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Sevier County Clerk Debbie Hughes reported Friday morning that there were two contested seats on the De Queen City Council.


Ward 1, Position 1, incumbent Kathy Richards will be challenged by Matthew King and Steven Bruce and Ward 1, Position 2, incumbent Sterling Daniel will be challenged by Bryan Higgins and Lawrence Wishard.


Aldermen Teresa Bunyard and Walter will be running unopposed, while David Krantz will be seeking the Ward 3, Position 2 seat, which is currently held by Pat Minor. Minor announced that she would not be seeking re-election.





It took a jury of 10 women and two men a little over 10 minutes to find 22-year-old Emilo Gutierrez of De Queen guilty on all four counts Thursday afternoon in the Sevier County Circuit Court..


Jurors heard from nine witnesses for the state, including members of the De Queen Police Department, The state crime lab, the Arkansas State Police, the South Central Drug Task Force and confidential informants.


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


Gutierrez was arrested January 28th without incident after members of the Sevier County Sheriff's Office, the De Queen Police Department, the Arkansas State Police, the Arkansas Game and Fish and the South Central Drug Task Force executed a search warrant about 2 p.m.


During the execution of the warrant, officers confiscated four rifles along with ammunition, a kilo of ICE that had a street value of over $100,000 and over $13,000 dollars in cash.


The jury sentenced Gutierrez to 40 years on count one, 25 years on count two, 5 years on count 3 and 3 years on count 4. The sentences will run consecutively for total of 73 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections.






Jamie Marshall of the Single Parent Scholarship Fund announced this week that Sevier, Little River and Howard counties extended their scholarship deadlines to help more students.


Marshall stated that students must reside in the county that they are applying and be a high school or GED graduate.


All applicants must be a single head of household with majority custody and be designated as the primary caregiver of at least one child under the age of 18.


Applicants must be pursuing a career-oriented course of study that will ensure a better standard of living for their family. The scholarship is for students who have not earned an undergraduate degree with the exception of students that are working towards a Master of Arts in Teaching.


Applicants are also required to submit a federal tax return, proof of financial aid, a transcript, proof of enrollment and permission to release form, which can be downloaded from the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund website. If you are a new applicant, you will also have to submit a copy of a divorce decree and a personal statement that highlights your personal goals.


Marshall stated the deadline has been extended in Sevier County until September 7th and to September 15th in Little River and Howard counties.


For more information about the Single Parent Scholarship Fund or to apply for a scholarship, go to





Emily Newlin of UA Cossatot stopped by the KDQN studios to remind students that have not registered yet that they have until Tuesday, August 19th to sign up for classes.


Newlin also said they were also excited to announce the opening of the Campus Cafe.


For more information about UA Cossatot, call 1-800-844-4471.






For many Arkansans, the Labor Day holiday is an extended weekend that includes backyard cookouts and celebrations that are enjoyed with friends and family. Unfortunately, the holiday is often marred with tragedy and death caused by drunk drivers traveling state roads and highways.


Starting August 15th and continuing through September 1st, the Arkansas State Police, The Sevier County Sheriff's Office and the De Queen Police Department will be aggressively targeting their patrols in search of drunk drivers. The enforcement plan is part of a nationwide effort designed to stop drunk driving and save lives.


The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign will pair increased public awareness with high visibility of law enforcement, which hopefully will result in fewer drunk drivers getting behind the wheel of a vehicle, thus endangering themselves and others.


Across the nation there were 10,322 people killed in drunk-driving accidents in 2012. Over the Labor Day weekend that same year, almost 40 percent of all traffic fatalities involved a drunk driver.


The Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office wants to remind drivers to plan ahead and designate a sober driver if they plan to consume alcohol.






Dierks Mayor Terry Mounts is encouraging residents to keep their properties clean.


Mounts informed KDQN that the city is getting aggressive about property cleanup and they will start issuing citations to residents that don't follow the rules.


Code Enforcement Officer Brain White reported that he has identified several properties around Dierks that are not is compliance. Mounts says property owners have seven days to at least attempt to clean up their land.


Mounts explained some of the problems include tall grass, yards with too many vehicles and brush that needs to be cleaned up and he said the city would come by and pick up brush piles, if residents would call ahead of time.


Mounts also mentioned that the city had received a few complaints about people riding four-wheelers on city streets in an unsafe manner and he wanted to encourage four-wheeler riders to drive safely and be responsible.






As area residents plan a last minute excursion before the start of school Monday, Cossatot River State Park wants to reminder folks that you can have an amazing adventure right here in our backyard.


Friday, the park will host a memory hike from 9 to 11 a.m. The exercise will remind participates that when you are out hiking in a wilderness, whether in the mountains, forest or a desert, it's important to pay attention to your surroundings.


Then guests can enjoy some old fashioned fishing from 2 to 3 p.m. You'll get to fish along the Cossatot River with a cane pole and bobbers, which the park will provide, but you can bring your favorite bait.


From 3:30 to 4:30, park interpreters will lead guest on a sneaky snorkeling adventure under the cool water of the Cossatot River where you can attempt to sneak up on a fish or two.


And then Friday night from 8:45 to 9:45, you can learn about the owls that live in the park. It'll just be a short walk into the woods to make some calls to see if they will answer.


Then Saturday, you can go wade fishing from 7 a.m. until noon. You'll learn basic knot tying and learn some tips for catching more fish.


Park staff wants to remind everyone that they will need an Arkansas Fishing License, which you can purchase at the Visitor Center and you are encouraged to bring your own pole. The cost is $20 per person, so call 385-2201 to reserve your spot.


There will also be a kayaking demo and a Dutch Oven cooking demonstration Saturday from 2 to 4 and from 7 to 8 p.m.


Sunday, guests can take a morning hike, participate in a kayaking demo, help feed the park critters and go snorkeling before you have to return Sunday evening to get ready for school Monday.


For more information about the Cossatot River State Park call 385-2201





There will be a De Queen Booster Club meeting Tuesday, August 19th at 6:00 p.m. at the multi-purpose building at the Church of Christ.  The community is encouraged to attend and get involved in the Leopard Booster Club.  Individual sponsors may join for as little as $10 per month.  Corporate sponsors for as little as $75 per month.  (Complete sponsorship fee listing)




Teri Hart called the Morning Brew Crew out on a statement they made a couple of weeks ago about trying different foods....She brought a chocolate covered grasshopper by the studios and dared them to eat it.  





Sterling Daniel announced his intention so seek re-election to the Ward One, Position Two seat on the  De Queen City Council in the November 2014 general election.  The following is his announcement:

Sterling Daniel has called De Queen 'home' for 43 years.  A veteran of the U.S. Navy, Daniel retired from Weyerhaeuser/De Queen & Eastern Railroad as a diesel mechanic.  Alderman Daniel has served the City of De Queen on the Planning and Zoning Variance Board and as interim mayor.  he devoted his time to Sevier County as a reserve deputy for many years.


Daniel and his wife Della "Pud", have been married 64 years and have four grown daughters.  They are active members of Kern Heights Baptist Church.


"I consider it an honor and privilege to have served the City of De Queen as an alderman for the past 17 years", said Daniel. "I am not afraid to ask questions and I encourage you to do the same.  I will use my experience in working with fellow council members and the mayor to ensure a better quality of life for all citizens of De Queen.  I will continue to be a strong voice for you and will keep working to move De Queen forward and a place we can proudly call home. 


I am accessible and willing to answer any questions or address any concerns.    You may call me at (870) 584-3895 or (870) 584-6620.  I ask for your vote and continued support in the November election."




Jury selection was completed a little before noon Wednesday in the case of the State of Arkansas against 22-year-old Emilo Gutierrez of De Queen.


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


A jury of ten women and 2 men were selected to serve in the Sevier County Circuit Court before Judge Charles Yeargan.


Wednesday afternoon, jurors heard testimony from an agent with the South Central Drug Task Force. He described the process that the task force conducted in order to obtain two search warrants on the residence of Gutierrez at 261 Westline Road on January 28th and 30th.


Gutierrez was arrested January 28th without incident after members of the Sevier County Sheriff's Office, the De Queen Police Department, the Arkansas State Police, the Arkansas Game and Fish and the South Central Drug Task Force executed a search warrant about 2 p.m.


The task force agent reported that the two searches uncovered about 1,389.5 grams of ICE methamphetamine.


Officers confiscated four rifles along with ammunition, a kilo of ICE that had a street value of over $100,000 and over $13,000 dollars in cash.


The trial will continue today and is expected to be turned over to the jury later this afternoon.





Tuesday evening during the regular meeting aldermen of the Lockesburg City Council voted to table a vote on an ordinance on a half-cent sales tax after hearing a request from UA Cossatot Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole.


Dr. Cole asked the council to consider passing a resolution to designate a quarter cent sales tax to the college for capitol improvements to the Lockesburg campus.


Cole said work on the Lockesburg campus will not begin until after the De Queen Board of Education passes a couple of resolutions during their monthly meeting in September.


Aldermen passed the resolution to designate the quarter cent sales tax for the college but tabled the vote on the sales tax ordinance until Wednesday, August 20th at 6 p.m.


Aldermen heard a report from the park commission concerning a $1,000 grant that SWEPCO presented to the city park to enhance the park's infrastructure.


Park Commission Chairperson Sheila Ruth presented several bids for a new roof on the park concession stand, but all of the bids were rejected by the city council.


Aldermen vetoed a secondary insurance policy for the city employees that would have cost an extra $18 a month to provide access to online doctors and nurses.


Alderman also voted not to purchase a debit/credit card machine for city hall because the expense outweighed the possible revenue.


And, aldermen heard a request from the Sevier County Humane Society for funding to help provide spay and neuter clinics in Sevier County.


Mayor Danny Ruth informed the council that the city had started its mosquito spraying program.


He said city workers would be spraying the city on Monday and Thursday evenings at dusk.






The Army Corps of Engineers will begin a drawdown August 15th on Millwood Lake for bank stabilization work at Cottonshed Park.


Beginning on Friday, the lake will be gradually drawn down to an elevation of 258.2 feet, which is one foot below the normal pool elevation. The process is expected to take three days, depending on rainfall. The drawdown will last until September 2nd at which time the lake will be allowed to refill to its normal pool elevation of 259.2 feet.


After drawdown begins, boaters should exercise extreme caution because submerged stumps and shallow areas may begin to appear.


Also, boaters should be cautious when launching because of damage or sediment build up that may have occurred at the ends of the ramps. It is impossible to determine which ramps might be affected.


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






Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe says the state needs to reallocate $15 million dollars to expand broadband access to schools that are lacking fast internet connections.


The governor announced earlier this week that he want K through 12 schools to be able to use the broadband system that's available for universities in Arkansas, but that would take some action on the part of the state Legislature. Beebe reportedly considered including this issue on the call for a special session earlier this summer.


The state Education Department needs to use $15 million dollars that it is currently spending on copper-based Internet connections and use the money along with some federal funding to build a high-speed fiber network.


Beebe also announced that the state finance office will audit the Department of Information Systems to evaluate whether changes are needed in the agency that operates the state computer systems.






AARP Arkansas released a new election year poll showing that 50 plus voters in November elections worry a secure retirement could be out of reach for them. Voters also want to see candidates who focus on improving their financial security, as they believe incomes have not kept up with their cost of living, especially health costs, taxes and retirement security.


The survey's Anxiety Index shows that across party lines, older voters and particularly those who are not yet retired, feel anxious about their financial security.


According to the survey, 50 percent of those polled worry that costs are rising faster than incomes. Forty-four percent say they are worried about health expenses and that they won't have enough for their retirement.


The survey also shows that 82 percent of non-retirees believe it is hard to save for retirement and almost half of them say they've postponed or will postpone retirement.






Oftentimes, the issue of hunger is associated with people in big cities, where the cost of living tends to be high, but a new study shows some of the greatest need can be found where America's food supply is grown and raised, which characterizes much of Arkansas.


Jon Bailey of the Center for Rural Affairs authored the report, which examines the percentage of households using food stamps from 2008 to 2012.


During the years reviewed, more than 14 percent of rural households received SNAP benefits, compared to slightly fewer than 11 percent in urban households. About 502,000 Arkansans are SNAP recipients, and benefits average about $120 a month per person.


Bailey points to another key finding. He says rural areas and small cities have higher percentages of households with seniors and children receiving food support than in larger urban areas.


In rural areas, one in nine households has a SNAP recipient who is either under the age of 18 or an adult that is over the age of 60.







Since the first of July, the Ashdown School District has been busy hiring new teachers, but Superintendent Jason Sanders explained that the new hires would bring a lot of new experiences to the district.


Monday night, the Ashdown Board of Education held their regular scheduled meeting and put some of the final touches on the upcoming school year.


The Ashdown District will be hosting an Open House this Thursday from 3 to 7 p.m. and will hold their annual Purple and White Panther Scrimmage at 7:30.





David Krantz of De Queen has announced his intention to run for the position of De Queen City Alderman, Ward 3, Position 2. The position is currently held by Pat Minor, who has announced that she will not be seeking re-election.


Krantz is active in the community and stated that he would like to become more involved in city government and do what he can to help make De Queen an even more beautiful place to work and live.


Before moving to De Queen a little over nine years ago, Krantz lived in Umpire and served on the Umpire School Board and was a member of the Umpire Volunteer Fire Department.


Krantz is married to Risa and works for the Arkansas State Forestry Commission in Sevier County.


Krantz said it is his desire to give something back to the city of De Queen and plans to bring a common sense approach to city government. He has worked with budgets in the past and plans to think about his decisions. He also mentioned that he will not be swayed by peer pressure and will keep the concerns and requests of citizens in mind when making decisions that effect them.


Krantz said if elected he will be a voice for the people and listen to your concerns, questions and praise for the city of De Queen. If you have any questions, you may contact him at 870-784-2153 and he would appreciate your support this November.





Saturday afternoon about 6:30, members of the De Queen Fire Department were notified of a possible drowning on the Cossatot River, however, Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt reported that everyone was found safe.


Pruitt reported that five individuals reportedly in their 40's were floating the river on inter tubes Saturday when they got split up and two members of the party contacted the authorities.


Pruitt said two members of the party became stranded on the opposite bank and thought the other three may have drowned, but they had floated on down the river to their truck.


Pruitt stated there was no law against floating the river when its up, but he recommended that you always wear life jackets.


Members of the De Queen Fire Department had to use a boat to rescue the two stranded men, but everything turned out the way you hoped in a situation like this one.





Monday night, the De Queen Fire Department was dispatched to an apparent bon fire that was started during a sleepover.


De Queen Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt reported that some girls between the ages of 10 and 19 attempted to start a bon fire by using gas and caught the gas can on fire.


Pruitt said the gas can was about half full and the flames followed the gas fumes and ignited the can.


Fire fighters used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire.


Chief Pruitt announced that his tip for the week is to never start a fire with gas and if you catch a gas can on fire, you should never attempt to put it out with water.





The State Review Board of the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program added three Arkansas properties to the state register of historic places, including the Langley Gym in Pike County.


The Langley Gym is located off Highway 84 West and was constructed in 1950.


The Arkansas Register recognizes historically noteworthy places that are not eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Place. The board also nominated eight Arkansas properties to the National Register of Historic Places for its consideration.





According to the state Attorney General's office, you can no longer trust the number that appears on your caller ID. Scammers are using numbers you recognize to get you to answer your phone.


It's called spoofing and sometimes they can even use your own phone number and they are also using spoof text.


You may even receive these calls if you are on a do not call list.


Deputy Attorney General Jim DePriest says spoofing makes it difficult for authorities to track down the scammers, but if you are getting spoofing calls or text, you can contact your phone company or wireless provider to block the number. You should also report the calls to the state's Attorney Generals office.





Monday afternoon, members of the Sevier County Quorum Court passed two resolutions and tabled a request from the Sevier County Sheriffs office, concerning a deep fryer at the jail.


JPs approved a resolution to allow Sevier County Judge Greg Ray to accept a grant on behalf of the Sevier County Airport committee.


Quorum Court members also approved an appropriation of $8,000 to sandblast, treat and repaint the showers at the jail to eliminate a mold problem. Judge Ray stated the Jail Standards committee suggested how the county should handle the issue.


