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UA COSSATOT AND THE GREAT BOOK CONUNDRUM       3/4/15

 

Monday night during the UA Cossatot Board of Visitors meeting, Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole informed the board that the school had decided to cancel its contract with the company that operates its bookstore and operate it themselves.

 

Cole reported that the reason for the change was the cost of textbooks and he stated the college would be offering an incentive to faculty members who created their own material to use or found acceptable open sources. For classes that need textbooks, such as nursing, he said the college would rent textbooks to students for $20 a semester.

 

Vice-Chancellor Mike Kinkade reported the college had finished all of its big projects and was now checking into paving a large parking lot on the De Queen campus as soon as it warms up.

 

Kinkade stated they were having a survey completed on the Lockesburg campus to ensure they installed lighting on the college's property.

 

Cole also reported that 75-80 students from Ashdown and Foreman would soon be able to participate in secondary career training on the Ashdown campus once an agreement is finalized with Arkansas High in Texarkana.

 

The next meeting of the UA Cossatot Board of Visitors will be April 6th at 6 p.m. on the Nashville campus.

 

 

CONCERT GOERS GET DISORDERLY      3/4/15

 

Saturday night, Patrolman First Class Wayne Baker of the De Queen Police Department and Patrolman J.J. Lopez was dispatched to the EZ-Mart at the 70/71 intersection in reference to a verbal argument between two women.

 

Upon arriving at the scene, Baker and Lopez interviewed 31-year-old Andrea Sheets and 28-year-old Alisha Burr, both of Mena.

 

Sheets reportedly told the officers that she and their designated driver who drove them to the Charley Farley concert at the De Queen Country Club left the concert and shortly after they left, Burr called them and asked them to come get her because she had gotten kicked out of the concert.

 

Sheets stated she and Burr got into an argument and she asked the driver, Tiffany Lopez to pull over at the EZ Mart and that is when Burr reached over the front seat and grabbed her by the hair.

 

Sheets said she got out of the car and went inside the store to call 911, but hung up because she couldn't hear the dispatcher.

 

Burr admitted to the officers that she and Sheets had an argument and she allegedly stated it was over some guys that they met at the concert.

 

The driver reportedly stated both women were very intoxicated and Burr had attacked Sheets who was sitting in the front seat.

 

The store clerk reported that she saw the vehicle pull into the parking lot. She said Sheets got out of the vehicle and came into the store and asked to borrow the phone so she could call 911 but she hung up and walked outside. The clerk said dispatch called back shortly later and she reported the two women were arguing in the parking lot.

 

Burr and Sheets were arrested and cited for disorderly conduct.

 

 

 

ACCIDENT LEADS TO MULTIPLY CHARGES     3/4/15

 

On Friday, February 27th Sergeant Chad Bradshaw was dispatched to a hit and run accident.

 

Jessy Churchwell reported that a vehicle rear ended him at a 4-way and then left the scene, so, he followed the vehicle until he got to the intersection of 6th and Collin Raye Drive.

 

When Bradshaw arrived at 6th and Collin Raye, Churchwell informed him that he saw a black male jump out of the passenger side of the vehicle that hit him, run away.

 

The suspected driver of the vehicle that rear ended Churchwell's vehicle then allegedly pulled into the Fat Chance's parking lot.

 

When Bradshaw approached the vehicle he noticed an unopened beer can lying under the truck. Bradshaw then arrested 18-year-old Brandon Cornett for being a minor in possession.

 

While conducting an inventory of the vehicle, Bradshaw discovered a small wooden box with a smoking device inside it along with what appeared to be marijuana residue on it.

 

Cornett also did not have any proof of insurance.

 

Cornett was charged with leaving the scene of a property damage accident, no liability insurance, minor in possession of alcohol and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

 

VAUGHT EXPLAINS eVERSITY         3/3/15

 

According to District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught, 22 percent of Arkansans over the age of 25 have taken some college level courses but never finished their degrees, while the national average is 21 percent.

 

Vaught said a college degree can have a significant impact on the economic status level of a person. She explained according to a recent census, the poverty rate of someone with some college is 12.5 percent, while that percentage drops to 4.3 percent if they earn a bachelor's degree.

 

Vaught said research shows that working more than 20-hours a week will increase the amount of time a student reaches graduation, but it will also decrease the likelihood of someone getting a degree.

 

Therefore, last week, the House passed legislation that could open the door for thousands of adults who want to go back to school and finish their degree, who are limited by time and money.

