ASHDOWN BOARD OF EDUCATION 3/7/14
Ashdown Board of Education held a special called meeting Monday, March
3rd to consider a couple of personnel issues.
After an executive session, board members accepted Superintendent Mike
Walker’s recommendation to accept the resignation of Melissa Kilgore as
the district’s E-School Manager and Trainer and as the high school
counselor secretary effective March 4th.
Board members then accepted Walker’s recommendation to transfer Sondra
Cauthron to the position of high school counselor secretary on a 215 day
contract. He also recommended that they name her the E-School Manager
and Trainer with a $3,000 prorated stipend, effective, March 5th.
board is scheduled to meet in regular session on March 10th.
WEYERHAEUSER DIAPER DRIVE 3/7/14
March 5th, Weyerhaeuser kicked off their Third Annual
Operation Diaper Drive and asked KDQN to serve as a collection site.
According to Weyerhaeuser’s website, they’re committed to the well-being
of their communities and that since their cellulose fiber businesses use
a renewable resource to produce the biodegradable fluff pulp that is
used in many diapers that are sold that they would help address the need
for diapers, which is a larger issue of poverty.
the first two years of Operation Diaper Drive, Weyerhaeuser has donated
over 1.1 million diapers to nonprofit organizations nationwide to help
provide diapers to under-privileged families.
Roberts is the committee chairperson for the De Queen Weyerhaeuser group
and she mentioned the goal for this year’s event is that every employee
donates one jumbo box of diapers.
This year, Weyerhaeuser set a corporate goal of 1 million diapers. They
are asking every employee to purchase one jumbo size box of diapers, but
anyone can contribute by bring a jumbo box of diapers by the KDQN
Roberts explained that all of the diapers collected for the local groups
will be donated to food banks in the area to help local families.
According to a recent report, 34 percent of mothers report cutting back
on essentials like food and utilities to help cover the cost of diapers
and diapers are the most requested and least donated item at local food
banks and WIC and food stamps doesn’t cover the cost of diapers.
join Weyerhaeuser and purchase a box of diapers because all babies
deserve a fair and healthy start in life.
HISTORIC WASHINGTON STATE PARK 46TH ANNUAL
JONQUIL FESTIVAL MARCH 14TH TO 16TH 3/7/14
Jonquils will be in bloom at Historic Washington State Park and a
tremendous line-up of entertainment and fun awaits those who will be
visiting the park on Friday, March 14th through Sunday, March
16th for the 46th annual Jonquil Festival.
March 14th, the Arkansas Symphony String Quartet will be on
the front porch of the Williams Tavern Restaurant from 11 to 1. Guests
will enjoy the sounds of the Hartley Family under the big tent from
11:30 to 1:30. They will be followed by the McWilliams Family from 2 to
Saturday, the Midnight Hurricanes will perform from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
followed by the McWilliams Family.
Then on Sunday afternoon, the Hartley Family will return from 11:30 to
This year’s festival will also feature hundreds of crafters, as well as
the Hempstead County Melody Boys will be strolling through the craft
grounds providing their brand of bluegrass music.
Festival hours will be from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday
and from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Sunday. General admission is free, with
a $5 parking fee, but park tours and program will be regular price. Tour
stops will include the BW Edwards Weapons Museum, the Print Shop and the
more information contact the park at 870-983-26
MINERAL SPRINGS CITY COUNCIL ADOPTS SAGGY PANTS
City of Mineral Springs has adopted an ordinance that would prohibit any
person from wearing clothing that exposes their underwear or skin.
first violation of the ordinance will result in a warning, but
subsequent violations could result in a fine or community service.
first conviction would result in a fine of $50 to $100 dollars, eight
hours of community service or both. A second conviction would result in
a fine of $100 to $200 dollars and up to 16 hours of community service
and a third conviction would result in a fine of $200 to $500 dollars
and up to 30-hours of community service.
ordinance will go into effect, starting in April.
ARKANSANS WORRIED ABOUT ONLINE FRAUD 3/7/14
According to a new AARP survey, many Arkansans are vulnerable to online
fraud, even though there are easy things people can do to help build up
their own, and their neighbors’ defenses.
Michael Rowett with AARP Arkansas says their survey found more than 8
out of 10 wired Arkansans are worried about online fraud, but he says
they also found that too many of those folks were not taking simple
steps to protect themselves from fraud.
Rowett says stress, such as debt or other worries, can leave a person
especially careless and vulnerable.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, fraud reports are up and the
proportion of these incidents that begin online has doubled since 2007.
For more on Internet safety, check the Fraud Watch Network on the AARP
Rowett says the study found Arkansans that are active online knew an
average of about half of the ten key points about Internet safety, like
not trusting or clicking on links in a strange email. He says nearly
one-third fit a profile of potential online fraud victims, just based on
their online behavior or life situation.
Rowett adds that most of them at least know to be wary of giving out
their private information.
AARP recently started its Fraud Watch Network to help connect people to
peers and experts, and help the online community build up its defenses.
Rowett says the network is free to people of all ages and it provides
watchdog alerts, prevention tips and other resources.
LAWMAKERS SHIFT FOCUS BACK TO BUDGET 3/7/14
Lawmakers are beginning to discuss how to craft Arkansas’ budget bill,
with debate centered on how much money should be spent from the state’s
Senator Larry Teague of Nashville is the co-chair of the Joint Budget
Committee and he said legislators are continuing to discuss which
proposals should be funded by surplus funds from Arkansas’ General
Improvement Fund. That surplus is about $126 million dollars, according
to the state’s Department of Finance and Administration.
Lawmakers are seeking about $83.3 million dollars in various proposals
from the state’s surplus.
Teague says he hopes the state’s budget bill will arrive in the Joint
Budget Committee by today. He also said that he didn’t think lawmakers
had very many disagreements with the $5 billion dollar budget that
Governor Mike Beebe is proposing.
legislation is expected to be one of the last measures that lawmakers
will consider before adjourning.
