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TODAY'S NEWS:  

 

DE QUEEN POLICE ARREST BOLO SUSPECT      1/23/17

 

The De Queen Police Department expressed their appreciation to the residents of De Queen this morning after they apprehended a suspect that was wanted in connection with a stolen vehicle.

 

Monday morning, De Queen Police Chief, Scott Simmons issued a BOLO for Cody Stinnett of Eagletown, Oklahoma after he eluded officers on Highway 41 in De Queen.

 

About 40 minutes after the BOLO was released, officers located Stinnett with the public’s help and they were able to take him into custody.

 

 

LOCKESBURG CITY COUNCIL UPDATED ON UA COSSATOT - LOCKESBURG CAMPUS PROJECT      1/23/17

 

Aldermen of the Lockesburg City Council voted to approve a resolution that allows the city to collect the 2016 tax donation for UA Cossatot, along with a resolution extending that tax donation through 2017.

 

According to city officials, the city currently collects .75 of one-cent for local sales tax. The city uses .50 of that amount for general revenue and collects one-quarter of one-cent for the college.

 

But, before passing the two resolutions, aldermen heard a progress report from UA Cossatot Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole, Mike Kinkade and Barry Reed.

 

Dr. Cole informed KDQN that the UA Cossatot - Bank of Lockesburg Gym project is about 50 percent complete. He said they hope to be finished by March 1st and ready to use the building by this summer.

 

Cole said they have started working on the interior of the building and all of the wood, inside the gym is being cleaned and preserved.

 

Cole said after they finish renovating the gym, they plan to apply for another grant to renovate the old high school. He said they should know by late May if their application has been approved.

 

Aldermen voted to appoint Steven Hill as aldermen of Ward 3 position 2 and they changed their monthly meeting time from 6:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month.

 

Aldermen also voted to give a part-time city employee, Melvin Ruth a raise to $10 an hour and they passed a resolution stating the city plans to use the State Aid Street money to pave two-miles of city streets with a 4-inch overlay.

 

 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE       1/23/17

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported the Arkansas House of Representatives voted last week on legislation that would use $8.5 million dollars from the state's tobacco settlement fund to help meet the needs of 500 to 900 people on a waiting list that need community-based or in home services.

 

Vaught said the House and Senate passed a bill that would give the Medical Marijuana Commission more time to implement rules for growers and dispensaries. She said the bill is now waiting to be signed by Governor Asa Hutchinson.

 

In November, voters approved the Medical Marijuana Amendment, which gave the commission 120 days to be appointed and for them to create rules and regulations regarding growing and dispensing.

 

The sponsor of the bill said that while rules can be passed quickly, 120 days did not allow enough time for public input and participation in the process. 

 

The new bill will give the commission 180 days to establish rules and regulations. It will also require the commission to begin accepting applications by July 1st, instead of June 1st.

 

Vaught said the House Revenue and Taxation Committee have advanced two tax cut proposals. House Bill 1159 targets tax cuts to those making under $21,000 a year, while House Bill 1161 provides an earned income tax credit for those who already qualify for the federal credit.

 

 

ASHDOWN STUDENTS RECOGNIZED FOR THEIR ACCOMPLISHMENTS     1/23/17

 

Several students at Ashdown Junior and High schools have been recognized for their accomplishments, recently.

 

Eight Ashdown High School band students participated in the Four States Bandmasters Convention and earned a place in the conventions first and second bands.

 

Jacob Purifoy, TJ Gist, Ethan Sullivan and Cody Tilley earned First Band honors, while Cole Deloney, Christie Sain, Hunter Billingsley and Isaac Cross earned Second band honors.

 

The Ashdown TARGETS 8th grade Quiz Bowl team placed third in the De Queen Quiz Bowl tournament.

 

The team members include: Will Bishop, Amy Newton, Robin Roy, Kohl Kervin and Cole Sallade.

 

And, Ashdown High School Agri students are currently caring for "ag plant babies" until March 16th. Students will receive a grade based on keeping the plant alive; identifying the scientific name of the plant species, and journaling about activities the "plant baby" goes through, such as watering and transplanting.

 

According to ag teachers, bonus points will be awarded to students who name their plant, create a baby book and have the largest plant baby.

 

 

AREA HUNTERS INVITED TO SHOW OFF THEIR TROPHY BUCK AT THE ARKANSAS BIG BUCK CLASSIC        1/23/17

 

The 27th annual Arkansas Big Buck Classic will be held at the Arkansas State Fairgrounds this year, January 27th through the 29th.

 

Knife-making demonstrations, mechanical bull riding, live snakes and alligators will grab people's attention, but the show's true focus is the trophies from this year's deer season, that will be brought in by hunters from across the state. Local hunters are encouraged to bring their deer's antlers or mounts to be scored and judged for prizes.

 

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's mobile aquarium and Scales of Justice exhibit trailer will be at the event, and Arkansas Game and Fish Commission staff will be on-hand to answer questions about fisheries and wildlife management and enforcement in Arkansas.

 

The awards presentation begins at 4 p.m. on Sunday, January 29th and there is no charge for parking on the fairgrounds site.

 

Show hours are from 1 to 8 p.m. on Friday, January 27th; from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, January 28th; and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, January 29th.

 

For more information, visit the website www.bigbuckclassic.com.

 

The Agri students are Taylor Schmidt, Jake Day, Evan Medlock, Alex Allen, MacKynze Dollarhide, Quinton Holland, Braden Gibson and Ashley Jones.

 

 

AEP SWEPCO DONATES SCHOLARSHIP FUNDS TO A&M TEXARKANA     1/23/17

 

AEP Swepco recently presented a $2,000 gift to Texas A&M University of Texarkana to provide student scholarship support for the 2017-2018 academic year.

 

The AEP Swepco scholarship is awarded to an incoming freshman who is majoring in electrical engineering, computer science or biology.

 

According to the Associate Vice President for University Advancement LeAnne Wright, AEP Swepco has helped six students fulfill their educational goals over the past three years.

 

 

NEW CASA VOLUNTEER SWORN-IN TO HELP SEVIER COUNTY CHILDREN        1/20/17

 

On November 17th, 2016 Judge Tom Cooper swore in new Court-Appointed Special Advocate volunteer Tara Currence at the Sevier County courthouse.

 

The newly appointed CASA volunteer joined two other dedicated community members who have been trained and are advocating for foster children in the county's juvenile dependency court system. As officers of the court, they ensure that the children's needs are recognized and their best interests are considered both in the courtroom and in the community.

 

CASA volunteers are asked to meet with the child on a regular basis and are authorized to interview people who are in the child's life, such as social workers, attorneys and teachers. They attend court hearings with the child and report their findings to the judge.

 

Cynthia Martin is the director of the CASA of the Ouachita Region and she said CASA volunteers pledge to stay with a child until the case is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. She said the advocate may be the only consistent adult presence in the child's life.

 

Martin said there are no prerequisites for becoming a CASA volunteer other than being at least 21 years of age. She said they must clear an extensive background screening and complete 30-hours of training.

 

The next advocate training session for CASA of the Ouachita Region begins in February and if you are interested in learning more about becoming a CASA volunteer, contact Martin at 479-243-9277.

 

 

COUNTY HEALTH OFFICER REPORT       1/20/17

 

Sevier County Health Officer Dr. Jason Lofton reported Sevier County is one of the most obese counties in the state. Lofton said his goal is to see Sevier County get healthy in 2017.

 

Lofton said residents don't necessarily need to get on a diet, but need to cut back on the amount that they are eating.

 

Lofton also reported there are still active cases of the mumps in Sevier County. He said state health officials are no longer tracking the number of cases, but they are trying to limit the number of new cases in the state.

 

Lofton said it's not hard to get healthier. He said we just need to eat less and get more active.

 

 

DE QUEEN/SEVIER COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BANQUET SET FOR FEBRUARY 23RD          1/20/17

 

De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce President, Patrick Massey announced the 72nd annual Membership and Awards Banquet will be held on Thursday, February 23rd at the De Queen High School cafeteria.

 

Massey said the banquet will feature a silent auction featuring items donated by chamber members. He said the doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the food will be served at 6:30.

 

Tickets for the banquet are $17 each or businesses may reserve a table of eight or more by calling Patty Sharp at 642-2446. Massey said businesses or organizations that reserve a table are also eligible to enter the table decorating contest.

 

Massey announced the chamber is also accepting nominations for the Citizen of the Year award, New Construction award, Renovation or Beautification award, Small Business of the Year and Large Business of the Year awards. He said nominations must be turned in by 4 p.m. on Monday, February 6th.

 

 

A&M - TEXARKANA RECOGNIZES 32 HONOR GRADUATES AT FALL COMMENCEMENT     1/20/17

 

Thirty-two students were recognized as honor graduates by Texas A&M University - Texarkana at the fall 2016 commencement ceremony that was held December 9th at the historic Perot Theatre in downtown Texarkana, Texas.

 

Students graduating in both August and December participated in the ceremony.

 

Students who complete a minimum of 45 hours of their bachelor's degrees at A&M - Texarkana are considered for recognition. Summa cum laude graduates have a 3.9 to 4.0 grade-point average. Magna cum laude graduates have a 3.75 to 3.89 grade-point average and cum laude graduates have an overall grade-point average of 3.5 to 3.74.

 

The following area students were named honor graduates:

Jami Thompson of Foreman and Anthony Nelson of Ashdown earned Magna Cum Laude honors, while Brandi O'Donnell of Saratoga earned Cum Laude honors.

 

 

DIERKS CHAMBER SECURES PROPERTY FOR FUTURE CITY PARK      1/20/17

 

The Dierks Chamber of Commerce has secured some property north of Dierks and the organization is making some big plans for 2017.

 

Chamber Director Jerry Mounts says the current ball fields, that are located in the park, has flooding issues and the chamber wants to secure some funds to construct some baseball and softball fields at the new location.

 

Mounts says it is possible that more than four fields could be placed on the 30-acre site. Preliminary plans have been drawn up and would include a concession stand and restrooms.

 

The chamber will meet the first Monday in February at the community building and everyone is invited to attend the meeting and get involved in this project.

 

If you have any questions, contact Mounts at 870-557-7298.

 

 

VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS WOULD RECEIVE FREE HUNTING AND FISHING LICENSE UNDER PROPOSED BILL         1/20/17

 

The state's volunteer firefighters would be eligible to receive free hunting and fishing licenses, under a bill that was filed Wednesday in the Arkansas legislature.

 

Representative David Branscum of Marshall filed House Bill 1217 at the Capitol and according to the bill, it would amend the state law concerning this issue.

 

A volunteer firefighter would have to "actively engage in fire suppression, rescue, pump operation and other firefighter activity," receive less than $5,000 in compensation a year and complete at least one year of continuous service as a volunteer firefighter in order to be eligible for the free permits. The Arkansas Game and fish Commission would also have to adopt some rules to implement the law.

 

The bill states permits would be renewable for each year of continuous service that the person works as a volunteer firefighter.

 

 

AVOID SUBSTANTIAL PENALTIES AND ENROLL IN THE MARKETPLACE BY JANUARY 31ST         1/20/17

 

Open enrollment for the state's My Arkansas Insurance individual health insurance marketplace is still underway but it ends on Tuesday, January 31st. Arkansans who do not have health insurance may face substantial federally mandated penalties on their 2017 tax returns.

 

Cheryl Gardner is the executive director of the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace and she said people need to understand that health insurance coverage is not an option, according to current federal law. She said the penalty for not having insurance could be as much as $695 per person.

 

Individual plans are available at myARinsurance.com through January 31st. Plans include standard benefits such as inpatient care, outpatient services, prescription drugs, and preventative care and screenings.

 

There are a variety of options to fit household budgets and financial assistance is available. And most importantly, there are no lifetime limits and no restrictions for pre-existing conditions. There is also financial help available to pay for the cost of the insurance.

 

To enroll visit the website, myARinsurance.com.

 

Agents, brokers and other licensed experts are located in almost every community in Arkansas to provide assistance, and a hotline is staffed by trained professionals, and is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The number is 1-844-355-3262.

 

 

BAKE SALE TO BE HELD OF DIERKS HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT THIS FRIDAY       1/19/17

 

A Dierks High School student remains in serious condition at the Arkansas Children's Hospital after he was injured in a vehicle accident last Friday.

 

Sam Maxey is the son of Eric and Sheryl Maxey and he is recovering from a head injury, bleeding in his lungs and several facial fractures.

 

Area residents are holding several fundraisers to help the Maxey family. A gofundme account has been setup and it can be accessed by searching "Prayers for Sam Maxey."

 

A bake sale will be held for Maxey on Friday at Ward's Fuel Stop in Dierks at 3:30 p.m. Teachers and students are preparing casseroles and desserts and they will be taking orders for t-shirts. All of the proceeds will go to Maxey and his family.

 

If you would like to donate, contact Adriana Hogg or Crystal Smith.

 

Patrick Frachiseur of Premium Game Calls in Dierks makes duck calls. He said Maxey is a fellow duck hunter and his son, Peyton, played football with Maxey for the Outlaws this season. So, Frachiseur made a Dierks Outlaw blue duck call with the Outlaw emblem at the top and Maxey's number 17 on both sides. 

 

Premium Game Calls is auctioning off the duck call with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting the Maxey family.

 

Frachiseur said the duck call is on display at the First State Bank in Dierks and you can place a bid at the bank or you can place a bid on Crystal Smith's Facebook page. The winning bid will be announced this Sunday at 2 p.m.

 

 

BEACON HILL BIKERS MINISTRY STARTING MEN'S PRAYER BREAKFAST       1/19/17

 

Beacon Hill Biker's Ministry President, Newman Hance announced he will be leading a men's prayer breakfast this Sunday at 7 a.m. in the gym of the Beacon Hill Seven Day Adventist Church on Beacon Hill Road for all men in the area. He said they will also hold a Bible study after the breakfast.

 

Hance also stated Scarlett Barth will in concert this Saturday at the Beacon Hill Seven Day Adventist Church at 5 p.m.

 

For more information about the Beacon Hill Biker's Ministry, contact Hance at 682-970-0378.

 

 

CONSUMER ALERT: MILLION DOLLAR GIVEAWAY? IT MAY BE A SCAM       1/19/17

 

Scammers are using the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's name to steal money from people across the Natural State. The Arkansas Attorney General's office recently received complaints of Arkansans getting phone calls, often with a Jamaican area code, from someone claiming to be from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

 

The person receiving the call is told they are the winner of a $2.5 million giveaway. The only thing they need to do to claim their winnings is to wire an $850 "processing fee." The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the Arkansas Attorney General's office want Arkansans to know, this is a scam.

 

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is offering the following tips for anyone who receives this call or one similar to it.

 

A consumer should never have to pay to receive a free prize. Consumers should be wary of anyone requiring payment in advance to obtain something that you've won.

 

Consumers should be cautious if someone asks for a fee to be paid through a pre-paid credit card or by wiring money to them. If payments are make, the money may never be seen again. Legitimate organizations will accept standard and traceable forms of payment.

 

People who accept these offers often become targets of other scammers because their information is sold or shared with others.

 

You should never provide any financial account information to an unknown person or entity.

 

And, if the call is from a government agency, consider hanging up and calling the agency back on a phone number that can be found on their website.

 

Although the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission does offer small prizes, such as free hunting or fishing licenses or fishing poles, they do not offer cash prizes. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is encouraging Arkansans who receive this call to file a complaint with the Attorney General's office, and if there are any questions, call the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission at 501-223-6300.

 

For more information and tips on how to avoid scams, contact the Attorney General's office by calling 1-800-482-8982 or visit the website www.arkansasag.gov.

 

 

DE QUEEN JUNIOR HIGH QUIZ BOWL TEAM HOSTS TOURNAMENT AT UA COSSATOT       1/19/17

 

The De Queen Junior High recently hosted a Quiz Bowl tournament that was organized by several teachers at UA Cossatot on January 13th. Members of the high school quiz bowl team and FCCLA students helped.

 

Fourteen teams participated and first place went to the Greenwood team A. Genoa Central placed second, Ashdown placed third and De Queen took fourth.

 

The De Queen Junior High Quiz Bowl team will compete at Murfreesboro today.

 

Quiz Bowl team members include: Janet Balderas, Caroline Collins, Litzi Flores, Jaclyn Pham, Noah Reed, Luke Reed, Lessley Gonzalez, Jafet Sotelo, Jack Bunyard, Jesus Marrufo, Hannah Phillips, Abigail Barker, Alma Puga, Bhumi Patel, David Serrano, Alexis Ochoa, Edward Sosa, Ismael Montero and David Ortiz.

 

 

UA COSSATOT OFFERS A VARIETY OF COURSES THROUGH ITS CONTINUING EDUCATION DEPARTMENT        1/19/17

 

UA Cossatot's Continuing Education Director Zebbie Launius announced the college is offering some new and fresh ideas during the Spring semester of 2017, while continuing to offer job training courses.

 

Launius informed KDQN that they have job training courses that take anywhere from 12-days to 8-weeks to complete.

 

Launius said UA Cossatot will be offering a floral design class this semester in Ashdown and a bread making course on all three campuses, as well as, mentioned a painting with the girls class and a Quilt Shop Hop trip to Texas.

 

Launius said for more information or to register for a class, call 870-584-4471 or visit the websites www.cccua.edu or KDQN.net. 

 

 

 
This Week's News:
 

LOCKESBURG RESIDENT CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF A CONTROL SUBSTANCE         1/18/17

 

Monday, January 16th, Patrolman First Class Justin Gentry of the De Queen Police Department was patrolling on Stillwell Avenue when he noticed a vehicle with a brake light out.

 

When Gentry approached the vehicle, he noticed half of an unknown pill on the dash near the steering wheel.

 

Gentry reported he asked the driver, 32-year-old Amy Torres of Lockesburg, about the pill and she allegedly stated a friend had dropped it in her vehicle sometime last week and she had put it there to remind her to give it to them.

 

Torres also stated that she did not know what type of pill it was.

 

While searching the vehicle, Gentry discovered a whole pill in a pocket on the dash. He also found three other white pills in Torres' purse. Torres allegedly stated that she didn't know what they were. However, she stated she takes Ibuprofen and Tramadol for back pain.

 

After searching the drug markings on his phone, Gentry discovered the pills were two different brands of hydrocodone and another drug that was not a controlled substance.

 

Torres stated she had a prescription for the hydrocodone, but she didn't have any proof or prescription bottles in her possession.

 

Torres was then arrested and charged with one felony count of possession of a controlled substance that is not methamphetamine or cocaine. 

 

 

DE QUEEN HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL PLANNING ALUMNI GAME FOR FEBRUARY 25TH             1/18/17

 

De Queen High School baseball coach, Beau McCastlain announced he plans to take the De Queen Leopards to Gulf Shores Alabama to play in a Spring Break tournament.

 

McCastlain said players are selling Sonic discount cards for $5 each and 250 raffle tickets for $50 each for a lawnmower to raise funds for their trip and other program needs. He said players will be selling cards and tickets at the De Queen Wal-Mart and Bailey Discount Building Supply this Saturday.

 

McCastlain said they are also planning an alumni game this year on February 25th. He said if you are interested in participating in the alumni game, you should call him at 870-279-4479.

 

McCastlain also introduced several players on the 2017 team. They were Bennen Seymore, Keldon Boyles, Jessie Power, Colton Rogers, Austin Munoz and Carter Rivas.

 

 

DE QUEEN POLICE DEPARTMENT RESPONDED TO OVER 4,600 CALLS IN 2016        1/18/17

 

The regular meeting of the De Queen City Council was postponed Tuesday night due to a lack of a quorum, but Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy provided area media outlets with some stats from the De Queen Police Department.

 

The De Queen Police Department responded to 4,613 calls in 2016, including citations and warnings.

Officers issued 2,458 citations last year. There were 1,038 misdemeanor arrests and 68 felony arrests. Arrests included 123 drug-related cases and 41 shoplifting cases. Police performed 4,300 security checks and had 1,010 calls for assistance.

