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COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK 8/28/15
Cossatot River State Park will be hosting a Dutch oven cooking workshop on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Park Interpreter Shelley Flanary reported outdoor cooking is a strong tradition in Arkansas state parks. This Saturday, park staff will teach the history and techniques of Dutch oven cooking.
Participates will receive a 4-quart Dutch oven, along with a cookbook full of recipes.
Flanary said park staff members will be preparing a couple of entrees and a dessert.
Admission is $50 per person or $15 a meal. Reservations are required and space is limited. To make a reservation, call the park at 870-385-2201.
Sunday, the park will host a Breath of Life - Earth's Invisible Blanket event from 10 to 11 a.m. and park guests will feed the park critters from 2 to 3 p.m. in the Visitor Center.
For more information about the programs at the Cossatot River State Park, call 870-385-2201.
EVALUATION SCHEDULED FOR LOCKESBURG RESIDENT IN PORN CASE 8/28/15
U.S. District Judge Susan Hickey granted a request for a psychiatric evaluation from the lawyer of 22-year-old Nathan Karl Thomas of Lockesburg after Thomas expressed a lack of memory regarding the events associated with his alleged offenses.
Thomas was arrested last year in connection with an Internet child pornography investigation that began in Canada. He was arrested in December after he was accused of arranging sexual encounters with a 15-year-old female from Texarkana.
In January, Thomas was indicted on five counts, accusing him of creating child pornography with the girl. In July, four additional charges were filed, which accuses Thomas of using the Internet to coerce the teen into having sex, taking the minor across state lines with the intent to have sex, producing child pornography and possession child pornography.
KDQN contacted Thomas’ lawyer for a clarification of his charges, but our calls were not returned.
A trial date will be set after the court receives a report detailing the finding of the mental examination.
REVENUE FOR CITY OF DIERKS IS UP, THANKS TO WEYERHAEUSER 8/28/15
Dierks Mayor Terry Mounts informed KDQN that the city has hired a part-time employee to work in the city park and his office has already received some good feedback from the community concerning the upkeep of the park.
Mounts said the part-time employee will work about three hours a week during the winter to repair any damage that may result due to the weather.
Mounts said this year's Pine Tree Festival was a huge success and the Dierks Chamber of Commerce is already preparing for next year's event.
Mounts said the new mill project is progressing and the dirt work is just about finished and he said the city's tax revenue was up due to Weyerhaeuser's renovation project.
Mounts said the state recently conducted a safety inspection of the city’s facilities and it turned up only a few minor findings.
TRAFFIC STOP RESULTS IN DRUG ARREST OF GILLHAM RESIDENT 8/28/15
Tuesday night about 11 p.m., Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Greg Davignon observed a silver 4-door Chevy speeding on Highway 70.
When Davignon approached the vehicle, he noticed a black nylon pistol holster in the back floorboard on the driver's side. Davignon asked the driver, 51-year-old Edwin Smith of Gillham, if there were any weapons inside the vehicle because he had noticed the holster. Smith stated no that he was taking the holster to his brother.
Davignon reported he noticed Smith's hands were shaking as he handed Davignon his driver's license.
After running Smith's and his passengers information through dispatch, Davignon was informed that one of the men was a convicted felon.
Davignon was then assisted by an Arkansas State Police trooper and asked the occupants to exit the vehicle.
The passenger, Danny Suggs, stepped out of the vehicle but Smith became agitated and refused, but finally stepped out.
While searching the vehicle, Davignon discovered a blue zipper case in a pocket on the passenger seat. According to the incident report, the case contained a glass smoking pipe along with three clear plastic ziploc bags. Two of the bags contained suspected methamphetamine. The case also contained two plastic straws and a metal marijuana smoking pipe.
Suggs was released, but Smith was charged with a Class D felony count of possession of a controlled substance - meth, a Class B felony count of possession of drug paraphernalia and a Class D felony count of possession of drug paraphernalia.
Smith is currently being held in the Sevier County jail.
WATERSHED MEETING HELD IN ASHDOWN 8/28/15
Several ideas were exchanged during a meeting that was held in Ashdown this week about reducing pollution in the Lower Little River Watershed and concerning the development of best management practices.
The meeting was conducted by a Little Rock based firm that is working on a watershed management plan for the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission.
Those in attendance were informed that the recent floods increased the amount of bank erosion and the Cossatot River was altered by trees that fell into the river.
Participates were also informed that the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and conservation districts have started implementing a program called CALF, which stands for Controlled Access Livestock Fencing.
Through the program, cattle farmers can receive fencing and materials to provide alternative water sources for their livestock that's fenced off from pasture streams
Another meeting has been scheduled in December to review suggestions from Wednesday night.
This Week's News:
AREA BOAT RAMPS RE-OPENING 8/27/15
Sevier County Judge Greg Ray announced Tuesday afternoon that some area boat ramps are re-opening following the spring flooding that also closed area camping areas.
Ray said the Paraloma boat ramp has re-opened thanks to the help of the Army Corps of Engineers and several volunteers. He said the park is still closed, therefore there is still no camping at Paraloma.
Ray said the White Cliffs boat ramp is open and the park is scheduled to re-open for camping September 1st.
For more information, contact the Sevier County Judge's office at 642-2425.
COUNTY TAX COLLECTORS WARN OF SCAM 8/27/15
Area residents are being warned about a phone scam where callers pose as representatives from the local tax collector's office.
According to one reported incident, a caller posing as a representative from the local tax collector's office informed the taxpayer that their taxes were delinquent and requested a credit card number for a down payment so the taxpayer could avoid losing their property.
Officials are reminding residents that Arkansas county tax collectors do not call county residents concerning their tax bills and they would never request personal financial information over the phone.
According to the Sevier County Tax Collector's office, official business is only conducted in their office, which is inside the Sevier County Courthouse and the Sevier County Office does not currently accept debit or credit cards as a form of payment.
If you receive a suspicious phone call concerning your personal property tax bill, contact a local law enforcement agency.
DE QUEEN RESIDENT CITIED FOR LEAVING THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT 8/27/15
Sunday afternoon about 5 p.m., the Sevier County Sheriff's office was notified that a county residents vehicle had been hit but the other vehicle drove away.
According to the incident report, Debra Martin of De Queen was driving a 2002 Ford 4-door sedan when she struck a 2002 F-150 pickup that was parked on the side of the road.
The owner of the truck, Alfredo Ramirez of De Queen reported his truck was parked off the road across the street from his house and a neighbor saw Martin hit his truck and drive off.
As Deputy Greg Davignon was on his way to the scene, he saw a woman inspecting the front end damage to her car.
Deputy Davignon asked Martin why she drove off, instead of calling the police. She said, she tried to tell the owner but no one was home.
Martin was citied for leaving the scene of a property damage accident.
NOT LICENSED TO DRIVE, EITHER 8/27/15
Saturday, August 22nd, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Matt Webb observed a white Nissan Sentra cross the center line on several occasions.
Webb conducted a traffic stop at King Overpass and spoke with the driver, Armando Robles-Ochoa and his passenger.
Webb reported Ochoa presented him with a Mexico ID card, but was informed that he did not have a driver's license.
Webb stated he could smell alcohol and asked Ochoa if he had been drinking. Ochoa reportedly could not understand the field sobriety test instructions, so he was transported to the Sevier County jail where jailer Christian Rodriguez translated the instructions into Spanish for him.
After failing the test, Ochoa was cited for driving while intoxicated #1, driving left of the center line and for not having a driver's license.
SEPTEMBER IS TAKE YOUR LEGISLATOR TO SCHOOL MONTH 8/27/15
District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught announced this week that during the 2015 regular session of the Arkansas General Assembly, legislators passed a resolution designating September as "Take Your Legislator to School Month."
Vaught explained that just like music and art, an appreciation of democracy is something that can be enhanced in the classroom.
Arkansas lawmakers are making themselves available to help students learn more about the legislative process and to help legislators understand the issues and challenges that face Arkansas' public schools.
School districts are being encouraged to plan special events with their local legislators.
Teachers may also download material from the website www.arkansashouse.org for their students.
WINNERS OF RABBIT AND CHICKEN SHOWS AT SEVIER COUNTY FAIR 8/27/15
Livestock judging is underway at the 78th annual Sevier County Fair and Fair Board member Donna Rivas announced the winners from Saturday's Rabbit and Poultry shows.
Rivas said winners were selected in the Fancy Doe and Buck categories and the commercial Doe and Buck categories. The Grand champion Fancy Doe - Ellie Morphew; Reserve Champion Fancy Doe - Hannah Simmons; Grand Champion Fancy Buck - Lorel Morphew; Reserve Champion Fancy Buck - Monica Rivas; Grand Champion Commercial Doe - Kyle Bivings; Reserve Champion Commercial Doe - Abbigail Stinson; Grand Champions Commercial Buck - Amber Ebarb; Reserve Commercial Buck - Kyle Bivings. The Overall Champion Doe was Ellie Morphew and the Overall Champion Buck was Lorel Morphew.
