Southwest Arkansas Daily
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ARKANSAS FAMILIES HELPED THROUGH CHARITABLE DONATIONS FROM STATE TAX RETURNS 8/7/15
District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported two families were helped due to the charitable giving of Arkansans on their state tax returns.
Vaught stated a committee paid three-months rent for a family whose child needs a heart transplant. They also paid for rent, child care and utilities for the guardians of a seven-year-old brain tumor patient.
Vaught said the money was available through the Baby Sharon Fund, which is one of the eight charitable organizations that Arkansans can donate to by having the amount reduced from their tax refund.
In 2003, the Arkansas General Assembly added the Baby Sharon Fund to the check-off list. Members realized the financial burden many Arkansans face when caring for a child with a catastrophic illness.
The fund was created by an Arkansas doctor whose granddaughter died when she was two months old in 2001 while awaiting surgery in Vietnam.
The Baby Sharon Fund helps families in different ways from purchasing special medical equipment that a child needs at home to transportation to and from treatments.
Vaught explained the committee is made up of volunteers and there are no operating expenses or paid employees. Their main source of funding is contributions, but committee members also solicit help from organizations and businesses.
Since the fund was established, the committee has awarded over $113,000 in grants.
If you or someone you know needs this type of assistance visit the website, www.babysharonfund.arkansas.gov. Donations can also be made through the website, year-round.
DIERKS BOARD OF EDUCATION APPROVES COMPUTER PURCHASE 8/7/15
During a special called meeting Superintendent Holly Cothern reported the Dierks Board of Education approved the purchase of Google Chromebooks for the high school. Cothern said the Chromebooks will be purchases with federal funding.
Cothern stated the board also voted to hire Ashley Arnold to teach at the elementary following the retirement of Mary Harris.
Cothern said Harris had taught school for 51 years and had spent 38 of those years teaching students in the Dierks District.
EHC OFFERS OPPORTUNITIES TO COMMUNITY SERVICE 8/7/15
Sevier County Extension Homemakers Council is a volunteer group whose goals are to develop leadership, support worthy community causes and promote the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension's educational program in all parts of Arkansas. This group remains tied to strengthening and extending adult education into the home and community.
If your community does not currently have any active groups, the extension office is encouraging you to ask about an independent membership or about starting a new group.
Interested volunteers can attend a monthly meeting prior to joining a Homemaker group, or elect to shadow a current member. Leadership positions are available. The monthly meeting serves as a formal check-in and support for volunteers and gives members a chance to enhance professional relationship with other group members.
Volunteers generally meet monthly, participate in educational program, and identify community projects that they want to support. Each group has their own dynamics, so interested volunteers are encouraged to connect with a local group to find out more.
Arkansas Extension Homemaker membership is open to anyone who is interested in educating and serving the members of the Homemakers and the community. Sevier County has three Extension Homemakers Clubs. They are the De Queen EHC and they meet on the second Wednesday of the month at the REA building in De Queen at 9:30 a.m.; Gillham EHC meets on the second Friday of the month in a members' homes at 10 a.m.; and the Seam Rippers EHC meets every other Thursday at the Senior Citizen's Center in De Queen at 6:30 p.m.
SEVIER COUNTY FAIR PAGEANT AND TALENT CONTEST 8/7/15
Sevier County Fair Board member Linda Frachiseur announced the Sevier County Fair Queen, Princess, Junior Miss, Little Mister and Miss, Little Mister and Miss Western and Talent competitions will be held this month on Saturday, August 22rd at the fair grounds at 10 a.m.
Frachiseur said the winner of the Little Miss contest, and the Princess and Queen Pageants will move on to represent Sevier County in the District and State pageants.
Frachiseur stated the fair board is hoping for more participation in this year's talent contest because they added several new categories and divisions.
Frachiseur said the deadline to enter the pageant and talent contest is August 11th.
For more information, contact Frachiseur at 584-9592.
STORM SHELTER REBATE PROGRAM CHANGES 8/7/15
After hearing the concerns of Arkansans, The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management will begin accepting applications for shelters installed on or before June 30, 2015.
Applications will be accepted between August 4th and 4:30 p.m. on January 29th, 2016.
In order for an application to be complete, shelter installation must be verified by the county's local emergency manager. In Sevier County the OEM Director is Walter Smith in Little River County it is Don Hale Jr. You can contact Smith at 870-642-4292 and Hale at 870-898-7203.
Completed applications will be accepted from either the local emergency manager or directly from the applicant after they have received all the required signatures and documents. Electronic submissions will not be accepted and applications must be received by ADEM no later than 4:30 p.m. on Friday, January 29th, 2016 in order to be processed for a rebate.
As previously announced, the funds available as of July 1st will be used to reimburse applications that ADEM currently has on file. Any eligible applications received from now through January 29th will be processed as funds become available.
For more information, visit the website www.adem.arkansas.gov.
ROBERT GENTRY TO RUN FOR SEVIER COUNTY SHERIFF 08/06/15
Robert Gentry has announced his intention to run in the 2016 election for the position of Sevier County Sheriff/Tax Collector. Incumbent Sheriff Benny Simmons is not seeking re-election. The following is Gentry's announcement:
My name is Robert Gentry and I am announcing my intention to seek the office of Sevier County Sheriff/Tax Collector in the 2016 election.
I am the oldest son of Linda and Wayne Gentry. I attended and graduated from De Queen High School in 1981. I married Dana Smith in 1983. Over the past 32 years many accomplishments have taken place in our marriage including the birth of our two sons, Christopher and Justin Gentry.
Our sons have blessed us with three grandchildren: Madison, Jocelyn and Arthur Wayne. Christopher currently works for Weyerhaeuser at the Dierks Mill. Justin recently graduated from the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy and is employed with the De Queen Police Department. I am a member of Kern Heights Baptist Church.
I worked in the poultry business and farming for several years. In December 1993, I went to work at the Sevier County Jail as a part-time dispatcher/jailer. Those duties included dispatching officers, answering phone calls and encoding fire departments.
In April 1994 I was hired as a full time dispatcher/jailer. I worked in that capacity until August 1994 when I was promoted to deputy sheriff.
During the first few years as a patrol deputy, I obtained a golden retriever dog named Duke. I trained Duke to recognize and alert on controlled substances. At this point I took an interest in the enforcement of drug related crimes. The sheriff at this time, John Partain, allowed me to assist the South Central Drug Task Force in working cases in Sevier County. This gave me the opportunity to assist in the seizure of numerous illicit drug labs in Sevier County. I was also able to assist in cases that ranged from theft of property to homicides in Sevier County.
After a brief stint owning and operating my own truck and trailer, I was hired in 2004 by the South Central Drug Task Force as a special agent. In 2006 I was named director of this task force.
The task force served seven counties and three judicial districts in southwest Arkansas. Duties included working closely with local law enforcement agencies to obtain information on potential drug offenders. I worked in the field as an undercover agent and made arrests and drug seizures during task force operations. During that time I worked closely with the Arkansas State Police, Drug Enforcement Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security.
My duty as task force director included maintaining budgets to keep the unit operating and serve the citizens.
I also supervised a fiscal officer and two special agents as well as officers from other law enforcement agencies. I signed prepared search warrants and prepared for their safe executions. I wrote grants each year to obtain additional funding for the task force, and spent much time studying laws and court cases as they were challenged in the higher courts.
In 2013 I was offered a job with the Sevier County Sheriff's Office by Sheriff Benny Simmons. After a few days of soul searching and prayers, I decided to take the position as an investigator.
I believe through my training and experiences I am prepared for the duties as Sheriff and Collector. I have had the opportunity to see how seven different sheriffs operate their departments and jails. I also have experience in our three area judicial districts as well as the federal court system.
I would appreciate your vote in the 2016 election and thank you for this opportunity. Feel free to contact me at (870) 279-5056 or via email at email@example.com
SEVIER COUNTY/DE QUEEN SALES TAX REVENUE REPORT 08/06/15
De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy said Sevier County and De Queen Sales show small increases year over year. Sevier County up 1.6% last 12 months. De Queen up 2 percent.
Revenue is beginning to flow from the new Lockesburg sales tax which was approved last year. Looks like about $4,000 per month for the first two full months.
Gillham’s sales tax has only about 17 months so far so not much to compare year-over-year. About $2,000 per month average.
Horatio received $58,803 over the first 12 months of its tax. That’s almost $5,000 per month.
Spread sheet at top of each graph compares last two 12-month periods, with percentage of increase or decrease.
Chart at bottom is graph of the spread sheet above.
McKelvy believes these data are a general indication of whether sales are higher or lower than previous year. I wouldn’t draw too many specific conclusions, other than that.
Gillham Sales Tax
July Report on the Chalice Cupboard Food Ministry 08/06/15
The Chalice Cupboard assisted 74 families in Sevier County last month with 137 adults and 71 children receiving food--a total of 208 people. Distributions of food totaled 1,764 pounds. Food was received weighing 74 pounds from the St. Barbara Catholic Church. Also selected food was purchased from gifts of money, adding 1,367 more pounds last month for the pantry—1,441 pounds in all. Suggested food items to assist people in need include these items: cereal, dried and bagged pinto beans and rice, and crackers.
The bank balance on July 1, 2015, was $3,379.18. Deposits for the month were $105.00. $987.24 was spent to replenish needed food items for the pantry. The balance on July 31, 2015, was $2,496.94.
People living in Sevier County are given food at the Chalice Cupboard located at 315 North Fifth Street in De Queen, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays--from 2:00 till 3:15 p.m. Food is distributed to those assisted only once each three-month period of the year: January-February-March/ April-May-June/ July-August-September/ and October-November-December.
The Chalice Cupboard will be closed Wednesday, August 12th.
Submitted by Grant Grove
STOLEN VEHICLE BURNED 8/6/15
July 29th, Lindsey Dooley of the De Queen Auto Group reported a vehicle had been stolen sometime between 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 28th and 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 29th.
Dooley informed Sergeant Chad Bradshaw of the De Queen Police Department that someone had taken a 2015 Dodge Ram 3500 Crew Cab truck.
The vehicle information was entered into the National Crime Information Center and on Friday, July 31st, Captain Scott Simmons reported that he received a call from the McCurtain County Sheriff’s Office concerning a new Dodge pick-up truck that they had found matching the description of the stolen vehicle.
McCurtain County Sheriff’s Deputies reported the vehicle had been burnt but there was a small amount of silver paint around the tail light area, however, the Vin number and the numbers on the motor were unreadable.
No suspects have been arrested but the case remains under investigation. If you have any information concerning this incident, contact the De Queen Police Department at 870-642-2213.
THREE DE QUEEN CITY EMPLOYEES HONORED WITH LETTERS OF ACCOMMODATION 8/6/15
Tuesday night during a regular meeting of the De Queen City Council, Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy recognized the efforts of three city employees who helped save the life of a SWEPCO employee who was injured on a job in De Queen.
McKelvy presented Nikki Nealy, David Higgins and Dennis Pruitt with a letter of accommodation and a gold coin.
Aldermen then approved a resolution authorizing McKelvy to sign a contract with Vaughn Engineering to design a SCADA system for the city's water system.
McKelvy stated the project will cost about $100,000 and revenue from the water department will be used to finance the project.
Aldermen also approved two other resolutions authorizing McKelvy to apply for two grants for the purpose of purchasing a new pumper truck for the fire department.
Fire Chief Pruitt said it will take about nine-months after the truck is ordered for it to be delivered.
ASHDOWN FILLS VACANT TEACHING POSITIONS 8/6/15
Members of the Ashdown Board of Education met a couple times over the past two weeks to fill the remaining teaching and coaching vacancies.
During a special called meeting July 27th, the board voted to accept the resignation of Don Nesbitt as Spanish teacher, Rachelle Bonner as PE teacher and Coach and Tyler Sheppard as Junior High Math teacher.
They also voted to hire Lorna Youcum as Junior High Math teacher and Joshua Fleming as History teacher and Coach.
Then on August 3rd, the board voted to accept the resignation of Amy Madden as Elementary Art teacher and to transfer Susan Surber from 3rd grade teacher to K through 5th grade Art teacher.
Betty Warren was hired as a 3rd grade teacher and Beau Tillery was hired to be the new varsity girls Coach and Teacher.
MINERAL SPRINGS CITY COUNCIL CONSIDERING OPTIONS CONCERNING FIRE TRUCK 8/6/15
Courtesy of KMTB
The Mineral Springs City Council is considering its options when it comes to purchasing a new fire truck.
Mayor Bobby Tullis said there were a couple of options still being considered and they are working with the USDA on a loan application in case the city needs some additional funding.
Tullis said the city has a $10,000 CD that will mature in September and aldermen voted to use those funds for the purchase of a fire truck.
Water Superintendent Jonathon Holden reported the city paid off the $44,000 valve project and Tullis said he was proud of the fact that the city crews were able to complete the job and the city didn't have to borrow the money to finish it.
Tullis also reported FEMA had agreed to fund 100 percent of the city's storm related cleanup expenses.
FEMA DISASTER ASSISTANCE TOPS $2 MILLION FOR ARKANSAS RECOVERY 8/5/15
More than $2 million in assistance to date is helping the residents of nine Arkansas counties recover from the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding from May 7th to June 15th.
Recovery officials want to remind area residents that the time to register for federal help is running out. The deadline to apply for assistance is August 25th.
FEMA and the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management provided this current summary of assistance.
More than $922,323 has been awarded for housing aid, whether providing temporary housing or repairing damaged homes that were not covered by insurance, as well as, replacing homes that were destroyed.
More than $99,824 has been awarded to help pay disaster-related medical and dental costs, funeral and burial costs, clothing, household items, clean-up items, disaster-damaged vehicles, moving and storage expenses and other necessary expenses or serious needs as determined by FEMA.
Also over a million dollars has been distributed through low-interest loans to homeowners, renters, businesses and private nonprofit organizations through the U.S. Small Business Administration.
To apply for disaster assistance, visit the website www.disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362.
The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.
The following is a county by county summary of assistance.
In Howard County, 67 residents registered. FEMA awarded $61,443 in housing repairs and rental assistance; $40,611 for other needs assistance; $102,054 for individuals and households program; and $54,500 in U.S. Small Business Administration loans.
In Little River County, 61 residents registered. FEMA awarded $114,750 in housing repairs and rental assistance; $5,804 for other needs assistance; and $120,554 for individuals and households program.
In Miller County, 23 residents registered. FEMA awarded $86,787 in housing repairs and rental assistance; $1,716 for other needs assistance; and $88,502 for individuals and households program.
In Sevier County, 37 residents registered. FEMA awarded $37,766 in housing repairs and rental assistance; $1,428 for other needs assistance; $39,193 for individuals and households program; and $42,300 in U.S. Small Business Administration loans.
These amounts are the approved assistance as of August 2nd.
ATV REPORTED STOLEN TO THE DE QUEEN POLICE DEPARTMENT 8/5/15
Monday morning, De Queen Police Officer James Gilbert took a report from a homeowner on Lacefield Lane concerning a stolen 4-wheeler.
According to the incident report, Terry Lacefield informed Gilbert that his 2014 Polaris sportsman 850 XP was stolen Sunday night. He reported the 4-wheeler was sitting inside a fenced-in area beside Curtis’ Body Shop.
Lacefield said he knew that it was taken Sunday night because his brother saw the 4-wheeler sitting inside the fence Sunday afternoon.
Lacefield said when he arrived about 7:45 a.m., he noticed the gate was open and the lock had been cut.
According to the report, the 4-wheeler was valued at $9,000.
Investigators with the De Queen Police Department are asking for the publics help in locating the 4-wheeler. It is described as a red and maroon 850 XP with 488 miles on it. Lacefield said everything on the 4-wheeler is stock from the factory.
If you have any information concerning this incident, contact the De Queen Police Department at 870-642-2213.
LITTLE RIVER COUNTY FAIR AND RODEO 8/5/15
The Little River County Fair and Rodeo is scheduled for August 18th to the 22nd in Foreman and deadlines to enter the royalty contest is this week.
The deadline to enter the Tiny Tot King and Queen contest is Friday, August 7th. To enter, call Lacie Beason at 501-258-2142.
The Fair Queen and Talent Show is August 14th and contestants must enter by Friday, August 7th by calling Lonni Dollarhide at 903-278-9013.
LOST ALZHEIMER PATIENT FOUND IN LITTLE RIVER COUNTY 8/5/15
A 74-year-old Alzheimer patient was found following an intense search of the Oak Hill Community this past Saturday.
The Little River County Sheriff's Office was contacted about midnight on August 1st by Jerrie Cannon of Ashdown. She reported her husband, Travis Cannon, had been missing since about 8:30. She informed the sheriff's office that he left on a golf cart.
Little River County Sheriff's deputies joined volunteers and members of the Oak Hill Volunteer Fire Department, the Little River County Office of Emergency Management, Little River Ambulance Service, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Ashdown Police Department to search for Cannon.
Around 3:30 Saturday morning, a civilian volunteer located the golf cart about a quarter of a mile from Cannon's home in some thick vegetation.
Cannon was found near the golf cart and was transported to the Little River Memorial Hospital where he received treatment for some minor injuries.
FOREMAN SCHOOL DISTRICT WORKING TO IMPROVE FACILITIES 8/4/15
During a special called meeting of the Foreman Board of Education, board members voted to accept a bid from Coker Building Company in the amount of $35,425 to repair the damage that was done to the Oscar Hamilton Elementary Gym, during the recent spring storms.
Board members also reviewed a bid from BWI in the amount of $38,854.83 to repair the district's greenhouse Board members then asked Superintendent George Kennedy to get bids on having the greenhouse demolished instead of repairing it.
During another special called meeting on July 27th, the board voted to accept the resignation of Charlotte Leon as the high school counselor and hire Michelle Young.
Board members also approved the milk bid from Borden Milk Company and the bread bid from Young's Thriftway.
Kennedy reported the district was seeking bus drivers and grounds crew for the upcoming school year. Board members will meet during their regular monthly meeting August 18th at 6 p.m. in the Oscar Hamilton Elementary Library.
MEMBERS OF SEVIER COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE ARREST WANTED FUGITIVE 8/4/15
Members of the Sevier County Sheriff's Office arrested a Polk County man Saturday morning who is wanted on felony warrants in Polk County Arkansas and McCurtain County Oklahoma.
Last week, members of the Sevier County Sheriff's Office were informed that a fugitive that was wanted in McCurtain County was hiding in the Beacon Hill community.
Deputies reported they just missed Evans but they received information that he was just about a mile down the road. As deputies were following up on that lead, they made contact with the suspect's vehicle.
When the deputies made traffic stop, the two occupants, Evans and Kelly McCarley jumped out the vehicle and fled on foot.
McCarley was taken into custody a short time later and when he was arrested, he was in possession of multiple bags of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.
McCarley was also wanted for a parole violation warrants in Polk County and Mena.
Evans, however, was able to elude deputies and members of the Sevier County Sheriff's Office were joined by members of the Howard County Sheriff's office and their K-9 unit, the Arkansas State Police, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department.
Friday night, officers searched for Evans with the K-9 unit and then Saturday morning, the Arkansas State Police sent a helicopter to patrol the area.
Saturday morning, a resident in the Beacon Hill community notified the sheriff's office that a man was walking up their driveway and Evans was taken into custody without any further incident about 10:45 a.m.
Evans is currently being held in the Sevier County jail awaiting extradition to Oklahoma on felony warrants.
SEVIER COUNTY LEADERSHIP CLASS 8/4/15
De Queen Alderman Lawrence Wishard will be leading the 2015 Sevier County Leadership Class and he spoke with KDQN about how participating in the class benefited him and he learned how the state government works with city governments.
Wishard said the prime candidates for the class, are people who have a desire to be leaders and serve their communities.
Wishard said if you are interested in participating in the class to call him at 870-642-9121 and leave a message or you may pick up a leadership class packet from Chandler Funeral Home.
GOVERNOR PROVIDES EXTRA FUNDS FOR STORM SHELTERS 08/04/15
Sevier County OEM coordinator, Walter Smith, said he received notice from Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) that Governor Hutchinson had agreed to provide extra funding for grants to Arkansas residents who installed storm shelters by June 30, 2015. The department had been told earlier that funds had been depleted and no more grant requests would be accepted.
ADEM will accept request until January 31, 2016, but Smith said he will send in all the requests he has on hand for Sevier County residents on September 30, 2015. He stated he will advise residents how to fill out the paperwork and what documentation they need after that date, but they will be responsible for sending it in themselves.
Sevier County residents with questions about what documentation they need to apply for the FEMA Storm Shelter Grants may contact Smith at (870) 642-4292.
4-H SCIENCE FUN NIGHT 08/04/15
On July 7, Sevier County 4-H’ers had the chance to participate in a science night conducted by Dawn Leeper Sevier County 4-H Program Assistant with Sevier County Extension Service. Seven 4-H’ers and their friends showed up for the activity. The 4-H’ers got hands-on learning with different science experiments including Stomp Rockets, Coke Geysers, Exploding Lunch Bags, and Ice Cream in a bag. Before each experiment, the kids would think about what would happen and then they got to do the experiment and see what actually happened. It was educational and fun for all. If you’re interested in learning more about 4-H, please call the Sevier County Extension Office at 870-584-3013.
LITTLE RIVER COUNTY ROAD CLOSING 08/04/15
Little River County Judge Mike Cranford announced today that a failing culvert located on County Road 35 approximately three quarters of a mile from the intersection of County Road 35 and Hwy 32 must be replaced. The culvert has deteriorated and settled to the point of causing the road surface to be very rough. Work is scheduled for August the 11th and 12th.
Traffic in the area will be completely blocked during the replacement. “We understand the tremendous inconvenience that this will cause to the citizens in the area, however we will make every effort to minimize the amount of time that the road will be closed, “said Cranford.
During the closure residents are encouraged to use County Road 33 as an alternative route.
For more information you can contact the Little River County Judges office at 870.898.7202
JACOB PURIFOY SELECTED AS “OUTSTANDING DRUM MAJOR 08/04/15
Ashdown High School PPMB Drum Major, Jacob Purifoy attended the Steven Moss Leadership Academy” drum major camp in Belton, TX at the University of Mary Hardin – Baylor July 13th-17th. Purifoy, along with approximately 75 other drum majors attended the camp under the direction of Steven Moss. At the camp, the drum majors were taught conducting and how to have effective leadership skills. On Thursday, they were even able to view a DCI (Drum Corp International) performance in Crusader Stadium. During the camp exhibition on Friday, Purifoy was awarded the “Outstanding Drum Major Award”. This award also provides a scholarship to the camp next year. Purifoy is a first year drum major and looks forward to leading the PPMB this fall. Ashdown directors are Mark Pounds and Chelsa Keathley.
FIRST PORTION OF BEAR CREEK TRAIL TO BE CLOSED TEMPORARILY 08/04/15
Improvements to this Dirt Bike, Mountain Bike, ATV, and Hiking Trail Will Include a New Trailhead Parking Area at Daisy State Park and a Re-routed Section from the Trailhead to Kirby Landing
The Arkansas State Parks trail crew is set to begin work on the two and a half miles of the Bear Creek Trail within Daisy State Park on August 17, and this work will require the temporary closure of the first six-mile portion of the trail, according to Park Superintendent Tamara Lunsford. She said, “Bear Creek Trail begins at Daisy State Park on the lake’s north shore and there is approximately six miles of trail before the next stop at Kirby Landing Recreation Area. This six-mile stretch will be closed from August 17 until early November while this work on the park’s section is underway.” This six-mile section from the park to Kirby Landing is the roughest and most challenging part of the 18-mile trail, due to steep inclines and eroded areas. Lunsford noted that the Arkansas State Parks Planning and Development Section, Daisy State Park, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lake Greeson park managers have been working for over a year to determine the best way to make repairs and establish a safer route. “I’m excited about this project getting underway.” she said. “We have visitors who come to the park to ride this trail because there are not a lot of trails open to the public that are designed specifically for ATVs. I anticipate this project will make our frequent visitors very happy and attract new visitors to the park.”
Improvements will include a new trailhead parking area at Daisy State Park and a new re-routed section from the trailhead that will connect with the current trail between Daisy State Park and Kirby Landing. Daisy State Park’s portion of the trail is rated for expert riders only due to the steep inclines. For those extreme cycle enthusiasts, current trail sections will be left intact and identified as skill builders.
Lunsford emphasized that the rest of the 18-mile trail which stretches through lands administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) from Kirby Landing to Bear Creek Recreation Area and ending near Rough Branch will remain open and unaffected by the trail project. This portion on the lake’s eastern shoreline is rated easy-moderate. ATV riding is prohibited in all of the USACE recreation areas on Lake Greeson. ATV use in the state park is prohibited with the exception of use by individuals with a mobility disability to access park facilities. Trail maps are available at the Daisy State Park visitor center or the USACE resource manager's office for Lake Greeson in Murfreesboro.
Daisy State Park is 1/4 mile south of Daisy off U.S. 70. It is one of the 52 state parks administered by the State Parks Division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism.
For additional information, contact: Tamara Lunsford, park superintendent, Daisy State Park,103 East Park, Kirby, AR, 71950. Phone: 870-398-4487. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
DE QUEEN ATHLETIC BOOSTER CLUB 8/3/15
De Queen Athletic Booster Club member Stacy Faulkenberry announced this week on KDQN that the club will be having a membership meeting August 10th at 6:30 p.m. at the De Queen Church of Christ.
Faulkenberry said booster club members will also help clean up around Leopard Stadium on Saturday, August 15th.
To raise funds for the De Queen athletic department, the booster club will host a golf scramble on Saturday, August 22nd at the De Queen Country Club. Faulkenberry said there will be also be activities for the kids.
Booster members will also be painting the Leopard prints on 9th Street soon and Faulkenberry said you could contact him if you would like to purchase a paw print.
Faulkenberry explained the booster club supports the De Queen athletic programs and tries to build Leopard pride in the community. For more information, call Faulkenberry at 870-784-0357 or Fawn Dykes at 870-582-1815.
NEWS FROM THE CRATER OF DIAMONDS 8/03/15
Crater of Diamonds State Park, Interpreter Waymon Cox announced last week that more than 63,000 people have visited the park so far this year and at the end of June, the park staff had certified 246 diamonds, including 150 white, 43 brown and 53 yellow. Seventy diamonds were registered in May.
Arkansans registered 119 diamonds, and visitors from Ontario, Canada, Washington, D.C. and 28 other states registered 127. The total weight of the diamonds registered was more than 55 carats.
The park staff has certified five diamonds weighing at least one carat, including a 2.01 carat yellow diamond found by a visitor from Shreveport; a 3.69 carat white diamond found by Susie Clark of Evening Shade, Arkansas and an 8.52 carat diamond found by a visitor from Colorado.
Thirty-five diamonds were picked up from the surface of the park's search area, but most of those finds were made after spring showers that washed away loose soil, uncovering larger gems.
For more information about the Crater of Diamonds State Park visit their website at CraterofDiamondsStatePark.com or call 870-285-3113.
FEMA OFFERS RESOURCES FOR PROPERTY OWNERS REBUILDING
AFTER DISASTER 8/03/15
FEMA offers a wide range of free resources for
Arkansas homeowners who are either rebuilding after the spring
storms or preparing for the next time disaster strikes.
FEMA's website www.fema.gov/protect-your-property - offers a comprehensive overview of available publications to help protect your home or business against hazards including earthquakes, fire, flood, high winds and others and www.fema.gov/small-business-toolkit/protect-your-property-or-business-disaster - provides links to resources for protecting your community, your business and places of worship, and offers helpful links like how to protect your business from all kinds of natural hazards like earthquake, fire, flooding and high winds.
MEDICAID COVERAGE MAKES KIDS HEALTHIER FOR LIFE 8/03/15
Medicaid turns 50 this week, and a new report from the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families shows when children are covered by Medicaid, it brings them benefits for life.
In Arkansas, just over half of people using Medicaid are children. The report found kids covered by Medicaid were less likely to drop out of school, less likely to have high blood pressure and emergency health issues as adults, and more likely to see incomes higher than those of their parents.
Report co-author Joan Alker calls it interesting data.
The report also notes that as Medicaid eligibility has been expanded over the years, the rate of uninsured children has declined.
Marquita Little At Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families says the data proves the lasting impacts of healthy beginnings for kids.
Medicaid has been the subject of contentious debate in Arkansas, and nationally. Alker points out that the program has adapted over the years and hasn't always been subject to the kind of partisan bickering that's going on today.
YOUR TAKING MY STUFF 7/31/15
On July 20th, Misty Ward of Horatio called the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office to report two women were on her property loading up scrap metal in the back of their car on Bridge Creek Road.
Ward stated she asked a white female, who identified herself as 40-year-old Lola Warford, what they were doing. Warford allegedly said, she and her mother, Edith Barnstable, had permission from the owner to get the scrap metal.
After Ward told her that she was the land owner, Warford allegedly told Ward to take a look at what they had gotten. Ward said she didn’t need to look and she wanted them to put it all back where they got from. Ward said she watched them put a piece of the scrap metal back over the fence and she drove off.
Ward said she went back later to see if they had put it all back, and witnessed them drive off with metal still sticking out the window of the car. She said she followed the car to get the license plate number but the truck was open, so she couldn’t see it.
While one deputy was in route to take a statement from Ward, Sevier County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Hankins found a vehicle matching the description that was given by Ward at the L & W Scrap Yard, just east of De Queen.
When deputies interviewed Barnstable, she allegedly told them that she and her daughter were out looking for scrape metal and saw some on Bridge Creek Road. She said they stopped a woman on a riding mower that lived near the scrap iron and asked if the metal belonged to her. The woman allegedly told them, it belonged to some Hispanics and gave them an address. Barnstable then said a Hispanic lady told them they could have it. She said Ward stopped and told them to metal belonged to her and to put it back. She said they both put one piece of metal back over the fence and decided to leave with the rest of it.
Barnstable and Warford were charged with theft of property.
DE QUEEN RESIDENT ARRESTED IN NASHVILLE 7/31/15
A traffic stop by Nashville police has netted two arrests for drug possession.
K-9 officer Greg Parker stopped a vehicle near the Highway 27 South and Bypass intersection because he knew the driver, 26-year-old Demario Scoggins of Mineral Springs, was wanted on a parole violation.
While approaching the stopped car, officer Parker said he detected the odor of marijuana.
Scoggins was detained on the parole violation warrant and Parker conducted an exterior search of the car with his dog, which gave a positive hit on narcotics being present inside the vehicle.
Officers then conducted a search of the interior of Scoggins' car and found numerous plastic baggies containing the suspected residue of methamphetamine, along with several prescription pills.
The items were located in a purse on the passenger side of the car.
The passenger was identified as 18-year-old Patcy Martinez of De Queen. She was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of pills without a prescription.
BUSINESSES, NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS GET SMART ABOUT LOW-INTEREST DISASTER LOANS 7/31/15
Businesses and nonprofit organizations are discovering a low-interest disaster loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration is smart business.
