Wednesday, August 26, 2015

CLASSIFIEDS >> 08-26-15


WANTED 4 MORE HOMES To advertise our Life Time Warranty PREMIUM SIDING, WINDOWS OR METAL ROOF For our upcoming brochure. Save Hundreds. Payments $69/Mo. No money down EZ financing. Senior/Military Discounts. Call Now!! 866-668-8681.


HARRELL LAWN Service, specializing in hedge trimming, flower beds, mowing and edging. (501) 259-1607.

IF YOU’RE looking for a dependable housekeeper with 20+ years experience, for the Cabot to NLR areas, call (501) 231-5966.

Ethel’s Educational Express Child Development is now accepting new enrollments and all childcare vouchers. Hurry before all available openings are taken. Call Ethel (501) 747-8713 today!

FOR ALL types of carpentry and remodeling needs - metal roofs, decks, privacy fences, doors, windows, floor repairs and coverings. 25 years of experience. Call (501) 266-0410.

ALL DONE Cleaning - professional house cleaning - insured, best prices and service PERIOD. Nobody beats our prices and service. Cabot, NLR and surrounding areas. (501) 231-4498.

Dish Network – Get MORE for LESS! Starting $19.99/month (for 12 months.) PLUS Bundle and SAVE (Fast Internet for $15 more/month.) CALL Now 1-800-393-5829.

DIVORCE WITH OR WITHOUT children $125. Includes name change and property settlement agreement. SAVE hundreds. Fast and easy. Call 1-888-733-7165, 24/7.

REDUCE YOUR CABLE BILL! Get a whole-home Satellite system installed at NO COST and programming starting at $19.99/mo. FREE HD/DVR Upgrade to new callers. CALL NOW 1-800-474-0423.


Immediate Hire - $725 a week. Are you self-motivated? Local company has 10-15 openings for air quality testers. No experience necessary. No Layoffs. Call for an interview at (501) 605-1303.

DRIVERS: $3,000 orientation completion bonus! Dedicated, regional, OTR and point-to-point lanes. Great pay (new hires min. $800/wk. guarantee!) Ask about no credit/money down lease purchase CDL-A, 1 year experience. 1-855-314-1138.

PART-TIME MAILROOM positions available including insert machine. Apply in person at The Leader, 404 Graham Rd., Jacksonville.

DRIVERS - Company and O-Ops. Get home more - spend more time with family and friends! Dedicated lanes! Pay and benefits YOU deserve! (855) 582-2265.

CLASS A CDL driver needed with at least 3 yrs. experience. Will be pulling long end dump trailers, grain trailers and dry vans. Must have a GOOD driving record. Home every weekend. Home terminal Beebe, AR. (501) 690-2015.

ROGERS GROUP in Cabot has full time openings for Customer Service Rep. (administrative clerk), Heavy equipment operator and night shift maintenance supervisor.  Please apply online at

The City of Jacksonville is accepting applications for entry-level police officers. Must be 21 years of age but not older than 46 by the time of hire; no felony convictions, high school diploma/GED. Application Deadline August 28, 2015 at 4:00 pm. ALL applications must be turned into the Police Dept, 1400 Marshall Road. Test Date: September 8, 2015. EOE

Attention Medicaid Caregivers: Superior Senior Care needs CNA’s or PCA’s who want to be their own boss and earn more money. Call 501-663-CARE or 

Can You Dig It? Heavy Equipment Operator Career! Offering: Training Certifications Running Bulldozers, Backhoes/ Excavators. VA Benefits Eligible! 1-866-362-6497. ACT, Dothan AL, Licensed SBPCE.

Maintenance Journeyman Electrician - Almatis, Inc.,  Bauxite, medical, dental, vision, 401k and bonus pay (pay for performance). Min. 4 years  verifiable experience as a Journeyman Electrician, industrial Maintenance environment. A multicraft background  preferred. Willing to work all shifts, weekends and overtime when required in  fast paced environment. EEO/AA Employer. Send Resume to: Almatis, Inc., P.O. Box 300, Bauxite, AR. 72011 Attn: HR Manager, Email:

DRIVERS - No experience? Some or LOTS of experience? Let's Talk! We support ever driver, every day, every mile! Call Central Refrigerated Home. (855)610-8784.

Class A CDL Driver- New Pay Package Up to .43cpm, Affordable Benefits, Safety and Longevity Bonus, 2 years OTR in the last 3 years, Dancor Transit 866-677-4333,

TRUCK DRIVER TRAINEES NEEDED! Learn to drive for Stevens Transport! EARN $800 PER WEEK! No Experience Needed! We will get you trained! 1-888-778-0459.

CDL Flatbed Drivers Needed. $600.00 Sign on Bonus. Great pay, Health Ins, Retirement Plan, Vacation, Holiday Pay, Home Weekly. Uniforms and Jackets Provided. Earn $45,000.00 to $60,000.00 Yr. Call Chuck or Jeremy 501-945-1433. Apply in person: 5007 E. Broadway, NLR.


REAL ESTATE AUCTION - Fri., 8-28 @ 11am, 1825 Missile Base Road - (Just North of Searcy, AR), 3 BR, 3 BA, 3500 sq. ft., Spanish style w/pool and 4500 sq. ft. all purpose event center, 40 AC m/l offered in 3 tracts, combinations and whole. Shown by appointment. Tractors, personal property  and consignments to follow real estate auction. FOR INFO: or 19078, NEAL DAVIS AUCTION and REALTY CO., PB 6564, AALB #1,  501-940-2138.


SEVERAL FAMILY yard sale, 8/28, 7:30-? 208 N. James, Jax. Furniture, clothes, new microwave and lots more. Rain cancels.

MOVING SALE, 8/28 and 29, 5305 Cypress Dr., Jax. Large bedroom set, treadmill, white wing back recliner, bicycle, desk, white wool rug and misc.

MULTI-FAMILY YARD ale, 8/28 and 29, 7 am-7 pm, 3823 Ed Haymes Rd., Austin.

MOVING SALE, 8/29, 9 am-4 pm, 604 Cheryl Ln., Jax. Prices negotiable on some items. LCD TVs, stereo, furniture and rare collectibles.

HUGE MULTI-FAMILY rummage sale, 8/29 7 am-4 pm, Mt. Carmel Baptist Church Pavilion. Something for everyone. Don’t miss it! Fundraiser to benefit lung-transplant recipient.

HUGE SALE, 8/28 and 29, 7 am-4 pm, 9609 Del Ray, Miller’s Crossing. Furniture, decor, Dept. 56, baby clothes, etc.

END OF 3 week yard sale, 8/27-29, 7 am, 121 Sharp Ln., Lonoke. 60% off everything.

HUGE YARD sale, 8/28 and 29, 7 am-3 pm, 39 High Cir., Austin, off Hwy. 38, subdivision just past Dude’s store.

INSIDE MOVING sale, 8/29, 6405 Noble Rd., Jax. Lots of women’s clothes L-XL, men’s XL-XXL, $1-2 ea. Like new love seat, fridge, elec. dryer, lots more! All priced to sell!


MICKEY THOMPSON Baja Claw radial tire, 33x12.5R15, LT N+S, never mounted, $150. (501) 515-9632, Jax.

1991 FORD F150 SWB, 5-spd., 1-owner, runs/drives well, $2,500 obo. (501) 676-5624.

1992 BUICK Roadmaster Limited, needs body work and interior work, runs good, $400 obo. (501) 766-9668.

1998 FORD Contour SE, 96,000 miles, $2,995. (501) 982-1933.

CONTINENTAL CARGO trailer, like new, 7x14 w/tie-downs, insulated w/A/C, $3,000. (501) 882-3016 or (501) 658-5752.

2 BLACK electric truck mirrors, new, fit full-size pickup, $80 for both. (501) 983-1445.

LADDER RACK for Ford Ranger truck, $50. (501) 454-1859.

‘99 CHEVROLET Silverado extended cab, excellent condition, good A/C and tires, $4,500. (501) 454-1859.


PROPELLERS: 9.5-9.9-20 hp. Johnson and 9.8-15 hp. Mercury round head jig mold w/8 1/32 oz. cavities, lead production pot holds 10 lb. lead w/110 vac. adjustable heat control. (501) 843-6005, Jack.

PACK MULE buggy, army green, great for deer hunters, $400 cash. (501) 350-8876.


WANTED: NEWER model riding or push mower, must be good price, pay cash. (501) 843-5376.

2 live traps, one small, one medium, $60 for pr. (501) 983-1445.

LARGE SNAPPER riding mower, horizontal engine, runs great, needs battery, $325. (501) 983-1445.

CUB CADET, parting out, 42” deck, vertical engine, motor runs, but needs work. (501) 983-1445.

OLDER MODEL Kubota lawn tractor, 20 hp. engine, great for racing or mowing, $700 obo. 882-2142.

2 PUSH mowers, 20”, clean, easy start, run good, $60 ea. 952-3937, Jax.


FOUND: LARGE white female dog, short-hair, collar and flea collar but no phone no. Found on Ray Sowell Rd., Ward. (501) 843-5695.


