Wednesday, July 27, 2016

OBITUARIES >> 7-27-16


Dr. Frank Buddy McCutcheon, Jr., 64, died Friday, July 15, 2016.

Dr. McCutcheon was born in Little Rock to the late Frank Noah McCutcheon and Bette Mae Bacchus McCutcheon.

Dr. McCutcheon was a practicing cosmetic surgeon for over 32 years. He attended medical school at the University of Arkansas and graduated in 1978 with completed residencies in Arkansas and at the Bowman-Gray School of Medicine in Winston Salem, N.C. He loved music and was a talented musician who played multiple instruments.

He also was a Civil War and U.S. history buff. He loved his family, he loved life and he loved his patients, fellow colleagues and doctors and will be missed by all.

Surviving Dr. McCutcheon are three brothers, John McCutcheon and his wife Jackie of Fayetteville, Clutch McCutcheon of Cabot and Marc McCutcheon of Fayetteville; a sister, Missy Milton and her husband Michael of Fayetteville. Also surviving are several nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews; two sister-in-laws, Amy Duncan and her husband Tim and their daughter, Agnes of Memphis, Tenn., and Julie Nelson of Memphis, Tenn.

Dr. McCutcheon was a gifted surgeon who volunteered his time helping with restorations for children and veterans with war injuries and children. He was loved dearly by his brothers and sister!

Memorial service 2:30 p.m. Sunday, July 31, 2016 at the Assembly in Cabot.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, P.O. Box, 8195, Asheville, N.C. 28814.

Arrangements by Thomas Funeral Service 501-941-7888.


Otha Warren, 79, of Austin passed away July 23, 2016. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and role model to many. He loved his family above all else and showed them every day. Otha was a proud U.S. Navy veteran, a Mason and member of the Pulaski County Quorum Court in the 1970s. In the 1970s and 1980s, he served on the North Little Rock City Council as alderman and was president of the Rose City Youth Athletic Association. He was an avid hunter, fisherman and loved the outdoors.

Otha was preceded in death by his parents, Otha, Sr. and Nancy Skillern Warren; sister, Betty Bates, and grandson, Adam Wood.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Jean Warren of Austin; son, Wayne (Normandy) Warren of Cabot; Linda (David) Wood of North Little Rock; three grandchildren, Katie (Clay) Bewley of North Little Rock, Wade and Casey Warren of Cabot; great-granddaughter, Hannah Bewley of North Little Rock; two brothers, Raymond Warren of Carlisle and Delbert Warren of Conway, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Services were July 26 at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Cabot followed by interment in Mt. Carmel Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

Arrangements are by Boyd Funeral Home, Lonoke. Online guestbook,

EVENTS >> 7-27-16


The Jacksonville NAACP and the UALR Bowen School of Law’s Racial Disparities in the Arkansas Criminal Justice System Research Project will hold a public forum from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday at Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church, 1026 Ray Road in Jacksonville.

“Please join this important discussion if you want to assist in creating a criminal justice system that is fair and treats African Americans and other people of color the same as it treats whites,” the announcement said.

State Sen. Joyce Elliott and Judge Olly Neal will speak. A free lunch will be served.

“We invite those who have been arrested, charged or convicted in Arkansas to share their stories,” and, “those who want to join in pressing legislative policy and community-based reforms to create a fair and just criminal justice system in Arkansas.”

The stories will be collected to gain the support of Gov. Asa Hutchinson and the state legislature to reform the criminal justice system.


The Arkansas Antiquarian Booksellers Association will hold its 31st annual Arkansas Book and Paper Show on Saturday, Aug. 6 and Sunday, Aug. 7 at the Jacksonville Community Center, 5 Municipal Drive. The show features dealers from around the region selling rare antique books, first editions, author-signed editions and out-of-print books. Dealers will be on hand featuring historical documents, old photos, postcards, maps, advertising media and ephemera from Arkansas and the United States.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 7. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for students. Parking is free at the community center. For more information, call 501-985-1663 or email



State and federal guidelines allow public agencies to destroy special-education due-process forms and 504 records when they are no longer needed to provide educational services to children.

