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AJHS Cheerleader Von Joy Thomas helps  students and parents find classrooms at the Open House on August 14. 


Angie Cooks serves snocones to students and parents at the LFH Open House


New second grade teacher Jennifer Richardson meets the Raley family - dad  Joseph with sons Kayne and Nicolai -- as Nicolai registers for her classroom

"Good Thinking" reads the hat worn by  Harlee Harris, who has just registered for first grade with her mom Shaena Jones.

Kayci Krause, with mom and dad Kelly and Jason  Krause, check through her school supplies as she sets up in Mrs. Aylett's third grade classroom.

Roy Burton hands out paper work to parents at the AJHS Open House.  Classes began August 18.

Lonni Dollarhide (center) welcomes Kadance Cochran, with mom
Tracy, to her kindergarten classroom at the MDP Open House


Roger House II fills out forms to enter Trey House into sixth grade at AJHS.


Aren't seniors supposed to be SAD about registering for their last year in high school?  Evidently not, according to (front - l to r) Charity Nelson, Shelby Tipton, Cortnie Greeson,  (back) Nekoe Hogan, Aphen Beard, Mandi Burgess, and Zane Lovell.


Getting chummy with the Panther mascots during the Meet the Teacher Night at Margaret Daniel Primary School are (l to r) Blake Mays, Cheyanne Mays, Lilly Mays, and Nicholas Chesser




Twelve Students Complete Training for CNA   08/20/14


NASHVILLE – UA Cossatot honored students who recently completed the Nursing Assistant Training Program with a Pinning Ceremony held upon the completion of the program.


Twelve UA Cossatot students marked completion of their training to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. 


Members of the Summer Class of 2014 who received their pins included, back row, from left: Ashley Williams, De Queen; Aspen Whitlow, Foreman;  Jessica Rios, De Queen;  Instructor Sharon Stubbs, Phyllis Parsons, Newhope; and Ana Mosqueda, De Queen.   Front row, from left: Shatina Logan, Nashville;  Jamie King, Lockesburg; Ginna Follis, Foreman; Robin Deer, Dierks; Aubrie Combs, Nashville, and Tammy Clemons, Nashville.  The 90-hour course comprises both classroom and clinical work. It includes learning patient care skills, infection control, disease processes, and safety procedures.


de queen fire department receives donation from husqvarna    08/20/14

After the recent storm damage,  it became apparent that the De Queen Fire Department's current storm clean up equipment was inadequate. 

Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt contacted Joe Wilson at Husqvarna about purchasing a larger saw to replace their current one. 

Mr. Wilson responded by donating three Husqvarna 455 Rancher chain saws and one Husqvarna pole saw to the department. 

The De Queen Fire Department members want to express their appreciation to Mr. Wilson and Husqvarna for the donation that will better equip them to handle future storm emergencies.





DHS student Danielle Duggan teams up with Tyson Foods, Inc. for a “Back to School” kickoff at the Mary & Martha center.  The center provides snacks and after school activities for children who may not have an adult at home when they get out of school. 

Danielle has a passion for helping her community and giving back to those who make a difference.  She is trying to raise awareness and help put an end to childhood hunger right here in her hometown.  Her motto is “Spread the Love:  The Beginning of Ending Childhood Hunger”  

Tyson Foods, Inc. donated over 7,435 pounds to the Mary & Martha Center to prepare for their after school program right here in our community. 

The center volunteers expressed their sincere appreciation for the donation and are looking forward to school starting back. 

Complex HR Manager Donna Duggan said – “Donating the product is what we do –The real work comes from the center in preparing the meals!”






LITTLE ROCK—The Arkansas Lottery Commission voted today to close its three regional claim centers in Springdale, Jonesboro and Camden, a savings measure expected to free as much as $381,000 to fund additional scholarships for Arkansas students.


The motion, made by Commissioner Mark Scott and approved by the Commission, provides for the closure of each claim center when its lease runs out.  The Springdale center will close effective October 1, 2014, with claim centers in Jonesboro and Camden shuttering effective November 30, 2014.  Commissioner Bruce Engstrom, noting that each claim center has a staff of two, asked Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Director Bishop Woosley to make those persons aware of any job opportunities for which they might be qualified within the Lottery.


“Certainly, the human element of is the hardest part for us,” Woosley said after the meeting.  “These folks have served loyally, and we appreciate their service over the last five years.  But faced with an increasing demand for lottery-funded scholarships, and the relatively low traffic at these three claim centers, the Commission simply feels those dollars are better spent helping Arkansas students go to college and building a more educated workforce in our state.”