 

Senate Bill 265 will allow the University of Arkansas to establish an eVersity.

 

The University of Arkansas System eVersity is a 100 percent online institution that was created by the UA Board of Trustees in March of 2014 to serve students who are unable to access traditional higher education campuses.

 

The core principles of the institution includes providing high quality courses, affordable tuition and workforce relevant degree programs, along with promoting student success in programs.

 

Currently the program is in its planning stages, but the University of Arkansas System eVersity hopes to start offering classes in partnership with existing University of Arkansas institutions in late 2015.

 

 

 

NEW MEMBERS INDUCTED INTO FOREMAN NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY      3/3/15

 

The Foreman Chapter of the National Honor Society inducted six new members on Friday, February 27th during a candle lighting ceremony.

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught was scheduled to speak, but the weather caused her to have to stay in Little Rock. So, she sent her speech and Principal Kim Cody read it.

 

The Foreman National Honor Society inducted Keely Butler, Ethan Anderson, Erin Chewning, Julia Frye, Myranda Gross and Cass Lindsey.

 

The current National Honor Society members are Jessie Smith, Chelsea Stephens, Trevor Stevens and Samantha Bell.

 

Following the induction ceremony, a reception was held in the FACS Department for the National Honor Society members, their family and friends and faculty.

 

 

 

LITTLE RIVER COUNTY TO START CHARGING FOR TRASH DISPOSAL     3/3/15

 

Little River County Judge Mike Cranford announced that the county has started charging for county trash disposal service this month.

 

Residential and commercial customers will be charged for the removal of solid-waste. The new fee system was approved February 9th during a meeting of the Little River County Quorum Court.

 

Cranford explained that there will be no change to the service, but residential customers will now pay $17 dollars a month, while commercial customers with green boxes will pay $75 a month per container for biweekly pickup or $100 a month per container for weekly pickup.

 

Since 1996, the trash-collection service has been funded by a half-cent sales tax, but sales-tax revenue has been declining while the cost to collect and haul the trash to the regional landfill in Nashville has increased.

 

 

 

DON'T DOUBLE DOWN ON TAX DEBT       3/3/15

 

In many cases, tax-relief companies know when they contact consumers who owe taxes, that these consumers are desperate to find ways to settle their tax debt with the IRS or the State of Arkansas.

 

Tax-relief companies often claim they can reduce or even eliminate an individual's tax debts and stop the collection of back taxes by applying for legitimate IRS hardship programs. However, the tax-relief companies don't usually settle the tax debt and, in many cases, don't even send the necessary paperwork to the IRS.

 

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a consumer alert cautioning Arkansans to avoid falling victim to promises that they are eligible for tax relief.

 

Consumers should view paying taxes just like paying other bills. It is often better to negotiate a payment plan with the creditor than to pay someone else to finalize those details and the same is true when you owe the IRS or the state.

 

Consumers who are having trouble meeting their tax obligation should avoid the companies that make promises that consumers are eligible or qualified for a tax-relief program because only the IRS can make that determination.

 

Consumers should be wary of any program that asks for upfront fees or advance fees and any program that promises results that seem too good to be true.

 

The IRS offers tax-relief programs to help consumers who owe taxes: including an installment agreement which is generally available to people who can't pay their tax debt in full at one time and an offer of compromise, which allows taxpayers to permanently settle their tax debt for less than the amount that they owe.

 

The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent organization within the IRS that provides free help to people who are experiencing financial difficulties or who need help resolving a problem with the IRS. To contact the IRS, call 1-877-777-4778 or you may contact the Attorney General's office at 1-800-482-8982 or go to the website ArkansasAG.gov.

 

 

UA COSSATOT RODEO WRAPS   03/03/15

 UA Cossatot held its annual rodeo last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at the Four States Fair and Rodeo Arena in Texarkana. 

Despite sketchy weather conditions, crowds turned out all three nights to cheer for students competing in the events.   

“The production brought in a record attendance for the 5th annual rodeo,” according to UA Cossatot Rodeo Coach Valerie Stone.  “GizMo McCracken had crowds rolling every night, and J&J Rodeo's livestock had college competitors bringing their best to the arena.  The talent of Garrett Yerigan's announcing and musical engineering of Jarred Campbell kept the crowd entertained and the show moving smoothly.”

While the UA Cossatot Colts didn’t rank in the finals, they all helped with the production of the rodeo and a production of this magnitude takes a team effort.