She also named the winners of the poultry show. The Grand Champion Pen of chickens - Kane Faulkenberry; Reserve Champion Pen of Chickens - Carter Faulkenberry; 3rd place - Kyleigh Faulkenberry; 4th place - Monica Rivas; 5th place - Payton Hibbs and 6th place - Jacob Hibbs.
The Sevier County Fair and Rodeo will feature the annual parade Thursday at 6 p.m. and a 4D barrel race in the rodeo area at 8.
The annual Premium Sale will be Friday at 10 a.m. and the annual rodeo will begin at 8 p.m.
ARKANSAS' CAMP SUNSHINE SERVES THE STATES YOUNGEST BURN VICTIMS 8/26/15
As an infant Horatio's Rocky Barnett suffered severe burns over a large portion of his lower body and as he grewup he attended a camp for burn victims, called Camp Sunshine.
Today, Barnett is a counselor at the camp.
Barnett said this past summer was the 24th year for Camp Sunshine in Arkansas and he said the camp helps burn victims’ deal with their personal difficulties.
Barnett said the camp is funded with donations from the Arkansas Firefighter Association and the burn unit of the Arkansas Children's Hospital.
Barnett said some fire departments donate the funds from their "Fill the Boot" campaigns.
Barnett said there are several Camp Sunshine around the country but the Arkansas camp was started in 1991 and has been held at several locations. Currently, it is held in Little Rock.
The camp director is Gretta Wilkinson and if you need more information concerning Camp Sunshine, you may contact her at 501-364-1323. You may also like them on Facebook at Facebook.com/SunshineArkansas.
FERAL HOG CONTROL WORKSHOP PLANNED 8/26/15
The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service has planned a free workshop on the topic of feral hog control.
The workshop will be held in Hope at the Southwest Research and Extension Center this Thursday, August 27th. The workshop will begin at 6 p.m. and is also sponsored by the state forestry association and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Feral hogs are
prevalent in many portions of the southeastern United
Non-native feral hogs compete directly with native wildlife species for limited food supplies, disturb habitat, and consume small mammals and reptiles.
The feral hog population in the state has increased and expanded dramatically in recent years, because they are very adaptive and have learned how to avoid hunters and traps.
To register for the workshop, contact Becky McPeake at 501-671-2285.
RODEO PAGEANT CONTESTANT ANNOUNCED 8/26/15
Sevier County Fair Board member Michelle Sawyer introduced the contestants for this year's Rodeo Royalty Pageant.
The contestants are Sarah Wollcott, Gracie Wollcott, Kaylee Wollcott, Ashton Wollcott, Karley Wollcott and Morgan Sweeden.
The 2014 winners were Little Miss Hadlie Dixon, Princess Heather Bradshaw and Queen Bailey Denton.
This year's winners will be announced Saturday night during the 78th Annual Sevier County Rodeo.
UA HOPE-TEXARKANA TO HOST SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CLASS 8/26/15
The Division of Industry Outreach and Continuing Education at UA Hope and Texarkana is providing a free series of small business development classes beginning September 8th.
The eight week training program is designed to help those who want to start or expand a business toward becoming a successful business owner and operator.
The series will provide information on: Development of the business plan, financial tips for first time business owners, and how to create a website.
Participates must register by Friday, September 4th by calling 870-722-8126.
SEVIER COUNTY RESIDENT ARRESTED ON WARRANT FOLLOWING DOMESTIC CALL 8/26/15
On Friday, August 21st, Sevier County Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to a residence on Froglevel Road in reference to a domestic dispute.
However, before Deputies Wendall Randell and Brian Hankins arrived, they were informed that the victim had left the house. Deputies were also informed that the suspect, 50-year-old William Doan of Horatio was under the influence of alcohol and was in possession of a firearm.
Deputies met the victim, Joy Doan at the Central Store. She informed them that her husband had been drinking and had put her in a headlock. So, she left. Doan also stated that her husband had a warrant for his arrest and she informed them that he had a white pickup truck.
As deputies arrived at Doan's residence, they were passed a black Corvette.
They were then informed that the suspect William Doan was driving the Corvette.
Sevier County Investigator Robert Gentry and Deputy Chris Wolcott reported they were waiting on the suspect at the Central Fire Station. However, Deputies Randell and Hankins were able to stop Doan's vehicle at the intersection of Bradley Chapel Road and Central Road.
According to the report, deputies had to remove Doan from the vehicle after he refused to get out.
Deputy Hankins reported he could smell alcohol on Doan, but they were unable to administer any field sobriety test because Doan was being combative and would not cooperate.
Doan was arrested on the outstanding warrant and charged with driving while intoxicated and refusal to submit to test.
ASHDOWN BOARD OF EDUCATION APPROVES PURCHASE OF 50 CHROME BOOKS 8/25/15
This month during the August meeting of the Ashdown Board of Education, board members approved the purchase of 50 Chrome Books from CDW for less than $18,000. Superintendent Jason Sanders stated the Chrome Books will be purchased with federal funds.
Sanders said board members also accepted a bid from Greg Orr Auto in Ashdown on a new pickup for the Ag department.
High School Principal Kay York presented Debra Collins and Elmorris Hopkins awards for perfect attendance last year.
Collins works in the district as a paraprofessional in the special education department and Hopkins is an English teacher.
Sanders said there is a huge benefit to students when facility and staff are present at work 95 percent of the time during the school year.
Board members also approved the hiring of a food service manager and director along with two bus drivers.
HUNDREDS OF ADH IN-HOME SERVICE PROVIDERS TO LOSE JOBS 8/25/15
The Arkansas Department of Health recently announced that the department’s in-home service operations would be transitioning to a private sector provider.
In a release from Dr. Nathaniel Smith, the director and state health officer, the agency can no longer support the program “due to financial constraints and competition from the private sector.”
Health officials say no services will be discontinued with a six month transition process. Public Information Officer Kerry Krell says a large reason for the decision is a decline in both patients and employees.
Services include home health care, personal care, hospice care, maternal/infant services and case management.
In-home service contract providers in our local area will be laid off; including 24 employees in Sevier County, 85 in Hempstead County, 61 in Pike County and 37 in Howard County.
There are over 350 patients in Hempstead County, around 160 in Howard and 189 in Pike County. Krell says these numbers include patients with the Nurse Family Partnership and so the actual number of patients may be slightly below those numbers.
A call center is now available to respond to questions and provide more information about the transition of In-Home Services to the private sector. The number for the call center is 1-800-554-5738.
INFORMATION ABOUT MARCH 2016 PRIMARY ELECTION 8/25/15
If you are interested in voting during the March 2016 Preferential Primary Election, you will need to register by February 1st, 2016.
If you are already registered to vote, but your name or address has changed, it’s necessary for you to update your registration in order to vote on the correct ballot. All registered voters can stop by the Sevier County Clerks office or call and the county clerk will mail the appropriate form.
If you are registered to vote in another Arkansas county, you can transfer your registration to Sevier County by February 26th, 2016 and still vote in the primary.
If you would like to vote absentee, you must request your application for an absentee ballot by contacting the County Clerk’s office. Absentee voting is designed to help voters who are unable to be present at the polls.
County residents can vote early without any reason or any qualifying circumstances. Early voting is strictly for the convenience of registered voters.
Early voting will be from February 15th to the 29th, 2016, between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.
For information about elected positions, requirements and deadlines, contact County Clerk Debbie Akin at 870-642-2852.
The primary election will be held on March 1st, 2016.
MINOR INVOLVED IN STABBING 8/25/15
August 10th, Little River County Sheriffs deputies were dispatched to a Foreman residence in reference to a reported assault.
According to the report, a 25-year-old white male had been stabbed several times by a 15-year-old minor.
According to the minor's statement, the victim jumped on him for throwing a juice box at a female that was in the house. He said while he was being hit by the victim, he grabbed a knife from the headboard and stabbed him.
The female witness said the minor and the victim came running through the house from the bedroom where they were fighting and the victim collapsed in the driveway.
The weapon was located on the kitchen counter, but it had been wiped clean and the female witness stated she mopped up the blood that was in the kitchen.
SEPTEMBER IS HUNGER ACTION MONTH 8/25/15
Hunger advocates in Texarkana and across the country will be wearing orange on Thursday, September 3rd in an effort to raise awareness for the estimated 50 million people in the U.S. who face hunger everyday. This is just one event that is taking place during the month of September in recognition of Feeding America's Hunger Action Month.
Harvest Food Bank will kick off national Hunger Action Month on Tuesday, September 1st with their annual luncheon at noon at the Williams Memorial United Methodist Church. Tickets are $10 and reservations can be made by calling 870-774-1398.
