Southwest Arkansas Daily
published by KDQN
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Local News archives

 

 

CRATER OF DIAMOND STATE PARK GRANTS MAKE-A-WISH FOUNDATION VISIT       8/31/16

 

Recently, a 12-year-old boy wrote to the Make-A-Wish Foundation about his dream of smashing rocks to find diamonds. So, it was obvious where that wish could be granted and the foundation contacted the Crater of Diamonds State Park.

 

This afternoon about 1:30 p.m., Timothy Benusic will visit the park with his dad, two grandparents and 8-year-old brother to hunt for diamonds.

 

According to park interpreters, the park will host a special private diamond exhibition in the visitor center and several Crater diamond finders and collectors will be present to show their diamonds and tell Benusic about their collections.

 

According to the park's website, it is the world's eighth largest diamond-bearing volcanic crater and if you find a diamond, it's yours to keep.

 

Diamonds come in all colors of the rainbow. The three colors that are found at the Crater of Diamond State Park are white, brown and yellow. Park staff also provides free identification and certification of diamonds.

 

The park also includes 47 campsites, and five walk-in tent sites, an enclosed pavilion with air conditioning and heating, picnic sites, restaurants, gift shop, trails, laundry, and the Diamond Springs Water Park, with a play pool for visitors of all ages.

 

 

 

HORATIO HIGH SCHOOL HOSTING A BLOOD DRIVE THURSDAY       8/31/16

 

Dustin Purtell, Chris Murry and Raya Lemons are seniors at Horatio High School and they announced the senior class is hosting a blood drive on Thursday from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. in the front parking lot of the high school.

 

English and Journalism teacher, Amanda McAlester, explained students can earn a cord and scholarships by donating blood. She said the class set a goal of 20 units of blood and 5 units of plasma.

 

High School senior Dustin Purtell said donating blood can benefit the donor by lowering their chances of having a heart attack or stroke.

 

McAlester also said the 2016 Horatio Lions baseball team will receive their championship rings this Friday at 7 p.m. prior to the Horatio-Dierks football game.

 

For more information about the blood drive call the high school at 870-832-1940. 

 

 

 

RESULTS FROM THE LITTLE RIVER COUNTY FAIR'S LIVESTOCK SHOW       8/31/16

 

According to Rhonda Pounds of the Ashdown School District, 12 Ashdown School District students were honored during the 2016 Little River County Fair, which was held early this month in Foreman.

 

Pounds reported Lily Chauncy showed the Grand Champion Market goat. She also had the Arkansas Bred, Grand Champion goat and the Arkansas Bred, Reserve Champion goat. Kinley Wright had the Reserve Champion Market goat. Jaden Altenbaumer was named the Intermediate Showman winner; Carley Klitz was named the Junior Showman winner; and, Madeline Adkinson was named the Senior Showman winner.

 

In the hog category, Lyndon Youngblood had the Grand Champion market hog. He also won the Junior Showman award and Maddie McAllister won the Senior Showman award for hogs.

 

McAllister showed the Grand Champion and Reserve Champion market lamb and Ava Abney showed the Grand Champion Arkansas bred lamb. Caylee Turner showed the Reserve Champion Arkansas bred lamb and won the Intermediate Showman award. McAllister won the Senior Showman award.

 

Molly Parker had the Supreme Grand Champion heifer and she won the Junior Showman award. Trace Kennemore had the Reserve Supreme heifer and won the Senior Showman award.

 

Kennemore also has the Grand County born and bred heifer.

 

Pounds said Karen McMillan showed the Grand Champion meat pen rabbit.

 

 

 

SMALL FIRE LEADS TO BIG ARREST        8/31/16

 

On August 22nd, officers with the Ashdown Police Department spotted a small fire next to a fuel and oil business at about 11:15 p.m. When officers investigated the fire, they discovered a man who was allegedly manufacturing methamphetamine.

 

Ashdown Police Chief Mark Ardwin reported 33-year-old Curtis Denton was arrested near the Red River Oil Company on the west side of Ashdown and charged with felony possession of drug paraphernalia with intent to manufacture meth.

 

Members of the South Central Drug Task Force helped the Ashdown Police Department process the lab scene. Several items were taken into evidence including a partially burned battery pack.

 

Denton is currently free on bond.

 

 

 

CRACKDOWN CAMPAIGN AIMED AT DRUNK DRIVING SET TO BEGIN BEFORE LABOR DAY       8/31/16

 

During the final days of summer leading up to the Labor Day weekend, Arkansas families and friends will come together for seasonal celebrations. It's a dangerous time during this season as drunk drivers inevitably take their chances by getting into the driver's seat of a vehicle and head toward the next party or try to make it home.

 

The Arkansas State Police and local law enforcement agencies will work together to stop drunk drivers and help save lives.

 

The national enforcement campaign, "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" begins Friday, August 19th and will continue through Monday, September 5th. "Zero Tolerance" for drunk driving is the standing order for local and state law enforcement officers.

 

The Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office recommends that Arkansas drivers plan ahead whenever they expect to drive and consume alcohol; designate a sober driver before going out; if you've been drinking, call a taxi, take a bus or call a friend or family member as ask for a lift; report all drunk drivers that you see on the roadway; and always wear a seat belt.

 

For more information, visit the website, trafficsafetymarketing.gov. 

 

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY HEALTH UNIT HOSTING A SAFETY BABY SHOWER       8/31/16

 

If you are a mother to be, would you like to learn about protecting your baby from injury? If so, expectant mothers are invited to attend a Safety Baby Shower on Thursday, September 22nd, beginning at 4 p.m. at the Sevier County Health Unit at 304 North 4th Street in De Queen. The shower is open to any pregnant woman or postpartum woman whose baby was born within the past 12-months.

 

Space is limited so call 870-642-2535 to make your reservation.

 

The shower will include education on home safety, safe sleep, shaken baby syndrome and abusive head trauma, and child passenger safety in a festive, shower-themed atmosphere, complete with refreshments, decorations, games and prizes.

 

Shower gifts include various home safety products, instructional DVDs on infant crying and shaken baby syndrome and convertible child safety seats. Participants will meet with a trained Child Passenger Safety technician to receive the child safety seat and individual instruction on its correct installation and use. 

 

Fathers to be and grandparents are encouraged to attend also.

 

Child care will be provided and Spanish interpreters will be available.

 

The Safety Baby Shower is presented in partnership with the Sevier County Health Unit, Sevier County Coalition and many other community partners. For more information, you can visit the Sevier County Coalition Facebook page or the Sevier County Health's Unit's Facebook page.

 

 

UA COSSATOT NAMES AYLETT TO VICE CHANCELLOR         8/30/16

 

According to UA Cossatot Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole, Ashley Aylett has been named the college’s new Vice Chancellor of Academics.

 

Cole said the college was fortunate to have so many qualified applicants for the position. He said he is confident that Aylett will exceed expectations, because she has a deep understanding of the role of academics in the community college setting.

 

Aylett is a native of Athens and earned a Bachelors of Business Administration and her Masters of Business Administration from Henderson State University. She is currently enrolled in the Community College Leadership doctoral program through the University of Arkansas of Fayetteville.

 

Aylett said she was excited to tackle her new role. She said since she has been an instructor for years, she is fully aware of the needs of the faculty and she is looking forward to representing UA Cossatot in the state and beyond.

 

Aylett has worked at UA Cossatot for eight years serving as a business instructor and previously worked at Husqvarna as an accountant.

 

 

 

FOREMAN SCHOOL DISTRICT STARTS NEW JUNIOR HIGH NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY          8/30/16

 

During the August meeting of the Foreman Board of Education, Superintendent George Kennedy informed the board that the bathrooms on the elementary and high school campuses were renovated and some stumps were removed, this summer.

 

Kennedy told KDQN that the board approved the purchase of a new bell and intercom system for the high school. He said it will cost $33,000 and will be installed by Progressive Technologies of Little Rock.

 

Kennedy said the board passed a resolution allowing the district to conduct business with some local vendors. He said the resolution list local businesses that have a family ties with members of the Foreman faculty or staff.

 

Kennedy also stated he and High School Principal Kim Cody started an 8th and 9th grade National Honor Society.

 

Board members also voted to hold the district's school election by absentee and early voting only, since there were no contested positions.

 

 

 

HORATIO LIONS HOMECOMING COURT 2016       8/30/16

 

Students at Horatio High School selected the 2016 Homecoming Court, this week. The Homecoming Court includes: Sophomore Maid Mina McAda, Junior Maid Delfina Martinez, Senior Maid Laney Baker, Senior Maid Jocelyn Halter, Junior Maid Sierra Randall, Sophomore Maid Raven Revels, Football Bearer Knox Johnson, Crown Bearer Paisley George, Flower Girl Laiken Emerson and Queen Raya Lemons.

 

The Homecoming Court will be escorted by Chris Marsden, Dustin Purtell, Theo Ramsey, Alex Martin, Pedro Ruvalcaba, Josh Hanry, Joseph Moya and Aaron Lerma.

 

Homecoming is scheduled for Friday, September 9th. The daytime coronation will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the Horatio High School Football Field. The coronation will be followed by a pep rally at 2 and a parade at 2:30.

 

The evening ceremonies will be on the football field at 7 p.m. prior to the Horatio-Murfreesboro football game at 7:30.

 

 

 

SUSPECT PICKED UP ON A WARRANT         8/30/16

 

Last Friday, Patrolman First Class Levi Browning of the De Queen Police Department observed a woman that he thought was on the outstanding warrant list.

 

Browning confirmed a warrant for 37-year-old Tina Dollar of De Queen with dispatch and attempted to make contact with the suspect on 6th Street, but the suspect began to flee on foot.

 

When Dollar final stopped running in front of a house at the intersection of 6th and Gilson Streets, she reached into her pocket and threw something under Browning’s patrol vehicle.

 

Later Browning recovered a package of cigarettes with a straw and tin foil in the wrapper. Allegedly, the straw contained residue that’s consistent with drug use.

 

Dollar was taken into custody on the warrant. She was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, which is a class B felony.

 

 

 

U-TURN LEADS TO DWI ARREST          8/30/16

 

On August 26th, Patrolman First Class Levi Browning of the De Queen Police Department was patrolling near the four way intersection at Lakeside Drive and Collin Raye.

 

Browning reported he witnessed a vehicle in front of him that was traveling south on Highway 71. The vehicle then turned west onto Collin Raye and immediately turned around and drove east on Collin Raye. The vehicle then turned north back onto Highway 71 and pulled into the parking lot of the De Queen Courtyard.

 

The driver pulled into a parking spot and immediately exited his vehicle. Browning ordered him to get back into his vehicle, but the suspect refused.

 

When Browning asked for his driver’s license and insurance, the suspect threw his wallet on the windshield of his vehicle and informed Browning that his license had been suspended for driving while intoxicated.

 

Browning identified the driver as 22-year-old Nahun Reyes of Edinburg, Texas.

 

Officers Browning and Justin Gentry searched Reyes vehicle and found a plastic cup in the center console and an almost empty bottle of Jack Daniels in the back seat. When Browning asked Reyes how much he had to drink, Reyes said a six-pack.

 

Reyes was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. At the Sevier County jail, Reyes refused to submit to a chemical test. He was charged with DWI, driving on a suspended license for DWI, refusal to commit to chemical test and cited for careless and prohibited driving.

 

 

  

LABOR DAY 2016        8/30/16

 

Some historians believe Labor Day began on September 5th 1882 when about 10,000 workers assembled in New York city for a parade. But it wasn't until 1894 that Congress passed legislation designating the first Monday in September as a day to pay tribute to the social and economic achievements of the American worker.

 

This year, Arkansas has a great deal to celebrate. The unemployment rate is 3.9 percent and the state ranks in the top 10 with one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country.

 

Some of the largest occupations in the state are in retail sales and truck driving. There are more than 30,000 truck drivers who call Arkansas home and close to 40,000 Arkansans are in retail sales. Retail sales is also the largest occupation in the nation.

 

The average worker in Arkansas earns $38,540 a year. The highest paying occupation in the state is a General Internist with average salary of $265,360. Orthodontists come in as a close second.

 

The Arkansas Department of Workforce services also monitors the fastest growing occupations and the agency says occupational therapy assistants will see a 54 percent growth in their field from now through the year 2024.

 

Workforce services also expect to see over 6,000 jobs created in the next decade in the food prep and service industry.

 

According to research, the construction industry and the scientific and technical services sector are also growing in the state. The workforce agency expects to see over 800 new jobs created in the computer system design field alone in the next two years.

 

To learn more about Arkansas' workforce and programs that are being offered visit the Department of Workforce Services website: www.dws.arkansas.gov.

 

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY HUMANE SOCIETY'S SPAY AND NEUTER CLINIC IS SEPTEMBER 6TH, 7TH AND 8TH        8/30/16

 

Sevier County Humane Society President Juanelle Gage and Treasurer Martha Fines announced the society will be holding a spay and neuter clinic September 6th, 7th and 8th at their location across from the Herman Dierks Park on Haes Street.

 

Fines said the fee for cats is $40 and $65 for dogs, including a rabies shot.

 

Fines said they have about 120 spots available. To make an appointment, call her at 870-584-9096.

 

Gage said the Humane Society will also be selling tickets for a chance to win a 2-basket, 4-gallon fish fryer, a Tundra 65 Yeti cooler and a $50 Pruitt's Food gift card until the annual Hoo Rah Day festival on Saturday, October 1st. Fines said the tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20 dollars.

 

To purchase tickets, call 584-9096 or you may purchase them at the humane society's booth during the Hoo Rah Days festival. The winning ticket will be drawn about 5 p.m. on October 1st.

 

 

2016 FOREMAN HOMECOMING ROYALTY       8/29/16

 

Last week, the students at Foreman High School selected the 2016 Homecoming Court. This year's Homecoming Royalty includes: Kyle Merrell, Dayton Scott, Kolton Moore, Tucker Hall, Zach Springer, and Dimitri Jones. The young men will escort Kylie Cowan, Bailee Houser, Amy Elkins, Kaitlyn Smith, Reina Anderson and Emeisha Fields.

 

Homecoming is Friday, September 9th when the Gators host James Bowie at 7:30 p.m.

 

The afternoon coronation will begin at 12:45 in the gym and the Homecoming King and Queen will be announced at that time. The coronation will be followed by a parade at 1:30 and a school wide pep rally in front of the high school at 2.

 

Friday night, the King and Queen will be introduced on the football field at 6 p.m.

 

 

 

ASHDOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT WELCOMES SEVERAL NEW FACES THIS YEAR        8/29/16

 

The Ashdown School District welcomed nine new teachers to its staff this year and Superintendent Jason Sanders took the time this week to introduce them to the patrons of the district.

 

Georiga Fricks will be teaching Algebra I, Algebra A and Geometry A and B at the high school. She graduated from Texas A&M - Texarkana and worked as a tutor and supplemental instructor in math at TAMUT before joining the staff in Ashdown.

 

Lacey Cobb will teach First Grade. She has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a Masters of Science in Education in Educational Theory and Practice. She earned her undergrad degree at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and her masters from Arkansas State University. She taught fourth grade for three years and second grade for two.

 

Jaime Ward is the new 7th grade math teacher. She has a Bachelor of Science in Human Environmental Science degree from the University of Arkansas.

 

Cassandra Welch is the newest Agri teacher and she holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Education from Southern Arkansas University.

 

Stephanie Ringgold will be teaching Calculus, Pre-calculus, Algebra 3 and College Algebra and Geometry. She graduated from Texas A&M - Texarkana and was an Adjunct Professor at the college before joining the staff in Ashdown.

 

Anna Marie Tillery will be teaching PE and Health. She will also serve as the new Head Volleyball Coach. She worked in the Rogers School District at the Heritage High School before moving to Ashdown.

 

Anna Ward is the new Speech language Pathologist for the elementary, L.F. Henderson and junior high campuses. She obtained her Bachelors of Science degree in Education from the University of Arkansas and her Masters of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology from Louisiana Tech University.

 

Julie Sheppard will be teaching vocal music to 7th through 12th students and English Interventions on the junior and senior high campuses. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting degree from East Texas State University, a Masters of Education in Education Administration from Texas A&M - Commerce. She has taught choral music, English/journalism and she has served as an Assistant Principal, Principal and Assistant Superintendent.

 

Jerica Hubbard will teach PE and health at the junior high, as well as coach volleyball, basketball and assist with the softball team. She has a Bachelor of Health and PE degree and a Masters in Coaching and PE from the University of Arkansas at Monticello. She previously taught in Warren School District.

 

And, Angie Owings is moving from the L.F. Henderson campus to the high school campus to teach Civics and Economics.

 

 

 

DIERKS STUDENTS SCORE WELL ON STATE TEST       8/29/16

 

Dierks Superintendent Holly Cothern reported she and school officials are pleased with the district's ACT Aspire test results.

 

Cothern stated 100 percent of the testing was done online and the students responded well. She said it was the first year for the ACT Aspire test and therefore it's difficult to compare the scores with previous years testing data. Cothern said there were areas of improvement and school officials contribute those improvements to the elementary school's new reading program and the additional technology that was provided for students in grades three through ten for writing essays.

 

Cothern said the high school staff is working with students who need additional help in math and literacy and the district staff took some additional professional development classes this past summer to help improve the district's test scores this year.

 

Cothern said Dierks students scored high in English and Literacy, but the district has implements a few programs to help students improve their scores this year.

 

 

 

PROSTATE CANCER AWARENESS MONTH          8/29/16

 

In 2000, six community leaders, who are all prostate cancer survivors, along with a Medical Advisory Committee of physicians from around the state formed the Arkansas Prostate Cancer Foundation. Then in 2001, the foundation developed an education and screening program.

 

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and for the third year in a row, the Wellness Clinic is holding a community health fair and PSA event.

 

Whitney Tatum and Cynthia Kesterson from the Wellness Clinic reported the 2016 Community Health Fair is scheduled for September 15th and once again this year, they will be conducting free Prostate Specific Antigen blood draws for men over the age of 40 and free lab workups for men and women of all ages.

 

Dr. Jason Lofton stated the Wellness Clinic has been awarded a grant to cover the cost of the lab screenings.

 

Tatum also stated the Mammo Van from St. Vincent Hospital in Hot Springs is scheduled to conduct digital mammograms. She said interested women will need to call 501-622-2174 to make an appointment.

 

Tatum said Lofton and some other health professionals will also be teaching some educational classes throughout the day.

 

Kesterson said they will be drawing blood for the free lab work and the PSA test between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., but for more information, call the Wellness Clinic at 642-4000 extension 12.

 

 

 

SOUTHERN SPORTSMEN FOUNDATION BANQUET         8/29/16

 

The Southern Sportsmen Foundation president Mike Cranford said the foundation is getting ready for it's annul banquet which is scheduled for Saturday, September 24th at 5 p.m. at the Little River County fairgrounds in Foreman. He said the money raised during the banquet will be used to provide hunting opportunities for individuals with severe mobility impairments and/or life-threatening illnesses.

 

Cranford said the foundation hosts a youth hunt for youth hunters 18 years of age and younger, called the "Hunt of a Lifetime" near Mineral Springs. He said it will be held October 28th through the 30th at Starch Creek Hunting Club. He said they will also host the "Redneck Safari" near Foreman, for adults on November 16th through the 18th.

 

Cranford said youth hunters must be able to arrive by 3 p.m. on October 27th for a pre-hunt orientation and must be accompanied by at least one parent or legal guardian. And, adult hunters must be able to arrive by 11 a.m. on November 16th and are welcome to bring a non-hunting companion.

 

Cranford said lodging, meals and license will be provided by the foundation. However, hunters are responsible for their travel expenses. Hunters born after December 31st, 1968 and at least 16 years of age must possess a valid hunter's education and safety card.

 

All hunt applications must be received by September 15th. Cranford said hunters who are chosen will be notified by September 30th. For your convenience an application has been posted on the KDQN.net website or you may visit www.sharingtheoutdoors.com.

 

For more information, contact Cranford at mike.cranford@sharingtheoutdoors.com.

 

 

 

PACK THE PARK CAR SHOW REGISTRATION NOW OPEN      8/29/16

 

Registration is now open for the annual Pack the Park Car Show. This year, the event is sponsored by the Howard County Historical Society and all of the proceeds will benefit the Howard County Museum.

 

The event will be held in the Nashville City Park on Saturday, September 10th from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

 

The registration fee is $15 in advance or $20 the day of the show.

 

There are several classifications to register including 1949 and back; 1950 to '59; 1960 to '69; 1970 to '99; 2000 to new. There is also a motorcycle and corvette corner.  Car Clubs are welcome and all participates will receive a gift bag and dash plaques.

 

For more information, call or text 870-451-4288.

 

 

2016 HOO RAH DAYS PAGEANT        8/26/16

 

Hoo Rah Days is set for the first Saturday of October, but things will get started in September with the 14th Annual Hoo Rah Beauty Pageant.

 

Pageant director, Jackie Gonzalez announced the pageant will be Saturday, September 17th at the De Queen High School Auditorium. Registration on the day of the pageant is from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the auditorium, but pre-registration will be held on Sunday, September 11th from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Sevier County Museum Annex building.

 

She said the pageant will feature nine age divisions. The nine divisions include: 0-11 months, 12-23 months, 2-3 years, 4-5 years, 6-7 years, 8-9 years, 10-12 years, 13-15 years and 16 and up.

 

Gonzalez said a total of 15 crowns will be awarded during the pageant, including a crown to the Ultimate Grand Supreme winner. There will also be three Grand Supreme winners and two Mini Supreme winners.

 

She said the crowning ceremony is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on the day of the pageant.

 

Gonzalez said this is an open pageant and all of last year's winners, except for the Ultimate Grand Supreme winner, can compete again this year.

 

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

 

 

 

WOUNDED WARRIOR DEER HUNT IS OCTOBER 14-16        8/26/16

 

The Millwood Lake Citizens Focus Committee is hosting the 2016 Wounded Warrior Deer Hunt, October 14th through the 16th.

 

Committee members announced 10 soldiers will travel to Millwood Lake to participate in the hunt and enjoy the outdoors. They said the mission of the Wounded Warrior Hunt is to help prepare these soldiers for a successful life as a veteran in their communities.

 

The Millwood Lake Citizens Focus Committee will provide hunting license, lodging and meals for three days and they are asking the community to help them raise funds, so they can continue offering this amazing experience to these America Heroes.

 

For more information, call Peggy Kite at 870-898-5370 or Jim Stanton at 870-898-3534.

 

All donations are tax deductible and can be mailed to the Millwood Lake Citizens Focus Committee at 106 Bass Haven Circle, Ashdown, Arkansas 71822. 

 

 

 

CHANGES TO HUNTER EDUCATION CLASSES       8/26/16

 

Local Hunter Education Instructor, Tawana Newton, announced she will be offering one more hunter education class this year. She said it scheduled for October 22nd from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Provo Community Center. Newton also mentioned there have been some changes to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission hunter education registration process.

 

Newton said during the October class, she will be utilizing the commission's new power point presentation, as well as some of the older videos.

 

Newton said the class is limited to the first 50 people to sign up, but you can contact her for more information at 870-582-1328.

 

For more information about new hunting regulations, visit the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's website at AGFC.com.

 

 

 

WOMEN'S MARCH TOWARD EQUALITY SLOW BUT STEADY IN ARKANSAS        8/26/16

 

Arkansas is a state where women's advocates say movement toward securing equality is sometimes slow, but they see enormous potential for future progress.

 

Today is Women's Equality Day and it commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment almost 100 years ago. The 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote and Anna Beth Gorman of the Women's Foundation of Arkansas says on many issues, progress has been hard to come by. But, she says her group's 2013 study on the status of women in Arkansas was an eye-opener.

 

Gorman says in Arkansas, women make about 78 cents for every dollar men are paid and that only 20 percent of women in the state have college degrees. She adds with the state's minimum wage at about $8 an hour, a single mother with two kids who works a 40-hour week is most likely living in poverty.

 

Today is Women's Equality Day and it was set aside by Congress in 1971 to mark the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment. Gorman says her group is working to organize Arkansas women to bring about social and economic change through the ballot box. She says education is the key to progress.

 

Gorman says while her foundation honors women's past accomplishments, it is focused more on advancing the status of women in the future by creating opportunities for education, career advancement and business and political leadership roles.

 

 

SEARCH CONTINUES FOR FUGITIVE IN LITTLE RIVER COUNTY       8/25/16

 

The search continues in Little River County for 38-year-old Christopher Whistle of Texarkana, Arkansas. Whistle is wanted by the FBI on a federal drug warrant, according to Little River County officials. Officials also suspect Whistle is still in the Little River County.

 

Whistle fled from a Little River County deputy Tuesday morning following traffic stop at the intersection of Highway 71 and County Road 710. Whistle drove to the end of County Road 710 and then ran into some nearby woods.

 

Little River County Sheriff Gary Gregory said law enforcement officers searched for Whistle until about 11 p.m. Tuesday night. Wednesday morning, the sheriff's office received information that Whistle was near the abandoned E-Z Mart in Wilton, but officers did not locate anyone that matched Whistles description when they followed up on the lead.

 

Whistle is described as being 5 feet 7 inches tall. He weighs about 170 pounds and has brown hair and eyes. He was last seen wearing a red shirt over a white tank top, blue jeans and boots.

 

Residents are being asked to contact 9-1-1 if they spot Whistle.

  

 

CITY OF DE QUEEN PURCHASES USED FIRE TRUCK         8/25/16

 

Tuesday night during a regular meeting of the De Queen City Council, aldermen voted to purchase a used fire truck for $175,000 from a fire department in Iowa.

 

Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt told the council the truck was a 2007 International Pumper/Tanker with only 5,087 miles on it. He said they needed to replace a 1987 KME Pumper that was purchased in 2005. Pruitt said the department needs more water and a new truck similar to this one would cost over $300,000.

 

Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy reported the fire department had applied for two grants last year to help purchase a new truck, but they were both denied.

 

After a lengthy discussion, aldermen voted to approve the purchase.

 

Wednesday morning, Pruitt thanked the council and the mayor for approving the purchase.

 

Pruitt said this truck will be the first truck out and his department will be able to extinguish a house fire with only this truck.

 

Pruitt also reminded citizens that live outside the city limits, but still in the De Queen Fire Department's service area that they can buy a membership for $50. He said that will save the property owner money in the case of a fire.

 

City Clerk Donna Jones informed the council a CD matured this week and she will use a portion of those funds to pay for the truck.

  

 

AGFC SPONSORING QUAIL MANAGEMENT SEMINAR           8/25/16

 

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission announced they will sponsor a Quail Management Seminar in Hope on Thursday, September 15th from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

 

The seminar will begin with an outdoor presentation if the weather allows. It will also include information about habitat management for the Northern Bobwhite.

 

The seminar will be held at the University of Arkansas Research Station at 362 Highway 174 North in Hope. To register visit the website AFGCQuailWorkshop.eventbrite.com, or call 870-777-5580.

 

 

MOBILE PANTRY TO BRING FOOD TO THOSE IN NEED IN SEVIER COUNTY       8/25/16

 

The Harvest Regional Food Bank is returning to Sevier County with its Mobile Pantry. According to the executive director of the food bank, Camille Wrinkle, there are several communities within the food banks rural service area that is not fully served by a local partner agency. She said to be sure that these residents are being served, the food bank provides direct service through the mobile pantry.

 

Harvest Regional Food Bank will distribute pantry boxes and USDA commodities from the Horatio First United Methodist Church on Wednesday, September 21st from 10 a.m. to noon. Wrinkle said senior adults 65 and older will be served first at 10 a.m., followed by anyone 65 and younger.

 

Wrinkle announced volunteers are needed to help load boxes into cars and if you would like to volunteer, contact the food bank at 870-774-1398.

 

All recipients are required to provide a photo ID, verifying their age and residency in Sevier County. Distribution is limited to one per household and no one can pick up a box for someone else.

 

USDA commodities will be available to those who meet the income requirements and do not receive commodities at another location.

 

Food boxes will include an assortment of canned fruits and vegetables, rice, pasta, fruit juices, spices and other items.

 

  

COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK ACTIVITIES        8/25/16

 

Cossatot River State Park Interpreter Shelley Flanary announced she'll be leading a kick and pick snorkeling adventure this Saturday from 9 to 10 a.m. She said the park will provide the snorkeling equipment but guest will need to wear appropriate clothing for swimming. She also stated the minimum age is six and they must be accompanied by an adult.

 

At 10 a.m. Park Interpreter Tori Carson will introduce some of the park's reptiles to guest. She will describe the characteristics of the six venomous snakes that are found in the park. Carson will also explained the difference between poisonous snakes and harmless snakes.

 

Saturday afternoon, park guests can learn how fire has been part of the Earth's natural cycle and has influenced natural selection and plant evolution, during a program entitled the "Two sides of Fire" from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. in the visitor center.

 

Sunday morning from 9 to 10 a.m. Carson will get guests armed with GPS units so they can uncover clues during a GPS scavenger hunt.

 

Park guests can help feed the park critters, Sunday afternoon from 2 to 3 p.m. and they can enjoy the sounds of nature in the Legacy Room of the visitor center from 3:15 to 4:15.

 

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

 

  

CONSUMER ALERT: TELEVISION PACKAGE UPGRADES      8/25/16

 

Many Arkansans are gearing up for football season and fall premieres and looking into options to get as many games and programming on television that they can. This leads some to consider upgrading their television packages to make sure they can watch all of the big games and popular shows. Different providers offer different channel upgrades, and it is important to be educated on the options from your cable or satellite provider.

 

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a consumer alert to encourage Arkansans to fully research the available television packages before determining if an upgrade is right for them.

 

Rutledge released the following tips for consumers who are looking to upgrade their cable or satellite package.

 

She suggest consumers review all of the packages and add-ons that are available through their current provider and then consider the type of programming you prefer to watch, like sports, movies, children's shows. She said be realistic about what you will watch so that you do not end up overpaying for channels that you will not use.

 

Rutledge said be wary of promotional deals, because they always have an expiration date, as well as, offers of free installation or free equipment.

 

For more information on types of television service and other consumer related issues, contact the Attorney General's office at 1-800-482-8982 or visit the website ArkansasAG.gov.

 

 

DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL VOTES TO MAKE CITY ATTORNEY POSITION - ONE POSITION, INSTEAD OF TWO       8/24/16
Tuesday night, the De Queen aldermen voted to re-combine the city attorney position. For the past several years, De Queen has had two city attorneys. One provided the mayor, city council, department heads, committees and commissions with legal advice and guidance, while the other was the city prosecutor in district court.

Laura Lindly is the city's legal council and Manya Wood is currently the prosecutor, but Wood will be stepping down this December to assume her new position as the District Judge.

Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy stated aldermen voted to combine the positions into one and passed an ordinance defining the duties and responsibilities of a non-resident city attorney.


McKelvy reported he visited with representatives from McClelland Engineering and discussed the possibility of obtaining a grant for the construction of a sidewalk that would run from the high school on Coulter Drive to 9th Street and then north to the administration building. Aldermen instructed McKelvy to visit with school officials to see if they would support the project and then apply for a grant.


McKelvy said the city is still working to repair the street lights in the downtown area and the council passed a resolution to levy the city's millage rate at 5.4 mills.

Aldermen are also considering an appropriate memorial for the four De Queen police officers who died in an accident in 1984.

 

  

AREA LAW ENFORCEMENT SEARCHING FOR SUSPECT WITH FEDERAL WARRANTS          8/24/16


Law Enforcement agencies are currently searching for 38-year-old Christopher Whistle of Texarkana, Arkansas. Authorities are using a helicopter, tracking dogs, deputies on horseback and four-wheel vehicles in their search for Whistle who is wanted on a federal drug warrant.

According to the Little River County Sheriff’s Office, Chief Deputy David Hall stopped Whistle’s vehicle about 9:45 a.m. Tuesday morning at the intersection of Highway 71 and Little River County Road 710. Hall reported Whistle drove off as he approached the vehicle.

Whistle drove to the end of county road 710 and jumped out the vehicle and ran into some nearby woods.