Vaught to run for District 4 State Representative         08/20/14


DeAnn Vaught of Horatio announced that she will run for District 4 State Representative in the November 4th general election.    Here is her announcement:


“I am DeAnn Vaught, I am your neighbor--a down to earth country girl—who is passionate for the State of Arkansas and our children’s future.  I know I am not your ordinary politician, but I will fight for what I believe is right for our state and the constituents of District 4.”


DeAnn has been married to Jon Vaught for 24 years and they are the parents of Brittanee, Shyann and Josie.  She is a graduate of Horatio High School, Southern Arkansas University with a BS in Ag Business, a poultry, dairy and hog farmer and a strong Christian.


Vaught is an NRA supporter, member of Sevier County Farm Bureau, Arkansas Pork Producers, Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association and a Horatio School Volunteer.


She stated, “I would greatly appreciate your help and your vote in November so we can have a strong voice from District 4 at the state capital.” 


You may contact DeAnn Vaught with your questions and concerns at (870) 584-8807, e-mail or Facebook





A single vehicle accident on Highway 24 claimed the life a young man from Lockesburg just after 12:00 a.m., Tuesday morning.


According to the accident summary from the Arkansas State Police, 16-year-old Austin Brackett was traveling eastbound on Highway 24  west of Horatio when his 2004 Chevy Silverado left the roadway and overturned in the westbound ditch.


Brackett was ejected from the truck and pronounced dead at the scene by Sevier County Coroner Rusty Williams at 12:15 a.m.


According to the report no one else was involved in the accident.






Early Sunday morning about 2 a.m., Patrolman Bucky Sawyer of the De Queen Police Department was passed by a vehicle that failed to dim its lights and driving left of center.


Sawyer initiated a traffic stop with lights and his siren, but the driver of the vehicle continued to travel east on Collin Raye Drive. The vehicle finally came to a stop at the EZ-Mart on 9th Street.


The driver was identified as 34-year-old Ramiro Lopez. After failing a series of field sobriety test, Lopez was charged with Driving While Intoxicated and taken to the De Queen Medical Center for a blood alcohol test. He was then taken to the Sevier County jail for processing.






Sunday morning about 6:45 a.m., Officer James Gilbert of the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to Oak Drive in De Queen after dispatch received a call from Andrea Johnson.


Johnson reported that 42-year-old Kevin Gibson of Texarkana was chasing her and attempting to choke her. She informed the dispatcher that she was hiding in some bushes.


When the officers arrived, Johnson came out of the bushes and informed them that Gibson had been in the hospital in Malvern and when he got out, he came to her house. She told the officers that Gibson was having anger issues.


Officers Bucky Sawyer and Gilbert then went to Johnson's house to make contact with Gibson. The officers informed Gibson that he needed to leave the residence because Johnson didn't want him there and that if he didn't leave, he would be arrested for criminal trespass.


After that, Gibson told the officers he was not leaving. After refusing to leave and not following the instructions of the officers, Gibson was subdued and placed into custody.


Gibson has been citied for criminal trespass and resisting arrest.






A Dierks man has been arrested for being an accomplice to arson.


On May 3rd, the Dierks Fire Department responded to a trailer house fire on 6th Street in Dierks.


According to the incident report, the structure was a total loss, but the fire department requested an investigation into the incident due to the burn patterns that were present throughout the structure.


The trailer house was owned by Avery Fatherree and was being occupied by David Bray.


The Dierks Police Department and the Howard County Sheriff's Office took samples from the burned trailer and found that gasoline was present in the samples.


Several individuals were interviewed and investigators discovered that David Kyle Bray had asked another person to burn down the trailer.


David Kyle Bray was arrested August 13 and has been released on a $25,000 bond.


The investigation is continuing with more arrest expected in the case. The case is being investigated by the Dierks Police Department, the Arkansas State Police and the Howard County Sheriff's Office.






A Sunday afternoon shooting in Mineral Springs remains under investigation.


Police say the suspect, identified as 30-year-old Ray Thomas Jr. of Hope has been accused of shooting a Mineral Springs resident in the hip.


According to the report, around 2:10 Sunday afternoon, Thomas shot Aaron Olden following a domestic incident between Olden and a female occupant on Story Lane. Olden was transported from Mineral Springs to a Texarkana hospital by helicopter.


Howard County Chief Deputy Bryan McJunkins reported that Thomas fled the scene and was later spotted on Highway 73 in Hempstead County, but eluded officers with the Hempstead County Sheriff's Office.