JPs approved a request from Circuit Clerk Patty Chaney to apply for a grant in the amount of $30,500 for the second stage of a three-stage process to convert the county's deed and mortgage books to a digital file to be installed on the county's computers.


Chaney said this phase would be also complete the Image Enhancement phase, as well as the Grouping and Naming phase of the project.


Chaney explained the grant is from the Automated Records System Fund, which is funded by Class 6 and 7 counties that contribute $1 per copy of their records to help fund projects for smaller counties.


Judge Ray explained that this project would help the county store this information.


Sevier County Sheriff Bennie Simmons asked the Quorum Court to transfer some funds from the department’s vehicle line item to its equipment line item so they could purchase a new deep fryer.


After some discussion, JPs voted to table the transfer until they heard a report from the county's nutritionist saying the jail needed a deep fryer.


Representative Fonda Hawthorne reported that Senator Jimmy Hickey had asked seven counties in southwest Arkansas to work together in an attempt to lure a new maximum prison to the area.


And, Johnye Fisher reported that the Sevier County Library System was officially apart of a regional library system and that they had been approved for state aid.


Fisher said the amount of aid was based on the population of the participating counties and Sevier County will receive about 38 percent of the funds based on its population.


De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy informed the members of the Quorum Court that according to the Southwest Planning Commission, the number of low and moderate-income families had increased to 51 percent and therefore the county now qualified for Community Block Grants.





Arkansas Parole Board recently announced their recommendations for parole and clemency and the list includes several from southwest Arkansas.


The board's recommendations are nonbinding and will be forwarded to the governor's office for a final decision since the board can neither deny nor grant a pardon or clemency.


Anyone with questions about these recommendations or questions concerning the parole process, they may call Rhonda Sharp at 501-682-9593.


Scott Smith of Sevier County was recommended for a pardon with merit including restoration of firearms.


Smith was convicted of possession of a controlled substance-methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.


John McAlister of Lafayette County and Goleta Morrow of Nevada County were recommended for a pardon with merit.


McAlister was convicted on four counts of the Arkansas hot check law, while Morrow was convicted of six counts of forgery, two counts of theft by deception, four counts of forgery in the second degree.


John Wilson of Hempstead County was recommended for commutation with merit for the manufacture and/or delivery and possession of controlled substance.


Jermal Dotson and Randy Glenn of Hempstead County were recommended for commutation without merit.


Dotson was convicted of aggravated robbery, kidnapping and two counts of theft of property, while Glenn was convicted of four counts of theft of scrap metal, two counts of commercial burglary, two counts of criminal mischief in the first degree and four counts of breaking and entering.


John Barker and Jeffery Hayes of Miller County were recommended for pardon without merit.


Barker was convicted of residential burglary and battery in the third degree and Hayes was convicted of theft over $200, breaking or entering and several probation revocations.






On Monday morning, Sevier County Sheriffs Deputy Michael Barnes was dispatched to 120 Grace Lane in reference to an unattended death.


When Deputy Barnes arrived, the son of the deceased, Timothy Johnson informed him that he discovered his 82-year-old father, Thomas Johnson at his home.


Timothy stated that his father had been home for about 3-weeks after being hospitalized. He said his father had suffered heart, lung and kidney failure and had been taking medication for years for his condition.


Authorities reported no foul play was suspected and Sevier County Coroner Rusty Williams pronounced Thomas Johnson dead about 5:33.




VEHICLE FIRE       8/12/14


On Thursday, August 7th, the Sevier County Sheriff's Office received a call concerning a vehicle fire.


About 7 p.m. Thursday night, Randell Chandler of Horatio reported that he was traveling west on Highway 24 when he started smelling smoke. Chandler reported that he pulled over and attempted to disconnect the battery.


Authorities reported that the fire started in the dash behind the radio.






Investigators with the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office are investigating a case of criminal mischief after Gena Whisenhunt reported that someone had gotten into her mailbox in Gillham and destroyed her mail.


Whisenhunt reported that on Thursday, August 7th, her husband, Mike, went to the mailbox between 6:30 and 7 a.m. and discovered all of the mail crumbled up in the back of the box along with a pair of jeans that she had ordered off E-Bay.


Whisenhunt stated that someone took the jeans out of the mailbox and shredded them from the waist band down and then shoved them back into the mailbox.


The value of the jeans was only $20, but tampering with someone’s mail is a federal offense.


Boxtops for Education Collection   08/12/14

Wal-Mart in De Queen has set up jars in a display at the front of the store for you to drop off your Boxtops for Education through August 31st.  If you have been saving the boxtops and don’t know who to give them to, you can take them by and put them in the jar as you enter the store.  They will distribute them to the Horatio and De Queen public schools.  If you have any questions you may call Joan Stancil at 784-6023.



Ashdown School Superintendent Jason Sanders states, "We are always stronger together than if we are apart" and has set the theme for the 2014-15 school year as "ONE/#1."  Building a unified team and working together for the common goal of student success, he continues, is what all of Ashdown School District will strive for this year.

A huge step toward helping students achieve success has come to the district through E-Rate funding and Arkansas Department of Education broadband grants, making internet connectivity more accessible and affordable for school districts across the state.  Ashdown School's broadband connectivity will increase from 15 mg to 300 mg when installation of the new fiber-optic MAN (Metropolitan Area Network) is completed.  All fiber-optic cabling has been installed district-wide over the summer and is now awaiting networking equipment from AT&T and Arkansas Department of Information Systems. Completion is expected to be as early as September.

Access to greater internet connectivity will keep Ashdown District in line with Common Core State Standards and PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College & Career) assessments, which will be administered in grades 3-11 this spring and will replace Benchmark Tests.  Ashdown Junior High and High Schools were pilot schools for the PARCC testing in 2013-14, which is administered entirely by computer.  The 2014-15 PARCC computer-based tests will cover math and literacy in grades 3-8 and Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II and literacy in grades 9-11 and will be administered in two parts in April and May 2015.

Every campus of the Ashdown School District is providing its students with more tools to achieve success.  Both Margaret Daniel Primary and C. D. Franks Elementary are exploring Puterbugs, an enrichment program from Discovery Kids that teaches keyboarding and typing skills along with literacy.

MDP will be continuing its Family Night Library, thanks to generous supporters, where parents and students can share reading time and progress in Accelerated Reading.  Principal Kay York also announced that $11,000 in grants from the Margaret Daniel Foundation and McDonald's have been applied to classroom and library advancements.

CDF now owns enough Chromebooks to supply the third grade students 1-to-1, greatly increasing their technology resource time.  Principal Teresa Wake also invites everyone to buy a Panther Tervis tumbler from a CDF student as a fundraiser at the beginning of this year and to remember that Grandparents Day is Sept. 5 at CDF.

For the second year in a row, L. F. Henderson Intermediate has been awarded the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance's Breakfast in the Classroom grant, making breakfast a part of every student's morning schedule by providing free breakfast to every student on campus, regardless of economic status. The success of last year's program, along with proven research, shows fewer tardies, more focus and less discipline problems in the classroom.  LFH also is proud of new playground equipment and ground cover, thanks to generous donations from many supporters in the community.  Phase I of the project is completed; Phase II is on its way!

LFH will offer its students a special opportunity during Meet the Teacher/Open House on Aug. 14 from 3:00-7:00.  "Touch the Truck" will give youngsters a chance to explore a real firetruck, an ambulance, and a police car, thanks to the help of County Sheriff Gary Gregory.  Popcorn and cotton candy will also be served during that event.

Ashdown Junior High and Ashdown High School have new computer labs set up with all new equipment.  Room 407 at AJHS has been set up as the new lab, which gives that campus four labs in total, allowing more enrichment and test preparation experience for students.  AHS's new computers are installed in Room 505 and the library, giving that campus six labs in all, along with distance learning capabilities in Room 505.

All sixth graders at AJHS will also be enrolled in a year-long Computer Keyboarding & Technology Communications class, which will be a great help as they take the computer-based PARCC assessment in the spring.

The Leadership Team at AHS once again invites everyone to be a part of the 2nd annual AHS FAMILY TAILGATE event before the Purple/White Panther Scrimmage Game on Thursday, Aug. 14.  The event is being held in conjunction with the AHS Open House/Registration from 3:30-7:30, with the scrimmage beginning at 7:30.  Tents, tables, and booths will be set up along the parking area in front of Dick Hays Stadium, promoting school-sponsored organizations and community involvement.  If interested in participating, contact Jennifer Walker at 903-276-4044 to reserve your space, or simply come and browse the booths while supporting AHS and the Panthers.

Supt. Sanders tells everyone, "We have a great school here in Ashdown!"  He looks forward to meeting everyone in the district and in the community and continues, "Only by working together can we become one of the best schools in Arkansas (#1)."




On Sunday, August 3rd, at 2:33 in the morning, Officer David Higgins of the De Queen Police Department was notified by an off duty police office that a possible drunk driver was headed east on Collin Raye Drive out by Tires Plus.


Higgins reported that he got behind the vehicle in front of the hospital and observed the vehicle swerving.


Higgins initiated a traffic stop in the parking lot of TJ's where the driver, 39-year-old Luis Martinez, could not provide a valid drivers license and failed the field sobriety test.


Martinez was then transported to the Sevier County jai and charged with Driving Under the Influence, number 3, driving on a suspended license, refusal to submit to test and driving left of center.


Martinez is being held in the Sevier County Jail on a hold placed on him by the U.S. Customs Department.







Saturday night, Officer Drew Pannell of the Dierks Police Department arrested 33-year-old Jessica Melton of Dierks for driving while intoxicated, driving on a suspended license and endangering the welfare of a minor in the first degree.


According to the incident report, Melton was pulled over after the Dierks Police Department received a report of a possible impaired driver on Highway 70 West.


According to Pannell, when Melton exited the vehicle, she had difficulty maintaining her balance and when he asked her a question, her speech was slurred.






The Foreman City Council voted to appoint a replacement to the office of City Recorder/Treasurer since current recorder/treasurer Mike Cranford will be leaving office December 31st because he was elected the next Little River County Judge.


According to state law, councils may declare a vacancy and then either call for a special election or appoint a qualified person to fill the position for the remainder of the term.


The Foreman City Council voted to appoint someone and as started taking applications that are accompanied by a resume until Friday, August 29th.


State laws says the appointed person must be a qualified elector, which means they live within the city limits of Foreman and are registered to vote.


For more information, you may contact the City Recorder/Treasurers office at 870-542-7434. [or email Cranford at]






Show Choir Director Stefani Jones asked the De Queen Board of Education if the show choir could attend the America Sings program in Orlando, Florida during their August meeting.


Board members approved the trip and Jones described the America Sings program and explained that John Jacobson who is chorographer from Orlando had invited the De Queen Show Choir to participate in the program while she was attending a workshop in Dallas this summer.


Twenty-four choir members will not only perform and attend workshops, but they be participating in a day of service in the Orlando area.


Jones said they will be in Orlando from February 26th to March 1st and she mentioned the cost of the trip.


Board members also gave Jones and the newly formed Show Choir booster club permission to start raising funds for their trip. Jones stated five parents have agreed to be chaperons and they are willing to take a school bus on their trip.


For more information, contact Jones at 642-2426.






A group of state elected officials met to establish a strategy to convince the Arkansas Department of Corrections to construct a 600 bed maximum security prison in southwest Arkansas.


State Senator Jimmy Hickey of Texarkana, Senator Larry Teague of Nashville, Representatives Nate Steel of Nashville, Fonda Hawthorne of Ashdown, Brent Talley of Hope and Prissy Hickerson of Texarkana; met to start laying out a plan to present to the Arkansas Department of Corrections.


The Arkansas Department of Corrections set out an "Expression of Interest" asking for bids for their proposed unit.


The unit is expected to employ up to 250 employees and pay would start at $12.75 per hour. The unit could be expanded to 2,000 beds, which would increase the number of employees to 500 with an operating budget of $38 million.


According to Hickey, the project would take a minimum of 400 acres in a pretty flat area.


The state announced that all bids must be presented by October 24th.







The city of Mineral Springs plans to look into some grants to help overlay and widen some streets around the Mineral Springs School buildings.


Mayor Sonny Heatherly met with the state highway department this week to discuss a grant that would overlay McCrary and Browning Streets.


City crews have started spraying for mosquitoes, but they have not been able to spray often due to the amount of rainfall in the area. Heatherly stated that crews normally spray on Thursday evenings.


Council members voted during their regular monthly meeting to write off 10 water accounts from 2013 that totaled $704.


They also approved the destruction of the old city accounting records for 2005 and 2006.






The First Baptist Church won the religious division during the 2014 Pine Tree Festival parade and Kenya's Drive-in won the commercial division, while the Arkansas Forestry Commission won the civic division.


Gary Pinkerton won $1,000 for the highest scoring bull.


Boyce Pate and Randall Short won $500 each in the cash drawings.






Some defendants made their first appearance during last weeks session of the Sevier County Circuit Court before Circuit Court Judge Tom Cooper, while others made their last.


Ashley Strong ,James Culp, Odis Grant, Joseph Blankenship and Jennifer Vincent made a first appearance before Judge Cooper and are scheduled to appear Friday to be arraigned on formal charges. 


Gary Czarnetski (ZAR-net-SKI) pled guilty to the charge of theft of property and was sentenced to five years probation, while Justin Ford pled guilty to criminal mischief in the first degree and was sentenced to six-years with three suspended.


Nancy Resendiz pled guilty to forgery in the second degree and was sentenced to probation.


Clinton Moss was sentenced to 6 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections after pleading guilty to delivery of a controlled substance.


Kewaun French pled guilty to reduced charges and was sentenced to six-months in jail.


Dave Rogers received a total of 12 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections with two suspended after pleading guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance with the purpose to deliver.


Robert Sherrer was sentenced to three years in prison for domestic battery in the third degree and Donald Helms was sentenced to 10 years with two suspended for deliver of a controlled substance.


After being formally arraigned Aaron Moreland, Mitchell Everhart, Jayme Barnes, Erin Hammer, Jennifer Martinez and Bryan Walling plead not guilty and will return to Circuit Court for their pre-trial dates later in August and September.


Jimmy Europe and Jerome Edwards are scheduled for trial on Wednesday, August 20th.


Europe has been charged with sexual assault in the second degree and will be the first out.


Edwards is being charged with theft of property.






The Arkansas Department of Health's Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program is unveiling its newest Cessation Testimonial Campaign, featuring Alberta Faye Hires for the second time. She made her first debut in 2009, as part of the Cessation Campaign to promote the Arkansas Tobacco Quitline. A Quitline graduate, she took the first step toward a healthier lifestyle in 2008 and started running.


One quitter's step in the right direction turned into thousands and the new Cessation Testimonial Campaign, which includes television, radio and print, reveals the milestones that Hires has achieved as a result of her commitment to a tobacco-free lifestyle and she doesn't just run marathons, she finishes them.


More important than reaching and surpassing her personal fitness goals, Hires points out that one of her greatest achievements is serving as a positive role model for her grandchildren.


While personal health and family played a large role in her decision to quit smoking, Hires attributes much of her continued success to the support that she's received from her Quitcoach.


Hires' story is a powerful reminder to individuals, whether they use tobacco or not, that it is never too late to reclaim their health. For those who do use tobacco or nicotine products and want to stop, take it from a quitter who knows the true meaning of winning.


Hires said the one thing she'd say to someone who wants to quit is that you don't have to be a product of your past. You can be a product of your future, by only setting your own goals.


The Arkansas Tobacco Quitline is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day and the Quitline increases a tobacco user's success in quitting by offering a combination of free counseling sessions, with a QuitCoach and free nicotine-replacement therapy medications while supplies last. You just simply need to call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.






The Crater of Diamonds State Park is a unique park for more than the fact that they let visitors keep the diamonds that they find, but another odd rule at the diamond mine is, they let visitors take home up to a five-gallon bucket of screened and/or washed gravel or pretty rocks. So, to be clear, visitors are not allowed to take unscreened and unwashed dirt home.


So, why do they allow visitors to take home a bucket of washed gravel? Well, the reason is, between one half and two-third of the parks registered diamonds are found at home.


