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TODAY'S NEWS:  

 

WICKES RESIDENT ARRESTED FOR OBSTRUCTION OF GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS         10/24/14

 

Wednesday night about 7:47, Patrolman First Class Levi Browning of the De Queen Police Department conducted a traffic stop on a 2002 Toyota Tundra with Texas tags for violating the city's noise ordinance.

 

Ordinance 758 states that any noise that can be heard from more than 50 feet is to loud and the Tundra had an issue with its muffler causing it be loud.

 

Browning identified the driver as Fred Urista.

 

Urista had a Texas driver's license, but Browning was informed that the Urista's license was suspended, so he was issued a citation for driving on a suspended driver's license.

 

Browning then inquired if any of the three passengers in the vehicle had a valid driver's license and all three of the men said they did not have a driver's license.

 

However, Browning recognized one of the men and asked him to step out of the vehicle.

 

Browning reported that he remembered the man from a DWI accident involving Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Greg Davignon from August of 2013.

 

In 2013, Browning had transported the suspect who was identified as Andres Cuadra to the Sevier County jail. However, the suspect informed Browning that his name was Javier Gonzalez, Wednesday night.

 

When Browning asked the suspect about the incident in 2013, he responded that he didn't know what Browning was talking about.

 

So, the suspect was detained so Browning could identify him by running his prints through the Arkansas Crime Information Center, but before they arrived at the Sevier County jail, he confirmed that he was Cuadra.

 

A search revealed that Cuadra had warrants from the City of De Queen and the Sevier County. It also revealed nine aliases that he used.

 

Cuadra informed Browning that he had paid a man in Dallas $100 for the fake ID. He was then issued citations for his De Queen warrant and obstruction of government operations. He is being held on a hold from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

 

 

 

TYPE O BLOOD SUPPLY CRITICALLY LOW        10/24/14

 

LifeShare Blood Centers is reporting an urgent need for O negative blood donors in order to stabilize the supply. Patient use of O negative blood has exceeded recent blood donations of that type and it has resulted in an immediate need for blood donations.

 

LifeShare Blood Center spokesperson said patients in trauma situations, those with O negative blood and most infants can only receive type O negative blood and because of this, it is vital that LifeShare increases its current supply to support and to be prepared for local patient needs.

 

After a blood donation, testing and processing takes a minimum of 24 hours before the blood is available for patient use. People who are eligible to give blood and know they have an O negative blood type are needed immediately.

 

Anyone who is unaware of their blood type are also being asked to donate now, as it will be tested upon collection and donations of all blood types are needed to constantly replenish the blood supply.

 

Donors may go to the LifeShare Blood Center in Texarkana.

 

All donors will receive a mini-physical prior to the donation procedure. The mini-physical will include a check of temperature, pulse, blood pressure and iron levels. Potential donors must be 16 or older, meet the height and weight requirements and feel well and healthy at the time of the donation.

 

LifeShare recommends eating a good meal and drink lots of fluid prior to donating.

 

HORATIO SCHOOL DISTRICT HOLDS PUBLIC MEETING     10/24/14

 

Earlier this month, the Horatio School District held its annual report to the public prior to the October meeting of the Board of Education.

 

Superintendent Lee Smith reported that the district received over $8 million dollars from a combination of local, state, building, federal, activity and food service funding sources in 2013-2014.

 

Smith reported that the district’s accountability status was Needs Improvement overall, but the district was achieving in the areas of percentage of students tested, graduation rate and Literacy. He also reported the district was accredited by the Arkansas Department of Education, however, the Horatio High School was currently on probation due to the fact that some teachers were teaching in areas that they were not certified in, but that issue has been addressed.

 

Elementary Principal Susan Nelson reported her campus was on schedule to implement the Teacher Excellence Support System, which is a new teacher evaluation program.

 

Nelson also reported the district is planning to renovate the old ALE building and turn it into a literacy lab and research facility for the older students.

 

High School Principal James Dobbins reported that the number of students making a score of four on the state AP exams has increased. He explained that a score of four is the highest score a student can achieve.

 

Following the report to the public, board members approved one student transfer to the De Queen School District, hired a bus driver and approved the routine monthly reports.