Members of the Little River County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI, Arkansas State Police, the Southwest Arkansas Drug Task Force and the K9 unit from Nashville are involved in the search.

Sheriff Gary Gregory described Whistle as being 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighing about 170 pounds with brown hair and eyes. He was last seen wearing a red shirt over a white tank top, blue jeans and boots.

Authorities do not know if Whistle is armed, but area residents are being asked to contact 9-1-1 if they spot Whistle.

  

 

COSSATOT RIVER HIGH SCHOOL FFA CHAPTER HELPING COLLECT FLOOD RELIEF ITEMS        8/24/16

 

Members of the Cossatot River FFA chapter are collecting flood relief donations to send to the victims of the Louisiana flood.

 

Chapter Vice-President Jacie Wilkerson said she has a lot of friends in Louisiana and suggested they collect donations to help those in need.

 

She said they’ll accepts items like: non-perishable food items, bottled water, baby diapers, blankets, clothes, toiletries, and animal food.

 

Items may be dropped off at the Cossatot River High School agri building today and Thursday between school hours and all day Friday. Wilkerson said items will be taken to Louisiana on Saturday.

 

For more information, call 870-584-8493 or 870-784-2722.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN BAND STUDENTS SELLING TUMBLERS TO COVER MAINTENANCE FEES       8/24/16

 

Seventh grade band student Jafet Sotelo informed KDQN that there are several different tumblers to choose from, but you can buy a fountain drink at TJ's Convenience Store for just 49-cents with the purchase of a De Queen Leopard Tumbler.

 

De Queen Band Director Jeff Attaway said band students will be selling Tritan Tumblers this week to cover the cost of their instrument maintenance fees, which is $100 per student. Sotelo said this will allow the band instruments to be cleaned and repaired.

 

Attaway said most tumblers are $20 each, but some of the tumblers   with NFL player pictures on them are $21.

 

Attaway said the band earns $10 from the sell of every tumbler. He said the last day to purchase a tumbler is this Friday and you may contact any De Queen Band member to place an order. Attaway said this year's band program has 250 sixth through twelfth grade students.

 

 

 

BACKING THE BADGE CAR WASH FUNDRAISER THIS SATURDAY       8/24/16

 

Priscila Baker and a couple of other ladies will be holding a Backing the Badge car wash fundraiser this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Smith's X-treme Car Wash at 840 East Collin Raye Drive in De Queen.

 

Baker said the proceeds will be used to support outreach projects and to honor all of the law enforcement officers, EMTs, First Responders, volunteer fire fighters and everyone that serves their communities. She said the Backing the Badge event will be held on September 17th in the Town North Shopping Center.

 

For more information, search for the Facebook event, Backing the Badge Car Wash Fundraiser.

 

 

  

MAYOR REPORTS ON PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION MEETING TO CITY COUNCIL            8/24/16
Tuesday night, De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy informed the city council that the Planning and Zoning Commission met last week and approved a couple of zoning request.

After hearing the commission’s recommendation, aldermen passed an ordinance accepting the Planning and Zoning Commission's recommendation to re-zone some property for First State Bank from R-2 residential to C-2 highway commercial.

 

 

 

COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENTS TO RECEIVE NEW GPS SYSTEMS TONIGHT       8/24/16

 

Sevier County Office of Emergency Services Coordinator Walter Smith announced today that he will be holding a meeting tonight at 6 p.m. with the fire chiefs from all the volunteer fire departments in the county to present them with new GPS devices.

 

Smith said some concerned citizens purchased the devices so area first responders and fire departments could communicate better with Air Evac helicopters.

 

Smith also encouraged county residents to make sure they have their 9-1-1 addresses clearly posted on their homes or mailboxes with 3-inch letters. He said it could save valuable time in the case of an emergency.

 

Smith said residents can purchase the 3-inch letters at any hardware store.

 

 

REPAIRS WILL BE MADE TO FIRE PLUG THIS THURSDAY       8/23/16

 

De Queen Water Superintendent Jeff Brown informed KDQN that his department will be shutting off water to a portion of town while water department employees replace a fire plug.

 

Brown reported water will be shut off this Thursday from 9 a.m. to about noon from the Handi-Mart store to the Pilgrim's Pride hatchery out east of town, as well as the residents living on the south side of Bennett Street and Taggart Trail.

 

Brown said city crews will be replacing a fire plug that was damaged by an 18-wheeler that attempted to make a wrong turn.

 

Brown apologized for the inconvenience that this will cause the residents of De Queen in that area.

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY IS FINAL DAY TO SIGN UP FOR TACKLE FOOTBALL IN DE QUEEN       8/23/16

 

Chris Hale of the De Queen Parks and Recreation Department announced this morning that Wednesday is the final day to sign up for tackle football. He said they average 75 players a year, but they only have about 40 kids signed up so far.

 

Hale said registration forms should be delivered to the park office, which is located in the Herman Dierks Park on Haes Street.

 

The registration fee is $35 if your child as a jersey from last year or $80 if they don't have a jersey.

 

Hale said they will combine the 3rd and 4th graders and the 5th and 6th graders this season and have a Black and a Gold team for each age group. He said players will get more playing time.

 

If you have any questions, contact Hale at the park office by calling 870-642-4140.

 

 

 

ARKANSAS BALLOT CONTAINS SEVERAL INITIATIVES AND AMENDMENTS        8/23/16

 

In the last 10 general elections, voters have considered more than three dozen issues on statewide ballots, including constitutional amendments, initiated acts or referred questions that ran the range from barring gay marriage, changing the state’s tax structure to expanding gambling across the state.

 

Voters have approved more than two-thirds of the ballot issues they’ve considered since 1996, which may explain why, come November, the citizens of Arkansas will consider more questions than they do candidates.

 

In the past week, the final sets of petition signatures were delivered for a proposed ballot issue that would establish casinos in Boone, Miller and Washington counties and a separate effort to legalize medical marijuana. Another medical marijuana measure is already on the ballot.

 

If the latest ballot questions are approved, and pass any possible court challenges this fall, Arkansas voters will have seven proposals to consider before leaving their polling location.

 

That could be more than the number of races they’ll decide.

 

Each voter will have three federal races to consider, president, U.S. Senate, U.S. House and some voters will see contests for the state House and state Senate. Depending on the number of local contests, and whether their legislative races are still contested, it’s possible some people will consider twice as many ballot issues as they will races for political office.

 

The Legislature has placed three issues before the voters, and there are four voter-backed questions in the works. The Legislature suggests: increasing the terms of most county offices to four years, relaxing restrictions on what crimes prevent people from holding office and remove unopposed candidates from ballots; let the governor retain power while out of the state; and to remove the cap on bonds that the state can issue at attract employers.

 

Through the petition process, two issues are already on the ballot: they are a medical marijuana plan; and a proposal to limit non-economic damages in lawsuits against health care providers.

 

Other proposals that are awaiting certification are: another medical marijuana plan; and a bid to allow casinos in Boone, Miller and Washington counties.

 

 

 

SEPTEMBER IS ONCE AGAIN "TAKE YOUR LEGISLATOR TO SCHOOL MONTH"                   8/23/16

 

Last September, legislators made visits to more than 120 school districts and during their visits legislators were able to see firsthand just how rapidly classrooms are changing as districts prepare students for college and the workforce.

 

In 2015, the Arkansas General Assembly passed a resolution designating September as the annual "Take Your Legislator to School Month." The resolution also encourages public school districts to plan special events with their local legislators.

 

District's are encouraged to showcase their innovative solutions and successes; organize an opportunity for faculty and staff to discuss possible solutions for issues and challenges that districts face; schedule guided tours of the district campuses and classrooms and to provide and opportunity for legislators to speak to students; and to sponsor a panel discussion with administrators, teachers and students to address issues that are facing Arkansas' school districts.

 

Over 43 percent of the state's new available General Revenue is dedicated to K-12 education.

 

For more information about the "Take Your Legislator to School Month" visit the website, www.arkansashouse.org and click on the "Kids in the House" tab. There you will find information about how local districts can take advantage of this opportunity.

 

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY HUMANE SOCIETY'S SPAY AND NEUTER CLINIC IS SEPTEMBER 6TH, 7TH AND 8TH        8/23/16

 

Sevier County Humane Society President Juanelle Gage and Treasurer Martha Fines announced the society will be holding a spay and neuter clinic September 6th, 7th and 8th at their location across from the Herman Dierks Park on Haes Street.

 

Fines said the fee for cats is $40 including a rabies shot and $65 for dogs and they have about 120 spots available. To make an appointment, call her at 870-584-9096.

 

Gage said they will also be holding a fundraiser until the annual Hoo Rah Day festival. She said they are selling tickets for a chance to win a 2-basket, 4-gallon fish fryer, a Tundra 65 Yeti cooler and a $50 Pruitt's Food gift card. Fines said the tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20 dollars.

 

Fines said you may contact her at 584-9096 to purchase tickets or you may purchase them at the humane society's booth during the Hoo Rah Days festival. She said the winning ticket will be drawn at the conclusion of the festival.

 

 

 

SINGLE VEHICLE ACCIDENT DAMAGES HORATIO SCHOOL GATE       8/23/16

 

Saturday morning about 2:30, the Sevier County Sheriff's Office was notified of a single vehicle accident on Main Street in Horatio.

 

When deputies arrived, they interviewed the driver, Charles Douglas of Mt. Pleasant, Texas.

 

Douglas reported the accident occurred when a vehicle crossed the center line into his lane and he swerved to avoid hitting the vehicle head-on. He said the road was wet and the trailer slide into the ditch when he applied the brakes.

 

Douglas said the other vehicle continued to travel south on Highway 41.

 

Deputies noted the tractor/trailer skidded 50 feet in the ditch and then skidded another 45 feet before it struck the gate at the entrance of the Horatio Elementary School parking lot. Deputies said the tractor/trailer slide about other 25 feet before it came to a stop.

 

Douglas was not injured, but Horatio First Responders and Southwest EMS were dispatched to the scene.

 

 

 

THE WELLNESS CLINIC PRESENTS THE 3RD ANNUAL PSA AND COMMUNITY HEALTH CLINIC THIS SEPTEMBER 15TH          8/23/16

 

Whitney Tatum of the Wellness Clinic announced Dr. Jason Lofton and his staff will be hosting the 3rd Annual Community Health Clinic and Prostate PSA testing event on Thursday, September 15th.

 

Tatum explained the PSA test is a simple blood draw.

 

She said the Wellness Clinic has also received a grant so they can offer free lab work to men and women. She said they will start drawing blood at 8 a.m. and continue throughout the day until 8 p.m.

 

Tatum stated you do not have to be Dr. Lofton's patient because they will send your results to your primary care physician.

 

Tatum said the Mamo Van from St. Vincent's Hospital will be at the event to provide digital mammograms. She said they have about 5 slots available and women need to call St. Vincent's at 501-622-2174 to pre-register. She said the van will be in De Queen from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and each appointment takes about 15-minutes.

 

She said the Wellness Clinic will also be offering some educational classes covering several health topics and some health care vendors will be present to provide area residents with information about the services and programs that they offer.

 

For more information, call the Wellness Clinic at 642-4000 extension 12.

 

 

AREA LEGISLATORS WIFE GIVEN NEW STATE JOB AND PAY RAISE       8/22/16

 

Three Arkansas lawmakers’ wives who hold state jobs have been approved for promotions or a new job at a higher salary.

 

The Legislative Council approved new jobs and salaries for Phyllis Bell who is the wife of independent Representative Nate Bell of Mena, ShaRhonda Love who is the wife of Democratic Representative Fred Love and Carissa Gillam who is the wife of Republican House Speaker Jeremy Gillam.

 

Bell who was an administrative assistant in Governor Asa Hutchinson’s office and receiving a salary of $53,000, was promoted to senior advisor to Hutchinson and given a salary of $80,000.

 

Love will be a compliance officer at the University of Arkansas for Medical Science’s Arkansas Center for Health Improvement at a salary of $65,000. She previously worked at the Arkansas Department of Health, where her salary was $57,342.

 

Gillam will be paid $30,713 as a higher-education institution program coordinator at Arkansas State University at Beebe. She was earning $20,396 as a registrar’s assistant on the Searcy campus of ASU-Beebe.

 

Officials say the hirings have nothing to do with their husbands being lawmakers, but the council’s approval was required to comply with a state law that prohibits the hiring of spouses of constitutional officers by any state agency without approval of the Legislature’s Joint Budget Committee during a legislative session, the Legislative Council between sessions and the governor.

 

 

 

ASHDOWN BOARD OF EDUCATION APPROVES PURCHASE OF NEW TEXTBOOKS FOR AHS         8/22/16

 

Members of the Ashdown Board of Education approved the purchase of new Social Studies textbooks for the high school and junior high, a new PA system for Dick Hayes Stadium and furniture for the new administration offices.

 

Superintendent Jason Sanders said the new PA system will cost $16,455.24 and will not only be utilized during football games, but during graduation and other events, as well.

 

Sanders reported the new furniture is being built by inmates at the Arkansas Correction Institution. He said the new furniture will cost $43,226.22, but that's less than half the cost of some of the other bids.

 

Sanders said the district purchased new Social Studies textbooks because the high school and junior high principals listed them as a high priority this year.

 

Board members also approved the transfer request of one student, but denied the request of two others.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION APPROVES A REZONING REQUEST BY FIRST STATE BANK        8/22/16

 

Last Thursday night, the De Queen Planning and Zoning Commission met to consider two requests.

 

First State Bank of De Queen President Gary Golden asked the commission to approve a zoning change for a piece of bank property behind their bank on Colin Raye Drive. He said the property was zoned R-1 residential and he asked for the zone to be changed to C-2 commercial.

 

Golden told the commission that the bank wants to construct a building on the property that would house their data processing center.

 

Since there were no objections from the public, the commission voted to approve First State Bank's request.

 

Iva Keeney Willis of 123 Treating Plant Road also asked the commission for permission to restore a small house this sits on her property.

 

Willis asked for a variance from the commission because there will be two houses on one lot within the city limits.

 

Willis explained in a letter to the commission that the house is currently empty, but she would like to renovate the house and possibly allow an elderly family member to live there.

 

The commission approved the variance because the house has been on the property for several years and it had been previously occupied. City officials also reported the property is large enough to accommodate both houses and the house will be used for a family member and not rented to the public.

 

Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy was also instructed to provide Willis with a letter explaining the variance and the restrictions under the city codes.

 

 

 

DUGGAN APPOINTED TO COSSATOT RIVER BOARD OF EDUCATION       8/22/16

 

Cossatot River School District Superintendent Donnie Davis reported the board of education appointed Mark Duggan to fill the position vacated by the resignation of Rick Frachiseur. Davis said Duggan will be sworn in before the board's September meeting.

 

District patrons will be voting on two board positions during the September School Election. Current board members, Nick Strother and Randy Sellers, are running unopposed. Davis said all voting will be conducted by early and absentee voting only at the Polk County Courthouse. He said patrons will not be able to vote on September 20th because voting ends on the 19th.

 

He also stated he felt the district was on the right track after reviewing the district's ACT Aspire test schools.

 

Board members approved the transfer of two students into the district, two students to the Mena School District and two students to the De Queen School District.

 

 

 

LITTLE RIVER COUNTY SHERIFF NAMES HALL CHIEF DEPUTY           8/22/16

 

Little River County Sheriff Gary Gregory named Deputy David Hall chief deputy after former chief deputy Alex Mathis resigned due to a back injury that he received when he fell while trimming a tree at his residence in Ashdown.

 

In Mathis’ resignation letter he stated he was unable to perform his job duties and therefore he felt he should resign his position.

 

Before Hall became a Little River County deputy, he worked with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission as a wildlife officer.

 

 

 

MINERAL SPRINGS FILES CIRCUIT COURT APPEAL      8/22/16

 

The Mineral Springs School District has appealed the Arkansas State Board of Education's denial of the district's appeal of the Arkansas Department of Education's identification of Mineral Springs High School as being in academic distress. The appeal was filed in the Sixth Circuit Court and has been assigned to the Ninth Division Judge Mary McGowan.

 

John Walker will represent the Mineral Springs School District at the appeal hearing.

 

Superintendent Curtis Turner says the unlawful actions of the Arkansas Department of Education and the state board of education include three items. He said the state used the results of a new standardized test to identify the high school as being in academic distress despite not having proper authority under state and administrative law. He said they also identified the high school as being in academic distress well after the deadline for any academic distress identifications. And, He said the state classified the high school as being in academic distress despite the Arkansas General Assembly's finding that it is necessary to suspend all such classifications.

 

 

 

OKLAHOMA STATE BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION ASSISTING MCCURTAIN COUNTY OFFICIALS WITH HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION          8/22/16

 

The McCurtain County Sheriff’s Office contacted the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday, August 17th and requested their assistance with a homicide investigation in Smithville.

 

Wednesday night, a family member of 30-year-old Donald Williams found his body inside a building at the RV Park where Williams lived.

 

Law enforcement officials say it appears Williams died from a gunshot wound, but an autopsy is being performed by the state medical examiner’s office.

 

As of today, no arrests have been made in the case, but the homicide is still under investigation.

 

 

 

PORTION OF ASHDOWN HARDWARE COLLAPSES          8/22/16

 

Early Friday morning, a portion of Ashdown Hardware building collapsed, which is located on East Main Street in downtown Ashdown.

 

According to the Little River County Sheriff’s Office, they were notified that the building collapsed about 6 a.m., Ashdown Police Captain Bobby Walraven reported no one was injured.

 

According to the historical records, the building was built in 1905. And the building next to the hardware store was being torn down. Authorities suspect a train that was coming through town caused an exposed I-beam to vibrate and cause the collapse.

 

The westbound lane of Main Street is currently closed until the debris is cleaned up and officials are sure the rest of the structure is stable.

 

 

 

UA COSSATOT RECEIVES GRANT          8/19/16

 

UA Cossatot has been notified of a grant through the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

 

The grant will lead a statewide effort to integrate industry-specified geospatial technology skills into existing degree and certificate programs at community colleges in rural areas. 

 

The National Science Foundation, through its Advanced Technical Education program, awarded CAST a three-year grant for $898,073 for the Opening Pathways to Employment through Nontraditional Geospatial Applications in Technical Education, which will be known by the acronym OPEN-GATE.

 

Geospatial technologies include computer-based mapping and data acquisition and analysis using geographic information systems. The U.S. Department of Labor has listed it as a high-growth industry and a major area of job creation in the next decade. A recent survey found a need for technicians, especially those who can store, create and manage data.

 

The program’s goals are to increase use of geospatial technology statewide, expand access to geospatial education and training and improve existing employee skills while expanding the workforce.

 

UA Cossatot will work with local industry to create an Employer Advisory Board to provide feedback about employer needs for the developing workforce and facilitate direct interaction between employers, faculty and students.

 

Kelli Harris is UA Cossatot’s Agriculture Instructor. She said technology is increasingly important in our field, and this grant will allow our students to obtain advanced and innovative skills necessary in modern agriculture.

 

CAST will work with three additional community colleges in the University of Arkansas System to include geospatial technology curriculum in current programs.

 

 

 

ARKANSAS EDUCATION PANEL REJECTS PLANS FOR 2 NEW CHARTER SCHOOLS        8/19/16

 

An Arkansas Department of Education committee rejected the applications from two proposed charter schools in western Arkansas.

 

The Charter Authorizing Panel voted Wednesday to turn down plans for the proposed Lockesburg STEM Academy in Sevier County and the Classical Academy in Farmington.

 

According to one report, the panel rejected the Lockesburg charter school plan because the leaders of the sponsoring organization didn't attend the hearing. The panel voted down the Farmington plan because of last-minute changes in the school's location and changes to its list of requested waivers of state laws and regulations.

 

 

 

ASHDOWN HIGH SCHOOL ALUMNI ASSOCIATION ALUMNI BANQUET IS SEPTEMBER 24TH        8/19/16

 

The Ashdown High School Alumni Committee and Officers recently announced the 10th annual Alumni Banquet will be held on Saturday, September 24th at the high school cafeteria.

 

This year’s honored guest will be Murphy Coulter Cauthron who graduated in 1954 and was a charter member of the Alumni Association. Cauthron also taught for 43 years in the Ashdown School District.

 

Entertainment will be provided by Joe Mack Bennett and the association will be helping the Class of 1966 celebrate 50 years.

 

Tickets for the banquet are $25 per person and that includes a $10 alumni due. Tickets are only available to alumnus. Tickets are on sale now through Saturday, September 10th at noon and only 400 tickets will be sold.

 

Individual tickets may be purchased at the Castle Antiques, from Betty Ruth McDowell Kidd by calling 870-898-8391, Sandra Shackelford Furlow by calling 870-898-6803 or Susan Setliff Simmons by calling 870-898-3851.

 

Tables of eight may be purchased by contacting Diane McLarty at 870-898-6179.

 

The doors will open at 4:30 and the dinner will be served at 6.

 

The Ashdown High School Homecoming game and parade will be held on Friday, September 23rd.

 

 

 

4-H ROUNDUP SET FOR AUGUST 27TH IN FOREMAN        8/19/16

 

A 4-H Roundup has been scheduled in Little River County at the fairgrounds in Foreman from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, August 27th for children ages 5 to 19, according to the Little River County extension agent for family and consumer sciences, Celeste Scarborough.

 

Scarborough said youth will be introduced to 4-H with games and the day will be topped off with an ice cream sundae treat.

 

To register or for more information, call 870-898-7224 by August 25th.

 

 

 

AGFC SPONSORING QUAIL MANAGEMENT SEMINAR           8/19/16

 

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission announced they will sponsor a Quail Management Seminar in Hope on Thursday, September 15th from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

 

There seminar will begin with an outdoor portion if the weather allows. It will also include information about habitat management for the Northern Bobwhite.

 

The seminar will be held at the University of Arkansas Research Station at 362 Highway 174 North in Hope. To register visit the website AFGCQuailWorkshop.eventbrite.com, or call 870-777-5580.

 

 

 

CONSUMER ALERT - AIR BAG RECALLS EXPANDING       8/18/16

 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration continues to issue recalls for Takata air bags. The air bags were used by many popular manufacturers, including Acura, BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, Jeep, Infiniti, Lexus, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen and more, and were reportedly made with a propellant that can degrade over time causing them to rupture and propel shards of metal into the vehicle.

 

According to the NHTSA, the air bags have attributed to at least 10 deaths and more than 100 injuries in the United States.

 

The NHTSA is urging consumers to not drive certain 2001-2003 Honda vehicles and to immediately call the dealer to schedule a free repair. It is believed the inflators in these vehicles are at a higher risk of rupturing during air bag deployment.

 

The recall was expanded earlier this summer to as many as 68 million inflators. The expansion includes all driver and passenger frontal Takata air bags that have ammonium nitrate-based propellant air bag inflators without a chemical drying agent. The age of the inflator, along with prolonged exposure to a hot and humid climate pose a much greater risk of rupturing.

 

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a consumer alert to encourage Arkansans to educate themselves about this recall and to take immediate action to avoid injury or even death.

 

Rutledge released the following tips to help Arkansans research recalls and determine if the air bag in their vehicle is on the recall list: visit safercar.gov to get the latest information on the recall; search the NHTSA's database or contact the vehicle manufacturer or car dealer for recalls by the Vehicle Identification Number; and sign up at safercar.gov to receive email notifications about new recalls.

 

The NHTSA has classified states into three zones in order to prioritize the air bag replacements. Arkansas is included in zone B, and the NHTSA anticipates issuing recalls in phases through December 2019. Earlier this year, the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration reported 22,620 vehicles registered in Arkansas are impacted by this recall.

 

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

 

 

 

FOURTH MINERAL SPRINGS BANK SUSPECT IN CUSTODY       8/19/16

 

According to a press release from the Howard County Sheriff's Office, a fourth suspect in the July 25th armed robbery of the Diamond Bank in Mineral Springs was arrested late Thursday in Tulsa.

 

The latest arrest is that of 21-year-old Jamari Bradford of Tulsa.

 

According to the Howard County Sheriff's Office, the case is still open and more arrests are still possible.

 

Authorities arrested Bobby Padillow, Byron Coleman and Tatyana McBee Wednesday in Tulsa in connection with the Mineral Springs case and they are suspected in several attempted robberies in Oklahoma.

 

All four are currently in custody in Tulsa.

 

 

THREE MINERAL SPRINGS BANK ROBBERY SUSPECTS ARRESTED IN TULSA        8/18/16
Arkansas State Police and members of the Tulsa Police Department are working together to investigate a two-state robbery ring.
Authorities in Tulsa have arrested two people for the robbery of the Diamond State Bank in Mineral Springs. Those suspects have been identified as Byron Coleman and Tatyana McBee.
Police also suspect them in several other robberies around Oklahoma, including two attempted bank robberies in Tulsa.
Police say the suspects getaway car helped connect them to the robbery in Mineral Springs.
Officers say they believe the group of suspects is violent and have put people in danger.
A third suspect, Bobby Padillow, has also been incarcerated in connection to the Mineral Springs bank robbery.
Tulsa police say McBee is 18-years-old and is being listed as a fugitive from justice. Her records show she has a hold placed on her by the Howard County Sheriffs Office.
Law enforcement officials are still looking for a fourth suspect in the incident.

 

 

CULINARY OPTIONS IN THE ASHDOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT       8/18/16

 

Earlier this year, the Ashdown Board of Education voted to collaborate with K-12 Culinary Connection on its food service program during the 2016-2017 school year.

 

Culinary Connection Chef Justin Mill explained it was his goal to provide students with restaurant quality food, as well as, healthier options on a daily basis. He said his company was thrilled to be working with the Ashdown School District.

 

Mill stated students will be served Mexican and Asian cuisine along with some of their school favorites. Culinary Connection is providing over 1,000 new recipes to the Ashdown School District and some of those recipes include pizza made from scratch, orange chicken and fried rice, homemade meatloaf and chicken enchiladas.

 

Ashdown cafeteria employees are currently learning the new recipes and cooking techniques, and the district hopes to launch the new meal program and increase the meal choices for students by the second week in September.

 

Superintendent Jason Sanders said the district is excited about working with Mill and his company. He said this is a unique opportunity for the district to improve its already great food service program that the cafeteria staff offers to students and staff everyday.

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY SENIOR ADULT CENTER NEEDS MORE PARTICIPATION       8/18/16

 

Jon Mays is the senior center director for Howard, Little River and Sevier counties. He said the council strives to alleviate poverty and to create empowerment opportunities for low-income individuals and families, they can improve their lives and living conditions through the council's services and community partnerships.

 

Mays said the senior adult centers are known for their meal programs, but he listed some other services that SWADC provides including, energy assistance programs, providing commodities, home health care services and Medicaid transportation services.

 

Mays explained the centers funding is tied to attendance, so he encouraged everyone 60 years of age or older to eat at the centers and take advantage of the social activities. He said meals are $3 for anyone over 60 years of age and only $5 for anyone younger than 60.

 

Currently, SWADC is offering a crisis energy assistance program. Sevier County residents who have a shut-off notice may apply for assistance every Tuesday and Thursday from 1 to 3 p.m.

 

For more information, contact SWADC at 870-773-5504.

 

   

TJ'S ISN'T A DRIVE-THRU       8/18/16

 

Tuesday afternoon around 4:30, De Queen Police Patrolman Justin Gentry was dispatched to TJ's Convenience Store after a vehicle was driven into a front window.


When Gentry made contact with the driver, 46-year-old David Wakefield of Nashville, Gentry reported he could smell alcohol and Wakefield reportedly had trouble walking without stumbling and his speech was slurred.

 

Wakefield was arrested for suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

 

While searching Wakefield's vehicle, officers found three beer cans in the center console, two of them were unopened and cold to the touch. The other one was open, but still cold. There were also three empty cans under the passenger seat.

 

Officers also found several prescription bottles that belonged to the passenger, 47-year-old Texanna Finney of Broken Bow, Oklahoma.

 

Finney allegedly admitted to drinking a couple of beers and that she had taken a Xanax pill. She also allegedly told Gentry that Wakefield had taken a Xanax pill about an hour before the accident.

 

Wakefield was cited for driving on a suspended license, driving while intoxicated #3 and drinking on the highway. Finney was also cited for drinking on the highway.

  

 

BABY NEEDS SOME NEW SHOES           8/18/16

 

Tuesday night about 7 o'clock, De Queen Police Officer David Higgins was dispatched to Wal-Mart for a suspected shoplifter.

 

When Higgins arrived, he spoke to a member of the Asset Protection Team who informed him that she observed a women conceal a pair of shoes in her purse and attempt to leave the store without paying for them.

 

Higgins then transported the suspect, 45-year-old Melanie Wells of Wilton and her 11-year-old son to the Sevier County jail.

 

Since Wells didn't have anyone to pick up her son, he was placed in the station's conference room, while she was being processed. After Wells was cited for shoplifting less than $1,000 for attempting to steal a $16 dollar pair of shoes, she was released so she could take her son home.

 

  

UA COSSATOT UNVEILS NEW FREE CONTINUING EDUCATION CLASSES       8/18/16

 

UA Cossatot's Continuing Education Program Director Zebbie Launius announced the college is offering some free continuing education classes this fall.

 

Launius said many of the classes are job skill classes. She said they are short-term and in some courses, students will be job ready in just two to four class sessions.

 

Launius said they always offer truck driving and classes for some other high demand professional services.

 

Launius said Cossatot is also offering several fun classes and a one-day excursion to Jefferson, Texas for senior adults.

 

For more information, contact UA Cossatot at 870-584-1178 or check a copy of the Continuing Education catalog on the radio stations website at KDQN.net or the college's website at CCCUA.edu.

 

 

 

STILL NO TAKERS FOR DE QUEEN’S STATE AID STREET PAVING MONEY       8/17/16

 

De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy reported the third time was not the charm for the City of De Queen’s State Aid for City Street paving program.

 

McKelvy informed De Queen’s aldermen last week that the Arkansas Highway Department received two bids for De Queen’s street paving project on August 10th after not receiving any bid the previous two times the project went out to bids.  However, the low bid was $410,000 and the state highway department had estimated the project would cost about $307,000.

 

But, after a committee review of the bid, the Highway Department decided the bid price was too high and they will not award the bid to Salt Creek Paving of Little Rock.

 

McKelvy said he is considering paving the north 9th Street portion of the project with city funds and eliminating two blocks of Stilwell.

 

McKelvy said the city got a better price for its local project than the state did. He said the city’s project bid came in at $94.95 per ton, while Salt Creek’s price to the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department bid was for $120.50 per ton.

 

De Queen was awarded $250,000 as part of the State Aid for Streets program, earlier this year. The State Aid program is funded by a special one-half percent sales tax which will expire after 10 years.

 

McKelvy said De Queen is still eligible to receive the state aid money, but it will be too late to use it during the 2016 paving season, so the project will be offered again in early 2017.

 

 

 

MARGARET DANIEL FOUNDATION AWARDS TWO GRANTS       8/17/16

 

Earlier this month, the Margaret Daniel Foundation awarded two grants to Ashdown School District teachers.

 

Ashdown High School teacher, Chad Freeman, was awarded a grant for the purchase of a 3-D Printer for his classroom in the amount of $3,887.15. K-5 Physical Education teacher, Mandi Molock, was awarded $4585.39 for the purchase of the SPARK program which she will utilize in her PE classes.

 

Ashdown High School Principal Kay York explained to KDQN what the foundation does within the district. She said the foundation was established in 2005 when she was the Margaret Daniel Primary principal.

 

York said the foundation raises funds by selling tickets to a banquet and auction. She said the foundation also accepts donations in honor of and in memory of people who were associated with the district.

 

York said the foundation was started when she needed some funds for some innovative projects on the primary campus. So, she contacted a couple of districts in the state that already had foundations.

 

The grants were presented to Freeman and Molock by Foundation members Katrina Williamson, Kari Harger, Beth Provence, and Brenda Tate.

 

 

 

CORPS EXTENDS MILLWOOD LAKE DRAWDOWN        8/17/16

 

The Army Corps of Engineers is extending the current drawdown on Millwood Lake until September 2nd.