For instance, if the washing method is done right, the heavier rocks and mineral will concentrate next to the screen and on the bottom of other rocks and minerals, and when you turn the screen over onto the wash pavilion tables, that layer of heavy mineral will be on the top of the pile. So, if you take the concentrated heavy material layer home to dry out, these rocks and minerals may contain a diamond.


So, how do you identify a diamond? Well, most of the time they are rounded and shiny.


These shiny rounded rocks can be one of four different mineral and rocks beside a diamond, but remember, there is broken glass on the search field, but glass usually has sharp edges and is completely clear and diamonds are rounded and clear, but they don't look clear because of the natural shine that they have. So, you should be able to see into diamonds, but not all the way through them, like a piece of glass.


But, the park also has quartz crystals in the search area and its shiny and clear, like glass, but they have sharp edges and points. Also, if you look at the facets on a quartz crystal with a magnifying glass, you will notice the little parallel lines marching up some crystal faces. Those growth rings are not found on diamonds.


But to know for sure, send your find back to the Crater of Diamond for a positive identification.






As the cost of child care continues to grow in this country, so does the chorus of voices calling on Congress to take action.


For many working families, the cost of child care is one of their biggest monthly expenses, for instance, Arkansas parents pay from 4,600 to 6,200 dollars a year, per child for child care. The rising costs are being recognized on Capitol Hill and legislation has been introduced to expand the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit.


Carla MoQuin is the president of the Parenting in the Workplace Institute and she says that's a good start.


Another Bill in the U.S. House would increase grant money for federal child-care programs.


Moquin says tax code and grants aren't the only ways families could be supported.


Moquin says having access to stable and high-quality child care is also vital for life-long success for kids, since the vast majority of a child's brain development happens before the age of five.





Erika Buenrrostro of UA Cossatot announced Thursday morning that school starts August 18th and last day to register for fall classes is August 19th.


New student orientation is next week on all three Cossatot campuses:
ASHDOWN CAMPUS: AUGUST 11, 9:30 - 11:30 AM OR 5:30 - 7:30 PM
NASHVILLE CAMPUS: AUGUST 12, 9:30 - 11:30 AM OR 5:30 - 7:30 PM
DE QUEEN CAMPUS: AUGUST 14, 9:30 - 11:30 AM OR 5:30 - 7:30 PM


Buenrrostro stressed that it is especially important to students who are taking online classes to attend orientation because they will be able to meet their advisors, learn how to log in to their accounts prizes!


The fall schedule for the UA Cossatot colts Club Soccer team has been released and all of the home games will be played in Herman Dierks Park in De Queen.  The Club is still accepting donations and sponsorships to help pay for the team's expenses.  Buenrrostro stated that UA Cossatot decided to start a club soccer team after witnessing the success of the soccer teams at De Queen High School  She said UA Cossatot was wanted to follow that success up by offering former high school players a chance to play on the college level.




Join Ashdown Students in Becoming Ambassadors of Kindness  08/08/14


On Tuesday, August 19, Ashdown students in grades 7-12 will hear Rachel's Challenge, their hearts and minds will be touched, and they will be inspired to release their inner kindness to others.  The concept is as simple as that.


Seventeen-year-old Rachel Joy Scott was tragically the first victim of the Columbine High School shooting in August 1999, but there is nothing tragic about her amazing philosophy of life.  Rachel's parents, Darrel and Sandy Scott, have made it their mission to share her profound philosophy and turn her story into a mission for change.


Shortly before her death, Rachel wrote, "I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same.  People will never know how far a little kindness can go."  So begins Rachel's Challenge.


The life and legacy of Rachel Scott is documented in a video entitled "Ambassador of Kindness," which will be shared with the Ashdown students on the morning of August 19 in a program presented by a representative of the Rachel's Challenge organization.  Rachel's simple, yet profound philosophy serves to bring hope, while defusing bullying, disrespect, and prejudice.


In the afternoon, discussion/action groups will be guided in formulating a plan to carry out Rachel's Challenge, therefore becoming Ambassadors of Kindness for their school and in their own lives, impacting friends, classmates, and even the whole community.


That evening at 6:00, the public, including parents, church memberships and the community, are invited to the Ashdown High School auditorium to view the program "Ambassador of Kindness," to hear Rachel's Challenge, and to become part of the plan to start a chain reaction of kindness and compassion.


Ashdown Superintendent Jason Sanders considers Rachel's Challenge a perfect opportunity for Ashdown School District, its students, parents, and the community to experience unity and to function for the betterment of all.  "When students and community begin to show that they care about each other and start to pay forward little acts of kindness, great things can happen."


Interested parties can find more information about the program at 


Carolyn Henderson, Public Relations Coordinator/Teacher, Ashdown School District



Pilot Honored by Air Evac Lifeteam     08/08/14

Michael Hambrecht, base pilot supervisor with the De Queen, Ark., Air Evac Lifeteam base, was recently honored as the Region 4 Pilot of the Year. Region 4 consists of bases in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Oklahoma. 

Chuck Atkins, regional director of flight operations for Air Evac, said Hambrecht was quickly promoted to base pilot supervisor not long after joining Air Evac Lifeteam.

“Michael’s aviation skills as a pilot and his professionalism quickly instilled great confidence and trust with the crews,” Atkins said. “He has great leadership skills and a natural ability to motivate others. Michael is well known throughout the area, and his commitment to providing access and service is highly regarded by the hospitals and ground services in his region.”

Air Evac Lifeteam, an air medical service, provides rapid access to definitive health care for those who live in medically underserved areas. Flight crews, consisting of a pilot, flight nurse and flight paramedic, are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to the scene of an emergency, or provide transportation between medical facilities. Air Evac Lifeteam currently operates 115 bases in 15 states. For more information, please visit, or like us on Facebook.


PEO Sponsors Girls State Participants      08/08/14

Two incoming senior girls at Ashdown High School experienced government in a mythical state when they attended the 72nd Arkansas Girls State Program on the campus of Harding University in Searcy on May 25-30.

Sponsored by local Chapter BA of PEO International, Payton Turner and Shelby Tipton represented Little River County in the hands-on citizenship training program, whose selection is based on interest in government, honesty, leadership ability and good character.  The over 900 young ladies from across the state learn government by actually creating a mythical state through the election of public officials on local, county, and state levels and then by carrying out the duties of these respective offices.

Payton, the daughter of Jill and Michael Turner, and Shelby, the daughter of Shauna and Ray Tipton, belonged to different "cities" (Payton in Bethell and Shelby in Beebe) and to different mythical political parties (Federalists and Nationalists).

Since 1942, the Girls State Program for high school junior girls emphasizes the areas of Patriotism, Participation, and Progress as the participants gain a better understanding of our American traditions and our government.  Both Ashdown girls told the PEO sponsors at their August meeting what they had learned about becoming better citizens and community members.  They enjoyed speakers every evening of the week-long event and also spent a full day touring the Arkansas State Capitol, including sitting in on a session in the House and Senate. 

Their favorite speaker, both girls agreed, was former Miss Arkansas Kristen Glover, also a former Girls State delegate from Stuttgart High School.  They described her as an inspiring role model as she related her experiences representing the state and as she continues to be very involved in charity work and with her platform "Second Chances: Empowering Youth to Rise Above."

Payton also played clarinet and performed in the Girls State Band.  Both girls spoke about the friendships they had formed with girls from across the state, whom they feel sure will remain friends through college and after.

Ashdown Chapter BA of the PEO organization encourages other organizations in the county to consider sponsoring a delegate for Girls State in the future so more of the county's young ladies can benefit from this experience.  Sponsors are also needed for junior boys to attend Arkansas Boys State, a week-long leadership camp held on the UCA campus in Conway.

Pictured above are Ashdown High School delegates to Arkansas Girls State (left) Payton Turner and (right) Shelby Tipton.

Carolyn Henderson, Public Relations Coordinator/Teacher, Ashdown School District





Tuesday afternoon, Arkansas Senator Jimmy Hickey of Texarkana and State Representative Fonda Hawthorne presented Brody Braden, Tanner Caudle and the UA Cossatot Rodeo team citations from the Arkansas Legislature for their accomplishments during the National Rodeo.


UA Cossatot Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole announced that the school made a decision four years ago to establish a college rodeo team and knew one day they would celebrate the success of that project, but he, himself, was a little surprised that they were so successful, so quickly. But, he said that was because of the right coach, Valerie Stone, and the right team members, including Braden and Caudle.


Cole informed the crowd of over 100 attendees that UA Cossatot always wanted to celebrate their accomplishments, and they wanted to recognize the success of the Cossatot Colts. This past season, Braden and Caudle earned the title of Reserve National Champions and the Cossatot Colts men's team finished the year in 10th place nationally.


Cole also informed those in attendance that the National Finals Rodeo would be televised on Friday, August 15th on ESPNU.






Authorities have arrested two suspects in a case involving the burglary of the Dierks High School concession stand at the football field.


23-year-old Rickey Alexander of Newhope and 35-year-old Katie Ashbrooks of Dierks were arrested in connection to the incident, which was originally reported on June 30th.


According to the arrest warrant, the wooden door was pried open and a window was broken out.


School officials reported that sodas and Powerade drinks were missing along with several other items.


Members of the Dierks Police Department reportedly discovered some of the property dumped on Highway 70 North.


Officers John McKee and Drew Pannell reported that they found several items consistent with things that are associated with concession stands, along with two coolers. One of the coolers had BAND written on it.






The Chalice Cupboard assisted 82 families in Sevier County during the month of July including 153 adults and 93 children by distributing 1,943 pounds of food.


Food was donated by the First Presbyterian Church and the St. Barbara Catholic Church. During the month a total of 774 pounds of food was added to the cupboard shelves.


Volunteers suggest that cereal and jelly be donated this month.


The cupboards bank balance was $355.28 cents at the beginning of July. They received $404 in donations, but the cupboard spent $560.60 to purchase additional food items, thus leaving a balance of $198.68.


But, Sevier County residents who need food may stop by the Chalice Cupboard, Tuesday and Wednesday of each week between 2 and 3:30 p.m. at 115 North Sixth Street in De Queen.






Tuesday night during a meeting of the De Queen City Council, aldermen amended the 2014 operating budget and passed a motion to expand the city's sewer service to residents within the city limits that currently do not have city sewer service.


Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy provided reports to council members concerning the city's sidewalk project, raw water line project and the city's sewer system.


McKelvy reported that the sidewalk project was being completed with the use of a $13,000 General Improvement Grant and he also said the raw water line project was going well.


McKelvy then reported that there were 32 houses with the city limits that were not on the city's sewer system. He then reported that he contacted the homeowners and asked if they would like to be hooked up to the city’s waste water system and only 15 said they wanted to be hooked up to the city utility.  


McKelvy also reported that the city could begin working to provide sewer service to those residents because the waste water department had funds in their budget to start that project or they could make an extra payment on the water treatment plant loan.


After hearing the report, Alderman Sterling Daniel made a motion that the city start engineering the project east on Highway 70/71.


McKelvy also reported that city crews had laid a sewer line in the industrial park and would be installing a water line in the near future.






On Friday, August 1st, Lieutenant Sonny Kimmel of the De Queen Police Department was contacted by the De Queen Regional Medical Center in reference to an altered prescription.


Tammy Morris informed Kimmel that she had been contacted by the De Queen Wal-Mart pharmacist Linda Graves concerning a prescription that appeared to have been altered.


Graves reportedly asked Morris about a prescription for Amoxicillin and Oxy for 62-year-old Rosemary Whitaker.


Morris informed Graves that Whitaker had visited the emergency room on July 26th and had received a prescription for the Amoxicillin, but not the Oxy.


On August 4th, Kimmel interviewed Whitaker.


Whitaker told Kimmel that she got the prescription from the ER on July 26th, but did not take it to the pharmacy until August 1st because she could afford to have it filled until then.


She reportedly told Kimmel that she put the prescription in the glove box of her car, but when she went to get it, the prescription was on the floorboard.


Whitaker told Kimmel, she didn't know the prescription had been altered when she gave it the pharmacists.


Whitaker was then processed at the Sevier County jail for fraud for the possession of controlled substance by fraud, forgery or theft.  






Officer JJ Lopez of the De Queen Police Department cited two juveniles for racing on Friday, August 1st.


According to the incident report, one juvenile was traveling west on Collin Raye Drive near 9th Street at a high rate of speed along side a white truck at about 4 p.m.


Lopez got behind the two vehicles near the De Queen Regional Medical Center and witnessed them turn onto Johnson Bridge Road. Lopez initiated a traffic stop on the two vehicles and cited the drivers for racing on the highway.






The Little River County Historical Society will be holding its annual Two Rivers Gala this Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at the Texarkana Country Club as a fundraiser for the Two Rivers Museum.


Museum supporter Carolyn Castleman explained that museum helps promote Little River's pride in it’s past and the gala will help the historical society pay off its remaining balance on the building.


Castleman stated the event will be held at the Texarkana Country and will have a Southern Charm theme.


Mark McKay will be the emcee for the evening. McKay is a former graduate of Ashdown High School and is the General Manager of KTAL Channel 6 in Shreveport.


For more information or to purchase tickets stop by the Castle Antiques, the Two Rivers Museum or you may call 870-898-7200.






Monday night during the August meeting of the De Queen Board of Education, Superintendent Bruce Hill informed the board that the district's beginning balance was what they expected.


Hill also reported that the district's food service program was still breaking even and the De Queen District was one of the few districts in the state that did not have to supplement their food service program.


Hill stated they were having some issues with leaking roofs on the new Elementary School and the renovated old elementary, but the contractor was still here working to alleviate the situation.


Board members accepted the resignation of three district employees, including assistant football and track coach Joe Baker, along with aids; Joni House and Love Blackwood.


They also approved the transfer of four students. Three students transferred to the Horatio School District and one transferred to the Cossatot River School District.


Board members accepted Superintendent Hill's recommendation to hire Meagan Strain as a Science teacher and Maralyn Faulkenberry as a third grade teacher.


Board members approved a trip to Florida for the High School Show Choir and they will start raising funds for their trip, but the board announced they would make a contribution to help students participate in the America Sings program in February.


The next De Queen Board of Education meeting will be Monday, September 8th at 5:30 p.m. in the administration building.






The percentage of students at Arkansas' public universities who graduate within six years has fallen by 1.3 percent.


An Arkansas Department of Higher Education report says the six-year graduation rate fell from 40.8 percent in 2012 to 39.5 percent in 2013. The report tracks students who enrolled in college for the first time in 2007.


UA Cossatot Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole reported Cossatot is helping students graduate within the three-year window period of time, but if they don’t graduate in three-years, Cossatot is there to help them accomplish their goals at their own pace.


Cole stated that last year, Cossatot had the highest transfer out rate in the state last year and is helping students continue their education at other institutions.


Cole explained that UA Cossatot wants to help students be successful.


Higher Education Department Director Shane Broadway explained that the report does not take into account that 36 percent of the students are part-time and it doesn't count students who started college in Arkansas and then moved to another state to finish there degrees or students who returned to college later in life to finish a degree.






All elementary schools in the Ashdown School District, including Margaret Daniel Primary for kindergarten and first grade, C.D. Franks Elementary for second and third grades and L.F. Henderson Intermediate for fourth and fifth grades, will register new and returning students through August 7th from 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. in the school offices.


A district-wide Open House will be held on Thursday, August 14th from 3 to 7 p.m. Elementary campuses will have a Meet the Teacher Night during those hours and Ashdown Junior High and Senior High will distribute student and parent registration packets during their Open House that afternoon.


Ashdown High School is encouraging its ninth through twelfth grade students to come by the school office any day to pick up their registration packets so they can take them home to fill out the forms and simply return the completed paperwork during the Open House on August 14th.


Students enrolled in Ashdown's New Tradition School will meet and register for their classes on the night of their Open House on August 14th from 3 to 7 p.m.






More than 100 cases of rabies have been confirmed in Arkansas so far this year with a second peak season for the disease on the horizon, according to state health and animal science officials.


According to Arkansas Public Health Veterinarian Susan Weinstein, the peak time for rabies is March and April with a smaller rise in late summer, early fall.


The Arkansas Department of Health is reporting 105 confirmed cases of rabies with 1 confirmed case in both Sevier and Howard counties.


