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AREA SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS 9/18/14
Tuesday, a couple of Howard County school districts held school board elections.
In Dierks, Brad Garner defeated Barry Stuard for a position on the Dierks School Board by 93 votes and will be sworn-in prior to the October meeting of the Dierks Board of Education.
Stuard had served on the Dierks Board of Education since being appointed by the board in January of 2007. Stuard was appointed following the resignation of Mark Hooper.
Mineral Springs elected seven new board members after the state dissolved the district's school board in May of 2013 after the district was placed on the fiscal distress list for the 2012-2013 school year.
Former De Queen School District Superintendent Bill Blackwood served as the Mineral Springs School District interim superintendent until the state appointed Curtis Turner to be the new superintendent.
Turner is a native of Murfreesboro and served as the superintendent of the Delight, Murfreesboro, Glenwood/Centerpoint and Eureka Springs school districts before being appointed by Dr. Tom Kimbrell of the Arkansas Department of Education.
Sheila Jackson, Dorothy Vaughn, Zemeria Newton, Mike Erwin, Robert Hawkins, Sr., Jaimie Jackson and William Dixon will serve has the new members of the Mineral Springs Board of Education.
The Mineral Springs District was removed from the state's fiscal distress list in May of 2014.
ARREST MADE IN UMPRIE BREAK-IN 9/18/14
The Howard County Sheriff's Office made an arrest in connection with a residential burglary that was reported earlier this week near Umpire.
Monday, Kent Manely of Umpire reported that his home on Bethel Road had been broken into and some prescription medication had been taken.
After taking the report, Deputy Blake Eudy gathered some information that led to the arrest of 19-year-old Alex Sharp of Umpire.
Sharp is being charged with residential burglary and theft of property. His bond was set at $50,000.
BACKERS ASK COURT TO DISMISS ALCOHOL-SALES LAWSUIT 9/18/14
Backers of a measure that would legalize alcohol sales in all 75 Arkansas counties are asking the state's highest court to dismiss a lawsuit seeking to remove the proposal from the November ballot.
Representatives from Let Arkansas Decide filed court papers Tuesday seeking the dismissal of the suit that was filed earlier this month by Citizens for Local Rights. The opponents say petitions were due on the July Fourth holiday, which fell on a Friday.
Secretary of State Mark Martin's office accepted the petitions the next business day, or Monday, July 7th.
In the response that was filed Tuesday, backers of the proposed constitutional amendment say it's been the state's standard practice to push back a deadline if it falls on a holiday.
Oral arguments have been set for October 9th in the case.
CHEMICAL LEAK CONTAINED IN LITTLE RIVER COUNTY 9/18/14
A chlorine leak was contained Tuesday morning at the Millwood Treatment Plant near the Green Acres housing addition just south of Ashdown.
Little River County Emergency Management Coordinator Don Hale Jr. reported a one-ton cylinder valve broke off and released about 50 pounds of chlorine.
Hale explained that workers were replacing a valve when it broke.
The Ashdown Fire Department was notified at about 10:30 a.m. and placed on stand-by and four Ashdown firefighters were equipped with self-contained breathing apparatus to assist the treatment plant employees, if needed.
According to Hale, the plant was secured, and no evacuation was needed, however Ashdown officials were preparing to evacuate about 5 miles surrounding the plant if the leak had not been contained so quickly.
Chlorine is used in the water purification process from Millwood Lake. The plant provides water to the city of Texarkana and is apart of the Texarkana Water Utilities.
CORPS WAIVES DAY USE FEES IN HONOR OF PUBLIC LANDS DAY 9/18/14
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will be waiving the day use fees at its more than 2,200 operated recreational areas nationwide in recognition of National Public Lands Day on September 27th. On Saturday, September 27th, fees that are normally charged at boat ramps and swimming beaches will be waived.
The waiver does not apply to camping and camping-related services, or fees for specialized facilities such as group picnic shelters.
In recognition of National Public Lands Day, day user fees will be waived at DeGray, Greeson and Lake Ouachita.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been involved with National Public Lands Day since its inception in 1994 and has consistently been one of the event's largest providers of sites and volunteers. The corps manages 404 lake and river projects in 43 states.
The Vicksburg District, which includes Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi, includes 15 recreational sites and hosts approximately nine million visitors a year. It also employees nearly 2,700 people and impacts the local economies with approximately $200 million dollars annually.
HARVEST TEXARKANA REGIONAL FOOD BANK NEEDS YOUR VOTE 9/18/14
Harvest Texarkana Regional Food Bank is hoping the public can help them click their way to a grant from Wal-Mart by voting for them in the “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” initiative, a national campaign where money is awarded to the food bank that gets the most votes for their programs that help alleviate hunger.
The public will decide which organizations will receive the grant through a voting campaign at walmart.com/fighthunger that includes more than 200 different hunger relief organizations from across the country. The more votes a Feeding America food bank gets, the better the chances they have to winning the money. The funds that are won will be used to support local hunger relief programs.
Camille Parker is the executive director of Harvest Texarkana and she said the food bank is in the running for $45,000, which will be used to purchase freezer and refrigeration space.
She explained that if Harvest Texarkana wins, $15,000 will be given to five of their partner agencies, which will help both the food bank and the community, but they need everyone to go online and vote as often as they can.
The public will be able to vote on their favorite food bank starting at midnight on September 15th through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, October 5th at walmart.com/fighthunger. Visitors to the page can award one vote a day to their favorite program. At the conclusion of the voting, 50 food banks with the most votes will split $3 million dollars in funding from Wal-Mart.
Funding for hunger relief programs is especially critical given the significant need that exists. According to the USDA, over 49 million people in the United States struggle with hunger. In Harvest Texarkana’s service area, there are an estimated 52,000 individuals, including 17,000 children, who struggle with hunger.
For more information and to vote daily for Harvest Texarkana Regional Food Bank, please go to facebook.com/harvesttxk.
ROSS' VISION ON TAXES AND JOB CREATION 9/18/14
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Ross acknowledges the importance of cutting the state's income but stated he plans to cut other taxes as well and he explained that by cutting taxes, he hopes to create more jobs in Arkansas.
Ross stated if the state wants to move forward differences of opinions must be put aside and do what is good for the state of Arkansas and its citizens.
ASHDOWN SHOOTING SPORTS TRAP TEAM 09/18/14
The five members of the Ashdown Shooting Sports Trap Team were treated to a special dove hunt near Dumas on September 8-9 by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, in honor of their State Championship at the 2014 Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports Program Tournament .
Logan Henry, Jordan Cowling, Jon Michael Molock, Trevor Myers, and Alex Simmons are all part of the winning team from the Ashdown Junior High Shooting Sports Program in June.
Chuck Woodson, AYSSP State Coordinator at the Education & Outreach Division of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, invited the young sportsmen and stated that he, along with the AGFC Commissioners and several of the AGFC Administration, "will do our best to make it a day they will cherish and hold in their memory bank for a long time."
All who attended agree that it was indeed a great hunt, with just under 300 doves harvested between students, coaches, and AGFC personnel. Other students who hunted were the high school champion trap team from Greenwood. Accompanying the Ashdown team were coaches Mike Molock and Ray Henry and school team sponsor Terry Simmons.Pictured after the hunt are Ashdown Trap Team members (front - l to r) Trevor Myers, Jordan Cowling, (back) Jon Michael Molock, Logan Henry, and Alex Simmons.
SEARCH LEDS TO CITATION FOR POSSESSION 9/17/14
Monday night about 11 p.m., Sevier County Deputies Greg Davignon and Matt Webb were patrolling in the Horatio area when they observed a maroon colored Kia without working taillights.
Deputies stopped the vehicle to inform the driver that their taillights weren't working, but when they approached the driver's side, they could smell alcohol coming from inside the vehicle.
The driver, 31-year-old Daniel Garza of Eagletown, Oklahoma passed a series of field sobriety test.
Deputies asked Garza if he had any weapons on him and he gave them permission to search him. Deputy Davignon discovered a plastic bag containing suspected marijuana.
According to the report, Garza admitted that he had some pot and was citied for possession of a controlled substance, marijuana.
ROSS SEEKS TO CONTINUE STATE'S HISTORY OF FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY 9/17/14
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Ross announced that he believes Arkansas can cut taxes, while maintaining fiscal responsibility.
Ross explained that Arkansas taxes are too high and something needs to be done for the state's working families.
Ross said state leaders need to conduct business; the same way Arkansas families and small businesses are forced to conduct theirs.
Ross stated that if elected he will continue to uphold the state's history of fiscal responsibility and work to maintain the a balanced budget.
INSTRUMENT OF CRIME DISCOVERED DURING TRAFFIC STOP 9/17/14
Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Greg Davignon observed a red Nissan drive left of the center line on a couple occasions Monday night about 10 p.m. near Horatio.
The driver, 20-year-old Dewayne Chaney, informed the deputy that he had some slack in his front end of the vehicle and that caused him to drive left of center.
After receiving permission to search the vehicle, Deputy Davignon discovered a metal smoking pipe in the passenger side door panel.
Chaney reportedly admitted the pipe was his and that he was growing marijuana at his home.
He was citied for possession of an instrument of crime that's drug related.
FALL FESTIVAL AT CRATER OF DIAMOND STATE PARK 9/17/14
This October, the Crater of Diamonds State Park will be dressed up to celebrate fall during their Fall Festival. From 3 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, October 11th, the park will be hosting a family-friendly event and the cost is just $4.
The entrance fee pays for a wrist ticket to the state park grounds, which will be turned into an old fashioned carnival of fun. Attractions will include carnival games for all ages, food, craft vendors, live music, including a karaoke contest and bounce attractions and finally a spooky hayride.
Games will test the skills of children of all ages, like a golf putting green, go fish and a treasure box.
Ten game tickets come with the $4 admission price and additional game tickets for 50 cents each or 12 for $5.
The bounce attractions will include a 30-foot obstacle course for the older children and a 5-in-1 Sponge Bob bounce house for younger children.
KMTB’s Jonathan Canaday and a local musical group will perform throughout the evening. At 5:30 p.m. Canaday will host the karaoke contest. To perform your favorite song, contact Canaday at 1-800-295-2995 or 870-845-3601.
There will also be craft and food vendor booths. If you would like to reserve a booth call Debbie Wright at 870-285-3113. If you sign up by the end of September, the booth fee will be $20, after September 30th, the fee will be $25. This year, the booths will be under a circus tent with lighting.
The hayride will be from 7 to 9 and will circle around the campground. Campers will be invited to decorate their campsites and the park staff will add some spooky features to make the ride fun.
For more information about the Fall Festival at the Crater of Diamonds State Park, call 870-285-3113.
DIERKS SCHOOL BOARD CONSIDERS PAYING TEACHERS BONUS FOR ATTENDANCE 9/17/14
Monday night during the September meeting of the Dierks Board of Education, board members heard a recommendation from the district's certified personnel policy committee concerning a teacher attendance bonus policy.
Committee Chairperson Crystal Smith presented the board with the committee’s recommendation that stated teachers would be paid a bonus twice a year for their attendance.
Smith said the committee was recommending paying teachers a $500 bonus for not missing any days of class down to $200 for missing only two days of class per semester.
Board members tabled the recommendation so they could review the amount that the district has spent on substitutes over the past five years.
Superintendent Holly Cothern informed KDQN that the policy is to help encourage teachers to remain in the classrooms.
Cothern informed the board that staff members were still training when it comes to the new website and programs that the state is requiring districts to use this year.
Cothern reported the district will receive a District Level Accreditation plaque and award during the Advanc-ED Awards Luncheon on September 24th.
High School Principal Jody Cowart reported that teachers were using sample items from the internet to help with the schools PARCC assessments and teachers had expanded the schools FBLA and created a Health Club for students.
Cothern encouraged board members to review the district's new website at dierksschools.org and Cowart mentioned that parents also have access to their children's grades online through the Home Access Center.
Cothern reported the final issue is being resolved concerning the district's new shelter building and that new heating and cooling units were being installed at the elementary gym. She also informed the board that the district would be paying off a bus this year, which would free up some extra funds for the 2015-2016 school year.
2014 CONSERVING OUT PASTURES WORKSHOP 9/17/14
Landowners and Livestock Producers interested in cost-share programs and best management practices are encouraged to attend the 2014 Conserving our Pastures Workshop.
The workshop will be held on September 23rd at the University of Arkansas Research and Extension Center in Hope, starting at 10 a.m and running until 12:30. Lunch will be provided following the informative session.
Natural resource professionals with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Natural Resource Conservation Service and Arkansas Natural Resource Commission will discuss management of grazing lands including rotational grazing, alternative water sources and stream side fencing.
Presenters will also tie these practices into available cost-share programs and provide information on how to obtain cost-share if desired.
Jeff Taverner with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission says they have tried to set up a program that will cover nearly all financial incentive programs that are available. He said if you are a cattle producer, they will demonstrate how you can improve your bottom line while improving water quality.
Taverner said these programs can help prevent severe erosion from stream banks as well as provide a source of fresh clean water for livestock.