 

The lake was gradually drawn down to an elevation of 257.2 feet, which is two foot below the normal pool elevation. Because of recent rainfall the drawdown will now be extended until September 2nd at which time the lake will be allowed to refill to its normal pool elevation of 259.2 feet.

 

Boaters should continue to exercise extra caution because more shallow areas and other unknown hazards may appear. Also, boaters should be cautious when launching boats during the drawdown.

 

For more information call the Millwood Lake Project Office at 870-898-3343.

 

 

 

DIERKS BOARD PRESIDENT PRESIDES OVER FINAL MEETING        8/17/16

 

Dierks Board of Education President, Todd Moore, presided over his final board meeting Tuesday night.

 

Moore served on the Dierks Board of Education for 10-years and was president for the past two-years. Moore said he felt the district was in good shape and he was leaving it in good hands. Superintendent Holly Cothern said Moore will be missed.

 

Both Jo Ann Walters Elementary Principal Karla Brynes and High School Principal Jody Cowart reported enrollment was up on their campuses. Cothern said the total enrollment is up by about 40 students, including the seven students who transferred Tuesday night.

 

During Cothern's superintendent's report, she told the board several projects had been completed, like the installation of LED bulbs throughout the district buildings, a new gym floor and a new sign on the highway. But, she told KDQN that she was still working on having handrails installed at the football stadium.

 

Cothern also noted the September School Board Election will be held by absentee ballot and early voting only due to a non-contested race. She said voting will take place in the Howard County Clerk's office in the county courthouse in Nashville.

 

 

 

LITTLE RIVER COUNTY WOMAN IS COMPETENT TO STAND TRIAL       8/17/16

 

A Little River County woman who has been charged with second-degree murder for the shooting death of a 17-year-old girl has been found mentally competent to stand trial after she was evaluated at the University of Arkansas Medical Science hospital in Little Rock.

 

Forty-one year old Traci Dierks is being accused of killing Caitlin Caskey who was a junior at Foreman High School on January 23rd during a birthday party for Dierks' daughter.

 

9th Judicial District Circuit Judge Charles Yeargan rescheduled jury selection for Dierks' trial for October 17th and the trial is expected to being on October 19th or 20th.

 

Authorities were dispatched to Dierks' home on Highway 32 West between Ashdown and Foreman on January 23rd in reference to a shooting.

 

According to the arrest affidavit, Dierks was serving minors gummy bears laced with vodka, fruit soaked in alcohol and punch made with alcohol during her daughter’s birthday party.

 

She was also allegedly carrying a rifle around and pointing it at minors when they arrived.

 

According to one witness, he walked over to Dierks and asked if the gun was loaded and she allegedly showed him a bullet in the chamber. He said when she released the charging handle, the gun went off.

 

Dierks has been charged with four counts of aggravated assault, for pointing and firing the rifle, second-degree murder and misdemeanor charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

 

Dierks is currently being held in the Sevier County jail on a $100,000 bond.

 

 

SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS CRISIS AND RESOURCE CENTER IS STILL HELPING AREA RESIDENTS        8/16/16

 

Recently, area residents heard a rumor that the Southwest Arkansas Crisis and Resource Center had closed. But, Executive Director Courtney White informed KDQN that the center is open and very busy. She said the center's board is also hoping to add two more advocates next year.

 

White said the center is still providing services 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week.

 

White said the center still needs the community's help. She said they need financial assistance, but they will also accept donations of clothing and personal hygiene items.

 

For more information or if you need crisis assistance, contact the center at the hotline at 870-584-3441 or call the office line at 870-642-2141.

 

 

 

NEW STORM SIRENS INSTALLED IN LOCKESBURG     8/16/16

 

Aldermen of the Lockesburg City Council were informed this month that the city's new storm siren system has been installed, however it is currently operating off a battery because some electrical work must be completed.

 

Lockesburg Mayor Danny Ruth informed KDQN that the sirens are operational and were recently tested. He said they will alert all of the residents of Lockesburg and some in the surrounding area when they are activated.

 

Ruth said the council is planning to schedule a city-wide clean up week later this year and they will begin by having Charles Tree Service cut down a couple of dead trees that are on city property.

 

Ruth said the city hopes to start working on the wastewater plant project in the near future. He said the project has been approved by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality. Ruth said the project will be financed with a $350,000 grant.

 

Park Commissioner Shelia Ruth informed the council that she is applying for another Weyerhaeuser grant. Mayor Ruth reported the park commission received a $5,000 grant in February of 2013 and another $7,500 grant in October of 2013. Shelia Ruth said the park commission wants to improve the walking trail and add additional lighting in the park.

 

 

 

SOUTHERN SPORTSMEN FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES DATES FOR 2016 HUNT SCHEDULE FOR WHITETAIL DEER        8/16/16

 

The Southern Sportsmen Foundation president, Mike Cranford, said the foundation is getting ready for it's annual banquet this September 24th at the Little River County fairgrounds in Foreman. He said the money raised during the banquet will be used to provide hunting opportunities for individuals with severe mobility impairments and/or life-threatening illnesses.

 

Cranford said the foundation hosts a youth hunt for youth hunters 18 years of age and younger, called the "Hunt of a Lifetime" near Mineral Springs. He said it will be held October 28th through the 30th at Starch Creek Hunting Club. He said they will also host the "Redneck Safari" near Foreman, November 16th through the 18th for adults.

 

Cranford said youth hunters must be able to arrive by 3 p.m. on October 27th for a pre-hunt orientation and must be accompanied by at least one parent or legal guardian. And, adult hunters must be able to arrive by 11 a.m. on November 16th and are welcome to bring a non-hunting companion.

 

Cranford said lodging, meals and license will be provided by the foundation. However, hunters are responsible for their travel expenses. Hunters born after December 31st, 1968 and at least 16 years of age must also possess a valid hunter's education and safety card.

 

All hunt applications must be received by September 15th. Cranford said hunters who are chosen will be notified by September 30th. For your convenience an application has been posted on the KDQN.net website or you may visit www.sharingtheoutdoors.com.

 

For more information, email Cranford at mike.cranford@sharingtheoutdoors.com.

 

 

 

CRACKDOWN CAMPAIGN AIMED AT DRUNK DRIVING SET TO BEGIN BEFORE LABOR DAY       8/16/16

 

During the final days of summer leading up to the Labor Day weekend, Arkansas families and friends will come together for seasonal celebrations. It's a dangerous time because drunk drivers inevitably take their chances by getting into the driver's seat of a vehicle and head toward the next party or try to make it home.

 

The Arkansas State Police and local law enforcement agencies will work together this holiday season to stop drunk drivers and help save lives.

 

The national enforcement campaign, "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" begins Friday, August 19th and will continue through Monday, September 5th. "Zero Tolerance" for drunk driving will be the standing order for local and state law enforcement officers during the campaign.

 

The Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office recommends that Arkansas drivers plan ahead whenever they expect to drive and consume alcohol; designate a sober driver before going out; if you've been drinking, call a taxi, take a bus or call a friend or family member as ask for a lift; report all drunk drivers that you see on the roadway; and always wear a seat belt.

 

For more information, visit the website, trafficsafetymarketing.gov. 

 

 

 

ROAD TRIP ON ROUTE 66 - HISTORY LESSON ALONG THE WAY      8/16/16

 

If you're going to take one last road trip before summer ends, there's a history lesson to learn along Route 66.

 

Frank Norris works on the Route 66 Corridor Preservation program for the National Park Service and he says until the Civil Rights Act of 1964, African-American travelers weren't always welcome at gas stations, restaurants, hotels and other businesses. For that reason, a postman from New York city named Victor Green published a guide called the "Green Book" for nearly 30-years.

 

The book originally cost 25-cents and eventually, 15,000 copies were sold per year. The Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program has a list of each business that was open to African-Americans, and also tracks whether they've been demolished or are still standing today.

 

Norris says African-American travelers were refused service routinely, including vehicle repairs or if they ran out of gas, and there were threats of physical violence in so-called "sundown towns," areas where only whites were allowed to live. He says most traveling families would pack everything they needed, assuming they'd encounter places where they wouldn't be allowed to stop.

 

Norris says many of the same issues that affected travelers on Route 66 also were prevalent in Arkansas as well, and he adds it's important for people, especially children, to know things like this so history doesn't repeat itself.

 

 

LITTLE RIVER COUNTY QUORUM COURT HEARS FROM CHAIRMAN OF VOTE 4 GROWTH LITTLE RIVER COMMITTEE      8/15/16

 

Little River County Judge Mike Cranford informed KDQN that the chairman of the Vote 4 Growth Little River committee, James Babb, addressed the Justices concerning the wet/dry issue that will be on the November ballot. Cranford said the county clerk had certified the signatures that the committee submitted and for the first time in 70 years, the voters of Little River County will decide whether to allow the sell of alcohol.

 

Cranford said JPs amended the ordinance that established the county's sanitation fees. He said the ordinance stated fees would be collected by the county treasurer, but the county established a new position for the sole purpose of collecting those fees.

 

Cranford also stated that he would work to keep residents informed concerning the location of state aid highway jobs that were being conducted throughout the county.

 

Cranford also stated the Barbara Horn Highway signs should be installed as soon as the weather permits.

 

For more information about the state aid highway projects contact Cranford at the Little River County Courthouse at 870-898-7202.

 

 

 

79th ANNUAL SEVIER COUNTY FAIR AND RODEO - PAGEANT RESULTS         8/15/16

 

Saturday morning at 10 a.m. the 79th Annual Sevier County Fair and Rodeo got underway with the fair pageant.

 

Fair Board member Linda Frachiseur announced the winners this morning on KDQN. She said Little Miss Harper Young will represent Sevier County at the Southwest Arkansas District Fair in Hope and Princess Braydee Young and Queen Josie Vaught will represent Sevier County at the Arkansas State Fair in Little Rock.

 

Frachiseur said Vaught was named the talent contest runner-up and will represent Sevier County at the district fair while Cody Lites and Jed Morrow won the talent contest and will represent Sevier County at the state fair.

 

County residents can enter their educational building exhibits today from 6 to 8 p.m. and the rabbit and poultry shows will be held at 7.

 

Educational exhibits may be registered Tuesday morning from 8 to 9:30 a.m. and items will be judged starting at 10.

 

The commercial booth building will open Tuesday from 4 to 9 p.m. and the breeding goats, market goats, breeding sheep, market lambs and swine shows are scheduled to start at 5 p.m.

 

The cattle show is scheduled for Wednesday at 5 p.m. and the carnival will be open from 6 to 11 p.m.

 

The fair parade is Thursday at 6 p.m. and the youth barrel race and 4D barrel races will start at 8.

 

Friday, the premium sale is at 10 a.m. and the Ringgold Rodeo starts at 8 on both Friday and Saturday nights.

 

For more information, visit the Sevier County Fair's Facebook page.

 

 

 

FIRST ASSEMBLY OF GOD CHURCH TO HOST BACK TO SCHOOL BASH THIS SATURDAY         8/15/16

 

First Assembly of God Youth Pastor Johnathon Reynolds announced the church will be holding a Back-to-School Bash this Saturday from 4 to 8 p.m. at the UA Cossatot Amphitheater. He said there will be games and activities from 4 to 6, followed by a concert by Crutchfield.

 

Reynolds said if it is raining, all of the activities will be moved to the church.

 

Pastor Ray Reynolds also introduced the churches new children's minister, Dan Nemlowill. Dan said he and his wife, Diana, are moving from Claremore, Oklahoma and she is a new math teacher in the De Queen School District.

 

 

 

COMMITTEE ROOMS UNDER RENOVATION AT STATE CAPITOL       8/15/16

 

According to state lawmakers, they spend up to six hours a day in the committee rooms of the State Capitol and since these rooms are used so much, they are undergoing a major renovation.

 

According to the announcement, contractors are replacing furniture, carpets, ceilings and the audio and visual equipment in rooms 149 and 151. The House Judiciary Committee and the House Committee for Insurance and Commerce meet in room 149 and the House Committee for State Agencies and Governmental Affairs and the House Revenue and Taxation committee meet in room 151.

 

The majority of the project is being funded by a grant in the amount of $824,000 from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council and funds from the Bureau of Legislative Research and the House's operating budget are supplementing the project.

 

The project will include replacement of non-historic mid-century paneling, finishes, and fixtures with historically appropriate materials and designs.

 

This portion of the project is expected to be completed by November and the state plans to apply for more funding to renovate Committee Rooms 130 and 138 following the 2017 Regular Session.

 

 

 

CONSUMER ALERT: MILITARY FAMILIES MAKE YOUR VOTE COUNT      8/15/16

 

Active duty military service members and their families are ensured voting eligibility in their state of legal residence under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, which means any active duty Arkansan that's stationed outside the State is eligible to vote in the upcoming general election, including all State and local races.

 

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a consumer alert to ensure military families are aware of the deadlines and the necessary steps to make their vote count on Tuesday, November 8th.

 

Rutledge released the following dates that will help Arkansans stay on track to make sure their vote counts in November:

Friday, September 23rd is the date that the federal government requires states to provide voters who request an absentee ballot with an absentee ballot. Active duty Arkansans can request an online ballot up to Election Day.

Monday, October 10th is the deadline to register to vote in the general election.

On Tuesday, November 8th, all absentee ballots from active duty military members and their families must be postmarked by Election Day.

Friday, November 18th is the deadline for county clerks to receive an absentee ballot from active duty military members and their families.

 

According to the Arkansas Secretary of State's Elections Division, absentee ballots can be delivered through either the U.S. Postal Service or Ballot Safe, which is a secure online website. If the military service member decides to download the ballot instead of receiving a hard copy, the ballot will need to be printed, filled out and mailed to the county clerk, postmarked by Election Day, November 8th.

 

Arkansas military service members, veterans and families should file all consumer complaints with the Attorney General's office at ArkansasAG.gov or by calling 1-800-482-8982.

 

 

UA COSSATOT FFA SPONSORING DOG FOOD DRIVE FOR AREA ANIMAL SHELTERS        8/12/16

 

Kellie Harris is the UA Cossatot collegiate FFA advisor and she announced this week that the Cossatot FFA chapter is going to sponsor a dog food drive to benefit the De Queen Animal Shelter and the Ark-La-Tex Animal Rescue Center.

 

Harris stated they need all types of dog food including bags of dry dog food and canned dog food, as well as some other items, like bleach, collars, leashes, food dishes and puppy pads.

 

Harris said donations may be dropped off at the Adams Building on the De Queen campus of UA Cossatot or the KDQN studios.

 

For more information, contact Harris at 870-584-1218 or email her at kharris@cccua.edu.

 

 

 

DRIVER CITED FOR FAILURE TO YIELD TO EMERGENCY VEHICLE       8/12/16

 

Thursday, a driver from Austin, Texas was cited by the De Queen Police Department for failure to yield to an emergency vehicle.

 

According to the officers notes,  Sergeant Wayne Baker was traveling north on Highway 71 with his lights and siren on, in an attempt to pull over a pickup truck that was pulling a trailer with two four-wheelers on it. He noted a black SUV that was being driven by Yoni Pineda-Ventura refused to move over and let him pursue the truck.

 

Baker was finally able to pull over the truck and the SUV at the RV sales and service location.

 

Baker reported he cited Ventura for failure to yield to an emergency vehicle and for driving without a driver's license.

 

 

 

STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION APPROVES MINERAL SPRINGS HIGH SCHOOL, BUT DENIES ACADEMIC DISTRESS APPEAL REQUEST       8/12/16

Submitted by KMTB

 

The Arkansas Department of Education has granted approval for the construction of a new high school building for the Mineral Springs School District, so construction will officially start this fall.

 

However, the state board of education denied Mineral Springs' request to be removed from the state's academically distressed list.

 

Superintendent Curtis Turner and the school's legal counsel noted several ways the district is working to improve academic performance and how things have turned around financially.

 

According to a state report, Mineral Springs High School failed to have 49.5 percent of its students achieve a score of proficient or higher on state mandated tests for the past three years, but school administrators argued there was no way for the state to determine that because districts have taken three different tests over the last three years.

 

The state board of education also placed the Mineral Springs High School on academic distress.

 

Turner said the district plans to appeal the state's designation to the courts and will request a stay to halt any sanctions against the district. Turner asked how the state could designate a school as academically distressed, until schools have had three years worth of ACT Aspire testing data.

 

The Mineral Springs School District, Turner and the district's board of education filed a civil rights lawsuit in U.S. Federal District Court on February 29th against the State Board of Education, the Arkansas Department of Education, Education Commissioner Johnny Key and Hempstead County with multiple other allegations. Preliminary filings in that case are currently underway in federal court.

 

 

 

THREE TEENAGERS CHARGED WITH SHOPLIFTING        8/12/16

 

Thursday afternoon, De Queen Police Sergeant Bobby Bagley was dispatched to Wal-Mart in reference to three possible shoplifters.

 

When Bagley arrived, he was informed by a member of the Wal-Mart Asset Protection Team that they witnessed three teenage girls take items from two different departments in the store and put them in a purse.

 

The Wal-Mart employee reported they found four items inside the purse of one of the teenagers.

 

The three girls, ages 15 and 16, were taken into custody and charged with shoplifting $1,000 or less.

 

 

 

MINERAL SPRINGS CITY COUNCIL APPROVES PARK SPONSORSHIP RESOLUTION      8/12/13

 

During a brief meeting Monday, the Mineral Springs City Council approved a resolution on behalf of the city park.

 

City officials reported they have had issues with individuals and businesses signing up to sponsor local youth sports teams and then not keeping their financial obligation.

 

The resolution states all sponsorship funds will be collected up front before any purchases will be made.

 

Mineral Springs resident Jonathon Mays also gave aldermen an update on his internet service petition. He told the council that he had collected about 200 signatures and he hopes to have 500 by the council's September meeting. Mays said he felt his work showed there was a demand for better internet options in the Mineral Springs area.

 

 

 

COLLECTING MEMORIES AT THE CRATER OF DIAMONDS STATE PARK        8/12/16

 

People collect all kinds of things like traffic cones, toothbrushes, and there is even an entire museum dedicated to different burnt foods.

 

But, 6-year-old Katie Goodman of Greenville, Texas, collects a variety of things like berries, sticks, flowers, nuts and acorns, which she keeps on her porch. But recently, she discovered the Crater of Diamonds State Park is a perfect place to collect souvenirs like jasper and memories.

 

Eleven-year-old Noah Goodman collected jasper stones and crystals, while visiting the park and he offered this advise for any kid that may visit the park sometime in the future. He said when you're searching for diamonds, don't give up and keep looking.

 

The Goodman family also recommends that you arrive early in the day, bring lots of water and bring shade to stay out of the sun.

 

If you have any questions, contact the Crater of Diamonds State Park by calling 870-285-3113.   

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY BUSINESS OWNER ARRESTED IN HOWARD COUNTY     8/11/16

 

A Sevier County business owner has been charged with theft of property in Howard County.

 

Howard County Sheriff Investigator reported 39-year-old Lance Koiner, of Lockesburg, is the owner of Lantz Pool and Repair Service. According to the arrest affidavit, a Howard County resident agreed to pay Koiner $4,000 to install a new pool liner on March 17th. The individual gave Koiner half of the money upfront, so he could purchase the liner and the remaining portion was to be paid when the project was finished. Koiner allegedly said he would install the liner by Memorial Day.

 

However, the liner was never ordered.

 

According the sheriff's office, the victim informed Koiner that she wanted a refund and his services would not be needed. Deputies spoke with Koiner and he allegedly stated he would refund the money as soon as he could.

 

Last month, Koiner reportedly told the sheriff's department that he still didn't have the money and he didn't know when it would be available.

 

Koiner has been charged with a class "D" felony and he is being held in the Howard County jail on a $10,000 bond.

 

 

 

SAVE OUR SCHOOLS PRAYER EVENT PLANNED FOR FRIDAY      8/11/16

This Friday, area residents are invited to join the members of the Stand Up for America political action group in prayer for area school districts at the De Queen Administration building at noon.

Michael Barrett is the founder and director of Stand Up For America and he is the pastor of the 4 C Cowboy Church in De Queen. He told, KDQN that he felt led to organize a prayer meeting for the schools in Southwest Arkansas.

Barrett said he will open the event with the Pledge of Allegiance and some opening remarks. Those remarks will be followed by a statement by State Representative DeAnn Vaught. Barrett said attendees will then pray for area students, teachers, administrators and school districts.

Barrett said Stand Up for America held a prayer meeting on the Sevier County Courthouse lawn this past Fourth of July.

For more information, contact Barrett at 479-216-6240.

 

 

 

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING          8/11/16

De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy announced this week that the Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing on Thursday, August 18th at 6 p.m. in the De Queen City Hall.

McKelvy said First State Bank of De Queen has asked for the hearing to request a zone change from a R2-residential zone to a C2-commerical zone for a piece of property that sits behind the bank on West Colin Raye Drive. First State Bank plans to construct a 3,000 square foot building that will house their data and loan processing center.

McKelvy said all interested parties may attend the meeting and can be heard at that time, or they may submit a letter to the Planning Commission in care of the City of De Queen City Clerk at PO Box 730, De Queen, Arkansas 71832.

 

 

 

HORATIO SCHOOL DISTRICT WILL OFFER ATHLETIC PASSES THIS YEAR        8/11/16

Horatio Superintendent Lee Smith reported the Horatio Board of Education approved new athletic passes for the 2016-2017 school year during their August board meeting.

Prices are expected to be $200 for a family of four, $75 for adults and $50 for students. Smith said these passes will be good for all Horatio Lion athletic events. However, they will not be accepted for any Arkansas Activities Association sponsored events, such as regional or state play-off games.

Smith said the board also approved a bid from Tri-Lakes Services for the fabrication and installation of a new stairway on the baseball fields press box and a football goal stop net.


Smith said the board heard reports from the campus principals and they put the district’s lunch charge policy in writing. He said they also hired Brettny Lynch as a part-time English as a Second Language aide.


Board members also approved the transfer of three students from the De Queen School District.

 

 

 

COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK ACTIVITIES        8/11/16

 

Cossatot River State Park Interpreters are inviting guest to join them as they snorkel a section of the Cossatot River and observe the underwater life while enjoying the clean, clear and cool water from 9 to 10 a.m. this Saturday and Sunday.

 

Park Interpreter Shelley Flanary reported the park will provide the snorkeling equipment but guest will need to wear appropriate clothing for swimming. She also stated the minimum age is six and they must be accompanied by an adult.

 

From 2 to 3 p.m., this Saturday, park guest can take part in the Skull Crusher jeopardy game by testing their knowledge about the Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area and the different aspects of nature.

 

Sunday afternoon, guests can help feed the park critters from 2 to 3 p.m. and then they can learn how an animal's nose helps them from 3:15 to 4 p.m. in the visitor center's Legacy Room.

 

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

 

 

DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL AMENDS 2016 BUDGET          8/10/16

 

Tuesday night during a meeting of the De Queen City Council, aldermen heard from Meaghan McMahan of Southwest EMS concerning the condition of a driveway that is referred to as 14th Street in De Queen. She asked the city council to consider doing something for the safety and well-being of hospital patients.

 

Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy stated the street in question didn't belong to the city and they couldn't legally improve a privately owned street. McKelvy said the hospital administrator informed him that they would consider deeding the property to the city.

 

McKelvy said it would cost about $25,000 to upgrade and pave that section of street. He also stated the Air Evac fuel tank would have to be moved because it would be to close to a public street.

 

City Engineer Greg Vaughn reported he held a bid opening last Friday for the new sewer extension project. He said the project will take about 60-days to complete and he said the project should begin shortly after Labor Day.

 

McKelvy said the winning bid was submitted by Hambard Contracting, Inc. of Green Forest in the amount of $320,930.10.

 

Aldermen also approved an ordinance to amend the 2016 budget.

 

De Queen Police Chief Scott Simmons introduced Jamario Ervin as a new patrolman. He said Ervin will fill the vacancy left following the resignation of Nicole Nealy who took a position with the Sevier County Sheriff's Office as the resource officer at Horatio.

 

Carl Brock and his wife also addressed the concerning the upkeep of property on Circle Drive.

 

De Queen Fire Marshall Dennis Pruitt shared the city's ordinance concerning the upkeep of property, but he stated it did not address the number of vehicles that a property owner can park on their property.

 

The next meeting of the De Queen City Council is scheduled for Tuesday, August 16 at 6 p.m. in the council room of the De Queen City Hall.

 

 

 

LITTLE RIVER NURSING AND REHAB HOLDING BENEFIT INDIAN TACO DINNER        8/10/16

 

Three year old Jett Osburn was in the Arkansas Children's Hospital since June 17th recovering from an accidental gunshot wound after he found and discharged a loaded 22-caliber pistol. Jett went home Tuesday, August 9th, but he will still need a lot of therapy to make a full recovery.

 

So, the staff of the Little River Nursing and Rehab will be holding an Indian Taco fundraiser this Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

 

Melodie Clemmons said plates will be $7 each and the staff of the Little River Nursing and Rehab facility will be serving taco's in front of the nursing home, which is across the street from the Wal-Mart store in Ashdown.

 

Clemmons said that even though Jett is home, he will still need a lot of treatment and everyone is invited to help Jett's family which has ties to Little River County.

 

For more information or to place an order, call the Little River Nursing and Rehab at 870-898-5101.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN-MENA EARLY CHILDHOOD SCREENINGS        8/10/16

 

The staff of the De Queen-Mena Educational Co-op announced they will be offering free screenings for pre-school children in Little River County beginning Monday, August 15th on both the Ashdown and Foreman campuses.

 

The Early Childhood staff is available to provide vision, hearing, developmental and speech and language screenings for preschoolers who are between the ages of three and five. This service is being provided to parents who have noticed their child can't do some of the things that other children their age are doing, like walking, talking, seeing, hearing or learning.

 

Screenings may be scheduled for children residing in the Ashdown School District by contacting Janet Williams or Sherrie McAdams at 870-898-4471 for an appointment.

 

Screenings may be scheduled for children residing in the Foreman School District by contacting McAdams at 870-784-0556 for an appointment.

 

The De Queen-Mena Educational Cooperative staff wants to stress the importance of early identification of vision, hearing and developmental problems and is encouraging parents who are concerned about their child to participate in the free screenings.

 

For more information, contact the co-op in Gillham by calling 870-386-2251 or contact your local school district for more information.

  

 

MINERAL SPRINGS HIGH SCHOOL ACADEMIC DISTRESS APPEAL TO BE HEARD THURSDAY        8/10/16

 

Mineral Springs High School's academic distress appeal is set to be heard this Thursday during a meeting of the Arkansas State Board of Education.

 

According to the rules governing Academic Distress, a school may be identified or classified as being in Academic Distress if 49.5 percent or less of its students that achieves proficient or advanced in math and literacy on the state-mandated assessments that were administered for the most recent three year period. If the school district's appeal is denied, the State Board will consider classifying Mineral Springs High School as a school in Academic Distress.

 

The Mineral Springs School District, its Superintendent Curtis Turner and its school board filed a civil rights lawsuit in U.S. Federal District Court on February 29th against the state board, the Arkansas Department of Education, Education Commissioner Johnny Key and Hempstead County with multiple allegations. Preliminary filings in that case are currently underway in federal court.

  

 

NO OFFICER DEATH IN ARKANSAS FOR 2016       8/10/16

 

The recent ambush attack that killed five Dallas police officers contributed to a spike in deaths of those across the country sworn to serve and protect their communities.

 

A biannual review from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund shows as of July 20th, 67 federal, state and local officers died on the job, which is an 8-percent increase from the same time period last year. Steve Groeninger who is with the Memorial Fund says this year has been a good one for Arkansas.

 

Despite the rise in deaths in the first half of the year, the report says police fatalities have steadily declined in the U.S. in the past four decades.

 

Groeninger says most people don’t realize what it’s like to be a member of law enforcement.

 

Nationally, 32 officers have been killed this year in incidents involving a firearm, and there were 24 traffic-related fatalities. The most fatalities occurred in Texas, with 11 officers killed, followed by seven officer deaths in Louisiana.

 

  

SOCIAL SECURITY'S FUTURE WILL TAKE PRESIDENTIAL LEADERSHIP     8/10/16

 

Nearly 674,000 people in Arkansas collect Social Security benefits; that's one out of every four state residents. Advocates say with so many relying on it to make ends meet, it's crucial to know what each presidential candidate will do to make sure the program is funded into the future.

 

Herb Sanderson is the state director of AARP Arkansas and he says although the program is OK for now, there's not enough money to fully fund it after 20133, and national leaders need to address that now.

 

Across the nation, the average Social Security benefit check is just over $1,200 dollars and one in six of those over the age of 65 use it as their only source of income. In Arkansas that number is one in four.

 

Sanderson says we can't just sit back and hope lawmakers will do the right thing when it comes to Social Security.

 

Sanderson says it's about keeping a promise to future generations. It will be 81 years ago next week that Social Security was signed into law. To get involved go to '2016 TakeAStand.org.'

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY QUORUM COURT SET USER FEES FOR COUNTY AIRPORT      8/9/16

 

Monday afternoon, the Sevier County Justices of the Peace heard a report from Sevier County Airport Committee President Dick Tallman.

 

Tallman informed the Quorum Court that the airport was in jeopardy of not qualifying for any federal grants because the airport only has five planes being housed at the airport. He said you need at least 10 planes to qualify for those grants.

 

Tallman said the airport was inspected last week by a state aeronautics official and they informed him that the state aeronautics budget had been cut in half this year. Tallman then said he was not expecting the airport to receive any state funds this year.

 

JPs then approved an ordinance setting a $100 a day user fee for contractors who use the airport, but don't purchase fuel or rent a hanger. Sevier County Judge Greg Ray explained the airport is self-sufficient, but its makes money by selling fuel and renting hangers and this will offset the lose of that revenue.

 

Ray also reported the Quorum Court voted to allow the county road department to use some funds to purchase two new radios.

 

Ray told KDQN that the county received about $181,000 from FEMA recently to cover the cost of cleaning up after last year's Memorial Day storm.

 

JPs also elected Roxy Stephens, Angie Walker, Earl Battiest and Michael Archer to serve has the 2017 budget committee.

 

JPs also voted to remove an old copier and a Dodge Charger from the county's inventory list. 

 

 

 

DE QUEEN DISTRICT FORMS COMMITTEE TO WORK ON DRUG POLICY       8/9/16

 

Monday night during a regular meeting of the De Queen Board of Education, board members voted to establish a committee of administrators, teachers, coaches and the athletic director to iron out the details of the district's new drug policy.

 

Superintendent Bruce Hill reported there were a lot of questions that had to be answered concerning the drug policy, like, "What will be the consequences of a positive test?"; "Who's going to be tested?"; and "How many students will be tested?".

 

Hill informed the board that the district had about $48,000 worth of outstanding lunchroom charges. He said the district will try to collect those funds, but will never deny a child a meal.

 

Hill also announced the EAST Lab is now in the old high school cafeteria. He said the new classroom is state of the art.

 

Board members also voted to allow the conditional transfer of 12 students to other districts. They said the district will release the student's records to their new district if all of their outstanding fines and fees are paid. 

 

Hill said he and the other administrators were pleased with De Queen's ACT Aspire test scores from last year.

 

Board members voted to add the position of assistant transportation director to the district's salary schedule and the district will also offer district employees the option of direct deposit beginning in October or November.

 

The next meeting of the De Queen Board of Education was set for Monday, September 12th at 5 p.m. in the administration building.

 

 

 

POLICE CHASE ENDS IN LITTLE RIVER COUNTY       8/9/16

 

A Texas Department of Public Safety trooper attempted to pull William Russell McAlexander over Saturday morning about 11 a.m. because his left brake light was not working. Instead of stopping, McAlexander led police officers on a multi-county pursuit that last about an hour and 15-minutes.

 

According to the incident report, McAlexander proceeded from Baylor Street in Texarkana, Texas to New Boston Road, before getting on Interstate 30 and turning north on U.S. Highway 71. McAlexander crossed over into Little River County and proceeded north to Ashdown, where he turned west on Arkansas Highway 31. He then led officers back south on Arkansas Highway 41.

