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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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





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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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







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


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


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






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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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





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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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


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






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


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


Simmons is the daughter of Victor and Denise Sanchez.






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


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


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


Sanders said the event will include a meal and entertainment.


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


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


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






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


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


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






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


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


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


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


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





Tuesday night, the Lockesburg City Council held a public meeting concerning the city's water and sewer project.


Michael Moyers, Jr. briefed those in attendance about Ordinance 2014-7 that authorizes the construction of betterments and improvements to the water facilities of the water and sewer system for the city. The ordinance also authorized the issuance of bonds for the purpose of financing the project and other matters that are related to the project.


Following the public meeting, aldermen voted to adopted the ordinance.


Aldermen then approved two water bill adjustments, however, one will be put on hold for three months so an average billing could be determined because the customer is new.


De Queen Code Enforcement Officer Ray Sowell addressed the Lockesburg City Council about code enforcement and beautification for the city.


Aldermen then hired Sowell to help the city develop a code enforcement program.






This Saturday, the Mary and Martha Center will be holding a Fall fundraiser at the new center on the corner of Coulter Drive and Rockefeller Street near the Sevier County fairgrounds.


De Queen High School senior Lucy Lugo explained that the center was building a new building and the fundraiser would help them complete their building.


Lugo stated there would be a lot of activities for children for just $3 admission and they are selling pumpkins and wooden art.


Lugo also mentioned that residents may also donate to help the center paint the inside of the building. The center is seeking donates of $75 for a five-gallon bucket of paint.


Lugo stated the center currently meets at the First Baptist Church after school program that helps a lot of students in the community, as well as providing an after school snacks to area children.


If you are interested in donating to the Mary and Martha Center, you may mail a donation to PO Box 473 or call Olivia Romine at 582-2207 or Robin Cribb at 584-2227.






The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the availability of four Draft Compatibility Determinations for Pond Creek National Wildlife Refuge for public review and comment.


These determinations encompass fishing, horseback riding, wildlife observation, wildlife photography, environmental education, interpretation and commercial forest management on the refuge.


The public comment period will extend from October 8th to October 22nd. Interested parties are asked to review the draft determinations and provide written comments to the Refuge manager.


A compatibility determination is the end result of a process whereby the Refuge Manager reviews a proposed use on the refuge and helps determine whether the use is compatible with the purpose for which the refuge was established.


The Draft Compatibility Determinations are available on-line at or you may obtain them at the Pond Creek headquarters visitor center in Lockesburg.






Sevier County Cooperative Extension Service’s Rex Herring announced this week the Sevier County 4-H clubs were reorganizing and they were seeking new members and leaders.


The purpose of the 4-H clubs is to give youth ages 5 to 19 an opportunity to participate in the youth development educational programs of the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.


Youth in 4-H clubs learn life skills, enhance leadership skills, and increase their self-esteem while serving in a number of community service projects. Youth in 4-H clubs have the opportunity to compete in a number of competitive activities, attend camps and earn scholarships for education.


And this is a list of the Sevier County 4-H clubs along with the leaders name, phone number and meeting time and place:


  1. Chapel Hill 4-H Club is led by Carla Cowling. Her number is 584-6524 and they meet at various times.

  2. Michelle Sawyer is the leader of the Happy Face 4-H Club along with Christy Hicks and their numbers are 784-8931 and 584-6337. The Happy Face club meets the first Monday of the month at 7 p.m. at Leroy Nunn’s house on Highway 329.

  3. Wilma Morris leads the Lakeside 4-H club and they meet the second Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Farm Bureau building in De Queen. Morris’ number is 642-3352.

  4. Loretta Rivas is the leader of the Lone Oak 4-H club and they meet the first Thursday of the month at 6:30 P.M. at Rivas’ home. Her phone number is 870-832-2555.

  5. Kim Morris leads the Lucky Clovers 4-H club and they meet on the first Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at the De Queen Church of Christ. You can reach Morris at 642-7913.

  6. Emilee Vaught is the leader of the Froglevel Hoppers 4-H club and they meet the first Monday of the month after school at the Horatio High School in the Agri room. You may contact Vaught at 832-5492.

  7. Kim Morris is also the leader of the Shooting Sports Club and they meet at various times.

  8. Harrell Sherwood leads the Teen Leaders 4-H club and they meet the first Monday of the month at 6 p.m. at the Farm Bureau building. You may contact Sherwood at 784-1386.

  9. And, Katrina Frachiseur is the leader of the Goin’ Showin’ 4-H club and they meet the second Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at the Farm Bureau building. You can call Frachiseur at 642-5569.


For more information about the meeting times, 4-H club membership or program benefits, contact the Sevier County Cooperative Extension Service which is located in the Agri Building on the De Queen campus of UA Cossatot or call 584-3013. 






Last week, in the Sevier County Circuit Court, Marco Vasquez was convicted by Circuit Court Judge Tom Cooper for sexual assault in the fourth degree.


According to Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Erin Sprick, Vasquez's charges were reduced to a misdemeanor under the facts of the case. He had been charged with sexual assault in the second degree, which was a felony.


Vasquez was given credit for time served in the Sevier County jail and he must register as a sex offender.


Judge Cooper issued two Failure to Appear warrants for Ezekiel Christie and James Marsh.


Christie has been charged with theft by receiving, aggravated assault and fleeing, while Marsh has been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and theft by receiving.


A trial date of November 19th was set for Aaron Moreland for the charge of delivery of a controlled substance, methamphetamine.


Four defendants received a trial date of February 25th. They were Kerry Bond who plead not guilty to theft of property. Kalyn Shope plead not guilty to possession of a controlled substance-marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and two counts of possession of Hydro. Charity Kyle plead not guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia and Anthony Reed plead not guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of controlled substance-marijuana with the purpose to deliver and possession of meth or cocaine with the purpose to deliver.






Chicago hosted the running world last Sunday as nearly 45,000 runners took to the streets for the 2014 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.


Runners snaked through several Chicago neighborhoods on a grand tour of the city, which continues to make its way to the forefront of the running scene.


The Chicago Marathon is one of the six World Marathon Majors along with Boston, New York, London, Berlin and Tokyo.


Two local runners, Jason Barker and Lacey Young, qualified to run in this year's race. The Chicago Marathon was Barker's second Major marathon after running in the Boston Marathon in April and it was Young's first.


Young has qualified for the Boston Marathon and will run there in April of 2015.


Young finished the Chicago Marathon in 3-hours, 13-minutes and 34-seconds, which put her at the 2,251st place overall and the 287th female to cross the finish line. That means, Young was in the top 5-percent overall male and female and in the top one-and-a-half percent of females.


Barker finished the race in 3-hours, 13-minutes and 2-seconds, which put him at the 2,190th place overall and 1909th male to cross the finish line. This puts him in the top 5-percent of all runners and in the top 10-percent of male runners.






The Association for a Greater Yarborough will hold its quarterly meeting on Tuesday, October 21st at 6 p.m. at the Yarborough Community Center.


Elections will be held for three board members and if you have someone in mind, you asked to please attend and nominate them.


Board members will be hosting three elected officials from Little River County who have worked to improve the community of Yarborough to show their appreciation for their service.