Disaster loans provide funding for private sector recovery and can be used to repair or replace building and business assets; meet payroll and lease obligations during business downtime that was caused by the disaster; refinance existing liens; and make improvements to protect against future damage.
FEMA Coordinating Officer Nancy Casper said the interest rates are as low as 4 percent for businesses and 2.62 percent for nonprofits.
The Small Business Administration offers two types of disaster loans to businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most nonprofits.
There are Physical Disaster Loans and they are used to repair or replace damaged buildings and business assets.
And then there are Economic Injury Disaster Loans are help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and most private nonprofits meet financial obligations that they cannot meet because of the disaster.
Business owners may also be eligible to refinance existing liens or mortgages.
Applications are available from the SBA, but the deadline to file for a Physical Damage Disaster Loan is August 25th and the deadline to file for a Economic Injury Disaster Loan is March 28th, 2016.
RUTLEDGE ANNOUNCES 13TH ANNUAL ARKANSAS LAW ENFORCEMENT SUMMIT 7/31/15
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced the 13th annual Arkansas Law Enforcement Summit will be October 6th and 7th. The event will be held at Camp Robinson in North Little Rock.
For the first time in the event's history, Rutledge is expanding the summit to two days.
October 6th will highlight the Attorney General's Special Investigations Division and the Office's law enforcement initiatives. The second day will feature high-caliber presentations from renowned presenters as well as the annual awards and recognition luncheon.
Rutledge is also accepting nominations for the 2015 Outstanding Law Enforcement Officers of the Year Awards.
These awards recognize one municipal, county or state law enforcement officer from each of the four congressional districts. The Attorney General will also select the overall Arkansas Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.
The award winners will be announced at the luncheon on October 7th.
Nominations must be received by Friday, August 14. Nomination forms can be found online at ArkansasAG.gov.
I DON’T REMEMBER THE ACCIDENT 7/31/15
On July 22, a De Queen resident reportedly told members of the Sevier County Sheriffs Department that she didn’t remember anything about striking another vehicle.
According to the accident report, Alisha Mitchell of De Queen was traveling south on Waldon Road and crossed the center line and hit a vehicle that was being driven by David Watkins of Fouke.
According to the report, Watkins’ vehicle came to rest with its right rear tire about six feet from the east embankment and the right front tire about 10 feet from the embankment.
Watkins reported Mitchell crossed the center line and hit his truck, but Mitchell continued to claim she didn’t remember anything.
I MIGHT BE DRUNK BUT I CAN STILL DRIVE 7/31/15
Just after midnight on July 26, Sevier County Sheriff’s Deputy Greg Davignon witnessed a vehicle approaching him on Central Road in his lane.
Davignon reported to turned around and caught up with the truck a few moments later and started following the blue colored Chevy pickup.
After attempting to make a traffic stop with lights and siren, the truck made an abrupt right turn onto Clear Creek Road and then made a U-turn to head back toward Central and finally came to a stop.
The driver was identified as 24-year-old Dustin Richardson of Horatio.
While speaking with Richardson, Davignon saw an open can of beer in the center console.
Richardson was arrested on suspension of driving while intoxicated. At the Sevier County jail, Richardson failed a field sobriety test and was charged with DWI #1.
RUTLEDGE OBTAINS JUDGMENT AGAINST MEDIA MARKETING GROUP INC. 7/31/15
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced this week that she has obtained a judgment against the New Jersey-based Electronic Media Marketing Group Inc., an online advertiser, for violations of consumer protection laws when it coerced Arkansas businesses into paying for services the businesses did not authorize.
In the judgment, Electronic Media Marketing Group must cease any collection attempts or telemarketing calls in the state and they must pay a total of $190,000 in civil penalties.
Electronic Media Marketing Group, which operates as General Yellow Pages, was accused of violating the federal Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act, the federal Telemarketing Sales Rule and the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
The company was accused of attempting to convince business owners that the businesses had agreed to a free trial of advertising, and because the service was not affirmatively canceled, they were obligated to pay hundreds of dollars for an additional year.
The Directory Listing Scam, as this is most commonly referred to, is a scam that hits small and medium-sized businesses, churches, schools and nonprofit organizations regularly. According to the Federal Trade Commission, scammers call claiming to confirm contact information for listings that do not exist.
Then an invoice is received that might include the walking fingers logo and the Yellow Pages name. Many cases, the person paying the bills will simply cut a check, not realizing the company never agreed to pay invoice amount.
According to Rutledge’s office, the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division received multiple complaints from Arkansas businesses about General Yellow Pages' practices, which led to the lawsuit.
TWO RIVERS GALA SET FOR AUGUST 15 7/30/15
The annual Two Rivers Gala will be held on Saturday, August 15th, at the Texarkana Country Club in Texarkana. The event is sponsored by the Little River County Historical Society.
This year’s Gala will be have “A Red Carpet Affair” theme and the doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6.
This year’s Gala will feature music by harpist Merry Miller as well as a silent auction. The master of ceremonies will be Fabienne Trash.
Tickets are $50 each and are available at the Two Rivers Museum, the Castle Antiques and the Little River County Courthouse and all monies raised will go toward the renovation and upgrades to the second level of the museum.
DIERKS’ HILL HIRED AS GATOR BASEBALL COACH 7/30/15
Mark Hill was recently hired as the new head baseball coach and assistant football coach by the Foreman Board of Education.
Hill is a 2008 graduate of Dierks High School and he earned a bachelor’s degree in education and a master in recreation and sports management from the University of Arkansas in 2013.
Hill served as a volunteer assistant at Fayetteville and Farmington High School while he was in college. After graduation, Hill worked for two years for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals and one year for the Kansas City Royals as a video scout.
This past summer, Hill coached a 13 and under team called the Arkansas Outlaws and they won a state championship.
Hill said he was excited about the opportunity to coach at Foreman.
ASHDOWN BOARD VOTES TO RENOVATE OLD MAIN 7/30/15
During the July meeting of the Ashdown Board of Education, Superintendent Jason Sanders recommended the board approve the renovation of the old high school, which is known as "Old Main."
Sanders also informed KDQN that the project will be financed with district funds.
Sanders said board members also approved a new cooling blower system for the high school gymnasium at a cost of $80,100.19.
Sanders stated registration will be held August 3rd through 6th in the school offices.
WE WERE SMOKING FUNNY THINGS OUT BY THE LAKE 7/30/15
July 24, Sevier County Sheriff’s Deputy Matt Webb was patrolling near the Oak Grove Swim beach when he noticed a vehicle in the parking lot after the area was closed.
Webb stated he could smell burning marijuana coming from the vehicle when the occupants rolled down the windows.
The two occupants emptied their pockets and Webb was informed that they were minors. While searching the vehicle, Webb located a burnt marijuana cigarette under the passenger seat and an open 30-pack of beer behind the passenger seat. There was also an open can that was half-full behind the driver’s seat.
The 17-year-old Hispanic male was then taken to his brother’s house because his parents were out of town and he was citied for being a minor in possession of alcohol. The 15-year-old female was citied for not having a driver’s license and released into the custody of her mother.
TRAFFIC STOP RESULTS IN POSSESSION CHARGE 7/30/15
On July 21st, Sevier County Sheriff’s Deputy Greg Davignon noticed a green Cadillac drive left of the center line, so he made a traffic stop on Central Road.
Davignon reported that while he was speaking with the driver, 25-year-old Decondra Oliver of Horatio, he smelt marijuana coming from the vehicle.
As Oliver was handing Davignon her driver’s license, she started to tear up. She also reportedly told him that she had some pot in her purse.
Oliver handed Davignon a clear plastic bag that contained a green leafy substance and then a white trash bag that also contained suspected marijuana. After informing her that he would need to search her purse and the vehicle, Oliver produced another clear plastic bag with nine Xanax pills in it.
Oliver was charged with possession of marijuana with the purpose to deliver and possession of a controlled substance. The total weight of the suspected marijuana was 17 grams.
THE DAMAGE WAS DONE, SO I DROVE HOME 7/30/15
On July 20, Sheri Stubbs notified the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office that someone had run through her fence and knocked down her fence and several fence posts.
According to deputies from the sheriff’s office, Stubbs reported about 50 feet of barbwire and 30 feet of metal posts were knocked over by a vehicle that had left the scene of the accident.
Deputies found a piece of teal colored plastic in the field along with a mirror and the bottom part of a bumper.
The report says the vehicle appeared to be traveling west on Sycamore Road and failed to negotiate a curve. The vehicle left the road way and struck the fence.
At the intersection of Red Cut and Sycamore Road, deputies discovered a teal colored truck with front end damage sitting in a driveway.
The homeowner, Tonya Harp, told the deputies that her nephew, Justin Harp, had wrecked the truck but he was in Little Rock and would contact them when he got back.
The next day, Justin Harp was interviewed at the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office. He reported that he was driving home between 3 and 3:30 in the morning and came around a curve and saw two deer standing in the road.
Harp said one of the deer rolled onto the hood of his truck and busted the windshield, and he hit the other deer head-on.
Harp said the impact caused him to swerve and ran through the fence on the left side of the road. He then drove his truck to his aunt’s house.
Harp was citied for leaving the scene of a property damage accident.
DISASTER RECOVERY CENTER IN HOWARD COUNTY TO CLOSE AUGUST 5TH 7/30/15
The disaster recovery center in Howard County will close at the end of the business day on Wednesday, August 5th.
The center is located in the Carter Day Training Center at 200 Lake Nichols Drive in Nashville, the center was opened to provide help to those whose homes and businesses were affected by the severe storms May 7th to June 15th.
The center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through August 5th. After the center closes, help will still be available online at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362.
Those who have registered for assistance can get answers to questions and check on the status of their claim online, or by calling the same toll-free number.
The toll-free number will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.
WICKES RESIDENT INJURED IN ACCIDENT 7/30/15
A Wickes resident had to be air lifted to a hospital in Texarkana following a single vehicle accident on Bellahmine Road this past Sunday.
Brenda Sargent was reportedly traveling east on Bellahmine Road when her vehicle left the roadway on the north side of the road and struck a tree.
Sargent had to be removed from the vehicle and was transported by Air Evac to St. Michael’s hospital in Texarkana.
UA COSSATOT FOUNDATION BOARD MEETS IN LOCKESBURG 7/30/15
The UA Cossatot Foundation Board recently met for the annual meeting in the Lockesburg Elementary Auditorium.
The first item reviewed was the Foundation’s financial report. UA Cossatot’s Executive Director of the Foundation, Dustin Robert told the Board he was researching the Foundation hosting a Gala next fall. He also informed the Board that he and some Foundation Committee members plan to volunteer at another Gala to gather ideas.
After Roberts informed the board that he felt a purchasing card would streamline the foundation’s purchasing process and he reviewed the college’s policy concerning its purchasing card with them. The board voted to approve a purchasing a card for the foundation to use.
Board members then reviewed the Foundation’s Strategic Plan 2020.
The plan includes a challenge, its mission and four key investment targets, including capital expansion, student scholarships, community engagement and events, along with an annual giving campaign.
Members of the Foundation board then approved a Naming Opportunities Campaign.
The Foundation will now seek entities that will pay to have their names on classrooms, laboratories and buildings. The board voted target buildings and rooms on the Lockesburg campus first.
SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS CRISIS AND RESOURCE CENTER A LIGHTHOUSE TO DOMESTIC VICTIMS 7/29/15
Courtney White of the Southwest Arkansas Crisis and Resource Center announced recently the center did not receive any federal funding for this year, but is still offering services to victims of domestic violence.
White said she and the center's board is still working to resolve the issues that have hampered the center from receiving federal funds.
White stated the Southwest Arkansas Crisis and Resource Center is still offering services that other shelters are unable to provide even though the center is not currently receiving federal funds.
To contact the center, call 870-584-3441.
REGISTRATION FOR IMPAIRED AND DISABLED HUNT ON GILLHAM LAKE OPEN 7/29/15
The Army Corps of Engineers will be taking applications through September 1st for their special deer hunts for disabled military and mobility impaired hunters.
Applicants can apply for up to three different hunting locations throughout Arkansas. Eligible applicants must suffer from paralysis, amputation of a limb or be at least 50 percent physically disabled. Those suffering from paralysis or amputation are not required to be active or retired military.
Applicants must submit a completed application form and doctor's letter to the eligible. A drawing will be held in September to select the hunters.
The 2015 Disabled Military and Mobility Impaired hunting schedule on Gillham Lake will be November 20th through the 22nd. This will be a muzzleloader hunt. For more information contact Victor Kuykendall at 870-584-4161.
A muzzleloader hunt will be held on Lake Greeson, October 8th and 9th. For more information, contact Marty Reynolds at 870-285-2151.
DE QUEEN POLICE DEPARTMENT'S BEEN BUSY 7/29/15
Over the weekend, members of the De Queen Police Department answered over 100 calls.
Officers wrote 24 warnings for various infractions, along with nine citations.
Investigators with the department opened four cases. Officers are looking into one burglary report and three reports of theft of property. Officers also responded to one accident.
Then just before 1 a.m., Monday morning, Officer David Higgins witnessed a vehicle swerve across the fog line on three occasions on Lakeside Avenue.
The driver was identified as 22-year-old Clayton Johnson, Officer Higgins also noticed an open container of alcohol in the center console.
Johnson and the passenger, 21-year-old Austin Tatum informed Officer Higgins that they had been drinking. Johnson also allegedly told Higgins that he had a pistol in the driver's door compartment.
After Higgins secured the firearm, Johnson was arrested for driving while intoxicated and Tatum was arrested for public intoxication.
DAISY STATE PARK – 60TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION 7/29/15
Everyone is invited to join the Daisy State Park family as they celebrate their 60th Anniversary as an Arkansas State Park on Friday, August 28th with an “Outdoor Movie Night.”
Step back in time and celebrate the Daisy State Park’s anniversary with an outdoor showing of “Alice in Wonderland” on the big screen at the amphitheater.
On Saturday morning, August 29th, participates will enjoy the beautiful Lake Greeson during a scenic lake cruise.
You can join park interpreters on a relaxing tour of the lake by boat while learning the history and studying the natural features of the lake. Park interpreters recommend you bring your camera and a bottle of water.
Registration for the lake cruise will begin two hours before the boat departs from the Area E Boat Launch. Cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children, 6 to 12 and anyone under six is free.
Saturday night, the park will be holding a 50’s themed birthday bash. There will be birthday cake and ice cream at the park pavilion.
Sunday, the park will host a cast iron cooking workshop.
Participants will join park staff in learning to care for and use cast iron cookware as they prepare breakfast, and become a part of the park’s legacy of cooking with a Dutch oven.
Space is limited and the cost is $15 per person.
For more information, contact the Daisy State Park at 870-398-4487 or visit the website www.arkansasstateparks.com/Daisy.
CROSSPOINT COWBOY CHURCH HOSTING PLAY DAYS 7/29/15
Hayes Boyd announced the Crosspoint Cowboy Church on Highway 371 just west of Nashville has started their 2015 Play Day Series and encouraged young people to participate in the second session on Saturday, August 8th.
Boyd said the books will open at 6 p.m. and the events will begin at 7.
Boyd said there will barrel racing, stakes races and flag races.
Boyd stated the entry fee is $5 per event and participants must wear cowboy attire.
Points will be kept for each play day and contestants must compete in three out of the four days to be eligible for any awards.
For more information, contact Boyd at 870-784-0819.
SPECIAL CALLED SCHOOL BOARD MEETING TONIGHT 07/28
Dierks School District will hold a Special School Board Meeting tonight, July 28, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. in the High School Library. Items on the agenda include: Consider computer purchases and Personnel.
Fun or Profit Shabby Chic Furniture Refinishing Class 07/28/15
ARKANSAS COMPETES IN 2015 TEXT4BABY STATE ENROLLMENT CONTEST 7/28/15
Arkansas is once again participating in the Text4baby State Enrollment Contest, which is a national competition to provide pregnant and new moms with important information that they need for their health and the health of their babies. The state hopes to enroll at least 2,000 parents or grandparents in the free texting service.
The Text4baby State Enrollment Contest was established in 2011 and this year's contest runs from now until October 30th. During this time, states will compete to enroll as many participants as possible in the free health and safety service that's designed for pregnant women and new moms.
According to the Arkansas Department of Health, Arkansas reached more than 1,100 people with free health and safety information last year and this year, they hope to reach 2,000 parents and grandparents.
From June 28th to July 18th, Arkansas had enrolled 229 in the program and won the weekly enrollment competition for the week of July 12th.
Through the text4baby service, women who text BABY to 511411 will receive three free text messages a week, timed to their due date or their baby's birth date, through pregnancy and up until the baby's first birthday. The text will include information on immunizations, appointments, resources, and other health and safety information that leads to better health for moms and their babies.
A study shows that women who use the text4baby program feel more prepared for motherhood because they are armed with the knowledge that leads to better health for them and their babies.
Arkansas won the medium state category in the 2013. For more information visit www.text4baby.org or you may contact the county's health physician, Dr. Jason Lofton or the Sevier County Health Unit at 642-2535.
BUSINESS CONFERENCE IN DE QUEEN 7/28/15
The Arkansas Human Development Corporation, with assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, has partnered with public and private organizations to hold a regional conference designed to support and grow small businesses in Southwest Arkansas.
According to Linda Nelson, the District Director of the U.S. Small Business Administration, this event will bring together approximately 20 private sector, state, federal and nonprofit organizations with a singular mission of equipping small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs with the skills and resources they need to start and expand their businesses.
The conference will be held on Friday, July 31st, from noon to 4 p.m. in the Adams Building on the De Queen campus of UA Cossatot. Speakers will discuss building effective partnerships and networks, how to secure capital, how to sell goods and services to the government, social media and disaster relief from small businesses.
At noon there will be a Lenders Roundtable luncheon, where participants will network with local, regional and statewide lenders, including but not limited to the Arkansas Capital Corporation, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, Bear State Bank, Diamond State Bank, LiftFund, USDA-Rural Development, Southwest Arkansas Planning and Development District and possible more.
Aspiring and current business owners, youth entrepreneurs, veterans and community and economic development professionals, are invited to attend the meeting.
Nelson will be the keynote speaker.
The conference is free but registration is encouraged by calling the Arkansas Human Development Corporation at 1-800-482-7641.
FEMA REGISTRATION DEADLINE LESS THAN A MONTH AWAY 7/28/15
Residents of the nine Arkansas counties who suffered damage from the severe storms of May 7th through June 15th have less than one month left to register for disaster assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The deadline to register for assistance is Tuesday, August 25th.
Individuals and families who suffered losses as a result of the late spring storms may register online at disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362.
The toll-free telephone number will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week until further notice.
Area residents in Sevier, Little River, Howard and Miller counties may be eligible for federal disaster assistance. That assistance may include money for rental assistance, essential home repairs, personal property loss and other serious disaster-related needs that's not covered by insurance.
Low-interest disaster loans from the Small Business Administration are available to help with residential and business losses not covered by insurance. The Small Business Administration is the federal government's primary source of money for the rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. The administration helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property.
KCS CLOSING RAILROAD CROSSING FOR MAINTENANCE 7/28/15
Sevier County Judge Greg Ray's office announced Monday morning that the KCS Railroad Crossing on Ladd Bridge Road will be closed on Wednesday, July 29th from 8 a.m. to noon for railroad maintenance.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact the county judge's office at 642-2425.
In Ashdown, the 2015 Two Rivers Gala, a Red Carpet Affair, will be held on Saturday, August 15th at the Texarkana Country Club.
Proceeds will benefit the Little River County Historical Society's Two Rivers Museum. Tickets are available at the Two Rivers Museum, the Little River County Courthouse and the Castle Antiques.
If you are interested in serving as a substitute teacher in the Foreman School District, you need to attend the district's sub-workshop on Monday, August 10th at 1 p.m. in the Oscar Hamilton Elementary Library.
For more information, contact the administration office at 870-542-7211.
WICKES CHURCH OF CHRIST TO PRESENT THE MOVIE VIRTUOUS 7/28/15
Saturday night at 6 p.m., the Wickes Church of Christ will present the Christian film, Virtuous along with guest speaker, Holly Spears, who sings on the film's soundtrack.
Church member Marc Rosson said the event is free to the public, but a love offering will be taken up.
The film brings the principles of Proverbs 31 to life, by showcasing the fact that a woman can be both righteous in her lifestyle and gritty enough to defend her convictions.
The film, Virtuous, will take the audience on a journey through the hearts and minds of women's struggles for redemption, salvation and God's transformative love.
In the film, Simone Burner who is played by Brandy Allison is accused of murdering the man who assaulted her and she seeks the help of attorney Jack Evans who is played by Erik Estrada.
DOMTAR’S ASHDOWN MILL AND UA COSSATOT PARTNER FOR NEW TRAINING PROGRAM 07/28/15
ASHDOWN - Domtar’s Ashdown Mill recently partnered with UA Cossatot to provide scholarship dollars to students entering the Truck Driver Training Program.
The program currently offers a 160-hour training program where students can acquire their Commercial Driver License, but is now expanding the program to offer a training course for logging equipment operators. The new Log Truck Driver Training Program is part of the UA Cossatot’s existing program located on the Nashville campus. The course is 20-hours that equips students with the entry-level skills and knowledge needed to become a successful logging truck driver. The goal of the training program is to provide logging contractors in the area with an increased pool of properly trained truck drivers specific to the pulpwood industry.
“Unfortunately, the cost of recruiting and training operators can be very expensive,” said Rick Rodenroth, Group Fiber Manager at Domtar. “We believe this new program will be very beneficial to logging companies within our region who service the mill.”
In addition, logging companies may also find benefit from lowered insurance costs once they’ve had an employee complete the program.
“Our hope is that the scholarship dollars Domtar is providing will help offset the initial costs required for those seeking this training opportunity,” stated Rodenroth.
“Our mission at UA Cossatot is to graduate a student that is workforce ready,” said Mike Kinkade, Vice Chancellor of Facilities and Planning and Director of the Truck Driving Program for UA Cossatot. “With Domtar’s generous donation, we are able to create a program that meets their industry needs as well as putting our students to work. We have a long history of a great relationship with Domtar and this is just another win/win situation for us.”
Students interested in the Logging Truck Driver Training program can contact Jimmy Ivers at Domtar’s Ashdown Mill or Mike Kinkade at UA Cossatot in Nashville.
ALL-AMERICAN COWGIRLS CHICKS TO PERFORM AT PINE TREE FESTIVAL 7/27/15
The Dierks Pine Tree Festival has always celebrated the impact of the pine tree on the economy of the City of Dierks and every year, the Dierks Chamber of Commerce plans a family friendly event for area residents and this year is no exception.
This year's festival will feature games and rides, crafts and food along with concerts and the ultimate bull riding event.
And, this year, the Dierks Chamber of Commerce has invited the All-American Cowgirl Chicks from Weatherford, Texas and founder Trish Lynn informed KDQN the All-American Cowgirl Chicks are an equestrian drill team.
Lynn will also be performing a free concert, Friday night.
Tickets for the Ultimate Bull-riding event on Saturday night are $10 and they may be purchased from any member of the Dierks Chamber of Commerce.
CONSUMER ALERT - NO BIG PAYOUTS IN INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY 7/27/15
International scammers are once again turning to Arkansas to make some extra money by telling Arkansans they have won money in an international lottery. According to the Arkansas Attorney General's office, Arkansans are being contacted through direct mail, email, over the phone. Con artists are requesting a small fee in order to process a cash prize.
Usually the recipient is informed that they have won a lottery or an expensive prize, such as a car or trip. All the consumer has to do is submit either a small payment or provide some personal financial information to claim the prize. These payments are often called processing fees or customs charges.
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said a consumer should never pay to receive a free prize. She said you should never send money if someone asks you to pay a fee through a wire-transfer or a pre-paid credit card.
Rutledge stated it is also illegal to play an international lottery through the mail or over the phone.
Rutledge also said people who accept these offers become targets of other scammers after their information is shared or sold to someone else.
To report an international lottery scam, contact the Attorney General's office by calling 1-800-482-8982 or visit the website, ArkansasAG.gov.
DE QUEEN REGISTRATION 7/27/15
De Queen School Media Relations Director, Tammy Whatley, announced registration for the 2015-2016 school year will begin on Monday, August 3rd.
De Queen Primary Principal Terri Hill announced registration for primary students will be held on Thursday, August 6th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3 to 6 p.m.
Elementary Principal Terri Phillips said elementary students will also register on Thursday, August 6th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3 to 6 p.m.
Middle School Principal Brenda Leeper said registration for the Middle School will be held on Tuesday, August 4th.
Counselors from the De Queen Junior and Senior highs said registration will start on Monday, August 3rd.
The Ashdown School District will hold an Open House for ninth grade students on Tuesday, July 28th at 6:30 p.m.
Ashdown High School will register new students to the district August 3rd and 4th from 8 a.m. until noon and from 1 to 3 p.m.
The Ashdown Junior High School will register new students August 3rd to August 6th from 8 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. in the school office. Returning students who pre-registered during the spring do not have to re-register.
All elementary schools in the Ashdown District will register new and returning students on August 3rd through the 6th from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the schools' offices.
All ALE students will register at their home campuses and there will be a district-wide open house and meet the teacher day on Thursday, August 13th from 2 to 7 p.m.
Cossatot River High School will hold orientation for 7th graders on August 3rd from 10 a.m. to noon; eighth and ninth grade students on August 4th from 10 a.m. to noon and tenth and eleventh grade students on August 4th from noon to 2 p.m.; and twelfth graders on August 4th from 2 to 4 p.m.
FEMA ASSISTANCE BASED ON INDIVIDUAL LOSS, NEEDS 7/27/15
Arkansas residents who suffered damage in the severe spring storms should know that any disaster aid they may receive will be based on their unique circumstances and needs.
FEMA coordinator for Arkansas, Nancy Casper said, FEMA wants everyone to receive the maximum assistance for which they are eligible and the amount and type of assistance an individual receives could be completely different from what their neighbor receives, even though the damage may appear to be similar.
Residents in Howard, Little River, Miller and Sevier counties that were affected by the storms, tornados and flooding between May 7th and June 15th may be eligible for disaster assistance and they are being encouraged to register with FEMA by the August 15th deadline.
Registering with FEMA is the first step in the process and the type of assistance that a person is eligible for can only be determined after they register.
Individuals and business owners may register online at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362.
The toll free number will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.
Applicant’s needs are evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine the types of assistance that’s available to that individual. Not everyone who registers will qualify, but to be considered for assistance you must register.
Assistance could include: charitable contributions from voluntary agencies; grants to help pay for temporary housing needs, essential home repairs and other disaster-related expenses; and low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration to cover residential or business losses not fully covered by insurance.
For more information visit, www.fema.gov.
FEMA EXPERTS OFFER IDEAS TO LESSEN IMPACT OF DISASTER DAMAGE 7/27/15
Teams of specialists from FEMA will be offering tips and techniques to lessen the impact of future disaster-related property damage at building supply stores in Arkansas beginning July 27th.
A team will be at the Davis Lumber Company on Highway 71 in Texarkana, Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon until Thursday, August 6th.
FEMA specialists offer how-to information on both retrofitting buildings to make them more resistant to wind damage and ways to elevate utilities against flood damage. They also will provide tips to clean and help prevent mold and mildew.
Many of the tips and techniques are specifically geared for the do-it-yourselfer and for building contractors.
FEMA also offers a number of free online resources for home and property owners. To get started, go to www.fema.gov/safer-stronger-protected-homes-communities.
SINGLE PARENT SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE 7/27/15
Single parents living in Arkansas and pursuing a college degree can now apply for a scholarship through the Single Parent Scholarship Foundation.
Single parent scholarships are given to low-income, single parents seeking a higher education to acquire job skills. Eligibility criteria and application requirements vary by county.
Deadlines for counties in Arkansas are: Sevier County, August 5th; Miller County, August 11th; Polk County, September 1st; and Little River County, September 15th.
To apply, go to aspsf.org and click on your county of residence for specific eligibility requirements.
SUMMER ENERGY SAVING TIPS 7/27/15
The hot summer weather is here and temperatures will be nearing 100 degrees soon. And, those temps and high humidity will make you eager to stay cool, but you want to save money at the same time.
According to SWEPCO, you can following these simple tips to help reduce your electric bill this summer.
You should install a clean air conditioning filter on a regular basis in the summer, because a dirty filter can cause your equipment to work harder and use up to five percent more energy.
Set you thermostat at 78 degrees. Each degree lower will add about eight percent to your cooling cost.
Use a portable and ceiling fans whenever possible. They only cost a dollar or two to operate per month.
Perform heavy housework chores in the cooler times of the day and this includes washing dishes, baking and laundry work. These create heat and moisture and that puts a strain on your air conditioner.
Keep direct sunlight out as much as possible, close the curtains, shades and blinds during the day.
Replace weather-stripping around doors and windows to prevent air leaks.
Make sure the attic is properly ventilated to prevent excess heat build-up.
Have your air conditioner inspected each year.
You shouldn’t put furniture or draperies near the air vents inside your home and remember shrubs and trees around your home, act as a barrier against the sun and can help reduce the amount of energy that’s required to cool your home.
DE QUEEN MAN DIES IN VEHICLE CRASH NEAR HOT SPRINGS 7/27/15
Arkansas State Police say a De Queen man was killed and several people were injured when the sport utility vehicle they were riding in crashed on Highway 70 near Hot Springs.
A report on the crash says Bernebe Figueroa died in the crash Saturday just east of Hot Springs.
The report says Figueroa was a passenger in a westbound SUV that went off the highway and struck a tree, then overturned several times. The report says the weather was clear and the road was dry at the time.
78TH ANNUAL SEVIER COUNTY FAIR AND RODEO 7/24/15
Sevier County Fair Board member Linda Frachiseur announced registration for the livestock show for the 78th annual Sevier County Fair is Saturday, August 1st from 9 a.m. until noon.
Frachiseur said the livestock show has been growing and by pre-registering, the board will be able to ensure they have enough space for the animals.
Frachiseur said the week for this year's fair is August 22nd through August 29th and the fair board is hoping for cooler temperatures and more exhibits.
Frachiseur also announced the fair board would be holding a 4D barrel race on Monday, July 27th. The books will open at 6 and the races will start at 8.
For more information, call Sandra Nunn at 870-642-7352.
COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK 7/24/15
Cossatot River State Park will be hosting breakfast on the sandbar this Saturday morning from 9 to 10:30 a.m.
A park interpreter will hold a Dutch oven cooking demonstration and everyone will enjoy some biscuits and gravy, so bring a bowl, a spoon and a hearty appetite.
From 2 to 3 p.m. guests can join a park interpreter as they snorkel a section of the Cossatot River and observe the underwater life while enjoying the clean, cool water on a warm Saturday afternoon.
All of the snorkeling equipment will be provided by the park, but guest will need to wear clothing that appropriate for swimming.
Sunday morning, the park will host an indoor and outdoor scavenger hunt from 10 to 11 a.m.
