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This Week's News:
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE BY RENEE LOGAN 9/23/16
Renee Logan of Harris Drug and Gifts stopped by the KDQN studios to remind area seniors that the Medicare Open Enrollment runs from October 15th to December 7th. She suggested area residents review their current plan to ensure that it meets their prescription medication needs.
Logan also provided a legislative update on pharmaceutical issues. She said there is a new bill in the Arkansas House of Representatives that could help independent pharmacists.
Logan said the bill would force insurance companies to pay what they are supposed to pay, instead of changing the reimbursement amount after the prescription has been filled.
Logan reported some experts feel 50 percent of independent pharmacists will be forced to close their businesses by the end of 2017, if changes aren't made in the way pharmacists are reimbursed for medications.
ANNUAL SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS FAIR AND RODEO PARADE IS TUESDAY
ATTORNEY GENERAL LESLIE RUTLEDGE VISITS SEVIER COUNTY 9/22/16
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge was in Sevier County Wednesday afternoon at the Sevier County Courthouse. General Rutledge says the Sevier County visit is part of her effort to travel to all 75 counties.
Rutledge says Arkansas was one of 22 states to file a federal lawsuit on Tuesday against the U.S. Labor Department regarding the new over-time rules that would hurt small businesses and corporations. General Rutledge hopes the lawsuit will prevent the new laws from going into effect on December 1st.
The Rutledge Report, which is heard on Your Number One Country 92.1, is an excellent tool to warn citizens of scams. General Rutledge says that the number of scams out there is alarming. She particularly wanted to address the scam phone calls from people posing as I.R.S. agents.
Some of the concerns that were voiced to General Rutledge by Sevier County citizens, Wednesday, included the lack of quality internet service locally, immigration issues, drastic minimum wage hike plans, and drug addiction problems.
DE QUEEN/SEVIER COUNTY CHAMBER NEWS 9/22/16
De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce President Patrick Massey announced several upcoming events earlier this week including a Lunch and Learn event that will be presented by the Henderson State University Business Department.
Massey said the chamber was also sponsoring a bake-off during the annual Hoo-Rah Days Festival on Saturday, October 1st. He said all of the proceeds will be donated to the Sevier County Museum.
To enter the "Bake Yourself Happy" contest, your entry should be delivered to the bake-off tent in the Antique Village area between 9 and 10 a.m. There is a $15 entry fee for the first entry and $5 for each additional entry. Judging will be held at 11 a.m. Entries will be judged on presentation, taste, smell and creativity.
Entries will then be auctioned off at 2 p.m.
Massey said the Tour de Queen bike ride is scheduled for November 5th and you can get signed up online at bikereg.com. The registration fee is $25 until October 21st. He also said the KCS Holiday Train will make a stop in De Queen this December.
For more information, visit the chamber website at www.dequeenchamberofcommerce.com.
YES IT'S MY CAR; BUT I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING WRONG 9/22/16
Last week, the manager of the Dollar General Store in Horatio notified the Sevier County Sheriff's office that a possible shoplifter had left the store in a SUV.
According to the incident report, the manager of the Dollar General Store said she witnessed a female suspect digging around in her purse, as if she was putting something in it. The manager then went to the store office to review the security cameras and noticed the suspect was in the makeup aisle picking up mascara, nail polish and several other beauty items.
The manager said she also noticed several items poking out of the suspects purse as she was leaving the store that were not there when she came in.
The manager was able to get the license plate number from the SUV and provided it to Deputy Wendell Randall when he arrived.
After running the plate number through dispatch, Randall was informed the vehicle belonged to Evelyn Bevis of De Queen.
Bevis was interviewed at her residence by Randall and she reportedly told him that she took 21-year-old Desiree Delirosa to the Dollar General Store, but she didn't know Delirosa took anything until they were leaving the store. Bevis said when she got into the vehicle; Delirosa started pulling items out of her purse that she hadn't paid for.
Delirosa was cited for shoplifting less than a $1,000 dollars.
A TRIAL DATE SET FOR TWO HOWARD COUNTY MEN IN PIKE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT 9/22/16
A December trial date has been set in a pair of criminal cases from the Pike County Circuit Court.
Robert Gurley of Umpire and Anthony Vaughn of Dierks, both 18 years of age, are scheduled to face felony charges of theft of property and tampering with physical evidence during a December 15th trial. They are also charged with a misdemeanor count of 2nd degree criminal mischief.
The two Howard County residents are accused of stealing a 2001 Jeep Cherokee earlier this month from a residence on Highway 84 west of Langley.
The pair allegedly wrecked the Jeep while it was in their possession, and then returned to the residence.
Authorities say the two men went back to the home the following night to remove their fingerprints from the Jeep. Police reports say the owner caught Vaughn inside the vehicle and detained him at gunpoint until Pike County Sheriff's deputies arrived.
Gurley and Vaughn told deputies that they were in a vehicle that got stuck in a creek and began walking. They said they noticed the Jeep sitting at the residence on Highway 84 and took it to free their stuck vehicle. But, when they were returning the Jeep, Vaughn said he lost control of the vehicle, causing it to strike a tree, doing considerable damage to the front of the Jeep.
HORATIO MAN ARRESTED FOR RAPE 9/21/16
A Horatio man is being held in the Sevier County jail after allegedly raping his step-daughter two-years ago.
According to the arrest affidavit, 39-year-old Mike Radatz of Horatio was arrested September 17th for allegedly raping his then 11-year-old victim.
On September 14th, Chris Collins of the Arkansas State Police's Crimes Against Children Division informed the Sevier County Sheriff's Office that a report was made on the Arkansas Department of Human Services Hotline stating a minor female that lived in Horatio had been molested.
Collins interviewed the victim and her mother and they were then interviewed by Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Hankins.
Hankins noted the victim told him that on the night before her mother's biopsy, two years ago, she reported Radatz molested her. She told Hankins that she was sleeping on the couch when Radatz laid down beside her and wrapped his arms around her waist and that is when he molested her.
The victim reported she told her mother the next day and that her mother asked him if he did it. Radatz allegedly denied it, but the victim said he later apologized to the victim for what he had done.
The victim said he still makes inappropriate remarks to her and is still touching her inappropriately.
On September 17th, Hankins interviewed Radatz at the Sevier County Sheriff's office. Hankins reported after he read Radatz his rights, he told Hankins that he had taken some pain medicine on the night in question and had fallen asleep with his arm around the victims waist and started dreaming about holding his wife and may have inappropriately touched her.
Radatz has been charged with rape and is currently being held in the Sevier County jail.
DE QUEEN ALDERMAN AGREE TO DEDICATE FOUR STREET TO FALLEN OFFICERS 9/21/16
Tuesday night, former De Queen Police Chief Jim Smith addressed the De Queen City Council about dedicating four streets in memory of the four officers who were killed in 1984 while traveling to the funeral of Arkansas State Police Trooper Louis Bryant.
Smith said the memorials may be placed on Third, Fourth, and Ninth Streets and College Avenue. Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy reported no vote was taken by the council but they approved of Smith's proposal and informed him to proceed with the project.
Alderman voted to waive the competitive bidding on the purchase of a 2009 International Brush truck that will be utilized by the Sanitation Department. They also passed a resolution to use funds from the city's sale tax revenue for the purchase. McKelvy said the truck cost $81,980.
Alderman also voted to spend about $26,000 in an attempt to repair the downtown street lights. McKelvy said they will also be retrofitted with LED bulbs.
McKelvy also reported the city's 2016 street paving project has been completed.
Alderman also informed Mayor McKelvy to waive the past due penalties on the De Queen Regional Medical Center's water and sewer bill if the hospital would pay the outstanding portion of their bill by the end of the year.
2016 MR. BASS OF ARKANSAS CLASSIC 9/21/16
The De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce announced Tuesday afternoon that the Mr. Bass of Arkansas Classic will be held in De Queen on October 7th, 8th and 9th.
According to event organizers, 60 amateur and professional fishermen will fish either Gillham Lake or Dierks Lake on October 7th and 8th. Boats will launch from Cossatot Point on the Gillham Lake and from Jefferson Ridge on the Dierks Lake, but the weigh in will be at the De Queen Sportsplex.
Sunday, the top 10 pros will fish De Queen Lake with the launch and check in at the Oak Grove boat launch, but the top amateur will be named Saturday afternoon. And, the winning amateur will take home $10,000.
Weights will be zeroed for Sunday and the winning pro will be awarded $20,000.
All three lakes are off limits--FOR THE 60 FISHERMEN WHO PRE-QUALIFIED FOR THIS TOURNAMENT-from September 24th through September 30th and the De Queen Lake will remain off limits--FOR THESE 60 FISHERMEN-- until the final day of the Classic on Sunday, October 9th.
A championship banquet and awards presentation will be held on Thursday, October 6th at the De Queen Community Building in the Herman Dierks Park.
The Mr. Bass of Arkansas trail was founded in 1974 by Porter Everett. The series was purchased by Thomas Wilkins and Joel Newman in 2015 and this year six regular season events have been held.
The 60 Pros and amateurs qualified for the Classic through the regular season events.
ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH WORKING TO CONFINE MUMPS OUTBREAK TO NORTHWEST ARKANSAS 9/21/16
Earlier this week, the director of the Arkansas Department of Health, Dr. Nathanial Smith, appeared before the Public Health and Welfare Committee to updates its members on the outbreak of Mumps cases in Northwest Arkansas. He reported this is the largest cluster of mumps cases that Arkansas has experienced since 2010.
Currently there are 162 cases, 49 of those have been confirmed by testing. The remaining 113 individuals have been clinically diagnosed or have been identified as a close contact to a test confirmed case.
At this time, 22 schools in the Springdale School District, five schools in the Rogers School District and one school in the Huntsville School District have been affected.
In response to the outbreak, the Arkansas Department of Health is requiring students in the same school with vaccine exemptions from the MMR (Mumps, Measles, and Rubella) vaccine to be excluded from school for 26 days from the date of exposure, until the outbreak has ended. Students with non-medical exemptions, who receive the recommended doses of MMR vaccine, may return to school immediately.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mumps is a viral illness that is transmitted by direct contact with respiratory droplets or saliva from an infected person. It is known for swollen, painful salivary glands that show up as puffy cheeks and swollen jaw.
Other symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite. There is no treatment, and symptoms usually resolve themselves within a few weeks. Mumps is usually a mild disease in children, but adults may have more serious disease with complications.
The CDC says two doses of MMR vaccine is 88 percent effective in preventing mumps. Adults born before 1957 are generally considered to be immune to mumps and do not need to receive the MMR vaccine.
