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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.
DE QUEEN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT HONORED BY NATIONAL SOCIETY OF HIGH SCHOOL SCHOLARS 8/29/14
The National Society of High School Scholars announced that De Queen High School student Justyce Brown of Lockesburg has been selected to become a member of the esteemed organization.
The Society recognizes the top scholars who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, scholarship and community commitment.
The announcement was made by the founder and chairman of the Society, Claes Nobel.
Nobel stated that he was honored to recognize the hard work, sacrifice and commitment that Brown has demonstrated to achieve this exceptional level of academic excellence and that she is now a member of a community that represents the very best hope for our future.
Membership into the Society entitles qualified students the opportunity to enjoy a variety of benefits, including scholarship opportunities, academic competitions, free events, member-only resources, publications, and participation is programs offered by educational partners.
LITTLE RIVER COUNTY FAIR 8/29/14
The Little River County Fair got underway this week and the swine judging contest was held Wednesday evening.
Angie Lewis of the Little River County Extension Office provided KDQN with the category winners and Grand Champions of the swine show.
Lewis reported that there were nine classes of market hogs during the swine show and that in class 1 with weights between 110 to 124 pounds, the winner was Gabrelle Leon followed by Monica Lansdell, Haley Wright and Daylon Haylee.
In class 2 with weights between 133 and 143 pounds, the winner was Haley Wright followed by Lyndon Youngblood, Mackyenze Dollarhide, Caleb Carver, and Daylon Haylee.
In class 3 with weights between 146 and 149 pounds, the winner was George Lepoard followed by Brooke Dierks, Braille Fondren, Leanna Stephens, and Cody Flowers.
In class 4 with weights between 150 and 155 pounds, the winner was George Lepoard followed by Mackenzie Scott, Derreck Magby, Reina Anderson, Monica Kennington, and Timothy Wright.
In class 5 with weights between 157 and 167 pounds, the winner was Maddie McAllister followed by Lyndon Youngblood, Carlenda Shelton, Gabrelle Leon and Rebecca Wood.
In class 6 with weights between 170 and 176 pounds, the winner was Cody Flowers followed by Caleb Carver, Timothy Wright and Marina Clayton.
In class 7 with weights between 178 and 182 pounds, the winner was Mackyenze Dollarhide, Lydon Youngblood, Reina Anderson, Rebecca Wood and Mackyenze Scott.
In class 8 with weights between 187 and 191 pounds, the winner was Marina Clayton followed by Carlenda Shelton and Lucas Anderson.
In class 9 with weights between 195 and 204 pounds, the winner was Mackyneze Dollarhide followed by Leanna Stephens and Derreck Magby.
The Grand Champion Hog came from class 7 and was exhibited by Mackyenze Dollarhide and the Reserve Grand Champion Hog came from class 8 and was exhibited by Marina Clayton.
In the breed classes, Rebecca Wood took first with her April Duroc (DO ROCK) Boar, while Mackyenze Dollarhide took first place with her April Gilt Duroc.
Mackyenze Dollarhide was the Grand Champion and Rebecca Wood was the Reserved Grand Champion.
Lyndon Youngblood won the Junior Showmanship award. Maddie MacAllister won the Intermediate Showman title and Carlenda Shelton was named the Senior Showman winner.
The 2014 Little River County Rodeo Royalty Contest will Friday night at 7 p.m. along with the Tiny Tot Contest and then the Ringgold Rodeo will start at 8.
ONE DEFENDANT SENTENCED TO 6 YEARS IN ADC 8/29/14
On August 21st, Mitchell Everhart changed his plea to guilty on two counts in the Sevier County Circuit Court before Circuit Judge Charles Yeargan.
Everhart was sentenced to 6 years with 3 suspended in the Arkansas Department of Corrections on the charge of theft by receiving and another 3 years on the charge of forgery in the 2nd degree. Everhart will receive credit for time that he has served in the Sevier County jail.
Two defendants will return to court on September 4th for their pre-trial hearings.
Pre-trial motions will be heard in the case against Aaron Moreland and Barry McKinney.
Moreland is being charged with delivery of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, while McKinney has elected to represent himself after being charged with theft by receiving, delivery of methamphetamine and simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms.
A trial date of November 19th was set in the case against Dylan Carter. He's been charged with 3 counts of theft of property and 3 counts of breaking and entering.
SCRUTINIZE SECRET SHOPPER OFFERS 8/29/14
Few consumers would turn away the opportunity to get paid to go shopping at department store or dine at fine restaurants. That's why it's fairly common for consumers to fall victim to scams involving that type of job opportunity.
Con artists who perpetrate the "secret shopper" scam entice consumers with promises of cash payments if a consumer will evaluate the customer service at a store or restaurant while acting as an ordinary customer.
Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has issued a consumer alert to remind consumers about this scam and to warn consumers not to become victims of wire-fraud schemes.
Operators of the "secret shopper" scam send consumers a check, typically for three to four thousand dollars and ask the consumer to deposit the check and then use the money to make purchases at retail stores.
Once those minor purchases are made, consumers are asked to wire the remaining money to their employer, who is usually in a foreign country. Victims are then promised that they will receive a paycheck in the mail for their services, but that check never arrives.
Many times, the shoppers are told to complete the task and wire the money within 48 hours or risk losing their new job. The reason for this deadline is the scammer doesn't want the bank to have enough time to tell you the check is counterfeit.
So if you are promised free money in this or a similar scam, you should throw away any unexpected or unsolicited checks that come in the mail.
You should also be careful about employment opportunities that has no screening process and be leery of companies based in Canada or overseas that claim to have secret shopper or work-at-home jobs available.
And, you should never wire funds or provide information from a MoneyPak card to an unknown person or business.
For more information about this or other consumer issues visit the Attorney General's website gotyourbackarkansas.org or call 1-800-482-8982.
WIN A LIFETIME SPORTSMAN PERMIT WHILE HELPING OTHERS 8/29/14
Residents of Southwest Arkansas like to hunt and fish and they like to help those in need, well, now they have an opportunity to do both at the same time.
The Southwest Arkansas Crisis and Resource Center is currently selling tickets for an opportunity to win a lifetime resident hunting and fishing sportsman's permit, but some may not be familiar with this center.
Executive Director Courtney White stated that the center needed to raise funds to help victims of domestic abuse and other crimes because they do not receive funding from the state or federal government.
White stated the Sportsman permit is an annual event and they will only be selling 350 tickets this year.
Tickets are only $20 each or 6 for $100 and the winner will be announced at 10 a.m. on September 30th at Harris Drug and Gifts in De Queen, but you don't have to be present to win.
KING RUNNING FOR ALDERMAN IN DE QUEEN 08/29/14
Matthew King of De Queen announced his candidacy for Ward 1, Position 1 for De Queen City Council. Two other candidates are running for the same position. Following is his announcement:
I, Matthew King want to announce my intent to run for the position of De Queen City Alderman, Ward 1, Position 1.
I have called De Queen home for the last 3 years; however, I consider myself a long time resident, having spent my summers here with family and friends.
I graduated from Texas A&M University in Texarkana with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. While obtaining my degree, I worked for Ayers Cleaners and Chandler Funeral Home. Currently I am employed at Pilgrim’s, working as data analyst for production where I have been for the last year.
This past year I participated in the Sevier County Leadership Program through the Chamber of Commerce. While in the program I decided that I wanted to be more involved in our city. Our city has great potential and I want to see it prosper for many years to come. I feel that it is important to our city’s longevity to do what we can to keep local businesses and industry here. Without jobs for our citizens our town cannot thrive. De Queen is not just the place I live; it’s the place I call home. It is my hope that if elected, I will be able to serve the city not only as a voice for local businesses but for all of its citizens as well.
I’m asking for your support November 4th. If anyone has any questions, feel free to contact me at (870)-642-6142.
This Week's News:
AREA STATE PARKS CELEBRATING LEGACY WEEK 8/28/14
Arkansas State Parks are celebrating legacy week through Saturday. Legacy week is being held to highlight the history of our state parks and to honor them.