Thursday was FFA and student night but students were in attendance every night. Friday night was designated to honor military and on Saturday night, fans were treated to tee shirts thrown into the crowd as well as some of the best rodeo action in the area.  Spectators were encouraged to take photographs and videos and post on social media with the hashtag: uacossatotrodeo (#uacossatotrodeo). You can check out photographs and videos on UA Cossatot’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.   

UA COSSATOT MAKES BOOK DONATION TO LOCKESBURG LIBRARY  03/03/15

As part of the renovation and updating of the newly acquired Lockesburg High School, UA Cossatot made a recent donation to the Lockesburg Public Library of many books once belonging to the school. 

 

“We are excited to preserve as much history in the Lockesburg area as we can through this renovation,” said UA Cossatot Chancellor Steve Cole.  “Donating these books from the old Lockesburg High School just made sense. Past generations of Lockesburg students read these books, and now they can be read by their children and grandchildren. ”

 

Many of the books donated were more than textbooks.  Books including novels, fiction, and non-fiction previously placed in the high school library were donated for area citizens to check out.   

 

Wendy Clay, Lockesburg Branch Librarian said “We thank UA Cossatot for thinking of the Sevier County Library System with their donation of Lockesburg High School books.” 

 

The Lockesburg Library is a branch of the Sevier County Library System. 

 

DE QUEEN FFA       3/2/15

 

National FFA Week has been shortened this week due to inclement weather that kept students out of school for four days this week, but members of the De Queen FFA are still promoting the benefits of FFA.

 

De Queen's chapter has 41 members and is led by advisors Ryan Hanney and Morgan Frachsieur.

 

This year's officers include: President Rex Standridge, Vice-President Aaron Morris, Treasurer Tyler Johnson, Parliamentarian Tiffany Becerra, Sentinel Brandi Frachiseur, Reporter Kayla Martin, Historian Catlin Carver and Secretary Carrie Craver.

 

This year, chapter members hosted the Sub-Area Leadership Contest and earned first place in several categories like Opening and Closing; Discussion Meet; Creed Speaking and Prepared Public Speaking.

 

 

 

FEBRUARY MEETING OF THE COSSATOT RIVER BOARD OF EDUCATION     3/2/15

 

During the February meeting of the Cossatot River Board of Education, board members extended Superintendent Donnie Davis' contract through the 2017-2018 school year and voted to purchase a truck and two buses.

 

Davis stated the district purchased a 2015 Dodge Ram 2500 crew cab for the Umpire campus for just over $25,000 along with two buses that not only have heaters, but also have air conditioners.

 

Davis stated the extension of his contract will provide stability to the district and the board renewed the contracts of the campus principals and other administrators.

 

Davis reported the board also approved the purchase of technology equipment for all of the Cossatot River campuses for $165,527.33 and Cossatot River will be hosting the 3A state basketball tournament this week.

 

The March meeting of the Cossatot River Board of Education is scheduled for March 12th at 6 p.m. in the administration building.

 

 

 

FORMER SEVIER COUNTY RESIDENT ARRESTED FOR SEXUAL ABUSE     3/2/15

 

A former Sevier County resident who was the youth minister of the Mineral Springs Church of Christ has been arrested and charged with first degree sexual assault.

 

In August of 2014, three girls filed a report with the Nashville Police Department accusing 31-year-old Jonathan Neeley of sexually abusing them in 2009 and 2010.

 

Victim A was 17-years-old, while victims B and C were 18-years-old at the time of the abuse.

 

All three victims reported that the incidents occurred primarily at Neeley's residence.

 

Neeley was interviewed by Nashville Police Officers in Illinois and was arrested and charged with first degree sexual assault in regards to victim A.

 

Neeley was extradited back to Arkansas and is being held in the Howard County jail on a $100,000 bond.

 

 

 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE FROM DEANN VAUGHT      3/2/15

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported Thursday night that the House Education Committee advanced a bill that would provide a waiver for rural school districts that are in danger of being consolidated if they meet state adequacy standards.

 

Currently, a district must consolidate with another district if its enrollment falls below 350 students.

 

Vaught said the House Education Committee also advanced a bill that would allow public college faculty and staff members who have a concealed-carry permit to carry a weapon on campus.

 

An amendment to the bill, however, would allow colleges and universities to require some additional training for those who have permits before they could take a firearm on campus.

 

The current law allows colleges and universities to opt out of allowing faculty and staff who have permits to bring a weapon on campus and every school of higher education in Arkansas opted out after the law was passed two years ago.