Police investigated one homicide and assisted the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office in a homicide investigation in another city.

All officers had 23 hours of annual training last year. All officers had training on domestic violence cases and racial profiling. Officers qualified with firearms two times last year.

The animal control officer has been using social media to post pictures of animals that have been picked up. Animals that are not claimed have been offered for adoption. The De Queen Police Department had a change in leadership in 2016. Chief Richard McKinley retired July 1. Scott Simmons was named as the new police chief. The police department has a total of 14 sworn officers, at full strength.

The department has 12 registered sex offenders who are being monitored. Three others are incarcerated.

 

McKelvy stated the council will reschedule their regular council meeting for Tuesday, January 24th at 6 p.m. in the council room. He said he as also scheduled a workshop for January 24th so aldermen can discuss the city's compensation plan and sanitation rates.

 

 

DIERKS CITY COUNCIL SWORN IN DURING JANUARY COUNCIL MEETING      1/18/17

 

Dierks Mayor Terry Mounts reported the city council was sworn-in during their meeting on January 9th and they discussed some property within the city limits that needs to be cleaned up, before the city takes legal action against the property owners.

 

Mounts also stated the city has a community food pantry that was currently helping about 100 families a month. He said they distribute food on the third Saturday of each month at 8 a.m. in the community building.

 

Mounts said the pantry provides boxes of food that's purchased with donated funds, as well as commodity boxes for those who qualify.

 

Mounts said the program is supported by local churches and volunteers.

 

Mounts said if you would like to volunteer, contact his office at 870-286-2332.

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY FARM BUREAU MEMBERS ATTEND CONVENTION IN PHOENIX       1/18/17

 

Arkansas Farm Bureau State Board Member and Sevier County Farm Bureau President Bruce Jackson of Lockesburg and his wife, Sandra were among more than 150 Arkansans who attended the 98th Annual Meeting of the American Farm Bureau Federation in Phoenix, Arizona.

 

The event, which took place from January 6th through the 11th, provided farm and ranch leaders from across the country an opportunity to network with fellow Farm Bureau leaders, attend the trade show and learn more about current agriculture issues.

 

 

MISS DHS PAGEANT       1/18/17

 

Junior Class Representative Bradi Young asked KDQN to remind area listeners that the 2017 Miss De Queen High School Pageant is this Saturday at 7 p.m. She said the doors will open at 6 for the Little Miss Pageant and tickets are $5 each.

 

Young also introduced the contestants who will be competing for the title of Miss De Queen High School: Lissette Hernandez, Diana Ramirez, Jasmine Montiel, Ponpawee Asawaritdumrong, Karla Angeles, Antonette Worthey, Hanna Murry, Kammie Pollard and Dennise Tellez.

 

Young is also the outgoing Miss De Queen High School and she will also perform before her final walk and the 2017 crowning.

 

The Miss DHS pageant is a fundraiser for the Junior Class to cover Prom expenses.

 

 

ASHDOWN JUNIOR HIGH ESTABLISHES A GENTLEMEN'S CLUB      1/17/17

 

During the January meeting of the Ashdown Board of Education, Ashdown Junior High School Assistant Principal, Tracy Forte reported he had received a grant from E-Z Mart's Jim Yates Foundation to start a program for 25 young men in the sixth through eighth grades. Forte said the Gentlemen's Club is designed to help educate and develop young men by instilling gentleman like qualities.

 

Forte stated he felt led to start the program so he could teach male students to also become young men and the club will reach out to the community through various projects that will demonstrate how young men should conduct themselves in public.

 

During the board meeting, De'James Powell recited the poem, "See It Through" by Edgar Guest. Forte said the poem teaches the reader to persevere.

 

The poem says:

 

"When you're up against a trouble, meet is squarely face to face

Lift your chin, set your shoulders, plant your feet and take a brace.

When It's vain to try to dodge it, do the best that you can do.

You may fail - but may conquer, see it through! 

 

Black may be the clouds about you, and your future may seem grim, But don't let your nerve desert you - keep yourself in fighting trim!

If the worst is bound to happen, spite of all that you can do,

Running from it will not save you, see it through!

 

Even hope may seem but futile, when with trouble you're beset,

But remember you are facing just what other men have met.

You may fail but fall still fighting; don't give up what e'er you do;

Eyes front, head high to the finish. See it through!"

 

 

COSSATOT RIVER SCHOOL DISTRICT APPROVED FOR VIRTUAL REALITY KITS       1/17/17

 

Cossatot River School District Superintendent Donnie Davis stated

board members voted to accept a bid from the Blevins School District for the purchase of two Blue Bird buses during their January school board meeting. Davis said the district received three.

 

Davis reported the district had been approved for three virtual reality kits. He said Cossatot River and Umpire high schools both will receive one along with the district's EAST lab.

 

Davis said he was happy to report the district only had one finding on its 2016 audit.

 

Davis also said the board tabled the approval of the district's telemedicine contract, but he expects they will reconsider it next month.

 

Board members also voted to approve the transfer of a student from the Cossatot River School District to the Dierks School District and they accepted the resignation of Amanda Parks.

 

 

LOCKESBURG RESIDENT PARTICIPATES IN DELEGATE SESSION OF AMERICAN FARM BUREAU CONVENTION         1/17/17

 

Arkansas Farm Bureau State Board member, Bruce Jackson of Lockesburg participated in the delegate session of the 98th annual American Farm Bureau Convention, which was held January 6th through the 11th in Phoenix, Arizona.

 

At the annual meeting, voting delegates, farmers and ranchers set the national organization's policies for the next year. These policies originated and were debated from the grassroots level on up and will help guide the national policy implementation efforts throughout the following year.

 

 

2017 WINTER LOW INCOME HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM     1/17/17

 

Southwest Arkansas Development Council will accept applications for the Home Energy Assistance Program in Sevier County each Thursday, starting on January 12th from 9 a.m. until noon at the Church of the Nazarene at 129 Locke Street in De Queen.

 

The program is for regular assistance only that means no shut-ups notices will be accepted and it provides limited benefits to eligible households.

 

Residents who have received a shut-off notice may also apply for crisis assistance beginning in March.

 

All applicants will need to provide I.D., either a driver's license, a birth certificate, a work or school ID or voter registration card, along with social security numbers for all members of the household, proof of the household income for any household member who is 18 and older for the month prior the month of application.

 

Applicants must provide a current gas and electric bill if your home is setup for both, and if not, then just an electric bill. If you do not have a current bill, you must contact your utility supplier and have this information sent to you before you apply or your application will be delayed or denied.

 

Applications will be accepted on a first come basis and while funds are available or the program closes.

 

For more information, contact the Southwest Arkansas Development Council at 870-773-5504.

 

 

6th ANNUAL COMMUNITY AUCTION FEBRUARY 4TH      1/16/17

 

The Domtar Community Advisory Team announced they will be hosting their 6th annual Community Auction on Saturday, February 4th at the Ashdown High School. According to a community advisory team member, the event will raise money for community improvements and help bring the community together for a common cause.

 

Since 2011, the community auction has raised $175,000.

 

Little River County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Fonda Hawthorne said funds have been used to construct a pocket-park in the downtown Ashdown area, make sidewalk improvements, paint the community library, construct a pavilion at the city park and expand the park's horseshoe pits. She said they also purchased banners and street lights.

 

The doors will open at 4 p.m. and the event will begin at 6.

 

This year's event will include a live auction, a silent auction, a penny auction, a bake sale and a prize raffle.

 

So far this year, area businesses have donated a drone, a hoverboard, some firearms, Yeti coolers, hunting accessories, Razorback items and gift certificates, Dallas Cowboy items and fire pits.

 

 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE       1/16/17

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported the legislature has started working on the budget by reviewing the Revenue Stabilization Act

 

Vaught said legislators will consider a tax exemption for retired military who live in the state and other competing tax reduction proposals.

 

Vaught said 54 percent of the state's General Revenue comes from the state's income tax and another 36 percent comes from state sales tax.

 

Vaught reported the current growth rate is 1.5 percent and there is approximately $38.2 million dollars more in revenue this year, than there was at this time last year. She said the July 2017 budget will be for about $5.4 billion dollars.

 

Governor Asa Hutchinson has asked legislators to not only support his tax cut proposals, but to support an increase in funding for foster children and for mental health centers in the state.

 

Hutchinson also wants the legislature to redirect a portion of the tobacco settlement to help reduce the number Arkansans who are on the waiting list for disability services.

 

The House will reconvene on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.

 

 

ARKANSAS NRCS SOLICITS CONSERVATION INNOVATION GRANT PROPOSALS      1/16/17

 

Mike Sullivan is a USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service state conservationist and he announced that approximately $300,000 is available through the Conservation Innovation Grants program to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies within Arkansas.

 

Sullivan said all state, tribal, and local governmental entities; non-governmental organizations; and individuals may apply for a grant. He said project proposals are due by March 3rd and should demonstrate the use of innovative technologies or approaches to address a natural resource concern. Sullivan said project results are expected to improve and create conservation technologies, management systems and innovative approaches.

 

Sullivan said the Arkansas NRCS will consider offering grants in the following areas: nutrient and sediment reduction in impaired watersheds; environmental markets for water; high tunnels; organic; invasive species; irrigation; energy-irrigation; livestock watering; soil health; adoption of cover crops in rice rotations; and pollinators. Applications should be for single or multi-year projects, not to exceed 3 years.

 

Selected applicants may receive grants up to 50 percent of the total project cost. Individual grant awards may not exceed $75,000 in the fiscal year 2017. Applicants must also provide non-federal matching funds for at least 50 percent of the project cost.

 

For more information, contact Lori Barker at 870-523-8986 or visit the website, www.grants.gov.

 

 

CRATER OF DIAMONDS STATE PARK REPORT      1/16/17

 

In 2016, park visitors registered 501 diamonds at the Crater of Diamonds State Park, which is 34 more diamonds than 2015. Arkansans found 205 diamonds last year, while visitors from 34 other states and three foreign countries registered 296 gems.

 

Park staff certified 339 white, 85 brown and 77 yellow diamonds last year, weighing a total of 96.6 carats. Seventeen of those diamonds weighed more than one carat, and two weighed over two carats. While most diamonds were found by wet sifting, about 10 percent of them were found on the surface of the park's 37.5 acre diamond search area, including three of the year's largest.

 

The third largest diamond was on April 22nd by Gail Hudson of St. Louis. She found the 1.8 carat brown diamond after surface searching for only five minutes.

 

The second-largest diamond was found on October 3rd by Dan Frederick of Renton, Washington. He spotted the 2.03 carat white gem, on top of the ground after about an hour of surface searching.

 

Two months later, Jack Pearadin of Murfreesboro and Doug Nelson of Wisconsin found the fourth-largest diamond while washing gravel at the park.

 

But, the largest diamond wasn't found until December 29th, when a young visitor from Nashville, Tennessee spotted a 2.1 carat white gem sparkling on the surface as she walked through the search area.

 

The best way to plan your own diamond mining adventure is to call the Crater of Diamonds State Park in 2017 at 870-285-3113.

 

 

ARKANSAS DEER HARVEST THIS SEASON MAY BE RECORD        1/16/17

 

Arkansas' deer harvest is winding down and the state is looking at another record harvest, according to Arkansas Game and Fish Private Lands Biologist Jeff Taverner.

 

Taverner said Arkansas held its final firearms hunt this past weekend, but archery season will continue until the end of February. He said the state may have over 200,000 deer kills this season. Taverner said more people are realizing the need to control the number of does in the state's deer population and private landowners are starting to see more bucks on their land.

 

The local total deer harvest numbers as of January 15th were 2,254 in Sevier County and 2,203 in Little River County.

 

 

RACIAL PROGRESS SLOW FOR AFRICAN-AMERICANS IN ARKANSAS      1/16/17

 

A new study shows that African-Americans in Arkansas are behind residents of many other states when it comes to economic and social equality.

 

A new WalletHub survey shows the state has a lot of ground to make up for its black citizens to realize the civil rights leader's dream of equality. Wallethub's Jill Gonzalez says the study measured both the current status of African-Americans, as well as the progress each state has made since 1970.

 

Of the 2.5 million people living in Arkansas, 15.4 percent are African-American. That's significantly higher than the national average of 13.3 percent. The survey rated progress on 16 key indicators of equality and integration across three main categories including - employment and wealth, education and civic engagement and health.

 

Gonzalez says economic factors in Arkansas are responsible for much of the divide.

 

She adds that all the news in Arkansas regarding racial progress is not bad.

 

Gonzalez says states in the deep South have historically done poorly when it comes to integration. However, she says the survey shows several southern states including Georgia, Mississippi and Arkansas have made significant progress toward racial equality since 1970.

 

 

MILITARY ALERT: TAX PROTECTIONS FOR MILITARY FAMILIES     1/16/17

 

Each year, many active-duty military families are taken advantage of when filing their taxes because they are not aware of the many protections that are available to them. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act offers safeguards that include tax deferment and state tax relief for qualifying service members and many of those members have called the Attorney General's office to get more details.

 

The following information is about the SCRA tax provisions to remind active-duty military service members of protections that are available to them this tax season:

 

The SCRA provides that a nonresident soldier's military income and personal property are not subject to state taxation if the soldier is present in the state only due to military orders. For example, if your state of legal residence is Arkansas and the military stations you in Colorado, you will not have to pay Colorado's state income tax on military earnings.

 

The SCRA prevents states from using the income earned by a service member in determining a spouse's tax rate when they do not maintain their permanent legal residence in that state.

 

The SCRA has a provision that extends tax protections to military spouses who meet qualifying factors such as accompanying the service member to a duty station state. Income that is earned by the non-military spouse while in the duty station state is not subject to taxation in that state.

 

And, if a service member's inability to pay their taxes was caused by their military service, service members can defer owed taxes for up to 180 days after their release from service.

 

The IRS also provides a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, which offers free tax help to military service members.

 

Arkansas military service members, veterans, and families should file consumer complaints with the Attorney General's office on ArkansasAG.gov or by calling 1-800-482-8982.

 

 

2017 ARKANSAS PROSECUTING ATTORNEYS ASSOCIATION BOARD ELECTS 9TH JUDICIAL PROSECUTOR AS PRESIDENT       1/13/17

 

The Arkansas Prosecuting Attorneys Association announced its 2017 Board of Directors on Thursday and 9th Judicial West District Prosecuting Attorney, Bryan Chesshir was elected to serve as President of the Board.

 

Blake Batson, the prosecuting attorney for the 9th Judicial District - East, will serve as Vice-President. Kyle Hunter, the prosecuting attorney for the 11th Judicial District - West, will serve as Secretary-Treasurer.

 

Other board members include Scott Ellington, the prosecuting attorney for the 2nd Judicial District, Cody Hiland, the prosecuting attorney for the 20th Judicial District, Ken Casady, the prosecuting attorney for the 22nd Judicial District and Daniel Shue, the prosecuting attorney for the 12th Judicial District.

 

Tom Tatum II is the prosecuting attorney for the 15th Judicial District and he will serve as the Arkansas Prosecuting Attorneys Association's board representative for the National District Attorneys Association.

 

 

ANIMAL CRUELTY CASE PICKED UP BY METRO NEWS SOURCES       1/13/17

 

A Sevier County resident that has been charged with eight counts of animal cruelty entered a plea of not guilty through his attorney in the Sevier County District Court this week, made the Dallas Morning News, Thursday morning.

 

Tuesday, Sevier County District Judge Manya Wood set a trial date of March 14th for 25-year-old Brian Moore who has been accused of shooting eight dogs that had been rescued from animal shelters in the Fort Worth area.

 

According to Moore, he and his girlfriend, Whitney Smither would remove the dogs from the shelters to save them from being euthanized. However, Moore told investigators from the Sevier County Sheriff's Office that the dogs had started biting people and had even killed a neighbor's calf.

 

The sheriff's office reported they had received some complaints about some vicious dogs that were running in packs in the Horatio area.

 

According to the arrest affidavit, Moore's girlfriend, Smither moved to another state, and Moore allegedly shot the dogs before they could harm someone or kill another animal.

 

According to the Sevier County Sheriff's Office, the investigation is ongoing.

 

 

ASHDOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT HONORS BOARD OF EDUCATION MEMBERS       1/13/17

 

The Ashdown School District joined districts across the state this week to celebrate School Board Member Recognition Month. More than 1,500 Arkansas school board members are being honored this month for their service and dedication to their local school districts.

 

Ashdown Superintendent Jason Sanders said board members assume a crucial role in representing students and advocating for public education. He said the Ashdown District is proud their board and Arkansas School Board Recognition Month is a great time to recognize and celebrate their accomplishments.

 

As elected school officials, school board members set the policies for their respective districts and under state law, they are empowered to hire and evaluate the superintendent, oversee the district's finances, approve the budget, and determine the vision and mission of the district. School boards must also approve the curriculum and ensure the district maintains adequate facilities for teaching and learning.

 

Sanders said in addition to their board duties, state law requires school board members to earn a minimum of six hours of professional development each year in areas that are related to their role and responsibilities.

 

The members of the Ashdown Board of Education are Standing L to R: Ricky Ward, Chuck Davis, Michael Turner, Raymond Latson, Glenda Smedley, Rosa Bowman and Dorothy Henderson.

 

 

DIERKS HIGH SCHOOL RECOGNIZED FOR HIGH GRADUATION RATE       1/13/17

 

Monday night, Superintendent Holly Cothern informed the Dierks Board of Education that the Dierks High School has been recognized by the Arkansas Department of Education through the Arkansas School Recognition Program for being in the six to 10 percent of the statewide graduation rate.

 

Cothern said more students are also taking the ACT exam and scoring a 19 or higher.

 

Cothern also reported elementary counselor Carla Bray was awarded a $1,000 grant from E-Z Mart Jim Yates Foundation for an outdoor classroom.

 

Board members also extended Cothern's contract through the 2018-2019 school term.

 

Head Football Coach Vince Perrin also discussed his plans to upgrade the field-house at the football field.  He said he wants to develop a strength training facility by upgrading the buildings HVAC system and by adding rubberized flooring. Perrin said he also has plans to make the building wind and moisture proof.

 

Board members also asked Perrin to check into ways to safely secure the weights and weight systems.

 

 

MISS DHS PAGEANT      1/13/17

 

Junior Class Representative Brady Young announced the Miss De Queen High School Pageant will be Saturday, January 21st at the De Queen High School Auditorium beginning at 6 p.m.

 

Young said they will hold rehearsal on Wednesday, January 18th at 5:30 p.m. She said there will be one winner, but all participants will receive a medal.

 

Young said the Little Miss pageant is a Natural pageant and the contestants are not allowed to wear make-up. She said they can wear some simple jewelry, but nothing ornate or flashy.

 

Young also stated the Miss DHS pageant is a fundraiser for the De Queen Junior class.

 

 

SENATOR MISSY IRVIN AND REPRESENTATIVE DEANN VAUGHT FILE MATERNITY BILL FOR STATE EMPLOYEES       1/13/17

 

On Thursday afternoon, Senator Missy Irvin and Representative DeAnn Vaught filed Senate Bill 125 to amend provisions of the Uniform Attendance and Leave Policy Act to include leave for maternity purposes under the catastrophic leave bank program. This provision covers all female employees who have been employed by the state for over one year and public school and higher education employees who have been employed by the state for over two years. The new language provides for the birth of a biological child as well as the placement of an adopted child into the employee's home.

 

The catastrophic leave bank program is a program that allows state employees to donate their accrued annual and sick leave into a pool to be used by state employees who need to leave for a period of time due to a catastrophic illness or injury. Under the new provision, state employees are eligible for up to four weeks of maternity leave under the catastrophic leave program if used within the first 12 weeks of a child being born or adopted into the state employee's family.