LEGISLATIVE PANEL PASSES SAND TAX EXEMPTION 3/7/14
Arkansas legislative panel has endorsed a measure that will exempt the
collection of sales tax on sand that is used in the drilling or oil and
Joint Budget Committee approved that amendment to the state Department
of Finance and Administration’s Revenue Services Division budget bill on
Wednesday. The proposal failed Tuesday, but the vote was erased due to
the absence of several committee members.
Pulaski County circuit judge has ruled that sand qualifies as equipment,
meaning taxes can’t be collected on it. Lawmakers say they’re clarifying
the law to follow the judge’s decision. Department of Finance and
Administration officials oppose the amendment, saying it is
inappropriate in a fiscal session. They plan to appeal the judge’s
bill will now head to the full House.
WOMAN’S BODY FOUND IN SULPHUR RIVER IN SOUTHWEST
Authorities are investigating after a woman’s body was found in the
Sulphur River in southwest Arkansas.
Miller County Sheriff’s office reported that fishermen found the body
Wednesday afternoon in the river about 9 miles south of Fouke. Chief
Deputy Dewayne White reported that authorities were waiting on the
results of DNA test to determine the woman’s identity.
body has been sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab in Little Rock.
However, investigators say they don’t believe the body belongs to Janice
Northcross of Ashdown, who has been missing since February 8th.
Northcross jumped or fell into the Red River near Fulton to avoid being
hit by a tractor-trailer that was skidding toward her on an icy bridge.
QUEEN’S RAW WATER LINE PROJECT IS UNDERWAY
night, aldermen of the De Queen City Council voted to accept the bid
sheet for the city’s raw water line project and they amended the 2014
budget to provide a capital line item to cover the cost of the project.
Billy Ray McKelvy stated the city took a big step forward on getting the
Engineer Greg Vaughn said the project will start at the Cossatot River
and end near Wal-Mart.
also mentioned that he was pleased with the number of bids that the city
received and the bid amounts.
stated that the new raw water will increase the amount of water that the
city can pump and save the city some money in the long run.
heard an audit report from Richey McCullough concerning the city’s
water, sewer and sanitation accounts.
McKelvy reported that according to McCullough’s report that the city
was in good shape.
reviewed the city’s 2012 Legislative audit, but voted to table its
approval until they could ask City Clerk Donna Jones some questions
concerning the findings listed in the report.
Wishard was approved as a new member of the De Queen Fire Department and
the council passed a resolution allowing for the destruction of some old
equipment that belonged to the De Queen Police Department.
COUNTY 4H SHOOTING SPORTS TEAMS QUALIFIED FOR NATIONALS
seven members of the Sevier County 4-H Shooting Sports team qualified
for the National BB shooting sports competition in Rogers, Arkansas
after finishing third in this year’s state competition in Little Rock.
members are Amber Morris, Kayla Martin, Payton Hibbs, Tyler Johnson,
Austin Johnson, Carter Faulkenberry and Kade Martin.
members reported that they had to shoot from four different positions
and score well on a shooting safety test to advance to the National
member, Kayla Martin, finished second in the standing shooting position
competition and Austin Johnson scored 92 on the test, which was the
highest scored received in the state.
BB company presented the team with $1,000 for their trip to Nationals,
but adult team leader Jennifer Martin explained that the team would need
about $3,000 to attend the meet and would be selling chances for your
choice of six guns. The cost is $5 for 3 tickets and you can stop by
Tires Plus, De Queen Animal Clinic and Baker’s Bargain House.
is the second time in three years that the Sevier County Shooting Sports
team has qualified for the National competition and as interest
continues to grow the Sevier County Extension Office is organizing a
second team. For more information about the new shooting sports team
contact the extension office at 584-3013.
MEDICAID PLAN OPPONENTS HIT PAUSE
of Arkansas’ first-in-the-nation plan to use federal Medicaid funds to
purchase private insurance for low-income residents say they’re merely
hitting pause on debating the program’s future after it survived a
defunding attempt in the Legislature.
Governor Mike Beebe plans to sign the legislation in law that
reauthorizes the private option program that was approved by the House
plan was approved last year as an alternative to expanding Medicaid
under the federal health care law. It has allowed Arkansas to extend
health coverage to nearly 94,000 people.
vote ends a budget standoff that was reminiscent to the fight that led
to the federal government shutdown last year.
Representative Kim Hammer reversed course and supported the program, but
says he’s poised to oppose it next year if it’s not a great success.
REVENUES DOWN IN FEBRUARY
finance officials say the state’s revenue fell below expectations in
February but was above the same month last year. Officials suspect that
winter weather across the state affected the state sales tax
Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration announced Tuesday that
the net available revenue last month totaled $212.2 million dollars,
which is $2 million above last year and $4.7 million dollars below the
state’s revenue for the fiscal year that began July 1st is
$20.1 million dollars above the forecast.
income tax collections in February were above last year and above
forecast, but sales and corporate income tax collections were below last
year’s figures and below forecast.
of Finance officials stated sales tax collections have been hurt by the
winter weather for the last two months.
CLERK FILES FOR CIRCUIT CLERK POSITION 03/06/14
name is Kathy Smith and I would like to announce my candidacy for the
office of Sevier County Circuit Clerk. It has been my privilege to serve
the citizens of Sevier County as a deputy clerk under the Circuit Clerk
for eleven years.
My family, Morris, Morgan, Audrey and I have lived in
Sevier County for fourteen years. My children have attended the Horatio
School District and Morgan now attends the U of A Cossatot Community
College. My grandparents, Robert and Nina McCoy were born and raised in
Horatio, Arkansas. My grandfather was a local pharmacist in Horatio and
De Queen for many, many years.
During my eleven years as deputy clerk, I have helped to
implement several software programs to better improve service for the
public. I have assisted in training new employees, assisted the Circuit
Clerk in writing grants, balancing reports and completing the Sevier
County Circuit Clerk's Disaster Recovery Plan. I have been instrumental
in maintaining a program through the Department of Finance that has
brought in revenue for the county by collecting outstanding fines and
court costs through income tax refunds. I record and maintain documents
for Sevier County and assist in Circuit Court filings.
