Playing it by Ear: Nashville music shop for sale, owners plan move to NWA

DOWN ON MAIN STREET. After 13 years in business, Greg and Christy Nunley have announced their plans to sell Mainstreet Musician Supply and move to Rogers. The store is located at the corner of Clark and Main Street in Nashville.

By John Balch
Leader staff
“The automatic assumption is that we’re going out of business,” said Greg Nunley, owner of Mainstreet Musician Supply after making it officially known that he and wife, Christy, have put their business up for sale and are planning a move to Northwest Arkansas.
“We’re not going out of business,” Greg emphasized. “We’re just making a move.”
The Nunley family has owned and operated MMS at the corner of Clark and Main Street in Nashville for the last 13 years. The business, located in a restored historic 1892 building, has supported the family of five during that time and continues to thrive today.
The Nunleys are planning to sell the business, the building and its full inventory of new used and instruments, as well as the current guitar and violin 30-student load. The only things not included in the sale will be the repair tools, projects, supplies and personal items they will need for their scaled-down business in historic downtown Rogers.
“It’s going, it’s profitable,” Greg said about MMS’ inventory and established customer base. “All anyone would have to do is come in and stand behind the counter. The hard work has already been done.”
MMS’s guitar teachers and violin teachers have all indicated they will continue to work from the Main Street location. The teachers are not employees of the business but are more or less independent contract workers with the Nunleys providing the lesson space and handling the scheduling.
“We’ve got some really, really good guitar teachers and an excellent violin teacher,” Greg said. Whoever buys the place “would be crazy not to continue on with the lessons.” He said MMS has cycled countless students through their lessons, which in turn has “created a whole lot of musicians out there and that helps create your market.”
The majority of the shop’s customers – on the repair, restoration and custom-building side of the business – have also indicated they will stay loyal to the Nunleys.
“A lot of them have said they will come up there or ship up there, and we do already have quite a few customers in that area,” Christy said.
Greg and Christy, both graduates of Nashville High School in the 1980s, said they will remain in Nashville until the business sells and, if needed, stick around to help the new owners get acquainted with the store and its customers. But, they will not be taking on any new repairs or projects until the transition to their new home is complete. Greg has a sizable backlog of work in the shop, which will keep him busy for at least another four months.
Greg and Christy would prefer to be in Rogers before the start of the next school year to accommodate their youngest child, Matthew, who is a 10th grader at Nashville.
“We’re just going to have to see how it works out,” Greg said. “We’re really playing it by ear and really don’t have a specific timeframe. We are content here, but we are kind of in limbo since we have a building already in Rogers.”
Christy added, “We’ve thought about it and prayed about it for a long time and it feels like we’ve gotten lots of confirmation about the direction we’re supposed to go.”
The Nunley’s plan is to get out of the retail business and concentrate solely on repair, restoring and building instruments. A flier the Nunleys posted on Facebook states the new shop in Rogers will specialize in “fixing the unfixable, building the unbuildable, and taking a nap every day after lunch (says Greg).”
“We’re going to change our focus a little bit,” according to Greg. “I’ve got enough of a following with the luthier work that it would stand by itself and so we are just going to cleave off (the retail side of business) and just do that.” (As far as the naps, Greg said, “I think I would be fond of naps if I every got to take one.”)
The new location is Rogers will be similar to the Nashville location in that it is a very old building in need of much restoration. All restoration of the 123-year-old Nashville building was done by the Nunleys and that, too, will be the case in Rogers. The new location is a two-story building and the Nunleys plan to live above the workshop.
“That will be different from what we’re used to,” added Greg. “It’s kind of an Old World scenario that sounds very intriguing to me.”
The main reason the Nunleys picked Northwest Arkansas to relocate has to do with family. They already have kinfolk and in-laws in the area and they are banking on a “pretty good chance” their oldest son, Luke, a flight instructor at Henderson State University, and their daughter, Hailey, a third-year graphic design student at HSU, will eventually join them.
“We love it here. We’ve lived here virtually all our lives and we are perfectly content here and we’re certainly not moving to get away from anything. Business is good,” said Greg. “We’re looking toward the future and there just isn’t many opportunities in this area for a pilot or graphic designer. We want to be somewhere where it will be good for them.”

IN THE WORKSHOP. Greg Nunley looks over a 1914 Gibson mandolin he is restoring in his workshop at Mainstreet Musician Supply.


Interest high for Scrappers’ top job

By John R. Schirmer
Leader staff
“The search continues.”
That’s how Superintendent Doug Graham describes the process of finding a new football coach for the Nashville Scrappers.
The Nashville School District has received 17 resumes from prospective coaches, Graham said. Resumes have come from coaches in Arkansas and eight other states.
“We’ve interviewed several. We’ve also had discussions with those not on the list,” Graham said. “We’ll keep taking applications until the position is filled. We’re still trying to have a coach by Feb. 1.”
Those who have applied so far include the following:
Danny Adams, head coach, Winfield City High School, Alabama
Ronnie Alexander, defensive coordinator, Calvary Baptist High School
Thomas Bachman, head coach, Bastrop High School, Louisiana
Scott Chisholm, offensive coordinator, Berryville High School, Oklahoma
Chad Davis, DeBartolo Sports University, Oklahoma
Adam DePriest, offensive coordinator, Harrison High School
Paul Ernest, assistant coach, Nashville High School
Eric Gibson, assistant coach, Yulee High School, Florida
Don Harrison, head coach, Newport High School
Brooks Hollingsworth, offensive line coach, Conway High School
Buck James, assistant coach, Little Rock Christian
Chad Mitchell, assistant coach, Waldron High School
Justin Pressley, assistant coach, Pearl Cohn High School, Tennessee
Josh Price, head coach, Dardanelle High School
Brett Schrable, head coach, Quitman High School
Mike Volarvich, offensive coordinator, Henderson State University
Zach Watson, offensive coordinator, Morrilton High School
“I’m still really pleased with the amount of interest, from those who formally submitted resumes and those off the record,” Graham said.
“We’re continuing to talk. We’ll probably interview too many. There are lots to talk to, and lots who want to talk to us,” according to Graham.
Coach Brian Bearden is directing the Scrapper offseason program. “I’m really pleased with Coach Bearden and the assistant coaches. They’ve done an outstanding job keeping things afloat. We’re getting the last preparations for the football banquet in order,” Graham said. The banquet will be Saturday, Jan. 31.
The search process “is winding down. We anticipate an announcement fairly soon, certainly by Feb. 1,” Graham said.

‘More than just a piece of cloth’ – Flag ceremony part of Warrior Hunts’ return to Lake Greeson

RETIRED BY FIRE. Larry Lawson, a U.S. Army veteran from Louisiana, participates in a special ceremony to retire an American flag Saturday night at Lake Greeson. Lawson is part of Warrior Hunts, an event hosted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lake Greeson Field Office for a second time.

By John Balch
Leader staff
With every head bowed in silence around a crackling campfire, Old Glory was retired by fire during a special ceremony held at the conclusion of this weekend’s Warrior Hunt on Lake Greeson.
Many of those in attendance, still dressed in their camouflage hunting clothes, dabbed tears from their eyes and stared long and intently into the flames as the last bits of fabric disappeared.
“I tried to hold it together,” John Nolan told the crowd gathered Saturday night after leading the emotional ceremony to properly retire the American flag. Nolan, a Louisiana native and retired soldier with the U.S. Air Force, is the director of Warrior Hunts and has been involved in many flag retirements but has only led the ceremony twice.
“But, it gets me every time,” Nolan later said.
This year was the second time Lake Greeson has hosted the Warrior Hunts, which Nolan helps coordinate with the Patriots Alumni and Louisiana Sportsman (PALS) and the Northeast Louisiana Veterans Association as well as the Wounded Warrior Project. The hunts are designed to be therapeutic outings for soldiers of all ages and from all branches of the military who have participated or been physically or mentally injured in wars around the world.
Approximately 27 soldiers and family members returned to Lake Greeson this year, some participating in a special squirrel hunt where 46 squirrels were bagged while others enjoyed a lengthy ATV ride around Albert Pike.
“This is a great place with great people,” Nolan said. “We’re already talking about coming back next year and maybe doing some fishing.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lake Greeson Field Office partnered with the USDA Forest Service, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission to host the event. Kirby Motel and Landing and owner Clay Crump donated the rooms for the event and personnel from the Corps’ field offices at DeGray Lake and Ouachita were also involved.
Following a meal provided and prepared by Lake Greeson personnel and the Lake Greeson Sportsmen’s Alliance, the soldiers and their families moved down the hill from the motel to a large campfire to prepare the flag for retirement. They privately separated the flag’s colors into strips.
“I am your flag. I was born on June 14, 1777. I am more than just a piece of cloth. I am the emblem of the greatest sovereign nation on earth,” Nolan said to open the ceremony. “I have led your sons to battle from Valley Forge to the blistering desert of the Arabian peninsula.”
Each soldier and their family members held ragged strips of the flag and were asked to retire them by colors. First the white, which represents the “burning tears shed by Americans who lost their sons in battle.” Next the red, which “symbolizes the blood spilled in defense of this glorious nation.” Each strip was carefully placed on the fire.
Nolan had reserved as special red piece of the flag that he and an older soldier held together and committed to the fire. “This is for our fallen and their families,” Nolan said, his voice cracking with emotion. The elder man then saluted the flames.
Nolan then turned to another fellow soldier and said, “Please, retire the Union.” The blue field of stars, representing “God’s Heaven under which I fly, and my stars, clustered together, unify the 50 states as one for God and country,” was laid in the fire, followed by a lengthy moment of silence.
The flag that was retired flew over the Corps’ Lake Greeson Field Office above Narrows Dam and had never seen any wartime or bloodshed. But, as Nolan said again, the flag represents “more than just a piece of cloth” and should be respected at all times.
Nolan also informed those around the fire it is “absolutely O.K.” to approach someone about the condition of their flag and request that it be properly retired.
“When you see Old Glory in tattered shape, it’s kind of our responsibility to step up and say something about it,” he said.
With the retiring of an old flag, a new flag was presented, this one to motel owner Crump for his donation to the event. The flag had been flown over the Louisiana capitol, the state where most of the visiting soldiers reside.
“Fly it proud. Always. ” Nolan said.


Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Never Forget Him

JUST NAMES ON the cold gray monument.
Our county veterans’ service officer, Milton Puryear, promises to loan me a book about a local sailor who was killed in WWII.
The book, “A Blue Sea of Blood,” was published in 2008. It is subtitled: “Deciphering the Mysterious Fate of the USS Edsal.”
Aboard that Navy destroyer when it disappeared in late February or early March of 1942 was Sam Cassady of Nashville. Our country still doesn’t know what happened to the ship. Doesn’t know exactly when it it slid under the waves of the South Pacific in the Java Sea.
Reportedly, the Japanese navy picked up a few survivors; interrogated them; and then executed them. Other survivors were reportedly left to their fates in the water.
“I’m sure his family held out hope that he’d walk out of a Japanese prisoner of war camp after the end of the war,” Milton told me.
Shortly after the war was over, though, the sailors of the Edsal were all officially declared dead by the U.S. government.
His death wasn’t the last that the family would suffer while defending our shores in WWII.
On Howard County’s courthouse lawn monument to our war dead, Sam Cassady’s name is only one line away from that of his brother, Elvin, who fought in Europe with the Army.
Elvin’s outfit got to within 40 or so miles of Berlin late, late in the war. Just two days before his outfit was ordered to stop advancing, he was killed by artillery fire. That would have been in 1945. “Hitler was still alive at the time,” Milton notes. The Americans were held back so that the Russians could enter Berlin first and take their savage revenge.
On the book cover of “A Blue Sea of Blood” is a photograph of the crew of the USS Edsal, wearing their immaculate ‘dress whites’ and clustered around the front gun mount of the ship. The faces — they are still so young and excited. Milton doesn’t know if Sam Cassady was in that group pic.
Those soldiers and sailors like the Cassadys were just boys. How would our lives be different if they had survived and raised their own families and helped form our community? If the Cassadys had survived the war they would now both be very old men. Instead, they are forever fuzzy-cheeked boys who had dreams of a normal future.
The brothers and their compatriots were all heroes we should never forget.
COMET LOVEJOY. It was a real struggle to find.
I had a good idea of where it was supposed to be, but could not find it for the longest. For several clear nights over and over without success I scanned the area where it was supposed to be. I used two different pairs of binoculars and also with the naked eye. The latter could have been my problem. I had read that the comet was the same brightness of any of the four stars that make up the cup of the Big Dipper. Wrong. Maybe someone else could have seen it with the naked eye but not me.
Finally, Friday night, I sat in a comfortable patio chair and used binoculars for one more sweep of the heavens. I was at the point of giving up.
And there it was. A greenish smudge just west of the Seven Sisters (the Pleiades). I went out again Saturday night and looked at the spot again just to make sure my imagination wasn’t tricking me. And there it was again.
Both nights my viewing time was about 9:30 and the comet was practically directly overhead. Hope that helps you find it.
Lovejoy is now traveling away from our sun and will disappear soon. Won’t be back for about 8,000 years.
rATTLEr. Really? For both of my Pike readers.
ANIMAL CRACKERS. Killed by my heavy left foot in our office, Thursday morning, was a scorpion. I described it as a giant mankiller, but our John Balch said that it was teeny-weeny and that I was a ‘sissy’ for stomping on it so gingerly two times. Heck, I was afraid it would sting me through the thin sole of my worn-out shoe.
AND on my night drive to Newhope last week I witnessed another large owl fly low across the road, caught in the beams of my headlight.
THINGS I LEARNED from reading (and believing) forwarded emails: Peanut oil is used for cooking in submarines because it doesn’t smoke unless it’s heated above 450F.
HE SAID: “How far that little candle throws its beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.” WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, writer
SHE SAID: “Maturity: Be able to stick with a job until it is finished. Be able to bear an injustice without having to get even. Be able to carry money without spending it. Do your duty without being supervised.” ANN LANDERS, advice columnist


Obituaries (Weeks of Jan. 12 & Jan. 19, 2015)

Week of Jan. 12, 2015
John A. ‘Jan’ Castleman
John A. “Jan” Castleman of Nashville, died Friday, Jan. 9, 2015 at his home.
He was born Feb. 21, 1927 in Nashville, the son of the late David Monroe “Buck” and Sarah Tennie Maroon Castleman.
He was a member of Immanuel Baptist Church in Nashville.
He was preceded in death by three brothers: L.C. Castleman, D.M. Castleman, Jr., and Herbert Castleman; two sisters, Mary Frances Jenkens, and Lucille Cowling.
Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Delsie Clark Castleman of Nashville; a son, Todd Castleman and wife, Linda, of Nashville; two daughters, Jennifer Crews and husband, James, of Post Falls, Idaho and Mindy Tarno and husband, Andy, of Nashville; a brother, Michael Castleman and wife, Janet, of North Little Rock; a sister Betty Hood and husband, Bob, of Arkadelphia; also grandchildren, great-grandchildren and a great-great-grandchild.
Funeral services were 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 12, 2015 at the Latimer Funeral Home Chapel in Nashville with Bro. Glen Green and Bro. Paul Bullock officiating. Burial followed at Unity Cemetery under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home in Nashville.
Visitation was at 9 a.m. until service time at the Latimer Funeral Home Chapel in Nashville.
Epps J. Rorex
Epps J. Rorex of Nashville, Ark., passed away on Friday, Jan. 9, 2015 in Nashville, Ark.
She was born on June 3, 1917 to the late Richard Alvin and Minnie Werlein Jones in Sampson, Ala.
She was a member of First Baptist Church in Nashville since 1948. She sang in the choir, served as church secretary, and taught sunday school. She was member of Elberta Chapter 538 Eastern Star, and the Nashville Garden Club.
She was beloved wife of John (Jack) Rorex for more than 63. She and Jack established Quality and Budget shoe stores in 1948 and continued serving Nashville’s Business Community until 1973 when they sold to Dale and Shirley Hamilton. They also established shoe stores in Arkadelphia, Mena, Ark., and Natchitoches, La.
Mrs. Rorex is survived by many nephews, nieces, and a host of friends.
Funeral services were held 2 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015. A reception followed after the funeral services at Latimer Funeral Home in Nashville, with Bro. Kevin Sartin and Bro. David Blasé officiating. Burial was at Restland Memorial Park.
Sympathy messages may be sent to
Patricia A. Brown
Patricia A. Brown, age 77, of Nashville, passed away on Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015.
She was born on July 1, 1937, in Newhope, the daughter of Otto Everett and Vera Coffman Everett. She was preceded in death by her son, Gregory W. Brown; and her parents.
She was Methodist in her faith; was a college graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Home Economics, and was a teacher for Kirby and Mount Ida schools. She was truly blessed with a special gift for interior decorating; was an avid lover of football, especially her Nashville Scrappers and the Arkansas Razorbacks; and in her earlier years, as a military wife, she enjoyed cooking and entertaining for many. Above all in Patricia’s life, her greatest love was her two sons and her precious grandchildren.
She is survived by her son, Bradley A. Brown, Jr., of Nashville; two grandchildren, Tyler A. Brown and Melissa S. Brown; and her very special cousin who was always there for her, Pam Kirby of Dierks.
Graveside services were held at 10 a.m., Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in the Liberty Cemetery with Bro. David Blase officiating.
Arrangements are under the direction of Davis-Smith Funeral Home, Glenwood.
In lieu of flowers, it is the families wish that everyone would take time to make themselves aware of what the true meaning of schizophrenia is, how it affects a victim plagued with such disease and what their life is truly like.
Guest registry is at
Kenneth Earl Barnes
Kenneth Earl Barnes, 67, of Nashville, died Saturday, Jan. 10 in Texarkana.
He was born March 25, 1947 in Ft. Worth, Texas.
Survivors include: two sons, Tim Barnes of Burleson, Texas, and Rusty Barnes and wife, Peggy, of Parachute, Colo.; a brother, Robert Barnes of Nashville; a sister, Anita Franklin of Burleson, Texas; also grandchildren.
There will be a memorial service at 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, at the Center Point United Methodist Church in Center Point, Ark.
Week of Jan. 19, 2015
John Steve Kirby
John Steve Kirby, age 51, a resident of Dierks, Ark., died Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015 near Dierks.
He was born May 12, 1963 in De Queen, Ark. He was co-owner of Kirby & Kirby Dozer and Gravel; was a faithful member of the Burg Church of Christ, where he taught Bible class; and was a devoted family man. He was also the fire chief for the Umpire Volunteer Fire Department, and loved the Razorbacks.
Mr. Kirby was preceded in death by his father, George Virdo Kirby.
He is survived by: his wife, Penny Kirkpatrick Kirby of Dierks; his mother, Kathryn Chandler Kirby of Dierks; two sons and daughters-in-law, Derek and Cassie Kirby of Burg and Devin and Neesha Kirby of Umpire; one daughter and son-in-law, Laken and Daniel Faulkner of Umpire; one brother and sister-in-law, Jerry and Pam Kirby of Dierks; one sister and brother-in-law, Janette and Gary Bearden of Umpire; seven grandchildren, Brayden Kirby, Andrew Kirby, Hannah Kirby, John Taylor Kirby, Jacoby Faulkner, Brielle Kirby and Amelia Kirby; and a number of nieces and nephews.
Funeral services for Mr. Kirby were held at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, in the Dierks Church of Christ with Burl Young officiating. Burial followed in the Burg Cemetery under the direction of Wilkerson Funeral Home in Dierks.
The family received friends from 6-8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 19, 2015 at the Burg Church of Christ.
You may register on-line at
Edward Leroy Poitra
Edward Leroy Poitra, 82, of Nashville died Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. He was born April 2, 1933.
Funeral arrangements are with Nashville Funeral Home.
Virginia Reeves Barton
Virginia Reeves Barton, native of Pike County, died Jan. 18, 2015.
She was preceded in death by her husband Foy, three sisters and three brothers.
Survivors included: a daughter, Ruthann Meacham and husband, Donald; also grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
She was a Licensed Practical Nurse and worked in area hospitals and nursing homes.
Services were scheduled for 2 p.m. on Wednesday Jan. 21, 2015, at the Delight Church of Christ with Randy Hughes officiating. Burial was to follow in Delight Cemetery under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home, Murfreesboro.
Visitation was Tuesday evening at the Latimer Funeral Chapel in Murfreesboro.
Send an online sympathy message to
Larry Thompson
Larry Thompson, 54, of Boles, Ark., died Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015.
He was born March 6, 1960 in Prescott.
He was a member of the Crossroads Assembly of God Church in Delight.
Survivors include: his wife, Carlene Stovall of Boles; his father, Doyle Thompson and stepmother Leah of Harrah, Okla.; his mother, Sybil, and stepfather Phil Lewallen of Antoine; two brothers, Jerry Thompson of Delight and Phillip P. Lewallen of Emory, Texas; a sister, Phylissa Braley of Nixa, Mo.
Services were Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015 at 10 a.m. in the Latimer Funeral Home Chapel with Danny Eckert officiating. Burial followed in Delight Cemetery under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home, Murfreesboro.
Visitation was Monday from 6-8 p.m. at the funeral home.
Send an online sympathy message to
Abram Ross Wylie III
Abram Ross Wylie III, 67, of Little Rock, died Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015 at Baptist Hospital.  He was born June 4, 1947 at Carthage, Ark., the son of the late James and Clora Alice Wood Wylie.
He was a Murfreesboro High School grad, and was a veteran of the US Army with service in Vietnam with the Americal Division. He was retired from the Arkansas State Highway Transportation Department.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Vicki Camille Miller of Murfreesboro.
Survivors include: his son, Abram Ross Wylie IV, daughter-in-law, Keli Wylie of Little Rock; brothers, Jimmy Wylie of Sumter, S.C., David Wylie of Hot Springs, Steve Wylie of Sherwood; a sister, Dolly Johnson of Murfreesboro.
Graveside services will be at 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015 at Center Point Cemetery in Center Point, Ark., with Bro. James Wainscott officiating under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home, Murfreesboro.
Visitation will be Thursday from 12-1:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Murfreesboro.
Send an online sympathy message to
Sharon Cox
Sharon Cox, 65, of Nashville, died Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015 in Nathan. She was born Nov. 27, 1949 in Odessa, Texas, the daughter of the late William and Carsey Gray Hooper.
She was preceded in death by a daughter, Stacy Watts; her husband, Johnny Cox; brothers and sisters, Roger Hooper, Roy Hooper, Maggie Hooper, Freddie Hooper, and Ken Hooper.
Survivors include: a son, Brock Cox of Nashville; daughter, Misty Windham of Nashville; a brother, Wesley Hooper of Bloomburg, Texas; a sister, Diane Hamilton of Nashville; also grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Memorial services will be Friday, Jan. 23, 2015 at 1 p.m. at Liberty Baptist Church near Nashville with Bro.Tim Freel officiating.
Send an online sympathy message at
Jimmie Lee Shelton, Sr.
Jimmie Lee Shelton, Sr., 79, of Murfreesboro, died Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015 in Murfreesboro. He was born Jan. 1, 1936 in Texarkana, Texas, the son of the late John James Edward and Lula Bell Burns Shelton.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Venie Marie Banks Shelton; and a son, James Shelton.
Survivors include: a son, Jimmie Shelton, Jr., of Murfreesboro; three daughters, Sharleen Villalobos, Cindy Villalobos, and Amanda Shelton, all of Murfreesboro; a brother, George Shelton of El Dorado; also grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015 at 6 p.m. at the Cindy Villalobos residence, 1013 3rd Ave.; Murfreesboro.

New Pike County leaders sworn-in

NEW PIKE COUNTY LEADERS. The Pike County Democratic Central Committee and the city of Murfreesboro hosted a swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 1. Among those sworn in were new Pike County Judge Dwight Mack (above taking the oath of office from Judge Charles Yeargan) and new Murfreesboro Mayor Rodney Fagan.


‘Seemed like right time’ – Scrapper coach moves to Russellville after 91 wins, 3 state championships

COACH AND FAMILY. Coach Billy Dawson and his family visit at Scrapper Homecoming Oct. 10, when daughter Rachel was a senior football maid. The family includes wife Karen, Rachel, son Luke and Coach Billy Dawson.

By John R. Schirmer
Leader staff
After eight seasons, 105 games, 91 wins and three state championships, Scrapper Coach Billy Dawson cleaned out his desk Monday afternoon and left for his new job as head coach of the Russellville Cyclones. He will also serve as athletic coordinator and offseason coach.
The Russellville School Board hired Dawson for the position Dec. 30. He held a meeting with the Scrappers Monday, then went to Russellville for a meeting with the Cyclone coaching staff that night. Tuesday, he had his first meeting with his new team.
Dawson, his wife Karen, son Luke and daughter Rachel moved to Nashville in April 2005.
For the new coach, joining the Scrappers was actually coming home because he lived in Nashville for six years while his father, the late Bill Dawson Sr., was high school principal. Dawson moved to Bentonville when the future coach was a senior.
With Dawson at the helm, the Scrappers pulled off a three-peat, winning state championships in 2005, 2006 and 2007. The team went 14-1 the first year, 14-0 the second and 14-1 the third.
Dawson coached two more seasons before resigning in 2009 to become pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Nashville, where he had been baptized when he was a student. Dawson’s record was 65-4 and included a 33-game winning streak.
Coach Tim Perry led the Scrappers in 2010 and 2011.
In late 2011 and early 2012, Dawson served as interim running backs coach at Arkansas State when the Red Wolves played in their first GoDaddy Bowl at Mobile, Ala. Soon after his return from the game, he started to consider a return to the Scrappers after Perry resigned.
Dawson came back in January 2012 and coached for three more seasons. He ended his career at Nashville with a record of 91-14.
“The shelf life of coaches is four or five years,” Dawson said Monday. “I was coach here for eight years.”
Counting his time at Immanuel, Dawson and his family were in Nashville 10 years. The Scrappers lost the first game of his tenure back in 2005 to the Hope Bobcats. After winning state that year, Dawson joked that he didn’t know if he would last the season after falling to Hope. “Ten years later, I’m leaving on my own accord,” he said.
Dawson interviewed at Russellville Dec. 19. He said he has found that part of the state “intriguing. We lived there before” while he was offensive coordinator for Arkansas Tech in 2002-03.
When the Russellville job opened up, “It seemed like the right time.”
Luke graduated from NHS in 2014 and is a freshman at Ouachita Baptist University. Rachel will graduate in May and will attend OBU. Karen teaches at Nashville Junior High.
“Nashville has been good to us. My kids graduated here. Immanuel and Mountain View Baptist Church [at Umpire] have been good to us. We couldn’t repay what Nashville has done for our family,” Dawson said.
He will stay in Russellville during the week until school is out and come home on weekends.
Dawson served as pastor at Mountain View and said he will continue to “help out until I move or until they find somebody.”
For Dawson, the best part of coaching in Nashville was “the community. There are so many people that have had an impact on our family. It’s all about the people.”
As for the Scrappers, Dawson said he is leaving with the team “in good shape. We have a good program. They have great days ahead. I’m proud of being part of teams with some success. One hundred five games in eight years is incredible. I’m proud to be part of it.”
The three state titles and 33-game winning streak were among the Scrappers’ accomplishments. “It’s been an awesome run,” Dawson said.
“I have no regrets,” Dawson said on his last day as Scrapper coach. “It’s worked out how it’s supposed to. Change can be good for our staff and our kids. I hope they have a great year.”
He doesn’t “foresee any of the [Nashville] staff going at this point” as he begins his job at Russellville.
Dawson said he appreciates the players on his eight Scrapper teams. “I love them and stay in touch and root for them and embrace the experience.”
With Dawson’s departure, the Nashville School District has begun the search for a new head coach.
Dawson said there are “plenty of qualified people. They’ll have no trouble hiring somebody. We have a loyal staff and loyal kids. They will be very successful.”
Search for now coach underway
With Coach Billy Dawson now at Russellville, the search for his successor is underway.
Superintendent Doug Graham said Monday that the Nashville School District likely will start taking applications for the position this week.
We will advertise it officially in the next day or two,” Graham said. “The last few days, I’ve been contacting some people on my list and having preliminary talks to see if they’re interested.”
Graham, Athletic Director James “Bunch” Nichols, Assistant Superintendent Joe Kell and NHS Principal Tate Gordon will interview prospects “at the appropriate time.”
Coach Brian Bearden will oversee the football program in the interim, Graham said. “He’ll oversee off-season, grades, discipline, anything administrative until the new coach is named. Then he will work in the transition. He will keep things rolling.”
Graham said he doesn’t have a time table for selecting a new coach. “If there’s a target date, it’s Feb. 1, but there’s no time frame. There’s no sense of urgency to do it immediately. We want to be thorough and get the right guy.”
In the week since Dawson announced that he was leaving, “We’ve seen a lot of interest. We’ll let it shake out,” Graham said.
Dawson interviewed with Russellville Dec. 19 and was hired by the Class 6A school Dec. 30.

Elderly Delight man pleads guilty to child’s death; fined, loses license for life

By John Balch
Leader staff
The elderly Pike County man charged in the death of a Kirby student pleaded guilty Monday to a misdemeanor charge of negligent homicide.
Dwight L. Moody, 88, of Delight, entered the guilty plea in front of the family of Jazmin Hernandez, 12, who Moody ran over and killed after she exited a school bus on Oct. 27.
At the request of the seventh-grader’s family, Moody was sentenced to no jail time because of age, but he was fined $2,500 plus court costs, sentenced to one year of probation and agreed to forfeit his driver’s license for the remainder of his life.
Prosecuting Attorney Bryan Chesshir filed the misdemeanor charge against Moody on Friday, Jan. 2 in Pike County Circuit Court. Chesshir had met with the child’s parents and an interpreter numerous times and the family was asked to consider either a misdemeanor or felony negligent homicide charge against Moody. Chesshir said after much consideration and discussion that the parents eventually chose the misdemeanor charge and also requested that Moody serve no jail time.
“This has been a very emotional case for everyone involved,” said Chesshir.
Hernandez was hit by an SUV driven by Moody after she got off the school bus near Salem along Highway 70. She died at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock where she was air-lifted following the accident. She was aboard an eastbound Kirby School District bus that was stopped and unloading students with all its emergency lights and signals activated at the time of the accident. The 2001 Ford Explorer driven by Moody and occupied by his wife, Dorothy Moody, 84, failed to yield to the bus and struck Hernandez as she crossed the highway, according to an Arkansas State Police report.
Court documents identified the bus driver as Thomas B. Mounts, who told officials after he stopped the bus and engaged the emergency equipment and opened the bus to release students that he checked the rearview mirror and then looked back up to see Moody’s vehicle failing to stop and striking the child.
“All other witness reports indicate that all of the bus equipment was visible and in proper operation,” according to case records. “Additional witness statements further indicate that at the time of the incident Mr. Moody was traveling westbound at the posted speed limit or under when it appeared that the driver observed the bus too late to stop. However, the driver did attempt to swerve to no avail and struck the child.”
Moody could have been charged with felony negligent homicide which carries a punishment of up to 20 years in jail and a fine up to $15,000.
Chesshir said that as part of the investigation that led to the negligent homicide charge involved testing Moody’s vision. Moody failed the vision test and Chesshir said he acknowledged that he should have stopped driving “a long time ago.”
After pleading guilty to the charge, Moody, who had not hired a defense attorney, met privately with the family for the first time and expressed his remorse.
“He told the family how sorry he was and that the child’s death would bother him every day for the rest of his life,” Chesshir said.

A Double Shot of Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves

A Foodie Tradition (Dec. 31, 2014)
BROCCOLI CASSEROLE. That is my small family’s tradition for Christmas dinner. It’s something we got from Jane’s father who always insisted on a giant steak, baked potato and broccoli casserole instead of what I had been accustomed to — which was basically a replay of Thanksgiving dinner.
One thing we learned over the years here is that apparently lots of people want broccoli casserole at Christmas. At least that’s what we told ourselves every year when the available supply of frozen broccoli so quickly disappeared from freezers of the succession of grocery stores we’ve had here since 1970. One year, in fact, we did without the casserole because there was no broccoli left in town.
We learned from that experience. Several weeks before Christmas each year, Jane or I would beat the rush and bring home several packages of frozen broccoli. At some point, it became hard to get good broccoli. The only stuff available was usually some unknown brand, and the package contained just barely-recognizable scraps of broccoli plant stems. Newvertheless, the tradition continued.
Since 2007 I’ve taken Christmas dinner at daughter’s place and she’s always taken care of the broccoli dish. But this year we decided to do Christmas here. “I’m already looking forward to the broccoli casserole,” daughter said excitedly over the phone. “You pick up the ingredients and I’ll fix it at your place.”
Dread crept into my head: What if there’s no broccoli in town? What if there’s only a miserable selection of offbrand, unrecognizable broccoli stems?
This bothered me so much that I got up in the middle of the night and drove to Walmart. I saw some packages of broccoli. Grabbed two. Then I saw more packages by another brand two steps down the aisle. “What the heck, I’ll get a bunch of broccoli.”
Later that day, when most adult humans were up, I called daughter to tell her that I had bought a bunch of broccoli. She had me read the label. It said that the broccoli was ‘steamable,’ and that scared her. What if it’s not the right kind? She’s not exactly the broccoli casserole expert her mother was.
So, in the middle of the next night I drove out to Walmart again and got two more packages of broccoli. There was no mention of steamable on them.
Two days later I was doing my usual grocery shopping at Brookshire’s when I noticed packages of broccoli in the freezer. Old compulsive Louie bought two more packages.
If you’re counting, that’s eight packages of broccoli which I’ve stuffed into every corner of my refrigerator’s small freezer (it’s the only freezer this bachelor has).
Christmas came and went. Daughter and granddaughter came and went. Julie fixed a great broccoli casserole. I made her promise not to mention that we still had four packages of broccoli in the freezer because I had heard some people out in town grumbling about not being able to find broccoli this year.
Well, there was one thing I could do with all that broccoli. I had saved a recipe for broccoli cheese soup which I saw on Facebook (remember boys and girls, don’t believe every thing you read on Facebook, email or Twitter). The recipe said this was delicious, and that was a lie.
I started assembling ingredients for crockpot broccoli cheese soup and I was not the slightest bit worried about having enough broccoli.
So there I was in my kitchen, Saturday, cubing cheese, dicing onions and chopping broccoli feverishly when a truly unfortunate thing happened.
Truly unfortunate.
Old college pal Eddie Cobb dropped by to modestly share some of his immense wisdom. We stood and talked while I put the ingredients into the crockpot.
On his way out the back door, Eddie observed that the soup would cook a lot faster if I plugged the crockpot into the electrical outlet.
YEAR END REPORT on the cancer patient gasoline voucher project. There’s no audit and no tax deduction. I gather funds from some generous friends, a Sunday School class at Immanuel Baptist Church, a neighborhood weekly Bible study group, and others.
The funds are for cancer patients’ travel expenses to chemo, x-ray, lab, etc. When Jane and I were making two and three trips a week to Little Rock, some friends came forward and started buying our gasoline. We appreciated it so much.
After she died, I decided do the same for others who were in that situation.
Since then the project has given away approximately $35,000 in the vouchers. Along the way we’ve seen some people cured, and we’ve also lost some. It’s an emotional thing.
THINGS I LEARNED from reading (and believing) forwarded email: The song, Auld Lang Syne, is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the new year.
HE SAID: “I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.” NEIL GAIMAN, author of comic books
SHE SAID: “Make New Year’s goals. Dig within, and discover what you would like to have happen in your life this year. This helps you do your part. It is an affirmation that you’re interested in fully living life in the year to come.” MELODY BEATTIE, author
Teased By A Comet (Jan. 7, 2015)
IF YOU ARE LIKE ME and are fascinated with doings in the night sky, then you have already heard about Comet Lovejoy which is reportedly making its appearance in our south sky. The moon is bright, and it is our greatest enemy in sighting the comet. And, drat it, practically the whole time Lovejoy will be with us we’ll have to contend with the moon.
Except on nights when when it’s overcast. Which is usual, just my luck.
Right now, Lovejoy is supposed to be as bright as the dimmest of the four stars that make up the ‘cup’ of the Big Dipper.
Supposedly, if you look south somewhere under the feet of Orion the Hunter you can see Lovejoy. For some reason it doesn’t have much of a tail. If A.J. Higginbottom was still here he could explain it clearly to us.
Wednesday night of this week is supposed to be the time of best viewing. Lovejoy will be at its closest to Earth — only 44 million miles away. That’s 44,000,000. Lovejoy made its last pass by Earth more than 11,000 years ago, astronomers say.
And, that missing tail usually helps us tell the difference between a comet and a star or planet.
I hope to live long enough to see a couple more comets. When Haley’s Comet made its rounds back in 1986 I went out in my back yard and laid down in order to have a steadier platform for using the binoculars. I found Haley’s Comet but it was mostly a pale smudge in the sky. Either that, or I was looking at something on the lens of the binoculars.
Then we had the comet Hale-Bopp back in 1997 and it was visible for about 18 months. It made a glorious and gradual pass across our sky.
Comet Lovejoy, by they way, is named for the feller that discovered it. He lives ‘down under’ in Australia and has to hold on to the earth for dear life lest he fall off.
My binoculars. They’re about 50 years old. I bought them at a Royal Navy store in Hong Kong. See, I had a few bucks left on the day before my ship was due to leave port. There was no reason to save the greenbacks because there was nothing to spend them on when we were at sea. I walked up and down the aisles of the store and spotted the binoculars. Bought them because the price exactly matched the money I had left in my bellbottoms.
HOOK ‘EM HECK. I am still marveling that Arkansas beat Texas in that bowl game.
After all, we WERE playing against Texas, a team that almost always beats us. We were playing deep in the heart of Texas. In the SOMETHING-SOMETHING Texas Bowl. And our players had to wear a SOMETHING-SOMETHING TEXAS BOWL patch on their uniforms.
I mentioned to some friends that even the television announcers seemed to be from New Boston or Hooks. All they could talk about was Texas, Texas, Texas, and they gave practically no credit at all to the Razorback team which was absolutely creaming the Longhorns out on the field.
Absolutely the best way to close out the year: Watching Longhorn fans streaming out of the stands during the fourth quarter.
I got so excited that I went out at midnight and re-hung the Razorback banner over my front door.
rATTLEr. Really?
BYE, BYE BUTTERFLY. Several different groups are asking the government to declare the Monarch Butterfly an endangered species, saying that in the last 20 years we have killed off 90 percent of its population.
One perfesser says that the loss, in human terms, would be like killing every living person in the U.S. except for those in Ohio and Florida.
The reason is apparently genetically-engineered plants. Bigtime farmers are now able to spray for weeds without killing the desirable plants. Those weeds include Milkweed which is the only thing Monarchs and their caterpillars will eat. The midwest is virtually without Milkweed now and the Monarchs have a hard time living without food. The midwest is also the Monarchs’ main route on their annual mating trip to Mexico.
I ordered some Milkweed seeds from an online nursery, and Dr. John Hearnsberger brought me some wild Milkweed seedpods from one of his trips to fight pheasants in Iowa.
I plan on putting the seeds out in the spring in hopes to attracting Monarchs to my yard.
For those who do not know, Monarchs are the large orange and black butterflies we used to see fluttering through our town.
THINGS I LEARNED from reading (and believing) forwarded email:  Zero is the only number that cannot be represented by Roman numerals.
HE SAID: “Those who gave thee a body, furnished it with weakness; but He who gave thee Soul, armed thee with resolution. Employ it, and thou art wise; be wise and thou art happy.” AKHENATON, pharoah of the 18th dynasty, Egypt
SHE SAID: “My New Year’s Resolution List usually starts with the desire to lose between ten and three thousand pounds.” NIA VARDALOS, screenwriter and producer


Obituaries (Weeks of Dec. 29, 2014 & Jan. 5, 2015)