 

The Arkansas Senate Republican Caucus as well as the Arkansas Republican House Caucus has found a creative way to aid mothers working to support their families that will not place a heavy burden on taxpayers or the state budget. GOP lawmakers are proud to stand with working mothers who are readjusting to life with a new family member and are also proud of the efforts taken to maintain fiscal responsibility towards the citizens of Arkansas.

 

 

USDA FARM SERVICE AGENCY OFFERS TEXT ALERTS TO LITTLE RIVER, HOWARD AND PIKE COUNTY PRODUCERS         1/13/17

 

Little River, Howard and Pike county USDA Farm Service Agency County Executive Director Dylan Bowman announced that farmers and ranchers in Arkansas can now receive notifications from their county office through text messages on their cell phones.

 

Whether producers are in the field, on a tractor or even on horseback, this service enables Farm Service Agency customers and stakeholders to receive notification while on the go. Producers will receive text messages regarding important program deadlines, reporting requirements, outreach events and updates.

 

Little River County producers can text ARLittleRiver to 372-669 to subscribe to text message alerts. Howard County producers can text ARHoward to 372-669 to subscribe to text message alerts and Pike County producers can text ARPike to 372-669 to subscribe to text message alerts.

 

Contact your local Farm Service Agency office at 870-898-3611 ext. 2 if you have any questions regarding the Farm Service Agency's email news service or the new text message option.

 

 

HORATIO BOARD OF EDUCATION VERY BUSY IN JANUARY       1/12/17

 

Monday night, Horatio Board of Education members voted to extend the contract of Superintendent Lee Smith through the 2018-2019 school year and they extended the contracts of the district's part-time technology employees to 40-days.

 

Smith reported the board also voted to change the district's suspension policy to read that suspended students will be required to take semester and state mandated tests.

 

Smith said the district also increased the teacher tuition reimbursement amount from $350 to $450. He said the employee must remain with the district for one year following the reimbursement or repay the district.

 

Board members were also informed that the district has been selected to participate in a pilot drone grant program.

 

Smith said the program will help meet the future demands for drone mechanics and pilots in the area.

 

Smith also reported the district is looking at several ways to meet the educational needs of students, including a 4-day school week.

 

Smith said some districts have gone to a 4-day school week to help solve budget problems but that is not the case at Horatio. However, he did mention there were a few drawbacks.

 

Smith said the public is invited to the Horatio Board of Education meetings, but if they are unable to attend, he invited them to enjoy some coffee and a conversation on Tuesday mornings following the board meetings at 8 a.m. You can also follow the discussion on the district's Facebook page at Facebook.com/Horatio Lions.

 

 

PUBLIC MEETINGS SET FOR WORKING LANDS FOR WILDLIFE PROGRAM      1/12/17

 

One of the chief platforms for Arkansas Game and Fish Commission chairman Fred Brown is to lead the restoration of the northern bobwhite in Arkansas. During a recent meeting, Brown and other commissioners were updated by experts from nearby states about how they’ve been successful in re-establishing quail habitat in their states.

 

Quail were once abundant throughout the state, but changes in agricultural practices and growth of urban areas has changed the bird's habitat to where they are rarely seen and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission wants to change that.

 

In the coming days, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will host public meetings with interested landowners about its Working Lands for Wildlife program, which will provide a total of $400,000 to landowners who have property in close proximity to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's Wildlife Management Areas and who will dedicate part of their holdings to the restoration of quail habitat.

 

Arkansas Game and Fish Wildlife Officer John Partain said you should call the Southwest Research and Extension Center if you want to participate in the Working Lands for Wildlife program in Southwest Arkansas.

 

The public is also invited to a meeting on Thursday, January 19th from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Southwest Research and Extension Center in Hope to learn more about the Working Lands for Wildlife program. If you are interested in attending, please call 870-777-8800 ext. 3 to RSVP.  

 

 

IRS TO DELAY TAX REFUNDS FOR LOW-INCOME FAMILIES         1/12/17

 

The IRS announced it will be delaying tax refunds for more than 40 million low-income families this year as the agency steps up efforts to fight identity theft and fraud.

 

The delays will affect families claiming the earned income tax credit and the additional child tax credit. Even though, these tax breaks are geared to benefit the working poor.

 

The tax filing season starts on Monday, January 23rd, but a new law requires the IRS to delay tax refunds for people claiming these credits until Wednesday, February 15th.

 

The delay is designed to give the IRS more time to screen the returns for fraud. The IRS estimates that it issued $3.1 billion in fraudulent tax refunds to identity thieves in 2014.

 

The earned income tax credit is one of the federal government's largest anti-poverty programs and it has been plagued by billions in improper payments each year, including overpayments, underpayments and fraud.

 

In 2014, about 29 million families received more than $72 billion dollars in earned income credits.

 

The additional child tax credit also targets low-income families, because most families with children are eligible for the standard $1,000-a-child tax credit, but they don't owe enough in federal income tax to claim the full credit. So, the additional child tax credit enables eligible families to claim the rest of the credit in the form of a tax refund.

 

In 2014, more than 20 million families claimed $27 billion dollars in these credits.

 

This year, the IRS expects to process more than 153 million tax returns and more than 70-percent of taxpayers are expected to get refunds.

 

The delayed refunds are part of a broader effort by the IRS to fight identity theft and fraud on refunds.

 

 

ASHDOWN CHEERLEADER REPRESENTS AHS IN VARSITY SPIRIT SPECTACULAR       1/12/17

 

Ashdown High School cheerleader, Laiken Newton was one of more than 800 high school cheerleaders and dancers from across the country who participated in the second annual Varsity Spirit Spectacular at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, from December 1st through the 4th.

 

The individuals that were invited to perform in the parade were part of a select group of 10th to 12th grade captains, co-captions, officers and All-American cheerleaders who attended a Varsity Spirit summer camp that was hosted by the Universal Cheerleaders Association, the Universal Dance Association, the National Cheerleaders Association, the National Dance Alliance or the United Spirit Association.

 

Newton performed in an exclusive pre-parade performance through Disney's Magic Kingdom Park before hundreds of fans. She said besides enjoying a sunny trip to Orlando, she had the opportunity to meet cheerleaders and dancers from across the nation and to enjoy the magical holiday season at the Walt Disney World Resort parks.

 

Newton said she was proud to represent Ashdown High School and the state of Arkansas in the Varsity Spirit Spectacular. She said she was so excited because she got to enjoy two of her favorite things at the same time: Disney and cheerleading. Newton also said she's already looking forward to next year's event.

 

 

GOVERNOR ADDRESSED STATE LEGISLATURE ON TUESDAY       1/11/17

 

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson addressed the state legislature Tuesday during a joint session of the 91st General Assembly at the state capitol.

 

During his State of Arkansas Address, Governor Hutchinson said this is an exciting time for Arkansans and it's a time when the members of the 91st General Assembly can create a special moment in history.

 

Hutchinson said the state's population is growing and he expects that number to grow to over 3 million this year.

 

He asked lawmakers to enact his $50 million tax cut for more than 600,000 people who are making less than $21,000 a year, because the state is experiencing economic growth.

 

Hutchinson outlined his agenda for this year's session. He stated his agenda includes funding for foster care, stabilization centers for people going through a mental health crisis and increased funding for both public schools and higher-education institutions.

 

Hutchinson also told legislators that they were not elected to be Democrats or Republicans but to serve all Arkansans.        

 

 

REPRESENTATIVE VAUGHT NAMED HOUSE MANAGEMENT CHAIR      1/11/17

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught was sworn-in to office for her second term on Monday and Speaker of the House Jeremy Gillam named Vaught the chairperson of the House Management Committee.

 

Vaught stated she will be working closely with Speaker Gillam and it was an honor to be chosen for the position in only her second term.

 

Vaught will also serve on the Rules Committee, the Insurance and Commerce Committee, the Education Committee and the Joint Budget Committee.

 

Vaught said her appointments will require her to be in Little Rock more because of her leadership roles, but her constitutes in District 4 can contact her by email at deann.vaught@arkansashouse.org if they need assistance with a problem, concern or to simple send her a message of encouragement.

 

 

RACING SEASON OPENS AT OAKLAWN THIS FRIDAY       1/11/17

 

Friday marks the beginning of the 112th season of live racing at Oaklawn in Hot Springs and will continue for 57-days through mid-April.

 

Known as the home of the Racing Festival of the South and the Arkansas Derby, Oaklawn has been a place to see standout champion horses over the years. American Pharoah won the Arkansas Derby in 2015 on his way to the winning the Triple Crown and last year's Arkansas Derby winner, Creator, went on to win the Belmont Stakes.

 

This year, Jose Ortiz, who was the winningest jockey in the country for 2016, is scheduled to ride at the track opening weekend. The bulk of Oaklawn's jockeys from the past years will also be returning to the track, including Ricardo Santana, Jr., who has been the leading rider at Oaklawn for the past four-years and won the Arkansas Derby last year.

 

Oaklawn visitors can also learn more about the sport of horse racing by attending the Dawn at Oaklawn event. Beginning February 18th, Oaklawn will offer this free program from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. every Saturday morning, weather permitting, during the season. The program includes a tour of the barn area, where you can watch the horses train and interact with those close to the sport including jockeys, trainers and owners. The program will be led by Hot Springs native Nancy Holthus, who is a paddock analyst at the racetrack.

 

This year's live racing season runs from January 13th to April 15th. Races run from Thursday to Sunday, with the gates opening every race day at 11 a.m.

 

While at Oaklawn, don't forget to get a corned beef sandwich and this Saturday, corned beef sandwiches will be 50 cents each and soft drinks are only 10 cents.

 

There's also going to be racing on Monday, January 16 and Monday, February 20th, as well as Wednesday, April 12th.

 

For more information, visit Oaklawn.com or call 501-623-4411.

 

 

PARKING IN MIDDLE OF ROAD LEADS TO DRUG ARREST       1/11/17

 

While conducting a traffic stop on South Park Avenue in De Queen, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Greg Davignon noticed a Ford pickup sitting in the middle of the road.

 

When Davignon approached the truck, he identified the driver as Anthony Fondren of De Queen. Davignon said that while he was speaking to Fondren, he smelt raw marijuana.

 

While searching Fondren, Davignon discovered a clear plastic bag of suspected marijuana in a pants pocket. He then found two more clear bags of suspected synthetic marijuana in the truck.

 

Fondren was citied for driving on a suspended license and charged with one count of possession of marijuana.

 

 

LICENSE PLATE LIGHTS ARE OUT; PARTY’S OVER         1/11/17

 

Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Matt Webb reported he observed a tan Chevy pickup traveling south on Melrose Road on Thursday, January 5th that did not have any working license plate lights.

 

Webb identified the driver as William Dildy and the passenger as Leslie Walker.

 

After Webb discovered a 44-caliber black powder only pistol by the console between the driver's and passenger's seats, Webb placed Dildy and Walker in handcuffs because the two men were convicted felons.

 

After conducting a search of the vehicle, Webb walked back to where the two men were standing and noticed a blue smoking pipe that contained suspected methamphetamine on the ground about four-feet from Walker.

 

Both men were taken to the Sevier County jail and Dildy reportedly told Webb that he had borrowed the truck from his brother and neither he nor Walker knew the pistol was in the truck.

 

After interviewing both Walker and Dildy, Walker was charged with felony possession of drug paraphernalia.  

 

 

RATE CHANGES ANNOUNCED BY U.S. POSTAL SERVICE       1/11/17

 

The U.S. Postal Service recently announced its slate of proposed rate changes for mailing and shipping service, these proposed rate changes will go into effect on Sunday, January 22nd.

 

As part of the new 2017 rates, the postage price for one-ounce Metered First-Class Letters is dropping from 46.5 cents to 46 cents, while the postage rate for a one-ounce stamped letter is increasing from 47 cents to 49 cents. According to the postal service, for the first time ever, small businesses will be able to reap a 3-cent savings on metered letters over stamped letters.

 

Other rate changes to First-Class Mail include:

There will be a four-cent increase in the price of First-Class Mail Flats up to 1-ounce from .94 cents to .98 cents. And, there will be increases for Media Mail, Library Mail, Certificate of Mailing, Return Receipt and Signature Confirmation.

 

 

BEST CARE CLASSES BEING OFFERED       1/11/17

 

If you provide care to young children and would like to learn more about researched based information concerning ways to educate and care for young children, you may be interested in training opportunities such as The Best Care.

 

Sometimes it's a struggle to find quality resources that are close to home and affordable. The University of Arkansas, cooperative Extension Service, in partnership with the Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education offers 10-hours of professional development training for educators or caregivers of young children. All training opportunities are offered free of charge and are verified through the new Professional Development Registry, which is also known as the Traveling Arkansas' Professional Pathways and support the Better Beginnings quality rating system.

 

The Best Care will begin on Saturday, January 28th at the Howard County Extension Homemakers Educational Center which is located at 425 Second Street in Nashville. The training will begin with registration at 8:30 a.m. and the class will start at 9. Additional hours will be offered on February 18th. By attending both sessions, participants will receive 10-hours of certification.

 

Topics for this year's The Best Care training will include: Active Play, Disaster Preparedness, Classroom Transitions, Music in  Early Childhood, Two Bite Club, Celebrating Cultures, Infant and Toddler Literacy and Effective Communications Skills.

 

If you are interested in participating in The Best Care, contact the Sevier County Extension Office at 870-584-3013 or e-mail jcantrell@uaex.edu to register. Participates are asked to register by Friday, January 20th.

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE LOCATED MISSING TEEN        1/10/17

 

UPDATE AT 11:10AM : THE 15 YEAR OLD HAS BEEN FOUND AND IS SAFE!

 

Sevier County Sheriff Robert Gentry reported the missing 15-year-old juvenile, Nicholas Crump has been located, safe and sound.

 

According to the Sheriff's office, Crump was last seen about 8 p.m. Monday night at the intersection of Central Road and Fielding Lane. He was then seen around midnight at the intersection of Central Road and Oak Tree Road. Officers located Crump about 11 a.m. Tuesday in the Central Community.

 

 

SNOW FALL CAUSES SEVERAL ACCIDENTS IN SEVIER COUNTY      1/10/17

 

Deputies of the Sevier County Sheriff's Office responded to several accidents last Friday and Saturday as ice and snow caused problems for drivers in the area.

 

Early Friday morning, Deputy Michael Barnes responded to a single vehicle accident on Story Creek Road.

 

When Barnes arrived, he discovered a vehicle in the ditch, turned upside down. The driver, Tiffany McMurtrey of Watson, Oklahoma, reported she was coming around a curve and hit a patch of ice, which caused her to lose control of her vehicle. She said the car hit the right bank of the ditch and overturned.

 

Friday afternoon, Deputy Wendall Randall was dispatched to a single vehicle accident on U.S. Highway 41 about four-miles south of De Queen.

 

Randall reported Michael Elizondo of De Queen lost control of his truck when he drove over a slick spot in the road while going around a curve, causing the truck to run off the road and into an adjacent pasture. The accident also caused the driver's side rear tire to come off.

 

Friday night about 7 p.m., Deputy Matt Webb responded to a single vehicle accident on East Main Street in Lockesburg, near the Big Bellville Creek.

 

The driver, Barbara Bell of Lockesburg, reported she was traveling east when she hit some ice and lost control of her vehicle, causing it to slide into the ditch.

 

Early Saturday morning, Yolanda Cruz-Gomez of De Queen was citied for driving to fast for conditions after her vehicle overturned on Highway 329.

 

Gomez reported she was driving to work, when she came around a curve and lost control of her vehicle on some ice.

 

The accident report states the vehicle crossed the north bound lane and left the roadway. It then skidded through a gravel driveway before crossing both the north and south bound lanes and collided with an embankment before striking two small trees. The report says the vehicle then slid down the embankment and overturned.

 

Then about 10 a.m., Deputy Kristopher Hundley was dispatched to a single vehicle accident on Beacon Hill Road.

 

According to the report, Jacob Taylor of Nashville was driving west on Beacon Hill Road and struck a patch of ice, causing the vehicle to spin 180 degrees, striking the ditch and overturning onto the passenger side.

 

Taylor was citied for not having proof of insurance.

 

 

DE QUEEN BOARD OF EDUCATION RENEWED CONTRACTS OF SUPERINTENDENT AND ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT         1/10/17

 

Monday night during the January meeting of the  De Queen Board of Education, board members voted to renew the contracts of Superintendent Bruce Hill and Assistant Superintendent Paul Shelton.

 

Board members also accepted the resignation of Junior High Science teacher, Meagan Strain and they voted to hire Peggy Hill to teach junior high science for the remainder of the year.

 

Hill also announced Governor Asa Hutchinson and the State Board of Education has declared January as School Board Member Recognition Month.

 

Hill also informed the board that the De Queen Board of Education had been awarded the Outstanding Board Award from the Arkansas Department of Education.

 

Hill told the board that the district's audit has been completed, and one of the things the board needed to do was pass resolutions allowing the district to conduct business with the district's Speech Therapist, Alisa Lindsey and Gentry Chevrolet.

 

Board members also passed a policy change concerning the identification process for the district's Gifted and Talented Program. Hill said the policy change was recommended by the district's GT program director, Sara Matlock and approved by the building principals.

 

The next meeting of the De queen Board of Education was scheduled for February 6th at 5 p.m.

 

 

TIME AND DATE SET FOR SEVIER COUNTY QUORUM COURT        1/10/17

 

Members of the Sevier County Quorum Court held their first meeting of 2017 Monday afternoon in the conference room of the Sevier County Courthouse.

 

Sevier County Judge Greg Ray said the first item on the agenda was to set the times and dates for the quorum court meetings. He said they then selected JP David Wright to serve as their representative to the Arkansas Association of Quorum Courts.

 

JPs also approved the re-appointment of Norman Cox to the Sevier County Airport Board. Judge Ray said the airport board does a good job securing grants for airport improvements.

 

After suspending the rules, JPs voted to remove a 1986 roller from the county's inventory list. Judge Ray said the roller had to be removed from the inventory list, so he could use it as a trade-in on a double roller for the county road department.

 

The next Sevier County Quorum Court meeting is February 13th at 2 p.m. in the Sevier County Courthouse.

 

 

UA COSSATOT FOUNDATION RECEIVES LEGACY CAMPAIGN DONATION      1/10/17

 

The Legacy 2020 Campaign, which is a capital fundraising project of the UA Cossatot Foundation, has received a donation from the Horatio

State Bank.

 

As a result of the donation, room 611 in the Adams Building on the De Queen Campus will be renamed the Horatio State Bank Hall.

 

Foundation Coordinator of Development, Dustin Roberts said Horatio State Bank has been a valuable partner of UA Cossatot for years. He said even before the college was affiliated with the University of Arkansas system, Horatio State Bank was supportive of student needs.

 

Roberts said as the foundation proceeds with its Legacy campaign, the dedication that Horatio State Bank has shown will inspire other small businesses and individuals who want to support economic growth, to donate to the college.

 

UA Cossatot Foundation's Legacy 2020 Campaign is focusing on donors and corporations that wish to invest in the growth of the college on all three campuses. Roberts said for every donation amount, there is a naming opportunity for donors who wish to leave a legacy for future students.

 

Horatio State Bank CEO, Ned Hendrix, said the bank is thrilled to have a room named the Horatio State Bank Hall. He said many of the bank's current and former employees attended classes at Cossatot and the bank is always trying to remove barriers, so community members so they can receive an education.

 

Roberts stated the Legacy 2020 campaign is very flexible. He said businesses and individuals can make a one-time donation or pay out their commitment annually.

 

For more information about the Legacy 2020 Campaign visit Cossatot's website at www.cccua.edu.

 

 

MISSING 15 YEAR MALE     01/10/16

 

UPDATE AT 11:10AM : THE 15 YEAR OLD HAS BEEN FOUND AND IS SAFE!

 

Sevier County Sheriff Robert Gentry has requested the public's help in locating a missing 15-year-old male in the Central Community.

 

Gentry said Nicholas Crump was last seen around 12:30 - 1 o'clock this morning at 800 Central Road wearing a camo hoodie and blue jeans. Gentry said they suspect he may be headed to a residence on Bradley Chapel Road but has not arrived yet.

