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AREA BURGLARIES UNDER INVESTIGATION 5/21/15
Investigators with the Sevier County Sheriff's office are looking into several area burglaries that may be related after Mike Elias of De Queen reported several items were missing from his residence on Sunday, May 17th.
After interviewing several suspects on May 19th, investigators received information concerning several other burglaries in the county.
Investigators discovered the home of Bill Bigham at 394 Highway 70 B had been burglarized and suspects had taken several musical instruments and some costume jewelry.
The investigation continued at the home of Marty Smith's deceased parents at 590 Chapel Hill Road. And according to the report, a welder and two garden tillers had been stolen, but the family was conducting a inventory to see if there were other items missing.
Investigators also noticed an air compressor had been left outside a shop building as if suspects had planned to return and take the compressor.
Deputies then investigated the theft of a 15,000 BTU air conditioner, four wheels and tires and a radiator off a Ford Ranger pickup, along with several antique what-nots at a residence on Rink Road that belonged to James May.
Investigators stated these incidents are still under investigation and suggested area resident’s check on their property that may appear old or abandoned.
The sheriff’s office is also seeking the public's assistance with this investigation. If you have any information concerning these thefts, you are being asked to contact the Sevier County Sheriff's Office at 870-642-2125.
ACCIDENT KNOCKS OUT POWER 5/21/15
Tuesday morning about 2 a.m. Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Matt Webb was dispatched to a single vehicle accident on Highway 371 East near the Howard County line.
When Deputy Webb arrived, the driver Kassie Hibner of Story, Arkansas, informed him that she and her three children were ok and did not need medical attention. Passenger Ryan Jarman stated he doze off and that he woke up when Hibner ran into the ditch and hit the light pole.
Hibner stated she was traveling east towards Blue Bayou from Lockesburg. She said she was getting drowsy and must have fallen asleep at the wheel.
According to the accident report, the 2003 Chevy truck left the roadway near a driveway at 879 Highway 371 and traveled 66 feet, striking two hedge bushes and coming to a stop after hitting a light pole. The report stated the pole set 25 feet off the shoulder of the road.
The pole broke into three sections and caused the residence to lose power.
DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL CONSIDERS CHANGES TO CITY'S RETIREMENT PLAN 5/21/15
Tuesday night during a meeting of the De Queen City Council, aldermen heard suggestions concerning the city's retirement plan.
Alderman were informed by Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy that the city's retirement plan was a non-contributory plan and suggested changes may need to be considered in the future to make the plan more employee friendly.
McKelvy announced the city would be holding an employee's meeting Thursday morning to discuss the city's current plan and review some other options.
McKelvy reported the city has been having some issues with the street lights in the downtown area, but he hopes the problem has been resolved after an electrician pulled some new wire.
McKelvy said SWEPCO would be delivering the new bucket truck on Friday, May.
Assistant Chief of Police Scott Simmons informed the aldermen that an officer had been involved in a single vehicle accident this past weekend. McKelvy reported the city has filed a claim with the Municipal League. He also mentioned the officer was not injured.
Aldermen also reviewed a request from the De Queen branch of the Sevier County Library concerning the city assisting the library with the utility bills.
In the letter, head librarian, Johnye Fisher, stated the cities of Lockesburg, Gillham, Ben Lomond and Horatio help their local libraries with their utilities.
Aldermen voted to table the issue and asked McKelvy to invite Fisher to the council's next meeting on June 2nd.
HORATIO RESIDENT BEING HELD FOR STALKING 5/21/15
On Friday, May 15th, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Barnes was dispatched to a residence on Camellia Street in Lockesburg after someone reported an individual was breaking windows and trying to gain access to the trailer house.
Amanda Tipton reported that she woke up about 3 a.m. to the sound of her bedroom window being broken. She told Deputy Barnes that she had an order of protection against 35-year-old Kyle Kitchens of Horatio and that he had come to her home on several occasions in the past week.
Tipton informed Barnes that she had installed security cameras around her house and that two of them had been stolen.
After watching the video surveillance, Barnes reported the video clearly showed Kitchens taking the camera from the front porch.
Tipton's son reported that when he heard a noise outside his mom's window, he ran in to check on her and saw someone throw one of the security cameras through her bedroom window. He told Deputy Barnes that he yelled out the window that they needed to leave because he was calling the police. He said he then saw Kitchens outside the window.
Tipton reported the security cameras were valued at about $100, the damage was estimated at $400 and the value of the windows $300.
Kitchens was arrested and charged with stalking in the 1st degree and is being held in the Sevier County jail on a $50,000 cash only bond.
Other charges are also pending against Kitchens.
KIAMICHI OWA-CHITO BATTLE OF THE BANDS 5/21/15
The 2015 Kiamichi Owa-Chito festival's Battle of the Bands will be on Thursday, June 18th, starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Beavers Bend State Park Amphitheatre. This year, there will be three bands competing. They are Mud Feather, 2 Gun Justice and Jeff Smithhart.
Mud Feather was established five years ago and they strive to have a diverse sample of all genres of rock from classic to alternative to modern.
2 Guns Justice is a five-piece band from Southeast Oklahoma. All five band members are 2nd and 3rd generation musicians that have been playing music most of their lives. So, whether it's classic rock, classic country, pop to Top 40, they can play it.
Jeff Smithhart is a Texas native singer/songwriter who draws no boundaries. He is a seasoned entertainer who has performed for the past 30 years and has developed a strong and loyal Texas fan base that enjoys his high energy yet down to Earth shows.
The Grand Prize winner will be awarded a $1,000 and be the opening act for the Saturday night headliner, Mac Powell on June 20th.
HORATIO HIGH SCHOOL CO-VALEDICTORIANS RECOGNIZED 05/21/15
Horatio High School's 2015 valedictorians both say they have long striven for unique, family-related reasons to earn top honors at their senior graduation.
Like last year, Horatio's graduation ceremony Tuesday featured two valedictorians. Megan Perez and Audrey Smith, both lifelong students of the Horatio School District, said they were thrilled when it was announced that the two would share the title.
"It was something I worked really hard for so, yeah, I was pretty excited when I realized it," said Perez, who was a member of the National Honor Society, a student council officer and a Lions cheerleader.
The valedictorian distinction meant many hours of studying after school and doing everything possible to keep grades up, but Perez said she was determined. One of her top motivators was becoming the first person in her family to attend college.
"I think that was the biggest drive for me and I know it would mean a lot to my family," she said.
Smith, who also recalled many hours reading textbooks and studying for exams, said she also had a personal connection to giving her academic best. Her great-grandfather, Robert McCoy, was the valedictorian at his graduating class.
"I always thought it would be really neat to be valedictorian too and honor him for what he did," she said, who served in the school's Future Business Leaders of America chapter and was a member of the National Honor Society and the Lions cheerleading team.
Although Perez and Smith enjoyed their time at Horatio High School, both say they are ready to move on to experience other things. Smith plans to attend Henderson State University and study nursing. She hopes to become an RN.
Perez will also begin her nursing studies this fall. She plans to enroll at UA Cossatot and then UAMS in Little Rock to eventually become a doctor.
Neither are sure where they'll end up after earning their degrees, but said they are willing to let opportunity take them where they're needed.
Both agreed they will remember fondly their experience in Horatio, and said the people they knew were always there to encourage them.
"I'm really thankful for my mom, who always showed me that, if you work hard, you will find success in whatever you do," said Smith.
Perez said she will miss her teachers who were always there to help, especially during a difficult moment.