I have enjoyed serving the public as a deputy clerk and
would now like the opportunity to continue to serve as your Circuit
Clerk. I will continually strive to improve working relations with all
citizens to provide a professional and stress free atmosphere for all
citizens to be able to conduct business within the office. I will
continually search for ways to improve the office so that Sevier County
Citizens will have easy and readily available access to public
information. I will always welcome any comments and suggestions from all
I am asking for and would deeply appreciate your support
and your vote in the upcoming Democratic Primary election on May 20th.
If you have any questions or concerns, you may reach me at 870-784-2868
after 4:30 p.m. during the week or anytime during the weekend."
SEVIER COUNTY 4-H O’RAMA WINNERS
The outdoor activities of the Sevier County 4-H
O’Rama was held on February 13 at the Sevier County Fairgrounds.
Outdoor activities consisted of Gun Safety, Baitcasting, Bicycle, and
Reel into Sportfishing.
Placing first in Gun Safety was Aaron Morris in the
Senior Division. The winners in the Junior Division were: 1st
– Attalee Frachiseur, 2nd – Carter Faulkenberry, 3rd
– Steven Peppers, and 4th – Brenten Morphew.
Winners of the Junior Division in Baitcasting were:
1st – Brenten Morphew, 2nd – Marcus Rosson, 3rd
– Cole Brantley, and 4th – Ruby Peppers.
Winners in the Junior Division i
n Bicycle were: 1st
– Dennis Peppers, 2nd – Ruby Peppers, 3rd – Colt
Ingram, and 4th – Steven Peppers.
Winners of the Junior Division in Reel into
Sportfishing were: 1st – Marcus Rosson, 2nd –
Brent Ingram, 3rd – Dennis Peppers, and 4th Cole
The indoor activities of the Sevier County 4-H
O’Rama were held on February 27 at UA Cossatot campus in De Queen.
Indoor activities consisted of Fashion Revue, Illustrated Talks, Method
Demonstrations, and Public Speaking along with the Dairy Recipe Contest.
Junior Division winners in the Fashion
Revue-Purchased-Casual category were: 1st – Carlee Helms, 2nd
– Attalee Frachiseur, 3rd – Aubrey Seymour, and 4th
– Tori Gentry.
Junior Division winners in the Fashion
Revue-Purchased-Dressy category were: 1st - Aubrey Seymour.
Junior Division winners in the Illustrated Talks
and Demonstrations category were: Aubrey Seymour in Pet Care and Amber
Morris in Animal Science.
Senior Division winner in the Illustrated Talks
category was Aaron Morris in Animal Science.
Junior Division winner in the Method Demonstration
category was Amber Morris demonstrating a healthy snack.
Dairy Recipe winners in the Main Food category
were: 1st – Aaron Morris and 2nd – Colt Ingram
Dairy Recipe winners in the Party Dish category
were: 1st – Carlee Helms, 2nd – Macy Rosson, 3rd
– Colt Ingram, 4th – Amber Morris, 5th – Lexy
The County 4-H O’Rama is the qualifying event for
the District 4-H O’Rama held in June in Malvern. For more information
about 4-H activities, call the Sevier County Extension office at (870)
Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible
persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender,
age, disability, marital or veteran status, or any other legally
protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity
CANDIDATES WHO FILED FOR OFFICE IN SEVIER COUNTY
Monday marked the end of the one-week filling period for county offices
in Sevier County. Here are the candidates who filed with the Sevier
County Clerk’s Office that are running unopposed:
County Judge – Greg Ray
County Clerk – Debbie Hughes
Assessor – Judy Smith
Treasurer – Risa Krantz
Sheriff – Bennie Simmons
Coroner – Rusty Williams
the offices of Justice of the Peace on the Sevier County Quorum Court:
District 1 – Earl Battist
District 2- Charles Keels
District 3 – Roxie Stephens
District 4 – David Wright
District 6 – Angie Walker
District 7 – Michael Archer
District 8 – Kenneth Currence
Culp, Ned McCoy, Steven Stuart, Dick Tallman and Christopher Wolcott.
Janice Percefull also filed as a write-in candidate for the District 4
Arkansas House of Representatives. Fonda Hawthorne is the incumbent
Democratic candidate, while DeAnn Vaught of Horatio filed for the office
as a Republican.
There will be a contested race for the office of Sevier County Circuit
Clerk. Patty Chaney is the incumbent. She will face Cathy Smith in the
There are two contested races on the Sevier County Quorum Court. For the
District 5 position, Deborah Neel and Roger Whitmore filed as Democrats,
while for District 9 Greg Wright and Dana Stringfellow, both filed as
CANDIDATES WHO FILED FOR OFFICE IN HOWARD COUNTY
Monday marked the end of the one-week filling period for county offices
in Sevier County. Here are the candidates who filed with the Howard
County Clerk’s Office that are running unopposed:
County Judge –Kevin Smith
County Clerk – Brenda Washburn
Assessor – Debbie Teague
Treasurer – Sheri Mixon
Coroner – John Gray
the offices of Justice of the Peace on the Howard County Quorum Court:
North District – Kerry Strasner
Dierks District – Archie Cothren
Nashville Rural District – Janice Huffman
Nashville District 1 – Jerry Harwell
Nashville District 2 – Brent Pinkerton
Nashville District 3 – Martha Hobbs
South District – Bobby Don Turner
Nashville Mayor – Billy Ray Jones
City Clerk – Mary Woodruff
Aldermen: Freddy Brown, Joe Hoen, Donna Harwell, Nick Davis, Monica
Clark, Vivian Wright, Jimmie Lou Kirkpatrick, Sharon Gathright, James
Parker, Carol Mitchell, Andy Anderson and Mike Milum.
There will be a contest race for the office Howard County Circuit Clerk
between Angie Lewis and Laurie Westfall and for the office of Howard
County Sheriff between Bryan McJunkins and Dale Pierce.
districts on the Quorum Court will be contested. Richard Wakefield will
run against Kimberly Adams-Dunham for the Central District, while Jeanie
Gorham will run against D.E. Ray for the South District seat.