 

Vaught reported the full Housed approved a bill to make it a misdemeanor for a person 18 or older to distribute sexual images of a family member or a person from a past or present relationship in order to harass, frighten, intimidate, threaten or abuse that person.

 

And, the House voted in favor of a bill that would require the Department of Human Services to notify everyone on the Private Option program that it will end on December 31st, 2016.

 

 

 

MILLWOOD BEARD'S LAKE AND COTTONSHED CAMPSITES AVAILABLE STARTING TODAY     3/2/15

 

The Army Corps of Engineers, Millwood Project Office announced that campsites at Beard's Lake and Cottonshed parks on Millwood Lake will be reservable beginning March 1st.

 

Campers can reserve a site online at www.recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777. Visitors can make reservations at the park beginning March 1st.

 

When making a reservation, campers will be asked for the campground name or state, arrival and departure dates, type of site required, method of payment, and your Golden Age/Golden Access or America the Beautiful passport number (if applicable).

 

For more information about Millwood Lake call the Millwood Project Office at 870-898-3343.

 

 

HORATIO HIGH SCHOOL ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION  03/02/15

The Horatio High School Alternative Education was honored on Thursday, February 19th, at the Capitol, in Little Rock at the Arkansas Alternative Education 2015 Leadership Day. Those honored were Sharon Lindsey, ALE Director and Assistant Principal, and Vicki Devore, ALE Teacher.  The ALE was honored as one of the model programs in the state of Arkansas.  There are 450 plus ALE programs in the state, and 20 programs were honored with plaques given by representative Dee Vaught.  The Horatio Alternative program continues to gain the attention of school districts in Arkansas with emphasis on school accountability required by virtually every school district in the state.  The partnership of determined, student-orientated principals, innovative instructors, committed students and an engaged community will ensure more students graduate and fewer students drop out of school.

 

 

This Week's News:

 

 

ACCIDENT CLAIMS NASHVILLE WOMAN'S LIFE      2/27/15

 

Arkansas State Police say a 64-year-old Nashville resident died Wednesday morning in a two vehicle accident on a snow covered Highway 371.

 

Authorities reported, Ann Lawrence was traveling east, when she lost control of her 2002 Ford SUV and crossed the center line. Her vehicle was then struck by a west bound Chevy pickup that was being driven by 32-year-old Joseph Trembley of Lockesburg.

 

Police say Lawrence was thrown from her vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene by Howard County Coroner, John Gray.

 

Trembley was injured and was transported to the Howard Memorial Hospital.

 

Trooper Mason Glasgow reported the accident happened west of Nashville, near the Highway 371/Blue Bayou Road intersection at around 10:50 a.m.

 

 

 

COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK EVENTS      2/27/15

 

Park Interpreter Shelley Flanary of the Cossatot River State Park informed KDQN that the park will be holding a Nature Hike along the Cossatot River to discover what wildlife is stirring around this Saturday from 10 to 11 a.m..

 

Flanary will also be teaching a class on wildlife symbols Saturday from 3 to 4 p.m. She said symbols are all around us, at home or at the store on packages or cans, television or magazine ads, team logos on shirts and hats, signs and more.

 

According to Flanary, the class will include hunts, walks, music and food. If you are interested in learning about wildlife symbols join Flanary at the Visitor Center at 3 o'clock.

 

On Sunday, the park will be hosting a feed the critters event from 2 to 3 p.m. and a campfire story from 7 to 8. Sunday night, guest will enjoy some hot chocolate and some interesting campfire stories.

 

For more information about programs and events at the Cossatot River State Park, call 870-385-2201. 

 

 

 

DE QUEEN WOMAN ARRESTED FOR OKLAHOMA SHOOTINGS       2/27/15

 

A De Queen woman was arrested Tuesday in Gillham for allegedly shooting at three people in a couple of incidents in McCurtain County, Oklahoma.

 

33-year-old Alice Dunn is suspected of shooting two people February 15th after spending the night drinking at the Blue Bar on the Arkansas/Oklahoma line. She is then allegedly shot a third person February 22nd.

 

All three victims survived, but one is still in the hospital.

 

Dunn was arrested in Gillham by members of the Sevier County Sheriff's office and will be extradited to McCurtain County where she will be charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

 

 

 

JUDGE TEDDER ANNOUNCED START OF DISTRICT COURT AMNESTY PROGRAM      2/27/15

 

Judge Steven Tedder announced Thursday morning that this year's District Court amnesty program will begin Monday morning for people who have warrants for old fines.