According to the executive director of the Harvest Regional Food Bank affects over 50,000 people in the Texarkana area. That means one in six adults and one in every four children deal with a lack of food.
For more information, visit the Harvest Texarkana website at www.harvesttexarkana.org.
Tax Delinquent Land Sale Scheduled for Sevier County
Burn Ban for Little River County has been lifted 08/24/15
Little River County Judge Mike Cranford announced today based on the information from the Arkansas Forestry Commission, Little River County is no longer under a burn ban effective 12:00 noon today.
For more information you can contact Mike Cranford at 870.898.7202
ASHDOWN POLICE DEPARTMENT RELEASES STATEMENT ABOUT WEDNESDAY'S FIRE 8/24/15
According to a press release from the Ashdown Police Department, the August 19th fire on Frisco Street in Ashdown that claimed the life of one person.
According to the incident report, members of the Ashdown Police and Fire Departments were informed that there was an individual trapped on the second floor of the structure.
When officers and firefighters arrived, they discovered the two-story home did not have an outside staircase. Members of the Ashdown Police Department and deputies from the Little River County Sheriff's office attempted to rescue the individual, but were forced out of the house by the smoke and heat.
According the report, two apartments were occupied in the home that had been divided up into several apartments. Apparently, the deceased individual was related to the occupants who lived on the first floor.
Last Thursday, officials discovered a body that is believed to the tenant. The body was sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for an autopsy to determine the cause of death and for a positive ID.
Ashdown Police Chief Mark Ardwin said the fire appeared to have started upstairs but the cause of the blaze is still under investigation.
LIFESHARE BLOOD DRIVE IN HORATIO 8/24/15
LifeShare Blood Center is having a blood drive on Tuesday, August 25th at the Horatio High School from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on the LifeShare Donor Coach.
LifeShare officials said there are four main steps to donating blood: medical history, quick physical, donation and snacks after donating blood.
They said after donating blood, the fluid is replaced within hours and the red blood cells within four weeks, but it takes eight weeks to restore the iron that's lost after donating. For more information, you can visit the website www.lifeshare.org or call 903-794-3171.
NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT FOCUSED ON DE QUEEN ELEMENTARY 8/24/15
A couple of years ago, the De Queen School District was visited by a writer with the Huffington Post after they heard about a little school in Southwest Arkansas where many of the students were learning English as a second language and yet still performing near the top of state tests.
Karin Chenoweth said when she visited De Queen, she met dynamic educators who believe their students are capable of learning at a high level and who work hard to figure out what's best for their students.
Chenoweth said she was told if students didn't learn something the first time, the teachers changed their approach.
But, she said she was very impressed with the Direct Instruction in reading. She said the program seems to be very effective at teaching children how to read.
De Queen Elementary Principal Terriann Phillips was a teacher when the district adopted the DI program and she said although the program was scripted, it helped children learn to read which allows them to be more creative later in life.
Recently, the district changed its schedule to ensure that pulling children out of their regular classes for extra help would not interfere with the core instruction. The district also continues to add books to the elementary library that will benefit all students.
SEVIER COUNTY FAIR STARTS SATURDAY 8/24/15
The 78th Annual Sevier County Fair began Saturday with the pre-registration of all animals along with the rabbit and poultry shows.
Fair Board member Linda Frachiseur said livestock will start arriving on today at 6 p.m. and the weigh-in is at 9.
The education building exhibits will be judged Tuesday at 10 a.m. and the fair gates will open at 4 p.m. Admission is $4 and the breeding goats, market goats, breeding sheep and market lamb show is set to begin at 5 followed by the swine show.
Frachiseur said this year's livestock shows will feature over 160 animals, as well as a barrel racing contest on Thursday and a two-day rodeo will be held Friday and Saturday.
Wednesday is dollar day and gate admission and all carnival rides will be a dollar each. Friday and Saturday nights, the carnival will feature armband nights for $20.
This year's concession stand will be run by the The Pentecostals of De Queen and will be open extended hours during the fair and rodeo. The concession stand will open at 9 a.m. daily and will remain open throughout the evening.
If you have any questions about the fair, contact the fair office at 870-642-5112.
SEVIER COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE TO PROVIDE RESOURCE OFFICER FOR HORATIO SCHOOL DISTRICT 8/24/15
This school year, the Sevier County Sheriff’s office will be providing a school resource officer for the Horatio School District.
Sevier County Sheriff Bennie Simmons announced Chuck Emmerich will serve as the resource officer in the Horatio District after serving as a deputy with the department for the past six-years.
Simmons said Emmerich is retired military and is familiar with the county and the city of Horatio. Emmerich graduated from Horatio and continues to reside just outside of town.
Emmerich will be a county employee, but his salary and benefits will be reimbursed by the district. The sheriff’s office will also provide Emmerich with a car and uniforms.
Emmerich will work on both campuses enforcing laws, working traffic and will attempt to develop positive relationships between students and law enforcement.
Emmerich will also patrol the grounds during all home athletic events and other after school activities.
SHOW YOUR LEOPARD PRIDE 8/24/15
Members of the De Queen High School Student Council are encouraging everyone in De Queen to show their Leopard Pride this school year by wearing black and gold every Friday.
Student Council Vice-President Danielle Duggan said this is not just for students and you can purchase a Leopard t-shirt from several organizations, including the De Queen Athletic Booster Club, the De Queen High School Student Council and the De Queen High School cheerleaders.
WHERE'S THE BEEF 8/24/15
Thursday afternoon De Queen Police Officer J.J. Lopez was dispatched to Wal-Mart in reference to a shoplifting incident.
When Lopez arrived, he was informed by members of the Wal-Mart Asset Protection Team that they observed white female place five or six packages of meat in her personal bag.
Lopez was also informed that when a Wal-Mart employee attempted to stop the female from leaving the store, the suspect shoved the employee to the side and kept walking.
Employees gave Lopez a description of the vehicle that the suspect got into along with the tag number and reported she turned East on Highway 70.
Sevier County Sheriff's Investigator Jeff Wahls was able to stop the vehicle in the county and identified the suspect as 34-year-old Jessica Harold of Gillham, however, he was unable to find any stolen items in the vehicle.
While Lopez was still interviewing Wal-Mart employees, he was informed that Harold had been banned from the store.
When Lopez was interviewing Harold, she informed him that she had gone to Wal-Mart to change her Wic and noticed she was being watched so she decided to leave because she knew she wasn't suppose to be there.
Lopez reported he ended the interview when Harold starting crying hysterically. She was then transported to the Sevier County jail and processed for shoplifting and criminal trespass.
BURN BAN IN SEVIER COUNTY LIFTED 8/21/15
Sevier County Judge Greg Ray announced Wednesday afternoon that the burn ban in Sevier County has been lifted.
Judge Ray informed KDQN that he still recommends area residents not to leave a fire unattended if they elect to burn, but the burn ban has been lifted.
Little River and Polk counties are still under a burn ban, but according to the Arkansas Forestry Commission, Miller and Howard counties have also lifted their burn bans.
GRANNIS BILINGUAL COALITION 8/21/15
Faith Lynch of the Grannis Bilingual Coalition informed KDQN listeners that the Southwest Arkansas counties of Sevier, Howard and Polk have an untapped resource in the number of bilingual residents that live here.
Lynch said she helped form the coalition with the help of Grannis Mayor Dwight Billings; Noel Bard; Dr. Steve Cole of UA Cossatot; Dr. Phillip Wilson of Rich Mountain Community College; Representative Nate Bell and his wife, Phyllis; Representative DeAnn Vaught; Representative Justin Gonzalez and State Senator Larry Teague.
Lynch said the goal of the coalition is to develop a program with the help of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission that will attract a company willing to locate a bilingual call-center in the Tyson building in Grannis.
Lynch said the project started with a $2,100 grant from the UA Cossatot Foundation and the coalition is now working to develop a website that will be linked to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission's website.
Victor Rojas Jr. stated he was helping the coalition to collect data about the area's workforce and present it to the economic development commission.
Lynch said she hopes the coalition will attract a business to Grannis that needs a bilingual workforce.
For more information, visit their Facebook page at Grannis Bilingual Employment.
HOWARD COUNTY RESIDENT ARRESTED FOR ATTEMPTED ROBBERY IN DE QUEEN 8/21/15
Tuesday afternoon about 1 p.m., Patrolman First Class Wayne Baker of the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to Wal-Mart in reference to a customer pushing a buggy full of merchandise out of the store without paying for it.
When Baker arrived he was informed by a member of the Asset Protection Team that she had been hit in the face while attempting to stop a black female from leaving the store with the merchandise.
Wal-Mart employees were able to provide a description of the vehicle that the suspect left in, along with the license plate number.
De Queen Police Sergeant Chad Bradshaw reported he was in the Lockesburg area headed west and located the vehicle and was able to apprehend the two adults on the charge of robbery.
