Bunyard, Habram Martinez, Jessica Miller, Shane Blankenship, Cody Lites

 

Farm Bureau Ag Safety Poster contest winners announced   04/16/15

Contest promotes theme, “Ride Like a Pro, Wherever You Go”

 

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas Farm Bureau has announced the winners of its annual safety poster contest. It coincided with Ag Safety Awareness Week March 1 - 7, and was designed to increase awareness of potential hazards on farms and ranches. The posters depicted this year’s theme, “Ride Like a Pro, Wherever You Go.”

 

In the first and second-grade category, Easton Cantrell, a second-grade student at Deer Elementary in Newton County, won first place. Easton is the son of Derek and Lorie Cantrell. Kailynn Gober, a second-grade student at Gurdon Primary school in Clark County, won second place. Kailynn is the daughter of Kathryn Gober. Brance Williams, a second-grade student at Hazen Elementary in Prairie County, was third. He is the son of David and Angie Williams.

 

In the third and fourth-grade category, Dusty Davis of Mena, a fourth-grader at Holly Harshman Elementary in Polk County, took first place. Dusty is the son of Dalon and Jennifer Davis. Third-grade student, Lily Davis of Prairie Grove Intermediate school in Washington County, won second place. Lily’s parents are Scott and Cassie Davis. Lily Parson, a fourth-grade student at Hazen Elementary, was third. Her parents are Terry and Erica Parson.

 

In the fifth and sixth-grade category, Teresa Bell, a sixth-grade student at Wickes Elementary in Polk County, won first place. Teresa’s parents are Mary Bell and Chance Bowline. Emma Johnson, a fifth-grader at Swifton Elementary in Jackson County, took second. She is the daughter of Jacky and Ginger Johnson. Third place went to Alexandria Breedlove, a fifth-grade student at Deer Elementary. Alexandria is the daughter of Amanda Breedlove.

 

The contest attracted 52 entries from elementary schools in 23 counties. Cash prizes of $100, $75 and $50 are awarded to the top three winners in each category.

 

 

Rutledge Announces Child Safety Poster Contest Winners   04/16/15

 

1,171 entries; North Little Rock, Pine Bluff, Cabot, Mena, West Memphis, Little Rock and Southside claim winning posters

 

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the winners of the 2015 Child Safety Poster Contest, which is sponsored annually by the Attorney General’s Office. This year’s poster theme was Bring Our Missing Children Home. Rutledge released the following statement:

 

 “I want to congratulate this year’s winners of the Child Safety Poster Contest. There were a record number of participants with 1,171 entries. Students from across the State submitted posters with the winners coming from North Little Rock, Pine Bluff, Cabot, Mena, West Memphis, Little Rock and my own elementary school, Southside in Independence County. These students did an excellent job highlighting this year’s theme, and I am extremely impressed by the talent of our young Arkansans.”

 

Attorney General Rutledge also extended her appreciation to the three contest judges, Melinda Faubel with AT&T, Cynthia Hass with the Arkansas Arts Council and Paul Leopoulos with the Thea Foundation. AT&T also helped sponsor the contest, BK Moulding donated supplies to mat each poster and the Thea Foundation is hosting this evening’s reception, where the winning entries will be on display.

 

This evening’s reception at the Thea Foundation, located at 401 Main St. in North Little Rock, is open to the public and media. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

 

2015 winners:

 

Kindergarten

Carter Brown, Stagecoach Elementary School (Cabot), 1st Place

Rhamiya Smith, Faulk Elementary School (West Memphis), 2nd Place

Arabella Johnston, Lakewood Elementary School (North Little Rock), 3rd Place

 

1st Grade

Tevarious Jones, Faulk Elementary School (West Memphis), 1st Place

Sasha Walker, Edgewood Elementary School (Pine Bluff), 2nd Place

Jacob Acosta, Eastside Elementary School (Cabot), 3rd Place

 

2nd Grade

Fatima Adame, Faulk Elementary School (West Memphis), 1st Place

Rylee Lemley, Southside Elementary School (Independence County), 2nd Place

Elizabeth Hardcastle, Southside Elementary School (Independence County), 3rd Place

 

3rd Grade

Vincent DeLuca, Carver Elementary School (Little Rock), 1st Place

Kiylee Hughes, Holly Harshman Elementary School (Mena), 2nd Place

Lina Mesa, Stagecoach Elementary School (Cabot), 3rd Place

 

4th Grade

Mason Smith, Magness Creek Elementary School (Cabot), 1st Place

Matiyah Rowland, Carver Elementary School (Little Rock), 2nd Place

Jadyn Cook, Lakewood Elementary School (North Little Rock), 3rd Place

 

5th Grade

Sarah Grenier, Holly Harshman Elementary School (Mena), 1st Place

Amanda Booth, Holly Harshman Elementary School (Mena), 2nd Place

Isabella Balkenhol, Holly Harshman Elementary School (Mena), 3rd Place

 

The winning fifth grade poster, submitted by Sarah Grenier, will be entered into the National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest, hosted by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

 

Information about the 2016 contest will be announced later this year.