Of the total number of cases, 88 have cases were skunks and 12 were bats. However, there have been two cases in cats and one each in cattle, foxes and dogs.


There were 152 cases of rabies in Arkansas last year, which was up from 131 in 2012 and 60 in 2011.


Rabies is a viral disease that affects the nervous system and is considered one of the most infectious diseases. The disease is fatal, but can be prevented with a series of injections. However, it cannot be treated once the symptoms appear.


Symptoms usually appear three to eight weeks after exposure and include pain, burning and numbness at the site of the infection.


Victims complain of headaches, the inability to sleep, irritability, muscle spasms of the throat and difficulty swallowing.






Arkansas is proposing requiring many participants of the state's Medicaid expansion program to contribute monthly to a health savings accounts and to set new limits on transportation for non-emergency services.


State officials released a report last week of their proposed changes to the state's private option, which was created last year as an alternative to expanding Medicaid under the federal health law.


Two public hearings are planned for next week as the state prepares to submit the proposal to the federal government in September.


Lawmakers required the state to win approval for the changes by February in order to keep the program alive.


Under the private option, Arkansas is using federal funds to purchase private insurance for thousands of low-income residents.






Arkansas finance officials say sluggish corporate and sales tax collections pushed the state's revenue below forecast and the same month last year as it began its fiscal year.


The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration announced Monday that the state's net available revenue totaled $403.1 million, which is $7.1 million below the same month last year and $9.8 million below the forecast.


Arkansas' fiscal years began July 1st.


Corporate income tax collections totaled $18.4 million, which was $8.5 million below July of 2013 and $9.7 million below forecast. Sales tax collections totaled $185.5 million, which was $500,000 below July of last year and below forecast by $7.6 million.


Officials announced they were encouraged by individual income taxes being on forecast and an increase in withholding.






Members of the Foreman Board of Education held a special called board meeting in July to make a few hires prior to the beginning of the new school year.


Board members accepted the recommendation of new Superintendent George Kennedy to hire Teresa Chrenshaw and Gena Slaton as new elementary school teachers.


Board members also approved Kennedy's request to allow him to hire someone on an hourly basis for the bus transportation and bus mechanic positions on a trial basis for 30 to 60-days.


Board members approved the student transfer request of one student from the Foreman School District to the Horatio School District.


Board members also announced a meet and greet event for Kennedy and his family on Sunday, August 10th from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Oscar Hamilton Elementary Cafetorium.






The 38th annual Hope Watermelon Festival will open at noon on Thursday, August 7th and run through Saturday, August 9th in Fair Park in Hope.


This year's event will feature more than 200 booths of arts and crafts, as well as a dozen concession stands selling everything from barbecue to corn dogs to blooming onions and alligator on a stick.


Hope/Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce Director Mark Keith reported things will get off to a slow stroll on Thursday but events will include the Kiwanis Chicken Dinner, a dog show and the preliminary rounds of the Watermelon Idol Talent Contest.


Keith said activities will get started at 9 a.m. Friday morning and will be highlighted by the Lions Club fish and chicken dinner in the Fair Park Community Center from 4:30 to 7 p.m.


Friday will also feature the gospel group Harmony from Wickes on the First Bank stage Friday night.


The Little Miss and Little Mr. Watermelon Pageant, which is sponsored by the Beta Sigma Phi, will be held inside the coliseum.


Keith said Saturday will feature a 5K Race and the Melon Mile for kids; an antique car show, a children's fishing derby on Lake Huckabee, the politically correct watermelon eating contest at 11:30 and the regular watermelon eating contest at noon and seed-spiting contest at 1.


Keith stated he was expected a little better competition during this year's politically correct watermelon eating contest, but hoped Hempstead County Sheriff James Singleton would retain the title.


The final event, this year, is the David Nail concert and Keith said the chamber was excited to have a chart topper at this year's Watermelon Festival.


Advance general admission tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children 4-10. Adult general admission tickets will be $20 the day of the show.






The recent auction of tax-delinquent properties in Little River County collected over $234,000 for county and state governments, according the Commissioner of State Lands office.


The Land Commissioner's office conducted the auction of delinquent properties at the Little River County Courthouse and 25 bidders purchased 19 parcels, for a total of $234,209.21 in revenue.


The Land Commissioner's office conducts one tax-delinquent land sale per county each year to dispose of land on which the taxes have been past due for over two years.


Commissioner John Thurston explained that a small percentage of certified parcels make it to public auction because a majority of the properties that are certified to his office are redeemed, which means the back taxes were paid by the original owner.


Thurston stated redemption of property is the preferred method of disposing of tax-delinquent lands, however, he said an important role of the land sales was to return the inactive parcels to the counties tax roles.


Registered bidders may purchase land at the auctions. Registration to bid at a land sale is free, and upon the sale of a tax-delinquent parcel, the Commissioners office issues a limited warranty deed to the highest bidder.


Thurston's office returns delinquent tax and interest collected, whether through redemption or sale to the county taxing unit just as if the money had been originally collected there.


According to Thurston's office, his office returned $21 million to school districts and county governments in 2013. He reported that Little River County received $27,349.06 last year.


Thurston said this process ensures stable revenues for local public schools.






38-year-old Urvashi Patel contacted the De Queen Police Department on Thursday, July 31st to report that she left her wallet on the counter by the cash register at Wal-Mart.


Officer David Higgins reviewed Wal-Mart's security video and discovered that the cashier, 40-year-old Leslie Smith, took the wallet and placed it in her coat pocket.


Later, Smith reported that she was not feeling well and left work early.


Patel reported that there was $125.00 in the wallet along with a Sam's Discover card, Wal-Mart Discover card, a Kohl's card and Stage card.


According to the incident report, Smith was also called in sick the day following the incident.






As kids get ready for school, the staff of the Sevier County Library System wants parents and teachers to know that they are to help with their back to school needs by offering, public access to computers, fax machines and copiers.


Head Librarian Johnye Fisher announced that during the month of August the De Queen Library would be selling chances on a painting by Jana Spillman.


The chances are $1 each or 6 for $5 and you can stop by anytime and purchase your chances and the drawing will be held on Monday, August 25th.


Tomorrow, Linda Goodner of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will be at the De Queen Library to present a program on Arkansas Mammals and Goodner said she will be reading the book, "Is a Camel a Mammal: All About Mammals.”


She also stated that she will be discussing the habitat, tracks and sounds of Arkansas mammals with the children.






Three Ashdown residents have been charged with violating a federal law that protects artifacts that are discovered on public lands.


35-year-old Christopher Castle, 29-year-old Lauren Bailes and 31-year-old Callie Neher are being accused of violating the Archaeological Resource Protection Act on April 15th and April 20th at Millwood Lake near Ashdown.


All three defendants entered not-guilty pleas last week when they appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Bryant in Texarkana's federal building.


Castle has been named in both incidents, while Bailes and Neher were named in one incident each.


All three were released without bond.




The Chalice Cupboard assisted 82 families in Sevier county (246 people) including 153 adults and 93 children.  Food distributed totaled 1,943 pounds.


donated food from First Presbyterian Church and St. Barbara Catholic church weighed 91 pounds.  During July 683 pounds of food were purchased.  Total food added was 774 pounds.


The bank balance on July 1, 2014 was $355.28.  an additional $404 was received in donated funds.  During the month $560.60 was spent to replenish food items.  The bank balance on July 31, 2014 was $198.68.


Suggested food items for donation in August are cereal and jelly.  Residents in Sevier County needing food may come in for aid on Tuesday and Wednesday form 2:00 p. to 3:30 p.m. at the Chalice Cupboard located at 115 North Sixth Street in De Queen.  Recipients of food may be assisted once during each three-month period (January-March, April-June, July-September, October-December).




Arkansas Farm Bureau praised a proposal cosponsored by United State Senators Mark Pryor and John Boozman called the Private Landowner Protection Act, which would amend the Endangered Species Act and require government agencies to perform a thorough economic analysis of any proposed species and critical habitat designation.


The issue goes beyond Arkansas' borders and has the potential to impact property owners nationwide.


The Pryor-Boozman bill closely matches HR 4319, the Common Sense in Species Protection Act of 2014, which was proposed earlier in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Rick Crawford of Jonesboro.


Arkansas Farm Bureau President Randy Veach stated that its important to note that every member of the Arkansas delegation signed on as a sponsor or co-sponsor of one of the bills. He explained the bills were designed to get a handle on an out-of-control issue with the Endangered Species Act.


Veach stated that Farm Bureau understands the necessity of the Endangered Species Act, but its implementation through critical habitat designations should not go without considering the true economic impact they have on the livelihoods and lives of the human species.


Veach explained that farmers, ranchers and landowners were being overloaded with unnecessary and burdensome regulations and the passage of these proposals will bring some good-ole common sense to what has become a gross overreach by the federal government.






Howard County investigators have arrested a Mineral Springs man on the charge of rape.


51-year-old David Hawkins was arrested July 31st following a report that was made to the Mineral Springs Police Department involving a juvenile female.


The case was investigated by the Mineral Springs Police Department, the Arkansas State Police and the Howard County Sheriff's office.


Hawkins' bond was set at $100,000.






The Arkansas Forestry Commission has decided to delay summer wildfire preparations and the arrival of state-contracted single-engine air tankers has been pushed back.


Usually, by this time of year, the state has already experienced about 1,500 wildfires with over 20,000 acres burned. But, only about 15,000 acres of Arkansas forest have burned so far this year.


However despite the low risk, the risk still remains and the Forestry Commission encourages all homeowners to have a plan and manage their property to lower the risk of wildfires.






The Sevier County National All-Star team won the state tournament last week in Nashville by defeating the Polk County All-Stars from Mena in the championship game and now they will represent the state of Arkansas during the World Series in South Carolina.


The team is coached by Anthony Shelton, Michael Williamson and Rod Short, but it was a mom that thanked Sevier County for its support.


If you would like to make a donation to help the team with their expenses call 279-0078.






Dr. Terri Devlin of the Sevier County Humane Society announced Friday morning that the society would be hosting a spay and neuter clinic this week at the Sevier County.


Devlin stated the clinic would be Tuesday, August 5th; Wednesday, August 6th and Thursday, August 7th and she recommended that you call her office to set an appointment at 642-4364.


Devlin stated that all animals should be dropped off at the mobile clinic between 7 and 9 a.m.


Devlin said appointments usually fill up fast and recommended that you call and make an appointment as soon as possible.


And, if you would like to volunteer during the spay and neuter clinic or become a regular humane society volunteer, you may call Dr. Devlin's office at 642-4364.






Friday morning, employees of AEP-SWEPCO presented the Ida Margaret Coulter Stone Memorial Park committee in Lockesburg with a $1,000 grant to make some park improvements.


Jennifer Harland is the External Affairs Manager for the SWEPCO Texarkana office and she explained that the grant was to enhance the infrastructure of the park.


Sheila Ruth is the park commission chairperson stated the commission wasn't sure what they would be using the grant for exactly, but stated they would like to make some improvements to the park's walking trial or maybe complete some electrical work throughout the park.


Ruth was joined for the grant presentation by Lockesburg Mayor Danny Ruth, park commissioners Skip and Barbara Bell, Harland and SWEPCO District Supervisor Steve Saterfield.





A couple of De Queen residents have reported that items were taken from their vehicles Wednesday night while they were attending church.


One victim reported that several guitars were stolen from their truck while they were attending church at the De Queen Church of Christ on Collin Raye Drive.


The other incident was reported at the Friendship Baptist Church on Ninth Street, which is right off of Collin Raye Drive.


The victim at Friendship Baptist Church reported that sometime between 7 and 11 p.m. last night, someone broke into their car and stole a purse. They reported that the purse contained several personal items including their new cell phone.


According to the De Queen Police Department, the incidents are under investigation, but there are no suspects at this time. They are asking residents that have information concerning these thefts to please contact their office at 584-2213.






Registration for the fall semester is currently underway at UA Cossatot and Admissions Coordinator Tommi Cobb announced students have until August 19 to register.


Cobb stated the college was currently operating under its summer hour program and is open from 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 7:30 to 11 a.m. on Fridays, but they will go back to their regular hours of 8 to 4:30 Monday through Friday on August 8th.


Cobb also mentioned that orientation will be held on the Ashdown campus August 11th, in Nashville, August 12th and on the De Queen campus, August 14th at 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. each day.


Cobb then described how the new Industrial Technology Program started and will be offered on the Ashdown campus.


Cobb explained that you can pick and choose the classes you need or earn an Associates of Applied Science degree.


Cobb stated this new program helps Cossatot fulfill its mission statement which demonstrates that UA Cossatot is committed to the communities that it serves.


If you have any questions about the Industrial Technology Program contact Steve McJunkins on the Nashville campus by dialing 870-584-4471 ext. 2238 or you can contact the student services department.






Just before 10 a.m. Thursday morning, SWEPCO's 69,000-volt transmission line from De Queen to Lockesburg shut down, causing an outage to some 690 customers in the area.


According to SWEPCO's media relations director Scott McCloud reported about 12:30 p.m. Thursday that crews had been dispatched to the area to locate the case of the outage and make repairs.


A short time later, McCloud reported that an assessment team had located a tree that had fallen onto the transmission line and broke the top off the pole.


Power was restored about 7 p.m. to the affected area.






The 77th Annual Sevier County Fair and Rodeo is right around the corner, but it's time to sign up if you plan to participate in the 2014 Rodeo Royalty Competition and Sevier County Fair Board Member Michelle Sawyer mentioned the four different divisions for this year's event.


Sawyer explained that young ladies in the Little Miss, Princess and Queen Divisions will be judged on horsemanship and answer questions from the judges about their horse.


Sawyer said the last day to register will be this Saturday at noon.


Sawyer also stated all contestants must live in Sevier County or attend in Sevier County.






Arkansas officials are asking a federal judge to reject an effort to strike down the state's gay marriage ban by arguing that the prohibition is constitutional and serves a legitimate state interest.


The attorney general's office asked U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker to deny the motion for a summary judgment that was filed by two same-sex couples that are challenging the ban. The couples asked Baker to find a 2004 constitutional amendment and any related laws that bar gay marriage as being unconstitutional.


The couples sued the state over the ban last year.


The state is arguing that the motion is premature since Baker has not ruled on a motion that it filed asking her to dismiss the lawsuit.


The state Supreme Court is also considering whether to uphold a county judge's ruling against the ban.





James Jackson representing Smiles of Arkansas Dental Center announced today that "this year, in honor of our great community and the services they allow us to perform on a daily basis, we are giving away school back packs!  Without our kids, we are irrelevant and we want to show our appreciation."  Students grades K-12 may go by the Smiles office at 110 West De Queen Avenue in De Queen on Saturday, August 16th and pick up their free back pack with pencils and paper inside.




LITTLE ROCK – Dozens of volunteers packed more than 45,000 meals Sunday for Arkansans who routinely do not get enough to eat.

Senator Larry Teague of Nashville and his son, Larry, were among the volunteers who helped the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance meet its goals.  They were joined by legislators from 15 states who were here for the annual meeting of the Southern Legislative Conference.


Teague has been a consistent volunteer at hunger relief events, in his capacity as a state legislator and as an ordinary citizen.  In 2010 Teague received the 2010 Acting Out Against Hunger Award from the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance because of his consistent support of hunger relief efforts at both the statewide and the local level. Teague is vice chairman of the Legislative Hunger Relief Caucus.


“In a state like Arkansas, which has such a strong agricultural base and exports food throughout the world, no one should ever go hungry,” Teague said.


According to the Hunger Relief Alliance, Arkansas and Mississippi are at the bottom of national surveys on food security. In both states almost a fifth of all households are categorized as “food insecure.” That means they regularly live days in which they are unsure of where their next meal is coming from.In the summertime, children are at special risk of going hungry because they do not get free or reduced priced meals at school.


“The food packaging event was a great success, first of all because we packed 45,000 meals that will go to people who need them. Secondly it was a learning experience for many of the volunteers, who included legislators and policy makers from all across the South.  It was an eye opening experience,” Teague said.

Above: Senator Larry Teague of Nashville (in red shirt) and his son, Larry In blue shirt) help pack boxes with meals for the Hunger Relief Alliance.