Baker was informed the Wal-Mart employee’s glasses were bent when the female suspect, 28-year-old Shemika Brown of Nashville struck her.
Wednesday morning, officers spoke with the driver of the vehicle, 35-year-old Warren Wiley of Nashville who allegedly informed Officer Baker that he told Brown not to do anything stupid before she went into the store.
Brown allegedly told officers that she had agreed to get some scrubs and a set of sheets for a friend who would pay her $120, so she could pay her gas bill.
Brown and Wiley have been charged with hindering apprehension or prosecution and attempted robbery.
MAJOR HOUSE FIRE IN ASHDOWN 8/21/15
Wednesday night about 8:30 p.m., members of the Ashdown, Wilton, Richmond and Ogden Volunteer Fire Departments responded to a major house fire near Frisco and Commerce streets in Ashdown.
According to a couple of reports the home was completely engulfed in flames when firefighters.
While firefighters were attempting to put out the fire, the wind started blowing the flames toward the Ashdown First United Methodist Church and the Little River County Chamber of Commerce office.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
SINGLE PARENT SCHOLARSHIP FUND EXTENDS DEADLINES 8/21/15
Jamie Marshall is the field director for the Southwest Region of the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund and she announced this week that area counties had extended their fall deadlines to allow more students time to apply.
Marshall said to apply for a scholarship you should visit the website aspsf.org and select the county that you reside in.
Marshall also explained the Single Parent Scholarships may be used for more than just books and tuition.
Marshall said the scholarships can also be used to obtain a vocational certificate.
For more information about the Single Parent Scholarship Fund in your county of residence, visit the website aspsf.org or call Marshall at 479-287-8213.
SUSPECT ARRESTED ON FELONY WARRANT 8/21/15
Tuesday afternoon, Sevier County Sheriff’s Deputy Greg Davignon arrested 58-year-old Doyle Whisenhunt on a felony warrant near Lockesburg.
Davignon reported he pulled over a gold Ford F-150 realizing the driver was wanted on a felony warrant for possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver.
As Davignon was searching Whisenhunts person, he discovered a clear plastic bag that contained a green leafy substance of suspected marijuana along with one piece of rolling paper.
Whisenhunt was booked into the Sevier County jail on the felony warrant and charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
According to the Sevier County Sheriff’s office, the felony warrant was the result of an ongoing investigation.
On July 10th, law enforcement authorities were informed that Whisenhunt was on his way to a residence in the Greens Chapel Community via the Provo Road with a metal box, wrapped in black electrical tape full of methamphetamine.
Sevier County Deputy Kris Hundley stopped Whisenhunt on Provo Road for speeding, but could not find and drugs. Whisenhunt was cited for speeding and released.
Authorities were informed later that Whisenhunt had informed an acquaintance that he had thrown the drugs into the ditch before he was stopped.
Deputy Davignon and Arkansas Game and Fish Wildlife Officer David Hall returned to Provo Road and discovered a metal box with black electrical tape around it in the ditch. Officers then set up surveillance for several hours and waited on Whisenhunt to retrieve the drugs.
According to the report, about 3 a.m. Whisenhunt returned to the scene to apparently retrieve the box, but he saw Officer Hall and left on his motorcycle.
According to the sheriff’s office, the metal box contained nine-clear Ziploc bags with just over five-grams of meth.
TRUCK STOLEN IN MC CURTAIN COUNTY RECOVERED IN SEVIER COUNTY 8/21/15
Wednesday afternoon, the Sevier County Sheriff's Office received a request from the Mc Curtain County Sheriff's Office to help them with a stolen vehicle that was discovered in Sevier County on Highway 24 West.
When Deputy Chuck Emmerich arrived he discovered a truck in the ditch. After Emmerich ran the tags, he discovered the vehicle had been reported stolen out of Broken Bow, Oklahoma.
A short time later, two Mc Curtain County Sheriff's deputies arrived with two suspects in their vehicle. The two suspects were identified as 29-year-old Joshua Burcham of De Queen and Santana Johnson.
During an interview at the Sevier County jail, Burcham told the deputies that he was at his brother's house in Eagletown when a man they knew drove up in a 2005 gray 4X4 GMC crew cab pickup with a black hood.
Allegedly the man offered to sell Burcham the truck for $500. Burcham said he only had $120 on him, but he would pay the rest later.
Burcham said he received a key, but still had to touch two wires together to get the truck to start.
Burcham was then charged with theft by receiving property valued less than $25,000 but more than $5,000. Burcham also stated Johnson was only riding with him, but had nothing to do with the deal.
ASHDOWN TEACHERS RECOGNIZED 08/21/15
paraprofessional in the special education department, and Elmorris
Hopkins, English teacher, were recognized during the monthly meeting
of the Ashdown School Board for having perfect attendance for the
2014-2015 school year.
Mr. Hopkins graduated from Ashdown High School in 1991 and has been teaching in Ashdown for 11 years. Last year, he taught English III and AP English Language and Composition. His hobbies are music and photography.
The Ashdown School District is so proud to employ these two
dedicated staff members. Their commitment to be in the classroom, is
a standard that can be followed by everyone.
ARKANSAS PAROLE BOARD RELEASES STATEMENT ON SAU HORSE THEFT 8/20/15
The Arkansas Parole Board has approved Jaci Jackson of Mc Curtain County, Oklahoma for parole.
Jackson was convicted in 2014 on two counts of criminal conspiracy related to the theft of horses from Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia.
The board does not have the authority to deny parole since the offenses that she was convicted of is non-discretionary and they may only stipulate a course of action that must be completed prior to her release.
Jackson is scheduled to be released at a future date if she has obtained an approved residence plan and has completed a course in Thinking Errors.
Upon release, Jackson will be subject to the standard conditions of release applicable to every parolee and additional special conditions of maximum supervision, community service hours, a curfew, periodic drug testing and a requirement that she develop an employment plan if unemployed.
Jackson was sentenced to 10 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections in Columbia County.
Jackson was originally charged with four counts of theft of property over $5,000 and two counts of theft of property over $25,000. In April of 2013, she pleaded guilty to six counts of conspiracy to commit theft of property.
All of the charges stemmed from the theft of five horses, a trailer and tack from the SAU Rodeo Team stables.
ASHDOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT WILL USE RAVE PANIC BUTTON SYSTEM 8/20/15
Ashdown Superintendent Jason Sanders announced Tuesday afternoon that the Ashdown School District will be using the Rave Panic Button System along with approximately 1,000 public school in Arkansas as part of the 2015 School Safety Act.
The panic buttons will allow emergency personnel to respond quickly to situations such as active shooter, medical or any on-site disruption.
The Rave Panic Button can be downloaded to a smartphone as an app. The app has five buttons, which faculty and staff members can activate by selecting the type of emergency there is; such as, active shooter, medial emergency, fire, or on-site disruption. By simply pushing a button, staff members will be connected to 9-1-1 immediately and it will also notify on-site personnel of the location and type of emergency.
The technology will automatically send 9-1-1 and emergency personnel information including the caller's exact location, floor plans, emergency exit locations and emergency contacts.
Sanders said he would like to thank Governor Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas State Legislators for enacting this initiative. He said he felt the Rave System will help provide an additional level of safety to the Ashdown Schools. He said even though the district's focus is educating children, their ultimate goal is to ensure the safety of each child.
DE QUEEN AWARDED $250,000 FOR STREET PAVING PROJECTS 8/20/15
Aldermen of the De Queen City Council meet and heard concerns from a De Queen resident concerning the Redman Cemetery and trash that is being left by the city sanitation department employees.
Mayor Billy Ray McKevly said he consulted with the city of Rogers and they have an ordinance that does not allow a resident to park a vehicle on the grass between their house and the street.
McKelvy reported the city has received several complaints about cars being parked on the grass in front of area homes. McKelvy stated the city currently only has an ordinance that deals with inoperative vehicles, but will attempt to use the city’s ordinances to clean up the residential areas throughout the city.
McKelvy informed aldermen that the city will receive $250,000 from the State Aid for City Streets program, but the work will not be completed until next summer.
McKelvy said the state highway department will bid out the project and it will include portions of Stilwell Ave, Gilson Street, North and South 9th Street, Wallace and Driver Streets.
McKelvy reported the tipping fees for the storm debris clean-up at the Southwest Arkansas Landfill was over $10,000 and Sevier County Judge Greg Ray had asked the city to pay a portion of that amount.
Aldermen verbally agreed to pay a third of the tipping fees, but the motion will not be formally voted on until the next De Queen City Council meeting, September 2nd.
EXCLUSIVE AMBULANCE SERVICE TABLED BY HOWARD COUNTY QUORUM COURT 8/20/15
During the monthly meeting of the Howard County Quorum Court, Justices of the Peace tabled a request from the owner of the Howard County Ambulance Service for an exclusive franchise for the majority of the county.