Millwood State Park will hold several activities this weekend as a part of legacy week.
Friday evening, the park will host a night hike of Waterfowl Way Trail and on Saturday at 9 a.m., park interpreters will talk about the creation of the park and discuss how it has evolved.
Sunday morning, the park will host a kayak tour at 9 a.m. The cost of the tour is $10 for adults and $5 for children.
For additional information, contact the Millwood State Park at 870-898-2800.
At the Cossatot River State Park, park interpreters will discuss the natural history of the Ouachita Mountains and describe the unique plants and animals that live there from 9 to 10 a.m. on Thursday.
They will play the naming game from 11 until noon, while surveying a section of the Waterleaf Trail and then you can get artistic by taking your guitars, paint brushes and creative mind and discover how the Cossatot River Park inspires you.
Friday will feature a morning stroll from 9 to 10 a.m. and then see if you can get inspired to write a poem after taking a short hike through nature.
For a complete list of activities this weekend at the Cossatot River State Park, check out our website at KDQN.net or call 870-358-2201.
HART PROMOTED TO VICE PRESIDENT AT BANCORPSOUTH 8/28/14
The Hope Market President of BancorpSouth, Donny Hughes, announced this week that Teri Hart as been promoted to Vice President and Loan Officer.
Hart has 33-years of banking experience and joined BancorpSouth's predecessor, First Federal Saving and Loan in 1996.
Hughes stated that BancorpSouth was fortunate to have someone with Hart's experience and ties to the community in their De Queen office.
Hart is a native of De Queen and is current member and board member of the De Queen Lions Club and has served as an alderman on the De Queen City Council and on the board of the De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce.
BancorpSouth is headquartered in Tupelo, Mississippi, with approximately $13 billion dollars in assets and operates approximately 300 commercial banking, mortgage and insurance locations in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas, including an insurance location in Illinois.
2014 CONSERVING OUR PASTURES WORKSHOP 8/28/14
Landowners and livestock producers that are 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 3rd at the University of Arkansas Research and Extension Center in Hope. The workshop will begin at 10 a.m. and conclude around 12:30. [The address for the center is: 362 Highway 174 North, Hope.]
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 of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission stated they will have a great program set up that will cover nearly all financial incentive programs that are available. He said if you are a cattle producer, this workshop will explain the incentive programs and show them how they can improve their bottom line, while improving their water quality. He explained that these programs will also 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 extension 100. Reservations are encouraged so they can estimate how many meals they will need to provide.
For more information about the workshop, contact Mike Budd at 870-473-2869.
CHILD FIND CAMPAIGN IN ASHDOWN 08/27/14
The Ashdown School District is participating in an ongoing statewide effort to identify, locate, and evaluate children from birth to age 21 who have a physical, mental, communicative and/or emotional disability, as part of the Child Find Campaign.
According to Special Services Director Jan Ueckert of the Ashdown School District, this is something they constantly do.
"We are always seeking those children," Ueckert says, "It is something we do every year."
According to Ueckert, early identification of children in need of special education services is most important to each child. Furthermore, this information gathered from contacts with parents and other agencies will be used to help determine present and future program needs as progress is made toward the goal of providing a free appropriate public education to all children with a disability.
"It's the federal law that we have to identify these kids so that we are in a position to meet their needs," Ueckert continues.
The Ashdown School District works with the local Head Starts, Human Services, Health Department, and Mental Health agencies, as well as local education agencies, physicians, and other individuals to identify and locate children in school and out of school who may be in need of special education services.
Anyone who knows any child who may have a disability is asked to contact Ueckert at 870-898-4404 or visit the ASD Support Center office at 460 NW Front Street.
Submitted by Carolyn Henderson
UA COSSATOT OFFERING CONTINUING EDUCATION CLASSES TO THE SURROUNDING AREA 8/27/14
According to UA Cossatot Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole, one of Cossatot's purposes is to provide educational opportunities to the residents of the counties that the college serves and Zebbie Minton of UA Cossatot's Continuing Education Department announced this week the fall schedule including short term courses to get you ready for a new career, community courses and kids classes.
Minton mentioned that UA Cossatot is offering short term courses that will have you job ready in about a month in the areas of truck driving, pharmacy tech and more.
She announced that UA Cossatot would be offering some new community classes like yoga and Civil War Era quilting.
There will also be classes for kids and small businesses.
For more information about the continuing education classes at UA Cossatot, call 584-4471 and ask for the continuing education department. Minton also mentioned that a copy of the schedule is on the station's website, KDQN.net and the college's website at cccua.edu.
UA COSSATOT INSTRUCTOR RETURNS TO THE US 8/27/14
UA Cossatot Biological Science Instructor Molly Sirigiri returned to Nashville over the weekend and returned to the classroom today.
Sirigiri has lived in Nashville for four years, while teaching on the Howard County Campus of UA Cossatot and this summer, she joined a group of members of the First Baptist Church in Nashville and several other churches on a mission trip to Guatemala.
The group completed their mission project within a week at an orphanage, but when they returned to Houston, she was informed that her particular type of VISA allowed her to travel outside of the United States, but would not allow her to re-enter the states.
So, Sirigiri was flown back to India where college officials, the University of Arkansas System officials, and U.S. officials worked to process the necessary paperwork for her to return to Nashville and her job.
UA Cossatot Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole stated this was the best possible result, because Sirigiri is a vital part of the Cossatot staff and a vital member of her church and the community of Nashville.
Cole gave credit to the state's U.S. Senators and the UA System, as well as Kelly Plunk, the UA Cossatot Human Resources Director and Crystal Sims who is a Biological Science Instructor in helping Sirigiri returned to the states and for covering her academic duties.
Sirigiri teaches General Biology, Microbiology and Anatomy and Physiology.
TWO AREA RESIDENTS APPOINTED TO ARKANSAS BOARDS 8/27/14
Two area residents were recently appointed to state boards by Governor Mike Beebe.
Deb Tackett of Nashville was appointed to the Arkansas Early Childhood Commission. Her appointment will expire July 1st, 2017.
Tackett is the principal of the Nashville Junior High School and has over 34 years of experience in the field of education and has worked in the Nashville School District for 32 years.
Karen Massey of Hope was appointed to the Children's Behavioral Health Care Commission. Her appointment will expire August 15th of 2017.
STUCK VEHICLE RESULTS IN ARREST 8/27/14
Saturday, August 23rd, an off-duty investigator with the Sevier County Sheriff's office reported that a vehicle was stuck on the high line just off a road that leads to some property that he has leased off Ottawa Road.
Deputies Clayton Yates and Brian Hankins were dispatched to the area and observed a male subject walking up Ottawa Road, when the subject saw the patrol cars; he turned away from the officers and started walking on a lease road.
The subject was identified as 33-year-old John Wayne Billingsley of McAllister, Oklahoma.
Billingsley informed the deputies that he was trying to get his truck unstuck, which was in a large mud hole and leaning on the passenger side.
When the deputies ran the license plate of the vehicle, it returned to a James or Susan Hoffman of Oklahoma.
Deputies received permission to search the vehicle and discovered a pill bottle containing what appeared to be Xanex bars in it with no identification on the bottle. Billingsley was then taken into custody.
After Billingsley was transported to the Sevier County jail, Deputy Yates discovered a concealed gun holster in the back of his patrol car.
While searching Billingsley at the jail, deputies discovered a small clear bag that contained suspected methanphetamine.
Later that afternoon, deputies returned to Ottawa Road and began searching the area where they first discovered Billingsley for a firearm that he may of discarded.
Deputies found a .40 caliber Smith and Wesson in the brush about 30 feet from where they saw him standing when they turned onto the lease road. They also found three spent shell casing that matched live .40 caliber rounds that they found in the truck.
Billingsley is being charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance, possession of a firearm by a certain person and simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms.
HORATIO HIGH SCHOOL HOSTS BLOOD DRIVE 8/27/14
LifeShare Blood Center is having a blood drive this Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. at the Horatio High School.