The currently CDC recommendations for MMR vaccination are as follows: for children younger than 6 years of age, one dose of MMR vaccine or MMRV vaccine at age 12 to 15 months, followed by a second dose of either MMR or MMRV vaccine at age 4 to 6 years.
For children age 7 through 18 years of age that have not previously been vaccinated, one dose of MMR or MMRV vaccine, followed by a second dose at least 4 weeks after the first dose.
For adults born in 1957 or later and not previously vaccinated will need one dose of MMR vaccine. A second dose of MMR vaccine is recommended for adults born in 1957 or later, who are students in a post-secondary educational institution, work in a health care facility, or plan to travel internationally. The second dose should be administered a minimum of 28 days after the first dose.
MMR vaccines are available at the local health unit in your county, and may also be available at your doctor's office or your local pharmacy.
GOV2GO HELPS ARKANSANS GET READY TO VOTE 9/21/16
Just over a year ago, Arkansas became the first state in the nation to transform its government by breaking down agency silos and delivering citizen-centric government interactions through a single digital personal assistant, called Gov2Go. Today, more than 180,000 Arkansans have subscribed to Gov2Go so they can receive personalized, timely, and relevant notifications about their interactions with state government. Now Arkansans can add voter information to the list of notifications that their personal digital assistant can provide.
The Arkansas Secretary of State's office, in partnership with the Information Network of Arkansas, released a new way for Arkansans to keep up with key dates and information for the November general election. By downloading Gov2Go, citizens can receive voting information personalized to their district through the digital personal assistant platform.
Gov2Go connects users to their voter registration record in the Secretary of State's Voter View database and makes it easier for Arkansans to view the registration deadline and information about registering to vote; download a voter registration application; request a voter registration application by mail; view early voting and general election dates and times; get helpful email reminders for early voting and Election Day; find out who's running and what issues are on the ballot; and see where to vote on Election Day.
September is National Voter Registration Month and the perfect time to give Arkansans another convenient way to access voter registration forms and personalized information about where to vote on Election Day.
Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin said October 11th is the deadline to register to vote in the November General Election.
In addition to voter registration deadline and general election dates, Gov2Go provides personalized and timely information such as property assessment and tax payments, car tag renewals and business franchise tax, and sends users personalized reminders about these government services.
Every Arkansan can receive their own personalized government notifications through Gov2Go by visiting the website GetGov2Go.com. To download the Apple or Android apps, enter an email address.
AHS SCIENCE DEPARTMENT 3D PRINTER TRAINING 09/21/16
The Ashdown High School Science
Department received a grant from the Margaret Daniel Education
Foundation for $3887.15. The grant money was used to purchase a
Lulzbot Taz 6 3D Printer and accessories. The equipment will be used
to enhance instruction in all science courses, as well as, allow
students to provide a community service by developing models with
potential therapy or medical applications.
COUNTY JUDGE ANNOUNCES TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF ROLLING FORK RIVER BRIDGE 9/20/16
Sevier County Judge Greg Ray announced Tuesday morning that the Rolling Fork River Bridge on Johnson Bridge Road will be closed on Wednesday, September 21st from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. for a state inspection.
Judge Ray stated he was sorry for the inconvenience, but inspectors will re-open the bridge as soon as they possible can, but motorists will need to take an alternate route if they are traveling in that area.
ASHDOWN ELEMENTARY BUILDING PROJECT APPROVED BY STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT 9/20/16
Ashdown Superintendent Jason Sanders announced the Ashdown School District will be hosting a regional meeting of the Arkansas School Board Association during Monday night’s Board of Education meeting.
Sanders presented two bids for the re-surfacing of the high school track. The low bid was in the amount of $193,000 from Beynon Sports Surfaces. Sanders said Ray Beardsley of First Security Beardsley will be attending the October board meeting, as well as bidding out the project's financing.
Sanders also reported the district's elementary building project was approved by the Arkansas Department of Education.
Monday night, board members discussed why the millage increase failed last spring. And, they discussed what options they have to finance the $10 to $12 million dollar project. Sanders said one option is to ask the public for a millage increase, again.
Board members also approved the purchase of Chromebooks for the LF Henderson, Junior High and Senior High campuses and other educational resources for the Kindergarten through Second grade classes. Sanders said National School Lunch Act funds will be used to pay for the educational resources.
Sanders said that is why it is important for families to fill out the Free and Reduced Lunch forms before the deadline of October 1st.
Board members also voted to purchase a Dodge Caravan from Classic Chevrolet in Ashdown for school business trips and a Ford truck from De Queen Ford for the agri department.
22nd ANNUAL NEAL MCCOY AND FRIENDS CONCERT IS SATURDAY IN LONGVIEW 9/20/16
Country Music star Neal McCoy of Longview, Texas will be hosting the 22nd Annual Neal McCoy and Friends concert this Saturday night at 7 p.m. in the Belcher Center in Longview, Texas.
This year, McCoy will be joined by special guest Jack Hanna and Tracy Byrd.
McCoy who had his first hit single "Wink" back in 1994, was named the Entertainer of the Year in 1998 and 1999. And, he was inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009.
Byrd has charted more than 30 hit singles, including 11 additional top tens and donates a lot of his time and money to several charitable organizations including the Children's Miracle Network.
Tickets range from $30 to $100 and benefit McCoy's charity the East Texas Angel Network.
DE QUEEN ROTARY FALL FESTIVAL IS SATURDAY 9/20/16
The De Queen Rotary Fall Festival is this Saturday in the Town North Shopping Center from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., but activities will begin at the Sevier County Courthouse at 8 a.m. with the running of the Rotary 5K.
Rotarian Greg Revels said runners may sign up until the day of the race.
Revels said the race will wind through the streets of De Queen and it will start and finish at the courthouse. He said medals will be presented to the top two male and female finishers in each age category.
Revels said the Fall Festival will follow the 5k at 9 a.m.
For more information about the 5K, call Revels at 642-5900.
Wayne Smith and Mac McDaniel are hosting the 2nd Annual De Queen Rotary Car, Truck and Tractor Show. Smith said you can register from 10 a.m. to noon and the Top Ten vehicles will receive an award.
Smith said he expects cars from Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
For information about the car, truck and tractor show, contact Smith at 784-4314 or McDaniel at 584-8148.
SEVIER COUNTY EXTENSION OFFICE PROVIDES INFORMATION CONCERNING ARKANSAS BALLOT ISSUES 9/20/16
The Sevier County Extension Office announced the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service has released the 2016 Voter Guide, featuring the seven ballot issues that have been approved for the November 8th General Election. The voter guide includes information on how each proposal will appear on the ballot and answers basic questions about each issue.
The voter guide may be viewed or downloaded at uaex.edu/ballot.
Arkansas legislators have placed three constitutional amendments on the November 2016 ballot.
Issue 1 proposes an Amendment to the Arkansas Constitution Concerning the Terms, Election, and Eligibility of Elected Officials.
Issue 2 is a constitutional Amendment to Allow the Governor to Retain His or Her Powers and Duties when absent from the state.
Issue 3 is an amendment to the Arkansas Constitution Concerning Job Creation, Job Expansion and Economic Development.
Citizens have placed four issues on the ballot by collecting the required number of voter signatures. All four of the citizen proposals are facing court challenges.
Issue 4 is a proposal to Limit Attorney Contingency Fees and Non-Economic Damages in Medial Lawsuits.
Issue 5 is an amendment to allow three casinos to operate in Arkansas. One casino will be allowed in Boone County, which will be operated by Arkansas Gaming and Resorts, LLC. There will be in Miller County, which will be operated by Miller County Gaming, LLC. And, there will be one in Washington County, which will be operated by Washington County Gaming, LLC.
Issue 6 is the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016
Issue 7 is the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act.
ASHDOWN MAN KILLED IN SINGLE VEHICLE ACCIDENT IN HOWARD COUNTY 9/19/16
Arkansas State Police reported a 56-year-old Ashdown man was killed in a single vehicle accident in Howard County, Saturday afternoon about 12:35 p.m.
A state police report says Ricky Brumley died in a crash on Highway 355 in Saratoga. The report says Brumley was traveling north when the vehicle he was driving went off the roadway and stuck a concrete wall.
Members of the Howard County Sheriff's Office, the Mineral Springs Police Department, the Saratoga Volunteer Fire Department, the Howard County Ambulance Service and the Little River County Ambulance Service responded to the call.
Corporal Zach Owens of the Arkansas State Police reported the weather was clear and the road was dry at the time of the accident.
ARKANSAS AG TO OPEN MOBILE OFFICES IN DE QUEEN TUESDAY 9/19/16
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge will open a mobile office in Sevier County tomorrow at the Sevier County Senior Adult Center from 10:30 a.m. to noon.
The mobile office will assist residents with consumer-related issues in filing consumer complaints against scam artists and staff members will also be available to answer questions about the Attorney General's office and the other services that it offers.
Earlier this year, Rutledge expanded the services that are being offered at the mobile office locations to include “Prescription Drug Take Back” boxes. Rutledge is partnering with the Sevier County Sheriff's Office who will handle a secure box and properly dispose of the prescription drugs that are collected. Residents can bring their old, unused or expired prescription medications to the upcoming mobile office.
Staff members will also lead a presentation called Digital You for senior adults who are digital newcomers. They will offer tips and tricks to learn how to use mobile devices, navigate the Internet, recognize scams, and keep private information secure, back up data and more so seniors can be empowered online.
The Digital You presentation will be from 10 to 10:30 Tuesday morning at the Sevier County Senior Adult Center in De Queen.
Rutledge created the mobile office initiative in 2015 to make the office accessible to everyone, particularly to those who live outside Little Rock. Last year, office hours were conducted in all 75 counties, marking the first time the Attorney General’s office has held office hours in each county across the state. Since January, 43 mobile offices have been offered.
For more information about services provided by the Attorney General’s office, visit the website ArkansasAG.gov or call 501-682-2007.
COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK PROGRAMS 9/19/16
Cossatot River State Park Interpreter Tori Carson stated the summer camping season is coming to an end and park staff has started conducting school programs for Umpire School District.
Carson said this weekend; the park is celebrating Public Lands Day this Saturday, with hikes, snorkeling adventures and a hives and honey seminar.
Carson also invited area residents to participate in the Parks Fall River Cleanup event on Saturday, October 1st from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The park's 6th Annual Half-Marathon is scheduled for Saturday, October 15th. Carson said runners need to visit GetMeRegistered.com to sign up.
For more information about the programs at the Cossatot River State Park, call 870-385-2201.
LITTLE RIVER COUNTY EXTENSION PROGRAMS 9/19/16
Little River County Extension Agent Sherry Beaty announced her office would be hosting a Winter Feed Meeting and Hay Show on Tuesday, October 18 at 6 p.m. on the Ashdown campus of UA Cossatot.