John Gray, the owner of the Howard County Ambulance Service, asked the Howard County Quorum Court for a four-year extension to his agreement that expires at the end of this year.
JPs considered a one-year extension, but rejected the four-year agreement, saying they wanted more time to review the agreement they approved last year.
The new agreement does not include the Dierks and Umpire Volunteer Fire Department service areas, which would allow another ambulance service to move into that area and provide coverage to that area.
JPs were also informed by Prosecuting Attorney Bryan Chesshir that he is seeking a grant that would allow him to add two more employees to his staff.
Chesshir told the Howard County Quorum Court that he had met with the officials who would approve the grant and he felt his chances of getting the grant was good.
At one time, Chesshir's office had a Victim Witness Coordinator, but his office lost that employee when the grant was not renewed.
Chesshir stated if he received the grant, he wanted to hire a Victim Witness Coordinator and an investigator. He said both positions would serve in all four counties in the 9th West District, including Pike, Howard, Sevier and Little River counties.
Chesshir said he hoped he would know if the grant was approved by October 1st.
HORATIO SCHOOL DISTRICT DEVELOPS INCLEMENT WEATHER BUS ROUTES 8/20/15
During the August meeting of the Horatio Board of Education, board members voted to hire Justin Mills as a food service consultant. Superintendent Lee Smith said Mills is with K-12 Culinary Connection and he will work with the chefs at Horatio to make even better tasting school lunches.
Smith said the district will also work to develop inclement weather bus routes to help eliminate some "snow days" this winter.
Board members also approved a recommendation from Smith and De Queen Superintendent Bruce Hill to deny any school transfers after September 15th and January 15th of each semester.
Board members then granted the transfer of five students to the De Queen School District and accepted the transfer of four into the Horatio District.
SEVIER COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE WARNING RESIDENTS ABOUT CREDIT CARD READER SCHEME 8/20/15
A spokesperson for the Sevier County Sheriff's office is encouraging area residents to be observant when they swipe their credit or debit cards through a card reader at gas stations and Redbox kiosk.
The Sevier County Sheriff's office reported there are devises that can be placed on the card reader that will allow them to steal your credit or debit card information when you swipe your card.
The spokesperson said the devise can be placed on top of the reader and may appear to be more bulky than usual. They said if the card reader looks different than normal or seems out of place, to first notify the store management and then contact the sheriff's office or the local police department.
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE MARCH 1, 2016 PREFERENTIAL PRIMARY ELECTION 08/20/15
Sevier County Clerk Debbie Akin reminds residents to register so you can exercise your right to vote!!
If you are already registered but your name or address has changed, it is necessary to update your registration in order to vote the correct ballot. Come by the County Clerk’s office to update your record or call and we can mail you the appropriate form.
· The deadline to register to vote in this election is February 1, 2016.
· If you are registered to vote in another Arkansas county, you can transfer your registration to Sevier County by February 26, 2016 and still vote in this election.
· Absentee Voting is available for qualifying applicants. Please request your application for an absentee ballot by contacting the County Clerk’s office. This is designed to help voters who are unable to be present at the polls. We want to make it possible for you or your loved one to vote!
· You can Early Vote in the County Clerk’s office without any reason or qualifying circumstance. Early voting is strictly for your convenience! You may early vote from February 15 – 29, 2016. During those dates we are open for voting on Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (on the last day of early voting, the polls close at 5:00 P.M.), and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Avoid the lines on Election Day and early vote!
· You can acquire a sample ballot when they become available by contacting the County Clerk’s office.
Anyone interested in being placed on the ballot should contact the County Clerk’s Office for information regarding positions to be elected as well as requirements and deadlines. (some dates regarding filing, etc. fall as early as August 11, 2015)
Contact County Clerk, Debbie Akin, or her staff with questions or for more information at (870) 642-2852.
BE SURE TO REGISTER IF YOU HAVE NOT ALREADY! 2016 PRIMARY WILL BE HELD ON MARCH 1, 2016
LITTLE RIVER COUNTY REVIEWING OPTIONS CONCERNING HOSPITAL 8/19/15
Little River County Judge Mike Cranford reported the Little River County Quorum Court had a light agenda this month, but they did discuss the future of the Little River Memorial Hospital. Cranford said nothing was voted on and there would be a lot more discussion before they made a final decision.
Cranford explained funding was the biggest issue facing the Quorum Court.
According to Cranford, the Justices of the Peace did approve the addition of two employees for the county road department and the county received its permit to dispose of the county's storm debris.
Cranford reminded area residents that most counties in Southwest Arkansas are under a burn ban.
Cranford also stated he and the other elected officials from Little River County attended the Association of Arkansas Counties meeting recently and they have started working on preparing the 2016 budget. He said he hopes to present the budget to the Quorum Court members during their November meeting.
EVERY PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENT AND TEACHER TO BE PROTECTED BY RAVE PANIC BUTTON SYSTEM 8/19/15
Earlier this month, Arkansas continued to make history by putting Act 950, the 2015 School Safety Act, into motion, by announcing every public school student, faculty and staff member in the state will be protected by the Rave Panic Button.
The Rave Panic Button will provide faster response to active shooter and other emergency situations on campuses all across the state. Legislators announced August 11th that the Rave Panic Button will enable authorities to respond to crises much faster and with greater precision, providing a higher level of protection for the more than a half million students, faculty and staff.
The Rave Panic Button was developed by Rave Mobile Safety and it connects 911, first responders and school personnel in the event of a crisis and shortens the time between the onset of an incident and the arrival of first responders to the scene.
Through a simple five button interface, faculty and staff activate the app by selecting the type of emergency whether it's an active shooter, police, fire, EMS or other, which immediately connects to 911 while notifying selected on-site personnel of the location and nature of the emergency.
911 and first responders will automatically receive critical data such as the caller's exact location, floor plans, emergency exit locations, emergency contacts along with key procedures and it can deliver critical emergency notifications to on-site contacts.
DE QUEEN PUBLIC SCHOOL REPORT 8/19/15
De Queen School District's Media Relations Director, Tammy Whatley announced Tuesday morning that things went well on the first day of school.
Whatley said the De Queen Primary will hold a Back to School night on Thursday. Kindergarteners and their parents will visit with the teachers and staff at 5:30 p.m., first graders at 6 and second graders at 6:30. She said the district will be hosting a English as a Second Language forum on Monday, August 24th in the high school cafeteria at 6 p.m.
Whatley said the golf and tennis teams have already started competing, and the De Queen Leopard and Cub football teams will hold scrimmages next Monday and Tuesday.
For more information about programs and activities on your child's campus, contact the school office.
DON'T TAKE THAT 8/18/15
Saturday afternoon, Sergeant Chad Bradshaw of the De Queen Police Department responded to Wal-Mart in reference to a reported shoplifter.
When Bradshaw arrived he was informed by a member of the Wal-Mart Asset Protection Team that they witnessed a young Hispanic male pick up a pregnancy test, take it to another department in the store and remove it from the package. The Wal-Mart employee reported they then witnessed the minor then put the pregnancy test in his pants.
The minor and a female was stopped by a Wal-Mart employee has they were walking out the front door. The female was identified as 38-year-old Josephen Perez.
When Bradshaw interviewed the minor, he stated Perez had asked him to steal the pregnancy test for her.
Both were arrested and charged with shoplifting less than a $1,000. The minor was released into the custody of a family member.
HEALTH FAIR AT THE WELLNESS CENTER IN DE QUEEN 8/18/15
Dr. Jason Lofton of De Queen announced the Wellness Center will be hosting a prostate clinic this September during Prostate Awareness month.
Lofton stated the clinic received a grant to provide blood test for 100 uninsured residents, but this year's event will be more than just blood work; it will be a health fair.
Lofton said the health fair is scheduled for Thursday, September 17th and there will also be group education classes all day.
Lofton said last year's event was the largest in the state and his office is expecting over 200 this year.
For more information, call the Wellness Center at 870-642-4000.
LITTLE RIVER COUNTY RECOGNIZED AS A STORMREADY COMMUNITY 8/18/15
The National Weather Service recognized Little River County as a StormReady County Monday during a ceremony at the Little River County Courthouse in Ashdown.
Little River is the 17th county in the state to be recognized as StormReady and is the second county to be declared StoreReady in Southwest Arkansas since Howard County was recognized in 2004.
Little River County Judge Mike Cranford said this will be one more tool the county will use to help protect its citizens.
The StormReady community preparedness program uses a grassroots approach to help communities develop plans to handle local severe weather and flooding threats.
Cranford explained that to be recognized as StormReady, Little River County had to establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center and have more than one way to receive severe weather forecasts and warnings.
According to Bill Parker of the National Weather Service, Little River County joins the ranks of just over 1,000 counties and parishes that have achieved StormReady status and only one of 17 in Arkansas.
