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Tuesday night, the aldermen of the De Queen City Council met in a special called meeting and agreed to add the Wilson Creek Crossing section of pipe to the city's current raw water line project.


Before the vote, City Engineer Greg Vaughn informed the aldermen that all of the pipe for the raw water line project had not been delivered, and he said now would be the time to order an additional 700 feet for this section because pipe prices were going up about $20 a foot as of August 1st.


The cost of the additional section will be about $96,536.


Vaughn stated replacing this section of pipe would increase the city's water capacity and help reduce energy cost.


Vaughn said replacing this section of pipe would also allow the city to move the line out of the highway department's right-away.


Vaughn reported that the contractor had laid about 11,000 feet of pipe and he and the contractor held a progress meeting Wednesday morning to discuss this additional section and other issues related to the original project.






Dozens of volunteers packed more than 45,000 meals Sunday for Arkansans who routinely do not get enough to eat.


State Senator Larry Teague of Nashville and his son, Larry Teague Jr. were among the volunteers who helped the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance meet its goal. The Teagues were joined by legislators from 15 states who were here for the annual meeting of the Southern Legislative Conference.


Teague has been a consistent volunteer at hunger relief events, in his capacity as a state legislator and as an ordinary citizen. In 2010, Teague received the 2010 Acting Out Against Hunger Award from the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance because of his consistent support of hunger relief efforts at both the statewide and the local level.


Teague is also the vice chairman of the Legislative Hunger Relief Caucus.


Teague stated that in a state like Arkansas, which has such a strong agricultural base and exports food throughout the world, no one should ever go hungry.


According to the Hunger Relief Alliance, Arkansas and Mississippi are at the bottom of national surveys on food security. In both states almost a fifth of all households are categorized as food insecure. That means they regularly live days in which they are unsure of where their next meal is coming from.


In the summertime, children are at special risk of going hungry because they do not get free or reduced priced meals at school.


Teague said this year's food packaging event was a great success. He said, first of all, we packed 45,000 meals that will go to people who need them and secondly, it was a learning experience for many of the volunteers, including legislators and policy makers from all across the South.


Teague said it was an eye opening experience.






Most Arkansas voters are preparing to cast their vote for the constitutional offices of Arkansas, but the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Public Policy Center wants to remind voters that there are several issues that they will be considering when they go and vote this November.


Supporters of two proposed ballot measures are currently gathering additional signatures after following short of the required number.


The Act to increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage needs an additional 15,107 valid signatures to make the ballot, while the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment needs 17,133 more signatures, according to the Secretary of State's office.


The Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment seeks to legalize the statewide sale, manufacture and transport of alcohol. 


The measure to increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage seeks to raise the state's minimum wage from $6.25 to $8.50 by the year 2017.


But, there are three measures that were submitted for voters consideration by the state Legislature.


Issue one is a constitutional amendment that asks voters to give legislative committees prior review and approval of new state agency administrative rules before the rules could go into effect.


Issue two asks voters to establish a signature threshold for ballot issue groups to meet before they are permitted more time to collect additional signatures. Legislators would like at least 75 percent of the submitted signatures be valid before they are given additional time to gather signature.


Currently, groups are given 30 additional days to gather and submit new signatures, in case their original petitions fall short of the required number of voter signatures to place the issue on the ballot.


Issue three would allow legislators to serve 16 total years in the Arkansas House or Senate, whereas they are now limited to a specific number of years in each chamber.


It would also create an independent commission that would set the salaries of state elected officials. And, it would place limits on lobbying by former legislators and set limits on campaign donations and gifts from lobbyists.






De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy provided aldermen with an update concerning the city clean-up following last Wednesday's thunderstorm that left area residents without power for up to 48 hours.


McKelvy reported that the national weather reporting station at the Sevier County airport recorded 40 miles per hour winds during the storm before the power went out.


McKelvy stated that city crews started working to clean up the city Wednesday night following the storm and the city is in good shape at this point.


Alderman Walter Smith stated that the members of the area fire departments, police, EMS, as well as city and county workers all stepped up and did a great job following the storm.






Earlier this month, the State Parks and Tourism Commission met and heard a formal request from District 20 State Representative Nate Bell concerning the progress of the renovation project on the lodge at the Queen Wilhelmina State Park.


Bell informed KDQN that he wanted to speak to the commission because he felt the state had not done it's due diligence to keep the project on track.


According to one report, construction on the exterior of the building is nearing completion but there is an issue with mold.


Bell explained that another reason for the delays was the fact that Travelers Insurance who is the surety holder of the construction bond is not making payments in a timely manner and he mentioned he felt an investigation into the matter needs to be conducted.


Commissioner Bill Barnes stated one delay resulted from the deterioration of the fire suppression system due to the way the original contractor left the project when their contract was terminated.


Another delay resulted from the fact that the new contractor was not able to apply the mold mitigation plan in a timely fashion.


The lodge at the Queen Wilhelmina State Park closed in March of 2012 for a $6.7 million dollar renovation.


A new contractor had to be selected in August of 2013 after the state terminated the contract of Wade Abernathy Inc. following multiple delays.


Nabholz was hired to complete the project and they estimated that they could complete the project by the end of 2014, but Bell said that won't happen, because they are already about 60 days behind schedule.


Following Bell's request, an investigation is expected to be launched by the state's insurance department and the attorney general's office into the delays of payment authorization on Travelers behalf.