 

Tedder stated the program will continue through the entire month of March and if you have any questions, you may contact the District Court office at 584-7311.

 

Tedder stated the Sevier County District Court offers the program once a year to help people pay off their old fines, but if a person is arrested on an outstanding warrant, they are not eligible for the amnesty program and he said there is no expiration date on fines.

 

Tedder said fines may be paid in cash, but they are working on a program to allow fines to be paid with a debit or credit card. For more information, contact the District Court office at 584-7311.

 

 

ARREST IN HOWARD COUNTY MAY HELP CLOSE INVESTIGATIONS IN SEVIER COUNTY       2/26/15

 

On February 10th, Terry Spears reported to the Howard County Sheriff's office that his home had been burglarized and a safe had been stolen.

 

Investigators David Shelton and Jade Hughes made two arrests very quickly after receiving information from eye witnesses and a roommate of Spears.

 

While working on the Spears case, the sheriff's office was notified by Tony Britt that his home on Cornbridge Road had been burglarized and numerous guns and electronics were stolen.

 

On February 13th, a Nashville Police Officer stopped a vehicle that was being driven by 26-year-old Steven Gillham of Nashville along with a passenger that was identified as 18-year-old Anthony Wilson of Mineral Springs.

 

Authorities discovered two pistols that were stolen from Britt's home and the two men were arrested for theft of property and investigators obtained information that led them to a suspected drug house in Texarkana where they believed the stolen property had been taken, however, officers were not able to obtain a search warrant for the residence.

 

Then on Feburary 17th, 18-year-old Vicenta Rocha of Mineral Springs was arrested for his involvement in the Britt case.

 

Deputies then arrested Spear's roommate, 20-year-old Jason Smith of Nashville for the theft of the safe from Spear's home.

 

An arrest warrant has been issued for 18-year-old Paige Worley of Mineral Springs along with two juveniles in the Britt case.

 

The information that was obtained during these two investigations has also helped the Sevier County Sheriff's Office tie some of these suspects to recent burglaries and thefts in the southeastern portion of Sevier County.

 

 

 

DIERKS BOARD OF EDUCATION PURCHASING NEW VIDEO SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM       2/26/15

 

Tuesday night, the Dierks Board of Education heard a presentation from Bill King from KLC which is a video surveillance system company with suggestions about upgrading the district's security system.

 

King reported his company has installed security systems on 80 campuses in Arkansas and 120 in Texas.

 

KLC's bid was for the installation of 44 cameras on both campuses.

 

Superintendent Holly Cothern stated the district stated looking at upgrading their system about four years ago when the Faulkner family asked them to upgrade their system after their daughter had some items stolen off a bus.

 

Board members approved the bid from KLC in the amount of $51,935.00. Board President Todd Moore said the project would be paid for in full from the district's building fund.

 

Cothern reported the district was doing well financially and they had only spent about 52 percent of their budget so far this year.

 

Cothern said the district tax revenue was up this year and they were receiving student growth funds from the state, but another impact was the district's new absentee policy.

 

High School Principal Jody Cowart informed the board about the high schools recent tornado drill. He stated they were able to get all of the students from the high school to the safe room in seven minutes and 50 seconds.

 

Elementary Principal Karla Byrne informed the board that the elementary had taken a trial PARCC test and students will be taking the PARCC test March 9th through the 13th.

 

 

 

INCLEMENT WEATHER COVERS AREA       2/26/15

 

Inclement weather moved into the area earlier Wednesday morning and Sevier County Judge Greg Ray stopped by the KDQN studios to discuss area closings.

 

Judge Ray stated that he and county superintendents were in constant contact when inclement weather was possible, discussing road conditions. Ray said the only way to determine road conditions was by putting boots to pavement.

 

Judge Ray said the county has hundreds of miles of paved roads and even more secondary roads.

 

Judge Ray said its easier to clear gravel roads but paved roads may be slick even after blading them because you can't put the blade flat against the road.

 

Sevier County Sheriff Bennie Simmons' office reported numerous accidents Wednesday morning and reported that roads were getting increasingly dangerous.

 

 

 

SECOND MURDER TRIAL ON HOLD      2/26/15

 

The second murder trial for Tim Howard, which was scheduled for March 2nd, has been delayed following a pre-trial hearing Tuesday in the Little River County Circuit Court.

 

Howard was convicted of murdering two Ashdown residents and has been on death row since 1999.

 

Howard was found guilty on December 9th, 1999 of the murder of Brian and Shannon Day and the attempted murder of their 7-month old child. The baby survived without any injuries and is now 17 years old.