FREE, CHOW, big dog, friendly, wants to play; also, lab mix puppy, playful. 366-0558.

WHITE ROCK rooster chick, free. (870) 256-1129.

2-HORSE STRAIGHT load bumper pull trailer, walk-thru tack/changing rm., 2 saddle racks, multiple bridal hooks, locking feed thru doors, spare tire mount w/tire, double axle, removable winter doors, feed manger, rubber mats, $2,000 obo. Pics. avail. Call/text (501) 743-5079.

FREE TO good home, Rottweiler, about 3 yrs. old, male. (615) 948-6465.

6 MONTH old puppy, needs new home, male, up-to-date on all shots, very energetic, loves to play. (501) 626-6705.

5 LAB./COLLIE/BLUE Heeler mix puppies, free to good home. (501) 457-7823.

(7) LAYING hens and 1 rooster, $40. (501) 882-3494, Beebe.

SNAKE TANK, large screened top, $50. 952-3937.


5 SHELF bamboo etagere (bookcase), $50 cash. (501) 837-2120.

10 RC airplanes, great condition, $1,000. Call/text (870) 256-5888, leave msg.

TILE, 4”x4”, 11 colors and quantities, 20¢ ea. (501) 835-1799, Gravel Ridge.

DIABETIC SHOES, new, size 13 black, w/velcro, $89. (501) 749-8667, Bob.

C-PAP MACHINE, good condition, $239. (501) 749-8667, Bob.

PARTYLITE CHRISTMAS items, pics avail. Call/text: (501) 266-2298.

INCUMBENT BIKE  by Weslo, pd. $175, same as new, $100. 985-2244.

VHS and cassette music tapes, 500+ collection, make offer. (561) 358-9997, Cabot.

PATIO CUSHIONS, set of 5, very thick, good condition, $50. (561) 358-9997, Cabot.

HP DESKTOP computer, Acer monitor, needs work, $60; large orchid picture, $60; lots of seasonal wreaths; women’s clothing; sage green silk curtains, 84”, $30; 2 shower curtains, taupe and sage green; ladies sandals and boots. (501) 983-4579.

TREADMILL, RUNS good, $35. 590-3917.

HAIER A/C, 5,000 btu, $40. (501) 983-1445.

BLESSING TROMBONE, only used 2 yrs., very nice, $300. (501) 951-8859, Lonoke/Cabot.

SILK TREES, small to large, $20-$75. (501) 413-0207.

18”-20” BICYCLE, good for middle schooler, $15 obo. 247-0653.

1950 SMITH Corona manual typewriter, original case, $50 cash. (501) 982-2688.

OUTDOOR GAS grill, $15; Poland lead heater, gas, $15. 835-9795.

ENTERTAINMENT CENTER, DVDs, picture frames, knickknacks and other misc. items. (501) 749-5785.

LITTLE HOUSE style Pioneer bonnets for school activities, reenactments or church functions, handmade, all colors and sizes. 941-8222.

TRANSPORT WHEELCHAIR w/footrests, $65. 985-2244.

SEVERAL RAZOR scooters, small, $20 ea. 843-4890.

LOTS OF toys and bicycles, various prices. 843-4890.

SEVERAL BISSELL vacuum cleaners, $30 or less. 843-4890.

STEEL NISSAN 6-hole rims, chrome plated, $80 for 4; 3-wheeled workman’s trike, $400 obo. Must sell quick. (501) 882-2142.

SCHWINN ROADSTER tricycle, pink, chrome fenders, rear wood deck, bell, adjustable seat, 12”, $55. (501) 982-2688.

FRONT ENTRY door, wood with lock inset and storm door, 36”x80”. 834-0200.

METAL SHOPPING cart w/rollers, very good condition, $15. (561) 358-9997, North Cabot.

MANY, MANY items of women’s clothing, sz. 12-14, coats, dresses, pants, shirts, suit jackets, selling cheap. 765-6764 after 3 pm, Furlow area.

BEAUTIFUL GOLD Bundy trumpet, good condition, only a few small blemishes, hard case included, $650. (501) 438-9696, Lonoke.


GE REFRIGERATOR, dorm size, 20” wide x 32” high, 22” deep, 4.3 cu. ft., excellent condition, $75. (501) 940-5972.

BEAUTIFUL WOODEN 1900 antique secretarial chair, $400 obo. (210) 748-4170, leave msg., Sherwood.

REFRIGERATOR, WHIRLPOOL, 25 cu. ft., side-by-side, includes 2 new water filters, runs great, looks great, excellent condition, $250. (501) 605-6776.

COUCH, burgundy, smoke-free home, excellent condition, 4 yrs. old. Must pick up from Jax./Stonewall area. (501) 744-2050.

A/C UNITS: 5,000 btu, $70; 18,000 btu, $225. Both excellent condition. (501) 834-8886, Sherwood.

DINING ROOM table w/6 chairs, good condition, solid wood, pd. $500, asking $350. 2 end tables, $35 for both. (501) 516-0008.

OAK ENTERTAINMENT center, $50 cash. (501) 837-2120.

BLUE ROCKING chair, good condition, $30; high-back, brown office chair, $30. 985-2244.

LARGE COUCH, love seat, overstuffed chair and ottoman, beautiful leather set, needs some repair, $500. (501) 983-4579.

TV, LARGE, old, 52” w/converter box, $100. (501) 843-3476.

DRESSER, BROWN wood grain finish w/triple mirror, ceramic pulls, you move, $50 obo. (501) 206-4703.

DRESSER, BROWN wood grain finish w/triple mirror, ceramic pulls, you move, $50 obo. (501) 206-4703.

ESTATE MODEL Whirlpool gas dryer, excellent condition, $100 obo. (501) 286-0827.

TABLE and 4 chairs, $100. (501) 843-8363, after 2 pm.

WHIRLPOOL 25 cu. ft. refrigerator, filtered water and ice maker, excellent condition, $400 negotiable. 985-2244.

KING-SIZED SLEIGH bed with pillow-top mattress and box springs, good condition, $300 obo. Will sell separate. (501) 416-2069.

MATTRESS, CLEAN twin double pillow top, $20. (501) 982-8396.

WHIRLPOOL ELECTRIC burner range, $50. (501) 676-6956.

GAS DRYER, Kenmore, 4-cycles, $75. (501) 676-6956.

QUEEN HIDE-A-BED sofa, good condition and good bed; large coffee table, beautiful, good condition, maple, all for $150. (501) 796-6266.


WANTED: WASHER, dryer, refrigerator, dishwasher, 30” cook stove. (501) 351-3021.


LAND FOR sale, 7 1/2 acres with pond and spring water, $10,000 per acre or $70,000 for entire parcel. Call (501) 259-9958.


IN BEEBE: very nice, 2 Bedroom/ 2 Bath apartments. All utilities paid including basic cable. Washer and dryer furnished. $700 month. Twin Lakes Apartments. Call Lisa at 278-0498.

FREE RENT for those 55 and older! VILLAS at SEARCY, 2 BR only. Call (501) 305-3315 for more details. Equal Housing Opportunity.

204 WRIGHT Cove, Jacksonville. 3 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath, carport, fenced backyard. Kitchen - new dishwasher, refrigerator - side by side, hot water heater and A/C unit, $750 mo., $750 dep. (501) 982-9147 or (501) 231-2790.

MOBILE HOME for rent. Cabot School District. HUD approved. (501) 843-5523 or (501) 941-9702.

CABOT: 2 bedroom, 1 bath, carport, fenced yard, excellent location, $600 rent, $600 deposit. Call (501) 920-1673.

2 BEDROOM, 1 bath trailer, CHandA, 5 miles east of Jacksonville in Furlow area. $400 mo., $300 dep. No pets, stove and refrigerator furnished. (501) 944-1905.

FOR RENT: 3 bedroom, 2 bath, formal dining room, 1-car garage, all electric, $950 rent, $500 deposit. Pets allowed (additional deposit). 12 Gold Meadows, Ward. (501) 944-8503.


MOBILE HOME for sale: 16’x80’, 3 bedroom, 2 bath, heat and air, great for hunting camp, $1,500. Call (501) 259-9958.

WANT TO BUY A  HOME? LENDERS OFFERING GOVT. PROGRAMS. Manufactured/Modular Homes. 501-653-3204.

MOBILE HOME - Tubs, $160, Skirting, $7.25, Combo Doors, $299, Outswing Doors, $169, Moulding, $1, 48” Anchors, $8. Roof, Coating, $50, Floor Vents, $4. 501-993-3144.

SPORTS EVENTS >> 08-26-15


The Cabot Lions Club will host its annual Charity Golf Tournament on Monday, Sept. 14 at Rolling Hills Country Club in Cabot. The event is a four-person scramble with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. Entry fee is $400 per team and includes greens fees, cart, two mulligans, many door prize opportunities and a steak dinner that will be served after tournament play. Deadline for entry is Sept. 7.