The Cabot School District will keep records six years after a student graduates. Records that are not picked up will be destroyed on Aug. 3.

Guardians and former students can review or pick up a copy of their records if they received special-education services from Cabot Public Schools. People 18 or older must pick up the records or sign a consent document allowing someone else to pick them up for them. If a former student has been declared incompetent or incapacitated, parents or guardians may review or pick up the records on behalf of that individual.

These records are available at the Special Programs Administrative Office at 404 N. Second St. in Cabot.

For more information, call the special-programs data clerk at 501-743-3543. These records do not include transcripts or grade reports.


The Cabot Public Library will hold a genealogy workshop at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9 with genealogist Leisa Horness, who will introduce the audience to’s library edition, and local historian R.D. Keeper will talk about Lonoke County history. The library is 909 W. Main St. in Cabot. For more information, call Horness at 855-572-6657 or email


The Sherwood Chamber of Commerce will host a free community wellness expo from 10 a.m. till 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13 at Sherwood Forest, 1111 West Maryland Ave. The family-oriented expo will feature fitness, health and wellness experts.

For more information, call chamber director Marcia Cook at 501-835-7600 or email


Southern Gospel group The Chuck Wagon Gang will perform at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26 at DaySpring Missionary Baptist Church at Markham and Church streets in Ward. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted. For more information, call 501-850-2056.


The Jacksonville Care Channel for the Needy has changed operating hours in July and August.

The Care Channel store will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The food pantry will be open from 9 a.m. to noon.


Jacksonville Wastewater Utility will replace several old and defective sewer lines throughout the city over the summer.

Areas affected will have landscaping and fences restored to their original condition after the work is completed.

Door-hanger notifications will be distributed in areas where work is scheduled.


The Cabot Lions Club will hold a clothing drive from 8 a.m. until noon Saturday, Aug. 6 at the Cabot Farmers Market, which is in the parking lot of Renew Community Church at 1122 S. Second St.

The clothing will be donated to Open Arms Shelter and Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

“Please drop off your new or gently worn clothing, coats, belts and shows (infant through adult sizes). We will be collecting backpacks and suitcases too,” according to the announcement.

For more information, call 501-920-2122.

The Cabot Lions Club is also recruiting new members. The civic club meets at noon on the first and third Thursdays of the month the KingPin Sports Grill in AllFam Bowling.


The Arkansas Constitutional Tea Party will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11 at the Days Inn, 1302 Locust St. in Cabot to discuss the tax proposals of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Mark Thomas will speak. He is a retired Marine who has worked in the financial services industry for 26 years.

Everyone is welcome. For more information, call 501-813-6980.


First Assembly of God, 221 N. Elm St. in Jacksonville, will host Kids Crusade, a vacation Bible school from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, Aug. 3.

There will be food, Bible stories, puppets, Church Mouse, songs, memory verses, prizes, prayer time and more. A child’s notebook game tablet will be given away as a grand prize.


To help celebrate the new Jacksonville-North Pulaski School District, which recently became fully independent of the Pulaski County Special School District, the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce encourages local businesses to participate in its Paint the Town Red initiative now through Aug. 20, when Jacksonville High School will hold its Red and White football game.

“We’re asking local businesses to decorate the interior or exterior of their business the week leading up the Red-White Game on Aug. 20 to show pride and support for the new teachers, administration and staff,” chamber director Amy Mattison said.

The chamber will award prizes in several categories, including one for the business that best displays its Titan spirit. The Titans is the new district’s mascot. Judging will be held Aug. 17, and winners will be announced at the football game.

For more information, or to sign up your business, call the chamber 501-982-1511.


Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are held several times a week at the Church of Christ Friend’s House in Cabot, 500 N. Second St.