LifeShare Blood Centers announced that this blood drive was apart of the 2014 LifeScholars program, which is a program designed to honor students who demonstrate community service and leadership by becoming regular blood donors. LifeShare Blood Centers donor recruiter Karen Siefert stated that has young people are learning about responsibilities, they should also learn that one of the greatest gifts they can give, is the gift of life by donating blood.
Every school has the opportunity to earn scholarships for students, regardless of the size of the school or its athletic classification.
The community is encouraged to donate blood and support the students of Horatio High School.
According to statistics, about one in seven people that enter a hospital will need a blood product and one blood donation can save up to three lives.
LifeShare Blood Centers supplies all of the blood components of the Southwest Arkansas area hospitals, so your donation may save the life of someone you know.
DEMOCRATIC AG HOPEFUL ANNOUNCES LEGISLATIVE AGENDA 8/27/14
Democratic attorney general hopeful Nate Steel of Nashville says sex offenders should no longer be eligible for parole and should be required to carry drivers licenses with a special imprint.
The state representative unveiled a series of proposals that he says he will push in the Legislature next year if he is elected attorney general this November.
Steel says his proposals are primarily aimed at addressing the state's prison overcrowding issue.
Steel also proposed increasing funding for drug courts, establishing a veteran's advocacy unit in the attorney general's office and using up-to-date technology to find parents who are not paying child support.
Steel is running against Republican nominee Leslie Rutledge.
The two are running to succeed Democratic Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, who is barred by term limits from seeking re-election.
ASHDOWN STUDENT TO SERVE AS U.S. SENATE PAGE 08/27/14
Anthony Bennett Jr., a junior at Ashdown High School, is about to live the experience of a lifetime as an official employee on the floor of the United States Senate in Washington D.C. for five months.
Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor nominated Bennett to become one of the most recognized employees on the Senate floor -- a U.S. Senate Page. Pages must be high school juniors with at least a 3.0 GPA and apply with a resume and various essays. Bennett applied, was selected as a finalist, and then eight days later was notified of his selection shortly before the beginning of classes for this year at AHS. Bennett reports for his duties on September 7
Bennett will be one of thirty Senate Pages for the fall term -- 15 girls and 15 boys. He will attend AHS for the first two weeks of school and then transfer to the Washington Senate Page School for the fall semester. He will attend school from 5:00 a.m to 9:00 a.m. daily and then be on the Senate floor to assist Senator Pryor and others as needed in the afternoons. His term will end on January 16, 2015, with an awards assembly.
Bennett is the son of Wynne Bell and Mr. & Mrs. Anthony Bennett Sr., and the grandson Mary and Mack Grimes and Barbara Hemphill.
Carolyn Henderson, Public Relations Coordinator/Teacher
ARKANSAS BEAR SURVEY NEEDS EYES IN THE FIELD 8/27/14
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission needs your help to determine the number and locations of black bears in bear zones 3 and 4 in southern Arkansas.
Arkansas Game and Fish bear program coordinator Myron Means stated the commission is soliciting the public's input from people who have photographs of black bears in those two zones.
Zones 3 and 4 include all of Grant, Cleveland, Dallas, Nevada, Ouachita, Calhoun, Bradley, Drew, Ashley, Union, Columbia, Lafayette, Hempstead, Little River and Miller counties, as well as parts of Pulaski, Saline, Hot Spring, Clark, Pike, Howard, Sevier, Jefferson, Lincoln, Chicot and Desha counties.
Means said the commission needs photographs and GPS location information to assess the abundance and distribution of the bear population in this part of the state. He explained that most of the land in this part of the state is privately owned, so the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission does not have a large land base to conduct surveys for an accurate estimate of the population. So they need documentable evidence and locations of sightings within the last year.
Means says the commission is trying to determine if the population's abundance and distribution have the potential for hunting opportunities.
If you have any photographs with GPS information that has been taken within the last year, you are being asked to send them to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission by November 30th. You can email your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ASHDOWN TO STUDENTS CELEBRATE GRANDPARENTS DAY 08/27/14
Four Ashdown schools are inviting grandparents to their campus on Friday, Sept. 5, to celebrate Grandparents' Day with their grandchildren. Ashdown Schools recognizes the importance of parental support, including grandparents, in the educational success of its students and wishes to honor their contributions.
Margaret Daniel Primary kindergarten and first graders invite their grandparents to join them in their classrooms from 8:30-9:15 that morning, and second and third graders at C. D. Franks Elementary will do the same from 8:30-9:30.
L. F. Henderson Intermediate grades 4-5 welcome grandparents from 9:30-10:30 to come to the front office, where they will be escorted to their grandchild's classroom to share juice and donuts.
At Ashdown Junior High School (grades 6-8), grandparents may enjoy breakfast with their grandchild from 7:45-8:30 in the cafeteria, with the adult breakfast costing $1.90.
LITTLE RIVER COUNTY FAIR LIVESTOCK JUDGING RESULTS 08/27/14
The 72 Annual Little River County Fair, Rodeo, and Livestock
Show kicked off yesterday starting with the Parade @ 6:pm, Rabbits
show @ 6:30 followed by the Goat Show 7:30.
Grand Champion Goat came from Class 3 shown by Kinley Wright
ASHDOWN SCHOOL RECEIVES GRANT FROM RONALD MCDONALD CHARITIES
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Texarkana recently presented a $2,300 grant to Margaret Daniel Primary School in Ashdown to help fund their Summer Reading Connection program. The reading program, which has just completed its fifth year at MDP, provides two books a week per child for children to maintain their level of reading through the summer break.
Since its start in 1995, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Texarkana has provided more than $895,000 in grants to non-profit organizations in this area.
Pictured are Jason Sadowski, Ronald McDonald House Charities board member and local McDonald's owner/ operator, and Kay York, principal of MDP.
Carolyn Henderson, Public Relations Coordinator/Teacher
By Waymon Cox
Greetings from Crater of Diamonds State Park! Visitors from all over the world have come to the Crater and searched for diamonds this summer. Many have found their own rock and mineral treasures to take home, while others have treasured memories of our walking trails, Kimberlite Café, Diamond Springs, and more.
Unfortunately, litter can tarnish memories of an outdoor adventure, like searching for diamonds. It ruins the beauty of our world and can have long-lasting negative effects on the environment. Disposing of trash properly helps preserve our natural surroundings and the exciting encounters that await us in the outdoors!
Our experiences while on vacation heavily influence where we travel in the future. To show others how beautiful the Natural State can be, on Saturday, September 6, Crater of Diamonds State Park will host the 7th Annual Great Crater Cleanup, from 1 – 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. 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 for great prizes!
For more information contact Crater of Diamonds State Park at 870-285-3116 or by e-mail at CraterofDiamonds@Arkansas.com. This year help our park and state shine like a diamond during the Great Crater Cleanup and Great Arkansas Cleanup!
Keep up with the Crater by subscribing to our free e-newsletter!
Most recent significant precipitation: August 18, 20214
Diamond finds for the week
of August 17, 2014 (100 points = one carat):
ASHDOWN SCHOOL’S SERENITY CAFÉ OPEN NOW 08/27/14
Serenity Cafe, the Ashdown High School coffee shop, is now open for the 2014-15 school year! Beginning this week, the new baristas in Mrs. Shauna Tipton's Entrepreneur class are ready to fix their customers up with a gourmet drink in the early morning or mid afternoon. Shop hours are 7:30-8:40 a.m. and 3:30-4:30 p.m., as well as during home football games. Location is in the old band hall, across from Dick Hays Stadium.
The menu contains a delicious drink for everyone -- flavored coffees, cappuccino, a variety of lattes, specialty dark hot chocolate, along with frozen and cold drinks like frappe`, vegan fruit smoothies, and, new this year, Italian sodas in strawberry and cherry flavors. The students are working on the possibility of adding frozen lemonade too! All ingredients are of premium quality, along with top-of-the-line drink making equipment.