Dr. Paul Beck will have individual consultations with each producer to discuss their hay analysis and Beaty will lead a seminar on how to improve your hay quality.
Beaty also stated the Little River County Extension Office will host a pilot program called Annie's Project, starting November 1st.
The program is six sessions long and will cover the five risk areas, including, the Human Resource Risk, Legal Risks, Production Risk and Market Risk. The cost is $40 per person and the fee includes a meal for all six sessions, a portfolio and other items.
Beaty said Family and Consumer Science Agent Celeste Scarborough is offering a beginner's sewing workshop on Thursday, October 20th and 27th from 6 to 8 p.m. She also encouraged county residents to participate in the Sew with Cotton competition.
The deadline to submit an entry for the county Sew with Cotton contest is Tuesday, October 4th.
Beaty also mentioned the county extension office is trying to re-build the county's 4-H program.
If you need more information, contact the Little River County Extension Office at 870-898-7224.
PPMB DRUM MAJOR NAMED OUTSTANDING DRUM MAJOR AWARD 9/19/16
For the second year in a row, Ashdown High School Purple Pride Marching Band Drum Major, Jacob Purifoy attended the Steven Moss Leadership Academy's drum major camp in Belton, Texas on the campus of the University of Mary Hardin - Baylor.
Purifoy, along with approximately 75 other drum majors attended the camp under the direction of Steven Moss. At the camp, drum majors were taught conducting and how to have effective leadership skills.
During the camp exhibition on Friday, Purifoy was awarded the Outstanding Drum Major Award. He also received the award last summer. The award provides a scholarship to the camp next year.
Purifoy is starting is second year as drum major and said he is enjoying working with the Purple Pride Marching Band this fall.
The Ashdown bands are under the direction of Mark Pounds and Chelsa Keathley.
BACKING THE BADGE EVENT SCHEDULED FOR SATURDAY 9/16/16
This Saturday, a couple of ladies have organized a Backing the Badge event in the Town North Shopping Center to show the officers of the De Queen Police Department and the Sevier County Sheriff's Office that they have the support of the community.
According to event organizers, they had a great turnout last year and the community support has continued all year long, but they only focused on law enforcement last year.
This year, the event has been expanded to include all first responders and everyone who wears a badge because every time a tragedy happens in the area all of the departments work together.
So, this year, the Backing the Badge program will honor everyone who helps keep our streets safe, tend to the sick, and battle flames to save lives and protect property.
Saturday, everyone is being asked to wear red, white or blue to show your support, while lining Collin Raye Drive with signs, banners and flags to your support of our local heroes.
For more information, visit the Backing the Badge Facebook page or call Priscila Baker at 870-582-3561 or Kimberly Browning at 870-582-4383.
VALLIANT HOUSE SPONSORING THE 4TH ANNUAL RECOVERY IN MOTION 5K COLOR RUN AND RECOVERY FAIR THIS SATURDAY 9/16/16
This Saturday, the Valliant House in Valliant, Oklahoma will be hosting their 4th Annual Recovery in Motion 5K color run and Recovery Fair. Registration for the Recovery in Motion 5K is at 7 a.m. and the race will start at 8.
Misty Stuart of the Valliant House said Saturday's event will include everything from children's games, food and a dunking booth in the Valliant City Park.
Stuart said the funds will be used to offer residential treatment to women who can't afford it.
Stuart said the Valliant House is a residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation center for women, but they also provide outpatient treatment to men and women.
For more information, contact the Valliant House at 580-933-7031 or stop-by at 300 North Dalton Street in Valliant.
AHS INTRODUCES 2016 HOMECOMING COURT 9/16/16
Thursday afternoon, the Ashdown School District announced the members of the 2016 Homecoming Court and their senior Panther escorts.
The 2016 Ashdown High School Homecoming Court includes: Makenna Kuykendall, Rachel Hurd, Hannah Redfearn, Kasie Hanks, Callie Redfearn, Ishionna Harris, Kayla Garner, Tye James, Arnetta Smith, Alexia Rowton, Jasmine Dennis, and Hannah McElroy. The 2016 senior Panthers are Jacobi Halliburton, Jared Wilburn, Kaden Stuart, Tajhnick Bishop, Joe Pennington, Montaric Brown, Quincy Nettles, Charlie Trammell and Dakota Reed.
High school officials also announced Homecoming is Friday, September 23rd.
Homecoming activities will include campus spirit dress-up days, class spirit banners, class food drive contest, powder-puff football game and cheerleading contest and the homecoming parade. This year’s, Grand Marshall is Yvonne Bond.
Class will dismiss at 1 p.m. on Friday, September 23rd and the daytime coronation activities will begin at 1:30 p.m. The court will be presented followed by a brief pep rally and the parade.
Parade participants must contact Carla Alexander at the high school office to sign up for the parade and receive a line-up number. The parade will begin at the high school and end at the First Baptist Church.
The evening coronation activities will begin at 6 p.m. The court will be presented and the queen and maid of honor will be announced.
Game time for the Ashdown Panthers and the Mena Bearcats is set for 7 p.m. at Dick Hayes Stadium.
ASHDOWN STUDENTS ATTEND BOYS AND GIRLS STATE 9/16/16
This past summer five students represented Ashdown High School during the state's annual boy's and girl's state programs.
Jacob Purifoy, Charlie Trammell, Zach Spigner and Quincey Nettles attended the 76th annual session of the Arkansas Boy's State on the campus of the University of Central Arkansas in Conway and Callie Redfearn attended Arkansas Girl's State at Harding University in Searcy.
Boys State is for high school juniors who represent the finest students in Arkansas and are leaders in their communities. Arkansas Boys State is a unique educational program that does not emphasize classroom lectures and textbook learning, instead, it focuses on participation and personal experience in a model state, complete with governing bodies and elected public officials. It is designed to mirror the structure and operation of its respective city, county and state governments.
Redfearn reported Girl's State attendees visited the Arkansas State Capital and learned about the different branches of government.
The programs were created by the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Arkansas to allow high school juniors participate in hands-on citizenship training.
BATTLE OF THE BADGES CHARITY SOFTBALL GAME 9/16/16
October 1st, members of the De Queen Police Department and the Sevier County Sheriff's Office will compete against members of the Mena Police Department and the Polk County Sheriff's Office in a friendly game of softball to raise funds for the CASA of the Ouachita Region.
Renee Hendrix of CASA, which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate, said the event will take place at the De Queen Sportsplex at 10 a.m. She also stated she's looking for some volunteer umpires and a volunteer scorekeeper.
Hendrix said the funds will be used to benefit the Sevier County CASA program.
For more information, call Hendrix at the CASA of the Ouachita Region Office at 479-243-9277.
DE QUEEN AIR EVAC BASE HONORED BY AIR EVAC LIFETEAM 9/16/16
The De Queen Air Evac Lifeteam base was recently selected as the Region 4 Base of the Year. Region 4 consists of Air Evac bases in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Oklahoma. The Base of year award is presented to the base in the Air Evac Lifeteam system that best exemplifies the company's mission.
Jay Chappelle is the regional director of base operations and he said the Air Evac base in De Queen is a shining example of leadership and providing access to people who need to receive a higher level of care.
He said the staff and crew of the De Queen base are dedicated to the Air Evac Lifeteam mission, the company's values and excellent service. Chappelle said this award is given to the base that, over the course of a year, has proven to be a leader in terms of overall performance.
EHC OFFERS OPPORTUNITIES IN COMMUNITY SERVICE 9/16/16
The Sevier County Extension Homemakers Council is a volunteer group whose goals are to develop leadership, support worthy community causes, and promote the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension's educational programs in all parts of Arkansas. This group remains tied to strengthening and extending adult education into the home and community.
If you community does not currently have any active groups, the council encourages you to ask about an independent membership or about starting a new group.
Interested volunteers can attend a monthly meeting prior to joining a Homemaker's group, or elect to shadow a current member. Leadership positions are also available. The monthly meeting serves as a formal check-in and support for volunteers and gives members a chance to enhance professional relationships with other group members.
Volunteers generally meet monthly, participate in educational programs, and identify community projects that they want to support. Each group has their won dynamics, so interested volunteers are encouraged to connect with a local group to find out more.
Arkansas Extension Homemaker membership is open to anyone who is interested in educating and serving the members of the Homemakers and the community.
Sevier County currently has three Extension Homemakers Clubs including the De Queen EHC. They meet on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at the REA Building in De Queen at 9:30 a.m. For more information, call 870-642-2637. The Gillham EHC meets on the 2nd Friday of the month in members' homes at 10 a.m. For more information, call 214-707-1495 or follow them on Facebook at Extension Homemakers Council Gillham Club. The Seam Rippers EHC meets every other Thursday at the Senior Citizen's Center in De Queen at 6:30 p.m.
FORMER JAILER'S TRIAL SET FOR NOVEMBER 9/16/16
A November 14th trial date as been set for a woman that's been accused of sexually assaulting a prisoner while she was a Little River County jail administrator.
Forty-four year old Mary Gibson will appear in the Little River County Circuit Court before Ninth Circuit Court Judge Charles Yeargan.
Gibson has been accused of fourth-degree sexual assault of a male inmate and furnishing prohibited articles to the same prisoner.
The alleged victim was 36-year-old Steven Carmack of Little River County. His body was found hanging from a tree on March 12th by three boys playing in the woods near the Jack's Isle community, according to the Little River County Sheriff's Office.
Carmack had been missing since January 31st.
The alleged incidents between Gibson and Carmack occurred from May to August in 2015 while Carmack was serving a jail sentence for failure to pay child support.
Allegedly, Gibson would let Carmack out of his cell after 5 p.m. and they would spend time together either in Gibson's office or outside the jail on a bench on the Little River County Courthouse lawn.
BE PRO BE PROUD TRUCK TO VISIT SURROUNDING SCHOOL DISTRICTS 9/15/16
Next week, the Be Pro, Be Proud truck will visit several area school district's in conjunction with the UA Cossatot RAMP: Building the Pipeline program.
Tommie Cobb stated the college was awarded a state grant to develop programs that will fit the needs of students who don't want the traditional four-year degree and help build relationships between secondary and post-secondary educators and the areas industrial partners in Southwest Arkansas.
Cobb explained the state's workforce isn't prepared to fill the positions after the current skilled professionals retire. She said the RAMP program is attempting to inspire today's youth to consider these skilled positions.
Cobb said Governor Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce had the mobile training display truck built in April.
She said it will be in De Queen on Monday and Tuesday, September 19th and 20th, Horatio on Wednesday, September 21st, Nashville on Thursday and Friday, September 22nd and 23rd, Ashdown on Monday, September 26th and Kirby on Tuesday, September 27th.
