Animal control to make changes

By Louie Graves
Leader staff
Faced with the possible loss of member cities, the coalition of cities which share Nashville Animal Control services will cut a part-time employee and the service itself will provide more accountable reports.
Mayors of Nashville, Mineral Springs, Murfreesboro and Washington met Thursday morning to discuss the animal control service which serves, in addition, Delight, Dierks and Prescott.
At the end of a half-hour of discussion, Nashville Mayor Billy Ray Jones moved that the service do away with a part-time employee as a way of reducing the budget and “to keep everybody in.”
Other mayors present included Sonny Heatherly of Mineral Springs, Paul Henley of Washington, and Travis Branch of Murfreesboro. The latter’s budget formation committee had already voted to drop the service as a way to cut city expenses in the 2014 budget.
Mayor Jones said that by accident, members Nashville, Washington and Delight already paid a slightly higher per capita fee than the others. Jones proposed that the other cities continue to pay a slightly lower per capita fee of the total expense in order to help them remain as members.
Mayor Heatherly said he thought the Mineral Springs aldermen would go for the proposed slight increase. Mayor Branch said he thought Murfreesboro would also go along. He said he thought the service was vital to his city. “We can’t get out.”
Mayor Jones told “The Leader” Thursday afternoon that he had spoken with Prescott Mayor Terry Oliver since the morning meeting, and that mayor agreed to go along with the proposed financial arrangement. Later in the day, Mayor Jones spoke with Mayor Terry Mounts of Dierks, and said that he also approved of the changes.
Another point of contention with some of the mayors was a lack of knowledge of the animal service officers’ actual activities in their towns. Animal Control Officer Seborn Gregory who was at the meeting agreed that he would provide a log of his activities to each mayor, even showing times of patrols in the towns.
Cities which jointly support and use the service include Nashville, Mineral Springs, Murfreesboro, Dierks, Washington, Delight and Prescott. The service was founded 15 years ago, and is based in Nashville where the animal shelter is located.
Officer Gregory cautioned the mayors that loss of the part-time employee would impact the amount of time he or his assistant, Suzanne Gathright, could spend in each city. The mayors said they understood, but just wanted to be able to show their council members and citizens that the cities were actually getting attention.
The new budget for animal control for 2014 anticipates expenditures of $117,230.
Contributions by cities includes:
Nashville — $50,092.
Prescott — $25,280.
Murfreesboro — $12,586.
Mineral Springs — $9,265.
Dierks — $8,674.
Delight — $3,465.
Washington — $3,150.

Audit raises concerns about former sheriff’s accounting practices

By John Balch
Leader staff
The Pike County Quorum Court were presented with the results of the county’s 2011 state audit during its November meeting and Judge Don Baker said “everything was fine” with the exception of some accounting practices of the former sheriff.
The audit, released on July 17, 2013 by the Legislative Joint Auditing Committee, states, “Noncompliance with state law and accepted accounting practices were noted in the Office of Sheriff and Tax Collector.”
The items listed as being “noncompliance” under former Pike County sheriff, Preston “Pep” Glenn, included:
Jail booking fees at the Sheriff’s Office were not remitted to the County Treasurer in a timely manner.
A firearm confiscated by the Sheriff’s Office and exchanged at a pawn shop for other goods was in effect a sale and a purchase. The sale of the confiscated firearm was not at a public auction or by competitive bid, as required by Ark. Code Ann 16-90-119 and the purchase avoided the county claims process, appropriation, and the County Judge’s approval, in conflict with Ark Code Ann. 14-23-203, 14-20-103, and 14-14-1101.
Bank-provided cancelled check images for the Commissary account did not include copies of the backs of checks, as required by Ark. Code Ann. 19-2-506.
Bank reconciliations were not prepared for the Commissary account, as required by Ark. Code Ann 14-25-107. Additionally, the Sheriff’s Office was unable to identify the ending balance remaining in the account.
Expenditures for goods and services made from the Commissary account avoided the county claims process, appropriations, and the County Judge’s approval, in conflict with Ark. Code Ann 14-23-203, 14-20-103, and 14-14-1101. Additionally, some of these expenditures were not supported by original invoices.
Expenditures totaling $300 were made from the Commissary account for an employee Christmas party, in apparent conflict with Ark. Const. Art. 12, 5, as interpreted by Op. Attorney General, No. 91-410.
An individual made three payments totaling $1,702 to satisfy a writ of execution for nonpayment of taxes. These three payments consisted of the following:
A $500 personal check payable to Sheriff “Preston Glenn” dated Oct. 14, 2011. This check was endorsed by the Sheriff and cashed at a local business. This payments was receipted on a handwritten piece of paper that was not signed by the Sheriff.
$500 cash give to the Sheriff. A typed note signed by the Sheriff acknowledged receipt of these funds on Oct. 21, 2011.
A $702 cashier’s check payable to “Pike County Sheriff” dated Nov. 14, 2011. This payment was receipted in the Sheriff’s Office using an official, pre-numbered receipt book.
The writ of execution was satisfied in full as of Nov. 14, 2011; however, the two payments totaling $1,000 made in October 2011 were not receipted using an official Sheriff’s Office receipt or deposited until April 9, 2012. As a result, the Sheriff’s Office did not remit funds collected to satisfy the writ of execution until April 9, 2012.
In another item of concern mentioned in the audit, the county’s Disaster Recovery Plan in-place “again was inadequate (both technical and end-user) for restoring from short-term or long-term interruptions of computer processing. This situation could cause the entity to be without computer processing for an extended period of time in the event of a disaster or major interruption and could also place a financial and personnel burder on the resources of the entity.”
A source familiar with the findings of the audit, as well as other accounting practices under the former sheriff, said a special Arkansas State Police investigation is currently underway involving Glenn.
An email sent by the Nashville Leader to Arkansas State Police spokesperson Bill Sadler inquiring of a possible investigation into the former sheriff received the following response: “Questions relating to this matter should be directed to Jack McQuarry (Special Prosecutor) who can be contacted through the Arkansas Prosecutor Coordinator’s Office in Little Rock.
An email was sent to McQuarry about the possible investigation and he replied, “I am the special prosecutor assigned an investigation in Pike County. I am sorry, but I do not discuss open investigations.”

Chromebooks considered from Nashville School District

By John R. Schirmer
Leader staff
The Nashville School District may be closer to providing 1-1 devices for students.
Superintendent Doug Graham told the school board last week that he may recommend that the district purchase Chromebooks. “We are getting close. I anticipate calling a special meeting after Christmas break to order,” Graham said.
The Chromebook which Graham is considering is “100 percent approved for PARCC testing” in the spring. “We want something to use for testing, but we also need a device that we can use in class,” Graham said.
The devices “are on the market as of [Dec. 13]. They were off for a while for a glitch in the charger that caused overheating. I’m hoping we can get them for around $270 each including the book and system.”
Charleston purchased the Chromebooks for high school and “gave me good reviews. They do recommend cases. They didn’t get them to start with and had eight with broken glass the first day,” Graham said.
The district has been considering 1-1 devices for about a year and has attempted to determine which will perform best in class and on PARCC testing, which is done online instead of with pencil and paper.
In other business at the December board meeting, Graham discussed reasons why new textbooks were not purchased for some subject areas.
“We were ready to go 100 percent Common Core two years ago. The state education director recommended holding off on books until schools decide if they wanted print editions or electronic books,” Graham said.
“We got behind on texts the last couple of years and spent $120,000 on them this year. We’re still behind a little compared to where we’d be if we had adopted every year. We thought we were doing the right thing at the time, based on the advice of the state education department,” Graham said.
The timing of the district’s building program caused some questions about whether textbooks were not purchased because of construction, Graham said. “Textbooks and buildings are not related. They involve completely different funds. If we had textbook needs to meet for a child, we want to meet them.”
The primary school choir performed at the beginning of the board meeting. Stacia Petty is the director.
Graham reported that the operating balance is about $5.8 million. He added that the district is “in good shape on the building fund to more to Phase 4,” which includes enclosing the courtyard at high school.
The board accepted the following resignations: Bobby Dallas, transportation; Patricia Nolan, food services; and David McCrary, transportation.
The board hired three food services employees, including Betty Middleton, Casey Parker and Lisa Welch.
The next meeting will be Tuesday, Jan. 21. The date was changed from Jan. 20 because of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

 

3 young adults hurt in Saturday crash

Three young adults from the area were injured, and two others escaped injury, in a one-vehicle accident shortly after midnight Saturday.
The accident occurred at about 12:47 a.m. on Hempstead County Road 34 north of Nashville, according to a media release from Hempstead County Sheriff James A. Singleton.
Injured were passengers Troy Jackson, 18, and Brittany Westfall, 20, both of Nashville. According to the report, both were ejected from the vehicle.
The driver was Aaron Taylor Gray, 18, of Saratoga who was unhurt. Another passenger, Kolten Ortiz, 19, Mineral Springs, was injured and was taken to Howard Memorial Hospital as was Jackson. There was no further information on Westfall. Still another passenger, Ashley Crocker, 15, Murfreesboro, was unhurt.
According to the report, Gray was driving a 2001 Chevrolet four-door pickup truck northbound on the county road when he lost control. The vehicle struck a tree and overturned several times.
Gray has been cited for careless and prohibited driving, according to the report. He will have a Jan. 6, 2014 court date in Hempstead County.

3 enter guilty pleas in Howard County

Three defendants entered guilty pleas and were sentenced in criminal court here last Wednesday. On the bench was Judge Tom Cooper.
A failure to appear warrant was ordered for one missing defendant, and a mental evaluation was sought for another.
A guilty plea was given by Benjamin Vanfleet, 37, white male, 205 Hockaday Lane, Nashville, who was actually facing two separate felony cases. One case was class D felony possession of methamphetamine, and the other was furnishing prohibited articles, or smuggling contraband into the jail, a class C felony. He pleaded guilty to both charges and was sentenced to five years in the Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC) to run concurrently.
Gloria Ann Chambers, 26, white female, 3017 Corinth Road, Nashville, was also facing two separate felony cases. In one case she was charged with residential burglary, class B felony, and theft of property, class D felony; In the other, she was charged with furnishing prohibited articles, class C felony. In return for the guilty plea, the state moved to dismiss the former charges, and she was sentenced to five years in the ADC. She must make restitution with her co-defendant on the theft charge.
A guilty plea was given by Allison Keeney Brown, 28, white female, Nashville, charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, a class B felony, and theft of property, class D felony. She was sentenced to five years in the ADC to be served concurrently.
Public Defender Greg Vardaman asked for a mental evaluation for Adrian D. Wooten, 39, black male, 607 E. Runnels, Mineral Springs, charged with rape and aggravated residential burglary, both class Y felony.
Judge Cooper ordered a failure to appear warrant for James Burke Ewert, 57, white male, Nashville who missed his court date for a probation revocation hearing. He was charged with failure to meet the terms of his probation on a January 2010 conviction for Terroristic Threatening, a class D felony. When Ewert is apprehended or turns himself in, no bond for his release will be set.
Not guilty pleas were given by five defendants.
Two of them are charged in the same case. Edward Leon Williams, 39, black male, Nashville, and Dominique Trevon Brumfield, 18, black male, both having a 3016 Hwy. 26, Nashville, address, and both charged with class C felony commercial burglary and class D felony theft of property, are both represented by the public defender. Pretrial motions for each will be heard March 5. Bond were lowered to $5,000 each.
Gonzollis Chrisp, 63, black male, 319 County Road 44, Mineral Springs, pleaded not guilty to class D felony charges of possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia; also, possession of Scheduled VI and drinking on the highway, both misdemeanors. His bond was set at $5,000 on the condition he has no alcohol and no driving. Pretrial motions to be heard March 5.
George E. Bamberg, 65, white male, 412 N. 4th, Nashville, pleaded not guilty to a charge of possession of Schedule II drugs, a class D felony. He will be represented by the public defender. Pretrial motions will be heard April 9. His bond was set at $5,000.

Scrapperettes take sixth straight tournament title

By John R. Schirmer
Leader staff
For the sixth straight year, the Nashville Scrapperettes are the champions of the Nashville Bankers Holiday Classic.
The Scrapperettes defeated Genoa Central 44-36 Saturday night in the finals of the 20th annual tournament, the first to be played in Scrapper Arena.
On the boys side, the Scrappers recorded their first loss of the season as they fell to Blevins 50-39 in the championship game.
The tournament began Monday, Dec. 16 and included Nashville, Genoa, Blevins, Murfreesboro, Mineral Springs and Horatio.
Scrapperette Coach Ron Alexander said his squad needed to control the outside shooting of Genoa’s Bailey Everett in order to win. Everett scored 32 points in the semifinals against Horatio Dec. 18, including 27 points on 9 shots from 3-point range.
“We tried to have our hands in her face and not let her beat us,” Alexander said. “We had to know where she was on the court.”
The Scrapperettes (10-3) held Everett to 5 points and only 1 successful 3-point shot.
Kassidy Snowden was the leading scorer for the Scrapperettes with 22 points, followed by Breonna Jefferson with 7, Shayla Wright and Maddi Horton with 5 each, Iesha Neal and Bailey Walls with 2 each, and Timaya Sanders with 1.
The Scrapperettes advanced to the finals by defeating Murfreesboro 55-20 in the opening round and Mineral Springs 34-14 in the semifinals.
Seniors who won the title all three years of their high school careers include Shayla Wright, Kassidy Snowden, Lacie Grace, Iesha Neal, Breonna Jefferson and managers Cynthia Herrera and Clarissa Brizo.
The crowd estimated at 1,500 came in slowly at first but grew steadly throughout the night.
“We had a good tournament and good competition. We had great crowds all three nights, especially tonight [Saturday],” Alexander said.
The crowd of 1,500 at Scrapper Arena compares to 500 in attendance for the championship game last year at the old Scrapper Gym.
In the boys game, the Scrappers (6-1) trailed 9-8 after the first quarter but fell behind 22-17 at halftime. Blevins rolled up 23 points in the third quarter to put the game away.
“In the first half, we were staying in control and kept our composure,” Coach Damon Williams said. “We lost our composure a little at the end of the first half. In the third quarter, it went from bad to worse. We have to take care of the ball when teams press and keep our composure and get the ball up the floor. I don’t like this feeling.”
The game was a battle of unbeatens, as Nashville entered 6-0 and Blevins was 20-0.
“Blevins is a great team. They’re 21-0 now. I knew they would be the best team we’ve seen to date,” Williams said.
Cameron Alexander led the Scrappers with 17 points, followed by Brandon Shamrock with 10 and LaMichael Pettway, Corey Cooper and Jamie Newton with 4 each.
Robinson
In addition to a busy tournament schedule last week, the Nashville teams also traveled to Little Rock Friday night to play District 7-4A opponent Pulaski Robinson.
The Scrappers defeated Robinson 59-55 behind 24 points from Shamrock and 15 from Alexander.
Nashville is 2-0 in conference play and is in first place.
“We were picked dead last in the district,” Williams said.
Against Robinson, the Scrappers trailed by 8 points but “kept our composure and kept battling” to win by 4.
The Scrapperettes and Robinson went to overtime before the Lady Senators won 47-41.
“We were down 15 in the first half,” Alexander said. “We settled down in the third quarter and had a 3-point lead late before we handed it to them.”
Snowden was the leading scorer for the Scrapperettes with 17 points. Wright and Sanders had 9 each. Horton added 3, with 2 from Jefferson and 1 from Neal.
Nashville is 1-1 in District 7-4A following the loss.
Tournaments
The Scrappers will compete in the Dual State Tournament next week at Junction City.
Nashville will play Camden Harmony Grove Tuesday, Dec. 31, at 3:40 p.m. in the opening game. The tournament continues through the week, with the finals set for Saturday, Jan. 4, at 7:30 p.m.Other teams include Crossett, Bearden, Junction City, Norphlet, Lafayette County, Gurdon and Emerson.
The Scrapperettes will play in the Cossatot River Senior Tournament starting Monday, Jan. 6, at 7 p.m They will play the winner of a Jan. 4 game between Cossatot River and Horatio. The finals are set for Saturday, Jan. 11, at 6 p.m.
Other teams include De Queen, Umpire, Mt. Ida, Oden, Acorn, Dierks, Caddo Hills and Foreman.
Conference play will resume Tuesday, Jan. 7 when both teams host Central Arkansas Christian. They will travel to Arkadelphia Friday, Jan. 10.