 

 

 

Boozman, Cotton, Hill Announce Little Rock Recruitment Center Shooting Victims Will Receive Purple Heart   04/16/15

WASHINGTON –U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton, along with Second District Representative French Hill, today announced that the Army has determined that two servicemembers attacked outside of a Little Rock Army recruiting center in 2009 will be awarded the Purple Heart.

Private William Long of Conway was killed and Private Quinton Ezeagwula of Jacksonville was wounded when a terrorist opened fire on the recruiting center on June 1, 2009.

“I am pleased that Private Long and Private Ezeagwula will receive the Purple Heart they rightfully deserve. They were targeted for the service, devotion and dedication to our country in a war where the frontlines against terrorism extend within our nation. Awarding Privates Long and Ezeagwula the Purple Heart for their service and sacrifice is simply the right thing to do,” Boozman said.
 

"The Army’s decision to award the Purple Heart to the victims of the Little Rock Recruiting Center attack is long overdue,” said Cotton. “I am pleased these two young men will finally get the recognition they deserve. The war on terror is a global war—our enemies know no boundaries. Private William Long and Private Quinton Ezeagwula and their fellow soldiers who put their lives on the line to protect us from these enemies are all heroes—no matter the front on which they fight.”

“The Army’s announcement today to award the Purple Heart to Privates Long and Ezeagwula concludes a nearly six year pursuit of justice and recognition for the families and victims of the 2009 terrorist attack at the Little Rock military recruiting station. This announcement is long overdue and finally gives these brave men the heroic level of recognition they deserve. I am truly appreciative of the efforts of our entire Congressional delegation who worked hard to make this happen; especially my predecessor in Congress and our current Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin whose tireless efforts ensured the sacrifice of these young men was fully recognized and honored ,” Hill said.

The Army’s determination was the result of a provision—written by Boozman—in the FY2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) [Public Law 113-291] which authorizes the award of Purple Heart to servicemembers killed or wounded in an attack that specifically targets a servicemember because of their status as a member of the nation’s Armed Forces or is carried out by a foreign terrorist organization.

That provision, Section 571 of the FY 2015 NDAA, clarifies that an attack carried out by an individual will be considered an attack by a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) if the individual or entity was in communication with a FTO before the attack, and if the attack was inspired or motivated by a FTO.

Actions and statements by Abdulhakim Muhammad, the man who pled guilty to charges of capital murder and attempted capital murder for the shooting at a Little Rock military recruiting station, met these criteria.

In a December 2014 letter, Boozman, Cotton and former Second District Representative Tim Griffin urged Secretary of the Army John McHugh to award the Purple Heart to Private Ezeagwula and the family of Private Long. Making the case that the criteria had been met, Boozman, Cotton and Griffin wrote: “Throughout his (2011) trial, Muhammad repeatedly admitted that he was a soldier in the cause of war—or jihad—against the United States and that he targeted Privates William Andrew Long and Quinton Ezeagwula because they wore the uniform of the U.S. Army. Additionally, in 2007, Muhammad traveled to Yemen where, as he admitted, he consorted with known members of Al Qaeda including discussing attacks on American military personnel.”
 

 

DIERKS LADY OUTLAW NAMED TO ALL-STAR BASKETBALL TEAM     4/16/15

 

 

Tuesday afternoon, the Arkansas Activities Association announced the roster of the 2015 Arkansas High School Coaches Association All-Star Basketball teams and one of the players was a Dierks Lady Outlaw.

 

Adriana Walston will represent Dierks on the west squad.

 

The All-Star game will be played on Thursday, June 25th at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway.

 

Walston has played basketball for the Lady Outlaws for six years and is the daughter of Shane and Julie Walston.

 

 

 

 

 

EVENTS ON THE CAMPUS OF HORATIO HIGH SCHOOL      4/16/15

 

Horatio High School senior T.J. Ferguson announced Wednesday morning several upcoming events on the campus of Horatio High School, including prom, the senior trip and graduation.

 

Ferguson stated activities for seniors will begin this Saturday with the Prom beginning at 8:30 until 11:30 p.m.