The coffee shop is part of the class curriculum for Mrs. Tipton's Entrepreneurship class. Two years ago, her class won a grant to fund the setup of the business and to support its continuing operation. Last year, the remodeling, purchase of equipment, and barista training was completed, and the Serenity Cafe came to life. The sale of the drinks helps a little to offset the expense of the shop's operation, but the most important aspect is the hands-on training the students get as they run the shop, keep the books, and make inventory purchases. However, none of this would be possible without the support of patrons who love good coffee or smoothies or Italian sodas!
The young baristas want to encourage the public to continue to support them, enjoy the drinks they brew up, and always expect to get service with a smile!
Submitted by Carolyn Henderson
5 CARNIES ARRESTED FOR CRIMINAL TRESPASS 8/26/14
Friday, August 22nd, an officer with the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to a home on 3rd Street to take a report for Breaking and Entering.
Upon his arrival, Officer David Higgins interviewed the resident of the house, Chris White, who reported that five men showed up at his house and knocked on his door. He told the officer that he didn't know the men so he didn't open the door, but they went around the house and kicked the back door in, saying he owned them money.
White said they exchanged words and he ran out the front door.
White informed Higgins that he recognized one the men and described the four of the men as being black. White said, one had dread locks, another was tall, skinny and had a bald head and was wearing a white t-shirt, two of the men had beards and one was a short, heavy-set Hispanic man.
White said he had seen the men working at the carnival at the Sevier County Fairgrounds.
Higgins was then accompanied by Patrolman Bucky Sawyer, Sergeant Chad Bradshaw and Deputy Charles Emmerich of the Sevier County Sheriff's office to locate the suspects at the Sevier County fairgrounds.
After being transported to the De Queen Police Station, four of the five men admitted to entering White's home; however one suspect, 51-year-old Eugene Harris of Houston, Texas denied leaving the fairgrounds, but the other four suspects placed Harris at White's home.
All five suspects were charged with criminal trespass and released.
The other four suspects included; 39-year-old Christopher Davis of Memphis, Tennessee; 23-year-old Arturo Leos of Corpus Christi, Texas; 40-year-old Charles Hollins of Houston, Texas; and 33-year-old Paul Brooks of New Orleans, Louisiana.
ASHDOWN STUDENT SELECTED AS A U.S. SENATE PAGE 8/26/14
Anthony Bennett Jr. is a junior at Ashdown High School and is about to live the experience of a lifetime as an official employee on the floor of the United States Senate in Washington D.C. for five months.
Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor nominated Bennett to become one of the most recognized employees on the Senate floor, a U.S. Senate Page.
Pages must be high school juniors with at least a 3.0 GPA and apply with a resume and various essays.
Bennett applied, was selected as a finalist and then eight days later was notified of his selection shortly before the start of classes last week. Bennett will report for his duties on September 7th.
Bennett will be one of 30 Senate Pages for the fall term and he will attend Ashdown High School for the first two weeks of school and then transfer to the Washington Senate Page School for the remainder of the semester.
Bennett will attend school from 5 to 9 a.m. daily and then be on the Senate floor to assist Senator Pryor and others as needed in the afternoon. His term will end on January 16, with an awards assembly.
Bennett is the son of Wynne Bell and Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Bennett Sr. and the grandson of Mary and Mack Grimes and Barbara Hemphill.
CASA ADVOCATES NEEDED 8/26/14
All children need a voice and someone to listen to them and the Howard County CASA program is looking for area residents that are willing to serve as that voice for children that are currently in an out of home placement.
Lindsey Duffy of Texarkana informed KDQN that volunteers can learn more about the program by attending an informational meeting this Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in the Howard County Children's Advocacy Center on Clark Street in Nashville.
Duffy explained that CASA volunteer advocates help abused and neglected children during juvenile dependency-neglect proceedings reach safe, permanent homes. She said a CASA volunteer acts as a fact finder of the child's best interest, providing judges with valuable information on the child to help the court make a sound decision about the child's future.
Duffy also said anyone that cares about children can serve as a CASA volunteer.
Duffy stated that currently 25 children in Howard County are in the child welfare system and those children need you to be their voice and help look out for they best interest.
For more information, contact Duffy at 903-278-1198.
DONATIONS TO FIRE DEPARTMENT BENEFITS CITIZENS 8/26/14
De Queen Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt spoke informed the members of the De Queen City Council that his department had received a donation from the Dunlop Family in the amount of $3,000.
Aldermen appropriated those funds to allow the department to purchase smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors for the residents of De Queen.
Chief Pruitt stated the donation was more than expected, but the department will now be able to help more residents make their homes safe.
Pruitt also reported that after the recent storm that knocked over several trees in the area, the department realized that their current storm cleanup equipment was inadequate.
Pruitt stated that he contacted Joe Wilson at Husqvarna wanting to purchase some new equipment, but Wilson one upped him by donating some chainsaws and a pole saw to the department.
Pruitt explained that with donations like these, his department is able to serve the community of De Queen to the best of their ability.
For more information concerning smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors, contact the fire department by calling 584-7224.
HUCKABEE STOP THE FIGHT OVER COMMON CORE 8/26/14
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee says fellow conservatives should stop the fight over Common Core education standards and instead consider the benefits the benchmarks offer students in struggling schools.
Huckabee's comments were made Friday and put him at odds with a significant bloc of Republicans, including many of his potential rivals for the 2016 presidential nomination.
Huckabee acknowledges the standards have become politically toxic, but he says parents from both parties should stop fighting the standards, which states voluntarily adopted and describe what reading and language skills students should learn in each grade.
Tea party-styled conservatives have branded the standards as one-size-fits-all prescriptions that have the backing of President Barack Obama. Teacher unions oppose their members being graded on how well students learn the more rigorous skills.
KING ANNOUNCES INTENT TO SEEK POSITION ON DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL 8/26/14
Matthew King announced today that he intends to run for a position as a De Queen City Alderman, Ward 1, Position 1, which is currently being held by Kathy Richards.
King reported that he has called De Queen his home for the past 3-years, but spent several summers here visiting family and friends as a young person.
King graduated from Texas A&M University in Texarkana with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration. He worked at Ayers Cleaners and Chandler Funeral Home, while obtaining his degree and is currently employed at Pilgrim's as a data analyst for production.
Last year, King participated in the Sevier County Leadership Program through the chamber of commerce and while participating in the program, decided to get more involved in city government.
King said De Queen has great potential and he wants to see it prosper for many years to come. He said he feels it’s important to keep local businesses and industry here because without jobs the city cannot thrive.
King stated that De Queen is not just a place where he lives, but is the place he calls home and if elected, he will serve the city, not only as a voice for the local businesses but for all of its citizens as well.
King stated he is asking for your support on November 4th during the general election and if you have any questions, contact him at 870-642-6142.
SCHOOL YEAR OFF TO A GREAT START AT DIERKS 8/26/14
Things are off to a great start in the Dierks School District and new Superintendent Holly Cothren even though there have been several changes this year.
Cothren and the district is still trying to correct a minor issue with the district's new safe room and, she mentioned the district made some upgrades to the district's technology by purchasing several laptops and creating new e-classrooms.
Members of the Dierks Board of Education approved the transfer of a couple of students and included a statement to the district's athletic handbook that states the district is not responsible for any loss or damaged personal items while players are traveling to activities.
Cothren also reported that the district approved a drug testing policy that will help student athletes say no to drugs.
Campus principals reported that enrollment for the district stood at 321 at the elementary and 266 at the high school.
AREA ACT SCORES ON THE RISE ALONG WITH STATE AVERAGES 8/25/14
According to the Arkansas Department of Education, Arkansas high school graduates are performing better on the ACT, with scores improving in several areas.
The report stated the state's composite ACT score increased from 20.2 in 2013 to 20.4 in 2014.
Department of Education Commissioner Tony Wood stated that even though scores are improving there is still work to do to ensure that every student graduates ready to attend college or start a career.
De Queen High School Counselor Ramona Hill informed KDQN that high school test scores improved by over a point from 18.0 in 2013 to 19.1 in 2014.
Department of Higher Education Director Shane Broadway reported that a score of 19 on the ACT in the areas of math and English is an indicator that students are ready for college.
Hill explained that De Queen High School is offering AP classes and offer a summer prep classes.