The Yarborough community will be providing housing and a dinner for the Wounded Warrior's from Fort Sill, Oklahoma in November.


Housing will be provided from November 19th thru November 22nd by two local families. The dinner will be on Saturday, November 22nd at the community center.


The Lion's Club of Ashdown will be providing breakfast for three mornings, but all community members are invited to help make this event a success for these American heroes.


Everyone is invited to attend Tuesday's meeting to help make the Yarborough Community a wonderful place to live.




On October 16, 2014, at 10:16 a.m., people across North America and around the world participated in the Great ShakeOut earthquake drill, including students at Margaret Daniel Primary School in Ashdown.

The main goal of #ShakeOut is to get people prepared for major earthquakes and use the event as an opportunity to learn what to do before, during, and after an earthquake.

Every continent on the planet experiences earthquakes; the U.S. Geological Service estimates there are several million earthquakes a year globally and, while a vast majority of these are very small or undetected, about 100,000 quakes per year are felt.

All 50 U.S. states and territories have earthquakes so the ShakeOut is an opportunity to practice how to protect ourselves during earthquakes. Anyone who participates is instructed, wherever he may be, to Drop, Cover, and Hold On as if there were a major earthquake occurring at that very moment, and stay in this position for at least 60 seconds. ShakeOut also has been organized to encourage everyone to update emergency plans and supplies, and to secure your space in order to prevent damage and injuries.

Michelle Balderas and Bryson French, students in Courtney Hankins' kindergarten class at Margaret Daniel Primary School in Ashdown, obey the Great ShakeOut instructions to "Drop, Cover and Hold On."

Waiting for the sixty-second signal, Maddox Merrell (front) and Brooklyn Hendrix hold on to the table legs during the Great ShakeOut earthquake drill at exactly 10:16 on Oct. 16 at MDP in Ashdown.  The goal is to "Drop, Cover and Hold On" for at least 60 seconds.






This Week's News:






Former Mineral Springs School District Superintendent Max Adcock’s educator’s license was suspended for one year last week by the Arkansas Board of Education.


According to Cheryl Reinhart who is an attorney for the Arkansas Department of Education Professional Licensure Standards Board, the board also permanently rescinded Adcock’s administrator’s endorsement and assessed him a $100 dollar fine.


The board’s decision comes two months after the Arkansas Department of Education Professional Licensure Standards Board recommended the state board of education impose a seven-year suspension on Adcock’s license.


Reinhart stated Adcock’s suspension went into effect immediately, which means Adcock will not be able to hold a position that requires a teaching license until October of 2015 and he has been permanently barred from serving as a school administrator.






Monday night, the Dierks City Council passed an ordinance, a resolution and approved the construction of a new waste water lagoon.


Mayor Terry Mounts informed KDQN that the ordinance concerned the protection of the city's drinking water source and the resolution gave Mayor Mounts the authority to sell an unused trash truck.


However, Mounts said the council then addressed the fact that the city had been out of compliance with the department of health for some time.


Mounts stated the council considered a couple of options, but agreed with the city's engineer that an additional lagoon was the best option.


Mounts explained the city will sell bonds to finance the project, which will cost about $315,000.


Mounts also stated he will be meeting with a representative from the Arkansas Rural Water Association later this week to hear their recommendations when it comes to a water and sewer rate increase.


Mayor Mounts also wanted to remind residents that the city of Dierks will celebrate Halloween on Thursday, October 30th.






It's Fall, but there are still a lot of things happening at the Cossatot River State Park and new park Interpreter Andrew Rawlings stopped by the KDQN studios to mention a few upcoming events.


Rawlings said this year's Half-Marathon Trail Run was going to be limited to 100 runners and there were only a few spots left for this Saturday's event.


To register, go to or call the park at 870-385-2201. The cost is $40 and all runners will receive a t-shirt.


Park guests can also take a hike with Rawlings on Sunday at 10 a.m.  up to Goats Bluff to view the Fall foliage.


Rawlings also reminded area residents that the park will be offering hunter education classes on Monday, October 27th through Wednesday, October 29th from 6 to 9 p.m. nightly.


Rawlings said there will also be a Dutch oven workshop on Saturday, November 1st.


But, Rawlings was real excited about the park's guided kayak tours.


For more information about the upcoming events at the Cossatot River State Park, call 870-385-2201 or visit our website at






Governor Mike Beebe announced this week 26 appointments to state boards and commissions, including two with ties to the city of De Queen.


Beebe appointed Cindy Hale of De Queen to the Arkansas Arts Advisory Council. Her appointment will expire June 30th of 2016.


Hale is replacing Anne Douglas.


Beebe also appointed Dr. Michael Buffington of Fayetteville to the Arkansas State Board of Acupuncture and Related Techniques. His appointment will expire in July of 2017 and he replaces Dr. Jonathan Norcross.


Dr. Buffington is formerly of De Queen.






Applications for the Pond Creek mobility impaired hunt are now being accepted. The hunt will take place November 6th and 7th. All interested applicants must contact the Pond Creek National Wildlife Refuge by Friday, October 17th.


Applicants must be confined to a wheelchair, missing an arm or leg or classified as terminally ill and must have a doctor’s verification.


The drawing will be held on Friday, October 24th.


For more information, contact the Pond Creek office at 870-289-2126.






Monday night, the newly elected Mineral Springs Board of Education approved a 10 percent raise for all Mineral Springs School District employees.


Superintendent Curtis Turner recommended the raise to reward the employees that stayed at the district during its recent bouts with fiscal distress and to help the district remain competitive with other districts in the area.


The raise will be retroactive to July 1st of this year. The increase is expected to cost the district about $365,000 a year.


Turner reported the district has a balance of over $6 million dollars in part to a correction in the way local tax revenues are calculated and a $20 million dollar increase in local assessments.


The raise will increase the base salary of a first-year teacher with a bachelor’s degree from $29,244 to $32,168 dollars per year, while teachers with 15 or more years of experience and a master’s degree will now earn $45,243 compared to $41,130 that they made before.


Turner’s salary was increased by $1,000 a year, making his yearly salary $100,000. 



The Dollar General Literacy Foundation recently awarded Ashdown Junior High School a $2,500 grant to support youth literacy.

The grant will furnish a Literacy Lab for the sixth through eighth graders at the junior high, according to AJHS Instructional Facilitator Eliza Simmons, who wrote the grant proposal.  Simmons states that the goal of the lab is three-fold:  "to increase our IEP (individualized education plan) students' scores on the STAR Reading Test, . . . to increase our school library circulation by 15%," and to provide students with "a safe, comfy place to enjoy reading and develop a passion for learning." 

"Reading improves thinking skills, fosters imagination, and creates life-long learners," Simmons continues.  "I envision this literacy lab to be a place where our students can grown as readers, writers, and speakers."  The lab, as Simmons describes it, will include computers for researching and writing, listening stations for hearing voice inflections of a fluent reader, printers to publish students' original writing, a microphone/presentation stand for students to deliver reports and viewpoints, and a place to sit and talk about what they have read.   