 

Ferguson also said for more information about the senior activities at Horatio, you can call the high school at 870-832-2341.

 

 

 

PAROLE BACK IN CUSTODY AFTER FLEEING FROM OFFICERS     4/16/15

 

Officers with the Ashdown Police Department responded to a call from a woman claiming that her husband, Harry Staten Jr., had pulled her out of a moving truck on Sunday, April 12th.

 

Officers were informed by the Arkansas Department of Parole and Probation that Staten was supposed to be wearing an ankle monitor but had apparently taken it off.

 

Officers located Staten at about 4:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon and took him into custody, but as officers placed him in the vehicle, Staten was able to get away from the officers and fled on foot into a wooded area behind some nearby residences.

 

Staten was found and taken into custody Sunday night around 8:30 at the River Dale Apartments.

 

According to the incident report, Staten was found in an upstairs room hiding behind a dresser.

 

 

 

PROMOTIONS AT FIRST STATE BANK      4/16/15

 

During a recent meeting of the Board of Directors of the First State Bank, board members voted to promote Gary Golden to CEO and Vice-Chairman, Noel Bard was promoted to President of the Sevier County Division and Marc Jackson was promoted to President of the Howard County Division.

 

 

 

Angie Walker was also named as a new member of the First State Bank Board of Directors.

 

 

 

 

UPCOMING EVENTS AT COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK     4/16/15

 

This Saturday at the Cossatot River State Park, park interpreters will lead a hike up to Goats Bluff from 10 to 11:30 a.m., followed by a hike from the Low Water Bridge to the first bridge along the River Corridor Trail from 2 to 3 p.m. in search of the different ecosystems along the Cossatot River.

 

Then on Sunday, Park Interpreter Andrew Rawlings will lead a bird watching hike from 9 to 10:30 a.m. and then they will be feeding the park critters from 2 to 3 p.m. in the visitor center.

 

But, Park Interpreter Shelley Flanary announced the park would be hosting several special events over the next couple of weeks, like the boater education course on April 20th and 21st and the park was getting ready for its annual Spring Festival on Saturday, May 2nd.

 

Flanary said the park would also be hosting the Cossatot River Headache Run 5K on May 2nd with two heats at 10 and 11 a.m.

 

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

 

 

 

WRF ANNOUNCES 2015 NEW BOARD MEMBERS AND OFFICERS     4/16/15

 

The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation announced Wednesday morning that a De Queen resident has been named to the 2015 Board.

 

Rosa Velazquez of De Queen was named a new board member. She is the executive director of the Arkansas Coalition for DREAM.

 

The Arkansas Coalition for DREAM is a statewide immigrant youth-led organization that works to achieve equal access to higher education in Arkansas.

 

The coalition works to raise the graduation rate of immigrant students by helping provide equal access to higher education by creating opportunities for youth, through one on one training, leadership development and advocating in local communities.

 

Velazquez will serve on the board of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, which for 40 years has helped build and sustain organizations that serve and strengthen Arkansas through grant-making and strategic partnerships.

 

The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation is working to close the economic and education gaps that leave many Arkansas families in persistent poverty.

 

ASHDOWN RELAY FOR LIFE FUNDRAISER  04/16/15

The Ashdown High School volleyball team recently handed over a check for $350 to the Ashdown Junior High EAST lab to add to the EAST team's Relay for Life donation.  The volleyball team raised the funds through t-shirt and beef jerky sales and private donations. 

Little River County's Relay for Life event will be on Friday, May 15, from 6:00 p.m. to midnight on the Fred Jester Memorial Track Field at the AHS campus, and everyone is invited to attend and participate.  This year's theme is "Staying Alive -- Fighting Cancer."  To make a contribution, form a team, or learn more information, go to RelayForLife.org/littleriverar. 

Pictured are (front) volleyball team members Emily Mulholland and Allie Anderson with AJHS EAST member Jaden Altenbaumer (center) holding the check and (back) Coach James Welchel, players Jada Beth Fricks, Lakendra Radford, Kayley Miller, and Coach Falon Jones.

UA COSSATOT RODEO TEAM ROPERS PLACE FIRST 04/16/15

 

Martin, TN – The UA Cossatot team ropers Brody Braden and Tanner Caudle placed first in both the long-go and short go to earn the number one spot in the average at the University of Tennessee at Martin College Rodeo held last weekend. 

 

“For the second year, Brody and Tanner swept the UT Martin Rodeo,” said UA Cossatot Rodeo Coach Valerie Stone.  “I am incredibly proud of the entire team and these guys.  Depending on the next two weekends, they still have a chance to be invited to the National Finals Rodeo this summer in Casper, Wyoming.”