Corporate sponsorships and hole sponsorships are also available, and donations are accepted for door prizes. Proceeds from the event will go directly toward providing vision screenings, eye exams and eyeglasses purchases for local in-need school children and adults. For more information or to obtain an entry form, call 501-920-2122 or email


The Beebe Badgers’ first football game of the 2015 season will be at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1 at War Memorial Stadium as part of the 103.7 The Buzz Kickoff Classic. The Badgers will take on longtime rival Greenbrier and tickets go on sale Monday.

Tickets are $7 and can be purchased in advance at First Security Bank on DeWitt Henry Drive in Beebe, Centennial Bank of Beebe on Hwy. 64, and at the Beebe Public Schools Central Office.



The Sylvan Hills Bears will host the Vilonia Eagles at 7:30 p.m. Monday Aug. 31 in game two of the 103.7 The Buzz Kickoff Classic. Tickets for the game can be purchased in advance during school hours at the Sylvan Hills High School main office. Cost is $7.


Juvenile D’Rinkrats Roller Derby will be hosting a parent information night about junior roller derby at 6 p.m., Sept. 3, at Joyland Skate Center. The meeting will cover safety gear and training requirements, membership costs and more. Junior roller derby is for ages 8 to 17-years. For more information, visit Regular practices for the 2015-2016 season will begin at 9 a.m. Sept. 12 at Joyland Skate Center. The skating rink is located at 2020 South Second St. in Cabot.

OBITUARIES >> 08-26-15


Roger H. Beedle, 70, of Carlisle died Aug. 24. He was born in Bayou Meto.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Floyd and Ruth Beedle. He is survived by his wife Diane Beedle; a son, Rodney Beedle and his wife Andrea; one grandson, Peyton Beedle of Cabot, and siblings, Lavern Dale and her husband Archie, Louise Bullock and her husband Billy Paul of Hot Springs, Nancy Hollingsworth and her husband Eddie of Gillette and Floyd Beedle Jr. and his wife Donna of Stuttgart.

He served in the Army National Guard and was a mechanic for many years.

The funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 26 in the chapel of Boyd Funeral Home. Burial will follow at 2 p.m. at Bayou Meto Cemetery near DeWitt.

Arrangements are by Boyd Funeral Home.


Arleeta Mae Johnson, 93, of Lonoke passed away on Aug. 24. She was born Aug. 2, 1922, in Birmingham, Ala., to the late Lowell Mason Robinson and Eula Mae Farlow Robinson.

She was a member of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Coach Woody Johnson; her parents and siblings, Thelma, Roy, Fred, Ruby, Hazel, Opal and Odell.

She is survived by one brother, Dwight Robinson and his wife Joyce; her children, Tommy Johnson, Johnny Johnson, Joy Patterson and Judy Patterson and her husband Ted; grandchildren, Jay Johnson, Lisa Patterson Thomas, Keith Johnson, Angela Morelli and her husband David, Jim Patterson Jr. and his wife Shelley, Jason Patterson and his wife Sara, Jennifer Patterson and her husband Michael and Carmen Patterson; great-grandchildren, Stone Patterson, Seth Johnson, Landon Patterson, Kade Thomas, Matia Patter-son, Alivia Patterson, Jillian Patterson, Sophie Wright and Sam Wright, and numerous other beloved family members, her church family and friends.

Arleeta was raised in Mississippi and shared many stories about growing up during the Depression. She met and married the love of her life in 1939. She was a homemaker, avid reader and historian. Arleeta loved music and played clarinet in band, as well as, several other instruments.

She was famous for her wonderful cooking and gardening. Her devotion to her family was unwavering, always putting the needs of others before her own.

Arleeta loved whole-heartedly and unconditionally and was a true nurturer. She was always ready to share a meal and her beautiful smile.

She was “Grandma” to many and beyond adored, the essence of a steel magnolia. Arleeta was kind to all, and we can only imagine the goodness Heaven has gained. To know her was to love her, and those closest to her will always cherish her words, “I Love You More!”

The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 28 at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Lonoke. The family will receive friends from 6 until 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27 at Moore’s Cabot Funeral Home.


Robert Evan Thornton, 56, of Jacksonville died on Aug. 21. He was born on Nov. 7, 1958, in Houston, Texas, to the late Woodrow Wilson and Vivian Berndt Thornton.

Robert was a member of the IBEW Local 295 for 35 years. He and Stacy were members of the Church of Christ.

Survivors include his wife of 35 years, Stacy Thornton; one daughter, Jennifer Nicole Reynolds and her husband Dusty; two granddaughters, Lauren and Alyssa Reynolds, a host of other friends and relatives.

The funeral will be at 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28 in Moore’s Jacksonville Funeral Home Chapel with Ron Rainwater officiating. Entombment will follow in the Chapel Hill Mausoleum. Visitation will be from 6 until 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27 at the funeral home.


William Richard (Rick) Kelley, 63, of Jacksonville went to be with the Lord on Aug. 22 while surrounded by family and friends.

He was born March 5, 1952, in New Orleans to Louid and Doris Kelley.

Rick graduated from Minden High School and received his master’s in science education from Louisiana Tech University, where he met his wife, Jan Cason Kelley.

He served in the Air Force from April 1976 to June 1981. He retired from the Arkansas Department of Health after 26 years.

Rick was an active member of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville.

He was preceded in death by his father. He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Jan Kelley; a son, Dr. Matthew Kelley and his wife Maggie Smykla Kelley of Orlando, Fla.; his mother, Doris Kelley, of Minden, La., and a sister, Nancy and her husband, H. Rhea Chafin of Guatemala City, Guatemala.

A memorial service will be held at First Baptist Church in Jacksonville at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 26 with Rev. Bob Fielding officiating. Memorials may be made to the Jacksonville Animal Shelter or the First Baptist Church in Jacksonville Building Fund.

Arrangements are by Moore’s Jacksonville Funeral Home and Crematory.


Blanche Norene Fitts Harlan, 86, of Beebe was born on Feb. 15, 1929, in Antioch to Edith Viola Belew and Albert Fitts. She left to be with the Lord on Aug. 20.

She was preceeded in death by her husband, Joe Dickey Sr., and two sons, Joe Jr. and Samuel Lee Harlan.

She is survived by her daughter, Pamela Harlan Yaerger; two daughters-in-law, Diana Ruth Harlan and Patricia Harlan; grandchildren, Melissa Sowell and her husband Greg, Jennifer Arras and her husband Anthony, Jessica Elkins and her husband Bryan, Heather Yaerger, Kimberly Johnson and her husband Shane, Matt Harlan, Kimberly Webb and her husband Mike, Cindy Gatling and her husband Blake, Nicole Clark and Lance Yaerger, and many great-grandchildren, whom she loved with all her heart.

She was loved by all, and that made for a full and blessed life.

Arrangements are by Moore’s Jacksonville Funeral Home & Crematory.


Charles Steven Ashcraft, 70, of Beebe went to be with the Lord on Aug. 22.

Charles was born Arthur Ray Rich. He was adopted and renamed by his loving parents, Joe and Madelyn Dye Ashcraft. Charles was raised as an only child and enjoyed the tender loving care of his parents.

He was an Army veteran. Charles enjoyed duck hunting, golfing, fishing and spending time with family and friends.

He loved the Lord and devoted himself to the reading and studying of God’s word, the Bible. Charles was described as a good-hearted man who would gladly give you the shirt off his back.

He is survived by his wife, Mabel Spears Bennett Ashcraft; two sons, Ryan Ashcraft of Camden and Joel Ashcraft of Florida, and many wonderful friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Memorials may be made to the Gideon’s, 66 Mohawk Drive, Searcy, Ark. 72143.

The funeral was held Aug. 25 at Smith-Westbrook Funeral Home in Beebe. A private family burial will be at a later date in Forest Hill Memorial Park.

EVENTS >> 08-26-15


The Jacksonville Police Department will start its next Citizens Police Academy session on Sept. 29.

People who live or work in Jacksonville can register for the public-outreach program until Sept. 15 by picking up an application at the police department, 1400 Marshall Road, or online at

Participants will learn how policing works during the free eight-week class through discussions on community policing, criminal investigations, patrol duties, use of force, firearms, K-9 duties, a special response team demonstration, narcotics and less-lethal weapons.

Classes will be held from 6 until 9 p.m. Tuesdays and be led by Jacksonville police officers.

Participants must be at least 18 years old, pass a background check and have not had felony or misdemeanor convictions in the last year.

For more information, call Sgt. Dustin Brown at 501-982-3191 or email


Food trucks will gather at the Jacksonville Farmers Market near the community center on Municipal Drive from 6 until 9 p.m. Thursday.

Jacksonville and North Pulaski high school students and their families are invited to attend the back-to-school celebration.


A rummage sale fundraiser will be held from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday at the Mount Carmel Baptist Church pavilion in Cabot.

Proceeds from the sale will go to help church member Elaine Robinson, who was recently diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis and will need a lung transplant.