CANDIDATES THAT FILED IN LITTLE RIVER COUNTY 3/5/14
Monday marked the end of the one-week filing period for city, county,
state and federal offices in Arkansas.
following candidates will be running unopposed:
County Clerk Deanna Sivley, Assessor Allie Rosenbaum, Circuit Clerk
Andrea Billingsley, Treasurer Dayna Guthrie, Coroner Roddy Smith,
Surveyor Ronald Patterson and City Attorney Lindsey Thomson.
the Ashdown City Council, Angela Spears, Darren Adkison, Shirley Jackson
and Jimmie Lanuis will all run unopposed, while Jill Turner and David
Madden filed for the Ward 1 Position 1 seat and Wayne Reed and James
Oden filed for the Ward 3 Position 1 seat.
Scotty Smith, Keith Pullen, Ricky Bowman, Chuck Davis, Gene Smithson,
Charles Henderson, Phillip Penny and Bobby Furlow will be running
unopposed for the offices of Justice of the Peace, while Larry Cowling
and Larry Crow filed to run for the District 2 seat on the Quorum Court.
Five candidates are seeking the office of county sheriff. Doyle Crouch,
Gary Gregory and Danny Russell are seeking the Democratic nomination,
while Bobby Walraven filed as a Republican candidate.
Mike Cranford and Claire Davis filed for the office of Little River
County Judge as Democrats.
Michael Pennington, James Sutton and Glen Bowman, all filed for the
office of Ashdown Mayor, while Kirk Mounts and Tina Chandler filed for
the office of Ashdown City Clerk.
SEVIER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT 3/5/14
Several defendants accepted plea agreements February 27th in
the Sevier County Circuit Court, while the two suspects in the De Queen
First Baptist Church burglary made their first appearances.
Russell Wester changed his plea to guilty for unlawful tattooing on a
person under the age of 18, possession of drug paraphernalia, theft of
property, residential burglary and theft by receiving.
Wester was sentenced to a total of 20 years in the Arkansas Department
of Corrections, but under the plea agreement, he will receive credit for
time served in the Sevier County jail.
John Richbourg changed his plea to guilty to the charges of theft by
receiving, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a firearm by
a certain person and possession of meth or cocaine with the purpose to
Richbourg was sentenced to five years in the department of corrections
with credit for time served.
Marcus Brown was sentenced to five years in the department of
corrections in exchange for his guilty plea to possession of meth or
cocaine with the purpose to deliver.
Justin Bell was sentenced to 10 years in the department of corrections
with five suspended after pleading guilty to forgery in the 2nd
degree. He was also ordered to pay restitution to Fred’s, the Dollar
General Store and Wal-Mart.
And, Timothy Reed was sentenced to three years’ probation after pleading
guilty to possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug
Co-defendants, Emilo Gutierrez and Maria Mosqueda, are being held in the
Sevier County jail on charges of possession of drug paraphernalia,
maintaining a drug premises, simultaneous possession of drugs and
firearms and trafficking a controlled substance, methamphetamine.
Mosqueda and Gutierrez are being held on bond in the Sevier County jail
and had a pre-trial date of May 2nd and a trial date of May
Co-defendants, Regina Trusley and Daniel Flournoy plead not guilty to
the charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of meth
or cocaine with the purpose to deliver.
Flournoy is being held on a $50,000 bond and Trusley is being held on a
$5,000 bond. Their trial date has been set May 21st.
May 21st trial date was also set for Barry McKinney who plead
not guilty to the charges of theft by receiving, delivery of meth and
simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms. He is being held in the
Sevier County jail on a $75,000 bond.
failure to appear warrant was issued for Nora Hill.
Hill was scheduled to appear last week for her pre-trial hearing on the
charge of forgery in the 2nd degree.
Lena Harvey requested a screening for drug court during her pre-trial
hearing. She is facing the charges of possession of drug paraphernalia
and possession of a controlled substance. Her trial date is set for
Edmond Lewis and Levi Durham made their first appearances in Circuit
Court last week after being arrested on multiple charges including
commercial burglary and theft of property.
Bond was set for Lewis at $100,000 and bond was set for Durham at
$75,000. Both will return to court this Thursday.
MINERAL SPRINGS LEGISLATIVE AUDIT FINDINGS 3/5/14
legislative audit of the City of Mineral Springs for the years 2011 and
2012 had four finding that the council discussed during their March
of the findings was that the council did not review the audit in 2011
and 2012. Another finding concerned the city’s list of fixed assets,
which has since been updated.
also pointed out that annual financial reports were not published or
posted, as required by Arkansas law. The findings also pointed out that
receipts were not issued for all items such funds from the drainage
project, generator grant, energy grant, Fireman’s Pension and Relief and
the Park Depot Funds.
City officials stated that all of these accounts have now been closed
with the exception of the drainage fund project and they are currently
receipting monies in a pre-numbered receipt book.
After hearing the report, aldermen approved the findings as well as the
2011 and 2012 audits.
DIERKS HIRES A NEW HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL 3/5/14
During a special called meeting of the Dierks Board of Education, board
members voted to hire Jody Cowart of Bismarck as the new high school
Cowart is currently the dean of students and coach in the Bismarck
District and former basketball coach at De Queen High School.
Cowart will assume the position of principal July 1st, when
current high school principal, Holly Cothern assumes her new role as
SWEPSO SAYS POWER OUTAGE A TRANSFORMER ISSUE 3/5/14
Tuesday morning about 9:08 a circuit locked out near Wal-Mart in De
Queen, which resulted in over 1,300 SWEPCO customers being without
SWEPCO spokesman Scott McCloud informed KDQN that crews would work to
isolate the problem and reroute power to as many customers as possible.
10:18, he reported that power had been restored to 1,100 customers, many
of which were businesses. However, he reported that the remaining
customers would be without power until the damaged transformer was
DIAMOND MINE ON DISPLAY AT TUCSON GEM AND MINERAL
Tucson Gem and Mineral show is one of the largest shows that’s held
within the United States.