Participates can pick up a scavenger hunt brochure at the visitor center and then set out to see who will find the items on the list.
From 2 to 3 p.m., guests will feed the park critters.
For more information about the programs at the Cossatot River State Park, call 870-385-2201.
FEDERAL DISASTER ASSISTANCE IS FOR ARKANSAS RENTERS, TOO 7/24/15
Renters in the Arkansas counties whose homes and property were damaged by the severe springs storms may be eligible for federal disaster assistance.
Renters who were displaced from their homes by the storms may be eligible for FEMA grants to help them pay rent for temporary housing. These rental grants are for a 30-day period, and they are subject to review until the renters' previous homes are again livable or they find another home.
The U.S. Small Business Administration offers affordable disaster loans to help Arkansas renters repair or replace disaster-damaged personal property, including automobiles. Loan rates are as low as 1.688 percent; terms can be as long as 30 years and survivors may be eligible for up to $40,000, depending on their losses.
Both renters and homeowners may also be eligible for Other Needs Assistance, which helps survivors with uninsured or underinsured necessary expenses and serious needs caused by the disaster.
Eligibility for Other Needs Assistance grants is determined by completing and returning the Small Business Administration application.
Other Needs Assistance may be used for disaster related medical and dental expenses, as well as assistive devices such as wheelchairs, canes, prescriptions and other related equipment; repair or replacement of necessary personal property that was lost or damaged in the disaster, such as room furnishings or appliances, as well as tools and equipment that required by the self-employed.; primary vehicles, approved second vehicles and modified vehicles that were damaged by the disaster and disaster-related funeral and burial expenses.
Residents in Howard, Little River, Miller and Sevier counties are encouraged to register for assistance with FEMA by the August 25th deadline by visiting the website: www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362.
After registering with FEMA for assistance, survivors should either visit a Disaster Recovery Center to apply for their Small Business Administration loan, or request a loan application when they receive a recorded, automatic telephone call from the SBA.
HOPE WATERMELON FESTIVAL 7/24/15
The 39th annual Hope Watermelon Festival is set for August 6th through 8th in Hope’s Fair Park. The festival opens at noon Thursday, August 6th.
Jim “Bear” Barentine will perform through the afternoon on the BancorpSouth stage. Events on Thursday include the Kiwanis Chicken Dinner that evening, the dog show on the BancorpSouth stage at 6:30 p.m. followed by the blues sounds of Larry Stuart as well as the preliminaries of the Watermelon Idol Talent Contest at 6 on the McDonald’s stage in the coliseum.
Music begins outside the coliseum on the Hope Auto stage at 6 with Rudy Preston and friends, including Carl Jackson. At 7, the Night Hawk band will perform and after 8, the “Godfather of Sax” Ace Cannon will return to the festival for a free show.
Friday, August 7th, the festival will open at 9 a.m. The Lions Club fish and chicken dinner is set for the Fair Park Community Center from 4:30 to 7 p.m. inside the coliseum, Beta Sigma Phi will present the Little Miss and Little Mr. Watermelon Pageant.
The Washington Vintage Dancers will perform near the Hope Auto Stage at 7. Friday night will also feature the “Liverpool Legends.” The Liverpool Legends are a Beatles tribute band. Tickets are $5 and are available at all advance concert ticket locations and will be available at the box office Friday evening. The gates will open at 7 p.m. at the CMC Steel Products Stage.
Saturday, August 8th will feature the 5K race and the Melon Mile for kids, an antique car show, a kid’s fishing derby on Lake Huckabee in Fair Park from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m., the “Politically Correct” watermelon eating contest at 11:30 a.m. on the BancorpSouth Stage, the regular watermelon eating contest at noon and the seed-spitting contest at 1.
At 2 p.m. there will be an arm-wrestling competition. You can also play Yerger Museum Bingo, money in the haystack, and enjoy the antique engine show.
And, the big finale will be a concert by Sammy Kershaw. The gates will open at 6 p.m., the finalists from the Watermelon Idol contest will perform at 6, Buddy Jewell will perform at 7:30, the winner of the Idol contest will perform at 8:25 and Kershaw will perform at 8:30.
Advance general admission tickets are $12 and will be $20 the day of the show. Tickets for kids aged 4 to 10 will be $6. Reserved seats are $40. A combo general admission ticket for the Sammy Kershaw concert and the Liverpool Legends is just $15.
Tickets are available online at uacchfoundation.org.
The festival will feature over 200 booths of arts and crafts as well as a dozen concession stands selling everything from BBQ to corn dogs to blooming onions and alligator on a stick.
There is a $5 parking fee which benefits the chamber of commerce, the Boy Scouts, and the Hope Rotary Club.
For more information visit hopemelonfest.com, you can call 870-777-3640 or like Hope Arkansas Melonfest on Facebook.
HOURS AT DISASTER RECOVERY CENTER IN HOWARD COUNTY TO CHANGE 7/24/15
The disaster recovery center in Howard County will be closed weekends starting Saturday, July 25th.
The center will remain open on weekdays from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The toll-free Helpline, 1-800-621-3362, is still available seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The center provides help to those whose homes or businesses were affected by the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding during the period of May 7th to June 15th.
Representatives from the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration and other agencies are at the centers to explain disaster assistance programs and help survivors apply for aid.
The Howard County disaster recovery center is located in the Carter Day Training Center at 200 Lake Nichols Drive in Nashville.
SKILLZ AND DRILLZ CAMP 7/24/15
The De Queen Leopard basketball coaches will be hosting a skills and drills camp next week at Leopard Arena from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Thursday.
High School basketball coach Beau Brickell mentioned Thursday morning that the high school team has played 10 games this summer and he is already seeing some improvement. He said although the team lost several senior leaders from last year's team, but even though this year's team will be young, they still have some experience.
While Coach Brickell was in the studio, he stated he and
Coach Richard Bell were hoping teach kids the finer points of the game of basketball during next week's camp.
Brickell said the camp was for any boy from the surrounding area, not just De Queen students.
To register or for more information, call Coach Brickell at 501-538-7360 or Coach Bell at 870-582-1788.
SINGLE PARENT SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS AVAILABLE 07/23/15
The 2015 fall Single Parent Scholarship Cycles are now open in the following counties:
Little River County: Deadline: September 15th
Sevier County: Deadline: August 5th
Miller and Bowie Counties: Deadline: August 11th
Nevada County: Deadline: September 15th
Clark and Pike Counties: Deadline: September 16th
Ouachita, Calhoun, Dallas and Columbia Counties: Priority Deadline: September 20th/ Final Deadline: November 20th
Montgomery County: Deadline: August 10th
Polk County: Priority Deadline: September 1st
Scott County: Deadline: August 10th
Union County: Deadline: September 1st
To apply go to
www.aspsf.org, click on apply now, click on your county of
residence on the state map.
43RD ANNUAL PINE TREE FESTIVAL 7/23/15
The 43rd Annual Pine Tree Festival is scheduled for Friday, July 31st and Saturday, August 1st, but the Dierks Chamber of Commerce will get things started with a kick-off party this Friday from 5 to 7 p.m.
Tickets to the Saturday night Ultimate Bull Riding will be discounted two dollars to just $8 a ticket, Friday night. They will also be selling t-shirts and serving free hot dogs.
Chamber President Damon Mounts stated there will be carnival rides, a magic show and a concert Friday night of Pine Tree Festival.
On Saturday, the Dierks cheerleaders will host a 5K at 7 a.m. and the parade will begin at 10. Mounts and chamber member Stacy Janes said groups can still enter a float in the parade.
Janes said Friday's events are free and Saturday night will feature the All-American Cowgirl Chicks and a pyro show by Heath Riggins’ of Fayetteville, along with the bull riding and Mexican bull fighting. He said the Saturday night festivities will begin at 8 p.m.
Janes also invited area cowboys to sign up when the books open on Monday, July 27th.
Tickets for the Saturday night bull riding event are $10 after this week’s kick-off party. For more information, like the Dierks Chamber on Facebook at Pine Tree Festival, Dierks, Ark city park.
CODE RED SYSTEM APPROVED FOR HOWARD COUNTY 7/23/15
Howard County Judge Kevin Smith announced this week that the county is proceeding with the activation of a Code Red system.
Smith said the county's portion of the cost will be paid with funds from a state grant and since the county will be using the 911 addresses to build the data base, the remaining cost will be taken from the county's 911 account.
All of the county incorporated towns will also pay a portion of the cost.
Code Red is a telephone system that will provide phone notification to county residents should a weather warning is issued. It will also allow for other notifications, such as changes to garbage schedules or road and street closures.
DIERKS CITY COUNCIL HIRES ALDERMAN FOR PARK POSITION 7/23/15
Dierks Mayor Terry Mounts reported the city was in need of some part-time help at the city park, last week during the monthly meeting of the Dierks City Council.
Mounts reported city employees were busy and were having a hard time keeping up with the daily maintenance needs in the park. He also stated Alderman James Sebren had expressed an interest in the job.
According to Mounts, the council voted to hire Sebren and he will work 25 hours a week for $9.25 an for six months.
Mounts also said county 309's were helping prepare the park for the upcoming Pine Tree Festival.
Mounts also reported the city had sold its 2009 Dodge Durango to the Mineral Springs School District. He said the superintendent, Curtis Turner, told him they wanted the car for the districts resource officer.
Aldermen then voted to make a $17,500 payment toward the police department’s new pickup truck.
I’M NOT DRIVING, I’M WAITING ON A DRIVER 7/23/15
About 3 a.m. on Sunday, July 19th, Patrolman First Class Bucky Sawyer noticed a pickup parked in a handicap parking space at the E-Z Mart on East Collin Raye Drive that didn’t have a handicap tag.
Sawyer approached the vehicle and spoke to a Hispanic male that was sitting in the driver’s seat. The driver was identified as 30-year-old Jose Rios.
Sawyer reported there was a strong odor of alcohol coming from the truck and asked Rios if he had been drinking. Rios allegedly said that he had had a couple.
Rios told Officer Sawyer that he didn’t drive the truck to the store but was just sitting in the driver’s seat.
Sawyer informed Rios that he didn’t have to be driving because he was physically in control of the vehicle since he was in the driver’s seat. Rios then allegedly admitted that he had driven to the store, but had called someone to come and get him. Rios also stated that he had opened a beer in the truck to drink while he was waiting on them.
Rios was administered a series of field sobriety test and was taken into custody on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
Rios was cited for not having a driver’s license, parking in a handicap parking space and DWI.
WHAT’S IN A NAME 7/23/15
About 7:30 p.m. Sunday night, Patrolman Justin Gentry made a traffic stop after clocking a vehicle going 55 miles per hour in a 45 miles per hour speed zone.
Officer Gentry asked the driver and passenger for ID. The passenger a 19-year-old white male told Gentry, he didn’t have a driver’s license, no information came back on the name that he gave Gentry.
Gentry issued the driver, Tonya Miller a warning for speeding and she then gave Gentry consent to search her vehicle.
While searching the car, Gentry found a plastic bag inside a cigarette pack that contained suspected marijuana. The male passenger allegedly stated the package was his and that there was a pipe in the glove box.
While Gentry was handcuffing the suspect, he informed Gentry his name was Brandon Cornett. When Gentry asked Cornett why he provided him with a false name, Cornett said he thought he had a warrant for his arrest.
Cornett was charged with felony possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a controlled substance – marijuana, obstruction of government operations and was processed on his misdemeanor warrant for failure to pay.
The hands-on classes featured recipes from Italy, Spain, France, Morocco, Greece, Lebanon and Egypt. Ninety-nine percent of the ingredients for the 20 recipes were bought in De Queen. Attendees finished the evening with a family style meal which is a common practice in the Mediterranean.
TYSON FOODS SUPPORTS FAIR ASSOCIATION 07/22/15
Tyson Foods presented a $2000 check to
Sevier County Fair Board Members on July 21st. The funds will be
used for the purchase of wood shavings for show animal pens during
this year's annual livestock show. Tyson is pleased to contribute
to organizations and activities that promote agriculture with our
ARKANSAS SALES TAX HOLIDAY, AUGUST 1ST AND 2ND 7/22/15
The Arkansas sales tax holiday for 2015 will begin on Saturday, August 1st at 12:01 a.m. and will continue through Sunday, August 2nd at 11:59 p.m.
During the sales tax holiday, state and local sales tax will not be collected on clothing and footwear items if the sales price is less than $100 per item; clothing accessories and equipment if the sales price is less than $50 per item; school supplies; school art supplies and school instructional materials.
Clothing is any article of apparel that’s suitable for general use. Clothing accessories or equipment are any item that’s worn on a person or in conjunction with clothing.
School supplies are items commonly used by a student in a course of study, such as, binders, book bags, calculators, crayons, erasers, folders, glue, highlighters, legal pads, lunch boxes, markers, paper, pencils, pens, rulers, scissors and writing tablets.
School art supplies include clay and glazes, paints, paintbrushes, sketch and drawing pads and watercolors.
School Instructional material includes reference books, maps, globes, textbooks and workbooks.
A complete list of tax free items is on the website, www.dfa.arkansas.gov.
DE QUEEN TEEN DIES FROM INJURIES 7/22/15
A De Queen teenager passed away recently from injuries that she received from an accident on Wednesday, July 15th that occurred on Highway 24 in Sevier County.
18-year-old Ana Macias died at Christus St. Michael Health System in Texarkana, Texas.
According to the accident report, Macias was driving a 1998 Mercedes east on Highway 24 and crossed the centerline into the left-hand lane of traffic and went through a bridge guardrail. The vehicle then overturned in the river.
REPRESENTATIVE VAUGHT BRINGS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE TO THE FOREFRONT 7/22/15
According to a recent report, domestic violence hotlines receive an average of six calls an hour. According to that same report, 10 people were killed in incidents involving domestic violence in 2014.
Courtney White of the Southwest Arkansas Crisis and Resource Center informed KDQN that they receive about six calls a week.
The report also stated domestic violence is a pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviors including physical, sexual and psychological attacks, as well as economic coercion that abusers use against their victims.
Representative De Ann Vaught reported the 90th General Assembly passed four pieces of legislature that should reduce the number of domestic violence and to protect victims. She said these laws will take effect today, July 22nd.
White stated Act 876 will require law enforcement agencies that are investigating a domestic violence case to investigate it in a manner that will permit the prosecuting attorney to prosecute the case even if the victim is unavailable to testify.
Act 952 requires a unit on dating violence be taught in grades 7-12 as part of the health curriculum. White reported the Crisis Center has been offering this information for some time.
Vaught said Laura’s Card requires law enforcement agencies to give a victim’s family a printed document that explains a victim’s rights, information for assistance and the officer’s contact information. White said they have complied this information for local law enforcement agencies.
Laura’s Law allows the first officer to interview the victim to assess the potential danger. White said many victims do not realize they are being abused until that fill out the assessment sheet.
If you or someone you know is being abused call 911, but for more information you can call the statewide hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE or you can call the Southwest Arkansas Crisis and Resource Center 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 870-584-3441.
IT’S JUST ONE PILL 7/22/15
Saturday morning about 2 a.m., Patrolman First Class Bucky Sawyer of the De Queen Police Department pulled over a vehicle that was speeding on Highway 329.
When Sawyer asked the driver, 26-year-old Willie Savage of Nashville for his driver's license, Savage informed Sawyer that he didn't have one.
Savage was asked to exit the vehicle. Sawyer reported he noticed Savage looking back at the car and the two passengers were asked to exit the vehicle.
The occupants were informed that they could have someone come and drive the car home, since none of them had a valid driver's license.
While searching the vehicle, Patrolman Justin Gentry discovered two different types of alcohol bottles that were open and empty. The two passengers stated they had been drinking earlier, but Savage said he hadn't.
When the officers checked a drinking glass that was in a cup holder, they found a white, round pill, underneath the cup. The pill was identified as Tramadol.
Savage stated he had a prescription for the pill and Officer Sawyer informed him, that if he could have someone text him a picture of the prescription bottle, then he wouldn't be charged with possession of a controlled substance.
After calling his wife, Savage said she couldn't find the bottle and then began telling the officers that the charges were bogus.
Savage was transported to the Sevier County jail where he was citied for driving without a license, no proof of insurance and possession of controlled substance.
UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS MAY QUALIFY FOR SOME DISASTER AID 7/21/15
Parents and guardians of children who are citizens, non-citizen nationals or qualified aliens who are living in the federally-declared area in Arkansas, may apply for assistance on behalf of their child, according to FEMA.
Individuals and business owners who sustained losses can apply for assistance by registering online at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362.
Once registered, FEMA disaster recovery specialists will answer questions about applications or collect information that FEMA needs to process the application. Recovery specialists can supply contacts for other programs.
Programs that are operated by volunteer organizations, such as the American Red Cross, that may also be able to help.
An applicant's information is confidential and FEMA only shares that information with the state and the designated agencies that provide disaster assistance.
Residents in Howard, Little River, Miller and Sevier counties may be eligible for disaster assistance and are encouraged to register for assistance with FEMA by August 25th.
Horatio Residents Complete Extension Get Fit Classes 07/21/15
Participants worked on balance, strength and endurance over the 12 week period. All three ladies were able to double the number of repetitions, or amount of time endured, or increase their flexibility in 4 out of 6 items tested before and after the program. This research based program is designed to increase strength and improve balance and flexibility. In addition to physical benefits, exercise also improves mood and attitude. It decreases depression and helps you to sleep more soundly. If you have a group that is interested in a fitness program, call the Sevier County Extension Office at 870-584-3013.
Above photo From left to right: Brenda Kramer, Betty Candelaria, and Jerry Ann Broadwell.
Submitted by: Janet Cantrell, CEA-FCS
IMMIGRANT ACTIVISTS CONFRONT PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES IN HOT SPRINGS 7/21/15
Local members of Arkansas United Community Coalition joined other immigrant activists from across the state on Friday, July 17th outside the Hot Springs Convention Center to show their support for immigration reform and to protest remarks made by presidential candidate, Donald Trump.
Omar Gallardo of De Queen joined the protest at a Republican fundraising dinner in Hot Springs to protest Trump's appearance as the keynote speaker for the Republican Party of Arkansas.
Activists were protesting remarks made by Trump on June 16th when he described Mexican immigrants as "rapists" and "criminals."
Activists were also present at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock, where presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was speaking to the Democratic Party of Arkansas.
According to Arkansas United, activists were in North Little Rock in support of Clinton who has expressed her support for immigration reform.
LITTLE RIVER COUNTY LEADERSHIP CLASS FORMING NOW 7/21/15
Little River County Chamber of Commerce director Fonda Hawthorne informed KDQN Monday morning that she is still taking applications for the 2015-2016 Little River Leadership class until the end of July.
Hawthorne also explained what the leadership class is designed to promote an awareness of Little River County and to foster and develop leadership skills.
Hawthorne said individuals must be willing to commit the time to fulfill the attendance requirements and have a desire to serve in local organizations, boards and other community offices.
Hawthorne said the Little River County Class and the Sevier County Leadership Class will be making a trip to McNab to tour the John W. Turk Power Plant together, but the Little River Class will also take several trips to visit county museums, businesses and government offices.
For more information or an application, stop by the Little River County Chamber of Commerce office, the Ashdown and Foreman city halls or call 870-898-2758.
MEN'S EVENT THIS FRIDAY IN FOREMAN 7/21/15
Little River County Judge and Southern Sportsmen Foundation member Mike Cranford informed KDQN Monday morning that area men are invited to a men's event at the First Baptist Church in Foreman this Friday night at 7 p.m.
Cranford explained men from the area meet every quarter, but once a year they host a big event with a special guest speaker. Cranford said this year's speaker is Mike "the Wildman" Wilson.
Wilson started his career with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission in 1978 as a hunting safety training officer and was named the chief of the Information and Education Division in 1987. He has been named the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission employee of the Year, twice and received the Ducks Unlimited Jerry Jones Sportsman of the Year award in 2011.
Cranford said the program is based on Psalm 133, which encourages us to dwell together in unity.
For more information, contact Cranford at 903-826-3318 or the First Baptist Church of Foreman at 870-279-1001.
MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT CLAIMS LIFE OF FOREMAN RESIDENT 7/21/15
A Foreman man died Thursday from injuries he received from a motorcycle accident on Highway 41 north of Foreman.
Dean Nicholas was pronounced dead at 3:12 Thursday afternoon at Christus St. Michael Health System in Texarkana, Texas, according to the crash report from the Arkansas State Police.
The accident occurred about 11:50 a.m.
According to the report, Nicholas was traveling northbound on a 2000 model Honda motorcycle when he lost control and the motorcycle left the roadway.
THREE MEN DIE IN ACCIDENT NEAR CENTER POINT 7/21/15
According to the Arkansas State Police, three men died in a one vehicle accident near the Highway 355 and 278 intersection, south of Center Point in Howard County.
The three men were identified as 23-year-old Jose Puente and 20-year-old Jesus Puente, both of Ozan, and 26-year-old Blake Harding of Nashville.
Arkansas State Trooper Mason Glasgow reported the three men were traveling west on Highway 278 in a 1997 Mustang, when the driver, Jose Puente, failed to negotiate a curve.
The vehicle struck an embankment and became airborne, hitting several trees with the top of the car. The vehicle then came to rest on its left side in the ditch.
According to the report, the accident occurred about 8 p.m. Saturday night, but it wasn't discovered until early Sunday morning.
17 AREA HUNTERS AMONG 72 WITH ALLIGATOR HUNTING PERMITS 7/20/15
Earlier this year, Arkansas hunters applied for and won a coveted alligator hunting permit for this fall.
This September, hunters will be able to take alligators that are at least four feet long. Alligators must captured by using a harpoon, snare or noose before they can be killed and the permit allows the holder to harvest one gator.
Area winners were Michelle Dudley, Jesse Hinton and Tawna Lansdell all of Ashdown; Jacky Simmons of Lockesburg; Anthony Dinger of De Queen and Jade Hughes and Britany Perry of Nashville.
These gator hunters will be allowed to have helpers accompanying them during the weekend hunts.
ASSOCIATION FOR A GREATER YARBOROUGH MEETING 7/20/15
The Association for a Greater Yarborough will hold its quarterly meeting on Monday, July 27th at 6 p.m. at the Yarborough Community Center.
Board members will be discussing both old and new business items as well as, the Wounded Warrior Hunt that is scheduled for October 21st through October 25th.
Board member Frank Cooper mentioned it is important all of the members of the Yarborough community contribute to the success of the hunt and other community projects.
For more information, contact Cooper at 870-898-4793.
CRATER OF DIAMONDS HIRES NEW PARK INTERPRETER 7/17/15
Park Interpreter Waymon Cox of the Crater of Diamonds State Park introduced Betty Coors has the park’s newest interpreter.
Coors is a native of North Little Rock and worked as a dental assistant for 15 years in North Little Rock, Fairfield Bay and Russellville. In 2009, she graduated with honors from Arkansas Tech University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation and Park Administration with an emphasis in Interpretation and a minor in Anthropology.
Coors began her career with the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism in 2006 at Lake Chicot State Park in Lake Village. While attending Arkansas Tech, she completed a college internship at DeGray Lake Resort State Park, in Bismarck. And, for the past five years, she has served as the traveling seasonal interpreter for the Arkansas State Parks Program Services.
Coors started working at the Crater of Diamonds in June.
DE QUEEN REGISTRATION 7/20/15
De Queen School Media Relations Director, Tammy Whatley, announced this week that registration for the 2015-2016 school year is right around the corner with registration starting at the high school on August 3rd.
Registration for the De Queen Primary and the De Queen Elementary will be held on Thursday, August 6th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3 to 6 p.m.
Middle School Principal Brenda Leeper said registration for the Middle School will be held on Tuesday, August 4th.
Counselors from the Junior and Senior highs said registration will start on Monday, August 3rd.
De Queen High School pictures for sophomores and juniors will be taken on August 4th and 6th. A copy of the pictures schedule is available at the De Queen High School or you can visit our website at KDQN.net. Senior pictures will be taken on August 3rd.
DIERKS SCHOOL DISTRICT DEVELOPS INCLEMENT WEATHER BUS ROUTES 7/20/15
Dierks Superintendent Holly Cothern informed the Dierks Board of Education that the district was in good financial shape and board members approved a couple of policies that were recommended by the State Board of Education and approved the purchase of a school vehicle from Gentry Chevrolet in De Queen.
High School Principal Jody Cowart and Elementary Principal Karla Byrne presented their recommendations to the board concerning the student handbooks.
Cothern announced that the district's EAST lab students designed bus routes that will be used during periods of inclement weather and she said if these routes had been implemented last year, the district would have held classes two or three of the days that had to be canceled due to secondary road conditions.
Thursday night during a special called meeting, the board accepted a bid in the amount of $17,226 from Mainstream Heating and Cooling to replace and repair several heating and cooling units.
SEVIER COUNTY 8 AND UNDER ALL-STARS GOING TO WORLD SERIES 7/20/15
The Sevier County 8 and Under All-Stars recently won the 2015 coach pitch Arkansas State tournament and will represent the state in the 2015 Dixie Youth AA World Series in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
The team will participate in the opening ceremony on Sunday, August 2nd and pool play will begin on Monday, August 3rd.
Sevier County will play North Myrtle Beach at noon, Alabama at 4:30 and Tennessee at 7:30 on the 3rd and Virginia at noon and Louisiana at 3 on Tuesday, August 4th.
Coaches Jaryd Lyon and Codi Pickett announced the team would be holding a few fundraisers to help raise funds for their trip.
This Saturday, the All-stars will be holding a bake sale at the De Queen Wal-Mart along with a fishing tournament on the De Queen Lake.
The cost to enter the fishing tournament is $60 with a 50 percent payback. The big bass is $15 per boat and its 100 percent payback.
For more information, contact Lyon at 870-582-5719 or Pickett at 870-582-1635.
SEVIER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT 7/20/15
During the July 9th session of the Sevier County Circuit Court, 11 defendants changed their pleas to guilty under the terms of plea agreements with the prosecuting attorney’s office.
Kevin Bell Lewis pled guilty to theft of property and residential burglary and was sentenced to 12 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections with 2-suspended.
Jason Formby pled guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a firearm by a certain person and was sentenced to 4-year in the ADC with 2-suspended.
Marvin Gibson pled guilty to battery in the 3rd degree after the state amended the original charge of battery in the 2nd degree. Gibson was sentenced to time served and a $500 fine.
Wesley Hirshi pled guilty to theft of property and received 3-years probation.
Steven Ray Hogen pled guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia and received 3-years probation.
Christopher McDougal pled guilty to theft of property and was sentenced to 7-years in the ADC with 4-years suspended.
Andrew Mills pled guilty to theft of property and residential burglary. He was sentenced to 15 years in the ADC with 5-years suspended and Millls will be required to pay $13,200 in restitution.
Terrence Neal pled guilty to two counts of deliver of a controlled substance and was sentenced to 14 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections.
Gala Richardson pled guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia and sentenced to 3-years probation. She then had a trial date set for August 23rd for criminal trespass and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Dusty Lou Stewart pled guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a firearm by a certain person and was sentenced to 6-years in ADC.
And Derrick Whitmore pled guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of meth. He was sentenced to 5-years in the ADC.
All defendants were credited with time served.
12 ARKANSAS AIRPORTS GET $3 MILLION IN FEDERAL MONEY FOR UPGRADES 7/17/16
Twelve Arkansas airports have been awarded more than $3 million from the Department of Transportation to support facility upgrades and expansions.
The federal funding was announced last week by U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton and Congressmen Rick Crawford and Bruce Westerman.
According to Sevier County Judge Greg Ray, the J. Lynn Helms/Sevier County Airport will receive approximately $950,000 to build a parallel taxiway. According to the press release the Hope Municipal Airport will also receive funding for some facility upgrades.
Judge Ray also announced Pine Ridge Road will open Friday.
ALUMNI SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT SCHEDULED FOR AUGUST 1ST 7/17/15
De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce President, Susan Alspaw, announced this week the De Queen Lady Leopard softball team alumni will be hosting a tournament on Saturday, August 1st at the De Queen Sportsplex.
Alspaw said they are needing volunteer umpires and groups or organizations that want to set up some concession booths. She said all of the proceeds will be donated to the Sevier County Relay for Life.
Alspaw said they are anticipating an eight team tournament but if you are interested in playing, you can still sign up.
For more information, contact Alspaw at 870-584-8763.
DOMESTIC LEADS TO DRUG ARREST 7/17/15
Early Wednesday morning, officers with the De Queen Police Department were dispatched to an apartment on Fourth Street for a disturbance that had turned physical and the dispatcher had lost contact with the reporting party.
Patrolman First Class Levi Browning and Patrolman David Higgins arrived about 2:34 a.m. and encountered a white male with blood coming from his elbow.
The man was identified as 37-year-old Allen Stockdale of De Queen. After speaking with the officers, Stockdale was detained in Patrolman Browning’s vehicle.
After Browning asked Stockdale if he had anything on his person that he shouldn’t have, he said he only had a remote in his front pocket and officers went to speak with the reporting party, Marlow Baker.
Baker reported she and Stockdale got into an argument because she thought he was acting high. She said she called 911 on her cell phone and after speaking to the dispatcher for a few minutes, Stockdale grabbed her phone and broke it.
As the officers were leaving, Baker stated she wanted the remote back.
Officer Browning and Higgins returned to the patrol car and asked Stockdale for the remote and he informed them that he took it out of his pocket.
After searching the backseat of Browning’s vehicle, the officers found the remote along with a bag of suspected marijuana.
Stockdale then became agitated and started cursing the officers. When they arrived at the Sevier County jail, Browning and Higgins placed Stockdale in the drunk tank and he was charged with interference with emergency communication in the 1st degree and possession of a controlled substance, marijuana.
A couple of hours later, officers were dispatched to the county jail to assist the jailers because Stockdale had become disorderly and non-compliant while they were processing him.
MINERAL SPRINGS SCHOOL DISTRICT PURCHASES POLICE CAR FOR RESOURCE OFFICER 7/17/15
The Mineral Springs School District plans to continue using a resource officer and during the July meeting of the Mineral Springs School Board voted to purchase a used police car from the city of Dierks.
Superintendent Curtis Turner said Officer Brandon Smith was a member of the Mineral Springs Police Department provides an extra level of security on the school campus and during extracurricular and athletic events.
Turner informed the board that the resource officer had worked well for the district.
Board members also approved the milk bid from Hiland Dairy and a bread bid from Flowers Baking Company.
Federal Coordinator Wendy Reed informed the board that the district could only carry over 15 percent of its federal funds to the next school year, so the board voted to purchase Chromebooks with the extra funding for grades two through eight. The Chromebooks will be used this fall.
Turner reported the district spent $7,600 on asphalt work around the campus and a bid for new band instruments was also approved.
SEVIER COUNTY FARMERS MARKET WILL BE OPEN THIS SATURDAY 7/17/15
Angela Smith of the Sevier County Farmers Market announced Wednesday morning that the market is open every Wednesday and Saturday from 7:30 to 11 a.m. and you can find everything you need for any meal.