"Having teachers like them was a huge help to me because whenever I was having difficulty or just feeling depressed, they'd always help me through it," Perez said. "They were awesome mentors and I'm glad I had them as teachers.”
Smith is the daughter of Morris and Kathy Smith of Horatio. Perez is the daughter of Gala Richardson and Phillip Perez, also of Horatio.
By Patrick Massey, De Queen Bee
JACOB BUNYARD NAMED 2015 DHS VALEDICTORIAN 05/22/15
The valedictorian of the Class of 2015 at De Queen High School said he is excited to earn the distinction and is looking forward to new opportunities in the future.
Through determination, dedication and many hours of studying, Jacob Bunyard climbed his way to the top of the academic ranks at De Queen High School and is this year's top graduate.
"It wasn't easy and it took a lot of hard work, but I'm honored to be our valedictorian," he said. Bunyard said he was grateful to his teachers and parents for always pushing him to perform at the highest standards.
"My parents always pushed me into doing my best and I thank them for that," he added. "They've been my role models over the years and I really look up to them."
Bunyard - who is a member of the National Honor Society, a bass clarinet player on the high school band, and treasurer for the school's Future Business Leaders of America chapter - said he is excited for graduation Friday night and the chance to start a new chapter in his life.
Bunyard will attend the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville this fall and major in accounting. His hope is to eventually become a general manager for a major league baseball team - a dream fostered in part by his visit, alongside his father, Jay, to every major league baseball field in the United States.
"That was one of my dreams come true, and I think it's a big part of what got me so interested in becoming a general manager," Bunyard explained.
Bunyard said he's already planned out the start of a path towards reaching this goal. He hopes to begin an internship with a minor league team located near the university.
"I'm really excited to give that a try and it's something I'm going to work really hard to get," he said.
Bunyard also has a backup plan involving a career in radio broadcasting. His parents own Bunyard Broadcasting which operates radio stations in De Queen and elsewhere, and he has already gained some valuable experience in the field.
Among other mentors Bunyard listed was his math teacher for four years, Mr. Walthour. "He was great because he helped me learn a lot but he also made us laugh, which is really cool in a math class," said Bunyard, laughing.
Orientation at the University of Arkansas will begin this summer and Bunyard said he looks forward to learning more about the college. He plans to be as active there as he was at De Queen High School. Fortunately, he knows a few students from De Queen who will also be enrolling at Fayetteville in the fall.
Looking back at his 13 years in the De Queen School District, Bunyard said he gained a lot of fond memories and will miss his time there. "De Queen schools have always been a part of my life so it's going to be a little weird going somewhere else," he said. "I made a lot of friends and really enjoyed my classmates. They helped make this a great school to be."
Bunyard is the son of Jay and Teresa Bunyard of De Queen.
By Patrick Massey, De Queen Bee
DE QUEEN CITY POOL SET TO OPEN MEMORIAL DAY 5/20/15
Callie Miller of the De Queen Parks and Recreation Department announced Tuesday morning that the De Queen City pool is set to open Memorial Day with a free swim day. She said the kiddie pool will also be open for the first time in several years.
Miller said the pool will be open Monday through Friday and on Saturdays throughout the summer and the cost is $3 a day per person, but season passes and family passes may be purchased through the park office.
Miller said most towns don't have a city pool and all of the lifeguards are Red Cross certified. She also stated they will be offering swim lessons during the months of June and July.
If you are interested in reserving the pool, joining the De Queen Dolphin Swim Team or the adult swim times, contact the park office at 642-4140.
DE QUEEN RESIDENT ARRESTED FOR DRUG POSSESSION 5/20/15
Patrolman First Class Levi Browning of the De Queen Police Department reported that he observed a Plymouth Neon with expired tags on Saturday night about 6:30 p.m.
Browning reported he made a traffic stop in the Pruett's Food parking lot and spoke with the driver, 27-year-old Jermaine Hollins and his passenger 23-year-old Samona Kendrick of De Queen.
Hollins was citied for failure to register his vehicle, driving on a suspended license and for not having proof of insurance.
While speaking with Sergeant Chad Bradshaw, Kendrick produced a clear plastic bag containing suspected methamphetamine along with two empty bags.
Kendrick was arrested and placed into custody. During a search of the vehicle, officers found a digital scale under the passenger's seat.
While Kendrick was being booked into the Sevier County jail, members of the jail staff discovered another bag of suspected meth in her shorts.
Kendrick was charged with possession of methamphetamine or cocaine with the purpose to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The total weight of the two bags of meth was 1.1 grams on an uncertified scale at the jail.
KIMMEL SELECTED FOR GIRL SCOUT DESTINATION TRIP 5/20/15
De Queen High School junior Destiny Kimmel has dreamed of taking a Girl Scout Destination trip since she was five years old.
Kimmel said she and 17 other Girl Scouts will travel to San Juan, Puerto Rico this summer and help restore a part of the Old San Juan community.
Kimmel said she has been working a part time job to cover the cost of her trip but she is also accepting donations.
For more information or to make a donation, call 582-2310.
LOCKESBURG LIBRARY RECEIVES LITERACY GRANT 5/20/15
The Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded the Lockesburg Branch of the Sevier County Library a literacy grant to support the local literacy programs.
The grant is in the amount of $500 and is part of over $5.8 million dollars in grants that were awarded to 720 different schools and organizations.
The Dollar General Literacy Foundation funds are used to support programs aimed at enhancing summer, family and adult literacy programs.
JOANN WALTERS STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN MAKE-A-WISH FUNDRAISER 5/20/15
Students at JoAnn Walters Elementary School in Dierks participated in a fundraiser for the Arkansas Make-A-Wish Foundation and raised $1,450.
Students participated in Fun Fridays over a six-week period of time. Students donated a dollar a week and were allowed to wear their pajamas or hats; bring a stuffed animal to school or receive a free recess, chew gum or get snowcones.
MINOR CHARGED WITH DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED 5/20/15
Early Sunday morning, Patrolman First Class Levi Browning of the De Queen Police Department made a traffic stop after observing a Honda Accord drive left of the center line on several occasions.
The driver was 19-year-old Alexis Diaz of Nashville. Diaz reportedly informed Browning that he had been drinking and allegedly stated that he had been charged with DWI on two other occasions, once in Nashville and once in Sevier County.
Diaz failed a series of field sobriety test and blew .142 on a portable breath test.
Diaz was transported to the Sevier County jail and charged with driving while intoxicated #3.
OLD TIME MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH SINGING SCHOOL 5/20/15
JP Atkins of the Old Time Missionary Baptist Church in De Queen announced the church would be hosting their annual singing school this June 8th through the 12th.
Atkins said the school will be lead by Marty Phillips of Crossett and he mentioned Phillips would be available for private piano lessons that week.
Atkins stated the school is for anyone that enjoys singing whether they are a seasoned professional or if they just simply enjoy singing.
According to Atkins, classes will be held from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. each day and there will be a concert on Friday night.
For more information, call Atkins at 584-9557 or Melvin Sullivan at 584-8991.
This Week's News:
AREA LEGISLATORS SPEAK TO DE QUEEN ROTARY CLUB 5/19/15
District 4 State Representative DeAnn Vaught and District 11 State Senator Jimmy Hickey spoke to the De Queen Rotary Club last week during their weekly meeting.
Vaught reported she wrote nine bills in her freshman term as representative and all nine bills were signed into law.
Senator Hickey informed Rotarians that he was the Majority Whip during the 90th General Assembly and that he serves on the Legislative Audit Committee, the Lottery Oversight Committee, the Revenue and Taxation Committee and the Transportation Committee.