Bobby Bevill
Sunset came for Bobby Rowland Bevill on Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, when he gained his wings to enter Heaven. Bobby was born on Wednesday, July 9, 1947, in Beebe, Ark., to Linnie Bell and Mabel Etta Rogers Bevill.
He was a Vietnam Veteran and proudly served in the United States Army, where he received three Commendations medals and a Purple Heart. Bobby worked as an apprentice mechanic for a few years before he and Marlene moved to Gillham. He retired from Weyerhaeuser Company after working there for more than 30 years. He worked for Walmart for five years.  After retiring, he became an avid gardener. Bobby was a charter member of the Sevier County Farmer’s Market and loved sharing the bounty from his garden with friends and family. He loved visiting with people and was so proud of being able to provide fresh vegetables for others to enjoy. Bobby was a member of Punkin Center Hunting Club and enjoyed hunting and camping with his deer hunting buddies. Bobby knew God and was a Baptist.
Having fought cancer for more than two years, it can honestly be said Bobby ran the race with pride and has now finished his course.  God said “Welcome home my good and faithful servant.”
Preceding him in death were his parents; three brothers, Roger Dale, William Charles, and Carl Thomas; two sisters – Linnie Mae and Patsy Ruth, his father and mother-in-loves – Jerrell Tyrone and Ophelia Bernadene Carmical Winn; and a brother-in-love – Jerrell Stanley Winn.
Bobby leaves behind to cherish his memory and honor him the love of his life for almost 50 years – Shirley Marlene Winn Bevill; three children who were his pride and joy – his sons Matthew Anthony Bevill and wife, Emily of Mena, Ark.; Todd Jeremy Bevill and wife, Tiffany of North Little Rock, Ark.; his daughter, Bobbi Shirlene Bevill Aldridge and husband, Anthony, of Pearcy, Ark., and his chosen grandson, Zac Bevill of North Little Rock; his sister, Mary Smith and husband Don of Carlisle, Ark.; his brother, Ben Bevill and wife, Eddie, of Cabot, Ark.; his brother-in-love, Ronnie Winn of Conway; several nephews and nieces, along with a number of friends.
Sunset services were to be held at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014 at Chandler Funeral Home Chapel, De Queen, Ark. Burial with military rites will be held at Valley Cemetery near Gillham, Ark., with Reverends Jerry Hill, Bob McManus, and Steven Chenoweth presiding.  Visitation was held at Chandler Funeral Home on Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014 from 6-8 p.m.
The family would like to express their sincere gratitude to everyone who has been there for us, prayed for us, and just loved us during this difficult time. Sadie and Sunnie from Ouachita Hospice were excellent care-givers for which we are extremely thankful.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Almond Church in Gillham, Ark., through First State Bank, De Queen, Ark.  You may send an online sympathy message at
Agnes Hughes
Agnes Hughes, 97, of Nashville died Monday, Dec. 29, 2014, in Nashville.
She was a former resident of Pine Bluff and was the mother of Hollis Hughes of Nashville.
Funeral arrangements are incomplete and are with Nashville Funeral Home.
Celestine Campbell
Celestine Campbell, 81, of Nashville, died Dec. 26, 2014 in Nashville.
She was born April 6, 1933 in Cicero Ill., the daughter of the late Bruno and Emily “Molly” Kelpsas.
She was a member of the Nashville Community Church.
She was preceded in death by a daughter Sharon Leewright; and a brother, Don Zilhart.
Survivors include: her husband, Orville Campbell; two sons, Charles Campbell of Ft. Worth, Texas, and John Campbell of Azle, Texas; two daughters, Emily Bedford of Haltom City, Texas, and Cathy Serrato of White Settlement, Texas; two brothers, Ralph Kelpsas of Wisconsin and Ron Kelpsas of Washington; a sister, Judy Erickson of Oklahoma; also, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and a great-great-grandchild.
Graveside services were scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014 at 2 p.m. at the Bingen-Ozan Cemetery in Bingen under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home Nashville.
Visitation was Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014 from 6-8 the Latimer Funeral Home Chapel in Nashville.
Send an online sympathy message at
Larry Jernigan
Larry Jernigan, 66, of Nashville died Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014 in Nashville.
He was born March 25, 1948 in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Survivors include: a son, Cody Jernigan; a stepson, Jonathan Viers; two brothers and four sisters.
Cremation service arrangements were organized under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home.
Send an online sympathy message at
Nadine Hicks
Nadine Hicks, 91, of Nashville, died Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014 in Nashville.
She was born Sept. 20, 1923 in Highland, Ark., the daughter of the late Clyde Cooley and Hester Mae Higgins Cooley.
She was a member of the Mineral Springs Church of Christ.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Dewey V. Hicks; a daughter, Betty Turley, and a brother, Malcolm Cooley.
Survivors include: a son, Carroll Hicks, of Nashville; a daughter, Carolyn Frasher of Evansville, Ala.; a brother, Glen Cooley; also grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014 at the Latimer Funeral Home chapel in Nashville with Mike Reese officiating. Burial will follow in the Restland Memorial Park Cemetery under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home.
Visitation will be Friday, Dec. 26, 2014 from 6-8 p.m. at the Latimer Funeral Home chapel in Nashville.
Send an online sympathy message at
Don Janell Orsburn
Don Janell Orsburn, 79 of Nashville, died Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014.
She was born July 24, 1935 in Prescott to the late Jim K. and Thelma Grimes Caruthers. She was retired from Charlie’s Thriftway Grocery Store in Nashville. She was a member of the Ridgeway Baptist Church.
She was preceded in death by a brother, William Harold Caruthers.
Survivors include: a son, Steven Daughtery and wife, Tonya, of Nashville; a daughter, Terry Hoover and husband, Ricky, of Murfreesboro; also grandchildren and a great-grandchild.
A memorial service will be held Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015 at 2 p.m. at Ridgeway Baptist Church with Bro. Larry Sherman officiating.
Agnes Daniels Hughes
Agnes Daniels Hughes of Nashville, Ark., formerly of Pine Bluff, Ark., went home to be with her Lord on Monday, Dec. 29, 2014 at 4:40 p.m. All who knew “Aggie” are sure she greeted Him with a “yoo-hoo” and a “happy day.”
Agnes was born Oct. 19, 1917 in Pine Bluff, the daughter of Amber and Harry G. Daniels. After graduating from Pine Bluff High in 1936, she attended Judkins Business College. She then worked as a bookkeeper for Froug’s Department Store, also working in subsequent years at Marti’s Gift Shop, Juanita’s Gift Shop and Long’s Book Store.
Agnes married Capt. Hollis L. Hughes, Sr., in 1941 before he was sent to Germany from 1944-45 as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force. When the war ended, the couple was stationed in Germany where Capt. Hughes was killed in an accident in 1956. Agnes and her son Hollis Hughes, Jr., returned to Pine Bluff where she spent the remainder of her life until her move to Nashville, Ark., in 2006. In Nashville she attended First United Methodist Church.
Many people knew Agnes from her baby-sitting and/or volunteering in community service. She did volunteer work for 10 years at JRMC, 18 years for Trinity Village and 5 years for Volunteers in Public Schools. Membership in the Bess Jenkins Club and the Aletha Study Club also kept Agnes active in Pine Bluff life.
Her greatest service though was to her Lord. Agnes was a vital part of life at Central Presbyterian Church, serving as its first woman elder, teaching Sunday school and serving as Sunday School pianist for over 50 years. She was awarded the first Lifetime membership in the Presbyterian Women’s organization.
Agnes was preceded in death by her husband and 2 brothers, Harry E. Daniels and Teddy V. Daniels. She is survived by her son, Hollis L. Hughes, Jr., of Nashville, Ark., and 7 nieces (and husbands): Lou (Bob) Bruce of Woodlands, Texas, Floy (Paul) Barber of Longview, Texas, Carolyn Kane of Hot Springs Village, Ark., Barbara Hughes of Houston, Texas, Judy Hughes of Houston, Texas, Adair (Pat) Anderson of Pine Bluff, Ark., Merry Tom (Doug) Doris of Whitehall, Ark.; 6 nephews: Willard (Kay) Hughes, III of Harrison, Ark., Milton ( Carolyn) Hughes of Pine Bluff, Ark., Tony( Rosemary) Hughes of Little Rock, Ark., Halbert (Mignon) Hughes, Jr., of Dallas, Texas, Ray Price of Pine Bluff, Ark., David (Jenny) Daniels of San Bernardino, Calif.: a sister-in-law, Betty Price of Pine Bluff, Ark.
Services were in Pine Bluff, Monday, Jan. 5, 2015 at 2 p.m., at Central Presbyterian Church sanctuary with visitation from 1 p.m. until service time at the church fellowship hall. The service was led by Rev. Dave King. Burial followed at Graceland Cemetery in Pine Bluff. Memorials may be made to the Central Presbyterian Church, 6300 Trinity Drive, Pine Bluff, AR 71603 or First United Methodist Church, 1403 Sunset Street, Nashville, AR 71852.
Geneva O. Doss Walker
Geneva O. Doss Walker, age 97, of Delight, departed this life Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014 in Baptist Hospital at Arkadelphia.
She was born Sept. 7, 1917 to the late S. B. and Flora Webb Doss. She was a member of the First Christian Church in Murfreesboro, a homemaker, a substitute teacher and a member of Extension Homemakers Club of Delight.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Ersal Walker; son, Clyde Thomas Walker; daughter-in-law, Mary Ruth Walker; granddaughter, Kimberly Ann Walker; siblings, Loreda Denton, Ruth Evans, and Robert E. Doss; and granddaughter-in-law, Pamela Walker.
She is survived by: one son, Doss Walker and wife, Marilyn of Murfreesboro; daughter-in-law, Wilma Walker of London, Ark.; grandchildren, Jason Walker and wife, Carrie of Franklin, Ind., Robert Walker and wife, Rachael of Murfreesboro, Kristi Walker Buck and husband, Randy of Delight and Scott Walker of Bettendorf, Iowa; great-grandchildren, Katlyne Jade Smith, Taylor Ruth Walker and Cody Walker Smith; three nephews and a host of family and friends.
Services were at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015, at Ruggles-Wilcox Funeral Home Chapel in Arkadelphia with Bro. Rob Evans officiating. Visitation was 6-8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home. Burial was in Delight Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the Delight Cemetery Fund @ Bank of Delight. Online register is available at
Harry Lynn Hoover
Harry Lynn (Hootie) Hoover died Dec. 31, 2014 in Texarkana, Texas.
He was born on Sept. 9, 1925 in Texarkana, Ark., to his parents, Sim and Lattie Hoover.  He was lovingly referred to as Pappy by his adoring family.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Mary Jane Hoover; brother, Richard Hoover; granddaughter, Lindsey Hoover, and great-granddaughter, Jayci Hoover.
Harry is survived by his wife of 65 years, Annette Hoover of Texarkana, Texas; a daughter, Joy Lamb, of Cedar Park, Texas; a son, Jay C. Hoover (Jill) of Texarkana, Ark.; five grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
In his younger days growing up in Texarkana, he attended Patty Hill School and played football at both Arkansas High School and Henderson State University, where he had also had his own band. It was there he met and married a cheerleader from Nashville, Ark., Annette Carlton. After starting his family and career in food service and government contracting, he became devoted to his love of the Lord and his then-home church, Central Christian Church, Texarkana, Texas, where he was a Deacon and Elder.  After living and working in several cities, they retired to Hot Springs Village, Ark., before recently returning to Texarkana. He loved his family dearly and loved people in general. He always had an encouraging word for any one he met. Pappy will be missed.
Graveside services were Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015, 2 p.m. at Restland Cemetery, Nashville, Ark., under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home, Nashville.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Central Christian Church, 903 Walnut St., Texarkana, TX  75501 or Alzheimers Alliance, 100 Memory Lane, Texarkana, TX  75503.
You may send an online sympathy message at
Ralph Lex Daniel
Ralph Lex Daniel, age 91, of Nashville, passed away, on Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014 at a Hot Springs hospital.
He was born Nov. 2, 1923, in McCaskill to the late Wiley and Ellen Lingo Daniel. In October, he lost his wife of 65 years, Minnie Belle Morton Daniel, after being her primary caregiver for four years. A Methodist, he was a member of Avery’s Chapel Church.
Survivors include: his son, Danny Daniel (Janell) of Nashville and daughter, Diane James (John) of Hot Springs; two grandchildren, Chris Rowland of Royal and Danna Reed (Clint Snow) of Nacona, Texas; great-grandchildren, Emilee and Avery Belle Reed and Cooper Snow; five step-grandchildren, Sherry, Jennifer, John Jr., Kristina and Melissa, as well as a number of loving nieces and nephews and a host of loyal friends. In addition to his wife and parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Gus and Gentry Daniel, and two sisters, Ruth Flaherty and Othel Polk.
Possessed with a strong work ethic, Ralph retired at age 82 after more than 50 years working at Case Shear. He loved any activity that included using his hands — gardening, hunting, fishing, tinkering, and playing dominoes. He had an impressive memory and extensive knowledge of the McCaskill and Hempstead County areas and enjoyed talking about the old days. Talented at restoring and driving antique A and T Model Fords, he often received requests from other owners to solve mechanical problems. In his later years, he was entertained by visiting and drinking coffee with good friends at Road Mart.
Arrangements are by Nashville Funeral Home. The family received friends from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 2, 2015. Graveside services and burial were on Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. at Merrill Cemetery in Belton, with Mike Reese officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Avery’s Chapel Methodist Church, 1008 Hempstead County Road 339, McCaskill, AR 71847.
George Thomas Shewmaker
George Thomas Shewmaker, 101 of Nashville, died Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015 in Nashville. He was born Feb. 7, 1913 in Tulsa, Okla., to the late Paris and Mabel Green Shewmaker. He was a retired cattle and poultry farmer. and was a Baptist.
He was preceded in death by his wife of more than 73 years, Martha Nadine Shewmaker; a son, Bill D. Shewmaker, and a daughter, Betty Conklin.
Survivors include: a son, Berry Shewmaker and wife, Diane, of Nashville; also grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Graveside services will be Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015 at 2 p.m. in Restland Memorial Park Cemetery with Jim Lane officiating. Send the family an online sympathy message to

Russellville hires Dawson as head football coach

By John R. Schirmer
Leader staff
The Russellville School Board, Tuesday night, hired Scrapper head football coach Billy Dawson as the new head coach for the Russellville Cyclones.
The Nashville School District will develop a plan to find Dawson’s successor, according to Superintendent Doug Graham. “I haven’t sat down with anybody yet. We’ll lay out a plan pretty quickly.”
Cyclone Coach Jeff Holt resigned Dec. 16, according to the Russellville Courier. Holt compiled a record of 86-93-2 during 16 years as the head coach. The Cyclones were 2-8 overall this past season and 0-7 in conference.
Graham said that Dawson met with Russellville school officials on Friday, Dec. 19.
“Randall Williams, superintendent of Russellville, contacted me out of courtesy to inform me that Coach Dawson was on their list to visit,” Graham said.
“I will respect the process and continue to support Coach Dawson regardless of his decision. If you have high profile and successful people working, they will be the target of other schools trying to fill positions,” Graham said.
Dawson’s teams have compiled a record of 91-14 during his eight seasons as head coach. The Scrappers won the state championship during his first season in 2005 and added two more titles in 2006 and 2007. They have advanced to the state playoffs each year of his tenure.
The Scrappers won five conference championships and posted three undefeated regular seasons during his tenure.
Dawson resigned following the 2009 season to become full-time pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Nashville. He officially began his time with Immanuel July 12, 2009, and served as pastor while coaching the Scrappers during the fall season. He stepped down as coach in early December 2009 after the season ended.
Coach Tim Perry led the Scrappers in 2010 and 2011.
Dawson returned in 2012 and coached through the recently concluded season.

Scrapper head football coach interviews with Russellville

Rumors swirled during the weekend about a possible move for Scrapper Coach Billy Dawson.
Superintendent Doug Graham confirmed that Dawson met with Russellville school officials on Friday, Dec. 19.
“Randal Williams, superintendent of Russellville, contacted me out of courtesy to inform me that Dawson was on their list to visit,” Graham said Monday morning.
No announcement had been made by press time Monday. Graham said a decision is expected sometime this week.
“I will respect the process and continue to support Coach Dawson regardless of his decision. If you have high profile and successful people working, they will be the target of other schools trying to fill positions,” Graham said.
Dawson’s teams have compiled a record of 91-14 during his eight seasons as head coach. The Scrappers won the state championship in 2005, 2006 and 2007. They have advanced to the state playoffs each year of his tenure.
The Scrappers won five conference championships and posted three undefeated regular seasons during his tenure.
Dawson resigned following the 2009 season to become full-time pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Nashville. He officially began his time with Immanuel July 12, 2009, and served as pastor while coaching the Scrappers during the fall season. He stepped down as coach in early December 2009 after the season ended.


Elderly Delight man charged in Kirby student’s death

By John Balch
Leader staff
Prosecuting Attorney Bryan Chesshir has announced he will file a misdemeanor negligent homicide charge against the elderly Pike County man who ran over and killed a Kirby student after she exited a school bus.
Chesshir said the misdemeanor charge will be filed at the request of the family of Jazmin Hernandez,12, who died from injuries sustained on Oct. 27.
The Kirby seventh-grader was hit by an SUV driven by Dwight L. Moody, 88, of Delight, after she got off the school bus near Salem along Highway 70. She died at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock where she was air-lifted following the accident.
Hernandez was aboard an eastbound Kirby School District bus that was stopped and unloading students with all its emergency lights and signals activated at the time of the accident. A 2001 Ford Explorer driven by Moody and also occupied by his wife, Dorothy Moody, 84, failed to yield to the bus and struck Hernandez as she crossed the highway, according to an Arkansas State Police report.
Chesshir said he met with the child’s parents, their attorney and an interpreter for more than two hours on Wednesday, Dec. 17 to discuss the matter. The family was asked to consider either a misdemeanor or felony negligent homicide charge against Moody. Chesshir said after much consideration and discussion that the parents chose the misdemeanor charge and have also requested that Moody serve no jail time.
The Class A misdemeanor negligent homicide charge carries a punishment of up to one year in the county jail and a fine up to $2,500. The Class B felony negligent homicide charge carries a punishment of up to 20 years in jail and a fine up to $15,000.
The charge was expected to be filed Monday or Tuesday this week.

Making (The) History (Channel): Delight native makes appearance on ‘America Unearthed’

SCREEN SHOT. U.S. Cavalry Training School Instructor John Slatton, formerly of Delight, on screen during a recent episode of The History Channel series “America Unearthed.”

By John Balch
Leader staff
Fans of The History Channel television series “America Unearthed” may have recognized a Pike County native on the television screen, despite him being dressed in an authentic U.S. Army Cavalry uniform and sporting a scruffy red beard.
John Slatton, 27, formerly of Delight, appeared in the series’ recent episode “Custer’s Blood Treasure” in his real-life role as an instructor at the U.S. Cavalry Training School in Medicine Tail Ford, Montana, the site of Custer’s “Last Stand” at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
Slatton, the son of Kenny and Terrie Slatton of Delight, is a re-enactor instructor at the training school and made an appearance on the show to not only visit with the show’s host and forensic geologist, Scott Wolter, but to actually “enlist” Wolter in the U.S. Cavalry to take part in an intense reenactment of the historic and brutal battle.
The training facility is described by Wolter as a group of reenactment enthusiasts “who give folks a taste of what life, and fighting, was like in the 1870s.”
Wolter used the experience to try to more understand where Lt. Colonel George Custer’s lost “blood treasure” could be today. The treasure – reportedly $25,000 in gold and silver coins – supposedly left behind when Custer and more than 250 Calvary troopers lost their lives in the fight against Native Americans on the Montana prairie. The treasure’s whereabouts remain a mystery today.
During the episode, Slatton offers Wolter extensive historical background about Custer and the actually battle site, something right up Slatton’s alley since he has always been a “history buff,” according to his mom, Terrie, who heads up the Gifted and Talented program with the South Pike County School District.
Slatton’s first appearance in the episode showed him fording a river on horseback to met up with Wolter. His southern accent still intact, Slatton wasted little time with introduction before recruiting and enlisting the host.
The former Delight Bulldog told The Nashville Leader he has always wanted wanted to live the life of a cowboy in Montana and when his fiance, Dr. Tara Marshbanks, got a veterinarian job offer in Miles City, Mont., they “jumped at the opportunity to move here.” The couple is scheduled to wed July 10, 2015 in Lake George, Colo.
Slatton works full-time at a sale barn in Miles City and part-time at the Cavalry facility, which puts on the reenactments during June along with various events throughout the year.
“I got on with that outfit right out of the Army,” he said. “I have always loved history, so getting on with those guys was perfect for me. It took something I have always loved and turned it into a job.”
Slatton met his wife-to-be while stationed with the Army in Colorado Springs. He received a medical discharge in 2013 after being severely injured while serving in Iraq.
In April of 2007, Slatton was on patrol with the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry when his unit came under fire. As his unit returned fire, a sniper’s bullet hit Slatton in the head near his left ear. He had been in Iraq since October 2006 and that was not the first time he had been wounded on the battlefield.
In the fall of 2006, a bomb attack on his base in Baghdad sent a piece of shrapnel flying that struck Slatton in the head. The injury, minor compared to his injury in 2007, required six staples to close the wound.
“I am mostly recovered from my combat injuries,” he said.
The effects of the 2007 injury can still be seen on the left side of Slatton’s face and eye. He endured an initial 14-hour surgery which removed a shattered bone from his jaw and required surgeons to transplant a nerve to replace the one severed by the sniper’s bullet. Many more surgeries followed and Slatton eventually received a Purple Heart for his service.
When Wolter finishes his stint with the Cavalry, he acknowledged the life of a Cavalry trooper could be a dangerous and intense experience, and questioned Slatton about what makes him return to the battlefield.
“The history and the enjoyment of interacting with the Lakota and Crow (tribe members) that come out,” was Slatton’s response as he sat atop his horse.
Mother Terrie knew that already: “We were not surprised at all that this is something he ended up doing.”

Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Truth in Emails

You’d line up maybe 8-10 people. Person Number One whispers a short sentence into the ear of Person Number Two, and tells them to pass it along just as they heard it.
It starts out something like: “Bobbie drove his dad’s old pickup truck to Walmart to buy a bottle of bleach.”
Anyway, at the end of the row of participants, the last person would repeat aloud what had been whispered in his or her ear.
It usually came out something like: “Bowling at the old Walmart was a neat package of dust but dad killed Bobby because he spilled it in his Ford.”
Sometimes people did this in a classroom at school (or church) to teach the danger of repeating gossip. Or, believing gossip.
Stories get told wrong, or are heard cockeyed. Then they’re told again with the changes, and are told again. Slightly adjusted each time. Falsehoods come to be believed. Someone’s reputation is ruined. Only bad outcomes are produced by gossip.
Well, the NEW gossip is Twitter, ‘texting’ or forwarded e-mails, Facebook or any of the other ‘social media’ where, unfortunately, many people often take anything posted as the real truth. Even if they have no idea who the real author is.
I am an old geezer who finally stopped resisting social media, and I am dumbfounded at some things people totally believe and forward as the truth. I’m thinking back to election time.
The decline of the public’s faith in mainline news media is accelerating this tumble of our culture. I am still stunned that a once-great newspaper, the “New York Times,” felt it needed to print the address of that white policeman accused in the death of a young black man in Ferguson, Mo.
In My Humble Opinion (IMHO) the only need the “Times” had was its desire to stay ahead of other media and individuals who were broadcasting, printing, texting or twittering stories about the Ferguson tragedy.
I no longer watch network television news except for sports and weather. That’s because the media, especially television, has a vested interest in keeping Ferguson-type events on the front burner. The more controversial, the better they like it. They can sell more ads, see?
I get my national news from reading (I know this sounds crazy) CNN and the BBC. I tend to trust Associated Press and local news items I read in the “Texarkana Gazette,” but I believe that other statewide newspapers might skew stories some. That’s IMHO.
I realize I’m preaching to the saved. I probably don’t have many 14-year-old readers. They are the ones who are in that Gossip Game line.
I SMUGLY COMMENTED to someone that surely this was one of the most rainy of years. Luckily, I did not send it by email or that error might have been forwarded as the truth. Or stated as a fact on Facebook.
The truth is that since 2000, there have been six (6) years wetter than 2014. I realize we’ve got a few days, yet. Nothing has been close to the year 2009 when a tiny bit more than 80 inches of rainfall was measured in the backyard of the radio station here. So far this year, we’re slightly under 56 inches. That’s quite a difference.
Still, after the recent drought years it is nice to see ponds, lakes and creeks full.
HEAVENS ABOVE. The viewing of the Geminids Meteor Shower this past weekend was reportedly impressive elsewhere. But here, our skies were overcast or it was foggy at night and early morning.
THINGS I LEARNED from reading e-mail: Gold is the only metal that doesn’t rust, even if it’s buried in the ground for thousands of years. Now, I wonder if this is true.
ANIMAL CRACKERS. Driving down a dark rural road near Columbus, last Friday, when a very large whitish owl flew across the highway in front of me. Since it was flying on an angle mostly toward my buggy I had a good look at its ‘face.’ Its eyes were enormous and black.
And by the way — no offense — anything which is anywhere near Columbus can accurately be called rural.
HE SAID: “As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky. So up to the house-top the coursers they flew, with the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.” CLEMENT CLARKE MOORE, theologian and author of “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Do people still read his great tale any more?
SHE SAID: “Christmas in Bethlehem. The ancient dream: a cold, clear night made brilliant by a glorious star, the smell of incense, shepherds and wise men falling to their knees in adoration of the sweet baby, the incarnation of perfect love.” LUCINDA FRANKS, writer


Howard County Museum patrons view restoration project

MUSEUM OPEN HOUSE. Guests look at pictures and mill about the Howard County Museum in Nashville during an open house Sunday afternoon. The event showcased restoration and preservation work performed at the museum in recent months and gave volunteers the opportunity to discuss plans for the facility.

By John R. Schirmer
Leader staff
The Howard County Historical Society unveiled improvements to the county museum during a Chamber of Commerce coffee and an open house.
During the chamber coffee Dec. 1, guests had the opportunity to tour the facility and see the work which has been done in recent months. HCHS board member Freddie Horne said the museum received sponsorships for windows during the coffee. The museum entered the event with sponsors for two windows and other work. By the time the coffee was over, all of the windows were sponsors.
“We had a successful window campaign,” Horne said. “All windows now have sponsors, with more than $6,000 being raised for the replacement and repair of windows. These funds will be used for a matching National Historic Restoration Grant application.”
Horne said several hundred guests attended the coffee and the open house Dec. 14.
Other work is planned for the museum, which is housed in the former Presbyterian Church in Nashville.
The exterior paint and repair campaign was started with a goal of $7,500, Horne said. The fund received $2,150 in contributions during the two open house events. “These funds will also be used for matching grant applications,” Horne said. “One bid has been received for this part of the restoration. Several others are expected.”
Preservation work on the Bell Tower Foyer has been completed, and some of the museum staging has been put into place.
The Sunday School room is having plaster work done and will be prepped for painting within the next week, according to Horne. After the walls are painted, the woodwork staining in this room will be started and is expected to take about a month.
The pastor’s study and restroom will be the final stage of restoration of all small rooms. The study will be mostly paint work “in that all woodwork in this room has been painted over in decades past,” Horne said. After these rooms are completed, preservation work will begin in the chapel. “It is expected that the chapel will take six to eight months to complete using volunteer workers.”
Plans are being made to add a small curb-side parking lot and new sidewalk in front of the museum.
Horne said the floors are in good condition. “The society decided to leave them as original as possible to preserve the aged patina. Only minor sanding, oil staining and waxing will be done.”
The chapel ceiling and exposed beams “are in really good condition for the age of the building,” Horne said. “Mostly hand cleaning will be done in this part of the project. Some minor stain work will be required on several of the beams where a family of raccoons and a few squirrels have cause damage.”
One major goal is to provide new wiring for the building and have a heat/air unit installed, Horne said. Contributions for heat/AC units as well as volunteer labor for installation will be “gladly accepted.”
Society board members hop the restoration and preservation process can be completed by Christmas 2015, Horne said.


Obituaries (Week of Dec. 15 and Dec. 22, 2014)

Week of Dec. 15, 2014
Dennis E. Burnett
Dennis E. Burnett, 64, Mineral Springs, died Dec. 6, 2014.
He was born Feb. 10, 1950, the son of the late Andrew and Alice Burnett.
He was preceded in death by his brothers, William, Harold, and Frederick Burnett.
Survivors include: a son, Cody Burnett; sister, Kathy Burnett; brothers Alvin Burnett and Larry Burnett; stepchildren, Brittney Walker, Blake Walker, Bridgett Perrin, Sheree Teague, and Deb Erwin; also grandchildren.
Memorial services are pending.
Online messages to
Vadra Campbell
Vadra “Jot” Campbell, 93, of Delight, died Dec. 13, 2014.
She was born Oct. 19, 1921 to the late James T. Steed and Rosa Lee Watson Steed.
She was a lifelong member of Liberty Hill Missionary Baptist Church.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 50 years, Buck Campbell; brothers, Harold Steed, C.V. Steed and Jeff Steed; sisters, Ordris Harris, Lucy Williamson Nolen and twin Fadra “Tot” Watts.
Survivors include: her sons, Larry Campbell and wife, Carol, and Tony Campbell and wife, Christy, all of Delight; a daughter Jottalyn of Webster, Texas; also grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Services were on Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014 at 2 p.m. at the Liberty Hill Church in Pisgah, Ark., with Dr. Wayne Sewell officiating. Burial followed in Pisgah Cemetery under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home, Murfreesboro.
Visitation was Monday, Dec. 15, 2014 from 6-8 p.m. at the funeral home, Murfreesboro.
Send an online sympathy message to
Rowena Hargis Morris
Mrs. Rowena Hargis Morris, age 82, a resident of Gillham, Ark., died Friday, Dec. 12, 2014 in the Wadley Regional Medical Center in Texarkana, Texas.
She was born on April 22, 1932 to Lee and Mecie Overturf Hargis on Hargis Mountain in Howard County, Ark., and was one of 16 children. She attended school at Umpire, Ark.; she was a homemaker and a member of the Church of Christ in De Queen. She loved her family, sewing and gardening.
Mrs. Morris was preceded in death by her parents; one grandson, Scotty Presson; six brothers, Alvie, Elbert, Edgar, Ervin, Sammie and a twin brother, Richard Hargis; three sisters, Velma Hargis Hart, Maggie Hargis McShan and Ruth Hargis Neal.
She is survived by her husband, Floyd Morris, Sr., of Gillham; one daughter and son-in-law, Brenda and Jim Presson; one son and daughter-in-law, Floyd Jr. and Kim Morris; one sister, Margaret Louise Hargis Bearden; one granddaughter and husband, Jennifer and Joe Collier; one grandson and wife, Clay and Laci Morris; three great-grandsons, Ty and Tate Collier and Zane Morris; one great-granddaughter, Heidi Morris and a number of nieces and nephews.
Funeral service for Mrs. Morris were held at 2 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014, in the Wilkerson Funeral Home Chapel with Bobby Tatum and Tye Barnett officiating. Burial followed in the Overturf Cemetery.
Steven E. Holton
Steven E. Holton, 66, of Dierks, died Monday, Nov. 24, 2014.
He was born Aug. 12, 1948 in Auburn, Wash., the son of the late Homer Earl Holton and Tressa Winona Tyner Holton.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Dan Holton.
He was retired from Weyerhaeuser, and was a former member and chief of the Green’s Chapel Volunteer Fire Department.
Survivors include: his wife, Regina Holton of Dierks; four children, Dawn Smith and husband, Jimmy, of Texarkana, Texas, Susan Holton of Hot Springs, Derek Holton and Stefanie Holton, both of Dierks; his sister, Sherrie Stinson, of Lake Tapps, Wash., and his brother, Dale Silvey of Mojave Valley, Ariz.; also grandchildren.
Graveside services were at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014 in the Green’s Chapel Cemetery near Dierks with Billy Golden and Pete Pedron officiating.
Visitation was Friday, 6-8 p.m. at the funeral home.
Arrangements were under the direction of Davis-Smith Funeral Home, Glenwood.
(LEADER NOTE: This obituary was published earlier with an incomplete list of survivors. The newspaper regrets the omission.)
Shirley Ruth McDonald Allen
Shirley Ruth McDonald Allen, 68, of Dierks, died Monday, Dec. 15, 2014 at her home.
She was born Aug. 15, 1946 in Cerro Gordo, Ark., the daughter of the late Bill and Eunice Crowell McDonald. She was a teller at Diamond Bank in Dierks and a member of Bethany Baptist Church in Dierks.
She was preceded in death by husband, Wallace Troy Allen; and a sister, Georgia Frady.
Survivors include: three sons, John Tosh and wife, Stacia, of New Boston, Texas, Clay Allen of Dierks, and Ben Allen and wife, Brittney, also of Dierks; two daughters, Tracy Thomas and husband, Jon, of Nashville, and Michelle Ellis of Jackson, Tenn.; two brothers, Frank McDonald of Foreman and Jim McDonald of De Queen; two sisters, Nina Hinton of Texarkana, Texas, and Jean Higgins of De Queen; also grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, at the Holly Creek Missionary Baptist Church in Dierks with Rev. Richard Leach and Rev. J.W. Gilbert officiating. Burial will follow at the Sunshine Cemetery under the direction of Wilkerson Funeral Home in Dierks.
The family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 17 at the funeral home in Dierks.
Online at
Week of Dec. 22, 2014
Rocky L. Norman
Rocky L. Norman, 66, of Nashville, died Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 in Nashville.
He was born July 25, 1948 in Sidon, Ark., to Mary Lawrence Norman and the late Alton Norman.
He was retired from Tyson Foods.
He was preceded in death by a brother, Kenneth Norman, and a sister, Patsy Norman.
Survivors include: his wife, Martha Norman of Nashville; his mother, Mary Norman of Washington State; two sons; Ken Norman and wife, Chantel, of De Queen, and Tim Norman and wife, Krissie, of Wickes; three brothers, Larry Norman of Washington State, Stan Norman and Steve Norman, both of California; two sisters, Winona Cone of California and Echo Penley of Washington State; also grandchildren and a great-grandchild.
Services were Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014 at 1 p.m. at Nashville Funeral Home. Burial followed in Baker Cemetery near Wickes. The family received friends at the funeral home on Friday night from 6-8. Send the family an online sympathy message to
Max Alan Adcock
Max Alan Adcock, Sr., age 61 of Nashville, Ark., went to be with his Lord and Savior on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 in Little Rock, Ark.
He was born Aug. 24, 1953 in Bryan, Texas, to the late Quentin and Doris Robertson Adcock.
He was a retired coach and school administrator. Max was a member of the Liberty Baptist Church. He was Horatio’s Salutatorian in the class of 1971. After high school Max received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Education with a Major in Physical Education; then he received his Masters of Education with a Major in Education and Administration, finally receiving his Administrator’s Certificate. Also while in college he received Honorable Mention, All-AIC defensive tackle in 1972 and 1973. All- AIC Defensive Tackle in 1974, Outstanding College Athlete of America in 1975, Who’s Who in American College and University in 1975, District 1-AAA football runner up in 1984 and 1987, District-AAA football champions 1982 and 1985, and finally Hempstead County Educator of The Year in 2011. He was also a lifetime member of the NRA.
He is survived by his wife, Cindi Diane Bishop Adcock of Nashville; his former wife,  Brenda Adcock of Mena; four sons, Max Alan Adcock, Jr., and wife, Shanna, of Mena, Kirby Bishop Adcock of Nashville, Kelsey Johnson and wife, Kristen, of Nashville, Kolten Johnson of Nashville; a daughter,  Tamara Jayne Smart and husband, Aaron, of Mena; two brothers, Warren Adcock and wife, Jo, of Farmington, Ark., and Pat Adcock and wife, Beth, of Hot Springs; a sister, Beth Piearcy and husband, Philip, of Mena; five grandchildren, Aubri Johnson of Brock, Texas, Carleigh Smart of Mena, Lainey Smart of Mena, Macaden Johnson of Lockesburg, and Shooter Johnson of Ashdown.
A large host of other family, friends and former football players and coaches.
Graveside services were Monday, Dec. 22, 2014 at 10 a.m. at Clear Creek Cemetery near Horatio with Bro. Billy Dawson officiating. The family received friends on Sunday afternoon at the Horatio Football field from 4-5:30 p.m. You may send the family an online sympathy message to

UA Cossatot touts welding, cosmetology programs during ‘College Work$’ tours

LEARNING PROCESS. Katie Paul of Nashville and Curtis Nutt of Dierks practice pipe welding last week on the Nashville campus of Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas.

AT A DISCOUNT. Lamar Windham of Nashville gets his haircut from cosmetology student Kacy McGough of Horatio.

By John Balch
Leader staff
UA Cossatot’s welding and cosmetology departments were showcased last week in Nashville as part the college’s “Community College Work$” tours, which were also held on the Ashdown and De Queen campuses.
The tours were part of a statewide initiative from the Arkansas Community Colleges Association and were designed to increase awareness about just how important community colleges are to the state and local economies, according to Alisha Lewis, UA Cossatot’s marketing director.
In Ashdown, the new industrial maintenance program was featured while in De Queen the highlights were tours of the new simulation laboratory for medical education students and the new automotive and radio broadcast building.
“All of these areas represent a technical certificate where jobs are in a high demand and qualified graduates can easily find a job,” Lewis said.
On Thursday afternoon in a classroom on the backside of the Nashville campus, a dozen high school students were tightly gathered around a computer screen watching the work of another student behind the mask of the Vrtex 360 – a $50,000 virtual reality welding tool. The machine is state-of-the-art and is a vital tool in training the welding students, said instructor Marvin Terrell, who is in eighth year at the college.
The Vrtex 360 offers four virtual welding work scenarios including one that places the students high above on a skyscraper. What the welder sees through the helmet can be seen on the computer screen by the other students and their instructors.
“This machine can score and critique the work, but it doesn’t produce the heat or noxious gases or waste the material you would have with practicing real welding,” Terrell said.
Students can store their work on thumb drives and the machine will keep a running total of their progress and how much material and gas they would have used on a real job. It is capable of teaching stick, MIG or TIG welding processes and also has a pipe-welding simulator.
The device is also designed to help develop and improve muscle memory for correct positioning and is “great for trouble-shooting.”
“It’s a good tool for teaching and learning,” said Terrell, who added that when he started out in the 1970s all the equipment in his class were a welding machine and cutting torch.
“We’ve definitely come a long way,” he said.
The pay has also obviously increased for welders. Terrell and fellow instructor Wayne Kendrick said one of their former students recently passed a pipe welding union test in Oklahoma (“Like the Olympics of welding,” according to Terrell) and now makes $100 an hour working out of Pennsylvania.
Much of the work for the college’s 60-plus welding students is hands-on. Steve McJunkins, division chairman for skilled and technical sciences, said the students often take on community projects for practice. One of the projects being worked on during last week’s public tours included an entrance arch for a local cemetery, which was paid for by a donation from the cemetery association.
“We don’t take on projects that will take away from any local businesses,” McJunkins added.
Across the parking lot, Kendrick, who is a veteran welder, monitors the pipe-welder students, four of which were being groomed for an upcoming competition. He said the idea is to create a realistic working environment for the program. The students sometimes have to work outside in all kinds of weather and a multitude of safety measures are strictly followed.
“They’ve got to get used to what it’s really going to be like out there,” he said.
A few classrooms down, the same real-life scenarios are also applied to the college’s cosmetology students, under instructors Summer Markham and Sandra Griffin. The cosmetology program has been offering hands-on instruction since 2007.
“The program instructs students in sanitation, sterilization, hygiene, lighting and ventilation, scalp massage, cleaning, shampooing, cutting, clipping, coloring, tinting, bleaching, perming, brushing, curling, reconditioning, thermal pressing and chemical relaxing of the hair,” according to Markham.
Students are also schooled in fingernail and toenail care, and hand, arm and facial massages as well as the art of applying makeup. The students also develop a professional attitude needed to deal with the public.
All the program’s aspects are tried and proven at a full-service salon that is open to the public from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, and 9:30 to 3:00 Wednesday through Friday.
During the public tour, Hannah Lindsey was having her hair highlighted by student Kayla Martin while a few chairs over Lamar Windham was wrapping up a haircut from student Kacy McGough. “I come here all the time,” Windham said.
The salon has a full menu of services which are offered at discounted rates. Windham’s haircut cost him only $6. A shampoo, cut and style is only $12.
The cosmetology students also practice their trades at various competitions, including a recent one in Texarkana called “Shear Madness.” It was the second year for the local students to compete in the contest.
Markham said the competition includes students from several surrounding schools and involves an avant garde model and manikin contest.
“The students are free to do whatever they please to show their best work and skills,” she said. Last year, the students brought home a second-place win and this year three teams competed in the model contest and four teams worked with the manikins.
“We placed second and third in the model competition among 24 teams and second in the manikin competition among 20 teams,” Markham said.
UA-Cossatot, which used to be known by the college’s proper name, Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas, started in 1975 as the Cossatot Vocational-Technical School and had 75 students. Today, Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole said the college is home to more than 1,500 students.
“Our college has a storied history of offering what the student wants,” Cole states in an online greeting. “Whether it is a fully-transferable associate of arts degree or a technical certificate in welding, our college has all of the offerings to put the student on a path to a career. Students will find that, once they are enrolled at CCCUA, they are part of the Cossatot family. A family of faculty, advisors, business office personnel, and more, with one goal in mind: to help the student succeed.”