Investing in next generation part of youth minister’s ‘call’

Michael Dyar

By Emily Alexander
Leader staff
Led by a passion for investing in a younger generation, Michael Dyar was called to the ministry and has now made his way to First Baptist Church as the new youth minister.
Dyar grew up in Lewisville and later graduated from Ouachita Baptist University with a biology major and a minor in chemistry.
“When I went to college, I had aspirations of becoming an anesthesiologist or at least going in to the medical field,” Dyar said. “While I enjoy science, I didn’t enjoy that. It became obvious that ministry was my calling. I don’t think I chose youth; that was just the door God opened and made clear it was my passion. How long I’ll do youth, I don’t know. As you grow in the ministry God calls you to different avenues, and right now this is where God wanted me to be.”
His senior year of college, he became the youth pastor at Fordyce First Baptist Church, where he stayed for three years. He then started teaching chemistry and physics and served as assistant coach for basketball, football and softball at Lafayette County High School for two years.
At the end of his time there, he became interim youth pastor at Beech Street Baptist Church in Texarkana, a temporary position until he got the job of student pastor at Hickory Grove Baptist in Bismarck, where he spent two years. On Oct. 14, he officially became the youth minister at First Baptist Church in Nashville.
He said, “My goals here are to see that the kids come to know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, and have a relationship with him that is evident in their lives and not just said in their words. I also want to see the students be involved with the church family, and see that family atmosphere. I want the youth to know the adults – not just their parents – because church is supposed to be a family.”
Dyar is married to Lara, a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University originally from Seminole, Okla., who later served as admissions counselor at Ouachita Baptist.
“When teaching at Lafayette County, I started going to Beech Street, where I met my best friend who would also be my best man in our wedding. Rob introduced me to Lara in those four years she was at OBU,” Dyar said.
One of the unique aspects of Michael getting the job at First Baptist is that his freshman college roommate, Brent Thompson, got the youth director position at Immanuel Baptist Church at about the same time.
“There’s always anxiety of who your roommate will be and if they’ll be crazy, but I had a good experience. Brent was very organized, had a strong personality and knew what he wanted. We got along really well,” Dyar said. “He lost a really close friend freshman year so he went through that time, and I know it was hard for him. We were both science majors and both realized moving on in the medical field wasn’t for us. Brent had a desire. He was a very Godly young man, always looking for a church to serve at.”
This friendship gives the two a rare opportunity to use their relationship to collaborate events between the two youth groups in the area.
Dyar said, “We will definitely do some collaboration as we both get acclimated. I want to get to know my group better. We’re going to be working on a Disciple Now in the near future as well as other projects. We are both going to get involved at the schools to support our students there, maybe through FCA [Fellowship of Christian Athletes] and other organizations.”
As Dyar is settling into his new position at First Baptist, he says he is glad to call this place his new home.
“Coming from where me and Lara were, we are very excited to be in Nashville. That’s not to take anything away from Bismarck, but there’s something special about this town. The timing couldn’t have been better with Brent and Ashley [Brent’s wife] and April and Kevin [FBC pastor and his wife] all coming in at the same time. God’s doing something, and we don’t want to miss any opportunities. I look forward to getting to know the people in this town better,” Dyar said.

29 show up for Scrapper hitting clinic

The Scrapper baseball program recently hosted the 2013 Winter Hitting Clinic at the Scrapper Dome.
Twenty-nine players ages 7-13 participated.
The following awards were presented at the end of the clinic, including the following:
King of the Jungle Champions – Tyler Brown and Austin Hanson.
King of the Jungle Runners-up – Garrett Williard and Jaydon Marlan.
Home Run Derby Champions – Jaydon Hostetler and McKay Smith.
Runners-up – Austin Hanson and Peyton Hill.
Clinic participants included Slade Slayton, Ethan Gunner, Turner Futrell, Ryan Brown, Tyler Brown, Karsen Chambers, Aiden Smith, Kaleb Halter, Hayden Gray, Riley Dodd, Andrew Peebles, Jaydon Hostetler, Will Pope, Colton Patterson, Cam Lane, Aaron Lott, Aiden Chapman, Chandler Chapman, Austin Hanson, Ty Gordon, McKay Smith, Peyton Hill, Carter Mounts, Bret Jones, Kason Williard, Zach Backus, Garrett Williard, Jaydon Morlan and Nick Garcia.
Instructors included Coach Kyle Slayton, Michael Milum, Alan Copeland, Matt Smith, Lane Chism, Ray Rogers and Preston Pope.

Nashville High School cheerleaders win Class 4A title

CHEERLEADERS WIN STATE. The Scrapper cheerleaders won the Class 4A state championship Saturday afternoon at Hot Springs. They were recognized later during the 20th Annual Nashville Bankers Holiday Classic at Scrapper Arena. The squad includes (front row) Avery Kesterson, Rachel Dawson, Jayla Jacques, Jana Copeland, Kailee Stinnett, Sadie Prejean and Jennifer Gamble; (back row) Taylor Spigner, Alexus White, Brooke Bowden, Brittany Backus, Kaden Peebles and Kathleen Lance. (Not pictured: Abby Herzog and Emily Herzog.) Susan Renfrow is the coach.

HOT SPRINGS – The Scrapper cheerleaders won the Class 4A state championship Saturday afternoon at the Hot Springs Convention Center.
Valley View finished second in the competition.
Nashville entered state coming off a first place finish in the Class 4A division at a contest held at Ouachita Baptist University Dec. 11.
After the results were announced, the cheerleaders returned to Nashville for the final game of the Nashville Bankers Holiday Classic between the Scrappers and Blevins. They were recognized at halftime and displayed their championship trophy for the crowd.
The Scrapper squad last won state in 2008.
Susan Renfrow is the NHS cheerleading coach.
The squad includes seniors Abby Herzog, Avery Kesterson, Jana Copeland, Jayla Jacques, Jennifer Gamble, Kathleen Lance and Emily Herzog; juniors Rachel Dawson, Brooke Bowden, Taylor Spigner and Kailee Stinnett; and sophomores Alexus White, Brittany Backus, Kaden Peebles and Sadie Prejean.

Mine Creek Revelations: Sailor’s Curfew

O come, all ye faithful
O come, all ye faithful,
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of Angels!

 

O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.
++++
THIS CHRISTMAS CAROL is the product of two Englishmen. The words were first written in Latin (Adeste Fidelis), and the tune was composed in the mid-1700s.
This is the first Christmas in many years when one song didn’t get between my ears and refuse to let go. In the past I’ve seized upon traditional songs or newfangled ones. I’d hear a song once on the radio, and then I was hooked.
Last year it was a song by Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme (Oh, the weather outside is frightful), but Eydie went and died since then. My favorite Christmas songs are the traditional ones sung by some children or a capella by a large choir.
I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.
Christ might have been born on Dec. 25, and he might have been born in April or July. It doesn’t matter, does it?
●-●-●
I AM VERY SORRY, but I cannot resist telling you one personal Christmas story. On Christmas Eve 1964 I was standing the ‘mid watch’ (that’s from midnight until 4 a.m.) in the hangar bay of the USS Yorktown which was tied up in a Japanese port. Either Yokosuka or Sasebo. I can’t remember everything. The weather was cold as it usually is in Japan in December.
Most of us enlisted sailors had a curfew. Seems to me that we had to be back aboard by midnight or maybe 1 a.m. Anyway, curfew came and went and I walked my watch around the aircraft stored in the hangar bay. Things were quiet until some pore old sailor came stumbling up from the pier. He had possibly had a drink or two. As he approached the officer of the deck and the duty chief petty officer he was informed that he was late, and would be in just a wee bit of trouble.
Then the guy did something truly stoopid. He pushed the chief aside and ran into the dark insides of the ship.
“Go catch him,” the chief told me. In those days I could actually run, and I managed to catch the guy as he hid in a berthing space. I knew it was him because I saw some feet sticking out from under a blanket and those feet were wearing shoes.
So another sailor and I hauled him back to the officer of the deck, and they put him on ‘report.’ A few days later I had to be a witness at his Captain’s Mast (a trial). The captain busted the guy down a couple of pay grades, and sent him to the brig for a few weeks.
I’ve asked myself many times why I didn’t just tell the chief and the officer of the deck that I couldn’t find the guy. I still can’t give you an answer. I guess I just did what I was supposed to do.
After all, it wasn’t a big offense, but what made it bad was that he pushed the chief. Even on a ship as big as an aircraft carrier, you can’t go long without seeing every other sailor on the ship. For weeks it seemed that every time I turned around the Marine detachment was marching the brig’s inmates somewhere. That pore old sailor would catch my eye and telephathically send a messge: Why didn’t you just tell the chief petty officer of the watch that you couldn’t find me?
We humans never learn. It’s what we do after we’re caught that makes the offense worse.
●-●-●
THANK YOU to somebody at Bluff Springs Church where a new sign pointing to the cemetery correctly spells cemetery. Not cemetary. I’m almost as fixated on the spelling of cemetery as I am on the correct use of the apostrophe.
●-●-●
THINGS I LEARNED from reading email: “Months that begin on a Sunday will always have a “Friday the 13th.”
●-●-●
WEIGHT WATCHERS. Because this issue of “The Leader” went to press late Monday afternoon I couldn’t report on my weight loss/gain of the last week. The same will hold true for next week. But I’ll be back in January to confess how it’s going. Unfortunately for my digital scales, I’ve been going through a period of grazing. Both of my regular readers will remember that I wrote about the scales flashing messages instead of my weight. “Oh, it’s YOU again,” is the favorite message. My experience has been that the digital scales lie, lie, lie because I couldn’t possibly have gained THAT much weight.
Weight Watchers meets in the activities building at Ridgeway Baptist Church out on Peachtree Street. Weigh-in begins at 5, with lashing and flogging to follow.
●-●-●
HE SAID: “For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.” Ralph Waldo Emerson, poet
●-●-●
SHE SAID: “Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and repeat to yourself, the most comforting words of all; this, too, shall pass.” Ann Landers, advice columnist
●-●-●
SWEET DREAMS, Baby

Obituaries

Jackie Ann Sullivan Stout
UNION CITY, Calif. – Jackie was born on March 21, 1943 in Nashville, Ark. to Charlie and Gladys Sullivan, and passed away on Nov. 24, 2013.
She was a 1961 NHS graduate. She met her husband Lloyd in Clinton, Okla., and they thereafter got married in 1963. They started their life together by moving to California in November of 1964. She worked at Owens Illinois Glass Company for 37 years, retiring in 2003. She was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and aunt.
She was preceded in death by her parents and two sisters, Charlie Nell Dellinger and Berta Sue Spicer.
She is survived by her husband Lloyd Stout; daughter Kimberly Stout; son Jack Stout; grandchildren Sarah Ewing, Jonathan J. Warren, Jaclynn Claire Stout, Savannah Stout, Jyssica Falcon, and Nikko Falcon; and siblings Juanita Jones, Virginia Flaherty, Billie Sisler, Charles Sullivan, Mary Woodruff, Pam Caldwell, Rebecca Sullivan, Jimmy Don Sullivan, Edwin Sullivan, and a host of nieces and nephews.
Visitation and a chapel service were held Friday, Nov. 29, 2013 at the Fremont Memorial Chapel in Fremont, Calif., and a graveside service was held Saturday, Nov. 30 at Ceres Memorial Park in Ceres, Calif.
Shirley Don Puryear
Shirley Don Puryear, 70 of Nashville, died Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013 in Hot Springs.
He was born Feb. 15, 1943 in Nashville, the son of the late Erron and Louise Silliavan Puryear.
He was a member of the Trinity Baptist Church in Murfreesboro and a truck driver for many years.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Wanda Puryear.
Survivors include: a son, Gary Puryear of Nashville; a daughter, Pam Plummer and husband John, of Hot Springs; a brother, Bobby Puryear of Nashville; also grandchildren.
Services were Friday, Dec. 20, 2013 at 2 p.m. at Ridgeway Baptist Church in Nashville. Burial followed at Delight Cemetery in Delight under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home, Nashville.
Visitation was Thursday from 6-8 p.m. at the Latimer Funeral Home Chapel in Nashville.
Burlie Wayne Pennington, Sr.
Burnie Wayne Pennington, Sr., 66, of Nathan, died Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013.
He was born April 15, 1947 in Emmett, the son of the late Herbert Pennington and Etha Mae (Shaw) Pennington.
He was a millwright and former mill supervisor and was member of the Nathan Church of Christ.
He was preceded in death by a brother, Lester Pennington, and a sister, Tursie Hipp.
Survivors include: his wife, Phyllis Pennington of Nathan; four sons, Burnie Pennington, Jr. and wife,Susan, of London, Ark., Jody Pennington of Little Rock, Tim Turner and wife, Debra, of Beach City, Texas, and Scott Turner of Nashville; two daughters, Penny Caldwell and husband, Larry, of La Port, Texas, and Cindy York of Nashville; two brothers, Joe Pennington and Bill Pennington, both of Murfreesboro; a sister, Esther Scoggins of Murfreesboro; also grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Services were on Friday, Dec. 20, 2013 at 10 a.m. at the Nathan Church of Christ with Bro. Tommy Mounts officiating. Burial followed in Biggs Chapel Cemetery in Nathan under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home, Nashville.
Visitation was Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013 from 6-8 p.m. in the Latimer Chapel, Nashville.
Online at latimerfuneralhome.com.
Wanda Cooley
Wanda Cooley, 70, of Murfreesboro, died Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013 in Hot Springs.
She was born March 24, 1943, the daughter of the late Vernon and Daisy Manning McHughes.
She was a nurses aide and was a member of the Murfreesboro Church of Christ.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 38 years, Billy Mac Cooley.
Survivors include: son, Todd Cooley of Murfreesboro; two daughters, Teresa Jackson of Nashville, and Alisa Moore and husband, David, of Bryant,; a sister, Jane Brown of the Schaal community; grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Graveside services were on Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013 at Restland Memorial Park in Nashville with Bro. Tommy Mounts officiating under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home, Murfreesboro.
Visitation was Saturday at Latimer Funeral Chapel in Murfreesboro before service time.
Online at latimerfuneralhome.com.