 

The team had a time of 6.1seconds in the long-go, 7.0 seconds in the short-go for an average of 13.1 seconds.  The closest competitors to the UA Cossatot Team Ropers earned an average time of 15.7seconds. 

 

The next two weekends will be the last two college rodeos of the regular season.  First the students will travel to Monticello followed by traveling to Senatobia, MS.   

 

 

 

 

HORATIO SCHOOL BOARD CONSIDERING RESOURCE OFFICER      4/15/15

 

Superintendent Lee Smith of the Horatio School District reported the board of education voted to re-hire certified staff members and they accepted the resignations of three staff members.

 

Board members approved the district's 2015-2016 technology budget and the district's Wireless Network policy before discussing the district's 2013-2014 legislative audit. Superintendent Smith stated the district received a good audit, but he and the board had to review the minor findings that were listed.

 

Board members then voted to research the hiring of a school resource officer. Smith explained the district was looking at hiring a resource officer to help assure parents that the district is serious about the safety of students, teachers and staff.

 

Before the conclusion of the board meeting, board members also accepted the transfer of one student from the De Queen School District.

 

 

 

RACING DOWN COLLIN RAYE      4/15/15

 

About 6 o'clock, Monday evening, Patrolman Levi Browning of the De Queen Police Department was running a stationary radar near the De Queen Church of Christ on Collin Raye Drive.

 

Browning reported that the radar locked at 66 miles per hour on a vehicle that appeared to be racing a silver Pontiac G6.

 

Browning initiated his lights and sirens and said the defendant, 19-year-old Jacob Arndt, continued to accelerate.

 

Browning made a traffic stop at the First Baptist Church and cited Arndt for racing on the highway.

 

Browning then had Arndt contact the driver of the other vehicle who was a minor and had him meet him at the college. When the minor arrived at the college, he was also citied for racing on the highway.

 

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY ENTERS INTO A CONTRACT OF OBLIGATION WITH THE STATE       4/15/15

 

During Monday's Sevier County Quorum Court meeting, Justices of the Peace were informed by Sheriff Bennie Simmons that he intended to sell some department vehicles at auction, due to their age and working condition.

 

JPs then voted to approve the list of county property that is considered unusable, obsolete or otherwise has no value to the county. County Judge Greg Ray described what type of items was on the list.

 

JPs approved an ordinance to amend the 2014 operating budget and then approved a request for an additional appropriation of $10,000 from the county's Solid Waste Fund to satisfy the financial requirement of their Contract of Obligation with the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality.

 

JPs voted to suspend the rules and consider a couple of items that were not on the agenda.

 

Judge Ray explained the members of the Quorum Court voted to order a new vehicle for the sheriff's department to replace the Charger that was totaled in an accident involving a deputy.

 

JPs then voted to go into an executive session to discuss a personal matter in the sheriff's department, but no action was taken when the Quorum Court returned to open session.

 

 

 

SON, YOU DRIVE, I'M TO DRUNK        4/15/15

 

Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Greg Davignon reported that he made a traffic stop on a blue Chevy pickup after noticing that it did not have a working license plate light, Saturday night, April 11th.

 

When Davignon approached the vehicle, he reported that he smelled alcohol and asked the driver who was a minor to exit the vehicle. The under-aged driver registered .05 on a portable breath analyzer.

 

The father of the minor, 55-year-old Roderick Bevill who was a passenger in the truck, first denied knowing that his son had been drinking, but finally admitted that he knew his son had been drinking and that there were three open beer cans under the seat of the truck.

 

Bevill was citied for drinking on the Highway and for knowingly furnishing alcohol to a minor.

 

 

 

SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE CORPORATION REA ANNOUNCES YOUTH TOUR WINNERS        4/15/15

 

According to the President and CEO of Southwest Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation REA, Wayne Whitaker, three winners have been selected to participate in the 2015 Electric Cooperative Youth Tour to Washington, D.C.

 

Whitaker announced Rex Standridge and Danielle Duggan, both of De Queen High School, and Zack Wolf of Texas High School, as winners of an essay-writing contest to determine who would represent the local cooperative on the Youth Tour.

 

The trip is all expense paid and will involve approximately 44 other youths from across Arkansas. From June 10th through June 18th, the tour will visit the White House, the U.S. Capitol. Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson monuments; the Vietnam Memorial, Arlington Cemetery and other sights in Washington, D.C.

 

In addition, the winners will be eligible to compete to represent Arkansas on the National Rural Cooperative Association's Youth Leadership Council. Arkansas' representative, selected by the tour directors, will attend the council's national meeting and participate in a variety of other cooperative activities throughout the year.