According to one report the delays have resulted in an economic loss of over $11.2 million dollars to the Mena and surrounding area.





Sunday night about 10:30, De Queen Police Officer David Higgins was dispatched to a residence on Gilson Street in reference to a domestic situation.


When Higgins arrived, 29-year-old Candace Durgin informed him that she had been drinking and when she got home, she got into an argument with her girlfriend.


Durgin stated after the verbal altercation started, she left to cool off, but when she got back, they stated arguing again and that time it turned physical.


Durgin admitted to striking 32-year-old Jenny Munguia first, and Munguia struck back in self-defense.


Both parties had injuries consistent with a physical altercation and both refused medical treatment.


Durgin was then taken to the Sevier County jail and cited for Domestic Battery in the 3rd degree.




IS A CAMEL A MAMMAL?      7/30/14


On Wednesday, August 6th, the De Queen Library will be hosting Linda Goodner of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Goodner will present a program about Arkansas Mammals and she informed KDQN that she will do that by reading the Dr. Seuss book; "Is a Camel a Mammal: All About Mammals.”


Goodner explained that she will also be discussing the habitat, tracks and sounds of Arkansas mammals.


Goodner serves 10 counties and works to promote the programs of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.


For more information about the Arkansas mammals program at the De Queen Library, call 584-4364.






Young people have been caring for and preparing their livestock for the 77th Annual Sevier County Fair and Rodeo all year and it's just about time to pre-register their livestock for this years show.


Sevier County Fair Board member Linda Frachiseur announced Tuesday morning that livestock pre-registration is this Saturday and if students plan to show a chicken, rabbit, breeding goat, market goat, breeding sheep, market lamb, swine or cattle; they must pre-register their livestock between 9 a.m. and noon.


Frachiseur also mentioned that you must bring your livestock to be weighed if you are showing in the cattle breed commercial heifer division.


For more information, contact Sandra Nunn at 642-7352 or Donna Rivas at 642-4158.






The only things between a criminal and someone's money are a 14-digit number and a good lie, and that is a lesson many Arkansan's are learning the hard way.


Criminals are increasingly turning to items such as Green Dot MoneyPak cards as a means to steal. Criminals attempt to trick consumers into believing that they won a sweepstakes prize, or they need your assistance while they are traveling out of the country or to help a family member or friend avoid jail time by paying an overdue fine. And, once the criminals have the number from the back of the card, it's almost impossible for a consumer to recover their money.


Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued a consumer alert to warn Arkansans about potential scams and to offer some tips on how to avoid fraud when using MoneyPak or similar products.


There are many scenarios to avoid, but here are a few that have been reported recently in Sevier County:


One resident was informed that she had won a large prize, but she needed to pay the taxes and processing fee. They even informed her that they would pick up the amount when they delivered her prize.


But, remember organizations like Publishers Clearing House does not notify winners by phone and you can not win a drawing if you never entered the drawing.


Another resident was asked by someone claiming to be a local business owner to help them by sending some money to them while they are traveling overseas.


The local business owner was not out of town, but somehow criminals obtained her contact list and contacted all of their clients in an attempt to get them to help a friend in need.


And in another incident, a resident stated someone friended her on Facebook and immediately sent her a message asking if she had been contacted about winning the Facebook lottery.


She was informed that she had won $60 million dollars. The resident then asked to be contacted by certified mail by an attorney's office, but the person deactivated their Facebook account.


There are also accounts of people being asked to help pay a family or friends fine to keep them out of jail or a caller may threaten to turn off a consumer lights or gas.


McDaniel's office recommends that you never provide a MoneyPak number to an unknown individual; avoid offers that require the sharing of a MoneyPak number by phone or email; never email a MoneyPak number to any merchant and be skeptical about using a MoneyPak card for any offer that requires payment before an item is received.


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






The Fisheries Division of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has recommended several changes to the state's fishing regulations for 2015.


If approved, the changes will take effect on January 1st.


One proposal set the limit on crappie at 30-a-day, except on some individual waters. Presently, the state is divided with the limit being 20 crappie a day in the north and west half of the state and 30 crappie a day in the south and east.


Another proposed regulation change includes the removal of creel and slot limits on Grandview Lake number one near Columbus.


Comments on the proposed changes can be made to Arkansas Game and Fish Commissioners before their meeting on August 21st. 






The 77th Annual Sevier County Fair and Rodeo is scheduled for August 16th through August 23rd, but it's time to sign up for the fair pageant and talent contest.


Fair Board member Linda Frachiseur announced Tuesday morning that the deadline to sign up for the pageant and talent contest is Monday, August 4th.


And Frachiseur mentioned that the winners of the Little Miss, Princess and Queen contests will represent Sevier County at the District and State competitions.


And if you don't want to compete in the pageant, you can enter a photogenic contest by entering as many photos as you would like. The entry fee is $5 per photo and contestants may enter more than one photo. However, photos must be turned in by August 15th.


Entry forms may be picked up at the KDQN studios and First Stat Bank in De Queen, but for more information, contact Frachiseur at 584-9592, Stephanie Haarmeyer at 784-0133 or Katrina Frachiseur at 642-5569.


Committee members will also be at the fair grounds Monday, August 4th from 5 until about 6 p.m. to accept pageant and talent show applications.






One question on everyone's mind is, "Why are visitors to the Crater of Diamonds State Park still finding diamonds, big diamonds, after 108 years of diamond mining?"