For more information about the Be Pro, Be Proud truck, visit the website www.beprobeproud.org.
MILLWOOD LAKE OFFERING CLASS ON HOW TO FISH 9/15/16
Millwood Lake will host a fishing program on Friday from 5 to 5:30 p.m. to show how fisherman can "cast-a-can" to catch fish.
The method of using simple materials, even aluminum cans and plastic bottles, will help people catch fish, according to Millwood State Park Interpreter Sierra Karambellas.
Participates should meet at the day use area at the state park for the free program.
Another free program will be offered from 6 to 6:30 p.m. on Friday to teach people how to identify fish.
Karambellas stated Millwood State Park is nationally recognized for its recreational fishing. She said an interpreter will teach participates how to recognize and identify the lake's game fish and provide them with tips on how to catch them.
Also, the "Waterfowl Way" trail at the park will be open for a leisurely walk from 7 to 8:15 p.m. on Friday.
The "Waterfowl Way" is 1.5 miles. So, guests should bring personal drinking water; wear sturdy shoes and insect repellent. Admission is free.
Millwood State Park is about nine miles east of Ashdown. For more information, call 870-898-2800.
UA COSSATOT HOSTING A SWEPCO ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROGRAM MEETING ON NASHVILLE CAMPUS 9/15/16
SWEPCO is hosting a meeting on Thursday, September 22nd from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the UA Cossatot Nashville campus to share information about its Energy Efficiency Programs.
The programs are tailored for residential, small business, commercial and industrial customers and they include financial incentives to help customers save money and energy on their home and business improvements.
According to SWEPCO, this community meeting will provide an overview on how customers can participate in SWEPCO's energy efficiency programs. They will also provide important information that will help customers conserve energy and lower their utility bills.
For more information about SWEPCO's incentive programs, visit the website SWEPCOgridSMART.com.
ADDITIONAL DINOSAUR TRACKS FOUND IN HOWARD COUNTY 9/14/16
submitted by KMTB
An additional Sauropod trackway has been discovered in Howard County. The discovery was made on Thursday, September 8th by a man from Benton.
This set of dinosaur footprints is the fifth trackway found in Howard County. Brandon Sutton found the prints in a creek bed near Center Point and easily identified three prints, embedded in the limestone, as from a Sauropod, which was a herbivore.
A different three toed footprint was located not a foot away from the Sauropod prints and has been identified as an Acrocanthosaurus, which was a carnivore.
A few additional prints are still underwater in the creek and evidence suggests others could be in the area.
A paleontologist with the University of Arkansas is expected to visit the site to examine the prints. Plans are to make casts of the site and possibly excavate some dirt around the site.
The dinosaur footprints are located on private property and the property owner will be working with researchers to preserve the prints. The exact location of the dinosaur footprints will remain undisclosed at this time.
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH IN WILTON TO HOLD REVIVAL SERVICES 9/14/16
First Baptist Church in Wilton is where families and friends have been worshiping for the past 125 years.
This year, they will celebrate their 125th Anniversary on Sunday, September 18th beginning with Sunday School at 10 a.m., followed by a special morning worship at 11 a.m. A potluck meal will be served at noon and there will be an afternoon celebration at 2 p.m.
Festivities will include sermons from former pastors, special music, a reading of the church's history and lots of fellowship.
COMMUNITY HEALTH FAIR IS THIS THURSDAY AT THE WELLNESS CLINIC IN DOWNTOWN DE QUEEN 9/13/16
Dr. Jason Lofton stopped by the KDQN studios this morning to remind area residents about the upcoming free Community Health Fair and the Wellness Clinic on the coroner of De Queen Avenue and Second Street. He said the clinic has received a grant from Legacy Initiatives to provide free blood work to 200 men or women.
Lofton said there will also be several vendors on-hand to answer questions and provide information.
Lofton said they will be serving chicken dinners at 5 p.m. and all of the money raised will go back to Legacy Initiatives, so they can benefit the community in other ways.
For more information, contact the Wellness Clinic at 642-4000 ext. 12.
DE QUEEN SCHOOL DISTRICT INSTALLING MORE SECURITY CAMERAS 9/13/16
Monday night during a regular meeting of the De Queen Board of Education, Superintendent Bruce Hill informed board members Arkansas Security of Little Rock is installing new cameras in the middle, junior high and senior high cafeterias and they will add some cameras to the student parking areas.
Hill also announced the high school EAST Lab has been finished and he invited area residents to stop by for a tour of the new classroom.
Board members approved the transfer of eights students to other districts and accepted the transfer of two students from another district before voting to stop allowing Board to Board transfers.
Hill stated students will still be able to transfer through School Choice, but the district will no longer approve a board transfer.
Athletic Director Bob Sykes informed the board, they had sent out authorization forms to parents of high school students informing them about the district's new drug testing policy. Hill said the district's drug testing policy is not intended to catch drug users, but help students not use drugs.
The De Queen School District will hold its annual public meeting on Monday, November 7th following their regular board meeting.
ROTARY 5K 9/13/16
De Queen Rotarian Greg Revels announced Tuesday morning that the deadline to pre-register for the Rotary 5K is this Thursday. He said the 5K is scheduled for Saturday, September 24th at 8 a.m.
Revels said the race will start and finish at the Sevier County Courthouse and medals will be presented to the top two male and female finishers in each age division. There are six divisions including: 15 and under, 16-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49 and 50 and over.
Revels said the Rotary Clubs 2nd Annual Fall Festival will follow the 5K at the Town North Shopping Center from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Revels stated Rotarians have planned several activities including a car show, dunking booth, vendor booths, concessions and much more.
All of the proceeds will go towards the club’s various youth projects.
This year, community organizations, businesses and church groups are being invited to participate by displaying and selling their products. Booths are available for $25 or $35 if you need an electrical hookup. Vendor applications and payment are due by this Friday.
For more information about the Fall Festival, contact Tammy Huddleston at 584-2550 or Jerry Don Roberts at 279-1175. If you need information about the 5K, contact Revels at 642-5900.
SEVIER COUNTY QUORUM COURT RECEIVES A HOT CHECK FEE REPORT 9/13/16
Monday afternoon, Sevier County Quorum Court members reviewed the 2015 Hot Check Fees report from the office of the Prosecuting Attorney Bryan Chesshir.
The report stated the county's Hot Check Fee Account balance was $88,675.96 after they collected $14,113.19 during the year. The report also showed the county's total expenses were $17,580.19, leaving a balance of $71,095.77.
Justices of the Peace voted to amend the 2016 Budget to increase county revenue in the Disaster Recovery Fund after the county received a check from FEMA in the amount of $145,289.62. The ordinance also allocated those funds to the county justice, county road and county general accounts.
County Judge Greg Ray stated he expected the county to receive another 12 percent from the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management.
JPs also amended an ordinance establishing a user fee for aerial contractors that utilize the Sevier County Airport. Judge Ray said, the amendment will waive the day use fee of $100 for contractors who rent a hanger on a regular basis.
JPs also approved the purchase of a shredder for the County Clerk's office after a repair company damaged their old shredder in shipping.
UMPIRE SENIOR CLASS FUNDRAISER 9/13/16
The Umpire Senior Class will be holding a fundraiser this Friday to raise funds for their senior trip.
Class President Karlie Alexander and Class Treasurer Natalie Henegar said its going to be a Bingo and Chili Supper at the Umpire Fire Department at 6 p.m.
Bingo cards are 50 cents per round, per card and plates are $5 each. Alexander said the fundraiser will last until they run out of Bingo prizes or food, whichever one comes first.
For more information, call the Umpire High School at 870-583-2141.
LOCAL SCOUT HUT DECOMMISSIONED BY GIRL SCOUT TROOP 9/12/16
De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy reported members of the local Girl Scout troops said farewell to the the Scout Hut in a sunset decommissioning ceremony Friday evening at the Sevier County Museum.
Unit Service Manager for the Evergreen Diamond Service Unit, Jennifer Neal, said the scouts assembled on the museum grounds and raised the United States flag for the final time. She then read a brief history of the building, noting that while the building may soon be gone, it created many fond memories that will live on in the hearts of Scouts.
Assembled scouts recited the Girl Scout pledge and sang several Girl Scout songs to conclude the program.
The flag was lowered and folded for the final time as the sun was setting. Interested scouts and leaders were also allowed to go inside the building to take one last look around.
The Scout Hut building was once located where Leopard Stadium is today but was later relocated to its present site.
Mayor McKelvy said the building will be torn down because it is in extremely poor condition and poses a hazard to the public.
Sevier County Museum Executive Director Karen Mills stated she plans to make a scouting display out of some of the usable material from the old Scout Hut building.
AHS HOMECOMING FESTIVITIES 9/12/16
Ashdown High School officials announced the high school will celebrate Homecoming on Friday, September 23rd and that this year’s theme is “Panther’s Playlist.”
Homecoming activities will include campus spirit dress-up days, class spirit banners, class food drive contest, powder-puff football game and cheerleading contest and the homecoming parade. This year’s, Grand Marshall is Yvonne Bond.
Class will dismiss at 1 p.m. on Friday, September 23rd and the daytime coronation activities will begin at 1:30 p.m. The court will be presented followed by a brief pep rally and the parade.
Parade participants may begin lining up on East Richmond Street at 10 a.m. All participates must contact Carla Alexander at the high school office to sign up for the parade and receive a line-up number. The parade will begin at the high school; it will go up Burke Street and will end at the First Baptist Church.
The evening coronation activities will begin at 6 p.m. The court will be presented and the queen and maid of honor will be announced.
Game time for the Ashdown Panthers and the Mena Bearcats is set for 7 p.m. at Dick Hayes Stadium.
LITTLE RIVER BASS BANDITS TO HOLD A FISH FRY FUNDRAISER THIS SATURDAY 9/12/16
Ron Smith of the Little River Bass Bandits youth bass fishing club announced Monday morning that the club will be hosting a fish fry fundraiser this Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. in the Ben Lomond Community Building.
Smith said the Little River Bass Bandits is a youth bass fishing club with members from Little River and Sevier counties, but the club is open to young people from Howard, Miller and Hempstead counties also. He said there is a youth division for 11 to 15 year olds and a senior division for 15 to 18 years olds.
Smith said the team participates in local fishing tournaments, but also travels to North Arkansas for several tournaments throughout the year.
The fish fry is being organized by Smith and Matt Mize and they are asking area ladies to donate desserts for the event.
SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS DISTRICT FAIR 9/12/16
The 72nd annual Southwest Arkansas District Fair is set for September 27th through October 1st at the Fair Park in Hope.