Robinson is not on the list for one yet, but she will be. Without the transplant, her life expectancy is five years at most, according to organizer Betty Childress.

Organizer Susan Weatherford said she hopes the sale will raise at least $2,000.

Although Robinson is insured and most of her treatments are covered, there are other expenses, like co-pays and bills she’ll have to pay while missing work for doctor’s appointments.


“The Mouse Trap” will be performed Friday through Sunday at the Community Theatre of Cabot. The theater is located at 1102 S. Pine Street, Suite 3.

For Friday and Saturday shows, dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. and the show will start at 7:30. Sundays are show-only matinees that begin at 2 p.m. Adult tickets are $25 for dinner and the show or $15 without dinner. Call 501-941-2266 for reservations.

According to a news release, “‘The Mouse trap’ is a classic Agatha Christi murder mystery that will keep you guessing until the show ends. Written in 1957, it is the longest continuous running play in history.”


The Lonoke County Retired Teachers Association will meet at 11:30 a.m. Monday at Cabot United Methodist Church.

The meeting will begin with a potluck salad lunch. A representative of the Arkansas Retired Teachers Association will speak.

Members can pay their $5 dues for 2015-16 at the meeting.


Cabot’s fall cleanup, sponsored by the city and Cabot City Beautiful, is set for Saturday, Oct. 3.

Volunteers will meet at 9 a.m. in the Cabot Schools Administrative Building parking lot at 602 N. Lincoln St. to check in, receive locations to remove litter and pick up safety vests and trash bags. Volunteers should bring their own work gloves.

Any civic organization, church group, youth group, school group, scouting group, business or individual is invited to participate.

The event is being held in conjunction with the annual statewide Great Arkansas Cleanup. For more information, call 501-920-2122.


The Jacksonville Senior Wellness and Activity Center will hold bingo games at 6 p.m. on the first and third Monday, except on holidays. Participants must be 18 to play. “No drinking or smoking,” warns the announcement. The senior center is at 100 Victory Circle.


The Jacksonville Garden Club will meet at 1 p.m. Monday, Sept. 7 at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 2413 Northeastern Ave. A representative of Botanica Gardens, a landscaping company, will speak about orchids. For more information, call 501-533-7708.


The Lonoke County Museum will hold a Louisiana-style hoedown at 7 p.m. Saturday with live music by the Half Cocked Band. Tickets are $8 or $15 per couple. Attendees must be over 21.

“Come and dance the night away, plenty of room to strut your stuff,” according to an announcement from the museum, which is at 215 SE Front St. in Lonoke.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Bears’ offense shines Monday

Leader sportswriter

Sylvan Hills High School held its benefit jamboree with three other teams Monday night at Bill Blackwood Field in Sherwood, and in the Bears’ game, the hosts eked out a 21-20 win over Class 4A Pulaski Robinson.

The other two teams were Class 7A Little Rock Catholic and Class 5A Greenbrier. Catholic and Greenbrier played each other for a half before Sylvan Hills and Robinson closed the night with a half of play.

For the Bears, Monday was their second exhibition game played in four days, as they held their annual Blue-White scrimmage game on Friday.

“We played better with that group than we did on Friday night in our Blue-White game,” said Sylvan Hills coach Jim Withrow. “We just got to get more consistent. We’ve got to get better fundamentally.”

Defensive play is one area Withrow wasn’t entirely pleased with Monday night. The Bears’ D allowed the Senators’ offense to convert two fourth and long plays that left the coaching staff shaking their heads.

“We gave up some big plays on fourth down,” Withrow said. “Fourth and long we gave up some big plays. We just can’t do that. We kind of showed our youth on those plays. You just can’t do that stuff. You’ve got to do better than that.”

Neither team entered Monday’s exhibition at full strength. Robinson held out two of their top playmakers while Sylvan Hills kept some players out that have been recovering from injuries, including three of their starting offensive linemen, as well as players on defense.

That didn’t take away from the competitiveness of the scrimmage, though, nor did it take away from the offense’s production.

“It was a good scrimmage,” Withrow said, “a lot of athletes, a lot of good plays. We played real well, offensively. We had one series where we didn’t score. We had fourth and 1 and we didn’t make it. We should’ve checked out of it, but we’ll learn from it and hopefully move on.”

The only time the Bears didn’t score was on their last possession. Their first score came on a 3-yard TD run by junior quarterback Jordan Washington.

The next Bears offensive series, Washington connected with Brandon Bracely for a 45-yard touchdown, and Jamar Porter had the final TD of the night for Sylvan Hills on a 1-yard plunge.

The Bears were without three starting offensive linemen, so Withrow said he was pleased with that production.

“Coach (Denny) Tipton does a great job with those linemen, having them ready. I thought the backs ran hard. Jordan threw it well. So it was a pretty good job by everybody.”

That didn’t include the two fourth and long conversions given up by the defense, which is very young up front and in the secondary.

“That was the one thing I was really disappointed at,” Withrow said. “We need to do a better job running routes in our passing game. There are other things we could do better, but you know, I thought the kids competed.

“I thought we played really good in spurts on defense. I thought the kids made some plays here or there. At the end of the night, Hunter Phillips just smoked a guy on the sideline. I mean, took his helmet off. I thought everybody played hard.

“They all realize we’re still competing for positions. It’s good to get something on tape now. We’ll take a look at it, clean some stuff up. We know what game speed’s like. (Robinson) is a potent offensive group. They’re going to score some points. It was a good test for our guys, so I was pleased with it.”

SPORTS STORY >> Jackrabbits host Bison, Hornets in scrimmage

Leader sportswriter

The Lonoke Jackrabbits played host to Carlisle and Maumelle in a benefit scrimmage Monday night at James B. Abraham Stadium, and even though it was an exhibition, the atmosphere resembled a Friday night regular season game.

The format for the scrimmage was the three teams played each other for a half, with normal time-keeping rules. Carlisle and Maumelle took the field first, and the 5A Hornets dominated from start to finish en route to a 41-0 win over the 2A Bison.

Lonoke played Maumelle in game two, and that matchup was much more competitive. The Jackrabbits jumped out to a 13-0 lead over the Hornets, but Maumelle came roaring back in the second half and held off a late Lonoke surge to narrowly beat the hosts 22-21.

The Jackrabbits then played old rival Carlisle in the third and final game of the evening. Lonoke played its second-string players for the bulk of the game, but still managed to outpoint Carlisle 15-7.

Offensively, Carlisle managed to move the ball against Maumelle early, but turnovers thwarted promising drives. The Bison defense had no answer for the Hornets’ offense, as the 2A school was simply outmatched by the 5A school’s size and playmakers. Lonoke, though, outplayed the Hornets early, on both sides of the ball.

Maumelle’s first series ended with Lonoke’s Justin Meadows scoring the first six points of that game on a 40-yard interception return. Casey Martin kicked the PAT to give Lonoke a 7-0 cushion.

Meadows struck again on the Rabbits’ first offensive possession in the new Flexbone offense. Lonoke was facing third and 16 at its own 31, but Meadows, who has 4.3 speed, took a right toss from quarterback Savonte Rountree and dashed 69 yards down the visitors’ sideline for his second touchdown of the game.

The PAT was no good, giving Lonoke a 13-0 lead. Maumelle’s next possession ended with a stellar interception by Jackrabbit senior corner Deondray Joyner, but Lonoke turned it over as well on its next possession.

The Hornets then answered with a Dai-Kwon Armond touchdown pass to senior standout receiver Demarian Johnson that was good for 30 yards and was perfectly thrown over Johnson’s shoulder. The PAT made it 13-7 Lonoke, and that was the score at the break.

Maumelle’s first possession of the second half was a lengthy one, but ended with a 20-yard TD pass. The PAT gave the Hornets their first lead at 14-13 with 5:16 to play.

Lonoke senior tailback Josh Coleman got the Rabbits’ next drive off to a promising start with a run the netted close to 20 yards. Lonoke’s next two offensive plays weren’t as promising, though, as the Rabbits were suddenly faced with third and 15.

On the next snap, Rountree threw into tight coverage and connected with Martin, who then broke away from the Hornet secondary for a 67-yard TD strike with 4:09 remaining.

Lonoke went for two, and Rountree plowed in the two-point try, which gave the hosts a 21-14 lead. Maumelle answered, though, with a great drive that ended with running back Jacob Acklin scoring from 16 yards out. He then added the two-point try to give the Hornets the 22-21 lead with 2:51 remaining.

The Rabbits put together another good drive on their final possession and managed to get fairly deep into Maumelle territory. But, Rountree was sacked on third down at the Maumelle 21 with 39 seconds remaining.

Facing fourth and 16, Lonoke coach Doug Bost sent out the field goal unit. The 38-yard field goal kicked by Martin went wide left, and Maumelle took a knee to end the highly competitive scrimmage between the two teams.

“That was some good competition,” said Bost, “a good 5A team for us to get ready to go into Star City. We had a couple of balls thrown that went for big plays. We were running in between the tackles with Coleman, and Savonte looked good. We were able to get outside a couple of times. Overall, I’m pleased.”