Thomas later turned himself in to the Howard County jail and is being held on battery charges.


Police say Thomas had been living at the residence where the incident took place.






Statistics show that many of us struggle with our weight and Angie Staggs of the Wellness Center in De Queen has decided to start a support group called ML.2 to help residents learn to be healthy and not necessarily skinny.


Staggs said the first class will be this Thursday at 5:30 p.m. She stated the program is free and there is no age limit, but is designed to teach participates to be healthy by learning things like what is a portion size.


Staggs explained that the program is not only about losing weight, but it’s about getting healthy which is apart of the groups new motto that says, “Nothing taste as good as healthy feels.”


If you have any questions about ML.2 contact the Wellness Center by calling 642-4000 ext. 5 and ask for Angie.






The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery is once again warning Arkansans about telephone scammers making false representations about individuals winning a lottery prize.


This week, the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery has received reports of a person purporting to represent the lottery calling Arkansas residents and informing them that they've won lottery prizes.


The scammer is often calling from a Jamaican area code number, 876, and will often know the victim's home address, and then instruct them to go to a local store to purchase a pre-paid card called a Green Dot MoneyPak and pay the pre-pay taxes that are due on the prize.


In some cases, the scammer is providing a toll-free number that, when called, mimics the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery phone message.


Residents should always to suspicious of unsolicited callers that's requesting financial information. And residents should remember that the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery never requires the payment of any money in order for you to claim a prize and the lottery typically does not call people to tell them that they've won, except in contests that the person has intentionally entered.


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


Dennis Milligan releases “Best Practices” proposals       8/20/14


Arkansas needs to implement a system to allow blind bidding on state investment business to avoid favoritism,  Dennis Milligan, the Republican nominee for Arkansas State Treasurer, said as he announced his best practices  package for that office.


“If I am elected, I will remember that every dollar I earn the state in interest is a dollar that doesn’t have to     come out of the taxpayers’ pockets. We need a Treasurer who gets the best investment deals for Arkansas,     not one who helps herself like Democrat Martha Shoffner did.”


Shoffner was convicted for 14 federal counts of public corruption and is awaiting sentencing for taking cash in  a pie box in exchange for state business.


As part of his best practices plan, Milligan proposes setting up a system where the Treasurer’s office does        business with authorized bond dealers and financial institutions.


All of those the office does business with must provide audited financial statements, proof of financial industry  regulatory authority certification, proof of Arkansas registration, a completed broker/dealer questionnaire,         certification of having read and agreed to the state’s investment policy, and anti-collusion affidavits.


“Once those who want to do business with the state have been vetted by the Treasurer’s office, I would         submit the list to the state Board of Finance for approval,” Milligan said. “Only those who pass the approval      process would be allowed to bid for state business.”


Milligan wants to partner with Information Network of Arkansas to set up an Electronic Trading Platform that is  already used in other states.


"We would send out requests for bids electronically to approved bidders. When a bid was submitted, those in    the Treasurer’s office working with the bids would only see a number, not the name of the bidder.  Only after    the bid process is completed would the name of the bidder be known,” Milligan said.     


He said this open and competitive bidding process will do two things.


“First, it will make sure the people of Arkansas get the best return on their money. Second, it eliminates           favoritism like we saw with Martha Shoffner,” Milligan said.


Milligan also wants to review and update the Arkansas Investment Policy. The latest policy publicly available     was dated June 25, 1997 with amendments added in September 1997 and December 1998.


“One of two things is going on here and neither of them is good. First, either our investment policy has not       been updated in many years or if it has been updated those updates are not easily available to the public,”       Milligan said. “Either way, that’s wrong and I want to change it.”   


Milligan said he wants the policy to be updated so it matches the technology available today while including      provisions to provide maximum security with best investment return, maintain cash flow demands, and conform  to all law governing the investment of public funds.


“I want the Treasurer’s office to hold investments to maturity whenever possible. However, if we have money   invested at 2 percent interest and there is a major change and investments are paying 10 percent or better,    I’m not holding on to investments with an obvious poor rate of return,” Milligan said.    


He also plans to use investment diversification to reduce overall portfolio risk for the state’s money. 


“Let me translate that for you: I’m not putting all our financial eggs in one basket,” Milligan said.


Milligan said he will establish an Internal Compliance Officer in the office to make sure that rules, policies,         procedures and laws are being complied with.