2014 was the 60th annual show, which meant it was the diamond
anniversary, so the show’s title was “60 years of Diamonds, Gems, Silver
and Gold.” Several of the main exhibits featured diamonds that have been
found over the years at the Crater of Diamonds State Park.
and Shelly Houran of Grapevine, Texas have displayed a collection of
Arkansas diamonds at previous Tucson shows, and they helped arrange for
a Crater of Diamonds State Park display this year.
display included several large diamonds including the Okie Dokie, the
Bleeding Heart and the Star of Shreveport.
other diamonds that were displayed in the Crater exhibit were the 2.04
carat Easter Sunrise diamond that was found by Glenn Worthington in 2009
and the 3.85 carat God’s Jewel.
TOURISM TAX REVENUE REBOUNDING 3/5/14
Arkansas tourism is rebounding after a national economic slump in 2009
that had a negative effect on tourist destinations in every state.
2009, the state tourism tax generated $11.3 million dollars.
Currently, the state tourism tax is 2 percent on items that are related
to tourism, such as hotel rooms and boat rentals.
2013, the tax generated $12.7 million dollars, which is a new record.
That money will help pay for advertising and promotions of Arkansas as a
Tourism officials reported that 103,400 people worked in the leisure and
hospitality businesses in Arkansas in December. The economic impact of
tourism in Arkansas is an estimated $5.7 billion dollars a year.
SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK 3/5/14
Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe has joined the National Weather Service and
the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management to urge the citizens of
Arkansas to prepare for the severe weather season.
Governor proclaimed March 2 through March 8th as Severe
Weather Awareness Week in Arkansas. Governor Beebe is encouraging
citizens to use this week to review severe weather safety rules and to
understand the hazards that are associated with severe thunderstorms.
SECOND ARREST MADE IN CHURCH BREAK-IN 3/4/14
A second suspect was arrested in connection with the
First Baptist Church, De Queen burglary.
Members of the De Queen Police Department, the Sevier
County Sheriff’s office, the Nashville Police Department and the Howard
County Sheriff’s office arrested 22-year-old Levi Durham of Lockesburg
Authorities suspect that Durham helped Edmond Lewis with
the De Queen burglaries.
Officers recovered a large amount of stolen property
ranging from weapons to kids toys from Durham’s residence that was taken
during burglaries in Sevier and Howard counties, as well as, the De
Durham is currently being held in the Sevier County jail.
DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL TO MEET TUESDAY 3/4/14
Aldermen of the De Queen City Council will meet Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in
the council room of the De Queen City Hall to hear a report from Richey
McCullough concerning the city’s 2012 water, sewer and sanitation
department audits, as well as review the 2012 Legislative audits for the
city’s general and street accounts.
Queen Chief of Police Richard McKinley will present a list of items that
his department would like to dispose of and the Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt
will ask the council to approve Ryan Wishard as a member of the fire
Aldermen will review a report concerning the bid openings from the
city’s raw water line project and consider an ordinance to amend the
city’s budget to pay for the project.
LAWMAKERS RETURN WITH FOCUS ON MEDICAID 3/4/14
Arkansas lawmakers are returning for the fourth week of the legislative
session, with the future of the state’s compromise Medicaid expansion
House and Senate convened today, while an impasse over the “private
option” funding bill stretches into its third week. The private option
was passed last year as an alternative to expanding the Medicaid roles
under the federal health law. The private option uses federal Medicaid
money to purchase private insurance for low-income residents.
Senate approved reauthorizing the program, but the legislation has
stalled in the House. It’s unclear when the House will vote on the
Some private option opponents are considering a compromise plan to
support the legislation if state officials will seek federal approval to
limit the enrollment period.
SAFETY OF ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES STILL UP FOR DEBATE
Electronic cigarettes often are advertised as a safer alternative to
tobacco cigarettes, but there are a lot of questions about those claims.
E-cigarettes provide users with nicotine through a liquid solution that
also contains other chemicals and flavorings. Because they were invented
only a decade ago and are not yet regulated, Thomas Glynn with the
American Cancer Society says their safety is still unknown.
According to Consumer Reports, sales of e-cigarettes totaled 1.5 billion
dollars in 2013, nearly triple the previous year.
Glynn says it’s possible that e-cigarettes could be helpful aids for
those trying to quit smoking, but he says more research and regulation
Food and Drug Administration has proposed a rule that would allow the
agency to regulate e-cigarettes as they do tobacco products.
Center for Disease Control survey found that from 2011 to 2012,
e-cigarettes doubled in popularity among middle school and high school
students. Glynn says companies have devised ways to make them appealing
to younger generations.
SENATOR PRYOR FILES TO RUN FOR RE-ELECTION 3/4/14
U.S. Senator Mark Pryor filed to run for re-election, setting the stage
for one of the most expensive and closely watched Senate races in the
country this year.
Democratic two-term lawmaker filed paperwork at the Capitol on Friday
morning to seek a third term. Pryor was first elected to the Senate in
2002 and won re-election without a Republican challenger in 2008.
Republican U.S. Representative Tom Cotton filed paperwork last week to
challenge Pryor and is the only expected GOP candidate for the seat.
race has been in full swing since Cotton announced his intentions to run
last August, with both candidates and outside groups spending millions
and swapping attacks through ads.
Pryor is the only Democrat in the state’s congressional delegation.
ARKANSAS POLITICAL FILING SEASON ENDS MONDAY 3/4/14
Would-be political candidates from Arkansas’ political parties had until
noon today to declare their intentions to run for office. Candidates in
non-partisan races have until 3 p.m.
Filing wrapped up today and the state says no extensions are planned
because of the wintry weather.
seven of Arkansas’ constitutional offices will be on the ballot this
year, as are all four U.S. House races and a contested U.S. Senate race.
In the Legislature, all 100 House seats are up, as are half of those in
the state Senate.
the top of the ticket are races for governor and the U.S. Senate, with
candidates announcing months ago for those seats.
Arkansas’ primary election is May 20th and the general
election is November 4th.
SEVIER COUNTY LIBRARY REPORT 3/4/14
Head Librarian Johnye Fisher announced that starting March 10th,
the De Queen Library will start their summer hours. On Monday, Wednesday
and Friday, the library will be open from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., on
Tuesday and Thursday, it will be open from noon until 6 and from 9 to
noon on Saturdays.