Former senator remembered for wit, love of city and state

JIM HILL AND THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE. Nashville’s Jim Hill was acting governor of the state of Arkansas, and his tractor cab was the governor’s office, once when he served as president pro tem of the Arkansas Senate.

By John R. Schirmer
and Emily Alexander
Leader staff
Former State Sen. Jim Hill of Nashville was eulogized by Gov. Mike Beebe Saturday as “that rare individual that everybody gravitated to. There aren’t too many people you meet that everybody likes. There’s bound to be somebody who didn’t like Jim, but I never met them.”
Hill died Wednesday, Dec. 11, following a lengthy illness. He was 75.
Funeral services were held Saturday at First Baptist Church of Nashville.
Hill served in the House of Representatives from 1993-96 and moved on to the Senate in 1996-2009. He was elected president pro tem of the Senate for the 84th General Assembly in 1993.
“The newspaper [Leader] contacted me for a statement after Jim died. I told them that
Jim’s wit was disarming. He didn’t use it to be funny. He used wit to disarm you and any argument you might have. If you were his friend, he cheered you up with wit,” Beebe said.
“He could be serious when he needed to be. He was somebody you could go to and count on in times of trouble or time when he provided much-needed leadership.”
Hill served with Beebe both in the legislature and after Beebe became governor.
Beebe said Hill didn’t seek the light; light shined on him because of his natural ability.
The governor recalled a national meeting which he and Hill attended years ago in Texas. “We were both on a national panel. There were several thousand in the audience, and the conference was televised, I think on C-SPAN. The moderator went around to everybody on the panel for comments. He kept coming back to Jim, who said something corn pone like Jim would do. He got a positive response from the audience.”
Beebe didn’t remember the topic they were discussing, but the moderator eventually turned to Hill and said,’ Does that bother you, Senator?’
“Jim’s reply was, ‘I’m not going to have a duck fit about it.’ He captured the room with that comment,” Beebe said.
One year before the legislative session, Hill and Sen. Percy Malone of Arkadelphia rented a room and were talking about how to get their furniture and other items up the steep stairs to the apartment. Malone told Hill, “Get your people to do it.”
Hill told Malone, “Percy, I ain’t got no people.”
“Well, he had people,” Beebe said. “God gave him a good heart. God gave him a good mind. When you combine those into one individual, he’s hard to beat. Jim was one of a kind, somebody who brightened all of our lives. We all loved him, and he loved us.”
A near-capacity crowd attended Hill’s funeral, including political figures from throughout the state. Among them were Mike Ross and Nate Coulter of Little Rock, Rep. Nate Steel and Hill’s successor, Sen. Larry Teague, both of Nashville, and a host of others.
“Jim is probably looking down at us now and saying, ‘What in the world is all this fuss about,’” Beebe said.
First Baptist Baptist pastor Rev. Kevin Sartin read a passage from Eccles. 3 which discusses various part of a person’s life, including “a time to live and a time to die. God blessed Jim Hill with a full life. God appointed good times for Jim’s life. Look at the list of his accomplishments and achievements on behalf of his community and state,” Rev. Sartin said.
“There were difficult times for his life as well. Throughout everything, he retained his sense of humor,” Rev. Sartin said.
Hill was a member of First Baptist. “I understand he greeted people in the foyer rather than sitting and listening to the sermon. He lived his relationship with Jesus out on a day-to-day basis,” Rev. Sartin said. “When he stepped out of this life, he stepped into eternity in the presence of God.”
Dr. Lynn Worthen, whose son Phillip is married to Hill’s daughter Allison, recalled the first time he met Hill. “I met him at the airport in Little Rock. Allison and my son were coming back from Europe on a Ouachita [Baptist University] tour.”
After Allison and Phillip were married, “I knew Jim in a family sense. The girls [Allison and her sister Jenifer] called Jim ‘the dad.’ They said that when someone talked about the love of God, they had not trouble understanding because their dad had represented it to them. Jim didn’t get into politics until they were in college because he said his first job was to be a dad,” Dr. Worthen said.
Hill loved his family, community, state and nation, Dr. Worthen said. “He showed us to love people and leave a legacy. As he touched people, he became the hands of Christ.”
Reaction
The death of Hill drew reaction from friends throughout the state.
Sen. Larry Teague of Nashville worked as Hill’s administrative assistant before succeeding him in the state Senate.
“Jim Hill was my good friend and I loved him dearly,” Teague said Monday afternoon. “I learned much from him as I watched him mature into a statesman. He did love people, he loved SW Arkansas, and he loved Arkansas; and he was quick to tell people about the benefits of living here.”
Teague said there are “so many good stories about Jim’s wit. I hope someone will write them all down. I will miss his smile and his knowledge of the process, but mostly I will miss his friendship.”
Mike Ross, former U.S. Congressman and current candidate to succeed Beebe as governor, issued the following statement:
“Sen. Jim Hill was a close friend who I had the pleasure to serve alongside with in the Arkansas General Assembly and the honor to work with for many years.  He was a patriot and public servant who put others before himself in every aspect of his life.  He truly defined what public service should be about.
“Jim had one of the kindest hearts and warmest personalities I knew, and he no doubt had a positive impact on many lives, including my own. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Charlotte; his children; and the rest of his family and many friends.  Arkansas is a better, stronger place to call home because of Jim Hill, and his absence will be deeply felt across the state.”
The entire text of Beebe’s statement from last week following Hill’s death includes the following:
“Jim Hill was a dear and trusted friend whose life was dedicated to service, be it as a United States Marine or as a member of the Arkansas General Assembly. Working alongside Jim for many years, I got to enjoy the dry wit that peppered his conversations and debates. It was a disarming trait that left smiles on the faces of friends and adversaries alike.”
Nashville Superintendent Doug Graham described Hill as “a great statesman. He was a friend of education. His knowledge and tenure meant so much to us. He was such a help.
“He was a positive influence in the community and state. He certainly will be missed. On behalf of the Nashville School District, our thoughts and prayers are with the Hill family,” Graham said.

REMEMBERING. Gov. Mike Beebe shares stories about his friend, the late Sen. Jim Hill, during Hill’s funeral service Saturday afternoon at First Baptist Church in Nashville. Hill and Beebe served in the state Legislature together before Beebe became governor.

Old Hudson Foods building donated to South Pike County School District

By John Balch
Leader staff
A member of the Murfreesboro High School class of 1975 has donated the former Hudson Foods processing plant to the South Pike County School District.
Superintendent Roger Featherston said the building was donated by Dave Thomasson, who made the donation in honor of the class of 1975. Thomasson purchased the approximately 35,000 square-foot building from the city of Murfreesboro in 2001 for approximately $35,000. He operated his business, Endless Power, from the building until it was relocated to Little Rock.
The building is located at 202 South Bass Street in Murfreesboro.
The donation came with the stipulation the school district pay the building’s back taxes. According to the Pike County collector’s office, the back taxes currently total $757.41 with the annual taxes on the books amounting to $677. The district will also have to pay approximately $40 for a deed transfer.
The donation also includes approximately five acres that adjoins 27.52 acres the school district purchased in 2007 for the amount of $48,000. That property, bought from the Anthony family, has been unused since its purchase. The city of Murfreesboro will keep its piece of land located behind the building.
The school board voted unanimously to accept the property during its November meeting last week.
Featherston said the building is currently “not in good shape” but recommended the district accept the donation. Tentative plans are to use the facility for storage as well as a place to move school buses during events to free up parking on the campus.
Also during last month’s meeting, Featherston announced the school district was recently recognized by University of Arkansas Office for Education Policy. The following statement was read during the meeting:
The University of Arkansas Office for Education Policy has named Murfreesboro High School in the top 20 Most Improved High Schools in the state of Arkansas based on achievement on the End of Course 11th grade Literacy Exam. The growth model looks at scores between 2007 and 2013. MHS ranked number 10 in the state for improvement in 11th grade literacy with a growth from 34 percent to 68 percent proficient/advanced. MHS also ranked number 3 in the southwest region. The school will be give the OEP Award at a reception in Little Rock in May.
“It’s nice to have some good news for a change,” Featherston added.
Also last week, Featherston reported that the purchase of property on Second Avenue is nearing completion. The district recently bought the property, which adjoins the elementary campus, for $19,000. The small home and a shed on the property will eventually be removed and plans are to expand the elementary playground.

Nashville cheer squads win divisions at OBU contest

FIRST PLACE. NHS cheerleaders display the trophy after winning their division Dec. 11 in competition at Ouachita Baptist University. They also received the Terrific Tumbling Award and the Cheer Pumping Crowd Award. They will compete for the state Class 4A cheerleading title Saturday in Hot Springs.

By Jana Copeland
Leader staff
ARKADELPHIA – The Nashville Junior and Senior High cheerleading squads won their divisions during competition last week at Ouachita Baptist University.
They were set to compete in the B^2 Cheer and Dance competition on Saturday, Dec. 7. However, because of the bad weather, the competition was rescheduled to Wednesday, Dec. 11.
The junior high squad received an average score of 89.2. They won the First Session 4A-5A Junior Division with this score. In addition to winning first in their division, the NJHS cheerleading squad also received the most creative dance award.
The sigh school squad was awarded first place in the Second Session 4A Senior All Girl Division with the average score of 92.8. The squad also received the Terrific Tumbling Award and the Cheer Pumping Crowd Award.
The score sheets for both high school and junior high school competitions were the same. There were several categories that went into judging the cheer competition.
Crowd leading is worth 15 points, as well as incorporations. The overall cheer impression is given a maximum score of 5 points.
The stunts are worth 15 points, and the pyramids and tumbling are both worth 10 points. The dance, jumps, and motions portions of the routine have a maximum score of 5 points.
Choreography, formations/ transitions and performance are worth 5 points each.
Each squad is judged by three judges and then the combined total points earned from the three judges, and this total is divided by the number of judges.
The high school squad will compete for the Class 4A state title this Saturday, Dec. 21, in the Hot Springs Convention Center. They are scheduled to perform at 1:32 p.m.
Fans are invited to support them and cheer them on at state.

Nashville junior girls defeat Mineral Springs

The Junior Scrapperettes defeated Mineral Springs 43-24 Dec. 12 in their final game before the Christmas break.
The Scrapperettes led 21-15 at halftime and outscored the Lady Hornets 22-9 in the second half to seal the win.
Asia Munn led Nashville with 12 points, followed by Hannah White with 6, Kendall Kirchhoff and Kasey Hinds with 5 each, Anna Kesterson with 4, and Alyssa Harrison, Madi Miller, Tori Erwin and Kaylea Carver with 2 points each.
Kirchhoff was the leading rebounder with 10.

5 teens arrested after Pike County traffic stop yield load of ‘pot’

BIG HAUL IN PIKE COUNTY. The 24 ounces of marijuana and $1,200 cash seized near Murfreesboro.

An Arkansas teen, along with two teens from Colorado and two from Texas, were arrested and are now facing felony drug charges after a traffic stop in Pike County yielded 24 ounces of marijuana.
Arrested and charged with possession of marijuana with the purpose to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia are Cedrick Johnson, 18, of Texarkana, Ark.; Allen Matthew A. Jones III, 19, of LaJunta, Colo.; Tyler Gibson, 19, of Denver, Colo.; Frederick Meyer, 18, of Hooks, Texas; and Christopher Swan, 18, of Hooks, Texas.
The five were arrested on Dec. 10 when an unknown caller reported a vehicle swerving all over the road as it came into the Murfreesboro city limits. The vehicle was located and was observed swerving and increasing and decreasing speeds.
Pike County Deputy Shaun Furr, along with other deputies and Murfreesboro Police Office Richard Tomlinson, initiated a stop. Deputy Robert Shelby detected an odor of marijuana coming from the car and when the occupants were asked about the presence of anything illegal in the car Johnson responded “no” and then consented to a search of the vehicle.
Jones and Swan admitted to having small amounts of marijuana on their person and it was turned over to Chief Deputy David Shelby. Jones also had in his possession $1,2000, mainly in $20 bills. During the search of the vehicle, a marijuana “grinder” was located in the backseat and two backpacks containing 16 individually wrapped bags of marijuana were located in the trunk along with a set of digital scales.
“All five subjects denied knowledge of the marijuana in the trunk and were all placed under arrest and transported” to the sheriff’s department.
All five subjects made first appearances Monday in Pike County Circuit Court. Jones and Gibson’s bonds were set at $50,000 while bond amounts for Meyer, Swan and Johnson were set at $25,000. They were ordered to return to court on Jan. 6.

Opening event held for new Scrapper Arena

GRAND OPENING. Students sing the NHS “Alma Mater” at the conclusion of grand opening ceremonies for Scrapper Arena Dec. 10. Work on the facility began Sept. 14, 2012.