Smith said they offer all kinds of fresh vegetables along with jams, jellies and an assortment of baked goods and she mentioned some of the items that she expects will be for sell this Saturday.
For more information, contact Smith at 870-642-2718.
Yarborough Landing & Jack’s Isle boat launch set to re-open 7/16/15
Millwood Lake floodwater’s receding
Little River County Judge Mike Cranford announced today that after being closed for 49 days the boat launch areas at Yarborough Landing & Jack’s Isle are scheduled to reopen on Friday, July 17, 2015. Patterson Shoals area will continue to be closed until further notice.
Cranford stated that he had visited the areas affected regularly since the date of closure & the levels are back to a point deemed usable for area fisherman. “Although we are opening the ramps on Friday, we are cautioning everyone who accesses the lake to use extreme care,’’ said Cranford.
Corps of Engineers personnel has advised that the lake is still in an unusual state due to the displacement of river buoys & the tremendous number of grass mats & alligator weed that are floating everywhere. Floating debris & unseen objects just under the surface of the water could also pose a problem for area boaters.
Cranford also stated that “he greatly appreciated the patience & understanding of the area boaters during these extremely troublesome times.”
For more information you can contact the Little River County Judges office at (870) 898-7202
HORATIO SCHOOL DISTRICT RECEIVES $660,000 GRANT 7/16/15
Horatio Superintendent Lee Smith announced Monday night during the regular meeting of the Horatio Board of Education that the district had been notified that they had received a 21st Century grant, totaling $660,000.
Smith said board members also approved some policy changes and raised the price of school breakfast to $1 and lunches to $2.
Smith said the new student handbook will also be available electronically.
Board members also accepted the resignation of Joshua Fleming who was a teacher and coach.
FOREMAN SCHOOL DISTRICT HIRES NEW COACHES 7/16/15
The Foreman Board of Education hired a new head football and head baseball coach recently and Superintendent George Kennedy stated the male athletes were excited about the new additions.
Neil Evans will not only serve as the head football coach, but he will also lead the Gator track program.
Mark Hill will teach History and serve as an assistant football coach, as well as coaching the baseball team.
Kennedy also announced the district voted to purchase a new scoreboard for the football field and the board is also considering additional upgrades to the baseball and softball facilities.
Kennedy said the board also approved the purchase of some new academic software from Edmentum in the about of $31,922.
Kennedy said the board may meet during a special later this month to hire some personal and handle any unfinished business before the start of school in August.
DISORDERLY CONDUCT LEADS TO PAROLEES ARREST 7/16/15
Tuesday afternoon, Patrolman J.J. Lopez of the De Queen Police Department noticed a driver not wearing his seat belt on Highway 70. He then conducted a traffic stop in Jack Wray's Body Shop parking lot.
The driver was identified as 27-year-old Jason Short and the passenger was Bendigo Greenwood.
Lopez wrote Short a citation for not wearing his seat belt and asked him to step out of the vehicle. Short was asked if there was anything illegal in the vehicle and Short responded that he didn't have time for this that he was needing to get to work.
Officer Lopez then advised Short that he didn't need his consent to search the vehicle because he was on parole. At that point, Short got upset and began cursing at Lopez and Sergeant Chad Bradshaw.
Sergeant Bradshaw then proceeded to detain Short; he tensed up and would not comply with the officer’s instructions. Short began yelling and according to the arrest report, continued to resist.
A search of the vehicle did not uncover anything illegal and Greenwood was allowed to drive Short's truck away.
Short was processed into the Sevier County jail on the charge of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
MOM ARRESTED FOR ASSAULTING DAUGHTER 7/16/15
Saturday, July 11th, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Greg Davignon was dispatched to a residence on Crosstrails Road in reference to a domestic altercation between a mother and her daughter.
As Davignon was driving to the scene, he noticed a female juvenile walking down the road. He reported she appeared to have a swollen face and he stopped and asked her what had happened to her.
Davignon reported the juvenile told him, her mom had punched her in the face several times, chocked her and attempted to burn her with a cigarette.
The juvenile also stated she bit her mom, so she would let her go.
When Deputy Davignon interviewed the mother, 37-year-old Patricia Williams of De Queen, she allegedly admitted to drinking and to fighting with her daughter.
Williams was taken into custody and charged with aggravated assault on a family or household member and domestic battery in the 3rd degree.
The juvenile was taken to the emergency room at the De Queen Medical Center and then released into the custody of the Department of Human Services.
FARM BUREAU LEADERS TO #BEVOCAL IN HOT SPRINGS 7/16/15
The Arkansas Farm Bureau's 67th annual Officers and Leaders Conference is set for July 20-21 at the Hot Springs Convention Center. The conference theme is #BeVocal, and it will feature speakers such as Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward and Greg Peterson of the Peterson Farm Brothers, a YouTube sensation and advocate for farming.
Secretary Ward will speak Monday afternoon, July 20th, along with Arkansas Farm Bureau President Randy Veach. Peterson will discuss "Advocating Agriculture through Social Media" at 10 a.m. on Tuesday.
Workshops at the conference will cover topics such as commodity trends, the state water-plan, genetically enhanced crops and state and federal legislative issues.
About 500 Farm Bureau leaders are expected to attend the mid-summer conference.
Veach said Farm Bureau will continue to encourage their volunteer leaders to advocate for farming and for farm issues.
At the conference, the organization will also recognize its Young Farmer and Rancher Achievement Award finalists as well as recipients of the Romeo E. Short Farm Bureau Foundation and the Marvin Vines Memorial scholarships.
FEMA, STATE GRANTS WILL NOT AFFECT SOCIAL SECURITY OR BENEFITS 7/16/15
Arkansas residents who are rebuilding after the severe storms of late spring will not lose Social Security benefits, pay additional taxes, or give up income-based benefit programs if they accept federal or state disaster aid.
According to recovery officials from FEMA and the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, in most cases, the Social Security Administration does not count federal or state disaster aid as income.
For more information or to apply for assistance, individuals and business owners in Howard, Little River, Miller and Sevier counties, may register online at disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362.
REGISTERING WITH STATE, VOLUNTEER AGENCIES NOT THE SAME AS FEMA 7/16/15
Many Arkansas residents who suffered damage during the severe storms in late spring may have registered for assistance with state or volunteer agencies. However, this is not the same as registering with FEMA for disaster aid.
While FEMA, the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management and volunteer agencies often work together, their missions, programs and funding are not the same. Residents should register with FEMA for access to federal disaster assistance.
FEMA is funded by congress and administers disaster programs determined by federal officials and requested by the state. Disaster declarations by the State of Arkansas provide some assistance based on state criteria, but that aid is "turned off" when a federal declaration is made to avoid duplicating benefits.
Volunteer agencies that provide individuals and families with immediate necessities and emergency services raise their funds publicly and determine their own programs.
The disaster declaration on June 26th, put in place several sources of federal funding. It is available to residents in nine Arkansas counties that were affected by the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding during the period of May 7th to June 15th. Those counties include: Crawford, Garland, Howard, Jefferson, Little River, Miller, Perry, Sebastian and Sevier.
Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in those counties can apply for federal assistance by registering online at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362 or by web-enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov.
WEEKEND HOURS TO CHANGE AT DISASTER RECOVERY CENTER IN HOWARD COUNTY 7/16/15
Weekend hours at the disaster recovery center in Howard County will change beginning this Saturday. The center provides help to those whose homes or businesses were affected by the severe storms between May 7th and June 15th.
Effective immediately, the center will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and the center will be closed on Sundays.
Representatives from the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration and other agencies are at the center to explain disaster assistance programs and help survivors apply for aid.
Anyone who sustained damage in Howard, Little River, Miller or Sevier counties can visit the disaster recovery center.
WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO SEXUAL ASSAULT OF MINOR 7/16/15
A 35-year-old Wilton woman plead guilty to the charge of sexual assault of a 13-year-old boy after she gave him Xanax, marijuana and alcohol, this week in the Little River County Circuit Court.
Deby Hill changed her plea to guilty as part of a plea agreement before 9th District Circuit Court Judge Charles Yeargan. Hill was originally charged with rape.
Hill was sentenced to 20-years in the Arkansas Department of Correction with 3-years suspended and she will have to register as a sex offender.
According to court documents, Hill was arrested on July 6th, 2014 after the mother of the victim reported that Hill had sexually assaulted her son.
The boy said he and Hill had had sex on two separate occasions in March of 2014 and that she provided him with alcohol and Xanax.
18 WHEELER RIDES THE RAIL 07/15/15
An accident involving this 18 wheeler occurred Monday, July 13th on Hwy 71 south near the Ben Lomond cutoff.
The semi ran up on the railing which then became embedded in the truck.
DE QUEEN NATIVE TO ATTEND CLASS AT PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY 07/15/15
De Queen-born man has been selected to be a panelist at the
prestigious National Institute of Public Finance at Pepperdine
University in California
A FORMER MINERAL SPRINGS MINISTER ACCUSED OF SEXUAL ASSAULT IN POPE COUNTY 7/15/15
The former youth minister of the Mineral Springs Church of Christ has been arrested for the second time this year and is being accused of sexually assaulting a college student in Russellville.
Jonathan Neeley, of Nashville, turned himself in on Friday, July 10th after discovering that there was a warrant for his arrest in Pope County.
According to court documents, between July 1st, 2012 and June 30th, 2013, Neeley sexually assaulted an intern who was working directly for him at a student center near the Arkansas Tech University campus.
The victim reported Neeley started by asking her questions about her past experiences and telling her how beautiful she was.
She said the relationship became physical and it happened nearly every time they were together. She said at one point, she told Neeley that she was concerned about committing adultery and he allegedly told her that "God wants this."
She said he told her that they hadn't been caught because their activities were something that God wanted.
Neeley faces four charges of third-degree sexual assault, in which a member of the clergy uses their authority over a victim in a position of trust to engage in "sexual deviate activity."
Neeley was arrested in February on suspicion of first-degree sexual assault in Howard County after several women filed reports saying he sexually abused them while he was their youth minister.
DE QUEEN SCHOOL BOARD APPROVES DISTRICT WIDE DYSLEXIA PROGRAM 7/15/15
Monday night during the monthly meeting of the De Queen Board of Education, board members approved the material for the district's dyslexia intervention program.
Board President Randy Hedge informed the board that he felt this was a positive change and it will be one of the better investments in the district. Hedge said the district selected the Barton program material.
Board members voted to accept the recommendations of the Middle, Junior and Senior high administrators concerning the district's unexcused absence policy and Superintendent Bruce Hill announced the district would be partnering with the Primary PTO to expand the playground after students raised about $2,500 during their pennies for the playground fundraiser.
Board members accepted the bread bid from Flowers Baking Company, but tabled a decision on the milk bids. They also accepted a bid in the amount of $66,275 from Tri-Lakes Services, Inc. to renovate the backstops for the baseball and softball fields.
HORATIO RESIDENT KILLED IN FARMING ACCIDENT 7/15/15
Saturday afternoon, a Horatio resident was killed in a farming accident on Fischer Road.
Sevier County Sheriff's Investigator Robert Gentry reported that John Nix informed him that he and the deceased, 49-year-old Anthony Culp, were loading a tractor and a hay baler onto a 24-foot trailer and the left tire of the baler ran off the side of the loading ramp.
Nix said Culp was working to put a floor jack and some wooden blocks under the baler to raise it up, so they could slide the ramp under it.
Nix said the baler then rolled backwards and ran over Culp.
Culp was pronounced dead by the Sevier County Coroner, Rusty Williams at 1:43 p.m.
SEVIER COUNTY QUORUM COURT MEMBERS GIVEN UPDATE CONCERNING COUNTY REAPPRAISAL RATES 7/15/15
Sevier County Assessor Judy Smith, along with DeWayne Mack and Lindsy Nutt, gave the members of the Sevier County Quorum Court a report concerning the county's reappraisal process.
Smith stated letters will be mailed to county residents explaining the change in their property tax rates.
Mack informed the Quorum Court that home values went up 2 percent, business values went up 7 percent, but agri values went down 12 percent.
JPs also heard from Omar Gallardo and Victor Rojas Jr., from the Arkansas United Community Coalition, which is a non-profit organization that helps immigrants in Southwest Arkansas.
Gallardo said for more information, you may contact him at 870-279-5177 or email him at email@example.com.
JPs also approved an ordinance to amend the 2015 budget and County Judge Greg Ray introduced the Joyce Short who is working with the Sevier County Senior Adult Center.
ARNEC IMPROVES EDUCATION DELIVERY 7/14/15
The Arkansas Rural Nursing Education Consortium has announced an alternative course delivery in addition to the current face-to-face education being offered for the fall semester.
The Arkansas Rural Nursing Education Consortium is a group of eight community colleges that collaborated to provide students an opportunity for an Associate Degree in Registered Nursing. Students who are already accepted will benefit from the new learning delivery offered in the fall.
Many of the courses are taught using an interactive video delivery for lectures; however, this fall will feature face-to-face instruction and a live streaming option for a hybrid component for some classes. Students will be allowed to choose the delivery method they prefer on specific days. The hybrid incorporates students remotely accessing live lectures online.
The deadline for applications is August 31st. Classes start in January for new students and they will include course work as well as on-site clinical work in nursing homes, hospitals, and clinics. In January, face-to-face delivery will be an option for one class per week.
Student applications for the program can be submitted online and obtained from the consortium's website: www.arnec.org. The applications are due by August 31st for the class beginning in January 2016. The website also has details and a complete description of the application process, requirements and program contacts.
FEMA EXPERTS OFFER IDEAS TO LESSEN IMPACT OF DISASTER DAMAGE 7/14/15
Teams of specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be offering tips and techniques to lessen the impact of disaster-related property damage at building supply stores in four Arkansas locations beginning today.
In Sevier County, FEMA specialists will be at the Bailey Discount Building Supply at 880 East Collin Raye Drive in De Queen from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday and on Fridays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon until Friday, July 24th.
FEMA specialists offer "how-to" information on both retrofitting buildings to making them more resistant to wind damage and ways to elevate utilities against flood damage. They also provide tips to clean and help prevent mold and mildew.
Many of the tips and techniques are specifically geared for the do-it-yourselfer and for building contractors.
FEMA offers a number of free online resources for home and property owners. To get started, go to www.fema.gov/safer-stronger-protected-homes-communities.
FEMA EXPERTS SPEAK IN HOWARD COUNTY DURING PUBLIC MEETING 7/14/15
A disaster recovery center is now open in Howard County to help those whose homes or businesses were affected by severe storms during the period of May 7th to June 15th.
Representatives from the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Small Business Administration and other agencies will be at the Carter Day Center to explain disaster assistance programs and help survivors apply for aid.
The center will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and on Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. until further notice. Friday, Earl Armstrong with FEMA spoke with KMTB's Jonathan Canaday about how local citizens can apply for assistance.
Susheel Kumar is the public information officer for the Small Business Administration and he explained to Canaday how businesses can apply for federal disaster loans in addition to renters, homeowners and private nonprofit organizations.
Those seeking disaster assistance should register with FEMA before going to disaster recovery center. Individuals and families who suffered losses as a result of the late spring storms may register online at www.disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free number will operate from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.
FEMA VISITS LITTLE RIVER COUNTY FOR REGISTRATION DRIVE 7/14/15
FEMA staff members will be temporarily stationed at the Sevier County Courthouse and the Little River County Courthouse Annex today to meet with survivors of the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding survivors of May 7 through June 15th.
Staff members will be at the Sevier County Courthouse from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. and at the Little River County Courthouse Annex from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 14th. Representatives will answer questions and help with the registration process for disaster assistance.
Those with questions can also contact the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-3362 or from a web-enabled phone at m.fema.gov. Residents may also register online at www.disasterassistance.gov.
JUDGE TEDDER REMINDS AREA RESIDENTS OF THE IMPORTANCE OF APPEARING IN COURT 7/14/15
Sevier County District Court Judge Stephen Tedder took the time Monday morning to remind area residents that the District Court of Sevier County is in session today and it's important for residents with citations to appear.
Tedder said 90 percent of citations are for traffic violations and those citations are not punishable by jail time, but if you don't appear, a warrant for your arrest will be issued.
Tedder stated if you received a citation for a traffic violation, you can visit the District Court Clerks and arrange to take care of the fine before your court date.
Tedder also reminded residents that citations never go away and will be dealt with, one way or another.
If you have any questions about a citation that you have received, you may contact the District Court Office by calling 870-584-7311.
REPRESENTATIVE VAUGHT ENCOURAGES RESIDENTS TO SERVE AS FOSTER CARE PARENTS 7/14/15
Last week, Governor Asa Hutchinson asked faith based groups to help meet fill some critical needs in the state when it comes to the foster care of children and helping inmates adjust to life outside of prison.
Church and faith based leaders are being asked to attend a summit in Little Rock on August 25th and 26th to find out how they can help. But, District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught stated, even if you don't attend the summit, your organization has the opportunity to help especially when it comes to foster children.
According to the Department of Human Services, there are more than 4,400 children currently in foster care with only 2,500 approved beds.
Through foster care, families have the chance to make the world a better place, one child at a time. The job of a foster care parent has been described as the most challenging step someone will ever take in their life, but it may also be the most rewarding opportunity.
Children enter foster care through no fault of their own. Some have experienced abuse or neglect in their homes and need a safe and stable home until they can be safely reunited with their families or adopted.
Foster parents are needed in every part of the state.
According to a spokesperson from the Department of Human Services, the key qualification to being a foster parent is to be able to meet the physical, emotional and developmental needs of a child.
Applicants may be single, married, divorced, or widowed for at least one year. They must be between the ages of 21 and 65 and pass safety, health and background checks. The approval process may take up to six months after an applicant files the application.
If you think your home is right to foster a child, visit the website, www.fosterarkansas.org.
Report on the June 2015 Chalice Cupboard Food Ministry 07/13/15
The Chalice Cupboard assisted 42 families in Sevier County, including 80 adults and 54 children, totaling 134 people. Distributions of food in June totaled 1,021 pounds from donated food and food purchased--thanks to gifts of money.
One supporting church during the month was St. Barbara Catholic Church, donating 56 pounds. Individuals donated 197 pounds—including a memorial gift of 154 pounds. The organization of Sevier County 4-H donated 49 pounds. Anonymous gifts received totaled 16 pounds. All food items received totaled 318 pounds. Selected food items purchased for the pantry during May totaled 644 pounds. Total food added last month--962 pounds.
The bank balance on June 1, 2015, was $3,178.55. Deposits for the month were $851.00. $654.37 was spent to replenish special food items for the pantry. The balance on June 30, 2015, was $3,379.18.
Persons living in Sevier County are given needed food at the Chalice Cupboard located at 315 North Fifth Street in De Queen, on Tuesday and Wednesday--from 2:00 till 3:15 p.m. Food is distributed to those assisted only once each three-month period of the year: January-February-March/ April-May-June/ July-August-September/ and October-November-December.
Those giving food may select their choice of non-perishable food items for donation. We often suggest food items to help others in need, such as canned fruit, spaghetti and peanut butter. Money or checks given to the Chalice Cupboard are IRS tax deductible gifts, and your gift may be mailed to the address above—or you may give your support directly to the "Chalice Cupboard" food ministry through the Bear State Bank, 504 Collin Raye Drive, De Queen, telephone 642-2911.
Note: Deposits during June included a donation of $700.00 from the De Queen-Sevier County Chamber of Commerce Leadership Class.
FIRST ASSEMBLY OF GOD CHURCH TO HOST STATE CHOIR 7/13/15
This Tuesday, July 14th, area residents will have the opportunity to hear the 2015 All-State Assemblies of God Youth Choir in the sanctuary of the First Assembly of God Church in De Queen at 7 p.m.
Youth Pastor Jonathan Reynolds stated the choir is comprised of students from all over Arkansas.
Reynolds the choir is led by Megan McClure of Van Buren. He said choir members auditioned during the spring and will tour the state during the month of July.
For more information, contact the First Assembly of God Church of De Queen at 870-584-3435.
STATE FORGES UNIQUE JUVENILE JUSTICE PARTNERSHIP 7/13/15
Youth at the Arkansas Juvenile Assessment and Treatment Center in Bryant will now have the opportunity to receive college-level instruction and credit through an agreement with Shorter College and the Arkansas Department of Human Services, Division of Youth Services.
According to Victor Rojas Jr., this is the first time youth in the juvenile justice system in Arkansas have been given access to on-site, college-level instruction that is led by a credentialed professor.
Shorter College is a private, two-year, historically black liberal arts college in North Little Rock. It will offer youth academic programming toward an Associates of Arts Degree in Basic Studies. Once students transition out of the Treatment Center, they will be able to complete their degree program at Shorter College or transfer their credits to other colleges across the state through the Arkansas Credit Transfer Program.
Rojas said he applauded the partnership between the Department of Human Services and Shorter College. It said he feels it will help change the lives of youth in the juvenile justice system to pursue a higher education.
Rojas explained that in the 21st century economy, education is a vital part to ensuring ones financial security. He said quality education is and will always be, an essential component in preventing delinquency.
ARKANSAS EDUCATION BOARD APPROVES CHANGE IN TEST SUPPLIER 7/13/15
The Arkansas Board of Education approved a new standardized test provider to replace the controversial Common Core assessment provider, Assessment Readiness for College and Careers, less than a month after rejecting the same move.
The education board voted, 4-2, with two abstentions, Thursday morning to authorize officials to sign a contract with the ACT and ACT Aspire. However, this board includes three new members that were appointed by Governor Asa Hutchinson after two members' terms expired and a third member resigned after taking a position with the Walton Foundation.
All three of Hutchinson's new appointments voted for the switch.
Arkansas Education Commissioner Johnny Key provided the board with the benefits of the ACT switch and suggested that it would provide a better methodology and help prepare students from a young age to take the ACT college readiness exam.
CONSUMER ALERT: MILITARY CONSUMER PROTECTION DAY 7/13/15
Military service members, veterans and their families are often subject to unfair, deceptive or abusive financial practices. The Consumer Protection Bureau began collecting data specific to military personnel and their families in 2011 and reports approximately 29,500 complaints were submitted through 2014.
The bureau reported 39 percent of those complaints were on debt collection, with the majority of those regarding continued attempts to collect debt this is not owed.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a consumer alert to help recognize Military Consumer Protection Day on July 15th and to make military service members, veterans and their families aware of the top consumer complaints so they will know how to get help with these issues.
Rutledge reported there were 11,600 complaints filed concerning debt collection; 7,100 complaints were filed regarding mortgage payment and loans; there were 2,700 complaints about credit reporting and 2,400 complaints concerning bank accounts and services.
Arkansas military service members, veterans and their families should file complaints with the Attorney General’s office at ArkansasAG.gov or call 1-800-482-8982. Within five business days, a postcard should be received in the mail acknowledging the receipt of the complaint, and a copy of the complaint will be sent to the business. Business should then respond within 10 business days.
Military Consumer Protection Day is an initiative to empower active duty and retired service members, veterans and their families and help defend them against fraud and help them make better-informed decisions.
DISASTER UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE 7/13/15
Individuals who have become unemployed as a direct result of the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding that began in Crawford, Garland, Howard, Jefferson, Little River, Miller, Perry, Sebastian and Sevier counties on May 7th through June 15th may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance, according to Daryl Bassett, the director of Arkansas’ Department of Workforce Services.
At the request of Governor Asa Hutchinson, a federal disaster declaration was issued, designating those nine counties as federal disaster areas.
Among the different types of assistance available to individuals and households by the federal disaster declaration is Disaster Unemployment Assistance. Individuals who have temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster and do not qualify for regular unemployment insurance benefits, such as self-employed individuals, may be eligible for DUA, which provides unemployment benefits up to 32 weeks.
The first possible week of compensation for DUA purposes is the week ending May 16th, and the last possible week of compensation is the week ending December 26th.
DUA claims may be filed at the following area Department of Workforce Services offices: if you live in Howard County go to the Hope local office at 205 Smith Road, Suite A, or you may call them at 870-777-3421; if you live in Miller, Little River or Sevier counties go to the Texarkana local office at 1702 Hampton Road, or you may call them at 870-216-4011.
Claims for these nine counties must be filed between now and July 30th at a DWS office between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
DWS offices will also provide re-employment assistance where appropriate. Claims filed after the deadline will be considered untimely and benefits will be denied, unless the individual can provide a good cause for filing after the deadline.
To be eligible for benefits, individuals must have worked or have been scheduled to work in the disaster area, but because of the disaster, they no longer have a job, a place to work in the area or could not get to their place of work because of disaster damage. They may also qualify if they have been prevented from working because of an injury or illness that resulted from the disaster. Benefits may also be available to self-employed individuals who have lost all or part of their livelihood as a result of the disaster.
Each claim is considered individually, therefore, individuals who believe they may be eligible should bring their government issued photo ID, Social Security card, the name and address of their last place of employment and documents verifying income, such as income tax statements, recent pay stubs, W-2 forms or some other proof of net income for 2014.
Bassett said DWS officials understand that because of property losses some claimants may not have the necessary 2014 income information. Although this will result in some delays, DWS staff will make every effort to work with DUA claimants to confirm their income information and expedite the claims-taking procedure.
GROUPS SEEKING DISPLAYS ON ARKANSAS CAPITOL GROUNDS 7/13/15
Arkansas' decision to put a display of the Ten Commandments on the Capitol grounds may lead to other monuments, including a statue of a monkey-faced deity, a banner promoting a vegan lifestyle and a Satanic statue of a goat-headed figure.
Groups advocating for separation of church and state are considering the monuments after the Oklahoma Supreme Court ordered the Ten Commandments that's on display outside the Capitol building in Oklahoma City be taken down because the state constitution bars the government from doing anything to benefit a religion.
Arkansas lawmakers passed a law during this year's legislative session that emulated the Oklahoma law that authorized their Ten Commandments display.
Representatives of the Satanic Temple, Hindus and animal rights groups say these symbols should be displayed alongside the Ten Commandments because they represent their deeply held beliefs.
WORKSHOP TO PROMOTE ADVANTAGES OF FARM-TO-SCHOOL PROGRAM OCT. 15 7/13/15
Arkansas Children's Hospital Research Institute has a workshop planned to educate schools, farmers and communities on the advantages of participating in a Farm-to-School program.
The Regional Farm-to-School workshop is being hosted by the institute's Childhood Obesity Prevention Research program in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The workshop will be October 15th at the Southwest Research and Extension facility in Hope to help educate school personnel, farmers and community partners. The workshop will be limited to 50 people and 10 travel scholarships are available.
Workshop participates will learn how to menu, market and prepare local foods in schools and they will get some hands-on culinary skills training for school cafeteria staff; learn business and production planning for farmers and find out about food safety for farmers and schools.
For more information or to register call 501-364-3360.
UA COSSATOT TO UNVEIL NEW WEBSITE 7/10/15
Members of the UA Cossatot Board of Visitors were informed that the college had accomplished all of objectives, except for one, in their current 5-year strategic plan, Project 2016. UA Cossatot Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole said a committee has already started working on Project 2020.
Dr. Cole stated he felt the college's long range planning projects reveal the college’s passion for education and workforce development.
Cole said starting this fall UA Cossatot will focused on programs that will move students into the workplace or offer them more university transferable degrees.
Dr. Cole also announced UA Cossatot will also be unveiling a new website and a mobile app later this summer, so students may enroll online.
GAME AND FISH FOUNDATION SELECTS HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES 7/10/15
The Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation has chosen a Howard County resident as one of its 2015 Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame inductees.
This year's inductees include Steve Bowman of Little Rock. Bowman is an outdoor writer and editor; the late Joel Campora of Waldron. Campora was an Arkansas Game and Fish Commission wildlife officer who died in the line of duty while trying to rescue two women from floodwaters in 2013; George Dunklin Jr. of Stuttgart who is a past Arkansas Game and Fish Commissioner and current chairman of international Ducks Unlimited; And, Jerry Fisk of Nashville who is a master bladesmith and artist.
The Legacy Award will go to Jim Gaston, who played a key role in establishing trout fishing and promoting tourism in Arkansas.
The Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame Banquet will be Friday, August 21st at the Statehouse Convention Center in downtown Little Rock. Tickets are $100 and a reception and silent auction will begin at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7.
To purchase tickets or for more information, contact the Game and Fish Foundation office at 501-223-6468.
NASHVILLE RURAL WATER APPROVES PROJECT REVENUE BOND 7/10/15
The Nashville Rural Water Association held a public meeting this week to address any concerns association members may of had concerning the boards plans to start an expansion project.
There were no comments from the public and the board approved a resolution to authorize a revenue bond in the amount of $2.51 million dollars for the construction and financing of the project.
Board President Mark Dowdy said it was just a legal formality and that everything was ready to begin.
Water manager Ryan Stuckey said the loan will close on July 15th and a notice to proceed will be filed two days later. He said the project should provide plenty of water to all parts of the system and will include some major upgrades.
Stuckey explained that there will be about 22 miles of piping, most of it will be large diameter pipe that will reinforce two pressure zones and he said these improvements were needed because of the increase in water demand.
The project will include running a line that will tie both pressure zones together, which will allow water to be moved between the two zones without an alternate power source, in the event of an emergency.
Stuckey said the improvements should last for the next 30 to 40 years. Stuckey said the association will use its existing easements to run pipe along Mount Pleasant Drive to Highway 26 and east to the Pike County line.
But, if you have ay questions, contact the Nashville Rural Water Association at 870-845-5442.
AG URGES CONGRESS TO PRESERVE STATE AUTHORITY TO ENFORCE DATA BREACH AND SECURITY LAWS 7/10/15
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge co-sponsored a bipartisan, multi-state letter to the U.S. Congress in an effort to ensure that any future federal data breach notification or data security law provides consumers with the best protection.
The letter was signed by 47 attorneys general and emphasized the importance of maintaining States' authority to enforce data breach and data security laws, as well as their ability to enact laws to address future data security risks.
Citing recent efforts in Congress to pass a national law on data breach notification and data security, Rutledge and other attorneys general cautioned Congress against federal preemption of State data breach and security laws and argued that any federal law must not diminish the important role States already have to protect consumers from data breaches and identity theft.
According to the letter, since 2005, nearly 5,000 data breaches have compromised more than 815 million records containing sensitive information about consumers and that States have been at the forefront in helping consumers deal with the repercussions of data breaches and in providing important assistance to consumers who have been impacted.
Forty-seven states now have laws requiring data collectors to notify consumers when their personal information has been compromised, and a number of states have also passed laws requiring companies to adopt reasonable data security practices.
STORM SURVIVORS CAN REGISTER FOR ASSISTANCE ONLINE 24/7 7/10/15
Residents in nine Arkansas counties included in the federal disaster declaration can register for assistance anytime online.
Those affected by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding between May 7th and June 15th in Crawford, Garland, Howard, Jefferson, Little River, Miller, Perry, Sebastian and Sevier counties may be eligible for assistance.