The fair encompasses exhibits from a 15 county area which stretches from Union County to Saline County to Montgomery County over to Sevier and down the state line. Everyone's favorite fair activities will be featured from a petting zoo to a variety of concession stands featuring fair food and home-cooked favorites. All of the fair information and entry forms are online at southwestarkanasdistrictlivestockshow.com.
Arts and crafts, baked goods, food preservation and horticulture will be checked in at the fair on Sunday, September 25th from 12:30 to 4 p.m. and on Monday, September 26th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tuesday, September 27th will be a big day at the fair. It begins at 10 a.m. with the arts and crafts, educational exhibits, food preservation, and horticulture judging. The potted plants judging is at 11. Food preservation, horticulture, arts and crafts and the midway will open at 5 p.m.
The fair parade is set for 6 p.m. It will begin on Elm Street. To register for the parade or for information contact Eddie Brazzell at 870-777-6772. All entries must register for the parade. Following the parade, the Fair Queens and Talent Contest will be held at the Coliseum at 7:30.
On Wednesday, September 28th, school tours will be offered beginning at 9 a.m. All animals that will be participating in the livestock judging must be in place and the weight cards are due for the market hogs by 7 p.m.
Thursday, September 29th, The swine show is set for 9 a.m. and the Commercial Heifers will be weighed at 6 p.m. and the Steers will be weighed at 6:30.
Barrel Racing will be held in the Fair Park Arena on Thursday. There will be a $2,000 added Open 4D Jackpot. The entry fee is $25 and there will be buckles to D winners. The books will open at 6 p.m. The Jackpot starts at 7 p.m.
The sheep and goat show judging is set for 9 a.m. on Friday, September 30th and junior activities are set for 4 p.m.
At 7:30 p.m. the L.J. Jenkins Bull Riding Tour will be held in the arena.
The final day of the fair is Saturday, October 1st. The Open Cattle, Steers, Breeding Beef and Commercial Heifers judging will take place at 9 a.m. followed by the Showmanship and Dairy Cattle judging. The Rabbit Show judging is also set for 9 a.m.
Gate admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children 6 to 12. Children 5 and under get in the gate for free.
VOLUNTEERS HELP THE CRATER OF DIAMOND STATE PARK 9/12/16
Crater of Diamonds State Park Interpreter Betty Coors reported over 80 people attended the park's September 3rd Star Party that was hosted by Rick and Dr. Mark Floyd. Coors said the Floyds pointed out constellations, the planet Saturn and the Milky Way.
Coors said the park will be hosting the 9th Annual Great Crater Cleanup, in conjunction with the fall Great Arkansas Cleanup campaign on Saturday, October 1st.
She said all volunteers should arrive at the park's Visitor Center to register and receive materials between 1:30 to 2 p.m. Coors said after the cleanup ends at 3 p.m., volunteers will meet in the Visitor Center Theater for refreshments and a prize drawing.
Gloves and trash bags will be provided, and Great Arkansas Cleanup t-shirts will be given away while supplies last. All volunteers should dress for the weather, wear sturdy shoes or boots, and bring drinking water.
For more information, contact the Crater of Diamonds State Park at 870-285-3113 or email the park at CraterofDiamonds@Arkansas.com
CONSUMER ALERT: CLEAR OLD CELL PHONES BEFORE UPGRADING 9/12/16
New smart phones are released every few months, and many Arkansans upgrade their current phones with the newest products. But before you make the switch, it is important to clear all data and personal information from old phones before recycling, selling or returning the old phone to the provider.
Oftentimes, personal information can be left on cell phones, making it easy for identity thieves to find your personal and financial information.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a consumer alert to help Arkansans protect their personal information.
The Federal Trade Commission notes that consumers should take the following steps before recycling or selling an old phone: back up the data on a computer or on the cloud; log out of services like email and social media accounts and then clear the app data from the phone; contact your service provider about switching service to a new device or terminating service if you are switching to a new provider; factory reset your phone to wipe it clean of personal data and restore it to factory settings; and remove or delete the data on the phone’s SIM or SD card.
After the phone has been wiped clean and all of the personal information has been deleted, double check any places information could be hiding, including contacts, phone logs, voicemails, emails, text messages, downloads and other folders, search histories, photos and apps.
Many cell phones can be recycled with the manufacturer, service provider or a charity group. Most have programs that refurbish the phones or recycle their components.
For more information, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at 1-800-482-8982 or visit the website ArkansasAG.gov.
EPA COMPLETES REGIONAL HAZE PLAN FOR ARKANSAS PARKS 9/12/16
It took a lawsuit by an environmental group to get it done, but the Environmental Protection Agency has finally released clean-air regulations for public lands in Arkansas. The Arkansas Regional Haze Plan is designed to clear the air pollution in the Caney Creek and Upper Buffalo Wilderness areas caused by emissions from a pair of coal-fired power plants.
Glen Hooks is the director of the Sierra Club of Arkansas and he says the plan will force the utility, Entergy, to cut pollution at its generating plants.
Hooks says the Sierra Club filed the suit in federal court after both Arkansas and the EPA missed 2012 deadlines to produce a plan. The new regulations were released last week. Arkansas state officials, including Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, are calling the EPA plan "an overreach" and say they are prepared to block it in court.
The new rules will require Entergy to reduce sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions at the two power plants and some other facilities. Hooks says Entergy's options come down to how much they want to spend to fix the problem.
The haze reduction plan does not set a deadline for Entergy to comply. The plan is also designed to reduce haze pollution in the Mark Twain National Forest and the Mingo National Wildlife Refuge in Missouri.
SEX OFFENDER NOTIFICATION 9/9/16
The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department is releasing the following information pursuant to Section 13 of Act 989 of 1997, which is the Sex and Child Offender Registration and Community Notification Guidelines. The purpose of this notification is to inform the public of a sex offender’s release when the release of such information will enhance the public’s safety and protection.
According to the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office, 48-year-old Gary Stepp is a level 3 sex offender and is currently residing at 222 Beacon Hill Road in De Queen.
According the Arkansas Crime Information Center, Stepp has been convicted of an offense that requires him to register as a sex offender and his previous criminal history places him in a classification level that reflects the potential to be a repeat offender.
Sevier County Sheriff Bennie Simmons wants to remind area residents that the abuse of this information by threatening, intimidating or harassing Stepp or other registered sex offenders will not be tolerated. Simmons said this sort of abuse could possibly end law enforcement’s ability to provide community notifications and if that happens, only the sex offenders will win.
For more information, contact the sheriff’s office at 870-642-2125.
ARKANSAS AG TO OPEN TWO MOBILE OFFICES IN REGION 9/9/16
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge recently announced that she will open two mobile office locations in Southwest Arkansas during the month of September.
The offices will be in Little River and Sevier counties.
Rutledge will open an office on September 19th at the Little River County Senior Adult Center in the Ashdown City Park from 10:30 a.m. to noon and then on September 20th Rutledge will open an office in the Sevier County Senior Adult Center in De Queen from 10:30 a.m. to noon.
Rutledge created the mobile office initiative in 2015 to make the office accessible to everyone, particularly to those who live outside Little Rock. Last year, office hours were conducted in all 75 counties, marking it the first time the Attorney General’s office had held office hours in each county across the state. Since January, 43 mobile offices have been offered.
The Attorney General Mobile Offices assist residents with consumer-related issues in filing consumer complaints against scam artists.
Staff will also be available to answer questions about the office and the other services it offers.
Earlier this year, Rutledge expanded the services offered at the mobile offices to include “Prescription Drug Take Back” boxes. Rutledge is partnering with local law enforcement agencies across the state who will handle a secure box and properly dispose of the prescription drugs that are collected. Residents can bring their old, unused or expired prescription medications to the upcoming mobile office.
For more information about services provided by the Attorney General’s office, visit the website ArkansasAG.gov or call 501-682-2007.
UA COSSATOT COLLEGIATE FFA GUN RAFFLE 9/9/16
UA Cossatot FFA advisor and Agri-Science teacher, Kelli Harris, announced Thursday morning that her students are selling chances for the chapter’s annual gun raffle. She said this year students are raising funds to help ag-students attend college. She said chapter members also earn community service hours by selling tickets.
Harris said they changed the guns they will be giving away this year. She said this year's guns are a Remington Model 700 SPS 300 Win Mag, a Remington V3 Field Sport Semi-Auto 12-gauge shotgun, a Taurus Judge .410/.45 ACP Revolver, a Smith and Wesson M&P Shield 9 mm, and a Bushmaster Semi-Auto 5.56 NATO/223 and she said all of the guns have a lifetime replacement warranty.
Harris said the first name drawn will have the opportunity to select the gun of their choice, until all of the guns have been selected.
Tickets are $10 each or six tickets for $50. Harris said the drawing will be held on Thursday, October 27th at 6 p.m. at the Adams Building on the UA Cossatot De Queen campus during their annual chili supper.
For more information, contact Harris at 870-584-1218 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UA COSSATOT OFFERING CONCEALED HANDGUN COURSE SATURDAY 9/9/16
UA Cossatot Continuing Education Coordinator Zebbie Launius reminded area residents that the college will be offering a concealed handgun Course this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the De Queen campus. She explained Arkansas law requires state residents to pass an educational and training course before they are allowed to carry a concealed handgun. Launius said the cost is $100 and you can register for the class until 4:30 p.m. today.
Launius also stated the college is offering a couple of free business courses this month, like the ‘Leader in Each of Us’ class on September 19th and 26th from 6 to 8 p.m. and a resume class on September 16th from 1 to 3 p.m. She said both classes will be held on the De Queen campus.
Launius said a complete list of classes is listed on the UA Cossatot Continuing Education Services Facebook page and the college's website, cccua.edu.
Launius also stated the Continuing Education Department is planning a trip to Jefferson, Texas on December 1st for senior adults. She said the cost is $43, but you can sign up until November 19th...(Sound Bite #6518-4). - 20-seconds.
For more information, call UA Cossatot at 870-584-4471 and ask for the Continuing Education Department.
WHY DO WE HURT THE ONES WE LOVE 9/9/16
About 3:51 a.m. Tuesday morning, Sevier County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a residence on Dusty Lane in De Queen in reference to a physical domestic. While en-route to the scene, deputies were advised of a possible over dose and that emergency medical personnel were on their way.
When deputies arrived, John and Jessica Oliver reported Joey Oliver had overdosed on several different forms of medication. They also stated he had been drinking and they said he had used some meth.
First Responders from the Gillham Volunteer Fire Department and EMS responded to the scene.
According to the incident report, Deputy Matt Webb had to physically restrain Joey Oliver to keep him from running away. While escorting him to the ambulance, Joey Oliver got combative with Deputies Webb and Kristopher Hundley.