Hickey sponsored 22 bills and 19 were signed into law.
Hickey said his district encompasses portions of five counties and he works with five representatives from his district.
Hickey also informed the Rotary Club that committees are studying how to make committee meetings more efficient, the private option and Common Core.
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has also called a special session for later this month. The main issue on the agenda is an Amendment 84 issue concerning a defense contract for Lockheed Martin in Camden.
LOCKESBURG CITY COUNCIL UPDATED ON SEWER PROJECT 5/19/15
Progress is being made on the City of Lockesburg’s water and sewer projects although there appears to be a few obstacles needing to be addressed by the city council.
Mayor Danny Ruth informed aldermen that the contractor on the sewer project had requested the city pay for the permit to install a culvert on Highway 24. Ruth stated the permit would cost $1,000.
Aldermen then voted not to pay for the permit, stating it was the contractor's responsibility.
City Attorney Erin Hunter informed the council that she was working on the Railroad permit for the sewer project, and hoped to have that issue resolved by the end of the month.
After hearing a report from Utility worker Justin Ruth, aldermen voted to have the hydraulic cylinder repaired on the city's John Deere tractor and to purchase a new Husqvarna mower.
Aldermen approved the purchase of two new portable radios and heard a report from park commissioner Sheila Ruth concerning some grants that the park commission was going to apply for. She also reported on the progress of the parks Fourth of July celebration.
MAY IS NATIONAL ELECTRICAL SAFETY MONTH 5/19/15
May is National Electrical Safety Month and AEP/SWEPCO is offering the following Residential Safety Checklist to assist customers in making their homes and offices more electrically safe this month and throughout the year.
SWEPCO recommends customers check for outlets that have loose fitting plugs, which can overheat and lead to a fire.
Make sure cords are in good condition and not frayed or cracked. Check to see that extension cords are not overloaded and that plugs fit the outlet.
Check the wattage of all bulbs in lighting fixtures to make sure they are the correct wattage for the fixture size and don’t leave plugged in appliances where they might come into contact with water.
If an appliance repeatedly blows or trips a circuit breaker unplug it and have it repaired or replaced and remember electric-powered mowers and power tools are not used in the rain, on wet grass or in damp conditions.
TRI-LAKES CLASSIC POSTPONED DUE TO HIGH WATER 5/19/15
Sevier County Judge Greg Ray announced Friday morning that the Big Bass Classic has been postponed indefinitely due to high water on the De Queen, Gillham and Dierks lakes.
However, Monday afternoon, the De Queen Sevier County Chamber of Commerce announced that due to extremely high waters and continued rainfall, the 26th Annual Tri-Lakes Big Bass Festival that was scheduled for Saturday, May 23rd, has been rescheduled for Saturday, June 27th at De Queen, Gillham and Dierks Lakes.
At De Queen and Gillham Lakes, campgrounds and boat ramps are currently closed.
In hosting the tournament, the fisherman’s safety is most important and tournament officials hope that by June 27th, water will be at a safe level.
This only the second time in the 26 years of the tournament that it has been rescheduled.
If an entry form has already been submitted, it will be good for the June 27th tournament. The late entry date has been extended to June 26th.
The Tri-Lakes Big Bass Festival is hosted annually by the De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce.
Entry forms can be obtained by calling 870-584-3225 or from the Chamber website at www.dequeenchamberofcommerce.com.
Judge Ray also stated Bear Creek Cut-off has been reopened after the bridges were inspected following the storms that moved through the area on Mother’s Day.
Judge Ray said that several vehicles were spotted driving around the road closed signs on Bear Creek Cut-off and he wanted to remind motorists that the signs were put up for a reason and encouraged residents to obey all traffic signs.
54 DIAMONDS FOUND AT CRATER IN APRIL 5/18/15
During the month of April, 34 visitors registered 54 diamonds at the Crater of Diamond State Park, making it the single most successful month for diamond finds since October of 2014.
Visitors from 18 states including: Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Vermont and Wisconsin and Washington, D.C. registered diamonds in April.
Thirty-three of the month’s finds were white gems, six were brown and 15 were yellow. The total weight of all of the diamonds found was 13.86 carats, including a 3.69 carat white gem found by a visitor from Evening Shade. It is also the largest diamond found at the park this year.
While most diamonds were found in wet sifted gravel last month, eight gems were found on top of the plowed search area that were uncovered by more than six inches of April showers that fell on the park.
During the summer, the park will extend it’s hours of operation from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
For more information about the Crater of Diamonds State Park, visit the website craterofdiamondsstatepark.com or call 870-285-3113.
ARKANSAS LAWMAKERS OK CONSULTANT CONTRACT FOR MEDICAID PLAN 5/18/15
Arkansas lawmakers have approved a $1 million contract with a consultant looking at the future of the state’s compromise Medicaid expansion, but the House speaker says he’ll recommend working with another firm as well.
The Arkansas Legislative Council approved the contract with the new Hampshire-based Stephen Group last Friday. The consultant will study the state’s Medicaid program and recommend alternatives to the state’s private option Medicaid expansion. The private option uses federal funds to purchase private insurance for low-income residents.
A task force looking at the private option’s future approved the contract, but the chairman of the panel had recommended the council not sign off on the agreement.
Speaker Jeremy Gillam said he’ll recommend the task force consider signing with another consultant to also study the Medicaid program.
ARKANSAS LOTTERY CUTS WILL BOOST MONEY FOR SCHOLARSHIPS 5/18/15
The director of Arkansas’ lottery says cutbacks from an overhaul of the games will increase the amount of money available for college scholarships next year, but said its revenue is behind expectations so far this year.
Lottery Director Bishop Woosley told a legislative panel that he expects net proceeds for the games to increase by $1.4 million in the coming fiscal year, which begins July 1. The gain comes primarily from cuts to the lottery program, including the closing of three claims centers and positions that were eliminated.
The lottery is projecting a drop in sales of draw game tickets such as Powerball and Mega Millions and a slight increase in scratch-off ticket sales.
The panel’s meeting was its first since lawmakers eliminated the independent commission running the games.
MARY AND MARTHA CENTER SEEKING DONATIONS TO SEND STUDENTS TO SUMMER CAMP 5/18/15
Kim Martin and Olivia Romine of the Mary and Martha reported recently that their new building was nearing completion and should be open by the new school year, this fall. They also reported the building should be debt free when it opens. However, they need $10,000 for that to be a reality.
According to Martin, the Mary and Martha Center has been meeting in Romine’s home since January, but only the older children are attending because of a lack of space.
This summer, the Mary and Martha Center is planning to take the students to the Ramp in Hamilton, Alabama as they have for the past 10 years.
The cost is $225 per child and they are planning to take 40 kids, which will be their biggest group ever and they are seeking donations to help rent another van, the cost of the camp, gas, food and lodging.
If you are interested in donating, contact Martin or Romine at the Mary and Martha Center.
26th annual tri lakes big bas tournament postponed 05/18/15
Due to extremely high waters and continued rainfall, the 26th Annual Tri-Lakes Big Bass Festival scheduled for this Saturday, May 23rd, has been rescheduled for Saturday, June 27, 2015 at De Queen, Gillham and Dierks Lakes.
At De Queen and Gillham Lakes, campgrounds and boat ramps are closed.
In hosting the tournament, the fishermen’s safety is most important and tournament officials hope that by June 27th, water will be at a safe level.
This is only the second time in the 26 years of the tournament that the tournament has had to be rescheduled.
If an entry form has already been submitted, it will be good for the June 27th tournament. The late entry date has been extended to June 26th.