Closed meetings, which are limited to alcoholics or people who want to stop drinking, are held at 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays. A closed discussion for women is held at 2 p.m. Sundays.

Open meetings, which are for people who want to learn more about alcoholism and recovery, are held at 8 p.m. Fridays.

An open-book study session is held at 10 a.m. Saturdays.


The Jacksonville Parks and Recreation Department will hold a free bingo game during FestiVille from 5 until 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30. Chamber of commerce members are asked to donate door prizes by calling Dana Rozenski at 501-982-4171.

TOP STORY>>At the surrender in Tokyo Bay

Leader staff writer

World War II veteran Thurlow Fernandez, 94, of Sherwood witnessed the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay when the defeated empire signed a peace treaty aboard the USS Missouri at 9 a.m. Sept. 2, 1945.

Fernandez spoke about his six years in the Navy and being a boxer during an interview at his home with retired Col. Anita Deason, military and veterans affairs liaison for Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) for the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project.

Fernandez, who spent six years in the Navy, was born on July 11, 1922, in Caney, Kan. His parents were Spanish immigrants. His father, Jose, was a barber and a shoemaker. His mother, Rosa, was a farmer and a housewife. When his father first came to the United States, he worked in the coal mines in West Virginia before moving to the Midwest.

Fernandez was the youngest child. He had one brother, Jose and four sisters, Savenah, Sarah, Liberty and Olga.

Fernandez’ was in kindergarten when his family was living in Chicago.

“At home we spoke Spanish all the time. I still remember in kindergarten the teacher getting on to me, but I learned (English),” Fernandez said.

Fernandez was 12 years old when his father died from cancer. He said his father was very active but caught a lung illness working the mines and it affected his health. Fernandez, his brother and mother moved to Gary, Ind., to live with his sister Olga’s family.


“When I was kid and growing up, I was always fighting. The neighborhood I grew up in, you had to learn how to fight. I was in a Spanish family in an Italian neighborhood — Al Capone’s neighborhood. He had a big garage across from my home, full of whiskey. Police raided that. My father said, ‘Go get some,’” Fernandez said.

“My brother was different than me. I was a fighter. He was a lover,” Fernandez said and then laughed.

Fernandez started out as a featherweight and moved up to welterweight. His nickname was “Turtle.” He fought in the Golden Gloves in Gary.

“I used to fight with Tony Zale and his brother, who was my coach,” Fernandez said.

Zale was world middleweight champion several times in the 1940s.

Fernandez said he had a manager who promoted fights for him. We made $5 to $10. That was good money back then. Fernandez boxed at Madison Square Garden in New York City. He fought some professional fights Friday nights at the Medinah Athletic Club in Chicago, he said.

Fernandez continued boxing while in the Navy.

“I won the welterweight title in the Navy. Nobody wanted to mess with me. I was well known in the Navy,” Fernandez said.


Fernandez enlisted in the Navy in 1941 during his senior year at Froebel High School in Gary to keep his brother at home to support his mother.

“I was always very fond of the Navy and the ships. The Navy was very good to me,” Fernandez said.

After basic training he was sent to San Diego, Calif., and assigned to the U.S.S. Hornet aircraft carrier. He was standing watch at the base on Dec. 7, 1941, when the news arrived that Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. A commander put his arm on Fernandez’s shoulder and asked where he was from. Fernandez told him Gary, Ind.

“You won’t see Gary for a while,” the commander said.

Fernandez was assigned to a destroyer repair unit and was transferred to New York City in February. A group of 200 sailors were waiting at Pier 92 to board a naval ship to join a large convoy headed to Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The French passenger ship Normandy was in the next pier and caught fire.

“We were called to fight the fire. The fire was started by enemies. We were sent to help take some of the people off the ship. We fought it all day and it tipped over,” Fernandez said.

The voyage to Ireland took 14 days. Fernandez said he lost count of how many ships were torpedoed and sunk by enemy submarines.

“It was an awful sight. You don’t stop to pick them up,” Fernandez said.