During the altercation in the house, Joey Oliver allegedly punched Gillham First Responders Karen Russell and Christopher Womack. He also attacked his father, John Oliver and his brother, Johnny Oliver before the officers arrived.
Allegedly while being transported to the Sevier County jail, Joey Oliver threatened to kill Deputy Webb. He was charged with four counts of battery in the 2nd degree and terroristic threatening in the first degree.
WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T RUN 9/9/16
Sevier County Chief Deputy Chad Dowdle and Sevier County Sheriff’s Deputy Greg Davignon were patrolling on Main Street in Horatio on Friday, September 2nd when they identified a suspect who had several outstanding warrants in Sevier County and the City of De Queen in the passenger seat of a white 4-door car.
The deputies followed the vehicle to the Dollar General Store parking lot. Dowdle made contact with the driver and Davignon made contact with the passenger who was identified as Travis Pressley.
When Pressley got out of the vehicle, he started running on foot. Davignon chased Pressley and attempted to deploy his taser, but was unsuccessful. According to the report, Davignon chased Pressley through several yards and onto Hazard Street before Pressley stopped running.
Pressley was booked on the outstanding warrants and charged with fleeing.
2016 HOO RAH DAYS PAGEANT 9/8/16
Hoo Rah Days is set for Saturday, October 1st, but the 14th Annual Hoo Rah Beauty Pageant is scheduled for Saturday, September 17th at the De Queen High School Auditorium. Pageant director, Jackie Gonzalez stated registration will be held on the day of the pageant from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. in the auditorium, but contestants can pre-registration on Sunday, September 11th at the Sevier County Museum Annex building from 2 to 4 p.m.
Gonzalez announced this year's pageant will feature nine age divisions including 0-11 months, 12-23 months, 2-3 years, 4-5 years, 6-7 years, 8-9 years, 10-12 years, 13-15 years and 16 and up.
Gonzalez said a total of 15 crowns will be awarded during the pageant, including a crown to the Ultimate Grand Supreme winner, along with three Grand Supreme winners and two Mini Supreme winners.
Gonzalez said the crowning ceremony will at scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on the day of the pageant.
Gonzalez said this is an open pageant and all of last year's winners, except for the Ultimate Grand Supreme winner can compete again this year.
For more information, contact Gonzalez at 870-279-1787.
BROOKSHIRE’S TO DONATE TO AREA HIGH SCHOOLS THROUGHOUT FOOTBALL SEASON 9/8/16
As part of its ExtraPoint Program, Brookshire’s stores will donate more than $165,000 to local high schools throughout the tri-state area during the upcoming football season.
More than 100 stores will donate $1,000 to local high schools during home football games. School prizes up to $10,000 are also available through the program’s keyword text contest. Each school is given a keyword that will be posted on signage in Brookshire’s stores and on the stadium sidelines. Customers can text the keyword once a day for their school to win.
Stores and schools are in Red, White and Blue divisions, separated to ensure schools compete against others of similar size. When the program ends, the school receiving the most text entries in each division will win a $10,000 grand prize, and runners-up in each division will win $5,000.
For an online list of text keywords, school rankings and official rules, go to brookshires.com/extrapoint/.
Ashdown High School won the 2015 Brookshire's ExtraPoint program grand prize of $10,000 after Ashdown residents texted the word "ASHDOWN", 11,351 times over a nine-week period.
This year, Ashdown High School is in the Blue Division and their keyword is once again "ASHDOWN." Residents are encouraged to send a text containing the word "ASHDOWN" to 43101 from now until the contest ends on November 1st.
HORATIO FFA GUN RAFFLE 9/8/16
Wednesday morning, members of the Horatio FFA Leadership Team announced they were selling tickets for their 5th Annual Horatio FFA Gun Wall Raffle.
FFA Secretary Grace Harris said they were selling 500 tickets for $20 each. She said the only thing different this year, is they will draw for half the guns on October 12th and the other half on November 9th.
For more information, call Ryan Vaught at 870-2795047 or Terry Maye at 580-212-1099.
SHOPLIFTING ARREST RESULTS IN DRUG CHARGES 9/8/16
Saturday, Patrolman First Class Levi Browning of the De Queen Police Department was sent to the Dollar General Store in reference to a shoplifter.
When Browning arrived, he spoke to the store manager who said she was monitoring a shopper that she suspected was shoplifting. The manager stated she witnessed the woman take a coloring book and put it in a book bag that was in her shopping cart.
Browning identified the suspect as 43-year-old Laurie Broach of De Queen. When Officer Browning looked in the book bag, he located the coloring book.
After taking Broach into custody, she asked Browning to get her purse out of her car because she needed her medication. When he retrieved the purse, Browning noticed a small bag on the top with a pipe that contained a white residue in it. Browning also found a green tube with a partially smoked marijuana cigarette in it, along with a bag of suspected methamphetamine.
At the police department, Broach told Browning that she didn’t remember taking the coloring book because of the medication she had taken. When she was asked about the bag, Broach allegedly stated she didn’t know about it, but it might belong to her mother.
When Broach was asked when was the last time she had used meth, Broach allegedly admitted to smoking meth the day before with a family member.
Broach was charged with possession of a schedule I or II controlled substance – methamphetamine or cocaine, possession of a schedule VI controlled substance, two felony counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and shoplifting.
SINGLE VEHICLE ACCIDENT 9/8/16
Tuesday afternoon, Sevier County Sheriff’s Deputy Wendall Randell was dispatched to a single vehicle accident on North 9th Street at the intersection of De Queen Lake Road.
When Deputy Randell arrived, two teenage girls were standing outside a vehicle that was on its passenger side in the ditch on the north side of the road.
The driver, 17-year-old Rubi Lopez said she was driving west on 9th Street. Lopez said she looked down for a second and when she looked back up, she swerved and lost control of the vehicle.
Lopez said the vehicle flipped several times before landing on its side in the ditch.
Randell reported the two girls were checked out by Southwest EMS, but they did not appear to have any injuries. Both girls were released into the custody of their father, Tomasa Lopez.
UPCOMING EVENTS AT COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK 9/8/16
Programs about bears to butterflies are scheduled for the Cossatot River State Park is month.
According to Park Interpreter Shelley Flanary, there’s going to be a cast iron cookware demonstration on Saturday, September 10th from 9 to 10 a.m. at the sandbar picnic area.
There’s also going to be a one-hour presentation on facts about bears from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Legacy Room in the visitor center. Park Interpreter Tori Carson will answer questions about bears and discuss the history of bear conservation in the state.
From 2 to 3 p.m. there’s going to be a presentation on animal tracks in the Legacy Room.
On Sunday, September 11th, there will be a “meet a tree” presentation in the Legacy Room in the visitor center and a presentation on “migration madness” from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 17th. According to park interpreters, the monarchs are on their way back to Mexico and this is the right time of year for you see the butterflies.
On Saturday, September 24th, there’s going to be a “hive and honey” presentation from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. Interpreter Carson said September is National Honey Month and she will talk about bees and why honeybees are beneficial and special.
For more information about the Cossatot River State Park, call 870-385-2201.
SEVIER COUNTY RODEO CANCELED 9/7/16
Sevier County fair board member Sandra Nunn announced this morning [Wednesday morning] the 2016 Sevier County Rodeo has been canceled due to the lack of participation.
Fair board members elected to cancel the rodeo since they were unable to secure enough cowboys and cowgirls to put on a good show. This year's rodeo had been rescheduled for this weekend, September 9th and 10th due to inclement weather during fair week.
Nunn said the fair board was disappointed but they plan to have a bigger rodeo next year. She also thanked the residents of Sevier County for supporting the Sevier County Fair and Rodeo.
ASHDOWN MAN KILLED IN SINGLE VEHICLE ACCIDENT 9/7/16
Arkansas State Police reported an Ashdown man was killed Monday night in a single vehicle accident.
Police say 35-year-old James Brandon Bradshaw died when the 2012 Nissan Altima that he was driving, failed to negotiate a curve. The vehicle left the roadway and finally came to rest after striking an embankment.
The accident occurred around 10:30 p.m. on Little River County Road 37, which is located east of Ashdown off Highway 32.
Bradshaw was pronounced dead at the scene by the Little River County Coroner's office.
The accident was investigated by State Trooper Travis Hale.
DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL VOTES TO SELL OLD FIRE TRUCK 9/7/16
Aldermen of the De Queen City Council passed a resolution to dispose of a 1987 International pumper fire truck Tuesday night during a regular meeting.
Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt reported he had informed the other fire chiefs in Sevier County that the city had purchased a 2007 tanker/pumper fire truck and would be selling their old one. He said the Cossatot, Central and Lockesburg fire departments expressed interest in buying the truck.
Pruitt said Lockesburg submitted a bid of $15,000. Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy said by selling the truck to Lockesburg, De Queen would be helping a neighboring community.
Aldermen also passed a resolution to combine the city attorney position and contract with Laura Lindly. Lindly will assume her new duties on January 1st at a current salary of $28,800.
However, aldermen spent the majority of their time discussing compensation for the district judge and city attorney positions and reviewing some possible capital expenditures for 2017.
MONEY MEANS VOTES IN AMERICAN ELECTIONS 9/7/16
As public outrage over the influence of money in politics continues to grow, seen in both the Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump campaigns, a new study provides compelling evidence that the U.S. political system is more ‘one dollar, one vote’ than ‘one person, one vote.”
Thomas Ferguson with the Institute for New Economic Thinking and his team tapped big data on Congressional races and discovered a stark correlation.
Researchers created a chart to track spending and votes in the U.S. Senate and House races since 1980. Ferguson says if money and votes were unrelated, the chart would be scattered. But almost without exception, the results produced a straight line, when parties spend little or no money; they get the fewest votes; and spending the most money results in the most votes.
Ferguson says the research supports findings from a Princeton and Northwestern study which showed the poor and middle class have virtually zero influence on government when policies are opposed by the wealthiest Americans. He cites the preference by a majority of corporations and top earners for lower taxes as one example of what can happen when polities are driven by money.
Ferguson hopes the data will force a conversation about the need to create a more democratic political system in the U.S. He notes public financing of elections, and giving candidates free and equal time on publicly-owned airwaves, would be good first steps to reduce the influence of money in politics.
OUT ON BOND, STILL COMMITTING CRIMES 9/7/16
Saturday, September 3rd, Sergeant Gary Cunningham and Patrolman First Class David Higgins of the De Queen Police Department were dispatched to Wal-Mart in reference to a couple of shoplifters.
When officers arrived they interviewed a member of the Wal-Mart Asset Protection team who pointed out a white female that was pushing a buggy and a white male who was following close behind her.