”I want to make sure there is a proper segregation of duties and that our investment transactions are             conducted properly. This job will include making sure employees refrain from personal business or other            activities that could conflict with the proper execution of their public duties or prevent them from making         impartial decisions,” Milligan said.


Another important part of his best practices is transparency by established reporting of daily, monthly and        year-to-date balances of all funds, accounts, and deposit and investment performance compared to the target rates of return established by the Board of Finance.


Current Arkansas policy only requires quarterly reporting.


“Quarterly reporting may have been acceptable in the days when everything was on paper, but in this digital    age, that’s no longer enough. I want the people of Arkansas to be able to see what is going on in that office,”  Milligan said.


His plans include creating a monthly Investment Performance Report that will include a review of market           conditions and economic developments, a review of the state’s investment portfolio, a report of all payments,   fees and commissions; and a report of total funds invested.


Milligan wants the office to partner with an existing state website,, to provide easy  Internet access to information on the state’s investments holdings. This would include establishing real-time     online reporting of investments, investment managers, and rates of return.


“I will also hold regular news conferences to report on the progress being made in the Treasurer’s office,”         Milligan said. “I plan to go beyond the requirements of the office and issue a quarterly State Economic Report.”


That report will include items such as a commentary by the treasurer, a state GDP report, a gross revenue report, an unemployment report, and an economic indicators report.


“This will be a snapshot of where the state is economically. I believe the Treasurer is uniquely positioned to do  this,” Milligan said.


“If I could sum up my best practices plan is would be that I will not only follow the law, but will go beyond the  law and do what is right,” Milligan said.



The Winthrop School Restoration Committee met Tuesday night, August 19th. Plans for the annual Winthrop Reunion were discussed. The reunion will be held in the old Winthrop School cafeteria on Sunday, Aug 31st. Lunch will be served at noon. All present and former residents of the Winthrop area are invited.

Officers were elected.  President: Loren Hinton; VP: Audie Dawson; Secretary: Pam Click;Treasurer: Melba Scott

Tammy Bates was selected to head up the fundraising committee. Cleanup and maintenance committee chair is Terry Hess. Reunion co-chairs are Veta Bryan and Susan Lansdell.

A cleanup day for the school grounds has been scheduled to begin at 6:30 am on Saturday, August 30th. Volunteers are needed. The committee will meet the second Tuesday of each month at 7 pm at the old Winthrop school house. Everyone is invited.


De Queen Elementary School will hold a Back-to-School Night for parents and friends of third, fourth and fifth grade students on Thursday, August 28, 2014.

Parents will have the opportunity to come to school and meet their child’s classroom teacher. You will spend approximately 30 minutes in the classroom while the teacher explains class routines and areas of instruction. Parents are encouraged to attend.

Parents of English Language Learner students are invited to attend a session with the ELL instructors, Ms. Carver and Mrs. J. Smith. They will explain the program and answer any questions. An interpreter is available in all Spanish sessions.

Back-to-School Night is intended for parent/teacher interaction. No activities are planned for the children on this night.


Third Grade

Fourth Grade

Fifth Grade


5:30 – 6:00

Spanish session in your child’s classroom

English session in your child’s classroom

ELL session in the new cafeteria


6:00 – 6:30

English session in your child’s classroom

Spanish session in your child’s classroom

English session in your child’s first period class.

All Marshallese Students ELL

6:30 – 7:00

ELL session is in the new cafeteria

ELL session in the new cafeteria

Spanish session in your child’s classroom




Great Arkansas Cleanup set to kick off Sept. 6            08/20/14
Annual effort promotes litter pickup throughout the state

LITTLE ROCK – This year’s fall litter-pickup campaign will run from Sept. 6 ­­through Oct. 31. Thousands of Arkansans will volunteer to pick up litter along the state’s roadways and waterways during Keep Arkansas Beautiful’s Great Arkansas Cleanup (GAC).

All Arkansas communities are encouraged to get involved in this annual cleanup effort. Those who would like to learn more about organizing a litter-pickup event in their community or to volunteer with a local event can visit, email or call toll-free 888-742-8701.

Last year, more than 24,000 Arkansans picked up 415,320 pounds of litter from roughly 1,300 miles of roadway and shoreline. The volunteer effort provided the state and participating communities a cost-saving value estimated at more than $850,000.

The Great Arkansas Cleanup grew out of an effort that began more than 40 years ago as the Greers Ferry Lake and Little Red River Cleanup led by environmentalist Carl Garner. Until his death in July 2014, the “Father of Greers Ferry Lake” devoted his life to the mission of Keep Arkansas Beautiful (KAB). This year’s Great Arkansas Cleanup is being held in his honor.