Pike County’s libraries pull together for sweater drive

CAST OF CHARACTERS. On hand Saturday in Delight for the “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Sweater Drive Celebration” were (seated) Queen Sara (Jeannie Hendrix) and Katie Culpepper of AETN; (back from left) Mr. McFeely (Christopher Melichar), Joan Kenady of the Hot Springs Salvation Army Corps, Lady Elaine Fairchilde (Delight Librarian Ginny Evans), Glenwood Librarian Majorie Melichar, King Friday (David Brian Hendrix) and Katherine Cat (Kimberly Melichar).

Pike County’s libraries worked together throughout the month of November to collect 965 sweaters for the “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Sweater Drive.”
The Delight branch of the Pike County Library and the city of Delight hosted the event’s conclusion celebration Saturday which included special guests from the Salvation Army, Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) and the state library system. Delight officials were also on hand and several locals portrayed the beloved Mister Rogers Neighborhood characters.
AETN, the Salvation Army and 15 libraries across the state partnered for the sweater drive, an idea based on Fred Rogers and his iconic cardigan sweaters.
“‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ has long been a place where caring and consideration for others instills good feelings in all of us,” AETN Executive Director Allen Weatherly said. “These messages and the values that children learn from the program and from PBS icon Fred Rogers are timeless.”
Weatherly added, “Fred Rogers’ cardigan has come to represent the gentle spirit, warmth and nurturing of the neighborhood. As Mister Rogers himself once said ‘All of us, at some time or other, need help, and whether we’re giving or receiving a sweater, each one of us has something valuable to bring to this world.’ This project connects Arkansans as neighbors.”
More than 50 people showed up for the celebration held in the gymnasium on the Delight campus of the South Pike County School District.
“We were happy to do it and were thrilled with the results and knowing people will benefit from this effort,” said Delight Librarian Ginny Evans about Delight’s hosting of the celebration. “These sweaters will be distributed by the Salvation Army to the homeless and less fortunate through schools and churches.”
Evans added, “There was a lot of hard work put into this and I think it paid off.”
Local band Third Channel, which includes members David Lamb and Evans’ two grandsons, Adam and Alan Hamrick, provided the day’s entertainment. There were also numerous door prizes handed out and three Delight churches were recognized for their contributions to the efforts. The churches included the First United Methodist Church, Church of Christ and Crossroads Assembly of God.
The cast of “neighborhood” characters included Joyce Vitzthum singing the show’s theme song, Roger Genung as Mr. Rogers, David Brian and Jeannie Hendrix as King Friday and Queen Sara, Kimberly Malichar as Katherine Cat, Christopher Malichar as Mr. McFeely and Evans as Lady Elaine.
Guests included Delight Mayor Paul Lane, AETN representative and Community Engagement Specialist Katie Culpepper with Outreach Producer Dan Kroops, Joan and Pat Kenady of the Hot Springs Salvation Army Corps and Ruth Hyatt, Arkansas State Library representative.


Local students among first in state, nation for PARCC test

By John R. Schirmer
Leader staff
Students at Nashville High School and Nashville Junior High were among the first in the United States to take the new PARCC tests, which replace Arkansas’s End-of-Course and Benchmark tests and similar exams in other states.
Nashville students in algebra, geometry and ninth and tenth grade English took the new test, which was designed by PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers). Arkansas is among 12 states which participate in PARCC, a consortium which develops testing based on Common Core standards. Most states have adopted the Common Core standards.
Schools on the four-by-four block schedule were selected for the December tests, according to Superintendent Doug Graham. Nashville is among 19 districts statewide which participated.
Testing went “as well as it could have,” Graham said. “There will be a learning curve for everybody. I haven’t heard any complaints.”
Parts of the tests were given last week, with the remainder set for next week before Christmas break begins.
“The first week went really well,” according to Assistant Superintendent Joe Kell, who oversees the district’s testing program. “Most things are very similar on my end, like getting things to the schools.”
The fall block testing was done with traditional paper and pencil testing materials. In the spring, Arkansas students will take the exams online in most districts, including Nashville.
For 2015-16, all testing is expected to be done online in the fall and spring semesters, Kell said.
PARCC administered End-of-Course tests in algebra and geometry at junior high and high school, Kell said. The test also included ninth grade English at junior high and sophomore English at high school.
After Christmas, the biology test will be given at high school.
PARCC tests are different from the old Arkansas exams, Kell said. “It’s a different testing company. The forms are a little different. People at the schools said it’s gone smoothly. I’m very pleased so far.”
The tests are given in two parts, according to Kell. Last week’s exams were performance-based assessments, with the next section to be an end-of-year assessment for the block classes.
“The PBA is typically a set of multi-step problems, what we used to call word problems,” Kell said. “Students have to go through the steps for the end result.”
Next week’s end-of-year test will be “more common knowledge, with multiple choice questions.”
In Nashville, about 160 students have been tested at high school and about 110 at junior high, Kell said. About 30,000 students nationwide were involved in the first trial of the new tests.
Some of the students had two tests this semester because of their schedules, and some of those tested this semester in one class will be tested in the spring in another class.
In the spring, more than 5 million students nationwide will participate in PARCC tests for grades 3-11.
Results from the PARCC tests and the old state tests can’t be compared, Kell said. “We’re starting from ground zero. It’s a different test and different format. It would be like comparing apples and oranges. These tests are different from EOC and the Benchmarks,” Kell said.
Kell doesn’t know when the December scores will arrive. When they come in, the results will be “a benchmark. We’ll try to improve.”
Districts which participated in the December testing include Nashville, Bentonville, Monticello, Benton, Riverview, Mountain Home, Glen Rose, Siloam Springs, Farmington, Gentry, Russellville, Haas Hall Academy, Lakeside, Vilonia, Drew Central, Valley Springs, SIATech Charter, Dardanelle and Rogers.


Obituaries (Week of Dec. 8, 2014)

Dale Fincher
Dale Fincher, 85, of Saratoga, Ark., died Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014.
He was born on Feb. 10, 1929 in Saratoga. He was a WWII veteran; retired from the Ideal Cement Company; and was a member of the Saratoga Church of Christ.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Janie Fern Fincher.
Survivors include: a son,  Jimmy Dale Fincher and wife, Peggy,r of Mineral Springs; a daughter, Tammie Pearson and husband, Virgil, of Wake Village, Texas; also  grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Services were  Friday, Dec. 5, 2014 at Latimer Funeral Home in Nashville. Burial followed in Saratoga Cemetery in Saratoga under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home, Nashville.
Visitation was Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014 from 6-8 p.m. at the funeral home.
Send an online sympathy message at
Stephen ‘Steve’
Maurice Baber
Stephen “Steve” Maurice Baber, age 52, of Umpire, Ark., passed away December 01, 2014 in Umpire.
He was born Aug. 17, 1962 in Mena, Ark., to the late Morgan Maurice Baber and the late Evelyn Vaught Baber.
He was a Lineman for Rich Mountain Electric (REA) and was hard worker and had a strong work ethic. Steve loved working for REA and the people he worked with every day.  He was loved and well respected by the community.  Steve was a loving and kind father, grandfather, and friend to all who knew him.
He is survived by: Children, Joshua Baber of Umpire, Ark., Amber Hodges and husband, Will, of Stillwater, Okla., and Darren Baber of Umpire; Grandchild: Rowen Hodges.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Morgan and Evelyn Baber.
Graveside services were Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014 at 10 a.m. at Center Cemetery in Hartley, Ark., with Brother John Henry Williams officiating under the direction of the Beasley Wood Funeral Home of Mena.
Family and friends visitation was Friday, Dec. 5, 2014 from 6-8 p.m. at Beasley Wood Funeral Home of Mena.
Jamie Sue Jackson Ayers
Jamie Sue Jackson Ayers, age 35 of McCaskill, Ark., went to be with her Lord and Savior on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014 in Texarkana, Texas.
She was born Aug. 30, 1979 in Nashville to Jimmy Jackson and Pamie Sue Salisbury Bevill. Jamie was a loving mother and a homemaker. She was of the Baptist Faith. Her family, especially her girls was her life. She was involved in many activities with her girls, watching them take dance lessons, cheering them on in softball, being the best cheerleading mom and encouraging them in any activity they were involved in. She loved talking on the phone, usually keeping up with her classmates, she was a proud member of the Scrapper class of 1997, she always cheered the Scrappers and loved the Arkansas Razorbacks .She was very active in MADD, and loved her dogs, Zoey and Nala. She was a Respiratory Therapist and loved when she worked at Children’s Hospital. Children was the highest priority in her life other than her family. Most of all she was a devoted Christian, and taught those values to her family.
She was preceded in death by her father, Jimmy Jackson; her paternal grandparents, Coy Eli “Tootsie” and Evelyn Jackson; her maternal grandparents, Aubrey Lee and Lucille Salisbury Bevill; and a special uncle, Mike Salisbury.
She leaves behind to cherish her memory, her mother, Pamie Sue Bevill and husband, Ronnie, of Nashville; her husband, Mark Ayers, of McCaskill; a son, Matthew Ayers, of Queen City, Texas; three daughters, Emily and Hope McCauley of Nashville, Macie Ayers of Queen City, Texas; a brother, Michael Bevill of Nashville; a sister, Pam Jackson Jones and husband, Clay, of Hot Springs; many Aunts, Uncles, cousins and friends too numerous to name.
Services was Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014 at 10 a.m. at First Baptist Church in Nashville with Bro. Keith Mays officiating. Interment followed in Bluff Springs Cemetery under the direction of Nashville Funeral Home. The family received friends at the funeral home on Friday night from 6 to 8. You may send the family an online sympathy message to
Memorials may be made to the Arkansas Children’s Hospital, 800 Marshall St., Little Rock AR 72202; or to the charity of your choice.
Helen Sue Cassady Rodgers
Helen Sue Cassady Rodgers, 87, departed this life Sunday morning, Dec. 7, 2014 in Nashville, Ark.
She was born Dec. 28, 1926 to Calvin Jewell and Ruby Odessa Walker Cassady.
Mrs. Rodgers was a member of the Immanuel Baptist Church, Nashville, Ark., and was cherished by all who knew her. Her love for her children, grandchildren and all of her family members was second only to her love of the Lord. She was quick to point out the good in everyone she knew and her children and grandchildren often sought her practical and positive advice. Her greatest joy was her family and any family gathering was always a special event to her.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her step-mother , Chloe Jones Cassady; her husband of 56 years, Robert Lyndall Rodgers; two brothers, Gene Cassady and Charlie Robert “Pap” Cassady; three sisters, Edith Bennett, Revel Corbell and Betty Ruth Bowles.
Her survivors are one son, Robert Jerry Rodgers (Linda) and one daughter, Lynda Sue Rodgers Woods (Donny), both of Nashville; two brothers, David Cassady (Sue) and Loy “Butch” Cassady (Judy) of Nashville; four sisters, Lola Jewel Dean, Winston, Ore., Mildred Locke, Bell Garden, Calif., Neta Pearl Chapman (Bob), Farmersville, La. and Janis (Ron) Kist, Darnelle, Ark.. She also leaves behind five grandchildren, fourteen great grandchildren and eight great-great grandchildren and many, many other family members and friends.
Family and friends gathered for visitation at the Latimer Funeral Home Chapel in Nashville on Monday, Dec. 8, 2014 from 6-8 p.m.
Services were on Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014 at 10 a.m. at the Latimer Funeral Home Chapel with Bro. Paul Bullock and Bro. Glen Green conducting her service. Burial followed in the Ozan at Bingen Cemetery under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home Nashville.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Immanuel Baptist Church, P.O. Box 212, Nashville, AR 71852.
You may send an online sympathy message at
Neoma Jo Hill Ferguson
Mrs. Neoma Jo Hill Ferguson, age 96, from Nashville, Ark., was born on March 16, 1918 in Mineral Springs to Thomas Ryle Roberts Hill and Lula Caroline Hill. She went home to be with her Lord on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014 after a brief illness in the Howard Memorial Hospital.
Mrs. Ferguson was a homemaker and employee of the Howard Memorial Hospital 37 years ago. She loved cooking, sewing, gardening, mowing her yard, canning, reading, and had a life-long thirst for knowledge. She was well known for her gestures of appreciation. She loved to fellowship with others as a member of County Line Baptist Church, Howard County Extension Homemakers, and the THEOS support group.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Earl Edward; a son, Douglas Earl Ferguson; a son-in-law, John Paul Jones; four brothers, Jeff Davis Hill, William Henry Hill, Thomas Hayes Hill, James Fred Hill; four sisters, Mary Nancy Hill, Mattie Mae Hill Hockaday, Lillie Cleo Hill Reed, and Annie Laurie Hill.
Mrs. Ferguson is survived by one sister, Arry Frances Hill Turner, age 98; one son, Phillip Noel Ferguson; two daughter-in-laws, Linda Ferguson, Ann Elizabeth Ferguson; two daughters, Brenda Gale Ferguson Jones, Donna Kay Ferguson Hudgens; one son-in-law, Bobby Hudgens; thirteen grandchildren, Kimberly Jane Hartman, Elizabeth Noelle Ferguson, Phillip Noel Ferguson II, Periwinkle Dove Schuster, Brian Leon Strother, Stephanie Diane Ardoin, John Bartley Hudgens, Emily Joanne Duncan, Rebekah Louise Brown, Michele Ferguson, Natalie Diane Ferguson; Fourteen great-grandchildren, numerous nieces/nephews, and precious friends.
The funeral service will be held at 2 :00 p.m. on Friday, December 12th at Nashville Funeral Home with Bro. Charles Jones officiating. Burial will follow at the County Line Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Thursday night from 6 to 8 p.m. You may send the family an online sympathy message to

Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Hate for ‘Horns

WELL, IT DIDN’T take very long to spoil my jolly mood after Oklahoma State beat Oklahoma in overtime.
I groaned as soon as it was announced that Arkansas would play Texas in the Texas Bowl, whatever/wherever that is. I groaned because I am a loyal fair weather fan, and I dread playing the Longhorns because I know what will happen. Seen it too many times.
Somehow, someway Arkansas always manages to fold when the other team is wearing burnt orange. I admit I suffer from a serious inferiority complex when dealing with anything Texas.
My good mood was already precarious because of the Razorbacks’ recent basketball collapse (one loss was to a team which had been beaten this year by Winthrop — WINTHROP!) but I reminded myself that it was only basketball.
Being a loyal fair weather fan I can tell you all about the UA’s coming roundball season: We’ll lose a lot of games that we should’ve won; we’ll lose all of the road games; and we won’t make the NCAA Tournament once again. And even if we do get in the ‘big dance,’ a team like Winthrop will eliminate us by 40 points.
I wish the Hogs would play someone else in the bowl game. West Virginia. North Carolina State. Old Dominion. Winthrop. Anybody but the ‘Horns.
If we were playing West Virginia or whomever, I could sit down and enjoy the game no matter the outcome. I could even tolerate losing, which is what would probably happen, I’m fairly positive.
I am a loyal fair weather fan, I told you.
But since we’re playing Texas, every play is important. Every penalty is crucial. Every dropped pass is Ebola or worse. When Texas is driving to go ahead late in the game I’ll have to go out on the patio and watch the leaves fall into the pool. I get too nervous when the game is as important as it will be when we play Texas.
And why should I be so nervous? I already know what is going to happen.
AT THE LAST SCRAPPER game of the year I was seated behind an employee of the Arkansas Highway Department.
I remembered a question that had been perched between my ears for several months, and I naturally interrupted his concentration on the game to ask.
How come some creek name signs are posted on the left side of the bridge and not on the right where the lane of traffic is?
Huh? he answered.
He thought about it for awhile and then turned around to give me his answer: Nope,  he said, the signs are on the RIGHT HAND side of the bridge.
I couldn’t help notice where the green signs were posted during my drive up to Newhope and back on the following Tuesday night.
Muddy Fork. Sign on the left.
W.B. Fallen Creek. Sign on the left.
Fallen Creek. Sign on the left.
I turned around in the Post Office parking lot and headed back toward Nashville.
Fallen Creek. Sign on the left.
W.B. Fallen Creek. Sign on the left.
Muddy Fork. Sign on the left.
The signs on the RIGHT side must be over other bodies of water. Or either perched between my AHD friend’s ears and lodged in his imagination.
Maybe somebody out there knows why the signs are placed as they are. And maybe that same person can tell me if anyone has seen The Gurdon Light lately.
THINGS I LEARNED from reading e-mail: If you stop getting thirsty, you need to drink more water. When a human body is dehydrated, its thirst mechanism shuts off.
ANIMAL CRACKERS. This is the time of year when we frequently see rivers of blackbirds bobbing and weaving over the treetops. On my walk Saturday morning, a looooong black wave flew over my heard and settled in some neighborhood trees. They surrounded one lonesome crow which was already sitting in the tree. A funny thing about those blackbirds. When they fly overhead they’re silent. As soon as they land they put up a din of chirping and squawking.
When the crow had enough of the massed blackbird and their noise it flew away, and the huge flock of blackbirds immediately also rose from the cluster of trees. They did not follow the crow.
FOR THE FIFTH YEAR in a row, Sophia is the most popular name for newborn girls. For the second year in a row, Jackson is the most popular name for newborn boys. (Source: LikeScience)
HE SAID: “There are some people who want to throw their arms round you simply because it is Christmas; there are other people who want to strangle you simply because it is Christmas.” Robert Staughton Lynd, sociologist
SHE SAID: “Giving is a really big thing around Christmas, as well it should be. Christmas is about giving, and it all stems from the greatest gift the world has ever received — the gift of Jesus Christ.” Monica Johnson, screenwriter


Young scientist with Nashville ties tells students of his work

FAMILY GATHERING. Members of Taylor Wilson’s family attended his presentation Nov. 19 at Nashville High School. The group includes Joey Wilson, Tiffany Wilson, Kenneth Wilson, Cameron Reese, Grace Reese, Cayse Reese, Taylor Wilson, Elizabeth Overton and Superintendent Doug Graham.

By John R. Schirmer
Leader staff
From nuclear research to “The Big Bang Theory,” just about any topic related to science turned out to be fair game Nov. 19 for an unusual assembly at Nashville High School.
Taylor Wilson, 20, who has garnered national and international recognition for his nuclear work, spoke to students ranging in age from elementary school through high school seniors in a one-hour session at Scrapper Arena.
Although Wilson never attended school in Nashville, the presentation was almost a homecoming in some respects. Nashville connections could be found throughout the arena.
Wilson’s father, Kenneth Wilson, is a graduate of Nashville High School, where he played football for the Scrappers. His grandparents, the late Ramon and Nelda Wilson, were active in numerous community, school and church activities. Kenneth Wilson is president of the Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper Bottling Co. of Nashville, which the Wilson family has operated for more than 100 years.
The Wilsons donate to the NHS Scholarship Fund each year, Superintendent Doug Graham said during his introduction of Taylor. When the arena was constructed, the Wilsons provided the scoreboard for the facility. They helped with the renovation of Scrapper Stadium in 2009.
With that backdrop, Graham introduced Taylor Wilson as “the youngest American nuclear scientist to fuse the atom. He did this in his garage.”
Wilson described the project later in his presentation.
Graham reeled off a lengthy list of Wilson’s accomplishments. He attended Davidson Academy of Nevada and the University of Nevado at Reno.
He was invited to the White House and honored by President Barack Obama.
NBC anchor Brian Williams recognized Wilson as “the boy wonder.”
Wilson was selected for a Peter Thiel Fellowship, named for the Founder of PayPal. The fellowship “pays students not to go to college and to work on specific projects,” Graham said.
Wilson was a speaker at the National Energy Summit, where he addressed matters related to national defense.
He has been featured on CNN and in magazines such as Popular Science, Mental Floss, Rotarian and Atlantic Monthly.
Wilson told the audience about accomplishing nuclear fusion in his garage before he was 14. He said the Internet and its vast collection of information played a key role in his work.
Curiosity has driven Wilson in much of his work. He told the students that curiosity could lead them to find out why classmates were all sick on the same day, just as it led to his nuclear research.
Wilson’s opening remarks took about 10 minutes, and the remainder of the time was devoted to questions from the audience. He urged the students to delve into the liberal arts in addition to scientific studies.
Noting that scientists sometimes have trouble communicating their work to others, Wilson said students should work on their writing skills and speaking skills in order to make presentations over what they are doing.
Wilson’s responses to students’ questions were based on the student’ ages, and he found ways to connect with the entire audience. At the end of the program, he fielded what could have been viewed as a frivolous question about being compared to a TV character. He used the question as an opportunity to tell about his visit to the set of “The Big Bang Theory,” where he found that a Geiger counter on one of the shelves actually contained a small amount of radioactive material, which he safely removed.
Afterward, Wilson stayed around to visit students and answer more questions.

Delight elementary teachers achieve major goal together

Kayla Kuykendall & Racheal Kidd

By John Balch
Leader staff
Kayla Kuykendall and Racheal Kidd went to grade school and graduated college together. They now teach next door to each other at Delight Elementary School. It is only fitting the two educators have now reached a top honor together in becoming National Board Certified Teachers.
Kuykendall, who teaches first grade, and Kidd, who teaches kindergarten, both received the national certification for Early Childhood Generalist, a goal the two teachers said they had been after a long time and worked toward for 400 to 600 hours from November 2013 to May 2014.
“It was the hardest thing I have done for my career,” Kidd said, who learned of the certification in college and set her mind to becoming “the best teacher I could be.”
“It was also important for me to achieve this goal so I could tell my daughter to always follow her dreams no matter how hard or scary they may be.”
Kidd’s colleague echoed her statement and added, “I wanted to be a better, more challenging teacher to all students who enter my classroom so I went for it and I made it! It was the most rigorous and time consuming thing I’ve ever done as far as professional growth, but I am very happy I did it!.”
The two teachers joins the ranks of four other SPCSD educators who have received National Board Certification. Other certified teachers include Misty Kizzia, Laura Hughes, Carie Maroon and Melissa Jones.
“I think it is great Kayla and Racheal have gone through the process to become National Board Certified,” said SPCSD Superintendent Roger Featherston. “It is quite an accomplishment that involves a great deal of extra training and work. It is definitely an honor for these individuals and our school district.”
National Board Certification, which has to be renewed every 10 years, is the highest credential in the teaching profession and is a voluntary assessment program designed to develop, retain and recognize accomplished teachers, and to embed ongoing improvements in schools nationwide, according to the Arkansas Department of Education’s website.
“While state teacher credentialing programs set the basic requirements to teach in each state, National Board Certified Teachers must demonstrate advanced teaching knowledge, skills and practices. Completion of National Board Certification signifies that teachers have developed and demonstrated the skills required of an accomplished education professional.”
The two teachers went to school together from kindergarten through 12th grade and then both attended Henderson State University. Kuykendall went on to earn her master’s degree in education from Southern Arkansas University while Kidd stayed at HSU to earn her master’s degree for education in English as a second language.
Kuykendall and Kidd are both in their seventh year with the South Pike County district.
“We both developed a deeper understanding of children and how they learn and our teaching practices,” Kuykendall said. “We both love teaching and working with kids. Seeing them grow over the year is very rewarding. Teaching next door to each other is a bonus.”
South Pike County School District’s NBCTs also earn an annual $1,000 bonus.
To achieve certification, the teachers had to complete four portfolio entries with two video lessons: literacy, math/science/technology, social studies/social skill/art, and professional accomplishments. They also took six computer-based assessments focusing on all subjects including child’s play and health and physical education.
“I want to welcome you to the growing ranks of National Board Certified Teachers who are transforming the profession,” Ronald Thorpe, Jr., president and CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, wrote in letters to Kuykendall and Kidd.
“In this regard, you are a pioneer, as NBCTs still represent only a small fraction of our teaching workforce.”

Scrappers fall to Sand Lizards in Class 4A quarterfinals

AFTER THE GAME. Coach Billy Dawson talks to the Scrappers following the 35-19 loss to Dardenelle in the state playoffs.

By John R. Schirmer
Leader staff
The season ended for the Nashville Scrappers Friday night as they lost to Dardanelle 35-19 in the state Class 4A quarterfinals at Scrapper Stadium.
Dardanelle entered the game as the top-ranked team in Class 4A, and the Scrappers were second, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The Scrappers (10-2) ended the season ranked fifth.
The game appeared to begin well for the Scrappers, when Justin Summers recovered an onside kick and the Sand Lizard 39-yardline. The Scrappers moved toward the goalline, but a deflected pass resulted in an interception by Dardanelle.
Nashville’s defense stopped the Sand Lizards to force a punt. From there, the Scrappers scored on a 7-yard pass from Leonard Snell to Brady Bowden with 4:58 left in the first quarter.
After that early TD, however, Dardanelle would put up 28 points before the Scrappers would score again.
The Sand Lizards scored twice in the second quarter, once in the third and once in the fourth before the Scrappers put up their last two touchdowns.
De’ajeon Armstrong scored early in the fourth quarter on a 54-yard pass from Snell. Nashville’s final TD of the game came on a 30-yard pass from Snell to Trey Hughes with 2:07 left on the clock.
The Sand Lizards put up their final TD late in the game.
“They played well,” Coach Billy Dawson said of the Sand Lizards. “They were exactly what we thought they were. We knew we had to tackle their quarterback. We knew we had to hold onto the ball and score. We had opportunities early and didn’t take advantage of them.”
Dawson cited penalties and the deflected pass in the endzone as key factors in the game. “We had some chances and some plays we didn’t make.”
Dardanelle quarterback Kristian Thompson ran the ball for 234 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also passed for another TD. “It was hard to tackle Thompson,” Dawson said.
Dardanelle “made a few plays. We didn’t make the plays. That’s the difference.”
Snell led the Scrapper offense with 122 yards rushing and 281 passing. He completed 24 of 49 passes for 3 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Two came on deflected passes.
Hughes had 9 catches for 98 yards and a TD. Bowden made 6 catches for 60 yards and a TD. Armastrong had 2 catches for 75 yards and a touchdown.
La’Michael Pettway had six catches for 50 yards.
Dardanelle will host Warren in a semifinal game Friday night. The other semifinal will find Malvern at Mena.
With the season completed, Dawson said the Scrappers will take this week to “clean up and get everything stored. We’ll start testing when we get back. It’s time to start over.”
Dawson said the coaching staff will “evaluate some things. We’ll do a self-evaluation and see where we are.”
The Scrappers won the District 7-4A championship and were the district’s top seed in the state playoffs.
The team was led by “a good senior class. I enjoyed this bunch as much as any I’ve had. I hate to see it end,” Dawson said.

Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: A Serving of Crow & The Gurdon Light

Serving of Crow, Please
I’LL HAVE A large helping of crow, please.
Well, my anti-Hog rant last week has presented me with an opportunity to dine on the traditional dish of roasted crow, just before Thanksgiving.
Both of my regular readers will recall the golden words about my disgust for the Hogs and being a loyal fair-weather football fan.
A week or so earlier, part way through the Georgia game, when my disgust level was at a two-year high, I went out into my front yard and ripped up the flagpole and the swell Razorback flapping flag. Then I took down the banner which was hung over my front door. I threw the flag and flagpole into a dark corner of the storage room, and I wadded up the front door banner and put it with the dust bunnies under a chest. I said that I’d put them back up IF Arkansas somehow managed to beat Ole Miss last Saturday.
Make that an extra large helping, please.
Sunday afternoon I hung the front door banner again. Then I went out into the middle of the front yard and pounded a length of steel rebar which I had used to support the flagpole. Took some old garbage bag ties and snugged the flagpole to the rebar.
I heard an unmistakeable Hog call. It was a neighbor who had watched me get down on my knees to affix the garbage bag ties to the flagpole.
Unfortunately he then went inside and therefore was unable to observe me trying to get back on my feet. Being old, stiff and rotund, I finally had to lay flat on the muddy yard and roll to the front steps where I managed to grab aholt of a shrub and pull myself up to a standing position. I was quite muddy and was gasping from the effort. I looked for my neighbor and thank goodness he apparently didn’t observe this performance.
30-0. It was worth it.
Sunday night the wind blew the flagpole over. I’m not getting down on my knees in the mud again, so I’ll have to come up with some other way to hoist the Hog banner.
But my congratulations to the coaches and players for getting that SEC loss monkey off my back.
In the newspaper’s football picking feature, however, I have picked Missouri simply because after that Georgia loss I vowed never to pick the Porkers again.
THINGS I LEARNED from reading e-mail:
Glass takes one million years to decompose, which means it never wears out and can be recycled an infinite amount of times.
MY BUCKET LIST. I have removed overseas sites from the list of places that I want to see before I die. Among them — the Pyramids in Egypt; the Sistine Chapel in Rome; the Taj Mahal in India; and Stonehenge in England. I just will not fly anymore because it is too much trouble here in the USA, and it is too dangerous elsewhere.
I regret that I won’t see those places.
So, I must content myself with seeing places in the USA where I can drive. In 2015 I hope to see some of the National Parks out in Utah. Either that, or some showgirls in Vegas.
There was an article about one of my abandoned Bucket List sites in the Texarkana newspaper, Sunday. I had no idea that more than 6 million visitors each year walk through the Sistine Chapel to see Michelangelo’s famous ceiling and the other precious art.
So many visitors breathing in oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide changes the atmosphere inside of the old building. The chemical change in the air has resulted in a ‘whitening’ of the frescoes. Vatican officials apparently had kept news of the damage to the ceiling secret until a solution was found and applied. The Vatican has also installed new air condition and filtration systems, along with some sensors to detect when dangerous high levels of pollution and moisture occur. Such is the responsibility for possession of these universal treasures. If you visit the Sistine Chapel, you might be asked to share in the responsibility for maintaining the treasures. American Express and VISA accepted.
The officials have also announced that in an effort to cut down on the painting pollution they will not let more than 6 million visitors a year trapse through the chapel.
My late uncle Jack Graves used to encourage me to go see the chapel while I was young enough for the journey. He had seen it a number of times. I always pleaded poverty and a shortage of time.
If he was still here I could use the cutback in number of visitors as a reason for not going.
HE SAID: “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” Lao Tzu, Chinese poet and philosopher
SHE SAID: “My cooking is so bad my kids thought Thanksgiving was to commemorate Pearl Harbor.” Phyllis Diller, commedian
The Gurdon Light
THANKS TO the Scrapper players, fans, coaches, cheerleaders, the marching band and school administration for another swell football season. The whole state knows Nashville for its football excellence, community support and good sportsmanship.
Our team played hard, but they just ran into a buzzsaw in the playoff quarterfinal game.
There is no disgrace in losing to a team like Dardanelle. I’ll predict they’ll win the class 4A championship.
THINGS I LEARNED from reading e-mail: Your tongue is the only muscle in your body that is attached at only one end.
AN ARKY ROAD TRIP. Had daughter here for Thanksgiving and she suggested that since the weather was so balmy, Saturday night would be a good time to go look for ‘The Gurdon Light.’
I’ve made about a dozen trips to those infamous railroad tracks outside of Gurdon, and Julie has been with me on about four of them. My first trip to see the light was with our own John Balch about four years ago. We really saw something. It was like a bright white lantern swinging side-to-side, and it appeared to be coming down the tracks in our direction. John said that if it continued to move toward us he was going to push me down and outrun me back to the safety of our buggy which was parked out on the highway.
Then a few months later, I made a trip with Julie and former police chief Larry Yates. We sat out on a railroad trestle about a half-mile down the tracks for about an hour. The only thing we saw were some tiny, blinking pale blue lights on the banks of a small creek. They were unexplainable, so I guess technically we did see the ‘Light.’ It just wasn’t the bright, white, scary one.
Julie and I made several other unsuccessful trips to the tracks over the years.
This past weekend she was in despair about finally seeing the Light, So, even though I wanted to watch Alabama whup Auburn, Saturday night, I found myself on the dark road to Gurdon.
We went through Antoine and turned onto State Highway 53 at Hollywood. It’s a good but dark and curvy road which eventually takes you over the Interstate. After that crossing, you stay on the road for about three miles until you come to the place where the railroad tracks USED to cross the road.
The tracks have been taken up, now, and the railroad ties have been tossed aside into the ditch. You can tell, however, where the tracks used to be. There is a convenient parking spot. It’s much easier to walk down the railroad bed now because it’s just fairly smooth gravel. We crossed two trestles and they were still in good shape. On the old roadbed, however, weeds sometimes brushed against our hands. Was it weeds, or was it some creepy creature reaching out for us? We we were both jumpy, anyway, no matter  how brave we acted. We walked through odd pockets of air where the temperature dropped at least five degrees. Really noticeable.
The track bed takes you past an old cemetery, and that doesn’t help. The air was really fresh and we could smell the trees. Overhead, the stars were bright when they weren’t hidden by scudding clouds. The quarter moon was so bright that we could walk without using our flashlights.
We had agreed to limit our stay to a half hour, and that time finally came without us having seen anything. It’s funny how the walk back to the buggy always seems so much longer than the way in. We occasionally glanced back over our shoulders just to make sure we weren’t missing a Light show.
On the drive home we both found ourselves scratching invisible bites, so there may have been some little critters out there in the dark.
I told Julie that I was fearful that the nearby clear-cutting, and the removal of the iron rails and old ties might have changed the atmosphere of the place so much that there are no more Light sightings.
If you know of anyone who has seen the Light in recent years let me know, please.
HE SAID: “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” Vince Lombardi, football coach
SHE SAID: “When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” Harriet Beecher Stowe, author


Obituaries (Week of Nov. 24 & Dec. 1, 2014)