By John R. Schirmer
Leader staff
Scrapper fans had their first look at Scrapper Arena during grand opening ceremonies Dec. 10.
The event included tours, free hot dogs and popcorn, player introductions and recognition of four individuals who contributed to the athletic program.
Johnny Wilson was master of ceremonies for the evening. School board members and district administrators were on hand for the event.
Dennis Horn, who coached the Scrapperettes against Dierks in their first game at the old gym in 1968, introduced his successor, Betty Ann Floyd, and her brother, Sammy. “Betty started here in 1969. She graduated from here in 1953 and played for Dwight Jones,” Horn said. Floyd’s Scrapperettes advanced to the state finals in 1973. During her coaching career, three of her girls made All-State, including Charlene Kreul, Rosemary Spigner and Rosie Collier.
Jimmy Dale reflected on the career of the late Dwight Jones, who served as a coach and later became superintendent. “He was the epitome of Scrapper Spirit,” Dale said. “He was an educator and a coach. He loved being competitive, but he loved kids more than anything else. He loved the Scrappers.” Family members were introduced following Dale’s presentation.
Wilson discussed the Scrapper career of “my friend, Willie Collins Click.” Click’s 1964 Delight team went 42-0 and won the state title. “One of those 42 wins came against Nashville. We were never a threat to them,” Wilson said. Click came to Nashville to coach and retired in 1995 with a career record of 929-355. He continued to teach at junior high. Click was inducted into the Arkansas Hall of Fame in 2003. “He loved basketball and loved kids,” Wilson said. Click died last spring. “When he got sick, we all pulled for him to be here tonight. He always wanted to drive by the gym and check on its progress. He loved Nashville Schools and Scrapper basketball,” Wilson said. Click’s family members were introduced after Wilson’s presentation.
Superintendent Doug Graham reflected on the career of his predecessor, the late Danny Howard. “I was the luckiest guy in the world when he hired me as principal at junior high,” Graham said. “He was my mentor, boss and friend. I am so fortunate to have worked under his leadership. On game day, I was all nervous. He told me to calm down because we were going to win. ‘How can we win?’ I would ask him. ‘We’ll win because we’re supposed to. Calm down,’ he said.” Howard’s family was introduced after the presentation.
Next, Graham recognized the arena’s corporate sponsors who provided the scoreboard and Jumbotron. They include Wilson Coca-Cola, Diamond Bank, Woods and Woods, York Gary Autoplex, Red River Credit Union, Farm Credit and First State Bank of Nashville.
Graham traced the history of the arena construction project and thanked the district’s voters “who gave us the okay.”
Talk of a new arena dated back to Howard’s time as superintendent. Groundbreaking was held 15 months ago, on Sept. 14, 2012. “It was 15 months from start to finish. That’s a tremendous feat to complete a 55,000 square-foot facility like this. We actually finished a little ahead of schedule. The construction team did a fantastic job,” Graham said.
Assistant Superintendent Joe Kell and athletic director James “Bunch” Nichols worked on the project from start to finish. Scrapperette Coach Ron Alexander “has been a trouper,” joining Kell, Nichols and others in traveling around the state looking at other basketball facilities.
State Sen. Larry Teague “went to the facilities division to get every penny we could,” Graham said. Rep. Nate Steel helped. “We appreciate them. This would not have been possible without state partnership money. Mayor Billy Ray Jones supported this project through and through.”
Graham introduced Craig Boone of Architecture Plus, who led the design team. Cody Crawford, Richard Johnson and Shane Crawford represented Crawford Construction, which built the facility. He also presented representatives from the floor which produced and installed the arena floor. “They’ve done all the Final Four floors for the last 10-12 years.”
Following the introductions, fans watched a video produced by NHS seniors Kynnedi Gordon and Storm Nichols, which showed Nichols going campus to campus to find Scrapper Spirit. “They’ve captured it, and now it will be released in the arena,” Wilson said.
At 7:07 p.m., Scrapper Spirit was released by Kell at mid-court.
Band members and cheerleaders performed “Final Countdown,” which was followed by the NHS “Alma Mater.”
Coach Kyle Slayton introduced all junior and senior high basketball players to conclude the program.

Nashville opens play in new arena with two wins

By John R. Schirmer
Leader staff
If the first two games are any indication, Scrapper Arena will prove to be a tough environment for visiting teams.
The Scrappers and Scrapperettes are each 2-0 on their new home court after defeating Bauxite Friday night in District 7-4A contests and Murfreesboro Monday night in the 20th annual Nashville Bankers Holiday Classic.
The Scrapperettes defeated Bauxite 32-30, while the Scrappers won 45-44 in a game that went down to the last shot for the Miners.
Monday night, the Scrapperettes beat Murfreesboro 66-12 in the Holiday Classic, with the Scrappers taking a 55-20 win over the Rattlers.
Senior Shayla Wright scored the first points in the new arena Friday night when she hit a 2-pointer against Bauxite. Seconds later, she made the first 3-point shot in the arena.
Senior Cameron Alexander scored the first Scrapper point in the arena on 2 free throws against the Miners. The first 3-point basket came from senior Brandon Shamrock.
Kassidy Snowden was the leading scorer for the Scrapperettes against Bauxite with 9 points, followed by Wright with 8.
Snowden scored 11 points and Wright added 6 during limited action for the Scrapperette starters against Murfreesboro. Tiyonna Garland came off the bench and was the leading scorer with 13, followed by KeeAundra Richardson with 12, Timaya Sanders with 10 and Maddi Horton with 5.
For the Scrappers, Shamrock was the leading scorer in the Bauxite game with 15, followed by Alexander with 14 and LaMichael Pettway with 9.
In the tournament win over Murfreesboro, Alexander 24 points, with Shamrock adding 12 and Corey Cooper scoring 11.
The Holiday Classic continues tonight (Wednesday) with the Scrapperettes taking on Mineral Springs at 6:40, followed by the Scrappers and Mineral Springs at 8.
The girls finals will be played Saturday at 6 p.m., followed by the boys finals.
The new arena drew good reviews from Nashville coaches. “It’s tough for visitors to come in here and play,” according to Scrapperette Coach Ron Alexander. “I’m thrilled. The atmosphere Friday night was phenomenal. It’s the best high school atmosphere I’ve ever been in.”
The student section was filled for the Bauxite game, waving signs, cheering for Nashville and distracting the Miners. “The student section was great,” Alexander said. “The whole night was entertaining. This is a great place. There’s not a bad seat in here. It feels like a college environment. People will be proud of it for years to come.”
The Scrapperettes are 7-2 for the season, 1-0 in conference.
Scrapper Coach Damon Williams said the arena is “awesome. The Bleacher Creatures [student section] is great. Everybody showed up Friday night. We even had Bigfoot. Tonight [Monday] we had Santa Claus. It’s been great. The Bleacher Creatures are awesome.”
Williams joined Alexander in saying the arena’s atmosphere “is like a college game.”
The Scrappers are 4-0 on the season, 1-0 in District 7-4A.
“They’re playing hard for me. They’ve responded well. It took a little time to get used to me. I’m having fun and enjoying it.”
While most of the week will be devoted to the Holiday Classic, the Scrappers and Scrapperettes also have conference games Friday night at Pulaski Robinson.

Mine Creek Revelations: Farewell to Icon

Away in a Manger
Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.
The stars in the sky looked down where he lay,
The little Lord Jesus asleep in the hay.
The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
But little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.
I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky
And stay by my cradle til morning is nigh.
++++
THIS CHRISTMAS CAROL is one of the most popular in the English-speaking world. The words and tune were assembled from various sources over a considerable period of time, but the lyrics were first published in 1884 by an American religious publishing company. The tune has erroneously been attributed to the reformer Martin Luther, but a version of it may have been composed in his honor hundreds of years after his death. Imagine someone singing it to you, and enjoy.
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JIM HILL. Our friend was the son of a postmaster; grandson and great-grandson of state legislators. So, he already was inclined to some kind of public service when he moved back to his hometown.
Jim was buried last week. The church and visitation were bursting, and the governor spoke at his funeral.
Our Jim didn’t just become a state representative and a state senator, he became a GREAT state representative and state senator. His service to our area and his constituents would be hard to measure, but he also made friends and admirers in all corners of our state.
I loved his wit and his storytelling skills. He was incredibly underestanding about Arkansas affairs, and I would describe his knowledge of the world as being ‘encyclopaedic.’ He’d chuckle at my use of that term, but then he would gently make fun of me for using it. He had a way of bringing you back to earth.
Eagle Scout. Marine. Outstanding Alum of Henderson State University. Cattleman. Servant on many important boards and commissions. Few people have affected the lives of so many people as our friend, Jim.
I treasure the picture I took of him in his tractor on a hot summer day. He stopped bailing hay so that I could snap the pic. He has a cell phone to his ear. At that very moment he was Acting Governor of the State of Arkansas because he was President Pro Tempore of the Arkansas Senate, and both the governor and lieutenant governor were out of state. The cab of his John Deere became the Governor’s office.
I brag on him even though as a hellion teenager he kept some people awake on summer nights by ‘racking’ those loud exhaust pipes on his old black Mercury under the lights at the downtown tennis court.
Peace to his family, and thanks to the Almighty for putting such people among us.
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THE GEMINIDS Meteor Shower. I’ve gotten skittish about telling both of my regular readers about coming events in the heavens, so I didn’t mention the Geminid Meteor Shower which occurred late last week. When I’ve written lavishly about some cosmic event, it either turns out to be a dud, or we are overcast.
But just on the off-chance I might see some Shooting Stars, I went out on my patio at 3 a.m. one morning. Cold? I swear it was probably warmer in Greenland. I wore several layers of clothing, and sat out in a patio chair with my eyes upturned until my neck ached. This was one whole night before the best period began for seeing the meteors. I may or may not have seen several small, incredibly brief ones. And then there was one fine lime green shooter which went westward from straight overhead down to the 3 o’clock position. A fine sighting, and one good enough so that I could go back to my warm bed. People in other parts of the U.S. have reported great and multiple sightings. It would be just my luck they have a winning college football team, too.
I’m still in deep depression that Comet ISON disintegrated when it went around the sun. Just like the Razorbacks disintegrated when Bobby Palarmo’s Harley went around that curve in the Ozarks (I’m still trying to forget Bobby’s real last name).
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THINGS I LEARNED from reading email: “The fingerprints of koala bears are virtually indistinguishable from those of humans, so much so that they could be confused at a crime scene.”
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WEIGHT WATCHERS. Unbelievable but true story emerges from Monday evening weigh-in. Lost five pounds last week, meaning that I have overcome the weight gained during a 2-week Thanksgiving eating binge. Weight loss total now is about 11.5 lbs. since initial weigh-in on Oct. 28.
I went out and celebrated with a pizza and fries.
Weight Watchers meets in the activities building at Ridgeway Baptist Church out on Peachtree Street. Weigh-in begins at 5, with lashing and flogging to follow. Just kidding.
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HE SAID: “We are all so busy and so frantic that we don’t take the time to appreciate the stuff that surrounds us.” Nick Veasey, photographer
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SHE SAID: “It’s not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can’t tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it, myself.” Joyce Maynard, author
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SWEET DREAMS, Baby