 

 ARKANSAS AGRICULTURE HALL OF FAME SOLICITING NOMINATIONS    10/24/14

 

The Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame is seeking nominations from the public for its class of 2014. The nomination deadline is November 14th.

 

The Agriculture Hall of Fame recognizes Arkansans who are or have contributed significantly to the state’s largest industry, while spotlighting their contributions to the state’s economic development. Since its first class was selected in 1987, a total of 142 men and women have been inducted.

 

Cal McCastlain is the chairman of the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame and he says anyone can nominate a person believed worthy for the honor.

 

McCastlain said the history of Arkansas agriculture is filled with great men and women and the role of the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame is to honor the worthy individuals who made a profound impact on Arkansas agriculture.

 

The Farm Bureau Center in Little Rock houses the Agriculture Hall of Fame, which is sponsored by the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and Arkansas Farm Bureau.

 

For additional information and online nomination forms go to www.arkansasaghalloffame.org or call 501-228-1470.

 

The induction ceremony for the next class will be March 6th, 2015 in Little Rock.

 

AREA WINNERS AT THE STATE FAIR     10/24/14   

 

Several local 4-H and FFA members received awards at the Arkansas State Fair.

 

Winners in the state fair cattle show included: Luke Smith of Lockesburg who showed the open Charolais grand champion bull, as well as the junior Charolais champion bull.

 

Kaitlin Kitchens of Dierks won the junior Limousine champion bull.

 

In the breeding swine competition, Jacob Moore of Umpire showed the winning open Hampshire reserve grand champion female in the open division and the junior Hampshire reserve grand champion female in the junior division.

 

Rebecca Wood of Lockesburg showed the winning Duroc grand champion boar in the open division and the junior Duroc reserve grand champion boar.

 

 

 
This Week's News:

 

 

DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL WORKING ON 2015 BUDGET       10/23/14

 

Aldermen of the De Queen City Council heard budget request from Police Chief Richard McKinley, Parks Director Gaytha Bakenhus and Mike Sims of the waste treatment department.

 

Chief McKinley requested an increase in his department's equipment and uniform account for the purchase of two new vests. Bakenhus wants to renovate the backstop on field four at the Sportsplex and Sims requested a tank for the storage of chemicals.

 

Other department heads are expected to present their budget requests at the next council meeting on November 11th.

 

Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy asked aldermen to amend the city's 2014 budget by moving funds from the water department's depreciation fund to the equipment line item to pay for some repairs following a lightning strike at the water plant.

 

McKelvy also mentioned that Jeff Brown was the new head of the water department.

 

McKelvy stated the raw water line project was complete but the city's engineer would be presenting a few change orders in the next couple of weeks.

 

Council members also approved making an extra payment on the city's Rural Development loan in the amount of $150,000, which will allow the city to refinance it’s loans in 2017.

Alderman passed a resolution to appoint Caleb Stephens and Paul Minor to the De Queen Volunteer Fire Department.

 

Stephens is from New Boston, Texas and is a graduate of Louisiana Tech. He said he wanted to serve on the fire department so he could give back to the community and get more involved in his new home.

 

Chief McKinley reported that he hired Justin Gentry as a new patrolman.

 

Gentry worked at the Sevier County jail as a jailer and was highly recommended by his supervisors and Sheriff Bennie Simmons.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN LIONS CLUB COLLECTING ITEMS FOR PARENT SURVIVAL PACKS       10/23/14

 

Members of the De Queen Lions Club are partnering with the Arkansas Children's Hospital to provide parents of children who have been admitted into the hospital with survival packs.

 

According to the Arkansas Children's Hospital, many visits are unplanned and most patients are admitted between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. Most of the time these visits are unscheduled and often times families are unprepared and without food.

 

So, members of the De Queen Lions Club are collecting travel-sized toiletry items to help make their stay a little less stressful.

 

Lions Club members are shampoo, conditioner, lotion, deodorant, body wash, razors, shaving cream, tooth brushes, tooth paste and floss. But, one of the most needed items is cell phone chargers, especially iPhone chargers.

 

So far, the De Queen Lions Club has filled 120 survival packs and they will present them to a representative from the Arkansas Children's Hospital Tuesday, October 28th during their weekly meeting.