 

Deputies from the Little River County Sheriff’s Office joined the pursuit, which ended about a mile north of the Red River on Highway 41 when an officer shot-out the right rear tire.

 

McAlexander was transported to Christus St. Michael’s Hospital for treatment for a non-life threatening injury. He was later booked into the Bi-State Jail.

 

The case is still under investigation.

 

 

 

TURN ON HEADLIGHTS AND AVOID TRAFFIC STOP       8/9/16

 

Sunday morning about 2 a.m., De Queen Patrolman First Class Levi Browning noticed a white car traveling west on Dequincy Avenue without its headlights on.

 

As Browning approached the vehicle, he noticed an empty bottle of beer in the backseat.

 

When Browning asked the driver, 19-year-old Jorge Yanez of Mount Pleasant, Texas, if he had been drinking, Yanez stated he had a beer at a party, but everyone left so he was looking for another party.

 

Yanez was taken into custody for being a minor in possession of alcohol. At the Sevier County jail, Correctional Officer Cody Bright discovered some meth folded up inside a $20 dollar bill.

 

Yanez allegedly told the officers that it was for his personal use. He was then charged with a felony count of possession of a schedule I or II controlled substance, a felony count of possession of drug paraphernalia, a felony count of furnishing prohibited articles, and for his third offense of driving without a driver's license. 

 

 

 

CONSUMER ALERT: USE CREDIT CARDS WITH CARE      8/9/16

 

As summer winds down, college students are headed back to school, which means families will face additional expenses. For many college students, signing up for a credit card may seem like a good solution.

 

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a consumer alert to provide young Arkansans with these helpful tips when entering the credit market.

 

Rutledge says consumers need to make sure they submit their payments on time and always pay the balance owed. She said consumers should not max out their credit cards and they should not respond to every tempting credit card offer. Rutledge also reminded consumers to read the fine print as some credit cards include expensive annual fees and higher interest rates in exchange for incentives like airline miles and bonus points.

 

To combat the high-pressure solicitations and students burdened by credit card debt, the Arkansas General Assembly enacted legislation in 1999 that restricts the practice of marketing credit cards on college campuses.

 

Credit card marketers are also forbidden from using gifts such as t-shirts and magazine subscriptions to entice a young consumer into applying for a card.

 

For more information on other consumer-related issues call the Attorney General's office at 1-800-482-8982 or visit the website ArkansasAG.gov.

 

 

SEVERAL LOCAL MEETINGS THIS WEEK      8/8/16

 

The Sevier County Quorum Court will meet today at 2 p.m. in the conference room in the Sevier County Courthouse to select the 2017 budget committee and to consider an ordinance that establishes a user fee for contractors who fly out of the county airport.

 

Members of the De Queen Board of Education will meet today at 5:30 p.m. in the administration office.

 

According to the agenda, board members will discuss moving cashed certificates of deposit to the district's building fund and they will consider approving a drug policy.

 

Last month, the board hired Courthouse Concepts to conduct the district's drug testing.

 

Board members will also be introduced to the district's new teachers and they will consider adding an assistant transportation director to the district's salary schedule.

 

Aldermen of the De Queen City Council will meet Tuesday night at 6 p.m. in the council room of the De Queen City Hall.

 

According to their agenda, some citizens will make a request regarding some improvements to 14th Street, which runs next to the De Queen Regional Medical Center emergency room. According to Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy the road is on hospital property and is not a dedicated street. He also explained it was illegal for a city a pave a street that does not belong to them.

 

McKelvy reported Water Superintendent Jeff Brown will be in attendance Tuesday night to report on a problem concerning the city's new SCADA system.

 

According to the agenda, aldermen will consider purchasing some land that is adjacent to the Sportsplex and they will discuss signing a new contract with city attorney Laura Lindly. 

 

The Horatio Board of Education is also scheduled to meet tonight at 6:30 in the Horatio Administration Building.

 

 

 

GRANNIS MAN ARRESTED IN MENA AND CHARGED WITH DRUG POSSESSION        8/8/16

 

A Grannis man was arrested following a domestic dispute call after officers with the Mena Police Department discovered a man in possession of methamphetamine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

 

Twenty-one year old Kenneth McCormick was charged with a felony count of possession of a schedule I or II substance, a felony count of possession of drug paraphernalia and a misdemeanor count of possession of a schedule VI substance.

 

Allegedly, McCormick told law enforcement officials that he had used meth on Friday, July 22nd.

 

When officers searched a bag that McCormick was carrying, they found digital scales, two hypodermic needles, a bent spoon with a filter on it, a homemade pipe and a small bag of methamphetamine rolled up inside a pair of blue jeans.

 

McCormick also turned over a bag of marijuana that he had on his person when he was placed under arrest.

 

 

 

NOT HAPPY TO JUST COMPARISON SHOP       8/8/16

 

Around 3 a.m. Saturday morning, De Queen Police Officer Justin Gentry was dispatched to Wal-Mart in reference to a dissatisfied customer who was making a mess in the store.

 

Wal-Mart Manager Jody Bailey informed Gentry that 34-year-old Alicia Wright of Athens was walking through the store knocking items off the shelves and throwing other items on the floor. Bailey stated when he asked Wright to leave the store; she knocked over a large display of school supplies.

 

While being interviewed by Gentry, Wright allegedly stated she got upset over the store's prices and started throwing things and knocking stuff off the shelves. She also allegedly told Gentry that she had told the management of the Broken Bow Wal-Mart that if they didn't fix their prices, she was going to "bring Wal-Mart down."

 

Wright was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and criminal mischief in the first degree.

 

    

 

 

KDQN CELEBRATED 60TH ANNIVERSARY FRIDAY WITH OPEN HOUSE      8/8/16

 

Last Friday, Jay and Teresa Bunyard of Bunyard Broadcasting, Inc. hosted an open house to celebrate the 60th anniversary of KDQN AM 1390, KDQN 92.1 and KILX 102,1.

 

Around 200 people stopped by the KDQN studios at 921 West Collin Raye Drive to take a tour, visit with the on and off-air staff and sign up to win one of several door prizes.

 

State Representative DeAnn Vaught presented KDQN a citation from the Arkansas Legislature congratulating them on their 60th anniversary.

 

De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy also made a proclamation and he read it on the air for the Number One Country 92.1 listeners.

 

KDQN owner Jay Bunyard stated it was nice to celebrate 60 years and to reflect back on everyone that helped make the past 60 years so special.

 

The staff of KDQN is also looking forward to working with area advertisers and serving the surrounding communities by continuing to offer comprehensive coverage of local news, sports, and community events while supporting area nonprofit organizations.

 

    

 

 

 

STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION LAUNCHES NEW STUDENT SUCCESS CAMPAIGN        8/8/16

 

According to recent studies, when parents are involved in their children’s education, they get higher grades, have better social skills and are more likely to continue their education after graduating from high school.

 

Another study indicates that when parents are involved at school, the performance of all children, not just their own, tend to improve. And that is why the Arkansas Department of Education in partnership with the State Board of Education has launched the “My Child/My Student” campaign.

 

The campaign is in its third year and it provides parents with information and tips that they can use to discuss their child’s educational progress and goals with their child’s teacher.

 

The campaign also provides teachers with questions, tips and resources that they can use to speak with a student’s parents or guardians.

 

In August, the campaign includes questions and answers about back to school routines, like: “How can we make our morning schedule better to ensure that my child is ready to learn?” and “How often should I communicate with my child’s teacher?”

 

In September, the education department will provide helpful information concerning parent/teacher conferences.

 

The topics and information are posted on the website www.arkansased.gov, or you can follow the agency on social media at Facebook.com/ArkansasED and on Twitter at @ArkansasED.

 

Officials from the State Board of Education stated the department is proud to take the lead, both in the state and in the nation, in being a bridge builder between schools and parents through the use of social media.

  

 

TIME TO SIGN UP FOR DE QUEEN TACKLE FOOTBALL       8/8/16

 

Chris Hale of the De Queen Parks and Recreation Department announced last week that registration for tackle football is underway.

 

Hale said De Queen will have a Gold and Black team this season. He said this will give more players a chance to get playing time.

 

Hale said forms will be distributed at the De Queen Elementary and Middle schools on the second day of classes, but forms are available at the park office or you may print a form from the KDQN.net website.

 

There is a $35 registration fee and a new jersey will cost an additional $45. If you child has a jersey from last season and it is in good shape, you will not be required to purchase a new jersey.

 

If you have any questions, contact Hale at the park office by calling 870-642-4140.

 

 

Treasurer of State Dennis Milligan’s Quarterly Column     08/08

 

Little Rock- As we all sit back, enjoy the Olympic Games and of course root for team USA, I feel we all share an appreciation for records and historical achievements.

For example, when Michael Phelps qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, he became the first male swimmer to make five U.S. Olympic Teams.

Here’s another, Team USA took 556 athletes to the London 2012 Olympics, second only to the hosts, and is again expected to bring more athletes than all the other visiting nations in Rio. The U.S. topped the medal table in 2012 with 46 gold and 104 medals overall.

Striving to be the best, beating historical marks are a driving force not only in sports and business, but for me in public service.

It is our quest to do better and aim higher that makes us uniquely, well, American. I believe you have to aim for the stars to at least get off the ground.

In my quarterly report to the State Board of Finance, I was thrilled to announce that my office had receipted a total $48.98 million dollars in interest from the investment of your tax dollars for fiscal year 2016.

That is over double what my office receipted in fiscal year 2015 ($22.31 million), and is more than what the office receipted in fiscal years 2005 ($44 million) and 2009 ($47.5 million). These are tremendous figures and prove that hard work and actually putting the people first really do produce better results for the State.

Now to really look at these comparisons apple-to-apple, we need to review historical interest rate levels during these time periods. The Federal Funds Rate set by the Federal Reserve is the driving force behind all other interest rate levels.

In fiscal year 2005, when again the office receipted $44 million the Federal Funds rate started at 1.25% (5 times the current amount) and ended at 3% (12 times the current amount.) In fiscal year 2009 when the office receipted $47.5 million the Federal Funds rate started at 2% (8 times the current amount) and ended at zero percent which is where we started this fiscal year.

We have been able to beat some of the better returns this office produced set by those who came before me and have done so with less favorable market conditions. We have been able to take money siting in passive investments and put them to work for you the taxpayer.

In just this short time we have been able to transform the treasury from one of a passive management style to one that is being actively managed. That also includes transitioning out of all the holdings that were in the portfolio when I took office. That was no small feat. Last year alone my office did over 1000 trades. Previously that number would be around 100 or so.

You, the tax-payers and voting citizens of the state, will eventually judge my performance in this office. I would like to think that doubling your money and doing better than in the past, with less favorable conditions, is worthy of a gold medal in your opinion. However, like the vast majority of athletes at the Olympics, one of the biggest rewards I share in spirit with them is simply being at “the games” or in this public office of trust, that you put me in and giving it my personal best, every single day.
 

 

 

CLINTON CENTER FEATURING OLYMPIC EXHIBIT          8/5/16

 

The Clinton Presidential Library and Museum has opened the Oval Office exhibit and currently has an Olympic Games exhibit for visitors to tour.

 

Rebecca Tennille of the museum reported there have been a lot of visitors to Little Rock and the museum this summer. She said the Olympic Games exhibit tells the story of the summer and winter Olympic athletes and she mentioned all of the technical advancements over the years. Tennille said the tennis section features the Williams sisters.

 

Tennille said you'll also learn some things that they don't tell you when you were watching the games on television.

 

Tennille said the library and museum is offering a free day on Saturday, August 13th to celebrate Bill Clinton's 70th birthday.

 

The Clinton Presidential Library and Museum is located at 1200 President Clinton Avenue. Call 501-374-4242, for more information.

 

 

 

“FOR THIS CAUSE” EVENT SET FOR 9-11          8/5/16

 

After her son was kidnapped in De Queen earlier this year, Veronica Maull decided it was time to help bring the community of De Queen and Sevier County together for a prayer meeting, so, she's planning one for the 11th of September at the De Queen football field.

 

Maull is a De Queen native who now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, and she is organizing the event because of the recent violent events that have taken place in the County. She said she plans to use the proceeds from the sale of “For the Cause” t-shirts and bracelets to fund scholarships for De Queen High School graduates.

 

Maull has asked several ministers in the community to share about the power of prayer and spend some time in prayer.

 

For more information or to purchase at t-shirt for $15, call Maull at 8816-588-0513, her sister Michelle at 816-405-4203 or their mother, Annie at 870-584-3968.   

 

 

 

LITTLE RIVER COUNTY FAIR OPENS SATURDAY      8/5/16

 

The Little River County Fair opens Saturday at 6 p.m. in Foreman with a parade beginning at the Regions Bank. At 7, there’s going to be a youth rodeo for young people ages 19 and under.

 

Monday afternoon, county residents can register their home economic exhibits from 3 to 6 p.m. and the rabbit show will be held at 6:30.

 

Registration of home economic exhibits will continue Tuesday morning from 8 to 10 a.m. and the exhibits will be judged at 10:30. The exhibit building will then open to the public at 4 p.m. The kid’s rodeo for children 10 and under will be held in the rodeo area Tuesday night at 7.

 

The carnival will open Wednesday night at 6 p.m. and the swine judging contest will take place at 7. A ranch rodeo will also be held in the rodeo area at 7.

 

Thursday is senior citizens day and everyone 65 and older can attend the Little River County fair for free. Thursday is also armband night at the carnival from 6 to 10 p.m. The lamb judging contest will be held at 6 and the beef judging contest will be held at 7. At 7:30, the little britches rodeo and mutton bustin’ will be held in the rodeo area.

 

Mutton bustin’ is open to boys and girls ages 6 and under and the little britches is open to boys and girls ages 12 and under.

 

The premium sale and luncheon will be held on Friday beginning at 11:30 a.m. The money from the premium sale will be donated to the 4-H and FFA exhibitors to help defray expenses of their livestock projects and to help them continue participating in the fair program.

 

The Tiny Tots Contest, which is for 4, 5 and 6 year olds, will be held at 7, followed by the Rodeo at 8. Friday night’s rodeo will feature a calf scramble, money drop and the little britches/mutton bustin championships.

 

Saturday, the rodeo royalty contest will be held at 7 p.m. and the rodeo at 8. 

 

 

 

UA COSSATOT VICE-CHANCELLOR NAMED DIRECTOR OF STATE’S HIGHER EDUCATION            8/5/16

 

UA Cossatot Vice-Chancellor Dr. Maria Markham has been named the new director of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education. Her first official day on the job will be Monday, August 15th.

 

Markham graduated from Dierks High School and received her bachelor’s degree in marketing from Henderson State University and her master’s in business administration from Henderson in 2003. She earned her doctorate in business from Northcentral University in Prescott Valley, Arizona.

 

Markham has worked at Cossatot for the past 11 years and has been the vice chancellor for academic services since 2010. Markham's last day at Cossatot will be Friday, August 12th.

 

 

 

LIBRARY SNIPPETS        8/5/16

 

Sevier County Head Librarian Johnye Fisher announced the De Queen branch of the library will be offering adult coloring activities every Wednesday during the month of August at 10 a.m. for parents and grandparents who need to soothe their nerves from all the stress of getting their children ready to go back to school.

 

Fisher said the De Queen branch of the Sevier County Library is also a Poke Gym in the virtual reality game Pokemon Go. She reminded area players to always stay alert and to be aware of their surroundings at all time.

 

Ava Williams won a $25 gift card from Wal-Mart for school supplies in the library’s coloring contest and Maegan Shiver won a backpack full of school supplies for winning the reading contest.

 

The Horatio Library will be spotlighting Arkansas history books and biographies this month and Fisher invited folks to stop by all of the Sevier County libraries and get out of the August heat.

 

The top readers during the Lockesburg Library’s summer reading challenge were Livi Kitchens, Clay Mitchell, Leah Crow, Malachi Davis and Trinity Cox.

 

Fisher reported the Gillham Library has received six boxes of donated books, as well as over 50 new children's books. The Gillham branch will also have a crafts for kids’ event on Saturday, August 13th at 11 a.m. with Dianne Rosson of the Gillham Extension Homemakers Club.

 

 

48TH ANNUAL CHAMPIONSHIP GRANNIS RODEO       8/4/16

 

Tonight and Saturday night, the Grannis Trail Riders Club will host the 48th Annual Championship Grannis Rodeo at 8 p.m. each evening.

 

Tonya Robb and Shelly Johnson informed KDQN that this year's rodeo will feature more youth events, including junior barrel racing, junior bull riding and mini bronc riding, as well as the always popular mutton bustin at 7 p.m. both nights.

 

The Grannis Rodeo will feature funny man Darren Murray and hometown cowboy Tyler Miles. Miles was the 2015 CRRA saddle bronc and ranch bronc riding champion.

 

Admission is $6 per person, but tonight anyone 62 and older will get in for half price.

 

  

79th ANNUAL SEVIER COUNTY FAIR AND RODEO AUGUST 13TH-20TH      8/4/16

 

Sevier County Fair Board member Linda Frachiseur reported it's only 8-days until the 79th Annual Sevier County Fair and Rodeo. The fair is scheduled for August 13th through the 20th, but county residents need to sign up by this Saturday for the 2016 Sevier County Fair Pageant and Talent Contest. The fair pageant and talent contest will be held on Saturday, August 13th at 10 a.m.

 

Fair Pageant categories include: 0-12 months - Little Miss Tiny Baby and Little Mr. Tiny Baby, 13-23 months - Little Miss Baby and Little Mr. Baby, 2-3 years - Little Miss Petite and Little Mr. Petite, 4-5 years - Little Miss and Little Mister; the Little Miss winner will represent Sevier County at the District Fair in Hope; 6-8 years - Young Junior Miss, 7-12 years - Junior Miss, 13-16 years - Princess and 17-21 years - Queen. The winners of the Princess and Queen competitions will represent Sevier County at the Arkansas State Fair in Little Rock.

 

Frachiseur said there will be a junior and senior division in the talent contest. She said the winners will represent Sevier County in the State fair in Little Rock and the runner-up winners will represent Sevier County at the District fair in Hope.

 

Frachiseur also stated students competing in the livestock shows will need to register this Saturday at the fairgrounds between 9 a.m. and noon.

 

Frachiseur said all market animals must have their papers, numbers and vet checks by Saturday.

 

Frachiseur said for more information, you may contact a fair board member. She said their names and numbers are listed on the board's Facebook page, Sevier County Fair DeQueen Arkansas.

 

This year, the carnival rides will be provided by Johnson's Rides and Concessions from El Dorado, Arkansas and the annual rodeo will be held on Friday, August 19th and Saturday, August 20th.

 

  

TAX FREE WEEKEND IN ARKANSAS           8/4/16

 

According to a legislative report, most families will spend an average of $630 this year to get their children ready to head back to school. That estimate includes what families plan to spend on clothes, supplies and electronics.

 

That substantial cost to families, this time of year, is why the General Assembly passed Act 757 in 2011. Act 757 provides a sales tax holiday, the first weekend of August. The holiday means state and local taxes are not collected or paid on the purchase of certain items.

 

Sponsors of the bill noted that neighboring states already had a sales tax holiday, so legislative members passed the bill, hoping Arkansans would shop at home.

 

Arkansas is now one of 18 states across the country that offers a sales tax holiday.

 

This year's sales tax holiday will begin at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, August 6th and end at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, August 7th.

 

Currently, the state sales tax is 6.5 percent and city and local sales taxes vary across the state. The local sales tax is 3.375 for a total of 9.875.

 

During the sales tax holiday, retailers will not be allowed to collect sales tax on clothing and footwear if the sales price is less than $100 per item; clothing accessories and equipment if the sales price is less than $50 per item; school supplies; school art supplies; and school instructional materials.

 

Clothing includes all clothing, which is listed as all human wearing apparel, which means it will benefit more than just the back to school crowd.

 

For more information, contact a state customer service representative Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. by calling 501-682-7104.

 

There is also a complete list of eligible purchases on the website www.arkansashouse.org.

 

Educators are also recommending parents to start putting their children to bed at a regular time and start keeping a regular routine.  

 

  

UA COSSATOT RECRUITER ENCOURAGES AREA STUDENTS TO ATTEND COLLEGE      8/4/16

 

Olivia Webb is the UA Cossatot recruiter on the Nashville campus in Howard County and she said registration closes on Tuesday, August 16th, but classes  start on Monday, August 15th.

 

Webb also reminded all incoming freshman about Cossatot's Colt’s Kicker events on all three campuses next week. The Colt’s Kicker event will held in Ashdown on Tuesday, August 9th, on the Nashville campus, Wednesday, August 10th and the De Queen campus on Friday, August 12th.

 

For more information about registration, visit Cossatot's website www.cccua.edu or call 1-800-844-4471.

 

 

NATIONAL NIGHT EVENT, A HUGE SUCCESS           8/3/16

 

Tuesday night about 3,500 people attended the first ever National Night Out event in Sevier County at the De Queen Sportsplex. Children received backpacks filled with school supplies and over 60 businesses, individuals and organizations set up booths offering games, give-a-ways and refreshments.

 

Event organizer Sheriff-elect Robert Gentry said he and the other law enforcement officers were humbled by the community’s response.

 

Gentry stated he started planning the event in an attempt improve the relation between the departments and the surrounding communities.

 

Before Tuesday's event, Gentry stated he hoped to make the National Night Out an annual event in Sevier County.

 

 

 

LITTLE RIVER COUNTY WILL HONOR FORMER SENATOR MONDAY FOLLOWING QUORUM COURT MEETING       8/3/16

 

Little River County Judge Mike Cranford announced the county will be holding a reception and signage unveiling Monday, August 8th at 10:30 a.m. to honor former Senator Barbara Horn in the Little River County Courthouse.

 

Cranford said the signs were approved by the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Commission, designating the "Barbara Horn Highway." He said the signs will be placed at the intersection of Arkansas Highways 32 and 41 and at the northern edge of the Foreman city limits on Highway 41.

 

Horn served 17 years in the Arkansas Legislature.

 

Cranford said this reception was another opportunity for residents to say thank you to Horn for everything she's done for the communities of Southwest Arkansas.

 

 

 

CHANGES TO HUNTER EDUCATION CLASSES       8/3/16

 

Local Hunter Education Instructor, Tawana Newton, announced earlier this week that she will be offering one more class this year. She said the class is scheduled for October 22nd from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Provo Community Center. Newton also mentioned there were some changes to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission hunter education registration process.

 

Newton said she will utilize the commission's new power point presentation, as well as some of the older videos.

 

Newton said the class in October is limited to the first 50 people to sign up, but you can contact her for more information at 870-582-1328. Register at www.register-ed.com.

 

For more information about new hunting regulations, visit the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's website at AGFC.com.

 

 

 

UMPIRE HIGH SCHOOL'S SUCCESS RECOGNIZED BY ARKANSASLEARNS.ORG           8/3/16

 

Earlier this year, Umpire High School was congratulated for receiving a B on the state's second A-F School Report Card.

 

According to ArkansasLearns.org, Umpire High School was one of 234 schools in the state to receive an A or B this year based on their academic performance and growth during the 2014-2015 school year.

 

Arkansas Learns is a private sector alliance of employers, parents and citizens who are dedicated to excellent education options for all students. The Arkansas A-F Grades for Schools was established in 2013 by Act 696. It was sponsored by Senator Jim Hendren and he stated he designed the system to help clarify the Public School Rating System on the state's Annual School Report Cards.

 

Last year, only 10 of Arkansas's 1,045 public schools received an A, while 224 received a B. There were 564 Cs, 228 Ds and 19 Fs.

 

 

AREA SCHOOL REGISTRATIONS       8/2/16

 

The De Queen Primary and Elementary schools will have registration on Thursday, August 4th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3 to 6 p.m.

 

Parents will find out their child's assigned teacher and they will make arrangements for transportation at this time.

 

All new students will need to register in the Primary and Elementary cafeteria. They will need their birth certificate, social security card, immunization record and proof of their address.

 

All elementary schools in the Ashdown School District, including the Ashdown Elementary and the L.F. Henderson Intermediate School, will register new and returning students through August 4th from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. New students will need to bring their shot records, birth certificate and social security card.

 

Ashdown Junior High students will register new students on August 8th from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Returning students in sixth through eighth grades pre-registered last spring for their classes.

 

Ashdown High School students will need to go to the high school August 8th, 9th or 10th between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to pick up a packet to fill out. Those that have returned the packets will receive their schedules during the school's Open House on August 11th. Ninth graders that did not attend the 9th grade night will need to pick up their paperwork and fill it out prior to the Open House, in order to receive their class schedules.

 

The District-wide Open House and Meet the Teacher event is Thursday, August 11th from 2 to 7 p.m.

 

Dierks High School Principal Jody Cowart announced registration has been set for Thursday, August 4th, to issue class schedules in the high school office for the upcoming year. Cowart said these schedules reflect the courses that students selected last spring during the CAP conference.

 

New students to the district, will create a schedule when they register.

 

Seventh grade orientation will be held on August 4th, in the high school cafeteria, beginning at 8:30 a.m. All seventh grade students and parents are encouraged to attend the meeting. Students and parents will be able to tour the high school campus, receive their class schedules, pay any fees, and address any other questions.

 

Eighth and ninth grade students will register from 9:30 to 11 a.m. and tenth through twelfth grades will register from noon to 1:30 p.m.

 

The Jo Ann Walters Elementary will be hosting the annual back to school Open House on August 11th at 6 p.m. in the elementary gym.

 

Cossatot River High School will hold student orientation on Thursday, August 4th.

 

Twelfth grade students will pick up their schedules Thursday from 9 to 10; seventh graders will pick up their schedules from 10 to 11 a.m.; and eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventh grade students can pick up their schedules between 1 and 4 p.m.

 

The administration of the Wickes Elementary announced all school supplies will be provided by area churches, businesses and individual's this year and the only items Kindergarten parents will need to provide is a mat and a backpack. All other grades will just need a backpack.

 

The Wickes Elementary Open House is Tuesday, August 9th from 4 to 6 p.m. Students will meet their teacher's at this time and new students to the district can register any time at the elementary office between the hours of 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 

Registration is open for Grades Pre-K through 9th Grade at Legacy Academy. For more information call 870 642 8937. Scholarships are available.

 

 

REGISTRATION IS CURRENTLY UNDERWAY AT UA COSSATOT       8/2/16

 

Kellie Reynolds of UA Cossatot announced Monday afternoon that registration is currently underway until Tuesday, August 16th at 4:30 p.m.

 

Reynolds said all new Cossatot students are invited to attend the 2016 Colts Kicker new-student orientation next week. She said the Colts Kicker event is scheduled on the Ashdown campus on Tuesday, August 9th, on the Nashville campus on Wednesday, August 10th and on the De Queen campus on Friday, August 12th.

 

Reynolds said all Cossatot campuses will be closed Monday, August 8th, so faculty and staff members can attend an in-service meeting.

 

For more information about registration, visit Cossatot's website www.cccua.edu or call 1-800-844-4471.

 

 

 

CHALICE CUPBOARD REPORT FOR JULY        8/2/16

 

During the month of July, the Chalice Cupboard assisted 60 families including 106 adults and 66 children, totaling 172 people.

 

A total of 1,195 pounds of food was added to the pantry shelves, including 1,009 pounds that was purchased with donated funds. The First United Methodist Church and the Saint Barbara Catholic Church donated 122 pounds, individuals donated 18 pounds and there was an anonymous donation of 46 pounds of food.

 

Individuals living in Sevier County who need food may receive help at the Chalice Cupboard at 315 North 5th Street in De Queen on Tuesday and Wednesday from 2 to 3:15 p.m. Food is given to those requesting assistance once each three-month period of the year.

 

This month, cupboard volunteers are asking for non-perishable items like cereal and peanut butter. All monetary donations will be used to purchase food.

 

 

 

HORATIO HIRES FEEMSTER HAS HEAD GIRLS BASKETBALL COACH      8/2/16

 

During the July meeting of the Horatio Board of Education, Scott Feemster was hired as the girls head basketball coach and they named Head Football Coach David Bennett as the high school Dean of Students.

 

Superintendent Lee Smith said Feemster has coached both boys and girls basketball. He said Feemster has coached at Umpire, Dierks and Cossatot River High School and he is certified to teach social studies.

 

Smith reported the district also decided not to hire a new assistant high school principal and the board voted to name Bennett as the Dean of Students. Smith said Bennett was the Dean of Students when he was in another district.

 

Board members also approved a 5-percent salary increase and the accepted the milk bid from Hiland Dairy.

 

 

 

PICKING UP A FEW THINGS, WHILE IN TOWN        8/2/16

 

Late Saturday night, De Queen Police Department Patrolman Justin Gentry was dispatched to Wal-Mart in reference to a shoplifter.

 

When Officer Gentry and Patrolman Jim Kight arrived, a member of the Wal-Mart Asset Protection Team informed them that 28-year-old Miranda Clouse of Golden, Oklahoma had several items of merchandise in her purse that she hadn't paid for.

 

In the Asset Protection office, Clouse took 18 items out of her purse, including various types of cosmetics, packs of batteries, dice, and some hair products.

 

A Wal-Mart employee reported they witnessed Clouse put several items in her purse in the Health and Beauty section before going over to the toy section and taking some more items. Clouse allegedly put the rest of the items in her purse when she got to the grocery section of the store.

 

While being interviewed by Gentry, Clouse allegedly stated that she went to Wal-Mart to get a refund on some photos that she had purchased online, but was unable to get the refund because the Photo Lab was closed. Clouse then allegedly told Gentry that she started picking up the items that she intended to purchase with the refund money.

 

Clouse was charged with shoplifting less than $1,000 because the items totaled $145.69.

 

 

 

8TH ANNUAL WATERMELON IDOL TALENT CONTEST       8/2/16

 

The 8th Annual Watermelon Idol Talent Contest will be held as part of the 40th annual Hope Watermelon Festival.

 

The contest preliminaries will be held on Thursday, August 11th on the stage in front of coliseum at 6 p.m. and the finals will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, August 13th on the main stage prior to the Oak Ridge Boys concert. The winner will open for the Oak Ridge Boys around 8:25 that evening.

 

The contest is open to all singers or vocal groups regardless of age or residency. However, previous watermelon idol winners are not eligible.

 

There are two divisions, single vocal or vocal group. Individuals can only enter in one category and the preliminaries are open to only 30 applicants. Acts are limited to five minutes each and they may perform with a pre-recorded instrumental track, acapella, or with live instrumental backing.

 

The top five in each division will be selected for the finals. A cash prize of $300 will be awarded to the overall winner of the finals with $150 awarded to the runner-up and $50 for the third-place finisher.

 

Entries will be accepted through Thursday, August 11th at 5:30 p.m. Registration forms are available at hopemelonfest.com or at the Hope/Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce office. For more information, call 870-777-3640.

 

 

TAX DELINQUENT LAND SALE SCHEDULED FOR LITTLE RIVER COUNTY      8/1/16

 

A public auction for the sale of tax delinquent land in Little River County will be held at the Little River County Courthouse on Wednesday, August 17th at 2 p.m., according to John Thurston who is the Arkansas Commissioner of State Lands. Registration will begin at 1:30 p.m.

 

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

 

Thurston said bidding will begin at the amount of taxes and fees that are due. He said owners of delinquent parcels should remember they have only 10 business days to redeem their property if it sells at auction.

 

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

 

  

CORPS TO TEMPORARILY CLOSE RIVER RUN WEST PARK      8/1/16

 

The Army Corps of Engineers, Millwood Tri-Lakes Project Office is temporarily closing access to River Run West Park.

 

The park will close at 8 a.m. on Monday, August 8th while repairs to the downstream embankment area are made.

 

Depending on the weather, the embankment work should be finished by September 15th. Because of safety concerns access to the campground, boat launch ramp and bank will not be allowed during the closure. This closure will not affect access to River Run East Park.