Obituaries

James ‘Jim’ Hill
James (Jim) Baker Hill passed away on Dec. 11, 2013 in Nashville, Ark.
He was born in Nashville, and loved his hometown until his death. He attended Nashville High School, the University of Arkansas, and received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Henderson State University. He married Charlotte Byrd of Gurdon in 1968. He was the proud father to Jenifer Hill Kendrick (Conway) and Allison Hill Worthen (Little Rock) and loved his sons-in-law, Greg Kendrick (Conway) and Phillip Worthen (Little Rock) as if they were his own. His greatest joy without question was spending time with his beloved grandchildren, Baker Kendrick, Caroline Worthen, Audrey Kendrick, Will Worthen and Ellen Kendrick. Mr. Hill is survived by these beloved family members, as well as his brother, John Hill of Texarkana, and sister, Ree Hill Cunningham of Springdale. He was predeceased by his parents, J. B and Faustine Hill of Nashville, and a sister, Virginia Ann Hill Andres of Texarkana.
Hill served his country as a United States Marine for seven years before becoming a cattle rancher and timber producer in Howard County. He was an Eagle Scout, a member of First Baptist Church in Nashville, his local Kiwanis club, and served numerous civic organizations in his town and surrounding counties. An active member of the Cattleman’s Association, he served his community and state as the President of the Cattlemen’s Association for the State of Arkansas, and later proudly served on the National Beef Council. Jim Hill was dedicated to the service of his community and state.  Hill felt called to run for office to serve his community earlier in his life, but expressed that a “man’s primary job is to be a good daddy” and that he didn’t want to serve on Capitol Hill while his girls went to college.
He was elected to represent his district in the House of Representatives, 1993-1996, and moved on to the Senate in 1996-2009.  He was elected by his Senate colleagues to be the President Pro Tem of the Senate for the 84th General Assembly in 2003. As a member of the House, he was a chief sponsor of the conservation tax which helps fund the Game and Fish Commission and the Arkansas Parks and Tourism Department. He was inducted into the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Hall of Fame in 2007. He was active in raising funds for diagnosing and treatment of prostate cancer and served on the Arkansas Prostrate Cancer Foundation Board of Directors. He received that organization’s prestigious award for outstanding service. He presided as a War Memorial Stadium Commissioner. He proudly served the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope as an active member of a guiding board. He served Arkansas on the Board of Directors for the Arkansas State Fair.  He was proudest of being named Nashville’s “Man of the Year” in 2009.
In 2006, Henderson State University named him an Outstanding Alumnus.
A funeral service to honor Jim Hill was held Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church, Nashville, Ark. Burial followed at Nashville Cemetery.
A visitation was held at Latimer Funeral Home from 6:00-8:00, Friday, Dec. 13, 2013.
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to any of Mr. Hill’s favorite charities including Soaring Wings Ranch, Nashville City Parks, Nashville First Baptist Church.
You may send an online sympathy message at latimerfuneralhome.com.
Glenn A. Bell
Glenn A. Bell, age 86 a lifelong resident of Mineral Springs, Ark., went to be with his Lord and Savior on Monday, Dec. 16, 2013 at his home.
He was born Dec. 18, 1926 in Mineral Springs to the late Rufus Marvin and Lizzie Lee Cowling Bell. Glenn was a faithful member of the Mineral Springs United Methodist Church. He had served on numerous Methodist boards. He was a cattle rancher and was a member of the Arkansas Cattleman’s Association where he had served and worked on the local and state levels. He was a member of the Mineral Springs Lions Club and was an annual member of the family squirrel camp. He was an avid sports fan and loved reading his daily newspapers keeping up with the local and state news. Most of all Glenn was a devoted and proud family man. His family was precious to him, they were his life. He lived for his children, and grandchildren along with the love of his life, Dot. To Glenn his family was the most cherished prize he had, and he would let anybody know that asked. Glenn strongly believed in strong family values, loyalty, trust, faith, love and honesty to name a few. He taught these values to his children, because of his love for them.
A few years back Dorothy “Dot” Ruth Bell, the best friend and love of his life, went to Heaven to reserve a special place for him, and Glenn was more than ready to see what she had done. Recently his daughter, Rebecca Gay Bell, had joined her mother and this made Glenn even more ready, even though he didn’t want to leave the rest of his family behind, knowing that someday they too will be joining them for eternity.
He leaves behind his son, Greg and wife Diane Bell of Sheridan, Ark., as well as a daughter, Joy Bell Norris and husband Todd of Garland, Texas, and his youngest son, Kirk and wife Lesa Bell of Mineral Springs.
Also, his brothers and sisters: Francis Bell of Mineral Springs, Gene “Red” Bell of Batesville, Clyde Bell of Mineral Springs and Joyce Bell Hesselbein of Bryant; six grandchildren, Emily Bell Cox, Caroline Bell, Trevor Norris, Kimberly Bell, Megan Worthen and Chad Goss; three great-grandchildren, Ella Morgan, Bradon Worthen and Parker Goss. And a large host of other family and friends too numerous to name.
Services will be Friday, Dec. 20, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at the Mineral Springs United Methodist Church with Terry Bell and Glenn Hicks officiating. Interment will follow in Mineral Springs Cemetery. The family would like to invite you to Nashville Funeral Home on Thursday night from 6 to 8 p.m. to share memories of Glenn. You may send the family an online sympathy message to www.nashvillefh.com.
Memorials may be made to the Mineral Springs United Methodist Church, PO Box 298, Mineral Springs, AR 71851, in his honor.
Frank James Dawson
Frank James Dawson,  51 of Nashville, died Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013 in Hot Springs.
He was born Nov. 28, 1962 in Hot Springs to James Dawson and the late Laverne Robins Dawson.
Survivors include: his wife, Rosa Orduna of Mexico; children, Michael Henthorn of Lodi, James Dawson of Nashville, Megan Huffman of Nashville, Nestor Orduna of Mexico; stepdaughters, Monica Orduna of Nashville and Alejandra Aguirre of Hope; siblings, Bonnie Dawson of Nashville, Geraldine Cogburn of Glenwood, Robert Dawson of Nashville and Teresa Tollett of Glenwood; also grandchildren.
A visitation was held at Nashville Funeral Home on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013 from 11-noon.
Private services will be held at a later date. Send the family an online sympathy message at nashvillefh.com.
Melba Elaine Strawn
Melba Elaine Strawn, 95, of Nashville, died Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013 in Hot Springs.
She was born June 2, 1918 in Belton, Ark, the daughter of the late William Jeff Bradley and Mattie Bell (Tucker) Bradley.
She was a member of Immanuel Baptist Church.
She was preceded in death by her husband, William Carl Strawn; two brothers, Byron Bradley and Bill Bradley; and one sister, Audrey Lively.
Survivors include: two sons, Keith Strawn and wife, Shirley, of Nashville, and Greg Strawn and wife, Fran, of Nashville; one daughter, Patricia Stine and husband, Henry, of Texarkana, Ark.; also grandchildren and a great-grandchild.
Services were Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013 at 2p.m. at Latimer Funeral Home Chapel in Nashville. Burial followed in Mt. Tabor Cemetery in Murfreesboro under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home.
Visitation was Saturday from 5-7 p.m.
Gladys Lissie Keaster Golden
Gladys Lissie Keaster Golden, 73, of Dierks, died Friday, Dec. 13, 2013.
She was born March 10, 1940 in Dierks, the daughter of the late Sylvester and Melissie Barbre Keaster. She was a Baptist.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Floyd A. Golden, and infant daughter, Donna.
Survivors include: a son, Loyd Golden and wife, Paulette of Dierks; three daughters,  Janie Pannell and husband, James, of Gillham, Angela Taylor and husband, Robert, and Debbie Golden all of Dierks; three brothers, Eunice Keaster of Dierks, Ernest Keaster of El Dorado, Arkansas and Lawson Keaster of San Augustine, Texas; also grandchildren and great-grandchildren
Funeral services were at 2 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013, in the Wilkerson Funeral Home Chapel in Dierks with Gary Welch and Terry Goff officiating. Burial followed in the Fellowship Cemetery.
Visitation was 6-8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 14 at the funeral home in Dierks.
Register on-line at wilkersonfuneralhomes.com.
Charles Elton Tollett
Charles Elton Tollett, 60, of Mineral Springs, died Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013 in Nashville. He was born June 11, 1953 in Nashville to the late David Earl and Leila Maude O’Dell Tollett.
He was a member of Immanuel Baptist Church in Nashville.
He was preceded in death by a sister, Carol J. Bundrick.
Survivors include: his wife, Jacque Edwards Burnette Tollett of Mineral Springs; children, Nikkie McLelland and husband, John, of Delight, Derek Tollett and wife, Shana,of Nashville; step-children, Jason Dwayne Edwards of Mineral Springs, Justin Matthew Edwards and wife, Paula, of Vilseck, Germany, and Bradley Ray Burnette of Hot Springs; two sisters, Phyllis A. Tollett Romans of Nashville, and Terri L. Tollett Collins of Lafayette, La.; also grandchildren.
Services were Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013 at 2 p.m. at Immanuel Baptist Church in Nashville with Bro. Billy Dawson and Bro. Paul Bullock officiating. Interment followed in Restland Memorial Park Cemetery.
The family received friends at the funeral home Monday from 6 to 8 pm.
Send the family an online sympathy message to nashvillefh.com.
Kathryn Sue Lenore
Kelly McCarty
Kathryn (Sue) Lenore (Kelly) McCarty, age 87, of Murfreesboro, passed away on Dec. 14, 2013 in Murfreesboro.
She was born on May 8, 1926 in Ardmore, Okla., the daughter of the late Ernest E. Kelly and Frankie (Buchanan) Kelly.
Mrs. McCarty was manager of Diamond State Park for 23 years, and was member of St. Martin’s Catholic Church in Nashville, Ark.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Grady Walton McCarty; and one son, Anthony Walton McCarty.
Survivors include: two granddaughters, Donna Lynn McCarty of Murfreesboro, and Mary Christine Jasper of Hawkins, Texas; two great-grandchildren, Hayley and Camryn, both of Hawkins, Texas; and one brother, Ernest E. Kelly of Ponca City, Okla.
A host of other relatives and friends mourn her passing.
Services were scheduled for Wednesday Dec. 18, 2013 at 12:00 Noon in St. Martin’s Catholic Church, 1011 Leslie St. in Nashville. Burial to follow in Restland Memorial Park in Nashville under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home, Nashville.
Rosary will be at 5:30 p.m. with visitation beginning at 6:00-8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013.
You may send an online sympathy message to latimerfuneralhome.com.
Ruth Ann Hooks
Ruth Ann Hooks, 61 of Nashville died Sunday Dec. 15, 2013 in Murfreesboro.
She was born June 26, 1952 in Butler, Mo., to the late Raleigh and Letha Adams Vermillion. She was a member of the Cross Point Cowboy Church in Nashville.
She was preceded in death by five brothers, and two sisters.
Survivors include: her children, Travis Fields and wife, Tammy, of Butler, Billy Fields and wife, Rebecca, of Nevada, Mo., Luke Fields and wife, Tracy, of Rich Hill, Mo., T.J. Hooks of Nashville,  Crystal Lovewell and husband, Glen, of Murfreesboro, and Tammy  Perez and husband, Joe, of Texas City, Texas; a sister, Dorothy Martz of Hooks, Texas; a brother, Donald Vermillion of Hope; also grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Graveside services will be Friday, Dec. 20, 2013 at 3 p.m. at Mineral Springs Cemetery with Bro. Don Jones officiating. You may send the family an online sympathy message to nashvillefh.com.
Boyce Robert Parsons
Boyce Robert Parsons, 86 of Nashville, died Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013 in Nashville.
He was born Dec. 4, 1927 in Old Washington, Ark., to the late John and Zula Mouser Parsons. He was a retired electrician and an Air Force Veteran.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Gloria Parsons.
Survivors include: a son, Mark Parsons of Carrollton, Texas, and a daughter, Lori Anne Bennett of Nashville; also grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Graveside services will be Wednesday, December 18, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. at Marlbrook Cemetery near Blevins with Chuck Reel officiating. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Tuesday night from 6-8.
Send the family an online sympathy message to nashvillefh.com.

State champion post oak grows in Delight

STATE CHAMPION TREE. This massive tree in Delight has been certified by the Arkansas Forestry Commission as the largest post oak in Arkansas. The tree is located at 285 Highway 19 South on property owned by the May family, which said the public is welcome to pull into their driveway to view the tree. For more about state champion trees, visit the AFC website: forestry.arkansas.gov. Leader photo/Courtesy of AFC

By John Balch
Leader staff
DELIGHT – Ninety-one-year-old Bert May recalls the big oak tree at his family’s homestead as already being “good sized” when he was just a child.
May also remembers family lore about their home burning down when he was just 18 months old. He was always told by his parents, Jim and Birdie May, that the family sheltered under the oak tree by draping tents among the massive branches until the home could be rebuilt.
“One for cooking and one for sleeping,” Bert said of the makeshift home under the tree.
That big old post oak is still standing today and has earned the status of “state champion” from the Arkansas Forestry Commission. The tree is estimated to be at least 200 years old.
The tree is located at 285 Highway 19 South, about a mile outside of Delight, on property now occupied by Bert and Edith May’s son, Charles and his wife, Nan. The family said the public is welcome to turn down their driveway to get a glimpse of the state record. The home is on the right side of the road coming from Delight just before Lockeby Curve.
Charles also has fond memories of the big tree. There used to be the shell of a 1934 Plymouth under the oak he and his now deceased younger brother, Michael, used to play in. And, of course, they would climb the big tree, having to use a ladder to reach the first limbs.
Charles laughed when he recalled the time he kicked the ladder away and stranded his little brother high above. “That’s been repaid several times over,” he said.
The old tree has survived some threatening times, including the 2000-2001 ice storm and countless other weather events, only losing a few branches, albeit big ones, here and there.
“If that old tree could talk…..” Charles said.
The AFC maintains a list of the largest trees of each species in Arkansas to determine state champions. The post oak on the May property has a circumference of 199 inches, a crown spread (canopy) of 112 feet and is 70 feet tall – creating what the AFC calls a “Bigness Index” of 297.125, according to Patti Erwin, AFC urban forestry coordinator.
The tree was nominated by former Pike County AFC forester Matthew Voskamp, who now works in Garland and Clark counties. He first noticed the tree in the last part of 2011 and decided to measure it, thinking the tree was bigger than the then-state champion post oak in Union County. Turns out, he was right and later found out the Union County tree’s height had been inaccurately measured.
“The moment I saw it from the road, I was pretty certain it was a state champion,” said Voskamp, who has a book in the works about the state’s champion trees. He said he has visited more than half of the state record holders.
Gone is the old tow-sack swing that Bert fondly remembers swinging from when he was a kid, now replaced by a tire swing. But, like the tree, the memories remain.

Scrapper Arena Opening

Scrapper Arena Opening

Opening held for new basketball arena

ARENA OPENS. Coaches Damon Williams, Aaron Worthen, Ron Alexander and Buster Bonner will be the first to coach their teams in Scrapper Arena, which opened Tuesday night. Leader photo/John R. Schirmer

By John R. Schirmer
Leader staff
The curtain came down on one era of Scrapper basketball Monday night and opened on a new era Tuesday night.
The Scrappers and Scrapperettes won their final games in Scrapper Gym on Monday, defeating Prescott’s Curley Wolves and Lady Wolves. (See page 7A.)
Tuesday night marked the grand opening of Scrapper Arena, the 1,800-seat facility located east of the Scrapper Dome.
The event included recognition of sponsors for the scoreboard and Jumbotron, introduction of basketball teams, recognition of families connected to the basketball program, tours and other events.
More on opening night will be included in next week’s Leader.
Planning of the new arena began more than two years ago, and ground breaking was held Sept. 14, 2012.
Scrapperette Coach Ron Alexander was in on the process from the beginning. “It’s a really nice place,” Alexander said. “I probably have a biased opinion, but it’s the nicest I’ve ever seen.”
Alexander and others from the Nashville School District traveled throughout the state to look at other basketball facilities and develop ideas. Superintendent Doug Graham presented their work to Architecture Plus for final plans. “It was a major project,” Alexander said.
“It’s really come together. It’s a classy-looking place. Our citizens will be really proud of it. It’s one nice place. The hospitality room gives it a look of its own. It’s a player’s dream to play in it,” Alexander said.
New Scrapper Coach Damon Williams came to Nashville from Wickes as construction neared completion. “It’s second to none,” Williams said of the arena. “It still reminds me of ‘Hoosiers.’ I look at it and go, ‘Wow!’ I’m excited about it.”
Williams said he doesn’t “know of anything they didn’t do. The offices are really nice. There’s plenty of storage. I’m excited about the whole thing.”

Nashville teams pick up wins in final games at Scrapper Gym

By John R. Schirmer
Leader staff
Stories of the early days in Scrapper Gym flowed freely Monday night as the Scrapperettes and Scrappers defeated Prescott in their final games in the storied facility.
Dennis Horn coached the Scrapperettes in their first game at Scrapper Gym when it opened in 1968. He was there for the final game Monday night. Doug Dildy, Eddie Cobb, Martha Horn, James Reed and others joined the conversation from time to time. Superintendent Doug Graham and Athletic Director James “Bunch” Nichols likely had the opportunity share a story or two as well.
A large and vocal crowd was on hand as Scrapper Gym went out in style.
Veteran Coach Ron Alexander and the Scrapperettes defeated Prescott 53-26 and ran their season record to 5-2. Senior Shayla Wright led Nashville with 20 points, including 3 shots from 3-point range. LaTrice Wiley added 10 for the Scrapperettes, who led for much of the game after falling behind briefly in the first quarter.
For Scrapper Coach Damon Williams, his first and only game in Scrapper Gym was a 55-45 victory over Prescott, leaving him with a perfect 1-0 record there. Williams is in his first year at Nashville following a long and successful career at Wickes.
Cameron Alexander led the Scrappers with 16 points, followed by Brandon Shamrock with 12.
The Scrappers are 2-0 on the season.
The Scrapperettes and Scrappers will play their first games in Scrapper Arena Friday night, Dec. 13, as they host District 7-4A opponent Bauxite.