To RSVP call 870-777-9702 ext. 100, the RSVP is encouraged so they can estimate the number meals to provide, but for more information call Mike Budd at 870-473-2869.
25 ARKANSAS COUNTIES UNDER FIREWOOD QUARANTINE 9/17/14
The Arkansas State Plant Board has implemented an emergency quarantine on certain types of wood in 25 counties to help slow the spread of an invasive beetle.
Residents in the affected counties area asked to not move firewood and wood from ash trees out of the county in hopes of slowing the spread of the emerald ash borer.
The beetle was first discovered in Michigan and is blamed for killing millions of ash trees in the United States and Canada.
So far, the emerald ash borer has been confirmed in Clark, Columbia, Dallas, Hot Spring, Nevada and Ouachita counties. Other counties included in the quarantine are: Ashley, Bradley, Calhoun, Cleveland, Drew, Garland, Grant, Hempstead, Howard, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lincoln, Little River, Miller, Montgomery, Pike, Saline, Sevier and Union counties.
ARKANSAS ATTORNEY GENERAL ASKS COURT TO UPHOLD GAY MARRIAGE BAN 9/17/14
The attorney general’s office is asking the Arkansas Supreme Court to uphold the state’s gay marriage ban, arguing a county judge was wrong to say it violated the state and U.S. constitution.
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel’s office asked justices to uphold the 2004 constitutional amendment and an earlier state law defining marriage as between a man and a woman on Monday. Pulaski County Judge Chris Piazza struck down the ban earlier this year, and 541 same-sex couples were married before the ruling was suspended by the state Supreme Court pending appeals.
McDaniel’s office argued that a constitutional amendment cannot be ruled unconstitutional, and is arguing the state’s voters have the right to define marriage.
A group of same-sex couples is also challenging the ban in federal court.
LOCKESBURG CITY COUNCIL APPROVES MILLAGE RATES 9/16/14
During the September meeting of the Lockesburg City Council, aldermen approved a resolution levying the millage rates on taxable property within the Lockesburg city limits.
City Attorney Erin Hunter also read an ordinance calling for an election on the question of levying a three-quarter of one percent sales and use tax within the city of Lockesburg. The ordinance was passed on August 20th and residents will vote on the sales tax ordinance during the November General Election.
According to the ordinance, one-quarter of a percent will be designated for capital improvements on the Lockesburg campus of UA Cossatot, which plans to renovate the old Lockesburg High School campus, so they can start offering classes in Lockesburg.
The UA Cossatot one-quarter cent sales tax will also have a sundowner clause of 10-years.
The other two-quarters will be used for general improvements within the city.
Aldermen accepted a bid from Diamond Lawn Care in the amount of $85 dollars twice a month for maintaining the Coulter Memorial Cemetery.
Aldermen also approved five building permits. One was for the construction of a porch on an existing residence. The other four were for the set up of mobile homes.
This Week's News:
IVAN SMITH BUILDING CATCHES FIRE FRIDAY NIGHT 9/16/14
Firemen from several area departments spent several hours Friday night and into early Saturday morning battling a blaze at the Southwest Ivan Smith Furniture Store on North Main Street in Nashville.
Nashville firemen were dispatched at 9 Friday night, when police officers reported flames shooting through the store's roof.
Fire Chief Jerry Harwell says the fire started in the attic of the second floor in the south end of the building. An approximately 18 inch firewall separated the south section of the store from the middle section of the building. The center section of the building received light smoke and water damage, and the North section of the building received little to no smoke damage.
Store Manager Wanda Carter says plans are to move into the former Charlie's Thriftway location on a temporary basis while cleanup efforts are ongoing.
In addition to Nashville, departments from Mineral Springs, Center Point, County Line, Yancey, Bingen, and Nathan also assisted in extinguishing the blaze.
Courtesy of Jonathan Canaday of KMTB 99.5
COTTON'S STAFF TO HOLD VA ASSISTANCE SESSIONS 9/16/14
Staff members from the office of Fourth Congressional District U.S. Representative Tom Cotton will conduct three veterans’ assistance sessions on September 23rd in our listening area.
Staff members will be available to provide information and answer questions about Veterans Administration related issues.
Staff members will be at the Dierks Community Building on Second Street in Dierks from 9 to 10:30 a.m.; in the Sevier County Courthouse conference room in De Queen from 12:30 to 2 p.m.; and in the small courtroom of the Little River County Courthouse from 3 to 4:30 p.m.
DRIVER CITIED FOR LEAVING SCENE OF ACCIDENT 9/16/14
About 4:30 Sunday morning, Patrolman First Class Wayne Baker observed a pickup traveling South on Homesite Lane and veer off the roadway on the right side of the street before turning East on Collin Raye Drive where it merged into the inside lane.
When Officer Baker approached the truck, he observed an open bottle of Corona and asked the driver to exit the truck. The driver was identified as 40-year-old Miriam Ruiz of De Queen.
While Officer Baker was conducting a series of field sobriety tests, Officer Levi Browning was dispatched to 218 Wanda Street in reference to some damage to a mailbox and potted plant.
After being informed about the property damage, Officer Baker observed some damage to the driver's side of Ruiz's truck and a large amount of potting soil at the base of the windshield.
When asked if she had hit a mailbox, Ruiz reportedly stated that she had.
Ruiz was placed into custody and citied for leaving the scene of a property damage accident, driving while intoxicated, for not having a driver's license and no proof of insurance.
HELP PREVENT PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE 9/16/14
Prescription drug abuse and misuse is growing at such at such an alarming rate that drug overdoses have eclipsed motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of accidental death in the United States.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of all drug overdose deaths are caused by pharmaceuticals, such as prescription pain relievers. The problem of prescription drug abuse is particularly critical in Arkansas, which has led the nation in the abuse of prescription drugs by teenagers.
That’s why Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has partnered with other agencies to host this week’s Arkansas Prescription Drug Abuse Summit. More than 650 participants including medical professionals, law enforcement officials and educators attended the summit to hear from national experts on the best ways to prevent prescription drug abuse and provide treatment to those who need it.
The third annual summit came just days before the Ninth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, which is scheduled for Saturday, September 27th. McDaniel issued this consumer alert today to promote awareness of this issue and encourage Arkansas consumers to participate in the September 27th take-back effort.
McDaniel announced that prescription drug abuse epidemic touches all our lives, as it’s likely that everyone knows a friend or family member who has been addicted to prescription medication. He said because it affects everyone, it will take everyone to solve the problem, whether it’s the physician who heard about an innovative and more appropriate way to treat a patient, or a consumer who merely takes the time to safely discard unwanted pills.
Since the national take-back initiative began in 2010, Arkansans have safely and securely disposed of 52 tons of pills, and Arkansas is one of the leading states for participation in the program.
Secure take-back locations will be available to consumers statewide from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on September 27th. For consumers who are unable to dispose of their unused and unwanted pills on September 27th, there is a permanent disposal site at the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office.
In addition, pharmacies and other medical facilities will be allowed to register as a collection site under the new Drug Enforcement Administration guidelines that take effect on October 9th.
Disposing of drugs at the take-back sites help keep medications out of the hands of potential abusers, and it also benefits the environment. Throwing pills away or flushing them down the toilet poses significant health and safety risks.
McDaniel urged consumers to help prevent prescription drug abuse by keeping these tips in mind:
You should monitor every prescription. You should take note of how many pills are in each bottle and keep track of refills.
Secure all medications, even over-the-counter drugs, in locations that are inaccessible to children, teenagers or potential abusers because the leading source of prescription drugs taken for non-medical use is the medicine cabinet of a friend or family member.
You should also dispose of expired, unused or unwanted prescription drugs promptly at collection sites sponsored by law enforcement agencies.
You should also prevent unauthorized refills by removing personal, identifying information from pill bottles or packaging before disposal.
For more information about prescription drug abuse or misuse, contact the Health Care Bureau of McDaniel’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-482-8982 or visit the website www.gotyourbackarkansas.org.
NEWS FROM THE DE QUEEN SCHOOL DISTRICT 9/16/14
Tammy Whatley of the De Queen School District announced that the district is holding a school spirit competition on the Middle School campus, a parents meeting Tuesday night and that several students are participating in the Four States Fair in Texarkana this week.
Whatley stated that parents are invited to help the Middle School students create a poster that shows their school spirit each week. The competition will be between students in the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth grades and is being called Hall Wars.
Each grade has a theme.
The theme for the eighth and ninth grades is Black and Gold. The seventh grade theme is Teenage Mutant Ninja Cubs and the sixth grade theme is Super Cubs and parents are invited to help decorate the hall walls on Wednesday after school.
She also mentioned that the Middle School ranks in the top 20 for their Math benchmark scores.
Tuesday night at 5:30 p.m., thee district's English as a Second Language teachers will be hosting a parent's meeting and Whatley commended the ESL parents for supporting the program.
Whatley stated that when she gets the results from the Four State's Fair, she will pass those along to our listeners. She even mentioned that the district purchased a used Duramax Diesel truck to the Vo-Ag department to help transport student's livestock to fairs across the state.
For more information about events that are taking place on the campuses of the De Queen School District, you can visit their website at dequeenleopards.org.
WANTING TO LOSE SOME WEIGHT; JOIN ML2 9/16/14
Angie Ragan of the Wellness Center in De Queen recently started holding free meetings for people who want to lose weight by changing their eating habits and learn how to develop a healthy lifestyle.
Ragan stated that she doesn't recommend fad diets or diet pills because they make work in the short term, but it won't change the habits that caused you to gain weight in the first place.
Ragan also prepares healthy snacks and recipes that participates may not try on their own.
Ragan explained that the class is free and anyone can participate. For more information call the Wellness Center at 642-4000 and ask for Angie.
SEVIER COUNTY LAND AUCTION NETS $1,207 9/15/14
The recent auction of tax-delinquent properties in Sevier County collected almost $5,000 for county and state government, according to the office of the Commissioner of State Lands.
The Land Commissioner’s office conducted the auction of delinquent properties recently at the Sevier County Courthouse. A single bidder purchased both parcels that were being offered, for a total of $1,207.59 in revenue for Sevier County and state government.
The Land Commissioner’s office conducts one tax-delinquent land sale per county each year to dispose of land on which the taxes have been past due for over two years.
Commission John Thurston said a small percentage of certified parcels make it to public auction because a majority of the properties that are certified to his office is redeemed, which means the back taxes are paid by the original owner.
While redemption of property is the preferred method of disposing of tax-delinquent lands, Thurston notes the important role of land sales in returning inactive parcels to the tax rolls.
Registered bidders may purchase land at the auctions. Registration to bid at land sales is free. Upon the sale of tax-delinquent property, the Commissioner issues a limited warranty deed to the highest bidder.
Thurston’s office returns delinquent tax and interest collected, whether through redemption or sale, to the county taxing unit just as if the money had been originally collected there.
Thurston said his office returned over $21 million dollars to school districts and county governments in 2013. Of that, Sevier County received $26,123.68, which ensures stable revenue for local public schools.
If you are interested in public auctions, residents may contact the State Land Office by phone at 501-324-9422, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to subscribe to the Catalog of Tax Delinquent Lands, a free quarterly publication listing all parcels that are being offered for sale at auction.
LEWIS REFUSES PLEA BARGAIN; TRIAL SET FOR NOVEMBER 9/15/14
Last week, Prosecuting Attorney Brian Chesshir offered 43-year-old Edmond Lewis a plea deal in which Lewis would have served 75 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections.
Lewis refused Chesshir's offer and will face a jury in November on 22 counts, which will be enhanced for being a habitual offender because he has been convicted of four or more other felonies in the Sevier County Circuit Court.
Lewis has been charged with breaking and entering and theft of property for allegedly breaking into a storage building that was owned Tommy Drummond and taking some property that was valued at $1,000 or less.
Lewis allegedly also committed the offense of residential burglary on or about December 16th when he broke into the home of Rodney Richardson Sr. and a building that belonged to Vera Blalock. He also has been accused of breaking into a commercial building that belonged to the Corp of Engineers of Dierks Lake.
Lewis has been charged with three counts of theft of property in connection with the previous offenses.
Lewis is also being charged with residential burglary and commercial burglary for breaking into the home of John Paul Johnson and the Old Union Church on or about February 15th, along with two counts of theft of property.
Lewis is being charged with attempted arson for tampering with a gas line with the purpose to cause a fire or explosion at the First Baptist Church in De Queen on February 20th.
Lewis is being accused of breaking into a commercial building on Benito's Car Lot and the Cornerstone Monuments, along with the First Baptist Church of De Queen along with three counts of theft of property on February 20th.
Lewis has also been charged with criminal use of a prohibited weapon and possession of a firearm by a certain person.
If convicted and sentenced to the maximum amount of jail time, Lewis could be sentenced to 465 years in prison.
IT'S CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS MONTH 9/15/14
De Queen head football Coach Justin Kramer and the De Queen Leopards are wearing gold ribbons on their helmets this month to draw attention to the fact that September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
Coach Kramer stated childhood cancer month is important to him and his family because his daughter was diagnosed with cancer when she was just two and half years old.
Coach Kramer explained that everyone knows October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but we need to realize that cancer is the number killer of young people under the age of 20.