 

 

CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATORS IMPROVING ARKANSAS' WORKFORCE     4/14/15

 

Career and technical educators will be partnering with business and industry, as well as post-secondary institutions and the Department of Career Education to decide the future of high school students planning for the workforce.

 

The De Queen-Mena Educational Cooperative will be hosting business and industry representatives from three counties in Southwest Arkansas on Friday, April 24th at the Barbara Horn Civic Center on the Ashdown campus of UA Cossatot.

 

Together, they will form a council to provide expertise on how schools can prepare students with the skills and knowledge necessary to compete in the workforce.

 

According to Randy Zook who is the President and CEO of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce, there are 600,000 high-wage earning jobs left unfilled across the United States and tens of thousands here in Arkansas.

 

Zook said this crisis hinders Arkansas' growth potential.

 

This meeting will allow all of the necessary partners to be in the same room to discuss how they can help students develop the skills, experience and knowledge to fill those positions.

 

The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. and a member of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce will address the group with information from the current legislative session.

 

About 9:45 a panel will discuss how educators can prepare students in Southwest Arkansas in becoming productive and successful citizens through relationships that are formed with business, industry and post-secondary partnerships.

 

At 11, the educators will have the opportunity to visit breakout sessions with specific pathways of study representing the largest employers, small business managers and other areas of the workforce relevant to the Southwest region.

 

 

 

NEW ARKANSAS LAW CREATES AGRICULTURE SCHOOLS      4/14/15

 

An approved state legislative proposal will prevent small school district from being closed because of low student numbers, however many have asked about the school districts that have already been closed?

 

Well, state lawmakers also passed a bill during this session to establish agricultural schools and the former Saratoga School District is interested in being an agriculture school, but State Senator Larry Teague says he's not sure how the process is going to work.

 

The bill was not written by an educator and it does not include details on funding or implementation.

 

Rural communities believe this bill is good for Arkansas because it will benefit students that do not wish to follow the traditional 4-year college plan.

 

And, the new agricultural school could help revitalize small rural towns.

 

According to the bill, the Department of Career Education and the Department of Education will now develop and administer the K through 12th grade pilot program. Public schools in Arkansas can apply to be a part of the pilot program.

 

 

 

OVERTURF PIE AUCTION      4/14/15

 

Judy Smith of the Overturf Church announced Monday morning that the church would be hosting its annual pie supper this Saturday at 7 p.m.

 

Smith explained the proceeds will be used for the upkeep of the cemetery and church. She also stated everyone will have the opportunity to vote for the prettiest girl and ugliest man in attendance.

 

Smith also encouraged everyone to bring a pie or cake.

 

The Overturf Church is located three and a half miles Northeast of Gillham, but Smith said you can just look for the signs.

 

 

 

SPRING SPORTS SPIRIT WEEK       4/14/15

 

De Queen Senior High Student Council members Lucee Lugo, Shayde Kitchen and Mikayla McCoy announced Monday morning that the De Queen Student Council was holding Spring Sports Spirit Week, this week.

 

Lugo stated Monday was Messi Monday, since a soccer player is called a messi.

 

However, Kitchens said it wasn't all about soccer and she mentioned the theme for the rest of the week. She said Tuesday was Team Tuesday, Wednesday is Workout Wednesday, but students must follow the student handbook dress policy, Thursday is Spring Sports War and Friday is Black and Gold Day.

 

Seniors of the De Queen Track teams will be honored on Thursday during the Leopard Relays and the senior soccer players will be honored Friday night during their final home games of the season.

 

 

 

WICKES KINDERGARTEN PRE-REGISTRATION AND SCREENING      4/14/15

 

Wickes Elementary School will be having pre-registration and screening for next year's 2015-2016 Kindergarten classes.

 

If you have a child, or know of a child who will be five on or before August 1st, 2015, you are being asked to stop by the Wickes Elementary and register them for school. They will be taking applications and screening children on April 28th, 29th and 30th or parents may stop by the elementary office anytime between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

 

Parents are asked to bring the child's birth certificate, social security card and a current shot record. Children entering Kindergarten for the 2015-2016 school year will be required to have a current physical on file.

 

Students who are attending Pre-K at the Wickes Pre-K Program will be screened during the school day, but students who are not currently enrolled in the pre-K program will need to be screened when they register. So, please allow time for the screening process when you bring you child to registration.