It's not really this isn't that odd of a question for people who live in the northern states, because they understand the freeze/thaw cycle or what is also so known as frost heaving.


The cycle can be described like this; when water changes from a liquid to ice it changes in volume by about 10 percent. This expansion can raise rocks and soils to the top of the soil, with a ribbon of ice forming under them. When the ice melts, the rock stays on the surface. But, the Crater of Diamonds search field is plowed on a regular basis. So, maybe another explanation is necessary.


The reason visitors are still finding diamonds after all these years is actually a combination of erosion and weathering.


Weathering results because the volcanic ash is  extremely susceptible of breaking down when it is exposed to the earth's surface and the process takes place quite quickly and when the ask breaks down it leaves the diamonds, which aren't susceptible to weathering.


The other reason is erosion, which results when surface material is washed away by rain or flowing water and exposes ash to the elements.


So, plow many have suggested that the Crater of Diamond State Park plow more often, but the State Park Director, Greg Butts, says, "Arkansas' state parks are in the forever business."


Meaning they want to preserve this experience for generations to come. But, you should make plans to visit the park and seek your diamond.


For more information about the Crater of Diamond State Park, call 870-285-3113.



This Week's News:






During the July meeting of the Ashdown City Council, aldermen voted to appoint Thad Bishop as the interim city attorney to serve out the term of former city attorney Jay Metzger, who resigned from the position.


Bishop will serve until December 31st when Lindsey Thompson will assume the position after winning the election.






Tyson Foods says it will sell its poultry businesses in Mexico and Brazil for $575 million in cash to help pay debt that tied to its acquisition of Hillshire Brands.


The company expects the sale to JBS' Pilgrim's Pride, which is based in Greeley, Colorado and has facilities in De Queen, to be completed by the end of the year.


Tyson's Mexico and Brazil operations employ more than 10,000 people combined.


Tyson says it still plans to expand its international operations, especially in Asia, but the businesses it plans to sell didn't have the scale to gain market leading positions.






Polk County officials are moving forward with a sheriff's sale tax proposal to pay for a new jail.


The Polk County Quorum Court approved Sheriff Mike Godfrey's plan to seek a 1-percent sales tax increase to build a 100-bed facility.


The county will work with a planning and development organization to seek bids for builders to present to city officials for final approval.


Godfrey says a new jail is needed because the current facility no longer meets state requirements. He says it's likely the tax would not be ready for a vote during the November general election.


If the proposal is not ready for the November election, the Polk County Quorum Court will have to decide whether to hold a special election or wait until November of 2015.






The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared August 3rd through August 9th as "National Farmers Market Week" and throughout the week, the USDA will celebrate our nation's thousands of farmers markets, farmers who make them possible and the communities that host them.


This year marks the 15th Annual National Farmers Market Week and recognizes the important role that farmers markets play in the agricultural and food economy.


The agricultural secretary announced that farmers markets play a key role in developing local and regional food systems that support family farms and help grow the rural economies. He also stated that local farmers markets bring communities together.


Sevier County Farmer's Market board member Angela Smith explained that the farmers market wasn't only a place to get fresh vegetables, but it was a great place to stop and visit with friends.


So far this year, the market has had a large variety of vegetables and

She stated that it's not too late to sign up and sell your fruit, vegetables and craft items this year.


The Sevier County Farmers Market is open every Wednesday and Saturday from 7:30 to 11 a.m. and this allows for gardeners to participate in other farmers markets in the area.


Smith also thanked everyone that's been supporting the farmers market.


She also stated that you should be listening to KDQN every Wednesday morning to hear a list of items available that morning as well as any special events that they may have planned for National Farmers Market Week. 






According to a report from the Little River County Sheriff's Office, the department is investigating the theft of a boat, two outboard motors and a trailer from a residence in Winthrop.


The owner of the property, James Applegate of De Queen, reported that he had been contacted by a relative who informed him that they had noticed the boat and trailer missing. He said they called because they thought he may have moved it.


Applegate reported that a 1995 15-foot War Eagle aluminum flat bottomed boat, a 25 horsepower Mercury outboard, a trolling motor and a 15 horsepower Johnson outboard motor and a trailer had been removed from his property.


Currently, no suspects have been arrested and the investigation is continuing. If you have any information as the theft of this property, you are being asked to contact the Little River County Sheriff's office at 898-5115.






For over the past 40 years cowgirls and cowboys have been testing their mettle during the annual McCurtain County Fair board Championship Rodeo in Idabel.


Fair board member Jessica Coffman informed KDQN that the annual event helps provide livestock for McCurtain County Ag Youth.


The event is sanctioned by the United Professional Rodeo Association, Cowboys Regional Rodeo Association and Arkansas Rodeo Association and the livestock will be provided by the J & J Rodeo Company of Cooper, Texas.


Coffman stated that there will be bronc riding, steering wrestling, barrel racing and bull riding, but it will also feature events for young people.


Coffman said the winners of the queen and king contest will be named Saturday night but will be introduced every evening and Thursday night is McCurtain County Farm Bureau night and everyone will get in free.


Admission is $8 for adults and $3 for children.


For more information about the McCurtain County Fair board Championship Rodeo call 580-286-2121.






Arkansas State Senator Larry Teague announced that under the state's new immunization requirements, children who will be 11 or older on September 1st must have a Tdap shot in order to attend a public or private school.