 

If you have information as to the whereabouts of Crump, contact the Sevier County Sheriff's Office at 870 642 -2125.

 

ASHDOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT RECEIVES OVER $7,000 IN GRANTS      1/9/17

 

Staff members of the Ashdown School District were recently awarded over $7,000 in grants from the E-Z Mart Jim Yates Foundation and Lowe's.

 

Three Ashdown staff members were awarded over $2,700 from the E-Z Mart Jim Yates Foundation.

 

Ashdown Junior High School Assistant Principal, Tracy Forte was awarded a grant to start a "Gentlemen's Club." Forte said young men will learn how to dress for success and how to be talented, educated and achieving men.

 

Ashdown High School teacher, Amy Silva received a grant and will use the money to purchase a "Heart and Lungs Sounds Update for their manikin. It will include a torso overlay with a sensor network that is hidden beneath the skin.

 

Silva said students will be able to hear the appropriate heart or lung sound by using the virtual stethoscope. She said there's also an external speaker so the classroom can hear what the student hears.

 

Ashdown High School theater teacher, Jennifer Walker will use her grant to purchase some professional wireless headsets for future Ashdown High School theater performances.

 

Ashdown Junior High also received a grant in the amount of $4,800 from Lowe's to construct an outdoor classroom and Smith's Ready Mix donated a concrete pad.

 

The Outdoor classroom will be used by all of the staff members and students at the Ashdown Junior High School.

 

Science classes will have weather equipment so they can monitor the weather, EAST and the 8th grade science students plan to create a garden, with a water garden around it and there are plans to create a greenhouse that will have a solar aquaponic garden.

 

According to an Ashdown School District spokesperson, these funds will assist educators in acquiring the tools that are necessary to keep the teaching of students fun, up to date and interesting.

 

 

BENSON SPEAKS TO STUDENTS IN DE QUEEN       1/9/17

 

De Queen Police Chief Scott Simmons and Officer Bobby Bagley recently attended a school assembly at the De Queen High School to show their support for the guest speaker, Michael Benson.

 

Benson spoke to students in the eighth through the twelfth grades on Wednesday, January 4th.

 

Benson is from Nashville and graduated in 1985. He was All-State in football, basketball, baseball and track. He played football for the University of Arkansas under Coach Ken Hatfield and he had ambitions to play professional football.

 

Benson tried out for the Oakland Raiders, but missed the cut by one. He then tried out for the Denver Broncos, but missed the cut by one, again. Eventually, he landed a position on a semi-pro football team in Colorado and the team went on to win the Semi-Pro National Championship.

 

While in Colorado, Benson was with some guys that he thought were his friends. But, that choice of "friends" cost him 24-years of freedom.

 

Benson talked about making good choices and what some of the possible results are from making bad decisions.

 

Benson told students that while he was behind bars, he read a lot of self-help books. He said, "Make up your mind to make great choices. You may have to be a cycle breaker. You may need to break the cycle of what your parents may have done and then apply yourself to become the most successful person you can be."

 

Benson said success is defined by how you handle your trials, tribulations and applications. He said if you make bad choices, you have to deal with the consequences.

 

Benson encouraged students to give themselves the opportunity to succeed, to keep dreaming and to do better for themselves.

 

 

LAWSUIT AGAINST KANSAS CITY RAILROAD FILED IN LITTLE RIVER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT        1/9/17

 

A collision between a car and a train last January in Ogden is the subject of a civil lawsuit that is pending in the Little River County Circuit Court.

 

According to the accident report, there were no flashing lights or wooden arms to warn drivers of an approaching train, when a car carrying Linda Hobbs, Bobby Burris and 10-year-old Braden Miller approached the Kansas City railroad crossing at Pine Street on January 21st, 2016. The accident that occurred that day claimed the lives of Burris and Miller and left Hobbs with life-altering injuries.

 

The lawsuit filed by Hobbs and the Miller estate seeks damages from Kansas City Southern Railway Company and Burris' estate. The suit alleges the railway company knew the crossing was dangerous, but failed to upgrade the crossing with safety equipment due to the cost.

 

According to the complaint, Pine Street crosses the track at a skewed angle, limiting the vision of drivers who approach the crossing from the west.

 

On January 21st, it was raining and the vehicle struck a freight train that consisted of four locomotives and 37 cars. The train was traveling a 52 miles per hour as it approached the Pine Street crossing. The complaint also alleges the train's staff did not sound the warning horn.

 

KCS railway denies any wrongdoing. KCS also blames Hobbs for the collision, alleging she was driving the car.

 

The complaint also alleges Burris was driving and he should have known that trains crossed the tracks on a regular basis.

 

A lawyer representing Burris' estate contends he was a passenger and Hobbs was the driver.

 

Burris' estate, the Miller estate and Hobbs are all seeking damages from KCS for allegedly putting profits above the public's safety. Hobbs is also seeking damages for her pain and suffering and for her medical expenses past, current and future.

 

The Miller and Burris estates are seeking wrongful-death compensation, compensation for final expenses and compensation for the pain and suffering that they experienced at the time of the deadly crash.

 

 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE FROM REPRESENTATIVE VAUGHT      1/9/17

 

The 91st General Assembly began today at noon and 200 bills have already been filed.

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported legislators received the monthly revenue report, last week and it showed a net available general revenue amount of $2.6 billion dollars for the current fiscal year, which began on July 1st. The report shows revenue is up 1.5 percent over last years numbers, but $8.8 million dollars below what the state forecasted.

 

Vaught said several tax cut proposals have been filed, including one that would lower the income taxes for those receiving military retirement benefits.

 

Vaught said legislators will attempt to balance the tax cut proposals with a request for additional funding for education. In the Education Committee's annual adequacy report, they recommended an increase of $45.6 million.

 

Legislators will also consider a new funding formula for higher education.

 

Vaught said Governor Asa Hutchinson is expected to speak in the House Chamber on Tuesday.

 

All House proceedings in the Chamber and all House committee meetings that are held in the Capitol building will be streamed live on the website: www.arkansashouse.org.

 

 

SEX OFFENDER NOTIFICATION       1/9/16

 

The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department is releasing the following information pursuant to Section 13 of Act 989 of 1997, which is the Sex and Child Offender Registration and Community Notification Guidelines. The purpose of this notification is to inform the public of a sex offender’s release when the release of such information will enhance the public’s safety and protection.

 

According to the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office, 47-year-old Freddie Stubbs is living at 688 Sycamore Road in De Queen. The Sevier County Sheriff's Office wants to inform area residents that Stubbs is not wanted by the police at this time.

 

According to the Arkansas Crime Information Center, Stubbs has been convicted of an offense that requires him to register as a sex offender and his previous criminal history places him in a classification as a level 3 sex offender and that reflects the potential to be a repeat offender.

 

Sevier County Sheriff Robert Gentry wants to remind area residents that the abuse of this information by threatening, intimidating or harassing Stubbs or other registered sex offenders will not be tolerated. Gentry said this sort of abuse could possibly end law enforcement’s ability to provide community notifications and if that happens, only the sex offenders will win.

 

For more information, contact the sheriff’s office at 870-642-2125.

 

 

 

ATTENTION!!! AREA  CLOSINGS  AND CANCELLATIONS -  

 

UPDATE- Jan 6, 2017

 

 

Bancorp South will be closing at 4pm.

 

Bear State Bank will be closing today at 4pm.

 

The Sevier County Health Department will be closing at 2:30 today.

 

First State Bank, all locations will be closing at 3pm today.
 

The De Queen Jr. High Basketball Tournament, scheduled to begin January 7th has been cancelled in its entirety due to in climate weather.

 

Broken Bow Public School will dismiss at 2pm today.


The Sevier County Courthouse and The De Queen City Hall both closed at 1:00pm


The Department of Human Services and the Sevier County Library will close at 1:30pm.


ACT Prep Academy scheduled for tomorrow 01/07/17 has been cancelled.


Bank of Lockesburg will close at 3pm today due to the in climate weather.


The De Queen Jr. High Basketball Tournament, scheduled to begin January 7th has been cancelled in its entirety due to in climate weather.

 

Ashdown Public School's will dismiss at Noon today. Busses will run. Please make proper arrangements for your children.

 

U A Cossatot will be closing at 10:15 am today and will reopen Monday 01/09/17 and will be open until 7pm Monday for Student Registration.

 

De Queen Parkhill Pre-school will be dismissing at 11:30 am.

 

Dierks Public School will dismiss school at 11:30 am today 01/06/17. Busses will run.

 

Horatio Public School will dismiss school at 11:45 today 01/06/17. Busses will run.

 

De Queen Public School will be dismissing school at @ 11:30 am today 01/06/17. Busses will run, please make preparation for your child.

 

Cossatot River School District

Cossatot River Senior Adult Center

Ashdown - Cossatot River basketball game for Friday, January 6th has been cancelled.

 

Cossatot River School District Superintendent Donnie Davis announced the Cossatot River School District will be closed today due to road conditions north of the high school campus. 

 

Stay tuned to Your #1 Country 92.1 for weather, news and road conditions.

 

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY HEALTH OFFICER UPDATES PUBLIC ABOUT MUMPS OUTBREAK       1/6/17

 

Sevier County Health Officer Dr. Jason Lofton reported there are now five confirmed cases of mumps in Sevier County, but health officials expect that number to rise.

 

Lofton said the mumps is a virus and doctors treat the illness with rest and Tylenol.

 

Lofton said you should be watching for swelling under the jaw and if you suspect the mumps, you should be tested either by your primary care physician or at the Sevier County Health Unit.

 

Lofton also stated if you have not been vaccinated against the mumps, you should receive the MMR injection.

 

Lofton also encouraged Sevier County residents to get healthy in 2017. He stated everyone should get active and eat healthier.

 

For more information about the mumps or other health issues, contact the Sevier County Health Unit at 642-2535.

 

 

DE QUEEN HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL TEAM HOSTING BAKE SALE SATURDAY        1/6/17

 

Four seniors from the De Queen High School softball team announced they will be holding a bake sale Saturday at the De Queen Wal-Mart from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 

Meagan Martz, Randee Toye, Josie Vaught and Carlee Sneed reported the team will be raising for funds to attend a softball tournament in Gulf Shores, Alabama over Spring Break.

 

The De Queen Lady Leopards are the defending 5A South Conference champs and this year's senior class will attempt to lead the De Queen Lady Leopards to the state tournament for the third year in a row.

 

 

CHALICE CUPBOARD REPORT FOR DECEMBER     1/6/17

 

During the month of December, the Chalice Cupboard assisted 32 families including 49 adults and 36 children, totaling 85 people by distributing 938 pounds of food.

 

A total of 1,381 pounds of food was added to the pantry shelves, including 971 pounds of food that was purchased with donated funds. The First United Methodist Church and the Saint Barbara Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus of the Saint Barbara Catholic Church donated 101 pounds, individuals donated 24 pounds, and organizations including Tyson Foods, the De Queen and Horatio branches of the Sevier County Library donated 285 pounds of food.

 

Individuals living in Sevier County who need food may receive help at the Chalice Cupboard at 315 North 5th Street in De Queen on Tuesday and Wednesday from 2 to 3:15 p.m. Food is given to those requesting assistance once each three-month period of the year.

 

This month, cupboard volunteers are asking for non-perishable items like jelly and cereal. All monetary donations will be used to purchase food.

 

 

NOT SUPPOSE TO BE IN MY HOUSE        1/6/17

 

On January 4th, Jimmy Carver informed the Sevier County Sheriff's Office that someone was at his rent house in Lockesburg that was not suppose to be there.

 

Carver informed Deputy Wendall Randall that he was evicting Brandi Trussley from his rent house but Donovan Trussley was not suppose to be there and he was loading items from the house into a silver vehicle.

 

Deputy Randall and Deputy Nikki Nealy located the silver car that Trussley was riding in. When Deputy Nealy made a traffic stop, Trussley was taken into custody because he had an active warrant from the City of De Queen and a Probation and Parole White warrant.

 

While searching Trussley, Deputy Randall discovered a capped syringe and Deputy Nealy found a glass smoking devise in the car where Trussley was sitting.

 

After allegedly admitting the syringe and smoking devise belonged to him, Trussley was charged with a felony count of possession of drug paraphernalia. 

 

 

DE QUEEN RESIDENT CHARGED WITH THEFT BY RECEIVING      1/6/17

 

January 4th, Sevier County Deputy Wendall Randall was asked if 29-year-old Terry Bohannon-Follis of De Queen had an active warrant because he was in a green pickup with Louisiana plates at the Horatio E-Z Mart. The caller provided Randall with a description of the truck along with the tag number.

 

After discovering Follis had a warrant, dispatch informed Randall that the truck had been reported stolen from Lincoln Parrish in South Louisiana.

 

Investigator Jeff Walhs and Deputy Nikki Nealy assisted Randall in searching for the vehicle in Horatio. Deputy Randall observed the vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed on Bruce Street, but was unable to catch-up to the truck however he found the truck parked in the yard of a residence on Central Road.

 

The resident, Cindy Roberts, initially told Randall that Follis was not there, but eventually gave him and Deputies Chris Wolcott and Brian Hankins permission to take a look around.

 

While searching the home, officers found Follis hiding in a bathroom closet and took him into custody on the outstanding warrant, later he was charged with theft by receiving after he told officers that a man brought the truck to his house and offered to sell it to him.

 

 

LEGISLATURE PUSHING FOR STATE TAKEOVER OF AAA        1/5/16

 

An Arkansas lawmaker is pushing for a state takeover of the Arkansas Activities Association, which is the body that governs things like high school sports, cheerleading and bands.

 

State Senator Jeremy Hutchinson of Little Rock says high school activities are too important for there to be a lack of oversight, but some fear the consequences of the state getting involved.

 

The AAA is no stranger to controversy, whether it's a vacated championship or disqualified players, the consequences for breaking AAA rules have brought heartache to communities across the state.

 

Hutchinson said he wouldn't dare criticize a particular decision that the AAA has made, because he doesn't know all the facts and that's part of the problem.

 

He said it would serves everyone's best interest if they opened up the decision making process and let people quote, "see behind the curtain," unquote.

 

De Queen Head Football Coach Justin Kramer stated the AAA is made up of 525 member schools who are grouped into nine activity.

 

 

Coach Kramer said most people don't feel the AAA knows what they're doing, but the AAA is trying to do what's best for student athletes.

 

Hutchinson's plan would make the AAA a state commission and the board would be appointed by the governor and leaders of the State House and Senate.

 

Kramer said the current board is elected by the nine activity districts.

 

Some coaches worry about the impact of high school activities being governed by political appointees. Kramer said he felt this change would be detrimental to high school athletics.

 

Hutchinson said if the AAA was a state commission it would be subject to more scrutiny, including public comment sessions and legislative review.

 

Lance Taylor is the executive director of the AAA and he says the association is the most democratic association in the state and its current makeup is working, so why change it.

 

 

DE QUEEN STUDENT COUNCIL CHILI FUNDRAISER       1/5/17

 

Emily Rodriguez and Veronica Rivas of the De Queen High School Student Council announced they will be holding their second annual chili fundraiser on Tuesday, January 10th at 5 p.m. in the Leopard Coliseum.

 

Rodriguez and Rivas said they will be serving beef and deer chili with and without beans.

 

Cost is $6 a bowl and all proceeds will go to the De Queen High School Student Council for varies charitable activities. 

 

 

CONSUMER ALERT: FAKE TAX BILLS TRICKING CONSUMERS      1/5/17

 

The Arkansas Attorney General is warning consumers that con artists are sending fake tax bills claiming to be from the IRS. demanding immediate payment and threatening arrest if money is not sent.

 

Consumers are being sent a fraudulent version of a CP2000 form for the tax year 2015 as an email with an attachment or by standard mail requesting personal financial information and asking for payment via gift card, prepaid debit card or wire transfer.

 

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge stated the following tips can help Arkansans spot a fake tax bill:

The CP2000 notices appear to be issued from an Austin, Texas, address. The letter or email says the issue is related to the Affordable Care Act and requests information regarding 2014 coverage. The payment voucher lists the letter number as 105C. And, the sender requests that checks be made out to I.R.S. and sent to the "Austin Processing Center" at a post office box.

 

According to the IRS, the form CP2000 does exist, but it is used when income reported from a third-party source does not match the income reported on the tax return. The fake form provides little, if any, instruction to taxpayers about appealing additional money owed, but the real form provides extensive information. And some versions of the scam include a "payment" link within the email, which could be set up to steal personal information, take money or infect the computer with malware. The real notice also requests checks be made out to the "United States Treasury."

 

Consumers who receive this scam via email should forward it to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

 

For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumers related issues, visit the website ArkansasAG.gov or call 1-800-482-8982.

 

 

DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL SETS TIME AND RULES FOR MEETINGS      1/4/17

 

Tuesday night, aldermen of the De Queen City Council were sworn-in by Sevier County District Judge Manya Wood prior to their first meeting of 2017.

 

Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy reported the council then passed a resolution establishing the meeting time and rules for city council meetings. He stated the council decided that the deadline to have an item placed on the agenda will be noon on the Wednesday prior to a council meeting and council meetings will be held on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at 6 p.m.

 

Aldermen then passed resolutions for contracts of services with the Sevier County Humane Society, the Sevier County Historical Society and the Area Agency on Aging.

 

According to McKelvy, the 2017 budget provides $2,000 for the humane society, so city residents can have their dogs or cats spayed and neutered at a discounted price. The historical society will receive $4,000 to help maintain and support the Sevier County Museum. And, the Area Aging on Aging will receive $10,000 from the city to insure the center continues to offer meals and services to the residents of De Queen.

 

Aldermen also discussed several items of city property. McKelvy stated the city owns some oil tanks that he would like to either scrap or sell; they have some old control panels from the water plant that they would like to give away; and they discussed tearing down an old house that the city owns on First Street.

 

Aldermen also reviewed the city's sanitation rates, along with a new city pay scale. McKelvy said he will present recommendations to the council for their consideration at an upcoming meeting.

 

 

PEDESTRIANS STRUCK IN WAL-MART PARKING LOT       1/4/17

 

Saturday afternoon about 1:30, the De Queen Police Department and Southwest EMS were dispatched to the Wal-Mart parking lot after three pedestrians were reportedly struck by a vehicle.

 

When emergency personnel arrived, they transported a three-year-old male to the emergency room at the De Queen Medical Center, while 44-year-old Kristie Strang and 15-year-old Bristol Strang were transported to the hospital by a personal vehicle.

 

According to the incident report, 36-year-old Amber Williamson of De Queen was driving her Chevy Traverse by the front doors of Wal-Mart when she felt her vehicle bump something. She said she stopped immediately and discovered she had hit three people.

 

According to the report, no citations were issued.

 

 

2017 WINTER LOW INCOME HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM     1/4/17

 

Southwest Arkansas Development Council will accept applications for the Home Energy Assistance Program in Sevier County each Thursday, starting on January 12th from 9 a.m. until noon at the Church of the Nazarene at 129 Locke Street in De Queen.

 

The program is for regular assistance only that means no shut-ups notices will be accepted and it provides limited benefits to eligible households.

 

Residents who have received a shut-off notice may also apply for crisis assistance beginning in March.

 

All applicants will need to provide I.D., either a driver's license, a birth certificate, a work or school ID or voter registration card, along with social security numbers for all members of the household, proof of the household income for any household member who is 18 and older for the month prior the month of application.

 

Applicants must provide a current gas and electric bill if your home is setup for both, and if not, then just an electric bill. If you do not have a current bill, you must contact your utility supplier and have this information sent to you before you apply or your application will be delayed or denied.

 

Applications will be accepted on a first come basis and while funds are available or the program closes.

 

For more information, contact the Southwest Arkansas Development Council at 870-773-5504.