Individuals and business owners can register online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or with any web-enabled mobile device, tablet or smartphone at m.fema.gov, just follow the link to "Apply online for FEMA Assistance."
FEMA's toll-free telephone number is 1-800-621-3362 and it is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week until further notice and multilingual operators are available.
DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL VOTED TO PURCHASE NEW WATER PUMP 7/9/15
Water Superintendent Jeff Brown informed the De Queen City Council, Tuesday night that his department needed to replace the pump, motor and base at the high-lift station on Stilwell Avenue.
Brown reminded the council that last month, they approved having the bearings and packing replaced in the old motor, but after the service men inspected the motor, they determined it would only cost a little more to replace, the motor, pump and base instead of rebuilding them.
Brown reported it would cost about $20,000 to rebuild the pump and motor, but it would only cost an extra $812 to purchase a new pump and motor.
Brown said the old motor was installed at the lift station in 1963.
Aldermen voted to purchase a new motor, pump and base.
Aldermen approved an ordinance to waive any competitive bidding on the purchase of a used dump truck in the amount of $40,950 and a resolution to sell the 1991 Ford F-800 truck that the city received in a vehicle swap with the county.
Aldermen heard a report concerning the city's agreement with Vyve Broadband. McKelvy stated there were about 300 Vyve subscribers in De Queen and that Greg Fender of Local Government Services said Vyve owed the city a little over a $1,000 in franchise revenue.
Aldermen also approved a resolution accepting the 2013 audit of the city's general and street fund accounts.
HUGE BLAZE IN POTTER, ARKANSAS DESTROYS BUSINESS 7/9/15
According to a report from our sister station in Mena, firefighters from three departments and Polk County Sheriff's deputies responded to a fire call at approximately 8:20 p.m. Tuesday evening.
Carl's Furniture in Potter, next to the old Sale Barn, was fully engulfed when members of the Potter, Mena and Hatfield fire departments arrived on the scene.
Sheriff's deputies were on the scene to handle traffic while firefighters had the northbound lane blocked due to the proximity of the building to Highway 71.
DISASTER RECOVERY CENTERS OPEN IN HOWARD AND JEFFERSON COUNTIES 7/9/15
Disaster recovery centers opened in Howard and Jefferson counties at noon today, to help those whose homes or businesses were affected by the severe storms in May and June.
Representatives from the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Small Business Administration and other agencies will be at the centers to explain disaster assistance programs and help survivors apply for aid.
The center in Howard County will be in the Carter Day Training Center in Nashville. The center is located at 200 Lake Nichols Drive.
The center will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and on Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. until further notice.
Those seeking disaster assistance should register with FEMA before going to a disaster recovery center. Individuals and families who suffered losses as a result of the late spring storms may register online at www.disasterassistance.gov or call FEMA at 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free number will operate from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week until further notice and multilingual operators are available.
Anyone who sustained damage in Crawford, Garland, Howard, Jefferson, Little River, Miller, Perry, Sebastian and Sevier counties designated for federal disaster assistance can visit any disaster recovery center.
Federal disaster assistance for individuals and families can include money for rental assistance, essential home repairs, personal property loss, and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance.
Low-interest disaster loans from the Small Business Administration area available to help with residential and business losses not covered by insurance. The Small Business Administration is the federal government's primary source of money for the rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. The Small Business Administration helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters to fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property.
For more information on Small Business Administration programs, applicants may contact the administration's disaster assistance customer service center by calling 1-800-659-2955.
SEVIER COUNTY SCHOOL ELECTION HAS ONE CONTESTED RACE 7/9/15
According to Sevier County Clerk Debbie Akin, there will be one contested school board race in Sevier County.
Barry Reed will challenge incumbent Randy Hedge for the Zone 5 position on the De Queen Board of Education.
The Sevier County Election Commission certified the candidates and held a ballot draw Wednesday afternoon in the County Clerk's office.
Jeff Irvan will run unopposed for the Zone 3 position on the Horatio Board of Education and according to Akin there will be no change to the school millage amount.
The school election will be held on Tuesday, September 15th and early voting will start on September 8th and continue until 4:30 p.m. on Monday, September 14th.
SOUTH CRAWFORD STREET BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION TO BEGIN SOON 7/9/15
Aldermen of the Mineral Springs City Council approved a bid from J & J Construction for the replacement of the bridge on Crawford Street.
During Monday's city council meeting, aldermen approved the bid of $19,500 for a new concrete bridge and Mayor Bobby Tullis said he hopes construction on the new bridge will begin soon
Tullis reported the area had experienced more flooding due the recent rainfall. He said city crews had to fix a water line break on the Fourth of July that was caused by flooding.
Tullis also reported that he had made an application with the USDA for funding to purchase a fire truck. Aldermen discussed the possibility of purchasing a one-ton truck and outfitting it with the needed equipment, about $65,000, rather than purchasing a used fire truck for $107,000.
PROSPECTORS' GEMBOREE WINNERS ANNOUNCED 7/9/15
On June 20th, more than a thousand people visited the Crater of Diamond State Park and celebrated diamond miners in Arkansas during the park's 5th Annual Prospectors' Gemboree.
During the day, kids and adults participated in games that were hosted by the park's interpretive staff.
A young man from De Queen took third place in the 6 to 9 age category in the Diamond Toss game.
This Saturday, July 11th, the Crater of Diamond State Park will host this year's Summer Luau Pool Party at Diamond Springs from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
The water park will be decked out with decorations, refreshments, games and more. The Joe Ledbetter Band will provide musical entertainment and guest must purchase a separate water park admission after 6:30 to attend the event.
Admission to the Summer Luau Pool Party is $6 for swimmers over 42 inches tall, $4 for swimmers under 42 inches tall and $2 for non-swimming chaperones. Children under two years of age are free.
For more information, contact the park at 870-285-3113 or visit their website at craterofdiamondsstatepark.com.
STORM SHELTER REBATE PROGRAM CLOSED 7/9/15
The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management will not be accepting any new storm shelter rebate applications for the state fiscal year of 2016, which runs from July 1st, 2015 to June 30th, 2016.
Applications that were received during the last state fiscal year were enough to deplete all of the funds for this fiscal year.
The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management will begin processing rebates for the current backlog of all approved applications on file starting in July. It is expected that this program will wind down and not continue in future years.
More information regarding the storm shelter rebate program will be made available as it develops.
WINNERS OF THE FIREWORKS IN THE PARK, CAR AND TRUCK SHOW 7/9/15
Organizers of the 2015 Car and Truck Show at the Lockesburg Fireworks in the Park event announced the winners Tuesday afternoon.
The winner of the car class A division was Torrey Barber with a 1936 Dodge Business Coupe.
The winner of the car class C division, 1950-1059, was Torrey Barber with a 1955 Chevy Bel Air and second place went to Roy Rogers with his 1956 Pontiac Star Chief.
The winner of the car class D division, 1960-1969, was Ernie Kennemore with his 1966 Chevy Chevelle.
The winner of the car class E division, 1970-1979, was Archie Dorsey with his 1970 Buick GSX and second place went to Ernie Kennemore with his 1970 Chevy Nova.
The winner of the car class F division, 1980-1999, was Eddie Polk with his 1995 Cadillac Deville and he won second place with his 1989 Ford LTD Crown Victoria.
The winner of the car class G division was David Litchford with his 2012 Ford Mustang.
The winner of the truck class B division, 1940-1949, was James Martin with his 1949 Chevy Pick-up.
The winner of the truck class C division, 1950-1959, was Keith Midgett with his 1951 Ford Truck and second place went to Toni Davis with his 1954 Chevy Pick-up.
The winner of the truck class D division, 1960-1969, was Richard Meredith with a 1967 Chevy Pick-up.
The winner of the truck class G division, 2000-new, was Adam Steward with his 2005 Chevy Silverado.
The winner of the Rat Rod Division, Class A, 1939 and older, was Jimmy and Rita Fitzgerald with their 1921 Ford T.
The People's Choice winner was Ernie Kennemore"s 1970 Chevy Nova and second place went to Torey Barber.
The Best of Show winner was Archie Dorsey's 1970 Buick GSX and second place went to Torrey Barber.
AREA SENATORS RECEIVE DISTINGUISHED LEGISLATOR AWARD FROM MUNICIPAL LEAGUE 7/8/15
The Arkansas Municipal League presented Senator Larry Teague of District 10 and Senator Jimmy Hickey of District 11 with the organization's Distinguished Legislator Award during the opening night banquet of the League's 81st Convention on June 24th.
The awards were given in recognition of Teague's and Hickey's strong support of cities and towns during the 90th General Assembly.
Each legislative session, legislators distinguish themselves by assisting cities and towns with key legislative issues affecting municipalities. This group of legislators, through their actions at the Capitol during this past session, were instrumental in contributing to the overall quality of life for the citizens in Arkansas' municipalities and The Arkansas Municipal League and its members cities wanted to show their appreciation to Senator Teague and Senator Hickey for their efforts in doing so.
AREA VEHICLE BREAK-IN UNDER INVESTIGATION 7/8/15
On May 12th, officers with the De Queen Police Department were dispatched to the De Queen Sportsplex in reference to six-vehicles reportedly being broken into and a two vehicle accident that involved the alleged suspect of the break-ins.
The driver of one of the vehicles involved in the accident was the suspect in the break-ins at the Sportsplex. However, the subject left the scene of the accident on foot before, officers arrived.
The subject has been identified as 31-year-old Kendaris Burris of Ashdown and is wanted on nine felony charges and three misdemeanor charges.
If anyone has any information concerning the whereabouts of Burris, you are being asked to contact Lieutenant Sonny Kimmel of the De Queen Police Department at 870-642-2213.
DE QUEEN POLICE DEPARTMENT INVESTIGATING CYBER CRIME 7/8/15
On June 8th, officials with the First State Bank in De Queen reported 20-customers had been the victims of cyber crime over the weekend of June 6th and 7th, to the De Queen Police Department.
Investigators with the De Queen Police Department contacted the Arkansas State Police and the Fusion Center which is an information sharing center that shares information between the local and federal levels.
According to the De Queen Police Department, hackers in some shape, form or fashion were able to duplicate cards of customers of First State Bank. The cards were then used at Wal-Mart stores in Hope, Arkadelphia and Bryant to purchase gift cards.
President of First State Bank, Gary Golden, reported apparently a service provider of the bank was hacked and the hackers stole information about First State Bank customers. However, the banks system was not breached and the banks IT department conducts cyber test on a consistent basis.
Golden reported banks in McCurtain County, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Tennessee have also suffered the safe type of breach, by apparently the same group of hackers.
Golden stated the bank instituted the Tag Rule and lowered the amount that customers may use on purchases, but the hackers used the cards as credit cards and the retail stores did not ask for proof of ID before approving the purchases.
Golden stated First State Bank is also transitioning to EMV cards which contain a small chip instead of a magnetic strip and will provide for more secure transactions.
Golden also assured the public that all affected customers were reimbursed for the unauthorized transactions.
According to the De Queen Police Department the incident is still under investigation.
JOHN MADDOX ANNOUNCES FOR STATE REPRESENTATIVE 7/8/15
On Monday, John Maddox announced his candidacy for State Representative for District 20. The seat is currently held by Representative Nate Bell, who has stated he will not seek re-election.
Maddox stated that this decision comes after many months of prayerful consideration and conversations with family and friends, he decided that during this important time in the history of the state and country, it would be his honor to earn the voter trust and serve District 20 in the legislature.
Maddox is a lifelong resident of Polk County and a 1987 graduate of Mena High School. He is also the grandson of former State Representative Ode Maddox and is a local attorney in the Maddox and Maddox law firm where he is a partner with his father, David.
In addition to his career, Maddox has served on various boards and civic organization in the community. He currently sits on the board of directors of the Union Bank of Mena, Polk County Development Center and Rich Mountain Community College. In addition, he has been active in the Polk County Chamber of Commerce, the Lions Club and currently serves as Chairman of the Polk County Republican Committee.
According to Maddox, voters can count on him to a strong, conservative voice on both social and fiscal issues. When asked what he would like to accomplish in the legislature, he said he wanted to make government more efficient and accountable and wanted to look at how the state could continue reforming the tax code in order to help spur economic growth.
Maddox said as a small business owner invested in his community, he is interested in promoting the long-term economic success of District 20.
SOUTHERN SPORTSMEN FOUNDATION ANNOUNCE 2015 HUNTING SCHEDULE 7/8/15
Little River County Judge and Southern Sportsmen Foundation member, Mike Cranford announced the foundation's 2015 deer hunting schedule.
Cranford said the youth hunt is scheduled for November 6th through the 8th and will be held near Mineral Springs in Howard County. Youth hunters will be able to arrive by 3 p.m. on November 5th for a pre-hunt orientation and must be accompanied by at least one parent or legal guardian.
The adult hunt will be held near Foreman, November 13th through 20th. Adult hunters must arrive by 11 a.m. on November 18th and are welcome to bring a non-hunting companion. Six hunters and two alternates will be drawn for this hunt.
Cranford stated the lodging, meals and license for both hunts will be provided by the foundation and if anyone would like to support the foundation, they can contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All hunt applications must be received by September 1st and hunters who are chosen will be notified by September 30th. Applications may be found on the foundation's website at www.sharingtheoutdoors.com.
LEVEL THREE SEX OFFENDERS IN DE QUEEN 07/07/15
Ralph Barrera (Level 3 sex offender)
244 Hwy. 71 North #1
De Queen, Arkansas 71832
THIS OFFENDER IS NOT WANTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT AT THIS TIME.
This notification is not intended to increase fear. It is our belief that an informed public will be safer. Information is available through many resources, including the state website maintained by the Arkansas Crime Information Center. More information is available from resources listed on the back of this flyer. Citizen abuse of this information to threaten, intimidate or harass offenders will not be tolerated. Such abuse could potentially end law enforcement’s ability to share this information with the public. If notification ends, the offender will win since they derive power through secrecy.
Four community notification levels apply. The higher the level assigned, the broader the notification to the community. Level 1(low) warrants minimal notice to the community (usually other law enforcement and/or members of the offender’s household only). Level 2(moderate) warrants limited notice to specific groups. Level 3 (high) warrants notification of all community members likely to encounter the offender. Level 4 is reserved for offenders who have a habitual or serious pattern of offending and are deemed sexual violent predators.
The De Queen Police Department and Sevier County Sheriff’s Office are releasing information pursuant to section 13 Act 989 of 1997, known as the Sex and Child Offender Registration and Community Notification Guidelines. This act authorizes law enforcement to inform the public of a sex offenders presence when the release of such information will enhance public safety and protection. Individuals appearing on these notifications have been convicted of an offense requiring registration with the Arkansas Crime Information Center.
Robert Garza (Level 3 sex offender)
181 Old Hwy. 71 North Lot 26
De Queen, Arkansas 71832
THIS OFFENDER IS NOT WANTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT AT THIS TIME.
This notification is not intended to increase fear. It is our belief that an informed public will be safer. Information is available through many resources, including the state website maintained by the Arkansas Crime Information Center. More information is available from resources listed on the back of this flyer. Citizen abuse of this information to threaten, intimidate or harass offenders will not be tolerated. Such abuse could potentially end law enforcement’s ability to share this information with the public. If notification ends, the offender will win since they derive power through secrecy.
Four community notification levels apply. The higher the level assigned, the broader the notification to the community. Level 1(low) warrants minimal notice to the community (usually other law enforcement and/or members of the offender’s household only). Level 2(moderate) warrants limited notice to specific groups. Level 3 (high) warrants notification of all community members likely to encounter the offender. Level 4 is reserved for offenders who have a habitual or serious pattern of offending and are deemed sexual violent predators.
The De Queen Police Department and Sevier County Sheriff’s Office are releasing information pursuant to section 13 Act 989 of 1997, known as the Sex and Child Offender Registration and Community Notification Guidelines. This act authorizes law enforcement to inform the public of a sex offenders presence when the release of such information will enhance public safety and protection. Individuals appearing on these notifications have been convicted of an offense requiring registration with the Arkansas Crime Information Center.
43RD ANNUAL PINE TREE FESTIVAL 7/7/15
Pine Tree committee member Stacy Janes announced last Friday that the 43rd Annual Pine Tree Festival will be held on Friday, July 31st and Saturday, August 1st in the Dierks City Park.
Janes said activities will begin Friday night at 6 p.m. and this year they will be having a magic show for the kids, a talent contest and some local talent performing.
Saturday night will feature the 3rd Annual Ultimate Challenge Bull Riding and no holds barred free style bull fighting at 8 p.m. Janes also stated Saturday night will feature some pyro and the All-American Cowgirl Chicks from RFD-TV.
This year's festival parade down Main Street will be held at 10 a.m. and after the parade over 40 food and craft vendors will open along with several activities for the kids, like free bounce houses, kiddies' train and pony rides.
This year's Pine Tree Festival will also feature a chainsaw competition, axe throw, a log loading competition and an archery contest.
Admission to the Friday night activities is free and tickets to Saturday's bull riding event is $10 for adults , $5 for kids 7 to 12 and free for kids 6 and under.
For more information about the 43rd Annual Pine Tree Festival, like them on Facebook or call the Dierks Chamber of Commerce at 870-584-9431.
ARREST MADE FOR FELONY POSSESSION 7/7/15
Saturday night, Patrolman First Class Levi Browning of the De Queen Police Department reported he noticed a van that didn't have a license plate, so he made a traffic stop in the De Queen Health and Wellness parking lot on Highway 70 West.
After checking the vehicles registration, Patrolman Browning issued the driver, 32-year-old Raven Tollett a citation for failure to register her vehicle.
Tollett also gave Browning and Sergeant Chad Bradshaw permission to search her vehicle. Officer Bradshaw reported he noticed the passenger 32-year-old Damian Burton reach under his shirt when Bradshaw asked Burton to exit the vehicle.
After instructing Burton to hand them what he was trying to conceal, Burton gave the officers two clear bags of suspected methamphetamine.
While Tollett was being questioned at the De Queen Police Station, she allegedly informed the officers that one of the bags of meth belonged to her and the other one belonged to Burton.
Both, Tollett and Burton, were charged with possession of methamphetamine or cocaine with the purpose to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia.
DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL TO MEET TUESDAY AT 5:30 7/7/15
Aldermen of the De Queen City Council will meet this Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in the City Council room of the De Queen City Hall.
Aldermen will consider passing a resolution to accept the 2013 audit of the city's general funds. Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy explained that the council reviewed the audit in April, but the resolution to accept the audit was never placed on the agenda for their approval.
McKelvy also reported that the Arkansas Department of Health had conducted a Sanitary Survey of the De Queen Water Works Department.
According to a letter from the Department of Health, the City of De Queen received only one significant deficiency because the health department could not verify with documentation if the water storage tanks had been internally inspected within the past five years.
The department of health also recommended that the city have the filter media evaluated and replaced if necessary, along with several other recommendations.
According to the letter, the city of De Queen has 45 days to file a response with the department of health.
McKelvy also reported that the cable audit revealed that Vyve owes the city $1,028 in underpaid franchise fees.
The auditor, Greg Fender of Local Government Services, recommended the city hold a public meeting to discuss Vyve Broadbands performance within the city and to determine the future cable-related needs of the community.
Aldermen will consider holding a public meeting on August 4th to discuss the city's cable needs.
DOMTAR DONATES $50,000 TO LITTLE RIVER COUNTY FOR FLOOD RECOVERY EFFORTS 7/7/15
Domtar presented a check in the amount of $50,000 to Little River County Judge Mike Cranford to help with the flood recovery efforts and Domtar employees have volunteered to work with cleanup after the flood waters recede.
Little River County has been experiencing flooding due to heavy rains since May and according to Cranford, the Red River flooded over 100,000 acres in Little River County.
Domtar President and CEO John Williams wrote a letter to Judge Cranford that says, quote, on behalf of Domtar's nearly 10,000 employees, please know our thoughts are with you and your citizens as you deal with the tragic flooding situation in Little River County.
Our hope is that you can apply these dollars, at your discretion to offset the expenses of the search and rescue efforts, cleanup and repair initiatives to county roads and the extraordinary costs incurred by the sheriff's office protecting residents and property in the flooded areas.
According to the county judge's office, when the floodwaters recede and local authorities deem the situation safe, Ashdown mill team members will coordinate with Cranford to help with the removal of debris and sandbags.
ELECTION COMMISSION TO CERTIFY CANDIDATES 7/7/15
According to Sevier County Clerk Debbie Akin, the Sevier County Election Commission will meet on Wednesday, July 8th to certify the candidates for the upcoming school election for the Zone 5 position for the De Queen Board of Education and the Zone 3 position on Horatio Board of Education.
The election commission will also hold a ballot draw if necessary.
Currently Randy Hedge holds the Zone 5 position on the De Queen School Board and Jeff Irvan holds the Zone 3 position on the Horatio School Board.
The meeting will be held at 1 p.m. in the county clerk's office in the Sevier County Courthouse.
The meeting is open to the public.
HEAVY RAINS THIS WEEKEND CAUSES MORE FLOODING 7/7/15
Heavy rains Friday night and Saturday morning produced flash flooding in Southwest Arkansas causing problems on several roads.
The National Weather Service estimated that Hempstead and Nevada counties were the hardest hit in the area and that area received between six to 10 inches of rain.
A portion of Highway 371 east of Blevins was washed out due to flooding and numerous roads were closed in Hempstead County. According to Hempstead County Judge Haskell Morse, 17 county roads are closed.
Saturday morning, members of the Saratoga Volunteer Fire Department and the Hempstead County Sheriff's Office responded to a car that was trapped by the flood waters on Hempstead County Road 13 near McNab.
According to Deputy Luke Sorenson, he observed a vehicle on the edge of the road in approximately 10-inches of flowing water.
The driver, 18-year-old Tami Van Horn was able to hand her 3-year-old child to the deputy through the window. She then climbed out the window with some assistance.
The car was pulled out of the water by the Saratoga Fire Department.
Highway 355 at Fulton had to be closed for a while until flood waters receded and according to Little River County Judge Mike Cranford, some roadways in the Ashdown area were closed due to flash flooding on Saturday.
TREASURER MILLIGAN ANNOUNCES JUNE RETURNS ON SHORT TERM INVESTMENTS 7/7/15
Treasurer of State Dennis Milligan announced his office was able to earn the taxpayers of Arkansas $629,618.77 in interest on the short-term investments for the month of June, which brings the total for the first five months to over $2.1 million.
During the month of June the Treasury did experience a slight decrease in the monetary return due to a decrease in the funds available for investment and a shifting of the focus to the longer-term portion of the state's portfolio.
Milligan's office reported the additional revenue earned is placed in the Securities Reserve Account which assists in funding issues the people of Arkansas care about like: highway funding, four land highway construction, Game and Fish, the Secretary of State Help American Vote Act and other accounts.
UNWANTED GUEST 7/7/15
Early Sunday morning, Patrolman First Class Wayne Baker of the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to the Timber Ridge apartments to answer a complaint concerning an intoxicated person wandering from apartment to apartment.
When Baker arrived, he discovered a man sitting in a chair next to apartment H3.
Baker said the man, 51-year-old Rodger Brizendine, had a bruised and beaten right cheek, as well as, blood on his shirt and hand.
Brizendine was taken into to custody and cited for public intoxication and taken to the Sevier County jail.
UA COSSATOT HOSTS LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT SEMINAR 7/6/15
UA Cossatot will host a Leadership Development Seminar for Managers, Supervisors and Human Resource Managers on Tuesday, July 14th from 10 a.m. until noon.
The seminar will be lead by Leadership Coach Greg Gilbert of Washington, Arkansas. Gilbert will be presenting a 2-hour program about developing leadership skills.
Gilbert informed KDQN that anyone in leadership will benefit from the class and you can learn more about the program by visiting Gilbert’s website at GregLGilbert.com.
The cost of the seminar is $75 and includes a copy of Gilbert’s book, “The Power of Better,” and seating is limited. Interested parties should register at GregLGilbert.com/local.
FOREMAN SCHOOL DISTRICT HIRES FORMER RATTLER AS HEAD FOOTBALL COACH 7/6/15
During a recent meeting of the Foreman Board of Education, Neil Evans was hired to be the next head football coach of the Foreman Gators.
Evans graduated from Murfreesboro High School in 2005, where he was named the Outstanding Offensive Lineman in 2003 and 2004 and earned an honorable mention for all-conference in 2004.
Evans then attended Harding University and played football for the Bisons until he became a student assistant coach in 2009.
Evans was hired to coach linebackers in 2010 at Mobile Christian School in Mobile, Alabama. Later, he was named the head football coach and served in that position until 2013. Over those three seasons, Evans’ teams compiled a 23-13 record.
The Mobile Christian Leopards made the playoffs all three of Evans years, and made the quarterfinals in 2012 and 2013.
In 2014, Evans became the secondary coach and special teams coordinator at Central Arkansas Christian in Little Rock.
WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT TO BENEFIT FROM RESEA PROGRAM 7/6/15
District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported that during the last legislative session, legislators passed several bills to help Arkansas workers develop the skills they need in this rapidly changing business environment.
Vaught announced this week that the state will be able to provide even more services to put Arkansans to work, since the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services received a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.
The Department of Workforce Services was awarded $537,758. These funds will be used to fund Arkansas’ Reemployment Services Eligibility Assessment program, which is expected to benefit more than 8,000 Arkansans who are looking for work.
Currently, participants are required to complete a job search workshop to maintain their benefits. The workshop lasts between four and six hours and is held once a month at the state’s workforce centers.
Participates receive labor market information, job search assistance, resume preparation and interview skills training.
The Reemployment Services Eligibility Assessment program will also provide one on one appointments and help veterans who are returning home to find work. These services will be provided at Workforce Centers in Helena, Hope, Benton, Searcy, Forrest City and Little Rock.
According to Vaught, the goal of the program is to keep claimants from exhausting their benefits before moving on to employment, but also to reduce the number of weeks claimed, as well as, reduce the total benefits paid, which will result in a savings for the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.
According to the Department of Workforce Services, Arkansas’ current unemployment rate is 5.7 percent, which is slightly higher than the national rate.
ASHDOWN DOWN DISTRICT MOVES EXTRA REVENUE TO BUILDING FUND 7/3/15
Ashdown Superintendent Jason Sanders reported the Ashdown Board of Education held a special called meeting earlier this week to make some personnel changes and to discuss some old business that had not been closed.
Sanders stated the board accepted the resignations of Abby Rayfield, as the computer lab manager on the L.F. Henderson campus, high school Math teacher, Todd Gibson, high school English teacher, Nancy Gibson and high school business teacher, Will Harris. They also filled three positions, including a new state mandated position.
Sanders said the board voted to approve changes to the student handbooks, district policies and a 1.5 percent raise for classified employees.
Sanders also reported the board approved a resolution to move over $3.2 million dollars in extra revenue to the district's building fund.
BROTHERS PLEAD GUILTY IN SEVIER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT 7/3/15
Brothers, Devin Felipe and Michael Felipe, changed their pleas to guilty in a recent session of the Sevier County Circuit Court before Judge Tom Cooper.
Devin Felipe was sentenced to a total of 12 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections and one-year in the Sevier County jail after pleading guilty to the charges of shoplifting, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of meth or cocaine.
Devin Felipe was arrested on Wednesday, May 27th for shoplifting at the new Dollar Tree store in De Queen, while being processed at the jail, jail personnel discovered two small bags of meth along with a syringe and a smoking device in a black box inside his sock.
Michael Felipe was sentenced to eight-years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections and 30-days in the Sevier County jail for resisting arrest, shoplifting, fleeing and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Michael Felipe was arrested, May 21st for shoplifting, fleeing and resisting arrest at the Tractor Supply store.
Simon Ahumada was sentenced to 13 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections for possession of meth with the intent to deliver and for maintaining a drug premises.
David Lee Baker was sentenced to 10-years with four suspended after pleading guilty to possession of Hydrocodone and possession of meth or cocaine.
Fred Bunch was sentenced to seven-years for delivery of morphine and Joshua Parson was sentenced to six-years for possession of drug paraphernalia and domestic battery in the third degree.
CONSUMER ALERT: PLAN A SAFE JULY 4TH 7/3/15
Since 1776, Americans have celebrated Independence Day with festivities ranging from barbecues and parades to concerts and fireworks. These traditions are great opportunities for family and friends to gather and celebrate the holiday.
President John Adams once declared that Independence Day should be celebrated with illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more."
So, it is no surprise that fireworks are now a common custom for many people to celebrate the holiday across the United States.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were 11 fatalities and an estimated 10,500 people injured by fireworks in 2014. Among those injuries, 67 percent occurred during the 30-days surrounding the Fourth of July.
So, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a consumer report to remind Arkansans to keep safety and firework regulations in mind when celebrating Independence Day.
Arkansas State law requires sellers to obtain a license in order to sell fireworks legally in the state. Vendors are not allowed to sell fireworks to anyone under the age of 12 or anyone that appears to be intoxicated.
State law allows exploding fireworks to be sold each year from June 20th to July 10th and non-exploding items, such as sparklers and snakes, may be sold throughout the year.
Rutledge recommends that consumers only purchase fireworks from a licensed store, tent or stand; use fireworks outdoors; read and follow all warnings and instructions; supervise children at all times; make sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks; never relight a malfunctioning firework; do not shoot fireworks from a metal or glass container and keep a bucket of water handy in case of a fire.
In the City of De Queen, fireworks may be exploded on July 3rd, 4th and 5th between the hours of 11 a.m. and midnight and no fireworks may be sold within the city limits.
If a person is found in violation of the ordinance by possessing or using fireworks, they may be punished by a fine not to exceed $200 and/or public service not to exceed 10-days.
FOREMAN WATER DEPARTMENT TO HOST PUBLIC MEETING 7/3/15
The Foreman Water Department will hold a public meeting on Monday, July 13th at 6 p.m. in the Foreman Community Center to discuss the installation of new water meters throughout the city.
The purpose of the meeting is to inform the public why the city is installing new meters and when the installation will take place.
They will also announce if there will be any initial cost or connection fees to the water customers and how the new equipment will effect their bills.
Water officials will explain the benefits of the new equipment and discuss the amount of time customers will be without water, while crews connect the new meters.
For more information, contact the Foreman Water Department at 870-542-7434.
HORATIO BOARD OF EDUCATION APPROVES FENCING PROJECT AT ELEMENTARY CAMPUS 7/3/15
During a special called meeting of the Horatio Board of Education, board members filled all of the remaining positions in the district and approved a fencing project on the elementary campus.
Superintendent Lee Smith stated they hired Lisa Frady as a Chemistry/Physics teacher and Pam Bright as a Pre-school aide.
Smith said the board also accepted a bid for new fencing around the elementary playground.
The Horatio Board of Education will meet July 13th for their regular monthly meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the administration building.
UA COSSATOT SUPPORTS NONVIOLENCE YOUTH SUMMIT 7/3/15
The Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission hosted the Nonviolence Youth Summit this past Sunday in the Herman Dierks Park in De Queen.