Coach Kramer said it amazes him that when he tells someone that September is childhood cancer awareness month that they don't already know.
Coach Kramer wants to encourage people to become more aware of childhood cancer and realize that there is more than one form of cancer that children suffer from.
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month's theme is 46/7 and Kramer explained that 46 children are diagnosed with cancer everyday and of that 46, seven will not survive.
Coach Kramer explained that people would be moved to help find a cure of childhood cancers if they stopped to compare their childhood memories with those of a child that's battled cancer.
Kramer stated that only four percent of the funds allotted for cancer research is designated for childhood cancers and the survival rate has improved over the past several years, but if researchers had more money they could save more kids.
So, for the remainder of the month the Morning Brew Crew will be collecting donations for childhood cancer research. You may donate at the station or at the De Queen Leopard parking lot pep rally. Let's not only root the Leopards on to victory, but let support this children who can't beat cancer alone.
DIERKS MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO THEFT 9/15/14
A Dierks man has plead guilty to theft by receiving this week in the Little River County Circuit Court.
36-year-old Gregory Boeckman was charged after police began investigating the theft of a John Deere tractor and baler from Nevada County on May 24th in 2013.
The tractor was later recovered in Sevier County and the baler was found in Howard County.
Boeckman was arrested in February and was sentenced to five years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections.
CRATER OF DIAMONDS TO HOST WIRE WRAP JEWELRY WORKSHOP 9/15/14
The Crater of Diamonds State Park will be hosting a jewelry-making workshop on Saturday, September 20th from 1:30 to 4 p.m. for individuals, ages 13 and up for people who are interested in learning the art of freeform wire wrapping.
This easy and beautiful method of jewelry-making requires only a few tools. The most important tools are the hands and imagination.
Many types of stones can be used, including several that are found at the Crater. And since there are no strict patterns or guidelines to follow, freeform artisans are free to create a variety of styles.
The workshop will begin with a discussion of basic tools and materials used in wire wrapping and the freeform method, in particular. Participants will then try their hands at freeform wrapping, using copper practice wire and polished Crater jasper or agate.
This year participants will also have a chance to add colorful jasper bead accents to their design and in addition, each participant will receive a wire wrapping kit, including wire, pliers, and instructions to get started in this fun craft.
Cost of the workshop is $20 per person, including a $10 registration fee that is due by September 17. The remaining $10 will be due on the day of the workshop and space is limited to eight participants, with a minimum of three.
For more information or to make a reservation, call the Crater of Diamonds State Park at 870-285-3116 by Wednesday, September 17th.
ARKANSAS SCHOLARSHIP LOTTERY PROVIDES SCHOLARSHIPS TO 36,000 STUDENTS 9/15/14
With over 36,000 Arkansas students awarded Arkansas's lottery-funded Academic Challenge Scholarships to attend the state's public and private colleges and universities this year, the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery transferred $40 million dollars to the Arkansas Department of Higher Education to cover the Fall Semester's scholarships.
Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Director Bishop Woosley stated this is like their big harvest. He said it was always a big day when they turn $40 million dollars into real opportunities for Arkansas students.
Woosley stated that many students would not be able to attend college without the Academic Challenge Scholarship and they would then be forced to put off their dream of success indefinitely. He explained that a college education is like currency on the world's new economy and everyone at the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery is excited to be helping students compete in that new global economy.
The Arkansas Lottery was approved in 2008 by Arkansas voters and has raised over $452 million dollars for scholarships for over 160,000 students.
RAYFIELD NAMED AS GRAND MARSHALL OF 2014 AHS HOMECOMING PARADE 09/15/14
Long-time educator Shirley Rayfield has been named as the Grand Marshall of the 2014 Ashdown High School Homecoming parade to begin at approximately 2:00 on Friday, Sept. 26. Rayfield will also crown the 2014 Homecoming Queen at coronation ceremonies at 6:45 prior to the 7:30 kick-off of the Ashdown vs Mena Homecoming football game that evening.
Rayfield has 31 years experience as an educator before retiring in 2003. After receiving her B.S.E. from ETSU-Texarkana (presently TAMU-Texarkana) , she worked first as an elementary math teacher in Nash, Texas, and then began her teaching career in Ashdown with four years at kindergarten, eight years at second grade, and finally fifteen years as an administrator for grades K-4. Between her teaching years and her administrative years, Rayfield also served as a Reading Specialist for the Arkansas Department of Education for a year and for the DeQueen-Mena Education Cooperative for two years.
During those working years, Rayfield also earned a kindergarten certification, a Master's degree in reading K-12, and an administrator's certification from TAMU-Texarkana.
Rayfield comments that she "loved every day in school and, if I had it to do over, I would do exactly the same thing." She also states that what she misses most is knowing all the children in town. "I love when they come up," she says, "and ask if I remember them."
Rayfield's children Tommy Jr., Brent, and Callie Jo are all graduates of Ashdown High School. Callie Jo continues her mother's calling as an educator by serving as an elementary school principal in Arkadelphia, and Rayfield's daughter-in-law Quincey is the counselor at Ashdown High School. Rayfield also has another daughter-in-law Mary and seven grandchildren .
AHS HOMECOMING 2014 THEME "BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS!" 09/15/14
Ashdown High School is stirring with excitement about Homecoming 2014, which is themed "Breakfast of Champions!" for this year's activities, with each class choosing a cereal brand to incorporate into their float and banner designs. The entire week of Sept. 22-26 is filled with opportunities for students and the community to show their spirit and support of Ashdown High School and the AHS Panthers, leading up to the Homecoming football contest with the Mena Bearcats on Friday, Sept. 26.
Spirit Dress-Up Days for all Ashdown students gives everyone a chance to participate in competition. Monday, Sept. 22 is Makin' It Maui Monday (Beach Day); Tuesday the 23th is Turn Your Swag On Tuesday (Dress your best!). Represent your class with color on Color War Wednesday -- Seniors wear red, Juniors - blue, Sophomores - green, and Freshmen - orange. Thursday is Throwback Thursday - 70s style! Friday, Sept. 26, of course, is Flaunt Your Fan Style; wear Purple and Gold! The journalism staff is awarding prizes for the best-dressed students each day.
In addition to Spirit Dress-Up Days, classes also will challenge each other in competitions throughout the week. Each will create and display a banner in the cafeteria, play against each other in the annual Powder Puff games on Tuesday night, participate in a canned food drive for the local DHS food bank, and enter a float in the Homecoming Parade on Friday afternoon.
The Tuesday Night Lights Powder Puff games on Tuesday, beginning at 6:30 in Dick Hays Stadium, are sponsored by the AHS Student Council, and because it is the only fundraiser for the StuCo, every attendee, including participants, will pay a $3 entry charge. The competition is fierce between the teams, and the Powder Puff "cheer-guys" are always entertaining. The public is encouraged to attend and enjoy.
AHS students invite everyone to kick up the spirit and be part of the fun and excitement leading up to Homecoming night in Dick Hays Stadium. Ashdown schools will dismiss at noon on Friday, Sept. 26 so that everyone is free to attend a public pep rally at 1:00 in the stadium, when the Homecoming Court and Senior Panthers will be introduced. The parade through downtown will follow immediately. Coronation of the 2014 Homecoming Queen will be at 7:00, and the Ashdown-Mena game will kick off at 7:30.
Homecoming is principally a time for AHS alumni to reunite and celebrate. This year, classes that end in "4" will be recognized at all of the public events, and each is encouraged to enter a float in the parade on Friday afternoon, tailgate in the alumni facilities adjacent to the football field, sit together during the Homecoming game, and then attend the Alumni Banquet on Saturday evening, Sept. 27 in the AHS cafeteria. For further information about any of these opportunities, the high school office phone number is 870-898-3562.
UA COSSATOT COLLEGIATE FFA GUN RAFFLE 09/12/14
UA Cossatot Collegiate FFA chapter is holding a gun raffle. Chapter members are selling tickets until October 27th. The money raised will help send the students to Arkansas State Fair and National FFA Convention, as well as fund the FFA contest they hold every spring. Tickets will be drawn and ten different guns will be awarded. Drawing will be held Monday, October 27th during the UA Cossatot Collegiate FFA Chili Supper which will be held at 6:00 pm in the Adams Building on the De Queen Campus. Free admission to the chili supper with a raffle ticket. Raffle tickets are $20 each and only 500 tickets will be sold. Winner need not be present to win.For more information contact Kelli Harris, UA Cossatot FFA Advisor at email@example.com or (870) 584-4471, ext 1218.
TO BENEFIT HOWARD COUNTY MUSEUM 9/12/14
COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK 9/12/14
Cossatot River State Park will be hosting a Dutch Oven cooking workshop this Saturday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Park staff members will teach guests the history of Dutch oven cooking along with techniques for cooking in a Dutch oven. Participates will receive a 4-quart Dutch oven and a cookbook full of recipes.
Park interpreters will prepare a couple of entrees and desserts.
Cost is $50 per person if you want to receive the cast iron cookware or $15 per person if you just want to enjoy the meal. Reservations are required and space is limited. You may contact the park office for more information or to register at 385-2201.
On Sunday, Park Interpreter Shelly Flanary will lead an animal hike along the Cossatot River in an attempt to discover what animal life may be stirring around at 9 in the morning.
Flanary recommends that everyone wear appropriate shoes, dress for the weather and bring a couple bottles of water.
At 2 p.m. guests are invited to help feed the park critters and at 3:15, a park interpreter will give a lecture about how you can land a trophy buck this deer season.
For more information about the programs at the Cossatot River State Park, call 385-2201.
DIERKS MAYOR REPORTS CITY SEEKING HEALTH CARE PROVIDER 9/12/14
Dierks Mayor Terry Mounts reported that the Dierks City Council had a short but productive meeting this week.
Mayor Mounts stated that he and several other community leaders met with the owner of Healthy Connections of Mena to discuss the possibility of them opening a clinic in Dierks.
Mounts stated the city was out of compliance with the Arkansas Department of Health on its waste water system, but they were making an effort to resolve those issues.
Last month, Mounts reported that he had been receiving complaints about four-wheelers being operated in an unsafe manner, as well as, property owners needing to clean up their property, but residents are making efforts to clean their properties and Mounts said that he has not heard anymore complaints about the four-wheelers since the police starting speaking with riders.
Mounts stated that he was informed that Weyerhaeuser should begin renovating the Dierks Mill by 2015 after their permits are approved.
Weyerhaeuser spokeswoman Nancy Thompson stated they will be renovating the Dierks Mill in phases, but reiterated that work will not be impeded by the new construction work.
FLASH FLOODING IN AREA 9/12/14
Several streets and roads were under water this morning due to the amount of rain that fell in the area Thursday morning.
A spokesperson for the Sevier County Sheriff's office reported that they had received several calls from motorists that had stalled out in water that was running across streets. She also reported that the outside lane of Collin Raye Drive had running water in it and was recommending that drivers use caution.
Sevier County Judge Greg Ray reported that county workers were hauling slate to Robinson Loop because water had cut the road and made it impassable this morning.
He stated county crews were driving the roads and reported that water was over the roadway in several locations, but he expected the water to recede shortly have the rains stops falling.
Here at your number one country studios, we received over 3 inches of rain in about 3 hours.
Judge Ray also wanted to remind drivers that they should not drive into water that is running across the highway because according to one website, it only take 4 to 6 inches to sweep a vehicle off the roadway.
ROCK FOR A
THASSA LOTTA WATTA! 09/12/14
Number One Country's official rain gauge registered 5.95" of rain that fell on Thursday. Creeks and rivers were overflowing their banks. Roads and streets were washing away. Thankfully, the heavy rain slacked off around noon and gave Mother Nature the time needed to take care of the run-off.
COUPLE OF MINORS INVOLVED IN ACCIDENT 9/11/14
About 10:30, Tuesday morning, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Chris Wolcott was dispatched to a single vehicle accident on Westline Road about five miles West of Horatio.
When Wolcott arrived he was informed that a 15-year-old minor had been involved in an accident along with a minor passenger.
According to the report, the driver was traveling along a dirt road when a deer ran out in front of his 1993 GMC pickup. He stated he hit the brakes, which caused him to lose control of the vehicle.
Wolcott reported that there were skid marks on the road that measured about 150 feet, before the pickup left the roadway. The truck knocked down about 30 feet of fencing before skidding another 75 feet prior to hitting an electric pole.
The two minors were transported to the De Queen Regional Medical Center by Southwest EMS for treatment.
DE QUEEN BOARD APPROVES RESOLUTION CONCERNING LOCKESBURG HIGH SCHOOL CAMPUS 9/11/14
Members of the De Queen Board of Education voted to approve an amendment to a resolution concerning changes that may be made to the Lockesburg High School campus.
UA Cossatot Vice-Chancellor Dr. Maria Parker explained that the amendment also provided the De Queen School District the right of first refusal if Cossatot does not use the property for educational purposes.
Dr. Parker also informed KDQN that there was no start date for making improvements to the Lockesburg campus because Cossatot currently does not have any funding to make any improvements.