Bost did point to fumbles and penalties as something the team needs to correct before the actual season starts next Friday.

“We put five balls on the ground,” Bost said. “We didn’t lose any, but we did put five on the ground, and penalties puts us behind the chains. That’s not what you need on this offense.”

In the Lonoke/Carlisle game, the Jackrabbits opened with their second-string offense after Carlisle failed to score on the game’s first possession. That Jackrabbit offense had little trouble moving the ball downfield via the run game and Lonoke soon scored on a 1-yard TD run by quarterback Will Miller. The two-point try was good, giving Lonoke an 8-0 lead.

The Bison offense, also switching to the Flexbone this year, moved the ball on its next drive, but fumbled it over to the Lonoke defense with 2:14 left in the period. At the end of the quarter, Lonoke maintained its 8-0 lead.

Lonoke’s first-teamers came into the game at the start of the final 12 minutes. That offense moved the ball down field with little trouble, and even had two plays that resulted in touchdowns of over 40 yards. However, penalties negated those scores.

The Jackrabbits still scored, though, on that possession, which came on an 11-yard TD pass from Rountree to Martin with 6:18 remaining. The PAT made it 15-0 Lonoke.

Starting at its own 25, Carlisle had one more opportunity to find the end zone. Quarterback Ty Golleher had several grind-it-out runs that led to first downs on the drive, and with 8.7 tics remaining, Golleher took a quarterback keeper outside his left tackle and into the end zone for the Bison’s first score of the night.

The PAT was good, and that set the final score.

“We’ve got to do a lot of work on tackling,” said Carlisle coach Jack Keith. “Offensively, we were able to move the ball, but we put the ball on the ground too many times. If we take care of that and keep moving the ball we’ll be alright. We’ve just got to do a better job of tackling and controlling the ball.”

Even though the scrimmage didn’t go as well for his team as Keith would’ve liked, he did like the way his offense ended the night with the touchdown at the very end of the exhibition, and said his inexperienced group should really benefit in the long term from that level of competition.

“That was a big confidence boost right there,” Keith said. “Lonoke’s a heck of a ball club. They’ve got a lot of athletes. To be able to drive it down and punch it in is big for us.

“I think we got a lot out of it. There won’t be many teams we see that’s as athletic as Maumelle. Seeing somebody that plays at that level and being able to be on the field with them, it gives you a good look and it’s something we can’t re-create in practice.”

SPORTS STORY >> Panthers cruise in benefit

Leader sports editor

The Cabot football coaches took a cautious approach to the Panthers’ complete domination of Lake Hamilton in Monday’s preseason scrimmage at Panther Stadium. In the controlled event where the teams traded 15-play drives regardless of scores or failure to convert first downs, Cabot scored nine touchdowns to zero for the Wolves.

Lake Hamilton’s only score came after a 15-play drive failed to accomplish much, and the coaches agreed to let the Wolves’ special teams unit attempt a field goal, which it made to end its first drive.

After that, Cabot scored its nine touchdowns on five drives. The first team had three possessions and scored six times. The second team had one possession and also scored twice, though the final two touchdowns were a mixture of first and second team offensive players against Lake Hamilton’s first-team defense. The other touchdown was an interception return for a touchdown by defensive lineman Lino Garcia.

Cabot coach Mike Malham was pleased with the outcome, but hesitated to say it’s a sign of things to come.

“Their coach had said he didn’t think they were going to be as strong this year as some of the teams they’ve had,” Malham said. “And I think he was right. Of course our second group was so much better than theirs, I think that’s where we really poured it on them.”

Malham also wasn’t pleased with his team’s two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, both on the first team.

“I was pleased with the effort, but we’ve got to cut out all the stupid things we do,” Malham said.

Garcia’s interception re-turn of a tipped pass was the first touchdown of the game.

Cabot’s offense then scored two touchdowns on its first 15-play possession after holding Lake Hamilton. The first was a 15-yard run by junior fullback Alex Roberts on the drive’s eighth play. After the touchdown, the team reset at its own 25 and got back to the Lake Hamilton 15-yard line with one play left. That’s when junior quarterback Jarrod Barnes hit Dylan Smith in the corner for Cabot’s second score.

Caleb Schulte hit the third of his nine successful extra points to give Cabot the imaginary 21-0 lead.

Cabot’s second unit took the ball next for 15 plays.

Sophomore Cody Skinner ran the second-team offense while last year’s backup quarterback, senior Jess Reed, played halfback. That group picked up 30 yards in six plays before Skinner went 45 yards on the option keep for the fourth touchdown of the scrimmage.

After resetting at the 25, Reed picked up 7 yards on the next play. Halfback Austin Morse then broke loose on the dive play for a 68-yard touchdown run.

Still with six plays left, Cabot’s second team experimented with the passing game for the remainder of the possession, picking up about 30 yards on 3 of 5 attempts with one short run. Sawyer Stalnaker caught all three passes.

The second team defense not only kept Lake Hamilton’s second unit from scoring, it held the Wolves to just two first downs in 15 plays. It also forced two fumbles and covered one.

Lake Hamilton’s first offense tried to go to the air more often on its second possession, but the Cabot defensive line was in the backfield frequently. Defensive end Kolton Eads picked up two sacks. The Wolves countered Cabot’s strong end rush with the draw play, which was its most successful play of the game. While the draw picked up some good yardage, it failed to produce any momentum, and Cabot stuffed Lake Hamilton again.

On Cabot’s second series for the first team, the Panthers took nine plays to go 75 yards with Roberts plunging in from 2-yards out. On the very next play, Morse went 75 yards on one play on a counter handoff for the Panthers’ seventh touchdown of the game.

The next drive of the same possession is when Cabot lost its composure. Offensive lineman Luke Ferguson drew the first unsportsmanlike penalty when he instigated a scuffle after a 12-yard run by Roberts. It resulted in two Lake Hamilton players kicking Ferguson in the helmet while he was down. Other players jumped into the fray, but only Ferguson and one Lake Hamilton player was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct. Cabot coaches still benched Ferguson for the remainder of the game.

A few plays later, Barnes picked up the same penalty for shoving a defender after a play ended on a whistle when Barnes was stood up, but not brought down, near the Cabot sideline. He also sat for the rest of the scrimmage, but Skinner looked good running the first team as well.

On the first team’s third series, Skinner led the team on scoring drives of seven and eight plays. Halfback Braxton Burton broke a dive play for 35 yards and junior halfback Williams Niles carried three times for 20 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown run on the seventh play.

Cabot went back to practicing the pass with its final eight plays. After an incompletion, Skinner hit Stalnaker for 28 yards, and then kept for 28 more. Two more option keepers picked up 15 yards with one play remaining. Morse scored this third touchdown on a counter from 4 yards out.

Cabot will play its regular-season opener next Friday at home against archrival Conway.

EDITORIAL >> How Asa can fix it

We must give Gov. Hutchinson credit for searching high and low for a way to bring recalcitrant legislators in his party along for the ride to provide everyone, including the poorest Arkansans, good medical care when they get sick.

But as the governor’s own self-imposed deadline for finding a solution approaches, everything he does to salvage medical insurance for some 260,000 Arkansans at the bottom of the economic ladder seems to make matters worse or else more complicated and self-defeating.

That includes his bungled directive to cancel coverage for tens of thousands of the very poor who do not quickly give the government new up-to-date evidence of their financial straits and a string of half-baked ideas for reducing Medicaid costs and forcing people with very low incomes or their employers to bear more of the insurance costs.

But we must go back to Hutchinson’s first ringing statement about Arkansas’ health-care reform after a year of electioneering during which he gave no clue about what he would do about it. As he took office, he called the benefits from the state’s innovative way of implementing the central feature of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) “facts that we cannot deny, should not deny, and should rejoice in.” Clearly, he wanted to continue the program that his party called “the private option” and felt the state needed badly to do it for budget as well as humanitarian reasons.

Knowing that the big Republican majority in both houses of the legislature now carried enough foes of the so-called “private option” that they could kill it, he asked them to continue it for just one year. Meantime, he, health-care experts and the legislators would come up with ways to improve or replace it. What he meant, obviously, was make enough changes in the program that it could be called a Republican program, not really Obamacare, which remains immensely unpopular for its namesake if nothing else.

The biggest feature of Obamacare for Arkansas was the expansion of Medicaid to cover adults whose family incomes were so low that they could pay no part of insurance premiums—a number estimated at near 300,000.

A few Republican leaders in the 2013 legislature suggested that Arkansas exercise the option to do that, but rather than place all those people in the traditional Medicaid program, where the government pays hospitals and clinics directly for treating poor or disabled people, they proposed that the poor buy private insurance policies like most other people and government pay their premiums. Only the very sick would be covered by traditional Medicaid. Gov. Mike Beebe and the Obama administration bought the private option, and the legislature enacted it.