The purpose of the change is to better protect children who are at an age when they are likely to get pertussis, which is also known as whooping cough, which is very contagious and it can cause uncontrollable fits of coughing that can make it hard to breathe.


Arkansas health officials reported an increase in the number of 10 and 11 year olds who contracted whooping cough and that the number of cases declined in children that were old enough to attend the seventh grade.


Last year, there were 466 cases reported in Arkansas, compared to 80 cases in 2011.


If a parent chooses not to have their child immunized, they must obtain an exemption from the state Health Department's Immunization Section, by call 501-661-2169.


Another new immunization requirement is that seventh graders must have a shot protecting them from meningitis. Students will have to receive the shot before they turn 16, regardless of their grade level.


There are several other changes in the required schedule of immunizations and parents are encouraged to check with the health unit or their local doctor to ensure that they children have all of the required immunizations.






Summer is just about over and its time to start thinking about registering your child for the upcoming school year.


The De Queen School District announced that registration will be held August 4th through August 7th.


If you have a child that will be going into the 12th grade at the De Queen High School, they will register from 8 until 11 a.m. on Monday, August 4th. Eleventh graders will register on August 4th from 1 to 4 p.m.


On August 5th, tenth graders will register from 8 to 11 a.m. and all new students, students who did not attend school in the De Queen School District, will register from 1 to 4 p.m.


On August 6th, the De Queen Primary will hold its registration from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. and then from 3 to 6 p.m.


All students in Kindergarten, First and Second grades must attend registration. Parents will find out their child's assigned teacher and will make arrangements for transportation at this time.


All Kindergarten, First and Second grade students that are new to the district will register in the Primary School Cafeteria. All new students will need to bring a birth certificate, social security care, immunization records and proof of their address, like at utility bill in order to register.


All new third, fourth and fifth grade students will register in the Elementary School.


On August 7th, sixth graders will register from 8 a.m. until noon and ninth graders will register from 8 until 11 a.m.; eighth graders will register from noon until 3 p.m. and seventh graders will register from 1 to 5 p.m.


For more information contact the De Queen Administration office at 584-4312.





Friday morning, AEP-SWEPCO announced that 1,181 customers in the De Queen area was still without power following the severe thunderstorm that went through the area Wednesday afternoon.


SWEPCO stated that a total of 5,376 customers were without power at the outages peak and they expect to have power restored to 95 percent of their customers by 9 p.m. this evening. However, they reported that there may be some scattered outages in the area until Saturday.


SWEPCO also stated that 1,526 customers were still without power this morning in the Nashville area.


SWEPCO currently has over 310 outside resource personnel from five states including Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Mississippi assisting their crews and more are expected to arrive this afternoon.


SWEPCO reported that the De Queen and Nashville areas continue to be the hardest hit areas with major damage from trees being down on SWEPCO facilities. They reported that the peak number of outages Wednesday night was almost 22,000.


De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy reported that city crews were still working to pick up the debris and is asking residents to pile their brush up next to the street because city workers are not permitted to go onto someone's property to gather up debris.


If you have debris that needs to be picked up, you may call city hall at 584-3445 to add your name to the list.






With a week to go, plans are being finalized for the 42nd Annual Pine Tree Festival in Dierks and Dierks Chamber of Commerce member Jerry Mounts stated that they are proud of the fact that it is one of the longest running festivals in Arkansas.


This year, Mounts said over 30 vendors are signed up and more are expected.


And, this year, Mounts said the Pine Tree Festival will feature a carnival with several rides for kids of all ages and Friday night will feature a concert highlighted by local artist.


According to Mounts, Saturday will feature the return of several events that have been absent in recent years, like chainsaw competitions and ax throwing and the festival will conclude with the 2nd Annual Ultimate Bull Riding and Bull Fighting Championship.


For more information about the 42nd Annual Dierks Pine Tree Festival, call 584-7811.






Arkansas will hold its annual sales tax holiday this weekend beginning Saturday, August 2nd and ending on Sunday, August 3rd.


During the sales tax holiday, shoppers will not pay state or local sales tax on clothing and footwear, if the sales price is less than $100 dollars per item; clothing accessories and equipment if the sales price is less than $50 per item; school supplies; school art supplies and school instructional materials.


Clothing that will not be taxed will include coats, jackets, diapers-including disposables, insoles for shoes, bathing suits and costumes.


Accessories will include briefcases, cosmetics, hair bows, handbags, watches and wigs.


However, sewing equipment and supplies, protective equipment and sport and recreational equipment will be taxed.


For more information, you may call 501-682-7104 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.






Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's Consumer Protection website,, has been recognized by a national organization of attorneys general as the best in the nation for consumer outreach.


The Conference of Western Attorneys General presented McDaniel with a 2014 Website Award in the Consumer Outreach category at the organization's annual conference earlier this week.


McDaniel launched the "Got Your Back, Arkansas" initiative in 2012 and the website contains tips, tools and resources for consumers in a format that consumers can quickly locate the information that addresses their concerns.


The "Got Your Back, Arkansas" initiative spawned a similar program in Kansas and McDaniel stated that after making a presentation about the "Got Your Back, Arkansas" program, five other states mentioned they were planning to emulate the program.


McDaniel made consumer protection a priority of his tenure and since 2007, the Consumer Protection Division has helped consumers recover more than $12.7 million dollars.