The Tri-Lakes Big Bass Festival is hosted annually by the De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce.
Click Here for entry form or call 870-584-3225 for more information.
ONE LESS 5K 5/15/15
Coming up on Saturday, May 30th is the 5th annual 1 Less 5K and Alisa Lindsey and Christina Lites announced runners have until this Friday to pre-register for the event.
Lindsey said in the past the event raised money for a specific child, but this year they are helping a family in North Little Rock who have adopted twins.
Lindsey stated the start and finish line is at the De Queen High School track next to the district’s administration building and you can also participate in a 400 meter race for kids 6 and under at 9:15; the Family Fun Walk/Run at 9:30, and the Mile Race for ages 7 to 12 at 9:30.
Awards will be given to the top three overall racers in each race and the top three male and female winners per age division in the 5K.
Lindsey said if a business would like to sponsor the event, they should contact the First Baptist Church of De Queen.
ANNUAL BLUEGRASS SHOW AT OLD WASHINGTON STATE PARK THIS WEEKEND 5/15/15
The Hope/Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce will hold their 19th annual Spring Bluegrass Show this Saturday at the Historic Washington State Park. The program is free to the public and this year’s event will feature five bands.
Headlining this year’s show is Eddie and Martha Adcock of Nashville, Tennessee.
The Adcocks are known worldwide for their music over the past 40 years. Eddie Adcock was also a member of the Country Gentlemen for many years and recently won the Steve Martin award. Adcock is one of the most revered banjoists in Bluegrass music.
Other groups will include Red Stick Revival from Baton Rogue, Louisiana, the Hartley Family from Arkadelphia, High Mountain Grass from Magnolia, and Hope’s Hempstead County Melody Boys.
The show begins at 10 a.m. and will feature each group twice with the show to finish at 8 p.m. The program will be held on the porch of the 1874 Courthouse. In case of rain it will be moved to the Washington Methodist Church.
Everyone should bring their lawn chairs, but for more information, call the chamber at 870-777-3640.
ARKANSAS STATE PARKS CELEBRATING KIDS TO PARKS DAY 5/15/15
The State Parks of Arkansas will be joining local and national parks across America in the annual national celebration of “Kids to Parks Day” this Saturday.
This will be the fifth anniversary of this nationwide day of outdoor play, which is traditionally held the week before the official start of summer vacations.
“Kids to Park Day” is a call for parents and grandparents to engage the children in their lives in the outdoors. It’s an opportunity to experience the inspiring world outside.
The Arkansas state park system administers over 54,000 acres that include 143 trails totaling 400 miles to explore and enjoy. The 52 state parks are a living legacy that teach and inspire generation after generation.
In addition to the many recreational opportunities and self-guided activities that can be enjoyed by visitors in Arkansas’ state parks daily, state park interpreters around the Arkansas will offer a wide variety of special activities and programs this Saturday. To learn about programs in our area, visit the website ArkansasStateParks.com.
LITTLE RIVER QUORUM COURT 5/15/15
Little River County Judge Mike Cranford reported the Little River Quorum Court voted to adopt to two ordinances to transfer some funds and appropriate it to certain areas to satisfy the findings from the county's recent Legislative audit.
Cranford also stated that he and OEM Director Don Hale Jr., updated the JPs concerning river levels and damage caused by last weekend’s storms.
Cranford said the county was making progress on the county roads but the recent rain storms have led to some work delays and road closures.
Cranford announced he declared Little River County a disaster area based on the reports from county employees and will apply for disaster relief funds.
Cranford also reported the Quorum Court will be conducting a financial workshop on Monday, May 18th at 9 a.m. in the county Annex Building.
RUSTY RELICS TRACTOR SHOW 5/15/15
The Rusty Relic Antique Tractor Club is holding their 12th annual Tractor Show this Saturday on the farm of club President Roger White.
White said the club started because they enjoyed the sound of old tractors and Saturday’s event is going to be a lot of fun for the entire family.
Club members are also selling chances on a restored 1945 B Longhood John Deere tractor for $5 each or 6 for $25 as well as tickets on a handmade quilt for $1 each or 6 for $5.
The Tractor Show is at the corner of Highway 355 and Corn Bridge Road.
For more information, call White at 870-451-2096, Bob White at 870-845-9237 or Rose Johnson at 870-200-0562.
TRADE AND SALE DAYS AT SEVIER COUNTY MUSEUM 5/15/15
Sevier County Museum Board member Jim Bo Arnold announced the museum will be holding their annual Trade and Sales Day Saturday beginning at 10 a.m.
Vendor booths are $10 each and Arnold said you can set up early and stay late.
Booths will be set up next to the street for better visibility, but for more information, you can call the museum at 870-784-0039.
CATTLE AND CRAWFISH 5/15/15
Megan Smith of the Sevier County Cattlewomen's Association stopped by the KDQN studios to remind area residents that the 2nd Annual Sevier County Cattlemen's Jackpot Show was Saturday at the Sevier County Fairgrounds.
Smith said there will be a concession stand available all day, but you can come out early at 7 a.m. and enjoy breakfast with the show kids.
Smith explained the show was similar to the county fair livestock show, except this is a jackpot show and participates will receive cash prizes.
Registration starts at 7 a.m. and the books will close at 9. The entry fee is $30 per head and $10 for the showmanship competition.
Smith stated the event is a fundraiser for the cattlewomen and all of the proceeds will go toward local scholarships. For more information, call Christy Lee at 903-908-4080.
BEAVERS BEND ROD RUN 5/14/15
The 2015 Beavers Bend Rod Run is this Saturday and Sunday at the Beavers Bend Resort Park, group camp #1 and is sponsored by the Kiamichi Street Rods. Dwayne Bean is a member of the street rod club and explained this is a Pre-'73 event.
There will be a Saturday evening meal, games for all ages, door prizes, along with hot wheel races, a poker run and a Sunday morning worship service.
Bean said registration will begin at the park at 9 a.m. Saturday morning and the cost is $25.
For more information, call Bean at 580-584-2345 or Sharon Webb at 580-584-6467.
DE QUEEN SCHOOLS RECEIVE GRANT 5/14/15
De Queen Junior High School teachers Meagan Strain and Carol Hall recently applied for and received a grant for the district's Outdoor Classroom project.
Strain and Hall explained the outdoor classroom will be utilized as a tool to enhance the learning experience of students attending the De Queen Public Schools. The classroom will be used by the 8th grade science and creative writing classes, as well as the environmental science classes of the high school.
The habitat will also be made available to the community. The schoolyard habitat will include a butterfly garden, a hummingbird garden, a walking trail, a tracking box, bird houses and bird feeders.
The outdoor classroom will also allow students to explore and learn more about nature. It will also give teachers the opportunity to turn the classroom over to the students.
The schoolyard habitat will open student's eyes to alternative ways to learn new content and become active in a unique classroom setting.
Construction of the habitat will start in the spring of 2015 and will be constructed by 8th grade and high school students, as well as members of the junior high science club and volunteers.
The grant was presented to the school by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, but other funds were donated by local businesses.
SEVIER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT 5/14/15
Last week during a session of the Sevier County Circuit Court, a trial date of August 12th was set for Jamie Blankenship and Dustin Chandler.
Blankenship has been charged with introducing a controlled substance into the body of another person.
According to the affidavit, Blankenship allegedly introduced a controlled substance into the body of her unborn child on or before August 31st, 2014.
The charge is a Class Y felony and if convicted Blankenship could be sentenced up to 40 years in prison.
Chandler has been charged with theft of property and residential burglary after he allegedly entered a home and took some property that was valued at less than $25,000 but more than $5,000 on or about October 27th, 2013.