 

Officials at the Army Corps of Engineers Millwood Tri-Lakes Project Office regret any inconveniences this may cause and ask the public to exercise caution while boating.

 

For more information contact the Millwood Project Office at 870-898-3343.

 

  

NATIONAL NIGHT OUT EVENT UPDATE       8/1/16

 

The first ever Sevier County National Night Out event has been scheduled for tomorrow night at the De Queen Sportsplex and the Sevier County Sheriff-elect Robert Gentry said it's going to be from 6 to 9 p.m. He said there was no charge to attend and every student will receive a backpack full of school supplies.

 

Gentry said several businesses and organizations have helped with the event. He said they've donated items and are planning some activities for both kids and adults.

 

Dr. LaResea Woods of Smiles of Arkansas Dental invited area show-offs to participate in the Lip Sync Battle at 7 p.m. She said you will have to provide your own music and show off your best moves.

 

For more information, contact Beth Hughes or Dana Gentry by calling 642-2213.

 

  

40th ANNUAL HOPE WATERMELON FESTIVAL       8/1/16

 

Mark Keith is the director of the Hope/Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce and he announced the 40th annual Hope Watermelon Festival is set for August 11th, 12th and 13th in Hope’s Fair Park.

 

Keith said the festival will officially start at noon on Thursday, August 11th.

 

Keith said Saturday will feature the Watermelon Festival Car Show from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., as well as, the Melon Mile Fun Run at 9 a.m. followed by the melon judging and auction at 10 a.m.

 

University of Arkansas at Hope-Texarkana Foundation Director Jill Bobo said Miss America and the Oak Ridge Boys will headline the festival, Saturday night.

 

Bobo said the easiest way to order tickets is online at hopemelonfest.com or uacch.edu.

 

Keith also encouraged older adults to attend Thursday and Friday. He said Jim Reeves' nephew Bill White, will be performing Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the air conditioned coliseum.

 

Keith said entry to the festival is free, but there is a $5 parking fee.

 

For more information, visit the website hopemelonfest.com.

 

 

TEXAS A&M-TEXARKANA TO HOST TWO-DAY PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP FOR SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHERS      8/1/16

 

The Texas A&M University of Texarkana Council for the Social Studies will host a professional development workshop for social studies teachers August 10th and 11th in Eagle Hall of the University Center.

 

"Rights and Responsibilities: Strategies for Today's Social Studies Teachers" will focus on civics and law-related education and is open to all social studies teachers in the region and there is no charge for the workshop.

 

On Wednesday, August 10th, the American Board of Trial Advocates Foundation will cover such topics as "Separation of Power," "Federal vs. State Rights," and "Social media in the classroom: A Great Teaching Tool or Legal Pitfall?"

 

Thursday’s topic will be "Heads Up: Making Citizenship, History and Government Come Alive in the Classroom."

 

The workshops will begin at 8 a.m. each day. For more information or to register for the program, contact Texas A&M University of Texarkana at 903-223-3000.

ASHDOWN RECEIVES NEW VIDEO BOARD

Due to the generous donations of Bear State Bank, EZ-Mart and Domtar, there will be a new 10x20 LED video board for Dick Hayes Stadium this fall. These contributors have together committed to $132,000 toward the project. Superintendent, Jason Sanders said, "I cannot thank Bear State Bank, EZ Mart, and Domtar enough for their help with this project! We also want to thank TDS, who were instrumental in the installation of the board. They all have tremendous "Panther Pride" and support our school system 100%. "

 

The sign will be a communication tool that will last for many years. According to Football Athletic Director Matt Richardson, "I am very excited about the opportunities of the new classes that will be taught at Ashdown High School. Students will learn video production and manage the board on game nights. This is a great chance to involve more students during the game that aren't already involved in band, football, cheer or dance." Things you will see on the screen are live commercials from advertisers, instant replay, Monday Night Football Starting Lineup call outs for the Ashdown Panthers, Hype Videos, live band video during halftime, fan cam, and many other things. Coach Richardson also said, "this is something nice for our community and I am excited to share it with our town."

 

Ashdown Principal, Kay York says, "the video classes will provide students with the hands on training to prepare them for live newsfeeds as well as recorded news within our school. The technology skills will be a springboard for other video productions that will develop as students engage in elements of design, audio/sound, animation, and integration."

 

The CTE (Career and Technical Education) courses will begin the first year with Layout and Design and progress toward editing and integration of media to the fundamentals of Web design and HTML, techniques used in building media for the Web, along with learning to develop content and publish media-based Web sites to the Internet. The final course they will capture, create, and edit audio and video files for media product formats. This course allows the student to build digital audio and video making skills by having them conceive, storyboard, record, edit, and final formats. This is a hands-on course that teaches students how to use audio and video editing software to edit audio and video.

 

"We are always excited about improving facilities and trying new things that maybe other schools are not doing. We feel that we have on of the best high schools in Southwest Arkansas. From a business perspective this will allow me to use these donations for this extracurricular project, rather than state tax payer funds. It will also allow these businesses to do advertising during athletic events and graduation ceremonies and be visible in front of some of the largest crowds in Little River County. I am also very excited about the new multi-media class that will be started and the opportunity that this will give to our students," said Mr. Sanders.
 

DIERKS BOARD OF EDUCATION APPROVES HANDBOOK CHANGES      7/29/16

 

During a special called meeting of the Dierks Board of Education, board members approved some changes to the student handbook for the upcoming school year. The board also voted to not allow any transfers in or out of the district after September 15th of the fall semester and January 15th of the spring semester.

 

Changes to the student handbooks include an addition to the dress code section that states tights and leggings must be worn with a shirt, shorts or skirt with a hem no shorter than four inches from the bend of the knee.

 

Dierks High School registration is Thursday, August 4th and Jo Ann Walters Elementary will be hosting their annual Back to School Open House on August 11th at 6 p.m. in the elementary gym. All parents and students are encouraged to attend and meet their teachers.

 

The first day of school is Monday, August 15th.

 

 

 

ASHDOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT SELLING NEW SEASON TICKET PACKAGES         7/29/16

 

Ashdown Superintendent Jason Sanders announced the district approved a new season ticket program this year. He said it's the district intent to help patrons by offering season tickets at a discounted price while generating some revenue for the athletic programs,

 

Sanders said Family Passes and Super Booster Passes will go on sale August 1st at the Superintendent's Office at 511 North 2nd Street,

 

Sanders said they will also be offering student passes for all Kindergarten through twelfth grade students and student athlete passes for any student enrolled in a sport, cheer, spirit or band in the sixth through twelfth grades.

 

The passes are good for all home events, but may not be used for benefit or state sponsored events. Individual game prices are $5 for high school and junior high events and $3 for junior varsity and seventh grade events.

 

 

 

AMERICANS NEED A LITTLE FINANCIAL KNOW-HOW       7/29/16

 

According to a just released nationwide study, only about one in three Americans is financially literate, with a basic understanding of financial concepts such as budgeting, credit and decision-making when it comes to money.

 

The results did not surprise J. Michael Collins, who directs the Center for Financial Security at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He says so many people struggle to get by in part because they really don't know much about money, credit and banking. At particular risk are minorities and young people, who were never taught the basics,

 

The study surveyed more than 27,000 Americans, measuring their grasp of concepts such as budgeting planning ahead, financial knowledge and financial decision-making.

 

According to Collins, it's not that difficult to learn the basic concepts involved in managing income, but some people shy away from it because it involves basic math.  He says improving financial literacy is critical to surviving. He thinks one reason two-thirds of Americans are financially illiterate is that the topic of money is often taboo,

 

Collins says improving financial management is grounded in having a system and paying regular attention to simple financial management tasks such as paying bills on time and saving for retirement. He says improving financial literacy is like diet or exercise: Step one is paying attention and making it a priority.

 

 

 

FREESTYLE BULL FIGHTING COMPETITORS ANNOUNCED FOR THE DIERKS PINE TREE FESTIVAL        7/29/16

 

Dierks Chamber of Commerce member Stacy Janes named the competitors that will be participating in this year's No Holds Barred Free Style Bull Fight Thursday morning on the Morning Brew. He said the chamber also added $5,000 cash to the pot for the 4th Annual Ultimate Challenge Bull Riding contest.

 

Janes said things will get started Friday night with the Tuff-N-Nuff miniature bull riding.

 

Janes said anyone under the age of 18 can sign up to participate in the mini rodeo, but they will need to contact Johnny Hopkins Monday, August 1st at 515-571-6922.

 

Saturday night, Janes said some of the best bull riders in the country will stop by the Pine Tree Festival and try to win a Bob Burg Buckle and take home all that added prize money.

 

Janes also mention his son and a couple of Texans will be competing in the free style bull fighting contest.

 

This year's Pine Tree Festival will also feature a parade on Saturday morning at 10, food and craft vendors, various timber and logging activities and competitions and mutton busting Saturday night at 6.

 

Janes said if you want to compete in the Mini Rodeo or the Ultimate Challenge Bull Riding contest, you need to call this Monday when the books open. For the mini rodeo call Hopkins at 515-571-6922 and for the Ultimate Challenge Bull Riding, contact Janes at 870-784-3043.

 

Admission to Friday night's mini rodeo is $5 for anyone over the age of 18 and everyone else is free. Admission to Saturday night's event is $10 for anyone 13 and older, $5 for anyone 7 to 12 years of age and free to anyone 6 and younger.

 

 

FOREMAN RESIDENT CHARGED WITH RAPE AND CHILD PORNOGRAPHY       7/28/16

 

A Little River County man has been arrested and charged with two counts of rape and child pornography.

 

Little River County deputies apprehended 44-year-old Michael Friday of Foreman after receiving complaints of the sexual assault allegations involving two minors.

 

Investigators stated some of the evidence that they collected in the case includes pornographic videos of the victims.

 

Prosecutors said more charges may be filed against Friday. He's currently being held in the Little River County jail on a $350,000 bond.

 

 

 

COSSATOT BOARD TO APPOINT NEW BOARD MEMBER IN AUGUST      7/28/16

 

Cossatot River School District Superintendent Donnie Davis reported the Cossatot River Board of Education voted to purchase a new Big-Tex Trailer for the FFA department to transport their livestock animals. He also informed KDQN that the FFA Booster Club was renovating the old show barn on the Cove campus so students could house their livestock.

 

Davis also updated board members on the renovation project at the Wickes Elementary cafeteria.

 

Board members also approved the reassignment of Principal Jana Richardson from the Vandervoort Elementary to the Wickes Elementary and Judy Joiner was promoted to Vandervoort Principal.

 

Davis said board members also accepted the resignation of board member Rick Frachiseur who has been serving as the vice-president of the board. Davis said they have 30-days from July 14th to appoint a new board member.

 

Members of the Cossatot River Board of Education also approved a five percent raise for the classified staff in accordance with ACT 1120.

 

 

 

LOCAL OPTION MEASURE TO BE ON THE BALLOT IN LITTLE RIVER COUNTY      7/28/16

 

Little River County Clerk Deanna Sivley certified the signatures turned in by the Vote 4 Growth Little River Committee to place a measure on the November ballot that if passed will allow the sale of alcohol in the county.

 

For the first time in 70 years, voters will have the opportunity to decide whether to allow alcohol sales in Little River County.

 

The county clerk's office certified the 2,661 signatures that were needed to place the wet/dry measure on the general election ballot in November.

 

Kirk Babb is the chairman of the Vote for Growth in Little River County committee and he said they turned in over 4,000 signatures last week.

 

State law requires the collection of valid signatures from 38 percent of the county's registered voters in order to place a measure on the ballot that will allow alcohol sales. The committee had until August to gather the signatures.

 

Babb said it's been decades since Little River County residents have been able to weigh in on this issue and the committee will continue to work hard over the next few months to get the word out concerning how big an impact alcohol sales will have on the local economy.

 

 

 

UA COSSATOT VICE-CHANCELLOR BEING RECOMMENDED FOR DIRECTOR POSITION OF DEPARTMENT OF HIGHER EDUCATION       7/28/16

 

The Arkansas Department of Higher Education director search committee will recommend UA Cossatot Vice-Chancellor Maria Markham as the new director of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education.

 

The search committee met earlier this month and interviewed three candidates for the position: the other two candidates included MacGregor Stephenson who was the former deputy chief of staff to former Texas Governor Rick Perry and Jon Townsend who is the associate vice chancellor of workforce development for Tennessee’s board of regents.

 

The search committee is expected to recommend Markham for the position at the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board meeting this Friday.

 

The current director of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, Brett Powell, resigned in May. He will begin his new position as vice president for finance and administration at Henderson State University on August 1st

 

 

 

DRIVING IN THE DARK            7/28/16

 

Early Monday morning, Officer David Higgins of the De Queen Police Department witnessed a vehicle pull out of the EZ-Mart parking lot at the 70/71 intersection without its headlights on. 

 

Officer Higgins followed the vehicle to the Smith’s Quick Lube parking lot and asked the driver, 18-year-old Alexander McDonald of Shreveport, Louisiana, for his license. Higgins also told McDonald that he could smell marijuana and asked him where it was. McDonald allegedly told Higgins that the marijuana was under the driver’s seat.

 

Officer Higgins discovered some marijuana and a smoking device laying in the driver’s side floor board, along with two pieces of rolled up tin foil that appeared to have been used as a smoking device in the rear driver’s side floor board.

 

Officer Bucky Sawyer assisted in the search and found a jar containing a lighter, three packs of rolling papers and a smoking device in the front passenger floor board.

 

McDonald was arrested and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance.

 

 

 

IT MAY BE THE MUNCHIES          7/28/16

 

On Friday, July 22nd, Patrolman Nicole Nealy of the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to the Sonic Drive-in after officers were informed that Sonic employees thought a customer was high on drugs.

 

When Nealy approached the vehicle, she noticed a Dr. Pepper can, an empty blue cigar wrapper and some tobacco remains outside the passenger door.

 

According to Nealy’s report, there were three people in the car, including the driver 25-year-old Jessica Lininger and passengers Rodney Taylor and Jeffery James.

 

When Nealy asked about the trash, the occupants informed her that the trash was there when they pulled in, but Sonic employees told her there was no trash in that lane before they arrived.

 

Nealy then interviewed Lininger and she allegedly informed Nealy that there was some marijuana in the Sonic bag and it was all hers. Nealy discovered some suspected marijuana in the Sonic bag and a grinder behind the passenger seat.

 

Lininger was charged with possession of a controlled substance.

 

 

 

DIERKS STUDENT COMPETED IN MEAT SCIENCE ASSOCIATION’S MEATS QUIZ BOWL COMPETITION        7/28/16

 

Former Dierks High School graduate, Caleb Shepherd, was one of nine undergraduate students from the University of Arkansas Department of Animal Science that competed in the American Meat Science Association’s Meats Quiz Bowl Competition in Texas.

 

Shepherd and the other students spent the past year learning about all aspects of meat science to help prepare them for the annual quiz bowl competition.

 

U of A officials say the event provides great networking opportunities and allows students to see all aspects of the meat industry.

 

Shepherd graduated from Dierks High School in 2013 and he’s a former Howard County 4-H member.

 

CHAMBER REINSTATES YARD OF THE MONTH PROGRAM    07/27/16

The Board of Directors of the De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce (DQSCCC) is pleased to announce the kick off of the revamped Yard of the Month award program to show its appreciation and to recognize homeowners and business owners who demonstrate superior effort in maintaining their property, and who, as a result, positively contribute to the overall appearance of Sevier County and its communities.

"We think this is a cool way to recognize the folks who help make our community look good," said DQSCCC President Patrick Massey. "We hope too that this program will encourage more people - such as myself - to put more effort towards their yards."

The program will award winners each month for landscaping and holiday decorations. Each monthly winner, in both the residential and business categories, will receive recognition in the local media, a $25 gift card to Bailey's Discount Building Supplies in De Queen, and the honor of displaying the official DQSCCC "Yard of the Month" lawn-sign in their yard that identifies their property as the Yard of the Month winner.

Program Guidelines

Judging for the award will be provided by a committee on the chamber board of directors.

The award term lasts from the first day to the last day of a calendar month.

The same property cannot receive more than one award in the same rolling 12 month calendar period.

The property of all current residents of Sevier County, both owner-occupied and rental, are automatically eligible to participate in the program.

All businesses in Sevier County are automatically eligible to participate.

The occupants of a Yard of the Month winning home will receive the gift card award.

The upkeep of the yard can reflect the efforts of the residents themselves or that of a professional landscaper.

During the reign as Yard of the Month, winners are expected to maintain their yard in the same manner that allowed them to win the title.

Yard of the Month candidates are judged solely on the exterior appearance of their property as viewed from the street. Yards will be judged on neatness, landscaping and color.

For more information on the program, including tips to keep your yard looking good, visit www.dequeenchamber.com or see the De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce on Facebook.

UPDATE ON MONDAY'S BANK ROBBERY IN MINERAL SPRINGS      7/27/16

submitted by KMTB

 

Authorities were back in Mineral Springs Tuesday as the investigation continues into Monday’s armed robbery of the town's Diamond Bank branch.  Police were sent to the Mineral Springs Park, after a city worker found several articles of clothing.  Authorities believe the articles of clothing were discarded by the suspects, Monday afternoon.

 

Chief Deputy John Eric Glidewell of the Howard County Sheriff's Office said the items have been sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab.

 

Four people entered the bank Monday afternoon displaying at least two firearms and ordered the tellers and a customer to lie down of the floor as they took an undisclosed amount of cash. Officials said the suspects were in the bank for less than two minutes and then left in a black or dark blue vehicle.

 

If you have any information about Monday’s robbery, you’re asked to contact the Howard County Sheriff’s Department at 845-2626.

 

TIME TO SIGN UP FOR RODEO QUEEN CONTEST        7/27/16

 

The deadline to enter the 2016 Rodeo Queen Contest during the Sevier County Fair and Rodeo is Saturday, August 6th at noon, fair board member Michelle Sawyer stated someone will be at the fair grounds August 6th from 9 a.m. to noon to accept registration forms. The competitions will be held at the Sevier County Rodeo Arena on August 13th at 7:30 p.m.

 

Sevier County Fair Board member Linda Frachiseur stated contestants may contact Patricia Maben at 784-1740 or Sawyer at 784-8931for more information.

 

Contestants will compete in the following age groups if there are two or more entrants in each category: Rodeo Queen category will be from 14 to 21 years on or before August, 1st; Rodeo Princess category will be 9 to 13 years of age as of August 1st; and the Rodeo Little Miss category will be 8 years of age and younger as of August 1st.

 

Sawyer also announced there will be a stick-a-roo contest for both boys and girls 5 and under. She said contestants must ride a stick horse and if a contestant does not have a stick horse, the fair board will provide one.

 

If there are not enough entrants for a queen and princess contest then all of the contestants will automatically be put into a single category of up to the age of 21 for the title of Rodeo Queen.

 

Entrants must be residents of Sevier County or attend a school in Sevier County and the entry fee is $45.

The winners will be announced during the rodeo on Saturday night, August 20th and the winning contestant must be present Saturday night for the crowning or she will forfeit the title.

 

 

 

YOUTH PARTICIPATE IN DAY OF SERVICE ALONG SIDE MEMORIAL BAPTIST CHURCH IN DE QUEEN       7/27/16

 

Memorial Baptist Church pastor Jason Carlton is volunteering this week in Madison, Wisconsin with about 150 high school students, but high schoolers from around the state of Arkansas are in De Queen to participate in Memorial's Fourth Annual Day of Service.

 

Carlton reported the students are attending Bogg Springs camp this week and volunteers to help out with several local projects in De Queen. He said they will be helping at the De Queen Nursing and Rehab, landscaping in the De Queen City Park, washing De Queen Police Department vehicles and De Queen School District buses and cleaning up around the courthouse.

 

Carlton said the reason Memorial Baptist is conducting another Day of Service event, is so they can meet people and invite them to church.

 

 

 

JUDGE DISMISSES MOTION TO DISMISS MINERAL SPRINGS SCHOOL DISTRICT LAWSUIT       7/27/16

 

A motion to dismiss the Mineral Springs School District civil rights lawsuit has been rejected by a federal judge.

 

According to the latest docket filing, Judge D. P. Marshall, Jr. denied a Motion to Dismiss after state defendants in a previous filing said the lawsuit failed to state a claim. But, the judge did allow the lawsuit to be amended to include two new State Board of Education members.

 

A similar motion by Hempstead County has yet to be ruled upon.

 

Superintendent Curtis Turner and the Mineral Springs School District filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas on February 29th against Hempstead County, Arkansas Education Commissioner Johnny Key, the State Board of Education and the Arkansas Department of Education.

 

 

FUNDRAISERS FOR THE SHELTER 13 AND UNDER AND SHELTER 14 AND UNDER ARKANSAS STATE CHAMPIONS        7/27/16

 

The Shelter 13 and Under and the Shelter 14 and Under baseball teams won the state titles recently and will be representing Arkansas during the Dixie Boys World Series Baseball Tournaments in Pineville, Louisiana, August 5th.

 

The teams are coached by Jeff Woods and he is assisted by Jamie Williamson, Anthony Worthey, Michael Williamson, Charlie Marshall, Bret McKiever and Jamie Ralls and the 14 and Under team consists of Jack Rich, Will Athey, Brennen Seymour, Isaiah Williamson, Connor Gammon, Mayson McKiever, Logan Williamson, Mack Carver, Quinshawn Bennett-Hale and CJ Whitfield. The 13 and Under team consists of Carson McKiever, Mason Marshall, Gage Woods, Easton Leonard, Brentley Morris, Xander Worthey, Nathaniel Socash, Blake Pickett, Dayton Ralls and Garet Wilson.

 

The teams will be practicing and holding several fundraisers from now until August 5th for the purchase of uniforms, food and lodging.

 

Seymour said they will be holding several fundraisers, starting this Friday.

 

Chicken dinners will be sold for $8 a plate on Wednesday, August 3rd from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and they will deliver to area businesses, to place an order call 582-3340.

 

  

THOSE TAGS ARE ON THE WRONG TRUCK       7/27/16

 

Early Sunday morning, Patrolman First Class Levi Browning of the De Queen Police Department witnessed a black Ford truck cross the intersection at Robinson Road and Highway 71 North at a high rate of speed. After running the tags of the vehicle, Browning discovered they belonged on a gold Ford truck.

 

When Browning approached the vehicle, he identified the driver as 20-year-old Guillermo Benitez of De Queen whom he had spoken to earlier in the night.

 

Officer Justin Gentry assisted Browning during the traffic stop and made contact with a minor female passenger who also appeared to be intoxicated.

 

According to the incident report, officers were asked to walk through the EZ Mart at the four-way intersection between the hours of 2 and 3:30 a.m. whenever possible, because store employees reported several intoxicated juveniles were visiting the store between those hours on Sunday mornings.

 

At 2:30 a.m., Browning walked through the store and discovered Benitez intoxicated in the store.

 

When Browning stopped Benitez around 3, Benitez was citied for being a minor in possession and public intoxication.

 

The female minor was released into the custody of her father.

 

  

FALLS CHAPEL CHURCH IN LOCKESBURG TO HOST HOT DOG AND POPSICLE SUPPER       7/27/16

 

 

Members of the Falls Chapel Church in Lockesburg will be hosting a hot dog and Popsicle supper this Saturday at 6 p.m. and Brettny Lynch announced everyone is welcome to attend their little shindig.

 

Lynch said they'll have face painting, arts and crafts, as well as, games for everyone to play, like the Oreo Challenge. She said the church is located seven miles south of Lockesburg and you can contact her at 870-784-0786, if you have any questions.

 

  

CORPS TO TEMPORARILY CLOSE OKAY LANDING BOAT RAMP        7/27/16

The Army Corps of Engineers, Millwood Tri-Lakes Project Office is temporarily closing the Okay Landing boat ramp because of low lake levels. The current lake levels are not high enough to safely launch boats and navigate around the Okay Landing ramp and access area.

The Corps began drawing down Millwood Lake July 18 to allow for bank stabilization work at Cottonshed Park.  The drawdown is scheduled to continue for the next three weeks.

Officials at the Army Corps of Engineers Millwood Tri-Lakes Project Office regret any inconveniences this may cause and ask the public to exercise caution while boating.

Corps rangers reminds all boaters to wear a lifejacket.  For more information contact the Millwood Project Office 870-898-3343.

 

 

AUTHORITIES SEARCHING FOR SUSPECTS IN MINERAL SPRINGS BANK ROBBERY          7/26/16

 

The Howard County Sheriff's Office is searching for at least four suspects who robbed the Mineral Springs branch of the Diamond Bank Monday afternoon.

 

The sheriff's department says the incident occurred shortly after 3 p.m., when three men and a woman stormed into the bank. Authorities say at least two of the suspects were armed with semi-automatic handguns and ordered the clerks and a customer to lie down on the floor.

 

The suspects then jumped over the counters and took money from the clerk's drawers, leaving the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash.

 

Howard County Sheriff Brian McJunkins reported no shots were fired, however, the suspects are being considered armed and dangerous.

 

Investigators are reviewing surveillance, but the suspects covered their faces with masks or bandanas, but law enforcement are hoping someone will recognize their builds and or mannerisms and help them identify and apprehend the suspects.

 

Police are also working on getting a better description of a possible getaway vehicle, which is being described as a mid-sized 4-door sedan, possible dark blue or black, with temporary or paper tags. It may also have black rims and tinted windows.

 

Anyone with information that could help police identify and locate the suspects in this armed robbery is being asked to contact the Howard County Sheriff's Office at 870-845-2626.

 

The case is being investigated by the Howard County Sheriff's Office, the Mineral Springs Police Department and the Arkansas State Police.

 

 

 

UA COSSATOT PLANS TO LIST OLD LOCKESBURG GYM ON HISTORICAL REGISTER           7/26/16

 

Earlier this month, UA Cossatot was awarded a $175,000 grant from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council to help restore the old Lockesburg gym.

 

UA Cossatot Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole informed KDQN that Cossatot plans to restore the old gym to its 1952 condition.

 

Cole explained they plan to remove the newer lobby and expose the old windows, renovate the old restrooms that are under the stands and restore the stage to a useable condition.

 

Cole said when the project is finished he plans to list the old gym on the Arkansas Historical Registry.

 

Cole said the UA Cossatot Board of Visitors held a reception during their July 11th meeting in honor of Judy Johnson's retirement. He said Johnson worked for Cossatot since 1975 when it was called Cossatot Vo-Tech.

 

Cole also invited area residents to visit with Congressman Steve Westerman Wednesday morning from 10 to 11 during a Community Coffee in the Barbara Horn Civic Center on the UA Cossatot, Ashdown campus.

 

For registration information about UA Cossatot, call 1-800-844-4471.

 

 

 

KEEPING UP WITH TECHNOLOGY        7/26/16

 

We live in a digital world, but there are still a lot of people who haven't mastered all of the new devices that are available, so AARP is offering some workshops to help senior adults adapt. The idea is to teach people to feel more comfortable with all this modern technology.

 

According to the director of outreach and education for AARP Arkansas, Lou Tobian, there are several free classes being offered, ranging from beginning courses to more advance sessions on how to use Apps. He said it's easy to lose touch with friends and family if you aren't able to use a computer, smart phone or tablet.

 

Tobian says there's a beginning and intermediate courses because new technology is being developed all of the time.

 

The workshops also include information on how to stay safe online. 

 

 

9-YEAR-OLD MISSOURI GIRL FINDS 1.53 CARAT DIAMOND        7/26/16

 

On July 22nd temperatures hovered around 100 degrees at the Crater of Diamond State Park and because of the heat the family of 9-year-old Grace Houston almost didn't return to the park on July 23rd for a second day of searching for diamonds.

 

But, Houston was determined to find a diamond and she declared that she wanted to go back, even if she had to go alone.

 

Knowing how much she enjoyed geology, her family planned their trip to the Crater of Diamond State Park about six months ago and they didn't tell Houston until a few days before they left on their trip to Murfreesboro.

 

The trip, however, will be one that Houston and her family will never forget, after she discovered a 1.53 carat white diamond while wet sifting alongside her grandmother.

 

When asked if she was going to make her diamond into a necklace, Houston said no. Her family also suggested she save it until she gets older and place it in an engagement ring. But, Houston said no to that idea also and said she plans to keep the diamond in it's natural state.

 

 

 

YOUNG ATHLETES NOT AS LIKELY TO ASK FOR HELP       7/26/16

 

Student-athletes experience mental-health issues at about the same rate as the general student body, which is around 30 percent of students. About a third of those students will get help, but only 10 percent of their athlete counterparts will.

 

Health providers at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City are trying to find a way to identify those student-athletes who are at risk.

 

Dr. Shayla Sullivant says the Sports Medicine Department started administering suicide screenings for teenage patients. She says you can't look at a young person and assume that because they're fit and active that they don't have any issues that could lead them down a terrible path.

 

Several organizations are taking steps to address athlete suicides, including the NCAA, the National Athletes Trainers Association and universities, with programs such as "Athletes Connected."

 

Sullivant says there can be an attitude in sports that you need to stay tough, and that helps a person push through some difficulties, but she says it can also be a problem.

 

Sullivant says knowing that a young person is struggling is the first step, and the priority needs to be getting patients professional help.

 

 

DIERKS PINE TREE FESTIVAL IS FIRST WEEKEND IN AUGUST        7/25/16

 

The Dierks Pine Tree Festival is Friday, August 5th and Saturday, August 6th at the Dierks City Park and Dierks Mayor Terry Mounts said there's going to be a mini rodeo on Friday night.

 

John Hopkins is the executive director of the Tuff-N-Nuff Miniature Rodeo Association and he explained young people 18 and younger can sign up to ride a miniature bull or miniature bronc. He said the MRA works to instill confidence in children, one ride at a time.

 

Hopkins said anyone under the age of 18 can participate. He said the books will be open Monday, August 1st from 6 to 10 p.m. or they can call Stacey Janes at 870-784-3043.

 

Hopkins said the event will be similar to a PRCA rodeo, except the main attraction Friday night is the kids.

 

Mayor Mounts said there will be also be mutton busting, a parade, food and craft vendors, a carnival, timber competitions and more.

 

For more information, contact the Dierks Chamber of Commerce.

 

 

 

STORAGE TANKS ADVISORY COMMITTEE TO DISCUSS REIMBURSEMENT FOR PETROLEUM CLEANUP IN DE QUEEN       7/25/16

 

The Arkansas Petroleum Storage Tank Advisory Committee will meet Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. at the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality Headquarters in North Little Rock to discuss the financial status of the Petroleum Storage Tank Trust Fund and to consider requests for reimbursements for cleanup operations in De Queen, Malvern, Jonesboro, England and Little Rock.

 

The committee advises and assists the ADEQ and the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission concerning administration of the state's Regulated Storage Tank Program.

 

 

 

CONGRESSMAN WESTERMAN TO VISIT LITTLE RIVER COUNTY        7/25/16

 

Arkansas Congressman Bruce Westerman will be attending a chamber coffee Wednesday morning from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Barbara Horn Civic Center on the Ashdown campus of UA Cossatot and the public is invited to meet Westerman.

 

Westerman and his staff will also tour the UA Cossatot campus in Ashdown from 11 to about 11:45.

 

For more information, contact Fonda Hawthorne at the Little River County Chamber of Commerce at 870-898-2758.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN/ SEVIER COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE YARD OF THE MONTH PROGRAM SET TO BEGIN IN AUGUST        7/25/16

 

De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce President Patrick Massey announced Monday morning that the chamber plans to re-establish the Yard of the Month program beginning next month.

 

Massey said this will give the chamber the opportunity to recognize the pride of county residents and businesses.

 

He said area residents should come out and support the National Night Out event. Students will receive a backpack from Smiles of Arkansas Dental and school supplies that have been donated to the Sevier County Sheriff's Office.    

 

Massey said if you are interested in joining the chamber, you can call the chamber at 584-3225 or stop by the De Queen Bee to speak with Massey or the KDQN studios to speak with Patty Sharp.

 

 

 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: CODE RED AT WORK      7/25/16

 

In February of this year, students and teachers experienced a frightening situation when a gun was found on campus at a school in Marion. However, within minutes the school was on lockdown, students found a safe location and police secured the building. No shots were fired and no one was hurt.