 

Although, the Lions Cub is not currently collecting items for the parent survival snack packs, area churches and organizations are encouraged to collect the following items to provide families with a little comfort during these uncertain times.

 

Suggested items including: individually wrapped snack items, like granola bars, nuts, chips, crackers and cookies; individually wrapped breakfast items like breakfast bars and pastries; hot chocolate packets, small bottles of water, individually wrapped hot tea bags and single-serve instant coffee packets.

 

For more information, call the Arkansas Children's Hospital volunteer services at 501-364-1825 or email them at volunteerservices@archildrens.org.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN REGIONAL MEDICAL HOSPITAL HEALTH FAIR THIS FRIDAY      10/23/14

 

Public Relations Director Rhonda Blanton of the De Queen Regional Medical Center stopped by the KDQN studios this week to remind everyone about the upcoming health fair at the hospital. The health will be this Friday.

 

Blanton stated there will be several booths along with some special guests that offer special services in the De Queen area.

 

Blanton said if you are interested in having a booth during the health fair you may contact her at the hospital by calling 870-584-4111. She also stated several booths will have some items for everyone that stops by their booth.

 

Blanton explained that there will be several other groups with booths and this will give the public the opportunity to visit the hospital and receive valuable information concerning their health.

 

 

 

 

COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK       10/23/14

 

Cossatot River State Park interpreter Andrew Rawlings announced this week that it's time for the leaves to start turning and that now is a great time to take a hike and take some nature pictures.

 

Rawlings said he will be leading a hike through the Cossatot Falls this Saturday from 10 to 11:30 a.m. so park guests may enjoy this awesome autumn.

 

Rawlings invited everyone to bring their binoculars, cameras, and phones to capture the beautiful scenery around the Cossatot River.

 

Saturday afternoon from 2 to 3 p.m. Rawlings will host a fire building competition.

 

Participates will demonstrate who has the best survival skills by starting a fire using flint and steel.

 

On Sunday morning from 9 to 10 a.m., Rawlings will lead a hike through the Cossatot Falls in search of birds and then from 2 to 3 p.m., you can help Rawlings feed the park critters at the visitor center.

 

For more information about the activities at the Cossatot River State Park, call 870-385-2201 or check out our website at KDQN.net.

 

 

 

LIFESHARE BLOOD DRIVE IN FOREMAN       10/23/14

 

LifeShare Blood Center will be holding a blood drive on Tuesday, October 28th at the Oscar Hamilton Elementary School in Foreman in the school cafeteria.

 

According to LifeShare about one in seven people entering a hospital need blood and one blood donation can save up to three lives.

 

LifeShare Blood Centers regularly supplies blood components to 117 medical facilities throughout Louisiana, East Texas and South Arkansas, including the De Queen Regional Medical Center, the Little River Hospital and Howard Memorial Hospital.

 

 

 

MCDANIEL ANNOUNCES NEW SCHOOL SAFETY INITIATIVE      10/23/14

 

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced the launch of a new school safety training initiative for school districts and law enforcement agencies to help educators and emergency responders be better prepared for an active threat on campuses.

 

Agents with the Attorney General's Special Investigations Division will offer a number of specialized training courses, at no cost to the school employees or law enforcement officials.

 

Special Agents Tony Allen and Jeremiah Terrell will offer several types of training that based on curriculum that was developed at Texas State University. 

 

School employees will be taught how to "Avoid, Deny and Defend" in an active shooter situation. This means participants will learn to first attempt to avoid the danger, then deny entry into a classroom or building and ultimately, defend themselves if necessary.

 

Law enforcement officers will receive Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Techniques or ALERRT training.

 

This training will focus on engagement with an active shooter and first responders will be trained to treat victims in the critical time before additional medical help arrives.

 

 

TWO RIVERS MUSEUM CHILLIN ON MAIN        10/23/14

 

Members of the Little River County Historical Society will be 'Chillin' on Main' at the Two Rivers Museum today from 5 to 7 p.m. to raise funds for the museum.

 

Society members will be serving homemade chili, taco soup or vegetable soup with all the trimmings and dessert.

 

Tickets are $10 and children under 10 will be $5.