When the couple was asked to join the officers in the Wal-Mart store office, the male, 33-year-old Richard Roper of Hatton, pulled a small spray can out of the front of his pants. The female, 36-year-old Bobbi Roper of Cove, said she didn't know he had taken anything.
While searching Richard Roper, officers discovered a craft knife, extra blades, two small flashlights and a bottle of paint thinner. They also found a cylinder in his pocket that contained a small plastic bag of suspected methamphetamine and a piece of cotton.
When officers searched Bobbi Roper's purse, they found some more stolen merchandise and another bag of methamphetamine.
When Bobbi Roper was being transported to the Sevier County jail, she allegedly informed Officer Higgins that she had a small bag of meth in her front pants pocket.
Richard Roper was taken to the De Queen Police Department for questioning and he allegedly told the officers that he was out on bond from Polk County for possession of methamphetamine.
CHALICE CUPBOARD REPORT FOR AUGUST 2016
The Chalice Cupboard assisted 72 families in Sevier County (203 people) including 128 adults and 75 children. food distributed totaled 1,697 pounds. 1,462 lbs. of food was added to the pantry. This included 1.366 lbs. of purchased food plus donations of 97 lbs. First United Methodist and St. Barbara Catholic churches gave 75 lbs. Individuals gave 7 pounds and there was a 15 lb. anonymous donation.
The bank balance on August 1, 2016 was $4,379.65. Deposits for the month totaled $1,245.87. During August $1,190.16 was spent for food to replenish the pantry supply. The bank balance on August 31, 2016 was $4,435.36.
Individuals living in Sevier County who need food may receive help at Chalice Cupboard at 315 N. 5th Street, in De Queen on Tuesday and Wednesday from 2:00 pm until 3:15 pm. food is given to those requesting assistance once each three-months period of the year.
Suggested non-perishable items for those people who want to make a donation are canned meat and cereal. Any money donated will be used for the purchase of food.
"COLORING FOR COLLEGE" INITIATIVE IS UNDERWAY 9/6/16
Arkansas Treasurer of State Dennis Milligan launched the "Coloring for College" initiative on September 1st in conjunction with the Arkansas 529 College Savings Board. The initiative is open to every kindergarten student in Arkansas and one winner from each county will be selected by a random drawing on October 5th.
GIFT 529 Director Beth Anne Rankin stated kindergarten students will have the opportunity to color their way to a GIFT 529 savings account.
Rankin said students will submit their 8X11 artwork along with an entry and parental consent form to the Treasurer of State's office at 1401 W. Capitol Avenue, Suite 275, Little Rock, Arkansas 72201 attention Arkansas 529 Gift Plan.
Rankin said the Arkansas 529 GIFT plan helps parents and grandparents save money that students can use for colleges, universities, technical or vocational institutions across the country and abroad.
Rankin said the treasurer's office will give one kindergarten student in all 75 counties $529 to start their own GIFT 529 plan, but the deadline to enter is September 30th. The winning student's parents, grandparents or legal guardian will be notified and they will only have seven days to verbally accept the award on behalf of the student.
For more information about the Arkansas 529 GIFT program visit the website Arkansas529.org.
AHS SERENITY CAFE IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS 9/6/16
The Serenity Cafe Coffee Shop continues to operate under the Small Business Operations Marketing classes at Ashdown High School under new student management.
Ashdown Media Relations Director Rhonda Pounds announced Kaianna Donato has been named the new manager and Alexus Hopkins has been named the new assistant manager.
According to school officials, the Serenity Cafe provides the following on the job training benefits in a school setting, including: placing students in leadership positions in a safe business environment; by engaging students in the logistics of starting a small-scale operation; by stressing personal responsibility, group-solving and decision-making; by empowering students to become general managers; and by promoting academics as a link to long-term achievements.
The Serenity Cafe would like to invite the public to stop by starting Tuesday, September 6th between the hours of 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. or 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Pounds said the cafe will also be open during home football games.
Pounds said new flooring and lighting was installed over the summer in the cafe, which is located across the driveway from Dick Hayes Stadium in the old band hall.
Donato also announced the cafe will be serving a couple of new drinks this year. She said you can now order a peach/pear/apricot smoothie and a new cookies and cream frappe will be coming soon.
FILM CHRONICLING THE SAGA OF BIGFOOT OF BOGGY CREEK GETS A TRAILER 9/6/16
A new film chronicling the frightening history of the Bigfoot like "Fouke Monster of Boggy Creek" is headed to screens this November. A new trailer has just been released for the feature-length, documentary, featuring a slew of dramatic imagery that gives insight into the look and tone. The film is titled Boggy Creek Monster and is the third in a series called Small Town Monsters.
The film centers around the true stories that inspired the famed Charles B. Pierce directed horror film in 1972, The Legend of Boggy Creek. The subject has been re-visited by multiple, campy horror films and occasionally featured on television shows such as Finding Bigfoot. However, the reality behind the Fouke Monster sightings has never been documented. All of that will change when Small Town Monsters will release their picture on November 11th.
Today, the company has put forth a trailer for the film which is set for premier on November 11th. The trailer shows the swamps, rivers, creeks, and historical locations that are featured in the film. To view the trailer, search Boggy Creek Monster on YouTube.
FOR THE CAUSE EVENT IS THIS SUNDAY 9/6/16
Teresa Maull informed KDQN that plans are being finalized for Sunday’s “For the Cause” event at Leopard Stadium at 4 p.m.
Maull said she started planning this event after her son was kidnapped in De Queen by a man that was wanted as a suspect for the fatal shooting of 37-year-old Amado Gallardo. Maull said her son was forced to drive to Oklahoma where he was forced out of his vehicle.
According to court records, Aaron Loving is scheduled to appear in the Sevier County Circuit Court on Thursday, September 8th with the county’s new public defender.
Maull said De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy will give a greeting and other area residents and elected officials will speak. She said State Representative DeAnn Vaught, Sheriff-elect Robert Gentry and Terry Brackett Carver are expected to speak. She said several ministers will also share scripture. Maull stated she is selling “For the Cause” t-shirts and bracelets to raise funds for scholarships. She said the t-shirts are $15 each and the bracelets are $5.
For more information or to purchase a t-shirt or bracelet, call Maull at 816-588-0513, her sister Michelle at 816-405-4203 or her mother, Annie at 870-584-3968. Maull stated if you are interested in a t-shirt, you should place your order as soon as possible because the final order will be made the first part of this week.
GREAT ARKANSAS CLEANUP SET FOR SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER 9/6/16
Each year, thousands of Arkansans volunteer to pick up litter along the state’s roadways and waterways during the Great Arkansas Cleanup, a Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission initiative. The fall litter-pickup campaign will begin September 10th and continue through October 31st.
All Arkansans are encouraged to get involved in this effort to improve the environmental quality and standard of living in communities across the state.
Last year’s Great Arkansas Cleanup featured 164 local events across the state, involving nearly 16,000 Arkansans who picked up more than 149,000 pounds of litter and collected 7 million pounds of bulky waste from roughly 1,900 miles of roadway and waterways.
Anyone who would like to coordinate an event in their community or volunteer for a local event can email email@example.com or call toll-free 1-888-742-8701. Coordinators may visit KeepArkansasBeautiful.com to access free promotional tools such as a cleanup instructional video and printable publicity material.
Keep Arkansas Beautiful will also provide cleanup materials and supplies, such as t-shirts, trash bags, gloves and safety vests to local events, while supplies last.
LEGACY INITIATIVE HELPING BUILD TRAIL AT DE QUEEN LAKE 9/6/16
Dr. Jason Lofton of the Wellness Clinic announced Legacy Initiatives has awarded a grant that will be used to build a trail at the De Queen Lake.
Lofton and some interested citizens met last week with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers about the trail and they hope to start working on it in the near future.
Lofton said the trail and the upcoming Community Health Fair are being offered to help improve the health of area residents.
Legacy Initiatives awarded the Wellness Clinic a grant to help provide 200 men and women with free blood work during the health fair.
For more information about the health fair, contact the Wellness Clinic at 642-4000 extension 12.
SEPTEMBER IS SUICIDE PREVENTION AWARENESS MONTH 9/6/16
Governor Asa Hutchinson recently proclaimed September as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. The governor stated suicide is not just an individual crisis, it's a public health crisis.
Statistics show more than 500 Arkansans took their own lives last year. On average, one person dies by suicide every 17 hours in the state. It is also the second leading cause of death for Arkansans between the ages of 10 to 34. Every year, over twice as many people die by suicide in Arkansas than from homicide.
Arkansas ranks 16th in the nation in the number of suicide deaths and for every one individual who takes their own life, three others attempt suicide.
Huthinson also pointed out that these statistics are not just numbers, but they represent someone's mother, someone's son, or someone's friend.
The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention lists the following risk factors and warning signs: If a person talks about: being a burden to others, talks about feeling trapped, about having an unbearable pain, or if they say they don't have a reason to live.
Other things to look for include: an increased use of alcohol or drugs, begin looking for ways to kill themselves, such as searching online for materials or means, acting recklessly, withdrawing from activities, isolating themselves from family and friends, sleeping too much or too little, visiting or calling friends and family to say goodbye, giving away their prized possessions or getting overly aggressive.
Last year, the legislator passed a law creating the Arkansas Suicide Prevention Council. This council serves as the central body on suicide prevention efforts across the state. It also works to identify the needs and set priorities based on data driven and evidence based suicide prevention.
If you or someone you know is showing signs of suicidal behavior call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
HOO-RAH ARTS AND CRAFTS FESTIVAL 9/2/16
Sevier County Museum board member Jim Bo Arnold announced the 27th Annual Hoo-Rah Arts and Crafts Festival is scheduled for Saturday, October 1st, but if it's raining it will be postponed until October 8th.
Arnold said there will be pony rides for the kids, entertainment by Partners in Christ, the Rotary Club breakfast, knife making demonstrations by Al Lawrence and Jerry Ligon, a 5K and a motorcycle poker run.
Arnold also said the De Queen Show Choir will be performing a melodrama and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is bringing its mobile aquarium. He also said if you need more information, you can visit the museum's website, Facebook page or call Karen Mills 870-784-0039.
There's also going to be a car and truck show, a spelling bee, the Rusty Relics Tractor Club and the De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce will be holding a bake-off.
A WISH COMES TRUE 9/2/16
Crater of Diamonds State Park personnel helped a Make-A-Wish Foundation recipient's dream come true when he found a diamond during his visit the park this past Wednesday.
Twelve-year-old Timothy Benusic visited the Crater of Diamonds State Park on August 31st after writing to the Make-A-Wish Foundation about his dream of smashing rocks to find a diamond.
Benusic visited the park with his dad, two of his grandparents and his 8-year-old brother.