Week of Nov. 24, 2014
Minnie Evelene
Cooley Roberts
Minnie Evelene Cooley Roberts, 96, of Nashville, died Monday, Nov. 17, 2014 in Nashville.
She was born Aug. 24, 1918 in the Tokio community to the late Jessie and Ellen Hutson Cooley. She was a member of First Baptist Church. She taught the Girls Auxiliary class at First Baptist for several years.
She was preceded in death by: her husband, Isom Edwin Roberts; a daughter, Edna Mae Markham; and a son, Christopher Roberts; two sisters, Mildred Treat and Bert Walston; two brothers, Jack and Ralph Cooley.
Survivors include: a son, Harold Conrad Roberts of Topeka, Ks.; three daughters, Betty Ann Doyle Oliver of Fort Smith, Ark., Mary Ellen Wood of Milwaukee, Wisc., and Joyce Teague of Nashville; two brothers, Verl Cooley of Florida, and Clarence Cooley of North Carolina; also grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
Services were Friday, Nov. 21, 2014 at 2 p.m. at Nashville Funeral Home with Bro. Billy Sanders and Bro. David Blase officiating. Interment followed in Unity Cemetery under the direction of Nashville Funeral Home. The family received friends at the funeral home on Thursday from 6-8 p.m. Send an online sympathy message to
Odell Jeanes
Odell Jeanes, 95, of Nashville, died Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014.
He was born April 20, 1919 in Howard County, the son of the late Johnny Milburn Jeanes and Roxie Mae Hodges Jeanes.
He was a highly-decorated US Army veteran of WWII who participated in many battles in the Pacific Theatre.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Sibbie Jeanes; two brothers; and three sisters.
Survivors include: two sons, Jimmy Jeanes of Ozan, and John Earnest Jeans of Little Rock; also two grandchildren.
Services were on Friday, Nov. 21, 2014 in Latimer Funeral Home Chapel in Nashville with Bro. James Harris officiating. Burial followed in Saratoga Cemetery under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home, Nashville.
Visitation was on Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014, from 6-8 p.m. at the funeral home.
Send an online sympathy message at
Willa Dean Miller
Willa Dean Miller, 72 of Delight, Ark., went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014 at her home.
Willa Dean was born Jan. 9, 1942 in McCaskill, Ark., to the late Spurgeon and Tiny (Kersey) Bell.
Mrs. Miller was a baptist and a member of the Bowen Community Church. She was an awesome cook and always enjoyed having her family around.  For more than 28 years she was a nurse. She was an avid camper and truly enjoyed those moments.
Survivors include: her husband of 42 years, Larry Miller of Delight, Ark.; three daughters, Theresa (Kevin) McLelland of Delight, Ark.; Bobbie (Dewayne) Ivie of Bradford, Ark.; Stacey (Ray) Modisette of Stamps, Ark.; one son, Jim (Nikki) Miller of Jacksonville, Ark.; 12 grandchildren, Autumn Self, Cain Lamb, Matthew and Audra McLelland, Jeremy Chambers, Whitney Livermon, Greg Davis, Kirby Hughes, Mitchell, Ryan, and Rachel Modisette, and Aimsley Miller.; 8 great-grandchildre,n Payten Diffee, Chesney Self, Cameron Campbell, Lilly and Jolie McLelland, Harleigh and Jay (Gus) Livermon and Karson Davis; also a number of nieces, nephews, a large extended family and friends.
Funeral services were at 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014 at the Latimer Funeral Home Chapel in Murfreesboro with Bro. Tom Ray and Bro. Mike Turner officiating, with burial to follow in Delight Cemetery.
Visitation was 6-8 p.m., Friday, Nov. 21, at the Latimer Funeral Home Chapel in Murfreesboro.
You may send an online sympathy message at
Marjorie Elaine Reed
Puckett Jacques
Marjorie Elaine Reed Puckett Jacques, 98, of Brinkley died Friday, Nov. 21, 2014, at Brinkley.
She was born Dec. 29, 1915, at Milford, Mo., to the late Chester A. Arthur Reed and Leona Kirkendall Reed.
She was preceded in death by brothers Chester, Charles, Ward, and Doyle; a sister, Martha; her first and second husbands, Burgess Puckett and T.S. Jacques; sons, David Puckett and Michael Puckett, infant daughters Jean and June Puckett; and a granddaughter.
She was a member of Chapel Hill Church of Christ at Nashville.
Survivors include: sons, Madison Puckett of Nashville, Herbert Puckett of Wichita, Ks., Bryan Keith Puckett of Nashville, and Thomas Jacques and his wife, Katie, of Brinkley.
Services were held Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, at Latimer Funeral Home in Nashville, with burial following at Restland Memorial Park in Nashville.
Send an online sympathy message at
James Allen
‘Bo’ Bissell
James Allen Bissell,  84, of Nashville, died Friday, Nov. 21, 2014.
He was born March 13, 1930, to the late Fred and Irene (Reeder) Bissell in Nashville.
He was a Korean War veteran, and retired from Southwestern Electric Power Co. after 38 years. He was a member of Immanuel Baptist Church.
Survivors include: his wife of nearly 60 years, Rose Barber Bissell; two daughters, Pamela Marlar and husband, Albert, of Sheridan, and Patty Baker and husband, Winfred, of Covington, La; a son, Jeffrey Bissell of Ormond Beach, Fla.; also grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Visitation was Monday, Nov. 24, 2014 from 6-8 p.m. at Latimer Funeral Home.
Services were Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014 at 11 a.m. at Latimer Funeral Home. Burial followed at Restland Memorial Park in Nashville.
Send an online sympathy message at
Ted Arlan Green
Ted Arlan Green, 73, of Hope, Ark., died Saturday, Nov. 22 at his home.
He was born Aug. 17, 1941 in Dierks, Ark., the son of the late Marvin and Grace Newton Green.
He was preceded in death by a sister, Carol Quinonez.
He served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. He was a member of the Church of Christ. He loved the Lord and was an outgoing man who never met a stranger. He would to out of his way to help anyone, and was much loved by his family and friends. He loved tending his garden and watching it grow. He loved fishing and flea markets.
Survivors include: his wife, Shirley; four sons, Danniel Herring of Hope, Mark Green and wife, Kay of Prescott, Ariz., John Breazeal of Lake Geneva, Wisc., and Glenn Breazeal of Phoenix, Ariz.; three brothers, David Green and wife, Nancy, of Portland, Ore., Joe Green ad wife Liz, of Nashville and Dennis Green and wife, Karen, of Nashville; two sisters, DiAnn Wofford and Mary Woodruff, both of Nashville. He is also survived by a host of grandchildren, nieces and  nephews.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at 2 p.m. at First Christian Church in Nashville, with Bro. Josh McDonald officiating.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice of Texarkana in memory of Ted Green.
Week of Dec. 1, 2014
Emma Woods
Emma Woods, 71, of Murfreesboro, Ark., passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014 in her home.
She was born on June 6, 1943, the daughter of the late Floyd Chandler and Daisy Pearl (Woodall) Chandler.
Mrs. Woods was a member of the First Baptist Church of Murfreesboro, the Wings group and Sunday school class.
In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by one sister, Charlotte Coker.
Survivors include: three daughters, Darla Stamps of Murfreesboro, Ark., Angala Shelton and husband, Mickey, of Murfreesboro, Ark., and Sherril Lowrey and husband, Chad, of Lewisville, Texas; two brothers-in-law, Donny Woods and wife, Sue, and William Woods and wife, Zona; one sister-in-law, Donnell Woods; and three grandchildren, Catherine Plunk, Austin Hignight and Awdra Hignight, and a host of nieces and nephews and other family members and friends mourn her passing.
Visitation was on Friday, Nov. 28, 2014 from 6-8 p.m. at the Latimer Funeral Home chapel in Murfreesboro.
Services were at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, with visitation from 10 a.m. to service time at the First Baptist Church in Murfreesboro with Bro. Jerry Hill and Bro. Johnny Baker officiating. Burial followed at Mt. Tabor Cemetery near Nashville under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home, Murfreesboro.
You may send an online sympathy message to
Lance Robert Ward
Lance Robert Ward, 38, of Nashville died Monday, Nov. 17, 2014.
He was born Dec. 10, 1975, in Manhattan, Kans., to Bob and Judy Ward.
Survivors include: his parents, Bob and Judy Ward of Nashville; two sisters, Nicole Griffin of Montgomery, Ala., and Miranda Lewis of Junction City, Kans.; a daughter, Neveah Jimenez of Oklahoma City, Okla.
A memorial service was held at Cross Point Cowboy Church in Nashville, on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014.
Steven E. Holton
Steven E. Holton, age 66, of Dierks, died Monday, Nov. 24, 2014.
He was born Aug. 12, 1948 in Auburn, Wash., the son of the late Homer Earl Holton and Tressa Winona Tyner Holton.
He was retired from Weyerhaeuser after 32 years. He was a volunteer and former chief of the Green’s Chapel Volunteer Fire Department.
Survivors include: a brother, Dale Silvey of Mojave Valley, Ariz.; a sister, Sherrie Stinson of Lake Tapps, Wash.; also grandchildren.
Graveside services were Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014 in the Green’s Chapel Cemetery near Dierks with Billy Golden and Pete Pedron officiating.
Visitation was Friday, 6-8 p.m. at the funeral home. Arrangements were under the direction of Davis-Smith Funeral Home, Glenwood.
Guest registry is at
Pedro Saldivar
Pedro Saldivar, 62, of De Queen, died Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014, in Little Rock.
He was born Sept. 24, 1952, in Reynosa, Mexico, to the late Ignacio Saldivar and Guadalupe Perez. He was a member of St. Barbara’s Catholic Church in De Queen where he was a musician.
He was preceded in death by a sister.
Survivors include: his wife, Carolyn Couch Herrod Salidivar of De Queen; a son, Pedro Saldivar of Las Vegas, Nev.; five daughters, Sonia Perez of Berryville, Adriana Saldivar of De Queen, Imelda Taylor of Berryville, Cindy Mashburn of Nashville, and JoDee Turner of Cowhide Cove; five brothers, a sister, and grandchildren.
A Rosary service was held at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 28, in the Chandler Funeral Home Chapel in De Queen, and a Mass of Christian burial was at St. Barbara’s Catholic Church on Saturday, Nov. 29 with Father Juan Manjaerrez officiating. Burial was in Biggs Chapel Cemetery near Nathan.
Send a sympathy message at
Sarah Margaret Bissell Lay
Sarah Margaret Bissell Lay, 87 of Nashville, Ark., passed away on Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014 in Nashville, Ark. She was born Nov. 15, 1927 in Nashville, Ark., the daughter of the late Fred and Irene Reeder Bissell.
Mrs. Lay was a longtime member of the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church and taught Children’s Sunday School for many years. She worked as a librarian and teacher’s aide for the Fouke and Delight Public Schools.
She was preceded in death by her husband Garland Webb Lay; her son, Michael Garland Lay; a brother, James Allen Bissell; and a sister, Rena Mae Bissell.
Survivors include: two daughters, Peggy Mills and husband, Shane, of Texarkana, Ark.; Janet O’Neal of Nashville, Ark.; a daughter-in-law Charlotte Lay of Texarkana, Ark.; five grandchildren, Cassie Booth and husband, Ben, of Fayetteville, Ark.; Cale Mills of Nashville, Tenn.; Meredith Hale of Texarkana, Ark.; Abby Cortez and husband, Hector, of Nashville, Ark; Emily O’Neal of Nashville, Ark.; four great-grandchildren, McKenzi Hale of Texarkana, Ark.; Whitley and Brady Booth of Fayetteville, Ark.; and the soon arrival of Sofia Margaret Cortez; also, one brother, Reeder Bissell and wife, Katherine, of Longview, Texas; a sister-in-law, Rose Bissell of Nashville, Ark.; and a number of extended family.
Visitation was 6-8 p.m., Monday, Dec. 1, at Latimer Funeral Home in Nashville.
 Services were at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 2, at the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in Nashville, with Randy Hughes and Jerry Smith officiating. Burial followed at Restland Memorial Park under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home in Nashville.
The family will be at the home of Charlotte Lay 1591 Mt. Pleasant Dr., Nashville, AR.
Memorials may be made to the Howard County Public Library, 426 N. Main, Suite 5, Nashville, AR. 71852 or any charity of your choice.
You may send an online sympathy message at,.
Peter Russell Darling
Peter Russell Darling, age 64, of Fayetteville, Ark., went to be with God on Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014.
He was born in Lubbock, Texas, to Pete and Martha Darling on Nov. 17, 1950. “Rusty” was preceded in death by his mother, Martha Darling, and his brother, Hal Darling.
Those who will be remembering his quick wit and warm spirit include his wife, Michelle Darling; his father, Pete Darling (Phyllis); his four daughters, Kara Darling (Jaime Hernandez) of North Glenn, Colo., Leta Darling (David Reese), Casee Darling (Ricardo Martinez), and Audre Darling (Nathan Puckett), all of Fayetteville, Ark.; two sisters, Janie Darling (Tim) of Saratoga, Ark., and Leanna Coats of Webberville, Mich.; seven grandchildren and a host of friends and family.
Visitation was scheduled for 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014 at Moore’s Chapel in Fayetteville, Ark., and 5-7 p.m. Thursday at Nashville Funeral Home in Nashville, Ark.
Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m., Friday at Nashville Funeral Home. Burial will be in Corinth Cemetery.
To sign the online guest book, visit
Alphonzo Edwin
Britton, Sr.
Alphonzo Edwin Britton, Sr., 74, of Hot Springs died, Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014.
He was preceded in death by his parents, King and Floatie Givens Britton, and his siblings Howard, Arthur, Johnny, King, Jr., Walter, his twin, Alonzo, Nellie Kilpatrick and Elnora Parker.
Survivors include: his wife, Flora Mae Britton of Hot Springs; his children, Annette Maxine of Las Vegas, Nev., Kim Boles and Tanya King, both of Nashville, Alphonzo Britton, Jr., of Forest City, and Ezell Woods of Hot Springs; a brother, Johnny Britton of Fla.; also grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Funeral services were scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014 at Roanoke Baptist Church, 315 Whittington Street, Hot Springs, with Rev. Leon Massey and Rev. Douglas E. Jones officiating.
Burial will follow in Friendship Cemetery. Arrangements by Carrigan Memorial Funeral Services.

Scrappers open state playoffs at home against Prairie Grove

By John R. Schirmer
Leader staff
The Nashville Scrappers will play their first game in the state Class 4A playoffs Friday night against a familiar foe from Northwest Arkansas, Prairie Grove.
Kickoff at Scrapper Stadium will be at 7 p.m. The kickoff time was established statewide by the Arkansas Activities Association.
Admission for students and adults will be $6 as set by the AAA.
Prairie Grove “has a really good program,” Scrapper Coach Billy Dawson said. “They do a really good job of what they do. They’ve been very successful. Coach Danny Abshier is in his 25th year and he does a really good job. Prairie Grove plays physical at the point of attack.”
The Tigers eliminated the Scrappers from the playoffs two years ago on a frigid November night in Northwest Arkansas. This year’s Scrapper seniors were sophomores then, and the underclassmen were in junior high. “They’ve heard about it. They’ve listened to the older players,” Dawson said, “but these are two different teams now for us and for them.”
The game will be played in a different setting, Scrapper Stadium. “It will be different here. They play really well at home. I hope we do,” Dawson said.
Prairie Grove (7-3, 5-2) averages 35 points per game on offense while giving up 20 points per game.
The Scrappers (9-1, 6-1) average 39.1 points per game on offense and give up 15.4 points per game on defense.
Dawson said there are “lots of seniors” on the Tigers’ roster, including 7 senior starters on defense.
Dawson saw Prairie Grove come from behind to defeat Lonoke 41-24 Friday night in the opening round game at Prairie Grove. The Tigers trailed 24-14 at one point before coming back and taking the victory.
Offensively, the Tigers are led by quarterback Ryan Merrell (6-2, 200). “He’s much like the Fountain Lake kid only bigger. He will throw it deep,” Dawson said.
Merrell’s targets include wide receiver Elliott Chamberlain and tight end Dylan Sachmer.
“He’ll throw to those two,” according to Dawson.
“Their main cat is Bobby Catt (5-10, 205),” Dawson said of the Tigers. The senior “is their guy. They’ll give it to him a bunch.”
Fullback Eli Lopez averages 15 carries per game. Blake Faulk (6-0, 195) picks up 5 or 6 carries per game.
“They have a great system,” Dawson said. “They do what they do in the Wing T, and they do a lot of different things.”
Defensively, the Tigers play a 3-man front and “like to bring pressure. They’ll show a lot of different looks with a lot of different pressures.”
Dakota Hutchinson is the team leader on defense, Dawson said. “He’s an emotional guy.”
Prairie Grove will “rotate a bunch of guys around. They have a lot of seniors who have played a lot of ball. They’re a big blitz team with a lot of different fronts. They rely on their athleticism.”
The Tigers are “pretty good on special teams. They will come after your punter. They’re a solid team,” Dawson said.
The Tigers finished third in their conference with losses to Pea Ridge and Shiloh Christian.
Dawson said the Scrapper defense will have to “have a big play on first down and get off the field on third down.”
The Tigers will “hit us for a negative play. We hope we hit them with a big one on offense. We’ll take 4 yards when we can get it, then hope we bust a long one.”
The keys for the Scrappers include turnovers and penalties, Dawson said. “We have to take care of the football.”
The Nashville offensive line “will have to do a good job up front. We’ll have to get our eyes on where they go.”
The Scrappers took advantage of last week’s first-round bye “and got some guys healthy. We got some of the game plan in. We’ll continue with the game plan and clean it up. We want to stay healthy this week.”
The Scrappers practiced Tuesday night and at their regular times this week.
The winner of Friday night’s game will face the winner of the game between Dardanelle and Hamburg.
The Scrappers are ranked number 2 in Class 4A by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Dardanelle is the top-ranked team in class 4A.

Restoring History: Murfreesboro’s Hawkins Variety Store back after major makeover

OPENING DAY. Customers visit Hawkins Variety Store Monday in Murfreesboro.

By John Balch
Leader staff
“Diamond John Huddleston probably stood right here.”
DeWayne Gray is standing in the middle of Hawkins Variety Store thinking about the local legend who is credited with finding the first Murfreesboro diamonds in 1906. “It’s really quite amazing when you stop and think about it.”
Huddleston’s glittering find set off a “diamond rush” and subsequent construction boom in the Pike County town. By the summer of 1909, the Owens-Stelle Building was completed on the corner of the Murfreesboro town square. The building has housed Hawkins Variety Store since 1943, operated then by Buel Hawkins’ parents. Buel and his bride, Sarah, took over the business when he returned from the war in 1945 and ran the business until the Hawkins leased the building and the Hawkins brand to Gray – with an option to buy. (Gray also owns the connecting Stelle portion of the building, which now houses Southern Specialties Fine Jewelry, as well as the old Hawkins furniture store, also nearby on the square.)
“There is a lot of history on this corner,” Gray said back in early October as he and his wife, Francy, worked late into the night toward a November reopening date.
The store was officially opened to customers Monday, Nov. 17, putting an “old but new” spin on the business that clings in many memories and the local history books. (An official grand opening was planned for Hawkins Variety Store on Saturday, Nov. 22.)
DeWayne, 48, has always known Hawkins. His mother used to take him there as a kid to buy school supplies, and of course, sodas and candy. The business was always a town hub where one could pay electric and gas bills and even use the Western Union.
“It had everything back then,” he recalled.
Well, almost everything.
Long ago, Buel Hawkins adopted the store’s longstanding slogan, which was written across the top of the building: “We have almost everything…if you will help us find it.” The slogan may be gone from the building front, but it still applies to DeWayne and Francy’s plans and is featured prominently on the store’s T-shirts.
“We’re trying to bring back the old Hawkins memories and memorabilia,” DeWayne said of the decision to undertake a major restoration of the building. “I’ve always loved this old building and I could see the potential and historic value of the building.”
DeWayne and Francy briefly stepped away from Hawkins when they leased the building and the Hawkins brand to Chris and Theresa Sharp. The Sharps operated the business with a more modern approach until Theresa lost a short battle with cancer. The Grays took back over in April of 2014 and have been deep in restoration ever since.
“Hawkins is an institution and a destination,” DeWayne said. “We want to keep it that way.”
The store has likely seen just as many visitors as the Crater of Diamonds State Park. Back in the day, Buel Hawkins had the walls lined with license plates from all 50 states and postcards from around the world. It was a tourist destination but also functioned to serve the townspeople.
“Our idea is to create a real working store, like an old general store, but avoid becoming a tourist trap,” said DeWayne, who again used the phrase “old but new.”
The “new” Hawkins now offers Blue Bell ice cream, a soda fountain, specialty food and sandwiches, and gourmet Columbian coffee, but also has a “kitchen corner” with houseware and cast iron items as well as a toy section like the “old” Hawkins. A loft area has also been renovated and Francy has plans to offer the space for events. There will also be a bridal registry.
In the front corner, the old Coca-Cola machine Buel himself installed years ago still offers a cold “little bottle of Coke” to visitors. “That’s even part of the history,” DeWayne said of the vintage vending machine.
DeWayne has always had an eye for history. At 18 years old, he became the youngest member to ever serve on the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives, an organization dedicated to collecting and preserving the state’s heritage and history. He was also the first president of the Pike County Archives and History Society, which he helped found in 1986.
“I’ve always been fascinated with the historical aspect of things,” DeWayne said. “I’m a big fan of historic restoration.”
There is plenty of historic aspects for DeWayne and Francy at Hawkins Variety Store. Before the building became the store’s home, it was the home of the Whitten Drugstore, and later the Oscar Baber Drugstore. The back four rooms of the building also once housed the office of Dr. W.D. Alford. There was a coal-fired water heater, hand pumps for the water and a well that was uncovered in 2011 when the back area’s floors were replaced. There was even a room likely used for surgery, well lit by sunlight from high windows that also offered some privacy.
While working to restore a glass door in the back portion of the building where Buel’s office used to be, DeWayne was scratching away several coats of paint when he noticed some words underneath. Like an archeologist discovering an ancient fossil, DeWayne slowly discovered the words “Dr. Alford. Office” on the glass.
“More history,” DeWayne said as he smiled and pointed the door face he could have easily rushed right through and effectively erased some history. Above the doors in the back portion of the building are hinged transoms that were used for ventilation.
DeWayne and Francy have also chosen to bring a part of Buel’s history to the forefront. Tucked away back in Buel’s old office space was a massive safe, which DeWayne said dates back to the early 1900s. The safe, which is still functional, was so huge that when it was rolled into view out by the main counter, it’s wheels left a indention track in the store’s wooden floors. The plan is a for a minor restoration, but not too much.
“It was hidden away but it needed to be up here where everyone can see it,” DeWayne said.
The Grays have attempted to keep everything as it was originally – from door knobs and latches, to the pine floors, to the cracks in the fading green paint on the walls, which have been sealed in time.
“We’re trying to leave everything old, but clean,” DeWayne said with a laugh. “Keep the history, but keep it clean.”
A portion of the original windows installed in 1909 still let the sunlight in the front of the building despite being covered for decades with what DeWayne later discovered was “horse hoof glue.” He has spent many hours standing high above on a ladder removing the glue, and he is still not finished.
“That about killed me,” he said.
The restoration of Hawkins Variety Store is an ongoing process and DeWayne and Francy are not sure when it will ever be complete. They know history can sometimes be a slow process.
“It’s our passion and we want to make sure it’s done right,” DeWayne said.

HISTORIC PLANS. DeWayne and Francy Gray of Murfreesboro with an old photo of the Owens-Stelle Building, the home of historic Hawkins Variety Store.


BACK IN EARLY OCTOBER work was well underway on the major restoration of Hawkins Variety Store in Murfreesboro.

Rison takes out Outlaws, 44-16

The Dierks Outlaws closed out the 2014 season with a 6-5 record after falling to the Rison Wildcats, 44-6, Friday night in Round 1 of the 2A playoffs.
The Wildcats will travel to Rector Friday for Round 2.
The Outlaws posted 201 yards of offense, including 172 on the ground and 29 via the pass. Junior Tyler Kesterson completed five of nine passes and rushed for 25 more yards and a touchdown behind fellow junior Trendin McKinney, who carried 20 times for 116 yards and also pulled down three passes for 21 yards. Kesterson’s TD run came early in the first quarter and would amount to the Outlaws’ only points of the night.
The Rison offense earned 290 total yards with 232 coming on the ground and scored 29 points in the first quarter and 15 in the second quarter before the offense went quiet for the remainder of the game. QB Crouse hit two of three passes for 58 yards and one TD, a 30-yarder late in the first quarter.
The Outlaw defense was led by Layne McWhorter and Cale Adams, who each had four solo stops. Also listed on the tackle chart was Lane Woodruff, Kesterson, Jake Green, Aaron Kesterson, Colton Strode, Peyton Frachiseur, McKinney, caleb Dunn, Jake Eudy and Andrew Hilton.


A Double Dose of Mine Creek Revelations: Feeding Monarchs & Piggy Confession

By Louie Graves
Feeding Monarchs
I AM NOT AWARE of any candidate who ran for office with the intent of bringing down our country or state. Some of them had philosophies that were quite a bit different from my own, but I believe even the most stupid of the opposition only wanted a better state and nation.
So, I congratulate all who put themselves (and their families) up for public inspection in the recent General Election. Thanks to those who won and thanks to those who didn’t.
This column did not ‘endorse’ any candidate; I recommended some personally, however. All three lost. They were still the best candidates, in my humble opinion.
So there.
I will admit that voting a straight ticket is the best way to send a message to the ‘ins’ that you don’t like what’s going on.
There’s one remaining ticklish problem for some of you.
In this county there were 1,017 people who voted against our town’s Nate Steel in his unsuccessful race for Arkansas Attorney General.
Through the power of the press I have obtained the names of those persons, and I have helpfully turned them over to Nate’s mother.
Expect a visit, soon.
KEEPING UP WITH former residents. Roy Reaves, once president of what was then Citizens National Bank here, has been elected chairman of the Board of Trustees at Harding University where he went to college eons ago. Tall Roy has been on the Harding board since 2007.
According to a school news release, he’s retired and living in Russellville.
THE GOOD EARTH. A short piece abut Monarch Butterflies in this column last week inspired our town’s Dr. John Hearnsberger to bring back some Milkweed seed pods from his trip to South Dakota where he went to fight the pheasants.
John says that milkweed is prolific in South Dakota, and he plucked some specimens out of a roadside ditch and brought ‘em home in a Walmart sack. He gave me a few pods which I’ll put out in my side yard. He says he’ll plant the rest out at his acres in hopes of attracting Monarchs next summer.
Monarch Butterflies and Caterpillars eat only milkweed. The gradual disappearance of that plant is said to be one reason Monarchs are in decline.
After I wrote the piece, I also ordered some Milkweed seeds from an Internet outfit. Instructions are to go ahead and plant them now in about 1/8-inch of soil so they can get comfortable before Spring.
If you want a few seeds, contact me. Milkweed reportedly makes nice little flowers, and neither attracts nor harms other critters.
HEARD FROM. County Veterans Services officer Milton Puryear sez he liked comments in this column last week about birthdays for the military service branches BUT he points out that I didn’t mention the oldest military branch.
According to Milton (who should know because he was probably there) the Colony’s Militia — now the National Guard — was born Dec. 16, 1636. That’s 139 years before those upstarts in the US Army, Milton sez.
SORTA LATE but important. In the August graduation exercises at UCA, John Tyler Floyd of Nashville received his Phd. in physical therapy. The school’s news release came this week.
A COMPLAINT. Monday, Nov. 10 was the 50th anniversary of the first airing of “Gunsmoke.” My ole college roomie Eddie Cobb wants to know why this isn’t a national holiday.
Marshal Matt Dillon, Miss Kitty, Doc, Chester, Festus and others are Eddie’s heroes.
ANIMAL CRACKERS. Out on my morning walk at about 6:15, Monday, I startled a deer which was browsing in Bobby Dillard’s yard in my neighborhood. It was a big doe. When she spotted me she took off through Brent Pinkerton’s yard on her way to the woods. It’s not the first time I’ve seen a deer in the neighborhood.
MORE ANIMAL CRACKERS. Getting ready to step into the shower Tuesday and luckily I looked down.
There, just waiting for a chance to bite my foot was a spider. A big spider. HUGE. MONSTEROUS.
It was as big as the hubcap of a crewcab Chevy up at Gary Dan’s place.
I washed it into the drain with a flood of hot water. And then watched the drain the whole time I showered. I was nervous that the beast would crawl up out of the drain and bite my foot.
I’m not kidding about the size, either. It was big enough to have a Tom Cotton bumper sticker across its backside.
The only good spider, snake or scorpion is a dead one.
HE SAID: “Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor, and your picture begins to lighten up.” Allen Klein, author and speaker
SHE SAID: “Scientists have demonstrated that dramatic, positive changes can occur in our lives as a direct result of facing an extreme challenge – whether it’s coping with a serious illness, daring to quit smoking, or dealing with depression. Researchers call this ‘post-traumatic growth.’ Jane McGonigal, author and game designer
Piggy Confession
It was not until there were only about three minutes left in the fourth quarter before I could relax and enjoy the Razorback win over LSU.
Why? Because I am a loyal fair-weather fan. And I was confident deep in my heart that ‘we’ would find a way to give away the game.
I usually start off the college football season by putting up a swell Razorback flag on a pole in my front yard. I also hang a Razorback banner on some hidden hooks over the front door entrance. I know for a fact that the Razorback flag is ‘swell’ because I had to pay so much for it. Sometimes I go a step further. I have four magnetic Hog signs that are put lovingly on the doors and tailgate of my buggy.
And I always go even further and wear my ‘lucky’ Razorback shirt, pants and cap.
But this year I sank into a deep despair because the team just could not avoid shooting itself in the foot and pulling defeat from the jaws of victory each week.
Finally, this loyal fair-weather fan had had enough.
Sometime during the loss to Georgia — before the game was even over — I stormed out and ripped that flag out of the ground, and tossed it unceremoniously into a dark corner of my storage room. The banner? It came down and it is still wadded up with the dust bunnies under a chest-of-drawers in the guest bedroom.
I watched the LSU game wearing blue and green plaid lounge pants and a green t-shirt. Nothing Razorback or red in sight. Or out of sight, either. I even put green food coloring in the Weight Watchers cheese dip.
I can’t believe I’m such a shallow fan. After all, I’m an alumnus and I live only 100 yards away from Liz Honey who sings those songs on ‘Youtube.’ Her snappy, patriotic lyrics are so full of hope and confidence that Arkansas will eventually prevail.
She has been the kind of fan that the UA athletic department, the coaches, other loyal fans and players dearly love.
Bah! Humbug and Humhawg, I say these days
I’ve watched the team through about eight head coaches, and I cannot remember a team that came from behind to win late in the game.
But I’ve been in the stands or clinging to the radio when we’ve lost a few. I sat in the stands for ‘that’ loss to Texas. Yes, ‘that’ one.
Please, don’t ask which other late losses. I can’t recount them without breaking into tears.
If by some miracle the Hogs defeat Ole Miss, Saturday, I promise to go back out and put up the flag. I’ll hang the banner over the front door again. I’ll get out the magnetic signs and will wear freshly-washed Razorback duds. Red peppers in the cheese dip.
That will guarantee a loss to Missouri the following week.
Remember, I said I was a LOYAL fair-weather fan. And superstitious, too.
The European Space Agency deserves a lot of credit for managing to land a probe on a comet after a 10-year journey.
Unfortunately, the whatchamightcallit that was supposed to secure the Philae Lander to the surface of the comet didn’t work, and the lander bounced a ways into space before setting down again about a half-mile from the original landing point.
Unfortunately, the new landing spot is in the shadow of a cliff and the solar batteries cannot recharge.
The upshot is that after traveling (I believe) about 4 billion miles and 10 years, the lander might not be able to send back discovery data as hoped because sunlight cannot reach the solar panels.
Still, what an accomplishment! The comet is 317 million miles from Earth, but the Europeans had to ‘slingshot’ it around Earth and Mars a few times to make it catch up to the comet.
ANIMAL CRACKERS. Both of my regular readers will remember last week’s column in which I wrote about a gigantic spider which I washed down the shower drain before it could attack my foot.
Well, Monday morning that sucker climbed back up out of the drain and it was as mad as the LSU fans were Saturday night. Also, if you can imagine, it was wearing swim fins on each of its eight feet.
I washed it down the drain again but I fully expect to see it again. Next time it may be armed.
The only good spider, snake or scorpion is one that’s on its back in the middle of the road and hasn’t moved for 12 hours.
HE SAID: “Look within. Within is the fountain of good, and it will ever bubble up, if thou wilt ever dig.” Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor and philosopher
SHE SAID: “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” Dr. Marie Curie, scientist

Thunderbirds soar over Rattlers, 32-18

TAKING ON A THUNDERBIRD. Rattler defender Jacob Jackson brings down the Cross County runner Friday night as Cameron Snowden (27) moves in to assist during Round 1 of the 2A playoffs.

It was a long, cold drive. But the game proved short as the Cross County Thunderbirds made quick work of beating the Murfreesboro Rattlers, 32-18, in the opening round of the Class 2A playoffs.
The Thunderbirds advanced to Round 2 and will host the Poyen Indians, who beat Marked Tree, 32-26, in the opening round. The Rattlers close out the season with a 7-4 record.
The Thunderbirds racked up 414 yards on offense, including 336 on the ground, while their defense held the Rattlers scoreless for the first half and to just under 200 total yards of offense. Cross County’s offense was led by Anfernee Davis, who rushed at-will around the Rattlers for 271 yards on 29 carries and three touchdowns. The T-Bird passing game collected 78 yards on four of eight passes.
The Rattlers’ 198 yards of offense included senior quarterback Alex Kennedy hitting 11 of 22 passes for 182 yards, one touchdown and one interception. The Rattler receivers included the senior trio of Jacob Jackson with seven catches for 91 yards, Christian Eckert with two for 76 yards and one TD and Kenan Green with two catches for 15 yards.
Jackson added to the Rattler total in the fourth quarter when he returned a kick-off 73 yards for the score.
Murfreesboro’s usually stout running game was virtually shutdown against Cross County, earning just 16 yards. Senior Ross Stewart picked up the majority of the yardage with five carries for 25 yards and one TD while junior Daniel Robinson had seven carries for five yards. Other rushes by the Rattlers resulted in negative yardage.
Friday’s game started in the Rattlers’ favor on the first CC drive when sophomore Ryan Roberts stalled a drive with an interception. Murfreesboro failed to capitalize and punted the ball away to set the home team up inside their own 20. Davis broke away for his first score of the night three plays later, scampering 65 yards to the endzone. A two-point play was good for an 8-0 lead with 4:44 left in the opening quarter.
After another three-and-out for the Rattlers, the Thunderbirds marched 86 yards in seven plays, capped by Davis from 38 yards out with a few ticks left on the first-quarter clock. The two-point play lifted CC up 16-0.
The Rattler offense stalled again on the next possession but the defense woke up on the T-Birds’ next possession and forced a punt. QB Kennedy was under constant pressure during the next possession and he again punted the ball away to set CC up at the 34 with just under seven minutes left in the first half.
Murfreesboro made its biggest defensive stance of the night and killed the T-Birds’ drive 12 plays in as the clock expired on the first half, keeping the CC offense out of the endzone for the full 12 minutes.
The Rattler offense failed to fire up to open the next half and Kennedy punted the ball away to midfield. CC seemed destine for the endzone on the next possession after converting a fourth down, but on the 10th play of the drive sophomore Cameron Snowden hit the CC backfield and the Rattlers took over on downs at their own 40.
Working with quick passes, the Rattlers drove 60 yards in nine plays and Stewart punched in the Rattlers’ first points from eight yards out with 3:01 left in the third quarter.
Murfreesboro’s defense continued to warm in the third quarter and shut down another CC drive in the waning seconds of the quarter and eventually kept the T-Birds out of the endzone for the entire third quarter.
The Rattlers started another march from the 45 which spilled into the final quarter but stalled when a trick play failed to convert on a fourth down.
The Rattler defense again stood up and forced another punt but Kennedy was picked off on the drive’s fourth play. CC responded with a drive that ended with an eight-yard score with 4:03 left in the game.
Jackson quickly put more Rattler points up when he returned the ensuing kick 73 yards with 3:52 left in the game.
The T-Birds found the endzone one more time when Davis scored from 37 yards with 3:28 on the clock.
The Rattlers’ final points of the season came when Kennedy connected with Eckert for a 63-yard TD pass which tallied the score at 32-18.

Obituaries (Week of Nov. 10-Week of Nov. 17, 2014)

Delagene Boyette Byers
Delagene Boyette Byers of Mineral Springs  passed away Nov. 5, 2014, at Baptist Health in Little Rock.
She was born Nov. 20, 1948 in Nashville, Ark., and was the daughter of the late Delma and Frances Smith Boyette.
A 1966 graduate of Nashville High School, she attended Henderson State University and was the owner of B’s Quick Stop in Mineral Springs. She was a member of the Church of Christ.
She was strong as an ox, was very giving, and endured several health obstacles in her life but approached all with a positive attitude.
Her twin sons were the light of her life. Matthew Blake Byers and Michael Brock Byers both live in Mineral Springs, as does her husband, Ralph Byers.
Delagene is also survived by her sister, Joy Byers (David) of Nashville; her brother, Del Boyette of Little Rock; and her nephew, Davey (Kim) Byers of Gillette, Wyo. She is survived by many cousins, relatives and friends, including a special cousin Angela Allen. A very special best friend, Elizabeth Moore, also survives.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to Dr. Derlis Martino and Nurse Practitioner Ellen Shadwick for never giving up on her and for the care she received.
Funeral services were held at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014, at the Nashville Funeral Home, 1208 West Sunset in Nashville. Visitation was at 1:00 prior to the service at the funeral home. Graveside will follow in Mineral Springs Cemetery.
The family asks that memorials be made to Baptist Health Foundation, 9601 Interstate 630, Exit 7, Little Rock, AR 72205, or to the Howard Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, Medical Circle Drive, Nashville, AR 71852, or to a favorite charity.
You may send the family an online sympathy message to
Lena Underwood Harris
Lena Underwood Harris, 91, of Mineral Springs, died Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014 in Nashville.
She was born Aug. 15, 1923, in Nashville to the late Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Underwood. She was a retired telephone operator more than 35 years with Bell Telephone Co., and was a member of the Harvest Time Assembly of God Church in Murfreesboro.
She was preceded in death by her sister, Judy Funderburg.
Survivors include: her husband, Deck Ward Harris of Mineral Springs; a daughter, Judy Ann Rhodes of LaPine, Ore.; also a grandson.
Graveside services were Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014 at 1 p.m. at Mineral Springs Cemetery with Bro. Jerry Shinn officiating. Send the family an online sympathy message to
Mary Ross Hughes
Mary Emily (Ross) Hughes, 75, of Nashville, Ark., passed away on Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014 in Texarkana, Texas.
She was born in Hempstead County on Nov. 1, 1939, the daughter of the late George and Lena (Friddle) Ross.
Mrs. Hughes was a member of the Sardis Methodist Church.
In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by two nephews, James Michael Ross and Daniel Scott Hughes, and one great-niece, Katlyn Grace Key.
She is survived by: her husband, Travis Hughes, of Nashville, Ark.; a daughter, Belinda Hughes Lowe and husband, Bill, of Las Vegas, Nev.; two brothers, Kenneth Ross and wife, Linda, of Mineral Springs, Ark., James Ross and wife, Irene, of El Dorado, Ark.; one brother-in-law, Tom Hughes and wife, Marcia, of Pocatello, Idaho; four nieces, two nephews, two grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and a host of other relatives and friends mourn her passing.
Graveside services were at 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, at Sardis Cemetery under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home, Nashville.
Visitation was at 1 p.m. before service time at the Latimer Funeral Home Chapel in Nashville.
In lieu of flowers the family has requested that donations be made to the Sardis Cemetery, c/o Dildy Reed.
You may send an online sympathy message at
James M. Hartness
James M. Hartness, 76, of Nashville, died Sunday Nov. 9, 2014 in Little Rock.
He was born March 8, 1938 in Ozan, the son of the late Elmer and Nettie Bennett Hartness.
He was a member of the Immanuel Baptist Church in Nashville.
He was preceded in death by a son, Marty Wayne Hartness.
Survivors include: his wife of 48 years, Rosann Hartness, of Nashville; three sons, Tim Hartness, Justin Hartness, Ray Hartness and wife, Brenda, all of Nashville; a daughter, Sherri Hipp and husband, Russell, of Mineral Springs; also grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014 at the Latimer Funeral Chapel in Nashville with Bro. Keith Mays officiating. Burial will follow at Bluff Springs Cemetery near Nashville under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home.
Visitation was 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014 at the Latimer Funeral Home Chapel, Nashville.
Send an online sympathy message at
Thomas Wayne Morris
Thomas Wayne Morris, 53, of Delight went to be with the Lord on Monday, Nov. 3, 2014. Tom was born on March 3, 1961 in Murfreesboro, Ark., to Estil and Carolyn (Ward) Morris. He married Debbie Bell on June 27, 1980.
Thomas was a faithful member of the Delight Church of Christ. He was a Master Electrician. He also loved spending time with his family and was especially proud of his granddaughters. Tom also liked working on the farm, going to the lake, and trail riding.  In 2007 they were selected as Farm Family of the Year.
He was preceded in death by his dad, Estil; maternal grandparents, William “Zell” and Dorothy Mae Ward; paternal grandparents, Carter Lee and Ruby Dale Morris; and a dear uncle, Mack Morris.
He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Debbie; three sons, Adam Morris and wife, Melissa, Gregory Morris, and Jeffery Morris, all of Billstown; two granddaughters, Harper Grace and Anniston Beth; grandson, Quinton Alexander; his mother, Carolyn Morris of Delight; two sisters, Sandra VanCamp and husband, Lonny of Antoine, Ark. and Rebecca Stokes and husband, Ryan of Prescott, Ariz.; and numerous nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.
Services were 2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014 at the Delight Church of Christ with Leon McKinnon, Brent Alexander, and Bob Watson officiating. Burial followed in Delight Cemetery under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home, Murfreesboro.
Visitation was on Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014 from 6-8 p.m. in the chapel, Murfreesboro.
Pallbearers will be Rick Williams, Steve Rhodes, Ricky Stokes, Eli VanCamp, Levi VanCamp, Tommy Parker, Ken Lewis, and J.W. Miller.  Honorary Pallbearers are class members of 1979 and Stan Ward.
You may send an online sympathy message to
Rodney Gardner
Rodney Gardner, 73, of Nashville, passed away on Monday, Nov. 10, 2014 in Little Rock, Ark.
He was born Oct. 5, 1941 in Center Point, Ark., the son of the late H.B. Gardner and Eulail Elizabeth (Lemons) Gardner.Rodney was a member of the Blue Bayou Church of Christ.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one brother, James C. Gardner.
Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Nancy Gardner of Nashville; three daughters, Julie McRae and husband, Jeff of Nashville, Tina Chism and husband, Robert of Nashville, and Machelle Driver of Dierks; two sisters, Sharon Turner and husband, Ronald, and Jane Smith and husband, Phillip, all of Dierks; eight grandchildren, Taylor Barr and husband, Blake of Texarkana, Ark., Monique Jackson of Nashville, Brady Eudy and wife, Emily of Texarkana, Ark., Brooke Eudy of Hope, Montana Chism of Texarkana, Texas, Lane Chism of Texarkana, Texas, Mylee Scarbrough of Shreveport, La., and Macy Lewis and husband, Trevor of Nashville; five great-grandchildren, Eva Reese Wilcox of Nashville, Emma Duncan of Texarkana, Ark., Ella Wilcox of Nashville, Jett Jackson of Nashville, and Myla Lewis of Nashville. A host of other relatives and friends mourn his passing.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014 at Latimer Funeral Home Chapel in Nashville with Mike Reese and Michael Howard officiating, with Johnny Bowman as song leader.  Burial to follow in Center Point Cemetery under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home, Nashville.
Visitation will be Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
You may send an online sympathy message at
Betty Jean Reed
Betty Jean Reed, age 84, a longtime resident of Wheaton, Ill., and formerly of Benton, Ark., went to be with the Lord on Thursday, Nov. 13, at DuPage Convalescent Center in Wheaton.
She was born Jan. 9, 1930 near Benton, Ark., to Lawrence and Lillie Mae Glass.
Betty grew up in Benton and was a member of the First Baptist Church of Benton. She graduated from Benton High School in 1948 and attended Wheaton College and Moody Bible Institute. She met Troy Reed at the First Baptist Church of Wheaton and they were married on March 31, 1956.  They raised three children in Kansas City, Mo., and Springfield, Ill. where they lived until moving back to Wheaton in 1972. She was employed as an L.P.N. at DuPage Convalescent Center and MarianJoy Rehabilitation Center in Wheaton.
Her faith was an important part of her life and she actively served as a Sunday School Teacher and Bible Study leader at her churches, most recently at Glenfield Baptist Church. Betty loved to be with people and had many close friends.  She dearly loved her family.
She is survived by her husband, Troy Reed; three children, Peggy (Tom) Lyons of Carol Stream, Bill (Tammy) Reed of Zeeland, MI and Don Reed of Algonquin; six grandchildren, Reed (Jess), Claire (Rick), Bess, Troy, Kyle (Erica) and Taylor; and her sister, Joyce James, of Benton, Ark. Her brother-in-law is Reuben Reed of Nashville.
She was preceded in death by her parents and two brothers, Hollis and Harley Glass.
A funeral service was held on Sunday, Nov. 16 at 4:00 p.m. Friends visited with the family from 1:30 until 4:00. Interment was at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, Ill., on Monday at 9:30 a.m.
Memorial gifts may be directed to DuPage Convalescent Center Foundation, 400 N. County Farm Rd., Wheaton, IL 60187.
Family and friends may sign a guest book at For more information, please call Hultgren Funeral Home at 630-668-0027.
Julian David ‘J.D’ Rogers
Julian David “J.D.” Rogers, 87, of Nashville, died Friday, Nov. 14, 2014 in Nashville.
He was born on May 16, 1927 in Florida.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Ruby Rogers, and one daughter, Lori Rogers.
Survivors include: one son, Robert Rogers; one stepson, Steve Upchurch; one stepdaughter, Sally Comeaux; also, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Graveside services were at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014 at County Line Cemetery under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home Nashville.
Send an online sympathy message at

Pike County’s flu clinic reset for Nov. 20

On Thursday, Nov. 20, the Pike County Health Unit of the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) will be giving flu vaccines at the Pike County Health Unit, 15 Caddo Drive in Murfreesboro from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. It is important to get a flu vaccine every year, because the flu virus changes from year to year. This year’s vaccine protects against the flu viruses that are expected to cause the most illness this season.
If you have insurance, the ADH will ask your insurance to pay for the cost of giving the vaccine. If you do not have insurance or your insurance company does not pay, the vaccine will be available at no charge to you.
Schedules for dates and times of flu clinics, which will be held in each county, can be found on the ADH website at
“We want Pike County residents to stay healthy this flu season, and getting a yearly flu vaccine is the best line of protection,” Irene Chambers Pike County Health Unit Administrator said. “We encourage everyone to come to the clinic to get their flu vaccine.”
People of all ages can get the flu; but certain people are more likely to have serious health complications if they get it. This includes older people, young children, pregnant women, people with certain health conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), and people who live in nursing homes.
 “Last year’s flu season was the worst in Arkansas in terms of flu deaths in the last three decades.   This is a reminder that flu is not an illness that should be taken lightly,” said Dirk Haselow, M.D., State Epidemiologist at ADH. “Many Arkansans have lost loved ones to the flu. Before you decide to skip the flu vaccine, think about those who care about you or count on you.”
The flu vaccine is safe and does not cause the flu. Some people may have mild soreness and redness near the site of the shot and a low fever or slight headache. For those who do not like shots, the flu mist is another option. The flu mist is recommended for anyone between the ages of two through 49 who does not have asthma or other problems that might weaken their immune systems.
There are very few medical reasons to skip the flu vaccine. They include life-threatening allergic reactions to a previous dose of the flu vaccine or to eggs, or a history of Guillain-Barre syndrome. People with a non-life-threatening egg allergy may be vaccinated but need to see a doctor specializing in allergies.
 The flu is easily spread through coughing or sneezing and by touching a hard surface with the virus on it and then touching the nose or mouth. The best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated each year and practice good hand washing.
For more information, go to or .