The event was held to celebrate the cultural differences in the community and De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy and Ericka Buenrrostro who is the sponsor of the UA Cossatot Student Diversity Association received an award for their participation and facilitation of the event.
Students from the Student Diversity Association volunteered for the event and worked booths that were set up for youth of all ages.
Ivan Leon, a legendary soccer player from Santa Fe, Argentina, was the guest speaker. Leon moved to the United States and pursued a BA in Communications from Liberty University, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. He then continued his education at Dallas Theological Seminary and completed the Masters of Theology program. He also received a certificate of Entrepreneurship from the University of Texas.
Students from the UA Cossatot Colts Club Soccer team joined forces with some members of the Lady Leopard Soccer team and played an exhibition game against a team from the Hot Springs area.
Executive Director of the Arkansas MLK, Jr. Commission DuShun ScarBrough told those in attendance, they were fortunate to have a college in the community that embraces diversity.
DE QUEEN HIGH SCHOOL OFFERING SUMMER ACT PREP CLASS 7/2/15
De Queen High School Counselor Ramona Hill announced the De Queen High School would be offering an ACT Summer Prep class for the weeks of July 20th through 23rd and July 27th through 30th from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. each day.
The district will also be offering a couple of refresher nights on Tuesday, September 1st and Tuesday, September 8th from 5 to 7 p.m.
Students who attend every day of the ACT Prep Class will be able to take the September 21st ACT exam for free.
Applications should be turned in at the De Queen High School office by Thursday, July 9th in order for teachers to plan for the correct number of materials.
De Queen students may attend for free but there is a $100 registration fee for students from other districts.
DISASTER UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE IN ARKANSAS 7/2/15
Residents in nine Arkansas counties that were declared disaster areas because of recent storms, tornadoes and flooding may be eligible for disaster unemployment assistance.
Residents, including people who are self-employed, who lost jobs as a direct result of the storms that moved through the area May 7th to June 15th in Crawford, Garland, Howard, Jefferson, Little River, Miller, Perry, Sebastian and Sevier counties could be eligible for payments.
Claims must be filed between now and July 30th at the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services offices in Fort Smith, Hot Springs, Hope, Pine Bluff, Texarkana, Conway and Russellville.
Individuals must have worked or have been scheduled to work in the disaster area.
Applicants should bring a government issued photo ID, Social Security card, name and address of the last place of employment and documents verifying income.
TRUCK ACCIDENT REROUTES TRAFFIC 7/2/15
A little after midnight, a trailer overturned at the intersection of Magnolia and Lakeside.
The driver of the truck, Larry Treadwell of Branson, Missouri reported that he was turning right onto Magnolia Street from Lakeside Drive when he back tires went into the ditch, which caused the trailer to overturn.
According to the accident report the truck and trailer were heavily damaged, but there were no injuries. However, traffic had to be re-routed through the Tractor Supply parking lot until the accident scene was cleaned up.
Then about 4:50 a.m. Wednesday morning, power to the Cities of De Queen and Horatio went out after a snake apparently caused a substation to lock out the area.
Power was restored by SWEPCO crews in about an hour.
TWO ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH RECENT BREAK INS 7/2/15
Two people have been arrested in connection with break ins from this past weekend at the Nashville Elementary and Primary schools, along with the Immanuel Baptist Church.
18-year-old Lawrence Benson, Jr. of Nashville and 20-year-old De Angelo Coulter of Center Point have been charged with three counts each of Commercial Burglary and Theft of Property.
Nashville Police Department Investigator Larry Marion stated Benson turned himself in late Monday and Howard County Sheriff's Deputy Joey Davis arrested Coulter at a residence in Center Point on Tuesday.
According to police reports, the Immanuel Baptist Church was broken into but apparently nothing was taken, but some minor damage was reported. While searching the area, officers discovered the elementary and primary schools had also been broken into. The only items taken from the schools included some keys and money from the primary building.
Coulter is being held on a $50,000 bond, while Benson's bond was set at $25,000.
VAUGHT REPORTS ON ARKANSAS HEALTH INSURANCE MARKETPLACE 7/2/15
District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported that while the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace continues to explore if the state should create its own health care exchange and determine its own fees to charge the insurance companies, an important decision was handed down by the United States Supreme Court.
The Affordable Care Act states tax credits are available when insurance is purchased through an Exchange established by the State. The legal question in the case of King vs. Burwell was whether a federal exchange is an Exchange established by the State may offer subsidies for health insurance.
Recently, the Supreme Court said yes and Arkansas is one of 34 states in which individuals and families can shop for health care using a federally operated online marketplace commonly referred to as the exchange.
Those with incomes between 138 percent and 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level are allowed to purchase insurance on the exchange at a reduced rate. The reduction in premiums is paid for by the federal tax credits that can be used in advance.
Currently, there are 48,000 Arkansans using these credits. These would be families of four making under $94,200 a year or an individual making under $46,000.
A family of four making under $31,000 or an individual making under $15,000 would be eligible for the Private Option where premiums are paid in full.
During the last legislative session, the Arkansas General Assembly passed legislation to prohibit the creation of a state-based exchange without approval from the General Assembly until this ruling was issued. But, since the ruling upheld federal subsidies, legislative approval is no longer needed and the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace may now proceed with the creation of a state-based exchange.
ANNUAL FIREWORKS IN THE PARK IN LOCKESBURG 7/1/15
The Ida Margaret Coulter Stone Park in Lockesburg will host the annual Fireworks in the Park, this Saturday, July 4th with a variety of activities for folks of all ages.
Gary Revels of the Lockesburg Lions Club announced they will be hosting Freedom from Blindness 5K and 10K races this year.
Revels said the club helps raise funds to provide eye care for area residents and Saturday's race is their biggest fundraiser of the year.
Revels said they will be presenting medals to the top finishers in each age category.
Park Commissioner Sheila Ruth said Fireworks in the Park will start with a co-ed softball tournament and end with a giant firework display.
Once again this year, the event will feature the Lockesburg Car and Truck Show from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. and Jo Anna said you can register your car or truck until the day of the show.
Ruth said there will be craft and food vendors and if you would like a booth space, you should contact the Lockesburg City Hall at 870-289-3261.
ARKANSAS STORM SURVIVORS URGED TO REGISTER FOR FEDERAL DISASTER ASSISTANCE 7/1/05
Arkansas residents affected by the late April flooding and storms may now call or go online to register for disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to state and federal officials.
The Federal Coordinating Officer, Nancy Casper, said registering for assistance is the first step in getting on the path to recovery and her office is urging people with disaster-related damages to apply as soon as possible.
President Barak Obama signed the federal disaster declaration on Friday, June 26th and it offers Individual Assistance to residents in the counties of Crawford, Garland, Howard, Jefferson, Little River, Miller, Perry Sebastian and Sevier counties, although additional counties may be included at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
To apply for disaster assistance, you may call 1-800-FEMA or you may go online at www.disasterassistance.gov.
In most cases, a FEMA inspector will call you within a few days of registering to arrange a visit to your damaged home or apartment. A FEMA inspector will always have an official badge visible during the inspection. And, you should request to see identification before allowing the inspector to enter your home.
If you qualify for FEMA assistance, you will receive a federal government check or the funds will be directly deposited into your designated bank account. A separate letter will also be sent to you explaining how you may use the funds.
COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK 7/1/15
Cossatot River State Park will be hosting guided kayak tours this Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
The cost is $30.94 per person and shuttle transportation, interpretive guide service and the use of a kayak, paddle and lifejacket. The adventure will start in the Visitor Center classroom and is designed for beginners.
Park Interpreter Shelley Flanary reported the weather may cause the tour to be re-scheduled or the route may have to be changed due to low or high water levels.
Friday and Saturday afternoon from 2 to 3 p.m., park interpreters will be leading a sneaky snorkeling adventure on the Cossatot River. Participates will be able to sneak up on perch, minnows and a lot of other river dwellers.
Friday evening from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., the park will host a Dutch oven dessert demonstration. Park interpreters will be preparing homemade cobbler for everyone to enjoy.
Saturday evening from 7:30 to 9 p.m., park guest will learn about tracking. According to Flanary, you just need to develop three skills to become a good tracker and she says we all have these skills. So, join Flanary in the Visitor Center's classroom and discover what type of tracker you are.
For more information about these programs at the Cossatot River State Park, call 870-385-2201.
DE QUEEN RESIDENT KILLED IN MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT 7/1/15
A De Queen man died as the result of a motorcycle, Monday evening in southeastern Oklahoma.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported 33-year-old Michael David Culp of De Queen, died in the accident that occurred a little before 6 p.m.
The accident report says Culp was eastbound on U.S. Highway 70 near Eagletown in McCurtain County when the motorcycle went off the roadway.
According to the report says the motorcycle traveled about 400 feet before crashing into a ditch and overturning. The accident threw Culp more than 50 feet from the motorcycle.
HORATIO MAN ARRESTED IN HOWARD COUNTY 7/1/15
A Horatio man was arrested over the weekend in Nashville.
While patrolling Saturday morning, Nashville Police Officer Casey Parker noticed a vehicle parked at the Howard County Farm Bureau.
The driver who was identified as 36-year-old Clifton Roberts was slumped over inside the vehicle. Officer Parker was able to wake Roberts up, and while speaking with him, Parker noticed Roberts was acting in a nervous manner.
While conducting a pat down, police say they recovered three balls of black tape from one of his pants pockets.
Officer Parker said the tape concealed zip lock bags with suspected methamphetamine in them.
Roberts was transported to the Howard County jail, where he was charged with possession of controlled substance.
Roberts’ bond was set at $50,000 dollars.
LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS STATEWIDE WATCHING FOR HOLIDAY IMPAIRED DRIVERS 7/1/15
The Fourth of July is a favorite holiday among Americans, but with summer fun, parades, parties and fireworks, the holiday typically proves to be deadly on streets and highways across the country.
Nationwide there were 199 people killed in alcohol related crashes during the 2013 July 4th holiday period.
The crackdown on drunk driving during the coming holiday period will involve state, city and county law enforcement officers devoting additional patrol hours through July 5th. Their target will be drivers who are impaired and endangering the lives of others traveling on Arkansas roadways.
Drivers who have consumed alcohol or drugs should remember they are putting their own life and the lives of others at risk.
Driving impaired can lead to other serious consequences. Even if no one is killed or hurt, a DWI arrest can lead to jail time, driver license suspension, costly legal expenses, court fines and higher driver insurance rates.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports show that in fatal crashes during the July Fourth period in 2013, more than one-fifth or 21 percent of involved drivers or motorcycle operators had Blood Alcohol Concentrations of .15 or higher, almost twice the legal limit.
The Arkansas Highway Safety Office recommends these simple tips to prevent drunk driving: plan a safe way home before the fun begins; designate a sober driver; if you have been drinking, call a taxi, or a sober friend for a ride home; if you see a drunk driver, call 911.
2015 DISTRICT 4-H O'RAMA 06/29/15
Sevier County 4-H’ers competed in the Ouachita District 4-H O’Rama
held in Gurdon, AR on June 16, 2015. To be able to compete at the
District O’Rama, the 4-H’er must have competed at the local County
O’Rama and be at least 9 years old on January 1 of the current year.
Pictured: L to R sitting: Blake Sawyer, Raegan Frachiseur, Attalee Frachiseur, Brayden Frachiseur, Hunter Frachiseur, and Max Rosson. Standing: Sabrina Rivas, Brody Smith, Aaron Morris, Aubrey Seymour, Brennen Seymour, Amber Morris, Macy Rosson, and Marcus Rosson.
(Photo taken by Janet Cantrell)
2015 Tri Lakes Big Bass Winners 06/30/15
The 26th annual Tri Lakes Big Bass Tournament was held Saturday, June 27th on De Queen, Gillham and Dierks lakes in southwest Arkansas.
There were a total of 196 entries fishing for over $14,000 in cash and prizes. Five places were awarded on each of the three lakes each hour from 6 am until 1 pm.
Top prize of $1,500 was won by P.J. Minor for his 6.30 pound bass caught during the first hour on De Queen Lake. Bill Huddleston won 2nd place for $1,000 with a 6.16 pound bass caught during hour 3 on De Queen Lake. Third place and $750 went to Jason Sparks fishing on Gillham Lake who caught a nice 5.86 pound bass during hour 2. Fourth place of $500 was awarded to Robin Daniel with a 5.72 pound bass caught during hour 6 on Gillham Lake. Dierks Lake was also mentioned in the winners circle when Ronnie Cogburn weighed in his 5.49 pound bass during hour seven for 5th place and $300. Keep in mind that these anglers also won hourly prize money in addition to the big bass prize. (Hourly winners list)
Photo by Patrick Massey
PRESIDENT DECLARES DISASTER FOR ARKANSAS 6/30/15
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the state of Arkansas and ordered federal aid to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding during the period of May 7th to June 15th.
The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals and households in Howard, Little River, Miller, Sevier, Crawford, Garland, Jefferson, Perry and Sebastian counties. Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
Federal funding is also available to state, tribal and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding in Hempstead, Howard, Little River, Miller, Pike, Polk, and Sevier counties along with 21 other counties.
Governor Asa Hutchinson announced he applauded the FEMA's decision to issue a major disaster declaration for the state and now residents and local communities can receive help financial assistance as they continue their recovery efforts.
Hutchinson said additional designations may be added to the declaration if requested by the state and warranted by results of further damage assessments.
Little River County Judge Mike Cranford stated the declaration means the federal government will pay for 75 percent of the clean-up cost.
Cranford said it took awhile for the declaration to be made because the individual lose threshold had to be met.
Cranford said Red River is receding but another 2-inch rain could do even more damage.
Cranford said he plans to set up a meeting with all of the agencies involved to provide information to area residents
For information about assistance for both individuals and business owners call 1-800-621-FEMA or visit the website wwww.DisasterAssistance.gov.
REMEMBER TO CELEBRATE THE FOURTH SAFELY 6/30/15
When you think about the Fourth of July, you think of fireworks and large public firework displays, but you should also think about safety and local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
The National Council on Fireworks Safety suggests that you read the cautionary labels and performance description before igniting fireworks and only light one firework at a time.
Children should be supervised by an adult and fireworks should be disposed of by soaking them in a bucket of water.
Residents should also obey all local laws concerning fireworks. De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy reported fireworks may only be ignited in the city on July 3rd, 4th and 5th, between the hours of 11 a.m. and midnight.
McKelvy said violators may be fined up to $200 and sentenced up to 10 days of community service for violating the city’s ordinance.
This past weekend, officers with the De Queen Police Department issued a warning to a resident after neighbors complained about the noise.
DISTRICT 4-H O'RAMA 6/30/15
Eleven Sevier County 4-H'ers competed in the Ouachita District 4-H O-Rama held in Gurdon on June 16th. For 4-H'ers to be able to compete in the District O'Rama, the 4-H'er must have competed in the county O'Rama and be at least 9-years-old on January 1st of the current year.
Blake Sawyer placed second in the Bicycle Junior Division, Aaron Morris placed fourth in Animal Sciences Senior Division, Hunter Frachiseur placed fourth in Wildlife Junior Division, Attalee Frachiseur placed fourth in Fashion Revue-Purchased Casual Junior Division, Amber Morris placed first in Food Fair Junior Division, Aubrey Seymour placed first in Human Development Junior Division, Brennen Seymour placed second in Baitcasting and Game Fish ID Junior Division, Brayden Frachiseur placed first in Reel into Sportfishing Junior Division, Sabrina Rivas placed second in Forestry Senior Division, Marcus Rosson placed second in Gun Safety Junior Division, and Brody Smith placed first in Gun Safety Senior Division.
Seniors who placed in the top seven are eligible to compete in the State O'Rama competition this July at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
DRINKING ON HIGHWAY 6/30/15
Early Saturday morning, Patrolman First Class Levi Browning of the De Queen Police Department observed a car on the overpass traveling east at a high rate of speed.
Browning turned around but was unable to catch up with the vehicle.
Browning said he then observed a maroon colored vehicle drive left of center and continued to straddle the center line for a little while. Browning conducted a traffic stop in the Farm Bureau parking lot and made contact with the driver, 26-year-old Martin Martinez-Marrufo.
Martinez-Marrufo informed Browning that he had drank one or two. After conducting some field sobriety test, officers discovered a partially drank Bud Light bottle behind the driver's seat.
Martinez-Marrufo was citied for drinking on the highway, driving left of center and for having no driver's license.
MILLER NAMED SAU SCHOLAR ATHLETE OF THE YEAR 6/30/15
Southern Arkansas University announced former De Queen Leopard John Miller and Sarah Higginbotham were nominated for the Great American Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award.
Miller and Higginbotham were named the 2014-2015 SAU Scholar-Athletes of the Year in April.
Higginbotham is a native of Bedford, Texas and graduated from SAU with a 3.91 cumulative GPA in Biological Science. Higginbotham was named to the Capital One Academic All-America Second-Team and was a two-time GAC All-Academic Team selection.
Miller is majoring in Engineering and Physics and currently has a 3.8 GPA. He was named to the 2014 Capital One Academic All-District Three First-Team. Miller has been a two-time All-GAC Offensive Lineman for SAU.
PJ MINOR WINS 26TH ANNUAL TRI-LAKES BIG BASS FESTIVAL 6/30/15
Saturday morning, the De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce held their 26th Annual Tri-Lakes Big Bass Festival on the De Queen, Dierks and Gillham lakes and this year's overall winner was P.J. Minor of De Queen.
Minor won $1,600 dollars while fishing on the De Queen Lake. The second place winner was Bill Huddleston, third place went to Jason Sparks, fourth place went to Robin Daniel and fifth place went to Ronnie Cogburn.
Minor and Huddleston were fishing on the De Queen Lake, while Sparks and Daniel were both on the Gillham Lake. Cogburn won the hourly big bass prize during the seventh hour on the Dierks Lake.
This year, the tournament had 196 entries.
SEVIER COUNTY WATER NOT HARMFUL 6/29/15
An official with the Sevier County Water Association reported they are having a problem with the magnesium and iron levels in the water. According to the Arkansas Department of Health, the magnesium levels are elevated due to the recent rainfall and lake turnover.
Officials at the water association stated their system was not able to properly treat the magnesium level effectively; however, the water is safe to drink although customers may notice a dingy, dirty looking color and a slight odor.
Health department officials recommend using bottled water for the making of baby formula and to be careful when washing light colored clothing.
Sevier County Water Association employees are working to correct the problem, but it may take some time due the recent rainfall.
IT’S HARD TO STOP A TRAIN 6/29/15
Friday morning, an 18-wheeler hauling train wheel axles lost its load at the intersection of Collin Raye Drive and 9th Street, a little after 10:30.
According to a Walter Smith of the Sevier County Office of Emergency Management, the driver of the truck said he was considering driving thru the yellow light, but a small vehicle pulled out in front of him from 9th Street, so he shut the truck down, which caused the load to dislodge.
Members of the De Queen Police Department and the De Queen Fire Department closed down the two east bound lanes and directed traffic through the turn lane, until the truck could be reloaded.
According to the De Queen Police Department, no one injured in the accident.
39TH ANNUAL HOPE WATERMELON FESTIVAL 6/29/15
The Hope-Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the U of A Hope-Texarkana Foundation to bring Sammy Kershaw and Buddy Jewell to the 39th Annual Hope Watermelon Festival on Saturday, August 8th.
Kershaw will be performing his number one hit “She Don’t Know She’s Beautiful” along with several of his 10 Top Ten hits.
Jewell’s self-titled Columbia Records album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Country Album chart and was certified gold and garnered two back-to-back top five hits with “Sweet Southern Comfort” and “Help Pour Out the Rain.”
This year’s Watermelon Festival will include a Friday night concert featuring the Beatle’s Tribute Band, the Liverpool Legends. The band will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Legion Field.
Advanced tickets for Saturday night will be $12 for adults and $6 for children ages 4 to 10. The day of the show, tickets will be $20. There will also be a Friday and Saturday night concert combination general admission ticket for just $15 and Friday night tickets are just $5.
Tickets are available at www.uacch.edu, or you may contact, the UACCH Foundation at 870-722-8516.
SEVIER COUNTY CLERK OFFERS GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT UPCOMING SCHOOL ELECTIONS 6/29/15
Sevier County Clerk Debbie Akin announced the 2015 School Elections will be held on Tuesday, September 15th.
The filing period for the De Queen and Horatio School Board elections will be from 8 a.m., June 30th until noon on July 7th.
Akin said the positions that will be running for election this year, include the Zone 5 position in De Queen, which is currently held by Randy Hedge and the Zone 3 position in Horatio, which is currently held on Jeff Irvan.
Akin also encouraged Sevier County residents to register to vote. She said the deadline to register to vote in this election is August 17th, but if you are a registered voter in another Arkansas county, you can transfer your registration to Sevier County by September 11th and still vote in the School Board elections.
Akin said residents may need to update their registration if their name or address has changed.
Absentee voting is available for qualifying applicants and residents may contact the County Clerk’s office to obtain an application.
Early voting will be conducted in the County Clerk’s office only September 8th through the 14th from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
Akin said you have any questions; you may contact her office at 870-642-2852.
CONSUMER ALERT – AVOIDING VACATION SCAMS 6/29/15
School is out for the summer, and many Arkansans are taking vacations. These trips can be great for relaxation and fun, but consumers should take precautions to protect themselves from scams and con artists.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a consumer alert to help Arkansans keep their guard up and avoid being scammed before or during their vacations.
Rutledge offered these tips on how you can recognize a scam: a legitimate company will not require payment for a prize; if a travel agency will not provide the phone number or address of all or some of the arrangements it has made; high-pressure sales tactics could be a sign of a scam; be wary of wiring money as it is the same as sending cash, once sent, there is no way to get it back; and travelers should pay by credit card as much as possible because it is easier to dispute the charges if a service is not provided.
Rutledge also encourages travelers to make copies of credit cards, passports and driver’s licenses, along with emergency contact information in case any of these documents are stolen.
All travel scams should be reported to the Federal Trade Commission, local law enforcement and the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-482-8982 or ArkansasAG.gov.
FAULKNER COUNTY GRANTS SAME-SEX MARRIAGE LICENSE AFTER SUPREME COURT LEGALIZES GAY-MARRIAGE 6/29/15
The Faulkner County Human Resource Officer Whitney Doolittle announced this morning that a same-sex couple received a marriage license in Conway shortly after the United State Supreme Court ruled the Constitution allows gay-marriage.
The attorney for same-sex couples who challenged Arkansas' gay marriage ban says she's thrilled with the ruling and believes all Arkansas County Clerks should begin issuing licenses immediately.
Cheryl Maples represented the couples who challenged in both federal and state courts a 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment and earlier Arkansas law defining marriage as between a man and a woman.
Maples said the state Supreme Court will still need to decide whether voters can change an inalienable right in the constitution, which she says is what the 2004 gay marriage amendment does.
President of the Arkansas Family Council, Jerry Cox said this decision now creates more questions. He stated he believes the court will now have to re-define marriage.
Cox's group spearheaded the campaign in 2004 for the amendment that defined marriage as between a man and a woman.
PARK VISITOR FINDS 8.52 CARAT WHITE DIAMOND 6/29/15
An 8.52-carat white diamond was found June 24th by a Colorado resident at the Crater of Diamonds State Park.
The clear white and icicle shaped gem is the fifth largest diamond found by a park visitor since the park was established in 1972.
According to Bobbie Oskarson of Longmont, Colorado, she found the gem within 20-minutes of her search in a couple of scoops of dirt.
Park Interpreter Waymon Cox said Oskarson and her boyfriend, Travis Dillon saw the Crater of Diamonds State Park on an Arkansas highway map while visiting Hot Springs and decided to visit the park.
This is the 227th diamond that's been certified by the park staff this year. Cox noted more than 30 other diamonds have been found on the surface of the search area so far this year.
For more information about the Crater of Diamonds State Park call 870-285-3113 or visit the website: craterofdiamondsstatepark.com.
STATEMENT FROM GOVERNOR ASA HUTCHINSON ON SAME-SEX MARRIAGE RULING 6/29/15
Governor Asa Hutchinson released the following statement concerning the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage:
"The Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision requires the State of Arkansas to recognize same-sex marriage. This decision goes against the expressed view of Arkansans and my personal beliefs and convictions. While my personal convictions will not change, as Governor I recognize the responsibility of the state to follow the direction of the U.S. Supreme Court. As a result of this ruling, I will direct all state agencies to comply with the decision.
It is also important to note that the Supreme Court decision is directed at the states to allow and recognize marriage between two people of the same sex. It is not a directive for churches or pastors to recognize same-sex marriage. The decision for churches, pastors, and individuals is a choice that should be left to the convictions of conscience."
THAT’S SOME STORY 6/29/15
Early Friday morning, Patrolman First Class Levi Browning of the De Queen Police reported he was in the turning lane about to pull into the De Queen Auto Group to make a security check when he noticed a vehicle in the turning lane with its left blinker on. Browning stated the vehicle continued to drive straight toward him and he pulled into the dealership to avoid an accident.
Browning reported he conducted a traffic stop in the Peppercorn Creek Plaza and witnessed the two occupants switch seats.
The occupant sitting in the driver's seat was identified as Darrell Moser. When Browning asked Moser to exit the vehicle, he noticed some open beer cans in the backseat.
Moser allegedly informed Browning that he and the other occupant, 36-year-old Don Crabtree were going camping, but he didn't provide an answer when asked, why they switched seats.
When Browning and Patrolman First Class Wayne Baker questioned Crabtree, he stated he did not have a driver's license.
Browning reported Crabtree had blood shot eyes and when asked if he had been drinking, Crabtree allegedly stated that he had been swimming all day. When Crabtree was asked where they were going, he stated he was planning to turn onto the old Lockesburg Highway, but decided he wanted a sandwich, so he pulled into Subway.
Later, Crabtree said the reason he pulled over was so Moser could drive.
After getting permission to search Crabtree's vehicle, officers found seven empty Keystone Light cans and one unopened can. They also discovered a cooler in the truck that was nearly full of more beer.
Crabtree was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated #2, refusal to submit to test, driving left of the center line and driving on a suspended license.
New Principal at De Queen High 06/27/15
Bryan Blackwood is the new De Queen High School principal for 2015-2016. Former principal, Roger Busse retired this month. Mr. Blackwood is a 1990 graduate of De Queen High School and a former Leopard athlete. Blackwood graduated from Henderson State University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Social Science, coaching endorsement, and certification to teach math courses 7-12. Later, Blackwood graduated from Texas A&M-Texarkana with a master’s of Education Administration along with a superintendent’s certification.
In 1996, Mr. Blackwood accepted his first teaching position at Lockesburg High School where he taught math courses. The following year Blackwood was hired by De Queen Public Schools. He taught middle school math courses, coached junior high boys’ basketball, senior girls’ track, and was the junior high assistant football coach.
I asked Mr. Blackwood, “What influenced you to pursue a master’s degree in administration?” Blackwood’s reply, “I just knew that I always wanted to be an administrator. It’s been my career goal for as long as I can remember.”
Mr. Blackwood just completed his twelfth year as an administrator. When asked about the changes he has seen over the past years, he replied, “I can say the core of education is the same now as it was twelve years ago. Testing, curriculum, and other things have certainly changed, but it’s still about teachers and students who prepare, work hard, and push themselves to be the best they can be.”
Blackwood stated that his biggest challenge over the past twelve years was to balance being the disciplinarian of the school and still being someone that students feel like they can come talk to if they have a problem. You have to show the students that you care even when you’re having to discipline them.
I asked, “What do you look forward to during your first year as DHS principal?” His reply, “I look forward to working with the staff and students. To me, that is what this is all about. We have a tremendous staff that cares about our students. Our students will rise to the level of our expectations.”
Mr. Blackwood also said, “We are trying to do some things a little different this year concerning registration. We are having registration at 6:00 P.M. in an effort to make it easier for parents to be involved. Mrs. Ramona Hill is going to send information to the parents about what will be covered during registration. Mrs. Hill is going to meet with all the parents and go over what all will take place during the coming school year. She wanted to do this because we have so many parents that don’t know what is going on at school. We hope getting this information out to parents will help to get more of them involved throughout the school year. We also encourage teachers to stay in touch with parents either through calling them or by email. We understand that two-way conversations between a teacher and parent is the best way to achieve positive results. Teachers will be asked to keep a log of these discussions.”
Article by Tammy Whatley
TRI-LAKES BASS TOURNAMENT IS STILL ON 06/26/15
The 26th annual Tri-Lakes Bass Tournament will be held on Saturday, June 27th. Early registration is still open until Friday at 6 pm. Forms may be turned in at the KDQN Studios, Baker's Bargain House, or their will be someone at the Chamber Office Downtown from 10 am - 5 pm on Thursday and from 10 am - 6 pm on Friday. Late Registration and Boat Check will begin at 5 am Saturday at the Lakes.
*If you plan to fish on Gillham Lake, Boat check and late registration has been moved to Cossatot Point (by the dam). Cossatot Point will be the only ramp open for launch. Both Big Coon & Little Coon ramps will be closed; however, fish weigh in WILL be held at Big Coon.
*If you plan to fish Dierks, the boat ramp at Blue Ridge will be closed. All others will be open.
*On De Queen Lake, Rolling Fork ( Bellahmine) Boat Ramp will be closed. The ramps at Oak Grove (by the old bait shop) Campground & Swim Beach will be open for Launch. Late Registration and Boat Check will be at Oak Grove.
ACTIVITIES THIS WEEK AT COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK 6/26/15
Cossatot River State Park will be offering guided kayak tours this weekend on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
The tours will begin in the Visitor Center classroom and will conclude after participates kayak down the pristine Cossatot River about 3 p.m.
The cost of the tour is $30.94 and includes shuttle transportation, interpretive guide service along with the kayaks, paddles and life jackets.
The tour is for beginners, so the pace will not be very fast pace. Of course, weather is an issue and the route may change or the park staff may have to re-schedule if the water levels are to low or too high on the day of tour.
Saturday afternoon from 2 to 3 p.m. Park Interpreter Shelley Flanary will lead a program to demonstrate how fish can affect its environment and the adaptations that emerge for these suspicious creatures, plus the group will take a closer look at a few of the unique fish from the Cossatot River.
Saturday night, guest can join the great American backyard campout from 6 p.m. until 8 a.m.
Flanary said the Cossatot River State Park is a perfect place to enjoy this American tradition by getting outside and connecting with nature. The campout cost $16 if you need camping gear, like a tent and sleeping bag and you will need to provide your own breakfast.
Sunday afternoon, guests can feed the park critters from 2 to 3 p.m. in the visitor center and then they can identify animals by the color of light that’s reflected by their eyes, while taking an easy half-mile walk.
For more information about the programs at the Cossatot River State Park, call 870-385-2201.
ARKANSAS DELEGATION SUPPORTS GOVERNOR'S REQUEST OF DISASTER DECLARATION 6/26/15
U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton, along with Congressmen Rick Crawford, French Hill, Steve Womack and Bruce Westerman, sent a letter to President Obama supporting Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson's request for a federal disaster declaration for 33 Arkansas counties following recent severe storms and flooding.