 

That quick reaction was set in motion when the principal activated the Rave Panic Button.

 

The Rave Panic Button technology was developed after the 90th General Assembly passed the School Safety Act, last year.

 

As parents prepare to send their children back to school next month, the legislature wants to remind parents about this technology that's available to every school in the state.

 

The Panic Button is a mobile app that allows authorized employees of school district and businesses to not only contact 9-1-1- when an emergency is taking place, but also to notify their co-workers of the incident simultaneously. The Panic Button also enhances first responders' ability to aide during the emergency response by providing critical campus information to 9-1-1.

 

Every school in Arkansas has implemented the Panic Button system, protecting over 495,000 students.

 

One month after the Panic Button was introduced, it helped save the life of a school employee in Blytheville, when the employee suffered a life-threatening medical situation while at school. The school nurse assessed the situation and then pressed the Panic Button and was connected to 9-1-1.

 

School personnel and 9-1-1 call centers in the state have received training and support through webinars, regional onsite training, continuous online support and the presence of the state's director.

 

 

LOCAL GIRL SCOUT COMPLETES CHALLENGING HIKE THROUGH RAINFOREST OF COSTA RICA         7/22/16

 

Eighteen year old Destiny Kimmel, a Girl Scout from De Queen, completed Outward Bound Costa Rica’s Rainforest, River and Reef Destination during a seven-day tropical rainforest trek, cultural immersion with traditional Costa Rican families and adventure activities.

 

Kimmel said the course exceeded her expectations.

 

Kimmel and her group hiked their way through untouched rainforest to the remote village of Piedras Blancas, passing waterfalls and cloud forests. In the village, the group stayed with local families, practicing their Spanish skills and learning about traditions through hands-on activities such as harvesting sugar cane. Kimmel also tested her tenacity by rappelling over an 80-foot waterfall.

 

After a rich cultural experience, the group headed to the famed Manuel Antonio National Park, where they learned about the local wildlife and enjoyed the beach. They finished the course with a day of rafting whitewater rapids on the Pejibaye River, a zipline canopy tour in the rainforest, and a visit to the vibrant artisan market of San Jose.

 

Since 2006, Outward Bound Costa Rica has been partnered with the Girl Scouts of the USA to offer unique and exciting Girl Scouts Destinations trips to Costa Rica and Panama. These trips provide young girls the opportunity to see the world, meet fellow Girl Scouts from across the nation and challenge themselves through adventure in unfamiliar settings.

 

 

 

40th ANNUAL HOPE WATERMELON FESTIVAL       7/22/16

 

The 40th annual Hope Watermelon Festival is set for August 11th, 12th and 13th in Hope’s Fair Park.

 

The festival officially opens at noon Thursday, August 11th and most of the arts and crafts booths will be open along with the concessions. Highlights of the day will include the Kiwanis Bar B Que chicken dinner from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the Fair Park Community Center.

 

Entertainment Thursday night will include the Watermelon Idol Preliminary contest at 6 p.m. on the stage in front of the coliseum and the group, “God’s Purpose” will be performing inside the coliseum. Rudy Preston and Friends will perform at 6 p.m. and the Night Hawk Band will take the stage at 7.

 

The festival opens on Friday at 9 a.m. and the annual Lion’s Club Fish Fry is set for 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the Fair Park Community Center.

 

Friday night’s entertainment will feature Dave Almand in front of the coliseum at 7 p.m. There’s also going to be a dog show and performances by the Washington Vintage Dancers.

 

Saturday will feature the Watermelon Festival Car Show from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., as well as, the Melon Mile Fun Run at 9 a.m.

 

The melon judging and auction will take place at 10 a.m. followed by the politically correct watermelon eating contest and then the regular watermelon eating contest.

 

Saturday night, the Oak Ridge Boys will perform at 8:30 p.m. Advance general admission tickets are on sale for $15 at the chamber office. Tickets will be $20 on the day of the event. Reserved seat tickets are on sale for $40 at uacch.edu.

 

Ice cold watermelon will be served by the slice all three days on the north side of the park during the 40th annual Hope Watermelon Festival August 11th, 12th and 13th.

 

 

 

PRACTICING HIS DEFENSIVE DRIVING          7/22/16

 

Early Sunday morning, Patrolman Justin Gentry of the De Queen Police Department observed a car partially stopped in the outside east bound lane at the Seal and Hodge Insurance parking lot. The vehicle then quickly accelerated backwards into the parking lot and suddenly stopped. The driver then accelerated forward and stopped just before entering the roadway.

 

The driver, 33-year-old Victor Villaobos of De Queen, informed Gentry that he was having car trouble.

 

Gentry reported he could smell alcohol, but Villaobos stated he hadn't been drinking.

 

Gentry was assisted by Patrolman First Class Levi Browning and they found an empty beer can and a full can of beer on the passenger side of the vehicle.

 

Villaobos was arrested for suspicion of driving while intoxicated and citied for not having a driver’s license.

 

 

 

CONSUMER ALERT: SCAMMERS GOING FOR THE GOLD THIS SUMMER     7/22/16

 

The 2016 Summer Olympics are coming up, and many Arkansans are eagerly waiting to watch the events from the comfort of their own home. Even though many of us are not making the trip to Rio de Janeiro, con artists are still looking for ways to scam fans.

 

Scammers are using phishing attacks to solicit sensitive, personal information through email. At first it appears to be a legitimate advertisement, even using terms like "Rio" or "Rio2016," but do not click on any links or open any attachments in unsolicited emails because they could contain malware, which can steal log in information, as well as expose you to identity theft.

 

Meanwhile, some scammers are sending fake emails saying the recipient has won the Olympics lottery, including a grand prize trip to Brazil to watch the summer games. But remember it is a scam if you never entered the contest. You cannot win a lottery you never entered.

 

Another scam that could reach those Olympic fans staying stateside is counterfeit merchandise. Scammers try to capitalize on Americans' desire to show their team spirit by advertising clothing or Olympic souvenirs. You should always make sure the website is a legitimate Olympic retailer, and use a credit care instead of a debit card to make any online purchases because it offers additional protections.

 

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a consumer alert to help Arkansans to not fall victim to any of these scams.

 

Rutledge released the following tips to help you spot fake websites and emails about this summer's Olympic Games: she recommends you check the page for bad grammar and spelling mistakes; do not move forward with the transaction if they only take payment through online currency or wire transfers; use caution if the offer sounds too good to be true; review the site's privacy policy before submitting any personal or financial information; and read the comments and reviews section and take note of negative feedback.

 

For more information on steps to take if your identity has been stolen and other consumer related issues or to file a consumer complaint, contact the Attorney General's office call 1-800-482-8982 or visit the website arkansasag.gov.

 

 

 

SMALL BUSINESS WEBSITE SEMINAR IN DE QUEEN          7/22/16

 

The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center at Henderson State University will help small businesses create a free website during a workshop on Tuesday, July 26th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the De Queen campus of UA Cossatot.

 

Businesses will learn step-by-step how to create a free account and an attractive, five-page website using Weebly.

 

The workshop is free because it is being sponsored by First State Bank of De Queen.

 

To register, call 870-230-5184.

 

 

 

TRAFFIC DEATHS NEED MORE FOCUS FROM BOTH PARTIES      7/22/16

 

Republican and Democratic party platforms this year address trade, gun violence, even pornography, but neither party is addressing one of the country's biggest killers, traffic accidents.

 

Last year, traffic accidents killed more than 38,000 people and seriously injured 4.4 million others, according to the National Safety Council.

 

Consumer Affairs news site founder Jim Hood says people in the United States die from gun violence and in cars at about equal rates each year. However, one of those issues receives much more attention from politicians.

 

In Arkansas traffic deaths declined between 2000 and 2014, but then went up last year. Nationwide, deaths increased by 8 percent, making it the deadliest year on the road since 2008.

 

Hood says the interests of the auto industry could account for some political apathy on the issue.

 

The campaign finance tracking site Open Secrets notes that candidates from both parties have received $15 million dollars from the auto industry over the past year. That's $2 million dollars more than the parties received from gun-rights groups, according to the site.

 

Hood says one way to combat some of the auto industry's influence could be through public awareness campaigns.

 

The National Safety Council urges people to avoid driving while impaired by alcohol, drugs or drowsiness. The Council also warns against distracted driving, saying that even hands-fee devices can distract a driver and threaten their safety.

 

 

ASHDOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT SELLING NEW SEASON TICKET PACKAGES 7/21/16

Ashdown Superintendent Jason Sanders announced Wednesday afternoon that the district approved a new season ticket program this year. He said it's the district intent to help patrons by offering season tickets at a discounted price while generating some revenue for the athletic programs.

Sanders said Family Passes and Super Booster Passes will go on sale August 1st at the Superintendent's Office at 511 North 2nd Street.

Sanders said they will also be offering student passes for all Kindergarten through twelfth grade students and student athlete passes for any student enrolled in a sport, cheer, spirit or band in the sixth through twelfth grades.

The passes are good for all home events, but may not be used for benefit or state sponsored events. Individual game prices are $5 for high school and junior high events and $3 for junior varsity and seventh grade events.



PIKE COUNTY QUORUM COURT TO FRONT FUNDING FOR GLENWOOD SAWMILL GRANT 7/21/16
Submitted by KMTB

The Pike County Quorum Court has approved some assistance for the Glenwood sawmill project, which will be opening soon.

Caddo Forest Products will be investing $50 million dollars into the operation and has received some federal and state grants to assist in opening the mill. One of the grants if for $1 million dollars and will be used for a 14-inch water main for fire protection, plus to widen the turn lane on the highway.

The City of Glenwood is contributing $25,000 towards the project.

The Quorum Court approved a request from the Intermodal Authority to put up $150,000 dollars, which will be repaid to the county after the grant funding is received. If the grant funds come in prior to the contractors bills are due, they would not need to use the county's funds.



DANGEROUS HEAT HITS ARKANSAS 7/21/16

Heat is one of the top weather-related killers in the nations, and the middle part of the country, including Arkansas, will be part of a "heat dome" over the next few days that can include heat indexes well above 100 degrees.

Federal Emergency Management Agency Spokesperson Rafael Lamaitre says heat kills more people than hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, earthquakes and floods.

Temperatures will range from the mid 90s to low 100s through most of the weekend in Arkansas. Humidity will make it fell well above 100.

Lemaitre says Arkansas residents should act now to prepare their families and communities by reviewing important safety information and downloading the FEMA smartphone app.

Lemaitre says it's a good idea to postpone outdoor games and activities and limit exposure to the sun. Drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine, limit alcoholic beverages, and dress in loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing. It's also a good idea to spend the warmest part of the day in temperature-controlled buildings.



12 AND UNDER SEVIER COUNTY ALL-STARS EARN TRIP TO DIXIE WORLD SERIES, PLANNING SEVERAL FUNDRAISERS 7/21/16

Sevier County 14 and Under, 13 and Under and 12 and Under all-star teams won state titles recently and earned the right to represent the state of Arkansas at their respective Dixie World Series.

Kyle Willis reported Wednesday morning that the 12 and Under All-stars would be holding several fundraisers over the next several weeks to raise funds for their trip to Laurel, Mississippi for the Dixie World Series. He said the first fundraiser is this Saturday at the First State Bank from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Willis said they will also host a co-ed softball tournament at the De Queen Sportsplex on the 30th of July beginning at 8 a.m. He said the cost is $140 a team, and the deadline to sign up is July 27th.

Willis said the team will also be selling chicken dinners for $8 a plate during the tournament.

Willis said if you are interested in making a donation to the team or if you would like to purchase a ticket to win that 30-quart Yeti cooler, contact him at 870-784-1716.



RED RIVER HERITAGE SYMPOSIUM THIS SATURDAY AT HISTORIC WASHINGTON STATE PARK 7/21/16

The 10th annual Red River Heritage Symposium is this Saturday, July 23 from 1 to 8 p.m. at the Historic Washington State Park.

The cost of the symposium is $30 and that includes lunch.

There will also be a teacher’s workshop at the 1914 Schoolhouse on Friday and Saturday. The cost is $40 for just the workshop or $60 for the workshop and symposium.

There will be presentations on the 19th century history of the Great Bend Region of the Red River, during the teacher’s workshop.

A bus tour of the Reading Railroad Engine is being offered for $15.

For more information, contact the Historic Washington State Park at 870-983-2684.


 

 

BUNYARD ANNOUNCES BID FOR RE-ELECTION   07/20/16

 

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

 

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

 

Alderman Bunyard has two sons, Jacob, a sophomore at the University of Arkansas, and Jack, an eighth grader at De Queen Jr High School. The Bunyards are active members of the First Assembly of God Church.

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

BOIL ORDER LIFTED FOR LITTLE RIVER COUNTY RDA; CITY OF FOREMAN AND CITY OF WINTHROP WATER SYSTEMS       7/20/16

 

The Department of Health has released the boil water notice that was issued on July 8th at 11 a.m. by Stephen Youngblood for all of the Little River RDA connections north of Foreman, including the Foreman Water System and the Winthrop Water System.

 

This 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 complete loss of normal system pressure.

 

Bacteria samples that were taken on Monday, July 18th were found to be safe and a satisfactory disinfectant level has been established throughout the distribution system. The water is therefore considered safe for human consumption and the boil water notice is hereby lifted.

 

The boil water order was due to the loss of disinfection.

 

 

 

79th ANNUAL SEVIER COUNTY FAIR AND RODEO AUGUST 13TH-20TH      7/20/16

 

Sevier County Fair Board member Linda Frachiseur announced Wednesday morning that the 79th Annual Sevier County Fair and Rodeo is scheduled for August 13th through the 20th. She said the 2016 Sevier County Fair Pageant and Talent Contest will be held on Saturday, August 13th at 10 a.m.

 

Pageant categories include: 0-12 months - Little Miss Tiny Baby and Little Mr Tiny Baby, 13-23 months - Little Miss Baby and Little Mr Baby, 2-3 years - Little Miss Petite and Little Mr Petitie, 4-5 years - Little Miss and Little Mister; the Little Miss winner will represent Sevier County at the District Fair in Hope; 6-8 years - Young Junior Miss, 7-12 years - Junior Miss, 13-16 years - Princess and 17-21 years - Queen. The winners of the Princess and Queen competitions will represent Sevier County at the Arkansas State Fair in Little Rock.

 

Frachiseur said there will be a junior and senior division in the talent contest. She said the winners will represent Sevier County in the State fair in Little Rock and the runner-up winners will represent Sevier County at the District fair in Hope.

 

Frachiseur said contestants can register at the fair grounds on August 1st. She said you can download an entry form at KDQN (see below) or First State Bank.

 

Frachiseur said for more information, you may contact a fair board member. She said their names and numbers are listed on the board's Facebook page, Sevier County Fair DeQueen Arkansas.

 

This year, the carnival rides will be provided by Johnson's Rides and Concessions from El Dorado, Arkansas and the annual rodeo will be held on Friday, August 19th and Saturday, August 20th.

 

 Little MISS and MR         Young JR MISS & JR MISS          Princess & Queen         Youth Talent Contest

  Ages 0-5yrs                        Ages 6 - 12                         Ages 13-21

 

GET RID OF IT              7/20/16

 

Saturday night about 8 p.m., a caller reported a reckless driver was traveling west on Collin Raye Drive and tossing beer cans out the window.

 

Patrolman First Class Levi Browning of the De Queen Police Department located the vehicle speeding near the De Queen Regional Medical Center.

 

After initiating a traffic stop, Browning reported he could smell raw marijuana coming from the car.

 

Browning asked the four occupants to get out of the car and asked them if anyone had marijuana on their person. All four occupants stated they did not have any marijuana.

 

The owner of the vehicle, 23-year-old Michael Amason of Texarkana, Texas finally admitted that he had two grams of marijuana in the glove box.

 

Amason was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor count of possession of a controlled substance, marijuana.

 

 

 

DIERKS HIGH SCHOOL REGISTRATION       7/20/16

 

Dierks High School Principal Jody Cowart announced registration has been set for Thursday, August 4th, to issue class schedules in the high school office for the upcoming year. Cowart said these schedules reflect the courses that students selected last spring during the CAP conference.

 

New students to the district will create a schedule when they register.

 

Seventh grade orientation will be held on August 4th, in the high school cafeteria, beginning at 8:30 a.m. All seventh grade students and parents are encouraged to attend the meeting. Students and parents will be able to tour the high school campus, receive their class schedules, pay any fees, and address any other questions.

 

Eighth and ninth grade students will register from 9:30 to 11 a.m. and tenth through twelfth grades will register from noon to 1:30 p.m.

 

 

 

TIME TO SIGN UP FOR RODEO QUEEN CONTEST        7/20/16

 

It’s time to enter the 2016 Rodeo Queen Contest during the Sevier County Fair and Rodeo. The deadline to enter is at noon on August 6th. The competition will be held at the Sevier County Rodeo Arena on August 13th at 7:30 p.m.

 

Sevier County Fair Board member Linda Frachiseur stated the rules and information were established by the contest committee but for a complete list of the rules and regulations, contact Patricia Maben at 784-1740 or Michelle Sawyer at 784-8931.

 

The Rodeo Queen will be required to hand out ribbons during the 2016 Livestock Show.

 

Contestants will compete in the following age groups if there are two or more entrants in each category: Rodeo Queen category will be from 14 to 21 years of age on or before August, 1st; Rodeo Princess category will be 9 to 13 years of age as of August 1st; and the Rodeo Little Miss category will be 8 years of age and younger as of August 1st.

 

If there are not enough entrants for a queen and princess contest then all of the contestants will automatically be put into a single category of up to the age of 21 for the Queen’s honor.

 

Entrants must be residents of Sevier County or attend a school in Sevier County.

 

The entry fee is $45.

 

The winners will be announced during the rodeo on Saturday night, August 20th and the winning contestant must be present Saturday night for the crowning or she will forfeit the title.

 

 

THE WELLNESS CLINIC PRESENTS THE 3RD ANNUAL PSA AND COMMUNITY HEALTH CLINIC THIS SEPTEMBER 15TH          7/19/16

 

Whitney Tatum of the Wellness Clinic announced Tuesday morning that Dr. Jason Lofton and his staff would be hosting the 3rd Annual Community Health Clinic and Prostate PSA testing on September 15th.

 

Tatum explained the PSA test is a simple blood draw for men, but the Wellness Clinic has applied for a grant to provide free lab work for both men and women.

 

Tatum stated you do not have to be Dr. Lofton's patient. She said they will send the results to your primary care physician.

 

Tatum said this year; they are hoping to bring the Mammo Van from St. Vincent's Hospital in Hot Springs to De Queen to provide digital mammograms to women. She said they have 18 slots available and you can call St. Vincent's to sign up.

 

Tatum said they are hoping to host a block party again this year, like they did in 2015, but if you need more information, call the Wellness Clinic at 642-4000 extension 12.

 

 

 

ALCOHOL CONTRIBUTES TO ROLLOVER ACCIDENT          7/19/16

 

Saturday night, Sergeant Wayne Baker of the De Queen Police Department and two other officers were dispatched to the scene of a rollover accident near the health department on Fourth Street.

 

When Baker arrived on the scene, he noticed a vehicle partially on its side in the alley that runs from 3rd to 4th street between Vandervoort and Heynecker Avenue. He also noticed a Hispanic male walking toward him.

 

Thirty-one year old Jesus Martinez of De Queen informed Baker that he lost control of the vehicle and he allegedly admitted that he had been drinking.

 

While Baker was speaking to Martinez, he put his hands on his head and started walking off. Baker took Martinez by the arm and escorted him back to his vehicle.

 

Martinez allegedly told Baker that he didn’t want to take the field sobriety test because he was drunk.

 

Martinez was charged with driving while intoxicated.

 

 

BENEFIT AUCTION AND SPAGHETTI SUPPER         7/19/16

 

A benefit auction and spaghetti supper will be held this Saturday, July 23rd at the Green's Chapel Church from 4 to 7 p.m. to help with the funeral expenses for DeWayne Barnes who lost his battle with cancer on July 4th.

 

Local businesses and individuals from De Queen, Dierks and Nashville have donated items for the auction. Volunteers will auction off a $175 rental from Moyer Equipment, a Hewlett Packard tablet, a case of Rotella oil, a front-end alignment, an oil change, some camping cookware, a turkey call, a spotlight, wooden benches, some fishing items, a bicycle, homemade quilts and afghans, and a Razorback fire pit.

 

The Bill Powers Band will provide the entertainment.

 

The church is located about 5.4 miles west of Dierks, but for more information, call Dana Stringfellow at 870-582-3056, Rose Jackson at 870-286-3186 or Tammy Smith at 870-584-8050.  

 

 

 

DE QUEEN JUNIOR AND SENIOR HIGH REGISTRATION        7/19/16

 

Registration has been scheduled for De Queen Junior and Senior High students beginning Monday, July 25th. High school students will also have their pictures taken on the day they register in the auditorium.

 

Seniors will need to call 642-2426 to make an appointment between 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Juniors will have their pictures taken from 1 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 28th and Sophomores will have their pictures taken on Monday, August 1st between 1 and 5:30 p.m.

 

Juniors and Sophomores should make plans to arrive as early as possible to avoid waiting in line.

 

Twelfth grade students will register on Monday, July 25th at 6 p.m. Juniors will register on Thursday, July 28th at 6 p.m. Tenth grade students will register on Monday, August 1st at 6 p.m.

 

Eighth grade students will register from 8 to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, August 2nd and ninth graders will register from 1 to 4:30 p.m.

 

Sixth grade students will register from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, August 2nd and seventh grade students will register from 1 to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, August 2nd.

 

A complete list of school supplies for De Queen Elementary and Primary students is listed on the KDQN.net website.

 

 

 

HARMONY TO HEADLINE CRYSTAL MUSIC FESTIVAL AT BOARD CAMP       7/19/16

 

Orville and Cheryl Murphy of the Board Camp and Crystal Mine in Mena announced the band Harmony from Wickes would be headlining the 2016 Crystal Music Festival this Saturday, July 23rd,

 

Lynn Smith of Harmony said this is the fourth year for the music festival and the Murphy's are trying to make it into one of the premier music events in the area.

 

Smith said Harmony opened for Buddy Jewell two years ago and they’re honored to be the featured act this year.

 

Smith said the event is family-friendly and there's going to be food, fun and even crystal digging for just $10. He said visitors can dig for crystals from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. At 5, there's going to be a program honoring fallen and standing heroes and Harmony will take the stage about 7.

 

Smith said Harmony has been through some changes but headlining the Crystal Music Festival is truly a blessing.

 

For more information about the Crystal Music Festival call 479-243-0771.  

 

 

 

IMPAIRED ON DRUGS           7/19/16

 

Patrolman Justin Gentry of the De Queen Police Department was patrolling on Stilwell Avenue about 2 a.m. Saturday morning when he observed a vehicle drive left of the centerline.

 

The driver, 50-year-old Connie Strong of Horatio, informed Gentry that she was driving around looking for her boyfriend who may have been walking in the area and that was why she crossed the centerline.

 

Gentry was then informed by a dispatcher that Strong’s license had been suspended. Gentry then asked Strong for permission to search her car.

 

While searching the vehicle, Gentry found four loose pills in the pocket of Strong’s purse. Two of the pills were white and round; one was a white oval shaped pill; and the other pill was oval and pink in color. Strong stated the pills were Tylenol 3’s with codeine, Hydrocodone and Paxil.

 

Strong allegedly told Gentry and Patrolman First Class Levi Browning that she did have a prescription for the Hydrocodone at one time, but she currently didn't have a prescription for any of the medications that the officers found in her purse.

 

Strong was taken into custody and charged with possession of a schedule I or II controlled substance that was not meth or cocaine and possession of a scheduled III controlled substance.

 

 

TAX FREE WEEKEND IN ARKANSAS          7/18/16

 

According to a legislative report, most families will spend an average of $630 this year to get their children ready to head back to school. That estimate includes what families plan to spend on clothes, supplies and electronics.

 

That substantial cost to families, this time of year, is why the General Assembly passed Act 757 in 2011. Act 757 provides a sales tax holiday, the first weekend of August. The holiday means state and local taxes are not collected or paid on the purchase of certain items.

 

Sponsors of the bill noted that neighboring states already had a sales tax holiday, so legislative members passed the bill, hoping Arkansans would shop at home.

 

Arkansas is now one of 18 states across the country that offers a sales tax holiday.

 

This year's sales tax holiday will begin at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, August 6th and end at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, August 7th.

 

Currently, the state sales tax is 6.5 percent and city and local sales taxes vary across the state. The local sales tax is 3.375 for a total of 9.875.

 

During the sales tax holiday, retailers will not be allowed to collect sales tax on clothing and footwear if the sales price is less than $100 per item; clothing accessories and equipment if the sales price is less than $50 per item; school supplies; school art supplies; and school instructional materials.

 

For more information, contact a customer service representative by phone Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 501-682-7104.

 

Get a a complete list of eligible purchases by clicking here or visit www.arkansashouse.org.

 

Educators also recommend that parents start putting their child to bed at a regular bedtime and keep a routine for a few weeks before school starts.  

 

 

 

NATIONAL NIGHT OUT EVENT UPDATE       7/18/16

 

The first ever Sevier County National Night Out event has been scheduled for Tuesday, August 2nd at the De Queen Sportsplex and the Sevier County Sheriff-elect Robert Gentry announced it will be from 6 to 9 p.m. and there is no charge.

 

Gentry said several businesses and organizations are helping with the event and he said there will be several activities for both kids and adults.

 

Dr. LaResea Woods of Smiles of Arkansas Dental invited area show-offs to participate in the Lip Sync Battle at 7 p.m. She said you will have to provide your own music and show off your best moves.

 

Woods also announced Smiles of Arkansas Dental will be handing out backpacks that kids can fill with school supplies during the event.

 

For more information or to register a booth, contact Beth Hughes at 870-584-8227 or Dana Gentry at 870-279-0499.

 

 

 

POKEMON GO THRIVES AT ARKANSAS STATE PARKS       7/18/16

 

Arkansas State Parks has a history of embracing the latest technology to encourage Arkansans and others to visit the state parks. The park staff stays connected to visitors through various social media sites including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and the ArkansasStateParks.com website uses the latest design features to make it usable on most computer, smartphone and tablet platforms.

 

In 2008, Arkansas State Parks began the ParkCache Program which placed geocaches in all 52 state parks and created a challenge of finding all of them to get clues to find a 53rd geocache and a prize.

 

Last week, the park system began embracing a new game, Pokemon Go, which is an augmented reality game that allows smart phone and tablet users to search for and collect virtual Pokemon characters. So far, the park system has seen numerous characters along with Pokestops and other features showing up in Arkansas State Parks.

 

Arkansas State Park Director Grady Spann said, park staff are excited about greeting players and he encouraged Arkansans to visit the local state parks and enjoy the beautiful outdoor spaces.

 

Spann said while you are in the park, remember park interpreters are there to help keep you safe, as well as preserve the state's natural, cultural and historical resources.

 

He said before going to a park, you should check the park hours. You should stay on marked trails and pathways while in the park. You should carry water and wear the proper shoes.

 

Spann said you should also be aware of your surroundings. He said while looking at the screen on your electronic device, you may not see uneven footing, real wildlife on the trail, other hikers, mountain bikers or other potential hazards.

 

Players should also be respectful of solemn areas, such as cemeteries, monuments and museums and be respectful of other park visitors.

 

Spann even suggested you tag your Pokemon Go photos or any photos taken in the parks with #ARStateParks. He said you may find yourself featured in the park system's social media or their website.

 

So, go catch them all in an Arkansas State Park.

 

 

 

SCHOOL NUTRITION BILLS UNDER THE MICROSCOPE       7/18/16

 

Two bills that would renew childhood nutrition programs are currently being debated by Congress, and advocates say if approved it could become harder for schools to offer free meals to low-income students. Under the microscope is the Community eligibility Provision, which permits school districts to proved free meals to all students if they are a district with a high level of poverty.

 

Legislation in Congress, House Bill 5003, the "Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016," would tighten the rules in order for schools to qualify. Jessica Hewins with the Food Research and Action Center says that means across the nation, more than 7,000 schools serving 3.4 million students would have to reapply for the program. She said it would impact 44 schools in Arkansas.

 

Those in favor of changing the program say free meals should be given to those who need it most, and say the funding could be used in other areas such as summer food programs.

 

Zoe Neuberger with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says there's a chance the bill in the House will be modified before it's approved.

 

The Senate version of the legislation doesn't include changes to the Community Eligibility Provision.

 

Hewin says schools that offer free food to all students see an increase in the number of kids eating breakfast and lunch, regardless of their family's income.

 

 

 

LOW-INCOME FAMILIES COULD GET HELP BUYING DIAPERS       7/18/16

 

One dirty truth, about child rearing is the high cost of diapers. They cost families from $70 to $80 dollars a month per child.

 

Congress is currently considering legislation that would fund pilot programs in states such as Arkansas to help low-income families afford diapers. Currently, no federal program meets that need, says Alison Weir with the National Diaper Bank Network.

 

T-A-N-F, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, is the only program that provides money that could be used for diapers, but in Arkansas that benefit is limited to $185 dollars a month for a household with one parent and two children.

 

Missouri recently opted to fund diaper banks there and California is considering a voucher to offset the cost of children enrolled in subsidized day care. The federal bill has been referred to a House sub-committee for consideration.

 

Weir says the pressure to provide diapers often forces parents to make tough choices. She said it's a fact that illustrated by a survey from Feeding America in which parents shared some surprising confessions.

 

There are about 115,000 children under the age of three in Arkansas, and according to the National Diaper Bank Network, about one in three are in a family that earns less than 100 percent of the federal poverty level.

 

 

 

 

DE QUEEN FIRST ASSEMBLY OF GOD CHURCH SHOWING GOD'S NOT DEAD 2 THIS SUNDAY        7/15/16

 

There's a country song that says if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything. In God's Not Dead 2, a high school teacher, Grace Wesley played by Melissa Joan Hart, is asked a question in class about Jesus, however, her answer lands her in hot water. So, Wesley defends her faith all the way to court.

 

First Assembly of God minister Johnathon Reynolds stated everyone is invited to watch this movie with a message this Sunday at 5 p.m.

 

The movie stars Robin Givens, Pat Boone and Sadie Roberson, along with Hart.

 

Pastor Ray Reynolds said the movie is free and everyone is welcome to attend. For more information, call the church at 870-584-3435.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN RESIDENT CHARGED WITH SEVERAL FELONIES FOLLOWING DOMESTIC INCIDENT         7/15/16

 

Wednesday evening, Members of the De Queen Police Department were dispatched to a residence on Treating Plant Road in reference to a violent domestic situation.

 

When Patrolman Justin Gentry arrived he interviewed the victim 29-year-old Jessica Chandler who informed him that her boyfriend, 36-year-old Justin Ford was in their apartment asleep and that he had been beating her all day.

 

Chandler reported Ford had stayed the night and when he woke up he starting yelling and hitting her. She said he also put a knife up to her throat and threatened to kill her slowly.

 

Chandler said Ford put his hands around her neck but did not cut off her airway. She told Officer Gentry that Ford would not let her leave the apartment and anytime she opened the door he would begin hitting her again.

 

Chandler stated when Ford went to sleep around 6 p.m., she left and ran to her mothers house and called the police.

 

Officers Wayne Baker and Jim Kight arrived and helped Gentry wake Ford up and placed him under arrest for Domestic Battery in the 3rd degree.

 

Officers Baker and Kight noted Chandler had bruises on her arms, a red mark on her throat, a black eye, a large bump on her head and bruised and swollen knees.

 

Ford was charged with kidnapping, 3rd degree domestic battery, aggravated assault on a household or family member and 1st degree terroristic threatening.

 

Officers noted Ford has been convicted of 3rd degree domestic battery in 2013, which enhanced the new charge to a class D felony.