Scrappers headed to Bauxite tonight

By John R. Schirmer
Leader staff
The outright District 7-4A championship will be at stake Friday night when the Scrappers  (8-1, 5-1) visit Bauxite to take on the Miners. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Nashville clinched at least a share of the title last week with a 28-26 win over Malvern. The Scrappers also earned home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Now, “We have the opportunity to win the league outright,” Coach Billy Dawson said. “There’s a lot we have to play for.”
Ben Madison “is their guy on offense and defense,” Dawson said. Madison, whom Dawson described as “good in all four sports,” is likely to “line up everywhere, the whole gamut” on both sides of the ball.
Zac Baxley, a junior is the Miners’ quarterback. Running back Blaze Vineyard is “a shifty little guy who can really run.”
Bauxite has had “a few injuries as of late. I don’t know if they will be back,” Dawson said. “That’s the grind of this conference, everybody is banged up.”
The list includes 7 Scrappers “who were banged up in the Malvern game. It was physica. We’ve had 5 or 6 of our conference games that were really physical. Everybody has some issues.”
District 7-4A is “a balanced league,” Dawson said. The final standings before the playoffs won’t be determined until Friday night’s games are completed.
Malvern, Arkadelphia, Ashdown, Mena and possibly Fountain Lake will vie for playoff spots.
The playoffs begin Friday, Nov. 14. Nashville will have a first-round bye.
The Scrappers enter this week’s game with Bauxite ranked third in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Class 4A poll.

Pike County man gets life sentence after pleading guilty to triple murder

By John Balch
Leader staff
A Pike County man who killed three family members in July of 2013 pleaded guilty Monday to three counts of capital murder and was sentenced to a lifetime behind bars without a chance for parole.
Timothy Allen Hill, 44, of Billstown entered the guilty plea for the shooting deaths of his estranged wife, Dana Hill, 33; his mother-in-law, Julie Hartsfield, 54; and his wife’s niece, 9-year-old Autumn Hartsfield, all of Waldo. The three were killed the evening of July 13, 2013 at the Hills’ home off Highway 301 in the Billstown community of Pike County. Dana Hill had not resided at the home for some time and the couple were apparently going through a divorce which had not been finalized.
Timothy Hill, who initially pleaded innocent to the deaths, was unshaven, heavy-set and dressed in bright orange prison garb when he appeared before Judge Charles Yeargan in Pike County Circuit Court Monday. Hill was accompanied by his attorney, Rowe Stayton, and his parents sat in the front row of the courtroom. Hill spoke clearly in response to Judge Yeargan’s questions and answered “guilty” to all three capitol murder charges.
One side of the courtroom was filled with members of the victims’ families. Prosecuting Attorney Bryan Chesshir said the family members had approved the plea agreement prior to the court session. “I, along with the family, think justice was certainly served today,” Chesshir told The Nashville Leader Monday afternoon.

The three victims were killed by gunfire from a SKS rifle and, according to information filed on the case, the killings were “premeditated and deliberated.” Hill told authorities the night of the shooting that he had taken his two young sons to his parents’ nearby house, knowing his wife was on the way to the home.

Julie and Autumn Hartsfield were both shot while still buckled in seat belts as they sat in a car parked outside the Hill resident. Dana Hill was killed in the bathroom of the home. Julie Hartsfield and Dana Hill died at the scene while Autumn Hartsfield died from her injuries after being air-lifted to a Hot Springs hospital.

Dana Hill had went into the bathroom after arriving at the home. It was at this time, the defendant retrieved his SKS rifle and went outside. “(Hill) stated that he shot the car that his mother-in-law was sitting in and that he knew that she was in it. He further stated that he was mad at her because she was trying to turn his two boys against him,” according to case records.

“It’s my opinion that (Hill) knew exactly what he was going to do,” Chesshir told the newspaper. “He took the kids to his father’s house so they wouldn’t be there to witness what he had planned.”

During Monday’s court appearance, Hill said he was in a “rage” at the time of the shootings and that he and Dana Hill had been arguing.

Investigators found six bullet holes from an SKS rifle in the right front passenger’s door and two bullet holes near the right rear door of a BMW car registered to Dana Hill. Autumn Hartsfield was sitting in the backseat of the car, still buckled in a seat belt.

Dana Hill died from a single gunshot while sitting on the floor of the home’s bathroom. “It appears Dana Hill had locked herself in the bathroom. Timothy Hill had fired one round into the door lock to open the locked door. The doorknob lock was still in the lock position,” according to a case affidavit.

Timothy Hill had told investigators that he “meant to shoot his mother-in-law but did not mean to shoot his wife. He did not know why he did.” The suspect also said when he located his estranged wife in the bathroom that he pointed the rifle at her and asked her “why?” and the gun went off.

Timothy Hill also claimed he did not know that the little girl was in the vehicle when he shot his mother-in-law. He continued to contend Monday during the court appearance that he was unaware that the child was in the car.

Hill had undergone extensive mental evaluations since his arrest, and in February of 2014, the court ordered he stay at the State Hospital and receive mental health treatment until he was deemed ready for trial. He was found competent to stand trial last December but case files noted he was suffering from major depression.

During his time in the Pike County Jail, Hill was involved in a fight with another prisoner, Andrew C. Barrett of Amity. The fight resulted in Hill having to undergo major reconstructive surgery for a broken jaw and treatment of multiple lacerations.

The incident happened in the jail’s general population cell “pod” and was described as an “unarmed fight.” Hill was initially transported to Howard Memorial Hospital where he was stabilized and then transported to a Hot Springs hospital for surgery.

Since Hill was in county custody at the time of the fight, the county had to pay his medical bill, which totaled approximately $50,0000.

New HMH physician likely to arrive next month

By John R. Schirmer
Leader staff
Howard Memorial Hospital continues to prepare for the arrival of a new physician.
CEO Debra Wright said Dr. Said Javed is expected to open his practice in early December. Wright told the hospital board last week that the immigration attorney has sent Dr. Javed the packet of information necessary to schedule an interview with the U.S. embassy in London to obtain permission to come to the U.S.
“The interview should be granted quickly, but it may take three to four weeks for their decision,” Wright said.
Recruitment continues for another physician. An interview will be set for a doctor who will be available to start working in Nashville next summer.
Dr. Mgoz Idilenna Wilkins plans to open her practice here in 2016 upon completion of her residency. “Dr. Wilkins sent a very kind e-mail offering her condolences regarding Dr. [Bob] Sykes’ death,” Wright said.
Dr. Javed’s practice will be located in the medical office building on the HMH campus. The office is being prepared for his arrival, and a staff is in place.
The hospital is looking at plans to construct another facility to accommodate the expected arrival of additional doctors in the next couple of years.
Wright said there could be advantages to constructing the office building and a geriatric behavioral health facility simultaneously.
Sealed bids were submitted by two contractors for the geriatric building. Both were above budget, Wright said, but Altech’s proposal “was the more favorable of the two due to availability to begin the project and the construction timeline.” She said a follow-up meeting will review architectural specifications and determine how to reduce costs.
Wright and the architect met with Altech to determine if the geriatric and office facilities could be done at the same time. If the projects come in within the budget, work could begin in early January and be completed within six to eight months.
CNO Alesha Collins said Britni Fannin has been named patient care unit director. She is currently the HMH case manager and will remain in the role until a new case manager is hired and trained, according to Collins.
Collins has been elected to the Arkansas Organization for Nurse Executives board. “I am excited that it will be a wonderful opportunity for me to learn and grow as a nursing executive and help push nursing back in the right direction in relation to professional practice standards,” she said.
The medical staff approved the hiring of Vickie Posey Reynolds as the new registered dietician for the hospital. She has worked at HMH in the past and moved back to the area. She succeeds Rose Hoening.
Howard Memorial recorded a profit of $26,652 for September, according to CFO Bill Craig. The month had been budgeted to show a loss of nearly $47,000, resulting in a favorable variance of nearly $73,600, Craig said.
Outpatient visits, emergency department visits and surgical cases were all above budget. The inpatient average daily census of 2.4 patients was below budget, Craig said.
The hospital has 138.7 days cash on hand, compared to a target of 100 days. Accounts receivable are 27.6 days, compared to the target of 45 days.

Nashville Elementary School Honor Roll

The honor roll for the first nine-week grade period has been released by Nashville Elementary School.
Fourth grade
ALL A: Cesar Aguilar-Hernandez, Elizabeth Billingsley, Adam Bostic, Jose Bretado Jr., Lauren Carver, Shyanne Christian, Dalton Coffman, Addison Cox, Angel Cruz, Dabne Cuellar, Madison Daniel, Hayden Davis,  J. Landon Dyer, Mykensie Ewert, Noella Ferretiz, Martin Garcia, Miller Goff, Kristen S. Green, Nevaeh Green, Anna C. Gunter, Kristen Hendry, Haylie Hill, Ashlyn Hipp, Emma Hutchison, Nicolas Iacovelli, Savanna Jackson, Sophie Kuykendall, Juliet Marcelino, Daleigh Morris, Kelly Pace, Sophie Padgett, Evett Padilla, Sabina Pina, Arely Pioquinto, Kaydence Reisinger, Perla Rios, Martisa Rosas, Kaydence Schroer, Kyleigh Scoggins, Alex Sullivan, Oliva Tedford, Wiley Washburn, and Riley Webb.
All A and B: Obed Aguilar, Anthoney Ballstrose, Rachel Barton, Richard Barton, Jonna Boone, Alicia Bustos, marian Campos, Jackson Carter, Tyler Castro, Colton Cox, Kiara Cruz, Lorrine Davis, Emanuel Del Carmen, Garrett Ewing, Marisol Ferretiz, Dylan Finley, Kelvin Flowers, Waydon Funderburk, Taniya Golston, Hayden Goodson, Makenzie Graham, David Gutierrez, Jewelie Harris, Ayanna Hendrix, Makayla Hill, Brooklynn Ireland, Brayden Kerschner, Trista Lansdell, James Leedale, Zaid Lorenzo,  Joevonnie Martinez, Devon Mays, Elvonte Mays, Felix A Mendiola, Mia Mendiola, P Remington Miller, Cassondra Nolen, Andrew Peebles, Kaivonna Perkins, Journey Pope, Blake Rhodes, Jennifer Santamaria, Alliyah Sillavon, Tracee Sims, Aiden Smith, Jaycee Spoo, Janiya Starr, J’Kha Stewart, Jonah Stinnett, Alana Swopes, Jonathan Vancamp, Sergio Vazquez-Rodriquez, Amayrany Violante, Bayden Walton, Zion Wells, Justin Wescott, Sha’mya White, Weston White, and Elizabeth Worley.
Fifth grade
All A: Zackary Barton, Maci Bishop, Charlie Bissell, Lillian Burton, Tiffany Byers, Isai Camacho, Maggie Campbell, Ashley Chambers, Katie Cochran, Heavyn Collins, Alayna Cook, Audri Couch, Isabella Dixon, J. Riley Dodd, Jonah Fant, Edwin Flores, Turner Futrell, Tyler Garner, Madison Gray, Lawson Green, Ethan Gunter, Andrew Harrison, Peyton Hilliard, Avery Hood, Jenna Hostetler, Alizea Hutchinson, Shelbie Kirchoff, Hayden Linville, Andrew McCain, Aslynn Miller, Jennifer Perez, Ivette Pizarro, Ella Ragar, Brittan Ray, Athziry Rocha, Haley Rosenbaum, Calob Scott, T Hunter Serrano, Ellen spigner, Treyton Spurling, Mattison Steele, Katherine Talley, Wyatt Talley, Mason Turbeville, Haeden Walker, Emma Watts, Kinsey Westfall, Lauren Whisenhunt, and Steven Wright.
All A and B: Julia Hernandez, Gissel Alcocer, Jasmine Alfaro, Natalie Alfaro, Syndy Almazan, Emily Avalos, Cesar
Barajas, Masea Billihngsley, Morgan Billingsley, Aiden Chapman, Chandler Chapman, Rebecca Connell, Summer Cox, James Dewalt, Noel Dunham, Maylin Escamilla, Dianaliz Flores-Martinez, Ke’anay Flowers, Isai Fong-Pineda, Mason Free,  Nicolas Garcia, Braydon Gilstrap,  Elijah Harris, Tramillion Henderson, Royce Henthorn, Aaron Hernandez, Adrian Hernandez, Jasmine Hernandez, Matthias Hibberd, Kammie Hill, Tanner Hunt, Tyler Jones, Crimson Lovewell, Tayanna Manrrique, Alex Martinez, Oliver Murillo, Randy Murillo, Moriah Newton, Jer’sean Norris, Hayden Patrick, Alberto Pioquinto, Kenya Polite, Cameron Reese, Heather Rhodes, Justice Rosenbaum, Kaley Rosenbaum,  Camrun Stewart, Joshua Sweeden, Denise Tapia, Honesty Taylor, Lillian Thomas, Sidney Townsend, Jasmine Wakefield, Sylas Ware, Brennon Warren, Zakarreya White,  J. Garrett Willard, and Madison Woodruff.
Sixth grade
All A: Lindsey Aylett, Annabelle Bowman, Misael Cardenas, Jonathan Claiborne, Hayden Clay, Quitavious Collier, Kara Connell, Aly Dixon, Yaira Escamilla, Braden Funderburke, C. Thatcher Furr, J. Kelley Howard, Caroline Kesterson, Anna Linville, Isaiah Martin, Jacob Martin, Matthew McGilberry, Macy Morris, William Pope, Kasia Ragland, Anna Rhodes, M. Connor Stone, Sara Sweat, Brooke Thompson, Chloe Wakley, Victoria Whisenhunt, Ahniya Williamson, and Kasius Williamson.
All A and B: Diego Barragan, Tyler Beene, Tyler Beene, Tyler Berry, Raven Bradshaw, Dalton Brown, Jayda Bryan, Gilberto Bustos, Alexis Byers, Tanaya Coburn, Austin combs, Ashley Davis, Lashonna Dawnta-Cooper, Joshua Deaton, Caiden Erwin, C. Wheeler Eudy, Jonathan Fike, Slade Furr, April Garcia, Jamia Gilliam, Tyler Gordon,  J. Mac Green, Jalyn Hendrix, Lamia Hendrix, Nikobie Janes, Chastin Johnson, Bethany Jones, Kash King, Kailey Laxton, Markus Leedale, Jayden Marlar,  Nicholas Matheny, Itzel Medina, Jennifer Medina-Frias, Jessica Medina-Frias, Noelia Morales, Juan Moreno, Brooklyn Nutt, Katelyn Pace, Kimberly Pineda, Olman Pineda, Litzy Pizarro, Jayden Pope, Raegan Porter, De’Vay Ragland, Marcos Ramirez, Quinlan Reed, Karleigh Reeder, Maya Richard, Braden Ross, Diana Rubio-Hernandez, William Ryan, Joselyn Sanchez, Jasmyne Shelton, Anna Smith, Isbella Smith, Eren Soto,  Lawrence Theoboldt, Trinity Tipton, Landon Tollett, Beverly Vang, Rogelio Vazquez-Violante, Marcus Wester, Ty Wiliams, and Coleman Zimmerman.

Entries sought for 2014 Big Buck Bonanza

The Murfreesboro Chamber of Commerce is currently seeking entries for its first-ever Big Buck Bonanza.
There is a $25 entry fee for the contest with cash prizes to include 25 percent of the purse for first place, 15 percent for second place and 10 percent for third place.
Entry forms can be obtained at various businesses in Murfreesboro and City Hall.
The Big Buck Bonanza rules are:
- All whitetails must be legally harvested within the state of Arkansas.
  • Big Buck Bonanza entry form and a valid $25 fee must either be submitted to the MCC or postmarked one day before harvesting of the deer.
  • All hunters wanting their trophy racks to be evaluated must bring them to the Murfreesboro Municipal Building on Saturday, Nov. 29 between 12 noon and 2 p.m.
  • Only deer harvested one day after mailing or submitting completed paid form are eligible for submission.
  • Prizes will be awarded upon completion of judging on Nov. 29
  • Judge’s decision will be final and photographs become the property of the MCC.
    For more information, contact the MCC at (870) 285-3131.


Finally….The Election is Over

By John R. Schirmer
Leader Editor
Because this week’s Leader was printed Tuesday afternoon before the votes were counted, here are some random thoughts about the now-completed (thank heaven) 2014 General Election.
As you can tell, we’re kind of glad it’s over. At least the awful TV commercials are gone. We don’t have to watch them any more, and we don’t have to get news releases from candidates telling us about their wonderful commercials and asking us to write a free story about an ad which they are paying TV stations big bucks to run.
That’s right. We received a host of e-mails touting the brand new TV commercials by certain candidates and asking us to run the news release telling all about the 30- or (horrors) 60-second spot. Note that they didn’t say anything about buying a newspaper ad, only that they wanted free publicity for the big-money TV commercial.
It’s amazing how quickly those e-mails can be deleted. Sometimes, we’ll admit, the sender gets a terse reply along the lines of “Buy a newspaper ad before you ask for a free story about a TV spot costing thousands of dollars.”
We’re happy that there won’t be any more commercials telling us that a vote for …. (fill in the blank) is a vote for Obama. It’s quite an accomplishment for one person to run for different offices in so many states, including Arkansas, but that’s what some wanted voters believe.
Watch TV for five minutes, and you discover that Obama apparently ran for governor, U.S. senator, attorney general, Fourth District Congress and who knows how many other offices in our state alone, much less the rest of the country. Kind of makes you wonder how he could run from job to job in one state, then from state to state to run from job to job.
It’s good for him that he can’t run for re-election as president in 2016. He’d be too tired from all these other campaigns. For somebody who will never be on another election ballot, it certainly seemed like he was on lots of them.
We’re glad we won’t hear more out-of-state commercial narrators warning us that only their candidate can save us from “federal overreach” or, alternately, an “overreaching federal government.”
Oddly enough, the golden-throated announcers didn’t define “federal overreach.”
Did they mean federal loan programs that help thousands of students attend college each year? Did they mean federal highway programs that bring in lots of money and lots of jobs to lots of states? Did they mean federal Pell grants for college? Would they take back the overreaching government’s money for SmartBoards and other forms of technology in the nation’s public schools? Did they mean programs for farmers and assistance to hospitals and law enforcement and ….?
Well, that’s enough. The commercial producers who couldn’t find Arkansas on a map if they had to do so are gone now, along with the money that the campaigns paid them.
One last thing. We’d like to share our reaction to a few comments about our town, “little Nashville,” which appeared in Saturday’s issue of the statewide daily newspaper.
The lead editorial, in case you missed it, endorsed the opponent of Nashville native Nate Steel for attorney general. No surprise there. We’re hard put to remember a time when said paper endorsed a member of Steel’s party.
The surprise came in the references to Steel’s hometown. Noting that Steel had asked his opponent to release details of her state employment, the writer said that “this same Mr. Steel has been in no rush to release details of his own employment as little Nashville’s city attorney.”
We’ll admit to being a bit miffed by the “little Nashville” reference to our town but decided we were being too sensitive and went on to read the remainder of the lengthy document. A long paragraph or so later, the writer allowed as how he is “all in favor of Arkansas’s struggling small towns, those wide places in the road like Nashville and Dardanelle ….”
Okay, so we’re not exactly a big city, and some of us are proud of that. But “struggling”? Funny, but we didn’t know that we were struggling. When the Arkansas Economic Development Commission came to town in 2012, members said it was one of their best visits ever.
Companies considering places in which to locate often look at a town’s other industries, hospitals, schools and churches. Our industries seem to be doing quite well. The main area in which they might be “struggling” is enough finding workers to fill all of their positions. They have been known to bus people in from other locations to work at our plants. Maybe that’s a struggle. If so, it’s a nice one in which to be engaged.
Is our hospital struggling? If we remember correctly, voters approved a small sales tax increase a few years ago to fund a new facility which plenty of other small towns would love to have. Of course, the administration and doctors would like to have more patients, but Howard Memorial is doing quite well. Financial reports have set records in recent months. One new doctor is coming in December. Others are expected to be on the way. One new medical office building has already opened on the HMH campus. Another is set to begin construction shortly. The Private Option has been a great help to this hospital and others in Arkansas. Howard Memorial is rapidly building a reputation as a leader in rural health care.
Churches around town seem to be doing well. A nice new building on the Murfreesboro highway is about to open for one local congregation. Others have also added members and expanded their facilities in recent years. They are involved in numerous projects to make the community a better place. Some of these congregations are new to their work in the area; others have a long history of service and ministry. All appear to take the admonition to “go and teach” seriously.
What about schools? The Nashville School District is about to start on the last phase of a $15-million facilities improvement program. The district added seven classrooms at Nashville High School, constructed a new cafeteria and media center at junior high, renovated the existing high school building and built Scrapper Arena. Bids for the final phase will be opened Thursday. This was all done without a millage increase. In fact, the Nashville district hasn’t had a millage increase in more than 20 years, a tribute to fiscal responsibility on the part of the district’s administrators, school board and teachers.
It might be good for those who don’t understand the rest of the state do a little traveling. They would find people who work together on areas of common interest. They help each other. They don’t always agree, but they’re all still residents of the same “little” towns and do what they can for their neighbors.
Maybe some of those who constantly criticize without offering suggestions for improvement should come pay us a visit. They might find that our “wonderful, small town” has a lot to offer.
And we’re all glad that this election is over.


Dierks’ Jo Ann Walters Elementary School Honor Roll

3rd Grade
Mrs. Harris
All A – Taylor Kelley, Landon Whisenhunt
A-B – Madison Ackley, Grady Banister, Mathew Barbre, Coby Davis, Bryan Hartin, Jessica Hernandez, Kason Jewell, Jake Kight, Maddie Lowery, Madlynn Lundberg, Elijah Martz, Payden Robbins, Tyler Simmons, Harley Whisenhunt
Mrs. Hill
All A – Ally Hogg, Andrew Mack, Sydney Mounts, Carlie Neels, Nathan Roberts, Rustin Simmons, Hayden Stephens, Jaylen Stuard, Corban Wilson
A-B – Kye Tremblay, Jacee Glidewell, Trey Hopkins, Kaylee Russell
4th Grade
Mrs. Smith
All A – Jenna Bray, Emma Gilbert, Lillian Glass, Andrew Hill, Rylan Hill, Caleigh Manning, Kendall Muse, Mackay Smith
A-B –Talon Kappus, D.J. Morris, Brianna Sevier, Sawyer Stapp
Mrs. Stapp
All A – Gavin Bailey, Jackson Fennell, Allison King, Arrionna Stout, Jayda Young
A-B – Kaitlyn Barnes, Qwensea Heifner, Antonio Henson, Zayden Hopkins, Erin Jones, Abagail Mathis, Hunter Morris, Eli Sharp, Kimmi Simmons, Graci Whisenhunt
5th Grade
Mrs. Davis
All A – Tyler Buck, Autumn Greenwood, Darci Jones, Kohl Kersey, Lindsey Martin, Kasyn Turner
A-B – Andrew Boozer, Damian Ward, D.J. Whitmore, Jacob Moore, Kadie Jones, Ema Davis
Mrs. Tolman
All A – Jason Eudy, Kamry Kelley, Austin Mack, Kason Mounts
A-B – Hayden Alexander, Kloe Knighten, Allie Miller, Jordan Neel, Peyton Snider, Chandler Turner, Anna White
6th Grade
Mrs. Feemster
All A – Brayden Buck, Macy Eckert, Kaden Helms, Jaiden Jackson, Kayden Turner, Victoria Vallee
A-B – Jackson Banister, Kalie Delinger, Emily Glass, Andrew Kirby, Emma Strasner
Mrs. McLaughlin
All A – Damion Barbre, Isabella Ethridge, Tyra Fox, Dalton Gibson, Emily Gordon, Kai Oglesby, Taylor Pounds, Amanda Sain, Allison Strasner, Karson Young
A-B – Natalee Adcock, Garrett Greenwood, Connor Humphreys Jasie Miller, Keona Mounts, Brenden Woodall

Mine Creek Revelations: The Good Earth

By Louie Graves
Leader staff
THINGS I LEARNED from opening the mail.
Happy birthday wishes and a snappy hand salute on service branch birthdays:
Nov. 10, 1775 — US Marine Corps.
June 14, 1775 — US Army.
Aug. 4, 1790 — US Coast Guard.
Sept. 18, 1947 — US Air Force.
Dec. 13, 1636 — US Army National Guard.
Oct. 13, 1775 — US Navy. Obviously the most important of the service branch birthdays.
Nov. ??, 2014 — Nashville, Ark., Independent J-Turn Militia.
All of this saluting and military talk reminded that recently, a good ‘ol Army boy, Scott Millward, brought this real-old Sailor some wood for the firepit.
“Just say it’s from one veteran to another veteran,” Scott commented as he lay the last stick on the pile.
And this also reminds me that on Tuesday, Nov. 11, Veterans Day, there will be a ceremony at the monument on the courthouse lawn in Nashville. Other places are planning veteran events, too.
THE GOOD EARTH. For the first time since I planted it about five years ago, the Flowering Quince in my side yard has a bunch of lovely red blooms in the fall. Out of ignorance I used to say that the plant was Japonica which was wrong, of course. Japonica is a completely different plant.
Robert Nannemann got me a Flowering Quince and I followed his instructions for planting.
It has bloomed before, but only in the spring.
Flowering Quince has fallen a bit out of favor because some kind of fungus makes the leaves fall off soon after they have emerged in the spring. The plant itself is hardy, though,and it obviously doesn’t need leaves. You see them often at old homesites and in cemeteries. Jimmy Dale says that people used to plant them beside forsythia (Yellowbells) because of pleasant yellow/red alteration of color in the spring.
Also blooming — and smelling heavenly to high heaven — are my yard’s three Cape Jasmine bushes. Sometimes called Gardenias. Never called Japonica.
IT’S NOT WORKING. I don’t know what the district court or the city of Nashville is doing to educate the public about J-Turns but I have to say: IT’S NOT WORKING!!
There. I said it again.
The court began forgiving J-Turn offenses a few weeks ago after hearing from the police chief that the public wasn’t aware that it is against the law to turn across traffic into a parking spot in downtown Nashville (the Central Business District). The mayor was in apparent agreement. So they met with the judge and softened the policy.
The first few offenders who got tickets were awarded fines and court costs amounting to about $145.
After hearing from the cops and the city, the judge began forgiving offenders. Now, if you get a ticket for making a J-Turn, you still must make a District Court appearance but you will not be fined. If you do not show up for court you’ll have to pay the fine.
Then, if you foolishly make another J-Turn and get caught, you’ll have to pay the fine for BOTH offenses.
So when will the warning season come to an end?
My opinion is that there is not even a tiny risk that you will get caught making a J-Turn.
My question: Who and how are ‘we’ educating drivers NOT to make J-Turns between the Post Office and the railroad tracks?
Whatever ‘we’ are doing isn’t working.
I see about a half-dozen J-Turns every day.
I’m not just going to wait around for ‘we’ to do something.
I am forming my own J-Turn Militia. So what if the mayor won’t deputize me? So what if the State of Arkansas won’t renew my concealed sidearm permit? So what if I’ve already outgrown the swell Army-Navy Surplus camo uniform I acquired at my own expense? So what if I don’t have a genuine badge?
So what?
Me and my militia will begin giving out tickets real soon. And there will be very, very few warning tickets given. In fact, I am the ONLY member of the J-Turn Militia authorized to give warning tickets.
THINGS I LEARNED from listening to my barber.
‘Baby’ shampoo isn’t the mildest. In fact, it’s strong so that it can help get rid of an infant’s “Cradle Cap,” whatever that is.
It’s the additives that make other shampoos strong.
I’ve learned many things from listening to my barber. Unfortunately, I cannot repeat much of that stuff here.
Another of my worthless observations that, these days, the cradle cap is worn backwards. Even by infants.
FIREBALL FRIDAY. Anybody else see great, bright meteor at about 7:09 Friday night? I can’t find anything about it at the usual skywatching news sources, but it was one of the best meteors I’ve ever seen.


HE SAID: “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” Thomas A. Edison, inventor
SHE SAID: “Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.” Ann Landers, ‘advice’ columnist

Obituaries (Week of Nov. 3, 2014)

Marika Hess Bearden
Maria “Oma” Hess Bearden, 82, of Dierks, died Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014 at her home.
She was born to the late Friedrich and Mathilde Ronninger Hess in Rodelsee, Germany, on Dec. 4, 1931.
She immigrated to the United States in 1960 to wed the love of her life, Chesla A. Bearden, whom she met while he was in the Air Force stationed in Germany.
She was preceded in death by two brothers, Gregor and Ferdinand Hess.
Survivors include: her husband of 54 years, Chesla A. Bearden, a daughter, Relinda Ruth of Dierks; two sons, Randy  and Carole Bearden of Ashdown, and Rocky and Frieda Bearden of Valliant, Okla.; also grandchildren and great-grandchildre.
Funeral services were at 2 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014, in the Wilkerson Funeral Home Chapel in Dierks with Jerry Brazeal officiating. Burial followed in Hickory Grove Cemetery.
There was a visitation Saturday, Nov. 1 at the funeral home in Dierks.
Register on-line
Wayne Drummond Pruitt
Wayne Drummond Pruitt died Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014, in hospice at St. Vincent’s in Hot Springs. Born Oct. 23, 1928, to parents Callie Morgan Pruitt and Joseph Melton Pruitt in Duncan, Okla., Wayne graduated from Duncan High School in 1946 and from Oklahoma  A&M (now Oklahoma State University) with a degree in forestry in 1950. Wayne achieved Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America; in 1943 he was a camper at Philmont Scout Ranch and for three summers during college worked at Philmont as a ranch hand.
He served in the U. S. Army from 1950-1952. A longtime resident of Murfreesboro, Ark., he was a member of the Murfreesboro First United Methodist Church. Also a member of the Murfreesboro Lion’s Club, Wayne had perfect attendance at Club meetings for more than 26 years and served the club in most every officer capacity. In 1983 he was named the “Citizen  of the Decade” by the Murfreesboro Chamber of Commerce for his many volunteer acts in the community. He organized the Boy’s Baseball Association in the late 1950’s soon after moving to the area. Mr. Pruitt retired from a 35 year career with International Paper Company in 1985. Wayne, an avid fisherman and outdoorsman, also loved quail hunting. He made many happy trips out in the west hiking, camping and fishing his way through New Mexico, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.
Wayne was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Joe Morgan Pruitt of Duncan Okla.; his sister, Vernelle Pruitt of Houston, Texas; and his son, Joseph Morgan Pruitt.
He is survived by two daughters, Sarah Pruitt Campbell and husband, Richard, of Charlotte, N.C., and Mary Sue Pruitt of Knoxville, Tenn. He also leaves two grandsons, Andrew Templeton and wife, Amanda, of Chicago, Ill., and Thomas Campbell of Charlotte, N.C.
Services were at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, at the First Methodist Church in Murfreesboro with Bro.Bruce Short officiating. Burial followed in Murfreesboro Cemetery under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home, Murfreesboro. Visitation was before the service in the church.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to “Memorial Fund” at First United Methodist Church, 403 2nd Avenue, Murfreesboro, AR 71958.
You may send an online sympathy message to
Thomas Morris
Thomas “Tommy” Morris, 53, of Delight died Monday, Nov. 3, 2014.


Scrapper senior makes verbal commitment to Razorbacks

LaMichael Pettway

Scrapper senior LaMichael Pettway has verbally committed to play for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks.
Pettway attended Saturday’s Arkansas win over UAB in Fayetteville. He met with Coach Bret Bielema around 10 a.m. Sunday and announced his decision to attend Arkansas.
“Good for him. I’m proud of him,” Coach Billy Dawson said.
Pettway made a verbal commitment to Ole Miss earlier in the year before de-committing.
He had offers from 12 or 13 schools, Dawson said.
For the season, Pettway has caught 29 passes for 497 yards and 12 touchdowns. He’s also run the ball for a TD and has 3 other scores, including an interception return for a touchdown last week against Mena. Pettway also has 63 rushing yards.
Pettway has seen playing time on defense, where he’s recorded 20 tackles and 8 assists. He’s made 5 interceptions and has 4 pass deflections.

Area football scores, Friday’s games

The Mineral Springs Hornets picked up their first win of the season last week, a 44-25 homecoming win over the Foreman Gators. The Hornets will travel to Lafayette County to face the 4-1, 6-2 Cougars, who are currently in third place in the Class 2A-7 standings.
The Dierks Outlaws (2-3, 5-3) will try to rebound this week after being beat, 46-8, by the Mount Ida Lions (5-0, 7-1), who are sitting atop the Class 2A-7 standings. It is homecoming in Dierks this week and the Outlaws, who are tied for fourth place with the Murfreesboro Rattlers, will face the Spring Hill Bears (0-5, 0-7-1).
The Murfreesboro Rattlers (2-3, 5-3) are coming off a 30-6 win over the Spring Hill Bears and will travel to Foreman to take on the Gators (1-4, 3-5). The Rattlers are tied with the Outlaws for fourth place while the Gators are sitting in fifth place.
The Nashville Scrappers (7-1, 4-1) will host Malvern (6-2, 4-1). The Scrappers are coming off a 35-7 win over the Mena Bearcats.

Pike County student killed by SUV after exiting school bus

By John Balch
Leader staff
A Kirby seventh-grader died from injuries sustained Monday afternoon when she was hit by a vehicle after getting off the school bus, according to the Arkansas State Police.
Jazmin Hernandez, 12, died at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock where she was air-lifted following the accident.
The accident happened on Highway 70 around 3:25 p.m.
ASP Trooper Benjamin Harrison reported an eastbound Kirby School District bus was stopped and unloading students with all its emergency lights and signals activated at the time of the accident. A 2001 Ford Explorer failed to yield to the bus and struck Hernandez as she crossed the highway.
The trooper’s initial report did not include who was driving the Explorer but the ASP later issued a news release identifying the driver as Dwight L. Moody, 88, of Delight. Moody’s 84-year-old wife was a passenger in the Explorer.
An investigative report prepared by the ASP was submitted Wednesday to Prosecuting Attorney Bryan Chesshir of Nashville who is currently reviewing the report. Chesshir is expected to meet with the Hernandez family Monday. 

Pike County in mix to be site of new state prison

By John Balch
Leader staff
A proposal to build a new maximum-security state prison has drawn the interest of several counties and cities, including Pike County, looking to be the location of the $100 million facility.
Pike County was among the 16 entities which have submitted paperwork to the Arkansas Department of Correction to become the home of the proposed state prison, according to Dina Tyler, ADC spokesperson.
Along with Pike County, those answering “request for expression of interest-site evaluation” questionnaires before the Oct. 24 deadline include:
Scott County, Texarkana Chamber of Commerce, Cross County Chamber of Commerce, City of Arkadelphia and Clark County, White River Planning and Development, Newport Economic Development Commission, City of Marshall (Searcy County), City of Pindall (Searcy County), City of Augusta, Mississippi County Economic Development, Prescott-Southwest Arkansas Development Alliance, Hempstead County Economic Development Commission, City of Camden, City of Booneville and Prairie County.
Tyler told The Nashville Leader Monday afternoon it is “entirely possible some (paperwork) could have been mailed Friday” and had not yet been received, but would be accepted if they are postmarked by Oct. 24.

Pike County Judge Baker said Monday he was assisted by the West Arkansas Planning and Development District in filling out the questionnaire, which seeks information about the county’s labor and proposed site profiles, environmental considerations and infrastructure, such as distances to the nearest interstate, major highways, major airports and higher educational facilities.

Judge Baker said he also included a letter detailing the proposed benefits for the five surrounding counties and letters from the mayors of Glenwood and Murfreesboro stating the cities’ intent to provide water and sewer services to the proposed sites.

The new jail proposal will require at least 400 acres of land. The proposed sites in Pike County include privately-owned and corporate lands north of Murfreesboro in an area commonly known as the Valley of the Kings as well as land in Glenwood located in the Glenwood Industrial Park.

“We’ve done what was asked of us, now we’re just waiting to hear back from the state,” Baker told the newspaper Monday.

Tyler said “there is no real timeframe” concerning picking the home for the new jail and since there has been no decision reached about how to fund the proposal, “They don’t have to rush.”

The Arkansas Legislature will determine how to fund the proposed jail. The next session does not start until January. “So, if (the Legislature) decide to fund it, that could be any time toward the end of the session” in March or April.

The new 1,000-bed prison is expected to create at least 250 new jobs with an hourly salary of $12.75, and have an expected annual operating budget of $38 million. The Arkansas Board of Correction has stated in the past that the new prison will house some of the most difficult inmates in the state and extra space will be set aside for at least 200 single-cell isolation units. The proposed jail would also allow for the site to be expanded to 2,000 beds.

The new prison, which is expected to take up to three years to build, could assist the state with overcrowding issues. Senator Larry Teague wrote in the past that “prison overcrowding is an issue that legislators and the Correction Department have had to cope with for years.” He noted that an earlier special session resulted in an additional $6.3 million a year to open 60 more prison beds.

“The Arkansas inmate population is more than 17,000 and growing,” Teague recently stated. “One reason for a recent growth spurt is that prison officials tightened parole policies. Now, inmates who are out of prison on parole must comply with stricter rules about reporting to parole officers and attending court-ordered drug treatment and counseling.”

An Department of Community Correction report noted the state’s prison population increased 17.7 percent in 2013 and was the highest single-year jump in state history. The national rate showed a 2.2 percent increase in the number of prisoners last year.

Chairman of Arkansas Board of Correction Benny Magness was recently quoted as saying the state prison system has projected a growth of “an average of 35 (prisoners) per month, and we’re actually growing at 50 per month. By 2017, we’ll have 19,144 prisoners. By the time we could build a new prison, we’ll be 4,000 beds in the hole. If that doesn’t change, we’re sinking.”

Teague said one possible source of funding the new jail, if approved by lawmakers, would be an increase in license plate fees, which would create revenue to finance a bond issue.

Howard County tax collection lag; officials expect to see rebound

By Louie Graves
Leader staff
Delinquent real estate taxes aren’t anything new for deputy collector Olena Morris in her 34 years in the courthouse.
But collections for 2013 taxes which were due Oct. 15, are lagging about a half-million behind. The county is charged with collecting almost $8 million this year. The gap between the amount due and the amount actually collected is “a whole lot more than it’s ever been,” Morris said Monday.
The difference in 2013 was about $300,000.
The gap is typically narrowed the most when property owners try to renew their driver’s licenses. They must pay their taxes before they can renew the license.
Of the real taxes collected, 88% goes to schools. In addition, via state sales taxes Arkansas collects a “Homestead Credit” which comes back to the county to be distributed to schools, library, county roads and county general funds. That amount for 2014 is $989,431.22.
Property taxes charged for recent years include:
2013 — $6,467,482.32
2012 — 6,228,482.93
2011 — 6,262,601.10
2010 — 5,847,650.223
2009 — 5,717,895.18
The gap between collections and charges was a topic last week at the October meeting of the County Judge Kevin Smith said that the gap was an item for some concern, although he wasn’t really worried. “We’ll get the money.”
County Judge Kevin Smith said that the gap was an item for some concern, although he wasn’t really worried. “We’ll get the money.”
JP Brent Pinkerton, who represents Nashville District 1, said that the delinquent taxes would most likely have an effect when 2015 budgets are formed. Pinkerton, a JP for 18 years, has been on the quorum court’s budget committee for most of those years. He said he knew that the lagging money would come in eventually. “It’s more of a cash flow problem.”
County Treasurer Sherri Mixon said that she had already begun collecting information to be used in forming the next budget.