ROJAS PROVIDES UPDATE FROM THE ARKANSAS COALITION FOR JUVENILE JUSTICE BOARD 8/18/15
Victor Rojas Jr. informed KDQN that he was still excited to be serving as a board member of the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice and he is looking forward to serving out the remainder of his term which expires August 15th, 2016.
Rojas mentioned some of the board’s accomplishments. He stated he plans to release a plan to improve school climate and discipline in Arkansas schools. He said the state’s plan also calls for some specialized training to be provided to school resource officers.
Rojas reported he helped approve the distribution of federal funds to community-based programs that are aimed at preventing juvenile delinquency. He said thousands of young Arkansans will benefit from the programs. Rojas said the programs encourage community service, develop leadership skills and increase their employability skills.
Rojas stated he was also very pleased with the partnership between Shorter College and the Division of Youth Services.
RAVE PANIC ALERT 08/18/15
Ashdown Public Schools will now be using the Rave Panic Button System along with approximately 1000 public schools in the state of Arkansas as part of 2015 School Safety Act. The panic buttons will allow emergency personnel to respond quickly to situations such as active shooter, medical, or any on-site disruption.
The Rave Panic Button (downloaded on smartphones as an app) has five buttons, which faculty and staff can activate by selecting the type of emergency needed: active shooter, medial emergency, fire, or on-site disruption. By pushing a button, staff will be connected to 9-1-1 immediately and also notifies on-site personnel of the location and type of emergency.
The technology will automatically send 9-1-1 and emergency personnel data such as the caller’s exact location, floor plans, emergency exit locations, and emergency contacts.
Jason Sanders, Ashdown Superintendent said, “I would like to thank the Governor and our Legislature for enacting this initiative. We feel that the Rave System will help provide an additional level of safety to Ashdown Schools. Even though our focus is on educating children, our ultimate responsibility is to ensure the safety of each child.”
UA COSSATOT OFFERS CLASSES TO HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS 08/18/15
ASHDOWN, AR - Groundbreaking has begun for a facility to house the new welding program on the Little River County Campus in Ashdown.
The program is part of the Secondary Career Center and classes will be offered to high school students from Ashdown High School and Foreman High School for the Fall 2015 semester. The secondary classes are offered as concurrent credit where students receive both high school and college credit. A collaborative effort between Texarkana Area Technological Center, Texarkana College and UA Cossatot provided this opportunity for the students in these communities.
The three programs which will be offered through the Secondary Career Center in Ashdown are Culinary, Welding and Industrial Technology. These college credit classes are offered at no cost to the students and the credits earned are counted toward the college degree plan in that program of study.
If a student is interested in participating in the Secondary Career Center, they can speak with UA Cossatot staff members Julie Rhodes or Steve McJunkins at 870-584-1343.
TRIAL DATE RESCHEDULED FOR FORMER ASHDOWN TEACHER 8/17/15
A trial date has been rescheduled for the former teacher of the Ashdown School District who served as coach and sponsor of the skeet shooting club.
A trial date of October 19th has been set for 41-year-old Terry Simmons who has been accused of stealing guns that belonged to the Ashdown district in the Little River County Circuit Court in Ashdown.
According to court documents, Simmons is charged with two counts of theft of property for allegedly selling or trading shotguns at a pawn shop in Ashdown.
According to the Little River County Sheriff’s office, on January 12th, Arkansas State Police Special Agent Hays McWhirter was informed that some guns that belonged to the Ashdown School District had been taken from a gun safe that was being kept at the sheriff’s office.
The shotguns were used by the district’s shooting team and were purchased in May of 2008 with a grant from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
In 2014, Debbie Greathouse took over as the shooting team’s advisor and asked to inventory the shotguns that were being stored at the sheriff’s office. In December, Simmons and Greathouse went to the sheriff’s office and Simmons unlocked the safe, but the safe only contained three shotguns.
Simmons brought three shotguns to the office from his vehicle and he said the guns had been at his house.
Allegedly in January of 2014, Simmons went to the Davis and Jones Pawn and sold or traded three guns for four other guns.
During the course of the investigation, McWhirter confirmed the serial numbers on the shotguns that were sold or traded at a local pawn shop were guns that belonged to the Ashdown School District.
LEOPARD BOOSTER CLUB 8/17/15
Leopard Booster Club member Stacey Faulkenberry announced booster club will be hosting a golf tournament this Saturday, August 22nd and everyone is invited to come out to the De Queen Country Club and enjoy a chicken dinner. He also said there will be a lot of activities for the whole family.
Faulkenberry said the club will use the funds that are raised for homecoming, senior gifts and if the funds are available, they plan to purchase some equipment that the teams need.
If you are interesting in joining the Leopard Booster Club, Faulkenberry said there are several different membership options and if you are interested in joining the booster club, stop by the golf tournament this Saturday or call him at 870-784-0357.
He said the club is also selling paw prints for 9th Street, t-shirts, rally towels and lawn stakes.
Faulkenberry also encouraged local businesses to compete in a Black and Gold decorating contest.
The next meeting of the Leopard Booster Club is Tuesday, September 1st at 6:30 p.m. at the De Queen Church of Christ, but for more information, contacts Faulkenberry at 784-0357.
DE QUEEN GRAD ACCEPTED INTO DOCTORAL PROGRAM 8/17/15
Jimmie and Rhonda Bice and Lewis Barringer announced their daughter, Erin Pavioni has been accepted into the Doctoral Program with the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock starting this fall.
Pavioni is a 2001 graduate of De Queen High School, where she also graduated with honors. She is planning to pursue a research study of mental health reform within the state's prison system.
COUNTY JUDGE REMIND COUNTY RESIDENTS TO BE WATCHFUL NEXT WEEK WHEN SCHOOL STARTS 8/17/15
Sevier County Judge Greg Ray stopped by the KDQN studios to remind area residents that there’s a burn ban in effect for Sevier County, along with Polk, Little River, Miller and Howard counties.
Judge Ray and Sevier County Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Walter Smith stated area volunteer fire departments are not has well prepared for grass and forest fires as they are for structure fires..
If you have any questions about the area burn ban, contact the county judge’s office at 642-2425.
HARVEST REGIONAL FOOD BANK RECEIVES $55,000 WAL-MART FOUNDATION GRANT 8/17/15
Harvest Regional Food Bank announced a $55,000 grant from the Wal-Mart Foundation to fund a new position for the specific purpose of working with local and national retailers to secure more donated food.
The need for this position stems from the understanding that retail store donations are a critical component in being able to serve more people who are struggling with hunger. A staff person that's dedicated to working with retailers, both small and large, to rescue and distribute food that might otherwise go to waste will not only help build the capacity of the Harvest Regional Food Bank but, also better meet the ongoing needs in the area.
Harvest Regional Food Bank is one of 15 Feeding America member food banks across the country to be awarded a grant for a retail store donation coordinator. The grant is designed to support the first year salary and benefits costs.
While the position is funded through a Wal-Mart Foundation grant, the new retail store coordinator will work with all retailers in the area in an effort to secure more food for the food bank. The coordinator will also help educate store personnel on the appropriate guidelines for donations through the food bank's retail donation program.
DE QUEEN PARK AND RECREATION GEARING UP FOR SOME FOOTBALL 8/17/15
Activities coordinator for the De Queen Parks and Recreation, Chris Hale, announced this week that registration forms for Pee Wee football is underway.
Hale said the registration fee is $80 if this is the first year to play.
Hale said registration forms will be passed out at the De Queen Elementary, but 6th graders will need to stop by the Middle School office.
Hale also stated fall soccer registration will begin around the first of September.
For more information, call the park office at 870-642-4140.
CONSUMER ALERT: PROTECTING THOSE WHO SERVE 8/17/15
Federal laws protect our active duty servicemen and women and their families from mortgage foreclosures and exorbitant interest rates.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a consumer alert to educate Arkansas’ active duty servicemen and women and families about safeguards that are in place if they plan to buy or currently own a home.
The Service members Civil Relief Act of 2003 protects active duty service members from potentially harmful civil legal matters. These protections cover insurance, mortgage payments, interest rates, contractual arrangements and civil judicial proceedings.
SCRA limits mortgage interest to 6 percent during military service and up to one year after service ends. It prevents a mortgage creditor from selling, foreclosing or seizing an active duty service member’s mortgaged property during service and up to nine months after military service terminates.
Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips to help service members who need to take advantage of the protections provided under the SCRA: they can inform the mortgage company that they are seeking protection under the SCRA and provide the lender with written notice of their military service.
They will also need to send the lender a copy of their orders calling them to active duty. They should also research time constraints that could impact eligibility for some protections and to consult the nearest Armed Forces Legal Assistance Office with questions regarding qualifications for SCRA.
Rutledge’s office launched the first ever Military and Veterans Initiative at the Attorney General’s Office and seeks to assist active duty military service members, reservists, veterans and their families with consumer related issues.