Lockesburg Librarian Wendy Clay explained that the De Queen Library was
participating in the free yearbook project with the OCI in Lexington,
Oklahoma to make disk of De Queen Yearbooks.
project takes yearbooks, scans and crops them and then digitizes them to
a DVD. The process takes about six weeks to complete and each DVD
contains about three yearbooks. Once the project is complete the library
offer DVD’s for sale to raise money for the library.
Effective March 4th, the Horatio, Gillham and Ben Lomond
libraries will have extended hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays and the
Lockesburg library will extend their hours on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
TRINITY CHRISTIAN’S 2ND ANNUAL TRINITY MUD
Trinity Christian School of Texarkana is sponsoring their 2nd
annual Trinity Mud Trek, which is our area’s only charity mud run, on
Saturday, April 26th next to the Grady T. Wallace Park in
family friendly, mud covered 5K course contain 12 fun and challenging
obstacles winding through woods, fields, and mud pits and there are two
new obstacles that promise to be an extra challenge.
mud run is open to the public for anyone 13years or older, with the
option of individuals or team competitions. Cost is $80 per person or
$70 per team members with a minimum of four team members until April 23rd.
After April 23rd, the cost will increase to $100 per
This year, there will be a mini mud run for children six to 12 and will
be on a separate course but will contain a few obstacles and tons of
mud. This area will not be timed and will allow kids to run through the
course multiple times. The cost is $35 per child.
Registration forms may be found on the website,
or you may contact the school at 870-779-1009.
SHERIFF’S OFFICE INVESTIGATE A COUPLE OF ACCIDENTS
Wednesday, February 26th, the Sevier County Sheriff’s office
responded to an accident on Highway 71 North about three and half miles
north of De Queen.
When the deputies arrived, they noted that both vehicles had been moved
off the roadway, but reported that 37-year-old Nina Rojas’ Ford Focus
had been struck from behind by a Dodge Dakota pickup that was being
driven by 55-year-old Bobby Conatser of Gillham.
Deputies also reported that Rojas was complaining of lower back and leg
pain, so they had her transported to the emergency room of the De Queen
Regional Medical Center.
Then on Thursday, February 27th, deputies were informed that
Ellye Jones of De Queen had been involved in a single motor vehicle
accident on Beacon Hill Road.
Deputies noted that Jones informed them that she had attended a baseball
game and on her way home she had stopped at a friend’s house, but
couldn’t remember anything after that.
According to the report, Jones’ car was on the south side of the road
and appeared to have been traveling east on Beacon Hill Road when she
struck a tree.
report does not state if she was taken to the hospital.
THREE AREA RESIDENTS ARRESTED ON WARRANTS IN PIKE
Three individuals have been arrested on felony warrants in Pike County.
Twenty-one year-old Michael Markcum of Nashville was arrested on a
probation revocation warrant. His was originally charged with breaking
or entering and he is currently being held without bond.
Thirty-one year old Jeremiah Dunson of Langley was arrested for delivery
of a controlled substance and is being held on a $25,000 bond.
And, 19-year-old Kyle Ward of Umpire was arrested on several charges
including a probation revocation for charges of theft of property,
residential burglary, a misdemeanor charge of failure to appear and for
failure to pay. He is also being held without bond.
PRE-ENROLLMENT AT DE QUEEN MIDDLE SCHOOL 3/3/14
Next year’s sixth and seventh graders will need to pre-enroll on Monday,
March 3rd and Tuesday, March 4th in the De Queen
Middle School cafeteria.
Sixth grader will register from 5:30 to 7:15 on Monday. Students who
speak English will enroll during session one from 5:30 to 6:15 and
non-English speaking parents and students will enroll from 6:30 to 7:15.
Seventh graders will enroll on Tuesday from 5:30 to 7:15. The first
session will be from 5:30 to 6:15 and will be for students and parents
who speak English. Non-English speaking parents and students will enroll
from 6:30 to 7:15.
Letters have been sent home with students, but if you have any questions
contact the Middle School counselor at 642-2428.
FCC DE QUEEN GUN RAFFLE 3/3/14
Jackie Taylor is a shooting sports coach for the First Christian Church
in De Queen team and he wants to remind everyone about the gun raffle
that the shooting sports team is conducting.
Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports Program aims to bring the joy of the
outdoors to young people, while teaching them to safely shoot a firearm
and is sponsored by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
Taylor stated, the Arkansas Game and Fish provides some traps and shells
for team members, but they must purchase any supplies that they need
after that runs out. Coaches are selling tickets for $5 each or three
for $10 and they will be drawing Friday, March 7th.
Tickets may be purchased at Baker’s Bargain House, Riverside Machine
Shop and here at the KDQN studios or by calling Taylor at 784-1805.
EAST LABS COLOR RUN 3/3/14
Queen High School senior Yesica Martinez and the EAST class will be
hosting the 2014 De Queen 5K Color Walk/Run on Sunday, March 16th
at the De Queen High School.
Martinez stopped by the KDQN studios to encourage runners to sign up.
Martinez said registration on the day of the race will begin at 2:30 and
the race will start at 3:30.
Registration forms are available here at the KDQN studios, but you can
also download a registration form at
and return it to the De Queen High School.
Registration is $15 for adults before March 9th and $18 after
March 9th. Martinez also said that if you register after
March 9th, you will not be guaranteed a race day packet,
which includes a t-shirt, color packet bomb and a race number.
Registration for youth is $10 before March 9th and $12 after.
Martinez said she wanted to remind runners that they would not be
providing sunglasses, but recommended that everyone bring a pair with
COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK 3/3/14
you are looking for something to do in the outdoors, check out the
events that have been scheduled at the Cossatot River State Park.
Saturday, March 8th, the park staff has planned a nature hike
at 9:30 a.m. and then takes a hike on the Waterleaf Trail to see how
attentive you are to your surroundings.