This is the third Website Award that the attorney general's office has won.




GRANNIS RODEO       7/28/14


Cowboys and cowgirls are gearing up for the 46th Annual Grannis Championship Rodeo in Grannis on Friday, August 1st and Saturday, August 2nd.


Admission is $6 per person and kids 4 and under is free, but Friday night is Senior Citizens night and they get in for half-price.


This years rodeo will feature bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, team roping and bull riding, along with cowgirls barrel racing and breakaway racing. Robb also mentioned several other events like a mechanical bull and a calf dressing competition.


If you would like to participate in the rodeo, call 580-244-8596 on Monday, July 28th from 5 to 10 p.m.






The 42nd Annual Pine Tree Festival will host the annual Junior Hill Memorial Horseshoe Pitching Tournament on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. in the Dierks City Park.


Junior Hill was the 1988 Arkansas State Horseshoe Pitching Class B champion, as well as, a member of the 1988 Class B Doubles championship team with James Hill.


Hill hosted a horseshoe pitching tournament at the Pine Tree Festival for several years, but since his death in 2011, Hill's son, Kelly Hill, has hosted the tournament in his father's honor.


Kelly said the tournament will be Saturday at 10 a.m. and everyone is invited to participate.


For more information about the Annual Junior Hill Memorial tournament call 870-279-1786.






The State Review Board of the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program is considering adding the Langley Gymnasium in Pike County to the state register of historic places.


The board will consider the nomination at the meeting on Wednesday, August 6th.


The Langley Gym is located off Highway 84 West and is a large fieldhouse building that was constructed in 1950. Changes to the roof and window preclude its listing on the National Register.


Though the Langley School was constructed in 1945, the gym was not built until 1950.






Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced last week that the Arkansas Crime Victims Reparations Board awarded over $400,000 dollars to victims of crime in June.


Awards were made in 312 new cases and additional expenses were paid in 44 previously submitted cases.


Victims of violent crime in Arkansas may be eligible for reparations from the state's Crime Victims Reparations Program and reparations are designed to help defray the cost of unexpected expenses associated with the crime, such as medical treatment or mental-health counseling.


During the month of June, reparations were made in one new case in Little River County in the amount of $71.26; two new cases and one supplemental award in Hempstead County in the amount of $3,541.73 and five new cases in Pike County in the amount of $4,459.27.



LOCKESBURG- Members of the UA Cossatot Foundation recently met in a regularly scheduled meeting at the Lockesburg Elementary Auditorium. 

After a brief lunch, the meeting was brought to order by Chair Ned Hendrix. The first item reviewed was the estimated financial report. Dustin Roberts, Executive Director of the UA Cossatot foundation reviewed the revenue generated from previous fundraisers and informed the group of upcoming fundraisers. The foundation financials were up by over $16,000 compared to June 2013.

The next item discussed was the filling of an open Executive Board Member position.  Board members expressed a desire for the open position to be filled by a person from the Nashville area.  This would evenly spread the Board Members across UA Cossatot’s service areas. From several nominations a new member was chosen and will be contacted.   

Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole updated the board members on the happenings, programs, and direction of UA Cossatot.

UA Cossatot Staff present was Cole and Roberts.  Board members present were Hendrix, Angie Walker, Tyler David, Dewayne Mack, Clayton Castleman, and Greg Ray. 




Tammie Harder was sentenced to 6-years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections with 4-suspended after pleading guilty to delivery of a controlled substance-Xanax, last week in the Sevier County Circuit Court.


Glen Stinnett pled nolle posse to a misdemeanor charge of fleeing and will serve 1-year in jail.


Stinnett had been charged with felony fleeing and endangering the welfare of a minor in the first degree after fleeing from deputies with the Sevier County Sheriff's Office on a motorcycle. The charge of endangering a minor was dropped.


Circuit Court Judge Charles Yeargan said the trial of Emilio Gutierrez will proceed to trial on August 13th after no pre-trial issues were discussed last week.


Gutierrez is been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, maintaining a drug premises, simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms and trafficking a controlled substance-meth.


A trial date of September 10th was set for Levi Durham who has been charged with three counts of being an accomplice to theft of property and three counts of being an accomplice to commercial burglary in connection with the break-in at the First Baptist Church in De Queen.


Benjamin Butler and Dustin Taylor also had trial dates of September 10th set by Judge Yeargan.


Butler has been charged with possession of schedule III controlled substance and Taylor is being charged with delivery of a controlled substance-meth and as a habitual offender.


A trial date of September 14th was set for Cody Nava on the charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and maintaining a drug premises.






When a friend is in need, most folks around here step to offer a helping hand and that's exactly what the members of the Newhope Volunteer Fire Department is doing this Saturday at 5 p.m. for Randy Golden.


Randy Golden was recently diagnosed with cancer.


DeAnn Simmons stated there will be live music, performed by the Whiskey Hill Band, a live auction with Nick Fowler, door prizes and folks can buy a chance for a 270 rifle.


For more information about the fundraiser, call 870-557-4968.






Wednesday afternoon at the conclusion of the Darrin Tate trial, Tate's lawyer had one other issue to resolve in front of Sevier County Circuit Court Judge Charles Yeargan.


Lawrence Orta was found guilty of contempt of court and fined $500 by Judge Yeargan for being late to court.


Judge Yeargan informed Orta that he was being fined for not showing respect to the court by showing up late for a jury trial.