For more information, contact the Attorney General’s Office at ArkansasAG.gov or call 1-800-482-8982.
TREASURER MILLIGAN ANNOUNCES JULY RETURNS 8/17/15
Arkansas Treasurer of State Dennis Milligan announced his office earned the hardworking taxpayers of Arkansas $622,540 in interest on short-term investments for the month of July, which brings the total for the six months to over $2.8 million.
During the month of June, the Treasury again expanded the types of short term investments to include insured Cash Sweep accounts. The Treasury was able to secure favorable returns, keep up with the ever changing market conditions and not increase the risk to the state’s portfolio.
Milligan’s office announced the additional revenue earned will be placed in the Securities Reserve Account, which assists in funding issues the people of Arkansas care about, like, highway funding, four lane highway construction, game and fish, and other accounts.
UA COSSATOT ORIENTATION IS THURSDAY 8/13/15
UA Cossatot's Erika Buenrrostro and Tommie Cobb announced Wednesday morning that UA Cossatot’s new textbook program will begin this semester and the program will save students up to a $1,000 per semester.
Cobb said UA Cossatot is offering several 2 Plus 2 degrees including Psychology, Criminal Justice, Physical Education, Wellness and Leisure or Associate in Education-Middle School. She said students can start at Cossatot and then transfer to either SAU or Henderson State University to finish their 4-year degree plan.
Cobb said they were still offering technical certificates in a variety of fields such as welding and truck driving
Classes start Monday, August 17th, but if you are interested in registering for classes, contact UA Cossatot by calling 870-584-4471.
EQUIPMENT OUTAGE AT LITTLE RIVER COUNTY TRANSFER STATION 8/13/15
Little River County Judge Mike Cranford announced Wednesday afternoon that the Little River County Transfer Station has experienced some equipment difficulties in the last few days.
Cranford said the equipment that compacts the Class 1 household trash is currently down for repairs and this will cause some delays in the truck routes and possibly when county residents visit the transfer station.
Cranford said alternative measures have been put into place to manage the disruption of service, but residents should make every effort to separate their Class 1 and Class 4 waste to expedite the unloading process when they visit the transfer station.
Cranford said county officials appreciate the patience of county residents and apologize for the inconvenience.
If you have any questions, you may contact the Little River County Judge's office at 870-898-7202.
DRUNK DRIVING THROUGH THE DRIVE-THRU 8/13/15
About 9:45 Saturday night, Patrolman Justin Gentry with the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to Burger King in reference to a possible drunk driver in the drive-thru.
When Officer Gentry arrived Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Greg Davignon was on the scene and had placed several glass bottles of alcoholic beverages on top of the vehicle.
Lauren Edwards was identified as the driver and apparently was not drinking but the two occupants, Lisa Garcia and Robert Walling, allegedly admitted that they had been drinking.
When Deputy Davignon asked Garcia if she had anything illegal on her person, she allegedly handed him a suspected marijuana cigarette. Officer Gentry reported that he discovered a pack of rolling papers in the back seat along with a small pipe.
Garcia was arrested for possession of a controlled substance, marijuana and drinking on the highway.
Edwards was citied for driving on a suspended license and Walling was citied for drinking on the highway.
COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK 8/13/15
Cossatot River State Park will be hosting a treasure hunt hike this Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m.
Park Interpreter Shelley Flanary stated there is no map because the hike is designed to let guests discover the park's natural treasures and they will be drawing a map during the hike.
Everything guest find will be reported on the park's National Inventory Resource Database.
From 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon, guests will play the naming game. Flanary will lead guest to survey a water trail section and discover many fascinating things.
Flanary said this is an easy, cool water hike, but she recommends you bring plenty of water, a camera, sunscreen and wear appropriate shoes.
From 10 to 11 a.m., Sunday morning, Flanary will introduce park guests to aquatic creatures that live in the Cossatot and she will explain how they are important to the park's ecosystem and then guests can help feed the park critters in the Visitor Center from 2 to 3 p.m.
For more information about the programs at the Cossatot River State Park, call 870-385-2201.
LITTLE RIVER FAIR & RODEO AUGUST 17-22 08/13/15
The Little River County
Fair is scheduled for August 18 through the 22nd in Foreman but
activities will get underway Friday, August 14th with the Fair Queen and
Talent Contest at the Ashdown High School.
SEVIER COUNTY LEADERSHIP PROGRAM APPLICATION DEADLINE APPROACHING 08/13/15
The Sevier County Leadership Program’s
goal is to identify, train, and motivate current and emerging
leaders who live or work in the area. The program is designed to:
DE QUEEN SCHOOL BOARD GEARING UP FOR NEW SCHOOL YEAR 8/12/15
Monday night, the De Queen Board of Education were informed the district has completed several projects and according to Superintendent Bruce Hill they’re ready for school to start.
Board members were informed the district's computer server would be moved later this week and the district will be without internet service this Friday.
Hill informed the board the district was in good financial shape with a higher balance this year than last year.
Board members approved the transfer of two students to the Horatio School District; one student to the Cossatot River School District and two students to the Dierks School District and they accepted four students into the De Queen District.
Board members also approved a new transfer agreement between Horatio and De Queen. Hill said he and Horatio Superintendent, Lee Smith, felt this new policy would benefit students.
Tuesday morning, the district held its annual district meeting to kick-off the new school year.
Hill opened the meeting by welcoming the faculty and staff in the high school cafeteria and introduced the new teachers to the district. Hill announced the district has over 2,400 students in Kindergarten through the 12th grade and he complimented the teachers and staff on the incredible job they do for the students.
Hill stated several other school districts have requested to visit the De Queen schools because they want to know what De Queen is doing so they can apply the same programs and strategies at their own schools. Hill said one request was from a district in Ohio.
De Queen School Media Relations Director Tammy Whatley announced school will start Monday, August 17th at 8 a.m.
The next De Queen Board of Education meeting will be Monday, September 14th at 5:30 p.m. in the administration building.
EXPIRED TAGS RESULTS IN DRUG ARREST 8/12/15
Friday, August 7th, Patrolman Justin Gentry of the De Queen Police Department was notified of a possible drunk driver driving south on Gilson Street. The caller advised the dispatcher that they witnessed the driver drinking at a residence on De Quincy Avenue. They described the vehicle as a dark green four-door Toyota sedan with Texas license plates.
Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Greg Davignon reported he found a vehicle matching the description in an ally behind Wilkerson's Funeral Home.
Officer Gentry reported he waited on 5th Street until the vehicle exited the ally and turned south on 5th Street. He stated the driver was driving down the middle of the street and he was informed that the vehicle's registration expired in 2013.
Officer Gentry initiated a traffic stop on Wallace Street but the driver proceeded to a residence on 7th Street.
Gentry identified the driver as 46-year-old Shannon Miller of De Queen and he informed her that he suspected she was impaired and asked her if she had been drinking. Miller informed Gentry that she did not have a driver's license or insurance, but she allegedly admitted that she had been drinking.
When Miller was retrieving her ID, Gentry noticed a cellophane package and she was told to hand the marijuana to Deputy Davignon.
Miller was then taken into custody for possession of a controlled substance - marijuana. She also allegedly had rolling papers in her wallet and she was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia.
At the Sevier County jail, Miller refused to take the field sobriety test and was charged with driving while intoxicated and refusal to submit.
SEVIER COUNTY QUORUM COURT ACCEPTS FUNDS FROM FAA GRANT 8/12/15
Monday afternoon, members of the Sevier County Quorum Court were informed by County Judge Greg Ray that he has issued a burn ban, however, if a county residents wants to burn something, they may apply for a special permit through his office.
Judge Ray also presented the county's 2013 Legislative audit and informed the Justices of the Peace that the county had only one finding in the Circuit Clerk's office, but Circuit Clerk Kathy Smith has already resolved the issue.
JPs tabled a request from the Sevier County Development Center Board. The development board asked the county to deed the land that the center is located on, to the center. Judge Ray explained that he has spoken with an attorney from the Association of Arkansas Counties and he doesn’t think the county can legally deed land to a nonprofit organization.
JPs also approved an ordinance adopting the county's Code of Ordinances. Judge Ray explained the state is requiring every county to adopt this ordinance.
Judge Ray also stated the Quorum Court voted to accept a grant in the amount of over $800,000 that will be used to construct a taxiway and to install edge lighting at the Sevier County Airport.
The next Sevier County Quorum Court meeting will be Monday, September 14th at 2 p.m. in the Courthouse conference room.
BOIL ORDER ISSUED FOR THE NORTH HOWARD RURAL WATER ASSOCIATION 8/12/15
The North Howard County Rural Water Association issued boil water order for the customers located south and west of the Umpire water tank. Customers are also being asked to conserve as much water as possible for a day or two, so local farmers can get enough water for their chicken house.