De Queen Superintendent Bruce Hill reported that the district had a hearing scheduled for September 24th with the state's facilities committee concerning the district's appeal on the district's request to build a new high school.
Hill stated the renovations on the old elementary are about 99 percent complete, but no work has been done on the new flooring in the junior high building. He said there has been no visible change to the floor, but a door had to be cut off on the second floor and he will be consulting with the contractor to have them re-check the floor.
Board members accepted the transfer of five students from the Horatio School District to the De Queen School District, while approving the transfer of three students from De Queen to Horatio.
GOVERNOR RE-APPOINTS LOCKESBURG RESIDENT TO STATE BOARD 9/11/14
Earlier this week, Governor Mike Beebe announced 58 appointments to state board and commissions, including the re-appointment of Bruce Jackson to the Arkansas Agriculture Board.
Jackson explained to KDQN that the agriculture board helps advise the Arkansas Department of Agriculture on issues that are of importance to Arkansas farmers and ranchers.
Jackson said this will be his second term on the board and they meet once a quarter in Little Rock. He stated he represents the contract poultry growers on the board.
Jackson said that he has helped clarify some wording in some recommendations that were sent to the USDA, but expects the board will be consulted during the upcoming legislative session.
Jackson's appointment will expire August 15th, 2018.
PICKED UP ON WARRANT, BUT CHARGED WITH FELONY POSSESSION OF PARAPHERNALIA 9/11/14
On Saturday, September 6th, Patrolman First Class Levi Browning of the De Queen Police Department approached a white Tahoe that was in the parking lot of Baker's Pawn Shop and spoke with the driver, 33-year-old John Billingsley.
After being informed that Billingsley did not have a valid driver's license, Browning ran Billingsley's information through dispatch and discovered that he was wanted on a warrant in Howard County and he had a probation and parole warrant for his arrest, so he placed Billingsley in custody.
Billingsley gave permission to Browning and Patrolman First Class James Gilbert to search his vehicle and they found a clear glass smoking devise with suspected methamphetamine residue in it.
Billingsley was arrested on the outstanding warrants, but was also charged with felony possession of drug paraphernalia.
ROSS FOCUSING ON EDUCATION 9/11/14
Arkansas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Ross announced that he wants to be the educational governor, because everything is connected to education.
Ross explained that everything from homelessness to jobs is related to education in the state.
Ross talked about several options that the state has to provide Arkansans with the training that they need to land high-paying jobs, and he said it starts with Pre-K.
Ross said he supports providing Pre-K to every student in Arkansas, so they will have every opportunity to succeed.
STATE PLANT BOARD TO DECIDE ON FIREWOOD QUARANTINE THIS WEEK 9/11/14
A decision on a proposed quarantine to end the threat of the emerald ash borer insect is expected to be made this week by the Arkansas Plant Board.
One option on the table is an emergency rule that would establish a quarantine in 25 southern and southwest Arkansas counties including: Sevier, Howard, Pike, Miller, Little River and Miller counties for 120 days.
According to the Arkansas Plant Board, less then two percent of the merchantable trees in the state are ash, but the emerald ash borer is a huge problem.
Residents are being encouraged to use only locally sourced firewood to help slow the spread of the insect.
The emerald ash borer has been confirmed in six counties including: Clark, Columbia, Dallas, Hot Spring, Nevada and Ouachita.
The Arkansas State Plant Board will make the final decision concerning the quarantine and will set the rules under which it will operate.
UA COSSATOT HAS ANOTHER RECORD ENROLLMENT 9/11/14
The numbers have all been calculated for student enrollment at UA Cossatot and once again, it is a record-setting semester.
Brenda Morris is the registrar and director of institutional research at Cossatot and she announced that at the close of the census date, the college's enrollment stood at 1,584 compared to 1,575 from the same semester in 2013.
Morris stated that although this number represents only a slight increase, predictions across the state had UA Cossatot staff prepared for a slight decline in enrollment.
UA Cossatot Vice Chancellor Maria Parker stated that she was thrilled with the enrollment numbers and UA Cossatot’s seeing an increase in overall enrollment, but they are excited it sees an increase in the number of Hispanic students.
Parker said they feel like their student population reflects the demographics of their community and they work to make students from all walks of life feel comfortable at UA Cossatot.
For more information about attending UA Cossatot, contact that De Queen campus at 642-3320.
PARENTS, COMMUNITY ENCOURAGED TO USE ASHDOWN SCHOOLS WEBSITE 09/11/14
09/11/14Ashdown Schools views its contact and communication with parents and community as one of its foremost responsibilities and has established its district website for that express purpose.
Located at www.ashdownschools.org, the Ashdown School District website offers just about any information a visitor would be seeking -- campus and faculty contact information, lunch menus and pay systems, school calendar and events, even a recorded version of the AHS Alma Mater and Fight Song played by the AHS Purple Pride band!
Campus and district news, both archives and the most up-to-date, can be found on the website, along with all state-required documentation including board meeting minutes, personnel policies, ACSIP plans, and Average Yearly Progress reports, plus more.
Ashdown School District subscribes to School Success for Parents and posts both Elementary and Secondary School Success Ideas for Parents on its homepage. These posts are updated daily and include Idea of the Day, Timely Topics, Ask the Experts, Weekly Quiz, and School Success Library. In the same area of the homepage, viewers can also find Today's Tip for Parents in both elementary and secondary versions.
Ashdown School District encourages all parents and other involved community members to use the district website as their go-to-site location for school-related information and to be always informed where our school children are concerned. A copy of the district handbook, in full, can also be located on the website by clicking "Parents & Students" on the menu bar.
August's Report on Food Ministry at the Chalice Cupboard 09/11/14
The Chalice Cupboard assisted 58 families in Sevier County (176 people) including 104 adults and 72 children and youth. Food distributed totaled 1,049 pounds donated and purchased food items which made this ministry possible.
The bank balance on August 1, 2014, was $198.68. The balance on August 31, 2014, was $104.53. Donations for the month totaled $390.00. $484.15 was spent to replenish food for the pantry weighing 600 pounds. 1,084 pounds were added in August.
Two churches (St. Barbara's Catholic and First Presbyterian) donated 86 pounds of food; there was an anonymous gift of 78 pounds of food, and Tyson's Foods gave 320 pounds—for a monthly total of 484 pounds.
Residents of Sevier County needing food may be present at scheduled times (Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 2:00 till 3:30 p.m.) at the Chalice Cupboard located at 315 North Fifth Street in De Queen. Recipients of food may be assisted once during each three-month period of the year (upcoming quarter October, November and December).
Suggested items for donation are canned fruit and cereal.
Submitted by Grant Groves
Donation account for Breanna Russell 09/10/14
A Donation account has been set up at Diamond Bank in De Queen to help with funeral expenses for Breanna Russell who was the fiancé of Aaron Butler of De Queen. She was the daughter of Diane and Steve Russell of Eagletown.
Friends say any donations will be greatly appreciated and will go towards Breanna's funeral services.
5 PEOPLE ARRESTED IN FOREMAN BURGLARY 9/10/14
Five Little River County residents were arrested for allegedly stealing more than $22,000 worth of property from a home near Foreman.
21-year-old Holly Beall, 40-year-old Lou Flores, 21-year-old Tyler Gardner, and 27-year-old David Lansdell, all of Foreman and 22-year-old Tori Royal of Ashdown were arrested and charged with theft of property and residential burglary for breaking into the home of Rebecca and Bill Jansen on Highway 32.
Little River County Sheriff Gary Gregory stated that his department was assisted in the investigation by the Arkansas State Police.
All five suspects are expected to appear in the Little River County Circuit Court, September 16 for their first appearance.
According to the incident report, the Jansens had moved from Little River County to Northwest Arkansas and left the house fully furnished so they could use the home on the weekends.
Friends of the family reported that a door had been kicked in and the house was a mess.
The defendants reportedly stole a five-drawer dresser, a recliner, bunk beds, a sectional sofa and several other pieces of furniture along with a heating and cooling unit, a tractor and a water heater.
Several of the items were recovered from a flea market in Foreman.
Beall allegedly took photos of some of the stolen items and was attempting to sell them over the internet and on Facebook and she and Lansdell were allegedly taking potential buyers to the Jansens' home to pick up the furniture that they purchased.
AUTHORITIES FIRE SHOTS TO STOP VEHICLE 9/10/14
A suspect that allegedly threatened his family and members of the Little River County Sheriff's office with a shotgun had his pickup truck disabled by officers after attempting to flea Sunday afternoon.
Little River County deputies reportedly disabled the truck by firing 17 rounds of ammunition into the tires and engine of his truck.
51-year-old Dwayne Porter was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and felon in possession of a firearm.
The family disturbance was reported about 12:41 p.m. by Porter's sister. She reported that Porter had discharged a 12-guage shotgun and was threatening some family members.
When deputies arrived, Porter drove his truck into a field and allegedly pointed the shotgun at the officers.
Porter then attempted to flee from the scene and officers disabled his vehicle.
According to the report, deputies found two more loaded shotguns in the cab of the truck.
GOVERNOR TO GRANT PARDON FOR DIERKS MAN 9/10/14
Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe has announced his intention to grant a pardon for a Dierks resident.
Russell White of Dierks was convicted of Burglary and Grand Larceny in 1965 in Howard and Sevier counties.
All of the term's of White's sentences have been completed and there has been no further criminal violations.
According to the governor's office, there were no objections from local law enforcement agencies concerning White's application.
ROSS SEEKS TO MOVE ARKANSAS FORWARD THROUGH EDUCATION AND TRAINING 9/10/14
With the November election just around the corner, Arkansans are considering their options when it comes to the office of governor.
This week, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Ross was asked why he was running for the office and he explained that he is running so he can give something back to Arkansas after all the opportunities that it has provided him.
Ross stated that a lot of focus has been placed on students attending college, but he wants to emphasize vo-tech or career-tech for students who do not attend college or graduate from college.
Ross explained that career-tech allows the state to offer a highly trained and skilled workforce to attract in companies that provide high-paying jobs.
Ross stated his vision is to work with others while making Arkansas an example for other states to follow.
SEVIER COUNTY QUORUM COURT ACCEPTS GRANT FOR AIRPORT 9/10/14
Monday afternoon during the September meeting of the Sevier County Quorum Court, JPs accepted a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration for the designing and engineering phase of a project to construct a parallel taxiway.
County Judge Greg Ray explained the county had received the federal portion of the grant in the amount of 49,300 and they will be receiving the state portion of the grant at a later date.
Ray stated the members of the Quorum Court appointed the 2015 budget committee and approved a contract of obligation with the state department of environmental quality.
Quorum Court members also voted to purchase a new air conditioning unit for the De Queen Library after head librarian, Johnnye Fisher reported that the unit had stopped working.
ASHDOWN GIFTED & TALENTED 09/10/14
It was a fun day for sixth grade gifted/talented students at Ashdown Junior High School when they got to teach and practice their chess skills with visiting students whom they will meet later for the real thing! Students from the G/T programs at Genoa Central and Dierks traveled to Ashdown on Sept. 8 to learn how to play the age-old strategy game of chess in preparation for fall and spring chess tournaments.
As early as the 6th century, strategy games similar to chess have been popular. Dubbed "The King's Game," early games were used to teach war strategy. Over the last 650 years, the game of chess has evolved to today's most popular strategy game and is taught to children in schools around the world.
Benjamin Franklin wrote in his article "The Morals of Chess" in 1750 that "The Game of Chess is not merely an idle amusement" but that "by playing Chess, we may learn foresight, circumspection, and caution."
This is the second year that Hope Pierce, G/T coordinator for Ashdown School District, has welcomed students, along with G/T coordinators from surrounding schools, to use her classrooms as training and practice fields for tournaments to be held in schools of the De Queen-Mena and Southwest Arkansas Educational Cooperatives.
Ashdown will host its chess tournament in the spring, probably April. Other schools involved include Blevins, Mt. Ida, Ouachita River, Nashville, Genoa, Dierks, and other schools included in DMEC and SWAEC. Tournaments involve students from third grade through high school.
AREA GETTING READY FOR FLU SEASON 9/9/14
Dr. Jason Lofton of the Wellness Center provided Jay Lindly and myself a flu shot live on the air to promote the importance of getting your flu shot this season.
Dr. Lofton explained how the Center for Disease Control develops the flu serum every year and stated this could be a bad flu season considering the weather conditions.
Dr. Lofton stated that his office has shots available now, but will be providing a drive by flu shot clinic later this month.
Dr. Lofton also explained that you may still catch the flu if you get a shot but your symptoms will not be as severe.
For more information contact your personal physician or call the Sevier County Health Unit.
ARKANSAS HEALTH AND WELLNESS SOLUTIONS EARNS ACCREDITATION 9/9/14
Celtic Insurance Company is the license holder for Arkansas Health and Wellness Solutions and they have earned an interim NCQA accreditation for its Exchange PPO plan, Ambetter of Arkansas.
The National Committee for Quality Assurance has awarded the interim accreditation to Celtic Insurance for its service and clinical quality that meet or exceeds NCQA's rigorous requirements for consumer protection and quality improvement. To receive the seal of approval the health plan is measured on over 60 standards in 40 different areas.