 

 

SHREVEPORT VET CENTER'S MOBILE UNIT TO VISIT TEXARKANA       1/4/17

 

The Shreveport Vet Center's Mobile Vet Center will be in Texarkana, Texas for an Outreach Event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 7th at the Texarkana Harley Davidson store on Walton Drive.

 

The Readjustment Counseling Services Mobile Vet Center will be on site to support the event and to offer counseling services. Active duty service members and eligible family members who served in a combat or war zone are now eligible to get counseling at the Shreveport Vet Center, in addition to retired or honorably discharged Combat Veterans and eligible family members.

 

The Shreveport Center offers individual, group and family readjustment counseling to assist active duty service members in making a successful transition from combat, to garrison or civilian life. They offer treatment and help for Post-traumatic stress disorder and other related problems that affect functioning within the family, work, school or other areas of everyday life. And, they offer military sexual trauma counseling for active duty service members of both genders.

 

Service members will be required to provide documentation by their third visit indicating they have served in a combat or war zone to continue counseling. A copy of one of the following documents will meet this requirement including: deployment demobilization order, enlisted record brief, officer record brief, or an award citation indicating service member served in a combat zone.

 

In addition to its regular operating hours of Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the Vet Center has extended hours four nights a week, Monday through Thursday until 7 p.m.

 

Active duty service members or Veterans needing more information should call the Shreveport Vet Center at 318-861-1776.

 

 

A COUPLE OF POLITICAL CHANGES IN SEVIER COUNTY       1/3/17

 

The New Year brought a couple of changes to the political landscape of Sevier County. Former Investigator Robert Gentry was elected Sevier County Sheriff and former prosecutor Manya Wood was elected Sevier County District Judge.

 

Wood's first official act took place Tuesday morning when she put on her new black robe for the swearing-in ceremony at the Sevier County Courthouse where she swore-in the Sevier County Sheriff's Deputies, the city officers who will serve as auxiliary officers for the sheriff's office and county coroner and deputy coroners.

 

Wood stated there may be a few minor changes in the District Court, but she hopes to make a significant change to the county's community service program and she said she will evaluate the county's Amnesty program to ensure that it is effective and benefits the people that need help paying their fines.

 

She also announced the District Court schedule, which is the second and third Tuesdays of each month.

 

If you have an old fine with the Sevier County District Court and would like to agree to a payment plan, call 584-7311.

 

 

ARKANSAS AGRICULTURE HALL OF FAME TO ADD 5 MEMBERS     1/3/17

 

The Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame will induct five individuals whose leadership and service have brought distinction to the state's largest business sector.

 

The newest class includes forester Allen Bedell of Hot Springs, former state senator Neely Cassady of Nashville, rice farmer Gary Sebree  of Stuttgart, poultry company executive Mark Simmons of Siloam Springs, and the late Bobby Wells, a renowned plant breeder who developed many varieties of rice that have positively impacted the state's farmers.

 

The group will be honored at the 29th annual induction luncheon on March 3rd at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Little Rock.

 

Butch Calhoun is the chairman of the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame committee and he said the collective impact of these five men is felt in every part of the state. Calhoun said agriculture is one of the great success stories of the state. 

 

Cassady was a driving force for the poultry industry in southwest Arkansas, taking over his father's hatchery at the age of 18 and expanding it into a vertically integrated poultry company . He built and sold two such companies that continue today as part of Pilgrim's and Tyson Foods. He was elected to the Arkansas Senate in 1982 and served the people of southwest Arkansas for 14 years, where he was a staunch advocate for agricultural issues. Cassady was president of the Arkansas Poultry Federation, on the Tyson Foods board of directors, and a long-time member of the Central Baptist College board of trustees. He was presented the Poultry Pioneer award by the University of Arkansas, given a lifetime achievement award from the Nashville Chamber of Commerce and was named a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International.

 

The mission of the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame is to build public awareness of agriculture and to formally recognize and honor individuals whose efforts have led to the prosperity of local communities and the state.

 

For more information about the Hall of Fame luncheon visit the website aghalloffame.arfb.com.

 

 

DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL TO MEET TONIGHT       1/3/17

 

The De Queen City Council will meet tonight at 6 p.m. in the Council room and aldermen will be administered the oath of office by Sevier County District Judge Manya Wood just prior to the meeting.

 

Aldermen will be asked pass to resolution establishing the meeting times of the council for the remainder of the year.

 

According to the council's agenda, they will consider declaring three properties that are out of compliance as being public nuisances. Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy reported city workers cleaned up the properties on October 1st.

 

The three properties are at 218 West DeQuincey, 610 West Altena and the old EPI building.

 

Aldermen will also review the city's sanitation rates. De Queen residents are currently paying $8.25 per single family residence, $8.25 per month for each trailer in a trailer park, $8.25 per unit in the Housing Authority, and $8.25 per apartment unit.

 

Sanitation customers outside the De Queen city limits pay $10 per month.

 

Commercial customers pay $16 per month for one pick-up per week if they do not have a dumpster, $39 per month if they have a four-yard dumpster, $54 per month if they have a six-yard dumpster and $69 per month if they have an eight-yard dumpster.

 

Aldermen will also consider resolutions to approve contracts of services with the Sevier County Humane Society, the Sevier County Historical Society and the Area Agency on Aging.

 

 

LOCAL BLOOD DRIVE IS WEDNESDAY        1/3/17

 

LifeShare Blood Centers is having a blood drive on Wednesday at the Wal-Mart in De Queen from 2 to 7 p.m. on the LifeShare Bus.

 

According to LifeShare, about one in seven people entering a hospital will need blood and one blood donation, which is approximately one pint, can save up to three lives.

 

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

 

For more information, visit the website, www.lifeshare.org or call 903-794-3173.

 

 

STATE CAPITOL WEEK IN REVIEW      1/3/17

 

When the 91st General Assembly convenes on Monday, January 9th, lawmakers will quickly take up fiscal policy because the outcome of many proposed bills will depend on how much money is available. And, that means one of the major questions for legislators will be how much of a tax reduction is possible, and which types of taxes will be lowered.

 

Governor Asa Hutchinson has proposed a drop in individual income taxes that would mainly benefit lower-income and middle-income families, saving them $50.5 million dollars a year.

 

A separate income tax cut that has been proposed by Senate members is broader in scope and would reduce state revenues by about twice as much as the governor's plan.

 

Legislators will also consider an income tax exemption on retirement benefits for the state's military veterans. This tax cut would save them about $13 million dollars a year.

 

In preparation for the session, the legislature began budget hearings in October to review the details of spending requests from all of the state agencies.

 

The Senate Education Committee has recommended a 1 percent increase in funding for public schools and because the state constitution mandates that the state provide an adequate education for all children in Arkansas that increase is likely to be approved.

 

Publicly-supported higher education in Arkansas consists of 10 four-year universities, the campuses at the medical school in Little Rock and 22 two-year colleges around the state. The governor has proposed a $10 million increase in the amount of their state aid, but its conditional on the legislative approval of a new funding formula.

 

The new formula would reduce the current emphasis on raising enrollment and instead would provide financial rewards to institutions that improve their graduation rates.

 

A priority during the 2017 session will be improving education in high-tech fields and expanding job opportunities in those fields. The governor's agenda includes setting up an "accelerator program" to authorize state agencies to partner with private companies in order to create new jobs in the technology sector. The proposed budget for that program is about $2 million dollars.

 

There is also a proposed bill that would set up three stabilization centers for people going through a mental health crisis. The cost would be an additional $5 million in state spending, but the idea has been endorsed by the governor, law enforcement and county officials. According to the bill, the centers would take the place of county jails as the place that would securely house people who are arrested and suffering from a mental illness.

 

The governor has also proposed adding $5 million dollars so schools can expand their computer science offerings. Senate leaders have said that the education and job creation items on the governor's agenda probably won't be controversial.

 

The governor has also proposed restoring funding to county libraries and senior citizen's centers, adding about $3 million dollars to the state's pre-kindergarten programs and hiring more case workers in the foster care and child welfare system.

 

 

ARKANSAS GUARDSMEN DEPLOYED          1/2/17

 

Sunday afternoon, hundreds of soldiers, including several young men and women from the surrounding area, loaded buses at six locations around the state.

 
Around 700 Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 153rd Infantry Regiment of the 39th Infantry Brigade departed for their deployment to support operations in the Horn of Africa.

The deployment is expected to last just under a year.

According to a military website, the U.S. Combined Task force mission is to conduct "security force assistance, execute military engagement, provide force protection and to provide military support to regional counter-violent extremist organization operations in order to support the aligned regional efforts, ensure regional access and freedom of movement, and to protect U.S. interests."

 

The military operation originated in the wake of the September 11, 2010 terror attacks under Operation Enduring Freedom to combat militant Islamism and piracy in the Horn of Africa.

 

The Horn of Africa is a peninsula in the continent's east region that includes the countries of Ethiopia and Somalia.

 

The Arkansas Guardsmen have spent the past year training for the deployment and will complete several more weeks of additional training at Fort Bliss, Texas before leaving the United States to support operations, exercises and security cooperation programs under U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM).

 

 

GENTRY CHEVROLET OPENING NEW LOCATION TUESDAY       1/2/17

 

For the past year, area residents have speculated about when Bud and Jimmy Ray Gentry would build and open a new Chevy dealership. Well, the wait is over. Gentry Chevrolet Finance Director Dave Brewster announced the new dealership will officially open Tuesday, January 3rd at 8 a.m.

 

Brewster stated everyone, including the Gentrys, knows how difficult it was to get in and out of the old location, but now they'll have a new-modern facility that will benefit everyone, whether you need service or a new vehicle.

 

Brewster said the Gentry family has a history of giving back to the community, and they will continue that tradition at their new location.

 

Brewster stated the Gentry's love this town and they feel the new facility will change people's perception of De Queen and the surrounding area. He also invited everyone to stop by and take a tour of the new facility.

 

The new Gentry Chevrolet dealership will officially open on Tuesday, but a Grand Opening will be held at a later date.

 

 

CONSUMER ALERT: SCAMMERS USE UTILITY BILLS TO TARGET SMALL BUSINESSES       1/2/17

 

Scam artists are targeting small businesses and residential customers by altering caller IDs and claiming to be from a utility company and stating the customers have unpaid utility bills and the services will be shut off immediately if they are not paid immediately.

 

Customers who receive these calls should hang up and call their utility company by using the phone number on their bill to verify the information. Customers should never make a payment or give our personal financial information to someone calling unsolicited and demanding immediate payment.

 

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the following tips to ensure payment is sent to the utility company safely, securely and timely:

Customers should add their utility payment due date to their calendar when they receive the bill; They should drop off the payment at the utility office or at an authorized payment location; They can also pay online on the utility company's website with a credit card or call the company directly; They may also consider participating in an automated draft system, if it is offered; and, they should mail the payment to the company directly.

 

If you have been contacted by one of these scammers, notify the utility company. If you fall victim to one of these phone calls, file a complaint with the Attorney General.

 

For more information about other common scams and consumer-related issues, call the Arkansas Attorney General's office 1-800-482-8982 or visit the website www. ArkansasAG.gov.

 

 

STATE OFFERING QUICKER ROUTE TO TEACHING LICENSE RENEWAL       1/2/17

 

Teachers inspire their students and push them to their fullest potential and currently, there are over 32,000 dedicated teachers serving the students of Arkansas everyday.

 

But, according to a recent study, fewer and fewer students are entering the state's educator preparation programs and the state may be facing a shortage of teachers in the years to come.

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported to ensure excellence in the state's education system, the Arkansas Department of Education is now offering a quicker route for former teachers to renew their license after leaving the profession.

 

She said the program is available for a limited time for teachers who left the profession and no longer have a current license, for those who received an initial license but did not convert it to a standard license and for those teachers who retired and do not have a current license.

 

Vaught said the Teach Again campaign began in November of 2016 and will last through the end of March.

 

She said while the current rules require 60-hours of professional development, the Teach Again program waives that requirement and allows qualified individuals to complete 36-hours if they do so by the end of March.

 

Former teachers must also complete a licensure application, pay the $75 application fee and complete the required background checks. Interested applicants can also receive free online assistance through Arkansas IDEAS.

 

Vaught said since the campaign began, more than 200 eligible candidates have started the process and 15 have completed the requirements. To get started, fill out the contact form at www.arkansased.gov and the Arkansas Department of Education will send the program application, background check instructions, and the resources that are needed to complete the professional development requirements.

 

Vaught said if you are not a retired teacher, but you're considering a career in teaching; visit the website www.arkansased.gov to learn more about the numerous paths to become a licensed teacher.

 

ARREST MADE IN BURGLARY INVESTIGATION       12/30/16

 

On December 27th, Janette Gonzalez contacted the Sevier County Sheriff's Office and asked if a deputy could conduct a security check at her brother's residence in Gillham because he was out of town on business and would not be back until the first of January.

 

When Deputies Roger Ridley and Chet Stubbs arrived, they noticed a vehicle in the driveway. When they walked around the house, they discovered a window broken out and several electronic items sitting on the ground near a shed in the backyard.

 

After Ridley and Stubbs were dispatched to an emergency call, Investigator Jeff Wahls and Chief Deputy Chad Dowdle continued the investigation and contacted Gonzalez to ask if anything was missing.

 

Dowdle was able to speak with the homeowner, David Hevert. Dowdle told Hevert that there were some surround sound speakers and a 5-disk changer, along with a couple of small tool boxes and some fishing poles sitting outside of the storage shed.

 

Hevert then gave the officers permission to go into the house. As they descried what was in the house, he informed them that two television sets were missing, a 30-06 rifle with a scope, a 12-gauge shotgun and a crossbow were also missing from a gun rack.

 

Hevert told Dowdle that he gave his neighbor 37-year-old Glenda Strange a key and asked her to watch his place while he was gone.

 

Dowdle and Wahls then interviewed Strange at the Sheriff's office and she reported she had lost the key, but thought Michael Dunn had it, because he took her keys and it was on the same keychain.

 

While investigating the incident, Investigator and Sheriff-elect Robert Gentry reported he recognized Stranges name because she was trying to sell a rifle, shotgun and some power tools on Facebook.

 

Strange allegedly then admitted that she had taken the items because her husband had passed away around Thanksgiving and she needed some money.

 

Strange was arrested and charged with theft of property.

 

 

ASHDOWN ADMINISTRATION BUILDING TO HOLD OPEN HOUSE        12/30/16

 

Ashdown School District Superintendent, Jason Sanders and the Ashdown Board of Education will host an open house in the Ashdown Schools Administration Building, which was formerly used as the high school and ALE program, on Monday, January 9th from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

 

Sanders reported there will be a brief dedication program at 4 and the building will be opening for viewing and refreshments until 5:30. He said the regular board meeting will follow at 6.

 

The renovations started in the fall of 2016 and were completed in December, early and on budget. The project manager, Steve Greenway with C.R. Crawford Construction Management, was onsite each day to oversee the various contractors that were working on the project.

 

Everyone who visits the building will notice the historic features that were preserved during the renovation and upon entering the front doors; they will notice that the original wood and brick wall that surrounds the main office was polished, along with the subway tile that is throughout the building.

 

The building was constructed in 1954 and was used as the Ashdown High School until 2008 when the current high school was constructed to provide Ashdown students with a new facility that would meet state standards and continue to provide students with the best possible learning atmosphere. The Alternative Learning Program was housed in the building for a time after the construction of the new high school.

 

The board voted to move the administrative offices from two smaller buildings into the newly renovated building in order to be more efficient with the district buildings and personnel.

 

The renovated building will house the district's administration, curriculum, federal programs, and special education offices.

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY LIBRARY TIDBITS      12/30/16

 

Sevier County Library Head Librarian Johnye Fisher announced the De Queen Library will be serving popcorn and showing the movie "Finding Dory" on Saturday, January 14 at 10 a.m.

 

Fisher said the Author of the Month for January is Arkansas writer Charlaine Harris. She is best known for "The Southern Vampire Mysteries" series, which HBO adapted into their True Blood series.

 

Harris was born and raised in the Mississippi River Delta area and now lives in south Arkansas with her husband and three children.

 

The De Queen Library will continue offering Adult Activities each Wednesday at 10 a.m.

 

Fisher said the Horatio Library will spotlight the art work of the late James Underwood who was a 1953 graduate of Horatio High School and a graduate of the University of Arkansas. The library has two books of his artwork on display.

 

Fisher said the Lockesburg Library is planning to expand its preschool education program in 2017. She said the Lockesburg Library has added some new "how-to" homeschool books for parents and the "Letter of the Week" program. They are hoping to start a new ‘Mommy and Me at the Library’ program every other Thursday at 2 p.m. beginning January 28th.

 

Fisher said the Gillham Library has received some more books and magazines from Dianne Rosson. She said the library is open every Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 

 

INMATE CHARGED WITH POSSESSING CONTRABAND AT COUNTY JAIL      12/29/16

 

December 22nd, Sevier County Detention Officers discovered some contraband inside the county jail.

 

According to the incident report, Detention Officers Anthony Ervin and Alisa Cooke were transporting three inmates to the booking area, so they could make a phone call, and that is when the officers were informed that an had a knife in the B pod area.

 

According to the inmates, 20-year-old Vandana Estevez of De Queen had been showing the knife to the other inmates.

 

After removing Estevez from her pod, she allegedly informed the officers that she had not been threatening any of the other inmates with the knife, but had taken it into the jail for her own protection.

 

According to the other three inmates, Estevez allegedly had planned to use the knife on, Latisha Hinton, over a personal issue. However, Hinton is currently not an inmate in the Sevier County jail.

  

 

MEDICAL MARIJUANA COMMISSION APPROVES APPLICATION FEE       12/29/16

 

A state commission said Arkansas residents who hope to grow medial marijuana must pay a $15,000 application fee in addition to a licensing fee.

 

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission approved the plan on Tuesday, but the licensing fee has not been determined yet.

 

The $15,000 fee is the maximum amount that's allowed under the medical marijuana amendment that voters approved in November. Unsuccessful applicants will get back half of their application fee.

 

Commissioner Travis Story voted against the fee saying growers needed to demonstrate the financial ability to operate a cultivation facility.

 

Commissioner Dr. Carlos Ramon said the fees for growers should be kept as low as possible to allow for more applications, but voted for the plan because of the refund stipulation.

 

The state Department of Finance and Administration estimated that the government's oversight of the medical marijuana program will cost between $4 and $6 million dollars a year. They reported tax revenue will only cover about $2.5 million of that amount, so fees are expected to provide some of the funding.

 

The commission must also create rules by June to govern how Arkansas residents can apply for the cultivation and dispensary licenses.

 

 

FIRE PREVENTION TIPS FROM DE QUEEN FIRE DEPARTMENT       12/29/16

 

Cold winter months are the most dangerous time of year for house fires and items like portable space heaters are some of the worst culprits for starting fires.

 

De Queen Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt reported his department has responded to several calls over the past couple of weeks and he wanted to remind area residents about the dangers of house fires and carbon monoxide.

 

Pruitt said the fire department responded to a chimney fire Christmas Eve. He said the chimney had been cleaned recently, but they didn't clean behind the damper.

 

Pruitt also reported they've received several calls concerning carbon monoxide.

 

Pruitt also reminded area residents to change the battery in their smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitors.

 

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths and half of home heating equipment fires happen in December, January and February.

 

Pruitt said when it comes to heating your house; you should keep anything that can burn at least 3-feet away from heating equipment, including furnaces, fireplaces, wood stoves and portable space heaters. He also said you should never use the oven to heat your home.

 

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, smoke alarms should be replaced every 10-year and family's should have a fire plan to make sure everyone knows what to do in the case of a fire.

 

 

TRIAL BY JURY DINNER AT HISTORIC WASHINGTON STATE PARK        12/29/16

 

Historic Washington State Park will hold a Trial by Jury Dinner on Saturday, January 7th from 6 to 9 p.m.

 

Justice will be served and attendees will be members of the jury.

 

After enjoying an evening meal, guests will proceed to the 1836 Courthouse. There they will take part in a living history drama where they will judge the guilt or innocence of a man who has been accused of murder.