Orlando Graham of Nashville and Darrell Hall made their first appearance in the Sevier County Circuit Court last week and entered pleas of not guilty.
Graham is being charged with driving while intoxicated #4 and Hall has been charged with possession of a firearm by a certain person.
SYLVESTER GETS THREE LIFE SENTENCES FOR KIDNAPPING AND RAPE 5/14/15
A man arrested in Sevier County has been sentenced to three life sentences after being found guilty of kidnapping, rape and aggravated robbery by a Sebastian County jury.
37-year-old Ardwin Sylvester was convicted of kidnapping and raping a woman in Fort Smith last summer.
The man drove down Highway 71 South and stopped for gas in Ashdown at an E-Z Mart where the woman was able to jump out of the car and run into the store.
Sylvester then fled and was taken into custody on state Highway 27 halfway between Ben Lomond and Mineral Springs in Sevier County.
UA COSSATOT OFFERING VARIETY OF CLASSES THIS SUMMER 5/14/15
Zebbie Minton of UA Cossatot announced this morning that registration for summer continuing education classes is underway and the college is offering a variety of classes.
Minton said they are also offering a salsa making class on Tuesday, May 19th and if anyone is interested in the class, they will need to register this week, because classes will fill up fast.
Minton also stated UA Cossatot will be offering a couple of history courses through the Old Washington State Park.
And, they will be offering classes from basic photography to painless grammar classes, during the noon hour in June.
Minton said they were still offering their truck driving class, but will also be offering a log truck driving class, as well as, a refresher program.
For more information about classes and programs at UA Cossatot, contact Minton at 870-587-4471.
DE QUEEN BOARD OF EDUCATION ACCEPTS SEVERAL RESIGNATIONS 5/13/15
Monday evening, the De Queen Board of Education upheld the recommendation from Superintendent Bruce Hill to suspend a female student for 180 days for multiple drug offenses. They then accepted two students into the De Queen School District next year through the state's School Choice program.
Hill also recommended the board accept the resignation of the following staff members: Dana Porton – ALE; David Stevenson – JR. High Science; Sharon Dorsey – bus driver; Linda Tolison – housekeeper; Callie Parker – 1st grade teacher; Antonia Hernandez – housekeeper; Sara Smith – 4th grade teacher; Barbara Stevenson – 4th grade teacher; Roger Busse – High School Principal; Kerry White – 5th grade teacher; Laken Faulkner – FACS and Julie Gonzales – cafeteria.
Board members then hired the following staff members: Brittany Williamson – FACS; Leona Martin – High School Math; Keisha Aynes – Middle School Math; Derrick Aynes – coach and Junior High Science; Steve Lester – High School Math and Science; Lindsey Hudgens – 4th grade teacher; Shannon Wilkerson – 4th grade teacher and Amanda Gray – 4th grade teacher.
Hill announced graduation would be held on Friday, May 15th and report cards will be available June 5th.
FOREMAN AD RESIGNS 5/13/15
Foreman Superintendent George Kennedy recommended the Foreman Board of Education accept the letter of resignation from Athletic Director Denzil Cowling and Elementary teacher Emily Gentry during a special called meeting of the Foreman Board of Education.
Board members will consider replacements for Cowling and Gentry during the board regular May meeting.
NATIONAL EMS WEEK 5/13/15
May 17th through 23rd is National EMS Week, but the employees of Southwest EMS want to express their appreciation to all the first responders, fire fighters and law enforcement members that help them throughout the year.
Megan McMahen announced Tuesday morning that Southwest EMS will say thank you with a cookout this Thursday in the Herman Dierks Park at 5:30 p.m.
For more information, contact McMahen at 642-2611.
SEVIER COUNTY QUORUM COURT 5/13/15
Sevier County Judge Greg Ray informed the members of the Sevier County Quorum Court that the county’s 911 system was down after being struck by lightening Sunday night. He said a representative from AT&T was scheduled to start making repairs Monday afternoon, but until it is up and running, calls will be routed through the Little River County 911 system.
During the meeting, Justices of the Peace voted to set the dollar amount threshold at $500 for items on the counties inventory list and they passed an ordinance concerning the counties debt service funds.
JPs also gave final approval for the truck swap between the City of De Queen and the county and members of the Quorum Court re-appointed fellow JP Roger Whitmore as a Commissioner for the Sevier County Housing Authority.
Judge Ray also announced Bear Creek Cut-off Road will be closed until the flood water recedes and the bridges have been inspected.
UA COSSATOT SETS NEW RECORD GRADUATION 05/13/15
DE QUEEN, AR - UA Cossatot students earning a degree or a certificate for the May 2015 semester were part of a history making class.
After all of the grades were tallied and calculated, 340 degrees and certificates were awarded to students. The commencement ceremony was held at the De Queen High School on Saturday, May 9.
“Our graduation rates speak volumes about our goals for UA Cossatot students,” said Vice Chancellor of Academics, Dr. Maria Parker. “We have concentrated our efforts on retaining students and hands-on advising. We want our students to be comfortable with their degree plan and have a clear path about how to accomplish their goals.”
The graduation rates are traditionally higher during the spring semester since many students begin in August. However, the trend for UA Cossatot is that graduation rates consistently have improved. The following graphic charts the graduation award rates.
UA COSSATOT STUDENTS PLACE WELL AT COMPETITION 05/13/15
HOT SPRINGS, AR - UA Cossatot students enrolled in the Secondary Vocational Center and Postsecondary Technical programs attended the annual Skills USA Convention and Competition held recently in Hot Springs.
Students take a written knowledge test and hands-on skills test in their area of study. UA Cossatot consistently has many students who place in their area.
The team of James Stewart and Reyna Lopez, won first place, securing a Gold Medal finish in the Audio / Radio Production competition. Both are students in the secondary program on the De Queen campus.
Curtis Nutt, a Senior from Dierks High School placed 2nd in the Pipe Welding competition, earning a Silver Medal. There were about 50 students competing in that category. In the General Welding category, Brock McMillian, also a senior from Dierks placed 3rd and brought home a Bronze Medal. The General Welding category had about 100 competing. These students have been in the Nashville Secondary Career Center since their junior year of High School.
The team of Kayla Martin and Kacy McGough, both students in the Cosmetology Program, won the Bronze Medal in the Esthetics category. Another Cosmetology student, Alexandria Coulter won the Bronze Medal in the Cosmetology Display Hair competition.
The Skills USA competition is held every April in Hot Springs.
DIERKS SCHOOL DISTRICT HIRES STAFF DURING SPECIAL BOARD MEETING 5/12/15
The Dierks Board of Education approved the purchase of 100 Chromebooks at a cost of $23,200 through the Tips/Taps program from White River Services during a special called board meeting on Tuesday, May 5th.
Board members then approved the hiring of Beth Shelton as a Kindergarten teacher, Michele Godwin as a 5th grade Math and Science teacher, Zach White as a 3rd grade teacher and Kaci Quinn as a high school Special Education teacher and Junior High Cheer Coach.
L.F. HENDERSON STUDENTS CONTRIBUTE TO IMPACT 2015 5/12/15
The key to success in any great endeavor is support, and Jim Cross, the pastor of the Ashdown and Richmond First United Methodist Church, emphasizes that "the wonderful community support from Ashdown is what has led to the great success of Impact 2015-Walking for Christ."
Cross's 30-mile solo Walk for Christ is now in it's third year and has raised over $50,000 thus far, with the largest amount being raised this year. The ten-hour-long walk on April 11th ended at Dick Hays Stadium, where Cross was greeted by over 200 supporters who were enjoying catfish dinners and dozens of kids enjoying games and jump houses.