NCQA announced that the seal is a reliable indicator that an organization is well-managed and delivers high quality care and service.
ARKANSAS LOTTERY HELPING RECOVER UNPAID TAXES AND CHILD SUPPORT 9/9/14
In its five years of operations, the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery has raised nearly a half-billion dollars in scholarships to help 135,000 Arkansas students attend in-state public and private colleges and universities. But thanks to often forgotten provision of the Arkansas Code, the Lottery has also benefited state operations by recouping nearly $1 million in unpaid taxes and child support payments.
The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Act of 2009 requires the Lottery to cooperate in identifying debtors who owe money to the state, specifically prize winners with unpaid state taxes or child support payments.
Since awarding its first prize on September 28, 2009, the Lottery has collected over $650,000 in unpaid taxes, that was transferred to the Department of Finance and Administration. In the same period, almost $300,000 dollars was collected and transferred to the Office of Child Support Enforcement.
ASHDOWN STUDENTS AND COMMUNITY ACCEPTING RACHEL'S CHALLENGE 9/8/14
Members of the community and students of the Ashdown Junior and Senior high schools are hoping that everyone will be able to see and that it will make a difference.
Over 200 students, along with their parents and members of the community, accepted Rachel's Challenge during the week of August 19 and now they are making an organized effort to start a chain reaction of kindness in their schools and community.
Rachel's Challenge was issued by the family and friends of Rachel Joy Scott. She was the first victim of the tragic Columbine High School shooting in 1999 in Colorado, after they read Rachel's essay "My Ethics, My Code of Life, which was written for a class assignment just weeks before she was killed.
In her paper, Scott stated that she believed: "People will never know how far a little kindness can go." After issuing challenges to the reader to look for the best in every person, she concluded her paper with this statement, "You might just start a chain reaction."
With an office staff of about 50, Rachel's Challenge has now reached millions of students and their communities worldwide with the five challenges it issues. They are 1) look for the best in others, 2) dream big, 3) choose positive influences, 4) speak with kindness and 5) start your own chain reaction.
Their mission is to motivate and equip students to start and sustain a chain reaction of kindness and compassion that can transform schools and communities.
Ashdown students were introduced to Rachel's Challenge by Neil McIntyre of Colorado and later that afternoon, they were trained by members of the Friends of Rachel Club. That evening, a public assembly was held to introduce the community to Rachel's Challenge. The public was asked to support the students by helping them create a safe environment of respect and compassion that combats bullying and raises self-esteem.
In less than a week, over 100 high school students and more than 50 junior high students had gathered and established a Friends of Rachel's Club.
The junior high students immediately started a Links of Kindness chain that consists of acts of kindness that's performed by students.
McIntyre told students at the assembly, "Today, we started a chain reaction of kindness. You are here as a community to try to keep this chain reaction going."
DE QUEEN RESIDENT PURCHASES NEW ID 9/8/14
On Saturday, August 30th, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Matt Webb observed a Maroon Dodge Charger run a stop sign at the intersection of Highway 371 and Highway 71 in Lockesburg.
Deputy Webb was informed by the driver that he was Marc Curlott Jr. and presented an Oklahoma ID, which turned out to be an identification card only and not a driver's license.
Webb then proceeded to write Curlott a ticket for not having a drivers license when Sevier County Deputy Greg Davingnon identified the driver as Jose Duran.
When asked if Jose Duran was his real name, the driver provided his whole name to the officers.
Duran informed the deputies that he obtained the ID from someone in Oklahoma for $1,500 dollars.
Duran was then arrested and processed for forgery in the second degree.
FIGHT OVER SNUFF RESULTS IN ONE SUSPECT GOING TO JAIL 9/8/14
Sunday evening about 6 p.m., Sergeant Gary Cunningham of the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to 520 West Stilwell Ave. in reference to a fight.
When Cunningham arrived he noticed Patrolman JJ Lopez interviewing a male subject on the south side of the street and another male subject standing in front of the residence at 520 West Stilwell.
Cunningham reported that the subject was holding a broom and yelling across the street.
Markita Loans translated for Cunningham and informed him that her boyfriend, Simon Hiene, had been fighting with his cousin Jabmy Makvy for not giving him a dip of snuff. Hiene then stated that he was going to beat Loans son when the police left.
Hiene was taken into custody and placed in Cunningham's patrol car. While Cunningham was speaking with Lopez, Hiene stared kicking the drivers side rear glass out and started yelling at his girlfriend.
Hiene was then taken to the Sevier County jail and charged with Second Degree Assault and Criminal Mischief.
FORMER LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR REIMBURSES STATE 9/8/14
Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced Friday morning, September 5th that his office had received a payment from former Lieutenant Governor Mark Darr in the amount of $10,973, which was the amount that was identified by the Division of Legislative Audit for collection by McDaniel.
Darr provided the Attorney General's Office with a check for the entire amount Friday morning, thus resolving the matter without a need for litigation.
HONEYBEAR RANCH HOLDING FALL FESTIVAL 9/8/14
The HoneyBear Ranch in Broken Bow is holding a Fall Planting Festival on Saturday, September 13th from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Presenters include Dr. Jim Shreffler from Oklahoma State University; Brad Bain of the McCurtain County OSU Extension Office; and Kenda Woodburn who is a Horticultural Extension Educator from Tulsa.
They will be covering several topics including: sold fertility, extending the growing season with small hoops, growing small fruits like Pawpaws, Jujubes, Sand Plums, Pomegranates and Native Mulberries.
The festival will take place in the gardens of the HoneyBear Ranch. So, bring a chair to sit in and dress for the weather. If it is raining, the presentations will be moved indoors.
Attendance to the festival is free, but to make a reservations or for more information call 580-584-6022.
LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS URGED TO ENROLL IN DISASTER ASSISTANCE PROGRAM BY OCTOBER 1ST 9/8/14
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is encouraging producers who have suffered eligible disaster-related losses to act to secure assistance by September 30th, as congressionally mandated payment reductions will take place for producers who have not acted before that date.
Livestock producers that have experienced grazing losses since October 2011 and may be eligible for benefits but have not yet contacted their local Farm Service Agency office should do so as soon as possible.
The USDA is encouraging producers to register, request an appointment or begin a Livestock Forage Disaster Program application with their county FSA office before October 1st to lock in the current zero percent rate. Producers may apply online at www.fsa.usda.gov/disaster-register.
Applications for the Livestock Indemnity Program, the Tree Assistance Program and the Noninsured Disaster Assistance Program must be completed by September 30th.
The Livestock Forage Disaster Program compensates eligible livestock producers who suffered grazing losses due to drought or fire between October 1st, 2011 and December 31st, 2014. Producers who were forced to liquidate their livestock may also be eligible for program benefits.
NEW REGULATIONS FOR ARKANSAS GAME AND FISH 9/8/14
Tracy Stuart of Bakers Bargain House announced that bow season starts this month and he brought two game wardens from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission to talk about some new regulations for area hunters.
Sevier County Wildlife Officer David Hall and Howard County Wildlife Officer Jon Partain stated that they providing some information, but hunters needed to pick up a copy of the 2015 Hunting Guidebook to ensure that they understood all of the new regulations.
Officer Partain first mentioned that Arkansas will have a bear season and new regulations concerning feral hogs.
Officer Partain also mentioned that if a hunter loses his license in another state they will not be able to hunt in Arkansas.
Officer Hall reported the cost of non-resident hunting license, as well as checking deer over your smart phone. Hall stated you can find the fees online at agfc.org or pick up a copy of the state’s hunting guidebook.
Officer Partian stated that there were regulations concerning a bow's weight, and the size of broadheads.
Officer Hall reported that hunters need to understand the hunting regulations when hunting in a state Wildlife Management Area.
Hall stated that move hunting accidents involve tree stands, so hunters need to ensure that their safety equipment is in good shape.
For more information, you can visit agfc.com or stop by Bakers Bargain House.
TAKE STEPS TO PROTECT PERSONAL INFORMATION 9/8/14
With news this week about yet another security breach at a major retailer and a cyber attack that led to some celebrities private photographs being posted publicly online, consumers are justly concerned about the safety of their personal and financial information.
Companies and consumers alike can take steps to prevent fraud, identity theft and public dissemination of personal information. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued a consumer alert to inform consumers about how to keep sensitive data out of the wrong hands.
Consumers who have had their sensitive information stolen are at greater risk of identity theft, fraud and other scams. McDaniel said consumers impacted by security breaches should be more diligent in review of bank statements and credit card bills.
McDaniel recommended these proactive ways to help make your sensitive information more secure:
Personal information can be as valuable as cash, so think twice before providing your Social Security number, bank account or credit card numbers to someone.
Use long and strong account passwords. Mix in letters, numbers and use special characters to create a password that's at least 10 characters long.
Recognize that photos, videos, text messages and other data that's stored on a phone may be backed up somewhere else and consumers should read their service provider's privacy policies to determine whether or not they want to back up their data in the cloud.
If you use the cloud, you should implement a two-step verification, which does not all account or password changes to be made unless a consumer is notified through another means.
When shopping online, use a secure browser.
Always assume that anyone can see anything being sent over a public wireless hotspot and make sure that your home wireless networks are encrypted to prevent unauthorized access.
Use the latest security software and make sure computers, smart phones and tablets are always running the newest software versions.
And, don't over share on social network sites. Never post Social Security numbers, account numbers, addresses or phone numbers publicly.
For more information contact the Attorney General's office at gotyourbackarkansas.org or call 1-800-482-8982.
ASHDOWN SCHOOLS RECOGNIZED NATIONALLY FOR MUSIC EDUCATION EFFORTS 09/09/14
The NAMM Foundation (National
Association of Music Merchants) recently recognized Ashdown Public
Schools for its outstanding commitment to music education with a
Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) designation. Ashdown
Public School joins 376 districts across the country in receiving
the prestigious distinction in 2014.
UA COSSATOT HAS ANOTHER RECORD ENROLLMENT 09/09/14
The numbers have all been calculated for student enrollment at UA Cossatot and once again, it is a record-setting semester.
Brenda Morris, Registrar and Director of Institutional Research at Cossatot, announced at the close of the census date, the college’s enrollment stood at 1584 compared to 1575 from the same semester in 2013. Although this number represents only a slight increase, predictions across the state had UA Cossatot staff prepared for a slight decline in enrollment.
“I am thrilled with the enrollment numbers,” said Maria Parker, UA Cossatot’s Vice Chancellor for Academics. “A record enrollment is truly a group effort. From the business office to advising, and many people in between, we are proving that we care about student success. We also have a record enrollment of high school students taking advantage of the opportunities we offer. This means more students than ever will graduate from high school with college credit – either in University transfer classes or from a technical program. These students are already familiar with the college atmosphere and studies show, they are more prepared to succeed and graduate.”
Hispanic student enrollment has also had another increase at UA Cossatot. The enrollment is now 22% Hispanic students. Part of the college’s strategic plan has been to increase recruiting efforts within the Hispanic demographic. Fall semester in 2013, Hispanic enrollment was 19%. “We are especially proud of this increase,” said Parker. “We feel our student population should reflect the demographics of the community. We have worked to make students from all walks of life feel comfortable at UA Cossatot.”
WILSON PLEADS GUILTY 9/5/14
The former treasurer of the Sevier County Humane Society plead guilty last week in the Sevier County Circuit Court and was sentenced to three-years probation, a $500 fine plus court cost after paying all of the required restitution up front.
Wilson was charged with felony theft of property after being accused of embezzling nearly $4,000 from the Sevier County Humane Society while serving as the organizations treasurer.
According to court records, Arkansas State Police Investigator John Rhone became involved in the investigation following an audit of the humane society was conducted by Richey McCullough, CPA of De Queen, which revealed $3,966 in fraudulent expenditures made by Wilson between January of 2011 and June of 2012.
Wilson allegedly purchased a TV and refrigerator with some of the money.
The expenditures were discovered after Wilson stopped working with the humane society.
STOLEN PROPERTY DISCOVERED HIDDEN 9/5/14
A Little River County resident reported that he found a trailer with a John Deere engine and a generator on some land that he leased outside of Foreman.
Ronnie Green contacted that Little River County Sheriff's office and informed them that he discovered the items and it appeared that someone was in the process of disassembling them. He also reported that the gate hinges had been removed.
Little River County investigators reported that they found a tarp that had been set up to help hide the disassembly process.
According to county records, the trailer belonged to Virginia Nestor of Foreman who confirmed that it belonged to her, but she didn't realize it was missing. She stated that it was normally parked beside her house.
The generator was traced back to Bob Pyron of Foreman. Pyron's brother had reported a generator missing from his brother's chicken houses.
The case is still under investigation, but if you have any information concerning this incident, you are being asked to contact the Little River County Sheriff's office at 898-5115.
RECOGNIZING SOME SERVICE IN THE COMMUNITY 9/5/14
Sevier County Sheriff's Office Investigator Robert Gentry mentioned that he would like to provide the community some insight on one of the assets that serves this community.
Gentry explained that he was talking about the De Queen Volunteer Fire Department and Extrication Team.