 

Tickets are available at the Two Rivers Museum, the Little River County Courthouse and the Castle.

 

All proceeds will go toward the renovation of the upstairs portion of the museum.

 

For additional information, contact Carolyn Castleman at 870-898-9080 or Clayton Castleman at 870-898-7202.

 

TYPE O BLOOD SUPPLY CRITICALLY LOW 10/28/14

LifeShare will be in De Queen Monday November 3 at Pilgrim’s Pride from 12 – 6pm and Tuesday November 11 at De Queen Middle School 2:30 – 6:30pm.

LifeShare Blood Centers reports an urgent need for O negative blood donors in order to stabilize the supply. Patient use of O negative blood has exceeded recent blood donations of the same type, resulting in an immediate need for blood donations.

“Patients in trauma situations, those with O negative blood and most infants can only receive type O negative blood. Because of this, it is vital to increase the current supply to support and be prepared for local patient needs,” says Karen Siefert, spokesperson for LifeShare Blood Centers. 

After blood donation, testing and processing takes a minimum of 24 hours before the blood is available for patient use. People who are eligible to give blood and know they have an O negative blood type are needed immediately. Persons who are unaware of their blood type are also being asked to donate now, as it will be tested upon collection. Donations of all blood types are needed for constant replenishing.

The following LifeShare Blood Centers’ locations are open for blood donations along with mobile blood drives. To locate a mobile blood drive, call your nearest center or go to www.lifeshare.org.

LifeShare Blood Centers locations:

For center hours, to locate a convenient mobile blood drive, or to make a donation appointment, go to www.lifeshare.org or call the LifeShare location nearest you: Shreveport (318) 673-1471 or toll-free (800) 256-4483 or Texarkana (903) 794-3173 or toll-free (800) 264-5456.

 

 

AETN, SEVIER COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY PARTNER TO HOLD MISTER ROGERS' NEIGHBORHOOD SWEATER DRIVE      10/22/14

 

The Arkansas Educational Television Network and the Sevier County Public Library in De Queen have partnered to sponsor a Mister Rogers Sweater Drives as a tribute to Fred Rogers and his example of being a caring neighbor.

 

The drive will be held November 1 through November 29th.

 

Members of the community are being asked to donate new or gently worn sweaters at the Sevier County Library. Sweaters that are collected will then be distributed locally by the Sevier County Housing Authority and statewide by the Arkansas Salvation Army.

 

"Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" has long been a place where caring and consideration for others and it instills a good feeling in all of us, according to AETN Executive Director Allen Weatherly.

 

Weatherly explained Fred Rogers' cardigan sweater has come to represent the gentle spirit, warmth and nurturing of the neighborhood. Mister Rogers himself once said, "All of us, at some time or other, need help, and whether we're giving or receiving a sweater, each one of us has something valuable to bring to this world.

 

To set the tone for a comfortable visit with his young viewers, Rogers always put on a sweater and changed into sneakers to help children settle in for Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.

 

All of Rogers' sweaters were knitted by his mother and each year, she knitted a dozen sweaters and gave them to family and friends at Christmas.

 

Sevier County Head Librarian Johnye Fisher stated the library staff was proud to host the Sevier County Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Sweater Drive. She said the library hosts the Food for Fines drive, each year and this is simply another opportunity to help meet the needs of our neighbors.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN RESIDENT PEPPER SPRAYED AFTER RESISTING ARREST     10/22/14

Saturday, October 18th, Patrolman Bucky Sawyer of the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to Third Street following a report that a white female was yelling at passing cars.

Sawyer located the suspect at Third and Wallace about 1:35 in the morning.

Sawyer reported that knew the suspect as 48-year-old Janet Mayo and realized she was intoxicated as she approached his patrol car.

After making contact with Mayo, she repeatedly asked Sawyer who he was and he continued to identify himself as Officer Bucky Sawyer. After repeating herself several times, Sawyer informed her that she was under arrest for public intox.

Sawyer then attempted to handcuff Mayo, but she pulled and spun away from him. He then attempted to calm her down and he reportedly informed her that he would not cuff her if she would comply and get in the vehicle, but she continued to resist Sawyer and became more agitated.