 

Friday, May 1st, will be Pre-K Day at the Wickes Elementary and next year's Kindergarten students will be allowed to come to the school from 8 to 11:30 a.m. Lunch will cost $3

 

If you have any questions regarding these dates, please call the Wickes Elementary School office at 870-385-2346.

 

COUNTY 4-H OUTDOOR O’RAMA HELD  04/13/15


The outdoor activities of the Sevier County 4-H O’Rama were held on March 3, 2015 at the Sevier County Fairgrounds. The outdoor activities consist of: Baitcasting, Bicycle, Gun Safety & BB Shooting, and Reel into Sports Fishing. Any 4-H’er ages 5 to 19 can compete at the county level. Four-H consists of 3 age groups: Cloverbuds (ages 5-8), Juniors (ages 9-14) and Seniors (ages 15-19). Even though the weather was wet and rainy we still had a good turnout. The winners are as follows:


Gun Safety & BB Gun Shooting Activity
Sr. Division – Aaron Morris. Jr. Division – 1. Marcus Rosson, 2. Blake Sawyer, 3. Amber Morris. Other participants in the Jr. Division were Brennen Seymour, Anna Stinnett, Brayden Frachiseur, Hunter Frachiseur, and Attalee Frachiseur. Participants in the Cloverbud Division were Landon Frachiseur, Pace Frachiseur, Jacob Seymour, Raegan Frachiseur, Jake Sawyer, and Matthew Maben.

Baitcasting Activity
Jr. Division – 1. Marcus Rosson, 2. Brennen Seymour, 3. Brayden Frachiseur. Other participants in the Jr. Division were Hunter Frachiseur, Attalee Frachiseur, Amber Morris, Anna Stinnett, and Blake Sawyer. Participants in the Cloverbud Division were Jake Sawyer, Pace Frachiseur, Landon Frachiseur, and Raegan Frachiseur.

Reel into Sports Fishing Activity
Jr. Division – 1. Brayden Frachiseur, 2. Hunter Frachiseur, 3. Brennen Seymour. Other participants in the Jr. Division were Marcus Rosson, Attalee Frachiseur, and Amber Morris. Participants in the Cloverbud Division were Landon Frachiseur, Raegan Frachiseur, and Pace Frachiseur.

Bicycle
Jr. Division – Blake Sawyer. Matthew Maben competed in the Cloverbud Division.
The junior and senior winners for each activity will be able to compete in the next level of competition at the District O’Rama that is held in June each year. If you’d like more information about the 4-H program, please call Sevier County Extension Office at (870)-584-3013.


The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

4-H leader, JP Atkins, going over Gun Safety rules with 4-H’ers.
Pictured L to R: Top: Hunter Frachiseur, Landon Frachiseur, Raegan Frachiseur, and Attalee Frachiseur, Bottom: Brayden Frachiseur.

Picture by: Dawn Leeper, 4-H Program Assistant

 

4-H CHICKEN BBQ HELD  04/13/15


Sevier County 4-H’ers, their parents, and judges braved the cold and rainy weather to compete in the County 4-H Chicken BBQ on March 9, 2015. Each 4-H’er provided their charcoal grill, charcoal, spices, and sauces and cooked a whole chicken. The 4-H’ers are judged on their ability to build, start, and control a charcoal fire, preparing and handling raw chicken, and cooking the chicken. The doneness, flavor, and color was also judged.

Cloverbuds (ages 5-8) that participated in the BBQ were Evin Frachiseur, Raegan Frachiseur, Landon Frachiseur, Jake Sawyer, Brady Haarmeyer, Parker Stewart, Paydon Stewart, and Matthew Maben.

It was a tight competition with the winners and their scores as follows: Blake Sawyer – 290, Aaron Hicks -290, Sydney Hill – 285, Hunter Frachiseur – 285, Amber Morris – 275, Brayden Frachiseur – 285, Attalee Frachiseur – 270, Danielle Beck – 270, and Abby Morris – 210. All scores are based on a perfect score of 300. The top 5 winners go on to represent Sevier County at the District Chicken BBQ.

The 4-H’ers want to thank the judges, Matthew Hooper, Catherine Smith, Judy Smith, Judy Vann-Hamilton, and Abby Lewis that came out and braved the weather with us.

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

Pictured L to R: Front Row - Brayden Frachiseur, Blake Sawyer, and Hunter Frachiseur. Back Row - Sydney Hill, Amber Morris, and Aaron Hicks

Photo credit: Janet Cantrell, CEA-FCS

 

DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL AGREES WITH PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION     4/13/15

 

Aldermen of the De Queen City Council were informed that the Planning and Zoning Commission had voted not to rezone the Turtle Creek subdivision, but gave permission to the new owners to build duplexes.