"Youth literacy grants from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation make a distinct impact on the communities we serve by supporting programs that improve education and enhance literacy," said Rick Dreiling, Dollar General's chairman and CEO.  "At Dollar General, we are passionate about our mission of Serving Others and it's exciting to see the real difference literacy and learning make in people's lives."

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is proud to support initiatives that help others improve their lives through literacy and education since its inception in 1993.  In the past 21 years, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $97 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 5.8 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy or continued education.





The National Weather Service confirmed that it was an EF-2 tornado that touched down in the Ashdown area Monday morning, killing one and injuring three others.


The twister was estimated to have packed winds of 111 to 135 miles per hour and lifted a mobile home just off of Highway 32 from its foundation and carried it 50 feet before it fell back to the ground and exploded.


According to the Little River County Sheriff's office, Eddie Witham died from his injures during the storm, while his wife, Roxanne is reportedly in critical condition and has undergone surgery at Wadley Regional Medical Center in Texarkana.


The three children reportedly suffered cuts and bruises. The children ranged in age from seven to 13-years-of-age.






The Sevier County Mass flu clinic that was scheduled for October 22nd at the Sevier County Fairgrounds has been postponed due to a delay in the shipment of the flu vaccine's from the distributor.


Sevier County Health Unit Director Teresa Morris announced that a new flu clinic date will be announced as soon as it is rescheduled.


The Arkansas Department of Health is recommending that residents get a flu vaccine from wherever they are available, such as pharmacies and other health care providers.


The department says it is very important for pregnant women to get a flu shot and individuals wishing to get a flu vaccine at the Sevier County Health Unit should call 870-642-2535 to ensure that vaccine is available.


The flu is easily spread through coughing and sneezing and by touching a hard surface with the virus on it and then touching the nose or mouth. While the vaccine is critical to preventing the flu, it is still important to wash your hands often, avoid those who are sick, cover your cough and stay home if you are sick.






Courtney White of the Southwest Arkansas Crisis and Resource Center made a presentation to the members of the Sevier County Quorum Court Monday afternoon in an effort to secure financial backing for the center from the county.


White explained that reason for her request was because the Arkansas Department of Finance had cut the center's budget by $50,000 and was requiring the center to raise that amount to demonstrate that the center had the support of the communities that it serves.


White informed the Justices of the Peace that the center had served 180 victims since January and 70 of those victims were from De Queen and Sevier County.


White reported that the center now has a five-member board and they are meeting monthly, but they still need volunteers.


County Judge Greg Ray reported that the Quorum Court members then approved a 50 cent raise for the head librarian of the Sevier County Library system, Johnye Fisher.


Sevier County Library Board member Debbie Pickering informed the JPs that Fisher had been doing a great job for the past five years and had saved the Library Board money because she was able to do several things that the board had to pay someone to do in the past. She also reported that the library received no recommendations of changes following the 2013 audit, which had never happened before.


Judge Ray also reported that the board re-appointed Cathy Tallant to the Sevier County Rural Development Board and confirmed the appointment of Dick Tallman to the board to fill a vacancy.


The next meeting of the Sevier County Quorum Court will be Monday, November 17th at 2 p.m. in the courthouse conference room.






Jamie Marshall is a field representative of the Sevier County Single Parent Scholarship Foundation and she announced that the foundation would be holding its 5th annual Fish Fry this Thursday.


Marshall said you have the choice between chicken or fish and it's only $6 a plate.


Marshall said if you are a single parent and considering going back to college that you should apply for the single parent scholarship.


For more information about the 5th annual Sevier County Single Parent Scholarship Fund Fish Fry, contact Mac McDaniel at 642-2960 or Marshall at 479-287-8213.





De Queen Elementary will be hosting a Reading Counts Night, this evening from 4 to 6 p.m. in the elementary cafeteria.


Parents of third, fourth and fifth grade students, are invited to join their children and read. After, reading a book, students will be able to then take the Reading Counts test over that book and earn some extra reading points.


Parents and students will go to the elementary cafeteria, where they will read together and then students will go to the computer lab to take their test.


All students are invited to attend Reading Counts Night, but this will be an excellent opportunity for students who are behind on their reading points.





Candidates in Arkansas' heated Senate race stuck to familiar themes during their first debate that was televised last night on the Arkansas Educational Television Network.


Senator Mark Pryor accused Republican U.S. Representative Tom Cotton of being beholden to billionaire donors and Cotton cast Pryor as the president's closest ally in Arkansas.


Pryor once again accused Cotton of putting his ambition before the state, saying outside groups were investing in his bid in hopes of a payoff.


Cotton repeatedly mentioned President Barack Obama and stated the two-term senator represented the president's policies.


The two are set to face-off again this evening at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville for a debate that will be televised on KATV.


This race is one of the most expensive races in the country with the candidates and outside groups spending nearly $34 million dollars.






Former Mineral Springs School District Superintendent Max Adcock appeared before the Arkansas State Board of Education on October 9th to appeal the potential revocation of his education licensure in Arkansas.


Adcock is a graduate of Horatio High School.


According to Cheryl Reinhart who is an attorney for the Arkansas Department of Education Professional Licensure Standards Board, the meeting was in reference to allegations involved under the professional licensure standards stemming from a March 2013, audit letter to the Mineral Springs district by the Arkansas Division of Legislative Audit.


Adcock appealed the board’s recommendation that his state education licensure be revoked. Adcock was represented during the appeal by attorney Randy Coleman.


According to the Arkansas Board of Education website, the hearing noted alleged violations of two standards of professional conduct.


One was a violation of Standard 3, which states an educator must honestly fulfill the reporting obligations that are associated with professional practices and a violation of Standard 4, which says an educator that is entrusted with public funds and property, including school sponsored activity funds, must honor the public’s trust with honest and responsible stewardship.





A Mineral Springs man has plead guilty to drug possession charges in two cases.


49-year-old Ronald Brown was charged with possession of a controlled substance after being arrested during a traffic stop on Monday, October 6th. He also had expired tags.


When deputies made the stop, they witnessed Brown throw an object out the driver’s side window. That item was a blue bandana that had been tied together and contained a set of digital scales and a plastic bag of suspected methamphetamine.


Brown will serve a total of four years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections.






A special judge appointed by the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled that the backers of the proposal to raise the state’s minimum wages had turned in enough valid signatures for the measure to qualify for the November ballot.


In the lawsuit filed by Little Rock businessman Jackson Stephens Jr., He argued that the Secretary of State’s office erred when it gave canvassers more time to collect the 62,507 signatures that were needed to qualify for the November ballot.


In the report that was filed last Friday, Special Master John Robbins determined that Give Arkansas a Raise Now had submitted enough signatures earlier this year to qualify for an extra 30-day period to gather more names.


The report will now go to the Arkansas Supreme Court, which has ordered that briefs be submitted this week.


If the proposal is approved in November, it will increase the state’s minimum wage to $8.50 an hour by the year 2017.






The National Weather Service from Shreveport is reporting that a survey team from their office will be surveying an area in Little River County where four people were injured and one person later died. The team will determine if the damage was caused by a tornado or straight line winds.


Around 6 a.m. Monday morning, a trucker reported that a tornado was on the ground in Arden community which is between Ashdown and Foreman in Little River County.