The order does not apply to customers in the Athens area.
The order is because the system had a blowout on Jackson Loop on Tuesday.
BENEFIT VERIFICATION FORMS BEING SENT OUT BY STATE 8/11/15
District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught is encouraging residents who receive benefits from Medicaid, ARKids First or the Private Option to check their mail daily for the next few days and weeks, because the state is sending out verification forms to ensure that individuals who are receiving these services are still eligible.
Vaught said if you receive one of these notices, you will need to provide proof of income to the Department of Human Services. That proof can be in the form of check stubs for the previous month, a letter from your employer, a verification of earnings form completed by your employer or a benefit award letter, such as Social Security or Unemployment Benefits. She said if you do not have an income, you can turn in a signed letter stating that you currently do not have any earnings.
If the verification forms are not returned to DHS on time, a person's benefits may be terminated.
Vaught stated Governor Asa Hutchinson announced DHS will pause for two weeks before sending out any further termination notices and he has assigned 20 DHS staffers to work solely on processing the verification and termination forms.
Verification forms are still being mailed out and everyone is being encouraged to complete the forms as quickly as possible to avoid any errors.
If your coverage is terminated and you believe it was in error, you will have 90 days to appeal the decision by providing you proof of income. If DHS then determines that you are still eligible, your coverage will be reinstated and become retroactive.
If you have any questions, contact the local DHS offices or visit the website: www.arkansashouse.org.
FEMA DEADLINE IS JUST TWO WEEKS AWAY 8/11/15
Residents in the nine Arkansas counties that were declared a disaster area and who suffered damage from the severe storms of May 7th through June 15th, have only about two weeks' left to register for disaster assistance with FEMA.
The deadline to register for disaster assistance is Tuesday, August 25th.
Individuals and families who suffered losses as a result of the late spring storms may register online at www.disasterassistance.gov; those without access to the internet can call FEMA's toll-free registration number, 1-800-621-3362.
The toll-free number will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.
Residents in Howard, Little River, Miller or Sevier counties may be eligible for federal disaster assistance, including; money for rental assistance, essential home repairs, personal property loss and other serious disaster-related needs that are not covered by insurance.
Low-interest disaster loans from the Small Business Administration are available to help with residential and business losses that are not covered by insurance.
For more information about Small Business Administration programs, applicants may contact the SBA's Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 1-800-659-2955.
SEVIER COUNTY FAIR PAGEANT AND TALENT CONTEST 8/11/15
Sevier County Fair Board member Linda Frachiseur announced the Sevier County Fair Queen, Princess, Junior Miss, Little Mister and Miss, Little Mister and Miss Western and Talent competitions will be held this month on Saturday, August 22nd at the fair grounds at 10 a.m.
Frachiseur said the winner of the Little Miss contest, the Princess and Queen Pageants will move on to represent Sevier County in the District and State pageants.
Frachiseur stated the fair board is hoping for more participation in this year's talent contest because they added several new categories and divisions.
Frachiseur said the deadline to enter the pageant or talent contest is today.
For more information, contact Frachiseur at 584-9592.
LITTLE RIVER COUNTY RODEO QUEEN CONTESTANTS SELLING ADVANCE TICKETS 8/11/15
Little River County Fair Board member Kimber Kennemore announced the Rodeo Queen contestants are selling advanced tickets for the Little-River County Rodeo on Friday, August 21st and Saturday, August 22nd. She said if you would like advanced tickets call Savanna Woods at 903-748-6476, Karli Ford at 870-550-5899, Allison Gill at 903-278-1091, Nichole Poole at 903-908-5109 or Brandon Kennemore at 903-824-7828.
Kennemore explained contestants work hard on the education part of horsemanship and hopes the program will grow next year because the program helps young ladies earn scholarships for college.
For more information, contact Kennemore at 903-826-9212.
BURN BANS 8/10/15
Sevier County Judge Greg Ray has issued a burn ban for Sevier County effective immediately and Little River County Judge Mike Cranford said based on information from the Arkansas Forestry Commission, Little River County is also under a burn ban.
If you have any questions, contact the county judge’s office.
DE QUEEN POLICE DEPARTMENT LOOKING FOR MISSING PERSON 8/10/15
The De Queen Police Department is looking for a suspect that is wanted on a warrant out of Texarkana.
Monday, August 3rd, James Fisher of Texarkana was in De Queen and according to Fisher's son, his dad bailed out of the vehicle near a wooded area and fled on foot after a De Queen Police Officer turned around to follow the vehicle.
Fisher has not been seen since this incident and was last seen wearing black pants and a black AC/DC t-shirt with gray tennis shoes.
If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of Fisher, you are being asked to contact the De Queen Police Department at 870-642-2213.
DE QUEEN RESIDENT GIVES OFFICERS AN ALIAS 8/10/15
July 3rd, officers with the De Queen Police Department were dispatched to a residence on 12th Street in reference to a physical domestic disturbance.
When Patrolman First Class Wayne Baker, along with Patrolman First Class Levi Browning and Patrolman Justin Gentry, arrived at the house, they spoke to a Hispanic male in the front yard that said there was a couple fighting inside the house.
When Officer Baker entered the bedroom, he noticed broken furniture and clothing scattered around the room.
Officer Baker reported he did not see any marks on the female, but the male had marks on his hands and knuckles.
As Baker was escorting the man out of the room, the male suspect told him his name was Edgar Vasquez. A short time later, the suspect informed Baker that his name was actually Jesse Carreon.
The suspect was then transported to the Sevier County jail.
Later, the suspect’s step-father informed Officer Baker that his name was Edgar Vasquez, but he had been using the name Jesse Carreon for four or five years for work.
Vasquez was then charged with obstructing governmental operations for falsely identifying himself to the officers at the scene.
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH BACK TO SCHOOL BASH 8/10/15
First Baptist Church of De Queen will be hosting a Back to School Bash on Wednesday, August 12th from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Karen Rhea stated the author of 90-Minutes in Heaven, Don Piper will be the guest speaker at the church on Sunday, September 6th.
The book, 90 Minutes in Heaven is a best-selling novel that documents Piper’s near-death experience in 1989. The book has been adapted into a feature length film and will open nationwide on Friday, September 11th.
For more information about either event, contact the church at 642-2151.
SWIM SAFETY 8/10/15
Swimming is a great recreational sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. But it's important to know how to be safe while you're in the water.
The American Red Cross offers these important swimming safety tips that you should be aware of before you head out to the pool or swim beach:
Swim only in designated areas and always swim with a buddy.
Adults should never leave a young child unattended near water and have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket. Adults should maintain constant supervision while children are around water.
The American Red Cross recommends that everyone learn to swim and if you have a pool, you should secure it with appropriate barriers.
While supervising children, you should avoid distractions and if a child is missing, you should check the water first, because seconds count.
Adults should also enroll in a Red Cross home pool safety, water safety, first aid and CPR courses to learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies.
Swimmers should also protect their skin and limit the amount of direct sunlight they receive between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and they should always wear sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15.
Also remember to drink lots of water.
The De Queen City Pool's last day of public swim during the week will be Friday, August 14. The pool will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, August 22nd, August 29th and September 5th.
WINDSTREAM ACCEPTS NEARLY $13.2 MILLION FROM CONNECT AMERICA FUND 8/10/15
Windstream Communications has accepted $13.2 million dollars in ongoing, annual support from the Connect America Fund to expand and support broadband to approximately 64,000 rural customers in Arkansas.
The Connect America Fund support will enable Windstream to deliver broadband at speeds of at least 10 Mega bytes per second for downloads and 1 mega bytes per second on uploads to about 32,000 rural homes and businesses in Arkansas where the cost of broadband deployment might otherwise be prohibitive.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler stated, the Connect America Fund is delivering on its promise of ensuring that all Americans have access tot he opportunities provided by modern broadband service, no matter where they live.
In Sevier County, the funds will help support 1,670 homes and businesses, 1,141 in Polk County and 731 in Howard County.
Windstream must build out broadband to 40 percent of those funded locations by the end of 2017, 60 percent by 2018 and 100 percent by the end of 2020.
LITTLE RIVER COUNTY FAIR – AUGUST 18-22 8/10/15
The Little River County Fair is scheduled for August 18 through the 22nd in Foreman but activities will get underway Friday, August 14th with the Fair Queen and Talent Contest at the Ashdown High School.
Fair Board President Keith Pullen informed KDQN the fair will officially begin on Tuesday, August 18th with a parade at 6 p.m. in Foreman.
Wednesday, August 19th, the exhibit building will open at 8 a.m. and the livestock judging will begin with the swine division. Pullen also mentioned there will be a Ranch Rodeo on Wednesday night and a Little Britches Rodeo and Mutton Bustin’ on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Thursday, August 20th will be Senior Citizens Day and the Premium Sale will be on Friday at noon.
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