Boozman Denies Blank Check for Border Crisis  08/01/14


WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), a member of the Senate Border Security and Enforcement First Immigration Caucus, voted against giving President Obama a blank check for the border crisis.


“The President’s lawless policies and executive actions need to be stopped. This blank check will not solve the crisis at our border. It begins with enforcing our immigration laws and correcting the misrepresentations and misunderstandings of our laws that play a significant role in the recent influx of children crossing our southern border. I believe that these children here illegally need to be taken care of, but there needs to be a plan to return them to their home countries safely and as soon as possible,” Boozman said.


Boozman is a cosponsor of S. RES. 486, a Senate resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that President Obama should take immediate action through five concrete steps to resolve the situation and prevent future crises including providing states impacted by this surge of illegal immigrants with the resources they need to address this ongoing crisis and working with Mexican and Central American officials to improve security at the southern border of Mexico.


He also cosponsored S.2631, a bill that would prevent the use of taxpayer funds to expand Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and from continuing to lawlessly grant amnesty and work permits to new immigrants who enter the country illegally. 



Community Matters According to the Brackett Family  07/31/14

Aaron Brackett was injured in a serious car accident that happened on May 5, 2014.  The family wanted to send a thank you to all those who helped them in so many ways. Terry wrote this article and asked us to publish it on our website.

“We, the Brackett family, found out how much community matters when our son was in a serious car accident on May 5, 2014. We would like to send a special heartfelt thank you to all of the people who prayed, raised money, sent care packages, came for visits, sent cards, and most of all supported all four of us during this journey. The people of this community helped us in so many ways and we need each and every person to know what they mean to our family.

During our 30 day stay in St. Vincent’s in Little Rock, we could feel the love and warmth of our community.  The De Queen Junior High students along with the special staff of the entire school raised well over $3000 for us and will always hold a special place in our hearts. Many students gave allowance money, paychecks, baptism money, and collected donations. Thank you.  We would like to specially thank Kelly Williams who led that awesome fund raiser at school and took care of many other needed tasks (still continuing this day!).  We need thank another special couple, Dee and Jon Vaught who were there for our son at the scene of the accident. They were there for a reason, and we thank both of them for being there for our son. Other special people designed and sold t-shirts as a fund raiser, not to mention all those that bought t-shirts. We send another special thank you to De Queen Hospital In-Patient and Out-Patient Rehab for getting us home when Aaron was finally ready for physical and occupational therapy. We can say that the staff and administration go far beyond what is expected. Other people visited, donated money, sent encouraging prayers and words, and kept our spirits up at just the right moments. Others led prayer groups at school (Horatio and De Queen), kept prayers going through social media, and prayed without ceasing. Thank you. We, of course, could not have survived this journey without all of our family members, including church family. They did everything from providing hotel money to doing laundry. Thank you and we love you.

You hear many people say that faith, family, and friends are the cornerstone of life. This journey sent that message to our family loud and clear.  We want to let everyone know that it was your prayers and God working through so many of you that brought us through this journey, most of all Aaron. We are better for it, and hope that you, our community, know how much you mean to us. Thank you from Chris, Terry, Aaron, and Austin Brackett. We give God all the honor and glory.”




Tuesday night, the aldermen of the De Queen City Council met in a special called meeting and agreed to add the Wilson Creek Crossing section of pipe to the city's current raw water line project.


Before the vote, City Engineer Greg Vaughn informed the aldermen that all of the pipe for the raw water line project had not been delivered, and he said now would be the time to order an additional 700 feet for this section because pipe prices were going up about $20 a foot as of August 1st.


The cost of the additional section will be about $96,536.


Vaughn stated replacing this section of pipe would increase the city's water capacity and help reduce energy cost.


Vaughn said replacing this section of pipe would also allow the city to move the line out of the highway department's right-away.


Vaughn reported that the contractor had laid about 11,000 feet of pipe and he and the contractor held a progress meeting Wednesday morning to discuss this additional section and other issues related to the original project.






Dozens of volunteers packed more than 45,000 meals Sunday for Arkansans who routinely do not get enough to eat.


State Senator Larry Teague of Nashville and his son, Larry Teague Jr. were among the volunteers who helped the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance meet its goal. The Teagues were joined by legislators from 15 states who were here for the annual meeting of the Southern Legislative Conference.


Teague has been a consistent volunteer at hunger relief events, in his capacity as a state legislator and as an ordinary citizen. In 2010, Teague received the 2010 Acting Out Against Hunger Award from the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance because of his consistent support of hunger relief efforts at both the statewide and the local level.


Teague is also the vice chairman of the Legislative Hunger Relief Caucus.


Teague stated that in a state like Arkansas, which has such a strong agricultural base and exports food throughout the world, no one should ever go hungry.


According to the Hunger Relief Alliance, Arkansas and Mississippi are at the bottom of national surveys on food security. In both states almost a fifth of all households are categorized as food insecure. That means they regularly live days in which they are unsure of where their next meal is coming from.


In the summertime, children are at special risk of going hungry because they do not get free or reduced priced meals at school.


Teague said this year's food packaging event was a great success. He said, first of all, we packed 45,000 meals that will go to people who need them and secondly, it was a learning experience for many of the volunteers, including legislators and policy makers from all across the South.


Teague said it was an eye opening experience.






Most Arkansas voters are preparing to cast their vote for the constitutional offices of Arkansas, but the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Public Policy Center wants to remind voters that there are several issues that they will be considering when they go and vote this November.


Supporters of two proposed ballot measures are currently gathering additional signatures after following short of the required number.


The Act to increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage needs an additional 15,107 valid signatures to make the ballot, while the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment needs 17,133 more signatures, according to the Secretary of State's office.


The Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment seeks to legalize the statewide sale, manufacture and transport of alcohol. 


The measure to increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage seeks to raise the state's minimum wage from $6.25 to $8.50 by the year 2017.


But, there are three measures that were submitted for voters consideration by the state Legislature.


Issue one is a constitutional amendment that asks voters to give legislative committees prior review and approval of new state agency administrative rules before the rules could go into effect.


Issue two asks voters to establish a signature threshold for ballot issue groups to meet before they are permitted more time to collect additional signatures. Legislators would like at least 75 percent of the submitted signatures be valid before they are given additional time to gather signature.


Currently, groups are given 30 additional days to gather and submit new signatures, in case their original petitions fall short of the required number of voter signatures to place the issue on the ballot.


Issue three would allow legislators to serve 16 total years in the Arkansas House or Senate, whereas they are now limited to a specific number of years in each chamber.


It would also create an independent commission that would set the salaries of state elected officials. And, it would place limits on lobbying by former legislators and set limits on campaign donations and gifts from lobbyists.






De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy provided aldermen with an update concerning the city clean-up following last Wednesday's thunderstorm that left area residents without power for up to 48 hours.


McKelvy reported that the national weather reporting station at the Sevier County airport recorded 40 miles per hour winds during the storm before the power went out.


McKelvy stated that city crews started working to clean up the city Wednesday night following the storm and the city is in good shape at this point.


Alderman Walter Smith stated that the members of the area fire departments, police, EMS, as well as city and county workers all stepped up and did a great job following the storm.






Earlier this month, the State Parks and Tourism Commission met and heard a formal request from District 20 State Representative Nate Bell concerning the progress of the renovation project on the lodge at the Queen Wilhelmina State Park.


Bell informed KDQN that he wanted to speak to the commission because he felt the state had not done it's due diligence to keep the project on track.


According to one report, construction on the exterior of the building is nearing completion but there is an issue with mold.


Bell explained that another reason for the delays was the fact that Travelers Insurance who is the surety holder of the construction bond is not making payments in a timely manner and he mentioned he felt an investigation into the matter needs to be conducted.


Commissioner Bill Barnes stated one delay resulted from the deterioration of the fire suppression system due to the way the original contractor left the project when their contract was terminated.


Another delay resulted from the fact that the new contractor was not able to apply the mold mitigation plan in a timely fashion.


The lodge at the Queen Wilhelmina State Park closed in March of 2012 for a $6.7 million dollar renovation.


A new contractor had to be selected in August of 2013 after the state terminated the contract of Wade Abernathy Inc. following multiple delays.


Nabholz was hired to complete the project and they estimated that they could complete the project by the end of 2014, but Bell said that won't happen, because they are already about 60 days behind schedule.


Following Bell's request, an investigation is expected to be launched by the state's insurance department and the attorney general's office into the delays of payment authorization on Travelers behalf.


According to one report the delays have resulted in an economic loss of over $11.2 million dollars to the Mena and surrounding area.




Sunday night about 10:30, De Queen Police Officer David Higgins was dispatched to a residence on Gilson Street in reference to a domestic situation.


When Higgins arrived, 29-year-old Candace Durgin informed him that she had been drinking and when she got home, she got into an argument with her girlfriend.


Durgin stated after the verbal altercation started, she left to cool off, but when she got back, they stated arguing again and that time it turned physical.


Durgin admitted to striking 32-year-old Jenny Munguia first, and Munguia struck back in self-defense.


Both parties had injuries consistent with a physical altercation and both refused medical treatment.


Durgin was then taken to the Sevier County jail and cited for Domestic Battery in the 3rd degree.




IS A CAMEL A MAMMAL?      7/30/14


On Wednesday, August 6th, the De Queen Library will be hosting Linda Goodner of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Goodner will present a program about Arkansas Mammals and she informed KDQN that she will do that by reading the Dr. Seuss book; "Is a Camel a Mammal: All About Mammals.”


Goodner explained that she will also be discussing the habitat, tracks and sounds of Arkansas mammals.


Goodner serves 10 counties and works to promote the programs of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.


For more information about the Arkansas mammals program at the De Queen Library, call 584-4364.






Young people have been caring for and preparing their livestock for the 77th Annual Sevier County Fair and Rodeo all year and it's just about time to pre-register their livestock for this years show.


Sevier County Fair Board member Linda Frachiseur announced Tuesday morning that livestock pre-registration is this Saturday and if students plan to show a chicken, rabbit, breeding goat, market goat, breeding sheep, market lamb, swine or cattle; they must pre-register their livestock between 9 a.m. and noon.


Frachiseur also mentioned that you must bring your livestock to be weighed if you are showing in the cattle breed commercial heifer division.


For more information, contact Sandra Nunn at 642-7352 or Donna Rivas at 642-4158.






The only things between a criminal and someone's money are a 14-digit number and a good lie, and that is a lesson many Arkansan's are learning the hard way.


Criminals are increasingly turning to items such as Green Dot MoneyPak cards as a means to steal. Criminals attempt to trick consumers into believing that they won a sweepstakes prize, or they need your assistance while they are traveling out of the country or to help a family member or friend avoid jail time by paying an overdue fine. And, once the criminals have the number from the back of the card, it's almost impossible for a consumer to recover their money.


Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued a consumer alert to warn Arkansans about potential scams and to offer some tips on how to avoid fraud when using MoneyPak or similar products.


There are many scenarios to avoid, but here are a few that have been reported recently in Sevier County:


One resident was informed that she had won a large prize, but she needed to pay the taxes and processing fee. They even informed her that they would pick up the amount when they delivered her prize.


But, remember organizations like Publishers Clearing House does not notify winners by phone and you can not win a drawing if you never entered the drawing.


Another resident was asked by someone claiming to be a local business owner to help them by sending some money to them while they are traveling overseas.


The local business owner was not out of town, but somehow criminals obtained her contact list and contacted all of their clients in an attempt to get them to help a friend in need.


And in another incident, a resident stated someone friended her on Facebook and immediately sent her a message asking if she had been contacted about winning the Facebook lottery.


She was informed that she had won $60 million dollars. The resident then asked to be contacted by certified mail by an attorney's office, but the person deactivated their Facebook account.


There are also accounts of people being asked to help pay a family or friends fine to keep them out of jail or a caller may threaten to turn off a consumer lights or gas.


McDaniel's office recommends that you never provide a MoneyPak number to an unknown individual; avoid offers that require the sharing of a MoneyPak number by phone or email; never email a MoneyPak number to any merchant and be skeptical about using a MoneyPak card for any offer that requires payment before an item is received.


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






The Fisheries Division of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has recommended several changes to the state's fishing regulations for 2015.


If approved, the changes will take effect on January 1st.


One proposal set the limit on crappie at 30-a-day, except on some individual waters. Presently, the state is divided with the limit being 20 crappie a day in the north and west half of the state and 30 crappie a day in the south and east.


Another proposed regulation change includes the removal of creel and slot limits on Grandview Lake number one near Columbus.


Comments on the proposed changes can be made to Arkansas Game and Fish Commissioners before their meeting on August 21st. 






The 77th Annual Sevier County Fair and Rodeo is scheduled for August 16th through August 23rd, but it's time to sign up for the fair pageant and talent contest.


Fair Board member Linda Frachiseur announced Tuesday morning that the deadline to sign up for the pageant and talent contest is Monday, August 4th.


And Frachiseur mentioned that the winners of the Little Miss, Princess and Queen contests will represent Sevier County at the District and State competitions.


And if you don't want to compete in the pageant, you can enter a photogenic contest by entering as many photos as you would like. The entry fee is $5 per photo and contestants may enter more than one photo. However, photos must be turned in by August 15th.


Entry forms may be picked up at the KDQN studios and First Stat Bank in De Queen, but for more information, contact Frachiseur at 584-9592, Stephanie Haarmeyer at 784-0133 or Katrina Frachiseur at 642-5569.


Committee members will also be at the fair grounds Monday, August 4th from 5 until about 6 p.m. to accept pageant and talent show applications.






One question on everyone's mind is, "Why are visitors to the Crater of Diamonds State Park still finding diamonds, big diamonds, after 108 years of diamond mining?"




It's not really this isn't that odd of a question for people who live in the northern states, because they understand the freeze/thaw cycle or what is also so known as frost heaving.


The cycle can be described like this; when water changes from a liquid to ice it changes in volume by about 10 percent. This expansion can raise rocks and soils to the top of the soil, with a ribbon of ice forming under them. When the ice melts, the rock stays on the surface. But, the Crater of Diamonds search field is plowed on a regular basis. So, maybe another explanation is necessary.


The reason visitors are still finding diamonds after all these years is actually a combination of erosion and weathering.


Weathering results because the volcanic ash is  extremely susceptible of breaking down when it is exposed to the earth's surface and the process takes place quite quickly and when the ask breaks down it leaves the diamonds, which aren't susceptible to weathering.


The other reason is erosion, which results when surface material is washed away by rain or flowing water and exposes ash to the elements.


So, plow many have suggested that the Crater of Diamond State Park plow more often, but the State Park Director, Greg Butts, says, "Arkansas' state parks are in the forever business."


Meaning they want to preserve this experience for generations to come. But, you should make plans to visit the park and seek your diamond.


For more information about the Crater of Diamond State Park, call 870-285-3113.





During the July meeting of the Ashdown City Council, aldermen voted to appoint Thad Bishop as the interim city attorney to serve out the term of former city attorney Jay Metzger, who resigned from the position.


Bishop will serve until December 31st when Lindsey Thompson will assume the position after winning the election.






Tyson Foods says it will sell its poultry businesses in Mexico and Brazil for $575 million in cash to help pay debt that tied to its acquisition of Hillshire Brands.


The company expects the sale to JBS' Pilgrim's Pride, which is based in Greeley, Colorado and has facilities in De Queen, to be completed by the end of the year.


Tyson's Mexico and Brazil operations employ more than 10,000 people combined.


Tyson says it still plans to expand its international operations, especially in Asia, but the businesses it plans to sell didn't have the scale to gain market leading positions.






Polk County officials are moving forward with a sheriff's sale tax proposal to pay for a new jail.


The Polk County Quorum Court approved Sheriff Mike Godfrey's plan to seek a 1-percent sales tax increase to build a 100-bed facility.


The county will work with a planning and development organization to seek bids for builders to present to city officials for final approval.


Godfrey says a new jail is needed because the current facility no longer meets state requirements. He says it's likely the tax would not be ready for a vote during the November general election.


If the proposal is not ready for the November election, the Polk County Quorum Court will have to decide whether to hold a special election or wait until November of 2015.