 

During the appeals process, the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that Howard should receive a hearing to determine if the DNA evidence from hairs and blood gathered at the crime scene was contaminated.

 

A crime lab scientist testified the DNA tests were valid and if retested, the results would be the same. The scientist stated Howard's DNA would still be on the boots that were found near a pond on East Ogden Road.

 

A new trial was ordered in November of 2013.

 

 

 

VAUGHT REPORTS LOTTERY COMMISSION WILL BE ABOLISHED       2/26/15

 

Tuesday evening, District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported the House had passed a bill that would abolish the Arkansas Lottery Commission. The lottery commission currently oversees the operation of the lottery whose net proceeds provide scholarships to Arkansas students that attend college in Arkansas.

 

Senate Bill 7 will transfer the powers and duties of the lottery commission to the Department of Finance and Administration. It also allows the governor to appoint a Lottery Director.

 

Another bill that will now head to Governor Asa Hutchinson's desk is a bill that gives terminally ill patients the right to access experimental treatments which have successfully completed phase one testing of the Federal Drug Administration.

 

Vaught also reported the House Education Committee advanced a bill that would allow the University of Arkansas to establish an eVersity, which would offer online courses at an affordable rate. She said the program is aimed at helping Arkansans who have some college credit but did not finish their degree.

 

 

REPRESENTATIVE VAUGHT REPORTS HOUSE WORKING ON GOVERNOR HUTCHINSON'S PRISON PLAN      2/25/15

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported that there are over 2,500 state inmates being held in county jails that are waiting on beds at a state facility and the state prisons are currently holding more than a thousand more inmates than they were designed to accommodate.

 

Vaught said when this year's session opened, many expected the Legislator would consider building a new $100 million dollar prison to provide the additional space, however, last week, Governor Asa Hutchinson presented a three part approach to the crisis.

 

Hutchinson's plan includes funding for more prison beds, the creation of a more effective parole and re-entry system and the investment in alternative sentencing programs, which according to the governor's office will cost about $64 million dollars over the next two years.

 

Vaught reported that the House passed a bill which will allow inmates to work in the private sector for companies that have a program in place.

 

The House also passed a bill which would allow inmates to participate in a re-entry program within 18-months of his or her projected release date. According to Vaught, the program is designed to help lower the number of inmates who re-offend following their release.

 

Vaught reported that after six weeks of the regular session, Governor Hutchinson has signed over 130 bills into law.

 

For more information about the House sessions go to the website, arkansashouse.org.

 

 

 

UA COSSATOT FFA       2/25/15

 

It's FFA Week and area high school chapters have several activities planned to help share the benefits of agricultural education with their fellow students, well, at UA Cossatot, FFA provides students with the opportunity to develop relationships with people in the agricultural field, while they purse a career in agriculture.

 

UA Cossatot FFA Chapter Advisor Kelli Harris said UA Cossatot provides a solid foundation for students who plan to purse a degree at another institution or a career in an agricultural field.

 

Harris said the UA Cossatot started celebrating National FFA Week, last Friday during the Colt Classic, but held a fundraiser Tuesday at the Tractor Supply Company in De Queen.

 

For more information about the UA Cossatot chapter of FFA, contact Harris at 584-4471.

 

 

 

AREA FISHERMEN COMPETE IN SOUTHERN CONFERENCE EVENT      2/25/15

 

The Central Oklahoma University team of Colten Hutson and Brock Enmeier won the FLW College Fishing Southern Conference event last Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 13 pounds, 15 ounces. The duo earned $2,000 and advanced to the FLW College Fishing Southern Conference Championship tournament.

 

However, several area anglers competed in the tournament.

 

The Henderson State University team of Michael Gross of Gurdon and Cobey Wingfield of Malvern finished tenth, while the Texas A&M University-Texarkana team of Josh Cole and Logan Byrd, both of Texarkana finished 15th. Both teams will advance to the Southern Conference Championship tournament on Grand Lake.

 

Southern Arkansas University had two teams in the tournament.

 

The duo of Charles Swilly, Jr. of Ashdown and Troy Elliot of Waldo finished in 30th place, while the team of Hunter Bruce of Powderly, Texas and Steven Self of Kirby finished in 36th.

 

FLW College Fishing teams compete in qualifying tournaments in one of five conferences and the top 15 teams from each regular-season tournament qualify for one of five conference championship tournaments. The top ten teams from the conference championship tournaments advance to the 2016 FLW College Fishing National Championship.