By January 2015, when Hutchinson took office, the program’s success was manifest: 260,00 Arkansans were covered for the first time, desperate community hospitals and the big medical institutions found themselves no longer in trouble, health-care jobs increased, disability rolls declined, the state uninsured rate fell from 22 percent (one of the nation’ highest) to 9 percent (one of the nation’s lowest), and the state treasury found itself in such clover from hundreds of millions of new federal dollars and insurance taxes that the legislature cut nearly everyone’s taxes. But the program’s future was suddenly bleaker because a number of Republicans who ran against Obama and the private option were elected to the legislature.

Playing to that crowd (who, really, could fault the strategy?), Hutchinson instructed the Department of Human Services to send form letters to everyone on the Medicaid rolls who didn’t have up-to-date income data in the files or whose income on current government data seemed to have changed a little. If they didn’t reply with solid evidence in 10 days their insurance was canceled. Hutchinson said he expected 50,000 people to be cut off, which seemed likely to mollify the foes of Medicaid at least a little.

But the agency was in such turmoil that it couldn’t process those who did get the mail and respond quickly and thousands who plainly qualified for Medicaid lost their insurance. What the governor and the agency did went far beyond what the Affordable Care Act and older Medicaid rules anticipated or allowed to assure the integrity of the program.

It was an unfortunate blunder and there doubtless will be a lawsuit that will require the state to correct it. The greater danger lies in what Hutchinson proposes to do to make the big Medicaid program palatable to enough of his party’s extremists to continue it at a special session this fall or winter or the fiscal session in January.

The high-powered corporate consultants that they hired for a million dollars to tell the state what’s wrong with the private option produced a report last week that did the opposite. Rather than placing an intolerable burden on the state’s taxpayers in 2017 and beyond when the state must start sharing Medicaid costs, the program actually will make the treasury even more flush than it has been because the federal aid and tax receipts from the Medicaid expansion will far outweigh the state’s costs. But the foes of the private option aren’t likely to be mollified.

So Hutchinson tossed out a few ideas for changing the PO that he was thinking about. Among them: Deny medical benefits to people who are out of work, force very low-income workers to get on their employer’s insurance plan if there is one and have the government pay some of the premium for them, make people who earn slightly more than poverty wages to pay premiums, make people apply for jobs or work training to qualify for medical assistance, eliminate payments to transport poor people to the hospital or doctor, force people into unpopular managed-care plans, lower Medicaid reimbursement rates (already the lowest) to doctors and hospitals, or just shift people off the private option to straight Medicaid as Obamacare originally expected.

Some of those ideas aren’t workable because they violate the law, like denying medical access to people who are out of work. The rest do little to make the program more efficient or else just add to Medicaid’s bureaucratic complexity. The governor has fresh reasons not to do that. We hope he’s inspired by better ideas. Too much depends upon it. — Ernie Dumas

TOP STORY >> Shelter’s needs voiced

Leader staff writer

Nicole Begley, executive director of the Lonoke County Safe Haven shelter for domestic violence victims, introduced herself to the Austin City Council on Monday and spoke about the nonprofit’s needs. The shelter’s location is undisclosed to protect its residents.

Begley, hired in January to manage the shelter, said the nonprofit “has been doing a lot of work on getting out in the community” and increasing awareness.

She also announced that she would host the next training for shelter volunteers at 6 p.m. Sunday at Mount Carmel Baptist Church in Cabot. The director said she would also be willing to host training at a church in Austin if asked.

Begley explained that she is running the shelter with a staff of four. That is why recruiting volunteers is its focus. The nonprofit is also seeking additional funding to hire more staff.

Safe Haven has launched a 1001 Good Samaritan Campaign. Its goal is to convince at least 1,001 people to donate $10 a month.

The shelter needs people to work one-on-one with the women, to teach them life skills, the director continued. Volunteers are also needed to transport them because many come without vehicles.

The women are required to attend appointments to receive benefits like SNAP (food stamps), Begley explained.

She gave an overview of the shelter, too. Begley said it can house 16 women or 18 if some of the residents are their kids. Two beds are empty, and the shelter has been that full since the middle of July, she noted.

Alderman Matt Sheets asked how the shelter is funded. Begley said the nonprofit receives federal grants, donations from area churches and financial support from the city of Austin and other towns.

Sheets also asked if the shelter offered volunteer work that was not one-on-one with the residents. He sponsors the Key Club and said youth involved in it are always looking for opportunities to be of service.

Begley said the youth could sort donated items and help re-open Safe Haven’s Cabot thrift store by staffing it. The store has been closed since last fall.

Begley added that there are some issues with the building, like black mold in the bathroom, that county officials might be able to help her with. She told the council to use, if they have any, their connections with the county to help.

Begley also said the nonprofit would like to open another shelter in the southeastern part of the county but that building another facility was a five-year goal.

On a related note, Police Chief Jim Kulesa told the council during his report that domestic violence victim Laura Webb of Cabot, who helped push for the new law called Laura’s Card, had already spoken to him about having a speaker come to the schools for domestic violence awareness month.

Kulesa said his officers were in training Monday night for Laura’s Card, a new law requiring police to notify victims of their rights, which had to be requested by victims before.

Law enforcement will also be required to conduct lethality assessments showing victims of domestic violence how at risk they are of being murdered by their abusers.

In other business:

Mayor Bernie Chamber-lain reported that the city’s $200 check to cover a processing fee for conducting a special census had been lost. A new check has been received, and she will have a cost estimate for performing the census to present to the council next month.

The city’s annual budget could see a $50,000 boost in turnback revenue — $250,000 over the next five years — after a special census is held, the mayor said previously.

General Improvement Funds provided by Sen. Eddie Joe Williams (R-Cabot) are expected to cover the cost of conducting the census, which is estimated at $40,000.

Chamberlain said Monday that Austin could choose to be a first-class city, which would require it to provide more services, if the population reaches 2,500. But it doesn’t have to be a first-class city until there are 3,500 residents.

TOP STORY >> Comcast told to pay more

Leader staff writer

Who’s trying to skin the city? That’s what Sherwood Mayor Virginia Young wants to know.

Is it Comcast or the auditors Sherwood hired to look into the amount Comcast owes the city?

The city paid the auditing firm $8,000 to review franchise fees that Comcast might owe the city. Auditors said the firm owed the city $71,000.

But Mike Wilson, president of Comcast in Arkansas, showed Alderman Charlie Harmon where the company had a “favored nation” clause in its contract and couldn’t be charged a higher fee than anyone else. According to Wilson, the company is willing to pay the city $34,200 under the condition that the city signs a new 10-year agreement with the firm and audits all other companies in the same manner that it audited Comcast.

The mayor was perturbed with Comcast’s proposal, presented at the council meeting Monday night.

“We don’t negotiate with other firms that owe us money. Did we get taken by the auditors? Does Comcast owe us $71,000 or not?” she asked.

Harmon said chances were that the auditors didn’t know about the clause in the contract. She felt they should have and did not want to accept the firm’s proposal. “First, it’s none of their business whether we audit another company or not,” Harmon said.

The council agreed and voted, with Alderman Kevin Lilly abstaining, to send the company a counter proposal accepting the $34,200 and agreeing to work out a new contract, but with no further compromises or concessions. City Attorney Stephen Cobb will take the offer to Comcast and report back to the council.

In other council business:

The city attorney, seeing that the council chambers was packed with residents announced that the ordinance restricting recreational vehicles had been pulled for the time being and that a rezoning issue for a portion of Kiehl Avenue was also not on the agenda.

After that announcement, about 25 percent of the audience left.

Aldermen approved the sale of city property on Trammel Road to the Brushy Island Hunting Club, which wants the property for better access to the 40 acres they own behind it. No hunting will be done on the purchase property, as most of it is inside city limits.

The club originally offered $18,500, the price the city paid for the property about a year ago when it was planning to use it for a police gun range before an outcry that caused them to halt those plans. The mayor asked the club to pick up closing costs from this sale and from when the city bought the property, about $600 total, so there would be no money lost.

But Alderman Ken Keplinger reminded the council that the city had done about $3,000 worth of improvements, including fill dirt, before stopping the range project. The club offered to raise its purchase price another $3,000 to cover the improvements.

The council approved a rezone request that would allow indoor boarding of pets in C-3 and C-4 commercial zones. It would also allow outdoor kennels in those areas on a case-by-case basis. The change came about when Groomingtails wanted to move its business to a larger location.

“We discovered that our ordinance only allow veterinarians to board pets,” explained City Engineer Ellen Norvell. “I’m sure it was not intentional to disallow grooming services, so that’s why the zoning change was requested.”

The council unanimously approved the zoning request.

Aldermen approved a resolution to purchase a camera and related equipment to record Sherwood meetings for replay or streaming on the city’s website. No date was set to start filming meetings.

TOP STORY >> Ex-Cabot official in key post

Ryan Benefield, a former Cabot city engineer, will be the next deputy director of the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission. He is replacing former deputy director Jonathan Sweeney, who served the agency for 39 years.

Executive director Randy Young made the announcement. The commission has a staff of about 90 employees who are responsible for efficient water resource development, conservation and management.