 

The drama is based upon an actual 1844 trail that took place in the same courtroom.

 

Guests may dress casual or wear their favorite 19th century costume. Cost is $25 for adults and $20 for children 14 and under. Reservations are required. Call 870-983-2684 for more information or to make a reservation.

 

 

CENTER POINT VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT HAS NEW TRUCK      12/29/16

submitted by KMTB 

 

The Center Point Volunteer Fire Department put a new fire truck into service this week.

 

Fire Chief Alan Green said the 1986 duplex pumper/tanker truck will replace a 1970s vehicle and will be a big asset to the department. The new truck will primarily be used to transport water, with its 3,000 gallon tank, but can also be used in fighting fires with its pump capability.

 

The truck was funded by Act 833 money, funds from the Center Point Volunteer Fire Department account and a local bank loan.

 

Green said the department is doing well and currently has 20 volunteers. He said a large portion of the area residents are paying their dues, which has led to a good source of revenue. Green said Center Point is continuing to upgrade their equipment and also has extraction equipment.

 

 

DISTURBANCE AT WAL-MART RESULTS IN ARREST       12/28/16

 

Tuesday night, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Greg Davignon assisted  a member of the Wal-Mart Assist Protection team by detaining a suspected shoplifter who had become unruly.

 

When Deputy Davignon arrived, he reported he could hear the suspect yelling from inside the store.

 

Davignon stated when he entered the building, he witnessed the suspect aggressively approach two Wal-Mart employees while screaming at them. Davignon immediately deployed his taser and commanded the suspect to get on the ground.

 

After giving several commands, Davignon deployed his taser into the suspect’s back.

 

After securing the suspect, Davignon discovered several items that had been taken from the store along with a metal marijuana grinder in the pockets of 19-year-old Jonathan Munoz of De Queen.

 

Munoz was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, shoplifting, resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia. 

 

 

RECEPTION FOR SHERIFF GREGORY THURSDAY AT 2       12/28/16

 

Little River County Sheriff Gary Gregory will be leaving office December 31st after serving as sheriff since 2013, after being defeated in the November General Election by Sheriff-elect Bobby Walraven.

 

Little River County Judge Mike Cranford stated the county will host a reception for Gregory from 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday at the Little River County Courthouse.

 

Cranford said Gregory has been in law enforcement most of his adult life in Little River County and has been a dedicated public servant.

 

Cranford and District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught will be the guest speakers.

 

  

COSL EXHIBIT FEATURES EARLY ARKANSAS FARMING AND FOLKLIFE      12/28/16

 

The Commissioner of State Lands Office wants to invite the public to see its current exhibit, Farming and Folklife in Early Arkansas.

 

The exhibit features items on loan from the Ozark Folk Center Park in Mountain View and the Plantation Agriculture Museum in Scott, as well as items from private collections.

 

Commissioner John Thurston said from the 1820's to the 1850's, Arkansas was in a state of transition. He said those late territorial and early statehood days, along with a series of treaties between the federal government and Native American tribes moved Arkansas and tribal boundaries several times. Thurston said at the same time, settlers were working to establish homes, farms and communities.

 

The new exhibit looks at both of these aspects of early Arkansas, through a series of maps and documents from surveys and treaties that show the changing land boundaries. It also contains artifacts that reveal the daily routine of settlers in the rural territory and state.

 

Farm implements include plows, harnesses and tools from the cotton industry that dominated the South. Household items include hand-woven textiles, washboards and butter churns, while folk instruments and toys that will offer a glimpse into settlers leisure activities. There is also a blacksmith shop set up in the office vault.

 

The exhibit is located in the Commissioner of State Lands office in Room 109 of the State Capitol and the exhibit will be open Monday through Friday, except on state holidays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 

 

CRATER OF DIAMONDS TO HOST FIRST DAY HIKE IN 2017       12/28/16

 

On January 1st, at 1 p.m., hikers and outdoor enthusiasts can celebrate 2017 with a family-friendly hike around the Little Missouri River Trail at the Crater of Diamonds State Park, as part of the America's State Parks First Day Hikes initiative in all 50 states.

 

Hikers will meet at the Little Missouri River Trailhead, which is located across from site 22 in the park's campground, by 1 p.m.

 

Park Interpreters stated parking is limited but is available at the trailhead and at the nearby bathhouse.

 

Hikers of all ages are invited to take part, but remember to wear sturdy walking shoes, dress for the weather and take plenty of drinking water. Park staff also stated the diamond search area will be closed on New Year's Day.

 

The First Day Hikes originated more than 25 years ago at the Blue Hills Reservation in Massachusetts. Last year, more than 55,000 people participated on guided hikes that covered over 133,000 miles on 1,100 hikes across the country. In Arkansas' state parks, 53 hikes were offered at 33 parks, with 694 hikers covering, 1,123 miles.

 

The Little Missouri River Trail at the Crater of Diamonds State Park winds its way through the forest from the campground to a scenic overlook on the Little Missouri River. The 1.2 mile loop provides a relaxing, one-hour hike over level terrain. Half of the trail has paved barrier-free access, and the unpaved section of the trail is also easily walked according to park personnel.

 

For more information or directions, call the Crater of Diamonds State park at 870-285-3113 or visit their website at craterofdiamondsstatepark.com.

 

  

HICKS RETIRING FROM FIRST STATE BANK        12/28/16

 

First State Bank of De Queen will be holding a retirement reception for Margaret Fenton Hicks on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the bank on Collin Raye Drive.

 

Hicks has served First State Bank as an employee for the past 41 years.

 

The First State Bank Board of Directors, shareholders, and employees are inviting the public to thank Hicks for her service and dedication.

 

 

KINGSMEN QUARTET RETURNING TO NASHVILLE       12/28/16

 

If you've been waiting for another chance to hear the Kingsmen Quartet, well, your wait will be over soon; the Kingsmen Quartet will be in concert at the Ridgeway Baptist Church in Nashville on Friday, January 20th at 7 p.m.

 

The Kingsmen Quartet started in 1956 in North Carolina and countless renowned singers and musicians have been part of the group at various times, including Squire Parsons, Anthony Burger, Johnny Parrack, Jim Hamill and Ray Dean Reese.

 

The current lineup includes, Ray Dean Reese, Ray's son Brandon Reese, Randy Crawford, Bob Sellers and Josh Horrell.

 

In 2000, the Kingsmen were inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and then into to the Christian Music Hall of Fame in 2008. They've garnered four Dove Awards and multiple Singing News Fan awards, including favorite bass vocalist, tenor, baritone, lead, instrumentalist, video, male quartet of the year, and group of the year. Making them one of the most-awarded groups in Southern Gospel music.

 

Ray Reese is the manager and bass singer for the Kingsmen. He said the key to their success is never losing sight of what they are working towards. He said they tour year in and year out to spread their music to people across the country. Reese said their music has the message of Jesus Christ and every night they work to share that message with their audience.

 

Friday, January 20th, they will be performing at the Ridgeway Baptist Church in Nashville at 7 p.m. Admission is free, but a love offering will be taken.

 

The church is located at the corner of Peachtree and Hearn on the Prescott Highway, but for more information, call 870-557-3597.

 

  

SUSPENDED LICENSE LANDS DE QUEEN MAN IN JAIL       12/28/16

 

On Friday, December 23rd, Sergeant Wayne Baker of the De Queen Police Department discovered the license of the driver of a red pickup had been suspended.

 

While speaking with 33-year-old Brandon Coulter of De Queen, Baker asked Coulter if he had anything illegal in the truck or on his person. Coulter allegedly stated that he did not. However, when Officer Baker and Patrolman First Class Levi Browning asked Coulter to empty his pockets, he produces a plastic bag that contained a white powdery substance. When the officers asked Coulter what it was, he allegedly told them it was powder.

 

While being interviewed at the De Queen Police Station, Coulter allegedly told them the powdery substance was cocaine and that he had some pills in his motel room.

 

After officers recovered the pills from a bedside table, Coulter was charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance.

 

 

HORATIO GRADUATE ADMITTED INTO U OF A HONORS COLLEGE       12/27/16

 

Austin Richards has been admitted into the Honors College program at the University of Arkansas.

 

Richards is a 2014 graduate from Horatio High School and attended the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for two years. Richards majored in Biology at UALR and was planning to attend medical school.

 

While studying at UALR, Richards participated in the Chancellor's Leadership Corps, Science Scholars, UALRTeach, Delta Chi Fraternity and was a Resident Assistant on campus. At the end of Richards sophomore year, he had a cumulative GPA of 3.77.

 

After spending two years in Little Rock, Richards decided to transfer to the University of Arkansas, where he was awarded the Transfer Scholarship and began classes during the Fall of 2016. During his first semester, he was admitted into the University of Arkansas' Honors College.

 

This semester, Richards was named to the Chancellor's List for achieving a 4.0 GPA.

 

(Image Description: Austin Richards (center) watching a Razorback football game with two other Horatio graduates Casey Batchelor and Cristian Robles)

 

 

AGFC SEEKS CHRISTMAS TREE DONATIONS       12/27/16

 

Once the wrapping paper has been thrown away and the last drop of egg nog has been consumed, few people have a use for that evergreen tree that graced their home during the holiday season. But, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has a new job for those leftover trees. They want them as fish habitat.

 

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has drop-off locations across the state to let your old Christmas tree have a second life as underwater cover for fish.

 

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's assistant chief of fisheries, Jason Olive, says the small spaces and dense cover offered by fresh Christmas trees make excellent nursery habitat for small fish.

 

He said the commission has seen an increase in smaller fish when they've sunk Christmas trees in ponds and other bodies of water. He said young bass, crappie and bream and baitfish all benefit from the cover and larger game fish will be attracted to the smaller fish.

 

Olive said anglers are also welcome to remove trees from the drop-off locations to create their own fish attractors. He suggests using parachute cord and cinder blocks to weight the trees down.

 

Trees should be clean of all ornaments, lights and tinsel before they are dropped off. Artificial Christmas trees should not be used as fish habitat.

 

Trees may be dropped off at any of these locations in Southwest Arkansas: Bois d'Arc Lake at Kidd's Landing or Hatfield Access; Millwood Lake at Cottonshed, White Cliff's Recreation Areas and the Millwood State Park ramp on the point; Dierks Lake at Jefferson Ridge South Recreation Area; De Queen lake at any U.S. Army Corps of Engineers boat ramp; Gillham Lake at any U.S. Army Corps of Engineers boat ramp; and Lake Greeson at the New Cowhide Cove and Self Creek Recreation areas.

 

 

FIRST DAY HIKE AT MILLWOOD STATE PARK       12/27/16

 

Millwood State Park will host it's annual First Day Hike event at 1 p.m. on Sunday, January 1st, according to assistant park superintendent Dennis Allen.

 

The event will feature a one-mile guided hike along the Waterfowl Way trail, and the event is free to the public.

 

First Day Hikes are part of a nationwide initiative led by America's state park's to encourage people to get outdoors, get their hearts pumping and enjoy the beauty of a state park.

 

The local hike will allow participants an opportunity to learn about the plants and wildlife of Millwood State Park. Hikers are encouraged to wear appropriate shoes and clothing for the outdoors and they are encouraged to take their cameras and binoculars for viewing and photo opportunities.

 

 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE           12/27/16

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported the Arkansas General Assembly addressed the budget in early 2016, however, the assembly was called to Little Rock for two special sessions during which legislators dealt with everything from funding for Arkansas highways and to streamlining the state's government.

 

Vaught said some legislation was passed to help pave the way for some more improvements during the 2017 General Assembly.

 

Vaught said during the first special session, the legislature addressed the framework for Arkansas Works, which replaced the program that was previously referred to as the Private Option. Arkansas Works uses federal Medicaid funds to provide private insurance plans for some 300,000 low-income Arkansas families.

 

Most of the legislation has been approved by the federal Health and Human Services secretary, including a change that will direct unemployed residents to participate in work training programs, require participates to have wellness exams and require some recipients to pay premium payments.

 

Another change will allow the state to offer incentives to employers so they will offer employer-based insurance to their employees who agree to leave the government funded insurance plans.

 

During the Fiscal Session, Vaught said the legislature passed a $5.3 billion balanced budget. She said it includes increases to education, corrections, foster care programs, behavioral health programs and Arkansas Works. She said they also restored funding to previous cuts in libraries and senior citizen centers.

 

Vaught said during the second special session, the General Assembly approved a bill to provide matching funds for federal highway funds for the next 5-years, which will result in $1 billion to help improve state roads.

 

Vaught said the legislator also voted in favor of legislation that implemented an expiration date for task forces that either rarely meet or have not met in some time.

 

She said the efficiency bill transferred the Arkansas History Commission from the Parks and Tourism Department to the Department of Arkansas Heritage. Vaught said the bill also streamlined the paperwork process for the Department of Children and Family Services workers who oversee foster care cases.

 

Other bills that were passed included the elimination of the state trust fund for workman's compensation claims, while lowering taxes for policies paid by businesses. A bill allowing school elections to share the same ballot and polling sites as the general election races on election day. And, the Frank Broyles Publicity Rights Protection Act, which prevents someone's image from being used for commercial purposes without their permission.

 

Vaught said they also approved a measure to put a pause on school districts from being declared in academic distress for the 2016-2017 school year, to allow district's to adjust while a new accountability system is being implemented.

 

Vaught said in January, the legislature will consider increases to education funding, changes to the higher education funding formula, tax cuts and more.

  

 

BROKEN BOW CHAMBER ACCEPTING NOMINATIONS FOR 2016 CITIZEN OF THE YEAR          12/27/16

 

The Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce is accepting nominations for the 2016 Citizen of the Year. The recipient will be acknowledged during the Chamber of Commerce's Annual Banquet on February 21st at the Broken Bow First Assembly Family Life Center.

 

Nominees do not have to be well-known or involved in major events and it is not a contest, so multiple nominations for the same nominee are not necessary. According to the chamber director, Charity O'Donnell, the chamber wants to recognize how citizens of Broken Bow are having a positive impact on their community.

 

To make a nomination, send your name, address and phone number, along with the nominee's name, address, phone number and a description of why you believe this individual should be Broken Bow's Citizen of the Year.

 

Nominations will be accepted until January 6th.

 

For more information, call 580-584-3393.

  

 

AARP AIMS TO HELP ARKANSAS WORKERS SAVE FOR RETIREMENT      12/27/16

 

America may be headed for a retirement crisis, since fewer than half of the workers age 50 or older have a significant amount of money set aside in saving or investments.

 

In Arkansas alone, only about half of private businesses offer their employees a retirement plan, meaning thousands of workers must come up with a program on their own. Vanesa Nehus is the associate state director of advocacy for AARP Arkansas and she says AARP is advocating for Arkansas to offer a state-assisted retirement plan for workers who don't have one.

 

Nehus says Work and Save is designed to provide Arkansas workers with a structured program to help them save for their retirement. She says the average Social Security check is about $1,300 a month, and more than half of Social Security recipients who are 65 and older rely on it for at least half of their income.

 

Nehus says a large percentage of employers in Arkansas are small businesses, who often can't afford to set up a retirement plan for their employees.

 

She says studies show that just having a plan available will prompt many workers to start saving.

 

Nehus says the Work and Save programs is a win-win for both businesses and their employees. AARP is working to introduce a Work and Save proposal in the upcoming Arkansas Legislature in January

 

 

DE QUEEN/SEVIER COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ANNOUNCES WINNER OF SHOP LOCAL CAMPAIGN        12/22/16

 

De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce President Patrick Massey and chamber board member, Sevier County Judge Greg Ray announced the grand prize winner of the 2016 Shop Local Campaign this morning live on Your Number One Country 92.1.

 

Massey said the grand prize was worth over $1,300 and included a pillow and a piece of Razorback art, along with several gift certificates.

 

Judge Ray expressed his appreciation to everyone who shopped locally this season.

 

Massey also thanked the chamber businesses that made this year's promotion a great success.

 

And, Sandy Taylor was the grand prize winner of the 2016 De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce Shop Local Campaign.

 

Congratulations, Ms. Taylor and Merry Christmas from all of the chamber members.

  

 

 

 

 

FOREMAN NATIVE WINS MISS CENTRAL ARKANSAS PAGEANT       12/22/16

Submitted by Little River News

 

On November 19th, Foreman native Hannah Renea Burrow won the title of Miss Central Arkansas in a Miss America Organization scholarship pageant. Now, Burrow will compete for the title of Miss Arkansas next summer.

 

Burrow said she competed in 20 preliminary pageants last.

 

Contestants competed in private interview, on-stage question, swimwear, evening gowns and talent. Burrow said she had been taking dance lessons for years and she won the talent contest with her tap dance performance.

 

As Miss Central Arkansas, Burrow will spend the next year promoting her personal platform of "See the S.I.G.N.S.: Deaf Awareness." She said she was diagnosed as being totally deaf in one ear in the first grade.

 

Burrow said she hopes to educate students, parents, and educators on the deaf community and she hopes to help promote the continuation of school administered hearing tests for early detection and treatment in children.

 

Burrow will compete in the Miss Arkansas pageant as Miss Central Arkansas, on June 11th through the 17th at the Robinson Auditorium in Little Rock.

 

Burrow is a graduate of Foreman High School and is currently a graduate student at the University of Central Arkansas. Her parents are Chad and Rachelle Burrow of Foreman.

 

 

ANIMAL RESCUE ORGANIZATIONS IN THE NEWS LATELY        12/22/16

 

Recently, the Ark-La-Tex Animal Rescue organization found itself in the news after a couple from Horatio allegedly abandoned and killed several dogs that had been pulled from a shelter in Fort Worth, Texas under the organization's authority.

 

Whitney Harrison is the executive director of the Ark-La-Tex Animal Rescue and she stated her organization wants to remove dogs from shelters before they are euthanized. She said they put the dogs in foster homes where they are cared for and then put up for adoption.

 

Harrison said some changes have been made to the foster home selection process following the incident in Sevier County.

 

Harrison said if you are interested in adopting a rescued dog call her at 903-280-2588.

 

For more information about becoming a foster home for rescued dogs, visit their Facebook page, Ark-La-Tex Animal Rescue.

 

 

FOREMAN BOARD OF EDUCATION DISCUSS REPAIRS AND UPGRADES TO ATHLETIC FACILITIES         12/22/16

 

Superintendent George Kennedy informed the Foreman Board of Education that the drainage project at the high school gym has been completed, the leak at the football field has been fixed and some trees at the baseball/softball complex have been cut down during their December board meeting.

 

Kennedy informed board members that he is currently gathering quotes for the construction of bathrooms at the baseball/softball complex and hopes to have a proposal for them during the January board meeting.

 

Kennedy also announced Hallie Kennedy has been selected to join more than 50 All-Star Mascots to perform during the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl Pre-game Show in Orlando, Florida on December 31st.

 

Kennedy and other mascots were invited to perform because they were selected as Mascot All-Americans by either the Universal Cheerleaders Association or the National Cheerleaders Association summer camps.

 

Kennedy and the other mascots will travel to Orlando for a week of rehearsals to prepare them for their Capital One Citrus Bowl pre-game performance.

 

According to the board minutes, following an executive session, board members approved Kennedy's recommendation to terminate James Brown's employment due to job abandonment.

 

 

ARKANSAS STATE PARKS TO CELEBRATE THE NEW YEAR WITH FIRST DAY HIKES       12/22/16

 

The Arkansas State Park's Commission is encouraging Arkansans to ring in the New Year with a First Day Hike at an Arkansas State Park. Free, guided hikes will be offered on January 1st at 33 parks throughout the state.

 

National Association of State Park Directors Executive Director Lewis Ledford said America's State Parks provide havens for young and old alike to explore the beauty and serenity of nature through outdoor recreation. He said hiking offers inspiring ways to improve your physical and mental health, while discovering beautiful public lands in every state.