After looking for diamonds in the diamond search area, Benusic found what he was looking for, a real diamond. Park Interpreter Waymon Cox said his little brother also found a diamond.
Benusic and his family also had the opportunity to attend a private diamond exhibit in the visitor center where he met several diamond finders and collectors who told him about their collections and showed him their diamond finds.
For more information about the Crater of Diamond State Park call 870-285-3113.
ASHDOWN SCHOOLS TO CELEBRATE GRANDPARENTS 9/2/16
Three Ashdown schools are inviting grandparents to their campus on Friday, September 9th, to celebrate Grandparents’ Day with their grandchildren.
Ashdown Schools recognizes the importance of parental support, including grandparents, in the educational success of its students and wishes to honor their contributions.
Ashdown Elementary School, which is also known as the Margaret Daniel Building, houses the kindergarten through second graders and they're inviting grandparents to join them in their classrooms from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. Then, they will have cookies, coffee and juice in the cafeteria.
L.F. Henderson Intermediate School grades 3rd through 5th will welcome grandparents from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Grandparents will have snacks and activities in their grandchild’s homeroom class.
Grandparents of Junior High students will enjoy breakfast with their grandchild from 7:45 to 8:45 a.m. in the cafeteria at the Ashdown Junior High School. Grandparents will eat for free and the menu will include sausage biscuits, muffin, milk and juice.
CONSUMER ALERT: DO NOT CALL LIST DOESN’T STOP SCAMMERS 9/2/16
Many Arkansans receive unwanted calls from solicitors, sometimes multiple times a day and signing up for the free National Do Not Call Registry may reduce the number of unwanted sales calls that you receive, but scammers ignore the Do Not Call Registry. This is why the IRS scam and other phone scams continue to top the list of complaints that the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office receives.
The Do Not Call Registry prohibits telemarketers from calling registered phone numbers if the purpose of the call is to sell goods or services. Companies are also required to search the Do Not Call Registry and update their call list at least once every 31 days. However, scam artists and criminals do not follow any of these rules.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a consumer alert to educate Arkansans about why the Do Not Call Registry does not stop criminals, the IRS scam or other phone calls.
Rutledge reminds consumers of the following circumstances that allow companies and organizations to call consumers: a company with an established business relationship may call you for up to 18 months after the last purchase, delivery or payment, unless the consumer asks the company not to call again; calls for which the consumer has given prior written permission; calls that are not commercial in nature or do not include unsolicited advertisements; and calls by or on behalf of tax-exempt, nonprofit organizations.
To add your phone number to the Do Not Call Registry or to check if you’re already on it, go to DoNotCall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222. If you register online, you will receive a confirmation email and you must click the link in the email to complete the registration.
Arkansans who receive a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS or asking for money are encouraged to call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 or file a complaint online at FTCComplaintAssist.gov by using the words “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
Consumers may also report other phone scams, identity theft, credit and debt problems to the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov.
For more information about the Do Not Call Registry contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at 1-800-482-8982 or online at ArkansasAG.gov.
FREE HEALTH FAIR IN DE QUEEN SEPTEMBER 15 9/2/16
Dr. Jason Lofton of the Wellness Center will be hosting the 3rd Annual Community Health Fair on Thursday, September 15th from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. He said the event started with a PSA blood test for Prostate Cancer Awareness Month three years ago. Last year, they added the health fair and free blood work. Lofton said, this year, they'll be able to do free blood work for 200 people, both men and women.
Lofton said this year women can make an appointment to have a digital mammogram done on the St. Vincent Hospital Mammo Van, but you must call 501-622-2174 to make an appointment.
Lofton said they will have lots of door prizes, including autographed footballs. He said they will also be selling chicken dinners for charity.
For more information, call the Wellness Center at 642-4000 extension 12.
FUGITIVE PICKED UP IN TEXARKANA 9/2/16
A fugitive who was wanted by the FBI and local authorities was arrested Wednesday outside a convenience store in Texarkana.
Thirty-nine year old Chris Whistle of Texarkana is facing federal drug charges involving the delivery of a controlled substance and other charges in Little River County.
Whistle is currently being held in the Bi-State jail.
Whistle had been a fugitive since August 23rd when he fled from a Little River County deputy during a traffic stop at the intersection of Highway 71 and Little River County Road 710, about a mile north of Ashdown.
Little River County Chief Deputy David Hall stopped Whistle about 9:30 a.m. on August 23rd and as he was walking toward Whistle's vehicle, he sped away. Later, Whistle jumped out of his vehicle and ran into some nearby woods.
Little River County Sheriff Gary Gregory reported he was notified by the Texarkana Arkansas Police Department that they had Whistle in custody.
Gregory said after the feds are through with Whistle, charges will be filed against him in Little River County.
AUTHORITIES LOOKING FOR MISSING MURFREESBORO TEEN 9/1/16
Area law enforcement officers are on the lookout for a 14-year-old teenager from Murfreesboro who went missing Wednesday, shortly after noon.
Murfreesboro Chief of Police Randy Lamb said the father of Alex Crocker reported him missing Wednesday after his son apparently ran-away. Lamb said Crocker was weedeating in the yard as punishment for being suspended from school. Lamb said the father told officers when he went outside to check on his son, the weedeater was tied to a tree and Crocker was gone.
Some family members feel Crocker may be trying to make contact with his biological mother who authorities suspect may be in the Eagletown, Oklahoma. Lamb said they have notified law enforcement agencies in Pike, Howard, Sevier, Little River and Polk counties to be on the lookout for Crocker.
Crocker's father reported he was wearing a pink t-shirt, blue jeans and orange and gray tennis shoes the last time he saw him. The public is being asked to contact the Murfreesboro Police Department or a local enforcement agency, if you know the whereabouts of Crocker.
MILLWOOD STATE PARK RECOVERY FROM THE FLOODS OF 2015 9/1/16
The Millwood State Park recently completed the re-construction of two new bathrooms after they were damaged during the floods of 2015.
According to park superintendent Mark Myers, one of the bathrooms will provide showers, commodes, sinks and a family room. The construction project cost about $262,980.
The new bathrooms were built to minimize potential flood damage in the future, by using concrete instead of a lot of wood. The electrical service was installed at a higher level and if the state park faces a pending flood, the removal of the electrical lines will be easier, according to Myers.
The new concrete design also means the staff can use water to rinse off the mud, and the bathrooms will be back in business. Myers said the new bathrooms were built to FEMA standards and FEMA suggested improvements that would reduce the risk of damage.
Myers said 45 campsites are now open, but the park had 114 sites before the floods.
Millwood Lake set a record with an elevation of 282.41 feet at 4:30 p.m. on June 12th, 2015 and again at 283.3 feet on June 13th.
The previous record was 282 feet during the flood of 1968.
CULINARY CONNECTION OPENING SOON AT THE ASHDOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT 9/1/16
Ashdown School District and K-12 Culinary Connection have partnered for the 2016-2017 school year, with the goal of providing more choices and better quality food for students.
Along with new and tasty options, campuses will provide a-la-carte items like Gatorade, water, pizza and chips.
According to school officials a-la-carte items may not be charged. Students must have money on hand or in their account. The prices for the following items are listed below: Gatorade is $1.25 and is only available at the high school. Water and chips cost $1 each and is available on all campuses. Pizza is $1.75 and will be available at the junior high and high school campuses only.
Any parent who wishes to experience what their children will be enjoying on a day-to-day basis, is invited to join the Ashdown School District and K-12 Culinary Connection during a Grand Re-Opening of the district’s cafeterias on Thursday, September 8th.
SEVIER COUNTY LIBRARY SNIPPETS 9/1/16
Sevier County Head Librarian Johnye Fisher announced the De Queen Branch has decided to continue the Adult coloring time at 10 a.m. every Wednesday during the month of September.
Fisher said September is Hispanic Heritage month, so the De Queen Branch will also hold a Fiesta on Wednesday, September 14th at 4 p.m. for children. She said there will be stories and the first 30 children will get to take home their very own small piñata and snack.
Fisher said a special guest will read the stories in Spanish, while Mz. Carolyn will read the stories in English.
Fisher announced September 26th through October 1st is Banned Book Week and all of the Sevier County Libraries will have a display of banned or challenged books.
Banned Book Week is an annual celebration of the freedom to read. It began in 1982 and is observed during the last week of September. Each year, librarians, booksellers, teachers and countless others take this opportunity to highlight the importance of intellectual freedom and remind us not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted.
Fisher said Joan at the Horatio Library will spotlight author, Karen Kingsbury, during the month of September.
The Lockesburg Library’s book club discussion of John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars” will be held on Saturday, September 10th. The library will also host a children’s program on Saturday, September 17th at 10 a.m. by reading “Don’t Throw It to Me” to commemorate the Arkansas vs Texas State football game. There’s also going to be a hog calling contest, story time and activities.
The Gillham Library has received a donation of Young Adult books from Karina Lopez and Dianne Rosson donated a set of Bottom Line’s Health Breakthrough books.
Saturday, September 10th, the Gillham Library will host a Crafts for Kids event at 12:30 p.m.
HORATIO BAND BOOSTERS HOLDING GUN RAFFLE 9/1/16
The Horatio Band Boosters Club is holding a 10-gun raffle, with all proceeds going to benefit the awarding winner Horatio Lion Band.
Only 550 tickets will be sold and they are $20 each. One in 55 will win.
Entrants have a chance to win one of 10 guns with a total prize value of over $5,100. The prize list includes rifles and handguns by Smith and Wesson, Thompson Center, Marlin, Remington, Ruger, Beretta and Del-Ton.
Entrants must be 21 years of age and must be able to pass a background check.
The drawing will be held on October 21st at the Horatio Lion Football Stadium, but entrants do not have to be present to win.
For tickets or for more information, call 870-784-3163 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets are available at Don’s E-Z Pay in De Queen, at Hurricane Tacos in Lockesburg, and online at horatiobandboosters.org.
ARREST MADE IN CONNECTION WITH JUNE THEFT 9/1/16
The Howard County Sheriff’s Department has made an arrest in connection with a June theft from a cabin on Possum Hollow Road.
Forty-year-old Jason Burress of Dierks has been charged with breaking or entering and theft of property. Authorities say they developed Burress as a suspect in the theft, after Howard County Sheriff Deputy Joey Davis and Arkansas State Police Trooper Kyle Jones went to Burress’ residence to arrest him on an outstanding warrant for non-payment of fines. While they were at the home, the officers noticed a 4-wheeler that had been reported stolen from the cabin earlier this summer.
Authorities also recovered some two-way radios and a game camera.
Burress is being held in the Howard County jail on a $25,000 bond.
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