Judge Yeargan stated that he may have shown Orta some leniency if it had not been a jury trial. But the jury pool was ready for jury selection and the prosecutors were present and ready to proceed, but they had to wait on Orta arrival.


Judge Yeargan explained that he was very close to ruling for a mistrial due to Orta tardiness.






The 38th annual Hope Watermelon Festival will open at noon on Thursday, August 7th and run through Saturday, August 9th in Fair Park in Hope.


This year's event will feature more than 200 booths of arts and crafts, as well as a dozen concession stands selling everything from barbecue to corn dogs to blooming onions and alligator on a stick.


Thursday's events will include the Kiwanis Chicken Dinner, a dog show and the preliminary rounds of the Watermelon Idol Talent Contest.


Friday festivities will begin at 9 a.m. and will be highlighted by the Lions Club fish and chicken dinner in the Fair Park Community Center from 4:30 to 7 p.m. and the gospel group Harmony from Wickes will perform on the First Bank stage Friday night.


The Little Miss and Little Mr. Watermelon Pageant, which is sponsored by the Beta Sigma Phi, will be held inside the coliseum.


Saturday will feature a 5K Race and the Melon Mile for kids; an antique car show, a children's fishing derby on Lake Huckabee, the politically correct watermelon eating contest at 11:30 and the regular watermelon eating contest at noon and seed-spiting contest at 1.


The final event, this year, is the David Nail concert.


Advance general admission tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children 4-10. Adult general admission tickets will be $20 the day of the show.






The Two Rivers Gala will offer a Southern Charm-themed dinner to raise money for Two Rivers Museum in Ashdown.


The gala will be Saturday, August 9th at the Texarkana Country Club. The doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the dinner will start at 6.


Tickets are $50 each and are available at the two Rivers Museum on Main Street in Ashdown at the Castle Antiques near the intersection of Highway 32 and U.S. Highway 71.


The emcee will be Mark McKay who is the general manager of the Shreveport, NBC affiliate.


McKay is a 1978 graduate of Ashdown High School.


The Two Rivers Museum contains a variety of displays, including a horse-drawn hearse, a portable wooden embalming table and World War I and II uniforms.


The military display titled Freedom’s Heroes won first place during the 2006 Arkansas Museum Association State Convention in the museums and budgets under $100,000.


The Two Rivers Gala is the main fundraising event for the Little River County Historical Society and the historical society owes about $17,000 to pay off the museum buildings.


According to a member of the historical society, they borrowed about $48,000 to purchase the building and they thanked the community for helping them pay the debt.


The museum has also received funds from the Texarkana Area Community Foundation.


Renowned harpist and recording artist Merry Miller will perform at the gala. According to her website, she has played professionally since she was 14 years old and recently released her 16th album, entitled “Psalms on the Harp.”






Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has rejected the wording of a proposal to legalize medical marijuana by a group that is trying to put the measure before voters in 2016.


McDaniel’s office rejected the wording of the proposal by Arkansans for Compassionate Care, which had tried unsuccessfully to get medical marijuana legalization on this year’s ballot. The group had been unable to gather the 62,507 signatures from registered voters needed by the July 7th deadline to submit petitions to qualify for the November ballot.


The group is now trying to put the legalization measure eon the 2016 ballot. McDaniel cited some confusion in the text of the latest measure in rejecting its wording.


The proposal would allow patients with qualifying conditions to buy marijuana from nonprofit dispensaries.





Wednesday afternoon, a jury of eight women and four men found Darrin Tate guilty of theft by receiving and sentenced him to 15-years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections along with a $10,000 fine.


Prosecuting Attorney Bryan Chesshir presented five witnesses that testified that Tate had possession, control and disposed of stolen property when he sold a 1976 Massey-Ferguson tractor to Dan Fryburg in October of 2013.


Chesshir also presented evidence that Tate modified an 18-foot trailer that was stolen from a residence belonging to Cindy Bercerra.


Tate's defense attorney Lawrence Orta did not call any witnesses on Tate's behalf and Tate did not testify. Although, Orta attempted to convince the jury that Tate was being set up by his ex-wife, Melissa Tate.


After finding Tate guilty, Chesshir presented Tate's past felony convictions to the jury and asked them to sentence him to the maximum amount of time under the state's large habitual offender statute.


Tate was convicted in McCurtain County, Oklahoma in 1998 for unlawful delivery of a controlled substance and arson in the 3rd degree. He was convicted in 2006 of arson in the 3rd degree in McCurtain County and for possession of a firearm by a certain person in Sevier County in May of 2013. 


Tate was out of jail on a Arkansas Department of Corrections bond for the 2013 conviction when he committed this crime and he is awaiting sentencing in Sevier County for a conviction for possessing a defaced firearm.


Before the jury pronounced its sentencing, Circuit Court Judge Charles Yeargan informed the jury that Tate would serve about one-sixth of his sentence and then he would be eligible for parole.






U.S. District Judge Susan Hickey has ordered a joint response to be filed by lawyers representing the 11 plaintiffs that have filed lawsuits against the U.S. government over the 2010 flood that killed 20 campers at the Albert Pike campground.


The purpose of Hickey’s order is to eliminate the possibility of potential witnesses being interviewed several different times.


Family members of the 20 campers that lost their lives in the historic flood of the Little Missouri River in the Ouachita National Forest on June 11, 2010.