Fernandez recalled helping a merchant marine sailor while at a camp in Londonderry in Northern Ireland.

“All he had were the clothes he had on him. I asked him where were all his shipmates. He said he lost them and he didn’t know what happened to them,” he said.

“The merchant marine was from New York. I called him to my Quonset hut. He was about my size. I fitted him with my clothes and gave him eight dollars. He went ashore and had a good time. He gave me a knife and said, ‘I want you to keep this to remember me.’” Fernandez said.

The merchant marine returned Fernandez his uniform. Fernandez still has the knife.

He was assigned to diesel generator watch and maintenance.

Fernandez missed the invasion of Normandy due to a hernia.

“I was hospitalized. I would not be here if I was on it. Every one of my shipmates were killed on the ship I was supposed to be on,” Fernandez said.

At a base in Falmouth, England, Fernandez was assigned to maintain the engines of landing ship tanks, landing craft personnel and landing craft infantry for the invasion.

“That’s where I must have lost a lot of my hearing. We didn’t wear hearing protectors. You stood right by the engines revving up to 12,000 RPM. You only heard noise for the 12 hours you stood watch,” Fernandez said.

Fernandez was stationed in Falmouth, where he met his first wife, Joyce.

He had to get permission from the base commander to marry. Fernandez was given the weekend off and a bottle of rum.

In September 1944, Fernandez got orders to return to the United States. It took three days on the passenger ship Queen Elizabeth. The ship carried German prisoners of war and wounded U.S. soldiers.

“They let the German prisoners on first. There were 5,500. They had the upper deck, and we had all the lower decks. We got along good with them. They were behind cages. We’d go up and talk to them. They talked English just as good,” Fernandez said.

He said the Germans left the ship first in New Jersey.

Fernandez had a 30-day leave and saw family back in Gary. It was Fernandez’s first return to the U.S. in three years.


Fernandez was later assigned to the USS Delta, a freighter that shipped pineapples from Hawaii and was converted to a heavy repair ship for the Navy.

The USS Delta joined a fleet of ships for the invasion of Japan. They were in Eniwetok in the Marshall Islands when word came that the atomic bombs were dropped on Japan.

Fernandez said they picked up several American sailors who lost their ship to torpedoes from Japanese submarines. One of the sailors was named Bob Dressel.

“I was in charge of the diesel room. They assigned him to the diesel room, and I gave him the job of keeping records in shape. He got my name and took a liking to me,” Fernandez said.

Dressel gave Fernandez his name and phone number back home.

“When I got out of the Navy, I contacted him,” Fernandez said.


Fernandez was in Tokyo Bay on Sept. 2, 1945, when Japan formally surrendered ending World War II.

“When the war was over, we pulled in alongside the USS Missouri. We could see the Japanese come aboard. All our officers were right behind them. We could see them signing with the lights on it. We could hear them talking. We were told to be very polite to them and don’t get snotty with them,” Fernandez said.

Fernandez and several sailors were assigned to board the Japanese battleship Nagato. He said the conditions in Japan were terrible and he gave kids candy and food when he went on shore.

“I was assigned to the engine room to see how it worked and get the engine started. The Japs were very clever. The engine was started with air compressors and they damaged them all, so you couldn’t start the engine. One of our officers was very clever. He got oxygen tanks from our ship and made fittings to put on the engines and we got the engines started,” Fernandez said.

In October 1946, Fernan-dez was picked to stay with the USS Delta and put it in storage at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. He mothballed the engines, compressors and electric equipment.

In Fernandez’s Sherwood living room is a black clock above the fireplace mantel.

Fernandez was in the USS Delta’s storeroom when he saw a shelf full of clocks in boxes. He saved one of them.

Fernandez was honorably discharged from the Navy in May 1947 as chief machinist mate. He said the Navy wanted him to stay in, but Fernandez’s wife was hospitalized for tuberculosis and he wanted to take care of her.