Residents in Sevier, Little River and Howard counties reported high winds and several trees and power lines down throughout the county, but mainly south and east of De Queen.


Sevier County Office of Emergency Services Director Walter Smith reported trees and limbs were across the roadways on Highway 70 East, Mount Pleasant Road, Highway 41 South and Highway 329. Other residents reported trees down on Gardner Chapel, Strawberry Hill, Beacon Hill, Piney Road, Bear Creek Cut Off, Farm to Market Road, Central, Provo and Red Bridge Road.


About 8:30, Smith reported that about 75 percent of the debris had been cleared from the highways, but trees were still down in the Ben Lomond area.


Smith stated he was pleased with the work of the county volunteers.


Earlier that morning about 2,000 SWEPCO and REA customers were without power. Crews worked throughout the morning to restore power by repairing down power lines and replacing broken poles.


The only school closing was the Horatio Pre-school.


Superintendent Lee Smith reported that there was a lot of debris and a down power line near the pre-school and the district elected not to hold classes at the pre-school. However, classes at the elementary and high school started about 30-minutes behind schedule.






This November, voters will consider new ethics rules for state elected officials, a statewide alcohol sales and a raise in the state’s minimum wage, along with two other issues.


To help voters understand the complexity of the issues and the arguments on both sides, the Public Policy Center of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture has developed an easy to understand fact sheet on each ballot item.


The fact sheets are available for download or through the Sevier County Extension Office. The sheets are edited by a coalition of experts to ensure they are neutral presentations of the issues.


Drafts of the fact sheets are made available to proponents and opponents for comment and review before they are printed, as part of the process to ensure the information is an unbiased representation of the issues and the arguments of proponents and opponents.


Stacey McCullough is the director of the Public Policy Center and she stated these issues have far-reaching consequences and voters are being bombarded with advertisements and opinions through the media, so the center wanted to create a tool where voters could cut through the noise and understand the issues and arguments.


The issues are available for download by their popular name at


Issue 1 is an amendment empowering the General Assembly to provide for legislative committee review and approval of state agencies’ administrative rules and distribution.


Issue 2 is an amendment to allow more time to gather signatures on a state-wide initiative or referendum petition but only if the petition was originally filed contained at least 75 percent of the valid signatures required.


Issue 3 is an amendment regulating contributions to candidates for state or local office, barring gifts from lobbyists to certain state officials, providing for setting salaries or certain state officials and setting term limits for members of the general assembly.


Issue 4 is the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment and Issue 5 is an Act to Increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage.


As of October 1st, Issues 3, 4 and 5 were facing court challenges.


Janet Cantrell of the Sevier County Extension Office will be presenting an educational meeting on the ballot issues in the Agriculture Building on the UA Cossatot campus on Tuesday, October 21st at 5:30 p.m.


Hard copies of the fact sheets will be available at the educational meeting and everyone is encouraged to attend.


For more information, visit, or contact the Sevier County Extension office.






Area school districts have joined forces with the Arkansas Department of Health to offer free flu shots to students.


For instances, every student of the Ashdown School District, along with all school employees, were offered a free flu shot on October 8th under the direction of the Little River County Health Unit.


Under the direction of the Ashdown School nursing staff, over 650 shots were administered, covering almost 43 percent of the total school population.


A free flu immunization clinic was offered on the Horatio School campuses on October 9th under the direction of the Sevier County Health Unit.


According to Director Teresa Morris about 460 shots and doses of mist were administered at Horatio and another 499 shots were administered by the Howard County Health Unit on the campuses of the Dierks School District.


Morris also mentioned that a free flu clinic will be held on the campuses of the Foreman School District on Tuesday and the De Queen School District on Wednesday, but parents must sign and return the permission forms before their child can receive a free flu shot or the flu mist.


The clinics are being held because the flu is a contagious disease that spreads around the country every winter, unusually between October and May. Therefore, area school districts and county health officials are attempting to protect students from the virus and help eliminate the spread of the flu through the school districts.


Health officials report that anyone can get the flu, but the risk is highest among children and flu vaccinations are recommended every year.






Local Cub Scouts have started selling popcorn to help fund local scouting programs and the local Cub Scout leader mentioned that they will be selling popcorn this Sunday at Wal-Mart.


Scouts will be selling chocolate caramel crunch and white chocolate pretzels as well as a variety of popcorns from white cheddar cheese corn to unbelievable butter microwave popcorn.


Scouts will also be holding a flag retirement ceremony at the Redman Cemetery.


So, help the local scouts by purchasing some popcorn because 70 percent of the purchase will come back to the local program to help fund camping and other programs for the local scouts.



Chalice Cupboard report for september    10/13/14


The Chalice Cupboard assisted 38 families in Sevier county in September.  Thanks to supporters, lst month 140 people consisting of 70 adults and 70 children and youth received food.  The total monthly distribution of food weighed 755 pounds.


The bank balance on September 1, 2014 was $104.53.  The balance on September 30, 2014 was $360.04.  Funds received during the month totaled $695, of chick $439.39 was spent to replenish food for the pantry. 

St. Brbara Catholic Church donated 85 pounds.  Together, purchased and donated food, added 840 pounds to the Chalice Cupboard.


Suggested items for food donations during October and November are: peanut butter and canned fruit.


addendum:  In the August report a donation of food from Chapel Hill Baptist Church was inadvertently listed as an anonymous donation.  Thank you Chapel Hill, for your support.


Submitted by Grant Groves






From snacks to bags, pizza boxes to pajamas, ‘tis the season when pink-ribbon products pile up on store shelves all across Arkansas for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.


But one group says if the goal is to one day eradicate breast cancer, it’s important to “Think Before You Pink.” Karuna Jaggar heads up the watchdog organization Breast Cancer Action. She says while many purchases do benefit breast-cancer programs, marketers can put a pink ribbon on anything, without actually donating any money to the cause.


Jaggar recommends taking the time to find out how much money, if any, will go to breast cancer organizations, as well as which organizations receive the money, how they use it, whether or not there is a cap on a company’s donations, and whether the product contains ingredients that are known or suspected with links to cancer.


Jaggar says the “Think Before You Pink” campaign is in no way an effort to discourage contributions. Rather, she stresses the goal is to empower consumers to feel confident.






Citizens for Local Rights opposes the Alcohol Amendment, and spokesperson Brian Richardson explained that Issue 4 will remove any law concerning the sell or manufacturing on alcohol from the Arkansas law books.


Richardson stated that there isn’t a good reason for anyone to vote for Issue 4 if they live in a wet county because it will allow current dry counties to sell alcohol and therefore take revenue from their own county.


Richardson said that Arkansans need to be informed about what exactly a vote for Issue 4 will do in the state and he explained that according to a recent survey, 79 percent of Arkansans agree that counties should have the right to decide for its self whether it is a wet or dry county.


Richardson also stated that a vote against Issue 4 would not change the current state law.


Richardson said that the group wanting to see Arkansas pass Issue 4 are all out-of-state corporations.


For more information, check out the website






During the September meeting of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, commissioners approved an emergency ban on the importation of firewood on all Arkansas Game and Fish Commission owned wildlife management areas.