All of the lawsuits allege the U.S. government knew of the hazardous conditions that existed in the campgrounds along the river and neglected to properly warn the public or take measures to reduce the risk.


A report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture noted several factors contributed to the tragedy. The report stated the Forest Service failed to follow many of its own regulations.


All of lawsuits claim a district ranger was in a hurry to spend $600,000 on renovations at the campgrounds in an area that had a long and documented history of flooding.


However, the government claims it is protected from liability by the Arkansas Recreational Use Statute, but the plaintiffs have argued that the statute provides an exception that should permit the lawsuits to go forward.  


Hickey’s order to consolidate the cases for discovery and a response to the government’s motion to dismiss suspends the deadline for the plaintiffs to file their joint answer.






The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery is warning Arkansans about scammers who are making false representations about individuals winning a lottery prize.


The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery has received several reports of persons purporting to represent the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery calling Arkansas residents and informing them that they have won lottery prizes.


The caller will often know the victim’s home address, and will often instruct him or her to go to a local store to purchase a pre-paid card called a Green Dot MoneyPak to use to pre-pay taxes that’s owed on the prize. Scammers are also providing a toll-free number that, when called, mimics the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery phone message.


To protect yourself and remember: the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery never requires the payment of any money in order to claim a prize and the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery doesn’t typically call people to tell them that they’ve won, unless it’s for a contest that people intentionally entered.


And, you should never provide any personal or financial information to someone over the phone unless you initiate the call or are certain that the caller is legitimate, especially Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, and credit card numbers.


If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, Powerball or Mega Millions, be on your guard. You can always call the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Security Hotline at 1-888-606-6292 for more information or to check the legitimacy of such claims.


The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery has notified the Consumer Protection Division of the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office of this scam.






The Chalice Cupboard assisted 35 families in Sevier County, including 69 adults and 41 children. The cupboard distributed 858 pounds of donated and purchased food items.


The cupboard’s June bank balance was $364.89 and they received $694.50 in donations. Volunteers spent $704.11 during the month to purchase about 1,044 pounds of food.


The St. Barbara Catholic Church and the First Presbyterian Church donated 133 pounds of food.


Volunteers suggest donating jelly and cereal this month.


Any residents in Sevier County needing food may come for aid on Tuesday and Wednesday’s from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the Chalice Cupboard on North Sixth Street in De Queen.






State agriculture officials say an insect that is native to Asia and kills ash trees have been confirmed in three Arkansas counties.


The insect arrived in the U.S. around 2002 and has killed about 50 million ash trees since then and officials say the insect has now been confirmed in 24 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces.


The female emerald ash borers lay eggs on the bark of ash trees and when the eggs hatch, the larvae bore into the bark, eventually killing the trees.


Officials say the best way to avoid the spread of the insect is to not move firewood from place to place and the Crater of Diamonds State Park is requesting that all campers who plan to have a campfire to roast marshmallows, or to just enjoy watching a fire to leave their wood at home.


The Arkansas State Plant board and the Arkansas Department of Agriculture say the emerald ash borer has been found in Hot Springs, Clark and Nevada counties and all three of those counties border Pike County, which is the home of the Crater of Diamonds State Park.


Now, although the borer infested tree can be treated with insecticide that is introduced through its roots, the best way to ensure that it doesn’t spread is to follow a very simple motto of “Buy it where you burn it, and burn it where you buy it.”


That phrase means that the camping public needs to leave their firewood at home and only use or buy firewood at the location where they camping.


At the Diamond State Park campgrounds, campers can purchase a bundle of wood for $4.95 or, they can harvest dead wood that is lying on the ground from the park, but don’t cut down a tree.






Friendship Baptist Church of De Queen will be hosting the Mobile Museum of Earth History Sunday through Wednesday.


Frachiseur explained that Dr. Thomas Sharp has dedicated his life to understanding and explaining key problems that's facing the modern Christian society, including how dinosaurs fit into God's creation.


If you are interested in the Biblical view of evolution and other missing links involving science, make plans to join the members of the Friendship Baptist Church by visiting the Mobile Museum of Earth History.


For more information call the church at 870-584-2890.




Sevier thunderstorms blew through southwest Arkansas late Wednesday afternoon downing trees that blocked roads and tore down power lines throughout southern Polk, Sevier, and Howard counties. 


Patrons of both Southwest Arkansas Electric REA and AEP SWEPCO were without power for several hours overnight, as many as 2400 are still without power this morning.