Sawyer called for backup and was assisted by Patrolman First Class Levi Browning and Sevier County Sheriff’s Deputy Greg Davignon.

Sawyer reported that Mayo appeared to calm down while speaking with Deputy Davignon, but then became belligerent again.   

Mayo was then informed that if she did not comply, she would be pepper sprayed. After Mayo made several more advances toward Deputy Davignon, he pepper sprayed her.

Mayo was then advised to get into Officer Browning’s patrol unit so she could receive decontamination, but upon arriving at the jail, she refused the towel that had been soaked in ice water.

Mayo reportedly became belligerent again and was ushered into the drunk tank. She was charged with public intoxication and resisting arrest.

 

 

 

 

DIERKS BOARD OF EDUCATION HONORS OUT-GOING BOARD MEMBER     10/22/14

 

Following the election of Brad Garner to the Dierks Board of Education, school board members honored out-going member Barry Stuard during their October .

 

Cothern reported that she is continuing to secure bids for video surveillance equipment as a part of the Safe School Environment initiative.

 

Cothern announced that she would be recognizing school employees who she feels are going above and beyond the call of duty, each month during the monthly meeting of the Dierks School Board.

 

 

 

EARLY VOTING UNDERWAY IN ARKANSAS       10/22/14

 

Thousands of Arkansas voters started casting their ballots Monday in a closely watched midterm election that is being highlighted by an expensive U.S. Senate race that could help determine which party will control the Senate next year.

 

Secretary of State Mark Martin's office reported that 21,094 people had cast a ballot by late Monday afternoon. Martin has predicted 51 percent of the state's nearly 1.7 million registered voters will vote during this midterm election.

 

Sevier County Clerk Debbie Hughes' office reported 60 residents cast their votes in Sevier County on Monday and that there was a steady stream of people casting their votes early.

 

Republican and Democratic party leaders are urging Arkansans to vote early.

 

 

 

ARKANSAS STATE FAIR ATTENDANCE FALLS SHORT OF 2013      10/22/14

 

Officials with the Arkansas State Fair in Little Rock say attendance during the final six days of the fair rebounded with improved weather, but attendance fell short of the 2013 numbers.

 

The fair announced Monday that the crowd for Sunday's final day of the fair totaled 50,595 to help bring the total attendance for the 10-day fair to 407,363. The total attendance was 8.6 percent lower than last year's 445,314.

 

Fair officials say they were pleased with the final numbers, but noted the first four days were hampered by rain, thunderstorms and strong winds.

 

This was the 75th anniversary of the Arkansas State Fair.

 

 

ASHDOWN BOARD OF EDUCATION PLEASED WITH CURRENT DIRECTION OF DISTRICT       10/21/14

 

Following the Ashdown School District annual Report to the Public, the Ashdown Board of Education elected new officers and approved the board disclosure resolution, which will allow the district to conduct business with board members who sell items or provide services to the district.

 

Superintendent Jason Sanders reported that he informed the public that the district's enrollment was continuing to increase this semester.

 

Sanders stated that it was a good thing that the enrollment was increasing because some of the district's funding is tied to enrollment numbers.

 

Sanders reported that board members voted to table a discussion to select a district architect for future facility projects, but they would discuss the issue in November.

 

Sanders reported that the district has had a great start to the school year, but everyone in the district was working to ensure they had a successful school year and end on a high note.

 

 

 

CITY OF ASHDOWN AS A NEW CHIEF       10/21/14

 

Newly elected Ashdown Mayor James Sutton appointed Ashdown Police Captain Mark Ardwin as the new chief of police following the retirement of Doyle Crouch.

 

Ardwin is a native of Ashdown and has been in law enforcement for 32 years. He started in May of 1982 as a deputy with the Little River County Sheriffs Office. He was hired to be a patrolman with the Ashdown Police Department in 1987.

 

Former chief of police Crouch was praised by former mayor Carroll McLarty for his service and wished him a long, enjoyable and healthy retirement.

 

Ardwin stated that his goal is to educate the citizens of Ashdown about the working operations of the department, so that people will have a understanding of police procedures and not be afraid of the officers.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL WILL MEET TUESDAY NIGHT      10/21/14

 

During the October 7th meeting of the De Queen City Council, Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy informed the aldermen the water plant had been struck by lightning and repairs were being made. Well, tonight, aldermen will be asked to amend the city’s budget to cover the cost of those repair.