Gentry reported that he responded to an accident recently and the extrication team was asked to respond. He said within a few minutes, members with the De Queen Volunteer Fire Department had responded to the accident scene.
When they arrived on the scene, Gentry stated he observed the men working like a well-oil machine, working quickly, without hesitation. He said, Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt called out what equipment was needed and members of the team had the equipment where it was needed almost immediately, but not only the equipment but the personnel to operate the equipment properly until the work was completed.
After they had completed the extrication of the occupant of the vehicle, they assisted the Southwest EMS units that were on the scene and offered to assist with traffic control.
Gentry stated all of the members of the De Queen Fire Department are volunteers and have jobs inside the community, but the job that they do for the community is an asset that goes unrecognized unless the skills are used to help a family member or loved one.
Gentry said the members of the Sevier County Sheriff's Department would like to express their appreciation and support to their local volunteer fire departments and thank them for the jobs that they are doing in our communities.
MOM ARRESTED STEALING FROM SON 9/5/14
On Sunday, August 31st, Bryce Keaton contacted the Sevier County Sheriff's office to report a theft. He explained that he had checked his finances through his on-line banking app and noticed two unauthorized transactions.
Keaton reported that one transaction was made on Wednesday, August 27th at the De Queen Wal-Mart and another transaction was made at the Wal-Mart in Broken Bow.
Sevier County Deputy Brian Hankins went to the De Queen Wal-Mart and collected evidence; including video footage of a white female that used the stolen check.
Authorities asked Keaton to come the Sevier County jail and see if he could identify the suspect.
Keaton informed Hankins that after speaking with him earlier that day, he called his mother to ask her why she was stealing from him. He stated that he also discovered several items missing from his home.
Allegedly, 46-year-old Karen Keaton informed her son that she had pawned some of the items. After speaking with Hankins, Bryce Keaton identified the suspect in the surveillance photo as his mother, Karen.
MINIMUM WAGE AMENDMENT ON NOVEMBER BALLOT 9/5/14
Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin announced on Wednesday that An Act to Increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage has met the signature requirements of the Arkansas Constitution and would be on the November General Election ballot.
Martin's office announced that the initiated act needed 62,507 valid signatures and the sponsors had turned in 129,989 signatures for verification. As of this week, at least 70,000 signatures had been verified.
The Secretary of State has certified the proposed initiated act to the County Boards of Election Commissioners and it will be Issue Number 5 on the November 4th ballot.
If approved, the measure will increase the state's minimum wage from $6.25 to $7.50 per hour on January 1st, 2016 and to $8.50 per hour on January 1st, 2017.
The deadline to register to vote during the November General Election is October 6th. To register to vote, stop by the Sevier County Clerks office in the courthouse.
DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER WORKING IN SEVIER COUNTY 9/5/14
From August 29th through August 31st, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Greg Davignon took three drunk drivers off the county roadways.
On August 29th, Davignon stopped a gray Chevy pick-up on Highway 71 North near Lockesburg. The driver, Royce Scott, failed the field sobriety test and Davignon discovered an open bottle of vodka in the vehicle.
Scott was charged with driving under the Influence #2 and Driving on a Suspended License.
Then on Saturday, August 30th, Davignon witnessed a Toyota pickup who's tags were unreadable due to an obstruction, so he stopped the vehicle on Westline Road.
The driver, 50-year-old Thomas Parr of De Queen, reportedly had glassy, bloodshot eyes and his passenger, 41-year-old Michelle Lowery of Horatio was holding a cup that contained a mixed drink.
Parr failed the field sobriety test, but while searching Parr after taking him into custody for driving while intoxicated, Davignon discovered a small plastic bag that contained suspected marijuana. He also found a bag that contained suspected methamphetamine residue, along with a smoking pipe in the passenger floorboard.
Both were taking into custody. Parr was charged with DWI, Refusal to Submit to Test, Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Lowery was charged with Drinking on the Highway and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
And finally, Davignon stopped a black Honda Accord that drove left of the center line several times on Sunday, August 31st.
The driver, 37-year-old Carlos Rodriguez failed a field sobriety test and was cited for Driving while Intoxicated Number 1 and Driving Left of Center.
ARKANSAS LODGE SET TO REOPEN IN 2015 9/5/14
An Arkansas state park lodge is scheduled to reopen after $6.7 million dollars in renovations are completed.
The Queen Wilhelmina State Park Lodge near Mena is set to reopen in the spring of 2015. The lodge has been closed since March of 2012.
The park superintendent says it was scheduled to reopen in 2013 but problems with the contractor and weather delayed it. The renovations will expand the building by about 10,000 square feet and will include a hearth room and two additional guest rooms.
The lodge has 38 guest rooms, a restaurant, a meeting room and other amenities. All other facilities at the state park have remained open.
The state park director says the renovations will enhance the view of the mountain for visitors.
COOKBOOK FUNDRAISER FOR THE SEVIER COUNTY FARMERS MARKET 9/5/14
Earlier this year, Angela Smith of the Sevier County Farmer's Market mentioned that they were collecting recipes so they could print a cookbook and sell them as a fundraiser for the market.
Smith informed KDQN that they were wanting as many tried and true recipes as possible and the funds will be used to support the farmers market.
Smith said the market will be open this Saturday from 7:30 to 11 a.m., and it will remain open until the gardens stop producing.
She also stated that new vendors are welcome and they have single day vendor rate.
Smith said recipes could be taken to the Sevier County Library in De Queen and they were willing to put a box in any business that would be willing to collect recipes for them.
For more information about the Sevier County Farmer's Market call 582-2903.
UPCOMING EVENTS IN THE DE QUEEN SCHOOL DISTRICT 9/5/14
Tammy Whatley of the De Queen School District stopped by the KDQN studios this week to announce several events that are taking place in the district, but she started by thanking the parents of students for attending the district's parent/teacher nights.
Whatley reported that 46 students from the district participated during the 2014 Sevier County Fair and many will be moving on to the Four States Fair later this month.
Whatley stated that students and the staff of the De Queen Junior High are selling tickets on a 5 foot cedar swing to benefit the Terry Brackett family.
And, she reminded senior high students about the deadlines for the upcoming ACT and SAT exams in October. Whatley stated students could check with Counselor Ramona Hill for those dates.
For more information about activities on the De Queen School campuses, you may contact the administration office at 584-4312 or your child's school office.
BUY LEOPARD TICKETS EARLY AND SAVE 9/4/14
Admission to the upcoming Leopard and Junior High football games will be $5 for senior high games and $4 for junior high games. The prices were set by a district agreement, but Leopard fans have the opportunity to purchase advance tickets for home games and save a dollar.
The week of a home game, tickets were be sold in advance for $4 for senior high games and $3 for junior high games.
Programs will be sold for $2 each at home varsity games and Leopard fans also have the opportunity to purchase season tickets at a cost of $35. The pass will get you into all regular season home games and the passes may be purchased at the De Queen Administration Office.
The De Queen District will also honor all senior adults age 65 and older with free admission to all sporting events, but you must stop by the administration office and pick up your pass.
If you have any questions, you may call the administration office at 584-4312 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
COMMUNITY SHOWING CHOIR THEIR SUPPORT 9/4/14
Last month, the De Queen Show Choir received permission from the De Queen School Board to start raising funds for a trip to Orlando, Florida to participate in the America Sings program.
About a month later, choir director Stefani Jones is reporting that the group has raised about half the money they need for their trip, thanks to the community's support.
Jones mentioned that the De Queen Show Choir was invited by John Jacobson after hearing a recording of the choir performing.
Jones explained that students will perform and attend some workshops but they will also help in the community during a day of service.
Jones expressed her appreciation to the community and businesses of De Queen for helping these students make a memory of a lifetime.
Media Liaison Tammy Whatley mentioned that the choir is holding a weekly bake sale at the high school and the show choir will be performing the National Anthem this Friday night prior to the De Queen-Mena football game.
For more information or to make a donation to the show choir, contact Jones at 642-2426.
COUNCIL RECOMMENDS CHANGES TO LAND USE PLANNING BOOK 9/4/14
Aldermen of the De Queen City Council made a recommendation to change the city's Land Use Planning Book Tuesday night during their regular meeting.
Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy informed KDQN that the city's Planning and Zoning Commission will meet next week to consider the change before the council passes an ordinance to officially change the set backs for the side yard of a new home construction.
McKelvy reported that Arkansas Senator Jimmy Hickey has formed a coalition of five counties in Southwest Arkansas in an effort to land a proposed maximum security prison in the area. The five counties include: Little River, Lafayette, Hempstead, Miller and Howard.
McKelvy also presented the council with the criteria that the state is looking for. He explained that the state needs four to five hundreds acres that's flat with no environmental issues in close proximity to major medical resources, adequate utilities and a commercial airport.
McKelvy also recommended that the city council pass a resolution supporting the regional effort, instead of trying to win the project on its own.
Aldermen then voted to hold an executive session to address some personnel issues. However, no action was taken once they returned from the executive session.
McKelvy reported that the raw water line project was about 70 percent complete and the contractor expects to finish the job on time by the end of this month.
McKelvy also presented the council with a letter from Vyve that says they are increasing the cost of their expanded basic package by $5 a month.
Aldermen will meet on Tuesday, September 16th at 5:30 p.m. to consider an ordinance to change the city's Land Use Planning Book and pass a resolution supporting the regional effort that is being led by Senator Hickey in attracting the new prison to Southwest Arkansas.
GREAT CRATER CLEANUP SEPTEMBER 6 9/2/14
Visitors from all over the world have made a visit to the Crater of Diamonds State Park this summer and many have found a rock or mineral treasure to take home with them, while others have treasured memories of our walking trails, Kimberlite Cafe, Diamond Springs and more, but, unfortunately, some have let some litter.
That litter can tarnish memories of an outdoor adventure, like searching for diamonds. It also ruins the beauty of the park and by disposing of trash properly, it helps preserve the parks natural surroundings.
So, to show visitors how beautiful the Natural State can be, the Crater of Diamonds State Park will host the 7th Annual Great Crater Cleanup on Saturday, September 6th from 1 to 4 p.m. in conjunction with the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission's Great Arkansas Cleanup.
Gloves and trash bags will be provided, and Great Arkansas Cleanup t-shirts will be given away while supplies last. All ages are invited to attend. Volunteers should arrive at the Visitor Center by 1 p.m. to register and gather supplies.
Volunteers should dress for the weather, wear sturdy shoes or boots and bring drinking water. After the cleanup, volunteers are invited to meet in the Visitor Center Theater for refreshments and a drawing will be held for some great prizes.
For more information contact the Crater of Diamonds State Park at 870-285-3116.
LITTLE COUNTY AUTHORITIES SEARCHING FOR BURGLARY SUSPECTS 9/4/14
The Little River County Sheriff's Office is still investigating several burglaries in the Winthrop area from a couple of weeks ago.
Authorities announced that the Winthrop branch of the Little River County Library and Nelsons store was broken into and two suspects attempted to break into the Small Town Video store, but only damaged the lock. However, a surveillance video showed two suspects attempting to break into the store.
Currently, the Little River County Sheriff's office is following up on some leads that resulted in evidence that was recovered at the scenes, but no suspects have been named. The case is still under investigation.
LOCKESBURG RESIDENT CITED FOR HARASSING COMMUNICATIONS 9/4/14
Friday, August 29th, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Hankins took a report from Mary Evans of Horatio concerning a Lockesburg resident harassing her over the phone.
Evans reported that 50-year-old Norman Roberts was calling her almost every hour of every day and she was tired of it. She said that she also had to call the Sevier County dispatcher to inform them to stop sending a deputy out to check on her because Roberts had been calling the sheriffs office and asking them to conduct a welfare check on Evans when she would ignore his phone calls.
Evans stated deputies had come to her house on four different occasions.
Evans also reported that she had an order of protection against Roberts but it had expired, but she was planning to have another one put in place.
According to official records, Deputy Roger Ridley had advised Roberts not to contact Evans, so, Deputy Hankins went to Roberts' residence and placed him under arrest.
Roberts told the deputies that the reason he was calling Evans so much was because she was deaf and he was in love with her.
Roberts was issued a citation for harassing communications and released.
According to records from the Arkansas Department of Corrections, Roberts was sentenced to prison for violating a protection order for the same circumstances in 2011.
SHOWING OUR LEOPARD PRIDE 09/04/14
Many De Queen Public Schools’ students showed their livestock at the Sevier County Fair. Mr. Morgan Frachiseur, Mr. John Frachiseur, and Mr. Ryan Hanney have worked with the students. Having an animal is a good way to teach responsibility. Many jobs in Arkansas are working in agriculture. De Queen Public Schools make every effort to have students college and career ready.
Some of the students won grand champion and grand reserve. The Four States Fair is the next level of competition. The Four States Fair is held in Texarkana, Arkansas.
As we say, “Home of the Leopards and so much more.”
Students pictured are:
Front row- Austin Cannor, Monica Rivas, Autumn Frachiseur, Jake Martin, Jake Seymour, Laura Harp, Ty Lindsey, Hudson Marshall, Jacob Hibbs, and Hannah Mendez.