 

Council members accepted the Planning and Zoning Commission's recommendation and approved the construction of duplexes in the subdivision, which will allow the new owners to develop the property.

 

Aldermen approved a resolution to set the date for a public hearing for May 5th at 6 p.m. concerning the closing of four sections of street around the Pilgrim's Pride plant.

 

The public meeting will allow property owners adjacent to those streets to voice their opinions.

 

Aldermen also passed an ordinance allowing the city to conduct business with Gary Cummingham's dozer and backhoe company.

 

Cummingham is an employee of the De Queen Police Department and Arkansas law requires the city pass an ordinance in order to use his services.

 

Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy informed aldermen that a concrete slab was poured behind the fire station. He stated the department plans to put a 20X20 storage building on the slab in the future.

 

Aldermen also heard reports from the water, sewer and sanitation department heads concerning long-term needs for their departments.

 

One of the largest requests was a new sanitation truck along with the addition of one employee in the sanitation department and both the water and sewer departments mentioned the need for newer trucks due to the age and condition of the existing ones.

 

No action was taken on the requests but the request will be addressed by the council in the city's 2016 budget.

 

 

 

FIRST QUARTER DIAMOND REPORT     4/13/15

 

According to Crater of Diamonds State Park Interpreter Waymon Cox, 73 diamonds were registered at the park over the first three months of 2015.

 

Arkansans registered 40 diamonds, while visitors from Louisiana, Colorado, Texas, Illinois and nine other states registered 33. Cox said, park staff certified 53 white, 12 yellow, and eight brown diamonds, weighing a total of more than 12 carats.

 

The largest diamond found in the first quarter of the year is a 2.01 carat yellow gem that was found on the surface of the search area in early February. With warmer weather and the end of the school year, the park is looking forward to many more visitors and many more diamonds being found in the months to come.

 

 

 

HORATIO ART SHOW      4/13/15

 

Students in the Horatio High School art classes will be hosting their annual art show on Tuesday, April 14th at 6:30 p.m. in the new practice gym on the campus of the Horatio High School.

 

Senior art students McKayle Swann and LeAnn Carlisle stopped by the KDQN studios Friday morning to invite the public to their show.

 

Swann mentioned there will be sculptures and paintings by beginning artists and advanced student on display.

 

Swann explained all of the art has been judged and awards and honors will be displayed Tuesday night during the art show.

 

 

 

NWS TO HOLD SKYWARN STORM SPOTTER TRAINING CLASS IN NASHVILLE      4/13/15

 

The National Weather Service in Shreveport will be holding a SKYWARN Storm Spotter Training class in Nashville on Monday, April 20th.

 

A basic class will begin at 6 p.m. at the Carter Day Center and it will be followed by an advanced class at 7:45. Classes are free and open to the public. No registration is required.

 

In an average year, there are 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 5,000 floods and more than 1,000 tornadoes across the United States. These events threaten lives and property.

 

SKYWARN spotters, coupled with Dopler radar technology, improved satellite and other data, has enabled the National Weather Service to issue more timely and accurate warnings for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flash floods.

 

SKYWARN storm spotters are part of the ranks of citizens who form the Nation's first line of defense against severe weather.

 

 

 

STEPPED UP STATEWIDE ENFORCEMENT PLAN AIMED AT DRIVERS VIOLATING TEXTING LAW       4/13/15

 

State troopers and local law enforcement officers will be watching more closely in the coming days for drivers who violate the Arkansas texting law.

 

The statewide crackdown by law enforcement officers started today and will continue until April 19th and is part of a national high visibility campaign known as "U Drive U Text U Pay."

 

The campaign combines intense enforcement of laws that prohibit texting while driving along with advertising and media outreach to inform the public about the stepped-up patrols and the driver's responsibility to obey texting laws.

 

Arkansas law prohibits the use of a cell phone for texting, typing, email or accessing the internet while driving, regardless of the driver's age. It is also a "primary offense law," which means an officer or sheriff's deputy can initiate a traffic stop without observing any other violation.

 

For the first offense, a driver can be issued a warning ticket, but for additional violations, fines can range as high as $100.

 

Drivers should be aware of additional state laws related to distracted driving.

 

It is illegal for all drivers to use hand-held cell phones while traveling through school or highway work zones. All drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle.

 

For more information on distracted driving issues, visit the website www.distraction.gov.

 

 

 

TREASURER OF STATE ANNOUNCES COLLEGE SAVINGS PLAN       4/13/15

 

Treasurer of State Dennis Milligan has launched a statewide tour to spread the word about the state's Arkansas 529 College Savings Program, which is also known as GIFT.