 

According to McKelvy, parts and labor totaled $4,097.50, however, while switching to the new water line, they discovered a flash mixer that was not working in a mixing tank.

 

City Engineer Greg Vaughn found a new mixer and impeller for $6,349. The city also owes Vaughn $850 for his work on the project.

 

McKelvy informed the city aldermen that the water department has enough in it's depreciation fund to cover the cost, but the council will need to amend the budget to cover the additional cost.

 

Several department heads will present their budgets and the council will discuss making an additional payment on the city's waste water Rural Development Administration loan.

 

 

 

EARLY VOTING IS UNDERWAY       10/21/14

 

Residents of Sevier County have begun casting their votes during the midterm election here in Arkansas.

 

Arkansas election officials are predicting that 51 percent of the state's nearly 1.7 million registered voters will cast a ballot during this general election, which is an increase from the last midterm election in 2010, when 47.6 percent of Arkansas' 1.6 million registered voters cast their vote.

 

Sevier County Clerk Debbie Hughes informed KDQN that there has been a steady stream of people voting early this morning and she expects a large turnout for this election.

 

Hughes explained when her office will be open from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and for the next two Saturdays

 

Early voting will end on Monday, November 3rd at 5 p.m.

 

This year's ballot features a heated U.S. Senate race between Democratic U.S. Senator Mark Pryor and Republican U.S. Representative Tom Cotton, along with the governor's race with Democrat Mike Ross and Republican Asa Hutchinson.

 

Hughes stated there are also two contested aldermen races in the City of De Queen and residents in Gillham and Lockesburg will be considering sales tax issues.

 

For more information, Hughes said you may call her office at 870-642-2852.

 

 

 

SCAMMERS TARGET UTILITY CUSTOMERS     10/21/14

 

Utility companies in Arkansas and across the country report an increasing number of instances where scammers attempt to extort electric customers out of cash by posing as representatives of the company and threatening to cut off customers' power.

 

Con artists target small businesses and homeowners, demanding that the consumer pay his or her overdue bill immediately, typically with an untraceable cash card, in order to avoid having their electricity shut off. Recently, an Arkansas-based electric provider discovered that one scammer was using the company's own prerecorded message in a ruse to make the scheme sound more believable.

 

So, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued a consumer alert to let consumers know what to watch for in the event they are targets of this scam.

 

Commercial and residential customers, even those who pay their bills on time, have been contacted by scammers and scam artists may even spoof a caller ID number to make it appear legitimate, and tell customers that they must pay their bill within an hour.

 

McDaniel said there are several ways for consumers to recognize the fact that they may be a target.

 

One, utility companies will not ask for payment on a GreenDot MoneyPak card.

 

Two, utility companies never demand immediate payment. Although, utility companies may place a courtesy call to consumers whose service is at risk of being disconnected, the calls are usually recorded messages.

 

And, three, utility companies won't mind if a skeptical consumer calls back later.

 

Consumers who are contacted by scam artists in this utility-bill scam should contact their electric provider, local law enforcement agency and the Attorney General's office by call 1-800-482-8982.

 

 

 

UA COSSATOT COLLEGIATE FFA GUN RAFFLE       10/21/14

 

UA Cossatot Collegiate FFA chapter is holding a gun raffle and the money raised will help students attend the National FFA Convention, as well as fund the FFA contest that they will hold this spring.

 

UA Cossatot FFA Advisor Kelli Harris reported that members of the Cossatot FFA just returned from the Arkansas State Fair and, students will attend the National FFA Convention in Louisville in about two weeks.

 

Students are selling tickets for $20 each, but they will only be selling 500 tickets until Monday, October 27th prior to their annual chili supper.

 

Harris stated you do not have to be present to win, but the ticket also earns you admission to the chili supper at 6 p.m.

 

If you would like a ticket, contact a member of the UA Cossatot Collegiate FFA.

 

Harris said the winners will pick up their guns at Tires Plus after the drawing, but if you have any questions, you may contact her at UA Cossatot by calling 870-584-4471, ext. 1218.