Benefield has worked at the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality for 11 years and has been an ADEQ deputy director for the past six and a half years.

Before joining ADEQ, Benefield was a project manager for Terracon, a consulting engineering firm. The professional registered engineer will join ANRC on Aug. 31.

TOP STORY >> Area representatives seeking re-election

Four area legislators have announced they’ll seek another term in the state House of Representatives.

Rep. Bob Johnson (D-Jacksonville) is running for a second term in Dist. 42.

Rep. Joe Farrer (R-Austin) is seeking re-election in House Dist. 44, which includes parts of Lonoke, Faulkner and White counties.

Rep. Tim Lemons (R-Cabot) is seeking re-election in House Dist. 43, which includes most of Cabot and the central part of Lonoke County.

Rep. Camille Bennett (D-Lonoke) is seeking a second term in Dist. 14.

Johnson, a certified public accountant, says he wants to continue the work he started in the legislature last year. Topping his list of priorities are state income-tax exemptions for military retirees and the right to carry concealed weapons without a permit for all active military.

He said anyone in the military is qualified to carry a weapon and should not have to apply for a state concealed permit. He said all military members have earned the right to carry a concealed weapon after the shootings at military installations in Little Rock and Chattanooga.

Johnson, who served five terms as justice of the peace on the Pulaski County Quorum Court, said he’s also organizing a caucus of central Arkansas legislators to promote jobs, roads and schools in the area.

The caucus includes nine representatives and three senators. They want to promote economic development and improve Hwy. 67/167, which could become a northern corridor of I-130, Johnson said.

“We need to bring jobs here,” Johnson continued. “We can have more impact as a group.”

Johnson serves on several committees, including Legislative and Military Affairs, Joint Committee on Public Retirement and Social Security Programs, Public Transportation and Aging and Children and Youth.

In the 2015 legislative session, Johnson supported an increase in public school teacher pay.

“We started some good things in 2015 and want to continue the work in 2017,” he said.

Farrer said he focused his efforts in the 2014 legislative session on lowering taxes, bringing jobs to Arkansas and being an advocate for first responders, specifically fire and police.

He said the legislature passed the largest income tax cut in Arkansas history, but there is still more work that can be done.

Farrer, interim chief executive officer of North Metro Medical Center, serves on a committee that is evaluating Medicaid expansion under the so-called private option. The legislature will consider abolishing the program, which provides health insurance to about 200,000 working-poor Arkansans.

“I will continue to work tirelessly as an advocate for common sense policy in Little Rock. The new Republican majority has made it possible to pass legislation that reduces the size and scope of government, decreases the tax burden on hard-working Arkansans, and advocates for our public servants.

“Moving forward, I will continue to represent the values and needs of District 44 in Little Rock,” he said. “As I travel the three counties in my district, I constantly hear the same messages of ‘we need more jobs’ or ‘taxes are just too high.’ As my record shows, these issues matter to me, and I will continue the fight for more jobs and lower taxes.”

Lemons is the owner of Lemons Engineering Consultants in Cabot.

Before his election as state representative in 2014, he served for six years on the Lonoke County Quorum Court.

“My service in the House of Representatives has been the most rewarding experience of my life. My platform will continue to be a Republican for common sense government,” Lemons said.

During his first term in the House, Lemons sponsored and passed legislation that created the state’s first suicide prevention council, increased autism awareness, and revised the county’s appropriation process, which freed up approximately $100,000 for each county without increasing taxes. He also sponsored three pieces of legislation to strengthen the right to possess arms.

Lemons was a co-sponsor on several pieces of legislation that became law, such as Gov. Hutchinson’s middle-class tax cut and the 2015 School Safety Act. He was a strong supporter of the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act.

While at the Capitol, Lemons serves on the Revenue and Tax Committee, where he is the vice chair of income tax for personal and corporate; City, County and Local Affairs Committee; Energy Com-mittee; Boys State Advisory Committee and the Arkansas Legislative Council. He was recently appointed to the Alzheimer’s Advisory Council and is one of only two legislators appointed to the newly created Arkansas Special Education Task Force.

“As an engineer, I take a common-sense approach to solving problems. I’ve done my best to do the same when addressing issues as a legislator,” said Lemons. “This style, along with my business background and community involvement, has allowed me to be a strong voice and solid advocate for our area in the state legislature.”

Lemons has served on the board of directors of CASA, is a past board member on the Arkansas Association of Counties Legislative Committee, a member of the Lonoke County Republican Committee and a member of First Baptist Church.

He has also served on the Metroplan TCC Board, board of directors of thes Cabot and Ward chambers of commerce, as a board member on Cabot Parks and Recreation, chair for Cabot- Arkansas Community of Excellence Board, as a volunteer for Special Olympics, a volunteer for Project Lead the Way at Cabot High School and has held leadership positions on church committees.

Lemons and his wife, Janice, have two children, Erica, a realtor in the Cabot area and co-owner of the Trendy Tulip (along with Janice), and Seth, a broadcast journalism major at UALR working as audio director for KARK and KLRT in Little Rock.

Lemons added, “I appreciate the opportunity to serve the citizens of Cabot and Lonoke County in the state legislature and ask for their continued support in my re-election campaign.”

Bennett defeated Repub-lican Buddy Fisher, a minister, by 88 votes in 2014. She succeeded longtime Rep. Walls McCrary (D-Lonoke).

The district includes Carlisle, Coy, Furlow, Hum-noke, Humphrey, Keo, Lonoke, Scott, Tucker and Wabbaseka in Lonoke, Jefferson and Pulaski counties.

Bennett, a former elected Lonoke city attorney, received a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and her law degree from the University of Missouri School of Law in Columbia, Mo.

She has been assigned to the Judiciary and State Agencies and Governmental Affairs committees.

Bennett is a member of the United Methodist Church, the American Heart Association and the Central Arkansas Rescue Efforts for Animals.

She is married to Wayne Otis Bennett Jr. of Lonoke.

Friday, August 21, 2015

EDITORIAL >> JNP district gets warned

Saying the districts aren’t making satisfactory progress in achieving unitary status, U.S. District Judge Price Marshall on Thursday ordered the Pulaski County Special School District, Jacksonville-North Pulaski School District and the Joshua Intervenors to meet monthly to work out specifics of school facilities plans and report back to him in December.

The case assigned to the judge is the desegregation case where PCSSD is the last defendant and the Joshua Intervenors are the plaintiffs.

It’s not about the Jacksonville-North Pulaski detachment, but sometimes you couldn’t tell that sitting in court.

Detachment issues bump up against and sometimes bleed over into desegregation issues and vice-versa, and the judge has his hands full resolving them.

Joshua Intervenors’ attorney John Walker has complained regularly to the judge that his group has been excluded from conversations about issues that affect desegregation and achieving the unitary status necessary to get both districts dismissed from court oversight.

Jacksonville-North Pulaski hasn’t done all it could to include the intervenors in their discussions. They stumbled by hiring as an assistant superintendent a white man over a slightly more qualified black woman. That resulted in PCSSD Superintendent Jerry Guess refusing to offer that job. Marshall on Thursday reconfirmed Guess’ status as the decision maker for both districts.

Joshua has had no part in resolving and creating the school facilities master plan. Walker complains that determining where schools will go and deciding which to improve and which to build are desegregation issues.

But the intervenors come into court not seeming to know or understand master facility plan mechanics that even casual observers of the JNP school board meetings know.

For years, the PCSSD school board agendas — back when there was a board — always included the Joshua Intervenors on the agenda for comments. If anyone actually attended, they spoke less than a handful of times over several years.

Walker has complained that he doesn’t know what’s going on with the JNP facilities master plan. That’s his fault as well as theirs.

Jacksonville has accomplished a lot over the past couple of years, first with Bobby Lester, then with Tony Wood ramrodding the effort to get everything necessary done before taking complete control next July 1 and actually educating students.

The board did it by going as fast and as far as they could, and, while it’s not always pretty and perhaps not always completely transparent, they have moved the district forward on a credible timetable.

It’s sausage-making 101.

But now the judge has ordered JNPSD, PCSSD and the Joshua Intervenors to meet monthly to create a rough draft of a master facilities plan for both districts.

JNP has hired a consultant who may be the leading authority in understanding master facilities plans and qualification for the state’s matching fund partnership program. To us, it makes good sense. To Walker, it’s cronyism.

Judge Marshall has been thoughtful, incisive, good natured and helpful in discharging his duties as regards the desegregation suit and, as necessary, the detachment process.

In ordering the monthly meetings about the master facilities plan between the parties, he suggested that the host of each meeting should provide pie and drinks, implying that they need to stop being argumentative and pull in tandem to accomplish the task.

They are to report back to Marshall with their rough drafts on Dec. 16. The judge means business.

TOP STORY >> Hemingway museum to hold dinner

A dinner and wine tasting benefitting the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center in Piggott (Clay County) will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18 in Jonesboro at Arkansas State University’s Cooper Alumni Center, 2600 Alumni Blvd.