 

 

FOREMAN WATERWORKS UNDER PRECAUTIONARY BOIL WATER NOTICE       7/15/16

 

The Department of Health has confirmed a boil water notice that was issued by Eddie Smith for the entire the Little River County RDA water system, the Foreman Waterworks system, and the Winthrop Water system. This order was issued as a precautionary measure because of the possibility that contaminated water may have entered the distribution system as a result of the absence of disinfection.

 

Under the boil water order, all affected customers must be advised that the water may be unsafe for human consumption and water used for drinking or food prep must be boiled briskly for one minute prior to use.

 

This precautionary boil water notice will remain in effect until the problem has been corrected, an adequate disinfectant level is established throughout the distribution system and a bacteria survey shows the water is safe to drink.

 

This boil water order covers the Little River County RDA water system, the Winthrop Water system and the Foreman Water system.

 

 

 

HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN LOST IN THE WOODS        7/15/16

Submitted by KMTB

 

Search and rescue operations increase during the summer months as more southwest Arkansas residents take part in outdoor activities.

 

Vynn Stuart is the K-9 handler for the Little River County Sheriff's Office and she works with other area law enforcement agencies, even traveling to neighboring states to assist in search and rescue operations.

 

Stuart says her work can range from finding lost children to rescuing drowning victims. She said the best advice she can give someone that's participating in outdoor activities, is to be aware of their surroundings and stay safe while participating in whatever summer activity their engaging in.

 

Stuart said this advice is as important for adults as it is for kids. She said a couple of Texas residents were recently injured at the Albert Pike blue hole while diving off the cliffs.

 

Stuart says you should always wear the appropriate gear for hiking and to make sure you have backup supplies. She said stay aware of the heat and to watch for the signs of dehydration and heat stroke.

 

Stuart's K-9 is trained in all types of weather and situations ranging from buildings to vehicles and she conducts instructional programs for the public.

 

Stuart said she conducts one program that teaches children what to do if they get lost. She said kids should not wander around when they're lost, but they should stay put until someone finds them.

 

For more information, contact Stuart at 903-826-5094.

 

 

 

MINERAL SPRINGS SCHOOL DISTRICT MOVING FORWARD ON NEW CONSTRUCTION        7/15/16

Submitted by KMTB

 

The Mineral Springs School District continues to move forward with preparations for the construction of a new school building, which is expected to begin later this year.

 

Superintendent Curtis Turner informed the Mineral Spring Board of Education that the district is working to remove any barriers that could add extra expenses to the project. He said school maintenance employees were cutting down trees, removing fences and moving playground equipment.

 

Turner reported the ACB Head-Start and the Pre-School programs were being moved from the Mineral Springs campus to the Saratoga campus. He said they have already moved the administration offices to Saratoga.

 

Turner said the district is working everyday to make the new building project happen, while not costing the Mineral Springs taxpayers anything extra.

 

Turner said the project will go before the state board of education for final approval in August.

 

Turner said the architect fees have reached $260,000, but the district's year-to-date finances were up two and half-million dollars over last year.

 

 

 

WORK HAS STARTED ON DIERKS SEWER POND       7/15/16

 

Dierks Mayor Terry Mounts reported he informed the Dierks City Council that the city's audits were underway and the audits for the city's water, sewer and sanitation accounts will begin soon.

 

Mounts also reported work has started on the city's new sewer lagoon.

 

Mounts said the Dierks Chamber of Commerce will host the annual Pine Tree Festival on Friday, August 5th and Saturday, August 6th in the city park.

 

Mounts said this year's festival will feature a mini rodeo on Friday night and the festival will conclude with the 4th annual Ultimate Challenge Bull Riding and freestyle bull fighting event.

 

Mounts said they will also have other events and vendors throughout the two day festival.

 

The next Dierks City Council meeting has been scheduled for Monday, August 8th in the city hall conference room.

 

 

CITY OF DE QUEEN HAS ORDINANCE CONCERNING YARD SALE SIGNS      7/14/16

 

The City of De Queen reminds citizens that City has an ordinance concerning garage and yard sale signs within the city limits.

 

Ordinance number 839 states garage and yard sale signs can't be any larger than eight square feet and only one sign per sale may be placed at any intersection.

 

No garage or yard sale signs can be place, affixed, stapled, glued, or taped to any utility pole, street sign, tree, stop sign or fence within the city limits. He said garage and yard sale signs cannot be placed on public property before 6 p.m. the night before the sale and they must be picked up within one hour after the sale or by 7 p.m., whichever one comes first.

 

Area residents should also remember that they can only have one (2-day) garage or yard sale per quarter of the year, that means one garage sale every three months at a particular address.

 

The City of De Queen would like to thank the citizens of De Queen and the surrounding communities for helping keep De Queen and the county clean.

 

  

 

ASHDOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT RENOVATING KINDERGARTEN CLASSROOMS           7/14/16

 

Wednesday night during the regular July meeting of the Ashdown Board of Education, Superintendent Jason Sanders stated he hopes to hold the January board meeting in the old high school building after the renovation project is finished.

 

Sanders also reported the district was renovating six Kindergarten classrooms on the elementary campus and, they’re making some cosmetic upgrades on other campus as well.

 

Wednesday night, board members heard a presentation from Kyle Miller who is the on-site manager of Renke Janitorial Services of Shreveport, Louisiana.

 

Board members approved Sanders recommendation to hire Renke for one-year at $8,416 a month. Sanders emphasized no school employees will lose their jobs and the contract is only for the academic areas in the high school, at this time.

 

Board members also approved a recommendation to change their landline phone system to a Voice-over IP system. Sanders said an internet phone server will be installed at the high school and will connect the district's 120 extensions.

 

Sanders reported the district was in good financial shape and they were able to transfer over $350,000 to the district's building fund on June 30th.

 

 

 

NO CONTESTED SCHOOL BOARD RACES IN SEVIER COUNTY       7/14/16

 

Sevier County Clerk Debbie Akin announced Wednesday afternoon that there are no contested races in the De Queen or Horatio School Districts.

 

Akin said the only candidate to file for the De Queen School District Zone 3 position was incumbent, Gloria Caldwell.

 

The only candidate to file for the Horatio School District Zone 1 position was incumbent, Joe Jones Jr. and the only candidate to file for the Horatio School District Zone 4 position was incumbent. Sherri Hodges.

 

All three candidates will serve a five-year term.

 

Akin said the September School elections will be conducted by Absentee and Early Voting only.

 

For more information, contact the Sevier County Clerk's office at 870-642-2852.

 

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY FARMER'S MARKET IS OPEN        7/14/16

 

Angela Smith of the Sevier County Farmer's Market reported the market has been having some special vendors this summer at the farmer's market and they've been offering all kinds of fruits and vegetables and they've also been having a wide variety of baked goods and homemade items.

 

Smith said the market is open from 7:30 to 11 a.m. every Wednesday and Saturday and it's not to late to participate during this year's market.

 

For more information, visit the market's Facebook page at Sevier County Farmer's Market or call 870-642-2718.

 

 

LOCKESBURG RESIDENT CHARGED WITH RAPE       7/13/16

 

A spokesperson with the Sevier County Sheriff's Office reported a Lockesburg resident has been charged with rape following an incident that was reported on June 14th.

 

According to the incident report, Sandra Denning reported her 13-year-old daughter had been raped by 36-year-old Barry Smith of Lockesburg Monday evening, June 13th at her home, which is located at 122 Peck Street in Lockesburg.

 

Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Matt Webb interviewed the victim at the De Queen Regional Medical Center emergency room on the 14th of June.

 

The victim told Webb that Smith entered her bedroom between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. and took off her clothes before getting in bed with her and then raping her. She said she texted a friend after he left and told him what had happened.

 

Later that day, Smith was interviewed by Sevier County Investigator and Sheriff-elect Robert Gentry at the sheriff's office. According to the arrest affidavit, Smith denied the allegation, however, it was noted that Smith had been investigated by the Arkansas Department of Human Services for sexual assault of the same victim, last year.

 

The DHS case was reportedly unfounded and closed.

 

Smith is being charged with rape, which is a class Y felony. If convicted, Smith could face up to 40 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN ORDINANCE REGULATES SOLICITORS, PEDDLERS, HAWKERS, ITINERANT MERCHANTS OR TRANSIENT VENDORS       7/13/16

 

Last week during a meeting of the De Queen City Council, Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy informed aldermen that the city has started getting calls from door-to-door solicitors inquiring about the city’s policies.

 

McKelvy informed aldermen that city ordinance 927 regulates the activities of solicitors, peddlers, hawkers, itinerant merchants and transient vendors of merchandise, goods and services.

 

McKelvy explained the ordinance does not apply to city residents who are selling fruits, vegetables, or farm products which were produced on land which is owned by the resident.

 

It also does not apply to solicitations made by charitable, educational or religious organizations which operate on a not-for-profit basis.

 

 

 

DIERKS PINE TREE FESTIVAL IS FIRST WEEKEND IN AUGUST        7/13/16

 

The Dierks Pine Tree Festival is about four weeks away and the Dierks Chamber of Commerce is busy scheduling all kinds of activities.

 

Jerry Mounts is the Director of the Dierks Chamber and he said this year’s Pine Tree Festival will be held Friday, August 5th and Saturday, August 6th at the Dierks City Park.

 

Mounts said the featured event Friday night will be a mini rodeo and Saturday night will feature the 4th annual Ultimate Challenge Bull Riding and freestyle bull fighting event. Mounts said there will be also be mutton busting, a parade, food and craft vendors, a carnival, timber competitions and more.

 

For more information, contact the Dierks Chamber of Commerce.

 

 

 

MINERAL SPRINGS RESIDENT SEEKS ADDITIONAL INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS            7/13/16

 

A concerned citizen addressed the Mineral Springs City Council Monday night during their regular monthly meeting concerning internet access within the city.

 

Jon Mays informed the council that he has internet through the town’s only provider, Walnut Hill Telephone Company. He stated he pays $96.88 a month for two mbps speed service. Mays told the council that internet service through Walnut Hill is very expensive on families that are seeking services like email and entertainment.

 

Walnut Hill officials reported they have no plans to make any changes to the services that they are currently offering.

 

Mayor Bobby Tullis stated the city has a franchise agreement with Walnut Hill for telephone service, but the internet services are unregulated.

 

Mays stated AT&T officials informed him that they might be interested in offering internet services to Mineral Springs if there is enough demand.

 

Council members gave Mays permission to circulate a petition and to seek signatures from residents.

 

The council then passed an ordinance to close the Park General Fund. Tullis reported the park maintenance expenses were already being paid out of the city’s general account. He said the state auditors also informed him that the city was not required to maintain the account. Tullis explained it basically deletes an extra step when they pay park expenses.

 

 

 

STAR PARTY SCHEDULED AT CRATER OF DIAMONDS STATE PARK        7/13/16

 

Crater of Diamonds State Park Superintendent, Caleb Howell, has granted special permission to allow park visitors access to the diamond search field on Saturday, July 29th for a star party. He said because of the large open space, park visitors will enjoy a great view of the sky.

 

Rick Floyd of Murfreesboro will provide telescopes for viewing the visible planets and constellations. Floyd will also be leading the event and share his knowledge of the night sky.

 

Star gazers will meet at the gate between the Visitor Information Center and Diamond Springs Water Park by 9 p.m. The program is expected to last approximately two-hours.

 

Guests should wear sturdy shoes and bring plenty of water. Guests may also bring a lawn chair, flashlight and binoculars.

 

For more information, contact the Crater of Diamonds State Park at 870-285-3113.

 

 

VICTIMS IDENTIFIED IN SATURDAY'S DOUBLE HOMICIDE        7/12/16

 

Sevier County Sheriff's Investigator Robert Gentry revealed the identities of the two victims in Saturday's double homicide in Horatio.

 

Gentry said they were 66-year-old Deborah Johnson and 70-year-old Don Brown.

 

According to the sheriff's office both bodies were found in a field outside a home on Cottage Hill Road. The victims were the mother and uncle of the suspect, 40-year-old Andre Johnson.

 

Andre Johnson was shot and killed by Oklahoma law enforcement following a pursuit in Broken Bow. The pursuit ended on a dead-end street and Johnson was shot after he started shooting at the officers.

 

Johnson was transported to the McCurtain County Hospital in Idabel where he died.

 

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY QUORUM COURT APPROVES $25,000 IN NEW APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE SEVIER COUNTY JAIL        7/12/16

 

Monday afternoon, members of the Sevier County Quorum Court received several requests for funding from the Sevier County jail, for the purchase of a copier, mattresses and commercial laundry equipment.

 

Sheriff Bennie Simmons asked the JPs to approve $3,470.60 for the purchase of new mattresses. Sevier County Judge Greg Ray reported the court approved the purchase of 74 clear mattresses.

 

Judge Ray stated the court moved some funds from one line-item to another in the sheriff's budget to purchase a copier and they voted to allow the sheriff to spend up to $13,000 for the purchase of a commercial washer and dryer.

 

JPs also voted to upgrade the jail's fire detection and cooling systems.

 

Teresa Morris of the State Health Department introduced the new full-time administrator at the Sevier County Health Office, Deborah Hedge and the quorum court voted to purchase the county health department's phone system for one dollar. Judge Ray explained this was part of the lease agreement that the county signed about two-years ago.

 

The next Sevier County Quorum Court meeting is scheduled for August the 6th at 2 p.m. in the Sevier County Courthouse conference room.

 

 

 

CRUISING WITH NO PLATES        7/12/16

 

Early Monday morning, Patrolman First Class Bucky Sawyer noticed a truck without a license plate traveling south on Fourth Street.

 

Officer Sawyer asked the driver who was identified as 21-year-old Justin Myers of Dierks for his license, registration and proof of insurance. Myers allegedly stated he did not have insurance and that he had not been able to register the truck since he bought it.

 

While interviewing Myers, Officer Sawyer asked him if there was anything illegal in the truck. Myers allegedly told Sawyer that there was a grinder and a glass bong in the truck.

 

While searching the vehicle, Officer Sawyer and Patrolman Nikki Nealy found the grinder and the bong in a black backpack in the back seat.

 

Myers was taken into custody and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. He was also cited for failure to register his vehicle for over 60-days and for not having proof of insurance.

 

 

 

UA COSSATOT AWARDED ADHE GRANT       7/12/16

 

The Arkansas Department of Higher Education has notified UA Cossatot that it's received a Regional Manufacturing Partnership (R.A.M.P.): Building the Pipeline grant.

 

Tommi Cobb is the Director of Cossatot's R.A.M.P. program and she said this grant will allow so many opportunities for UA Cossatot and the Southwest Arkansas Community College Consortium partners to introduce area students to the possibilities of a career in the many fields that are found within Southwest Arkansas' Advanced Manufacturing sector.

 

Cobb explained the grant was submitted on behalf of a consortium of colleges, including SouthArk, SAU-Tech, UA Hope-Texarkana and UA Cossaot, as the fiduciary agent. She said this grant will provide over $800,000 which will be shared between the four colleges.

 

Cobb said each community college will focus on the industrial needs in their area.

 

Cobb said these schools will be able to work side-by-side with area industries and secondary schools, so that a concentrated effort will be made to provide educational opportunities for students, professional development for educators and help bring awareness to students, their parents and our communities.

 

Cobb said the schools will be able to equip potential employees with skillsets that are targeted towards specific industrial needs. She said the homegrown workforce will be strengthened and the future of all Southwest Arkansas residents will be much brighter. She said the grant will also help provide professional development to local high school faculties and establish educational programs in industrial technology, allow for the purchase of equipment that will supplement these educational programs and to host activities that will expose young students to careers that in the advanced manufacturing field here in Southwest Arkansas.

 

Cobb said they are building a pipeline from high school and college to careers. She said the phrase Building a Pipeline is often referenced by the Governor's Workforce Cabinet that refers to creating an educational pipeline for students to gain skillsets that ultimately leads to jobs, which will create a successful economic climate in Arkansas by preparing and encouraging local graduates to pursue high demand jobs, including but not limited to, those stemming from industry recognized credentials, career and technical certificates, associate degrees and bachelor's degrees.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN FLIGHT NURSE CELEBRATES CAREER MILESTONE     7/12/16

 

Flight nurse Jackie Wright recently celebrated a milestone in her career with her 750th patient flight. Wright is a flight nurse for the De Queen Air Evac Lifeteam base.

 

Wright started working as a flight nurse for Air Evac in March of 2009 and has also taught nursing and history at UA Cossatot.

 

Wright said her co-workers are an important reason why she loves working for Air Evac. She also credits her husband and her parents with encouraging throughout her career.

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY LAW ENFORCEMENT INVESTIGATING DOUBLE HOMICIDE IN HORATIO           7/11/16

 

A spokesperson from the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office has reported that the suspect in a double homicide in Horatio was shot and later died Saturday night following a pursuit involving McCurtain County Oklahoma law enforcement agencies.

 

Officials say 40-year-old Andre Johnson exchanged gunfire with Broken Bow police officers, a McCurtain County Sheriff's deputy and a officer with the Choctaw Nation Tribal Police around 10 p.m. Saturday night. Broken Bow Police Chief Richard Wiggins said Johnson was shooting at the officers and officers returned fire.

 

Johnson was transported to a local hospital where he died.

 

The officer involved shooting in Oklahoma is being investigated by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

 

Sevier County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a residence on Cottage Hill Road in Horatio, Saturday afternoon about 3 p.m. When deputies arrived, they found a fire in a field behind the house. Firefighters extinguished the fire and they discovered the bodies of a man and a woman. Deputies say they died from apparent gunshot wounds.

 

Authorities reported they saw Johnson leaving the scene as they were arriving. Deputies followed Johnson, but he was able to elude the authorities in a silver Chevy Avalanche.

 

The case is still under investigation by the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office, the Arkansas State Police and the De Queen Police Department.

 

 

CORPS TO BEGIN MILLWOOD LAKE DRAWDOWN JULY 18       7/11/16

 

The Army Corps of Engineers will begin a drawdown on July 18th on Millwood Lake for bank stabilization work at Cottonshed Park.

 

The lake will be gradually drawn down to an elevation of 257.2 feet, which is two foot below the normal pool elevation. This will take about five days, depending on rainfall. The drawdown will last until August 15th at which time the lake will be allowed to refill to its normal pool elevation of 259.2 feet.

 

After the drawdown begins, boaters should exercise extra caution because more shallow areas and other unknown hazards may appear. Also, boaters should be cautious when launching boats during the drawdown.

 

For more information call the Millwood Lake Project Office at 870-898-3343.

 

 

LOCKESBURG FOURTH OF JULY CAR SHOW WINNERS        7/11/16

 

A car show was held in the Ida Margaret Stone Coulter Park in Lockesburg during the town’s Fourth of July celebration and the winners were announced Friday afternoon.

 

In the truck category, Mike Mullins won the 1939 and older with his 1923 Ford T; Jarrett Brewer won the 1940-1949 division with his 1949 Ford F100; Joyce Banes won the 1950-1959 division with her 1954 Chevy pick-up; Perry Rice won the 1960-1969 division with his 1965 El  Comino; Kevin Merrell won the 1980-1999 division with his 1990 Toyota; and Dakota Baker won the 2000 and newer division with his 2003 Chevy Silverado.

 

In the car category, Michael Lafferty won Class A with his 1934 Ford Coupe; John Gore won the B Class with his 1949 Mercury Sedan; Ann and Dean Runnels won the C Class with their 1956 Crown Victoria; Tammy Smith won the D Class with her 1967 Chevy Camaro; Torrey Barber won the E Class with his 1973 Volkswagen Beetle; Eddie Polk won the F Class with his 1995 Cadillac De Ville and Keith Smart with the G Class with his 2004 Cadillac XLR.

 

Jeff Blake won the Corvette C3 division with his 1976 Corvette Stingray; Freddie Horne won the C5 division with his 2004 Corvette Convertible; and Jessie and Kay Smith won the C7 division with their 2016 Corvette Z51.

 

Jimmy and Rita Fitzgerald won the Rat Rod Class A division with their 1921 Ford T and John Cates won the Class E division with his 1974 Ford pickup.

 

Tammy Smith’s 1967 Chevy Camaro won the Kids Choice Award and Kenny Horn’s 1966 Chevy Chevelle won the People’s Choice Award and the Best of Show award. 

 

 

ARKANSAS SURPLUS OPENS BUDGET FIGHT IN LEGISLATURE       7/11/16

 

The state of Arkansas ended the fiscal year with $177.4 million dollars left in the bank and state legislators will determine how to spend that money during the 2017 Regular Session.

 

Currently, legislators are reviewing how the state performed over the past 12 months.

 

In the fiscal year 2016, gross collections which included all state taxes and fees totaled $6.4 billion dollars. This amount is $19.2 million dollars less than last year, but $42.6 million dollars more than what the state predicted it would collect.

 

Governor Asa Hutchinson portrayed the boost in revenue last week as validation of the $102 million income tax cut that he advocated for and that the legislature approved last year. He also started campaigning for some more tax cuts that he plans to propose during next year’s legislative session.

 

But, Hutchinson’s critics say the $5.3 billion dollar budget that the legislature approved for this year doesn’t reinstate the one percent cut that some state agencies say last year and doesn’t include additional funding for the state’s pre-kindergarten program or for cost-of-living raises for state employees.

 

 

CONSUMER ALERT: SPOT SKIMMERS AND KEEP YOUR CASH       7/11/16

 

Scammers are adapting as technology continues to advance. While card reader fraud has been around for a number of years, these con artists are finding new ways to steal your money, like placing a skimmer on a credit and debit card reader.

 

A skimmer is a malicious card reader that goes over the existing card reader and is designed to steal data off the card’s magnetic stripe. These readers are small and can be installed anywhere there is a card reader, including ATMs and at the gas pump. The thief then clones the cards for his or her own use.

 

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a consumer alert to educate Arkansans about this scam and provide tips to avoid falling victim to skimming.

 

Rutledge suggests you check for obvious signs of tampering, like a different color or material or graphics that are not aligned correctly. You should wiggle everything, including the card reader and cover your hand while entering your PIN number. She suggests using ATMs in busy locations because scammers need time to install the skimming equipment and are less likely to take that risk if there are people around. Rutledge said you should monitor your bank account and credit card transactions and to us a credit card whenever possible because credit card transactions can be halted and reversed at any time.

 

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

 

  

KIDS WILL DRINK MORE WATER IF IT'S SERVED COLD        7/11/16

 

A new study offers a simple solution for getting kids to drink more water in schools and child-care settings, it suggests we should make drinking water more convenient. 

 

Researchers did a study in 12 middle schools. They gave some schools cold water pitchers and some a cold water dispenser, and those two came with cups, signage and announcements. The rest just had their normal drinking fountains. Results showed, 20 percent more kids drank water in schools where it was served cold, with cups.

 

Dr. Anisha Patel of the University of California says it's an important finding, since most children don't drink enough water.

 

Water also helps fight obesity and cavities. A study done five years ago showed very few schools offer free water apart from their drinking fountains.

 

Patel says a recent federal law requires all school cafeterias to offer water free of charge. She hopes this study helps districts help their students make a healthier choice.

 

Patel says many schools around the country are now opting to install filling stations for reusable water bottles.

 

 

 

 

THE WELLNESS CLINIC PRESENTS THE 3RD ANNUAL PSA AND COMMUNITY HEALTH CLINIC THIS SEPTEMBER 15TH          7/19/16

 

Whitney Tatum of the Wellness Clinic announced Tuesday morning that Dr. Jason Lofton and his staff would be hosting the 3rd Annual Community Health Clinic and Prostate PSA testing on September 15th.

 

Tatum explained the PSA test is a simple blood draw for men, but the Wellness Clinic has applied for a grant to provide free lab work for both men and women.

 

Tatum stated you do not have to be Dr. Lofton's patient. She said they will send the results to your primary care physician.

 

Tatum said this year; they are hoping to bring the Mammo Van from St. Vincent's Hospital in Hot Springs to De Queen to provide digital mammograms to women. She said they have 18 slots available and you can call St. Vincent's to sign up.

 

Tatum said they are hoping to host a block party again this year, like they did in 2015, but if you need more information, call the Wellness Clinic at 642-4000 extension 12.

 

 

 

ALCOHOL CONTRIBUTES TO ROLLOVER ACCIDENT          7/19/16

 

Saturday night, Sergeant Wayne Baker of the De Queen Police Department and two other officers were dispatched to the scene of a rollover accident near the health department on Fourth Street.

 

When Baker arrived on the scene, he noticed a vehicle partially on its side in the alley that runs from 3rd to 4th street between Vandervoort and Heynecker Avenue. He also noticed a Hispanic male walking toward him.

 

Thirty-one year old Jesus Martinez of De Queen informed Baker that he lost control of the vehicle and he allegedly admitted that he had been drinking.

 

While Baker was speaking to Martinez, he put his hands on his head and started walking off. Baker took Martinez by the arm and escorted him back to his vehicle.

 

Martinez allegedly told Baker that he didn’t want to take the field sobriety test because he was drunk.

 

Martinez was charged with driving while intoxicated.

 

 

BENEFIT AUCTION AND SPAGHETTI SUPPER         7/19/16

 

A benefit auction and spaghetti supper will be held this Saturday, July 23rd at the Green's Chapel Church from 4 to 7 p.m. to help with the funeral expenses for DeWayne Barnes who lost his battle with cancer on July 4th.

 

Local businesses and individuals from De Queen, Dierks and Nashville have donated items for the auction. Volunteers will auction off a $175 rental from Moyer Equipment, a Hewlett Packard tablet, a case of Rotella oil, a front-end alignment, an oil change, some camping cookware, a turkey call, a spotlight, wooden benches, some fishing items, a bicycle, homemade quilts and afghans, and a Razorback fire pit.

 

The Bill Powers Band will provide the entertainment.

 

The church is located about 5.4 miles west of Dierks, but for more information, call Dana Stringfellow at 870-582-3056, Rose Jackson at 870-286-3186 or Tammy Smith at 870-584-8050.  

 

 

 

DE QUEEN JUNIOR AND SENIOR HIGH REGISTRATION        7/19/16

 

Registration has been scheduled for De Queen Junior and Senior High students beginning Monday, July 25th. High school students will also have their pictures taken on the day they register in the auditorium.

 

Seniors will need to call 642-2426 to make an appointment between 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Juniors will have their pictures taken from 1 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 28th and Sophomores will have their pictures taken on Monday, August 1st between 1 and 5:30 p.m.

 

Juniors and Sophomores should make plans to arrive as early as possible to avoid waiting in line.

 

Twelfth grade students will register on Monday, July 25th at 6 p.m. Juniors will register on Thursday, July 28th at 6 p.m. Tenth grade students will register on Monday, August 1st at 6 p.m.

 

Eighth grade students will register from 8 to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, August 2nd and ninth graders will register from 1 to 4:30 p.m.

 

Sixth grade students will register from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, August 2nd and seventh grade students will register from 1 to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, August 2nd.

 

A complete list of school supplies for De Queen Elementary and Primary students is listed on the KDQN.net website.

 

 

 

HARMONY TO HEADLINE CRYSTAL MUSIC FESTIVAL AT BOARD CAMP       7/19/16

 

Orville and Cheryl Murphy of the Board Camp and Crystal Mine in Mena announced the band Harmony from Wickes would be headlining the 2016 Crystal Music Festival this Saturday, July 23rd,

 

Lynn Smith of Harmony said this is the fourth year for the music festival and the Murphy's are trying to make it into one of the premier music events in the area.

 

Smith said Harmony opened for Buddy Jewell two years ago and they’re honored to be the featured act this year.

 

Smith said the event is family-friendly and there's going to be food, fun and even crystal digging for just $10. He said visitors can dig for crystals from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. At 5, there's going to be a program honoring fallen and standing heroes and Harmony will take the stage about 7.

 

Smith said Harmony has been through some changes but headlining the Crystal Music Festival is truly a blessing.

 

For more information about the Crystal Music Festival call 479-243-0771.  

 

 

 

IMPAIRED ON DRUGS           7/19/16

 

Patrolman Justin Gentry of the De Queen Police Department was patrolling on Stilwell Avenue about 2 a.m. Saturday morning when he observed a vehicle drive left of the centerline.

 

The driver, 50-year-old Connie Strong of Horatio, informed Gentry that she was driving around looking for her boyfriend who may have been walking in the area and that was why she crossed the centerline.

 

Gentry was then informed by a dispatcher that Strong’s license had been suspended. Gentry then asked Strong for permission to search her car.

 

While searching the vehicle, Gentry found four loose pills in the pocket of Strong’s purse. Two of the pills were white and round; one was a white oval shaped pill; and the other pill was oval and pink in color. Strong stated the pills were Tylenol 3’s with codeine, Hydrocodone and Paxil.

 

Strong allegedly told Gentry and Patrolman First Class Levi Browning that she did have a prescription for the Hydrocodone at one time, but she currently didn't have a prescription for any of the medications that the officers found in her purse.

 

Strong was taken into custody and charged with possession of a schedule I or II controlled substance that was not meth or cocaine and possession of a scheduled III controlled substance.

 

 

TAX FREE WEEKEND IN ARKANSAS          7/18/16

 

According to a legislative report, most families will spend an average of $630 this year to get their children ready to head back to school. That estimate includes what families plan to spend on clothes, supplies and electronics.

 

That substantial cost to families, this time of year, is why the General Assembly passed Act 757 in 2011. Act 757 provides a sales tax holiday, the first weekend of August. The holiday means state and local taxes are not collected or paid on the purchase of certain items.

 

Sponsors of the bill noted that neighboring states already had a sales tax holiday, so legislative members passed the bill, hoping Arkansans would shop at home.

 

Arkansas is now one of 18 states across the country that offers a sales tax holiday.

 

This year's sales tax holiday will begin at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, August 6th and end at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, August 7th.

 

Currently, the state sales tax is 6.5 percent and city and local sales taxes vary across the state. The local sales tax is 3.375 for a total of 9.875.

 

During the sales tax holiday, retailers will not be allowed to collect sales tax on clothing and footwear if the sales price is less than $100 per item; clothing accessories and equipment if the sales price is less than $50 per item; school supplies; school art supplies; and school instructional materials.

 

For more information, contact a customer service representative by phone Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 501-682-7104.

 

There is also a complete list of eligible purchases on the website www.arkansashouse.org.

 

Educators also recommend that parents start putting their child to bed at a regular bedtime and keep a routine for a few weeks before school starts.  

 

 

 

NATIONAL NIGHT OUT EVENT UPDATE       7/18/16

 

The first ever Sevier County National Night Out event has been scheduled for Tuesday, August 2nd at the De Queen Sportsplex and the Sevier County Sheriff-elect Robert Gentry announced it will be from 6 to 9 p.m. and there is no charge.

 

Gentry said several businesses and organizations are helping with the event and he said there will be several activities for both kids and adults.

 

Dr. LaResea Woods of Smiles of Arkansas Dental invited area show-offs to participate in the Lip Sync Battle at 7 p.m. She said you will have to provide your own music and show off your best moves.

 

Woods also announced Smiles of Arkansas Dental will be handing out backpacks that kids can fill with school supplies during the event.

 

For more information or to register a booth, contact Beth Hughes at 870-584-8227 or Dana Gentry at 870-279-0499.

 

 

 

POKEMON GO THRIVES AT ARKANSAS STATE PARKS       7/18/16

 

Arkansas State Parks has a history of embracing the latest technology to encourage Arkansans and others to visit the state parks. The park staff stays connected to visitors through various social media sites including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and the ArkansasStateParks.com website uses the latest design features to make it usable on most computer, smartphone and tablet platforms.

 

In 2008, Arkansas State Parks began the ParkCache Program which placed geocaches in all 52 state parks and created a challenge of finding all of them to get clues to find a 53rd geocache and a prize.

 

Last week, the park system began embracing a new game, Pokemon Go, which is an augmented reality game that allows smart phone and tablet users to search for and collect virtual Pokemon characters. So far, the park system has seen numerous characters along with Pokestops and other features showing up in Arkansas State Parks.

 

Arkansas State Park Director Grady Spann said, park staff are excited about greeting players and he encouraged Arkansans to visit the local state parks and enjoy the beautiful outdoor spaces.