He went back to night school on the G.I. Bill and graduated with a two-year degree from Purdue University in Indiana.

He called his Navy buddy Bob Dressel, an executive with General Motors in LaGrange, Ill., who had promised him a job after the war. Fernandez and his wife took a bus, because they didn’t have a car and visited Dressel and his family. They had dinner at the Dressels’ home on a Friday.

Dressel told Fernandez he would have a job for him on Monday at the Electro-Motive plant, which made generators for railroad diesel engines.

Dressel knew Fernandez’s experience in the Navy and put him in the generator and injector room.

Fernandez moved up from cleaning and testing injectors and governors to teaching others how to work on them to eventually being salesman. Fernandez worked for GM for 32 years until retiring in 1980.

“General Motors was good to me,” Fernandez said.

Fernandez and his first wife were married 38 years until she passed away more than 30 years ago. A few years later, he married Margie, an Arkansan. They have been married 32 years.

He moved to Little Rock in 1964. “The reason I came to Arkansas was three technicians were sent to the Missouri Pacific Railroad to hold classes teaching how to operate locomotives. I was asked to stay one year, and here I am yet.”

CLASSIFIEDS >> 7-27-16


RHEA LANA’S Children’s Consignment Event. White County Fairgrounds - Searcy. Baby and children’s clothing, toys, baby equipment, furniture, and more. Free admission. Monday-Saturday, opens at 10 am.

The Pathfinder, Inc. Board of Directors will hold its monthly Board meeting, 10:00 a.m. Thursday, July 28, 2016 at the Donald W. Reynolds Administration and Treatment Center, 2520 W. Main St., Jacksonville, Ar.

31st AR Book and Paper Show August 6-7, Sat.  9 am - 5 pm, Sun. 9 am - 4 pm.   Jacksonville  Community Center, 5 Municipal Drive, Jacksonville.  Rare and Collectible Books Postcards, Maps,  Documents and Photo Admission $5.00, Students $2.00. email  for more info.


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

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.

PERSONAL TOUCH Lawncare. All push mowing, blowing and edging. Call anytime (501) 772-3240.


WANTED: EXPERIENCED trim carpenters, hanging interior doors, running ceiling molds, trimming windows and baseboards. 40 hours/week, work rain or shine. Transportation furnished from shop, but still need valid license. (501) 681-9938.

AREA SALES manager. Part-time work/full-time pay. Central Arkansas area. $100-$200 per day helping area fire departments secure funding for specialty equipment. Must be at least 21, have current driver’s license and insurance and be able to pass background check. Call Mike (501) 231-1899.

MACHINIST - (DIE MAKER-C) - Milbank MFG.  Seeking motivated individual interested in advancing machinist skills to Tool and Die level. POSITION REQUIRES Machine Shop Technology cert. o 2 yrs min. work exp. in machine shop and/or tool and die. Starting rate of pay: 21.04/hour Milbank benefit package include: Medical, Dental, Vision, Life Ins, Flex. Savings Account, 401 (k), Short Term Disability, paid Vacation/Holidays. Resume to: Milbank Mfg. Co. 195 Prescolite Dr. El Dorado, AR 71730. EOE.

Drivers- OWNER OPERATORS ONLY! 80% Gross on Flatbed Freight! Home Weekends. Permits Provided. File/Pay Fuel Taxes. Owner Operators Lease Today! CDL-A, 25 yrs., 2 years OTR experience 870-336-9051.

DRIVERS – NORTHWEST, CENTRAL and EAST Ar area. TEAMS - START 50 CPM! NEED ASAP! FedEx Ground Contractor needs Class A CDL drivers for team runs. SIGNING BONUS ON DAY ONE. Premium mileage pay,  great benefits. HOME 2 DAYS PER WEEK. Apply today. Must have 1 yr. of experience, and be able to get doubles endorsement. Call/text for more info. 870-754-5100 or email:

DRIVERS OTR - $5000 Sign on bonus! Home every weekend, Great benefits (after 60 days), Blue Cross (driver pays 50%) Vision, Dental, 401K, paid holidays  and vacation, quarterly safety bonus. Local family owned and operated. Must be 23 years of age and have valid class A CDL and verifiable 2 yrs OTR., or call (501) 228-8800.