Walking for Christ was the vision of Cross in 2012 when he felt led to raise awareness and financial support for several causes where children are in need. He has divided the funds he has between scholarships for high school graduates with medical issues, to the Little River County Relay for Life, and the United Methodist Committee on Relief program in Baldwin, Louisiana.
Cross also uses some of the funds to support various school campus needs, such as a pavilion for the L.F. Henderson School playground and new turf for the Ashdown High School football field.
Cross has also donated financial assistance to families of Ashdown school children who have suffered a loss or illness, including Brandon Cramer who is fighting to recover from a massive brain injury.
HORATIO VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENTS ANNUAL FISH FRY 5/12/15
Monday morning, Rich Dorsey of the Horatio Volunteer Fire Department announced everyone is invited to their annual fish fry this Saturday at the First Assembly of God Fellowship Hall next to the Horatio High School football field from 2 to 6 p..m.
For more information, call 870-584-9578.
SEVIER COUNTY SENIOR ADULT CELEBRATION 5/12/15
Sevier County Judge Greg Ray and Sam Cobb of Dr. Randy Walker's office stopped by the KDQN studios last Friday to remind everyone that the 2015 Senior Adult Celebration and the Big Bass Classic will be held on Memorial Day weekend.
Cobb stated last year over 40 vendors participated and he said there will be vendors offering all kinds of services.
Judge Ray said the event is for anyone 55 and older, but it wouldn't be possible without all of the volunteers.
The Annual Senior Citizens Appreciation Day will be from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on the Sevier County Courthouse square.
HOWARD FOUND GUILTY - AGAIN 5/12/15
After two weeks of testimony from witnesses, local and state investigators and forensic experts, a Little River County jury found Tim Howard guilty of second degree murder of Brian and Shannon Day and guilty of attempted murder of their infant child around 10 p.m., Friday, May 8th.
Around 1 a.m., the jury sentenced Howard to 14 years each for the second degree murders of Brian and Shannon Day and 10 years for the attempted murder of their 10-month-old son.
The sentences will be served consecutively and with time served following his first conviction in 1999, Howard will not serve any more jail time.
LOCAL OFFICIALS SURVEY STORM DAMAGE 5/12/15
Sevier County Judge Greg Ray and De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy reported Monday morning that residents were fortunate in Sevier County.
However, Judge Ray stated some roads were closed due to water. He also reported that they had received some reports of some fallen trees, but the counties 991 system suffered the most damage, due to a lightening strike to the Sevier County jail.
Mayor McKelvy stated the City of De Queen faired pretty well Sunday night and the De Queen Fire Department assisted the sheriff's office Sunday night by handling the dispatching duties after the lightening strike.
De Queen Police Chief Richard McKinley reported Monday morning that residents may call the police station at 642-2213 or 642-2215 for emergency assistance.
SWEPCO reported 1,572 customers were without service Monday morning in Howard County, while another 1,582 were without service in Hempstead County.
REA reported 343 customers without power in Howard County, 24 in McCurtain County, Oklahoma, 45 in Sevier County and another 18 in Little River County.
UA COSSATOT CHANCELLOR STEVE COLE SPEAKS TO DE QUEEN LIONS CLUB 5/12/15
Chancellor of UA Cossatot Dr. Steve Cole recently spoke to the members of the De Queen Lions Club concerning the college’s yearly budget and other advancements on the campus.
Cole reported 342 diplomas were awarded during the spring graduation, which was held last Saturday and he mentioned UA Cossatot's new innovative textbook program.
Cole told the Lions Club that many students won't purchase textbooks because they will be using open resource materials.
Cole said it will save families over $1,000 per year on the cost of textbooks, while not diluting the learning in the classroom.
Cole then answered questions, explaining how students will be able to attend UA Cossatot and eVersity this fall which is fully transferable and leads into a four-year degree from the University of Arkansas. He also answered questions regarding how Arkansas can help undocumented students by making it where they only have to pay in-state tuition.
The De Queen Lions Club is a member of district 7-L and fulfills many local humanitarian projects, such as providing eyeglasses for youth in need.
WEATHER SERVICE GIVES NASHVILLE STORM EF-2 RATING 5/12/15
A survey team from the National Weather Service in Shreveport has given a preliminary rating of an EF-2 on the tornado that struck the western and northwestern sections of Nashville late Sunday night, killing two people.
According to the weather service, the storm was estimated to have winds in excess of 125 miles per hour, but adjustments may be made to the wind speed and rating.
Authorities identified the two people killed in the storm as 28-year-old Michael Mooneyhan and 29-year-old Melissa Mooneyhan.
The two were residents in the R&J Trailer Park off Sypert Street. Police reported the couple had a young daughter, who was unharmed. Several other people in the trailer park were injured, including two, who suffered critical injuries.
Monday afternoon, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that his office has made a disaster declaration for 10 counties, including Howard County.
An assessment is being conducted to see if the declaration meets federal requirements so that additional funding can be available.
Hutchinson visited Nashville Monday afternoon to see the damage firsthand and to meet with county and city officials.
CIRCUIT COURT OF SEVIER COUNTY 5/11/15
Trial dates were set for four defendants during the April 30th session of the Sevier County Circuit Court.
A trial date of July 15th was set for Juan Hernandez-Herrera after he plead not guilty. Hernandez-Herrera has been charged with possession of methamphetamine.
A trial date of September 23rd was set for Jennifer Caswell and Randall Glasgow after they plead not guilty to the charges of possession of meth with the intent to deliver, simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Caswell and Glasgow were arrested on Sunday, April 19th following a 6-month investigation by the Sevier County Sheriff's Office, the South Central Drug Task Force, the Arkansas State Police, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the De Queen Police Department.
A search warrant was executed on Glasgow's home on Monday, April 20th and turned up drugs, firearms, smoking pipes, digital scales and other paraphernalia.
After pleading not guilty, a trial date of September 23rd was set for Barry Talley who is being charged with breaking or entering, theft by receiving and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Gala Richardson was sentenced to three years probation and fined $2,000 after changing her plea to guilty on the charge of possession of drug paraphernalia.
US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS TAKING STEPS TO CONTROL ALLIGATOR WEED ON MILLWOOD 5/11/15
The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers has taken a step to control Alligator Weed on Millwood Lake.
Corps rangers have released 7,000 Alligator Weed Flea Beetles to consume the weed on the lake. The Corps says these beetles are species specific and only consume Alligator Weed, which is an invasive, non-native aquatic plant that originated in South America, but has spread to many parts of the world.
When the weed invades waterways it can reduce water flow and quality by preventing light penetration and oxygenation of the water. It can also reduce water bird and fish activity and cause the death of fish and native plants.
Alligator Weed can form large, interwoven mats over the water or along shorelines, creating a favorable habitat for breeding mosquitoes. It is also very difficult to control.
MAN ARRESTED IN OKLAHOMA SHOOTING DEATH 5/11/15
A person of interest in the fatal shooting of a Haworth, Oklahoma man on Wednesday was arrested Thursday in Hempstead County walking on the shoulder of a state highway.
49-year-old John Williamson of Idabel was taken into custody about 8 a.m. by an Arkansas State Police trooper on Highway 32.
Agencies in Southwest Arkansas and Southeast Oklahoma were alerted about 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday regarding the shooting and started searching for a silver Ford F-150 with stolen Oklahoma license plate.
Authorities spotted the truck in the Hope Wal-Mart parking lot and officers began searching Williamson in the Hope area.