 

Spann said while you are in the park, remember park interpreters are there to help keep you safe, as well as preserve the state's natural, cultural and historical resources.

 

He said before going to a park, you should check the park hours. You should stay on marked trails and pathways while in the park. You should carry water and wear the proper shoes.

 

Spann said you should also be aware of your surroundings. He said while looking at the screen on your electronic device, you may not see uneven footing, real wildlife on the trail, other hikers, mountain bikers or other potential hazards.

 

Players should also be respectful of solemn areas, such as cemeteries, monuments and museums and be respectful of other park visitors.

 

Spann even suggested you tag your Pokemon Go photos or any photos taken in the parks with #ARStateParks. He said you may find yourself featured in the park system's social media or their website.

 

So, go catch them all in an Arkansas State Park.

 

 

 

SCHOOL NUTRITION BILLS UNDER THE MICROSCOPE       7/18/16

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Two bills that would renew childhood nutrition programs are currently being debated by Congress, and advocates say if approved it could become harder for schools to offer free meals to low-income students. Under the microscope is the Community eligibility Provision, which permits school districts to proved free meals to all students if they are a district with a high level of poverty.

 

Legislation in Congress, House Bill 5003, the "Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016," would tighten the rules in order for schools to qualify. Jessica Hewins with the Food Research and Action Center says that means across the nation, more than 7,000 schools serving 3.4 million students would have to reapply for the program. She said it would impact 44 schools in Arkansas.

 

Those in favor of changing the program say free meals should be given to those who need it most, and say the funding could be used in other areas such as summer food programs.

 

Zoe Neuberger with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says there's a chance the bill in the House will be modified before it's approved.

 

The Senate version of the legislation doesn't include changes to the Community Eligibility Provision.

 

Hewin says schools that offer free food to all students see an increase in the number of kids eating breakfast and lunch, regardless of their family's income.

 

 

 

LOW-INCOME FAMILIES COULD GET HELP BUYING DIAPERS       7/18/16

 

One dirty truth, about child rearing is the high cost of diapers. They cost families from $70 to $80 dollars a month per child.

 

Congress is currently considering legislation that would fund pilot programs in states such as Arkansas to help low-income families afford diapers. Currently, no federal program meets that need, says Alison Weir with the National Diaper Bank Network.

 

T-A-N-F, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, is the only program that provides money that could be used for diapers, but in Arkansas that benefit is limited to $185 dollars a month for a household with one parent and two children.

 

Missouri recently opted to fund diaper banks there and California is considering a voucher to offset the cost of children enrolled in subsidized day care. The federal bill has been referred to a House sub-committee for consideration.

 

Weir says the pressure to provide diapers often forces parents to make tough choices. She said it's a fact that illustrated by a survey from Feeding America in which parents shared some surprising confessions.

 

There are about 115,000 children under the age of three in Arkansas, and according to the National Diaper Bank Network, about one in three are in a family that earns less than 100 percent of the federal poverty level.

 

 

 

LITTLE RIVER COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE TO HOLD PRAYER VIGIL FOR FALLEN DALLAS POLICE OFFICERS        7/8/16

 

Gena Butler of the Little River County Sheriff's Office announced Friday morning that Sheriff Gary Gregory and the Little River County Sheriff's office will be holding a prayer vigil Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. on the Little River County Courthouse lawn in remembrance of the Dallas police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty Thursday night.

 

Butler said all area law enforcement departments and officers are invited to join them and the residents of Little River County during this moment of silence and prayer.

 

 

 

FOREMAN WATERWORKS UNDER PRECAUTIONARY BOIL WATER NOTICE       7/8/16

 

The Department of Health has confirmed a boil water notice that was issued by Eddie Smith for the entire Foreman Waterworks system. This order was issued as a precautionary measure because of the possibility that contaminated water may have entered the distribution system as a result of the absence of disinfection.

 

Under the boil water order, all affected customers must be advised that the water may be unsafe for human consumption and water used for drinking or food prep must be boiled briskly for one minute prior to use.

 

This precautionary boil water notice will remain in effect until the problem has been corrected, an adequate disinfectant level is established throughout the distribution system and a bacteria survey shows the water is safe to drink.

 

 

 

APPLICATIONS BEING SOUGHT FOR 11TH ANNUAL LITTLE RIVER COUNTY LEADERSHIP CLASS         7/8/16

 

Little River County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Fonda Hawthorne announced this week that the deadline to sign up for the 11th annual Little River County Leadership Class is Friday, July 15th. She said they are looking for people who want to improve their leadership skills.

 

Hawthorne said the program will begin with a two-day retreat at the Rick Evans Conservation Center in Columbus, but there will be several tours and activities over the course of the class.

 

Hawthorne said over 150 people have graduated from the program and alumni members offer one scholarship to a qualified applicant.

 

Hawthorne reported she started the program to help develop tomorrow’s leaders.

 

For more information, visit the website www.littlerivercounty.org or call Hawthorne at 870-898-2758.

 

 

 

ONE DEFENDANT ACCEPTED A PLEA DEAL THURSDAY IN THE SEVIER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT       7/8/16

 

Thursday morning, 32-year-old KenDarius Burris accepted a plea agreement and changed his plea to guilty to six counts of breaking and entering, five counts of theft of property and one count of attempted breaking and entering in the Sevier County Circuit Court.

 

Burris was sentenced to a total of 15 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections and he will pay $332.52 in restitution.

 

Burris admitted that he broke into several vehicles while they were parked at the De Queen Sportsplex during a softball tournament in 2015.

 

A trial date of September 28th was set in the case of Aaron Loving by Circuit Court Judge Charles Yeargan. Yeargan announced he was granting the continuance because Sevier County currently does not have a public defender. He said a new public defender should be named next week.

 

Loving has been charged with first degree murder, kidnapping, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a certain person.

 

Loving is being accused of killing 37-year-old Amado Gallardo on February 28th and kidnapping another individual. He was arrested in Idabel, Oklahoma following a pursuit from Broken Bow to Idabel.

 

Loving is being held in the Sevier County jail on a $300,000 bond. His next court appearance has been scheduled for September 8th.

 

 

 

DAISY STATE PARK ACTIVITIES       7/8/16

 

Daisy State Park staff will be explaining why the Park is one of the premier camping sites in the state. They discuss what makes the park such a special place and they will inform guest about some of the park’s hidden secrets this evening from 5:30 to 6 p.m.

 

Park interpreters will also be leading a kayak expedition tonight from 7 to 8 p.m. Pre-registration is required so stop by the visitor center. The cost is $14 for adults, $7 for children 6 to 12 and free for children under the age if six, but they must be accompanied by an adult.

 

Saturday, the Daisy State Park is offering a scenic tour of Lake Greeson from noon to 2 p.m. Seating is limited, so guests should sign up at the visitor center by 9 a.m. on day of the tour.

 

The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for kids 6 to 12. Another scenic lake tour is scheduled for Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m.

 

Saturday, park interpreters will teach park guest the basics of cast iron cooking and demonstrate how to season and care for this type of camping cookware. Participates will also learn the history of cast iron cookware and then enjoy a warm treat that's been prepared in a Dutch oven.

 

Registration is required by 1 p.m. on Saturday and the cost is $2 per person.

 

 

 

MINERAL SPRINGS CITY COUNCIL APPROVES RESOLUTION FOR COMMUNITY TABLE GRANT REQUEST      7/8/16

submitted by KNAS 

 

The Mineral Springs City Council approved a resolution during a special called meeting this week, authorizing Mayor Bobby Tullis to apply for a grant on behalf of the Mineral Springs Community Table and Food Pantry.

 

The grant request is being made to the Arkansas Rural Development Commission for the purpose of securing $150,000 through a GIF Community Enhancement Grant to aid in the construction of a building.

 

Community Table President Dorothy Vaughn reported the non-profit organization has been in operation for almost two years. She said they have been serving meals to needy individuals and families on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. Vaughn said they are currently serving around one hundred people twice a month.

 

Vaughn said their architect should deliver blueprints of the building next week and they are planning on constructing the building at the former community pool site in Mineral Springs.

 

In addition to being a place for the food pantry and soup kitchen, it will be a multi-purpose building.

 

Members of the Community Table group have also applied for another grant and Senator Larry Teague of Nashville has promised to provide some assistance.

 

For more information about the Daisy State Park, call 870-398-4487.

 

 

 

SIXTY-EIGHT DRAW ARKANSAS ALLIGATOR PERMITS         7/8/16

 

Sixty-eight lucky individuals will be heading to the swamps this September in search of one of Arkansas’ largest big game species. Arkansas’s 2016 alligator season is September 16th through the 19th and September 23rd through the 26th, and hunting is only allowed at night.

 

All permit winners must attend a hunter orientation class before being issued their permits. Orientation classes will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. on August 6th at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s regional office in Hope and Monticello.

 

Permit winners will need to bring $35 for the processing of their permit. Successful private land at-large applicants will also have to bring written permission from the landowner and a map of their proposed hunt area.

 

Alligator hunters will scan the surface of the water with spotlights from a boat, pinpointing the alligators before easing up to them with a harpoon or handheld snare.

 

Biologist Mark Barbee of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission in Monticello explained an alligator’s eyes glow red in the light. He said alligators are prone to roll, dive and thrash violently during the fight and the larger the gator, the harder it will fight.

 

Permit winners are allowed up to three assistants during the hunt, but only the permit holder is allowed to snare, harpoon and dispatch the alligator.

 

Arkansas alligator hunters must completely subdue the gator before finishing it with a shotgun or shotgun shell-loaded bang stick using shot no larger than number 4 common shot.

 

Alligators must be tagged with a temporary possession tag and hunters must notify the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission by phone to check the animal. All hunt details will be provided at the mandatory hunter orientation classes.

 

Area permit winners include: William Stafford of Ashdown, Rebecca Myers of Ashdown, Joshua Thomson of Ashdown, Cody Cruse of Ogden, Jacky Simmons of Lockesburg, Samuel Bowman of Ashdown, Blair Lovewell of Ashdown, and Mark Fielding of Horatio.

 

 

TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY-TEXARKANA ANNOUNCES RECENT GRADUATES      7/8/16

 

Texas A&M University of Texarkana has released a list of students who were awarded diplomas on the undergraduate and graduate levels during the 2016 spring commencement celebration of May 14th.

 

Area students who received their diplomas include: Myra Alexandra Brand of Mineral Springs earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree, Jamie Jeanette Marshall of Ashdown earned a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Science degree, Lakan Leigh McAdams of Ashdown earned a Master of Science, LaDera Vernette Northcross of Ashdown earned a Master of Science, Cathy Jane Adams of Ben Lomond earned a Master of Business Administration, Diana Figueroa-Luna of De Queen earned a Master of Science, and Clayton McDonnell of De Queen earned a Bachelor of Science.

 

 

ARKANSANS ENCOURAGED TO DONATE BLOOD       7/7/16

 

Arkansans are being asked to roll up their sleeves and donate blood because there's a critical shortage of it across the state and nation.

 

The American Red Cross Greater Ozarks-Arkansas Region is made up of the whole state of Arkansas, plus southwest Missouri and Memphis, Tennessee. The region's blood donations dropped in both June and so far in July. The situation is even worse in other parts of the country and Red Cross spokesman Rick Roseneck says they've issued an emergency appeal for both blood and platelet donations.

 

All blood types are currently needed, especially O positive, O negative, B negative and A negative in order to meet patient demand this summer. Type O negative is the universal blood type and can be transfused to patients with any blood type. Types B negative and A negative can be transfused to Rh positive or Rh negative patients.

 

Roseneck says low donations are common this time of year when schools and businesses are less likely to have blood drives.

 

Platelets have to be transfused within five days of donations, making the need constant, and are used to help cancer patients, surgical patients and bone-marrow recipients. Donors can visit a donation center or a local blood drive to make a donation.

 

LifeShare Blood Center is holding a Cuff and Hoses blood drive today in Dierks at the Dierks Community Building from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. and in the De Queen Wal-Mart parking lot on the donor coach Friday from 2 to 7 p.m.

 

 

 

LEGACY INITIATIVES RECEIVES $56,000 TO RENOVATE DOWNTOWN BUILDING FOR NEW ART CENTER         7/7/16

 

On June 23rd, the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program awarded Legacy Initiatives $56,712 to be used toward the renovation of the historic Hayes Hardware Building which is located in downtown De Queen. The building was built in 1900 and was home to the Young Expressions Youth Center, which was founded by Neta Gillespie in the 1990’s. Originally, the building was the second location of the Hayes Hardware store.

 

Legacy Initiatives is a nonprofit community development organization that desires to serve as a seedbed of great projects and community development. Founder, Chad Gallagher stated Legacy Initiatives was founded to be a vehicle for positive change in De Queen. He said Legacy Initiatives works along side private sector efforts to create a better community.

 

Legacy Initiatives is committed to helping develop the arts and culture in Southwest Arkansas. Exposure to art and other cultures can help abolish racism, inspire tolerance, create friendships, bridge gaps and encourage care and respect for all humanity. Legacy Initiatives is committed to fostering an appreciation for the arts and other cultures through the Fusion Art Center, which will be housed in the historic Hayes Hardware building.

 

Fusion is designed to display art, share and enrich the culture of  Southwest Arkansas, make fine art accessible and nurture an appreciation for art. Local artists will be also able to display their art and they will have a place to offer lessons.

 

Gallagher stated Legacy Initiatives was excited about Fusion because it will help achieve two significant things: one, preserve one of the most important historic buildings in the heart of downtown De Queen and two, create a true art center in the community.

 

Legacy Initiatives acquired the Hayes Hardware Building in 2011 and began making renovations in 2013. Funds from the grant will be used to complete the building’s exterior renovations and make electrical and plumbing upgrades.

 

Legacy Initiatives have already replaced the roof, repaired masonry on the building’s back wall, replaced broken windows, and renovated the building’s interior and exterior storefront.

 

For more information about Legacy Initiatives visit the website www.fusionartcenter.org.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS COMPETE AT NATIONAL FBLA CONFERENCE       7/7/16

 

FBLA advisor Chad Lites announced five De Queen High School students competed during the FBLA National Convention and Competition in Atlanta, Georgia, June 27th through July 2nd.

 

Lites said seniors Prince Beasley, Jeffery Davis, Danielle Duggan, Haylee Rich and junior Cody Lites were among the 12,000 students who attended the convention and participated in the competitions.

 

Beasley and Davis competed in Digital Video Production; Duggan competed in Electronic Career Portfolio; Rich competed in Agribusiness; and Lites competed in Public Speaking II.

 

Rich finished seventh overall in Agribusiness and was able to appear on the stage for the awards ceremony on the closing night of the conference.

 

 

 

ARKANSAS HIGHWAY COMMISSION APPROVES BID FOR IMPROVEMENTS IN LITTLE RIVER AND POLK COUNTIES       7/7/16

 

The Arkansas State Highway Commission has approved a bid for improvements to roadways in Little River and Polk counties, according to the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department officials.

 

The purpose of the project in Little River County is to resurface 16.6 miles of County Road 21 near Richmond, County Road 23 near Ogden, County Road 272 near Ashdown, County Roads 51 and 133 near Alleene, County Roads 38 and 77 near Winthrop and County Roads 12 and 128 near Foreman.

 

The purpose of the project in Polk County is to resurface 17.1 miles of County Roads 38, 39, 44, and 76 near Mena, County Roads 26 and 31 near Hatfield, County Roads 5 and 13 near Wickes and County Road 18 near Vandervoort.

 

Salt Creek Paving and Construction Company, Inc. of Benton was awarded the Little River County contract at $802,157.82 and the Polk County contract at $694,095.27.

 

Construction is scheduled to begin in two to four weeks, weather permitting. Completion is expected in late 2016.

 

 

 

CITY WORKING WITH COMMERCIAL CUSTOMER ON OVER-DUE WATER BILL        7/6/16

 

Tuesday night during a regular meeting of the De Queen City Council, aldermen were informed that a commercial water customer in De Queen was over $32,000 past due.

 

Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy reported he had sent the customer an email requesting payment. He informed the council that he had received an email stating the customer would pay the outstanding bill over-time. McKelvy said the customer’s average bill during the summer is about $1,500.

 

Aldermen asked City Attorney Laura Lindly to write a letter requesting payment. Lindly was also instructed to inform the customer that the city may be forced to file a lawsuit in an attempt to collect the outstanding balance on the account.

 

Aldermen voted to purchase a small piece of property from M & C Holdings #1 for the placement of a new high lift station for the sewer extension project out to the new Chevy dealership. McKelvy said the city was purchasing .04 of an acre.

 

Aldermen accepted the 2014 Legislative audit. McKelvy said the audit as already been accepted by the Legislative Joint Auditing Committee and it was another clean audit for the city.

 

McKelvy also reported on the progress of the new metal building at the Stilwell high lift station and the city's summer street paving project.

 

Scott Simmons officially became the new Chief of Police on Tuesday, July 5th and he announced the other promotions within the department, as well as the hiring of Jim Kight of Lockesburg as a new patrolman.

 

The next meeting of the De Queen City Council is scheduled for Tuesday, July 19th at 6 p.m. in the Council room of the De Queen City Hall.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN RESIDENT CHARGED WITH NEGLIGENT HOMICIDE IN COLUMBIA COUNTY       7/6/16

 

A De Queen man has been charged with negligent homicide after a vehicle accident in Columbia County on May 24th that resulted in the death of a Magnolia man.

 

Twenty-two year old Rudolfo Hernandez was arrested after the GMC pickup truck that he was driving hit a Kia Soul while attempting to pass it in a no-passing zone on Columbia County Road 36, causing the Kia to run off the road.

 

Eighty-nine year old Zane Barnett died Friday, June 3rd in an El Dorado hospice as a result of injuries that he suffered in the accident.

 

Hernandez is scheduled to appear in the Columbia County Circuit Court this Thursday to be formally charged with negligent homicide, failure to stop after an accident with injury or death, possession of less than four ounces of marijuana, possession of an instrument of crime and obstructing governmental operations.

 

According to the incident report, the accident was witnessed by a deputy with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.

 

According to the deputy, Barnett was slowing down at the intersection of Columbia County Road 36 and Columbia County Road 301 and Hernandez started to pass him in a no-passing zone. The deputy said has Hernandez was passing,  Barnett began to make a left-hand turn and the truck struck the rear driver side of the Kia, causing it to run into the ditch.

 

The deputy reported Hernandez continued to accelerate and left the scene. When Hernandez was stopped, officers said there was marijuana, a pipe and a grinder in clear view in the driver's seat floorboard.

 

Hernandez also allegedly told officers his name was Mario Hernandez and that the truck belonged to his cousin. When officials discovered his real name, they were informed Rudolfo Hernandez was wanted in Sevier County for failure to appear.

 

Hernandez is currently free on a $25,000 bond.

 

Barnett was injured in the wreck and was taken to the Magnolia Regional Medical Center. He died 10-days later at the John R. Williamson Hospice House.

 

 

 

ENDANGERING A CHILD WHILE DRIVING DRUNK        7/6/16

 

About 11:30 p.m. on the Fourth of July, Patrolman First Class Bucky Sawyer of the De Queen Police Department checked a vehicle's speed while on a stationary patrol on Highway 41 South and discovered the vehicle was traveling 58 miles per hour in a 45 miles per hour speed zone.

 

Sawyer reported the vehicle also crossed the center line a couple of times, so he made a traffic stop at the intersection of Highway 41 South and Highway 41 B.

 

When Sawyer approached the vehicle, he reported he could smell alcohol and identified the driver as 31-year-old Jose Rios of De Queen. He noted Rios had some smokeless tobacco on his lap and some in his mouth as if he was attempting to conceal the smell of alcohol.

 

Sawyer also noticed a small child asleep in the passengers lap.

 

Rios allegedly admitted that he had been drinking and Sawyer was informed that Rios' license had been revoked and he was wanted on a felony warrant out of McCurtain County Oklahoma.

 

Rios was taken into custody on the outstanding warrant and then charged with driving while intoxicated #2 and citied for no child restraint.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN BOARD OF EDUCATION APPROVES IMPLEMENTATION OF PILOT PROGRAM ON JUNIOR HIGH CAMPUS        7/6/16

 

July 1st, three members of the De Queen Board of Education met and approved a pilot program for the junior high school. The program is called Anonymous Alerts and it will allow students to report suspicious or illegal activities on campus.

 

Assistant Superintendent Paul Shelton said the district plans to expand the program if it works at the junior high.

 

Board members heard a presentation from Gary Graves of Courthouse Concepts concerning drug testing. He explained how the tests are processed, the cost of each test and provided them with information from his experiences from working with other districts.

 

Board members voted to use Courthouse Concepts as their drug testing vendor and Courthouse Concepts will administer the first three rounds of testing beginning this fall.

 

Shelton said the board did not approve the district's drug policy, but it's ready for their approval in August.

 

Board members were also informed that the district is moving the bus loading zone at the elementary school. Shelton said moving the loading zone was a safety issue.

 

Shelton also reported the district is expanding the EAST lab and moving it into a renovated classroom in the old high school cafeteria.

 

Board members also approved the bread and milk bids and accepted John Nix's bid of $7,625 for five retired school buses.

 

 

 

SOUTHERN SPORTSMEN FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES DATES FOR 2016 HUNT SCHEDULE FOR WHITETAIL DEER        7/6/16

 

The Southern Sportsmen Foundation announced this week their hunt schedule for 2016. Foundation president, Mike Cranford, said these hunts are for individuals with severe mobility impairments and/or a life-threatening illness.

 

Cranford said the youth "Hunt of a Lifetime" will be held near Mineral Springs, October 28th through October 30th at Starch Creek Hunting Club. He said this event was for youth hunters 18 years of age and younger.

 

Youth hunters must be able to arrive by 3 p.m. on October 27th for a pre-hunt orientation and must be accompanied by at least one parent or legal guardian.

 

The adult hunt which as been nicknamed the "Redneck Safari" will be held near Foreman, November 16th through the 18th.

 

Adult hunters must be able to arrive by 11 a.m. on November 16th and are welcome to bring a non-hunting companion. Six disabled hunters and two alternates will drawn for this event.

 

Cranford said every year hunter's have had numerous shot opportunities with most hunters bagging a deer.

 

For both hunts lodging, meals and license will be provided by the foundation. However, hunters will be responsible for their travel expenses. Hunters born after December 31st, 1968 and at least 16 years of age must possess a valid hunter's education and safety card.

 

All hunt applications must be received by September 15th. Cranford said hunters who are chosen will be notified by September 30th. For your convenience click here for an application or you may visit www.sharingtheoutdoors.com.

 

For more information, contact Cranford at mike.cranford@sharingtheoutdoors.com.

 

 

DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL TO MEET TONIGHT          7/5/16

 

The De Queen City Council is scheduled to meet this evening at 6 p.m. in the council room of the De Queen City Hall and they will be updated on the Stilwell Avenue high-lift station’s metal building project.

 

Aldermen will consider accepting the 2014 Legislative Audit. Aldermen voted to table the audit during their June 21st meeting, so they could review it more thoroughly.

 

Aldermen will also hear a presentation to re-combine the city attorney duties, since Manya Woods who has been serving as the city prosecutor in district court will be taking the office of District Judge in January.

 

Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy is expected to ask the council to name Laura Lindly who handles the city's legal work as the city prosecutor.

 

The agenda also lists a delinquent commercial water account that aldermen will discuss and they will review the city's ordinance concerning door-to-door solicitors.

 

  

 

COSSATOT RIVER HIGH SCHOOL HONORED FOR BEING A HIGH ACHIEVING SCHOOL        7/5/16

 

Superintendent Donnie Davis of the Cossatot River School District reported the Cossatot River High School has been identified as a high achieving school by the Office of Education Policy at the University of Arkansas.

 

Davis explained the district is continuing make upgrades by offering complementary programs on all of the district's campuses.

 

Davis also reported the Cossatot River Board of Education extended it’s contract with First Security-Beardsley Public Finance. Davis said First Security will serve as the district's financial advisor for the next three years..

 

Davis said board members are also considering other options before purchasing a livestock trailer for the Ag. Department.

 

Board members voted to hire Amanda Johnson-Asher as a high school English teacher and they accepted the resignations of Athletic Director Wendell Cartwright and teachers Linda Willard and Lakyn Cowart.

 

 

 

VETERANS MOBILE UNIT MAKING STOP IN DE QUEEN       7/5/16

 

Sevier County Veteran's Service Officer Madison Thompson informed KDQN that the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs' mobile unit is scheduled to be stationed at the De Queen Wal-Mart on Thursday, July 7th at 9 a.m.

 

Thompson invited area vets to stop by if they need assistance.

 

Thompson said for more information; call his office at 870-642-6622. He said the number is listed in the phonebook under Government offices in Sevier County.

 

His office is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to noon.

 

 

 

FIVE INITIATIVES WORKING TO GET ON THE ARKANSAS NOVEMBER BALLOT      7/5/16

 

Hundreds of paid workers have been gathering signatures for initiative campaigns around Arkansas as they try to meet this week's deadline to submit petitions to get their proposals on the November ballot.

 

Five campaigns have reported using paid workers for their petition drives under a 2013 law that requires them to file a list of paid canvassers.

 

The largest number of canvassers was reported by Health Care Access for Arkansans, which listed 290 workers that have been gathering signatures for a proposed constitutional amendment to limit damages in lawsuits against health care providers.

 

Meanwhile, one of two ballot measures that are seeking to legalize medical marijuana and an effort to allow casinos in three Arkansas counties each registered about 260 paid canvassers.

 

Friday is the deadline to file signatures for proposed ballot measures.

 

 

LET FREEDOM RING IS SATURDAY      7/1/16

 

Chris Hale of the De Queen Parks and Recreation Department stopped by the KDQN studios to remind everyone that the De Queen Fourth of July celebration is Saturday at the UA Cossatot amphitheater beginning at 6 p.m.

 

Hale said young people should wear something that they don't mind getting wet because the park is setting up a water cannon.

 

First Assembly of God Church minister Jonathon Reynolds said everyone is welcome to park at the church across the street from the Sportsplex for free.

 

Let Freedom Ring is this Saturday at 6 p.m. at the UA Cossatot amphitheater.

 

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY 4-H DISTRICT O’RAMA WINNERS          7/1/16

 

Eleven Sevier County 4-H’ers attended the Ouachita District 4-H O’Rama in Hope on June 14th. To attend the District 4-H O’Rama, 4-H’ers first had to compete in the County 4-H O’Rama. There are many divisions to compete in including speeches, bug collections, fashion revue, gun safety, and many more.

 

Blake Sawyer placed 2nd in the junior Bicycle competition, Aaron Morris placed 2nd in the senior Safety Speech category, Brennen Seymour placed 3rd in the senior Animal Science Speech competition, Drake Boatright placed 4th in the junior Wildlife category, Evin Frachiseur placed 4th in the junior Fashion Revue-Purchased Casual category, Attalee Frachiseur placed 2nd in junior Fashion Revue-Purchased Dressy, Amber Morris placed 3rd in the junior Food Fair Speech category, Aubrey Seymour placed 2nd in the junior Human Development Speech competition, Brayden Frachiseur placed 9th in the junior Bait Casting and Game Fish ID competition, and Marcus Rosson placed 3rd in the junior Reel into Sport Fishing category.

 

Senior 4-H winners will be able to compete at the State 4-H O’Rama to be held in August at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

 

4-H is open to any child ages 5 to 19 and the Sevier County Extension Office is always looking for adults who would like to become 4-H leaders. There are clubs all over Sevier County and the extension office is open to the formation of new clubs.

 

If you’re interested in joining 4-H, contact the Sevier County Extension Office at 870-584-3013 and ask for the 4-H Program Assistant, Dawn Leeper.

 

Sevier County Extension Agent Rex Herring also announced Thursday afternoon that army worms have been discovered in Sevier County. If you need any information about controlling army worms, contact the extension office at 584-3013.

 

 

 

TRIAL DATE RESCHEDULED FOR RHODES IN LITTLE RIVER COUNTY       7/1/16

 

A new trial date was set this week for 23-year-old Aaron Michael Rhodes of Little River County in the Little River County Circuit Court by Circuit Court Judge Charles Yeargan. Rhodes' new trial date has been set for July 25th.

 

Rhodes has been charged with second-degree murder for the shooting death of Matthew Stewart.

 

In a related case, 20-year-old Courtney Clemensen, also of Little River County, has been accused of tampering with evidence in the fatal shooting. Clemensen's trail date has been scheduled for October 24th.

 

According to the incident report, Little River County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to the residence of Rhodes and Clemensen about 8:30 p.m. on October 9th, 2015 in reference to a shooting.

 

When deputies arrived they found the body of Stewart in a chair with a fatal gunshot would to the head. Initially, Rhodes and Clemensen told officers Stewart shot himself, but a few days later Rhodes allegedly changed his story and claimed he accidentally shot Stewart while he was playing with the gun.

 

Allegedly, Clemensen wiped down the gun to prevent it from being processed for fingerprints and she reportedly picked up the shell casing that was ejected from the gun.

 

Rhodes is being held in the Little River County jail on a $100,000 bond, but Clemensen has been released on bond.

 

 

 

AHPP AWARDS SEVIER COUNTY HISTORIC PRESERVATION GRANT      7/1/16

 

Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, has awarded over $2.8 million dollars in grants for projects in 54 counties, including Sevier and Little River counties, through its County Courthouse Restoration Sub-grant, Historic Preservation Restoration Grant, Certified Local Government Sub-grant and Main Street Downtown Revitalization Grant programs.

 

Legacy Initiatives received a $56,712 dollar Historic Preservation Restoration Grant for restoration work at the 1900 Hayes Hardware Building in De Queen.

 

Funds for the Historic Preservation Restoration Grants are raised through the Real Estate Transfer Tax to rehabilitate buildings that are listed on the Arkansas or National Registers of Historic Places and owned by local governments or not-for-profit organizations.

 

The Little River County Training School Alumni Association also received $28,000 for roof restoration at the Little River County Training School Home Economic Building in Ashdown.

 

Twenty counties including Little River County shared over $1.4 million dollars in County Courthouse Restoration Sub-grants, which are financed through Real Estate Transfer Tax funds that's distributed by the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council for the rehabilitation of historic county courthouses across the state.

 

Little River County was awarded $71,356 and Polk County received $28,080.

 

For information about AHPP grant programs, call 1-501-324-9880 or visit the website www.arkansaspreservation.org.

 

 

 

LITERALLY, ROLLING         7/1/16

 

On Sunday, June 26th, Officer David Higgins of the De Queen Police Department was patrolling on North 9th Street when he observed a vehicle that didn't have a working brake light.

 

When Higgins made a traffic stop, he told the driver, 23-year-old Justin DeWayne Mack of Amity, that he could smell marijuana.

 

Mack allegedly told Higgins that he had some weed and retrieved a small plastic baggy of suspected marijuana from the console on the ceiling of the cab. He also allegedly told Higgins that he had a smoking devise that fell and had rolled under the seat.

 

Patrolman First Class Levi Browning arrived and found the smoking device under the seat.

 

Mack was taken into custody and cited for possession of a controlled substance.

 

 

 

GETTING A DEGREE CRUCIAL FOR ARKANSANS       7/1/16

 

A high school diploma isn't enough in the post-recession job market, according to a new study from Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. Since the recession ended, of jobs created, 8.4 million have gone to people with at least a bachelor's degree, but only 80,000 went to workers with a high school diploma or less.

 

According to Anthony Carvevale who is the director of the Center, through the early 1980's, 70 percent of American workers had no more than a high school diploma, and half were high school dropouts.

 

But the cost of a college education has skyrocketed in recent years, trapping many people in a sort of economic catch-22.

 

As Carvevale points out, the only thing more expensive than going to college now is not going to college.

 

Currently, about 85 percent of Arkansas students graduate from high school, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

 

Carnevale says the good news is that some associate's degrees and even some one-year certificate programs can lead to jobs that pay more than the average college graduate earns.

 

The Georgetown study concludes that education beyond high school has become essential to compete in the 21st century labor market.