Race for Arkansas AG enters backstretch for Nashville attorney

By John R. Schirmer
Leader staff
For Nate Steel of Nashville, the campaign for Attorney General which began on the lawn of the Howard County Courthouse is in the home stretch.
With the Nov. 4 General Election less than a week away, Steel says the campaign is “going very well. I’ve been humbled by the support we have received from all over the state, from both individuals and businesses.”
Steel, a Democrat, announced his candidacy on July 10, 2013.
Since then, “It has been a roller coaster,” Steel said of the campaign. “I’ve said several times that you find out who your friends are when you take on a state-wide effort like this. My community has been unbelievable. From my immediate family, to my co-workers, to those in local government and area businesses, I’ve been amazed and humbled by the outpouring of support. I couldn’t be more proud to be a Scrapper.”
Steel’s background includes a lengthy list of family members who have held numerous legal and political positions going back for decades. In his campaign, family members have “played just about every role, from helping keep my home and office together in my absence, to every campaign duty imaginable. I am blessed to have such committed family. Not just parents and my sister, but cousins, aunts and uncles; it’s been a group effort.”
Steel said the most enjoyable part of the campaign has been “meeting people and discussing policies that make a real difference in our communities. It’s always interesting to meet new people from around the state. Their experiences are not all that different from ours in Howard County, but I love to hear how they’re dealing with issues. You can learn a lot from that.”
On the other side, the least favorite aspect has been “without question, fund-raising. Unfortunately, raising the funds to buy ads is a necessary part of the process, but there is nothing worse than asking friends and colleagues for help.”
The campaign has placed Steel on the stage with a number of legendary political figures in Arkansas, including former President Bill Clinton, who has made two campaign swings through the state on behalf of Democratic candidates.
“I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of interesting people through this process, and President Clinton is certainly one of them. The one thing that jumped out at me during the process was that he is the last Southwest Arkansas native to be elected Attorney General. That was in 1977. So, as I told the crowd in Hope, I think it’s our turn again,” Steel said.
Steel’s opponents include Republican Leslie Rutledge and Libertarian Aaron Cash. The three met in a debate last July at the Arkansas Press Association convention in Hot Springs. Because Cash is a third-party candidate, Rutledge is generally considered to be Steel’s chief opponent.
Much of Rutledge’s campaign has been spent promising to fight “federal overreach.”
Steel says the “job of the AG is to enforce the law and protect people. There is no Republican or Democrat way to do that, just good and bad ways to do it. The main differences in this race are our experience and focus. Ms. Rutledge’s experiences and mine are vastly different.”
Steel said he came straight back home after law school at the University of Arkansas “and worked in my community, both as a lawyer and as a volunteer with several organizations. As a prosecutor in Howard County, I handled felony cases and saw a little bit of everything. Ms. Rutledge practiced in Little Rock and Washington, D.C. There is nothing wrong with those differences in experience, but they have certainly led to different areas of expertise and focus. While I plan to concentrate on state issues, from our prison overcrowding problem to child support and veterans’ issues, Ms. Rutledge focuses on national politics. I would imagine that is a result of our differing experiences in Nashville, Ark., and Washington, D.C., respectively.”
During the campaign, Steel has received endorsements from law enforcement organizations in Arkansas and from the National Rifle Association, the Arkansas Education Association and the Arkansas Realtors, among others. “Regardless of party or part of the state, the encouragement and support has been overwhelming, and I couldn’t be more grateful,” he said.
Steel began the last full week of the campaign by voting Monday at the Howard County Courthouse. From there, “The calendar is booked with events all over the state, including Fayetteville, Rogers, Little Rock, Jonesboro, Batesville and El Dorado, just to name a few.”
Steel said he “knew that Nashville would play a big part in this campaign; that’s why I made my formal announcement at our courthouse. I’ve always believed that Nashville is a special place, and traveling the state has just reinforced that.
“What has been surprising is how the people of Nashville have taken such a personal stake in this race. I’ve heard from people that never cared much for politics, but they’ve looked at what’s at stake, and they’ve heard my opponents, and they just want to help,” Steel said.
“I meet people all over the state who tell me they had a friend from Howard County who reached out to them and encouraged them to help me. That means more than I could ever say. By far, the biggest downside of a victory in this race will be spending so much time in Little Rock, away from the community that I love.”


Obituaries (Week of Oct. 27, 2014)

William Wesley
‘Bill’ Fritts
William Wesley “Bill” Fritts, 67 of Nashville, Ark., died Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014 in Nashville. He was born July 5, 1947, in Garnett, Kan., the son of the late Harold and Mabell Young Fritts. He was the owner of The Agency Real Estate Company in Nashville. He was a member of Immanuel Baptist Church. He was also an avid sports fan.
He was preceded in death by a daughter, Valerie Fritts, and a son, Brent Fritts.
Survivors include: his son, Brett Fritts of Russellville, Ark.; his sister, Sharon Westfall of Nashville; also two grandsons.
He was cremated, and private services will be at a later date.
Memorials may be made to the charity of choice in his memory. You may send the family an online sympathy message to
Travis Dale Vineyard
Travis Dale Vineyard, 77, of Nashville died Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014 in Nashville.
He was born Sept. 8, 1937, in Litton, Miss., the son of the late Jess and Faye Vineyard.
He was a master electrician for 37 years, and was a member of Biggs Chapel Methodist Church near the Nathan community where he led music. His hobbies were hunting ad his grandkids.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Jeri Gant Vineyard in 2012.
Survivors include: a son, Allen Vineyard and wife, Andrea, of Nashville, Ark.; two daughters, Toni Brady and husband, Steve, of Houston, Texas; and Ramona Scott and husband, Kelly, of Nashville, Ark.; a brother, Billy Bob Vineyard, of Greenville, Miss.; also nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
The family will be gathering at the home of Allen Vineyard on Friday, Oct. 31, from 3-7. The address is 158 Dildy Rd., Nashville, Ark. For directions call 557-3477.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, Nov. 1 at 1 p.m., at Biggs Chapel Methodist Church near Nathan with Bro. Al Terrell officiating.
James Theo
‘Shorty’ Flaherty
James Theo (Shorty) Flaherty, age 98, of Nashville, Ark., went to be with the Lord on Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014, at his home.
He was born March 2, 1916 in the Boughton Community, Nevada County, Ark., to Walter Edwin and Mamie Beulah Ursery Flaherty. Mr. Flaherty was preceded in death by his wife of 51 years, Ruth Lee Daniel Flaherty.
Mr. Flaherty was a loving, supportive husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He devoted himself to taking care of his family. He was a member of Crosspoint Cowboy Church.
He was always proud to serve his country in any way that was presented to him. He was drafted into the Army in 1941and served four years in the South Pacific Theatre of WWII and was honorably discharged in 1945. He received an AP Service ribbon, two bronze stars, a good conduct medal, the Philippine Liberation Medal and an American Defense Service ribbon. After being discharged, he continued to serve his country by working at a military arsenal.
He retired from Nashville Case Shear Plant. He also enjoyed farming, gardening, and animal trading.
Mr. Flaherty is survived by: his wife of 21 years, Cherry Mae; a son, Lavon Flaherty (Jean Ann); and daughter, Nita Sue Epton (Harold B.); step-children Donald Thompson (Brenda) and Sue Cornwell (Lewis); his grandchildren Kim Ainsworth (Donnie), Brent Flaherty (Stephanie), Cynthia Bailey (Brant), and Andi Spurling (Bryan); great grandchildren Amber, Josh, Kailey, Haley, Anna Kay, Emalea, Ty, Tate, and Tynlee; and a number of nieces and nephews and a host of friends. In addition to his wife and parents, he was also preceded in death by three brothers and four sisters — Robert Edwin Flaherty, Reo Flaherty, Felice Flaherty, Irene Linam, Willie Belle Hoover, Doris McFarland, and Winnie Sweat.
Visitation was Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014 at Nashville Funeral Home from 6 to 8 p.m.     Graveside services were at Avery’s Chapel Cemetery near McCaskill on Friday, Oct. 24, 2014 at 10 a.m. under the direction of Nashville Funeral Home with Bro. Don Jones presiding. You may send the family an online sympathy message to
Memorials may be made to the Cross Point Cowboy Church or to Avery’s Chapel Cemetery.
Tammy Jo Manasco Pitchford
Mrs. Tammy Jo Manasco Pitchford, age 55, a resident of Dierks, Ark., died Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014, at her home.
She was born Feb. 21, 1959 in De Queen. She and her husband were the owners and operators of Calvin’s Steam Cleaning. She was a member of the Geneva Missionary Baptist Church and loved to garden.
Mrs. Pitchford was preceded in death by her parents, Doyce and Loree Flournoy Manasco; one sister, Ramona Jean Manasco; her mother and father-in-law, E.B. (Jody) and Rose Mae Pitchford and three brothers-in-law, Coy Pitchford, Elmer Ray Pitchford and Kenneth Culp.
She is survived by her husband, Calvin Pitchford; one son and daughter-in-law, Damon Lee and Leah Pitchford; two daughters and a son-in-law, Lindsey Marie Pitchford and Mackenzie Caitlin and Jacob Dinger all of Dierks; four sisters and three brothers-in-law, Gayle and Hoyt Adcock and Marilyn Culp all of De Queen, Charlotte and Jim Reed of Marshfield, Mo., and Julie and Roy Pitchford of Dierks; one granddaughter, Kinley Mae; her sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Caroline and Hayes Halcombe of Dierks; many beloved nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews; a special uncle, Minor Ray Goodman and special family friends, Ashley, Stacy and Bryar Janes.
Funeral services for Mrs. Pitchford were at 11 a.m., Friday, Oct. 24, 2014, at Geneva Missionary Baptist Church with Bro. Travis Lane officiating.  Burial followed in the Mt. Ida Cemetery, under the direction of Wilkerson Funeral Home.
The family will receive friends from 6:00-8:00 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 23 at the funeral home in Dierks.
You may register on-line at
Donalyn Williams
Donalyn Williams, age 54 of Nashville, Ark.,, passed away, Sunday Oct. 26, 2014 in Nashville. She was born Nov. 17, 1959 in Labelle, Fla., to the late Dr. Jack and Sandra (Sandy) Sayre Williams. She was a client of the Howard County Children’s Center in Nashville. She loved helping on her family’s farm and being with all of her friends at the Center. She loved to visit and never met a stranger. Donalyn  also loved to cook and play words with friends’ game.
Donalyn was preceded in death by her parents; 4 brothers, Steve, Lee, Mark and Hank Williams. She was the last of her immediate family.
Her survivors include her cousins, Sharon Goren of Kissimmee, Fla., Diane Garcia of Puntagorda, Fla., and Batya Goren of New York.
Also, all of her friends at the Children’s Center, including the staff; as well as many other friends in the surrounding community.
A visitation will be Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014 from 1-3 p.m. at Nashville Funeral Home.
She will then be laid to rest by her family in Florida later in the week.
Dorothy C. Swain
Dorothy C. Swain, 89, of Nashville, died Thursday, Oct.23, 2014.
She was born July 24, 1925 in Jackson, Miss., to the late Howard C. Caillouet and Edvige G. Caillouet.
She was a member of the Eastern Star for many years.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Rev. James B. Swain, Sr.
Survivors include: her son, Jimmy Swain of Warren, Ark.; two daughters, Claudine Oswalt of Greenville, Miss., and Princess Ward of Nashville; also grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Graveside services were at 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014 at Restland Memorial Park in Nashville under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home, Nashville.
You may send an online sympathy message at

Mine Creek Revelations: Monarch Journey

By Louie Graves
One critter I do love is the Monarch Butterfly, and I regret to tell you that I’ve seen very few of them this year. They are now supposed to be migrating through our area.
Last week an article in the ‘Texarkana Gazette’ said that there has been a serious loss of habitat along the route of their annual migration to Mexico, and butterfly-observers are worried.
Monarchs fly ‘back’ to Mexico, mate and then return north to have chillins and die.
An article in the ‘Arkansas Democrat Gazette’ suggests that butterfly lovers plant ‘milkweed’ which the article said is the only thing Monarchs will eat. Somebody tell me how to plant milkweed and if-or-where I can get seed. Oh, yeah, if there’s a downside to having a bunch of milkweed in your landscaping please let me know.
The rhythms of nature reassure me of the hand of the Almighty.
IT HAS BEEN a typical Arkansas late October. In the morning you need to wear your insulated camo coveralls, and by noon you can go skinnydipping.
MANY OF US lost a hero last week when Bill Fritts died.
I’m not sure how long he battled cancer — he just didn’t talk or complain about it. But, I know he fought for maybe two decades. He was also a hero to my late wife, and Jane often reminded herself of Bill’s enduring positive nature when she was having her own struggles with the disease. He inspired her.
This is my lasting mental picture of Bill Fritts. Ramrod straight and muscular. Courageous. Grinning and sharing good humor even when he must have felt terrible, or if he was under assault again from this relentless enemy.
The very way he lived his life inspired us all, and we should not forget him. I hope you’ll join me in remembering him with a luminary at our community’s 2015 Cancer Society Relay for Life.
Peace to his family, and thanks to the Almighty for putting such people among us.
Last year, the principal at my granddaughter’s elementary school in Maumelle was a very polished young woman named Yolanda Thomas. We knew her here as Lynn Coulter, a NHS cheerleader from Center Point. I visit with her mom, Doris, when I go out to Center Point for a Red Cross blood drive.
This year, my granddaughter’s EAST Lab instructor at the middle school is Mary Ann ‘Candy’ Yates Riggan, who has roots at Center Point and is first cousin to retired police chief Larry Yates, and therefore is related to all of the Center Point Yateseseseses. Her dad was Haskell Yates.
JUST A FEW DAYS after his birthday, another product of Center Point, NHS grad Ken Bissell, announced the official launch of his first book, “Many Sons To Glory – The John Prock Story.” Ken’s book is about the inspiring life of late Harding University head football coach, John Prock, who was there from 1964-87. You can order the book by going to
Ken was my sports editor when we worked at another Nashville newspaper. He has his dream job, nowadays. He’s at Harding U., a place he always loved, and he is in the working media, a place for which he was well-fitted.
I modestly take a lot of credit for his development.
ON A SATURDAY drive up around Cossatot River Park and back, the Navigator and I stopped at the old ‘Lost’ Ralls-Brown Cemetery which is down a dusty lane on a hillside back in the piney woods off Mineola Road near Umpire. I wanted to show her the grave of Nathaniel Ralls who died in 1875. He was a veteran of the Black Hawk Indian Wars, serving in a regiment of Illinois volunteers which put down that uprising. The grave has a new bronze marker furnished by a Texas family member who re-discovered and fixed up the small old graveyard.
One of Ralls’ fellow soldiers in Regiment VI was a lanky guy named Abraham Lincoln.
On the aforementioned trip we stopped for awhile at the closed low-water bridge at Ed Banks Access. We had to sit in the shade because, even though it was late October, the sun was quite warm. There were just a few people camped nearby. We could hear them singing and playing a guitar sometimes when the wind didn’t ruffle the leaves too much.
We visited with a park ranger, and stayed until flights of gnats ran us off. We left and drove along more narrow gravel roads from there to the Brushy Creek Access upriver closer to Wickes. That place was also nearly deserted, and had lots of shade. No gnats.
“It’s amazing how many Arkansans don’t even know these beautiful places exist,” the Nav said. True.
HE SAID: “That’s the irony in the work: the best stories are the worst things that happen. My best times were somebody else’s worst.” Michael Connelly, crime novelist. (Michael Connelly is my favorite living author. I qualify that by noting I haven’t read Ken Bissell’s book, yet.)
SHE SAID: “The culture used to move relatively slowly, so you could take aim. Now it moves so fast, and is so fluffy and meaningless, you feel like an idiot even complaining about it.” Susan Faludi, author

Area football scores, next opponents

The Nashville Scrappers beat Ashdown, 31-15, last Friday and will travel to Mena tonight (Oct. 24)
The Murfreesboro Rattlers beat the Mineral Springs Hornets, 46-26, for a homecoming win and will host the Spring Hill Bears tonight (Oct. 24)
The Mineral Springs Hornets will host the Foreman Gators tonight (Oct. 24) for a homecoming match.


Pinked Out at Mine Creek Health & Rehab

PINK OUT DAY FOR BREAST CANCER AWARENESS. At Mine Creek Health & Rehab participants included, from left, Sheila Milam, Jeana Medlin, Nicole Aylett, Jessie Bowers, Nicole Brock Tab Randle, Karen Whisenhunt, Janice Jones, Candy Upton, Monica Brown, Twila Curry, Dee Dee Smith, Jana Witherspoon, Kathy Rogers, Shree Gentry, Cristal Young, Mike Hays, Debra Lewis, Melody Ester, LaTonya Franklin, Ebony Hopkins and Quisha Morgan.

Early voting underway for General Election

Hotly contested races for federal, state and area offices will be settled by Arkansas voters between now and election day, Tuesday, Nov. 4. Early voting is now underway at courthouses in Howard and Pike counties.
Because of an Arkansas Supreme Court ruling last week, voters will no longer have to show a photo ID. The court ruled that the state’s voter ID law was invalid.
Races, with names in the order they will appear on the Howard County ballot, include:
U.S. Senate — Mark Pryor, Democrat; Mark H. Swaney, Green Party; Tom Cotton, Republican; Nathan LaFrance, Libertarian.
U.S. Congress, District 4 — Rep. Bruce Westerman, Republican; Ken Hamilton, Libertarian; James Lee Witt, Democrat.
Governor of Arkansas — J. Joshua Drake, Green Party; Asa Hutchinson, Republican; Mike Ross, Democrat; Frank Gilbert, Libertarian.
Lieutenant Governor — John Burkhalter, Democrat; Christopher Olsen, Libertarian; Congressman Tim Griffin, Republican.
Attorney General — Representative Nate Steel, Democrat; Leslie Rutledge, Republican; Aaron Cash, Libertarian.
Secretary of State — Secretary of State Mark Martin, Republican; Susan Inman, Democrat; Jacob D. Holloway, Libertarian.
State Treasurer — Chris Hayes, Libertarian; Circuit Clerk Dennis Milligan, Republican; Karen Sealy Garcia, Democrat.
Auditor of State — Brian Leach, Libertarian; Representative Andrea Lea, Republican; Regina Stewart Hampton, Democrat.
Commissioner of State Lands — Mark A. Robertson, Democrat; Elvis D. Presley, Libertarian; Commissioner John Thurston, Republican.
State Representative District 19 — Justin Gonzales, Republican; Jeremy Ross, Democrat.
State Representative District 4 — DeAnn Vaught, Republican; Rep. Fonda Hawthorne, Democrat.
Mineral Springs
Among area races is the one for mayor of Mineral Springs where candidates include Bobby Tullis and the incumbent, W.H. “Sonny” Heatherly.
The City of Murfreesboro will also have two contested races including for mayor and the South Ward Position 2 on the city council. Mayoral candidates include Rodney Fagan and Soledad Woodall. South Ward Position 2 candidates are Mary Jean Barbre and Jeff Walls.
There will also be a race for Pike County Justice of the Peace District 7 seat between Kenneth Crow, Democrat and David Sirmon, Republican.
The Pike County  town of Daisy will also have a contested race for the Recorder/Treasurer position between Hortense Young and Jennifer Cogburn.
Ballot issues
There are five ballot “issues” where voters may cast “for” or “against” votes.
Issue 1 — An amendment empowering the General Assembly to provide for Legislative Committee review and approval of state agencies and administrative rules. The issue would actually reduce the powers of the office of the governor and give more to the legislature.
Issue 2 — An amendment allowing more time to gather signatures on a state-wide initiative or referendum petition only if the petition as originally filed contained at least 75% of the valid signatures required.
Issue 3 — An amendment regulating contributions to candidates for state or local office, barring gifts from lobbyists to certain state officials providing for setting salaries of certain officials, and setting term limits for members of the general assembly. The issue actually lengthens the time in office a politician may serve.
Issue 4 — The Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment (statewide sales of alcoholic beverages). There would be no more ‘dry’ or ‘wet’ counties.
Issue 5 — An act to increase the Arkansas minimum wage (raising the minimum wage from $6.25 per hour to $8.50 in three increments ending Jan. 1, 2017).
Early voting
Early voting began Monday of this week for the General Election of 2014.
The early voting takes place in the Howard County courthouse annex in the hours of 8-6, Monday through Friday, beginning.
Early voting will end Monday, Nov. 3, at 5 p.m., and polling places in the county will be open the following day, election day, from 7:30-7:30.
The early voting site will be open on two Saturdays before the election, Oct. 25 and Nov. 1, from 10-4.

Bid opening set Nov. 6 for Phase 4 of Nashville school project

By John R. Schirmer
Leader staff
Subcontractors’ bids on Phase 4 of the Nashville School District’s building project will be opened Thursday, Nov. 6, at 2 p.m. in the board room, Superintendent Doug Graham told the school board Monday night.
Doyle Howard Construction of Delight, the contractor, is advertising for subcontractors’ packages, Graham said. After bids are opened, Graham will call a special board meeting “to approve or deny the job.”
If the work is approved, “We’ll start during the Christmas holidays,” Graham said.
The project includes enclosing a large part of the Nashville High School courtyard and constructing a cafeteria at the school.
The work at high school marks the final phase of the district’s $15-million facilities improvement program. The remainder of the project has been completed and includes a 7-classroom addition at NHS, renovation of the existing high school building, a new cafeteria and media center at junior high, and Scrapper Arena.
The board hired Howard Construction earlier this month after terminating a contract with Crawford Construction Co., the contractor for the other building projects. The budget for the high school work is about $2.8 million, and the closest the former contractor came was about $3.2 million.
Board members took care of several routine items during their 25-minute meeting. They elected officers for the next year, including Randy Elliott, president; Miles Mitchell, vice president; and David Hilliard, secretary.
Graham reported that the district’s operating balance at the end of last month was $3,652,000.
The board approved a revised personnel policy on employee insurance, replacing a policy adopted last summer. “This was just released by the Arkansas School Board Association,” Graham said, and reflects changes in the state’s school employee insurance program.
“It will probably be amended again by the legislature after the first of the year,” Graham said. “We have no choice but to get it in the book and wait on the session” in January.
Assistant Superintendent Joe Kell gave an update on the district’s ACSIP Plans and Assurances.
“We volunteered to be in a pilot program for ACSIP,” Kell said. About 50 school districts statewide are participating in the pilot program.
“This involves more teamwork, both in the district unit and school building units. We meet twice monthly and about four different times with the state for training on the new aspects,” Kell said.
Graham said preliminary reports indicate that Howard County tax collections “are low so far. We hope they pick up. Distribution will be sometime between now and November.”
The board hired the following: Tracey Upton, special ed aide; Jennifer Cox, custodian at primary; Lyndol Hoen, cafeteria; Jennifer Smith, custodian.

Howard County Sheriff’s Department investigating forged USDA document

From the Howard County Sheriff’s Office:
Forged document investigation
Sept. 5 — John Moore of Shreveport, La., filed a report with the Howard County Sheriff’s Department regarding government documents that were forged bearing his name as the lessor.  The documents were in the possession of the US Department of Agriculture office located in Nashville. The documents were a lease agreement certification statement for emergency government assistance. The USDA office in Nashville told investigators that Brian Eudy had requested an application and a lease agreement form on May 16, 2014. He returned a week later with the program application and lease agreement bearing the signature of John Moore.
This case is being investigated by Howard County Sheriff’s Investigators David Shelton and John Eric Glidewell.
Brian Steven Eudy, 36, white male, of 175 Possum Hollow Road Dierks,  turned himself in on Friday, Oct. 17 and posted a $25,000 bond for his release.
Arrests made
Oct. 16, — the Howard County Sheriff’s Department received a call from Jim Hood at 1747 Mt. Pleasant Drive north of Nashville. He stated that he was mowing at his son’s residence and noticed a dark colored Chevrolet truck come from behind the house at a fast rate of speed. Deputy Timmy Floyd and Investigator John Eric Glidewell responded to the call. When officers arrived they observed tire tracks where the vehicle had sped away and noticed several items that came from inside the residence sitting in the yard behind the house. Deputy Floyd stayed at the residence taking the report while Investigator Glidewell attempted to locate the suspect vehicle. Investigator Glidewell met a dark green Chevrolet truck traveling at a high rate of speed traveling north on Mt. Pleasant. Investigator Glidewell radioed Deputy Floyd and advised him to have Hood look at the vehicle when it passed by the residence. Hood advised officers that was the vehicle he had seen earlier coming from behind his son’s residence.  Investigator Glidewell stopped the vehicle and identified the driver as Christopher Jarmin, 29, white male, of 160 Ramage Road,  Nashville, and the passenger as Dustyn Dowdle, 25, white male, of 2706 Hwy. 26 East, Delight. Officers found several items in the back of the truck that had been stolen out of the Hood residence. Both subjects were arrested and transported to the Howard County Jail and charged with Residential Burglary and Theft of Property. Bond has been set at $50,000 for each.
Drug charges
Oct. 17 –  at approximately 7:45 p.m. Deputy Travis Turner was patrolling on Hwy. 27 south of Nashville. he made traffic stop on a Ford Mustang for speeding. The driver, James Wright, 28, white male, of Texarkana, Ark., did not have his driver’s license with him. He was reportedly very nervous while talking with the deputy, who then obtained consent to search. While patting Wright down he found a bag of marijuana and a bag of methamphetamine. Wright was arrested and transported to the Howard County Jail and is being charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance: Marijuana and Methamphetamine. Bond has been set at $25,000.


Public concerns about Ebola prompt postponement of local church’s mission trip

By John Balch
Leader staff
Ebola paranoia has spread to Nashville and a recent public outcry and threats have prompted a mission trip to the West African county of Senegal to be postponed.
A handful of members of the Ridgeway Baptist Church of Nashville were set to join members of a Hot Springs church for a medical mission to Senegal on Nov. 6. But, over the last two weeks, the public concerns about the mission and the possibility of missionaries bringing the deadly virus home to Arkansas had become increasingly threatening. Mission organizer, Dr. Jackson Porter of the Hot Springs church, announced Friday that the trip had been delayed.
“I could see for the greater good, this had to be sacrificed,” Porter told the Hot Springs newspaper in an article published Saturday. He said he did not want the one mission to jeopardize the other numerous planned church missions. “It’s not something I want to do, but there was just so much push-back. There were threatening implications”
Porter was also quoted as saying the public’s reaction was fueled by a recent article in The Nashville Leader about the churches’ plan to proceed with the mission trip despite the then-presence of the Ebola virus in Senegal. The article was posted and re-posted on social media and the public outcry soon flooded the Nashville’s church’s Facebook page and even involved concerned calls to Nashville Mayor Billy Ray Jones.
“One every minute,” is the rate of calls Mayor Jones said he fielded last week as the issue continued to spin on social media. “The town is obviously pretty worried.”
The comments posted to the church’s social media page ranged from polite requests to reconsider the mission to name-calling and threats of pulling children from the church if the mission was to take place.
Bro. Larry Sherman of the Nashville church told The Nashville Leader Monday that some church members have endured threats to their physical well-being and the church building has also been the subject of other threats.

When Mayor Jones and church authorities officially announced Friday that the mission been delayed, a Ridgeway Baptist Church member posted on the church’s Facebook page that the decision was reached because of the public’s “hatred and vitriol” had caused members of the mission team “to be concerned for their safety, not from travel, not from Ebola, but from their neighbors and so called friends. For that reason, and no other, this trip has been postponed.” The poster also said God was “not happy” about the situation.

Once the postponement was announced, the public again took to social media where they thanked the church for reconsidering and listening to the public concerns.

Dr. Porter also noted in the interview with the Hot Springs newspaper that on the day he had to announce the mission had been delayed the World Health Organization had declared Senegal has an “Ebola-free country.”

Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: A Vote for Nate

Walking in the dark early Tuesday morning, I saw something move toward me from a bush beside the road.
Then, mercifully, it turned away and ran back in the bush. It was, my dear friends, a real skunk. I do hate skunks. And remember, when you see a skunk you should automatically consider that it is rabid. It’s about the only thing that can make me break into a run that early in the morning. Later in the day I will run for M&M Peanuts.
MORE ANIMAL CRACKERS. I do hope that the deer hunters in the Muddy Fork/Fallen Creek area north of Nashville and south of Newhope have a banner hunting season. I want them to clear out the deer population, many of which graze nonchalantly on the shoulder of the road when I make my Tuesday night paper route trip to Jo-Lee Westfall’s post office in Newhope (one word). I never fail to see about a dozen on the 44-mile round trip. I’ve had one close encounter with a deer, but I’ve never (knock on wood) hit one with my buggy. And that’s why I want the hunters to significantly reduce the deer population around the Muddy Fork.
IN THE HEAVENS. Some big doins’ this week, all out of our sight. A spaceshot from India got pics of Mars and the comet which spun around our red neighbor before being slingshotted back into deep space. All told, there were seven Mars surface vehicles from the U.S., India and European space agencies which are crawling over the planet’s surface and which reportedly managed to get some photos of the flyby. It’ll be a few days before the pictures get back to Earth and are processed. NASA isn’t as fast as Walmart.
The comet is named Siding Spring, and it is being followed closely by its sister comet, Aluminum Siding. Just joking.
The scientists were excited about Siding Spring because they believe it is the first time it has gotten close enough to our sun so that it reacts to the heat. They’ll get to see it happen. This comet was supposedly formed several billion years ago. It was safely waaaay out there in something called the Oort Cloud but got bumped off course by a passing star about a million years ago.
What I want to know is: If the scientists know all this about Siding Spring, how come can’t we find Jimmy Hoffa?
And how come we can’t come up with a simple recipe for homemade M&M Peanuts?
This reminds me that Thursday night is planetarium night on the Henderson State University campus. Show starts at 7 and get there early to let hour eyes adjust. No one is admitted late.
I AM SO DISAPPOINTED in the political campaigns this year. Both sides (and their rich invisible supporters) have produced some really objectionable TV ads and postal mailouts. Lots of outright lies, stretched truth and innuendo. I’m tired of it.
So, I am taking the high road. I will only say good things. My hope is that you will vote FOR someone, rather than AGAINST someone.
I do more than get disappointed; I get MAD when I see the outrageous ads saying negative things about Nate Steel. It also worries me that somebody way off can pump more than $1 million into a campaign here, not knowing either candidate. And, really, not even caring about how the people of Arkansas will be served by the winner.
You can join me in proudly voting FOR Nate Steel in the race for Arkansas Attorney General. We have first hand experience with Nate. He was an excellent deputy prosecuting attorney. He was an excellent counsel to the Howard County Quorum Court. He was an excellent member of the Arkansas Legislature who got along just fine with both sides of the aisle. I’ve heard he was pretty good as a Scrapper football lineman, although the latter is the opinion of his mama.
But he needs your vote because there are some people out there who are honestly worried that he is Obama’s ‘lapdog’ and they will vote for Nate’s opponent for no other reason.
Nate is by far the most qualified to serve the people of Arkansas. When you see the candidates side-by-side the difference is really obvious.
Now we have a chance to elect a good man to the office of Attorney General. If you’re not voting for or against someone simply because they have a R or a D after their name, Nate Steel is a good choice.
WINTERING YOUR PLANTS. Been reading some suggestions to follow if you’re going to bring some ‘outside’ plants into your home for the winter.
First, get rid of bugs. How clever.
They suggest washing the underside of the leaves carefully. Soak the pot in lukewarm water for about a half hour. This brings bugs to the surface of the soil and you can pick off the little darlings. Let the pot drain well before you take it inside.
But what do  you do with the bugs? I remove them with a leftover pair of Chinese chopsticks. and Skwush ‘em real good!
HE SAID: “My definition of an intellectual is someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture without thinking of the Lone Ranger.” Billy Connolley, comedian and musician
SHE SAID: “Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.” Margaret Mead, anthropologist and author

Obituaries (Week of Oct. 20, 2014)

Clara Mae Mabery
Clara Mae Mabery, died on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2014 in Murfreesboro.
She was born on March 25, 1923 in Pike City, Ark.,, the daughter of the late William Tomas Wall and Netti Bell Bateman (Wall.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 52 years, Ancel John Mabery; her brother, Jessie Wall; and three sisters, Bell Spears, Tincie Jackson, and Edna Johnson.
She worked many years gathering eggs in chicken houses, and was a homemaker who loved cooking for her family.
She is survived by: her two sons, John Dell Mabery and friend, Sheila Curry of Pike City, Ark., and Tracy Mabery and wife, BJ of Pike City; two daughters, Shirley Mabery of Hot Springs, Ark., and Clara Faye Wilkins and husband, Kenneth of Pike City; 10 grandchildren, Dale and wife, Cindy Wilkins, Heather Mabery and Hillard, Hunter Mabery, John Stacy Mabery, Angel Mabery Rowton and Scottie Rowton, Diana Lewis and Ken Lewis, Denise Stevens and Shawn, Stanley Ward and Leisa, Debra Daniell, and Delilah Raney; 18 great-grandchildren, Hannah, Zack, Gerah, Donte, Nicole, JD, Megan, Tashia, John Devin, Jessica, Megan, Ryan, Kyle, Chris, Kenny, John, Gary, and Becky; 17 great-great-grandchildren, Sadie, Mason, Erin, Tori, Kaleigh, Alysia, Amelia, Alex, Hannah, Landon, Jordan, Aspin, Sloan, Justin, Sierra, Hailee, Christean, Kyle, Andrew, and Ryan; one brother, Lonnie Joe Wall of Branch, Ark.; and several nieces and nephews.
Services were 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014  at Latimer Funeral Home, Murfreesboro with Rob Evans and Bro. Rick Green officiating. Burial followed in Pike City Cemetery under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home, Murfreesboro.
Visitation was on Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014 from 6-8 p.m. in the chapel, Murfreesboro.
Dr. Robert ‘Bob’ Sykes
Dr. Robert Ronald Sykes, 70, of Nashville died in his home Oct. 15, 2014.
He was born in Hot Springs, Nov. 11, 1943, the son of the late Harry Sykes and Dorothy Bales Sykes.
He was a US Army veteran, was a deacon of First Baptist Church, and volunteered at the Howard County Christian Health Clinic.
He was preceded in death by sisters Angie Johnson, Pat Revere and Jean Hope, and a twin brother, Dr. James Sykes.
Survivors include: his wife of 46 years, Sandra Sykes of Nashville; a daughter, Karen Sykes; a son, Timothy Sykes; a brother, Worthy Sykes; also a grandson.
Services were Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014 at the First Baptist Church in Nashville. Burial followed at Mineral Springs Cemetery under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home, Nashville. Visitation was from 10-11 a.m. at the church.

South Pike County School District Report to the Public

Superintendent Roger Featherston
Report to the Public
The 2014-15 school year marks the beginning of the fifth year of the South Pike County School District.  We are operating three campuses, Murfreesboro High School, Murfreesboro Elementary, and Delight Elementary.  All students and teachers operate under the same district policies which are guided by the model policies produced by the Arkansas School Board Association.
All campuses of the South Pike district are fully accredited by the Arkansas Department of Education.  We are meeting the requirements of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), which is in place as a technology and internet safety measure.  This includes blocking or filtering internet access for all users, helping to prevent users from accessing material that is harmful to minors.  Also, all users are required to sign usage agreements which give the guidelines for usage, and have, or will be instructed in the safe and ethical use of the internet, including but not limited to social networking.  Students are advised that they enjoy no expectation of privacy in any aspect of their school computer use.
We currently have 693 students enrolled.  Of these, 104 are at the Delight Elementary, 281 are at the Murfreesboro Elementary, and 308 are at the Murfreesboro High School.  We have a total of 43 classified employees, and 69 licensed employees.  All employees are working under a unified salary schedule and personnel policies.
Under Arkansas’ ESEA Flexibility Waiver of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, both elementary campuses and the high school have been placed on “Needs Improvement” status. While the district’s status currently requires no corrective action under the ESEA Waiver, we have a combination of specialized classes, computerized activities, after-school tutoring, and a partnerships with the Learning Institute, E-Instruction, and Virtual Arkansas as interventions to help in the effort to raise test scores.
Title I funds are being used to provide services above and beyond those required for all students on both elementary campuses, as well as technology supplies and software.  Title II is being used for class size reduction and technology for classrooms.  NSLA funds are being used to fund after school tutoring/remediation centers and to purchase much needed technology upgrades to advance learning.  All these topics are covered in our ACSIP plan which is prepared by our federal programs coordinator, Tanya Wilcher.
South Pike County School District is an equal educational Title VI and Title IX school district.  No student in the district shall, on the grounds of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, or disability be excluded from participation in, or denied benefits of, or subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity sponsored by the district.  Our Equity coordinator is Tanya Wilcher and our Homeless liaison is Kathaleen Cole.
The district is currently in the process of improving the Murfreesboro Elementary playground.  We have increase the size of the play area, and are adding new play equipment that will increase our ability to serve all students.  We are also in the process of adding technology devices to ensure our readiness for state-mandated digital testing and improve the ability to teach and learn.  We are purchasing new bleachers for the gymnasium that will be installed during the Christmas Holidays.  We are also researching the feasibility of a renovation to the gymnasium, which would add HVAC and additional seating.  Also, a partnership project through the Department of Education’s Facilities Division is being pursued to attain new HVAC units for the high school.
At this time, Mrs. Tanya Wilcher will report on both elementary schools and Federal Programs, followed by Ms. Kathaleen Cole reporting on the high school.  At that time our annual Report to the Public will be concluded.


Elementary Principal Tanya Wilcher
Murfreesboro & Delight Elementary School
Report to the Public
Our enrollment this year at Murfreesboro Elementary is 282 students.
We have 43 students in kindergarten.
43 students in 1st grade classrooms
42 students in 2nd grade classrooms
37 students in 3rd grade classrooms
28 students in 4th grade
45 students in 5th grade
44 students in 6th grade
Our enrollment at Delight Elementary is 104 students.
We have 16 in Kindergarten,
15 students in 1st grade
18 students in 2nd grade
13 students in 3rd grade
14 students in 4th grade
18 students in 5th grade
10 students in 6th grade
Murfreesboro & Delight Elementary have been labeled as a Needs Improvement Schools. These categories are based on the Arkansas Benchmark Exam scores.
K-6th grades are implementing the Common Core standards for the third year.  The Benchmark test is still testing students on the old Framework standards.  Teachers are having to implement many programs and interventions this year on both campuses to help fill this information gap that has been caused with the state changing our teaching standards but not changing the achievement testing yet.
K-6th grades are implementing DI Reading on both campuses. We are seeing many improvements and more students excelling in reading.
Both campuses are using the computer labs and different intervention programs with all our students. All students rotate through the computer lab weekly to help with remediation and enrichment for K-6th graders in Math & Literacy & Science. The students are also being taught keyboarding which will be used on the new state computerized testing that begins this school year.
We will be starting the after school tutoring on both campuses this month.  Tutoring this year will target the students that did not score proficient or above on the benchmark or is below level in reading.
Accelerated Reader is used on both campuses to encourage all students to read more.
We are encouraging parents to stay actively involved with their children’s academic success.  We are still using an online gradebook program, HAC.  Parents have access to their children’s grades online. If a parent needs their access code to get in, they may call either office to get it.
 We are trying a new schedule on the Murfreesboro campus this year with our 5th & 6th graders.  Math & reading classes are 75 minutes long and Science, Social Studies, and Language Arts are being split into 3 smaller classes for 45 minutes every other week. This is enabling the teachers more individual time with each group. The 3rd & 4th graders are being team taught this year with two teachers at each grade level but all students K-4 participate in DI Reading from 8:15-9:45 each morning.
Our 5th & 6th grades are still getting to experience PE twice a week. One day a week they are with Ms. Traci Jones implementing the standards for PE and one day a week they are with Coach Steve Martin getting to participate in off season drills to introduce them to the sports that will be available to them in Jr. High school.
We are using NSLA money & Title I money to implement a one-to-one Ipad ratio for 5th & 6th graders on both campuses. All teachers on both campuses also have an Ipad and the ability to be mobile while they are teaching.  We are trying to enhance our teaching by utilizing all the advancements of technology that are  available for them.
Murfreesboro & Delight Elementary collect box tops each year.  M’boro Elementary raised $2508 last year and Delight Elementary raised $1038 by having students collect these and bring to school.  This money is used for prizes, programs, and incentives for the students. We would love to encourage everyone in the community to collect box tops and turn them in to the schools.
Murfreesboro elementary used money they raised from last school years fundraising to expand our back playground.  We are in the process of adding a swing set and a dome jungle gym.  We are hoping to raise enough money this year to add some additional equipment on the front playground also.
All teachers are fully certified and are highly qualified in their teaching area.
Both Campuses are fully accredited and are a school-wide Title I school.