Sevier County Courthouse Lawn

De Queen City Street-6th & Vandervoort

De Queen City Street-6th & Vandervoort

Hwy 41 Cleanup


An Act to Increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage Short Valid Signatures    07/24/14
Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin announced Wednesday that an Act to Increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage did not meet the required 62,507 valid signatures after the verification process.  They now have until August 18 to gather 15,107 more valid signatures to make the November 2014 General Election ballot. 
In order to be considered valid, there must be sufficient signatures from 15 of the 75 counties across Arkansas along with an affidavit filed with us stating the number of Petition Parts and the total number of signatures.
Here is a list of what causes an entire page of petition signatures to be invalidated:
 1. Photocopy, not an original; 
 2. Not signed by a Canvasser; 
 3. A petition part signed by more than 1 Canvasser; 
 4. Not signed by a Canvasser under oath; 
 5. Canvasser’s verification dated earlier than the date the petition was signed by a Petitioner; 
 6. Not notarized; 
 7. Lacking a notary seal; 
 8. A petition part is lacking a notary signature or is notarized by more than1 
 9. A forged notary or Canvasser signature; 
10. A notary notarizing his or her own signature; 
11. A notary using the Great Seal of Arkansas; 
12. Failure to attach a legible copy of the entire text of the measure to each 
      Petition sheet containing signatures; 
13. Failure to attach the popular name and ballot title to each petition sheet   containing signatures; 
14. If litigated, a challenger may claim that the Canvasser failed to sign the affidavit in the presence of the notary; 
15. If litigated, a challenger may claim that the affidavit of the Canvasser is false. 
If the petition submitted for signature verification does not contain the required number of valid signatures of registered voters, the Secretary of State will notify the Sponsor, they will then have 30 days to do any or all of the following: 
A) Solicit and obtain additional signatures;
B) Submit proof that all or some of the rejected signatures are good and should be counted;
C) Make the petition more definite or certain. 
The Secretary of State will verify signatures up to 10% above the required number. 






Earlier this month, a company by the name of HomeServe sent letters to the residents of De Queen offering an emergency home repair service plan for resident’s water and sewer lines.


The letter states that homeowners are responsible for the water and sewer lines from their homes until it connects with the city's water and waste water system.


De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy explained that these letters are sent out periodically and residents are responsible for the repair of their water and sewer lines, just as the letter states.


McKelvy also pointed out that there is no relationship between HomeServe and the City of De Queen and citizens are not obligated to purchase the coverage that is being offered by HomeServe.


HomeSever's letter states that this type of repair is not normally covered by a homeowner’s insurance policy, but each policy is different and McKelvy recommended homeowners check with their insurance companies before they consider purchasing a HomeServe service plan.


HomeServe is a Connecticut company and interested residents may research them on the internet at






This Saturday, the First United Methodist Church of Lockesburg will be holding a Back-to-School Give-away from 8 a.m. until noon.


Church members will be giving away 50 backpacks along with school supplies. Minister Terry Chapman reported that most of the school supplies will be for students attending kindergarten through sixth grade.


There will also be good used clothes, toys and household items.


Chapman said she expected the backpacks would go quickly and it is first come, first served. She also asked that everyone bring a bag, but they will have some Wal-Mart bags on hand if you need one.


The First United Methodist Church is located on the corner of Walnut Street and Valley Drive in Lockesburg. It's one block east from the Post Office.


If you have any questions, call the church office at 870-289-287.






Earlier this month, the De Queen Board of Education voted to hire Bo Brickell as the new high school boys head basketball coach.


Superintendent Bruce Hill informed the board that Brickell was looking to build a program and felt he was willing and capable of building a quality program here at De Queen.


Brickell was an assistant high school coach and ninth grade boys coach at Camden Fairview for the past four years and he talked about being from Lake Hamilton.


Brickell was also played college basketball at Arkansas Tech before transferring to UALR to play baseball.


Brickell explained that he was looking forward to the upcoming season, but he wants to start changing the teams and the towns mentality now.


Brickell said he was excited to be here because he was impressed with the program while he was still at Camden.


Brickell said he informed some of the players yesterday that life is hard, but this team will be successful and he plans to be around when that success happens.






A former De Queen resident has been named in a lawsuit in a Texarkana federal court for pirating the broadcast of a 2012 Ultimate Fighting Championship fight.


Former owner of the De Queen Country Club and Lodge, Carmenchita Pearson, has been accused of illegally intercepting and broadcasting the fights on July 21st, 2012 by Joe Hand Promotions of Pennsylvania.


The complaint alleges that Pearson is liable for the actions of employees of the De Queen Country Club and Lodge who allegedly played the matches illegally.


Joe Hand Promotions is asking for an award of more than $100,000 in statutory damages, attorney fees, investigative expenses and court costs.






Members of the Horatio Board of Education reviewed test scores from the Horatio High School and Elementary during their July meeting.


Superintendent Lee Smith stated test scores were pretty good, but the elementary school needs to improve in math, but there will be a new reporting system next year, as Arkansas changes to PRAC testing.



Board members approved changes to the high school and elementary school student handbooks following the recommendation of teachers, principals and administrators.


Board members also approved changing the contracts of the high school counselor, Ginger Young, and elementary counselor Kaitlyn Truster. They also hired John Simmons as a full-time maintenance worker.


Before adjourning, the board accepted the bid from Moyer Equipment on a zero turn mower.






Prosecutors expect the case against Darrin Tate of De Queen to move toward a trial Wednesday morning in the Sevier County Circuit Court.


Sevier County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Manya Woods informed KDQN that Tate is facing his fifth felony conviction and if he is found guilty his sentence will be enhanced by the state's large habitual offender charge.


Tate is being charged with theft by receiving. Tate is accused of allegedly stealing a 1976 Massey-Ferguson tractor along with a 20-foot trailer in January of 2014.


Allegedly Tate sold the tractor to a Sevier County resident, who when interviewed by investigators from the Sevier County Sheriff's office informed them that Tate sold him the tractor.


Tate also allegedly modified the trailer so no one would be able to identify it.


According to court records, Tate was out of jail at the time of this incident on a Arkansas Department of Corrections bond because his previous conviction in May of 2012 is under appeal.


Tate has been convicted of four felonies, three in Oklahoma and one in Arkansas.

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