 

ASHDOWN HIGH SCHOOL EARNS PLACE IN AMERICA'S MOST CHALLENGING HIGH SCHOOLS, ANNOUNCED BY THE WASHINGTON POST  10/21/14

Ashdown High School has been ranked among America's Most Challenging High Schools, according to a recent announcement by The Washington Post, who conducts the research and compiles the listing.

America's Most Challenging High Schools ranks schools through an index formula that's a simple ratio:  the number of Advanced Placement tests given at a school each year divided by the number of seniors who graduated that year.  Ashdown High School's Challenge Index score was 2.272, which placed them #22 in the 62 schools recognized in Arkansas, #464 of the 894 schools ranked in the South U.S., and #937 of the 1900 public schools named to the list nationwide.  Number 937 of the overall total school districts in the United States makes Ashdown in the top 4% nationally.

Of the ten schools in the southwest quadrant of Arkansas who made the listing, Ashdown is fifth and, statewide, Ashdown is ranked ahead of Springdale, Russellville, El Dorado and Fort Smith. 

Jay Mathews of The Washington Post explains the Challenge Index used to select the schools for the listing:  "We take the total number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given at a school each year and divide by the number of seniors who graduated in May or June. I call this formula the Challenge Index. With a few exceptions, public schools that achieved a ratio of at least 1.000, meaning they had as many tests in 2012 as they had graduates, were put on the national list."

Mathews continued that "this year, only 9 percent of the approximately 22,000 U.S. public high schools managed to reach that standard and earn placement on our list."

Highest in the nation was the American Indian Public Charter in Oakland, California, with a Challenge Index score of 21.909, while, incidentally, 77% of its students qualify for subsidized lunches.  Closest in ranking to this school was Uplift Education North Hills Preparatory in Irving, Texas, with a second place score of 15.696.

Holding the #1 ranking in Arkansas is Arkansas School of Math, Science and the Arts in Hot Springs with a Challenge Index score of 4.674. 

The Challenge Index is designed to identify schools that have done the best job in persuading average students to take college-level courses and tests. Research has found that even low-performing students who got only a 2 on an AP test did significantly better in college than similar students who did not take AP.

Ashdown High School offers a total of ten AP courses , in addition to nine pre-AP courses at high school and eight at junior high as prerequisites and/or preparation for the AP courses and exams.  The list of offerings includes AP English 11 & 12, AP American History, AP Geography, AP Psychology, AP Physics, AP Statistics, AP Calculus, AP Chemistry, and AP Biology.

Picture attached:  Proudly displaying the banner proclaiming Ashdown High School as one of America's Most Challenging High Schools are (left) AHS Principal Tim Erwin and Assistant Principal Mark Pounds.  The designation was announced by The Washington Post earlier this school year, and the banner has finally arrived and is prominently displayed in the entry to the high school.

 

BENEFIT FOR WITHEM FAMILY       10/20/14

 

Several benefits have been planned for the Withem family of Arden who lost their home during the tornado that struck Little River County Monday morning.

 

Community members will hold a hot dog benefit dinner for the family on Saturday, October 25th from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Arden School House.

 

They will be serving hot dogs for donations only, as well as a silent auction, bake sale and possibly a hay ride.

 

An account has also been set up at the Mil-Way Credit Union to benefit the family and residents are collecting clothing for Roxanne Withem and the 3 children.

 

They are needing jeans size 14-16, 9 junior, boys size 10 and boys size 6 slim. Shirt sizes include women's 1X, ladies medium, boys 12-14 and boys 7-8. Shoes sizes are women's 8.5, 8, men's size 7 and a boys size 13.

 

Clothing may be dropped off at the Central Baptist Church in the Family Life Center, across from the Little River Courthouse in Ashdown between 8 and 5 each day.

 

 

 

BOIL WATER ORDER FOR NHCRW        10/20/14

 

The North Howard County Rural Water Association declared a precautionary boil water order for the entire system including the towns of Umpire and Athens.

 

The order was issued as a precautionary measure because of the possibility that contaminated water may have entered the distribution system as a result of a partial loss in normal system pressure.

 

Under the boil water order, all affected customers are being advised that the water may be unsafe for human consumption and water that is used for drinking or for food preparation should be boiled briskly for one minute prior to use.