Williamson is being held in the Hempstead County detention center, but is expected to be extradited back to McCurtain County to face multiple charges.
FORMER DE QUEEN MAYOR APPOINTED TOP HUCKABEE AIDE 5/11/15
Former De Queen Mayor Chad Gallagher has been named the Senior Leadership Director for the Huckabee for President Campaign following former Governor Mike Huckabee’s announcement last week that he will be running for President of the United States.
According to a press release, Gallagher is the founder and senior consultant with Legacy Consulting and started working with Governor Huckabee in 1992.
Since 2012, Gallagher has overseen and ran the Governor’s leadership PAC.
Prior to opening his own firm, Gallagher worked in Huckabee’s 2008 bid for the White House and served as his political director during his last term as governor. In this capacity Gallagher handled appointments, city, county and local affairs and the liaison the Governor’s relationship with the White House, Bush campaign, Republican National Committee, RGA, NGA, the state GOP and candidates.
SEVIER COUNTY LIBRARY TIDBITS 5/11/15
Sevier County Head Librarian Johnye Fisher announced this week that the library had received a donation of approximately 300 children’s books from Sarah and Debbie Vincent of Gallatin, Tennessee and Jean Nichols of Clarksville, Tennessee.
And, the library will be celebrating Patron Appreciation Week at the De Queen Library, May 18th through the 22nd by giving away snacks, coffee and prizes.
In Horatio, the library has had a Little Library Project box mounted on the front lawn. The box was built by Raymond Garcia of De Queen and painted by the Horatio High School art class and their instructor Shirley Tipton.
The Little Library Project works on the honor system. You take a book, read a book, and leave a book when the library is closed.
This year, the Horatio Library is focusing on the theme, “Every Hero has a Story.” They will be focusing on local heroes such as firemen, city workers, school bus drivers and home health nurses.
In conjunction with Lockesburg Mayor Danny Ruth’s proclamation declaring May Historic Preservation Month, the library will display a presentation board illustrating some historic facts about the City of Lockesburg. The library also has copies of the book “The Kindling Dawn” that was written by Judge Will Steel, which is set in Lockesburg around the turn of century.
The Gillham Library also received a donation of several young adult book series.
The Ben Lomond Library will be teaching classes on herbs and flowers every Saturday during the month of May.
MAN SENTENCED TO 60 YEARS GOING BACK TO COURT FOR KIDNAPPING, RAP AND ROBBERY CHARGES 5/11/15
A man that was sentenced to 60 years on firearm charges in Sevier County has been sentenced to another 60 years in Sabastian County for being a felon in possession of a firearm and his probation was revoked for a 1999 rape conviction.
38-year old Ardwin Sylvester is expected to face another Sabastian County jury this week for the charges of rape, kidnapping and aggravated robbery.
Sylvester was arrested in Sevier County in June of 2014 after allegedly kidnapping and raping a woman in Fort Smith.
The woman escaped from Sylvester at a gas station in Ashdown.
Sylvester fled in the vehicle, but was later stopped and surrendered to law enforcement officials on Highway 27 near Ben Lomond.
CONSUMER ALERT: YOUR IDENTITY IS STOLEN. NOW WHAT 5/11/15
Identity thieves can hit at any time, wrecking your financial integrity. According to the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network, nearly 2,500 Arkansans filed ID theft complaints in 2014, ranking 15th in the nation.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a consumer alert to educate consumers on the steps they should take to restore their credit if their identity is stolen.
Rutledge released the following tips for those who have fallen victim to ID thieves:
File a fraud alert with one of the three national credit bureaus; file a police report and get a got of it; get a copy of an identity theft booklet, which provides step-by-step instructions for dealing with identity thieves; file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission; cancel any accounts you believe have been compromised; consider placing a security freeze on your credit report to restrict access; and consider applying for an ID Theft Passport from the Attorney General’s office.
Committing identity theft in Arkansas is a felony and comes with a sentence that could include incarceration, fines up to $25,000 and restitution. The Arkansas Administrative Office of the Courts reported 150 ID theft convictions in 2014.
For more information, contact the Attorney General’s office at 1-800-482-8982.
ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE LAUNCHES MILITARY AND VETERANS INITIATIVE 5/11/15
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced that she is launching a Military and Veterans Initiative at the Attorney General’s Office. This initiative will assist active duty military, reservists, veterans and their families with consumer related issues, veterans’ courts, the Hiring Heros program and many other collaborative efforts.
Rutledge also introduced Colonial Marcus Hatley, a 30-year veteran of the military, who will lead the new initiative as the senior director of military and veteran affairs.
This past week, Rutledge also hosted a roundtable discussion with more than 15 military and veteran stakeholders to discuss the challenged faced by veteran and active duty servicemen and women and how the attorney general’s office can better assist them.
Some of the conversations centered on raising awareness for substance abuse, pointing veterans toward treatment courts, creating employer partnerships across the state to encourage the hiring veterans and active duty members and building a communication network to inform members of the military and veterans.
Rutledge also signed a Statement of Support for the National Guard and Army Reserve, which encourages the employment of guardsman and reservists across the state and in the Attorney General’s office.
KIAMICHI OWA-CHITO GOSPEL NIGHT 5/11/15
The 2015 Kiamichi Owa-Chito festival Gospel singing will be on Friday, June 19th, starting at 6 p.m. in the Beavers Bend State Park Amphitheatre. There will be four groups performing this year, including the Jerry Times Band, Red Roots, Victory Life of Broken Bow Praise Team and the featured group, Debra Black Ministry.
Debra Black grew up in a Christian home and her new single, "Bright," is an upbeat song that charges the believer to be a light in the darkness. Debra said her desire is to be a beacon of hope to people.
The Red Roots have a stage persona that's as fiery as their blazing red locks. These triplets, Nika, Natalie and Nicole will engage the crowd with their story through real life lyrics and rolling banjos intertwined with rocking guitars.
In 2012, the Red Roots were contestants on "The American Bible Challenge" which was hosted by Jeff Foxworthy and Kirk Franklin and earned $5,000 for their charity "The Home of Grace."
In 2014, the Red Roots released their third album and it was recently nominated for a Dove Award in the category of "Country Album of the Year."
RECORD NUMBER OF GRADUATES FOR UA COSSATOT 5/11/15
Dr. Steve Cole of UA Cossatot announced Thursday afternoon that the college's Board of Visitors approved the schools budget and calendar during their May meeting on May 4th.
Cole stated the board approved Cossatot's $10.1 million dollar budget which operates three campuses and they approved several changes to the college’s fee structure in an effort to save students money.
Cole said UA Cossatot will be changing their summer hours on May 18th.
Cole reported the Board approved a slight increase in the school's tuition but will save students money by using open resource materials instead of student purchasing textbooks for their classes.
LITTLE RIVER COUNTY RELAY FOR LIFE IS MAY 15 5/11/15
Linda Fielding of the Little River County Relay for Life announced Thursday morning that everyone is invited to their event on Friday, May 15th at the Ashdown High School track.
Fielding said everyone still has time to purchase a luminary in honor of or in memory of a loved one.
The Little River County Relay 4 Life event is Friday, May 15th at the Ashdown High School track beginning at 6 p.m.
Dierks Scholarship Banquet 5/11/15
1. Kaydra Ayers- Kaydra is an honor graduate and received the Academic Challenge Scholarship. She received the Board of Visitors Scholarship from CCCUA valued at tuition for one year, a $1000 scholarship from the Thornton/Chandler Scholarship Fund, a $100 scholarship from JoAnn Walters Elementary faculty and Shelter Insurance and local agent Mr Todd Moore are pleased to award Kaydra with a $2500 scholarship.