The letter states that since May 7th, the state has experienced a continuing pattern of destructive storms, severe flooding and tornadoes that's resulted in three fatalities and damage to hundreds of homes.
The Arkansas delegation is seeking assistance for the state through the Robert Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, along with Public Assistance, Individual Assistance, including the Individuals and Households Program, Disaster Unemployment Assistance, Disaster Case Management, Disaster Legal Service, Crisis Counseling, Small Business Administration disaster loans and Hazard Mitigation Statewide.
The letter explains that Arkansas communities are still working to clean-up and rebuild. Resources from the Arkansas National Guard, Arkansas Forestry Commission and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department are being used, but the recent series of disasters has exceeded the local government’s ability to respond.
If approved, the declaration would include, Hempstead, Howard, Little River, Miller, Pike, Polk and Sevier as well as, 26 other counties.
CHRISTIANS IN ACTION TO HOLD MONTHLY TEEN REVIVAL 6/26/15
Terry Brackett and members of the Christians in Action groups at the De Queen Junior High will be hosting another teen revival this Monday at the Kern Heights Baptist Church at 6 p.m.
Brackett said the turnout last month was great and they were hoping to reach more young people since students are out of school for the summer.
Brackett said for more information, you may call her at 870-784-4215 or the pastor of Kern Heights, Jordan Hodge at 816-263-1618.
DE QUEEN CHURCH OF CHRIST INVITES AREA RESIDENTS TO BREAKFAST EVERY TUESDAY AND THURSDAY 6/26/15
Stacy Faulkenberry is a teacher in the De Queen School District and sees hunger up close and personal everyday at work and he realizes some students aren't able to have a healthy breakfast during the summer, so he and members of the De Queen Church of Christ have decided to serve breakfast every Tuesday and Thursday during the month of July.
Faulkenberry stated the church offers other ministries to help those in need, and realizes there are several similar programs in the area. But, he and others felt this was a need that had been overlooked.
The church is located at 1305 W. Collin Raye Drive and is across the street from the hospital. If you have any questions, call the church at 870-584-3226.
DIERKS SCHOOL DISTRICT UPDATED ON WEYERHAEUSER PILOT PROGRAM 6/26/15
Dierks Superintendent Holly Cothern informed KDQN that she updated the Dierks Board of Education concerning the Payment In Lieu Of Taxes agreement that the City of Dierks had entered into with Weyerhaeuser.
Cothern stated the district is currently holding an ACT school and the board approved the purchase on new textbooks.
Cothern mentioned the Arkansas School Board Association had recommended several policy changes but the board voted to table those issues until next month, however, they did approve an increase in the school lunch prices.
Cothern said the district added another person to the district's substitute teacher list, but they are still accepting applications for a literacy teacher and a basketball coach.
Board members also approved the transfer of eight students into the district and one out of the district.
QUEEN WILHELMINA STATE PARK LODGE SET TO REOPEN JULY 1ST 6/26/15
Queen Wilhelmina State Park Lodge on Rich Mountain will reopen on July 1st following a $9.6 million renovation, according to State Parks Director Greg Butts.
Queen Wilhelmina State Park Lodge sets on Arkansas’ second highest peak at 2,681-foot.
Butts said, the improvements to this lodge that opened by the state of Arkansas in 1975 should receive rave reviews when it reopens. He noted the lodge will feature all new windows that will give park visitors a more wide open view from all the lodge’s public rooms, including the restaurant and all the guest rooms.
The exterior of the lodge features shingles and stonework. The lodge was expanded from 25,881 square feet to 37,029 square feet to include the addition of a new heath room with a wood-burning fireplace, two additional guest rooms increasing the total to 40, and more space within all the rooms.
The guest rooms on each floor at the west end include gas fireplaces and spa tubs.
The upstairs meeting facility increased in size and includes a balcony overlooking the south view from the mountain. An elevator was added to the lodge, as well as more stairwells. A wrap-around porch on the building’s south side will provide visitors with comfortable outdoor space. A new porch was added at the west end. And a new fire protection system covers the entire building.
Other improvements include a new energy efficient heating and air-conditioning system, energy saving lighting throughout, solar hot water, and other such features. A new laundry will serve that housekeeping staff.
The project was funded by Amendment 75, Arkansas’s Conservation Fund, grant monies from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council and State Parks Funds.
Today’s lodge is the third hostelry to grace the same site. The first inn was opened in 1898 by the Kansas City, Pittsburg and Gulf Railroad and was designed as a resort retreat for passengers on the line.
The resort was named in honor of the Netherlands’ young Queen Wilhelmina. Known as the “Castle in the Sky,” the inn closed in only three years.
The second Queen Wilhelmina inn was built by the Arkansas State Parks and operated by the state of Arkansas in 1963 and was destroyed by a fire in the fall of 1973.
Today’s Queen Wilhelmina State Park Lodge opened in 1975. Visitors and guests can contact the lodge when it opens on July 1st to make reservations by calling 1-800-264-2477 or by visiting the website: QueenWilhemina.com.
4-H CLOVERBUD AND JUNIOR DAY CAMP 6/25/15
On June 9th, Sevier County 4-H held its annual Cloverbud and Junior Day Camp at the Cossatot Reefs State Park. This year's them was "Wild About the Outdoors" and 24 4-H'ers showed up to learn about outdoor living.
Harrell Sherwood is with the Arkansas Forestry Commission and he taught 4-H'ers to ID trees, while Robin Stacy from the Natural Resource Conservation Service taught them how to use two sticks to "fiddle for worms."
Sevier County Extension agent Rex Herring taught 'baitcasting" and 4-H program assistant, Dawn Leeper, taught them how to identify wild animal tracks and their furs.
County Extension agent Janet Cantrell taught the 4-H'ers to make their own lunch. Each 4-H'er had the opportunity to season their own hamburger patty and then add a variety of vegetables to a foil packet to be cooked on the grill.
If you would like more information about the Sevier County 4-H program, contact the extension office at 870-584-3013.
AMATEUR RADIO OPERATORS TO COMPETE DURING ANNUAL FIELD DAY 6/25/15
Amateur radio operators, Dale Janes and Bill Lee, stopped by the KDQN studios to invite the public to their Field Day this Saturday at the pavilion in the De Queen Sportsplex beginning at 1 p.m.
Lee explained Field Day is a contest that actually last until Sunday at 1 p.m.
Lee said there are 37 licensed amateur radio operators in Sevier County, but they will be set up to give the HAM radio operator test on Saturday to anyone who is interested in HAM radio.
Other HAM radio operators from McCurtain County, Oklahoma and the surrounding Arkansas counties have also been invited to participate during their annual Field Day.
For more information, call Janes at 870-642-2062.
Janes explained that HAM radio operators never say goodbye, but only sign-off by saying 73, which means I’ll see you later.
FOREMAN BOARD OF EDUCATION APPROVES UPDATES TO HANDBOOKS AND SCHOOL POLICIES 6/25/15
Members of the Foreman Board of Education voted not to approve a recommendation from the Arkansas School Board Association that would allow board members to attend meetings remotely.
However, Superintendent George Kennedy reported the board approved several changes to the elementary and high school handbooks that were recommended by the Arkansas School Board Association, as well as raising the cost of school lunches to $2 per student.
Kennedy also reported the district was also having some carpet installed in the band room, preschool classrooms and high school counselor’s office.
Kennedy mentioned Lisa Frady resigned, but the district will not be replacing her, however, they are still advertising for some coaches and bus drivers.
Kennedy said the district was busy this summer getting ready for the 2015-2016 school year.
ASHDOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT MOVING 3RD GRADE TO L.F. HENDERSON CAMPUS 6/24/15
Ashdown Superintendent Jason Sanders announced this week that the Ashdown School System will be moving the 3rd grade onto the L.F. Henderson campus beginning with the upcoming 2015-2016 school year.
L.F. Henderson will now be composed of grades 3rd through 5th grades and Keith Frick will still be the L.F. Henderson principal.
There will also be some minor changes to the elementary campuses.
The Margaret Daniel and C.D. Franks buildings will still be named the same, but they will now be collectively known as the Ashdown Elementary. The Ashdown Elementary will be made up of grades Pre-K through 2nd grade. Teresa Wake will be the Ashdown Elementary Principal.
Sanders explained there were two reasons for these changes.
Sanders stated by making this change the district will be able to reduce the number of principal positions in the district and by moving the 3rd grade to the L.F. Henderson campus, each principal will be responsible for three grades each.
Sanders said, if they did not make this move, then one principal would have been responsible for four grades and the other would have been responsible for two.
Sanders said this move will make the schools run more efficient.
The other reason for the move is the district is planning to undertake some major renovations on the Ashdown Elementary campus in the future and by moving the 3rd grade out of the C.D. Franks building, it will be easier for the district to make those renovations.
If parents have any questions or concerns, they make contact either campus or the superintendent’s office.
DE QUEEN DISTRICT RENEWS CONTRACT WITH FIRST SECURITY 6/24/15
During a special called meeting of the De Queen Board of Education, board members approved the proposed budget of expenditures for the 2016-2017 school year and agreed to renew the district’s agreement with First Security Beardsley Public Finance to be the district’s financial advisor.
Hill stated First Security would also help the district if they ever needed to ask for a millage increase.
The agreement with First Security is for three-years.
SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS FLOOD RECOVERY MEETING SET FOR JULY 2ND 6/24/15
Crop and livestock experts from the Extension services in Arkansas and Texas will be holding a meeting on Thursday, July 2nd from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Ag Learning Center at the Four States Fairgrounds in Texarkana, Arkansas.
The meeting is to help provide flood recovery tactics for farmers and ranchers in the Red River basin.
There is no cost to attend, but attendees are being asked to RSVP by the close of business on Wednesday, July 1st, so they will have a head count for dinner. To RSVP call 870-779-3609, text 903-293-2097 or email email@example.com.
Speakers will discuss crop options and varieties as well as soil fertility; insects, diseases and weed control; government programs; herd health and what ranchers should vaccinate their cattle for; and hay and pasture recovery options.
For more information about flood recovery, contact the Sevier County Extension office at 870-584-3013.
TAKING A NAP IN A HOTEL PARKING LOT 6/24/15
Saturday morning about 11 a.m. Patrolman Justin Gentry and Patrolman J.J. Lopez of the De Queen Police Department were dispatched to the Palace Motel parking lot in reference to a woman that appeared to have passed out in her vehicle.
When the officers arrived, they discovered 41-year-old Lynwood Jennet asleep in the driver’s seat of her Pontiac G6. According to the incident report, the car was running, but Jennet was unresponsive.
After Jennet woke up, she informed Officer Lopez that she had driven to the Palace from Idabel, Oklahoma. She allegedly smelt like alcohol; had bloodshot eyes and her speech was slurred.
Officers also noticed two open beer cans in the center console of the vehicle with a lit cigarette sitting on top of them.
After failing a series of field sobriety test, Jennet was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated.
TEXARKANA MAN CITIED FOR MISDEMEANOR POSSESSION 6/24/15
Saturday night about 10:30 p.m. Patrolman First Class Levi Browning of the De Queen Police Department pulled over a vehicle in the Wal-Mart parking lot for not having a license plate.
Browning reported the driver, 24-year-old Trent Thomas of Texarkana, had blood shot eyes, however, he did not smell any alcohol.
Thomas was then issued a warning for not having a license plate and was asked about his bill of sale and title.
Browning asked Thomas why his eyes were bloodshot and if he had been smoking any marijuana recently. Thomas allegedly stated that he had smoked some earlier and he had some in the vehicle.
Thomas allegedly retrieved a clear bag that contained suspected marijuana from the center console and handed it to Browning. Thomas was issued a misdemeanor citation for possession of a controlled substance, marijuana and released.
Browning reported that the reason Thomas was not taken to jail was because he was dispatched to assist another officer with a different traffic stop.
UA COSSATOT UPGRADING PHONE SYSTEM 6/24/15
UA Cossatot's director of marketing, Alisha Lewis, announced Tuesday morning that along with the new text book program and several college-wide improvements, UA Cossatot is also upgrading its phone system.
Lewis stated Windstream would be converting the De Queen campus today and the Nashville and Ashdown campuses would be upgraded next week.
Lewis said if anyone needs any information about UA Cossatot, while the De Queen campus’s phone system was down, they will still be able to contact the Nashville and Ashdown campuses directly.
The number to the Nashville campus is 870-845-2454 and the Ashdown campus number is 870-898-4733.
Lewis explained the communication system upgrade will allow UA Cossatot to better serve the students and the communities that they represent.
ASHDOWN BOARD OF EDUCATION APPROVES SCHOOL LOGO AND COLORS 6/23/15
Members of the Ashdown Board of Education approved some renovations to the old Ashdown High School. Superintendent Jason Sanders reported the district plans to convert the old high school into the new administration building.
Board members voted to purchase computer lab equipment from White River in the amount of $46,099.69 and Sanders said they hired Gene Hawk of the De Queen-Mena Educational Co-op as a facility consultant.
Sanders stated the board voted to promote Kay York from the Margaret Daniel Primary principal to high school principal.
Sanders also explained that the district did not change the school's logo or colors but voted to make all logos and colors, uniform throughout the district.
Board members also accepted several bids to remove some portable buildings that were not being utilized by the district.
FOUR MEN IN A TRUCK TWO GO TO JAIL 6/23/15
Friday evening about 6:30, Patrolman First Class Levi Browning of the De Queen Police Department reported he noticed a tan truck on Highway 70 West with one occupant close to falling out of the moving truck.
Browning made a traffic stop and spoke with the driver, Eric Dockins, while speaking with Dockins, Browning asked for id's from the other three men. Browning stated all three appeared to be shaking and one suspect, 22-year-old Michael Richbourg, stated he did not have his driver's license but it was valid in Oklahoma.
Browning stated that he noticed Richbourg's eye's were blood shot and watery and smelt like alcohol. Browning also reported he noticed the odor of marijuana coming from inside the truck.
After receiving permission to search the vehicle, Browning discovered an open Keystone Light beer can and a small clear bag containing suspected marijuana. Richbourg was then placed into custody because the items were found under the passenger seat where he was sitting.
Richbourg allegedly admitted the beer was his, but stated he didn't know who the marijuana belonged to.
Richbourg was then informed that since the marijuana was within two inches of the beer that it was his and Richbourg was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance, marijuana.
After asking the other occupants of the truck if the marijuana was theirs, an occupant in the bed of the truck, 35-year-old Michael Willis, allegedly admitted that it was his.
Willis also allegedly admitted to drinking about 12 beers and some whiskey.
Willis was charged with possession of a controlled substance, marijuana and public intoxication.
LITTLE RIVER COUNTY JUDGE ISSUES RED RIVER ADVISORY 6/23/15
Little River County Judge Mike Cranford announced that based on the current forecast of river levels by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that he has issued a continuing advisory for those who reside or own property near the Red River and the Little River in Little River County.
Cranford stated that he didn't expect the degree of flooding that the area experienced recently, but he suggested residents relocate livestock and equipment to higher ground and away from the low lying areas.
Cranford also said residents who live near the river should be ready to relocate if the rivers continue to rise as predicted by the National Weather Service and that those who rent or lease property that is near the rivers contact their lessees and advise them of potential flooding.
Cranford said the Little River County office of emergency management will continue to monitor the situation and if necessary communicate with those who have the potential to be affected by rising water levels.
Cranford said if you have any questions or additional concerns that you should contact his office at 870-898-7202.
NON-VIOLENCE YOUTH SUMMIT IN DE QUEEN SUNDAY 6/23/15
Du Shun Scarbrough of the Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission announced they will be holding a non-violence youth summit in De Queen on Sunday, June 28th from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Herman Dierks Park.
Scarbrough explained the commission works with the assistance of the Arkansas Department of Human Services to coordinate the non-violence program.
The program is designed to encourage youth ages 10 to 18 to engage in positive leadership development and roles within the community. The event is free to the public and it will include a vendor showcase, an exhibition soccer game and a family fun festival atmosphere.
The Arkansas MLK, Jr. Commission works directly with youth by encouraging them to embrace racial and cultural diversity through one of the commission's area partners in education. The summit is designed to help youth achieve Dr. King's dream of understanding and acceptance of nonviolence and human equality through building common unity among all Arkansans.
THREE RESCUED DONKEYS SURVIVE 6/23/15
Three donkeys who survived the Red River flood in Little River County, continue to recover with the care of local veterinarian Dr. Kenneth Martin and other volunteers.
According to the original report, seven donkeys were found June 5th standing in about 4-feet of Red River floodwaters. The donkeys were rescued by Little River County law enforcement officers and volunteers by using ropes and boats to herd them to safety.
Four of the donkeys have died.
The surviving donkeys were placed on the property of a private citizen.
Little River County Sheriff Gary Gregory reported his office was attempting to find the person or persons who abandoned the donkeys.
The donkeys were originally found under a large tree that was down the hill from the command center on U.S. Highway 71 near Odgen.
BIG BASS BONANZA IS RESCHEDULED FOR JULY 17-19 6/22/15
The Arkansas Big Bass Bonanza has been rescheduled for the weekend of July 17 through 19, due to excessive water flows on the Arkansas River.
All current tournament registrations will be honored for the new dates, and the tournament rules and prize pay-out arrangements will remain the same. Anglers who are already registered and plan to participate in July won't need to do anything else, except show up on the days they are registered.
Contestants who have registered and are unable to participate in July may receive a refund of their entry fees. For a refund request form, contact the Arkansas Hospitality Association at 501-376-2323. Refund requests must be postmarked by Friday, June 26th.
Sevier County Judge Greg Ray reported earlier this week that the De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce Big Bass Festival is still scheduled for Saturday, June 27th, but it still depends on how much rain we get between now and this weekend.
Judge Ray said the chamber will hold the tournament if the boat ramps that they use for the weigh-ins are open.
The tournament is scheduled for 6 a.m. until 1 p.m. on the De Queen, Gillham and Dierks Lakes.
The registration fee is $45 and but it will go up to $50 on Friday, June 26th at 6 p.m. An early "late" registration will be held at the chamber office from 4 to 6 p.m. on the 26th.
Judge Ray said you should stay tuned to KDQN for any updated information.
CITY OF DE QUEEN PREPARING FOR LET FREEDOM RING CELEBRATION 6/22/15
Chris Hale of the De Queen Parks and Recreation Department announced this year's annual "Let Freedom Ring" celebration will be on Friday, July 3rd at the De Queen Sportsplex.
Hale said groups may set up a booth to raise funds, but all vendors will need to sign up in the park office and space is limited.
This year's "Let Freedom Ring" event will feature the Midnight Hurricanes. However, this year, they are planning to have a talent hour for local residents at 7:30. Each person or group will have about 10 minutes to perform and according to Hale there's only one spot remaining to be filled.
Hale said last year's event was a huge success, but if you have any questions, you can contact the park office at 642-4140.
The grand finale will once again be a giant firework show and the event is free to the public.
CONSUMER ALERT: BOATING SAFETY 6/22/15
Arkansans are looking for ways to cool down during the long summer days and many will head to one of the state's beautiful lakes or rivers.
With more than 200,000 boats registered statewide according to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, many residents spend a lot of time boating to beat the heat, but boaters need to remember to be cautious on the water.
Recently, a 14-year-old girl was killed in Arkansas in a jet ski accident and a Missouri man was killed a few days ago after being struck by lightning in his boat.
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a consumer alert to caution Arkansans about the potential dangers of boating.
Last year, 72 boating accidents were reported by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, with operator inattention being the number one cause. Alcohol was another contributing factor in eight of those accidents.
Attorney General Rutledge released these tips to boating safety: check local weather conditions before departure and if you notice darkening clouds, volatile or rough winds or a sudden drop in temperatures, stay off the water; create and follow a pre-departure checklist; have a first aid kit, signaling devices, a boat anchor, marine radio and a cell phone on board in the case of an emergency; be alert at all times and stay clear of large vessels that may experience difficulty turning or stopping; designate an assistant skipper in case the primary navigator is injured; inform family and friends of your plans; make sure everyone is assigned a proper-fitting life jacket and avoid alcohol while boating.
Arkansas law requires children 12 and under to wear a life jacket at all times while boating or swimming.
Arkansas lawmakers also recently increased the penalties for boating while intoxicated to match those of driving while intoxicated. It is also illegal to operate or physically control a boat if the individual is under the influence of alcohol and that means a first offense could land someone in jail for up to one year, a $1,000 fine and their driver's license suspended for six months.
For more information, visit the websites of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, the U.S. Coast Guard or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
COUNTY JUDGE ANNOUNCES MELROSE ROAD WILL BE CLOSED BEGINNING JUNE 25 6/22/15
Sevier County Judge Greg Ray announced this morning that Melrose Road will be closed next week beginning on Thursday, June 25th so contractors can replace some culverts.
Judge Ray said the culverts are located about one mile north of the intersection of Central Road and Melrose Road and about two and half miles south of Highway 71 on Melrose.
Judge Ray said signs will be up and the road will be closed until the project has been completed, which could be anywhere from two weeks to a month.
STATE OFFICIALS SUBMIT JUVENILE JUSTICE PLAN 6/22/15
The Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice Board is responsible for overseeing the distribution and use of federal juvenile justice funds to support youth development programs and improvements to the state's juvenile justice system. In order for the state to receive federal juvenile justice funds, the state is required to develop a comprehensive three-year plan.
According to Victor Rojas of De Queen who serves on the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice Board, the State of Arkansas has submitted a plan to the federal government and will focus on the following program areas: School programs, Juvenile Re-entry and Aftercare Services and Juvenile Justice Systems Improvements.
The plan calls for specialized training to be provided to school resource officers.
The state will work to expand and enhance community-based mental health and substance abuse services and mentoring programs will be established to help at-risk and underserved youth.
In May, the Juvenile Justice Board approved the distribution of over $500,000 in federal grant funds to community-based programs that are aimed at preventing juvenile delinquency. The programs are designed to encourage community service, develop leadership skills and increase employability skills.
Rojas stated these programs are expected to serve thousands of young Arkansans.
Rojas said residents can rest assured that their taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely on services that produce positive outcomes for Arkansas families.
ARREST MADE IN LOCKESBURG BURGLARY 6/19/15
On June 12th, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Wendall Randall took a report concerning a break-in at Jim's Boot Shop.
The owner of Jim's Boot Shop, James Graves, informed Deputy Randall that when he arrived at his shop on the 12th that he discovered a window broken out on the north side of his building. Graves reported about $100 in cash was missing from the cash register.
Deputy Randall also took a report from David Conaster who is an employee at the Lockesburg store of the Sevier County Co-op.
Conaster reported that when he arrived at work, he noticed the glass in the front door was broken and the door was unlocked, but he didn't find anything missing from the store.
Deputy Randall then obtained video footage from the EZ-Mart store.
After reviewing the video, deputies identified a white Ford F-150 pickup drop off a male subject at the Co-op about 12 a.m. Friday morning; however, the driver continued to EZ-Mart and purchased gas.
Deputies identified the driver as 19-year-old Robert Wallace Jr. After purchasing gas, Wallace drove back to the Co-op and picked up the other suspect.
While being interviewed on June 16th at the Sevier County Sheriff's office, Wallace reportedly stated that he was coming home from work Friday morning and saw a friend, 18-year-old Gabriel Bell, walking towards Lockesburg and picked him up to give him a ride.
Allegedly, Bell gave Wallace money for gas and he dropped Bell off at the Co-op. Bell allegedly was going to get some money from his aunt or grandmother.
After Wallace got his gas, he said they went to his house on North Park Avenue.
On June 17th, deputies interviewed Bell at the Sevier County Sheriff's office and allegedly, Bell confessed to breaking into the Sevier County Co-op and Jim's Boot Shop.
Bell has been charged with commercial burglary and criminal mischief in the 2nd degree, while Wallace has only been charged with criminal mischief in the 2nd degree.
COSSATOT RIVER BOARD OF EDUCATION ACCEPTS ROOFING BID 6/19/15
Earlier this week, the Cossatot River Board of Education accepted a bid to re-roof the Umpire High School at a cost of $70,231. Superintendent Donnie Davis reported some of the funds will come from the state's facility committee.
Davis stated the board also voted to rescind the purchase of 33 computers that was approved last month and accepted a new bid in the amount of $19,058.33.
Two teachers, Susan Brewer and Lakyn Cowart, were reassigned and the board accepted the resignations of Tonya Robb and Sharrell Pearce. Davis stated the district hired Raisa Whisenhunt and David Donica, but still have some positions open.
A salary in the amount of $57,100 was a approved for high school assistant Principal Mickey Ford and the board approved the transfers of one student to the De Queen School District and one from the Horatio School District.
DEEPER THAN SKILLS FOOTBALL CAMP 6/19/15
De Queen High School graduate Greg 'Fatty' White will be hosting a Deeper than Skills Football Camp next week in the Herman Dierks Park for athletes entering 3rd-12th grade.
White said several college players will be in attendance to speak with players during the camp and players will participate in Pro Day like exercises.
White said he hopes young athletes will develop their skills, but he also wants to drive home the point that it takes more than athleticism to succeed. He said it takes commitment, staying healthy and living a good lifestyle. White explained that a good lifestyle meant no drinking, no smoking and no drugs.
White said he never had the opportunity to attend this type of camp when he was growing up here in De Queen, but he earned a full scholarship to the University of Missouri and graduated in the fall of 2013 and is currently working on a masters in Human Performance Science.
The camp will be broken down into three groups. The first group is for 7th, 8th and 9th graders and they will meet from 8 until 10 a.m. each day. The second group will be 3rd through 6th grades and they will meet from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. and the 10th, 11th and 12th grade athletes will meet from 2 to 4 p.m.
For more information, call White at 870-557-6051 or the De Queen Park and Recreation Department at 642-4140.
IMPROVEMENTS BEING MADE TO FOREMAN WATER SYSTEM 6/19/15
City of Foreman water department officials reported Wednesday afternoon that for the next several days, water in certain areas of the city would be turned off while crews tie-into the city's new water lines.
They reported they expected water to be shut-off from about 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. everyday for about the next week.
Officials stated they appreciated the patience and understanding of the Foreman residents.
UA COSSATOT COLTS PERFORMING WELL AT NATIONAL FINALS RODEO 6/19/15
The UA Cossatot Colts team roping duo of Brody Braden and Tanner Caudle are performing well in the first three rounds of the 2015 College National Finals Rodeo this week in Casper, Wyoming.
Braden and Caudle were in the 23rd spot after the first round, but moved up to number 19 after the second round and then claimed the number one spot following the third round with a time of 5.5 seconds.
Whitney DeSalvo is also competing well. She is currently in 35th place after two rounds in the Breakaway Roping competition with an average time of 14.7 seconds.
The College National Finals Rodeo is the Rose Bowl of college rodeo and Saturday night the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association will crown individual event champions in saddle bronc riding, bare back riding, bull riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, team roping, barrel racing, breakaway roping and goat tying.
National team championships will also be awarded to both men's and women's teams.
Over 400 cowboys and cowgirls from over 100 universities and colleges are competing in Casper.
The finals on Saturday night will also be taped and televised at a later date.
AFTER RECORD CREST, CORPS OF ENGINEERS BEGINS PROCESS OF LOWERING MILLWOOD LAKE 6/18/15
The Army Corps of Engineers of the Little Rock District began larger releases from Millwood Lake after flood waters downstream receded.
Millwood crested June 14th at 282.9 feet, a new pool of record elevation. The Corps will continue to increase releases from Millwood, as channel capacity allows, until the lake elevation is back down to 259 feet, which is the top of its conservation pool.
Currently, 38,500 cubic feet of captured flood water is being released from Millwood Lake. This amount will change as the Red River conditions change in accordance with the Millwood Lake water control plan.
Engineer Aaron Short reported they were coordinating with the Tulsa and Vicksburg districts to ensure that the Millwood releases wouldn't increase the risk of flooding downstream. He also stated Millwood Lake was doing its job of holding storm runoff until they can release it in a controlled manner once they have the channel capacity downstream.
ALDERMEN VOTE TO ABANDON A PORTION OF JANSSEN STREET 6/18/15
Tuesday night members of the Kern Heights Baptist Church asked the De Queen City Council to abandon a portion of Janssen Street just east of 9th Street.
Since there was no opposition to the request, aldermen voted to close the portion of street that runs between 9th and 7th streets. Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy stated he had been informed the church as future plans to build a new building.
Pastor of Kern Heights, Jordan Hodges, expressed his appreciation to the council and said the closing of Janssen Street will allow the church to better serve the City of De Queen.
Aldermen tabled a request for utility assistance from the De Queen branch of the Sevier County Library.
Head Librarian Johnye Fisher explained that the library's funding was being cut next year and was hoping the city would help pay the libraries utility bills. She said the Cities of Horatio, Lockesburg, Ben Lomond and Gillham, pay the utilities for their branches of the county library.
McKelvy reported the city had hired a electrician to repair the lights in the downtown De Queen area, but about a third of the 80 lights are still not working.
After hearing a request from Legacy Initiatives to make the De Queen City Parks tobacco-free, aldermen asked to see some signs that stated the parks were tobacco-free. Mayor McKelvy informed KDQN that he felt this was a good idea, but was concerned about the enforcement of any new policy.
McKelvy also reported the city had picked up storm debris from all across the city, but was now picking up brush at homes that are calling the De Queen City Hall.
DE QUEEN HIGH SCHOOL ACT SUMMER PREP SCHOOL 6/18/15
Applications are being accepted at the De Queen High School for their summer ACT prep classes which will be held July 20th through the 23rd and July 27th through the 30th from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. each day.
De Queen students may attend for free, but the cost for students from other school districts is $100. De Queen students who attend every day will be able to take the September 12th ACT exam for free.
Students will also be able to attend two refresher nights on Tuesday, September 1st and Tuesday, September 8th from 5 to 7 p.m. prior to the September 12th ACT.
Applications should be turned in at the De Queen High School office by Thursday, July 9th in order for teachers to plan for the correct number of materials.
For more information, call the De Queen High School at 642-2426.
KIAMICHI OWA-CHITO GOSPEL NIGHT 6/18/15
The 2015 Kiamichi Owa-Chito festival Gospel singing will be this Friday, starting at 6 p.m. in the Broken Bow City Park. There will be four groups performing this year, including the Jerry Times Band, Red Roots, Victory Life of Broken Bow Praise Team and the featured group, Debra Black Ministry.
Debra Black grew up in a Christian home and her new single, "Bright," is an upbeat song encourages believers to be a light in the darkness. Debra said it’s her desire to be a beacon of hope to people.
The Red Roots have a stage persona that's as fiery as their blazing red locks. These triplets, Nika, Natalie and Nicole will engage the crowd with their story through real life lyrics and rolling banjos intertwined with rocking guitars.
In 2014, the Red Roots released their third album and it was recently nominated for a Dove Award in the category of "Country Album of the Year."