FARM and CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT AUCTION - Thurs. - Fri, August 11th-12th • 9AM, 2408 Hwy 64 West Wynne, AR 72396. Equipment to sell at this auction? Equip. Accepted through Tues. August 9th. 10% BP on first $2500 ea. item sold, $250 max BP per item. Live Online bidding Details: 870-238-1400 AALB#’s 2100, 2101.


DO-DROP IN 10 Year Anniversary - Sat., 7/30, 9 am-5 pm. Come on down and celebrate with us. Hot dogs, drinks, door prizes. Sales throughout flea market. 316 West Center Street, Beebe. (501) 882-2424.

YARD SALE, 7/30, 7 am-2 pm, 5415 Hwy. 31 E. Oak Grove Community. Lots of items, toys, girl’s clothes, bicycle, household items.

INSIDE SALE, 7/29 and 30, 8 am-2 pm, 201 N. 2nd St., Cabot. 3 houses downsizing, may items: dishes, pictures, ladies clothes, double bed, dining table, chairs and misc.

YARD SALE, 7/29 and 30, 8 am-2 pm, 1208 Eastview Dr., Jax. Clothing, shoes, household items, jewelry, etc.

GARAGE SALE, 7/29, 8 am-4 pm, Sat. 7/30, 8 am-noon, 18 Tara Mount Dr., Jax.

MOVING SALE, 7/30, 8 am-noon, 715 Windwood Dr., Cabot.

HUGE 3-FAMILY moving sale, 7/29 and 30, 7 am-? 101 Burnett Rd., on Hwy. 38 across from Evans Nursery, Butlerville/Ward area. Furniture, appliances, household and much more.

YARD SALE, 7/29 and 30, 7 am-? 90 Russell Rd., 89 S. out of Cabot. Tools, cordless drills, bit man’s clothes, lots of other items.

YARD SALE, 7/30, 207 Monk Cemetery Rd., Ward, 1 1/2 miles east on 38 past Dude’s Place. Clothing, furniture and lots more.


2000 CADILLAC El Dorado, bad motor, good straight body, light blue w/dk. blue top, $2,000. (501) 749-9882.

2002 DURAMAX rear end out of a 3500, 8-bolt pattern w/brake assembly, $500 obo. (501) 352-8484, Jim.

1997 HONDA CRV, auto., A/C, all wheel drive, $1,200. (501) 239-0908.

P195/65R/15” tires, $20 ea. (501) 843-0121.

‘05 PT Cruiser, auto., cold A/C, tint, good tires, clean, some body damage, 102,000 miles, $1,100. (501) 232-5039.

EAZ-LIFT 5TH wheel hitch, rated at up to 15,000 GVWR, $250. (501) 940-0359.

2012 HONDA Civic EX, leather, backup camera, bluetooth, tinted windows, rear spoiler, $9,800. (501) 605-3312.

TASMANIAN TRUCK floor mat, $10; other miscellaneous truck accessories. (501) 985-9991.

‘98 MUSTANG, red, V6, cold A/C, leather seats, 5-speed, very good car, $2,800 obo. (501) 348-5845.

TOYOTA PARTS: rebuilt head for 22R motor, $300. (501) 983-1445.

5’x16’ SINGLE axle trailer w/gate, needs work, axle in good condition w/new tires, $150. Call/text: (501) 772-7728.

1995 TOYOTA Corolla, 4-cylinder, great gas mileage, well taken care of, $2,800. (501) 796-8023.

2000 FORD Ranger, 4-cyl., 5-spd., A/C, Stepside, runs good, $1,850 cash. (501) 952-3937.

1995 MERCURY Cougar XR7, good motor and transmission, $950 (Kelly Blue Book value) obo. (501) 239-1131.


1995 HOLIDAY Rambler ultra lite custom 32’ camper, bumper pull, kept under shed, exc. cond., $6,500. (870) 256-4248, Des Arc.