 

 

 

MARCH 1-7 IS AG SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK      2/25/15

 

Across the country, Farm Bureaus are making safety a top priority this spring through the Agricultural Safety Awareness Program. As part of the program, March 1st through March 7th has been designated as Agricultural Safety Awareness Week.

 

This year's theme is "Ride Like A Pro...Wherever You Go," and it will focus on ATV safety.

 

All-terrain vehicles are used on most farms and ranches in Arkansas, but despite the availability of good safety equipment and training programs, injuries and fatalities involving ATV operators happen much too often.

 

According to the latest figures from the Consumer Product Safety Commission:

 

There are about 804 ATV related deaths nationally every year. Fifty-six percent of these death occur between May and September and one-third of these death occur on paved surfaces.

 

Arkansas averages 12 ATV related deaths per year and three of these are children under the age of 16.

 

According the Arkansas Children's Hospital Trauma Department, 101 of its admissions in 2014 were ATV-related.

 

Jason Kaufman is the safety coordinator for Arkansas Farm Bureau and he recommends that you get dressed to ride an ATV by putting on your helmet, safety glasses, long sleeves, gloves, long pants and boots to help reduce the risk of injury.

 

Kaufman also recommends all riders take an approved training course. He said the Cooperative Extension Service of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture provides courses through the ATV Safety Institute's 4-H ATV Rider Course.

 

For more information, call 501-671-2053 or contact the Sevier County Extension office at 584-3013.

 

 

UA Cossatot Hosts Judging Contest     02/24/15

 

UA Cossatot hosted the annual Colts Classic, a high school FFA judging contest, on the De Queen campus last Friday. 

 

There were 995 students from 43 high schools from Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma.  Students competed in many different judging events including: livestock, land, forestry, vet science, poultry, diary, ag mechanics, and several other categories. Most of the staff of UA Cossatot and many community businesses and people volunteered to help with the contest.

           

Kelli Harris, Agriculture Instructor for UA Cossatot, coordinates the event each year. 

           

“Each year we get smarter about how to host this many people on our campus and in our community,” said Harris.  “As a result, each competition runs smoother but we couldn’t do it without the help of folks like Pilgrim, Weyerhaeuser, Tractor Supply, Rex Herring, Al Wright, Jo Paul Stuart, Harrell Sherwood, Terri Hart and countless others.  I am just hopeful that next year, when we host, the temperature will be above freezing!” 

           

UA Cossatot’s collegiate chapter of FFA hosts the contest and along with Simple Simons Pizza provided lunch to all of the volunteers and students.   

 

ASHDOWN JUNIOR HIGH ASSESSING RECENT THREAT      2/24/15

 

An anonymous note containing some threatening language was found on the floor of a Ashdown Junior High School classroom on February 18th by a student who then gave the note to a teacher.

 

Administrators were immediately notified and school officials contacted the local law enforcement agencies.

 

After a review with law enforcement officials, it was determined that there was no imminent threat but the investigation continued. Superintendent Jason Sanders also raised the level of security awareness and the district maintained a greater law enforcement presence on all campuses to ensure students and staff were safe.

 

On Friday, February 20th another threatening note was found in a classroom and administrators immediately contacted the local police and the ensuing investigation revealed the person responsible for the note. During the course of the investigation, the person responsible for the first note was also identified.

 

Sanders stated these two persons will be dealt with appropriately under the school's disciplinary policy and under the law.

 

The district is limited by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act from releasing the names of the students or the details of their conduct or even the notes themselves.

 

Sanders stated student safety is the district's number one concern and they were not going to put students or staff at risk.

 

Sanders said social media outlets may tell a far more exciting and different story, but these are the facts of the case that can be released. He said that if he thought students were not safe at school, they would contact parents, close the schools or take whatever action was necessary to ensure their safety.

 

 

 

HORATIO FFA       2/24/15

 

It's National FFA Week and the members of the Horatio FFA chapter are celebrating with several activities this week including a teacher appreciation breakfast and Farm Olympics.

 

Horatio FFA President Matt Cribb and Vice-President Michalla Caudle mentioned the chapter will be conducting several fundraisers this week to support the chapter's Career Development Education teams and Leadership Development Education teams, including their annual chili supper and workday auction.

 

Nicki Litchford is the Horatio FFA advisor and she reported the chapter’s CDE and LDE teams have competed in livestock, electricity, vet science, food science, parliamentary and other competitions. Members also competed during the annual Colts Classic on the campus of UA Cossatot last Friday.