 

This idea was hatched more than 25 years ago at a Massachuesetts state park. Since then, it's grown to a nation-wide effort that attracts tens of thousands of participants. In 2016, 694 hikers covered 1,123 miles while taking a First Day Hike in Arkansas State Park.

 

Arkansas State Parks Director Grady Spann said he hopes more Arkansans will get outdoors, January 1st and participate in a First Day Hike, here in Arkansas.

 

Area parks that will be hosting a First Day Hike include: a one-mile hike on Lover's Leap Trail at Queen Wilhelmina State Park, a 1.2 mile hike along the Little Missouri River Trail at the Crater of Diamonds State Park and a three-quarter of a mile hike under the towering pines on the Spring Branch Trail at White Oak Lake State Park.

 

First Day Hikes will give visitors an opportunity to put those good intentions of New Year's resolutions into action.

 

Arkansas has over 400 miles of trails and hikes will vary between one to two miles or longer depending on the trail. For more information, visit the website www.ArkansasStateParks.com.

 

 

12-DAYS OF GIVING - KIAMICHI YOUTH SERVICES       12/21/16

 

Bunyard Broadcasting and KDQN is celebrating the 12-Days of Giving by spotlighting some local nonprofit organizations and accepting pledges for each organization.

 

Today, we will feature the Kiamichi Youth Services in Idabel, Oklahoma.

 

Kiamichi Youth Services Executive Director Pamela Rambo said the facility has 13 beds and offers emergency shelter services for juveniles' between the ages of birth to 17 years of age, offers school counseling services for all of the schools in McCurtain County, and offers educational programs for first-time juvenile offenders.

 

Rambo said volunteers and staff lead parenting classes and recreational activities for young people like fishing and swimming.

 

Rambo said funding for the program is provided by third-party contracts, grants and donations. She said if you would like to volunteer or make a donation, contact the center at 580-286-6671.

 

To make a pledge to the Kiamichi Youth Services, call the KDQN studios at 642-2446. For more information about the Kiamichi Youth Services visit their website at kiamichiyouthservices.weebly.com.

 

 

HORATIO BOARD OF EDUCATION CONSIDERING CHANGES TO DISTRICT'S DRUG TESTING POLICY        12/21/16

 

Horatio Superintendent Dr. Lee Smith reported the Horatio Board of Education held a conference call with Courthouse Concepts concerning the district's drug testing policy during their December board meeting. Smith said the district will consider updating it's drug testing policy during the January board meeting.

 

Smith said he informed the board that the state has approved the district's elementary school roofing project, but they will not know if the state funding is approved until May of 2017.

 

Smith also told the board that they will be receiving proposals from several companies in January concerning the district's print services.

 

Smith earned his doctorate last Saturday from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Smith said the board informed him that he was doing a good job, but he feels there is still room for improvement.

 

Board members also voted to change the wording in the student handbooks concerning terroristic threatening. Smith said the handbook stated a student would be expelled if they were guilty of terroristic threatening, but the board decided to change the wording of the handbook to match the state's statues, which allows a district to consider other options of punishment based on the severity of the threat and the age of the student. 

 

  

CITY OF LOCKESBURG APPROVES 2 PERCENT RAISE       12/21/16

 

During the December meeting of the Lockesburg City Council, aldermen approved a two percent raise for all city employees effective January 1st. They also approved a Christmas bonus of $50 per the years of service to the city.

 

Alderman also approved an extended leave of absence for city employee, Brian Schooley. Aldermen asked Schooley to keep them updated on his situation and asked him to stay in contact with Mayor Danny Ruth during the 3-month period.

 

Mayor Ruth reported the council approved a building permit for Anita Norris for a mobile home set up, but she must contact the Office of Emergency Management to correct her address.

 

Aldermen pointed out the current address is listed as 170 West Main Street, however, the property faces North Park Street and the access is also off North Park and not West Main and therefore should have a North Park Street address.

 

 

DIERKS SCHOOL DISTRICT AWARDED FOR GRADUATION RATES      12/21/16

Submitted by KMTB

 

Dierks High School is one of several hundred schools in Arkansas that was recognized for their academic improvement. The Arkansas Department of Education is awarding nearly $6.8 million dollars to 201 qualifying schools across the state.

 

The Arkansas Department of Education, through its Arkansas School Recognition Program, provides financial awards to public schools that achieve high student performance and high student academic growth.

 

Dierks High School received over $12,000 for showing growth and for being in the top six to 10 percent in graduation rates.

 

Schools that receive the recognition will establish a committee to determine how to use the funds. The committee will include the principal, a teacher that is elected by other faculty members and a parent representative.

 

The schools are required to use the funds for faculty and staff bonuses, educational equipment and materials, or personnel to assist with improving or maintaining student performance.

 

 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE       12/21/16

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught stated when Arkansans voted in favor of a ballot issue that will permit the use of medical marijuana, they also voted for substantial oversight in the distribution.

 

Issue 6 is now Amendment 98 to the Arkansas Constitution and it directs two state agencies and one newly formed commission to oversee the implementation and regulation of medical marijuana.

 

The Medical Marijuana Commission, which consists of Dr. Ronda Henry-Tillman, Dr. Stephen Carroll, Travis Story, James Miller and Dr. Carlos Roman.

 

Vaught said the commission is working to adopt rules considering and renewing licenses for dispensaries and cultivation faculties; rules for the operation, inspection and advertising requirements; and application and renewal fees.

 

The Amendment states there should be at least 20 but not more than 40 dispensary licenses issued and no more than four dispensaries can be permitted in the same county.

 

The Amendment also makes it clear that there should be at least four but not more than eight licensed cultivation facilities.

 

Vaught said while the commission is considering the rules, the Department of Health and the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board will also be working to implement the regulations that are required by the amendment.

 

The Department of Health is working to adopt rules for considering and renewing applications for Registry Identification Cards; for the labeling and testing standards for marijuana that will be distributed to qualifying patients and the rules for designated caregivers who are assisting a physically disabled person or minor.

 

The Alcoholic Beverage Control Division is working to adopt rules for considering and renewing applications of registry identification cards for dispensary and cultivation facility employees; the form and content of registration and renewal applications; and procedures for terminating the registration of dispensaries or cultivation facilities and subsequent penalties.

 

Vaught said Amendment 98 states all of the rules must be adopted by early March and the commission must begin accepting applications for the cultivation and dispensary licenses by June.

 

Vaught said one bill has been filed to extend that deadline to July 1st, and an additional piece of legislation has been filed to address the criminal background of those seeking a distribution permit.

 

For more updates visit the website: www.arkansashouse.org.

 

 

12-DAYS OF GIVING - MCCURTAIN COUNTY FRIENDS OF THE NRA        12/20/16

 

Bunyard Broadcasting and KDQN is celebrating the 12-Days of Giving by spotlighting some local nonprofit organizations and accepting pledges for each organization.

 

Today, we will feature the McCurtain County Friends of the NRA, which promotes youth shooting sports in Southeast Oklahoma.

 

Darrin DeLong is a Senior NRA Field Representative and he said the mission of the Friends of the NRA is the raise funds and support for local shooting sports programs.

 

DeLong said the McCurtain County Friends of the NRA raises funds through its annual banquet. He said local non-profits and schools are then able to apply for grants to help promote shooting sports.

 

DeLong said for more information or to join the McCurtain County Friends of the NRA, contact him at 405-692-8972.

 

To make a pledge to the McCurtain County Friends of the NRA, call the KDQN studios at 642-2446. If you have any questions about McCurtain County Friends of the NRA, you may also contact Lambert Lumber at 580-584-9272.

 

   

3 CASES OF MUMPS REPORTED IN SEVIER COUNTY      12/20/16

 

Sevier County Health Officer Dr. Jason Lofton reported Tuesday morning that there have been three confirmed cases of the mumps in the county. He said the county health unit has swabs to conduct the mumps test, but it is not a rapid results test.

 

Lofton said mumps is caused by a virus, so, doctors treat the illness with rest and Tylenol.

 

Lofton said if you think you have the mumps, you should be tested, so health officials can track the outbreak. He said it can also cause some serious complications in unvaccinated children and adults. He noted the vaccine is about 88 percent effective, so you could have been vaccinated, but still come down with the mumps.

 

Lofton said if you have a sore throat, you should visit your primary care physicians because strep throat is major concern this time of year.

 

If you have any questions, contact your primary care physician or call the Sevier County Health Unit at 642-2535.

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY QUORUM COURT APPROVES COUNTY BUDGET      12/20/16

 

Sevier County Justices of the Peace met Monday afternoon in a special called meeting to approve the 2017 county budget.

 

Sevier County Judge Greg Ray reported the $9 million dollar budget contained a two percent raise for all county employees, except for the County Juvenile Intake Officer who will receive a five percent raise. Ray explained that amount will be split between Sevier, Little River, Howard and Pike counties.

 

JPs also approved a change to the county's employee handbook concerning the accrual of vacation time. Ray stated the change was necessary because the County Clerk's new computer software system would not calculate vacation time like the old system.

 

Quorum Court members appointed Lucretia Walker to the Sevier County Library Board to serve out the term of retiring Library Board member, Debbie Brotherton.

 

At the conclusion of the meeting, JPs informed retiring sheriff, Bennie Simmons, that they were giving him his service revolver as a retirement gift. Ray said he enjoyed working with Simmons, but he knows the county is being left in good hands.

 

And, the public is invited to a swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday, January 3rd at 9 a.m. in the Sevier County Courtroom.

  

 

BEACON HILL BIKERS BAKE SALE          12/20/16

 

Beacon Hill Bikers Ministry member Carla Wolcott announced the ministry will be holding a bake sale on Wednesday starting at 9 a.m. in front of Pruitt's Food to help purchase a service dog for a Horatio student named Stormie.

 

President Newman Hance announced the ministry will be starting a men's breakfast ministry in January and everyone is welcome to attend. He said they will be meeting at 7 a.m. on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month in the Seventh Day Adventist Church gym on Red Bridge Road. He said the Beacon Hill Bikers Ministry meets on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays at the Party Barn off Highway 41.

 

Hance also announced the Christian Motorcycle Association has started a chapter in De Queen and if area bikers are interested in joining the CMA they can contact Shannon Roberts at 870-784-3972.

 

If you would like some more information about the Beacon Hill Bikers Ministry, contact Hance at 682-970-0378 or Wolcott at 784-1899.

 

 

SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY RESULTS IN DRUG ARREST        12/20/16

 

Early Saturday morning, Patrolman First Class Levi Browning of the De Queen Police Department investigated a report of some suspicious activity at a residence on Jefferson Street.

 

According to the incident report, the reporting party stated they saw someone walking around a house across the street with a flashlight.

 

When Officer Browning and Patrolman First Class J.J. Lopez arrived they interviewed Tara Holt and 38-year-old Thomas Dunn of Eagletown, Oklahoma.

 

Holt and Dunn stated they had permission from the home owner to be at the house. They said their house in Eagletown had been destroyed by fire and she was letting them stay there.

 

After receiving permission to search their vehicle, Browning discovered a clear bag that contained suspected marijuana.

 

Dunn allegedly admitted the bag was his and he was citied for possession of a schedule VI controlled substance - marijuana.

 

 

12-DAYS OF GIVING - SENIOR ADULT CENTERS        12/19/16

 

Bunyard Broadcasting and KDQN is celebrating the 12-Days of Giving by spotlighting some local nonprofit organizations and accepting pledges for each organization.

 

Today, we will feature the senior adult centers in Sevier and Little River counties.

 

About a month ago, Southwest Arkansas Development
Council announced they would no longer be operating the eight senior adult centers of the Southwest Arkansas District, including the Sevier and Little River county senior adult centers. The State of Arkansas then asked the Area Agency on Aging to assume operation of the centers and to continue offering meals and activities to area senior adults.

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught, Sevier County Judge Greg Ray and Little River County Mike Cranford also began calling on all area residents to help the center during the transition.

 

Representative Vaught expressed her appreciation for the Area Agency on Aging for stepping in to provide this vital service to our local communities.

 

Vaught also thanked area churches and organizations that have stepped in to provide some needed assistance by offering meals on Fridays.

 

But, Vaught said the area senior adult centers still need your assistance and they are currently accepting food and monetary donations.

 

Ruthie Langston of the Area Agency on Aging reported last week that the Sevier County center had a funding deficit for the month of November and encourage area residents 60 and older to please stop by the center for a meal or just enjoy the activities and fellowship that it offers.

 

Quorum Court members also pledged $6,000 to the center last week to help cover the financial shortfall, but stated it could not bail out the center every month.

 

To make a pledge to support the Sevier or Little River county Senior Adult Centers, call the KDQN studios at 642-2446. If you have any questions about the senior adult centers, call Judge Ray in Sevier County or Judge Cranford in Little River County.

 

 

ONE ARREST MADE IN ANIMAL CRUELTY INVESTIGATION       12/19/16

 

The Sevier County Sheriff's Office has made one arrest in an animal cruelty investigation that they opened on December 3rd.

 

On December 3rd, Whitney Harrison of the ArkLaTex Animal Rescue  in Texarkana contacted the Sevier County Sheriff's Office and reported they had found several dead dogs and four living dogs at a residence on Bradley Chapel Road. She informed Deputy Brian Hankins that Whitney Smither and Brian Moore had been living at the residence and they had been approved to foster dogs for the animal rescue in April of 2016. Harrison said they had pulled several dogs from a shelter in Fort Worth, Texas under the rescue's name.

 

Harrison said Smither and Moore were suppose to foster the dogs until they could find a forever home for them.

 

Harrison said on November 29th, she was contacted by Becca Gideon who told her that several stray dogs had shown up at her house with Fort Worth ID tags on them.

 

Harrison said another woman in the area had posted on her Facebook page about some dead dogs on the property that she was renting.

 

Harrison informed Deputy Hankins that she found out Smither had left the area on November 17th and Moore had left town on November 18th.

 

Harrison said when she went to the residence, she discovered animal bones littering the yard and at least 8 dead animals. She said she scanned the dead animals and most of them had microchips from Fort Worth. She reported Smither and Moore pulled 127 dogs and cats from one shelter.

 

On December 6th, Chief Deputy Chad Dowdle interviewed Moore and he allegedly stated that he and his girlfriend, Smither, worked with ArkLaTex Animal Rescue. He said they fostered dogs that were considered un-adoptable and many of the dogs had pre-existing conditions such as heart worms, mange or other injuries. He said some of the dogs were also outright violent toward other animals.

 

Moore reported he left town to try and work things out with his girlfriend, but had asked his grandmother to feed and water the dogs.

 

Moore allegedly shot eight of the dogs because they either had heart worms or posed a threat to other animals, including his neighbor's cattle. He also stated two of the dogs had bitten members of his family.

 

On December 8th, Moore was charged with eight counts of cruelty to animals and according to the Sevier County Sheriff's Office, the case is still under investigation.

 

 

CHERUB FUND     12/19/16

 

Being a child in the foster care system is difficult enough, but imagine what it's like around the holidays.

 

These children have been removed from their homes for various reasons, and some may not be able to see their family during the holidays. So, the Department of Human Services depends on the generosity of strangers to help them make the holidays bright for these children.

 

In Sevier and Little River counties, foster care volunteers have established the Cherub Fund to help provide Christmas gifts and other supplies. Retired state worker Sheryl Johnson said you just never know what a child will need when they are removed from their home.

 

Johnson said the Cherub Fund has been established at Diamond Bank and donations need to be made under the names of Johnson and Sonny Kimmel of the De Queen Police Department.

 

For more information, call 214-543-4552.

 

 

CONSUMER ALERT - FINANCIAL PLANNING FOR MILITARY SERVICE MEMBERS AND THEIR FAMILIES       12/19/16

 

Military servicemen and women are tasked daily with protecting our freedoms, and the holiday season is no different. While these brave men and women face many of the same financial hardships as other families do, they also are confronted with unique challenges because of their circumstances, like frequent relocations and deployments.

 

The Federal Trade Commission recently unveiled a new website to help service members and their families manage their personal finances.

 

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a consumer alert to educate military families as we enter a new year.

 

Military.Consumer.gov was designed for mobile devices and provides information on the following topics to help military families manage their finances:

How to control spending.

How to use military experience and benefits to increase earning potential.

How to borrow, use credit and manage debt.

How to save and invest to make today's paychecks last into the future.

And, how to protect money and financial and account information.

 

The website also provides tips for personal financial managers helping military servicemen and women prepare for the future.

 

For more information, visit the website ArkansasAG.gov or call 1-800-482-8982.

 

 

12-DAYS OF GIVING - WEE CARE PREGNANCY CENTER        12/16/16

 

Bunyard Broadcasting and KDQN is celebrating the 12-Days of Giving by spotlighting some local nonprofit organizations and accepting pledges for each organization.

 

Today, we will feature the Wee Care Pregnancy Center in Idabel, Oklahoma.

 

Executive Director Sheryl McDaniel explained to KDQN that the Wee Care Pregnancy Resource Center is a faith-based life-affirming resource center that is focused on sharing God's love and grace with families that are facing planned or unplanned pregnancies.

 

McDaniel said they offer resources like; free pregnancy tests, abstinence classes, Bible studies and confidential one-on-one assistance. She said they also have a reward program called, the Mommy Store.

 

McDaniel said they accept donations all year round, but their biggest fundraiser of the year is the Plunge for Life event, which is scheduled for January 28th at 1 p.m. at the Beavers Bend Lake.

 

To make a pledge to support the Wee Care Pregnancy Center, call the KDQN studios at 642-2446, but you would like more information about the center, call 580-286-5390.

 

 

2016 UA COSSATOT FFA BANQUET      12/16/16

 

Thursday night, supporters of the UA Cossatot Agriculture Department and Collegiate FFA attended a banquet to honor the department's 2016 Fall graduates.

 

UA Cossatot Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole informed over 100 students and guests that vocational education was established in 1917 and the FFA program was started in 1928 by students in Kansas City.

 

Cole also confirmed degrees and certificates to Tawana Newton, Horacio Sotelo Jr, and Morgan Sweeden.

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught was the keynote speaker and she told students that they had chosen a wonderful field of study because everything revolves around agriculture.

 

Former agri student Sabrina Whisenhunt was named the departments Star Alumnus and Newton was named the Graduate of the Year.

 

Agri Instructor and FFA advisor Kelli Harris then presented Rebecca Wood with the FFA Outstanding Service Award.

 

Harris also introduced the Fall 2016 FFA Officers: Richard Saddler Jr. - president, Tawana Newton - vice-president, Shayleigh Lewis - secretary, and Morgan Sweeden - treasurer.

 

 

CHAMBER NEWS     12/16/16

 

Friday morning, De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce President Patrick Massey and Tyler Massey of Raul's Furniture held the final weekly drawing for the chamber's shop local campaign.

 

Albert Young won a $50 gift certificate from Bailey Discount Building Supple. Lynn Argo and Michael Beasley won gift baskets from Bakers Bargain House and Robert Carlson won a recliner from Raul's Furniture.

 

Patrick Massey announced the grand prize drawing for over $1,000 dollars in cash and prizes will be held on Thursday, December 22nd live on Your Number One Country 92.1.

 

Area residents will be given a ticket for every $10 that they spend locally. To enter the drawing, customers will need to drop their tickets in a box at participating chamber businesses.

 

Massey also reported about 2,000 people attended the De Queen Christmas Parade and another 3,000 people visited the KCS Holiday Express train, this past weekend.

 

 

NO LIGHTS LED TO LIT ARREST          12/16/16

 

Earlier this month, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Matt Webb was patrolling near Horatio when he observed a vehicle traveling south on Highway 41 with no working tag lights.

 

During the traffic stop, Webb identified the driver as Branden Messer of Ashdown and informed Messer that he could smell burnt marijuana in his vehicle. Messer allegedly told Webb that he could be smelling marijuana coming from the car vents because he had smoked marijuana in the vehicle on other occasions.

 

When Webb asked Messer if there was anything illegal in the vehicle, Messer allegedly stated there might be a roach and some raw marijuana crumbs.