Hill said every student at De Queen High School takes the ACT exam at least once every year, while approximately 93 percent of the students take the test at least once state wide.
Hill also reminded students that the De Queen District is a testing center for every ACT test and now it a testing center for the SAT exam.
For more information about the ACT or SAT test, contact Hill at the De Queen High School at 642-2426.
AREA CONFERENCES CONCERNING OPEN ENROLLMENT FOR RETIRED TEACHERS 8/25/14
The Arkansas Retired Teachers Association is attempting to educate its members concerning the recent changes to the association's non-Medicare and Medicare retiree coverage through a series of meeting around the state.
The association is offering classes over the Open Enrollment, which is scheduled for this October.
Area members of the retired teachers association are invited to attend one of several meetings that are being held in larger cities throughout the months of August and September.
Coming up August 26th, a class will be offered in Little Rock at the Arkansas Teacher Retirement Building, but there's going to be a meeting in Texarkana, September 10th at 9:30 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church and in El Dorado, September 17th in the TAC building of the El Dorado School District.
If you have any questions, contact a Sevier County Retired Teachers Association member.
ARKANSAS LOTTERY CLOSING REGIONAL CLAIM CENTERS 8/25/14
The Arkansas Lottery Commission voted this week to close its three regional claim centers in Springdale, Jonesboro and Camden. The closings are expected to save the commission about $381,000 a year, which will be used for fund additional scholarships for Arkansas students.
The motion was made by Commissioner Mark Scott and states each center will close when its lease runs out. The Springdale center will close effective October 1st, 2014, and the claim centers in Jonesboro and Camden will close, November 30th, 2014.
Commissioners felt that due to the increased demand for lottery-funded scholarships and the relatively low traffic at the three centers, that the money to operate the centers would be better spent helping Arkansas students attend college.
ASHDOWN DISTRICT SEES ENROLLMENT INCREASE EARLY 8/25/14
Superintendent Jason Sanders of the Ashdown School District reported to KDQN that the district continued to make personnel moves during two meetings of the Ashdown Board of Education, but most were because teachers and coaches were getting offers to bigger schools and schools closer to their homes.
When Sanders arrived, he brought several ideas and one of those ideas was to start regular board meetings with a student spotlight, called Panther Pride.
Sanders reported that the district kicked off the new school year with a program entitled Rachel's Challenge, which deals will bullying in schools.
Sanders expressed his excitement about being at Ashdown and stated he was impressed by the teachers, administration and students.
LOCKESBURG CITY COUNCIL PASSES SALES TAX ORDINANCE FOR NOVEMBER BALLOT 8/25/14
Residents of Lockesburg will be considering an ordinance to levy a sales tax within the city limits of Lockesburg during the November general election.
Wednesday night during a special called meeting, members of the Lockesburg City Council passed an ordinance to levy three-quarters of one percent sales and use tax within the city.
According to the motion one-quarter of a percent will be designated for capital improvements on the Lockesburg campus of UA Cossatot, which will be renovating the old Lockesburg High School campus.
During the regular monthly meeting of the Lockesburg City Council, UA Cossatot Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole presented a letter to the aldermen from the University of Arkansas System president that acknowledged the fact that Cossatot was expanding into Lockesburg.
The 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.
Currently, the city of Lockesburg does not have any city sales tax.
EUROPE GUILTY OF SEXUAL ASSAULT 8/22/14
It took a jury of seven women and five men about 15-minutes to find Jimmy Europe guilty of sexual assault in the 2nd degree Wednesday afternoon in the Sevier County Circuit Court.
In the case of the State of Arkansas vs Jimmy Europe, prosecutors presented three witnesses and played the video taped interview of Europe for the jury while presenting their case.
The victim, Tanessa Watson, testified that Europe sexually assaulted her the morning July 2nd in 2013. She also testified that she and Europe were cousins.
Jurors sentenced Europe to 10 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections, but will be given credit for the 12-months that Europe has spent in the Sevier County jail while awaiting trial.
LOCKEBURG MAN SENTENCED TO 50 YEARS 8/22/14
A jury trial in the Howard County Circuit Court resulted in a 50 year sentence for a Lockesburg man on Tuesday.
51-year-old Louis Richard was sentenced to the Arkansas Department of Corrections for 50-years on two counts of second degree forgery. The sentence was enhanced after prosecutors tried Richard as a habitual offender.
The jury deliberated for over 45 minutes before returning the guilty verdict.
GREAT ARKANSAS CLEANUP SET TO KICK OFF SEPTEMBER 6 8/22/14
This year's fall litter pickup campaign will run from September 6 through October 31st. Thousands of Arkansans will volunteer to pick up litter along the state's roadways and waterways during Keep Arkansas Beautiful's; Great Arkansas Cleanup.
All Arkansas communities are encouraged to get involved in this annual cleanup effort. Those who would like to learn more about organizing a litter-pickup event in their community or to volunteer with a local event can visit KeepArkansasBeautiful.com or call toll-free 888-742-8701.
Last year, more than 24,000 Arkansans picked up 415,320 pounds of litter from roughly 1,300 miles of roadway and shoreline. The volunteer effort provided the state and participating communities a cost saving value estimated at more than $850,000.
Once a community registers a Great Arkansas Cleanup event, Keep Arkansas Beautiful will help organize and publicize the effort. They will also furnish volunteers with cleanup materials and supplies, such as trash bags, gloves and safety vests.
WINTHROP SCHOOL RESTORATION COMMITTEE ELECTS OFFICERS 8/22/14
Members of the Winthrop School Restoration Committee met this week to discuss their annual Winthrop reunion and the elect officers.
Loren Hinton was elected president; Audie Dawson was elected vice-president; Pam Click was elected secretary and Melba Scott was elected treasurer.
Tammy Bates was selected as the head of the fundraising committee and Terry Hess was named the cleanup and maintenance committee chair.
A cleanup day for the school grounds was scheduled for Saturday, August 30th beginning at 6:30 a.m. and volunteers are needed.
Veta Bryan and Susan Lansdell were named the co-chairs of the Winthrop School Reunion.
This year's reunion will be held in the old Winthrop School cafeteria on Sunday, August 31st. Lunch will be served at noon and all present and former residents of the Winthrop area are invited.
The Winthrop School Restoration Committee will be meeting the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the old Winthrop School house.
TRADING UP FOR YOUTH GROUP 8/22/14
Kyle Price is the volunteer youth minister in Texarkana, Texas and he decided to play the red paper clip game to benefit the youth of his church and he stopped by the KDQN studios to explained that he wants to trade up to purchase a van for his youth group.
Price stated the trades have not gone the way he expected but is enjoying the experience and is excited to see what the final outcome is.
Price stated that he hopes the next trade involves something with wheels, but said he would consider any offer that would improve this bartering position.
Price said he has read the story of the red paper clip trade several times and has been getting tips from the Barter Kings from the A & E network.
If you are interested in participating in Prices' game or if you just want to follow his progress, you can follow him on Facebook at the white swan project.
And, if you are in the market for a diamond ring, get involved in Price's adventure and help provide a church van for his youth group.
TAX DELINQUENT LAND SALE SCHEDULED FOR SEVIER COUNTY 8/21/14
A public auction for the sale of tax delinquent land in Sevier County will be held at the Sevier County Courthouse on Thursday, September 4th at 2 p.m., according to the office of Arkansas Commissioner of State Lands John Thurston.
Registration for the auction will begin at 1:30.
Recent legislation has affected the procedures for the sale of tax delinquent properties, and purchasers should take the time to review the changes prior to the auction date.
The Commissioner of State Lands provides a Catalog of Tax Delinquent Lands, which contains the current statues governing the sales, auction dates, times, locations and other pertinent information regarding parcels that are being offered for sale.
The catalog may be found on the Commissioner's website at www.cosl.org or it is available in print form by mail.
Thurston stated properties at auction no longer have a minimum bid of the assessed value of the property. He said bidding now begins at the amount of the taxes and fees that are due on the property.
The redemption period has also changed. Owners of the properties that are sold at auction now have 10-days to redeem the property following the sale.