‘85 FORD F350 flatbed, 6 cyl., auto., w Miller 225 welder, $2,500. (501) 230-1569.

‘08 WILDCAT by Forest River 33’ 5th wheel camper, 3 slides, fireplace, new tires and awning fabric; ceiling fan, 2 TVs, clean, large fridge, 1 queen, 1 full bed, glass shower, electric jacks, etc. $17,500 obo. (501) 749-8661.

2005 BASS Tracker 175, 50 hp. 2-stroke Mercury motor, 46 lb. thrust, electric trolling motor, fish finder, trailer, good condition, ready to fish, $6,300. (501) 286-7268.

1981 WINNEBAGO Brave 32’ RV, interior updated, everything works and runs, some mechanical work needed, perfect hunter special, $3,150 obo. Please email:, subject RV.

1993 Class A Fleetwood Flair 31', 59k miles, new roof 2004, good tires, new battery, kept in carport, $11,000 obo. (501) 412-8435.

1991 Aqua Patio Pontoon 24', 115 hp Nissan outboard motor, Yacht Club trailer, new carpet and upholstery, $2,500 obo. (501) 412-8435.

2006 CROSSROADS Zinger, 29’, 5th wheel, 1 slide, lots of storage, excellent condition, $7,500. 291-5519, Jax., No calls after 8 pm please.

2014 KAWASAKI Ninja 300, 1300 miles, upgraded Two Brothers exhaust, ABS, includes gloves and new Arai helmet, $3,999. 606-1455.

3.5 HP Briggs Go Kart, 1 set, needs some work, $50. (501) 288-2305.

2007 HARLEY Davidson Heritage soft-tail Classic, like new. 690-4870.

85 HP. ski boat and trailer, $1,800. 843-6617.

2009 YAMAHA XV 250 motorcycle, needs work, $900 obo. (501) 259-3556.


DECK for Sear’s mower, 46” cut, good condition, $150. 843-5475.

1999 CRAFTSMAN riding mower, 17 hp, 42” cut, needs batter. Best offer. (501) 843-7570, leave msg.

CRAFTSMAN GAS powered leaf/lawn vacuum, $225. (501) 940-0359.

CRAFTSMAN RIDING mower, 38”, 15.5 Briggs, runs great, $350. (501) 796-3901 or (501) 580-9950, Vilonia.


FREE HAY for the cutting, approx. 70 acres, 2990 Mt. Tabor Rd. (501) 743-0225, Joe.

2 FRONT tractor tires, sz. 7-16, Agri. (lug) type, $50. Bushwacker bush hog drive shaft, $50. Used but in good condition. (501) 843-2187.


LOST: BLACK male cat and gray male Tabby cat, 7/1, Sunshine Ln., North Pulaski County area. (501) 988-0062.

LOST: 7/2, female black Lab, named Onyx, last seen Hwy. 107 and Gen. Samuels, Jax. (501) 259-2046 or (501) 412-9699.


ELDERLY COUPLE needs good home for 2 dogs, both male, 1/2 Chihuahua, 10 yrs. old, 1/2 Chihuahua/1/2 Maltese, 7 yrs. old. Shots up to date, great pets. 743-7087.

USE HAPPY Jack® Mitex® with ear canker powder to treat yeast infections. WOODS FEED STORE, 843-6121,

FREE TO loving home, older mixed Terrier dog, loves people, but not other animals. Text: (501) 858-8649.


Summer Grass Pricing! Bermuda $1.35sq yd Meyers Z -52 Zoysia $2.50/sq yd Prices are COD on full truck loads in the LR area. Call 800-458-4756.