High School Principal Kathaleen Cole
The High School has 311 students in attendance. We hired four new teachers this year. ALE Teacher, Ms Stephaine Cox, high school English Teacher, Stephaine Cross, Nicole Martin, and Mac McCrea, science teachers /coaches.
High School has just gotten in IPADS for students to use in various classrooms. Teachers have been trained in operating the IPADS using programs that will benefit the students. The programs consist of 360, Edmodo, Remind 101 and You Tube. (Educational)
Murfreesboro High School is currently offering 27 different classes through Virtual Arkansas. Several students are taking classes from Cossatot as well.
The district also has a new web site up in order to keep the public inform about the school’s events. Teachers are creating classes and organizing web sites. The calendar on the district’s home page lists major events. Important events are featured in a yellow bar flashing underneath the slide show.  The web site is an on-going project with changes and updates made almost daily.
The district’s parent involvement plan is located on the web site along with other items of interest to parents.
Student Council is involving our community in recognizing and honoring community members through the Veteran’s Day Assembly that will be held on November 11, 2014.
The Student Council also sold Pink-out t-shirts to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
FCCLA attended national competitions in San Antonio this summer and Bethany Briley won a gold medal in public speaking and Addison Womack won a silver medal for our chapter on our community service project on wellness.
FCCLA presently has 57 members. FCCLA and our Community Service Project fundraiser has been for the Ronald McDonald house, donation $150.00.
FBLA attended their fall conference Wednesday, October 8, 2014 with 25 members joined and 24 in attendance. The next conference will be in February, 2015 in Hope.


Curriculum Coordinator
Melissa Jones
South Pike County School District
Report to the Public
In Arkansas, schools are evaluated by their students’ performance on tests in Grades 3-8 in the subject areas of mathematics and literacy.  End-of-Course tests in Algebra I, Geometry and 11th Grade Literacy are also used to assess student learning.  The 2013-14 school year was the last for Benchmark and End-of-Course assessments.  We are transitioning to the PARCC test which reflects the Common Core Standards.  See the attached handout with scores for each campus.
South Pike County is a “Needs Improvement” district.  Designation as “Needs Improvement” means that the school is not a Needs Improvement Priority School, Needs Improvement Focus School, or Exemplary School and that the school did not meet its Annual Measurable Objectives (AMO) in performance or growth for the all-students group and the Targeted Achievement Gap Group (TAGG).   The majority of the schools in Arkansas currently have this designation. After school tutoring and remediation have begun on all three campuses.  Teachers and students are also working on student Academic Improvement Plans (AIPs).  It is important to remember this status was determined using the ACTAAP testing system which measures the Arkansas Frameworks not the Common Core Standards that were being taught as required by ADE.
In order to make improvements, all schools in the South Pike County School District are giving target test to gauge what our students have learned.  Both elementary schools are developing their own test and we are beginning to give the test electronically.  At MES, students are taking the test on IPADS or in the computer lab.  This will be phased into DES over the coming months.  MHS is working with The Learning Institute (TLI) to facilitate target tests.  The math department has given their first test entirely online.  This is being filtered into other disciplines.  This is to better prepare our students for the PARCC assessment which will be administered entirely online.   Our math, literacy and science teachers use current lesson plans to create an assessment map that is followed throughout the year.  The data received from the assessments helps the teacher quickly identify academic strengths and weaknesses.  Once those areas have been identified, teachers can then begin to enhance the student’s knowledge of necessary skills, rather than spending time on skills already mastered.  All of our literacy, math and science teachers worked during the summer to implement this target testing program and it is evolving throughout the year.
Work has begun on student Academic Improvement Plans (AIPs).  All students who do not score proficient or advanced need AIP’s and are to be remediated.   Both elementary schools are beginning after school tutoring programs for those students needing remediation.  At Murfreesboro High School, students are using a web-based program to complete remediation requirements.  Students are able to access the APEX program wherever there is Internet access.  If students do not have access to the Internet at home, they are staying after school with certified teachers to work on remediation.  Students are welcome to stay after school for tutoring purposes as well.

Trial dates set for Pike County accused of killing 3 in 2013

By John Balch
Leader staff
Trial dates have been set for a Pike County man accused of killing three people in July of 2013.
Timothy Allen Hill, 44, of Billstown is set for a pretrial hearing on Nov. 3 with a Nov. 20 trial date. He is charged with three counts of capital murder in the shooting deaths of his estranged wife, Dana Hill, 33; his mother-in-law, Julie Hartsfield, 54; and his wife’s niece, nine-year-old Autumn Hartsfield, all of Waldo.
The three were killed the evening of July 13, 2013 at the Hills’ home off Highway 301 in the Billstown community of Pike County. Dana Hill had not resided at the home for some time and the couple were apparently going through a divorce which had not been finalized.
Hill is being represented by Rowe Stayton and Dana Stone of the Stayton & Associates law firm.
Hill has undergone extensive mental evaluations since his arrest, and in February of 2014, the court ordered he stay at the State Hospital and receive mental health treatment until he was deemed ready for trial. He was found competent to stand trial last December but case files note he was suffering from major depression.
Capital murder is a Class Y felony and carries a punishment of life without parole or death.
The three victims were killed by gunfire from a SKS rifle and, according to information filed on the case, the killings were “premeditated and deliberated.”
Julie and Autumn Hartsfield were both shot while still buckled in seat belts as they sat in a car parked outside the Hill resident. Dana Hill was killed in the bathroom of the home. Julie Hartsfield and Dana Hill died at the scene while Autumn Hartsfield died from her injuries after being air-lifted to a Hot Springs hospital.
Timothy Hill told authorities that prior to the shootings he had taken his two young sons to his father’s nearby home and then went back home. “He knew that his wife was coming to get the two boys,” according to an affidavit of arrest prepared by Arkansas State Police Investigator Hays McWhirter.
The suspect said Dana Hill went into the bathroom after arriving at the home. It was at this time, he reportedly retrieved his SKS rifle and went outside. “(Hill) stated that he shot the car that his mother-in-law was sitting in and that he knew that she was in it. He further stated that he was mad at her because she was trying to turn his two boys against him,” stated the affidavit.
Investigators found six bullet holes from an SKS rifle in the right front passenger’s door and two bullet holes in the right rear door of a BMW car registered to Dana Hill. Autumn Hartsfield was sitting in the backseat of the car, also still buckled in a seat belt.
Dana Hill died from a single gunshot while sitting on the floor of the home’s bathroom. “It appears Dana Hill had locked herself in the bathroom. Timothy Hill had fired one round into the door lock to open the locked door. The doorknob lock was still in the lock position,” according to the affidavit.
Timothy Hill had told investigators that he “meant to shoot his mother-in-law but did not mean to shoot his wife. He did not know why he did.” The suspect also said when he located his estranged wife in the bathroom that he pointed the rifle at her and asked her “why?” and the gun went off.
Timothy Hill also claimed he did not know that the little girl was in the vehicle when he shot at his mother-in-law.
During his time in the Pike County Jail, Hill was involved in a fight with another prisoner, Andrew C. Barrett of Amity. The fight resulted in Hill having to undergo major reconstructive surgery for a broken jaw and treatment of multiple lacerations.
The incident happened in the jail’s general population cell “pod” and was described as an “unarmed fight.” Hill was initially transported to Howard Memorial Hospital where he was stabilized and then transported to a Hot Springs hospital for surgery.
Since Hill was in county custody at the time of the fight, the county had to pay his medical bill, which totaled approximately $50,0000.

Pink Avenue to host open house Oct. 14

Howard Memorial Hospital’s auxiliary gift shop, Pink Avenue, will host an open house for the public on Oct. 14, from 6-8 p.m. in the HMH lobby.
The open house will feature new items as well as a “trunk show” of HADAKI bags and travel pieces.
“‘Come see what’s new at Pink Avenue’ is a phrase we’ve been using a lot lately,” explained Susan Wingrove, director of volunteer services. “We have really made an effort to have something that will fit everyone’s taste and budget and we’ve added so many new items, including clothing and men’s products.”
According to Wingrove, that’s the motivation behind the open house and the trunk show.
“So many times, people forget that we’re up here on the hill. We have drastically changed our inventory since the gift shop’s grand opening five years ago and we think it’s important to get the word out that our merchandise is not only trendy, but it’s extremely affordable.”
Wingrove said that many people have the misconception that the gift shop is too expensive or only carries home décor, but instead, she says the store carries everything from bath products to easy pick-up quick gifts, gourmet snacks to baby toys.
With the holidays just around the corner, seasonal items are arriving daily.  “Our hospital has always tried to offer modern care with  home-town convenience, and that’s also the concept behind the gift shop. We have the brand names that top department stores carry but at half the price, and we’ve discovered several new lines, like HADAKI, that have the designer look but are an affordable option.”
A representative from the HADAKI line, which is a New Orleans based company, will be at the show to answer any questions.  The line has offers handbags, luggage, diaper bags, and unique travel pieces.
In addition to the trunk show, which will feature merchandise on-hand as well as a catalog for special gift orders, the open house will have samples of all their new food items just in time for the holidays.
“While we love being able to offer gourmet treats that are all made in the United States, even some in Arkansas, we’re mostly just excited by how delicious everything is!” Wingrove said. “We’ve got pecan pie-in-a-jar that is mouth-watering, and it sure makes baking a whole lot easier.”
The Pink Avenue open house is free to the public, but Wingrove explains that if the guests will call HMH and let her know they are coming, she will make sure they get 10% off their total purchase.
“We just want to get our community in the door so that they can see what the employees at HMH already know: that we’re a great place to shop.”

MS American Legion to host Veterans Day parade

The American Legion post at Mineral Springs will host its first Veterans Day parade on Saturday, Nov. 1.
Tuskegee Airman Post 332, has invited organizations and groups to enter floats and vehicles in the parade. Each entry should be decorated with an identifying logo or slogan, according to a news release from Post Commander Robert Forbes.
The parade will start at the city park. Participants should be ready to line-up at 8:30 a.m., and the parade will start at 10.
For more information contact Forbes at 200-3306.

Local church moves ahead with mission plan in West Africa

By John Balch
Leader staff
Despite the presence of the Ebola virus in the West African country of Senegal, a medical mission by a local church will proceed as planned.
Members of the Ridgeway Baptist Church of Nashville, along with members of the First Baptist Church of Hot Springs, will travel to Senegal on Nov. 6 for the mission, according to Larry Elrod of the Nashville church.
“We feel very confident about going,” Elrod told The Nashville Leader Monday. “We just feel this is what God wants us to do and He hasn’t done anything to tell us not to go.”
Ridgeway members scheduled to take part in the medical mission are Elrod and his wife, Fayrene, and Judy Carlyle, Stephanie Feltenberger, Jennifer Kilcrease and Stacy Garner. Two members of the Hot Springs church and one person from Russellville are also scheduled to participate as well as a couple from Paris, France. Another person actually from Senegal, West Africa will also join the mission.
Elrod, who will take his third mission trip to West Africa in November, said there has certainly been a “period of awareness” since the Ebola outbreak, adding that he expects the screening process “coming and going” to be extensive.
The group will fly out of Little Rock into Charlotte, N.C. then to Washington, D.C. before departing for Dakar, Senegal’s capital city.
“(Officials) will certainly be taking temperatures at all posts,” he said, adding that persons with a fever over 101.7 degrees can be expected to be moved to a different location for further assessment.
All mission participants will be required to be inoculated for yellow fever and a series of shots will also be offered.
Just this week, federal health officials said the U.S. is currently weighing whether to institute extra screening at U.S. airports where travelers from Ebola-stricken African nations may be arriving. It has been reported that “clear-cut screening” is currently underway on the exit ends of the travels.
Currently, there is no cure for Ebola, but an experimental drug, ZMapp, helped the American health workers who caught the virus while working in Liberia. However, the supply of the experimental drug has been depleted.
On Aug. 29, West African news agencies reported that Senegal had confirmed it first case of Ebola despite closing its border with Guinea. A college student is currently quarantined in a Dakar hospital. Senegal is the fifth country in the region where the virus has spread.
The virus has killed 3,400 people in West Africa with Liberia being hit the hardest with more than 2,000 deaths. There are also more than 3,000 reported cases and the virus “continues to accelerate,” according to a report from the World Health Organization.
Ebola symptoms typically appear eight to 10 days after infection. Early symptoms include a high fever, muscle aches and chills, which are similar to the early symptoms of the flu. The virus then progresses to severe vomiting and diarrhea, with a possible rash and painful cough. The WHO reports some patients near death bleed from their eyes, mouth or other orifices as they begin to bleed internally.
Ebola is described as a “RNA virus,” which means every time is copies itself, it makes one or two mutations.
Ridgeway Baptist is continuing to raise funds for the mission trip. Elrod said the church is currently conducting a “Bags for Cash” drive where an agency buys bags of old clothing and shoes by the pound.
“It’s a good way to get rid of some of your old stuff but will also raise money for the mission trip,” he said.
For more information about the mission trip or how to make a donation, visit the Ridgeway Baptist Church’s Facebook page or contact Elrod at (870) 845-8814.


Fountain Lake takes out Scrappers, 32-29

By John R. Schirmer
Leader staff
HOT SPRINGS – Senior fullback Randall Ross of Fountain Lake ran the ball for 254 yards and 4 touchdowns Friday night as the Cobras upset top-ranked Nashville 32-29.
The Scrappers (4-1, 1-1) entered the game as the No. 1 team in Class 4A in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s rankings. They were also first in Rex’s Rankings compiled by sportscaster Rex Nelson.
Last week’s loss dropped Nashville to third place in 4A, according to the Democrat-Gazette.
“Fountain Lake played nearly mistake free,” Coach Billy Dawson said. “They did a good job at the point of attack. We didn’t tackle very well. We didn’t play very well. We didn’t coach very well.”
The Cobras “didn’t turn the ball over. They completed their drives. They controlled the line of scrimmage. They did exactly how they drew it up.”
Fountain Lake had “17 explosive plays; 15 of those were running plays,” Dawson said. “They made big plays at big times.”
Operating out of the Wing-T, the Cobras ran the ball at Nashville most of the night. They threw only 5 passes and completed 3 of them. “They didn’t have to pass the ball,” Dawson said. “They did a good job.”
Fountain Lake’s performance in general and Ross’s in particular “showed us some areas we have to work on defensively,” Dawson said. “We have to take care of ourselves and try to fix it.”
The game appeared to start well for the Scrappers. Trey Hughes scored first for Nashville on a 24-yard pass from Leonard Snell with 9:59 left in the first quarter. Sergio Pacheco kicked the extra point for a 7-0 lead.
Fountain Lake scored 4 minutes later on a 15-yard run by Colby Spoon. Tyler Patton’s PAT tied the game at 7 each.
The Scrappers took a 14-7 lead late in the first quarter When Snell passed 11 yards to Brady Bowden for a TD. Pacheco made the extra point.
Ross opened the second quarter with a 33-yard touchdown run. He scored again with 4:15 to go before halftime.
Nashville answered back with a 3-yard scoring run by Snell with 2:49 left in the half. Snell ran the ball in for the 2-point conversion. The Scrappers led 22-19 at halftime.
Ross added another touchdown midway through the third quarter and a a TD early in the fourth quarter to round out the Cobras’ scoring.
The Scrappers appeared to rally late in the game when Darius Hopkins scored on a 67-yard pass from Snell with 2:12 to go. Pacheco’s PAT pulled the Scrappers to within 3 at 32-29.
Fountain Lake held on late to pull the upset.
Penalties were costly for the Scrappers, who gave up 83 yards on 11 penalties. Fountain Lake had 4 penalties for 41 yards.
The Cobras doubled Nashville’s first downs with 24.
The Scrappers had 142 yards rushing, 217 passing for 359 yards total offense.
Hopkins was the leading rusher with 16 carries for 77 yards.
Snell had 11 carries for 65 yards for the only other Scrapper to gain yards on the ground.
Snell completed 14 of 27 passes for 217 yards and 3 touchdowns. He threw 2 interceptions.
Nashville had 85 total tackles, including 3 for losses. Brady Bowden was the leading tackler with 11. Lucas Liggin had 10. Ashton Nelson and Braden Hood had 9 each.
Homecoming vs. Waldron
The Scrappers will attempt to bounce back from last week’s upset at Fountain Lake as they host Waldron Friday, Oct. 10, at 7:30 p.m. at Scrapper Stadium.
The game will be Homecoming for Nashville. Homecoming activities will be held at 2 p.m. Friday in Scrapper Arena and at 7 p.m. Friday at Scrapper Stadium.
Waldron (0-5, 0-2) come into Friday night’s game off a 42-0 loss to Arkadelphia. Despite the loss, Coach Billy Dawson said Waldron “played its best game of the year Friday night. They play really hard. They have a lot of sophomores. Coach Dale Mann has done a good job there.”
The Bulldogs “have a very multiple offense,” Dawson said, led by their “big running back Matthew Sparks.”
Sophomore quarterback Matt Shaddon “will try to get the ball to Sparks. He will run the ball a little bit too.”
Waldron has “a good offensive lineman, Jakob Johnston, left tackle,” Dawson said. “He’s long and runs well.”
The Bulldogs “do a good job in the screen game. They try to throw screens.”
On defense, Waldron is a “3-3 blitz team. They’ll bring 5 or 6 guys. They’ll play some man in the secondary. They try to force your hand,” Dawson said.
This week, the Scrappers will prepare for Waldron. “We’ll work on ourselves too. We have some things to fix. This is one of those weeks where you come off a bad loss. Which way do we go? Do we take it and get better, or do we sull about it?”

Hornets fall to Gurdon, 52-2

Mineral Springs has little time to recover from last Friday’s 52-2 shellacking at the hands of Gurdon, because this Friday the Hornets will host county rival Dierks.
“We can’t keep turning the ball over,” MS Coach Jason Burns said Monday, noting that five Gurdon scores came with the Hornet defense not even on the field.
In fact, he said that the Hornet defense actually played pretty well. “We got a good effort from the defense.”
Dierks will present a challenge to that defense. “They’ve got a good running back, a good quarterback and a good receiver corps.” He said that Dierks, like Mineral Springs, had a bad outing against Gurdon. The Outlaws’ loss to Gurdon is their lone setback of the season.
Meanwhile, the Hornets are sill looking for their first win after falling to 0-4.
Coach Burns said the team was focused on playing Dierks.
Things went sour in a hurry against Gurdon, Friday night, as the Go-Devils tallied 31 points in the first half while giving up a two-point safety on a bad snap in their end zone. The safety was the only Hornet score of the game.
The first Gurdon score might have been an omen for the evening. A pass interception had the Go-Devils perched at the MS two. It took one play for Gurdon to score, and those were all the points the Clark County crew would need.
On the night, MS would surrender the ball six times on pass interceptions and twice on fumbles. The ‘mercy rule’ was in effect less than one minute into the second half.
Kickoff at Hornet Stadium, Friday night will be at 7 p.m.

Lions rush by Rattlers, 47-38

The Mount Ida Lions continued to mark their return to Class 2A-7 football, Friday night, with a 47-38 win over the Murfreesboro Rattlers.
The Lions, who spent the last seasons among the 2A-5 ranks, improved to 2-0 in conference play (4-1  overall) while the Rattlers slip to 0-2 in conference (3-2 overall).
Just about all of the 17 Lions suited up Friday night saw action, including a squadron of junior backs that gave the Rattler defense fits all night. Junior quarterback T.J. Wilson led the way and rushed 12 times for 114 yards and two touchdowns while fellow juniors Austin Hickman, Jesse Lowery and Cody Robertson and Caleb Jones ran the Lions’ ground total up to 366 yards. Wilson also hit eight of 11 passes for 157 yards and two TDs.
The Rattlers’ no-huddle offense kept the fast-paced game close until the end. Senior QB Alex Kennedy hit 15 of 39 passes for 255 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions and had 13 carries for 68 yards and two TDs.
Jacob Jackson caught five Rattler passes for 104 yards and one TD and Ross Stewart had four catches for 68 yards and one TD. Other Rattler receivers included Daniel Robinson, Christian Eckert, Alex Copeland and Matthew Burress. Daniel Robinson picked up 93 yards on eight carries, Garvin Gardner had four for 22 yards and Jarrett Pitchford’s sole carry was good for a six-yard TD and a 189 Rattler rushing total.
The Rattlers opened the game with a quick 65-yard march with Kennedy hitting Jackson twice before hitting him again for a 52-yard TD. Robinson followed the line in for the two-point play and an 8-0 lead with 10:34 left in the opening quarter.
The Lions responded with a 61-yard drive that put them in the endzone and tied with the Rattlers at the 8:38 mark.
Murfreesboro’s next drive, aided and hampered by penalties, went 54 yards and reached the endzone in seven plays. Stewart pulled in a 24-yard TD pass and Eckert added the two-point catch for a 16-8 lead with 7:02 left in the opening quarter.
The Rattler defense stopped the Lions’ next drive but the Lions had the ball back one play after the punt when Kennedy was intercepted at the Rattler 49. Working the ends with the option, the Lions lit the scoreboard up again when Lowery broke free for a 32-yard TD. The two-point try failed and the Rattlers kept a 16-14 lead with 4:17 still left in the first quarter.
The Rattlers’ first punt of the game and a big return by Lowery set the Lions up deep in Rattler territory with 2:31 left in the opening quarter. Staying wide and outside, the Lions ran the ball 67 yards and into the second quarter to take a 20-16 lead.
The favor would be returned less than two minutes later when the Rattlers drove 65 yards, using a big run by a Kennedy and an even bigger fade pass to Jackson to set up Kennedy’s first TD run of the game. The score put Murfreesboro back up, 22-20, with 8:42 left in the first half.
A volley of turnovers plagued both teams in the second quarter. The Rattlers were aimed for the endzone after another Lion punt but a fumble stalled the drive. The Lions quickly fumbled the ball back to the Rattlers and then two plays later, Kennedy was picked off to set Mount Ida deep in their own territory.
After starting off with two incomplete passes and a penalty, the Lions were back in the endzone when Wilson threw to a wide-open Lowery for a 74-yard TD. The Lions held a 26-24 lead with 1:37 left in the half.
Mount Ida took advantage of another Rattler fumble on the ensuing kick-off and one big pass and another quick run by Lowery and the Lions were up 32-24 with 1:13 left in the half.
The Lions opened up the second half with a clock-grinding drive that began at the Lion 35. On the 10th play of the drive at the Rattler 6, the Lions tried to convert a fourth down but were tripped up by the Rattler defense.
The Rattler offense took the feed and a 90-yard run by Robinson quickly set up another short TD run by Kennedy with 5:26 left in the third quarter. The two-point try failed to leave the Lions up, 33-30.
Still on the outside, the Lion offense responded with a five-play, 70-yard drive that increased their lead to 40-30 with 3:34 left in the third quarter.
The Rattlers quickly gave the Lions the ball back when a high punt snap was bobbled at the Rattler 47. Wilson covered that distance to the endzone in one run to put the Lions up, 47-30, with 1:47 left in the third quarter.
The Rattlers collected a Lion fumble in the last seconds of the third quarter but were unable to convert on fourth down and turned the ball over at the Lion 21 with 11:46 left in the game. Murfreesboro’s defense held the Lions scoreless in the fourth quarter and forced two punts.
The Rattlers got their last shot at the scoreboard after taking over at their own 26 with 4:37 on the clock. Their drive went eight plays and was capped by Pitchford from one yard out. Pitchford added the two-point run to cut Mount Ida’s lead to 47-38.
An onside kick attempt landed with the Lions and they were able to play out the clock on the 47-38 win.
The Rattlers will hit the road Friday to face the Gurdon Go-Devils who are 2-0 in conference (3-2 overall) with big wins over Dierks (44-6) and Mineral Springs (52-2).
The Lions will host the Spring Hill Bears Friday. The Bears are 0-2 in conference play and 0-4-1 overall.

Dierks wins over Foreman, 33-21

The Dierks Outlaws evened their conference record to 1-1 and 4-1 overall with a 33-21 win Friday over the Foreman Gators.
The Outlaws will travel to south Howard County this Friday to face the Mineral Springs Hornets, who remain winless this season, for the annual Class 2A-7 match-up.
The Outaws returned to their style of ground-and-pound football against the Gators, picking up 306 rushing yards. Trendin McKinney continues to lead the Dierks ground game and he posted 194 yards on 29 carries and one touchdown. Quarterback Tyler Kesterson also carried 14 times for 90 yards and two TDs and hit seven of 11 passes for 79 yards and one TD to give the Outlaws 385 total yards.
Adding to Dierks’ rushing stats were Justin Joyner with four carries for 12 yards and Caleb Dunn with two for 10 yards and one TD. Outlaws making catches against Foreman were Jake Green, Derek Hill, McKinney and Dunn, who pulled in a 23-yard TD strike from Kesterston to open the game’s scoring.
The Outlaw defense gave up 347 yards of offense, 228 of which came from Foreman’s quarterback Tucker Hall, who hit nine of 27 passes with two interceptions. Hall also rushed 12 times for 69 yards and one TD.
Dierks held Foreman scoreless for the first period while the offense posted 14 points, which included the Kesterson-Dunn pass hook-up and an eight-yard run by McKinney. Dunn also hit his first two of three extra-point kicks in the opening quarter.
Foreman’s defense kept the Outlaws out of the endzone in the second quarter while their offense posted their first points of the night when Kolton Moore broke a 37-yard TD run. Sam Gamble added the kick to cut the Outlaw lead to 14-7.
The Outlaw defense again blanked the Gators in the third quarter but the Blue and White offense could only muster six points. The score came on a short run by Kesterston and put the Outlaws up, 20-7.
Both offenses fired up in the fourth quarter with Foreman posting 14 points and the Outlaws adding 13. Dunn capped a Dierks drive with a seven-yard run and Kesterson scored later on a six-yard run. Dunn’s extra-point kick set the Outlaws scoring at 33.
In the fourth quarter, Foreman’s Hall also scored from six yards out and also hit Derrick Magby for a 27-yard TD reception. Gamble kicked both the extra points for the 33-21 final.
The Outlaw tackle chart was topped by Kesterson with six stops and an interception. Lane Woodruff collected the other Gator misfire. Joyner and Cameron Brewer added four stops each and Tyler Miller, Jake Eudy, Dunn and Layne McWhorter registered three stops each. Also adding to the Outlaw defense were Alex Faulkner, Derek Hill and Clay McMellon.
Friday’s loss also evened the Foreman Gators’ conference record at 1-1 and 3-2 overall. The Gators will host the Lafayette County Cougars this Friday. The Cougars are 2-0 in conference and 4-1 overall.


Nashville classroom combines to win Leader’s football contest

Because their predicted score in the tiebreaker was ‘less wrong’ than other entries, Joy Freel’s afternoon class was the winner in last week’s football contest which was marred by upsets, including Nashville’s loss to Fountain Lake. The class will have to split a Sonic gift card. The students were tied with three other entries with seven correct picks, but none had figured on Nashville’s loss. The class’s margin prediction was the lowest, therefore was closest.
Scores of the games in last week’s contest:
Mt. Ida 47, Murfreesboro 38
Gurdon 52, Mineral Springs 2
Dierks 33, Foreman 21
Mena 36, Malvern 22
Auburn 41, LSU 7
Ole Miss 23, Alabama 17
Mississippi St. 48, Texas A&M 31
Arkansas Tech 18, UA-M 13
Harding 56, SAU 13
Fountain Lake 32, Nashville 29


Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Arctic M&Ms

ANIMAL CRACKERS. Anybody know if we’ve ever had ravens in these parts?
I’ve seen extra-large crows at least twice in the last week. I mean, EXTRA large! There were two perched on the railroad tracks just north of Mineral Springs, possibly waiting to headbutt an oncoming freight train.
And I saw some other really large black birds cavorting through the trees north of Ozan, Monday morning. These birds were just zipping around. It looked as if they were chasing each other for the fun of it. Buzzards don’t play like that.
THE SPEAKER at the Rotary Club last week talked about the Emerald Ash Borer which is wiping out the Ash tree population of America. We don’t have a lot of Ash around here like some other states. But Ash is dear to our hearts because it is the wood that baseball bats are made from. Used to be, Ash was used to make golf clubs. That’s how the club got the name ‘wood.’ Even though those clubs are now made of exotic metals, golfers still refer to them as ‘woods.’
Because most of us cannot tell the difference between Hickory, Pecan or Ash, all kinds of firewood are quarantined at certain state and federal camping sites. Unsuspecting hunters or campers might accidentally import the borers into a new area.
The speaker at Rotary said it was thought the bug got here from Asia in wooden shipping cartons.
KINDA LOST among all of the big football upsets last weekend was Bauxite’s win over Ashdown. It might be the first ever win for Bauxite over an ‘old’ District 7-AAAA team other than the teams like Fountain Lake, Waldron, and Mena which have lately been shuffled in and out of the conference.
And Mena handily whipped Nashville’s nemesis Malvern.
We’re not even mentioning what Fountain Lake did to our Scrappers. Who saw that coming? Why, it’d be like Bauxite upsetting Ashdown!
The upsets continued Saturday in the Southeastern Conference. In this newspaper’s football picking graphic from JR Schirmer, Eddie Cobb, myself and a guest picker, I had my worst picking weekend ever. Was correct on only four of the 10 games.
There were few good things in football last weekend. Texas and Michigan both lost. That helps my outlook. And Southern Cal got beat on a Hail Mary with time expired. Couldn’t happen to a better team. And Penn State also got beat. That’s always good.
I AM SO DISAPPOINTED in the political campaigns this year. Both sides (and their rich invisible supporters) have produced some really objectionable TV ads and postal mailouts. Lots of outright lies, stretched truth and innuendo. Nate Steel is a ‘lap dog’ for President Obama? Really? Who thought that up?
So, I am taking the high road. I will only say good things.
It’s easy in the case of James Lee Witt, candidate for the U.S. Congress. He’s a former county judge of Yell County, and then later managed the state’s Office of Emergency Services for then-Gov. Bill Clinton.
He did such a good job that when Clinton went to Washington, he took along James Lee and had him run the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He did so with efficiency and without scandal. So, he’s got experience and a good reputation.
Now we have a chance to elect a good man to the U.S. Congress. If you’re not voting for or against someone just because they have a R or a D after their name, James Lee Witt is a good choice.
BAD NEWS for dieters. I went in a convenience store last week and surrendered to a terrible temptation for M&M Peanuts. I bought a bag. It was $2.42 for a demitasse bag of the treats. At that price I will do better to make my own, I said to myself.
I’ve been looking on the Internet for a recipe. You can get a recipe for a nuclear weapon or for something to clean your headlight covers or how to humanely kill the precious little bugs infesting your landscape bushes, but science hasn’t yet come up with a simple, useable formula for homemade M&M Peanuts.
GREAT NEWS for dieters. Scientists have discovered that the loss of ice in the Antarctic has caused a change in Earth’s gravity. As a result, we all weigh less whether or not we’ve been dieting religiously.
Or enjoying store-bought M&M Peanuts.
And in the Arctic, last week an unaccompanied freighter completed the journey across the top of the globe, from Eastern Canada to Alaska, for the first time. It’s all due to loss of Arctic ice. The journey is 40% shorter than through Panama Canal, so other freighters will surely try to duplicate the trip.
It’s still icy in the Arctic. This particular ship can break through five feet of ice.
I could, too, if there were M&M Peanuts on the other side.
HE SAID: “Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you’re riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake Up and Live!” Bob Marley, musician
SHE SAID: “Getting out of the hospital is a lot like resigning from a book club. You’re not out of it until the computer says you’re out of it.” Erma Bombeck, columnist

Obituaries (Week of Oct. 6, 2014)

Alfred D. Anderson
Alfred D. Anderson, 63, of Nashville, died October 1, 2014 in Texarkana, TX.
He was born Dec. 1, 1950 in Nashville, the son of the late Reecy Anderson and Fannie Lucille Briggs Anderson.
He attended Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Nashville.
He was preceded in death by three brothers, Johnny Lee Tatum, Archie Lee, and KC Anderson; and three sisters, Rubie Lee, Jackie Lee, and Gloria Houston.
Survivors include: three brothers, JC Anderson of Hope, Reecy Anderson, Jr. of Nashville, and Leon Anderson of Texarkana, Ark.; four sisters, Earnestine McFall and Verdia Anderson both of Oakland, Calif., Jerline Davis of Mineral Springs, and Gladys Anderson of Bronx, New York.
Services were scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Nashville. Burial was to follow in Sunset Gardens in Nashville under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home, Nashville.
Visitation was Tuesday, Oct. 7, from 6-8 p.m.
Send an online sympathy message at
Joyce Sherman
Joyce Sherman, 82 of Mineral Springs, died Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014.
She was born Dec. 12, 1931 in Lockesburg, to the late Perry and Ethel Anderson Houser.
She was a Baptist.
She was preceded in death by a daughter, Anita Hargrove, and a brother, Vondel Houser.
Survivors include: two sons, Jerry Sherman of Texarkana, Ark., and Ronnie Sherman of Lockesburg; two daughters, Elaine Owens of Nashville, and Glenna Dunaway of Nashville; two brothers, Perry Houser, Jr. of Texarkana, Ark., and Bobby Houser of Texas; two sisters, Delores Roundtree of Alvin, Texas, and Betty Germany of Huntsville, Texas; also grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Services were scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014 at 10 a.m. at Central Baptist Church in Mineral Springs with Bro. Ben Jones officiating. Interment was to follow in Mineral Springs Cemetery under the direction of Nashville Funeral Home.
The family received friends Tuesday night from 6-8 p.m. at Nashville Funeral Home. Send an online sympathy message to

Revised policy gives J-Turners second chance

By Louie Graves
Leader staff
Did you get a ticket for making a “J-Turn” in downtown Nashville? Don’t worry, all is forgiven. The Howard County District Court began a new policy for dealing with first-time J-Turn offenders, last week. If the cited driver makes an appearance in court, the fine will be forgiven unless there is a similar violation within three months. Any driver who does not wish to appear in court must forfeit bond of $125. The policy is the idea of the Nashville police department, District Court Judge Jessica Steel-Gunter told The Nashville Leader, Friday. She said she had met with Nashville Mayor Billy Ray Jones, Police Chief Dale Pierce, and her court’s chief clerk, and decided to go along with the suggestion to give offenders another chance because of a lack of awareness of the city ordinance. This week, in the The Nashville Leader’s district court docket report of last Thursday’s court session, there were four drivers whose citations were “taken under advisement” for three months. They were given no fine. All four drivers were present for court. The four were among a number of drivers who received J-Turn tickets during a recent two-day period of increased enforcement of the ordinance. The ordinance bans J-Turns in the four blocks of Main Street between the Nashville Post Office and the railroad tracks, commonly known as the Central Business District. On Sept. 25, 2012, the Nashville City Council passed Ordinance No. 920 making the traffic maneuver illegal and providing penalties.

Pike County raid nets 2 men on drug, firearm charges

On the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 23, officers from three different law enforcement agencies simultaneously executed two search warrants on Pike County’s Rock Creek Road, resulting in the arrest of two men on multiple drug and firearms charges.
Arrested were Windell C. “Tom” Mann, 49, and Robert S. Wilhite, 37. The men are reportedly kin to each other.
Mann is charged with possession of a controlled substance (Schedule II and III prescription medications) with purpose, possession of drug paraphernalia, simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms and maintaining a drug premise. Wilhite is charged with possession of a controlled substance (marijuana), possession of drug paraphernalia and maintaining a drug premise.
Agencies involved included the South Central Drug Task Force, Pike County Sheriff’s Department and Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. The arrests were the result of a year-long SCDTF operation and investigation.
During the searches of the two men’s residences, officers confiscated $555,818 in cash, more than 1.5 pounds of marijuana, various prescription pills, scales and paraphernalia used in connection of the distribution of narcotics and 45 firearms.


This week’s Leader Pigskin Prediction winner

The ‘tiebreaker’ was needed to determine the winner in last week’s football contest. Regular participant Arthur Tinsley only missed two predictions, as did Mrs. Freel’s afternoon math class, and Becky Rowland of Murfreesboro. Tinsley predicted a 14-point winning Scrapper margin and the actual margin was 17. His was the closest, and he wins the prize, a Sonic gift csrd.
Because of a ‘Leader’ contributor’s error, the Alabama-Ole Miss game was listed a week early, therefore last week’s contest includes only nine games.
Scores of games in the contest:
Mount Ida 42, Mineral Springs 14
Lafayette Co., 42, Murfreesboro 36
Gurdon 44, Dierks 6
Mena 55, Ashdown 34
Fountain Lake 35, Waldron 13
Georgia 35, Tennessee 32
Kentucky 17, Vandy 7
Texas A&M 35, Arkansas 28 (OT)
Nashville 38, Arkadelphia 21

Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Woodpile Rattler

ANIMAL CRACKERS. Anybody know if we’ve ever had ravens in these parts?
I’ve seen extra-large crows at least twice in the last week. I mean, EXTRA large! There were two perched on the railroad tracks just north of Mineral Springs, possibly waiting to headbutt an oncoming freight train.
And saw some others cavorting through the trees north of Ozan, Monday morning. Buzzards don’t play like that.
RALLY FOR THE REFUNDS. I am trying to find a good place to have the rally of persons who got a ticket for a J-Turn and paid the full fine in District Court. This was before the city of Nashville and the court last week began forgiving persons who commit the offense.
I’m guessing that some bigwigs got tickets and the city is bending under pressure.
I was so pleased when Nashville policemen started giving out tickets for J-turns a few weeks ago. After all, if you read the story in this week’s ‘Leader,’ you’ll see the city council adopted the ordinance in September of 2012. That’s two years, isn’t it?
This also probably means that the police department isn’t keen on the mayor deputizing me for J-Turn duty on Main Street.
I won’t be needing my swell camo uniform and badge. And I’ll stop complaining about whoever it is who is slowing down the application process for my concealed handgun permit. And I’ll stop begging the mayor to give me a swell badge and deputize me in an impressive public ceremony.
There’s no need of going to all that trouble now, since all is forgiven if’n you get a ticket.
“Slap on the wrist! Don’t do it again because the next time we really, really might give you a real ticket.” That quote is me imagining a J-Turner getting a stern lecture.
Anyway, it seems unfair that some people paid the full fines, and some people don’t have to pay at all. And that is the reason I am organizing the Rally for the Refunds.
And nothing has slowed the number of J-Turns in downtown Nashville.
I WAS AWAKENED at precisely 3:25 a.m., Sunday, by own screaming. I had been dreaming, again, about that Arkansas player tripping the Aggie and the ensuing penalty wiping out a sure score which would have won the game.
Why, oh, why won’t my feeble brain let loose of that dream.
Anyhow, at 3:26 I was standing out on my patio looking at the stars when a looooong lime-colored shooting star arc’d from south to north. It was breathtaking. And it reminded me that whatever happened in Dallas was just a game.
ARTICLE IN the “Arkansas Times” tells us that local bladesmith Jerry Fisk was visited recently by Jesse James, the outlaw car and motorcycle builder and ex-husband of a Hollywood actress whom he must’ve made really, really mad for no other reason than he chased other wimmen.
Anyway, Mr. James has a new program on the Discovery Channel called “American Craftsman” and he goes around interviewing people who make things by hand.
Can you imagine? Mr. James was out at Jerry’s place, and Jerry didn’t invite his favorite newspaper columnist to sit in on the conversation?
I reminded the “Times” that Jerry brags he graduated 9th in a class of 11 at Lockesburg High School.
ANIMAL CRACKERS. No names will be mentioned here because I am unsure about the Statute of Limitations for killing a rattlesnake (No, not the ‘Statue’ of Limitations; I think it is on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC). I’ve heard the little reptilic darlings are a protected species, and any person who kills one could be facing penalties perhaps even more severe than for a J-Turn in downtown Nashville.
Well, some people would get a ticket; others would be forgiven. It all depends upon whom you are.
Anyway, I don’t want to stir things up. So, I hope you can follow this story.
A man in Mineral Springs named XXXX watched as his beloved dog, XXXX, barked and inserted his nose into the woodpile. The dog suddenly yelped and jumped backward obviously in pain. Upon inspection, Mr. XXXX noted two bloody puncture marks on XXXX’s nose.
He tore apart the woodpile and found a rattlesnake. This member of the protected species measured — after being rearranged by Mr. XXXX’s shotgun — more than 5 feet long. “Where’s there’s one, there’s others,” Mr. XXXX repeated the oft-told tale. So he dismantled the woodpile. Found and dispatched 18 — that’s eighteen — baby rattlesnakes. They also met untimely deaths at the hands of Mr. XXXXX.
His pooch wasn’t doing so good, so Mr. XXXX took it to the vet where, unfortunately, the canine friend died.
This sad and scary tale leaves me with a question: If Mr. XXX’s name gets out will he face one or 19 charges of killing a protected species?
I repeat this story in hopes that you’ll be careful if you dig in a woodpile.
And that reminds me to tell you that my anonymous benefactor has obviously been too busy this fall to bring me a modest stack of rattlesnake-free firewood for my firepit.
HE SAID: “Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.” Robert Frost, poet
SHE SAID: “Happiness is like a cloud, if you stare at it long enough, it evaporates.” Sarah McLachlan

Obituaries (Week of Sept. 29, 2014)

Mary Catherine
Kesterson Broyles
Mary Catherine Kesterson Broyles, age 59, a resident of Wickes, Ark., died Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014, in Dierks, Ark.
She was born Sept. 21, 2014 in Nashville, Ark.
Mrs. Broyles was preceded in death by her parents, William Joe and Joyce Lee Wilson Kesterson; a sister, JoElla Trejo; and brother, Roger Dale Kesterson.
She is survived by one daughter, Tambra Knight of Dierks; two sons and their spouses, Joseph Erwin and Dan Wardlow of El Prado, N.M. and Tyler and Alison Broyles of Hot Springs, Ark.; one sister, Rachel Marie Smead of Daisy, Ark.; a special friend, Clarence “Junior” Lamb of the Greens Chapel Community; and three grandchildren, Katie Ashbrooks, Alexander Broyles and Lexi Hughes.
Graveside memorial services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014, in the Old Liberty Cemetery, under the direction of Wilkerson Funeral Home in De Queen.
You may register on-line at
Jeremy Lee Simms-Watson
Jeremy Lee Simms-Watson, 22, of Hot Springs died Monday, Sept. 22, 2014.
He was born Feb. 26, 1992 in Hope, to George and Yolanda Rogers Watson. He was a former resident of Mineral Springs. He was a former member of Tabernacle C.M.E. Church in Schaal, was a member of Haven U.M.C.
He was preceded in death by a sister, Ebony Watson.
Survivors include: a son, Jeremy Simms of Hot Springs; siblings, Denise Watson of Hot Springs, George Watson, Jr, Scottanya Scott, Michelle Watson and Sabrina Watson, all of Little Rock; step-brothers and sisters AnReckez and Amanda Daniels; step-mother, Shelia Simms of Rosston.
Funeral services were Friday, Sept. 26 at the Tabernacle CME Church in the Schaal community with Rev. Chester Jones officiating. Burial followed in Jones Cemetery. Arrangements by Carrigan Memorial Funeral Services.
Guest registry is at


Cooking for a Mission

Members of the Ridgeway Baptist Church in Nashville are currently raising funds for a mission trip to Senegal in West Africa on Nov. 6. Last week, church members (at left) Larry and Fayrene Elrod and J.T. Carter sold barbecue plates for the cause. In line for the meal were Misty Wilson and Chaughn Rogers.