This ban affects people who camp at the state’s Wildlife Management Areas to prevent the spread of an exotic insect known as the emerald ash borer. The insects feed on and are likely to kill all of Arkansas’s ash species trees.


The insect has been discovered in six southwest Arkansas counties including Ouachita, Clark, Columbia, Dallas, Hot Spring and Nevada.


Firewood can easily transport harmful foreign pests and diseases causing other problems to our forests.


Three National Wildlife Refuges, Felsenthal, Overflow and Pond Creek, are within the quarantine zone in southwest Arkansas are also suspending firewood cutting permits for home heating purposes.


Signs of the Emerald Ash Borer include, canopy dieback beginning at the top of the tree and progressing through the year until the tree is bare; sprouts growing from the roots and truck; split bark with an S-shape gallery; D-shaped exit holes; and more woodpecker activity, creating large holes as they extract the larvae.


To report signs of the beetle to the Arkansas State Plant Board, call 501-225-1598. 






Each year beginning October 15th, Arkansas consumers who are eligible for Medicare have the opportunity to change existing coverage or sign up for new benefits during Medicare’s annual open enrollment period.


From October 15 to December 7th, senior citizens ages 65 and older have the option to review their current plans and make whatever changes they may choose. The federal government encourages Medicare beneficiaries to evaluate their plan options as soon as possible so that coverage can continue uninterrupted in 2015.


Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued a consumer alert to inform consumers about Medicare open enrollment and encourage senior citizens to stay alert for Medicare scams.


During the open enrollment period, senior citizens can select coverage, compare plans and estimate costs at The federal government’s Medicare site includes a “Plan Finder” that allows beneficiaries to enter the types of prescription drugs they take and see how Medicare Part D plans measure up in cost and quality.


Beneficiaries may also call 1-800-MEDICARE, a 24-hour hotline, or in Arkansas, contact the Arkansas Senior Health Insurance Information Program at or call 1-800-224-6330.


In addition, the Attorney General’s Office, AARP and other state agencies will host free “Arkansas Fighting Fraud” workshops in Fort Smith on October 20th and Bentonville on October 21st.


The Attorney General shared these tips from AARP, our “Arkansas Fighting Fraud” partner, about what to watch for when it comes to Medicare scams: despite calls and emails to the contrary, Medicare is not issuing new cards, so don’t provide personal information like Social Security numbers or account numbers in response to unsolicited calls or emails.


Just because a caller claims to be from a hospital, doctor’s office or state and local health agency doesn’t mean that he or she is and when you are in doubt hang up and dial the organization directly.


Remember, many offers of free medical supplies or complimentary checkups are ways for unscrupulous entities to gain access to personal information.


For more information about Medicare open enrollment or other consumer issues, visit the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division website, or call 1-800-482-8982.






On October 16th, Mil-Way Federal Credit Union will join 57,000 credit unions and their 208 million members around the world to celebrate International Credit Union Day.


As a not-for-profit financial cooperatives, credit unions make life better for millions of people everyday by saving them money, providing financial education and helping them reach their goals.


Celebrate International Credit Union Day on Thursday, October 16th with Mil-Way.


On Thursday, October 16th, credit union members worldwide will celebrate International Credit Union Day and the superior service they receive at their credit unions.


If saving and receiving great, convenient financial services sounds appealing to you stop by Mil-Way Federal Credit Union and see what we can do.






A Mineral Springs resident has been arrested on drug charges.


49-year-old Ronald Brown has been charged with possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine following a traffic stop October 6th on Garner Loop.


Howard County Sheriff’s Deputy Steven Wakefield reported that he observed a Ford pickup driving into the ditch that also had expired tags.


Deputy Wakefield reported he observed an object being thrown from the driver’s side window before the vehicle came to a stop. Wakefield recovered a blue bandana that had been tied together. It contained a set of digital scales, a clear bag of suspected methamphetamine and a piece of foil that contained suspected meth.


Howard County Sheriff Butch Morris reported that when Brown was being booked into the jail that another bag of suspected methamphetamine was found by a jailor.




All students on every campus of the Ashdown School District, along with all school employees, were offered flu immunizations  on Oct. 8, made possible through the Arkansas Department of Health and under the direction of the Little River County Health Unit.   Coordinated by the school nursing staff, over 650 immunizations were administered, covering almost 43 percent of the total school population.

Since influenza ("flu") is a contagious disease that spreads around the United States every winter, usually between October and May, the school district and county health officials recognize the importance of protecting children from this virus and its spread.  Anyone can get the flu, but the risk is highest among children.  Flu vaccination is recommended every year, and the Ashdown School District has been making this Flu Immunization Clinic available for several years now, with consent of parents.


Fourth grader Quincya Faulks reacts to the flu immunization shot administered by Nurse Jan Dougan, RN of the Arkansas Department of Health.  She admitted later that it was not so bad!

Students of L. F. Henderson Intermediate School line up to receive their flu immunizations on Oct. 8, each holding the consent form signed by their parents.  The school flu clinic offers every child and employee in the Ashdown School District immunization at no charge, other than insurance payment that might be available.






Tonight, the De Queen High School cheerleaders will be selling tickets for a 50/50 drawing to raise funds to help pay for their expenses.


Tickets may be purchased from any De Queen High School cheerleader or you may contact their sponsor, Cheryl Floyd. The winning ticket will be drawn during the third quarter of tonight's game and you must be present to win.


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


Beginning tonight, the cheerleaders will be selling "Think Pink; Bleed Black and Gold" t-shirts for $15 each. Orders will also be taken until Monday, October 20th.


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






This is a friendly reminder that all personal property and real estate taxes in Sevier County must be paid on or before October 15th, in order to avoid a penalty.


The Sevier County Collector's office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., however, they are closed from 1 to 2 for lunch. The office will also be open this Saturday from 10 to 2.


Residents are asked to please bring their tax statement that they received from Bennie Simmons, the Sevier County Sheriff and Collector.


After October 15th, a 10 percent penalty plus interest will be assessed to your personal property and real estate taxes.


For more information, contact the Collectors office at 642-2127.






A spokesperson from the Little River County Sheriff's office reported that searchers have discovered additional bones, pieces of clothing and shoes in a field near the home where a 6-year-old girl discovered a skull earlier this week.


Authorities are searching an area off Little River County Road 251 near Ogden after a child discovered the skull next to a tree while she was waiting on the school bus Tuesday morning.


The little girl thought the skull was part of some Halloween decorations and took it home to show her parents. They then contacted the Little River County Sheriff's office.


Members of the Arkansas State Police and the Office of Emergency Management have joined the search, which resulted in the discovery of an arm bone, back bone, torso and a leg bone.


The spokesperson also stated that they had found a pair of blue jeans and a pair of athletic shoes.


According to the Texarkana Gazette's Jim Williamson, Little River County Sheriff Gary Gergory suspects the bones are that of Zachary Wagner who has been missing since February.


Wagner is a suspect in an arson case involving a log truck, but he has not been seen since that incident.


Wagner had been on parole from the Arkansas Department of Corrections after serving time for residential burglary and theft, so Wagner's DNA is on file with the state.


The bones have been sent to the Arkansas Crime Lab for identification.