The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared August 3rd through August 9th as "National Farmers Market Week" and throughout the week, the USDA will celebrate our nation's thousands of farmers markets, farmers who make them possible and the communities that host them.


This year marks the 15th Annual National Farmers Market Week and recognizes the important role that farmers markets play in the agricultural and food economy.


The agricultural secretary announced that farmers markets play a key role in developing local and regional food systems that support family farms and help grow the rural economies. He also stated that local farmers markets bring communities together.


Sevier County Farmer's Market board member Angela Smith explained that the farmers market wasn't only a place to get fresh vegetables, but it was a great place to stop and visit with friends.


So far this year, the market has had a large variety of vegetables and

She stated that it's not too late to sign up and sell your fruit, vegetables and craft items this year.


The Sevier County Farmers Market is open every Wednesday and Saturday from 7:30 to 11 a.m. and this allows for gardeners to participate in other farmers markets in the area.


Smith also thanked everyone that's been supporting the farmers market.


She also stated that you should be listening to KDQN every Wednesday morning to hear a list of items available that morning as well as any special events that they may have planned for National Farmers Market Week. 






According to a report from the Little River County Sheriff's Office, the department is investigating the theft of a boat, two outboard motors and a trailer from a residence in Winthrop.


The owner of the property, James Applegate of De Queen, reported that he had been contacted by a relative who informed him that they had noticed the boat and trailer missing. He said they called because they thought he may have moved it.


Applegate reported that a 1995 15-foot War Eagle aluminum flat bottomed boat, a 25 horsepower Mercury outboard, a trolling motor and a 15 horsepower Johnson outboard motor and a trailer had been removed from his property.


Currently, no suspects have been arrested and the investigation is continuing. If you have any information as the theft of this property, you are being asked to contact the Little River County Sheriff's office at 898-5115.






For over the past 40 years cowgirls and cowboys have been testing their mettle during the annual McCurtain County Fair board Championship Rodeo in Idabel.


Fair board member Jessica Coffman informed KDQN that the annual event helps provide livestock for McCurtain County Ag Youth.


The event is sanctioned by the United Professional Rodeo Association, Cowboys Regional Rodeo Association and Arkansas Rodeo Association and the livestock will be provided by the J & J Rodeo Company of Cooper, Texas.


Coffman stated that there will be bronc riding, steering wrestling, barrel racing and bull riding, but it will also feature events for young people.


Coffman said the winners of the queen and king contest will be named Saturday night but will be introduced every evening and Thursday night is McCurtain County Farm Bureau night and everyone will get in free.


Admission is $8 for adults and $3 for children.


For more information about the McCurtain County Fair board Championship Rodeo call 580-286-2121.






Arkansas State Senator Larry Teague announced that under the state's new immunization requirements, children who will be 11 or older on September 1st must have a Tdap shot in order to attend a public or private school.


The purpose of the change is to better protect children who are at an age when they are likely to get pertussis, which is also known as whooping cough, which is very contagious and it can cause uncontrollable fits of coughing that can make it hard to breathe.


Arkansas health officials reported an increase in the number of 10 and 11 year olds who contracted whooping cough and that the number of cases declined in children that were old enough to attend the seventh grade.


Last year, there were 466 cases reported in Arkansas, compared to 80 cases in 2011.


If a parent chooses not to have their child immunized, they must obtain an exemption from the state Health Department's Immunization Section, by call 501-661-2169.


Another new immunization requirement is that seventh graders must have a shot protecting them from meningitis. Students will have to receive the shot before they turn 16, regardless of their grade level.


There are several other changes in the required schedule of immunizations and parents are encouraged to check with the health unit or their local doctor to ensure that they children have all of the required immunizations.






Summer is just about over and its time to start thinking about registering your child for the upcoming school year.


The De Queen School District announced that registration will be held August 4th through August 7th.


If you have a child that will be going into the 12th grade at the De Queen High School, they will register from 8 until 11 a.m. on Monday, August 4th. Eleventh graders will register on August 4th from 1 to 4 p.m.


On August 5th, tenth graders will register from 8 to 11 a.m. and all new students, students who did not attend school in the De Queen School District, will register from 1 to 4 p.m.


On August 6th, the De Queen Primary will hold its registration from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. and then from 3 to 6 p.m.


All students in Kindergarten, First and Second grades must attend registration. Parents will find out their child's assigned teacher and will make arrangements for transportation at this time.


All Kindergarten, First and Second grade students that are new to the district will register in the Primary School Cafeteria. All new students will need to bring a birth certificate, social security care, immunization records and proof of their address, like at utility bill in order to register.


All new third, fourth and fifth grade students will register in the Elementary School.


On August 7th, sixth graders will register from 8 a.m. until noon and ninth graders will register from 8 until 11 a.m.; eighth graders will register from noon until 3 p.m. and seventh graders will register from 1 to 5 p.m.


For more information contact the De Queen Administration office at 584-4312.





Friday morning, AEP-SWEPCO announced that 1,181 customers in the De Queen area was still without power following the severe thunderstorm that went through the area Wednesday afternoon.


SWEPCO stated that a total of 5,376 customers were without power at the outages peak and they expect to have power restored to 95 percent of their customers by 9 p.m. this evening. However, they reported that there may be some scattered outages in the area until Saturday.


SWEPCO also stated that 1,526 customers were still without power this morning in the Nashville area.


SWEPCO currently has over 310 outside resource personnel from five states including Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Mississippi assisting their crews and more are expected to arrive this afternoon.


SWEPCO reported that the De Queen and Nashville areas continue to be the hardest hit areas with major damage from trees being down on SWEPCO facilities. They reported that the peak number of outages Wednesday night was almost 22,000.


De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy reported that city crews were still working to pick up the debris and is asking residents to pile their brush up next to the street because city workers are not permitted to go onto someone's property to gather up debris.


If you have debris that needs to be picked up, you may call city hall at 584-3445 to add your name to the list.






With a week to go, plans are being finalized for the 42nd Annual Pine Tree Festival in Dierks and Dierks Chamber of Commerce member Jerry Mounts stated that they are proud of the fact that it is one of the longest running festivals in Arkansas.


This year, Mounts said over 30 vendors are signed up and more are expected.


And, this year, Mounts said the Pine Tree Festival will feature a carnival with several rides for kids of all ages and Friday night will feature a concert highlighted by local artist.


According to Mounts, Saturday will feature the return of several events that have been absent in recent years, like chainsaw competitions and ax throwing and the festival will conclude with the 2nd Annual Ultimate Bull Riding and Bull Fighting Championship.


For more information about the 42nd Annual Dierks Pine Tree Festival, call 584-7811.






Arkansas will hold its annual sales tax holiday this weekend beginning Saturday, August 2nd and ending on Sunday, August 3rd.


During the sales tax holiday, shoppers will not pay state or local sales tax on clothing and footwear, if the sales price is less than $100 dollars 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 that will not be taxed will include coats, jackets, diapers-including disposables, insoles for shoes, bathing suits and costumes.


Accessories will include briefcases, cosmetics, hair bows, handbags, watches and wigs.


However, sewing equipment and supplies, protective equipment and sport and recreational equipment will be taxed.


For more information, you may call 501-682-7104 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.






Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's Consumer Protection website,, has been recognized by a national organization of attorneys general as the best in the nation for consumer outreach.


The Conference of Western Attorneys General presented McDaniel with a 2014 Website Award in the Consumer Outreach category at the organization's annual conference earlier this week.


McDaniel launched the "Got Your Back, Arkansas" initiative in 2012 and the website contains tips, tools and resources for consumers in a format that consumers can quickly locate the information that addresses their concerns.


The "Got Your Back, Arkansas" initiative spawned a similar program in Kansas and McDaniel stated that after making a presentation about the "Got Your Back, Arkansas" program, five other states mentioned they were planning to emulate the program.


McDaniel made consumer protection a priority of his tenure and since 2007, the Consumer Protection Division has helped consumers recover more than $12.7 million dollars.


This is the third Website Award that the attorney general's office has won.




GRANNIS RODEO       7/28/14


Cowboys and cowgirls are gearing up for the 46th Annual Grannis Championship Rodeo in Grannis on Friday, August 1st and Saturday, August 2nd.


Admission is $6 per person and kids 4 and under is free, but Friday night is Senior Citizens night and they get in for half-price.


This years rodeo will feature bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, team roping and bull riding, along with cowgirls barrel racing and breakaway racing. Robb also mentioned several other events like a mechanical bull and a calf dressing competition.


If you would like to participate in the rodeo, call 580-244-8596 on Monday, July 28th from 5 to 10 p.m.






The 42nd Annual Pine Tree Festival will host the annual Junior Hill Memorial Horseshoe Pitching Tournament on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. in the Dierks City Park.


Junior Hill was the 1988 Arkansas State Horseshoe Pitching Class B champion, as well as, a member of the 1988 Class B Doubles championship team with James Hill.


Hill hosted a horseshoe pitching tournament at the Pine Tree Festival for several years, but since his death in 2011, Hill's son, Kelly Hill, has hosted the tournament in his father's honor.


Kelly said the tournament will be Saturday at 10 a.m. and everyone is invited to participate.


For more information about the Annual Junior Hill Memorial tournament call 870-279-1786.






The State Review Board of the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program is considering adding the Langley Gymnasium in Pike County to the state register of historic places.


The board will consider the nomination at the meeting on Wednesday, August 6th.


The Langley Gym is located off Highway 84 West and is a large fieldhouse building that was constructed in 1950. Changes to the roof and window preclude its listing on the National Register.


Though the Langley School was constructed in 1945, the gym was not built until 1950.






Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced last week that the Arkansas Crime Victims Reparations Board awarded over $400,000 dollars to victims of crime in June.


Awards were made in 312 new cases and additional expenses were paid in 44 previously submitted cases.


Victims of violent crime in Arkansas may be eligible for reparations from the state's Crime Victims Reparations Program and reparations are designed to help defray the cost of unexpected expenses associated with the crime, such as medical treatment or mental-health counseling.


During the month of June, reparations were made in one new case in Little River County in the amount of $71.26; two new cases and one supplemental award in Hempstead County in the amount of $3,541.73 and five new cases in Pike County in the amount of $4,459.27.



LOCKESBURG- Members of the UA Cossatot Foundation recently met in a regularly scheduled meeting at the Lockesburg Elementary Auditorium. 

After a brief lunch, the meeting was brought to order by Chair Ned Hendrix. The first item reviewed was the estimated financial report. Dustin Roberts, Executive Director of the UA Cossatot foundation reviewed the revenue generated from previous fundraisers and informed the group of upcoming fundraisers. The foundation financials were up by over $16,000 compared to June 2013.

The next item discussed was the filling of an open Executive Board Member position.  Board members expressed a desire for the open position to be filled by a person from the Nashville area.  This would evenly spread the Board Members across UA Cossatot’s service areas. From several nominations a new member was chosen and will be contacted.   

Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole updated the board members on the happenings, programs, and direction of UA Cossatot.

UA Cossatot Staff present was Cole and Roberts.  Board members present were Hendrix, Angie Walker, Tyler David, Dewayne Mack, Clayton Castleman, and Greg Ray. 




Tammie Harder was sentenced to 6-years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections with 4-suspended after pleading guilty to delivery of a controlled substance-Xanax, last week in the Sevier County Circuit Court.


Glen Stinnett pled nolle posse to a misdemeanor charge of fleeing and will serve 1-year in jail.


Stinnett had been charged with felony fleeing and endangering the welfare of a minor in the first degree after fleeing from deputies with the Sevier County Sheriff's Office on a motorcycle. The charge of endangering a minor was dropped.


Circuit Court Judge Charles Yeargan said the trial of Emilio Gutierrez will proceed to trial on August 13th after no pre-trial issues were discussed last week.


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


A trial date of September 10th was set for Levi Durham who has been charged with three counts of being an accomplice to theft of property and three counts of being an accomplice to commercial burglary in connection with the break-in at the First Baptist Church in De Queen.


Benjamin Butler and Dustin Taylor also had trial dates of September 10th set by Judge Yeargan.


Butler has been charged with possession of schedule III controlled substance and Taylor is being charged with delivery of a controlled substance-meth and as a habitual offender.


A trial date of September 14th was set for Cody Nava on the charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and maintaining a drug premises.






When a friend is in need, most folks around here step to offer a helping hand and that's exactly what the members of the Newhope Volunteer Fire Department is doing this Saturday at 5 p.m. for Randy Golden.


Randy Golden was recently diagnosed with cancer.


DeAnn Simmons stated there will be live music, performed by the Whiskey Hill Band, a live auction with Nick Fowler, door prizes and folks can buy a chance for a 270 rifle.


For more information about the fundraiser, call 870-557-4968.






Wednesday afternoon at the conclusion of the Darrin Tate trial, Tate's lawyer had one other issue to resolve in front of Sevier County Circuit Court Judge Charles Yeargan.


Lawrence Orta was found guilty of contempt of court and fined $500 by Judge Yeargan for being late to court.


Judge Yeargan informed Orta that he was being fined for not showing respect to the court by showing up late for a jury trial.


Judge Yeargan stated that he may have shown Orta some leniency if it had not been a jury trial. But the jury pool was ready for jury selection and the prosecutors were present and ready to proceed, but they had to wait on Orta arrival.


Judge Yeargan explained that he was very close to ruling for a mistrial due to Orta tardiness.






The 38th annual Hope Watermelon Festival will open at noon on Thursday, August 7th and run through Saturday, August 9th in Fair Park in Hope.


This year's event will feature more than 200 booths of arts and crafts, as well as a dozen concession stands selling everything from barbecue to corn dogs to blooming onions and alligator on a stick.


Thursday's events will include the Kiwanis Chicken Dinner, a dog show and the preliminary rounds of the Watermelon Idol Talent Contest.


Friday festivities will begin at 9 a.m. and will be highlighted by the Lions Club fish and chicken dinner in the Fair Park Community Center from 4:30 to 7 p.m. and the gospel group Harmony from Wickes will perform on the First Bank stage Friday night.


The Little Miss and Little Mr. Watermelon Pageant, which is sponsored by the Beta Sigma Phi, will be held inside the coliseum.


Saturday will feature a 5K Race and the Melon Mile for kids; an antique car show, a children's fishing derby on Lake Huckabee, the politically correct watermelon eating contest at 11:30 and the regular watermelon eating contest at noon and seed-spiting contest at 1.


The final event, this year, is the David Nail concert.


Advance general admission tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children 4-10. Adult general admission tickets will be $20 the day of the show.






The Two Rivers Gala will offer a Southern Charm-themed dinner to raise money for Two Rivers Museum in Ashdown.


The gala will be Saturday, August 9th at the Texarkana Country Club. The doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the dinner will start at 6.


Tickets are $50 each and are available at the two Rivers Museum on Main Street in Ashdown at the Castle Antiques near the intersection of Highway 32 and U.S. Highway 71.


The emcee will be Mark McKay who is the general manager of the Shreveport, NBC affiliate.


McKay is a 1978 graduate of Ashdown High School.


The Two Rivers Museum contains a variety of displays, including a horse-drawn hearse, a portable wooden embalming table and World War I and II uniforms.


The military display titled Freedom’s Heroes won first place during the 2006 Arkansas Museum Association State Convention in the museums and budgets under $100,000.


The Two Rivers Gala is the main fundraising event for the Little River County Historical Society and the historical society owes about $17,000 to pay off the museum buildings.


According to a member of the historical society, they borrowed about $48,000 to purchase the building and they thanked the community for helping them pay the debt.


The museum has also received funds from the Texarkana Area Community Foundation.


Renowned harpist and recording artist Merry Miller will perform at the gala. According to her website, she has played professionally since she was 14 years old and recently released her 16th album, entitled “Psalms on the Harp.”






Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has rejected the wording of a proposal to legalize medical marijuana by a group that is trying to put the measure before voters in 2016.


McDaniel’s office rejected the wording of the proposal by Arkansans for Compassionate Care, which had tried unsuccessfully to get medical marijuana legalization on this year’s ballot. The group had been unable to gather the 62,507 signatures from registered voters needed by the July 7th deadline to submit petitions to qualify for the November ballot.


The group is now trying to put the legalization measure eon the 2016 ballot. McDaniel cited some confusion in the text of the latest measure in rejecting its wording.