“We expect this year to be the most successful Great Arkansas Cleanup ever,” said Robert Phelps, director of KAB. “Carl’s vision for a litter-free state will live on through the impact we make during the Great Arkansas Cleanup. By working together, we can build and sustain vibrant communities across Arkansas.”

Once a community registers a Great Arkansas Cleanup event, Keep Arkansas Beautiful will help organize and publicize the effort. KAB can furnish local volunteers with cleanup materials and supplies, such as trash bags, gloves and safety vests. Other available promotional items and incentives include T-shirts and an opportunity to win a Troy-Bilt® trimmer/blower.

In addition to its own GAC publicity efforts, KAB also provides local coordinators with customizable promotion materials, including posters, public service announcements and news releases, which can be found on the KAB website.

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department, Keep Arkansas Beautiful Foundation and Keep America Beautiful Inc. sponsor the Great Arkansas Cleanup by providing needed cleanup supplies and support for GAC participants.

About the Great Arkansas Cleanup
The Great Arkansas Cleanup grew out of an effort that began more than 40 years ago as the Greers Ferry Lake and Little Red River Cleanup. In 1985, U.S. Sen. Dale Bumpers guided legislation requiring an annual pickup event during the weekend after Labor Day on all federal lands. This law, the Carl Garner Federal Lands Cleanup Act, honors the founder of the event. Mr. Garner continued his advocacy for a clean and litter-free environment as a member of the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Foundation board of directors until his death in July 2014; this year’s Great Arkansas Cleanup is being held in his honor. KAB organized the first statewide GAC in 1989.






This Week's News:





Saturday morning, judging started at the 77th annual Sevier County Fair with the chicken and rabbit shows.


The first place winner during the chicken show was Katherine Peppers, second place was Monica Rivas, third place was Aaron Fiqueroa, fourth place was Payton Hibbs and fifth place was Dennis Peppers.


In the Fancy Doe rabbit division, Amber Ebarb took the title of Grand Champion and Kane Faulkenberry claimed the title of Reserved Grand Champion.


In the Fancy Buck rabbit division, the Grand Champion was Bella Baker and the Reserved Grand Champion was Amber Ebarb.


In the Commercial Doe rabbit division, Mason Marshall was the Grand Champion and Kate Baker was the Reserved Grand Champion.


In the Commercial Buck rabbit division, the Grand Champion was Hudson Marshall.


Stay tuned to Your Number One Country 92.1 for more results from this year's Sevier County Fair.






Tammy Whatley of the De Queen School District stopped by the KDQN studios Monday morning to remind parents that the district's school hours are 8:00 to 3:10.


Whatley also encouraged parents to follow all traffic laws when picking up and dropping off their children because the district has two school recourses officers on campus every day but the De Queen Police Department will be increasing its patrols around the schools.


Whatley stated she would be making announcements about back to school nights later this week.


Whatley stated the De Queen School District's goal was to develop well-rounded students who are prepared for college or the workplace.


For more information, contact your child's campus, or call the administration office at 870-584-4312.






Deputy Prosecuting Attorney's Erin Hunter Sprick and Manya Wood will be presenting the state's case against 24-year-old Jimmy Europe this Wednesday in the Sevier County Circuit Court.


Sprick stated the state had offered Europe a plea agreement that would have given him time served, but since the charge carries a mandatory 5-year sentence, Europe asked for his case to go to trial.


Europe has served over a year in the Sevier County jail awaiting his trial.


Europe is being charged with sexual assault in the 2nd degree.


According to the probable cause affidavit for arrest, officers with the De Queen Police Department took a report of a possible sexual assault on July 2nd, 2012.


Officers took a statement from Tanessa Watson who stated that after she got off work Monday night she went to a friend's apartment on 13th Street.


Watson reported that Europe and another person arrived at the apartment a little later.


Watson alleged that Europe sexually assaulted her while her friend and the other man were outside.


Later on July 2nd, officers went to Pilgrim's Pride to speak with Europe, but he took off running thru the plant when he saw the officers.


Europe alleges that he did kiss the victim and attempt to touch her but stopped when she said stop.


Prosecutors reported this was not the first time Europe has been charged with a sexual assault.






Sunday afternoon, a father went to the Sevier County Sheriff's office and reported that a 28-year-old Horatio man had given his 17-year-old daughter, cigarettes, alcohol and money.


According to Steve Brecheisen, James Williams had given his minor daughter, cigarettes, alcohol and money on several occasions over the past couple of months.