 

 

 

LATE JUDGE'S PORTRAIT DEDICATED      2/24/15

 

Friends and family gathered in the foyer of the Little River County Courthouse Friday afternoon to attend the dedication ceremony for a portrait of the late Little River County Judge Clayton Castleman.

 

Little River County Judge Mike Cranford described Castleman as a statesman because he was loved and supported by everyone and because he worked for the good of Little River County.

 

Castleman's photograph will be placed in the row of photos of Little River County judges in the foyer of the courthouse.

 

Castleman died November 22nd, 2014. He was set to retire December 31st at the end of his fourth term in office.

 

 

 

CONGRESSMAN VISITS DE QUEEN PUBLIC SCHOOLS    02/24/15

 

U.S. Congressman Bruce Westerman and his wife, Sharon, recently visited De Queen Public Schools and was impressed with the progress made by the district and described the Direct Instruction (D.I.) Reading program as "phenomenal" and "worthy to be replicated". The district has been recognized nationally for its accomplishments in teaching children to read. Congressman and Mrs. Westerman visited numerous classrooms, ate lunch with students, and held a roundtable discussion with school administrators.

 

Congressman Westerman's Statement:


De Queen Public Schools Superintendent Bruce Hill, Sharon Westerman, Congressman Bruce Westerman, and De Queen Primary School Principal Terri Hill. 

For more pictures from Congressman's visit: https://www.facebook.com/RepWesterman/posts/597105370424584

Achieving the dream in De Queen: http://arkansasnews.com/sections/columns/news/steve-brawner/achieving-dream-de-queen.html

 

FOREMAN STUDENTS – NATIONAL MERIT FINALIST & BAND ALL STATE/ALL REGION   02/24/15

Jessie Smith is the 18 year old daughter of Clay and Jamie Smith and a senior at Foreman High School.  Jessie recently achieved status as a National Merit Finalist.  In order to be eligible for this prestigious honor, Jessie took the PSAT her junior year along with l.5 million juniors.   Of this group of students, 50,000 were selected for commended or semifinalists.  To qualify as a finalist the process was further narrowed down and students were required to take the SAT and write an essay.  From these students and further elimination, only 15,000 students qualified for the National Merit Scholarship and Jessie was among the top achieving students.

Jessie is also a member of the National Honor Society, Science Club, Library Club, Drama Club, and the yearbook staff.  She will graduate from Foreman this year and currently plans on attending Harding University.  

 

Members of the Foreman High School band recently participated in Arkansas All-Region auditions and clinics.  After completing the audition process, two students were selected to represent the Foreman High School band as members of the 2014-2015 Arkansas All-Region Bands. 

Ninth grade band member, Patrick Eaves, successfully earned the first chair, of the first junior high band, on contra alto clarinet.  Tenth grade band member, Tyler Phelps, successfully earn the fourth chair, of the first senior high band, on tenor trombone.  With his score and chair placement, Tyler also qualified to audition for the Arkansas All-State bands. 


Patrick Eaves


Tyler Phelps

Foreman High School is very fortunate to have these students, honored to have shared them with the Arkansas All-Regions bands, and wish them success as they further their music education. 

 

Ark-La-Tex Challenge    02/24/15
3rd Annual Charitable Ark-La-Tex Challenge Cycling Tour April 11th

Edge City Cycling announces the 3rd Annual Ark-La-Tex Challenge for Saturday, April 11, 2015.  Benefiting Texarkana Resources, the Ark-La-Tex Challenge is a cycling tour through Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana with 70, 52, 46, 35 and 22 mile route lengths.  The 70 mile tour enables the rider to visit three states in one ride.  A supported return route enables the cyclist to experience all three states with a 35 mile one-way tour.  Cyclists will ride through the beautiful countryside with routes which include some challenging rolling hills and long fast flats as they wind through several rural towns.  The tour rally will begin at 9 a.m. from Liberty-Eylau High School, Texarkana, TX. 

Bikes must be in good working order.  Helmets are required any time the rider is on the bicycle.  The routes will have an abundance of rest stops and support.

Along with Participants, the Ark-La-Tex Challenge is currently seeking additional Sponsors and Volunteers.  Texarkana Resources is a private non-profit organization providing training and support to enable adults with a disability reach their highest potential in the community.

Further Details / Contact:      www.arklatexchallenge.com
Online Registration: 
www.bikereg.com/ark-la-tex-challenge0

 

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