The Sevier County Extension Home Makers Club is raising funds to continue the community services that it provides in the area.


In the past, the Home Maker Clubs have donated magazines to different area businesses and offices so patrons would have reading material while waiting. They have also donated food to the backpack programs at the De Queen Elementary School, as well as, make items for local hospitals, the Arkansas Children's Hospital and local nursing homes. They have also provided educational classes and training demonstrations.


This year, they will have a booth at the annual Hoo Rah Days where they will be selling several homemade items.


They will be selling mesh wreaths, jalapeno jelly, black berry jam, spirit bracelets in De Queen Leopards colors, baked goods, scarves, children's hair bows, a wooden cutting board, mug rugs, hankies, a tic tac tow game that was made from wood and painted stones, small quilts, potted plants, children's items and more.


So stop by the Sevier County Extension Home Makers Club booth and help them continue their projects in our community.


If you have any questions or if you would like to join the EHC, contact Janet Cantrell at 870-584-3013.





This Saturday, LaVerne Allen and the Drive-By Scholarship Foundation will hold the 6th Annual Hometown Heroes Banquet at 7 p.m. in the Ashdown High School Cafeteria.

Allen stated that the mission of the foundation was to provide financial support and career counseling to youth offenders who do not qualify for federal or state aid due to felony convictions or multiple academic failures.

Allen said six scholarships have been awarded and the banquet is the only fundraiser that the foundation holds every year.

Admission to the banquet is $10 per person, but young people between the ages of 18 to 25 are free, but for more information, contact Allen at 870-898-4570.






Wednesday afternoon, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Ross stopped in De Queen on his statewide Jobs First Tour.


Ross discussed the differences between himself and his opponent Asa Hutchinson following Tuesday night’s debate.


Ross stated that he was traveling to every corner of the state on his Jobs First Tour to spread his positive vision for Arkansas.


Ross stated that he felt Governor Mike Beebe had been great for the state and he plans to build upon the foundation that Beebe has laid during his term as governor.


Tuesday, Ross made stops in Texarkana, Ashdown, De Queen, Nashville and Hope.





Members of the De Queen Board of Education had a full agenda Tuesday night that included expulsion hearings and a review of the district's status.


Board members conducted five expulsion hearings and voted to accept the administrator’s recommendations to expel the five students.


Superintendent Bruce Hill then informed the board that the district's expenses were down and revenue was up and the district’s finances looked better than they have in years.


Board members voted to purchase three trailers. The trailers are for the Agri department, the band and the athletic department.


Hill recommended the board approved the transfer of three students from the Horatio School District to the De Queen School District and two students from De Queen to Horatio. Hill stated the district currently has 11 fewer students this year than they did last year during this time last year.


Hill also reported that the leaking roofs had been repaired, but Doug Arnold will be visiting the junior high campus to re-evaluate the floor.


Assistant Superintendent Paul Shelton then reported that the district had received a needs improvement status from the state but several campuses rank in the top five in the Southwest region.


Shelton stated every school in the district is scoring higher then the state and regional average, but because the district has performed so well on test the district isn't growing as much as the state would like.


The board also presented Victor Rojas and Jose Luna, two former De Queen students, with Friends of the District awards for volunteering at the Primary School.


The board's next meeting will be November 3rd at 5:30 p.m. in the administration building.







The trial of an Arkansas man who has been accused of fatally shooting his estranged wife, mother-in-law and niece has been set for November in the Pike County Circuit Court.


Timothy Hill of Delight has been charged with capital murder in the deaths.


According to an affidavit, Hill told investigators that his wife, Dana, was coming to retrieve his two boys from a home near Murfreesboro because they were going through a divorce.


The affidavit states that while Dana was inside of the home, Hill went outside to a car his mother-in-law and niece were in and opened fire with his rifle, killing them.


Police say Hill was angry with his mother-in-law because he believed she was trying to turn his two boys against him.






Tuesday night during a regular meeting of the De Queen City Council, aldermen passed an ordinance that amends the city's setback requirements of corner lots.


Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy stated the change will reduce the setback to 40 feet from the center of the street.


McKelvy reported that the city's raw water line was complete, but the water plant was struck by lightening Monday morning and fried a CPU unit.


Aldermen started working on the 2015 budget Tuesday night and Mayor McKelvy invited representatives from organizations that currently have contract of services with the city to make a presentation to the aldermen.


McKelvy also said aldermen did not lift the moratorium on food trucks and trailers within the city limits.


The next meeting of the De Queen City Council is scheduled for Tuesday, October 21st at 5:30 p.m. in the council room of the De Queen City Hall.






When considering a vehicle purchase, consumers may choose to invest in a new car in hopes that a new vehicle may be more reliable than a used one.


Generally, newer cars cost substantially less to maintain and most repairs are covered by a manufacturer’s warranty, but in rare circumstances, a new car may be considered a lemon and require repeated service and repairs. And, Arkansas law protects consumers in the event that a new vehicle is a lemon.


Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued a consumer alert to inform Arkansas consumers about the state’s New Motor Vehicle Quality Assurance Act, also known as the Arkansas Lemon Law.


Asserting a claim under the lemon law should be considered a last resort for consumers if a new vehicle experiences multiple problems. Only vehicles that are under two years old or have fewer than 24,000 miles are subject to the Lemon Law provisions. The two-year or 24,000 mile stipulation still applies even if ownership is transferred during that period.


However, the law does not automatically give car buyers a right to a refund or a new vehicle. New cars are sold with a manufacturer provided warranty. Defects are to be repaired by the manufacturer’s authorized dealer during the term of the warranty.


The vehicle may be considered a lemon if there have been multiple, unsuccessful attempts to fix a problem that impairs the use, value or safety of the vehicle.


The Attorney General’s Consumer Guide to the Arkansas Lemon Law contains detailed information about the law and offers tips for consumers who believe their vehicles may be lemons. The guide is available at


Automobile dealers are also required to provide a copy of the Lemon Law guide to every new vehicle owner.


For more information, visit or call 1-800-482-8982.





Deputies in Little River County are investigating a possible homicide after a 6-year-old girl found a human skull near her home in Ogden.


Investigators say the girl found the skull under a tree around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday morning as she was on her way to catch the school bus. Deputies say the girl through the skull was part of some Halloween decorations and picked it up and brought it home to her parents.


The girl's parents then contacted the local authorities.


Little River County investigators say they found more pieces of human remains later Tuesday afternoon and they have taped off a wooded area off County Road 251 in Ogden.


According to the Little River County Sheriff's office, it is unclear if these remains are related to the skull that was discovered Tuesday morning. Sheriff Gary Gregory reported that it's too early to even determine if the skull is that of a male or female.


The skull was sent to the Arkansas Crime Lab for additional testing, but the Little River County Sheriff's office and the Arkansas State Police are investigating the finding as a possible homicide.






A recent finding by the Arkansas State Plant Board and the United States Department of Agriculture indicates that the Emerald Ash Borer has been found in several Arkansas counties.


Precautionary measurers are now underway to prevent the spread of the beetle throughout the state including a 25-county quarantine zone in southern and southwest Arkansas and three of the 10 National Wildlife Refuges in Arkansas are located within the quarantine zone.


