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TODAY'S NEWS:  

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Kennemore also has the Grand County born and bred heifer.

 

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

 

 

 

SMALL FIRE LEADS TO BIG ARREST        8/31/16

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Denton is currently free on bond.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Fathers to be and grandparents are encouraged to attend also.

 

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

 

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

 

 

 
 

 

 
This Week's News:

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

HORATIO LIONS HOMECOMING COURT 2016       8/30/16

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

SUSPECT PICKED UP ON A WARRANT         8/30/16

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

  

LABOR DAY 2016        8/30/16

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

2016 FOREMAN HOMECOMING ROYALTY       8/29/16

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

PROSTATE CANCER AWARENESS MONTH          8/29/16

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

SOUTHERN SPORTSMEN FOUNDATION BANQUET         8/29/16

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

2016 HOO RAH DAYS PAGEANT        8/26/16

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

CHANGES TO HUNTER EDUCATION CLASSES       8/26/16

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

  

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

  

 

AGFC SPONSORING QUAIL MANAGEMENT SEMINAR           8/25/16

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

  

COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK ACTIVITIES        8/25/16

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

  

CONSUMER ALERT: TELEVISION PACKAGE UPGRADES      8/25/16

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

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


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


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

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

 

  

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

  

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

  

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

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

Tatum explained the PSA test is a simple blood draw.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

MINERAL SPRINGS FILES CIRCUIT COURT APPEAL      8/22/16

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

PORTION OF ASHDOWN HARDWARE COLLAPSES          8/22/16

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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