 

While searching the vehicle, Webb discovered a burnt marijuana cigarette, a red bag that contained a smoking bong and a metal can that contained suspected marijuana.

 

Messer was cited for possession of a controlled substance - marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

 

12-DAYS OF GIVING - SEVIER COUNTY SALVATION ARMY        12/15/16

 

Bunyard Broadcasting and KDQN is celebrating the 12-Days of Giving by spotlighting some local nonprofit organizations and accepting pledges for each organization.

 

Today, we will feature the Sevier County Salvation Army, which helps individuals and families who are in need of assistance.

 

Sevier County Salvation Army Service Unit Director Tammy Simmons told KDQN that the Salvation Army has been serving the De Queen area for over 50 years and they help people who need gas money to get to work and families who have lost their homes in a fire.

 

Simmons said the Salvation Army raises funds to help people by selling items from their store on the courthouse square in De Queen. She also said the 2017 Kettle Drive is going well.

 

She said if you would like to volunteer to be a bell ringer for two-hours to call the Salvation Army store at 642-3463 or stop by and check out the schedule.

 

To make a pledge to support the Sevier County Salvation Army, call the KDQN studios at 642-2446. If you have any questions about the Salvation Army, contact Simmons at 642-3463 or stop by the Salvation Army Store on the corner of Stilwell Avenue and Third Street, downtown De Queen.

 

 

DIERKS CITY COUNCIL REVIEWS PROPOSED BUDGET       12/15/16

 

Aldermen of the Dierks City Council reviewed the proposed 2017 budget during their December meeting.

 

Dierks Mayor Terry Mounts reported the budget contained a .50 cent raise, across the board, for all city employees. He also said city employees will receive one extra paid holiday in 2017. Mounts said the city's sales tax revenue is up and the city is in good financial shape.

 

Mounts also told the council that the sewer lagoon project was about 98 percent finished, but they will not make the December 31st deadline. Mounts said he spoke with ADEQ and they gave the city an extension, since the city is waiting on a pump and motor to be delivered.

 

 

RESCHEDULED POLAR PLUNGE FOR SPECIAL OLYMPICS OF ARKANSAS IS THIS SATURDAY     12/15/16

 

Beth Hughes of the De Queen Police Department and Sevier County Sheriff-elect Robert Gentry announced the 2016 Sevier County Polar Plunge for the Special Olympics of Arkansas has been rescheduled for this Saturday at the Oak Grove Beach on the De Queen Lake. Registration will start at 10:30 a.m. and the plunge is scheduled for noon.

 

The Polar Plunge is a fundraiser in which individuals and teams take the plunge into various bodies of water, typically cold water, to raise money and awareness for Special Olympics.

 

Gentry also challenged all the volunteer fire departments in Sevier County to participate.

 

For more information, contact Hughes or Dana Gentry at the De Queen Police Department by calling 642-2210.

 

 

1.73 CARAT WHITE DIAMOND FOUND AT ARKANSAS STATE PARK     12/15/16

 

After nearly a year of searching the field at Arkansas' Crater of Diamonds State Park as a team, two regular visitors discovered the third-largest diamond found at the park in 2016. Jack Pearadin, of Murfreesboro and Doug Nelson of Wisconsin found a 1.73 carat diamond on Sunday, December 11th.

 

According to Park Interpreter Betty Coors, Pearadin first saw the diamond while in the mining process of washing gravel. Pearadin said he poked Nelson and told him that he needed to look at this.

 

They then placed the diamond in a water bottle and carried it to the Diamond Discovery Center to have their find verified by park staff, but because it was so late in the day, they had to return to the park on Monday to register the diamond.

 

The pea-sized white gem, which has a brownish tint, is Pearadin's 36th diamond and the largest of his finds at the park since he began his quest for diamonds over three years ago. His previous record was an 87 point yellow diamond. Nelson had previously found four other diamonds, his largest was a 29 point white gem. He also found a 22 point white diamond on the same day that they found their 1.73 carat diamond.

 

This is the 484th diamond that's been registered at the park this year, surpassing last year's total of 467 diamonds. This year, 16 diamonds certified by park staff have weighed over one carat each.

 

The largest diamond ever found at the Crater of Diamonds State Park was a 16.37 carat stone that was discovered in 1975. Park visitors have registered more than 32,000 diamonds since the park became a state park in 1972.

 

For more information about the Crater of Diamonds State Park visit the website www.craterofdiamondsstatepark.com.

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY QUORUM COURT GETS UPDATE ON SENIOR ADULT CENTER        12/14/16

 

Monday afternoon, Ruthie Langston of the Area Agency on Aging addressed the Sevier County Quorum Court concerning the need for more senior adults to participate in the center's programs.

 

Langston reported the Area Agency on Aging is providing meals and activities at the center Monday through Thursday and county churches and organizations are providing meals on Friday. She said Sevier and Little River counties are the only two counties in the Southwest Arkansas District that is serving senior adults on Fridays.

 

Sevier County Judge Greg Ray reported if a church or organization wants to serve a meal at the senior adult center on Fridays, may contact him, Curtis Black in Horatio or the mayors of Ben Lomond and Lockesburg.

 

Langston also reported the center had a financial deficit of $5,232.32 for the month of November.

 

Ray said JPs allocated $6,000 for the senior adult center and that amount will be donated to the Area Agency on Aging when Langston signs a contract of services with the county.

 

Members of the Quorum Court budget committee also presented the 2017 proposed budget, Monday afternoon. JP Michael Archer reported the committee budgeted for a new generator for the courthouse, a new roof for the De Queen branch of the Sevier County Library and new workstations in the Circuit Clerks office, along with several other items.

 

Ray said the budget also contains equipment for the road department and a contract for a new healthcare provider at the county jail.

 

The Quorum Court will meet on Monday, December 19th at 2 p.m. to approve the proposed budget and to consider amendments to the county's employee handbook.

 

 

HORATIO PARADE RESULTS        12/14/16

 

The Horatio Christmas Parade was held Saturday at 2 p.m. and Goin Showin won the organizational category and Ms. Jen's Happy House placed second.

 

Williamson Community Church won the church category. Horatio First Baptist Church placed second and Cross Point  Cowboy Church placed third.

 

 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE       12/14/16

 

The 2017 Regular Session is set to begin in less than a month.  And, the Arkansas House of Representatives has just wrapped up its five-day legislative institute to ensure new representatives understand the rules, procedures, traditions and resources of the House. The purpose of the institute is to broaden the knowledge of returning representatives and help new members become effective participates in the legislative process.

 

Representatives learned about parliamentary procedure and they learned how to be prepared for an emergency in their districts.

 

The 91st General Assembly will consist of 14 members who are either retired farmers or currently farming, 11 attorneys, seven engineers and seven members who are either teaching now or are retired educators.

 

Some members are real estate agents, general contractors, auto dealers, medical professionals and pastors.

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported a large portion of the body has had previous experience in public service by serving on a municipal or city board; 17 have served terms in county government; and, 16 percent have served in the armed forces.

 

 

MCDONALD'S TOY DRIVE STARTS TODAY HERE IN DE QUEEN      12/14/16

 

For the past several year's, Steve and Celia Montgomery have been partnering with Miracles from Matthew and holding toy drives at their McDonald's locations in Southwest Arkansas. This year, the Montgomery's will include their newest restaurant here in De Queen.

 

Miracles from Matthew founder Janet Willis informed KDQN that she started the foundation to honor her son, Matthew.

 

Willis said volunteers in Stanford, California opened a Christmas store for families who were staying in the Ronald McDonald House and allowed them to pick out gifts for their children. She said when she got back to Arkansas, the Little Rock Ronald McDonald House did not have such a program, so she organized the Miracles from Matthew program. For the past several years, Miracles from Matthew has opened Santa's Toy Shop at the Ronald McDonald House in Little Rock to help provide Christmas gifts for children in the Arkansas Children's Hospital.

 

Willis said the project helps families feel like its Christmas, even though they are away from home and struggling with the pressures of an ill child.

 

Montgomery said McDonalds is asking the community to donate a new, unwrapped toy or baby item today through Saturday, December 17th. She said every child that donates a gift will also receive a free Happy Meal coupon.

 

Over the past three years, gifts have been provided to around 1,000 children and they hope to provide gifts for 750 kids this year.

 

 

Broken Bow Chamber is now accepting nominations for 2016 CITIZEN OF THE YEAR!   12/14/16

The Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce will begin accepting nominations for the 2016 CITIZEN OF THE YEAR. The recipient will be acknowledged at the Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Banquet scheduled for February 21st at the Broken Bow First Assembly Family Life Center.

Nominees do not have to be well-known or involved in major events. It’s is not a contest multiple nominations for the same nominee are not necessary. The nominee(s) can be anyone, your friend, your family, or your neighbor. All that we want to recognize is how their efforts have made a positive impact in our community. We look for people who go beyond their jobs to impact our community positively. Do you happen to know someone who gives their time and energy on a voluntary basis to benefit Broken Bow? If you know someone deserving this honor, please send us the following information:

1. Your Name
2. Address
3. Phone Number
4. NOMINEE’S NAME
5. Address
6. Phone Number
7. A description of “WHY” you believe this individual should be Broken Bow’s Citizen of the Year.

Nomination forms are due January 6th Nominations can be mailed, emailed, or dropped off to the Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce, 113 West MLK, Broken Bow, OK 74728. For more Information, call Charity O’Donnell, Chamber Director, at 580-584-3393.

 

12-DAYS OF GIVING - SEVIER COUNTY TOYS FOR TOTS        12/13/16

 

Bunyard Broadcasting and KDQN is celebrating the 12-Days of Giving by spotlighting some local nonprofit organizations and accepting pledges for each organization.

 

Today, we will feature the Sevier County Toys for Tots, which is a local non-profit program that provides Christmas gifts for children in.

 

Mac McDaniel is a member of the Toys for Tots committee and he stated the program started around 1980 as a community project of the Sevier County Search and Rescue Unit.

 

McDaniel said members started buying new toys because they weren't able to find enough used toys that could be repaired. He said they started hosting the fundraising dinner in 1992.

 

McDaniel said to participate; parents or guardians must fill out an application and provide some information about the children. He said they try to provide three toys per child. This year, they will distribute toys on Friday, December 23rd at the National Guard Armory from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

 

McDaniel said the Toys for Tots committee needs volunteers and they are still accepting monetary donations to help purchase toys for this years event. He said if you would like to make a donation, you can mail it to PO Box 884 De Queen.

 

To make a pledge today to support the Sevier County Toys for Tots program, call 642-2446 and make a pledge in any amount. If you have any questions about the Toys for Tots program, contact McDaniel at the Sevier County Housing Authority by calling 642-2960.

 

 

ASHDOWN OPENS NEW ADMINISTRATION BUILDING     12/13/16

 

Monday night, the Ashdown School District held its December Board of Education meeting in the district’s new administration building.

 

Superintendent Jason Sanders said the C.R. Crawford Construction Company finished remodeling the old high school about a month early and so the district decided to hold their meeting in the new building.

 

During the meeting, board members voted to allow Sanders to seek proposals from area real estate firms in an attempt to sell the two buildings that the district’s administration vacated.

 

Board members voted to approve the transfer of high school special education teacher, Alisha Henry, from the high school to the L.F. Henderson campus and they announced they will be evaluating Superintendent Sanders during their January board meeting, on January the 9th.

 

 

DRIVING AFTER A DRINK        12/13/16

 

Early Saturday morning, Patrolman First Class J.J. Lopez of the De Queen Police Department met a vehicle that was traveling to the right of the fog line on Locke Street.

 

After conducting a traffic stop on De Queen Avenue, Lopez reported he smelt alcohol. He then asked the driver, 27-year-old Kayla Owen of De Queen to step out of the vehicle.

 

When Owen got out of the vehicle, Lopez asked her how much alcohol she had consumed. Owen allegedly stated she had drank three beers about an hour before she was pulled over.

 

After failing a field sobriety test, Owen was taken into custody for suspicion of driving while intoxicated. After registering .134 on a portable breathalyzer test, Owen was charged with driving while intoxicated.

 

  

DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER INITIATIVE READY FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON        12/13/16

 

State and local law enforcement officers are increasing their patrol activity aimed at impaired drivers. Beginning Friday, December 16th Arkansas State Troopers, along with city and county agencies, will join in the national "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" enforcement campaign through Sunday, January 1st.

 

As the holiday celebrations begin, far too many individuals will be tempted to drive a vehicle after consuming alcohol. The results typically end in tragedy, if not deadly.

 

Reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration during calendar year 2015 indicate that across the U.S. there were 35,092 people killed in motor vehicle crashes. More than 10,000 of those people lost their lives in the crashes involving drivers with a blood alcohol concentrations of .08 percent or greater.

 

Drunk driving offenders often serve jail time, lose their driver's license, receive notices of higher auto insurance rates, and pay dozens of other unanticipated expenses ranging from attorney fees, court costs, vehicle towing and repairs, not to mention being away from their jobs and lost wages. But the ultimate cost of drunk driving is causing a accident that injures or kills someone.

 

To stay safe this holiday season, the Arkansas State Police suggest you shouldn't drive if you plan to consume alcohol and if you become intoxicated, you should not drive for any reason. If you know someone has been drinking, don't let them drive and if you see an impaired driver on the road, contact the local law enforcement agency.

 

 

ARKANSAS LEADS NATION IN MAJOR MUMPS OUTBREAK      12/13/16

 

A major outbreak of mumps in Arkansas and several other states continues to grow at an alarming rate, according to public health agencies.

 

Officials say there are more than 2,000 cases of the contagious viral infection in Arkansas. Mumps causes flu-like symptoms and swollen salivary glands in children but can cause more serious complications in adults. Doctor Manisha Patel, a medical officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says the agency is still trying to determine the reason for the current outbreak.

 

Patel says Arkansas has by far the most cases in a national outbreak of about 4,000 cases, the largest number in a decade. Other states with 100 or more cases include Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Massachusetts and Oklahoma. She says most of the cases in Arkansas are in public schools while it's mostly on college campuses elsewhere.

 

Patel says the largest recent outbreak in the U.S. was in 2006 when there were 6,500 cases. She says the best way to avoid the mumps is to be properly vaccinated, but that there are certain behaviors to avoid, as well.

 

Meg Mirivel is a spokeswoman for the Arkansas Department of Health and she says most of the people in the state who contracted the mumps were current on their vaccines.

 

Mirivel says doctors believe vaccines are limiting the disease to milder symptoms and fewer complications. She says a small number of Arkansas families use a state law to opt out of vaccinations for medical, philosophical and religion reasons but are not a major factor in the current outbreak.

 

 

STATE TREASURER'S CHIEF OF STAFF ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT       12/13/16

 

Treasurer of State Dennis Milligan announced his Chief of Staff, Jim Harris formerly of De Queen, is retiring from the State of Arkansas.

 

Harris has served as Chief of State since Milligan took office in January of 2015.

 

Milligan said he appreciated the service Harris has given to the State of Arkansas from his time in the Governor's Office, the Department of Emergency Management and in the State Treasurer's office.

 

Harris stated it has been an honor to serve the people of Arkansas and he is grateful for the opportunity to work in Treasurer Milligan's office and he hopes the treasurer's office will continue to succeed.

 

 

 

 

12-DAYS OF GIVING - MARY AND MARTHA CENTER       12/12/16

 

Bunyard Broadcasting and KDQN is celebrating the 12-Days of Giving by spotlighting some local nonprofit organizations and accepting pledges of support for each organization.

 

Today, we will feature the Mary and Martha Center, which is a local non-profit after-school program that is located on Rockefeller Avenue, here in De Queen.

 

Robin Cribb and Olivia Romine informed KDQN that the Mary and Martha Center started in 2001 after four women who were gathering to pray for the City of De Queen, felt led to start the after-school program. According to Romine, the Mary and Martha Center has met in several buildings, including the First Baptist Church, but opened their new facility in August of 2016.

 

Board members continue to make upgrades and improvements to the facility while offering tutoring and other educational experiences for children.

 

According to Romine, the building is paid for, but they are accepting donations so they can add more equipment and to provide other activities.

 

Currently, about 21 volunteers serve area children every Tuesday and Thursday.

 

To make a pledge to support the Mary and Martha Center, call 870-642-2446 and pledge to donate any amount. If you have any questions, contact the Mary and Martha Center at 870-584-2010.

 

 

ASHDOWN BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING TO BE HELD IN NEW ADMINISTRATION BUILDING TONIGHT         12/12/16

 

Ashdown Superintendent Jason Sanders announced last week that the Ashdown Board of Education will hold their December board meeting in the New Administration Building, which is the newly remodeled old high school on Rankin Street at 6 p.m.

 

Sanders reported the renovation of the old high school was completed on time and on budget and the district was able to move the administration offices sooner than expected. He said they had planned to hold the January board meeting in the new administration building.

 

Sanders said board members will now discuss what they want to do with the vacated Central Office and Support Center Building.

 

 

SPRING ENROLLMENT IS OPEN        12/12/16

 

Erika Buenrrostro of UA Cossatot announced last week that enrollment for the spring semester is open and if students register by December 20th they will be entered into a drawing for a new laptop computer.

 

She said UA Cossatot is an open-enrollment institution and most students are accepted once they have completed the admission process.

 

If you are a first time college student, you must complete an admission application and apply for specific programs, like nursing, Occupational Therapy Assistant and Cosmetology programs that require students to apply for the program in addition to applying for general admission. 

 

If you are a returning student, you can apply for specific programs and financial aid. The deadline to file for financial aid for the summer term is April 1st; students should also apply for Cossatot scholarships by April 1st of each year.

 

Buenrrostro also announced the college will remain open until 7 p.m. each evening January 9th through the 12th and the 17th through the 19th.

 

For more information, visit the UA Cossatot website at CCCUA.edu. or call 1-800-844-4471.

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY PARADE RESULTS        12/12/16

 

The Lockesburg Christmas Parade was held Saturday at 4 p.m. and these are the parade winners.

 

In the recreational category, first place went to Wayne Smith and second place went to the Rusty Relics Tractor Club.

 

In the religious category, first place went to Falls Chapel Church and second place went to the First Baptist Church of Lockesburg.

 

B&H Trash was the first place winner of the commercial/business category and Goin Showin 4-H won the organization category.

 

The De Queen Christmas Parade was held Saturday at 6 p.m. and Legacy Academy won the walking group category.

 

First place in the commercial category went to Papa Pablanos. Second place went to the Broken Bow School of Dance and third place went to the De Queen Dance Academy.

 

Happy House won the religious category. Saint Barbara Catholic Church placed second and the Cross Point Cowboy Church placed third.

 

Goin Showin 4-H Club won the non-religious category. The De Queen High School cheerleaders placed second and the De Queen Fire Department placed third.

 

 

SHOP LOCAL - INVEST LOCAL - THINK LOCAL MONTH          12/12/16

 

De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce President Patrick Massey announced last Friday that he had worked with the Mayor of De Queen, Billy Ray McKelvy and Sevier County Judge, Greg Ray to get December proclaimed "Shop Local - Invest Local - Think Local Month."

 

Massey said several studies have shown that when people buy from an independent, locally-owned business, significantly more of their money is used to make purchases from other local businesses, service providers, and farms, which strengthens the economic base of the community.

 

Massey said this is the busiest shopping season of the year. However, he said the chamber wants people to shop locally all year round.

 

He said the chamber doesn't only want to encourage people to shop local, but if they are planning to open a new business that they should do that locally also.

 

Last Friday, the chamber held a drawing for some Subway sandwiches, a Coy Wiles Tire gift certificate and a gift certificate from Southern Girls Flowers and Gifts.

 

Don’t forget shoppers receive a ticket for every $10 they spend at participating chamber businesses. Massey said they will be drawing the final weekly prizes this Friday on the Morning Brew and the grand prize will be drawn on Friday, December 23rd.

 

 

 

 

 

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