Sunday, March 9th, guests will become natural history
detectives at 10 a.m. and then help feed the critters at 2.
more information about the programs at the Cossatot River State Park,
MARGARET DANIEL PRIMARY
FAMILY NIGHT 03/03/14
Family Night Library at Margaret Daniel Primary
School is a rewarding opportunity for both students and parents. Offered
at the school on Monday nights from 4:30-6:30 for about 20 years now,
the program attendance has grown from 10-15 families during the first
years to at least 30 or more each Monday evening this school year. That
count means 30 or more family groups -- students, parents, grandparents,
any other interested party who desires to have their child read to them
and show off their skills.
In all these years, offering Family Night Library
has been dependent upon sponsors who help to cover the expenses of
paying school personnel for the extra two hours of duty per Monday, but
Kay York, principal of MDP, says that Family Night Library may end this
year on the last Monday of March because of lack of sponsorships for
April and May. The approximate $85 sponsorship needed for an evening of
Family Night Library has been provided by several sponsors, many of whom
who have been faithful for the entire twenty years, but new sponsors are
always needed and welcomed.
"Research has shown," York states, "that if a child
comes [to Family Night Library] for five times or more, that child will
reach grade-level reading." This can be attributed to a parent's or
other adult's involvement and focus on the child's reading success.
According to The Read-Aloud Handbook by author and educator Jim
Trelease, York continues, "Research shows that children tend to mimic
their dad's reading level more than their mom's," and that is why she
also encourages fathers and other men to become WatchD.O.G.S., the group
of men volunteers on the MDP campus. (D.O.G.S. stands for
Dads of Great Students.)
At Family Night Library, students may read books to
the parents or others, check out new books, and/or take AR (Accelerated
Reading) tests on the computer to earn AR points and rewards. For more
information about attending or sponsoring, please call York at
870-898-4430 or the MDP school office at 898-7002 or -3711.
Roger and Hunter
Mom Shannon Fields
with son Terrance Hackleman and daughter Audrey
Jefferson with son Zakieus
Mason Ueckert and
mom Krystle Sivley
Food Assistance at the Chalice Cupboard in February 02/28/14
month the Chalice Cupboard assisted 47 families in Sevier County
including 133 people who received food—84 adults and 49 children and
youth. The distributions totaled 1,153 pounds of donated food items,
including food purchased with gifts of money to support the food
balance on February 1, 2014, was $743.47. Funds received in February
were $262.00. $524.43 was spent in February for food weighing 647
pounds. The bank balance on March 1, 2014, was $481.01.
added to the Chalice Cupboard in February weighed
pounds. Of this amount of food added to the pantry last month 91 pounds
were donated by two churches: St. Barbara Catholic Church and First
Distributions of food for residents of Sevier County are held on
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 each quarter of the year.
those desiring to share in this food assistance program, suggested food
items during March are canned vegetables and jelly, or funds to help
purchase needed food items.
ANOTHER DAM RUN AT THE DE QUEEN LAKE 2/28/14
eight members of the De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce
Leadership Class are hosting a 5 and 10 K run this March 22nd
for their community service project. Funds raised from the event will be
used to provide two $1000 dollar scholarships to a Horatio High School
senior and to a De Queen High School senior.
more information about the event, contact Rankin at 870-784-1753 or
Minton at 570-584-9966.
BROKEN BOW MAN ARRESTED FOR DRUGS 2/28/14
ongoing investigation by several local law enforcement agencies has
resulted in the arrest of a Broken Bow resident.
February 20th, an undercover investigator with the South
Central Drug Task Force arranged a controlled delivery of drugs from the
suspect in De Queen.
After purchasing 7 grams of methamphetamines, officers arrested
39-year-old Barry McKinney of Broken Bow.
Authorities discovered a large amount of cash and a .45 caliber Glock
handgun on McKinney’s person. It was later revealed that the gun had
been stolen from a residence in De Queen.
McKinney is being charged with simulations possession of drugs and
firearms, delivery of a controlled substance-methamphetamine and
receiving stolen property.
Members of the South Central Drug Task Force, the De Queen Police
Department, the Sevier County Sheriffs Office and the Arkansas Game and
Fish Commission assisted in the investigation, which remains open.
DRUNK IN PUBLIC 2/28/14
February 25th, Sevier County Sheriff’s Deputy Rodger Ridley
was patrolling in the City of Horatio when he noticed a Hispanic male
walking east on the Northside of the road.
Deputy Ridley reported that when he stopped to ask the suspect his name,
the man immediately starting to run away from him. Ridley reported that
he chased the man about 30 feet down the road and then the man turned
north and started running through a yard.
that point, Ridley was able to catch the suspect and subdue him on the
suspect was identified as 36-year-old Narciso Caso of Horatio.
Caso was arrested and charged with public intoxication and fleeing.
FARM ESTATE PLANNING MEETING 2/28/14
Sevier County Extension Office has announced that the Cooperative
Service will be holding an estate planning meeting in Nashville next
week at the Howard County Extension Homemaker Educational Center, which
is behind the Howard County Courthouse.
program is entitled Your Farm, Your Legacy: Estate Planning for Farmers
and Families will be Tuesday, March 4th and Thursday, March 6th
at 6 p.m. each evening.
Speakers will discuss: getting started on an Estate Plan; Probate,
Trusts and Farm Transfers; Taxes and Long-term Care; Transfer of
Non-titled Property and Planning Ahead for End of Life, which will cover
advance directives and living wills.
cost is $15 per person or $20 per couple and registration is due by
Friday, February 28th. To register, contact the Sevier County
Extension Office at 584-3013.
meal will also be provided.
FOREMAN SCHOOL DISTRICT RECEIVES PERFECT STANDARDS
During the February meeting of the Foreman Board of Education,
Superintendent Jason Sanders reported that the recent review of the
district’s standards review went perfect.
Board members discussed ways that the district can communicate with the
district’s stake holders by using different forms of communication.
Arkansas School Board Association is establishing a school board
advocacy network to enhance the presence of local school boards in the
legislative process and they asked the Foreman Board of Education to
select a representative to be the district’s legislative liaison. Board
members Elbert Bradley was elected to represent the district.
Following an executive session, board members agreed to hire Bill Brown
as a technology consultant at a cost of $3,000 a month on an as needed
monthly basis. Superintendent Sanders informed the board that he was
planning on using Brown’s services from March 1st to the end
of the district’s fiscal year.