Cruisin’ for a Cure event Oct. 4

The second annual Cruisin’ for a Cure benefit will be held at the Nashville City Park on Oct. 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
All proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society Relay for Life. The event will include a car, truck and motorcycle show as well as bingo, face painting, music and pulled pork sandwich plates prepared by Mike Erby and the Red River Credit Union Relay for Life Team.
All vehicles – “anything that moves” – are welcomed and awards will be handed out at 2 p.m.
For more information, contact Donna Clemons at (870) 200-2895.

Leader’s Pigskin Prediction winner

A Murfreesboro 11th-grader was the winner in last week’s football contest because he was one of the few pickers who thought Prescott would beat Hope.
Sutton Balch only missed one game — Mississippi State’s upset of LSU. He wins a Sonic gift card.
The actual scores of games in last week’s contest:
Murfreesboro 22, Centerpoint 19
Dierks 33, Fouke 18
Mena 35, Mansfield 14
Ashdown 40, De Queen 14
Prescott 58, Hope 38
Alabama 42, Florida 21
Miss. St. 34, LSU 29
Arkansas State 21, Utah State 14
Arkansas 52, No. Illinois 14
Nashville 22, Watson Chapel 13

Former Rattler band director pleads guilty to theft charge

By John Balch
Leader staff
South Pike County School District’s former band director pleaded guilty in Pike County Circuit Court Monday to stealing more than $3,000 from the district.
Robert W. Tucker, 37, now of Carl Junction, Mo., pleaded guilty to a felony theft of property charge which stemmed from an investigative audit conducted to review his handling of district funds during his time as band director. He was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to pay the school back $3,079 plus $3,160 to the Arkansas Legislative Audit to cover the cost of the investigation.
Tucker, who pleaded not guilty to the charge earlier this year, was charged two years after the audit discovered he had taken and exercised “unauthorized control” of monies from band fund-raising activities.
Tucker was hired in June 2011 and resigned in February 2012 after being suspended for using profanity in the classroom and pending the outcome of an investigation in to “financial irregularities” discovered by school officials.
During Tucker’s paid suspension, Superintendent Roger Featherston sent him a letter that requested a written explanation “including as much evidence as possible” concerning funds for the band’s T-shirt and beef jerky sales. A second letter was also sent to Tucker again asking for explanation, but Tucker never replied to the letters and he submitted his resignation on Feb. 24, 2012. He and his family left Arkansas two days later for his home state of Michigan.
According to information filed on the case, the audit determined $2,912 was unaccounted for along with unauthorized disbursements of $167. “Unaccounted-for funds included $984 in T-shirt sales and fundraiser proceeds of $1,928 in beef jerky sales,” according to the audit. The unauthorized disbursements included $66 for “groceries and dog food” and a reimbursement of $101 without adequate documentation.
Tucker told an investigator in August 2013 that he had “received a letter from the State of Arkansas and he was under the impression that this was all a misunderstanding and that the school district was to blame.” He also stated he had reimbursed the district for the personal items he “inadvertently” purchased using the school district’s Walmart credit card. Featherston disputed Tucker’s claim and told the investigator that Tucker did not follow school district procedures and had not reimbursed the school for any of the unaccounted-for monies.
Tucker’s handling of the privately-funded Rattler Band Booster’s account was also part of the initial investigative audit but no charge was brought in relation to his use of a booster debit card to purchase personal items and food in the amount of $126.37. The day he left for Michigan, Tucker paid the band boosters back with $184 cash.
In May 2012, Tucker disputed the findings of the audit when he was contacted via Facebook. He told The Nashville Leader that he gave away close to a $1,000 worth of band T-shirts to office personnel and teachers. He added there were still band T-shirts in the band hall when he left.
“(The T-shirts) were never a fundraiser, although they tried to call it that,” Tucker wrote in response. “It was an expense, and I’m sure that the number of shirts I gave away will match the missing funds.”
As for the $1,928 unaccounted-for funds, Tucker replied, “I told the investigator to do an audit of the instrument room now, and put it against the inventory at the beginning of the year. I purchased a large number of instruments and they should find many instruments that were not there at the beginning of the year, at least 8-10 instruments were purchased, and that would show you where the missing $1,900 is.”
Tucker also questioned whether the instrument comparison inventory was ever conducted. “I requested the instrument inventory comparison months ago, and have seen no evidence of it being completed.”
When questioned during the audit, Tucker said he had used the money from the fundraisers to pay cash for band instruments at various pawn shops and yards sales and “did not think to get a receipt for them.” Tucker also stated that the school had done an inventory and it was proven the district had 15 or 16 new instruments he had purchased.


Elderly Delight woman’s death under investigation

The recent death of an elderly Pike County woman is currently under investigation by the Pike County Sheriff’s Department, according to Pike County Det. Sgt. Clark Kinzler.
The investigation involves the death of JoAnn Hembey, 72, of Delight, who died the night of Sept. 13.
Medical personnel were called to a home on the Caddo Gap Road after a call from Hembey’s son, Dustin Hembey, 35, who reported his mother had fallen and hit her head and he had found her unresponsive. Medics on the scene reported the patient’s injuries “were not consistent with the nature of the call.”
Dustin Hembey told authorities he had been in the home’s bedroom that night when he heard a sound like his mother had fallen in the living room. Case information states JoAnn Hembey is actually Mr. Hembey’s grandmother. He also told investigators he found his mother on the floor and that he had picked her up and moved her to the bedroom where he placed her oxygen mask on “because she was not breathing.” The patient was later air-lifted from the scene.
Kinzler said the home was secured and Dustin Hembey filled out a statement and signed a consent form to search the home. During the search, Kinzler found a .22 rifle stacked in the corner of the home with two air rifles as well as ammunition on the nightstand in Mr. Hembey’s room.
The discovery of the firearm in the home resulted in the arrest of Dustin Hembey, who has been “convicted multiple times of numerous felonies,” according to case information. He made a first appearance on the charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm on Monday, Sept. 15 in Pike County Circuit Court.
During court proceedings, Mr. Hembey’s bond was set at $250,000 and a mental evaluation was ordered after an outburst in court about his desire not to return to prison.


Celebrating Constitution Day

CELEBRATING CONSTITUTION DAY. The students and staff of the South Pike County School District celebrated Constitution Day on Wednesday, Sept. 17. The United States Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement, pursuant to legislation passed by Congress, requires educational institutions which receive federal funding to hold an educational program pertaining to the United States Constitution on Sept. 17 of each year, commemorating the signing of the document on Sept. 17, 1787. Pictured during the event reciting the Pledge of Allegiance is Dalton Manlove.

Area High School Friday Night Football

The undefeated Nashville Scrappers, coming off a 22-13 win over Watson Chapel, will host the Arkadelphia Badgers Friday night. Kick-off is at 7:30.
The 0-2 Mineral Springs Hornets will return to play Friday night in a conference game at Mount Ida. The Hornets are back in action after an open date. Kick-off in Mount Ida is at 7:00.
The undefeated Dierks Outlaws will open conference play on the road tonight against the 1-2 Gurdon Go-Devils. Kick-off is at 7:00. The Outlaws won over the Fouke Panthers last week, 33-18.
The Murfreesboro Rattlers, also 3-0, will open conference play Friday against Lafayette County Cougars. Kick-off is at 7:00. The Rattlers picked up their third win Friday with a 22-19 win over Pike County counterparts, the Centerpoint Knights.




Pike County Fair Winners

Senior Arts
Grand Champion
Don Watson
Grand Reserve
Johnce Parrish
Junior Arts
Grand Champion
Heather Jackson
Grand Reserve
Zach Young
Senior Baking
Grand Champion
Ginger Osborn
Spicy Pineapple Cake
Grand Reserve
Priscilla Owens
14 Kt. Carrot Cake
Junior Baking
Grand Champion
Alyssa Jones
Hello Dolly Cookies
Grand Reserve
Reagan Terrell
Apple Pie
Senior Clothing
Grand Champion
Lynna McWilliams
Toddler Dress
Grand Reserve
Renita Jackson
Wrap around Dress
Junior Clothing
Grand Champion
Malaya Graham
Summer Dress
Grand Reserve
Maria Eatmon
Cotton Skirt
Senior Crafts
Grand Champion
Juanita Tackett
Framed Leaf Painting
Grand Reserve
John Mark Baker
Metal Silhouette
Junior Crafts
Grand Champion
Rachel Kelly
Stenciled Wall Hanging
Grand Reserve
Alyssa Jones
Feathered Rock Owl
Senior Plant
Grand Champion
Teresa Ross Parrish
Glory Bower Plant
Grand Reserve
Teresa Ross Parrish
Purple Passion Plant
Junior Plant
Grand Champion
Baylie Clay
Moss Rose Plant
Grand Reserve
Senior Flower
Grand Champion
Teresa Lokey
Miniature Rose
Grand Reserve
Shelba Grubbs
Junior Flower
Grand Champion
Baylie Clay
Grand Reserve
Baylie Clay
Princess Feather
Senior Food Preservation
Grand Champion
Yvonne Edwards
Muscadine Syrup
Grand Reserve
Robert Walker
Junior Food Preservation
Grand Champion
Evelyn Nolen
Dill Relish
Grand Reserve
Katie Beth McWilliams
Kosher Dill
Senior Field Crops
Grand Champion
Jeannie York
Decorative Gourds
Grand Reserve
Louella Hawthorn
Brown Eggs
Junior Field Crops
Grand Champion
Alyssa Jones
Egg Plant
Grand Reserve
Kyle Rudolph
Senior Arts Quilts
Grand Champion
Yvonne Edwards
French Braid Quilt
Grand Reserve
Yvonne Edwards
Autumn Colors Quilt Top
Senior Household Arts
Grand Champion
Waymon Cox
Grand Reserve
Mike Lokey
Tissue Box
Junior Household Arts
Grand Champion
Baylie Clay
Grand Reserve
Alyssa Jones
Fleece Throw
Senior Photography
Grand Champion
Micah Niedenhofer
Grand Reserve
Johnnie Klein
Junior Photography
Grand Champion
Dodge Cowart
Barbed Wire
Grand Reserve
Megan Rowton
Senior Floral Arrangements
Grand Champion
Norma Self
Pink Lilies
Grand Reserve
Avonne Petty
Patriotic Display
Junior Floral Arrangements
Grand Champion
Alyssa Jones
Pastel Wreath
Grand Reserve
Baylie Clay
Autumn Grapevine Wreath
Junior Household Jewelry
Grand Champion
Maria Eatmon
Grand Reserve
Maria Eatmon
Senior Individual Booths
Grand Champion
Cammie York
Travel Safely
Grand Reserve
Heather Jackson
First Aid Kits
Junior Individual Booths
Grand Champion
Jackson Pannell
Firearm Safety
Grand Reserve
Baylie Clay
Benefits of Goat Milk
Cloverbud Booths
Grand Champion
Destini & Jackson Fatherree
Car Seat Safety
Grand Reserve
Sam Pettigrew
Dairy Cows
4-H Club Booths
Grand Champion
Delight Helping Hands
Grand Reserve
Busy Bees Club
EHC Booths
Grand Champion
Glenwood EHC
Grand Reserve
East Delight EHC
FCCLA Booths
Grand Champion
Centerpoint FCCLA
Grand Reserve
Murfreesboro FCCLA


Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Fun in Spa City

BECAUSE OF MY vast knowledge of the back streets of Hot Springs, I was able to get us to a parking place really, really near the stage on the next-to-last day of the Jazz Festival in Hot Springs, Saturday.
Saturday’s event was free and was held under the Regions Bank ‘bridge’ over Bridge Street real which is near the Convention Center. The area under the bridge is big enough to shelter twin stages for the bands, and lots of folding chairs for the audience. Purveyors of those noxious adult beverage had to set up tents outside the bridge cover.
The twin stages enabled organizers to set up one band while the preceding one was finishing its one-hour show. It was a good idea — no ‘dead’ time. We seamlessly slipped from one band into another.
This was my third year to go to the festival; my second one with the Navigator, who freely offered her advice on how to get around in Hot Springs.
A guy who was sorta the emcee said that this was the 23rd year for the festival, and I’ll just take his word for it. I don’t believe he was alive yet when the first one was held.
One year we heard big jazz orchestras from Henderson, Arkansas Tech, UA-Monticello and one other Arkansas school I can’t remember, now.
Only UA-Monticello was back this year. Our judgment at the time they all came to the festival was that UA-M’s band was the best. I was surprised, my apologies to UA-M alumni for not having high expectations.
We stayed long enough to hear four bands this year. I do love live music. Country, soul, oldie rock, jazz, classical — everything but rap which I do not consider to be real music.
Three of the bands we heard had horn sections. The exception was a foursome of Fayetteville hippies. Their band featured a drummer, a bassist, a guitarist and a guy who played the vibraphone. Their music was all original. All very good. The vibes player held two mallets in each hand and managed to play harmonies.
We looked forward to hearing the Arkansas Jazz Orchestra — mostly the same big musical group which played a couple of concerts in the Nashville City Park about 10 years ago. One of the guys in the trumpet section was Nashville native Mike Copeland. I talked to him after their set. He said he had taught music at Bismarck schools for nearly 30 years and was getting close to retirement. He also teaches my niece who goes to school there.
Ya gotta eat some time!
Navigator and I had split an order of French fries earlier, and decided at some point that it was high time to leave the music and go up Central to the ‘new’ Fat Jack’s Oyster Bar. We’ve frequented the original Fat Jack’s in Texarkana, but just hadn’t gotten around to trying the Hot Springs location. So we went there and split a couple of appetizers before getting on the road home.
Fat Jack’s was pretty neat, but it could be better. He needs something in the way of decor — possibly a Fabulous Fence Fishee hung on the wall.
We were back in time for the Razorback kickoff.
Arkansas won; LSU lost; Michigan lost; Missouri lost. The only way the day could have been better was if Texas had also lost, but the ‘Horns didn’t play.
MY MYSTEAK. Last week I mis-identified a picture of a guy fixing a BBQ sandwich at the Pack the Park event in Nashville. It was Rick Lacefield, not Wakefield. I’ve been having trouble with those Lacefields as several of you have reminded me.
MY REWARD. Got up just a little earlier for my usual morning walk, Monday. And, the day is considerably darker, now, at 5:30. Am I stoopid for getting up so early and walking? I asked myself. But I had been out less than 10 minutes before I saw two looooong, golden shooting stars. I had forgotten — that’s one of the rewards for getting out of bed early.
SALT OF the earth. You often hear that description, and it is an apt one for the late Joe Stuard of Dierks who served his community and fellow man by volunteering on the town ambulance service, fire and rescue department, chamber of commerce and with police.
Joe died Saturday far too early at age 61. See obituary in this issue.
Peace to his family and thanks to the Almighty for putting such people among us.
ANIMAL CRACKERS. There was no joking in “The Leader” office, Monday morning, about our Pam McAnelly’s pickup truck smelling like a skunk. Out of four vehicles lined up in her yard during the weekend, hers was the only one drenched by a passing polecat.
I said there was no joking and I meant it.
HE SAID: “I believe that if one always looked at the skies, one would end up with wings.” Gustave Flaubert, French writer
SHE SAID: “It is only in sorrow bad weather masters us; in joy we face the storm and defy it.” Amelia Barr, American writer

Obituaries (Week of Sept. 22, 2014)

Dorothy J. Norwood Garner
Dorothy J. Norwood Garner, 88, of Nashville, died Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014.
She was born Sept. 17, 1926 in Bingen, the daughter of the late Charlie Norwood and Carrie Jackson Norwood.
She was a member of the Fairview United Methodist Church in Texarkana, Ark.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Thomas F. Garner.
Survivors include: two daughters, Kathryn McFarland and husband, Larry, of Greenwood, Ind., and Laura Carlton and husband, Joe, of Nashville; also grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Graveside services were Monday, Sept. 22, at Bingen-Ozan Cemetery in Bingen under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home.
Gary Joe Stuard
Gary Joe Stuard, 61, of Dierks, died Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014, at his home.
He was a volunteer for the Dierks Ambulance Service, Dierks Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department, chamber of commerce, and Dierks City Police.
He was preceded in death by his father, Claud Stuard; a brother, Ronald Stuard; and a sister, Eileen Stuard Wehunt.
Survivors include: his wife, Diane Stuard, of Dierks; mother, Marge Stuard of Iraan, Texas;  daughter, Jil Adams and husband, Mark, of Texarkana; and a daughter, Paige Stuard of Hot Springs.
Services were Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014, at Holly Creek Missionary Baptist Church in Dierks. Graveside services will be 10 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014, at Restland Cemetery in Iraan, Texas.
Visitation will be Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, from 6-8 at Wilkerson Funeral Home in Dierks.
Register on-line at
Alton Parson
Alton Parson, 70, of Nashville, died Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014.
He was born Jan. 15,  1944 in Prescott, the son of the late Jewell Parsons and Lois Hartness Parsons King.
He was preceded in death by his stepfather, Beedie King and stepbrother, Jim King.
Survivors include: his wife, Laveda Parson of Ashdown; two sons, Alan Parson and wife, Catrina, of Nashville, and Ryan Parson and wife, Katie, of Little Rock; two daughters, Annette Fay and husband, Patrick of Vilonia, and Rena Koon and husband, Brooks of Mabelvale; four stepchildren, Susan Dancer of Fouke, Misty Porter, Marcia Mitchell, and Scott Porter all of Ashdown; two sisters, Ima Semmler of Mineral Springs, and Wilma Bowden of Nashville; one half-brother, Calvin Parsons of Pennsylvania; one half-sister, Rhoda Small of Hope; one step-sister, Doris Sillivan, of Missouri; also grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Graveside services were at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014 at Mineral Springs Cemetery with Bro. Don Embry of Ashdown and Bro. Tim Freel officiating under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home, Nashville.
Send an online sympathy message at

Ivan Smith sets up at former grocery store after fire

FIRE AT FURNITURE CORNER. Firemen from Nashville and surrounding fire departments battle the blaze which heavily damaged Southwest’s Ivan Smith Furniture Friday night in downtown Nashville.

GETTING READY TO RE-OPEN. Ivan Smith will temporarily relocate to the former Charlie's Thriftway building following Friday night's fire.

By Louie Graves
Leader staff
A firewall between building sections kept the Friday night furniture store fire in Nashville from consuming more of the business site and merchandise.
As it is, Southwest Ivan Smith Furniture expects to open in temporary quarters Friday of this week.
Workmen were already at work Monday preparing the former Charlie’s Thriftway building on South Main to be the temporary home for the business. Customers needing to make payments should contact the Ivan Smith store in hope where Nashville salesperson D’Ann Rogers has temporarily located — phone 777-8681. That store is located on North Hervey St.
Nashville store manager Wanda Carter speculated that the business would operate out of the temporary headquarters for six months or more. She said that about one-third of the inventory was lost, but the firewall prevented more damage. “The firewall was amazing,” Carter said.
The firewall was installed in when the building was built first as a service station and automobile dealership. Upstairs was a roller rink.
In 1945 its history as a furniture began with owners Nathan Coulter, Joe Ball and Carl Freel, all now deceased. Later the business was owned and managed by Don Coulter, son of one of the founders, and was purchased in 1994 by Ray Blakely.
Blakely kept an office in the building after the sale to Ivan Smith. He told ‘The Leader’ he had moved almost all of his personal items, tax records and pictures from the store only about 10 days before the fire.
“Many thanks to all the firemen,” he told the newspaper.
Coulter said he watched the fire from across the street, and it was an emotional experience. “It’s saddening to watch part of your life for more than 50 years burn up.” Nashville Fire Marshal Jerry Harwell said that six area volunteer fire departments helped fight the blaze which apparently began in a shallow attic over the second floor of the original “Furniture Corner.”
Fire Marshal Harwell said that the fire call was received at 9 p.m. Trucks arrived at the scene, about four blocks from the fire station within five minutes. Firemen were on the scene until about 8:30 the following morning; then returned for about 45 minutes when the fire briefly rekindled just before noon Saturday.
Harwell said that the firewall and the building’s superior construction helped preserve the building and contents.
Harwell added his thanks to assisting fire departments and to the ambulance service.
Thanks were also offered by store manager Carter. “We want to say ‘thanks’ to all the area fire departments for coming out. They all did a phenomenal job.” She also thanked the community “Many of them turned out to witness the fire and offer support. Many of them cried with us, too.” She said that the public could expect a fire/smoke sale soon.

Leader’s Pigskin Predictions

Matthew McBride and Arthur Tinsley were practically neck-and-neck in last week’s football contest, and the ‘tiebreaker’ wasn’t much help in determining the winner.
Both contestants were correct on 9 of 10 picks, including Nashville’s win over De Queen. Both contestants missed on the South Carolina-Georgia game. In the end, McBride’s tiebreaker score prediction was two measley points closer to the actual Nashville-De Queen margin than was Tinsley’s. McBride wins a Sonic gift card.
Scores of the games in last week’s contest:
Dierks 47, Mountain Pine 14
Murfreesboro 6, Horatio 0
England 52, Mineral Springs 33
Hope 34, Ashdown 32
Arkadelphia 40, Sheridan 8
South Carolina 38, Georgia 35
Oklahoma 34, Tennessee 10
Miami 41, Arkansas State 20
Arkansas 49, Texas Tech 28
Nashville 45, De Queen 2

Murfreesboro mayor vetoes stop sign placement issue

By John Balch
Leader staff
Four days after the Murfreesboro City Council voted to place a four-way stop sign on a main thoroughfare, Mayor Travis Branch vetoed the stop sign.
The council’s decision to place a four-way stop at the intersection of 13th and Woodlawn was made on Monday, Sept. 8. Branch exercised his power to veto the decision on Thursday, Sept. 11.
“Due to the overabundance of objections from the public in regards to the placement of a stop sign on 13th and Woodlawn streets, I have decided to officially veto this decision of the City Council,” Branch wrote in a letter on file at the Murfreesboro City Hall. “I believe this to be a hindrance to the local farmers and ranchers who regularly use this thoroughfare to enter the city from their properties. Until this matter is revisited by the council, I believe this to be the correct recourse in this matter.”
The council had agreed by a 4-2 vote to place the stop sign at the intersection after hearing from residents Tony and Sam Rather, who live in the area and said they witness vehicles traveling at high rates of speed on a daily basis. The posted sped limit on 13th Street, which leads to the Murfreesboro City Park, is 25 mph. The sign would have been at the halfway point between the intersection of Maple and W. 13th and the park.
The Rathers had cited the safety of children at the park and in the surrounding neighborhoods and elderly drivers as the reasons for needing the stop sign.

Pike County hospital building, land to be auctioned off

By John Balch
Leader staff
The Pike County Quorum County voted Monday night to sell the former Pike County hospital building and land by auction after learning the North Carolina company that has owned the hospital has relinquished ownership back to the county.
Judge Don Baker recommendation the building and two acres of land be sold with the Quorum Court having the final say on whether to accept any offers.
“I’ve had all of the hospital I ever want,” Baker said, adding an auction would determine if anyone was interested in buying the building.
The facility, which has been closed since November, 2009, had been under the ownership of Kare Partners, a company based in North Carolina. The company purchased the hospital in 2012 from New Directions Health Systems, which purchased the hospital from the county in 2010. The hospital was involved in years of turmoil, including a failed lease agreement and mismanagement, before it was shuttered by the Arkansas Health Department in 2009.
Kare Partners had a plan to reopen the facility in 2013, but failed to do so, which resulted in Kart Partners, doing business as Pike County Operations, LLC, having to relinquish ownership back to the county.
The company claims it has spent $244,775 in operating the hospital since October, 2012 including $28,857 in building repairs and maintenance. The company also claims it lost $263,955 during that time, according to an undated letter from Kare Partners to Judge Baker and Quorum Court members.
The agreement between the company and Pike County stated that if the company failed to “provide medical services for a continuous two-month period prior to January, 2015 then it was required to relinquish ownership of the hospital to Pike County.”
The arrangement includes the contents of the building with the exception of various items that total $3,000, which the county is also expected to recoup, and all involved assets.
Quorum Court members voted 9-0 to sell the building and land at auction and also gave Judge Baker the authority to find an auction company to handle the process.
Kare Partners opened an urgent care clinic in Murfreesboro in early 2013, which was also a failure. An arm of Kare Partners, Compleat Rehab, opened a rehabilitation clinic in Glenwood in November, 2013, which is still in operation but has been sold.

Pike County to make pitch for new state prison

By John Balch
Leader Staff
Pike County will join the five other Arkansas counties that have so far expressed a desire to become the home of a new proposed $100 million state prison.
The Pike County Quorum Court approved a resolution Monday to submit an “expression of interest” to the Arkansas Department of Correction to have Pike County considered for the 1,000-bed maximum security correctional facility. Thus far, the other counties jockeying for the prison are Jackson, Mississippi and Lawrence counties and a joint effort by Columbia and Ouachita counties. Mississippi County is the county so far that has actually submitted a proposal. More counties are likely to apply before the Oct. 24 deadline.
Judge Don Baker said the prison, which will be constructed and operated by the ADC, is expected to have an annual budget of $38 million and could create more than 250 jobs. The 1,000-bed prison will also be “expandable to approximately 2,000 beds.”
Baker also said the facility will require at least 400 acres, which the county will have to donate. He said he has three locations in mind within the county that could be used to house the prison and added he hopes the property owners will be open to the idea of donating the land.
Baker said he already has the West Central Planning and Development District working on issues related to making the proposal and that he plans to get with the county’s mayors to further discuss the matter. He said the prison would require water and sewer services, which would be provided by the cities.

District terminates construction project contract, will re-bid NHS project

By John R. Schirmer
Leader staff
The Nashville School Board Monday night voted 4-0 to terminate the district’s contract with Crawford Construction and re-bid the courtyard and cafeteria project at Nashville High School.
Superintendent Doug Graham said the district will “go to others who expressed interest” in the project and “try to get Phase 4 within budget.”
Crawford was the contractor for the first three phases of the district’s facilities improvement project, including seven new classrooms at NHS, new library and cafeteria at Nashville Junior High, and Scrapper Arena.
Phase 4 is to include enclosing about two thirds of the NHS courtyard and constructing a new cafeteria. The original bid came in at $4.8 million, Graham said during a board workshop Sept. 4, and was scaled back. The second try produced a bid of $3.4 million, which Graham said was “still too high.”
Graham and architect Craig Boone of Architecture Plus met with Crawford four weeks ago to see if any other cuts could be made. The result was that “$3.3 million was the figure with the reductions. We cut back and only saved $100,000,” Graham said. That amount is still above budget for the project.
“Crawford has hammered the subcontractors. I don’t know if they will come down any more. If we re-bid, subs might not be interested in it again,” Graham said at the workshop.
Graham and Boone said the bid might get down to $3.2 million, which would still be about $400,000 above budget.
Graham said at the workshop that he was “terribly disappointed” in the $3.3 million figure. He asked board members to consider the matter and make a decision at Monday night’s meeting.
Graham and Boone said at the workshop that the quality of Crawford’s work on the other three phases of the project was excellent. “The quality Crawford requires [from subcontractors] is high,” Boone said.
If the district is unable to get the project within budget, Graham said Monday night that a stand-alone cafeteria in the parking lot for the old gym is a possibility.
The stand-alone facility would not require a firewall between it and the existing building, which drove up the amount of the other bids from Crawford.
State partnership funds will pay $500,0000 to $600,000 on the high school project, Graham said at the workshop. Partnership money also helped pay for the arena and the other work at high school and junior high.
In other business Monday night, the board approved the district’s budget for 2014-15. The budget projects $18,487,950 in income and $14,885,095 in expenses. The projected operating balance on June 30, 2015, is $3,602,858.
At the board workshop, Graham presented a budget with a balance of about $3.9 million. He said that the amount was lowered after cuts in state funding for the district were announced.
The budget does not include funding for all juniors to take the ACT in March. Graham said at the board workshop that he was considering removing the free ACT in order to save money. He said that of about 140 juniors who take it, about 40 don’t want to be there.
He said the March test is not given on a national ACT day and is not accepted for scholarships.
Removing the test will save about $5,100, according to Graham.
The budget does include catastrophic insurance coverage for students above the amount already provided in the district’s insurance policy.
The board voted 4-0 to approve the new budget.
Board members voted Monday to approve the special education budget for 2014-15. The board also approved 2012-13 retired expenditures for equipment no longer in use. The list included 90 items, Graham said. Some other unused equipment was sold early in the summer at the district’s sidewalk sale.
Earlier in the year, Graham discussed the possibility of outsourcing the district’s food services program. “If we were going to do it, we would need to submit a letter of intent in October. I’m not ready at this time to recommend the letter of intent based on [budget constraints] and upgrades in our food services program,” Graham said Monday.
The board accepted resignations from Casey Parker, food services; and Roger Chandler, primary school custodian.
The board hired Joe Jordan as full-time custodian at junior high.
Prior to the regular board meeting, the district presented its annual report to the public. The one-hour session included presentations by building principals Shirley Wright, Latito Williams, Deb Tackett and Tate Gordon, GT coordinator Kristi Cox, Assistant Superintendent Joe Kell and transportation director James “Bunch” Nichols.
The district’s total enrollment as of Monday was 1,903 students, a drop of 33 from the three-quarter average last year, Graham said.
The decline means a loss of about $210,000 in state funding for 2015-16, Graham said.
Next week’s Leader will include the report to the public.
Board members present Monday night included president Mark Canaday, Randy Elliott, David Hilliard and Monica Clark.


LET THE MAN PERFORM. Mike Eudy turns loose on one of his original songs during his performance onstage Saturday at the Nashville City Park during the Pack the Park benefit.

Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: The Geezer Celebrates

REMEMBER IN THE first half of the football game against Auburn when Arkansas looked pretty good? Then we didn’t show up for the second half?
Well, Nashville police may be using the same strategy.
For two days recently they ‘worked’ downtown Nashville and gave out a bunch of J-Turn tickets. That ended after about a day and a half in which the officers could have worked themselves into exhaustion. And could have scribbled completely through their ticket books.
Seriously. You can’t stand on the sidewalk anywhere between the post office and the railroad tracks for 15 minutes and not see several J-Turners.
Why did the police quit?
In just a few minutes standing at the Regions Bank corner I saw:
A yellow Hummer making a J-Turn into a handicapped parking space in front of the post office. A well-used black four door pickup making a J-turn in front of McLaughlin Insurance. A white Toyota J-Turning in front of the chamber of commerce. A white Tahoe at the accountants’ office.
I could go on and on. Two days of ticketing did not slow ‘em down a bit.
There may be salvation on the horizon. As soon as some of those J-Turners who got tickets cough up their fines in District Court the city might be able to pay for my swell badge. The mayor could then deputize me and I’ll go about saving our town from J-Turns.
Here is my pledge: I will not relent. I will not give out warning tickets except to good friends and those ladies who flutter their eyelids at the arresting officer.
And let me add something here: Congratulations to those drivers in downtown Nashville who do NOT make J-Turns. The great majority follow the law and exhibit common courtesy.
THE OCCASION OF my 71st birthday brought distinguished visitors during the weekend. Daughter Julie and Miss Carsyn Elizabeth Murphy, age 11, were here and we had hoped to be able to take a swim in my pool.
But you know what happened to the weather. In two days the water temperature in my pool fell by 11 degrees. Only a seal or an Eskimo could stand to be in the water for long.
So, I broke out my firepit. It had been covered with a small tarp and stuck in a patio corner since last March. I still had a few sticks of firewood left over, so we had a swell campfire Saturday night.
There is just something real nice about dancing flames on a cool, dark night.
I was pretty tightfisted with the firewood, however.
It’s time for my unknown benefactor to bring more short sticks of firewood. I’d be willing to swap a “Get Out of a J-Turn Ticket” coupon for a small stack of cured hardwood.
THE OCCASION OF my birthday also brought a cake to our office. Blue writing on white icing: “Happy Birthday to the Old Geezer.”
I’ll be getting even with someone over that.
MARK THE DATE. Saturday, Sept. 27, Mineral Springs Church of Christ will host its fourth annual “Great Give Away.” Everything is free: baby clothes, car seats, dishes, purses, shoes, toys, etc.
Hours will be from 8-noon. Big, big crowds in the past. An unusual and wonderful project.
JOKES AND TALENT. On stage at the Pack the Park event, Saturday, Elementary School art teacher Mike Eudy joked about performing for crickets. Well, there wasn’t much of an audience at the time. Another former resident, Clay Franklin, also performed. I confess I didn’t recognize Clay who nowadays hides behind a silver beard.
But Eudy’s songs were notably musical and clever. Home grown lyrics about Messer Creek and family get-togethers and food fare for country folk. He can sing and dance and joke and tune and play the geeeetar all at the same time. That’s what I call talent.
Mike is currently leading the teachers weight loss competition at his school.
The Pack the Park event raised funds for restoration of the museum. Thanks to all who worked on the project.
Notably present was Jeremy Ross of Hollywood who is a candidate to replace our town’s Nate Steel in the State Legislature. Jeremy had his wife, Lori, and son, Turner, with him to oooooh and aaaaaah over the beautiful cars on display.
ANIMAL CRACKERS. Our area’s Mississippi Kites have flown the coop. Sometime last week they stopped circling the breakfast table in southwest Arkansas and flew off to wherever it is they go in the ‘off season.’
It seems to me that they left earlier this year than in years past. Reckon it means fall gets here sooner?
HE SAID: “Some people ask the secret of our long marriage. We take time to go to a restaurant two times a week. A little candlelight, dinner, soft music and dancing. She goes Tuesdays, I go Fridays.” Henny Youngman, musician and comic
SHE SAID: “We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers – but never blame yourself. It’s never your fault. But it’s always your fault, because if you wanted to change you’re the one who has got to change.” Katharine Hepburn, actress

Obituaries (Week of Sept. 15, 2014)

Harvey McRae Arnold
Harvey McRae Arnold, 94, of Searcy, Ark., died Sept. 4, 2014.
He was born July 8, 1920, in Izard County, Ark., to the late James Columbus and Blonda Gertrude Arnold.
He was an Army Air Corps veteran of WWII, and served as a minister of Churches of Christ for 70 years. He was minister of the Sunset Church of Christ in Nashville in the years 1956-59.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Ruby, and three brothers.
Survivors include: his sons, James E. Arnold of New York City, Wayne L. Arnold of Austin, Texas, and a daughter, Janice R. Arnold of Austin, Texas; also grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A memorial service was held at the Sylvan Hills Church of Christ in Sherwood, Ark., on Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. He was cremated and his ashes were placed in a crypt with those of his wife of 65 years.
Memorials may be made to Searcy Children’s Homes, 208 E. Moore Ave., Searcy, AR 72143.
Thelma D. Ashley
Thelma D. Ashley. 82, died Sept. 13, 2014, at Sweetwater, Okla.
She was born Jan. 24, 1932 in Cheyenne, Oklahoma to Emma and L. Mark Davis.
She had been a Sunday School teacher at the Sweetwater Assembly of God Church for the past 28 years where her husband was pastor.
She was preceded in death by two sisters, Letha Moxley and
Zola Clements; two brothers, Vernon and Harold Davis, and a grandson.
Survivors include: her husband, J. M. Ashley; three daughters,
Marolyn Bridges and husband, Farrell, of Marlow, Okla., Suzie Elroy, of Marlow,
Denise Drake and husband, Wayne, of Bartlesville, Okla.; four sons, Rickie
Ashley and wife, Cathy, of Denton, Texas, John Ashley and wife, Suzanne,
of Stratford, Texas, Steve Ashley, of Nashville, Ark. and Thomas Ashley and wife,
Miriam, of Pryor, Okla; three sisters, Wynona Davis, Granite, Okla., Elma Newcombe,
Chandler, Okla., and Greta Sirmons, Justin, Texas; also grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
Visitation was Monday, Sept., and funeral services were Tuesday, Sept.ember 16, 2014 at Elk City First Assembly of God, officiated by Pastor Jimmy
Keith and Bro. Ray Smart. Burial was Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014 at Marlow Cemetery under the direction of Rose Chapel Funeral Service.
Marie Rooks Horn
Marie Rooks Horn, 92, of Nashville, died Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014 in Hot Springs.
She was born July 11, 1922, in Nathan, Ark., the daughter of the late Wiley Anthony Jones and Lessie Williams Jones.
She was a member at the Sunset Church of Christ in Nashville.
She was preceded in death by her first husband, Emory Rooks; second husband, Elmer Horn; and three sisters, Edna Westfall, Loueze Austin, and Ruth Watson.
Survivors include: her daughter, Janice Ragar; three grandchildren, Jamie Dowdy and husband, Mark, of Nashville, Dee Garner and husband, Jerrell, of Nashville, and Sam Ragar and wife, Melissa, of Nashville; five great-grandchildren, Steven Robins and wife, Aubrey, of El Dorado, Josh Robins and wife, Emily, of Nashville, Christopher Carroll of Conway, and Ella and Ava Ragar of Nashville.
Funeral Services were Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014 at 2 p.m. at the Latimer Funeral Home chapel in Nashville with Bro. Joe Martin and Bro. Phillip Turner officiating. Burial followed at the New Corinth Cemetery in Nashville.
Visitation was Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014 from 6-8 p.m. at the Latimer Funeral Home chapel in Nashville.
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Howard County Fair Talent Show Winners

Intermediate Division. Winner and overall-winner Anastasia Hibberd, Ethan Kuntz, second-place Adalyn Dunn and third-place Kara Connell.
JUNIOR DIVISION. Lillie Burton, winner Abby Brooke Furr, second-place Jacee Martin, third-place Joshua Kuntz and Allie Westbrook.
PRIMARY Division Winner Kinley Martin
SENIOR DIVISION. Simmy Newton and winner Jessica Carroll.