Delinquent property owners may call the Land Commissioner's office at 501-324-9422 to request a Petition to Redeem, or they may look up the delinquent parcel on the COSL website and print it from there.
DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL VOTES TO UPGRADE INTERNET SERVICE AT CITY HALL 8/21/14
Tuesday night, aldermen of the De Queen City Council heard updates on a few city projects, appropriated funds for the fire department and voted to upgrade the internet service at city hall.
Reserve Officer Beth Hughes informed the city council that the De Queen Police Department needed faster internet speeds in order for them to download the videos from the officer’s body cameras.
Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy stated the council upgraded city hall's internet speed to 5 megabytes.
Alderman Teresa Bunyard presented a report concerning a motel tax. She reported that if they city passed a three-percent sales tax on motel’s; it would generate about $20,000 a year.
Mayor McKelvy asked city attorney Laura Lindly to research the idea and present the council with the legal ramifications of passing a motel tax.
McKelvy also provided aldermen with an update on a couple of city projects and on one project, McKelvy reported that the contractor felt the city could save some money by making a few upgrades to the city shop, instead of re-roofing the entire building.
Aldermen also appropriated $3,000 that was donated to the De Queen Fire Department for the purchase of smoke alarms and Carbon Monoxide detectors.
CORPS SEEKS PUBLIC'S HELP IN PROTECTING ARTIFACTS AT MILLWOOD LAKE 8/21/14
Army Corps of Engineers officials are reminding everyone that it is against the law to remove artifacts from public lands at Millwood Lake.
Millwood Lake's level will be gradually drawn down to an elevation of 258.2 feet, which is about one foot below its conservation pool elevation of 259.2 feet. During low lake levels, Corps rangers have noted increased incidents of people digging for artifacts. This act is illegal and can be punished by severe fines or jail time.
Cultural resources are physical remains of our shared past and these artifacts include Native American arrowheads and pottery, buildings and remains of structures, rock art, ceramics, glassware and any other object that was made by and used by people.
Depending on the circumstances and severity of the thefts, fines can be as high as $250,000 and jail terms can be up to 10 years.
Minor offenses can lead to misdemeanor charges, while more serious offenses or second offenses can lead to felony charges and convictions.
Three Little River County residents were charged with violating the Archaeological Resource Protection Act at Millwood Lake on April 15th and April 20th.
35-year-old Christopher Castle, 29-year-old Lauren Bailes and 31-year-old Callie Neher plead not guilty in a federal courtroom in Texarkana in July.
Arkansas Archeological Society officials explain that when individuals pursue what they consider a harmless hobby by digging or picking up artifacts, they are destroying the past. By removing Indian artifacts or relics for a personal collection or to sell, the historical context is destroyed. This can wipe out the evidence of centuries of human experience. Many just don't realize the harm that they are doing. Other, however, care more about the profit than preserving the past.
Rangers are asking all lake visitors to help protect these public resources that belong to everyone. They urge lake visitors to keep a watchful eye out for artifact seekers and report such illegal activities.
If you seen someone illegally digging on the shoreline of Millwood Lake, call 898-3343.
Any information that you can provide such as location of the activity, number and description of person involved, car make or model can be helpful. However, do not attempt to intervene or approach individuals participating in illegal activities.
Rangers ask that everyone please refrain from destroying the local heritage and history and assist in preserving our natural resources for future generations.
AN ACT TO INCREASE THE ARKANSAS MINIMUM WAGE TURNS IN ADDITIONAL SIGNATURES 8/21/14
Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin announces that An Act to Increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage turned in an additional 69,070 signatures on Monday.
The Secretary of State's office now has 30 days to verify the newly submitted signatures.
The petition to raise the state's minimum wage from $6.25 an hour to $8.50 per hour by 2017 was short 15,107 valid signatures after the initial verification process.
The initiative needs 62,577 verified signatures to be placed on the November 4th ballot.
WISHARD TO RUN FOR POSITION ON DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL 08/21/14
Lawrence Allen Wishard announced he will run for De Queen City Council position. Following is his announcement:
I am pleased to announce my intent to seek election to the Ward one, Position two seat on the De Queen City Council. I am a lifelong resident of De Queen and a graduate of De Queen High School, class of 2009. I work as a Funeral Director and Manager at Chandler Funeral Home. I am also, an active member of the De Queen Lions Club.
I have a sincere desire to give back to this community and preserve this city’s integrity for future generations. I believe in a calm, collective approach to city government operations. I also believe that thoughtful decision making and careful planning are keys to a successful city. If elected, I will be your voice and will stand strong for what is best for our community and its residents. I will always be glad to address any questions or concerns that you might have about our city’s operations and progress.
I am asking for your support on November 4th, to elect me, Lawrence Allen Wishard, as Ward one, Position 2 Alderman.
Humane Society hopes to move forward after embezzlement 08/21/14
By Patrick Massey, De Queen Bee
A former secretary of the Sevier County Humane Society will go to court next month to face a theft charge in connection to her time with the agency. Susan E. Wilson, 39, was charged with felony theft of property earlier this year after prosecutors claimed she embezzled nearly $4,000 from the county humane society.
She is scheduled to appear during a pre-trial hearing on Sept. 4 where she will enter a plea of guilty or not-guilty. According to Arkansas State Police Investigator John Rhone, an audit by J. Richey McCullough, CPA, of De Queen found $3,966 in fraudulent expenditures made by Wilson between Jan. 2011 and June 2012.
The purchases allegedly include a $600 television set and a $440 refrigerator. Prosecutors claim Wilson also withdrew cash from the agency's bank account at First State Bank and misused a humane society credit card for personal purchases. "By the time we knew it was happening it was too late," said Dr. Terri Devlin, who serves as president for the Sevier County Humane Society.
The agency discovered the fraudulent expenditures after Wilson left the humane society in June 2012. Investigators say the stolen money includes part of a $35,000 cash donation the local humane society received in 2010.
Although Wilson is currently charged with stealing $4,000 from the humane society, officials with the agency and the state prosecuting team allege the amount could be much higher. Neither was able to provide an estimated dollar amount of the alleged total, but Devlin said Wilson instigated numerous questionable purchases. "There are large sums of money that are just unaccountable," Devlin said. "A lot of these could be legitimate but since [Susan] didn't keep the receipts it's really hard to tell.”
Devlin said the theft has placed an additional strain on the agency's tight operating budgets. "It's hard to recover from this amount of money just disappearing," she explained. "As it is now we're barely making our month-to-month operating expenses." Devlin claims the former secretary also sabotaged the humane society's relationships with rescue agencies and other animal advocacy organizations by allegedly telling them the Sevier County Humane Society had closed. "When she did that a lot of those groups ended up cutting ties with us because they thought we were gone," Devlin said. One of those agencies includes a group that adopts animals to people living in the northeastern United States. "Many of your animals got donated through this agency and it was very successful, but after Susan told them we had closed they dropped us from their list," Devlin said. "It's not easy getting back into the group, and since they dropped us our adoptions have gone way down."
Despite these and other challenges, Devlin said the humane society is hoping to overcome the recent past and expand its role in the county. One major project includes a possible animal shelter with indoor facilities.
Currently the humane society's animals are being kept on private land but Devlin said better facilities are needed. "The storm we had a couple of weeks ago damaged some of our pens and even blew the tin roofs off a couple others," Devlin said. "We could really use something more permanent in the county. "So far the proposed shelter is still in its infancy and a suitable location is still being sought. Once the humane society gains some land to use it will be able to apply for several grants to help get the shelter started.
The humane society will continue to sponsor and host the area spay and neuter clinics, which are provided at reduced rates to residents of De Queen. However, the program provides no revenue for the agency. "It's something we sponsor for another group who actually performs the spaying and neutering, so we don't actually make any money doing it," she said. Devlin said the humane society is in need of the community's help during these tough times.
Anyone interested in volunteering for the humane society can do so in a number of ways. "Of course we need people who want to help with the animals by feeding, cleaning or just spending time with them, but we also need people who can help us write grants, set up fundraisers and get the community involved," Devlin said. Anyone wishing to lend a hand to the agency can do so by calling Devlin's office at (870) 642-4364.