‘All I want for Christmas…’

By Louie Graves
Leader staff

LIKE DIAMONDS IN THE SKY. Children from the first grade at Nashville Primary School present a selection of Christmas songs last week for the Nashville Rotary Club. The group was under the direction of Stacia Petty. (Leader photo/Louie Graves)

By Louie Graves
Leader staff
Nashville first-graders gave a Christmas concert to the Nashville Rotary Club, last Wednesday, and one of the numbers was incredibly difficult because the song called for whistling …..  and about half of the children were missing front teeth.
Music teacher Stacia Petty told Rotarians that the children who couldn’t whistle just substituted their high-pitched voices at the appropriate places.
Petty brought 34 children from the homerooms of Sarah Horn and Karen Teeter. For the past several years she has brought children to sing for the Rotarians. The children sing contemporary and traditional songs of the season, and accompany the songs with enthusiastic gestures as coached by their teacher.
Song selections included: “Diamonds in the Night,” “Sounds of Santa’s Workshop,” “O Come Little Children,” “Mr. Frosty Winter,” and “Deck the Halls.”
Petty is in her eighth year as music teacher at Nashville Primary.
Club president Margi Jenks presided. A visiting Rotarian was Johnny Hoefl who is a member of the Hot Springs National Park chapter.
Children in the performing group included:
Alena Barnett, Fancee Brown, Samuel Camacho, Hadlie Dixon, Tucker Dixon, Zacharaiah Empty, Colton Gilbert, Willie Gilliam, Manning Goff, Lance Harris, Ryley Harrison, Sarah Lamb, Esmeralda Leon, Katherine Quintanilla, Lacourtney Rodgers, Addison Tate, Amiyah Murphy, Andy Harris, Austin McGilberry.
Landen Arbuthnott, Karilynn Arellano, Nathan Bauer, Tyler Cooper, River Davis, Raeleigh Garner, Zaccheus Harris, Rialee Juarez, Marie Keyes, Cathryn Martindale, Colton Melson, Adrian Pioquinto, Sherlyn Piza, Madalynn Rodgers, Byron Sanders, Hunter Tait and Dequasha Thurman.

Christmas card project continues

Residents of area nursing homes will get Christmas cards soon in a continuation of a tradition here.
Businesswoman JJ White started her Christmas card project decades ago, and it has continued after her retirement and the sale of her business. Citizens are invited to bring Christmas cards to a large, gift-wrapped box located in the outside entry of Tollett’s Gifts on North Main Street. The cards may be signed or unsigned. Messages are encouraged but not necessary.
White and her ‘helpers’ will take the cards around to the nursing homes. She said that about 1,700 cards were distributed last year.
The cards must be received by Tuesday, Dec. 17.

Mine Creek Revelations: Watching Weight

By Louie Graves
Joy to the World
Joy to The world! the Lord has come
Let earth receive her King
Let ev’ry heart prepare him room
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and nature sing
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THIS CAROL is the North America’s most published Christmas song. Words were by an English hymn writer and were first published in 1719. The words were based upon Psalm 98, and actually refer to Christ’s triumphant return rather than to his first coming. The music is thought to be adapted from Handel’s “Messiah.”
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RE-ELECTED. Bruce Jackson of Lockesburg was recently re-elected to a term on the Arkansas Farm Bureau board of directors. Congrats and thanks for your service.
AND NOMINATED. Among the nominees for Class AA offensive football player of the year in Arkansas is Austin Kirkpatrick, the fine quick-footed quarterback of the Gurdon Go-Devils. He is the grandson of Jimmie Lou Kirkpatrick and the late Dale Kirkpatrick of Nashville. Congrats, and thanks for reminding me of Dale.
AND THE TRADITION continues. It’s been mucho years ago that JJ White began gathering Christmas cards to take to nursing home residents. She’d usually also include a small gift for each resident. She and her ‘helpers’ are doing it again this year. Sign a few Christmas cards and drop them off at the big box in front of Tollett’s Gifts (Melinda Bennett’s store) before Dec. 17. Thanks to JJ and Melinda.
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LET ME REPORT on the activities of the gasoline voucher project for cancer patients. Cancer has a devastating impact physically, emotionally and financially on the patient and family. My late wife and I discovered that. But we also discovered absolute wonder when some friends approached us and said “Don’t you buy gasoline.” They knew our buggy was making four and five round trips to Little Rock each week. They pooled resources and paid for our gasoline during the last months of her struggle. It meant a lot to our stretched budget, but meant even more to us that people knew about and cared about what we were going through.
After Jane died and I finally stopped feeling sorry for myself, I looked for a way to show my appreciation for our blessings. It came to me that I could help other people — via the gasoline vouchers — on their expenses going to doctor appointments, chemo and x-ray treatments, blood transfusions, etc., related to cancer.
I began raising money and purchased gasoline ‘cards’ with a local convenience store. I get the money from many sources — a Sunday School class, a Bible study group, youth groups, and other sympathetic citizens who have themselves experienced cancer expenses. These are people who care about the burdens of their fellow human beings and want to help. This is not charity — I have discovered that there are many people who are looking for ways to show support.
When a cancer patient or their caregiver comes to our office prior to making a trip for treatment, we give them a certificate or voucher for $20 worth of gasoline at Road Mart. The nice folks at Road Mart give them a soft drink to make the trip a little easier. It’s just more of people showing that they care.
As of the last time I exchanged cash for gas tickets with the folks at Road Mart, this project had raised more than $30,000 for the purchases. Every penny that comes in is used for the gasoline purchases. There is no audit or tax deduction. I keep it as simple as I can. Of course, the cancer patients and their families are also in our prayers.
If you are among those who have helped keep this project going — thank you, thank you. And if you know of someone who has to make trips for cancer treatment, send them to us for a gasoline voucher.
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THINGS I LEARNED from reading email: “The highest point in Pennsylvania is lower than the lowest point in Colorado.”
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FILE THIS AWAY for next June or July when we’re desperate for a rain. All we need to do is have Gary Dan call his building renovation crew to come back to York Gary Autoplex for an outdoor project and it will rain, rain, rain every day they’re here.
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WEIGHT WATCHERS. Like George Washington I cannot tell a lie. Gained 2+ pounds since last weigh-in, bringing my total weight loss to 7 pounds since re-joining WW. a little over a month ago Of course, this time period includes the aftermath of Thanksgiving and some absolutely lousy winter weather days  in which I couldn’t go for my daily 2-mile walk because I’m far to smart to go out in freezing temps. That left me a whole weekend to sit around and graze. I’m back on track again and expect to shed those pesky pounds.
Weight Watchers meets in the activities building at Ridgeway Baptist Church out on Peachtree Street. Weigh-in begins at 5, with lashing and flogging to follow. Just kidding.
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HE SAID: “The big artist keeps an eye on nature and steals her tools.” Thomas Eakins, artist
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SHE SAID: “If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” Alice Roosevelt Longworth, author
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SWEET DREAMS, Baby

Obituaries

Keith Snell
Keith Snell, 45, of Nashville died Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 in Nashville.
He was born May 3, 1968 in Nashville, the son of the late Esau Snell and Nellie (Brewer) Snell.
He was employed with Tyson Foods of Nashville for 26 years and was a member of the Williams Memorial Church of God in Christ in Nashville.
Survivors include: his wife, Stena Snell of Nashville; a son, Dequan McGraw of Nashville; five brothers, Idak Snell of Mineral Springs, Mark Snell of Nashville, Mickey Snell of Nashville, Steven Snell of Mineral Springs, and Leonard Snell of Nashville; two sisters, Charlotte Snell of Nashville and Michelle Snell of Hot Springs.
Services were Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013 at 1 p.m. at Williams Memorial Church of God in Christ in Nashville with Pastor Ramon D. Henderson officiating. Burial followed at Sunset Gardens in Nashville under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home.
Visitation was Friday from 5-8 p.m. in the funeral home chapel.

Scrapper Arena to open Dec. 10 with ceremony, tours

GRAND OPENING SET. The grand opening of Scrapper Arena will be held Tuesday, Dec. 10, at 6:30 p.m. A special ceremony to mark the event will include the “unleashing of Scrapper Spirit” in the new facility, according to Superintendent Doug Graham. The public is invited to attend. Tours of the arena will follow the ceremony. (Leader photo by John R. Schirmer)

By John R. Schirmer
Leader staff
The grand opening of Scrapper Arena will be Tuesday, Dec. 10, at 6:30 p.m. Doors will open at 6:15 p.m.
“We hope the community will take this opportunity to come see the new facility,” Superintendent Doug Graham.
Tuesday night’s opening ceremony will include recognition of the construction team from Crawford Construction. Work on the facility began in September 2012.
School board members will offer comments during the program.
Scrapper and Scrapperette basketball team members will be introduced.
Graham said the seven local businesses which funded the Jumbotron and scoreboard will be recognized. The businesses donated a total of $105,000 for the scoreboard and big screen.
In addition to the other activities, “We will unleash the Scrapper Spirit that night,” Graham said.
Following the ceremony, those attending will have the opportunity to tour the arena.
Complimentary hot dogs and popcorn will be offered.
Scrapper Spirit wear will be available to purchase.
“I hope by 7 p.m. we’re giving tours and eating hot dogs,” Graham said.
“We’re looking forward to the 10th. This will be a big week to make it happen. The four-sided scoreboard will be installed Wednesday morning (Dec. 4). The Jumbotron will be installed Friday and Saturday,” Graham said.
The first basketball games in Scrapper Arena will be Dec. 13 when the Scrapperettes and Scrappers host Bauxite.
The facility will also be used for other events, including graduation. The Class of 2014 will be the first to graduate in Scrapper Arena.
The arena is another portion of the Nashville School District’s facilities improvement program, which began in 2011. Projects which are already completed include the renovation of Nashville High School, a seven-classroom addition at NHS, and new media center and cafeteria at Nashville Junior High.
The final portion of the program will include enclosing the courtyard at NHS.
The $15-million facilities project was done without a millage increase. Nashville’s millage has remained the same since the early 1990s, Graham said.

 

Pike County Internet sting reveals dark side of chat rooms, those who use them

By John Balch
Leader staff
They have arrived on bicycles and behind the wheel of giant 18-wheelers. They have come from as far away as Oklahoma. But, they all arrive with a common goal: to have a sexual encounter with someone they believed to be an underaged girl.
‘They’ are sexual predators, and so far, eight people have been charged, with four sentenced, in Pike County Circuit Court, according to Pike County Investigator Jason McDonald, with county Detective Clark Kinzler and various local and state agencies, has coordinated the Internet stings aimed at sexual predators who stalk young girls online. With the exception of one subject, all have been charged with Internet stalking of a child.
The process to catch a sexual predator is relatively simple and involves an “investigative account” tucked away in the dark recesses of Internet “chat rooms.” Investigator McDonald said he only has to log into the account and it immediately starts “blowing up” with messages from suspected sexual predators who think they are chatting with underaged girls.
What direction the investigation takes is usually dictated by the person on the other end.
According to documents related to the cases, the chat sometimes starts with seemingly innocent banter during which time the young age of the “girl” is established. Sometimes the predator will continue to “get to know” his subject even after it has been revealed they are underaged. Sometimes the predators initially attempt to romanticize the situation but eventually the conversation turns sexual in nature and requests start being made for picture trades and ultimately a request for a meeting. One offender even offered to pay $60 for sex with the youth.
McDonald said he has to be careful to make sure the cases against the offenders are air-tight before agreeing to a meeting. Once the meeting is set, all they have to do is coordinate and wait.
According to case documents, in October, Chad A Squyres, 35, of Smackover, using the screen name “Chads585” let his underage subject know he was on his way for a meeting after several chat sessions. He had allegedly already sent the subject a picture of his exposed genitals. He arrived driving an 18-wheeler owned by an employer.
Once they are in custody, many of the suspects have an excuse for why they have arrived at this predetermined spot to meet someone who they think is underage. Squyres told investigators he “thought it was a role-playing game and the girl was older.” When faced with the evidence and chat transcripts, he still claimed “he is not like that and he honestly thought it was a role-playing game,” according to an affidavit of arrest.
Squyres pleaded not guilty to the charge on Nov. 15 and trial dates were set for January and February.
Also in October, Matthew Avelar, 32, of Haworth, Okla., arrived at an undisclosed location with condoms and money to pay for the anticipated sex. When confronted with the evidence, he invoked his rights and the interview was concluded.
Avelar pleaded not guilty to the charge on Nov. 4 and trial dates were set for January.
In November, Charles Hugh Williams, Jr., 55, of Hampton, made his second trip to an undisclosed location – the first was aborted by investigators – to meet what he thought was an underaged girl. He had told the subject he was 45 years old and of his plans for a trip to the lake and sharing sodas. He also allegedly had a plan to video the encounter.
Once in custody, Williams stated that once he saw the underaged girl online he felt the need to help her. When asked about the sexual nature of the conversation and the plan to video the encounter, Williams said he “felt if he didn’t talk sexual to her she would not meet him.” He also explained “how big of a Christian he was and only wanted to help the girl and he said he just went overboard.” He added that he planned to set up the video camera to “record them talking.”
“They’ve all got their excuses,” according to Investigator McDonald.
The case against Williams is pending; he has not made a court appearance.
A Glenwood man, Justin M. Gregory, who was 19 when he was arrested earlier this year, was the first person caught up in the sting. He was arrested for sexual solicitation of a minor in March. In January, he was arrested for the same offense in Montgomery County. Gregory arrived for his supposed meeting with an underaged female on a green bicycle. He also had four condoms in his possession. Gregory was convicted earlier this year four years the Arkansas Department of Corrections.
Also earlier this year, Dierks residence, Shaun Troy Mauldin, now 32, was arrested and charged with Internet stalking of a child when he arranged a meeting with what he thought was a 14-year-old girl. During the chat sessions, Mauldin, who was employed at the time by Henderson State University, stated it was “disgusting” that someone that age would be on a social media site and “wished not to speak” with “her” due to the age difference. Despite his claims of disgust and his belief he knew he was communicating with an officer, Mauldin continued the conversation and eventually arranged for a meeting and revealed his plans to take his subject to a Dierks deer camp.
Mauldin pleaded guilty to the charge against him earlier this year and was sentenced to five years in the state prison.
An 33-year-old Amity man, Jeffory Eugene Spears, is also now behind bars as a result of the Internet sting. He was sentenced to five years state prison after pleading guilty earlier this year.
The harshest sentence handed down so far was for Daniel Charles Humphry, 37, of Nashville. Humphry was sentenced to 15 years in the ADC for Internet stalking of a child. He was also charged with endangering the welfare of a minor for bringing his one-year-old daughter along for the anticipated meeting.
A case is against Kevin McNamara, 30, of Perryville is also still pending in Pike County Circuit Court. During his conversation with a girl he thought was 15 years old, he allegedly made known his plans to get the girl “pregnant and keep her forever.”
McNamara also claimed to have known he was “meeting a cop.” When asked why he showed up for the arranged meeting, he responded, “I’m different and I wanted to see.”
When asked what would have happened had it been a real child waiting on him, McNamara responded, “I would have told her this is wrong and tell her parents.”
McNamara pleaded not guilty to the charge on Sept. 23 and is scheduled for trial in February.