Row 2- Sydney Hill, Stacy Higgins, Aubrey Seymour, Kane Faulkenberry, Steven Peppers, William Peppers, and Lorel Morphew.
Row 3- Aaron Figueroa, Steven Birmingham, Austin Johnson, Chase Pearce, Payton Hibbs, Brandi Frachiseur, Veronica Rivas, Kayla Martin, Maddie Martin, Baylee Harder, Amber Mooris, Antonette Worthey, and Ashlie Johnson.
Back row- Mr. Ryan Hanney, Mr. Morgan Frachiseur, Tyler Johnson, Aaron Morris, Weston Harp, Kade Martin, Zayne Chapman, Caterra Morphew, Brennan Seymour, Jake Birmingham, Ruby Peppers, Dawson Harp, Trent Gentry, Riley Johnson, and Mr. John Frachiseur.
Not pictured- Tristan Chapman, Zack Birmingham, Kevin Keller, and Heather Bradshaw.
ASHDOWN STUDENTS, COMMUNITY ACCEPT RACHEL'S CHALLENGE 09/04/14
They hope everyone will be able to see it -- that it will be noticeable. And, most importantly, that it will make a difference. Over 200 students in Ashdown Junior High and Ashdown High School, along with parents and community members, accepted Rachel's Challenge during the week of August 19-22 and are making an organized effort to start a chain reaction of kindness in their schools and community.
Rachel's Challenge was issued by the family and friends of Rachel Joy Scott, the first victim of the tragic Columbine High School shooting in 1999 in Colorado, after reading Rachel's essay My Ethics, My Code of Life, written for a high school English class just weeks before she was killed. In her paper, Rachel stated her belief: "People will never know how far a little kindness can go." After issuing challenges to the reader to look for the best in every person, she concluded her paper with "You might just start a chain reaction."
With an office staff of about 50, including motivational speakers, Rachel's Challenge has now reached millions of students and their communities worldwide with the five challenges it issues: (1) Look for the best in others, (2) Dream big, (3) Choose positive influences, (4) Speak with kindness, and (5) Start your own chain reaction. Their mission is to motivate and equip students to start and sustain a chain reaction of kindness and compassion that can transform schools and communities.
Ashdown students in grades 7-12 were introduced to Rachel's Challenge on Tuesday, August 19, when Rachel's Challenge specialist Neil McIntyre of Colorado told Rachel's story and issued her five challenges in a morning assembly. The afternoon was spent training student leaders in forming F.O.R. Clubs (Friends of Rachel) on their campuses and offering membership to every single student. The evening of Aug. 19 offered a public assembly for the community to be introduced to Rachel's Challenge and to join and support the students in creating a safe environment of respect and compassion that combats bullying and raises self esteem.
McIntyre, in his delivery, told his student audience, "You can't bully bullies so that they won't bully any more. You gotta start with love." He challenged them to transform their school and help their communities. The first step was to accept Rachel's challenge of starting a chain reaction. Students were then encouraged to sign a banner showing their commitment and to start a F.O.R. Club on their campus. He finished with, "In the end, only kindness matters."
Before the week was out, over 100 AHS students and more than 50 at AJHS gathered to establish F.O.R. Clubs on their campuses. The junior high students immediately began a Links of Kindness chain, to which students may add links at lunch periods. Each link represents one act of kindness performed by another; the completed chain will be hung in the school each Friday, a tangible representation of their chain reaction of kindness.
The AJHS F.O.R. Club also invites the public to their Kindness Pep Rally on Friday, Sept. 5, at 3:00, states F.O.R. Club sponsor Eliza Simmons along with fellow sponsor Joni Pennington. The kids and faculty will be performing skits and presenting poetry they have written for the occasion. Also the public should watch for F.O.R Club on a Facebook page to be set up soon.
The AHS F.O.R. Club's first meeting was huge, with over 80 attendees, led by sponsors Melanie Cobb and Sandy Bishop, and an additional 40 or so who were unable to attend on Aug. 22 but committed in writing to the membership roster. The students spent their hour organizing groups and brainstorming project ideas. Dozens of ideas were presented by the group, many of which involved the whole town or community and not just their campus.
As McIntyre told them in the assembly, "Today we started a chain reaction of kindness. You are here as a community to try to keep this chain reaction going." Watch for it.
ARKANSAS GAME AND FISH SNAGS MORE THAN A LARGE MOUTH BASS 9/3/14
Sunday, August 31st, Arkansas Game and Fish Officer David Hall contacted the Sevier County Sheriff's office for assistance on East 80,000 Road and the Cossatot River bridge.
When Deputy Matt Webb arrived, Officer Hall informed Deputies Webb and Charles Emmerich that he was checking the river and discovered several individuals parked near the water. Hall was also conducting an inventory of a 2000 Dodge pickup that belonged to Jeffrey Pollard.
Officer Hall told the deputies that he had been informed by a Michael Skelton that his 17-year-old son had been drinking beer with them, since no one was had to tell the officers who the beer belonged to, Skelton was processed for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Officer Hall reported that he had observed a corn cob pipe in the driver's side door. Deputies Webb and Emmerich reported the pipe contained suspected marijuana residue. Jeffrey Pollard's brother, Bruce Pollard, reportedly stated that the corn cob pipe belonged to him. Bruce Pollard was taken into custody and possessed for possession of an instrument of crime.
Officers also discovered a small amount of suspected marijuana inside an empty cigarette box under the seat of the truck.
Jeffery Pollard was then taken into custody and processed for possession of a controlled substance-marijuana.
ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE AMENDMENT MAKE NOVEMBER BALLOT 9/3/14
Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin announced last week that the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment met the signature requirements of the state constitution and will be on the November General Election ballot.
The constitutional amendment needed 78,133 valid signatures and the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment sponsors turned in 127,265 and at this time, the proposed amendment has at least 87,000 valid signatures.
The secretary of state's office stated that there are still signatures to be verified, so the total number of valid signatures may increase.
The Secretary of State has certified the proposed amendment to the County Boards of Election Commissioners and it will be Issue Number 4 on the November 4th ballot.
Registered voters will now decide on the proposed amendment that if approved, would legalize the sale, manufacture and transportation of alcohol statewide.
The deadline to register to vote during the General Election is October 6th. For more information on voter registration, go to the Arkansas Secretary of State's webpage, www.sos.arkansas.gov.
Sevier County Clerk Debbie Hughes announced that Sevier County residents may register to vote in her office until October 6th for the November General Election.
CIRCUIT CLERK RECEIVES ANOTHER GRANT 9/3/14
Circuit Clerk Patti Chaney announced that her office had been approved for a grant to convert the mortgage and deed books from hardcopies to digital copies for the county computers.
Chaney explained that this process started last year when she applied for the first grant, but the process started last Thursday and will continue for at least the next 11 days.
Chaney also applied for a grant for the second and third phases this year and she explained that they will be cropping the digital pages to make them easier to read.
Chaney stated that she was proud to be able to provide this service to the citizens of Sevier County.
DE QUEEN FIRST ASSEMBLY REVIVAL SEPTEMBER 14TH - 16TH 9/3/14
Pastor Ray Reynolds and Youth Pastor Jonathon Reynolds announced Tuesday morning that the First Assembly of God Church of De Queen will be holding a revival starting Sunday, September 14th.
Jonathon Reynolds stated that what impressed him about Larry Moore and Ken Maness was the fact that they are relevant in today's day and age.
Services will begin at 10 a.m. Sunday, September 14th and at 6:30 p.m. Sunday night. Services will start at 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.
For more information contact the church at 584-3435.
DRUNK PASSENGER ATTEMPTS TO FLEE FROM AUTHORITIES 9/3/14
Sunday evening about 11:30 p.m., Patrolman First Class Levi Browning stopped a white Pontiac Firebird for swerving on Collin Raye Drive.
The driver identified himself as Mario Rivera and the passenger stated that he didn't have a ID but would write down his information. The passenger reported that he was Damien Lampkins with a birth date of February , 1990.
When Browning ran a background check on the driver everything came back fine, but no information returned on the passenger.
After asking the passenger several times for his date of birth and receiving several different answers. Finally, Browning asked the suspect how old he was and he said 21. Browning stated that there was no way he was 21 if he was born in 1990 or 1991.
Browning did noticed a wallet and asked the passenger if it was his. He stated it was and but informed Browning that he had been told not to let the cops look through his stuff.
Browning then informed the suspect that he was going to jail and not move his hands from his patrol car. While Browning was speaking with the Rivera, the suspect began to flee on foot.
A short time later, Officer JJ Lopez witnessed the suspect running behind a house and the suspect was taken into custody without further incident.
After being taken into custody, the officers were advised that the suspect had tossed his wallet while fleeing.
When they found his wallet, they discovered that the suspect was 23-year-old Quevon Lampkins of Texarkana. They also discovered that he was wanted had felony warrants out of Miller County and is being held without bond. He was also charged with fleeing, obstruction of government operations and public intox.
STATE HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUMS PROJECTED TO DECREASE NEXT YEAR 9/3/14
The governor's office says Arkansas' health insurance premiums under the "private option" Medicaid expansion are expected to decrease by two percent next year.
In a news release, the governor's office said there won't be a blanket reduction that some of the premiums may rise slightly and others may stay the same or go down. Overall, policyholders will pay about two percent less in the coming year.
The governor's office says it is releasing the projection because some incomplete information was mistakenly posted on a state Insurance Department website.
However, the governor's office stated the official rates won't be set until the U.S. Health and Human Services Department certifies the plans for next year, but the final numbers are expected to be known before the start of the open enrollment period on November 15th.
Legislators will consider renewing the program in 2015.
WATERFOWL HUNTING SEASON SET 9/3/14
For the 18th consecutive year, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has approved a 60-day hunting season for waterfowl.
Officials say habitat conditions have improved or are similar to last year in many areas due to the average or above-average amount of rainfall the state has received. They say the continued wet conditions appear to be driving good habitat.
With more than 422,900 mallards harvested, Arkansas had the third highest waterfowl harvest and highest mallard harvest in the nation last year.
This year's duck season dates include November 22nd through the 30th, December 4th through 23rd, and December 26th through January 25th. The youth hunt is planned for January 31st and February 1st.
One regulation change for the upcoming waterfowl season calls for a restriction on the closing time of certain wildlife management areas and lakes during waterfowl season. The new regulation prohibits access on certain Wildlife Management Areas from 2 a.m. until 4 a.m. each morning, except in designated campsites, parking areas, boat launch ramps and designated boat staging areas. In addition, no boats are allowed from 1 p.m. until 4 a.m. each day.
More information can be found online at agfc.com.
ASHDOWN STUDENT CREATES WINNING DESIGN 09/03/14
Jacey Dupree, a sixth grade student at Ashdown Junior High School, created the winning design for the 2014 Komen Texarkana Kids for the Cure t-shirt contest, announced Christy Walls, committee member for the kids division of the Komen Texarkana Race for the Cure.
Dupree's design was selected from 375 entries for the contest and will now be printed on over 800 t-shirts as the official 2014 Texarkana Kids for the Cure logo. Jacey entered her design idea last spring when she was a fifth grade student in Mrs. Carolyn Henderson's art class and was surprised with an announcement presentation in the AJHS cafeteria on Thursday, Aug. 18, during sixth grade lunch period.
As the design winner, Jacey was presented with the first official t-shirt printed with her design, her original entry framed for hanging, and a prize package of goodies. All of the sixth grade class also enjoyed pink cookies, provided by the school principal Mr. James Jones and his Leadership Team.
Jacey will be invited to share the race platform during the 2014 Komen Texarkana Race for the Cure on October 18 at the Four States Fairgrounds. Last year over 7200 participants, including 584 kids, walked, ran, or pushed strollers to raise awareness for finding a cure for breast cancer. This year any child age 2-12 who registers to participate will be given one of the t-shirts with Jacey's design.
Any individual or team who wishes to participate in the Komen Texarkana Race for the Cure may go online at www.komentexarkana.org, click "Komen Race for the Cure" and register. The Texarkana committee for the event will also be set up for registration at Central Mall beginning September 29.
30TH ANNUAL PROVO KIDS RODEO 9/02/14
The 30th Annual Provo Kids Rodeo, BBQ and Fish Fry will be held on Saturday, September 20th, but volunteer Jamie Marshall announced they need for you to order a t-shirt by September 3rd to ensure your size with be available. T-shirts will cost $15 the day of the rodeo.
Marshall stated that vendors are also invited to setup at the event.
To preorder a t-shirt or reserve your vendor booth space call or text TJ Newton at 870-582-1328.
Marshall stated the Provo Volunteer Fire Department will be serving BBQ and fish plates and kids can sign up between 12 and 2 p.m. and each child will have to have a liability release signed by a parent.
Marshall mentioned several events for the kids but they didn't forget the adults, like a giant panty race and the cow patty bingo.
Marshall said the Provo community was on Provo Road between Dierks and Lockesburg. She also stated if you needed more information, you could contact a Provo Volunteer fire fighter.
ARKANSAS ATTORNEY GENERAL REJECTS MARIJUANA PLAN 9/02/14
Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has rejected the proposed wording for a prospective ballot item that would let voters decide whether to legalize marijuana in the state.