Twelve Students Complete Training for CNA 08/20/14
NASHVILLE – UA Cossatot honored students who recently completed the Nursing Assistant Training Program with a Pinning Ceremony held upon the completion of the program.
Twelve UA Cossatot students marked completion of their training to become a Certified Nursing Assistant.
Members of the Summer Class of 2014 who received their pins included, back row, from left: Ashley Williams, De Queen; Aspen Whitlow, Foreman; Jessica Rios, De Queen; Instructor Sharon Stubbs, Phyllis Parsons, Newhope; and Ana Mosqueda, De Queen. Front row, from left: Shatina Logan, Nashville; Jamie King, Lockesburg; Ginna Follis, Foreman; Robin Deer, Dierks; Aubrie Combs, Nashville, and Tammy Clemons, Nashville. The 90-hour course comprises both classroom and clinical work. It includes learning patient care skills, infection control, disease processes, and safety procedures.
de queen fire department receives donation from husqvarna 08/20/14
After the recent storm damage, it became apparent that the De Queen Fire Department's current storm clean up equipment was inadequate.
Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt contacted Joe Wilson at Husqvarna about purchasing a larger saw to replace their current one.
Mr. Wilson responded by donating three Husqvarna 455 Rancher chain saws and one Husqvarna pole saw to the department.
The De Queen Fire Department members want to express their appreciation to Mr. Wilson and Husqvarna for the donation that will better equip them to handle future storm emergencies.
TYSON FOODS DONATES TO AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM 08/20/14
DHS student Danielle Duggan teams up with Tyson Foods, Inc. for a “Back to School” kickoff at the Mary & Martha center. The center provides snacks and after school activities for children who may not have an adult at home when they get out of school.
Danielle has a passion for helping her community and giving back to those who make a difference. She is trying to raise awareness and help put an end to childhood hunger right here in her hometown. Her motto is “Spread the Love: The Beginning of Ending Childhood Hunger”
Tyson Foods, Inc. donated over 7,435 pounds to the Mary & Martha Center to prepare for their after school program right here in our community.
The center volunteers expressed their sincere appreciation for the donation and are looking forward to school starting back.
Complex HR Manager Donna Duggan said – “Donating the product is what we do –The real work comes from the center in preparing the meals!”
ARKANSAS LOTTERY CLAIM CENTERS CLOSING 08/20/14
LITTLE ROCK—The Arkansas Lottery Commission voted today to close its three regional claim centers in Springdale, Jonesboro and Camden, a savings measure expected to free as much as $381,000 to fund additional scholarships for Arkansas students.
The motion, made by Commissioner Mark Scott and approved by the Commission, provides for the closure of each claim center when its lease runs out. The Springdale center will close effective October 1, 2014, with claim centers in Jonesboro and Camden shuttering effective November 30, 2014. Commissioner Bruce Engstrom, noting that each claim center has a staff of two, asked Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Director Bishop Woosley to make those persons aware of any job opportunities for which they might be qualified within the Lottery.
“Certainly, the human element of is the hardest part for us,” Woosley said after the meeting. “These folks have served loyally, and we appreciate their service over the last five years. But faced with an increasing demand for lottery-funded scholarships, and the relatively low traffic at these three claim centers, the Commission simply feels those dollars are better spent helping Arkansas students go to college and building a more educated workforce in our state.”
Vaught to run for District 4 State Representative 08/20/14
DeAnn Vaught of Horatio announced that she will run for District 4 State Representative in the November 4th general election. Here is her announcement:
“I am DeAnn Vaught, I am your neighbor--a down to earth country girl—who is passionate for the State of Arkansas and our children’s future. I know I am not your ordinary politician, but I will fight for what I believe is right for our state and the constituents of District 4.”
DeAnn has been married to Jon Vaught for 24 years and they are the parents of Brittanee, Shyann and Josie. She is a graduate of Horatio High School, Southern Arkansas University with a BS in Ag Business, a poultry, dairy and hog farmer and a strong Christian.
Vaught is an NRA supporter, member of Sevier County Farm Bureau, Arkansas Pork Producers, Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association and a Horatio School Volunteer.
She stated, “I would greatly appreciate your help and your vote in November so we can have a strong voice from District 4 at the state capital.”
You may contact DeAnn Vaught with your questions and concerns at (870) 584-8807, e-mail email@example.com or Facebook firstname.lastname@example.org
ACCIDENT CLAIMS LIFE OF LOCKESBURG YOUTH 8/20/14
A single vehicle accident on Highway 24 claimed the life a young man from Lockesburg just after 12:00 a.m., Tuesday morning.
According to the accident summary from the Arkansas State Police, 16-year-old Austin Brackett was traveling eastbound on Highway 24 west of Horatio when his 2004 Chevy Silverado left the roadway and overturned in the westbound ditch.
Brackett was ejected from the truck and pronounced dead at the scene by Sevier County Coroner Rusty Williams at 12:15 a.m.
According to the report no one else was involved in the accident.
DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER CAMPAIGN UNDERWAY 8/20/14
Early Sunday morning about 2 a.m., Patrolman Bucky Sawyer of the De Queen Police Department was passed by a vehicle that failed to dim its lights and driving left of center.
Sawyer initiated a traffic stop with lights and his siren, but the driver of the vehicle continued to travel east on Collin Raye Drive. The vehicle finally came to a stop at the EZ-Mart on 9th Street.
The driver was identified as 34-year-old Ramiro Lopez. After failing a series of field sobriety test, Lopez was charged with Driving While Intoxicated and taken to the De Queen Medical Center for a blood alcohol test. He was then taken to the Sevier County jail for processing.
TEXARKANA MAN ARRESTED FOR CRIMINAL TRESPASS IN DE QUEEN 8/20/14
Sunday morning about 6:45 a.m., Officer James Gilbert of the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to Oak Drive in De Queen after dispatch received a call from Andrea Johnson.
Johnson reported that 42-year-old Kevin Gibson of Texarkana was chasing her and attempting to choke her. She informed the dispatcher that she was hiding in some bushes.
When the officers arrived, Johnson came out of the bushes and informed them that Gibson had been in the hospital in Malvern and when he got out, he came to her house. She told the officers that Gibson was having anger issues.
Officers Bucky Sawyer and Gilbert then went to Johnson's house to make contact with Gibson. The officers informed Gibson that he needed to leave the residence because Johnson didn't want him there and that if he didn't leave, he would be arrested for criminal trespass.
After that, Gibson told the officers he was not leaving. After refusing to leave and not following the instructions of the officers, Gibson was subdued and placed into custody.
Gibson has been citied for criminal trespass and resisting arrest.
DIERKS MAN ARRESTED FOR ACCOMPLICE TO ARSON 8/20/14
A Dierks man has been arrested for being an accomplice to arson.
On May 3rd, the Dierks Fire Department responded to a trailer house fire on 6th Street in Dierks.
According to the incident report, the structure was a total loss, but the fire department requested an investigation into the incident due to the burn patterns that were present throughout the structure.
The trailer house was owned by Avery Fatherree and was being occupied by David Bray.
The Dierks Police Department and the Howard County Sheriff's Office took samples from the burned trailer and found that gasoline was present in the samples.
Several individuals were interviewed and investigators discovered that David Kyle Bray had asked another person to burn down the trailer.
David Kyle Bray was arrested August 13 and has been released on a $25,000 bond.
The investigation is continuing with more arrest expected in the case. The case is being investigated by the Dierks Police Department, the Arkansas State Police and the Howard County Sheriff's Office.
SHOOTING IN MINERAL SPRINGS STILL UNDER INVESTIGATION 8/20/14
A Sunday afternoon shooting in Mineral Springs remains under investigation.
Police say the suspect, identified as 30-year-old Ray Thomas Jr. of Hope has been accused of shooting a Mineral Springs resident in the hip.
According to the report, around 2:10 Sunday afternoon, Thomas shot Aaron Olden following a domestic incident between Olden and a female occupant on Story Lane. Olden was transported from Mineral Springs to a Texarkana hospital by helicopter.