According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, firewood will no longer be allowed to be imported on any National Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas until further notice.


Felsenthal, Overflow and Pond Creek will also suspend firewood cutting permits for home heating purposes. In refuges that allow camping, individuals may collect downed trees, logs and limbs that are no more than 100 feet from roads and trails that are open to motorized vehicles. It is also prohibited to damage a standing tree and all debris must be removed from the road, shoulders and ditches.




BIKE IN MY DRIVEWAY         10/8/14


Saturday morning about 3 a.m. Patrolman First Class Levi Browning of the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to 207 Crosstrails Road after someone reported a suspicious motorcycle in their driveway.


Browning was joined by Patrolman Bucky Sawyer and they interviewed the homeowner and the owner of the motorcycle.


The homeowner reported that when he got home, he discovered a yellow motorcycle sitting on the corner of his driveway.


The owner of the bike was identified as 31-year-old Arturo Sanchez.


Sanchez stated he did not want to make a lot of noise in the trailer park, so he parked his bike across the street and walked to a friend’s house.


Patrolman Sawyer suspected Sanchez had been drinking and administered a breath test, which resulted in a reading of .102. He was then placed into custody and citied for public intoxication.






The Hope/Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce will be holding its fall Bluegrass Show on Saturday, November 1st from noon to 6 p.m. at the Fair Park Community Center in Hope.


The program is free and will feature three different groups.


Bill Grant of Hugo, Oklahoma will be returning by popular demand. Grant is a Bluegrass pioneer and staged the first Bluegrass festival west of the Mississippi River in Hugo. He has toured the world and has recorded scores of popular albums and has preformed at several events in Hope and Washington, Arkansas.


The Hartley Family of Arkadelphia will also be returning for the program. The family group has been appearing at the Hope festivals for several years and has proven to be a crowd favorite.


The Hempstead County Melody Boys from Hope will kick off both the early show and the afternoon show.


Admission is free, but the chamber will be operating a concession stand with hamburgers, colas, popcorn, Moon Pies and other snacks.


The program will be held at the Fair Park Community Center, which is located in the fair park. For more information, call 870-777-3640 or visit their website,






Sunday morning about 2 a.m., Patrolman First Class Levi Browning of the De Queen Police Department observed a silver Toyota Camry drive back and forth on Crosstrails Road several times.


After getting behind the vehicle on Highway 71 North, the driver of the car slammed on his brakes and started driving very slow.


Patrolman Browning stopped the vehicle and noticed the smell of both alcohol and marijuana coming from the car.


While Browning was searching the vehicle, an off-duty parole and probation officer informed him that one of the occupants tossed something into a heavily wooded area next to the car.


When Browning asked if he had tossed something, the suspect, 18-year-old Gustavo Martinez admitted that he tossed a marijuana cigarette and was placed into custody.


The driver, 18-year-old Alejandro Hernandez, was also taking into custody after he blew .77 on a portable breath test.


Both men were charged and cited with minor in possession of alcohol and Martinez was charged with obstruction of government operations.






Thanks to the support of area communities, Harvest Texarkana finished in the top 50 of Wal-Mart's Fight Hunger Spark Change initiative, and therefore, Harvest Texarkana will receive a $60,000 dollar grant with $15,000 being divided among five of its partner agencies.


Harvest Texarkana was 41st out of 200 Feeding America food banks.


Harvest Texarkana officials say they will use the money to add refrigeration and freezer space, which is a project that is expected to cost between $100,000 and 125,000.


Officials explained that by adding cold space, they will be allow them to store more fresh produce in addition to other frozen products.


Harvest Texarkana's partner agencies that will receive some grant money includes the Randy Sims' Outreach Shelter, St. Edwards Catholic Outreach, Flower Acres Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas, New View Church of Christ in Nashville and First Baptist Church in Redwater, Texas.






According to the pastor of the Horatio First Assembly of God Church, John Gutierres, the Working Hands Men's Ministry is about to start a series of projects around the Horatio community to help seniors remain in their homes.


Gutierres explained that the men of his church felt it was their ministry to do the physical labor for those who were not able to do it themselves.


Gutierres stated their first project was a roof replacement job and they are looking for donations of tar paper, nails, insulation and other roofing supplies.


Gutierres said the goal of the church is to be the hands and feet of God in the community Horatio.


For more information, contact the church.






Victor Rojas, Jr. of De Queen was recently named to the Arkansas United Community Coalition Board of Directors.


The coalition is an immigrants’ right nonprofit organization that was founded in 2010 to bring together Arkansas-based organizations and individuals, across sectors, with the mission to promote meaningful immigrant integration at the local and state levels, as well as, supporting immigrants and other multicultural communities to be agents of positive change in Arkansas.


In addition to this position, Rojas serves on the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice Board.


Rojas was appointed to the juvenile justice board in January of 2014 by Governor Mike Beebe.






Monday afternoon, the Arkansas Term Limits organization brought their Trojan Horse display to De Queen to campaign against Issue 3 on the November ballot.


Members of the Little River Tea Party Patriots explained the ballot title states “The Arkansas elected official ethics, transparency and financial reform amendment of 2014.” However, they reported the bill also establishes a seven-member independent citizen’s commission to set salaries for the members of the General Assembly, elected Constitutional Officers of the Executive Department, Justices and Judges.


The citizens commission will be made up of two members appointed by the Governor; two members appointed by the President Pro Tem of the Senate; two members appointed by the Speaker of the House and one member that’s appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.


Libertarian candidate Marc Rosson pointed out that the ethics bill also contains a provision for term limits, which he pointed out was approved by Arkansas voters in since 1992 when 60 percent of the state approved them and then voted to keep term limits in 2004.





U.S. Senate candidate Tom Cotton announced last Friday that his campaign will be hosting a free concert featuring county music star and Arkansas native Collin Raye.


The concert will take place October 12th at the Arkansas Convention Center in Texarkana and Cotton is inviting all Arkansas residents to attend the concert free of charge.


Raye is a native of De Queen and has had a successful career as one of country music’s true hit makers. He has 24 top-ten records, 16 number one hits, and is a ten time male vocalist of the year nominee.


Cotton stated that he was excited to put on a great show for the people of Southwest Arkansas with Raye. He said Raye is a part of a great Arkansas tradition of entertainers and artists and he was excited to continue using new and creative ways to spread his conservative message.


This is the second country concert that Cotton has sponsored this year. Back in July, Cotton hosted a concert in El Dorado with country music star Jo Dee Messina.






Tonight, aldermen of the De Queen City Council will consider passing an ordinance that would amend the side yard setback requirements on corner lots if the Planning Commission votes to make the recommendation.


Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy reported that the city had marked off the proposed setbacks on three lots so aldermen and homeowners can see how the proposed change looks.


Those lots are located at Fourth and Wallace, Fourth and Altena and Fifth and DeQuincey.


Aldermen will also start discussing the 2015 budget and hear a request from the De Queen Parks and Recreation Department for a field groomer.


The meeting will be held in the council room of the De Queen City Hall at 5:30 p.m.


Members of the De Queen Board of Education will also be meeting tonight at 5 p.m. in the district's administration building.