Tickets for the “Taste of Hemingway’s Italy” are $100. Tables of eight are $750. Reservations must be made by Sept. 11 by calling 870-598-3487 or emailing HPMEC director

The evening will begin at 6 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres and the dinner and wine tasting follows at 7 p.m. The theme for the evening will be “A Taste of Hemingway’s Italy,” and the courses will be derived from Venice.

The family of Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway, his second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer, owned a home in Piggott. The writer would vacation at the home, which includes a studio where he wrote part of “Farewell to Arms.”

The home has since been restored and is now a museum under the care of ASU at 1021 W. Cherry St. in Piggott. Tours are on the hour from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday and 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday.

The dinner will serve as a kickoff for the museum’s upcoming trip to Italy and Switzerland that will take participants in the footsteps of “A Farewell to Arms.” Details of the trip, which is open to the public, will be revealed at the dinner.

For more information about the trip or the dinner, call 870-598-3487.

TOP STORY >> Louisiana Purchase exhibit in LR

Commissioner of State Lands John Thurston has announced the opening of a new exhibit featuring the survey of the Louisiana Purchase. The exhibit is in the Commissioner of State Lands Office, Room 109 of the State Capitol. Visitors may tour the exhibit from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“This is the bicentennial of the beginning of the Louisiana Purchase Survey,” Thurston said. “Several other organizations are hosting events later in the year, but my office is presenting a snapshot of a surveyor’s life and what they might have seen as they began their survey, especially in southeast Arkansas, where the initial point was established.”

Following the 1803 purchase from France that more than doubled the size of the United States, President Thomas Jefferson commissioned the Lewis and Clark expedition, the Hunter-Dunbar Expedition and other explorations of the new land. It wasn’t until 1815, though, that President James Madison ordered that the land be surveyed to prepare for orderly development and settlement.

In October 1815, Principal Deputy Surveyor William Rector contracted with two other deputy surveyors to begin work. Prospect Robbins and Joseph Brown began their journeys on Oct. 27, 1815. Robbins set off north from the mouth of the Arkansas River, on the fifth north-south line (Fifth Principal Meridian) to be surveyed in the United States. Brown’s course began several miles upriver, at the mouth of the St. Francis River, and ran due west on what was termed the “baseline.”

On Nov. 10, 1815, Robbins reached the baseline and sent a message for Brown, who had already traveled farther west, to return. Together, they marked the intersection of the baseline and the Fifth Principal Meridian. This intersection served as the initial point of the first survey. Lands in Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, North Dakota and parts of Minnesota and South Dakota are measured from that point.

“We all know the basic history of the Louisiana Purchase and the survey,” Thurston said. “But most of us rarely think about the day-to-day life of the surveying teams, the equipment they carried or the tools they used. This exhibit gives a small window into that life.”

The exhibit includes several documents from the Commissioner of State Lands records, as well as physical artifacts surveyors used. Documents include original journals, field notes and maps from the 1815 survey.

Items in the exhibit include an 18th-century flintlock musket, a reproduction flintlock and a surveyor’s compass made by 19th-century silversmith and instrument maker Goldsmith Chandlee. “The compass was actually used in Arkansas in the mid-1800s,” Thurston said.

Other items include camping and cooking supplies, a journal for the surveyor’s field notes and models of animals native to the wilderness that the teams traveled through in the survey’s early days. Those range from voles and squirrels to various species of snakes and an alligator.

The exhibit was developed with cooperation from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center, the Historic Arkansas Museum and historical re-enactors Timothy and Sharlene Richardson.

“We appreciate the assistance from all of these groups,” Thurston said. “The artifacts they have loaned us have built this exhibit into something that will be interesting to all ages.”

TOP STORY >> Judge: New district must obey orders

Leader senior staff writer

“This is not a new day,” U.S. District Judge Price Marshall said Thursday, giving the Jacksonville-North Pulaski School District a slap on the wrist, saying it was still subject to desegregation Plan 2000 and to the desegregation agreement settlement that, among other things, authorized detachment of a Jacksonville-area district.

JNP attorney Scott Richardson told the court that the new detachment agreement — approved by both districts, Education Commissioner Johnny Key and the state Board of Education this month — was intended to replace much of the earlier agreement, giving the Jacksonville board the authority to operate pretty much autonomously.

Not so, Marshall said. He said Pulaski County Special School District Superintendent Jerry Guess remains the final word on all desegregation-related actions contemplated by the new Jacksonville district.


“If and when collaboration fails, the decision maker is Guess,” he said, subject to review by the court. “He is the chief administrative officer (for JNP) until July of next year. (The two districts are) a single administrative unit until then.”

“There is great enthusiasm for ‘a new day,’” said Marshall, “but there was a day before yesterday and 10 years before that. The world did not begin with the decision for a new district.”

He said Richardson and JNP seemed to “second-guess, nitpick and quibble over” issues resolved in the post-creation agreement.

“The court perceives a slippage by the new district after being created and agreeing to oversight; it was coming back to the well,” Marshall said.

Speaking for the Joshua Intervenors, attorney John Walker said Joshua was not consulted or a party to the new detachment agreement between the two districts, an agreement that will involve desegregation issues such as staffing.

“In my view, PCSSD’s and Joshua’s argument is correct on staffing issues,” Marshall said.

The conflict was brought into sharper focus when, in July, at the recommendation of its new superintendent, Tony Wood, the JNP board hired Jeremy Owoh, who is black, as an assistant superintendent and Bobby E. Lester, who is white, also as an assistant superintendent.

A black woman, Janice Walker, the principal of Warren Dupree Elementary, scored two points higher than Lester in the assessment. The Jacksonville NAACP and Walker called foul.

Because the new district is not totally autonomous, Guess said bypassing Walker could hamper both districts’ efforts to achieve unitary status and refused to authorize it. Lester later withdrew his application for the job, and currently Owoh and JNP chief of staff Phyllis Stewart are “taking up some of the slack,” she said.

Lester is the son of former PCSSD Superintendent Bobby Lester, who served as interim JNP superintendent until Wood took over July 1. Wood was familiar with the younger Lester from the time they worked together for the state Education Department.

Richardson, for the JNP board, said it was its own district now and could make its own decisions — that it was a new day.

Marshall said that, for matters related to desegregation, Guess was still “the final word, captain of the ship.”

He declined to rule on the matter since it involved conflicting laws and was at the moment a moot point.

“This is a very difficult issue that has divided the courts,” Marshall said previously, commenting that he wasn’t sure the issue could be resolved.

As for signing off on the new detachment agreement, Marshall said, “I want to mull (the detachment agreement) further.” Until then, it’s the court’s order that the prior agreement holds.


Saying the districts weren’t making the progress he had hoped in achieving unitary status, Marshall ordered the Pulaski County Special School District, Jacksonville-North Pulaski School District and the Joshua Intervenors to meet monthly to work out specifics of school facilities plans and report back to him at the Dec. 16 status conference.

“I’m not sure we’re making the best use of time in these status conferences. Instead of moving down the road, it’s become an opportunity to fight.”

To help set the tone, he suggested that the host group for each meeting provide “pie and drinks.”

PCSSD’s proposed 5.6-mill property tax increase to fund an ambitious facilities building program failed at the polls May 12, meaning the district had to cut back to what Guess called “Plan B.” That plan focuses on replacing Mills High School and moving Fuller Middle School into the old Mills building.

Marshall said he wanted more details on Plan B, including a timeline.

He also wants more information on the JNP facilities plan. Walker has maintained that building and deciding on sites for new schools, for instance, made the plan a desegregation issue.

Marshall said he wants to know more about where the new district’s new schools are going to be.

Jacksonville-North Pulaski, starting from a plan developed previously by PCSSD and from a tentative facilities plan submitted to the state last February, has hired as a consultant Charles Stein. Stein, who retired as director of the state Transportation and Facilities Department June 30, was in charge of evaluating master facilities plans for participation in the state’s financial matching program.

To be eligible for matching funds for the 2017-19 period, the JNP long-range facilities plan must be submitted by Feb. 1, 2016, and the application for specific projects must be submitted by March 1.

Walker told the court that neither district had included the Joshua Intervenors in facilities discussions or planning.

That will change, assuming the districts follow the judge’s instructions.

Walker also told the court that JNP had already chosen an architect and contractor that were “not minority friendly.”

He said JNP decisions were fraught with favoritism and nepotism.

The JNP board has authorized Wood to advertise a request for qualifications for those positions, to narrow them down to three applicants for each position and to make them available to the board for the purposes of selection.

After the Thursday hearing, Stewart identified the three firms under consideration for each of the two positions.

Of the seven applications for construction manager, Wood chose Adevco with CDI of Little Rock, Baldwin and Shell of Little Rock and Doyne Nabholtz Partnership of Conway.

Of the dozen architectural firms that sent qualifications, Wood chose three Little Rock firms — Lewis Architects and Engineers, Wittenberg Delony and Davidson, Inc., and Witsell Evans Rasco Architects.