 

All ice cubes should be discarded and only boiled water be used for the making of ice.

 

This precautionary boil water notice will remain in effect until the problem has been corrected, an adequate disinfectant level is established throughout the distribution system and a bacteriological survey shows that the water is safe to drink.

 

The boil water order was due to a loss of pressure that resulted from a water main break Friday afternoon.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN CHEERLEADERS CALLING FOR A PINK OUT OCTOBER 31ST     10/20/14

 

The De Queen High School cheerleaders have declared a Pink Out for Friday, October 31st during the Leopard football game against the Magnolia Panthers.

 

Currently, the cheerleaders are selling "Think Pink; Bleed Black and Gold" t-shirts for $15 each, but orders will only be taken until Monday, October 20th.

 

For more information, contact the High School Cheerleading Sponsor Cheryl Floyd by calling the De Queen Middle School at 642-2428.

 

The cheerleaders will also be conducting their annual mini cheer camp November 15th from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the De Queen Coliseum.

 

The camp is for ages 4 through the 6th grade. The cost is $35 and every camper will receive a t-shirt.

 

The mini cheerleaders will perform Thursday, November 20th during the De Queen basketball game.

 

 

 

FORMER DE QUEEN RESIDENT NAMED MRS ARKANSAS STATE FAIR     10/20/14

 

Former De Queen graduate Vanessa Simmons was named the 2014 Mrs. Arkansas State Fair Queen this past Saturday, October 11th in Little Rock during the Arkansas State Fair and represent Arkansas for the next 12-months.

 

Simmons is married with one child and will be graduating from Southern Arkansas University in May.

 

Simmons is the daughter of Victor and Denise Sanchez.

 

 

 

LITTLE RIVER COUNTY LEADERSHIP CLASS TO HOLD DRAW DOWN EVENT NOVEMBER 1ST      10/20/14

 

Jason Sanders is the superintendent of the Ashdown School District and he is a member of the Little River County Leadership Class and he announced that they will be holding a Draw Down event on Saturday, November 1st as their community project.

 

Sanders said the event is a fundraiser to upgrade the horseshoe pits at the Ashdown City Park.

 

Sanders then explained that during the Draw Down, they will pull out 10 tickets and then another 10 tickets until they are down to the final 10 tickets.

 

Sanders said the event will include a meal and entertainment.

 

Sanders mentioned where you can get a ticket at the Little River County Chamber of Commerce and the Ashdown School District Administration building.

 

And, Sanders said they are also selling sponsorship packages for $250 and it will include two tickets and the company name in the program and four meals.

 

For more information call the Little River County Chamber of Commerce at 870-898-2758.

 

 

 

AGFC STOCKS ALMOST 1.7 MILLION FISH DURING SEPTEMBER     10/20/14

 

It's starting to feel like fall in Arkansas and there's no better time to hit the state's fisheries and enjoy Arkansas' bountiful angling opportunities.

 

Fisheries crews from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission stocked almost 1.7 million fish in Arkansas lakes and rivers during September. The total stocking weighed 105,200 pounds. Crews stocked trout, bream and catfish.

 

De Queen Lake was stocked with 3,240 yearling channel catfish, Dierks Lake was stocked with 2,760 yearling channel catfish and Gilliam Lake was stocked with 1,440 yearling channel cat.

 

 

 

HOME FIRE PREPAREDNESS       10/20/14

 

Most people in Arkansas know that smoke-detector installation and testing is important, but according to a new survey, most people are mistaken about how much time is needed to safely evacuate a burning home.

 

Research from the American Red Cross shows folks think they have five minutes, but it's really only two minutes. A new Red Cross "Home Fire Preparedness Campaign" kicked off this month to set the record straight.

 

Red Cross spokesperson Anne Borrego says home fire drills may be the only way to beat the clock, and save lives.

 

According to the survey, nearly seven in 10 parents believed their children knew what to do if their house caught on fire, but fewer than one in five families with children have practiced a home fire drill.

 

It's also recommended that smoke detectors be installed in each bedroom and regularly tested. Nationally, about 2,300 people die in house fires each year and 13,000 are injured.

 

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