2. Skylar Baker- Skylar is Valedictorian of this year’s senior class and an honor graduate. She received the Academic Challenge Scholarship and she receives a $1000 Thornton Chandler Scholarship. Skyler also receives a $300 scholarship from Mr. Brandon Cogburn. Skylar has also been awarded a Ouachita Merit Scholarship valued at $8200 per year.
3. Dillon Bobo- Dillon is an honor graduate and received the Academic Challenge Scholarship. He also receives a Thornton/Chandler Scholarship valued at $1000 and a $100 scholarship from Melton and Linda Smith. Dillon has been awarded a top ten percent scholarship from SAU valued at $3300 per semester. He also qualified for a work study program valued at $4800 per year.
4. Breanna Bohon- Breanna received the Academic Challenge Scholarship and also receives a $100 scholarship from the DHS Scholarship Fund.
5. Brenda Bolanos- Brenda receives a $100 scholarship from the DHS Scholarship Fund.
6. Colton Colbey- Colton receives a $100 scholarship from the JoAnn Walters Elementary faculty.
7. Brittnee Dinger- Brittnee is eligible for the Academic Challenge Scholarship and she receives a $100 scholarship from York Gary Autoplex. Dinger has also been awarded a Blue & Gold Scholarship from SAU valued at $3300 per semester.
8. Caleb Dunn- Caleb received the Academic Challenge Scholarship. He also received a $100 scholarship from the DHS Scholarship Fund. Dunn has also been awarded a VA Chapter 35 Scholarship valued at $1000 per month. Mr. Scott Stapp presented Dunn with the Brian Stapp Memorial Scholarship, valued at $1000.
9. Dylan Fatherree- Dylan received the Academic Challenge Scholarship and also received a $100 scholarship from the DHS Scholarship fund.
10. Shelby Faulkner- Shelby received the Academic Challenge Scholarship and also the Quinn/Cumba Nursing Scholarship valued at $1000 per year for four years. She also received the Chip and Wayne Ward Memorial Scholarship valued at $500.
11. Michael Glasgow- Michael received the Academic Challenge Scholarship and also received a $100 scholarship from the DHS scholarship fund.
12. Derek Hill- Derek received the Academic Challenge Scholarship and the Flynn Justus Memorial Scholarship from Bear State Bank valued at $1000. Mr. Charles Jackson, National Director for Dixie Youth Baseball also presented Derek with a $2000 scholarship.
13. Kisha Isaacs- Kisha received a $100 scholarship from the DHS Scholarship fund.
14. Devyn Jones- Devyn received the Academic Challenge Scholarship and also received a $1000 scholarship from First State Bank of Dierks.
15. Jalen Key- Jalen received the Academic Challenge Scholarship. Rhonda Blanton of DeQueen Regional Medical Center also presented a $500 scholarship to Jalen.
16. Kaitlin Kitchens- Kaitlin is an honor graduate and received the Academic Challenge Scholarship. She also received the Bonnie Kirby Whitmore Memorial Scholarship valued at $1000, the FCCLA Scholarship valued at $750 and a Thornton/Chandler Scholarship valued at $1000. Kaitlin has also been awarded a Blue & Gold Scholarship from SAU valued at $3300 per semester.
17. Kyla Kompkoff- Kyla is an honor graduate and she received the Academic Challenge Scholarship. She received a $1000 Thornton/Chandler Scholarship and a $100 scholarship from the JoAnn Walters Elementary faculty. Kyla is also recognized as the Female winner of the Wendy’s High School Heisman for Dierks High School.
18. Brock McMillian- Brock received the Academic Challenge Scholarship and he receives a $500 scholarship from Suttle Equipment, Inc.
19. Layne McWhorter- Layne received the Academic Challenge Scholarship and he also received a $500 scholarship from Suttle Equipment, Inc.
20. Rachael Manasco- Rachael received the Academic Challenge Scholarship, the James Arnold Memorial Scholarship valued at $200 and a $100 scholarship from Nashville Coca Cola Bottling Company.
21. Marisa Marquez- Marisa received the Academic Challenge Scholarship and she also received a $100 scholarship from the DHS Scholarship fund.
22. Curtis Nutt- Curtis received the Academic Challenge Scholarship and he receives a $250 scholarship from DeQueen Auto Group.
23. Tyler Parker- Tyler is an honor graduate and he received the Academic Challenge Scholarship. He also receives a $1000 Thornton Chandler Scholarship. Tyler has also been awarded the Weevil Excellence Scholarship from the U of Ark at Monticello valued at $750 per semester for 8 semesters. Tyler has also been awarded a $3000 University Scholarship at UCA.
24. Marcus Parsons- Marcus receives a $200 scholarship from the Arkansas Order of the Eastern Star and a $100 scholarship from the elementary faculty.
25. Kelsey Pickett- Kelsey is an honor graduate and she received the Academic Challenge Scholarship. She receives a $1000 Thornton Chandler Scholarship, a $250 scholarship from Wilkerson Funeral Home and a $300 scholarship from UACCH. Kelsey has also been awarded an Honors Scholarship from UACCH valued at $2000 per year. Mr. Scott Stapp also presented the Brian Stapp Memorial Scholarship to Kelsey, valued at $1000.
26. Garrett Robertson- Garrett recieves a $100 scholarship from Mr. and Mrs. James White.
27. Hilda Sanchez- Hilda is an honor graduate and she received the Academic Challenge Scholarship. She receives a $1000 Thornton/Chandler Scholarship. Hilda has also been awarded a Commitment to Excellence Scholarship valued at $11000 per year.
28. Luke Tollett- Luke is Co-Salutatorian of this year’s senior class. He received the Academic Challenge Scholarship. Luke received a $500 scholarship from Howard Memorial Hospital and a $1000 Thornton/Chandler Scholarship. Luke has also been awarded a University Scholarship valued at $4500 per semester at Arkansas Tech and the Vann Kerns Memorial Scholarship valued at $750 per semester.
29. Adriana Walston- Adriana received the Academic Challenge Scholarship and she also received a $100 scholarship from the DHS Scholarship Fund.
30. Josh Welch- Josh is Co-Salutatorian of this year’s class. Josh has been awarded the Governor’s Distinguished Scholarship which includes a scholarship of $10000. He receives a $1000 Thornton/Chandler Scholarship, he also receives the Chip and Wayne Ward Memorial Scholarship valued at $500 and a $100 scholarship from the JoAnn Walters Elementary faculty.
31. Caleb White- Caleb receives a $100 scholarship from Mr. and Mrs. James White.
32. Lillie Woodruff- Lillie receives a $100 scholarship from the DHS Scholarship Fund.
Drew Walston Memorial Scholarship recipients of $750 included Layne McWhorter, Josh Welch, and Adriana Walston.
DEEPER THAN SKILLS FOOTBALL CAMP 5/11/15
De Queen High School graduate Greg 'Fatty' White announced this week that he will be hosting a Deeper than Skills Football Camp in June in the Herman Dierks Park for players entering 3rd-12th grade.
White also said several college players will speak to players during the camp and players will participate in Pro Day exercises.
White earned a full scholarship to the University of Missouri and graduated in the fall of 2013 and is currently working on a master’s in Human Performance Science.
The cost is $75 for one camper; $125 for two siblings and $175 for three siblings. Each camper will receive a free t-shirt if they register by May 22nd.
For more information, call White at 870-557-6051 or the De Queen Park and Recreation Department at 642-4140.
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