Board members will elect officers and consider a proposal to purchase several trailers for different district organizations.


Following the regular scheduled board meeting, the public is invited to attend the district's annual report, which will cover all of the programs of the district.






Beacon Hill Seventh Day Adventist Junior Academy will be hosting its annual Harvest Carnival on Saturday, October 18th and Carla Wolcott stated the church is located on 1446 Red Bridge Road.


Wolcott said they've even added a few things to this year's carnival including bounce houses and a fire truck will be on display.


Wolcott said the cost is 50 cents per game, but everyone will be a winner.


For more information, contact Wolcott at 784-1899.






The De Queen High School Student Council announced October 6th through October 10th as Homecoming Week and will be holding homecoming activities through the week to show their Leopard Pride.


Student Council members; Jeffery Davis, Lucee Lugo, Harmoney Rich and Shayde Kitchens, announced the themes for each day as Wear Pink on Wednesday, wear your class colors on Thursday; seniors will wear blue, juniors will wear red and sophomores will wear purple; and everyone should wear black and gold or dress up on Friday.


Kitchens also asked all businesses and individuals to decorate their store and vehicle windows.


Friday's activities will include the Homecoming Parade at 1:30 p.m. which is themed "Terminate the Trojans."


The parade will move downtown and then arrive at the high school at about 2 p.m. and will be followed by Homecoming pep rally at 2:30 in the De Queen High School Auditorium.


Friday night, the Homecoming ceremonies will begin at 6:30 at Leopard Stadium followed by the game between the De Queen Leopards and the Hot Springs Trojans.


This year's Homecoming Court includes: Lila Martin as the crown bearer and Micah Vance as the football bearer.


The Senior Maids are Montie Hennard, Miriam Dominguez, Justyce Brown, Kenzie Tatta, Mallory Miller, Paige Morphew, Rachel Lipsey, Alexandra Martinez, Marjle (Marley) McClelland, Ashleigh Zeigler and Margaret Parker. 


The Junior Maids are Krishan Patel and Kylie Bowens and the Sophomore Maids are Erika Zamora and Martha Mosqueda.


Lucee Lugo is the 2014 Homecoming Queen.


NATIONAL 4-H WEEK      10/7/14 


More than six-million young people across the country will celebrate National 4-H Week this week, which is an annual celebration of 4-H during the first full week of October.


Dawn Leeper is the 4-H Program Assistant with the Sevier County Extension Service and she explained this week will showcase not only Sevier County's livestock showing teams, but all nine clubs and different activities.


Leeper stated there are about 11 to 13 4-H members that compete on state and national level through the shooting sports program.


Research has proven that participation in 4-H has a significant impact on young people. A recent study revealed that 4-H members are four times more likely to contribute to their communities, are two more likely to pursue healthy behaviors and two times more likely to engage in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math programs during their out-of-school time.


Many 4-H groups will start that community service projects this week, and Leeper explained that this year's Sevier County 4-H service project is a food drive that will benefit the Methodist Church in Horatio and the Chalice Cupboard.


Leeper also stated that Sevier County residents can help support the local 4-H program by purchasing a Paper Clover at Tractor's Supply starting this Wednesday, October 8th through October 19th.


4-H is the nation's largest youth development and empowerment organization and helps cultivate confident kids who tackle the issues that matter most in their communities.






A five-day hunt for antlerless deer begins on Saturday, October 11th for much of Arkansas.


The hunt is only for private land and not for federal or state lands like wildlife management areas, wildlife refuges and national forests. Land that is leased from timber companies is considered private land.


The October 11-15 hunt is open over much of the state. The deer zones that are open for the hunt include 1, 1A, 2, 3, 6, 6A, 8, 8A, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 16A and 17. This includes Sevier, Little River, Howard, Miller, Polk, Pike counties.


The only zones are will be closed are 4, 4A, 4B, 5, 5A, 5B, 7 and 11 in the eastern part of the state and portions of Polk county north to Sebastian and Franklin counties.


The term antlerless means doe deer and button or nubbin bucks, which are male deer with antlers that have not grown through the skin. Many times, hunters cannot see the bumps on a deer’s head where antlers will eventually sprout. Button bucks are legal to take and they must be checked as bucks and not as does. Bucks with antlers longer than two-inches are not legal to take in the antlerless hunt and hunters are encouraged to be certain of their target to ensure no bucks are accidentally harvested during the antlerless only hunt.


During the five-day antlerless hunt, modern guns, archery and muzzle-loaders can be used. Hunter orange must be worn by persons using any type of weapon.


Deer must be checked within 24-hours by phone by calling 1-866-305-0808, by smart phone applications or online at


Deer taken during this hunt will count toward a hunter’s season limit, including zone limits and the statewide six-deer limit. A hunter reaching the limit in one zone can move to another zone and take more deer until reaching the total of six.


Hunting hours are the traditional 30-minutes before sunrise to 30-minutes after sunset.



NEED FOR 911 ADDRESSES      10/6/14


Director of Emergency Management in Sevier County, Walter Smith, mentioned this week that residents need to place their 911 addresses on their mailboxes and homes to help emergency services providers.


Smith said state officials will be in the county for two days this week to verify the 911 addresses of 2,500 hot spots throughout the county.


Smith also requested that county residents put their 911 addresses on their mailboxes and homes with 3-inch numbers.


Home health officials agree that by clearing placing 911 numbers on homes and mailboxes, it would improve their service to their clients in rural areas.


Smith also mentioned that there is an ordinance that requires all homes to have a 911 address visible on homes.


Smith and other county officials will be working next week to locate the hot spots to verify the addresses and then they work to complete the county mapping project. 






The Department of Health has confirmed a boil water notice that was issued by Carla Settlemoir for the entire system of the Little River County RDA Water, including the cities of Foreman and Winthrop.


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


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


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


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


The boil water order was due to a loss of pressure that resulted from the loss of power at the water treatment plant.






The Department of Health has confirmed a boil water notice that was issued by Daniel Faulkner for the entire system of the North Howard County Rural Water Association, including the cities of Umpire and Athens


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


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


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


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


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



The 2014-15 Annual Title I Meeting for parents of students who attend Margaret Daniel Primary School, C. D. Franks Elementary School, and L. F. Henderson Intermediate School in Ashdown will be held on Monday, Oct. 13, at 6:00 p.m. in the Ashdown High School auditorium.

The meeting will be directed by Ashdown Schools Superintendent Jason Sanders, along with MDP Principal Kay York, CDF Principal Teresa Wake, and LFH Principal Keith Fricks, and will provide specific information to parents of students receiving Title I services.

Agenda items will include description of the school's curriculum, forms of academic assessment used to measure student progress, and proficiency level that students are expected to meet.  Other agenda items to be covered are Parents' Right to Know, Annual Report Card, Individual Student Assessment Reports, Progress Review, and Written State Complaint Procedure.

Parents will be informed about rights of disabled parents, the school's Parental Involvement Plan, and the School-Parent Compact.

All parents of the district's three Title I schools (Margaret Daniel Primary, C. D. Franks Elementary, and L. F. Henderson Intermediate) are encouraged to attend this informative meeting.


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