Deputies Matthew Webb and Amy Lockaby interviewed Brecheisen's younger daughter who informed the authorities that she had witnessed Williams give her sister some beer, vodka, cigarettes and money at the Pit Stop and at the Horatio City Park.


Deputies were informed that the minor was in Broken Bow with her mother and they contacted Amanda Brecheisen and asked her to bring her daughter to the sheriff's office so they could speak with her.


Amanda Brecheisen reportedly informed the deputies that she would not be able to bring her to De Queen until Tuesday about 5 p.m. However, she allowed a deputy to speak with her daughter on the phone.


When the minor was asked about the allegations that were being made by her father, she denied them.


Deputies then interviewed Williams at the sheriff's office.


Williams initially denied the allegations, but according to the investigating deputies, Williams changed his story on several occasions and finally admitted to giving the minor cigarettes. He was then cited for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. 






Accidents kept the deputies of the Sevier County Sheriff's office busy this weekend with three accidents reported on Saturday and two on Sunday.


Saturday morning about 7 a.m., Moran Ponce of De Queen reported that he hit a deer as it crossed the highway on Highway 71.


Then about 6 p.m., Rachel White of De Queen reported that she hit a beagle dog that ran onto the highway about a mile and half north of Lockesburg on Highway 71.


White reported she swerved and missed one dog but the second one hit her bumper. The owner of the dogs was located and informed of the incident.


About 9 p.m. Saturday night, Bruce Wise of Gillham reported that he swerved to miss something in the roadway and went of the road and struck a big rock in the embankment on the east side of the highway.


Early Sunday morning about 12:30 a.m., Casimiro Ramirez of De Queen reported that two deer ran out into the highway on Highway 70 East near the Weyerhauser Office.


Ramirez stated the first deer crossed the road in front of him, but the other deer hit the second one.


Then about 5:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, Melody Whitlow of Foreman had a single vehicle accident on Highway 41 South.


Whitlow reported that she was traveling southeast on Highway 41 when she left the roadway while negotiating a curve. When the 2014 Chevy Spark left the roadway, she struck a road sign and culvert, but continued to travel on the side of the road and struck several small trees before hitting a large tree with the passenger side of her vehicle. The impact caused the vehicle to spin around and strike another large tree on the driver's side and finally came to a rest.


A spokesperson for the Sevier County Sheriff's office stated drivers need to realize that deer are starting to move around and should pay close attention while driving. They also reported that there were no drunk driving citations issued by the sheriff's office or the Arkansas State Police during the first weekend of the Labor Day weekend, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.






Getting ready to go back to school is always an exciting time for students and although academic achievement is always a top priority, it is just as important to be mindful of student safety in and around school buses.


B.U.S. (Be aware. U stay alert. So kids don't get hurt) Awareness is the theme for this year's school bus safety awareness effort, which began today and will continue through August 29th. The campaign is sponsored by the Arkansas Department of Education in conjunction with the Arkansas Association of Pupil Transportation and concerned parents, educators and citizens across the state.


This special effort will seek to remind motorists to obey all traffic laws whenever they are near a school bus. The campaign will seek to remind motorists that it is illegal to pass a stopped school bus whenever its red lights are flashing and students are getting on or off the bus.


In Arkansas, a fleet of more than 6,000 school buses will transport over a quarter of a million students to and from school and school-related activities each school day.


The fines, penalties and punishment from anyone found guilty of illegally passing a stopped school bus were dramatically increased by Arkansas Act 2128 of 2005, which is also known as Isaac's Law.


The legislation was named for Isaac Brian who was an elementary student in the Bryant School District who was struck and killed when a driver illegally passed his school bus, while students were unloading.


Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Tony Wood says this campaign serves as a reminder to students and parents about the simple safety measures they can take while going to and from the bus stop, while getting on and off the bus and while riding the bus. But, Wood's said it gives everyone an opportunity to thank Arkansas school bus drivers and school district transportation directors for their professionalism and hard work.






The speaker of the Arkansas House says he wants a legislative committee to look at regulations the govern commodities brokers after state farmers reported millions of dollars in losses.


House Speaker Davy Carter asked the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee to look into whether the state can require commodities brokers to be bonded or otherwise insured to protect their clients from losing money due to illegal activity.


Carter's letter didn't specify how the producers incurred their losses but said state farm families are facing "tens of millions" of dollars in losses.


Carter said the money seems to have disappeared "into the heavens."






Governors from three Southern states that expanded Medicaid in their states say there are economic and moral arguments for embracing a key part of the federal health overhaul, despite strong political opposition to the law in the region.


Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley and Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear talked about the benefits that their states have seen after expanding Medicaid under the federal health overhaul. The three participated in a panel discussion about Arkansas' compromise Medicaid expansion at the Southern Governor's Association annual meeting in downtown Little Rock.


Under Arkansas' private option Medicaid expansion, the state is using federal funds to purchase insurance for low-income workers. More than 183,000 people are enrolled in the program.






Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin announced last Friday that the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment had turned in an additional 41,492 signatures.


The Secretary of State's office now has 30 days to verify the newly submitted signatures.


The petition to allow statewide alcohol sales was short about 17,000 valid signatures after the initial verification process.


The Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment needs a total of 78,133 verified signatures to be placed on the November 4th, General election ballot.



William “Bryan” Higgins announced that he will run for Ward one, Position two on the De Queen City Council in the November General Election. The following is his announcement:

Higgins is a graduate of De Queen High School class of 1999. He earned a Master’s degree in Operations Management/Human Resources from the University of Arkansas in 2007.

Higgins served in the military for 10 years and spent five years as the Director of Human Resources for the city of Cabot before returning back to his home town.

Higgins is married with a 14 year old daughter. He is currently a manager for Tyson Foods, Inc.

When announcing his candidacy, Higgins said, “As a former HR Director of what has been called one of the fastest growing cities in the state, I have orchestrated many big projects and lead many initiatives to prepare Cabot for a new generation. Through implementation of technology and process changes, Cabot went from being in debt to having four million dollars in reserves during my five year tenure. I would love the opportunity to share my knowledge and experience with my hometown. I ask for your vote this November."




Sterling Daniel announced this week that he will be seeking re-election to the Ward 1, Position 2 seat on the De Queen City Council during the November General Election.


Daniel has resided in De Queen for 43 years and is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and retired from Weyerhaeuser/De Queen and Eastern Railroad.


Daniel has served the city of De Queen as an alderman, member of the city's Planning and Zoning Variance Board and as interim mayor.


Daniel stated that he considered it a honor and privilege to have served the city of De Queen as an alderman for the past 17 years. He said he's not afraid to ask questions and encourages the residents of De Queen to do the same.


Daniel pledged to use his experience in working with the other members of the council and the mayor to insure a better quality of life for all citizens. He also pledged to continue to being a strong voice for the citizens of De Queen and to keep working to move De Queen forward.


If you would like to contact Daniel call him at 584-3895 or 584-6620 and he asks for your support this November.






During the August meeting of the Horatio Board of Education, board members approved a couple policy changes and made a donation to the Winthrop Restoration Committee.


Horatio Superintendent Lee Smith stated the board approved the Ag teachers recommendations to the FFA programs constitution and bylaws, the board also accepted the district's coaches suggestions for the district's sportsmanship policy.


Board members approved the transfer of five students to the De Queen School District and accepted the transfer of three students from the De Queen District.


A lease agreement with Apple, Inc. was approved for the lease of lap top computers.


Smith also mentioned that the board voted to donate some scrape flooring from the old gym to the Winthrop Restoration Committee.


The Winthrop committee is expected to sell the flooring to raise funds for the restoration of the old Winthrop School, which the Horatio District donated to the city.






Sevier County Judge Greg Ray reminded drivers that school starts Monday in De Queen and Wednesday in Horatio and that means school buses will be on the road and school children will be present.


Ray stated that De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy reminded drivers that according to Arkansas State law drivers can't use cell phones in a school zone.


Judge Ray recommended that you not answer your phone while traveling through a school zone and pay attention to school zone signage.


Judge Ray stated he had spoken with Sevier County Sheriff Bennie Simmons and De Queen Chief of Police Richard McKinley about increasing patrols around the schools throughout the county.


Judge Ray said that children should be restrained in car seats when riding in your car and to never pass a school bus when its lights were flashing. 






Nowadays consumers use their phones for just about everything, from ordering a pizza to finding their way around town. Software applications known as apps give users the ability to shop, play games or check the weather forecast with ease.


More than two-thirds of Americans now own a smart phone, and new mobile apps are being created and downloaded every day. Most apps offer convenience and utility, though Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel urged consumers this week to download apps only from trusted sources because some apps may contain malicious software or allow for improper access to sensitive personal information.


The Federal Trade Commission recently found that certain mobile shopping apps have some shortcomings as it relates to providing information to consumers.