The proposal would allow patients with qualifying conditions to buy marijuana from nonprofit dispensaries.





Wednesday afternoon, a jury of eight women and four men found Darrin Tate guilty of theft by receiving and sentenced him to 15-years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections along with a $10,000 fine.


Prosecuting Attorney Bryan Chesshir presented five witnesses that testified that Tate had possession, control and disposed of stolen property when he sold a 1976 Massey-Ferguson tractor to Dan Fryburg in October of 2013.


Chesshir also presented evidence that Tate modified an 18-foot trailer that was stolen from a residence belonging to Cindy Bercerra.


Tate's defense attorney Lawrence Orta did not call any witnesses on Tate's behalf and Tate did not testify. Although, Orta attempted to convince the jury that Tate was being set up by his ex-wife, Melissa Tate.


After finding Tate guilty, Chesshir presented Tate's past felony convictions to the jury and asked them to sentence him to the maximum amount of time under the state's large habitual offender statute.


Tate was convicted in McCurtain County, Oklahoma in 1998 for unlawful delivery of a controlled substance and arson in the 3rd degree. He was convicted in 2006 of arson in the 3rd degree in McCurtain County and for possession of a firearm by a certain person in Sevier County in May of 2013. 


Tate was out of jail on a Arkansas Department of Corrections bond for the 2013 conviction when he committed this crime and he is awaiting sentencing in Sevier County for a conviction for possessing a defaced firearm.


Before the jury pronounced its sentencing, Circuit Court Judge Charles Yeargan informed the jury that Tate would serve about one-sixth of his sentence and then he would be eligible for parole.






U.S. District Judge Susan Hickey has ordered a joint response to be filed by lawyers representing the 11 plaintiffs that have filed lawsuits against the U.S. government over the 2010 flood that killed 20 campers at the Albert Pike campground.


The purpose of Hickey’s order is to eliminate the possibility of potential witnesses being interviewed several different times.


Family members of the 20 campers that lost their lives in the historic flood of the Little Missouri River in the Ouachita National Forest on June 11, 2010.


All of the lawsuits allege the U.S. government knew of the hazardous conditions that existed in the campgrounds along the river and neglected to properly warn the public or take measures to reduce the risk.


A report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture noted several factors contributed to the tragedy. The report stated the Forest Service failed to follow many of its own regulations.


All of lawsuits claim a district ranger was in a hurry to spend $600,000 on renovations at the campgrounds in an area that had a long and documented history of flooding.


However, the government claims it is protected from liability by the Arkansas Recreational Use Statute, but the plaintiffs have argued that the statute provides an exception that should permit the lawsuits to go forward.  


Hickey’s order to consolidate the cases for discovery and a response to the government’s motion to dismiss suspends the deadline for the plaintiffs to file their joint answer.






The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery is warning Arkansans about scammers who are making false representations about individuals winning a lottery prize.


The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery has received several reports of persons purporting to represent the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery calling Arkansas residents and informing them that they have won lottery prizes.


The caller will often know the victim’s home address, and will often instruct him or her to go to a local store to purchase a pre-paid card called a Green Dot MoneyPak to use to pre-pay taxes that’s owed on the prize. Scammers are also providing a toll-free number that, when called, mimics the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery phone message.


To protect yourself and remember: the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery never requires the payment of any money in order to claim a prize and the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery doesn’t typically call people to tell them that they’ve won, unless it’s for a contest that people intentionally entered.


And, you should never provide any personal or financial information to someone over the phone unless you initiate the call or are certain that the caller is legitimate, especially Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, and credit card numbers.


If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, Powerball or Mega Millions, be on your guard. You can always call the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Security Hotline at 1-888-606-6292 for more information or to check the legitimacy of such claims.


The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery has notified the Consumer Protection Division of the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office of this scam.






The Chalice Cupboard assisted 35 families in Sevier County, including 69 adults and 41 children. The cupboard distributed 858 pounds of donated and purchased food items.


The cupboard’s June bank balance was $364.89 and they received $694.50 in donations. Volunteers spent $704.11 during the month to purchase about 1,044 pounds of food.


The St. Barbara Catholic Church and the First Presbyterian Church donated 133 pounds of food.


Volunteers suggest donating jelly and cereal this month.


Any residents in Sevier County needing food may come for aid on Tuesday and Wednesday’s from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the Chalice Cupboard on North Sixth Street in De Queen.






State agriculture officials say an insect that is native to Asia and kills ash trees have been confirmed in three Arkansas counties.


The insect arrived in the U.S. around 2002 and has killed about 50 million ash trees since then and officials say the insect has now been confirmed in 24 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces.


The female emerald ash borers lay eggs on the bark of ash trees and when the eggs hatch, the larvae bore into the bark, eventually killing the trees.


Officials say the best way to avoid the spread of the insect is to not move firewood from place to place and the Crater of Diamonds State Park is requesting that all campers who plan to have a campfire to roast marshmallows, or to just enjoy watching a fire to leave their wood at home.


The Arkansas State Plant board and the Arkansas Department of Agriculture say the emerald ash borer has been found in Hot Springs, Clark and Nevada counties and all three of those counties border Pike County, which is the home of the Crater of Diamonds State Park.


Now, although the borer infested tree can be treated with insecticide that is introduced through its roots, the best way to ensure that it doesn’t spread is to follow a very simple motto of “Buy it where you burn it, and burn it where you buy it.”


That phrase means that the camping public needs to leave their firewood at home and only use or buy firewood at the location where they camping.


At the Diamond State Park campgrounds, campers can purchase a bundle of wood for $4.95 or, they can harvest dead wood that is lying on the ground from the park, but don’t cut down a tree.






Friendship Baptist Church of De Queen will be hosting the Mobile Museum of Earth History Sunday through Wednesday.


Frachiseur explained that Dr. Thomas Sharp has dedicated his life to understanding and explaining key problems that's facing the modern Christian society, including how dinosaurs fit into God's creation.


If you are interested in the Biblical view of evolution and other missing links involving science, make plans to join the members of the Friendship Baptist Church by visiting the Mobile Museum of Earth History.


For more information call the church at 870-584-2890.




Sevier thunderstorms blew through southwest Arkansas late Wednesday afternoon downing trees that blocked roads and tore down power lines throughout southern Polk, Sevier, and Howard counties. 


Patrons of both Southwest Arkansas Electric REA and AEP SWEPCO were without power for several hours overnight, as many as 2400 are still without power this morning.

Sevier County Courthouse Lawn

De Queen City Street-6th & Vandervoort

De Queen City Street-6th & Vandervoort

Hwy 41 Cleanup


An Act to Increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage Short Valid Signatures    07/24/14
Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin announced Wednesday that an Act to Increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage did not meet the required 62,507 valid signatures after the verification process.  They now have until August 18 to gather 15,107 more valid signatures to make the November 2014 General Election ballot. 
In order to be considered valid, there must be sufficient signatures from 15 of the 75 counties across Arkansas along with an affidavit filed with us stating the number of Petition Parts and the total number of signatures.
Here is a list of what causes an entire page of petition signatures to be invalidated:
 1. Photocopy, not an original; 
 2. Not signed by a Canvasser; 
 3. A petition part signed by more than 1 Canvasser; 
 4. Not signed by a Canvasser under oath; 
 5. Canvasser’s verification dated earlier than the date the petition was signed by a Petitioner; 
 6. Not notarized; 
 7. Lacking a notary seal; 
 8. A petition part is lacking a notary signature or is notarized by more than1 
 9. A forged notary or Canvasser signature; 
10. A notary notarizing his or her own signature; 
11. A notary using the Great Seal of Arkansas; 
12. Failure to attach a legible copy of the entire text of the measure to each 
      Petition sheet containing signatures; 
13. Failure to attach the popular name and ballot title to each petition sheet   containing signatures; 
14. If litigated, a challenger may claim that the Canvasser failed to sign the affidavit in the presence of the notary; 
15. If litigated, a challenger may claim that the affidavit of the Canvasser is false. 
If the petition submitted for signature verification does not contain the required number of valid signatures of registered voters, the Secretary of State will notify the Sponsor, they will then have 30 days to do any or all of the following: 
A) Solicit and obtain additional signatures;
B) Submit proof that all or some of the rejected signatures are good and should be counted;
C) Make the petition more definite or certain. 
The Secretary of State will verify signatures up to 10% above the required number. 






Earlier this month, a company by the name of HomeServe sent letters to the residents of De Queen offering an emergency home repair service plan for resident’s water and sewer lines.


The letter states that homeowners are responsible for the water and sewer lines from their homes until it connects with the city's water and waste water system.


De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy explained that these letters are sent out periodically and residents are responsible for the repair of their water and sewer lines, just as the letter states.


McKelvy also pointed out that there is no relationship between HomeServe and the City of De Queen and citizens are not obligated to purchase the coverage that is being offered by HomeServe.


HomeSever's letter states that this type of repair is not normally covered by a homeowner’s insurance policy, but each policy is different and McKelvy recommended homeowners check with their insurance companies before they consider purchasing a HomeServe service plan.


HomeServe is a Connecticut company and interested residents may research them on the internet at






This Saturday, the First United Methodist Church of Lockesburg will be holding a Back-to-School Give-away from 8 a.m. until noon.


Church members will be giving away 50 backpacks along with school supplies. Minister Terry Chapman reported that most of the school supplies will be for students attending kindergarten through sixth grade.


There will also be good used clothes, toys and household items.


Chapman said she expected the backpacks would go quickly and it is first come, first served. She also asked that everyone bring a bag, but they will have some Wal-Mart bags on hand if you need one.


The First United Methodist Church is located on the corner of Walnut Street and Valley Drive in Lockesburg. It's one block east from the Post Office.


If you have any questions, call the church office at 870-289-287.






Earlier this month, the De Queen Board of Education voted to hire Bo Brickell as the new high school boys head basketball coach.


Superintendent Bruce Hill informed the board that Brickell was looking to build a program and felt he was willing and capable of building a quality program here at De Queen.


Brickell was an assistant high school coach and ninth grade boys coach at Camden Fairview for the past four years and he talked about being from Lake Hamilton.


Brickell was also played college basketball at Arkansas Tech before transferring to UALR to play baseball.


Brickell explained that he was looking forward to the upcoming season, but he wants to start changing the teams and the towns mentality now.


Brickell said he was excited to be here because he was impressed with the program while he was still at Camden.


Brickell said he informed some of the players yesterday that life is hard, but this team will be successful and he plans to be around when that success happens.






A former De Queen resident has been named in a lawsuit in a Texarkana federal court for pirating the broadcast of a 2012 Ultimate Fighting Championship fight.


Former owner of the De Queen Country Club and Lodge, Carmenchita Pearson, has been accused of illegally intercepting and broadcasting the fights on July 21st, 2012 by Joe Hand Promotions of Pennsylvania.


The complaint alleges that Pearson is liable for the actions of employees of the De Queen Country Club and Lodge who allegedly played the matches illegally.


Joe Hand Promotions is asking for an award of more than $100,000 in statutory damages, attorney fees, investigative expenses and court costs.






Members of the Horatio Board of Education reviewed test scores from the Horatio High School and Elementary during their July meeting.


Superintendent Lee Smith stated test scores were pretty good, but the elementary school needs to improve in math, but there will be a new reporting system next year, as Arkansas changes to PRAC testing.



Board members approved changes to the high school and elementary school student handbooks following the recommendation of teachers, principals and administrators.


Board members also approved changing the contracts of the high school counselor, Ginger Young, and elementary counselor Kaitlyn Truster. They also hired John Simmons as a full-time maintenance worker.


Before adjourning, the board accepted the bid from Moyer Equipment on a zero turn mower.






Prosecutors expect the case against Darrin Tate of De Queen to move toward a trial Wednesday morning in the Sevier County Circuit Court.


Sevier County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Manya Woods informed KDQN that Tate is facing his fifth felony conviction and if he is found guilty his sentence will be enhanced by the state's large habitual offender charge.


Tate is being charged with theft by receiving. Tate is accused of allegedly stealing a 1976 Massey-Ferguson tractor along with a 20-foot trailer in January of 2014.


Allegedly Tate sold the tractor to a Sevier County resident, who when interviewed by investigators from the Sevier County Sheriff's office informed them that Tate sold him the tractor.


Tate also allegedly modified the trailer so no one would be able to identify it.


According to court records, Tate was out of jail at the time of this incident on a Arkansas Department of Corrections bond because his previous conviction in May of 2012 is under appeal.


Tate has been convicted of four felonies, three in Oklahoma and one in Arkansas.






State educators promoting increased high speed Internet service for Arkansas schools made a stop in Texarkana and one of the speakers was a recent De Queen High School graduate, Victor Rojas Jr.


According to a spokesperson for FASTERArkansas, they believe that by increasing access to high-speed Internet for state schools, they can reduce Internet cost for schools, taxpayers and help strengthen the state’s economy, by creating high-paying, new tech jobs of tomorrow.


Currently, Arkansas ranks near the bottom in high-speed Internet access and digital learning and without access to affordable high-speed Internet, it means many students do not receive a 21st century education.


According to Arkadelphia High School Principal David Maxwell, educators were scared of technology in the 1990’s, but students are not afraid of technology and with high-speed Internet service, the district can expose students to world-class educators through video conferencing.


Rojas informed those in attendance that the Arkansas constitution promises each student with an adequate education. He also reported that 60 percent of Arkansas schools lack high-speed Wi-Fi networks, which will allow for an effective use of technology in their classrooms.


Rojas reported that Arkansas is the only state where it is unlawful for a public research and education network to serve K through 12, as a result of a state law. He stated it’s time to change the law.


Chancellor of Southern Arkansas University Tech, Corbit Lamkin says of the 42 states that have an Internet infrastructure that is connected to Internet2, Arkansas is the only state that prohibits schools from using it.


By changing the law, it would provide a 21st century education for students; create a more educated workforce and bring more jobs to the state; and save school districts money that could be used for other investments.






The Little River County jail opened just over a year ago after receiving a $1.3 million dollar renovation and now it’s leaking.


Last week, Little River County Sheriff Gary Gregory informed the members of the Little River County Quorum Court that the roof of the jail leaks every time it rains.


Gregory reported that water is pooling inside the metal roof and is running down the side of the walls into some of the cells. He stated the pooling water was discovered after the fire alarm went off a few weeks ago.


The water was discovered by employees of the alarm company that was sent to repair the alarm system. They informed the sheriff that the insulation is soaked about the air ducts.


Gregory stated that he has been attempting to contact the roof subcontractors about fixing the leaks. The roof has a 20-year warranty, according to the paperwork.


Gregory said the pooling water resulted in a prisoner being injured after slipping in the water. He has since been transferred to the Arkansas Department of Corrections, but will require surgery to repair damage to his knee.


Jail Administer Chad Atkins reported the leaks weren’t detected until it rained about five to six inches in a 24 hour period.






Area musicians will share the stage Saturday, July 26th with the first winner of the USA Networks reality Country Music Competition show “Nashville Star” during the 2nd Annual Crystal Music Festival at the Board Camp Campground and Crystal Mine, in Board Camp, near Mena.


Buddy Jewell of Lepanto, Arkansas will headline this year’s event at 7 p.m., and he’ll be joined by Harmony of Wickes and Polk 74.


Jewell’s first album debuted at number 1 and his first two singles, “Help Pour Out the Rain” and “Sweet Southern Comfort” each climbed to the number three position on the singles chart.


Harmony is a Christian band from Wickes that will open for Jewell at 6 p.m. and Smith said Harmony was honored to be opening for Jewell.


Event organizers Orville and Cheryl Murphy said they plan to continue the tradition that they started last year by presenting a Fallen and Standing Heroes tribute that will be preceded by the Color Guard at 5.


There will also be crystal digging from noon to 5 p.m.


Festival tickets will be sold at the gate for $10 each age 12 and up. Kids under 12 are free.


Area volunteer fire departments will be serving as parking attendants and a parking donation would be appreciated.


Everyone should bring their lawn chairs and small coolers are welcome, but concessions will be available. For more information or to purchase tickets visit






Sevier County Clerk Debbie Hughes announced that the filing period for the November general election will open Friday, July 25th and close at noon on Friday, August 15th.