 

NJHS Stream Team receives AGFC grant

The Nashville Junior High School Science Club’s Stream Team recently received a $2,000 grant from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Ben Thesing, Region III Stream Team coordinator, made the presentation.
Funds will provide equipment for the NJHS students to continue their study of Dodson Creek.
Stream Team members have the opportunity to learn more about problems confronting Arkansas streams and actions needed to maintain or restore their health, according to AGFC.
Arkansas has more than 90,000 miles of streams, rivers, springs and bayous.
The integrity of many streams “has been compromised to the point where we have lost thousands of miles of free flowing and natural streams due to damming, instream mining, industrial pollution” and other factors, AGFC says. “Stream Team is a network of people who care about Arkansas streams.”

Scrappers, Outlaws, Hornets Rattlers earn post-season football recognition

District 7-4A
Thirteen Nashville Scrappers received awards from District 7-4A following the football season. Awards were announced Monday after the conference’s last remaining team, Arkadelphia, was eliminated from the state playoffs.
Senior offensive lineman Cameron Alexander was named 7-4A Lineman of the Year. He will play in the Arkansas Activities Association All-Star game this summer.
Alexander and junior LaMichael Pettway both were named All-State.
First team All-District 7-4A selections include Alexander, Pettway, Traveon Muldrow and Tyler Parker.
Second team All-Conference includes Kyler Lawrence, Billy Stewart, Leonard Snell and Braden Hood.
Honorable Mention All 7-4A selections include Lucas Liggin, Storm Nichols, Ashton Nelson, Kory Snodgrass and Asher Walker.
District 7-2A
Dierks Outlaw head coach David Bennett has been named as Arkansas’s Class 2A Coach of the Year after leading the Outlaws to an 11-1 season that went two rounds into state playoffs.
A total of 18 Outlaw players also earned post-season recognition. They include:
All-District – Andrew Sirmon, Tyler Narens, Adam Bradshaw, Andy Tedder, MaClane Moore, Dalton Ray, Trendon McKinney, Curtis Sebren, Caleb Dunn, Drew Adams, Cameron Brewer, Tyler Mounts, Layne McWhorter and Mason Jester.
All-District Honorable Mention – Tyler Kesterson, Trent Coffman, Tatum Stuard and Matthew Jones
Six Mineral Springs Hornets were all also named to the All-District team. They include: Kendrick Langston, Ju’Marcus Lacy, Cameron Lacy, Shemar Johnson, J’Von Atkins and Terelle Stewart.
Making the Honorable Mention List from Mineral Springs were Shavon Velcoff, Markeies Moore, Tyler Villegas
Four Murfreesboro Rattlers were also named to the All-District list. They are Marcus Jackson, Alex Kennedy, Daniel Robinson and Bailey Flowers. Honorable Mention Rattlers were Christian Eckert and Conner Watson

 

Obituaries

Roger Alan Runnels
Roger Alan Runnels, 50 of Bodcaw, Ark., died Monday, Nov. 25, 2013.
He was born Nov. 29, 1962 in De Queen to Bettie Eloise Kesterson Runnels and the late John Delbert Runnels. He was a Baptist.
He was preceded in death by a brother, John A. Runnels.
He loved hunting, fishing and being outdoors.
Survivors include: his mother, Bettie Runnels of Nashville; a daughter, Marti Hammond of Texarkana, Texas; two sisters, Rene Harrison of Texarkana, Ark., and Sheila Diane Venable of Nashville; two brothers, Kevin Runnels of Hooks, Texas, and Michael Runnels of Archie, Mo.; also two grandchildren.
A memorial service was set for 11 a.m. Wednesday Dec. 4, 2013 at Nashville Funeral Home. Send the family an online sympathy message to www.nashvillefh.com.
Zela ‘Bo’ Campbell
Zela “Bo” Campbell, 78 of Delight, died Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013 at her residence.
She was born Dec. 18, 1934 in Wortham, Texas, the daughter of late Joe Wesley Padgett and Maggie May (Powell) Padgett.
She was preceded in death by four brothers and sisters, Sam Thomas Padgett, Clara Wood, Ann Moore, and Essie Eady.
Survivors include: her husband of 59 years, Gerald Campbell of Delight; a son, Steve Campbell and wife, LaDonna, of Delight; a daughter, Kathy Campbell of Baytown, Texas; a brother, James Padgett of Deer Park, Texas; a sister, Mildred Nelson of Delight; also grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Graveside services were Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013 Campbell Cemetery in Delight under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home, Murfreesboro.
Audra Muriel Dixon
Audra Muriel Dixon, 88 of Murfreesboro, died Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013 in Murfreesboro.  She was born March 25, 1925 in Okolona, the daughter of the late Claude B. and Ruth B. Howard.
She was a member of the Murfreesboro Church of Christ.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Limuel F. Dixon; daughters, Gloria Jean and Vickey Lynn; a son, Ronnie W. Dixon; and a sister, Doris Spradlin.
Survivors include: a daughter, Dianne Risner and husband, Hobert, of Murfreesboro; also grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Services were set for Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 at 2 p.m. at the Murfreesboro Church of Christ with Tommy Mounts and Roger Cox officiating. Burial will follow in Murfreesboro Cemetery under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home, Murfreesboro.
Visitation will be Wednesday, Dec. 4, 6-8 p.m.
 Lois Spray
Lois Spray, 78, of Nashville, died Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013 in Nashville.
She was born Feb. 13, 1935 in Tyronza, Ark., the daughter of the late Fred Tilley and Essie Mae (Hodge) Tilley.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Ernest Spray; a daughter, Leveta Godwin; six brothers; and five sisters.
Survivors include: a son, Dennis Godwin and wife, Denise of Murfreesboro; four daughters, Linda Icenhower and husband, Rex, of Nashville, Judy Link and husband, Lawrence, of Murfreesboro, Barbara Allmon and husband, Rick, of Murfreesboro, and Donna Godwin of Tampa, Fla.; a stepdaughter, Melinda Spray of Alabama; sister, Patricia Johnson of Paragould; also grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Services will be Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 at 10 a.m. in the Latimer Funeral Home Chapel with Joe Kelly officiating. Burial will follow in Restland Memorial Park under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home, Nashville.
Visitation will be on Wednesday, from 6-8 p.m.
Jimmie Jean Welch
Jimmie Jean Welch, 57, of Mineral Springs, died Monday, Dec. 2, 2013 in Texarkana, Texas.
She was born Dec.ember 31, 1955 in Nashville, the daughter of Jack Schooley and the late Meveline Smith Schooley.
She was a member of Liberty Baptist Church.
Survivors include: her husband, Terry Welch of Mineral Springs; a daughter, Wendy Walston of Center Point; a brother, Richard Schooley of Mineral Springs; and a sister, Jackie Goodson of Center Point.
Funeral services were scheduled for 2 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 at Latimer Funeral Home in Nashville with Bro. Tim Freel officiating.Burial will follow in Liberty Cemetery under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home.
Visitation will be 6-8 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 at Latimer Funeral Home.

Mine Creek Revelations: A Second Helping

By Louie Graves
OUR THANKSGIVING meal was to be at night, so at midday Thursday, daughter Julie and I went out in search of a modest burger to hold us until turkey time.
Nothing was open in Little Rock. Nothing. Not a McD’s or Burger King or Sonic. Zilch. Nada. Nein.
“Let’s look for a Chinese restaurant or some Mexican place,” I wisely suggested. “They’ll be open because immigrants don’t celebrate Thanksgiving.”
Wrong!
There’s only one ethnic group which still dislikes Thanksgiving, I would come to realize.
That would be Native Americans, because that particular holiday just reminds them of when the foreign devils came and took away their country and slurred their image by giving college sports teams names like Indians, and Warriors and Seminoles and Redmen.
Little Rock has only one Native American restaurant. It’s named “Sitting Bull’s Eat Shop.”
It is located in a large complex of horse skin wigwams downtown near the Presidential Library, and Thank Goodness it was open on Thanksgiving Day.
Sitting Bull’s Eat Shop wasn’t the perfect answer to our hunger, as it turned out.
Our tummies were growling as we threw back the flap of the teepee and tiptoed into the darkness inside.
“How! Circle your wagons and sit on the floor,” the Maitre d’Brave told us.
The menu was extremely limited. It had no writing, only crude pictures. Prices were listed in Wampum, not Dollars. Or, you were invited to trade trinkets for food. Ten percent more trinkets for groups of more than 8.
You could choose from buffalo horn soup. Pemmican burgers. Chipmunk jerky. Hawk eggs. Armadillo. Large and small dog, of course, and some other stuff you don’t want to even hear about.
We were seated on some fragrant bison skins on the floor.
“Hi, I’m Little Feather and I’ll be your waitress today,” a young woman said. She told us that in her tribal language her name meant “Small fluffy thing with quills pulled from bird’s backside.” She was wearing beaded buckskins and had a wicked-looking tomahawk tucked into her belt.
What’s the vegetable of the day? I asked.
“Corn,” she answered. “You call it corn. We call it maize.” (I know some of you out there will recognize this comment from an old TV commercial)
I selected the campfire-broiled prairie dog, extra crispy. Julie decided to try a half order of frog smothered with cattails, and a side order of tree stump slugs. While we were waiting for the screaming prairie dog to be skinned, we inspected our surroundings.
We were in the restaurant’s Little Bighorn Room. It was decorated with jawbones and scalps and had a large autographed picture of Tonto sitting astride Scout, his trusty pinto pony. There was a very large “Wanted: John Wayne” poster. Also, there was a large Washington Redskins NFL poster with a wide red stripe painted across the name.
Sitting Bull’s Eat Shop had both peacepipe smoking and non-peacepipe smoking sections, and we were unfortunately in the smokers’ room. A thick blue haze hung heavily in the air. It smelled vaguely familiar, like an Italian cooking herb or alfalfa. There were lots of customers, but we were the only ones not wearing warpaint and loincloths.
I’m sorry that practically every eating place feels obligated to offer some form of entertainment these days. Sitting Bull’s Eat Shop was no different. Right after the woven straw baskets containing our food were placed on our laps, a six-piece combo began thumping drums and blowing whistles. A man wearing elk antlers danced.
“Hey, hey, heya ha ha ha,” they chanted.
Outside, it began to thunder and rain.
“Happens practically every time he sings that song,” Little Feather chuckled as she stabbed our ticket to the floor with a war spear.
Since I was fresh out of wampum, I had to use a credit card. “Or we could work out a trade for some firewater and repeating rifles,” Little Feather slyly suggested.
“Ugh! Great White Father in Washington no like me give’um you firewater and rifles,” I told her in sign language, but I did leave an extra beaver pelt for a tip.
As Julie and I walked single-file toward the wigwam exit, Little Feather yelled “Stick around. Bingo starts in the Happy Hunting Ground Room in just a few minutes. We’re giving away a Chevy Silverado today.”
Maybe next Thanksgiving, I answered.
“Nah, we’re gonna start closing on holidays,” she said.
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THINGS I LEARNED from reading email: “The highest point in Pennsylvania is lower than the lowest point in Colorado.”
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FILE THIS AWAY for next June or July when we’re desperate for a rain. All we need to do is have Gary Dan call his building renovation crew to come back for an outdoor project and it will rain, rain, rain every day they’re here.
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WEIGHT WATCHERS. Unable to write about how I did over the past two weeks because of the conflict with Nashville’s Christmas Parade and Holiday Lighting in the Park. Also, last week’s weigh-in was cancelled by weather, and of course, Thanksgiving played a major role in whether I lost or gained weight. You’ll have to wait until next week to find out.
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HE SAID: “When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.” Tecumseh, Indian chief
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SHE SAID: “Thank God we’re living in a country where the sky’s the limit, the stores are open late and you can shop in bed thanks to television.” Joan Rivers, comic
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SWEET DREAMS, Baby

Scrapper hitting clinic set for Dec. 14

The 11th annual Scrapper Baseball Print Mania Winter Hitting Clinic will be held Saturday, Dec. 14, from 9-11:30 a.m. at the Scrapper Dome.
The camp is open to players ages 7-13. The registration fee is 440.
Only the first 40 campers will be taken.
Instructors include Kyle Slayton, head baseball coach at Nashville High School; Michael Milum, Houston Baptist graduate assistant; and Alan Copeland, player at Harding University.
Pee Wee basketball will not interfere on Dec. 14, Slayton said.
Participants are asked to take their own bats if they have them.
For more information, contact Slayton at 903-748-5277.
Registration forms may be sent to Slayton at 206 Staggs Drive, Nashville, AR 71852, or they may be taken to the office at Nashville Junior High School.

Dierks woman sentenced for running over, killing husband

A Dierks woman pleaded guilty in Sevier County Circuit Court on Nov. 8 to the first-degree murder of her husband, who she ran over in August, 2012.
Bobbie Wilbanks, 48, was sentenced to 27 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections, according to a recent article in the De Queen newspaper.
Wilbanks was initially charged with second-degree murder of Robert Wilbanks, 55, but the charge was later amended to first-degree murder.
Bobbie and Robert Wilbanks had been arguing as they traveled in a 1998 GMC truck on Highway 24 near Lockesburg when Robert Wilbanks stopped the truck and ordered his wife out of the vehicle. “At which time she slid under the steering wheel in an attempt to leave and struck Robert Wilbanks who was later pronounced dead,” according to the Arkansas State Police.

Nashville driver charged in wreck fatal to girlfriend

A Nashville man who was behind the steering wheel during a wreck that killed his girlfriend has been charged in Pike County Circuit Court with second-offense driving while intoxicated and negligent homicide.
Jeremy Barfield, 34, was the driver of a 1973 Jeep that overturned the night of Sept. 27 near Murfreesboro on Highway 27. The wreck killed Terah Michelle Mumau, 32, also of Nashville, who was crushed by the vehicle.
According to the Arkansas State Police report, Barfield applied the Jeep’s brakes, crossed the centerline and overcorrected. The vehicle overturned twice, ejecting Barfield and coming to rest on its top.
Barfield was air-lifted to a Texarkana hospital and Mumau was pronounced dead at the scene by the Pike County coroner.
A state police investigation and a blood sample taken at the time of his treatment determined Barfield had a blood alcohol content of 0.19 percent. The legal limit for blood alcohol content is 0.08 percent.
The driving while intoxicated charge against Barfield is his second in the last five years. He had a prior DWI conviction in 2010 in Glenwood.
Barfield’s bond has been set at $10,000.