LARRY GATLIN AND THE GATLIN BROTHERS CONCERT IS A BENEFIT 6/18/15
Many people talk about the generosity of Sevier County residents. Folks around this area are always willing to help and this Saturday, they will not only have the opportunity to help their communities, but will have the chance to hear one of country music's amazing families perform.
On Tuesday afternoon, Collin Raye Benefit Concert Committee members, Bonita Smith and Patty Sharp, said the concert started after the City of De Queen named Highway 70/71 after him. Smith said, Raye was touched by the city’s actions and decided to form the benefit concert committee to give back to the community.
They also stated, the college, local schools, 4-H, boy and girl scouts and other local organizations have benefited from Collin Raye Benefit Concert grants.
This year's concert will start at 6:30 p.m. at the UA Cossatot Amphitheater, which the committee provided funds to help build, with the Midnight Hurricanes followed by Larry, Steve and Rudy Gatlin.
Smith stated if you want to help your community, all you have to do is purchase a ticket. Advance tickets are still available and general admission tickets are only $15, while reserved seats are $25. To purchase tickets, stop by the KDQN studios at 921 Collin Raye Drive, call 870-642-2446 or visit the website: www.southwestarkansasconcerts.com.
SUMMERTIME DIAMOND MINING 6/18/15
Summer is one of the busiest seasons for the Crater of Diamond State Park with thousands of people visiting the park during the months of June, July and August. However, precautions should be taken to limit sun exposure and to prevent heat-related illness while diamond mining or participating in any other outdoor activities during this time of year.
During any physical activity, our bodies sweat as a way to cool off and prevent overheating. However, sweating also reduces the amount of water that is in our bodies.
Dehydration can result when our bodies don't have enough water to carry on its normal functions.
Preventing dehydration begins before you ever go outside. On days that you plan to be outdoors for an extended period of time, you should begin drinking water when you first wake and while outdoors, you should take a break about every 15 minutes to cool off and drink more water.
You should also limit your exposure to the sun and try to stay cool, by wearing a hat and lightweight, loose-fitting clothing. It's also recommended that you apply sunscreen to exposed skin to help prevent sunburn.
The Crater of Diamond State Park search area features trees, covered picnic tables and washing pavilions where visitors can escape the sun and cool off during the hottest times of the day.
Even after taking proper precautions, heat related illness can be a major concern during the summer. Muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness, and nausea are symptoms of heat exhaustion that, if left untreated, can worsen and become heat stroke.
Pay close attention to children, seniors, and anyone with health problems, as they may be especially prone to heat-related illness.
For early treatment of heat-related illness, move to a cool location, lie down, and loosen any tight clothing. Apply cool, wet cloths to as much of the body as possible and sip cool, not cold, but cool water.
You should seek immediate medical attention in the case of vomiting.
The Crater of Diamond State Park is open from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. daily during the summer, and many visitors choose to limit their diamond searching activities to early mornings or late afternoons, when temperatures are somewhat cooler.
For more information about the Crater of Diamonds State Park, visit their website at craterofdiamondsstatepark.com or call 870-285-3113.
SWEPCO EMPLOYEE RECOVERING FROM ACCIDENT 6/18/15
Last Friday morning, a SWEPCO employee from Nashville was injured while working in De Queen on an underground power line on Dawn Ave.
De Queen Police Officers J.J. Lopez and Nikki Nealy where close by and began CPR. A few minutes later, De Queen Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt arrived and also administered CPR until LeAnn Pitchford and Southwest EMS arrived.
Scott McCloud of SWEPCO reported, the employee was taken by helicopter to the burn center at Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock.
McCloud said the employee was released from the Arkansas Children's Hospital on Sunday and was recuperating in Texarkana.
Sevier County Judge Greg Ray expressed his appreciation to those who helped save this man's life.
Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy informed De Queen aldermen that he was pleased with the quick response by members of the De Queen Police and Fire Departments.
De Queen Police Chief Richard McKinley reported Tuesday night during the De Queen City Council meeting that the man was home and recovering from his injures.
COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK 6/17/15
Cossatot River State Park will be hosting a Cossatot River Weekend Adventure this Saturday and Sunday.
Park interpreters will lead an overnight adventure on the Cossatot River. Participates will enjoy kayaking, backpacking, fishing, hiking, camping, Dutch oven cooking, snorkeling and evening programs.
For more information about the weekend adventure call the park at 870-385-2201. The cost is $95 and covers the kayak and tent rental, food, guides and equipment needed for the tour.
Participates will meet at the park's visitor center at noon on Saturday and they will return the center about 2 p.m. on Sunday.
June 23 through June 25th, the park will host a Wild Wonders day camp for children 5 to 8 years old.
The registration fee is $35 for all three days and includes all supplies, snacks and field trips and park staff announced this morning that they still have spots available. You can pick up a registration form at the Cossatot River State Park visitor center.
For more information about these programs at the Cossatot River State Park, call 870-385-2201.
FIELD DAY 2015 6/17/15
Recent listings of the Federal Communications Commission show 37 licensed amateur radio operators in Sevier County.
The HAM radio operators will be holding their annual Field Day on Saturday, June 27th at the De Queen Sportsplex, across from the De Queen campus of UA Cossatot.
Starting about noon on the 27th, HAM radio operators will be setting up antennas, radio communication equipment and emergency power supplies at the Sportsplex pavilion. The public is invited to visit and observe the communication potential that HAM radios can provide in times of crisis, when other means of communications may fail.
Several local HAM operators are certified weather spotters and can serve in this capacity in emergencies.
Field Day also provides HAM radio operators practice for times of emergencies, a camp-out, a picnic, informal contest and most of all fun.
Those interested in becoming a HAM radio operator, or just want to visit, are invited to come out and see the local operations. Invitations have also been extended to HAM radio operators in McCurtain, Oklahoma and neighboring Arkansas counties. For more information, call Mark at 870-582-2166 or Dale Janes at 870-642-2062.
KIAMICHI OWA-CHITO BATTLE OF THE BANDS 6/17/15
The 2015 Kiamichi Owa-Chito festival's Battle of the Bands will be on Thursday, June 18th, starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Beavers Bend State Park Amphitheatre. This year, there will be three bands competing. They are Mud Feather, 2 Gun Justice and Jeff Smithhart.
Mud Feather was established five years ago and they strive to have a diverse sample of all genres of rock from classic to alternative to modern.
2 Guns Justice is a five-piece band from Southeast Oklahoma. All five band members are 2nd and 3rd generation musicians that have been playing music most of their lives. So, whether it's classic rock, classic country, pop to Top 40, they can play it.
Jeff Smithhart is a Texas native singer/songwriter who draws no boundaries. He is a seasoned entertainer who has performed for the past 30 years and has developed a strong and loyal Texas fan base that enjoys his high energy yet down to Earth shows.
The Grand Prize winner will win $1,000 and be the opening act for the Saturday night headliner, Mac Powell on June 20th.
LARRY GATLIN AND THE GATLIN BROTHERS CONCERT INFO 6/17/15
Saturday night the Collin Raye Benefit Concert Committee will host Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers during their 17th benefit concert at the UA Cossatot amphitheater at 6:30 p.m.
Sevier County Judge Greg Ray is a member of the concert committee and he discussed parking for the concert with KDQN Tuesday morning.
Ray said there will be parking at the Sportsplex, First Assembly of God Church and UA Cossatot, but there will also be remote parking next to Chandler Funeral Home and in the South Park Shopping Center.
Ray said members of the De Queen Fire Department will be directing traffic around the De Queen Sportsplex and providing assistance for concert goers who need help getting from their vehicles to the concert venue.
Tickets are still available for the discounted price of $25 for reserved seats and $15 for general admission.
To purchase tickets stop by the KDQN studios at 921 West Collin Raye Drive or visit the website, www.southwestarkansasconcerts.com. Debit or credit card tickets purchases will cost a dollar extra.
For more information, call 870-642-2446.
SEVIER COUNTY RELAY FOR LIFE REPORT 6/17/15
As of June 15th, the Sevier County Relay for Life has raised $24,262.16. However, Sevier County Relay for Life teams are not officially finished yet.
As of June 15th, the De Queen Junior High School Relay for Life team raised $8,450 by working the concession stands at athletic events, holding luncheons, selling snacks and by selling chicken dinners.
The De Queen Junior High team started taking donations in August of 2014 and they will continue to accept donations through the end of July.
Due to the bad weather and local power outages that hit the area during their Relay for Life event in May, they have decided to hold a Relay for Life Celebration on Saturday, July 11th at 5 p.m. in the Herman Dierks Park in De Queen.
At 6 p.m., they will honor Sevier County cancer survivors and hold the Survivor Walk on the shaded walking trail in the park.
The luminary ceremony will take place at 9 p.m. and all of the luminaries that were previously purchased will be lit, but if you would like to purchase a luminary in honor of a loved one that is still fighting or in memory of a loved one, you can contact anyone Sevier County Relay for Life team member.
If you would like to help raise funds for the American Cancer Society, you do not have to be a part of a team; simply contact Emmy Bailey at 870-784-3053 for more information.
LOCKESBURG CITY COUNCIL APPROVES BUILDING PERMIT 6/16/15
During the June meeting of the Lockesburg City Council, aldermen approved a building permit for Jason Roberts so he can set up a double wide mobile home on West Pine Street.
Aldermen then approved water adjustments for Keith Friday, Roy Austin and Jessie Durham totaling $634.21.
Aldermen also moved $100 from the supply line item to the mileage line item in the city's Street Fund.
HORATIO BOARD OF EDUCATION VOTES TO FUND A RESOURCE OFFICER 6/16/15
During the June meeting of the Horatio Board of Education, board members accepted the resignations of Kerry Bartholomew, Magan Dorsey, Misty Gentry, Natasha Click and Shirley Tipton. Superintendent Lee Smith reported the board also voted to hire Melissa Patrick, Sharrell Pearce, Elizabeth Bollinger and Jennifer West.
Smith said board members also voted to fund a resource officer through the 2020-2021 school years.
Smith explained the board approved the request from the Sevier County Quorum Court for a vote assuring the court that the district would be funding the position, even if the district was not approved for the COPS grant.
Smith said board members passed a resolution to hold the Horatio School Board election by early and absentee voting only if the candidate is unopposed.
Board members also approved a student transfer to the Cossatot River School District.
LOCAL PHARMACISTS UPDATES PUBLIC ON PBM LEGISLATION 6/16/15
Harris Drugs and Gifts owner, Renee Logan, spoke with KDQN about a piece of legislation that is set to become law on July 1st that is expected to help independent pharmacist cover the cost of certain medications.
Logan stated that she attended the committee hearings earlier this year in Little Rock in support of a bill that would help regulate PBMs or Pharmacy Benefit Management groups.
Logan explained PBMs determine what pharmacies will be paid for medications and she stated one of the main problems was the fact that PBMs did not publish their formulas for pharmacy repayments.
Logan stated it will take some time for the issue to be resolved, but she and other independent pharmacists are hoping it will get better soon.
District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught also reported that legislators gathered last week in Little Rock to announce a new campaign that they hope will lead to more leads in the 20-year old kidnapping case of Morgan Nick.
Nick was kidnapped from a baseball field in Alma and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has also released a new age-progressed photo of Morgan.
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, they have a list of 20 Arkansans who are currently missing.
For more information about missing person cases in Arkansas, you can visit the website: www.arkansashouse.org.
FOREMAN WATER TO BE SHUT OFF 6/16/15
An official with the water department of City of Foreman announced Monday afternoon that water to the city of Foreman will be shut off on Tuesday, so water crews can tie-in the new lines.
TOO DRUNK TO USE SIGNAL 6/16/15
Saturday morning, De Queen Police Department Patrolman First Class Wayne Baker observed a blue pickup make a turn without using a turn signal on 9th Street.
The driver, Liobardo Munoz-Lopez, only had a Mexico ID and smelt like alcohol.
Baker stated Lopez failed a series of sobriety test and was placed into custody for driving while intoxicated and for not having a driver's license.
Then on Sunday night, officers were dispatched to a residence on 12th Street concerning a fight that was in progress.
Patrolman First Class Levi Browning reported when he arrived he witnessed a male subject sitting on the tailgate of a truck who was bleeding from his mouth and eye with another male subject standing next to him.
The two men were identified as Dwaine Jewell and his son, James Jewell.
The two men informed Officer Browning that they had been in a fight with Joseph Sparks who was still in the house. At that time, Officer Browning reported that he heard screaming coming from inside the house and drew his service weapon after hearing a female scream, "He has a knife."
When Browning entered the house, he reported the man did not have anything in his hands and came outside towards Browning. Browning said he holstered his weapon and pulled out his taser and informed the man to settle down.
The suspect then ran back into the house and Officer Browning was assisted by Sergeant Chad Bradshaw.
At that point, the officers reported the man wrestled with officers until they could place into custody.
The subject was identified as 46-year-old Joseph Sparks of De Queen.
Sparks was charged with two counts of domestic battery in the third degree and resisting arrest. Sparks was then transported to the De Queen Regional Medical Center for observation.
DOMTAR EMPLOYEES PARTNER WITH HARVEST TEXARKANA TO PROVIDE WEEKEND SNACK PACKS FOR CHILDREN IN ASHDOWN SCHOOLS 06/16/15
It started with an "Adopt a BackPack" campaign in the clock alley of Domtar-Ashdown Mill and just grew from there. In less than eight weeks, generous Domtar employees had donated a total of $5200, enough to fill weekend backpacks with food for 52 Ashdown youngsters in grades K-3 for the entire 2015-16 school year.
The idea originated with Anna McFarland, Domtar pulp maintenance planner who is a member of SWAT (Safety, Wellness, Action Team) of Domtar, as part of the new initiative of the team to perform community projects quarterly. After coordinating with Camille Wrinkle, Executive Director of Harvest Texarkana, McFarland and her teammates set up an "Adopt a BackPack" center in the employee clock alley of the mill, where a $100 donation funded a Weekend Snack Pack for a child, and broadened the challenge by conducting a "bucket drive" for additional donations.
The BackPacks for Kids program has been operating in the Ashdown Schools since about 2001 and was originally coordinated through the Arkansas Rice Depot. The school district's counselors now work with Harvest Texarkana because of its proximity and available resources, as well as Harvest's commitment to the welfare of kids in this region's elementary schools.
According to Harvest Texarkana's 2015 Spring newsletter The Dish, "The backpack program currently reaches over 700 children on 22 different campuses in 10 school districts, ensuring the most vulnerable students in our public schools have access to enough food for their mental, emotional and physical development." Through this program, Harvest is serving the highest number of students on record, according to The Dish.
Margaret Daniel Primary School counselor Yvonne Bond states that the Weekend Snack Packs go to children who have been identified as economically disadvantaged and in need of additional nutrition when school lunches are not available. "Snack Packs include non-perishable items," Bond continues, "such as breakfast bars or cereal, pudding, juice boxes, pasta meals, etc."
Ashdown School District and its youngsters thank the Domtar employees and Harvest Texarkana for showing such support and commitment to helping those in need. Other companies and organizations are encouraged to do the same thing for hungry kids by contributing non-perishables for Harvest Texarkana pantries or by calling 870-774-1398.
(l to r) Teresa Wake, C. D. Franks Elementary Principal ; Yvonne Bond, Margaret Daniel Primary Counselor ; Loretta Price, CDF Counselor; Camille Coker, Executive Director of Harvest Texarkana ; Bob Grygotis, General Manager of Domtar-Ashdown Mill ; Anna McFarland, Domtar Pulp Mill Maintenance Planner ; and Kim Horn, Domtar Safety Administrator.
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL GYM NAMED AFTER BELOVED TEACHER 06/16/15
Over 4500 elementary students remember Mrs. Evelyn Bell as an energetic, dedicated and inspiring physical education teacher during her almost 40 years with the Ashdown School District, so it is quite appropriate that the elementary gymnasium located on the C. D. Franks Elementary/Margaret Daniel Primary Schools' campus be officially given the name "Evelyn Bell Gym." The official naming ceremony, a surprise for Mrs. Bell, took place on May 29 as the kick-off event for the schools' annual Field Day for students, which can also be attributed to Bell's efforts while a P.E. teacher for the district.
Beginning as a math/science teacher, Bell initiated the physical education program for elementary-age children in the Ashdown School System on the Burke Street Elementary campus and later at what is now CDF/MDP, transitioning completely to a health/P.E. teacher. She believed that being physically fit was a very worthwhile part of a student's total education and served on the state committee to rewrite the P.E. curriculum in the early '80s.
Mrs. Bell's P.E. program wrapped around the entire school and community, and everyone looked forward to the half-time performances she choreographed for her students during high school home basketball and football games. The home side attendance was greatly increased, and she used this venue to enhance her P.E. program and its curriculum as the elementary students brought physical fitness to the forefront.
In the early '90s, Bell helped to establish the Presidential Youth Fitness Program in Ashdown Schools, which involved a pre- and post-test for the students and encouraged them to set personal goals and work toward them all year. She also organized various activities and challenges for the staff, inspiring everyone to become more physically fit.
In addition, Mrs. Bell organized the very first L. F. Henderson Intermediate School Olympics event after being inspired by the 1996 Olympics held in Atlanta, Georgia. The LFH Olympics, where every homeroom adopts a country and learns about it prior to competition day, have since educated many youngsters about foreign countries and their part in the World Olympics, in addition to the full day of Olympic-style events and contests.
The gym now named "Evelyn Bell Gym" was built in 1981 after Bell, with the help of then high school coach and P.E. teacher Helen Parker, pleaded that she needed a place "to get the students out of the rain." Before then, Mrs. Bell taught students wherever she could find a place -- often in a crowded classroom. She campaigned for the building, getting the message out that the youngest Panthers needed a place to have physical education too.
Evelyn graduated from Little River County Training School in Ashdown in 1962 and then from A.M.&N. (now UAPB) in Pine Bluff and went to work for Ashdown School District immediately as a junior high math/science teacher before becoming an advocate for children's physical fitness. Mrs. Bell was named Teacher of the Year in 2003, and retired in 2006. Her contributions to church and community also demonstrate her commitment to others. Since the age of 12, she has been active in the St. Luke Baptist Church and later the Cedar Missionary Baptist Church, where she has served as Sunday School teacher, choir member, and member of Women's Auxiliary and Program Committee.
In her community, Bell has served on the American Heart Association board, Secretary of the Ashdown YMCA, Little River County Hospital Board, United Way Board of Directors, and Detachment Committee for the Arkansas Athletics Association.
The daughter of the late Buster and Bennie Nelson, Evelyn married Joe Bell in 1966, who has been there supporting her work and helping out whenever needed. Their children are Darhyl DeWayne, Monica Mariea, and Sedren Stephon.
CITY OF LOCKESBURG BOIL ORDER LIFTED 06/15/15
The Department of Health has released the “Boil Water” Notice confirmed on 6/9/2015 9:53:53 AM by Danny Ruth for the Entire System. This order was issued as a precautionary measure because of the possibility that contaminated water may have entered the distribution system as a result of complete loss in normal system pressure.
Bacteriological samples taken on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 were found to be free of bacterial contamination and a satisfactory disinfectant level has been established throughout the distribution system. The water is therefore considered “Safe” for human consumption and the “Boil Water” notice is hereby lifted.
LOCAL AUTHOR JAMES BABB RECEIVES STATE AND NATIONAL BOOK AWARDS 6/15/15
The historical fiction adventure series by local author James Babb continues to receive recognition for "The Devil's Backbone" and "The Devil's Trap."
Babb was recently awarded the Susannah DeBlack Award at the Arkansas Historical Association conference in West Memphis for his middle grade/young adult novel, "The Devil's Backbone." This award honors "the best book in Arkansas history for young readers." The award is the only one given at the Arkansas Historical Association conference for a work of fiction, and was established through the generosity of Thomas, Susan and Susannah DeBlack.
Shortly after returning home, Babb received notification that "The Devil's Backbone" and "The Devil's Trap" were top five finalists for the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, which is the largest not-for-profit book awards program for independent publishers and self-published authors.
Babb and his wife, Suzanne, traveled to New York City to attend the gala reception and received his awards.
Both books are part of a three-volume adventure series that Babb originally wrote for reluctant readers, but has discovered that wider audiences of all ages are enjoying them.
The story centers around Brody Martin, a 14-year-old farm boy who’s determined to help his family survive in post civil war Arkansas.
For more information about the Brody Martin series, go to jamesbabb.wordpress.com. His books are also available at the De Queen branch of the Sevier County Library, Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million and Amzaon.com.
DOMTAR PARTNERS WITH FIRST BOOK TO GIVE BOOKS TO ASHDOWN STUDENTS 6/15/15
Domtar employees once again visited classrooms at the Margaret Daniel Primary School in Ashdown to share the joy of reading with students.
Through a partnership with First Book, nine Domtar-Ashdown Mill employees came to the first grade classes of Amber Fleming and Katrina Williamson and brought new books for everyone.
Each student received his or her very own copy of "The Grouchy Ladybug" by Eric Carle, in addition, several new titles were added to the classroom libraries.
First Book provides access to new books for children whose schools meet the requirements of serving children from low-income families. To date, First Book has distributed more than 125 million books and educational resources, to help transform the lives of children and elevate their quality of education.
FCI WARDENS TALK TO STUDENTS AS PART OF LEARNING FOR LIFE PROGRAM 6/15/15
Scott Young is a warden at the Federal Correctional Institution of Texarkana, Texas, and his executive assistant Danon Colbert spoke to all of the 4th and 5th graders at the L.F. Henderson Intermediate School in Ashdown about choices, both good and bad, and why rules and laws are important.
Young and Colbert presented their job descriptions as part of the Learning for Life career and character education youth program, which is a subsidiary of the Boy Scouts of America.
Both provided detailed accounts of the daily lives of incarcerated individuals and how the FCI officials work with prisoners.
Young stated that his job boils down to "Helping someone become a better person." Both, Young and Colbert, encouraged students to get serious about their education and to listen to their parents and teachers.
Colbert summed up his advice to students by saying, "Pull your pants up. Tuck your shirt in. Turn your hat around and listen."
Learning for Life utilizes programs designed for schools and community-based organizations that are designed to prepare youth for future success and to enhance their self-confidence, motivation and self-esteem in their future careers.
ADE ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING FUTURE ACADEMIC ASSESSMENTS 6/12/15
In light of the recommendation by the Governor’s Council on Common Core Review regarding statewide assessment, the Arkansas Department of Education will not renew its contract with the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers when it expires June 30th, 2015, and will pursue negotiating a contract with ACT and ACT Aspire to provide testing services for the 2015-2016 school year.
Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key stated, the Arkansas Department of Education appreciated the work of Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin and the council, and the department of ed. supported Governor Asa Hutchinson’s adoption of this recommendation.
Key said the department of ed. will ask the State Board of Education to consider a formal action to approve the transition to ACT and ACT Aspire.
Key stated the primary goal of the department of ed. was to graduate students from high school that are ready to enter either college or into a career. He said the department of education felt ACT and ACT Aspire assessments will be an effective tool in measuring how well the state is meeting that goal.
Arkansas will still receive the results from the PARCC assessments that were administered during the 2014-2015 school year, however, because this was the first year that the assessment had been given, the results will not be available until this fall.
The governor’s council will continue to review Arkansas’ academic standards and present a complete report later this summer.
APPLICATION PROCESS FOR ALLIGATOR HUNTING PERMITS STARTS NEXT WEEK 6/12/15
Arkansas hunters can apply for alligator hunting permits for the 2015 season online from midnight, June 15th until midnight, June 30th at www.afgc.com.
Permits will be drawn in July, and winners will be notified by email.
Each permit authorizes the taking of one alligator, which must be at least four feet long and alligator hunting is only allowed 30-minutes after sunset until 30-minutes before sunrise during the approved alligator hunting season dates of September 18th through the 21st and September 25th through the 28th. Both hunts are Friday through Monday.
Applicants must be at least 16 years of age the day the hunt begins. For more information regarding the special alligator permit hunts or to apply, visit www.agfc.com.
TRESPASS CHARGE 6/12/15
About 10:30, Wednesday night, Patrolman First Class Wayne Baker of the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to 123 Cottonwood in reference to a possible break-in after a witness reported seeing someone enter the residence through a back window.
When Officer Baker arrived, he reported that he secured the back of the house where he found a broken window. He stated when he came around to the front of the house, he discovered a white female standing at the front door.
The female was identified as 31-year-old Jessica Carraway and she allegedly informed Baker that she was given permission from Georgette Bell to gather her belongings from the house.
The owner of the home, Steve Blankenship reported he had evicted the tenants and the house was vacant. Carraway was taken into custody and charged with criminal trespass.
SEVIER COUNTY CLERK OFFERS GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT UPCOMING SCHOOL ELECTIONS 6/12/15
Sevier County Clerk Debbie Akin announced this week that the 2015 School Elections will be held on Tuesday, September 15th, but anyone interested in running for a school board position in Sevier County should contact her office for information regarding the positions that will be elected this year, as well as the requirements and filing deadlines.
Akin stated some dates regarding filing, fall as early as July 1st.
Akin also encouraged Sevier County residents to register to vote. She said the deadline to register to vote in this election is August 17th, but if you are a registered voter in another Arkansas county, you can transfer your registration to Sevier County by September 11th and still vote in the School Board elections.
Akin said residents may need to update their registration if their name or address has changed, because it is necessary to update that information to ensure you vote on the correct ballot.
Absentee voting is available for qualifying applicants and residents may contact the County Clerk’s office to obtain an application. Absentee voting is designed to help voters who are unable to be present at the polls.
Early voting will be conducted in the County Clerk’s office only and anyone can vote early without any reason or qualifying circumstances. Akin explained that early voting was simply for the voting publics’ convenience.
Early voting for the September School Board elections will be from September 8th through the 14th from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. in the County Clerk’s office.
Akin stated you can contact her office with any questions or for more information by calling 870-642-2852.
SWREC HORTICULTURE DAY JUNE 18 6/12/15
Cooking demonstrations, fruit and vegetable research, butterflies and birds, a clinic with the plant doctor and of course beekeeping for beginners will all be a part of the program during the Southwest Research and Extension Center's Horticulture Field Day on Thursday, June 18th in Hope.
The center is located at 362 Highway 174 North in Hope and biscuits and honey will be served beginning at 7:30 a.m. and the program will start at 8:15. The event will include educational programs along with field tours.
"Cooking with Greens and Honey" will be presented by the Ouachita District Family and Consumer Science agents. Wings over Arkansas will present a program about the birds in the state, as well as, a program about how to attract birds and butterflies to your property.
Registration is $17 in advance and $20 at the door. The deadline for early registration is June 17. To register in advance, pick up a registration for at the Sevier County Extension Office on the De Queen campus of UA Cossatot or call 870-777-9702.
BEWARE OF VACATION SCAM 6/11/15
Earlier this week, Sevier County Extension Agent Rex Herring informed KDQN about a vacation scam that anyone can become a victim of if they stay in a hotel this summer.
Herring stated con artists are attempting to steal credit card information by calling guest hotel rooms and pretending to be from the front desk.
Herring said con artists are calling hotel guests and telling them that there was a problem with their computer system and the hotel lost all of their credit card information and ask if they would be willing to give them the information over the phone.
People who have reported this scam, say the callers are polite and apologetic and they even offered to give the guest a discount on their room due to the inconvenience.
Herring said if you receive a similar call while staying at a hotel, you should tell the caller that you will come down to the front desk and handle the situation, but you should never give out your credit card information over the phone.
Hotel companies have also announced that hotel employees will never call you after 9 p.m. and they will never ask for your credit card information over the phone.
CITY OF DE QUEEN PREPARING FOR LET FREEDOM RING CELEBRATION 6/11/15
Chris Hale of the De Queen Parks and Recreation Department announced plans are underway for the city's annual "Let Freedom Ring" celebration at the De Queen Sportsplex on Friday, July 3rd.
Hale said any local vendors will need to sign up in the park office, but they only have five spots still available as of Thursday, June 11th.
This year's featured act will be the Midnight Hurricanes and this year, they will have an open mic event. Each person or group will have about 10 minutes to perform, but they will need to sign up by Friday, June 19th.
Hale said last year's event was a huge success, but if you have any questions, you can contact the park office at 642-4140.
Hale said the grand finale will be a giant firework show and the event is free to the public.
DIERKS CITY COUNCIL APPROVES PILOT PROGRAM 6/11/15
Monday night during the regular monthly meeting of the Dierks City Council, aldermen approved the Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreement between the city and Weyerhaeuser.
Dierks Mayor Terry Mounts reported the PILOT program will benefit the city and the Dierks School District.
Mounts said Weyerhaeuser was also planning a big celebration when the new mill goes on line in 2018, because it will be the mill's 100th anniversary.
Mounts announced the city would continue working with property owners who are out of compliance with city ordinances and the council approved a $1 an hour raise for a new city employee.
REPRESENTATIVE DEANN VAUGHT TALKS ABOUT HIGHWAY SAFETY 6/11/15
District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported that every year nearly 500 people die on Arkansas roadways and with summer trips around the corner, she wanted to take the time to remind her constituents about a few laws that were past in an effort to save lives.
Vaught stated texting while driving is one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving and in recent months police have stepped up their enforcement of laws that prohibit texting while driving in Arkansas.
State laws prohibit the use of cell phones for texting, typing, email or accessing the internet while driving, regardless of the driver's age and it is a primary offense which means officers may pull you over if they suspect you are breaking this law.
Arkansas law also prohibits drivers from using a hand held device while driving through a school or work zone. Another law requires drivers to move to the farthest lane possible away from an authorized vehicle that's stopped on a road, street or highway.
All cell phone use, including the use of hands free devices is prohibited for any driver under the age of 18, however, drivers between the ages of 18 to 20 can use a hands free device, but not a hand held cell phone while driving.
Vaught reported she felt this reminder was needed as families begin to take their vacation trips this summer.
SCHOOL'S OUT POOL PARTY AT DIAMOND SPRINGS 6/11/15
This Saturday, the Crater of Diamonds State Park will host a School's Out Pool Party at the park's Diamond Springs from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
According to Park Interpreter Waymon Cox, the water park will be decked out with decorations, refreshments, games and there's going to be fun for all ages.
Local bluegrass musicians John David Watson and Tyler McRae will be performing and a separate water park admission will be required for the School's Out Pool Party after 6:30.
Admission is $6 for swimmers over 42 inches tall, $4 for swimmers under 42 inches and $2 for non-swimmer chaperones. Children two and under will be free.
For more information, contact the Crater of Diamonds State Park at 870-285-3113 or visit their website at www.CraterofDiamondsStatePark.com.
DE QUEEN AUTO GROUP AND UA COSSATOT ADD PARTNERSHIP 06/11/15
DE QUEEN – UA Cossatot has announced a new scholarship made available by De Queen Auto Group, formerly known as De Queen Ford.
De Queen Auto Group owners, Jay and Mary Ellen Dooley, recently strengthened an already strong partnership with UA Cossatot by con