This filing period is for all independent candidates seeking a municipal office in cities that have a mayor-council form of government.


Petitions may be picked up from the County Clerk's office and may submitted beginning this Friday. Candidates will also file an affidavit of eligibility and a political practices pledge.


The County Clerk's office will determine whether or not the petition contains a sufficient number of qualified voters signatures within 10-days


If you have any questions about the filing for a ballot position during the 2014 Municipal election, contact the Sevier County Clerk's office at 642-3896.







Friday afternoon about 3 p.m. members of the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to Pruett's Food in reference to a one vehicle accident involving several pedestrians.


When officers arrived, they discovered one pedestrian standing on the sidewalk and two others laying on the sidewalk with injuries to their legs. 


According to the incident report, 84-year-old Yvonne Mulina of De Queen was attempting to park in front of the store and ran up onto the sidewalk striking three store employees.


Diana House suffered multiple compound fractures to her legs and was transported to Wadley Hospital in Texarkana where she had surgery Friday night.


House had just been promoted to the Dairy Foods Manager on Monday, July 14th.


Debra Circles also suffered a leg injury. She was treated at the De Queen Regional Medical Center and was released. She is expected to have more test run this week after the majority of the swelling decreases.


Mark Lewis was struck by the vehicle and knocked down, but according to House was able to get up and help stop the vehicle.


Lewis was also taken to the De Queen Regional Medical Center where he was treated and released.


Pruett's Food Manager Quinton Wilds explained that Circles and Lewis were taking the change out of the coke machines and refilling them. House stated she was taking a break and visiting with the other employees when the accident happened.






Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced that he has reached a settlement with the New Jersey-based National Police Defense Foundation to resolve allegations that the organization misled Arkansas donors into believing their contributions benefited Arkansas emergency responders.


In a consent agreement that was filed in the Pulaski County Circuit Court, the foundation agreed to pay $120,000 in restitution to consumes and to permanently stop all professional fund-raising activities in Arkansas.


McDaniel said the NPDF has been identified as one of the nation's 50 worst charities.


McDaniel sued NPDF and USA Publishing Group Inc. of Conway in 2013. NPDF retained USA Publishing to solicit donations from Arkansas consumers. The suit is still pending against USA Publishing.


NPDF paid $171,193 of the $231,004 raised in the state to USA Publishing for its professional fundraising services. Only $500 went to charity, according to McDaniel's lawsuit.


Telemarketers often misrepresented themselves as first responders, and the operation used bogus names like Arkansas Police Defense Foundation to deceive consumers into thinking the charity was based in Arkansas.






Supporters of a plan to gradually raise Arkansas' minimum wage have been given 30 more days to circulate petitions and collect signatures after falling shy of the signatures needed to put their proposal on the November ballot.


Secretary of State Mark Martin's office on Friday told the Give Arkansas a Raise Now campaign that it had fallen short of the 62,507 signatures from registered voters needed to qualify the proposed initiated act for the November ballot. Martin's office said more than 3,000 of the 64,135 signatures that were submitted by the group had to be tossed out.


The proposal would raise Arkansas' minimum wage from $6.25 an hour to $8.50 an hour by 2017.


The group has until August 18th to submit more petitions.






Arkansas Republicans have voted to oppose a ballot measure that would loosen the state's term limits and tighten state ethics laws.


Delegates at the state GOP's convention approved a resolution opposing the proposed constitutional amendment appearing on the November ballot on Saturday. The resolution cited concerns about a portion of the proposal that would set a 16-year limit on serving in the Legislature. House members are currently restricted to serving three two-year terms, and senators are limited to two four-year terms.


The amendment also includes proposals to prohibit most lobbyists gifts to elected officials and prohibit corporate campaign contributions. The resolution that was passed Saturday, does not include those provisions.


The proposal was one of three measures that lawmakers voted to put on the 2014 general election ballot last year.


Arkansas Republicans are also touting a tax-cutting, anit-regulation message and expressing confidence that they'll complete a takeover of the state's top offices.


The GOP's nominees for statewide and congressional offices told delegates that were gathered for the state's convention that the GOP was well-positioned to continue its gains in what had been once a Democratic stronghold in the otherwise solidly Republican south.


Republicans are hopeful that they can win the governor's office, with GOP nominee Asa Hutchinson facing off against Democrat Mike Ross and U.S. Representative Tom Cotton is attempting to unseat Democratic Senator Mark Pryor.


The Democrats are holding their state convention next month in Little Rock.




The Chalice Cupboard assisted 35 families in Sevier County (110 people) including 60 adults and 41 children.  Distributions weighed 858 pounds of donated and purchased items.


The bank balance on June 1, 2014 was $364.89.  During June an additional $694.50 was received in donated funds, with $704.12 spent during the month to replenish food items in the pantry. 

The bank balance on June 30. 2014, was $355.28.


Donated food items received in June from St. Barbara Catholic Church and the First Presbyterian Church totaled 133 pounds. 911 pounds were purchased to make a total of 1,044 pounds of food shelved in June. 

Suggested food items for donation in July are jelly and cereal. 


Residents in Sevier County needing food may come for aid at the scheduled times of Tuesday and Wednesday from 2 pm to 3:340 pm at the Chalice Cupboard at 115 North Sixth Street in De Queen.  Recipients of food may be assisted once during each three-month period.

Events Aid Vets Considering Sustainable-Ag Career  07/22/14

Veterans and their spouses who are considering farming as a viable career can apply to spend several days in September learning about sustainable, small-scale farming at “Armed to Farm” (ATF) events in Arkansas and Mississippi.

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is organizing the ATF events, which are supported by USDA Rural Development and NCAT’s ATTRA program.

Two ATF events will be held:

  • September 14-19 in Fayetteville, Arkansas

  • September 22-26 in Jackson, Mississippi

ATF will be a dynamic blend of farm tours and hands-on experience with classroom instruction. Participants will learn about business planning, budgeting, recordkeeping, marketing, livestock production, fruit and vegetable production, and more. Participants will leave the training with a strong foundation in the basic principles of operating a sustainable farming enterprise.

The number of participants will be limited. Applications are due August 1, 2014.
Selected participants will be notified no later than August 8, 2014.

The event will be free for participants, and lodging and most meals will be provided. Veterans selected to attend will be responsible for travel costs to and from the event.

Veterans from Arkansas and Mississippi as well as Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF & OIF) veterans and their spouses will receive first priority. National Guardsmen/women and Reservists also are encouraged to apply.

Secondary focus will be on all other veterans. Spouses are encouraged to attend, not only if they are interested, but because running a farm will impact their lives even if they are not directly involved.

Go online at  for complete application details.  For more information, please contact Margo Hale at or (479) 442-9824.




On Monday, July 14th at approximately 7 p.m. Sergeant Gary Cunningham received a complaint from Rebecca Aguilar who stated a man exposed himself to her and a small child while they were walking along Maple Street.


Aguilar said the man was eating a banana has they approached him; he finished the banana and he threw the peel on the ground and at that point he dropped his pants.


Later that evening, Cunningham and Corporal Bobby Bagley interviewed 58-year-old Danny Shattuck at his residence at 1212 North Maple Street.


Shattuck informed the officers that he was in his house naked and she may have seen him, but he became more nervous has he spoke with the officers.


On Tuesday, July 17th, Lieutenant Sonny Kimmel picked up Shattuck and transported him to the De Queen Police Department where he was interviewed concerning the incident that occurred.


Shattuck allegedly admitted to Lieutenant Kimmel that he had stood at his front door wearing nothing but a t-shirt and tried to get a woman's attention as she walked by.


Shattuck was cited for indecent exposure.






Members of the Dierks Board of Education approved the 2014-2015 students handbooks during their regular July meeting with a couple of additions to the cell phone policy section.


Board members voted to keep the majority of the old cell phone policy, which allows students to use their cell phones between classes and in designated areas.


They also added a consequence for a third violation of the cell phone policy. If a student is caught using their cell phone in a prohibited area or at a prohibited time for the third time, they will lose their phone for 30-days.


Board members increased the paid lunch price to $1.75. The increase is based on an Arkansas Department of Education Child Nutrition tool that determines the minimum price that may be charged for paid lunches.


They also accepted the milk bid from Hiland Dairy, the bread bid from Flowers Baking Company and the student insurance bid from Health Special Risk, Inc.


Sonja Markham was hired as a high school special education teacher.


Superintendent Holly Cothern informed the board that Buster Dellinger of Lockesburg offered the parking lot of the Lighthouse Church as a central location for a bus stop.




IT'S NOT JUST A LOT OF BULL        7/21/14

At the 42nd Annual Pine Tree Festival in Dierks    


Some exciting changes are taking place during the 42nd Annual Pine Tree Festival in Dierks this year.


Dierks Chamber of Commerce member Stacey Janes stated that after last year's successful Ultimate Challenge Bull Riding and Free Style Bull Fighting event, the chamber has added more money and moved the event to Saturday night.


Janes said there will be more than bull riding and bull fighting Saturday night. It will also feature some of the best mutton busters in Southwest Arkansas, along with two young sheep fighters and a clown look-a-like contest.


Make plans to attend the 42nd Annual Pine Tree Festival in Dierks, August 1st and 2nd. For more information contact the Dierks Chamber of Commerce at 584-7811 or 845-7774.






U.S. Postal Service District Manager Richard Wynn hosted a public meeting at the Lockesburg Community room Thursday night to discuss the Postal Services plans for the Lockesburg Post Office.


Wynn presented the results of a recent survey that was sent to the Lockesburg Post Office customers.


Wynn reported that only 276 of 1,200 surveys were sent back, however, 91 percent of those who responded voted for the realignment of post office hours.


Wynn informed the residents that were in attendance that the Postal Service had decided to open the Lockesburg Post Office from 8:15 to 11 a.m. and from 1:15 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 to 10 a.m. on Saturdays, which will result in a six hour work day for the Postal Clerk.


Some residents asked if they post office hours could be adjusted so it would close at 4:30, so residents that work out of town would have an opportunity to use the post office.


Wynn explained that if you send mail between 4 and 5 p.m., you should use the blue mailbox that is outside for same day service because it is picked up about 5.


According to Wynn, the delivery route service will not be affected by this change and the hour realignment should take place within the next 60 days.






Most of us spend our Friday nights during the fall cheering for the Leopards, Lions and Panthers, not con artists or profiteers. Yet, out-of-state scammers may seek out money that's intended to support our hometown teams in order to line their pockets.


The Attorney General's office receives reports about solicitors asking business owners to purchase ads on sports schedules or calendars, but some of these solicitors are not affiliated with the school or organization they supposedly represent.


Therefore, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued a consumer alert to make sure business owners know about the state law pertaining to school calendars and schedule advertisements and to encourage advertisers to ask questions before they buy any ad space.


Business owners tend to assume that someone who is promoting advertising for a school athletic schedule is actually working for the school, but that's not always the case.


In some instances, con artists may make sales pitches for products that do not exist. Other times, legitimate for-profit companies actually produce a schedule or other product, but the item may not be endorsed by the school and the school does not receive any portion of the proceeds.


The state's school calendar disclosure law protects businesses against those kinds of solicitations.


The law applies to anyone who solicits advertisements for posters or other printed material depicting a school name, mascot or emblem in conjunction with an athletic program. Solicitors must disclose to potential ad buyers whether a school will receive any of the money that results from the purchase of an ad.


Any solicitor who does not give money to the school must state both orally and in writing that the school will not receive any funds from the sale.


Those who violate the calendar disclosure law are subject to penalties under the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.


McDaniel encourages business owners to read the fine print of any contract and to contact the school directly if necessary. If solicitors make false claims about working with a school, the business owner should contact the Attorney General's Office by calling 1-800-482-8982.




Democratic governor candidate Mike Ross is reporting raising more than  $296,000 last month. He is also spending more than twice as much as he brought is as he edged out rival Asa Hutchinson in fundraising.


Ross reported spending $653.365 and ended the month with more than $1.2 million dollars in cash on hand. Hutchinson spent $162,278 and had more than $1 million dollars in the bank.


The fundraising report covers the first full month since the two rivals won their parties' respective nominations in the May primary.


The two ex-congressmen are running to succeed Democratic Governor Mike Beebe, who is term limited.





Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt informed the residents of De Queen that the cities Code Enforcement office worked out of the fire department and they’re asking citizens to help keep De Queen clean by mowing their grass and picking up their garage sale signs.


Pruitt also said the city has an ordinance that limits the number of garage sales that can be held by an address each month.


If you have any questions about the city codes concerning the upkeep of your property, you may contact the De Queen Fire Department at 584-7224.




SPLASH DASH 5K        7/18/14


First Assembly Church of De Queen will be hosting their 1st Annual Splash Dash 5K Saturday, August 2nd at 8 a.m. to raise funds for missions and Youth Pastor Jonathon Reynolds said its called the Splash Dash because organizers have asked the neighborhood that the course will take to turn on their sprinklers and get the runners wet.


Reynolds said that even if you don't want to run in the 5K, you should stop by the church to watch runners slide down the 100 foot slip and slide to the finish line.


According to Reynolds the purpose of the Splash Dash is the raise funds for missions. Reynolds said the youth group is attempting to raise $12,000 this year.


Reynolds explained that if you would like to run there are several ways to register, including stopping by the church or go online to


So, help reach the world while having a little fun running in the 1st Annual Splash Dash on Saturday, August 2nd at the First Assembly Church in De Queen.






Earlier this week, the state Board of Education announced that the Horatio School District had ordered that the Horatio School District be monitored for two years for violating accreditation standards.


KDQN contacted new Horatio Superintendent Lee Smith to discover the reason the district was being monitored.


Superintendent Smith explained that it was a simple paperwork issue from last May because the district had a teacher that was teaching in an area that they were not certified in.


Smith stated the same thing had happened the year before, but it was a different teacher.


Smith stated that even with this issue on his plate his transition into the district has been going pretty smooth.


Smith also stated that the district would be making some changes to improve student test scores in math, after the district was placed on the Needs Improvement list this spring.






Several activities have been scheduled for the Cossatot River State Park if the weather cooperates this weekend, including several opportunities to get in the river and go snorkeling.


A sneaky snorkeling event is scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Monday from 2 to 3 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, you can extend your snorkeling adventure by snorkeling a section of the Cossatot River with a park interpreter from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.


There's going to be an opportunity to hike the Harris Creek Trail on Friday and Saturday from 7 to 9:30 along Goats Bluff so guest can experience a beautiful sunset. Sunday, there will be a nature hike along the river. Hikers can expect several picture opportunities along the way.


Sunday afternoon, the park will offer guest a chance to feed the critters from 2 to 3 and then from 3:30 to 4:30 discover the shapes in the shade, as a park interpreter explains how animals use shade and cover to survive.


Then Monday evening, you can enjoy some homemade apple cobbler that been prepared in a Dutch oven from 8 to 9 p.m.


For a complete of activities at the Cossatot River State Park, visit our website





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

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

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

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

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


Submitted by Leona Martin, CRHS Math Coach




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


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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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



Heartfelt thanks     07/17/17


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


Following is the message from Leta:

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




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


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

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

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





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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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






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


The vehicle was allegedly stolen from Miller County.


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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





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


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


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


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


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




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

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

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

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

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

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

more photos




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


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


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


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


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





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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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



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

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

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


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


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

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


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


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

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

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




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


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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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





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


He issued the following statement:


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


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


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


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


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


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



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

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

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

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

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





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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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






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


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





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


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


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


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


Judge Yeargan set a trial date of September 10th.


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


The annual school board election will be September 16th.


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


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






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


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


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


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


Levi Durham is scheduled for trial July 23rd.


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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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


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





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


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


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


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


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


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


Vaughn was also being charged as a habitual offender.


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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






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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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


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




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

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

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

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

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



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


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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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



health department expansion     07/07/14

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

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





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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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




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


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


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


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


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





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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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






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


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


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


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


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


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


let freedom ring   07/04/14

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




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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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






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


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

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


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






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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


As of Monday afternoon, Martinez was free on bail.






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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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

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

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






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


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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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




FIGHT AT THE JAIL       7/1/14


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


The Senate will continue meeting in the state Capitol. 






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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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