 

This past week, the executive director of the GIFT Arkansas 529 College Savings Program, Beth Anne Rankin, made a stop in Sevier County to visit with County Treasurer Risa Krantz and Chamber board member Patty Sharp.

 

Rankin said the program was started in 1986 by the federal government and Arkansas enacted it’s program in 2005.

 

Rankin stated anyone can participate in the program and that it’s tax free when these funds are used for education because the program was established to allow students to save money to attend any two or four year college, trade or vocational school or graduate school around the country.

 

Rankin said the reason for the statewide tour was to let the citizens of Arkansas know about this tool for paying for a college education.

 

Rankin also announced that one resident in Sevier County who has a GIFT account will have until July 31st to register to win $529 that will be added to their 529 account.

 

For more information, visit the website Arkansas529.org.

 

CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATORS IMPROVING ARKANSAS’ WORKFORCE  04/13/15

 

Ashdown, AR  —Career and technical educators will be partnering with business and industry, as well as post-secondary institutions and the Department of Career Education to decide the future of high school students planning for the workforce. The De Queen-Mena Educational Cooperative will be hosting business and industry representatives from three counties in Southwest Arkansas on Friday April 24, 2015 at the Barbara Horn Civic Center at Cossatot Community College Ashdown campus. Together, they will form a council to provide expertise on how schools can prepare students with the skills and knowledge necessary to compete in the workforce.

 

According to Randy Zook, President and CEO of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce, “There are 600,000 high-wage earning jobs left unfilled across the U.S. and tens of thousands here at home. This crisis hinders Arkansas’ growth potential, hurts Arkansas’ businesses, hurts Arkansas’ cities and towns and hurts Arkansas’s people”. With this meeting, all the necessary partners will be in the same room to discuss how we can help our students to find the skills, experience, and knowledge to fill those positions.

 

The day will begin at 9:00 AM. A representative from the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce will address the group with information from the current legislative session. At 9:45 a panel will discuss how educators can prepare students in Southwest Arkansas in becoming productive and successful citizens through relationships formed with business, industry, and post-secondary partnerships. At 11:00, the educators will have the opportunity to visit breakout sessions with specific pathways of study representing the largest employers, small business managers, and other areas of the workforce relevant to the Southwest region.  The meeting will conclude at noon. The participation from our local business has been positive, locally, Pilgrim's Pride will assist by providing refreshment for the meeting.

 

 

 

TWO DE QUEEN RESIDENTS ARRESTED FOR SHOPLIFTING      4/10/15

 

Wednesday afternoon, two De Queen residents were arrested for shoplifting at the Shoe Depot.

 

Sergeant Chad Bradshaw reported that when he arrived, he witnessed Tommy Rudisill, the owner of the Shoe Depot, following a man and a woman across the Fred's parking lot.

 

After advising the suspects to stop, Bradshaw was informed by Rudisill that he witnessed the couple take a pair of Sketcher shoes without paying for them.

 

While Bradshaw was speaking with Rudisill, the female, who was identified as 31-year-old Raven Harris, asked if she could pay for the shoes. Rudisill reportedly told her no, but she was going to jail.

 

Harris was then taken into custody and placed in Bradshaw's patrol car.

 

When Bradshaw asked the male suspect who was identified as 31-year-old Donald Gillespie if he was involved in the incident.

 

Gillespie allegedly responded that he was not involved, but when he was asked if he witnessed Harris take the shoes, he would not give a straight answer. So, Gillespie was also taken into custody and charged with shoplifting.

 

Bradshaw reported that Harris also had a second pair of shoes in a big bag along with some other items.

 

 

 

4-H CHICKEN BBQ HELD      4/10/15

 

Sevier County 4-her's, their parents and judges braved the cold and rainy weather on March 9th to compete in the Sevier County 4-H Chicken BBQ competition.

 

Each 4-her provided their own charcoal grill, charcoal, spices and sauces and cooked a whole chicken. Participates were judged on their ability to build, start and control the charcoal fire, preparing and handling of the raw chicken and the cooking of the chicken, including its doneness, flavor and color.

 

Scores were out of a possible 300 and Blake Sawyer was the winner with 290 points. He was followed by Aaron Hicks, Sydney Hill, Hunter Frachiseur, Amber Morris, Brayden Frachiseur, Attalee Frachiseur, Danielle Beck and Abby Morris.

 

The top five competitors will represent Sevier County at the District Chicken BBQ cook-off.

 

 

 

GRAZING SCHOOL SET FOR APRIL 16      4/10/15

 

The County Extension Ser