Howard County Chief Deputy Bryan McJunkins reported that Thomas fled the scene and was later spotted on Highway 73 in Hempstead County, but eluded officers with the Hempstead County Sheriff's Office.
Thomas later turned himself in to the Howard County jail and is being held on battery charges.
Police say Thomas had been living at the residence where the incident took place.
WEIGHT LOSS SUPPORT GROUP TO BE FORMED 8/20/14
Statistics show that many of us struggle with our weight and Angie Staggs of the Wellness Center in De Queen has decided to start a support group called ML.2 to help residents learn to be healthy and not necessarily skinny.
Staggs said the first class will be this Thursday at 5:30 p.m. She stated the program is free and there is no age limit, but is designed to teach participates to be healthy by learning things like what is a portion size.
Staggs explained that the program is not only about losing weight, but it’s about getting healthy which is apart of the groups new motto that says, “Nothing taste as good as healthy feels.”
If you have any questions about ML.2 contact the Wellness Center by calling 642-4000 ext. 5 and ask for Angie.
LOTTERY SCAM ALERT 8/20/14
The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery is once again warning Arkansans about telephone scammers making false representations about individuals winning a lottery prize.
This week, the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery has received reports of a person purporting to represent the lottery calling Arkansas residents and informing them that they've won lottery prizes.
The scammer is often calling from a Jamaican area code number, 876, and will often know the victim's home address, and then instruct them to go to a local store to purchase a pre-paid card called a Green Dot MoneyPak and pay the pre-pay taxes that are due on the prize.
In some cases, the scammer is providing a toll-free number that, when called, mimics the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery phone message.
Residents should always to suspicious of unsolicited callers that's requesting financial information. And residents should remember that the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery never requires the payment of any money in order for you to claim a prize and the lottery typically does not call people to tell them that they've won, except in contests that the person has intentionally entered.
If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, Powerball or Mega Millions, be on your guard and you can always call the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Security Hotline at 1-888-606-6292 for more information or to check the legitimacy of a such claims.
Dennis Milligan releases “Best Practices” proposals 8/20/14
Arkansas needs to implement a system to allow blind bidding on state investment business to avoid favoritism, Dennis Milligan, the Republican nominee for Arkansas State Treasurer, said as he announced his best practices package for that office.
“If I am elected, I will remember that every dollar I earn the state in interest is a dollar that doesn’t have to come out of the taxpayers’ pockets. We need a Treasurer who gets the best investment deals for Arkansas, not one who helps herself like Democrat Martha Shoffner did.”
Shoffner was convicted for 14 federal counts of public corruption and is awaiting sentencing for taking cash in a pie box in exchange for state business.
As part of his best practices plan, Milligan proposes setting up a system where the Treasurer’s office does business with authorized bond dealers and financial institutions.
All of those the office does business with must provide audited financial statements, proof of financial industry regulatory authority certification, proof of Arkansas registration, a completed broker/dealer questionnaire, certification of having read and agreed to the state’s investment policy, and anti-collusion affidavits.
“Once those who want to do business with the state have been vetted by the Treasurer’s office, I would submit the list to the state Board of Finance for approval,” Milligan said. “Only those who pass the approval process would be allowed to bid for state business.”
Milligan wants to partner with Information Network of Arkansas to set up an Electronic Trading Platform that is already used in other states.
"We would send out requests for bids electronically to approved bidders. When a bid was submitted, those in the Treasurer’s office working with the bids would only see a number, not the name of the bidder. Only after the bid process is completed would the name of the bidder be known,” Milligan said.
He said this open and competitive bidding process will do two things.
“First, it will make sure the people of Arkansas get the best return on their money. Second, it eliminates favoritism like we saw with Martha Shoffner,” Milligan said.
Milligan also wants to review and update the Arkansas Investment Policy. The latest policy publicly available was dated June 25, 1997 with amendments added in September 1997 and December 1998.
“One of two things is going on here and neither of them is good. First, either our investment policy has not been updated in many years or if it has been updated those updates are not easily available to the public,” Milligan said. “Either way, that’s wrong and I want to change it.”
Milligan said he wants the policy to be updated so it matches the technology available today while including provisions to provide maximum security with best investment return, maintain cash flow demands, and conform to all law governing the investment of public funds.
“I want the Treasurer’s office to hold investments to maturity whenever possible. However, if we have money invested at 2 percent interest and there is a major change and investments are paying 10 percent or better, I’m not holding on to investments with an obvious poor rate of return,” Milligan said.
He also plans to use investment diversification to reduce overall portfolio risk for the state’s money.
“Let me translate that for you: I’m not putting all our financial eggs in one basket,” Milligan said.
Milligan said he will establish an Internal Compliance Officer in the office to make sure that rules, policies, procedures and laws are being complied with.
”I want to make sure there is a proper segregation of duties and that our investment transactions are conducted properly. This job will include making sure employees refrain from personal business or other activities that could conflict with the proper execution of their public duties or prevent them from making impartial decisions,” Milligan said.
Another important part of his best practices is transparency by established reporting of daily, monthly and year-to-date balances of all funds, accounts, and deposit and investment performance compared to the target rates of return established by the Board of Finance.
Current Arkansas policy only requires quarterly reporting.
“Quarterly reporting may have been acceptable in the days when everything was on paper, but in this digital age, that’s no longer enough. I want the people of Arkansas to be able to see what is going on in that office,” Milligan said.
His plans include creating a monthly Investment Performance Report that will include a review of market conditions and economic developments, a review of the state’s investment portfolio, a report of all payments, fees and commissions; and a report of total funds invested.
Milligan wants the office to partner with an existing state website,transparency.arkansas.gov, to provide easy Internet access to information on the state’s investments holdings. This would include establishing real-time online reporting of investments, investment managers, and rates of return.
“I will also hold regular news conferences to report on the progress being made in the Treasurer’s office,” Milligan said. “I plan to go beyond the requirements of the office and issue a quarterly State Economic Report.”
That report will include items such as a commentary by the treasurer, a state GDP report, a gross revenue report, an unemployment report, and an economic indicators report.
“This will be a snapshot of where the state is economically. I believe the Treasurer is uniquely positioned to do this,” Milligan said.
“If I could sum up my best practices plan is would be that I will not only follow the law, but will go beyond the law and do what is right,” Milligan said.
SCHOOL RESTORATION COMMITTEE SETS CLEANUP 08/20/14
The Winthrop School Restoration Committee met Tuesday night, August 19th. Plans for the annual Winthrop Reunion were discussed. The reunion will be held in the old Winthrop School cafeteria on Sunday, Aug 31st. Lunch will be served at noon. All present and former residents of the Winthrop area are invited.
Officers were elected. President: Loren Hinton; VP: Audie Dawson; Secretary: Pam Click;Treasurer: Melba Scott
Tammy Bates was selected to head up the fundraising committee. Cleanup and maintenance committee chair is Terry Hess. Reunion co-chairs are Veta Bryan and Susan Lansdell.
A cleanup day for the school grounds has been scheduled to begin at 6:30 am on Saturday, August 30th. Volunteers are needed. The committee will meet the second Tuesday of each month at 7 pm at the old Winthrop school house. Everyone is invited.
DE QUEEN ELEMENTARY BACK-TO-SCHOOL NIGHT 08/20/14
De Queen Elementary School will hold a Back-to-School Night for parents and friends of third, fourth and fifth grade students on Thursday, August 28, 2014.
Parents will have the opportunity to come to school and meet their child’s classroom teacher. You will spend approximately 30 minutes in the classroom while the teacher explains class routines and areas of instruction. Parents are encouraged to attend.
Parents of English Language Learner students are invited to attend a session with the ELL instructors, Ms. Carver and Mrs. J. Smith. They will explain the program and answer any questions. An interpreter is available in all Spanish sessions.
Back-to-School Night is intended for parent/teacher interaction. No activities are planned for the children on this night.
Great Arkansas Cleanup set to kick off Sept. 6
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