McDaniel's office announced that the name and ballot title on the proposal, which is sponsored by Rockie Barley of Malvern is ambiguous and has "misleading tendencies." McDaniel says changes are needed so that the name and ballot title correctly and fully summarizes the proposal.
McDaniel has approved two other marijuana-related ballot proposals for the 2016 ballot.
One would legalize medical marijuana and the second would allow voters to decide whether to approve making it legal to grow and possess marijuana.
ASHDOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT PARTICIPATING IN STATE "CHILD FIND CAMPAIGN" 9/02/14
The Ashdown School District is participating in an ongoing statewide effort to identify, locate and evaluate children from birth to the age of 21, who have a physical, mental, communicative and or emotional disability, as part of the Child Find Campaign.
According the district's Special Services Director Jan Ueckert, this is something the district is constantly doing.
According to Ueckert, early identification of children in need of special education services is important to each child. Furthermore, this information that is gathered from contacts with parents and other agencies will be used to help determine present and future program needs in the district as progress is made toward the goal of providing a free appropriate public education to all children with disabilities.
The Ashdown School District works with the local Head Starts, Human Services, the Department of Health and the area mental health agencies, as well as local educational agencies, doctors and other individuals to identify and locate children in school and out of school who may be in need of some special education services.
Anyone who knows of a child who may have a disability is asked to contact Ueckert at 870-898-4404 or visit her office at 460 Northwest Front Street.
CORPS EXTENDS DRAWDOWN AND TEMPORARILY CLOSES TWO PARKS DURING DAM INSPECTION 9/2/14
The Army Corps of Engineers will extend the drawdown of Millwood Lake until Sunday, September 7th while it completes bank stabilization work at Cottonshed Park and begins inspecting the Millwood Dam.
River Run East and River Run West parks will close at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, September 5th and remain closed through Saturday, September 13th while the dam is being inspected.
Alternative camping and boat launching facilities are available at Beard's Bluff, Beard's Lake and Yarborough Landing parks.
For more information about Millwood Lake, visit them online at: www.swl.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreatino/Lakes/MillwoodLake.asp.
DE QUEEN MEDICAL CENTER TO HOST BLOOD DRIVE 9/2/14
LifeShare is having a blood drive on Wednesday, September 3rd from noon until 4 p.m. at the De Queen Regional Medical Center.
LifeShare Blood Centers announced that every blood donation can save up to three lives and one in every seven people that are admitted to a hospital will need some type of blood product.
LifeShare Blood Centers supply all of the blood components for the hospitals in Southwest Arkansas, so your donation may save the life of someone you know.
BENEFIT FOR SLIM MANN 9/2/14
Pilgrim's Pride and the friends of Slim Mann will be holding a benefit fundraiser for him on Friday, September 5th from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. in the Town North Shopping Center parking lot in De Queen.
They will be serving chicken quarter lunches for $5 each and they are willing to deliver within a two mile radius for orders of five or more and all deliveries will be made by 11:30 a.m.
For more information or to place an order call Alan Derington at 784-6278, Lonnie Johnson at 584-8170 or Charlie Tallant at 584-9961.
DE QUEEN STUDENT SELECTED AS PEOPLE TO PEOPLE STUDENT AMBASSADOR 9/2/14
15-year-old Elizabeth House was selected to serve as a People to People Student Ambassador and will be joining a delegation of students on a 20-day educational tour that take them to seven European countries.
House is a sophomore at De Queen High School and is taking concurrent classes at UA Cossatot.
House explained that the delegation will be led by a group of experienced teachers and they will learn about the history, culture and people of the regions.
House will have the opportunity to meet a member of the British Parliament, interview a World War II veteran on the beaches of Normandy, visit the International Court of Justice, the Anne Frank Museum and many other places.
House also mentioned that this opportunity comes with an $8,000 price tag, which includes the cost of airfare, meals and lodging, so she would like to ask the area business owners and individuals about sponsoring her or to donation gift cards or merchandise that she can use to hold a raffle.
House stated she will be holding several book and bake sales, and would appreciate the donation of new or used books that are in good condition.
If you have any questions, would like to make a donation or volunteer to help her with a fundraiser, House said you may contact her at 870-642-5912.
EMERALD ASH BORER CONFIRMED IN SIX COUNTIES 9/2/14
Twenty-five counties in southern and southwest Arkansas could be subject to a quarantine on the movement of firewood, ash nursery stock and ash logs in an effort to halt the spread of the emerald ash borer, according to a state official.
The emerald ash borer was accidentally imported from Asia and confirmed in the United States in 2002 and has been blamed for the deaths of tens of millions of trees in the U.S. and Canada and it has now been confirmed in six Arkansas counties. These counties are: Clark, Columbia, Dallas, Hot Spring, Nevada and Ouachita.
The proposed quarantine would include all hardwood firewood, all ash nursery stock and ash from both saw logs and pulpwood, mulch and compost. The area included in the quarantine would include the six infested counties and 19 other counties that would serve as a buffer zone, including: Ashley, Bradley, Calhoun, Cleveland, Drew, Garland, Grant, Hempstead, Howard, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lincoln, Little River, Miller, Montgomery, Pike, Saline, Sevier and Union counties.
A decision on the proposed quarantine will be made September 11th by the Arkansas State Plant Board. One option is to enact an emergency rule that would establish a quarantine that would last 120 days. This time period would allow the board to initiate a process that includes public hearings on the issue.
A task force with members from the Arkansas State Plant Board, USDA, Arkansas Forestry Commission, University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, Arkansas Forestry Association, Arkansas State Parks, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts and Natural Resources Conservation Services met on Monday, August 25th to discuss a possible quarantine.
The quarantine would bar movement of firewood and nursery stock out of the quarantined area to slow the insect's spread. Firewood should be sourced locally and burned locally, according to state officials.
The insect, a mere half-inch long, has expanded its range by hundreds of miles since being discovered in southeastern Michigan. It has been confirmed in 27 states, including Arkansas.
Jon Barry is an extension forester for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and he said Arkansans should be on the lookout for symptoms of infestation like: multiple jagged holes excavated by woodpeckers feeding on ash borer larvae, distinctive D-shaped exit holes left by emerging adult beetles, canopy dieback from top of tree, sprouts arising from the base of the tree and larval tunnels or galleries immediately under the bark of dying ash trees.
Barry said if any of these signs of infestation appear that you should contact your county extension agent.
FOREMAN BOARD OF EDUCATION TRANSFERS FUNDS FROM BUILDING FUND TO OPERATING ACCOUNT 9/2/14
During the regular board meeting of the Foreman Board of Education, board members approved a resolution to transfer over $49,000 from the Building Fund to the district's General Operating Fund .
Board members also approved a resolution stating the district's intention to conduct business with related parties. Kennedy stated this resolution was needed so the district could conduct business with local businesses that may have a relationship with someone working in the district.
The board approved conducting business with Grill Hill Dozier, Tanner Sheet Metal, Turner Heating and Air, Hadaway Tire Shop, Gator Graphics and Young's Grocery.
Board members accepted the resignation of Monica Sharpe who was teaching First grade, and according to Kennedy was able to hire Samantha Young during a special called meeting a week later. He stated Young had been working as a substitute for the district since the beginning of the school year.
The board approved the transfer of five students to the Horatio School District and was informed that the district's enrollment stood at 497 students.
GILLHAM RESIDENT KILLED IN ACCIDENT 9/2/14
Thursday morning about 11:59 a.m., members of the De Queen Fire Department assisted Arkansas State Police Trooper Ryne Shelton at the scene of a fatal accident on Highway 71, about a mile North of De Queen.
According to the incident report, 66-year-old Lloyd Kirkpatrick of Gillham pulled onto the right shoulder of Highway 71 and attempted to make a U-turn and was struck by a 2013 Freightliner truck, pinning Kirkpatrick in his 1988 Jeep.
Members of the De Queen Fire Department worked to extricate Kirkpatrick from the vehicle. He was then transported to the De Queen Regional Medical Center by Southwest EMS.
Kirkpatrick was pronounced dead at the hospital by Sevier County Coroner Rusty Williams.
The driver of the Freightliner, Jeffery Lee Walters of Columbia, South Carolina, was not injured in the accident.
JULY CRIME VICTIM REPARATIONS ANNOUNCED 9/2/14
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced this week, that the Arkansas Crime Victims Reparations Board awarded $232,649.90 to victims of crime in July. Awards were made in 102 new cases and additional expenses were paid in 49 previously submitted cases.
The Attorney General's Office administers the state's Crime Victims Reparations Program, and the Crime Victims Reparations Board determines which claims are eligible for payment and how much money will be awarded to each claimant.
Victims of violent crime in Arkansas may submit claims to the Program to help defray the costs of medical treatment, mental-health counseling or other unexpected expenses associated with the crime. Most awards are limited to $10,000 or less, although the maximum award may be as high as $25,000 for a crime victim who receives catastrophic injuries.
One supplemental award was made to a resident in Little River County in the amount of $140.80.
A total of $10,610 was awarded in two new cases and one previously submitted case in Miller County.
LITTLE RIVER COUNTY FAIR 9/2/14
Judging at the Little River County Fair concluded Thursday night with the Market Lamb show and Cattle show.
Angie Lewis of the Little River County Extension Office provided KDQN with the category winners and Grand Champions of the Market Lamb and Cattle shows.
Lewis reported that there were five classes of market lambs and in class 1 with a weight of 105 pounds, the winner was Nicole Pool followed by Madison Kidd.
In class 2 with weights between 112 to 113 pounds, the winner was Maddie McAllister followed by Hunter Pool.
In class 3 with weights between 115 and 118 pounds, the winner was Raylei Merrell followed by Maddison Kidd and Kinley Wright.
In class 4 with a weight 125 pounds, the winner was Maddie McAllister.
In class 5 with a weight of 138 pounds, the winner was Maddie McAllister followed by Maddison Kidd.
Maddie McAllister exhibited the Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion Market Lambs.
Nicole Pool won the Junior Showmanship award. Raylei Merrell won the Intermediate Showman title and Maddison Kidd was named the Senior Showman winner.
Rebecca Webb won the Supreme Grand Heifer category, while Lyndon Youngblood took the Supreme Reserve Heifer title.
Rebecca Webb won both the Grand Supreme and Reserve Grand Champion awards in the Brahma Bull category.
Lyndon Youngblood was named the Grand Champion in the Charolaise Composit category. He was also named the Supreme Bull, while Rebecca Webb was named the Reserve Supreme Bull winner.
Judd Kennemore won the Peewee Showmanship award. Rebecca Webb won the Senior Showmanship award. Trace Kennemore won the Intermediate Showman award and Lyndon Youngblood won the Junior Showman award.
TYSON FOODS AND HILLSHIRE BRANDS COMPLETE MERGER 9/2/14
Tyson Foods, Inc. announced the completion of its merger with The Hillshire Brands Company. The transaction will position Tyson Foods as a clear leader in the prepared foods business. In connection with the merger, shares of Hillshire Brands common stock was delisted and ceased being traded on the New York and Chicago stock exchanges on Friday, August 29th.
The combination of Tyson Foods and Hillshire Brands creates a single company with more than $40 billion in annual sales and a portfolio that includes recognized brands such as Tyson, Wright, Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, State Fair and Hillshire Farm.
The integration of the two companies is currently expected to generate synergy savings of $225 million in 2015 and more than $500 million by 2017.
Teams of people from Tyson and Hillshire have been working on integration plans since July to help make sure the combined company gets off to a good start.
A new leadership team has been selected and includes a mix of existing senior leaders from Tyson Foods and Hillshire Brands.
GREENE ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY FOR ASHDOWN SCHOOL BOARD 9/02/14
Tommie Greene has announced that he is seeking a seat on the Ashdown Board of Education during the school election that will be held on Tuesday, September 16th.
Greene is a resident of Ogden and earned a B.S. degree in industrial/vocational arts education from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
Greene also attended the Army Material Command School of Engineering and Logistics and retired from civilian service with the Department of the Army at the Red River Army Depot where he worked as a production controller, maintenance management specialist, logistics manager and supervisor of production planning and control operations when it came to the life-cycle management of military weaponry.
Greene is currently attending seminary in Texarkana, Texas through the Bowie Baptist Association.
30-DAY HEALTH CHALLENGE ISSUED FOR SEPTEMBER 8/29/14
Here lately, everyone is taking part in the ALS ice bucket challenge and Dr. Jason Lofton also participated in the effort to raise funds and awareness for Lou Gehrig's disease, but instead of challenging others to take the ice bucket challenge, Dr. Lofton challenged the residents of the De Queen to take a 30-day health challenge.
Dr. Lofton stated that he wants everyone to take steps to be healthier over the next 30-days. He also encouraged everyone to accept a new challenge each month.
To help folks accept his 30-day health challenge, Dr. Lofton reminded everyone about the ML.2 meetings at his office every Thursday evening at 5:30. The meetings are free and voluntary.
Dr. Lofton mentioned that flu season is around the bend and encouraged everyone to get a flu shot.
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