Board members voted to extend the contracts of Elementary Principal
Patricia Tankersley, high school Principal Kimberly Cody and Athletic
Director and Head Football coach Denzil Cowling for the 2014-2015 school
district will also state advertising for a full-time IT Maintenance
Director for the district immediately.
High School Principal Cody presented gator certificates to the newest
inductees of the National Honor Society. Jessie Smith, Chelsea Stephens,
Samantha Bell and Trevor Stevens were inducted into the National Honor
Society on February 25th.
GOAT AND SHEEP MANAGEMENT PROGRAM 2/28/14
Goat and Sheep Producers of Arkansas of Hope will be holding an
educational management program in the UA Cossatot Agri Building on
Saturday, March 1st from 10 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.
David Fernandez is an Extension Livestock Specialist from the University
of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and he will be providing information about
goat and sheep management and the types of facilities and equipment that
is needed to manage a goat and sheep herd.
April 12th, the Goat and Sheep Producers of Arkansas will
conduct a second meeting on the UA Cossatot campus to discuss goat and
sheep health, kidding and lambing, time management and ration and
marketing of kids or lambs.
programs are free and lunch will be provided.
programs are being supported by UA Cossatot, the University of Arkansas
at Pine Bluff, the Sevier County Extension Service, the Goat and Sheep
Producers of Arkansas in Hope and the Silas H. Hunt Community
Development Corporation of Texarkana.
more information contact Rex Herring at 584-3013 or Jesse Duckett at
HOT SPRINGS BOAT, TACKLE AND RV SHOW 2/28/14
Outdoor enthusiast will be gathering this weekend at the Hot Springs
Convention Center for the Hot Springs Boat, Tackle and RV Show and Ken
Griffin shared with KDQN what all the boats, RVs and tackle that will be
on display this weekend.
Griffin stated they will also be offering several activities for kids
Organizers will also be giving away $1,000 to one person that attends
the show this weekend. For more information visit the website
TEACHER HOSTS GUEST SPEAKERS FOR BLACK HISTORY MONTH
Community tutor and volunteer, Laverne Allen informs the first
grade students about African-Americans of the past who promoted
literacy and education through their speaking and writing
Arkansas State Trooper Robert Wilson explains his job
responsibilities and even the importance of his uniform and
weapon to the first graders of Brenda Tate. Assigned to the
Little River County area, Officer Wilson tells the youngsters
how he trained and earned his job and also shared a power point
presentation about Africa.
Local artist and Ashdown resident Jimmy Hopkins shares some of
his artwork and talks to the first graders about becoming a
commercial artist. He started at age three.
Mrs. Annie Turner, Central Office secretary for Ashdown School
District, reads an African-American folk tale Flossy and the
Fox to the students.
Carolyn Henderson, Public Relations
Coordinator/Teacher, Ashdown School District
SEARCH OF FEDERAL HOUSING FACILITY RESULTS IN DRUG
Just after 6 a.m. Tuesday morning, officers with the Ashdown Police
Department executed a search and seizure warrant on a residence in the
Federal Housing Facility that is located at 670 East Lawrence Street in
Ashdown detectives were able to obtain probable cause for the warrant
and presented an affidavit to Circuit Court Judge Tom Cooper who found
probable cause based on the information that was presented to him.
Officers entered the residence and three suspects were taken into
custody and detained while officers searched the residence for illegal
During the search, 2.6 grams of methamphetamine, packaging materials and
other drug paraphernalia that is commonly associated with the use and
sale of illegal drugs were seized and booked into evidence.
38-year-old Carjuan Brown of Ashdown was arrested for possession of
methamphetamine with purpose to deliver and possession of drug
paraphernalia. According to Ashdown Chief of Police Doyle Crouch, the
penalties on the possession with purpose to deliver charge may be
enhanced under the Arkansas Statue governing the sale of illegal drugs
in close proximity to certain facilities.
year-old Traci Carmack and 34-year-old Pamela Holland of Ashdown were
arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia.
three suspects appeared before Circuit Judge Charles Yeargan shortly
after their arrest and set their bonds for all three suspects.
Brown is currently being held in the Little River County jail under a
$25,000 bond, while Carmack and Holland are being held on $10,000 bonds.
SEX OFFENDER TRACKED TO LITTLE RIVER COUNTY 2/27/14
sex offender from Delight was recently arrested in Little River County.
Pike County Detectives Clark Kinzler and Jason McDonald arrested
41-year-old Tony Sturgeon last Thursday with the assistance of the
Little River County Sherriff’s office.
Sturgeon is a level 2 registered sex offender.
a level 2 sex offender, Sturgeon is required to verify his place of
residence, but back in December, he had not verified his residency.
Sturgeon reportedly told the authorities that he had been away for about
a week and a half because his mother was ill and then this month, he
failed to report that he was in Foreman for at least a week and did not
report this in person to the Little River County Sheriff’s office.
Sturgeon reported that his dad had a heart attack and he was visiting
him at the Little River Memorial Hospital.
Detective McDonald then checked Sturgeon’s residence about a week ago
and he had still not registered an address.
to the infractions, Sturgeon was picked up for failure to comply with
registration and reporting requirements.
DR. WALLACE LILES ANNOUNCES HIS RETIREMENT 2/27/14
After 39 years of practicing optometry, Dr. Wallace Liles, Jr. is
retiring at the end of February.
Liles opened the Liles Vision Clinic in Mena 30 years ago. He opened a
practice in De Queen 27 years ago and in Waldron, 20 years ago.
Liles stated that the loss of vision is one of the biggest fears that
people have and he has seen some major advances in the technology that
is used to treat vision issues.
staff of the Liles Vision Center at 404 East Collin Raye Drive in De
Queen will host a retirement reception Thursday, February 27th
from noon until 2 p.m. and all of Dr. Liles patients, friends and
associates are invited to stop by and visit with him.
Liles son, Wally Liles III, will continue practicing optometry in Mena
and De Queen, and Dr. Liles will continue seeing patients a couple of
days a week for the next couple of months.