An FTC report released earlier this month said that mobile commerce apps need to do a better job describing how they collect, use and share consumer data. Many times, shopping apps are not clear about the consumer liability in the event of an unauthorized purchase or a purchase that was made in error.


McDaniel said the FTC report on shopping apps illustrates the importance of consumers finding out as much as they can about a particular app before downloading.


The Attorney General suggests you read the fine print and to be aware that some free apps contain advertising within the app.


If consumers are concerned about sharing their location data with advertisers, they should turn off the location services in their phone settings.


If your devise is infected with a malware, consumers should contact customer support from the company that made the devise, notify the mobile-phone service provider and install a trusted security app.


Consumers are also encouraged to keep apps up to date by installing newer versions or upgrades when they become available and parents should talk to their children about rules for using apps and try the app out for themselves before allowing them to download an app on their phone.


For more information about mobile app safety or other consumer issues, visit the website or call 1-800-482-8982.






Things will get kicked off Saturday morning for the 77th Annual Sevier County Fair and Fair Board member Linda Frachiseur announced judging started at 9 a.m. Saturday morning.


County residents that want to enter exhibits in the fair can start taking items to the educational building at the Sevier County Fairgrounds between 2 and 5 p.m. on Sunday, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Monday and Frachiseur said you can bring baked goods and flowers on Tuesday.


Livestock will arrive at the fair on Monday between 6 and 9 p.m. and the weigh-in will be at 9.


Frachiseur stated the breeding goats, market goats, breeding sheep, market lamb and swine shows will be Tuesday beginning at 5 p.m.


Gate admission on Tuesday is $2.


The cattle show is Wednesday at 6 p.m. and the carnival will open at 6 p.m. Admission, Wednesday night is $1 and all carnival rides will be $1 each.


Frachiseur said the parade and rodeo will begin on Thursday and the premium sale will be Friday at 10 a.m.


The Ringgold and Sons Company is providing the stock for the annual Dodge Rodeo, Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. nightly.






The Arkansas Board of Education voted to establish a strategic partnership with the state's two leading foundations that are committed to increasing educational attainment within the state this week.


Through the ForwARd initiative, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation will lead the development of a comprehensive plan to strengthen public education in the state targeted on recommendations for academically distressed schools and districts.


The chairman of the state board of education stated that every Arkansas student should graduate high school fully prepared for success in college or the workplace.


According to recent research, the economic impact of ensuring all Arkansas students graduate high school prepared for college would save the state approximately $50 million dollars annually in college remediation costs and lost earnings.


Later this fall, the ForwARd initiative will release The State of Public Education in Arkansas, a report featuring baseline data on the state's educaitonal outcomes.


For more information about this partnership and the ForwARd initiative, visit here.






SWEPCO has announced a financing partnership that will promote regional economic development and provide financing to fund SWEPCO's ongoing capital needs.


SWEPCO has teamed up with regional and local banks to develop a senior unsecured three-year term loan to provide $100 million in financing for SWEPCO's increasing electric system assets to serve its customers.


SWEPCO's president and chief operating officer, Venita Allen, explained that this was a win-win financing strategy because it will provide SWEPCO with competitive financing to support its ongoing efforts to provide reasonably priced, safe and reliable electric service, by using local banks to fund its capital expenditures.


Nine Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas banks are participating in the financing agreement.


SWEPCO's vice president, Sandra Bennett, stated reaching out to local banks allows SWEPCO to diversify its lender base and provide financing with debt that is shorter-term than the company normally uses.


SWEPCO estimates that it will borrow several million dollars over the next three years to support its growing asset base including environmental controls on its power plants, to provide new customer connections and to improve system reliability.





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


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


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





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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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


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





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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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





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




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





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

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


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


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


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




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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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





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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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







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


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


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





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


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


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


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


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


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





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


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


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


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


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





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


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


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


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


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





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


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


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





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


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


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


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





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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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





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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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




VEHICLE FIRE       8/12/14


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


Boxtops for Education Collection   08/12/14

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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


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


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


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


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







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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


For more information, contact Jones at 642-2426.






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


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


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


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


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


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







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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Edwards is being charged with theft of property.






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


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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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





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


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


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


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




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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Interested parties can find more information about the program at 


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



Pilot Honored by Air Evac Lifeteam     08/08/14

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

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

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

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


PEO Sponsors Girls State Participants      08/08/14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


Volunteers suggest that cereal and jelly be donated this month.


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


On August 4th, Kimmel interviewed Whitaker.


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


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


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


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






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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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






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


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


Arkansas' fiscal years began July 1st.


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


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


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