Multiple area holiday events set

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas as area holiday events are being finalized.
City of Nashville
Nashville’s annual Christmas parade will be Monday, Dec. 2, beginning at the South Park Shopping Center at 5 p.m and proceeding to the Christmas tree display on Main Street.
Nashville merchants will give away $1,000 in “Christmas Bucks” – the funds may be spent at participating stores. Shoppers may register at participating stores, and must spend the prize money where they are registered.
A number of merchants are planning to stay open extra hours during the Christmas season, including: Sharpe’s Department Store, Quality Shoe Store, Factory Connection, Jeanine’s Fine Jewelry, Nashville Drug, Merle Norman, Tollett’s Gifts, Main Street Musician, Western Auto, Southwest Ivan Smith Furniture, Heritage Computers and Dena’s Divas/John’s Hair Care.
City of Dierks
The city of Dierks and Dierks Chamber of Commerce will host its annual Christmas parade on Monday, Dec 16, beginning at 6 p.m.
All floats for the parade need to be at the high school by 5:30 and can register upon arrival.
There will be Christmas festivities immediately following in the Dierks United Methodist Church parking lot. There will be a drawing for five $100 “Dierks Dollars” and children can register to win a free iPad and iPod.
Angel Trees went up on Monday, Nov. 25 at First National Bank, First State Bank and Diamond Bank of Dierks.
For more information about the Dierks events, contact Larry Jones at (870) 286-2928.
City of Mineral Springs
The city of Mineral Springs will host a “Market Day” event on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. The annual Christmas parade will also be held on Dec. 7, starting at 1 p.m.
Groups, organizations and individuals are welcome to participate. For more information, call (870) 287-4230.
City of Murfreesboro
The city of Murfreesboro’s annual Christmas parade and Santa on the Square event will be held on Saturday, Dec. 7. The parade will start at 1 p.m. and Santa will start hearing holiday wishes at 2 p.m.
In conjunction with Santa’s appearance, the Junior Auxiliary of Pike County will host “Cookie with Mrs. Claus” under the pavilion, also beginning at 2 p.m.
The Murfreesboro Chamber of Commerce will again be hosting an Angel Tree program to help service the area’s underprivileged youth. Application forms are available at the Murfreesboro City Hall and must be resubmitted by Dec. 6. The Angel Tree gifts must be turned in to city hall by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 18.
The MCC has also set its annual Taste of Christmas event for Thursday, Dec. 12 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the CADC Senior Activity Center. The cost will be $5 per plate.
City of Delight
The city of Delight’s annual Christmas parade will be held on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 2 p.m. The parade marshall will be State Senator Larry Teague.
Organizations are welcome as well as decorated bicycles, church floats, tractors, horses and beauty contestants. The Rosenwald Club will sponsor a snack bar under the drive-in at the Bank of Delight. A “best decorated contest” will be held for the businesses in town.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will pass out candy canes at the Gingerbread House located next to the Christmas tree at McKnight’s Grocery. Open house for businesses will begin at 12 noon.
For additional information about the Delight events, contact Carol Hale at (870) 200-0616.

 

Tricked to Turn Red: Sunshine Acres delivers holiday poinsettias for close to 30 years

Leader photos/JOHN BALCH FROM THIS TO THIS. Robert Nanneman of Sunshine Acres Greenhouses & Garden Center waters poinsettia “root cuttings” back during the hot summer months. The plants, now full and a brilliant red, are ready to be delivered to customers throughout southwest Arkansas.

By John Balch
Leader staff
When cuttings of poinsettias arrive at Sunshine Acres Greenhouses & Garden Center, Robert Nanneman works in shorts and a T-shirt. But, by the time the plants have grown into a holiday favorite and are ready for delivery, Nanneman is bundled against the cold weather.
Nanneman and his wife, Susan, have been growing poinsettias for about 30 years at the business they purchased from Susan’s parents, Vernon and Nancy Wildbur, in 1999. This past spring marked the company’s 37th year in business.
The poinsettias – all 3,300 of them – arrive at Sunshine Acres as little plants, or “rooted cuttings” around the first of July. The plants are only a few inches tall and are purchased from a licensed grower “because they are a patented variety of plant,” according to Susan.
To combat the summer heat, the plants are kept in three greenhouses with “cool pads.” “The same type of cools pads that are used in chicken houses,” informed Susan.
As the plants grow, their size requires them to eventually be spaced out to five greenhouses on the property.
The poinsettias’ brilliant red bloom make them perfect for a variety of Christmas floral displays and as the holiday season approaches, the Nannemans rely on some tricks of the trade to get their product red and ready.
The plants are eager to turn red and shift gear into that direction toward the last of October when the days get shorter. But that turn to red comes too quick. So, Robert said, the plants have to be tricked to delay the transition.
“In order to delay the blooming so they will be red at Christmas, we turn on lights at night for four hours and trick them into thinking the days are longer,” he said. “When we shut off the lights at the first of October, they detect the days are shorter and begin to initiate the bloom.”
The plants are also “pinched” when they get around five or more leaves. “When we pinch the top out of the plant, it causes it to branch at most of the leaf/stem joints left on the plant,” Susan said. “This makes a fuller plant with more blooms.”
Sunshine Acres also specializes in a big full white variety of the poinsettia, but the red ones are the biggest seller.
Susan said the majority of the poinsettias raised at Sunshine Acres are sold to florist and churches across southwest Arkansas. “We’ve got customers from Little Rock to Texarkana and even into Oklahoma,” she said. “We also work with some local schools who sell them as a fundraising project.”
It was a busy time at Sunshine Acres on Monday. Robert was bundled against the cold rain as he checked the heated greenhouses and and wondered about the weather forecast. Susan was inside coordinating the numerous deliveries, some that started this week.
“We’ll start moving them out this week,” said Robert, likely wishing there was a light trick to extend the daylight hours at Sunshine Acres.

Obituaries (Nov. 19-26)

John Seaborn Egger
John Seaborn Egger, age 79 of Nashville, Ark., passed away Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013 in Nashville.
He was born Oct. 3, 1934 near Mena, Ark., to the late Teddie and Willia Hoover Egger. John was a member of the Bingen United Methodist Church and was an Air Force veteran during Korea. He was a retired Corporal with the Arkansas State Police Troop G in Hope, Ark. Prior to that he had been a city police officer for the city of Mena and a chief deputy for Polk County. John loved hunting and fishing and being outdoors. He was a 32nd Degree Mason and past Master of Pleasant Valley Lodge #30 in Nashville. He also was past Patron of Elberta Chapter 538 Order of The Eastern Star in Nashville. John was also a faithful member of the ‘chain gang’ at the Scrapper football home games.
Preceding him in death was a granddaughter, Samantha Egger.
His survivors include: his best friend and wife of over 58 years, Jeanne Egger of Nashville, Ark.; two sons, David Egger and wife, Brenda, of Mena, Ark., and Kenneth Egger of Hempstead, Texas; a brother, Don Egger and wife, Delphia, of Arkadelphia, Ark.; two sisters, Mary Byford and husband, Buck, of Waldron, Ark., and Karen Walters and husband, Jerry, of Mena, Ark.; three grandchildren, John David Egger and wife, Jill, Russell Egger and wife, Loren, and Gary Egger; three step-grandchildren, B’lanna, D’eanna, and C’ameron Stevenson. A host of other family and friends.
Services were Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013 at 10 a.m. at First United Methodist Church in Nashville with Bro. James Harris and Bro. David Blase officiating. Interment followed at 2:30 p.m.  in Cherry Hill Cemetery near Mena, Ark., under the direction of Nashville Funeral Home.
Memorials may be made to the Pleasant Valley Masonic Lodge #30 at 603 North Main Nashville, AR 71852. You may send the family an online sympathy message to www.nashvillefh.com.
Frances Compton
Frances Compton, 84, of Nashville, died Friday, Nov. 22, 2013 in Nashville.
She was born Aug. 17, 1929, in Magnolia, the daughter of the late King and Vollie Hooker Rankin.
Survivors include: her son, John David Compton of Nashville, and her sister, June Ellen of Texarkana.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Winfred Compton; a brother, Bill Rankin, and sisters Johnnie Ashenhart and Bennie McCune.
Private graveside services were 2 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013 at Restland Memorial Park under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home in Nashville.
Register online at latimerfunearlhome.com.
Lois Elizabeth Tollett
Lois Elizabeth Tollett, 96, died Monday, Nov. 18, 2013.
She was born Jan. 26, 1917, in Caddo Gap, Ark., the daughter of the late Clarence and Margaret Horne. She was a charter member of Hot Springs Baptist Church and was a licensed practical nurse.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 67 years, Arland Tollett; and seven siblings.
Survivors include: her daughters, Arlene Kaschner, and Suzette White and husband, Martin.
The family will have a private service at a later date.
Register at grossfuneralhome.com.
Eunice Higgins
Eunice ‘Puney’ Higgins, 79, of Murfreesboro died Nov. 25, 2013.
She was born in the Japany community on Sept. 16, 1934 to the late Walter and Pearl Bateman Cox.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Gearld ‘Papa’ Higgins; a daughter, Barbie Higgins; two sisters, Bonnie Smith and Nettie Conyers; and two brothers, Clifford Cox and Jamie Cox.
Survivors include: her daughter Vivian Van Camp and husband, Johnny, of Antoine; a son, Vance Higgins of Pike City; three brothers, Raymond Cox of Winslow, Buddy Cox of Hopkins, S.C., and Calvin Cox of Pike City; two sisters, Darlene Boyd of Highland Home, Ala., and Ruby Marstellar of Benson, Ariz.; also grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Services were scheduled for Friday, Nov. 29, 2013 at 2 p.m. at the Latimer Funeral Home Chapel in Murfreesboro with Rob Evans officiating.
Register online at latimerfuneralhome.com.

MCR: Clark Kent’s Beard – Special Krypton blades needed for a close shave

OH, THE THINGS THAT come to me in the middle of the night!
Okay, I know that Superman’s REAL name was Kal-El, and that he was born on the planet Krypton. I know that his daddy, Jor-El, scientifically ciphered out that Krypton was going to explode, and he stashed little Kal-El on a homemade tiny baby rocketship. In my dream Jor-El looked a lot like that actor Marlon Brando, but that’s another story.
I know that the tiny baby rocketship ended up on the planet Earth where Kal-El was raised by a nice Kansas couple and was renamed Clark Kent. His adoptive father looked a lot like that actor Glenn Ford, but that’s another story.
I know he maintained a low profile during his schoolboy days, and he never, ever took advantage of the girls even though he could look right through anything with his X-Ray Vision.
I know he grew up and moved to Metropolis and got a job as a reporter at the Daily Planet newspaper where he somehow managed to keep Lois Lane from figgering out his real identity even though she was REAL determined. Lois looked a lot like that actress Margot Kidder, but that’s another story. Also, Clark couldn’t have been too smart if he wanted to be a newspaper reporter.
I’m guessing that Superman — er, Mr. Kent — finally started getting older.
I’m guessing also that he had to alter that skintight uniform just a bit at the waist, and he found some REAL STRONG dye to keep his hair (or at least the hair he had managed to keep) jet black. He probably had to comb it over that bald spot so he could keep the curl hanging perfectly over his forehead.
I’m guessing that he could no longer jump over tall buildings in a single bound unless he limbered up and groaned real loud. I’m guessing that he began flying slower and sometimes he forgot to properly signal that he was gonna make a turn.
What I DON’T know — and I think this is pretty important — is how he stayed so clean-shaven. Really, even a Gillette quadruple blade razor lubricated with Porter’s Lotion Shaving Soap probably couldn’t whack the whiskers that grew out of the face of the Man of Steel.
That leaves just a few alternative answers to this important question.
Maybe he didn’t even have a beard. But, come on, this is Superman and he probably had a barbwire beard tougher than Mike Tyson’s.
Maybe he was able to concentrate real hard and make the whiskers withdraw into his face (After all, you’ll remember that Lex Luthor was Superman’s sworn enemy and he didn’t have a hair on his head. Lex looked a lot like that actor Gene Hackman, but that’s another story).
Maybe Superman had a razor with a blade made of Kryptonite and somehow it was able to whack those whiskers.
In my dream I asked him about the beard.
He told me that he didn’t have a beard because he was afraid he’d end up on Duck Dynasty.
I always thought Superman wasn’t afraid of nothing.  But this was out of his very own mouth. I promise.
I wanted to ask him if he ever used his X-Ray Vision on Lois, but I woke up.
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SAGGING. Nashville is serious about this. A 20-year-old Mineral Springs guy was fined for the offense last week in District Court. See our court report this issue.
He was fined a total of $145 which includes court costs.
Gentlemen, pull up your pants.
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WEIGHT WATCHERS report.
I decided to go back to WW when the digital scales in my utility room began displaying tacky messages instead of numbers.
“Oh, it’s YOU again,” it once flashed in red letters when I stepped aboard.
My WW starting point was on Monday, Oct. 28 when I weighed XXX.X lbs.
Unfortunately, the weather forced cancellation of the Monday weigh-in this week. I’m almost positive I would have lost another pound or two. Or, maybe have gained juuuuust a little wee tiny bit. The bad news is that the next weigh-in will reflect what I did for Thanksgiving. No matter what it is, I’ll blab.
Weight Watchers has moved its meeting place to the Activities Building behind Ridgeway Baptist Church out on the Prescott highway. Weigh-in begins at about 5:30 with lashing and flogging to follow.
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NEXT WEEK. Since I’m having Thanksgiving dinner at night this year, I’ll go back to the Native American restaurant in Little Rock for Thursday noon lunch. I’ll give you a full report. Hopefully there will be something on the menu acceptable to WW Fearless Leader especially since she claims to be part Cherokee.
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THINGS I LEARNED from opening email:Hershey’s Kisses are called that because the machine that makes them looks like it’s kissing the conveyor belt.”
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HE SAID: “Never lend books, for no one ever returns them; the only books I have in my library are books that other folks have left me.” Anatole France, novelist
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SHE SAID: “I like the fact that in ancient Chinese art the great painters always included a deliberate flaw in their work: human creation is never perfect.” Madeleine L’Engle, novelist
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SWEET DREAMS, Baby