HOME IMPROVEMENTS UP TO $25,000 per household with Government Money set aside for these improvements.! WANTED 10 Homes needing METAL ROOFS, SIDING OR WINDOWS! Save Hundreds of $$$$!!!! Free Estimate. Payments $59/Mo. No money down. Senior and Military discounts 866-668-8681wac.

Panther Creek Carports – 10x 20x7 Factory direct, $598.  Offer good through Aug 15th. Call 1-501-835-7222 OD Funk Manufacturing Inc. Sherwood, AR | Since 1976 Rated for 90 mph winds and 20 lbs snow loads.

RESMED C-PAP machine, good condition, 6’ hose, face mask, $179. (501) 749-8667.

TWIN-SIZE, BRAND new Invacare hospital bed, $1,995. (501) 749-8667.

BURN BARRELS, 55 gal. without tops, $10 ea., off Hwy. 107 in Vilonia. (501) 796-3901 or (501) 580-9950.

BABY SWING, Fisher Price, electric/battery, lots of options, has mobile, excellent condition, $65 obo. (501) 516-3810.

GOLF CLUBS: King I2 irons, Taylor woods, Golfsmith putter, Hogan bag, $635; Diabetic shoes, 1 pr. black, size 12/13, $99 each. 749-8667.

MEN’S BOXER type swimsuit/shorts, sm., med. and lg., $2.50 ea.; men’s shoes, 7 1/2 W to 8 1/2 W, $3 pr. (501) 985-9991.

BRAND NEW blood pressure cuff, Life Source$27; new metal walking cane, good condition, $29; backpack, new, $30. 749-8667.

PURPLE STEMWARE glasses, $12; 32” TV, $30. (501) 843-0121.

WHIRLYBIRD for roof ventilation, new, still in box, $50. Pics. avail. (501) 941-8573, afternoon only.

SAMSUNG GALAXY Tab 4, excellent condition, 10” screen, 16 GB color, white w/protective case, $150 obo. (501) 291-9556.

LG CELL phone, great condition, $100 obo. (501) 291-9556.

SALON EQUIPMENT: backwash shampoo bowls, hair dryer chairs, massage table, facial chair. 425-7200.

BROTHER EMBROIDERY/SEWING machine, SE400, perfect cond., embroidery hoops, books and CD included, $175. Text: (501) 259-9027.

NEW HANDMADE purses, table runners, make-up purses, etc. Text: (501) 259-9027.

SHOPSMITH RADIAL arm saw, band saw, planer, table saw and pneumatic tools, great bargains. (501) 940-4648, Lonoke/Austin/Cabot.

FREE LOWERY 88 electric organ, (501) 743-7087.

ONE TON engine hoist w/load leveler, used once, $120 cash. (501) 983-4168, Jax.

6’ PICNIC table, treated wood on metal frame, $50. (501) 940-0359.

50 PINE trees, call about cutting, (501) 676-2952.

3-WHEEL WORKMAN’S cycle, $250; 2 seat bicycle, made in France, $300 obo. 882-2142.

250 GALLON butane tank, 3/4 full, $450 obo. Can be seen at 2940 Peyton St., Ward. (501) 628-4620.

GARMIN VIVOFIT fitness watch w/4 small and 1 large band, $70 obo. (901) 487-9670.

SHOPSMITH WOODWORKING tool, all accessories, vacuum, manuals, project plans, $850 cash. (501) 412-3494.

SINGER FEATHERWEIGHT, excellent condition, $375 firm. (501) 681-9263.

NAUTICA SHORTS, gray, sz. 42, great condition, $32. (501) 749-8667.

LADDER-TYPE deer stand w/seat atop, heavy duty, $85. (501) 983-1445.

LADIES’ and MEN’S clothing; orchid picture, black picture frames, wrought iron cookbook holder, Christmas ornaments, dishes and wreaths, lamps, end table. (501) 983-4571.


DRAGON COLLECTION, Windstone Edition, pewter, ceramic and jade. (501) 983-4168, Jax.

PORTER CABLE 3 gal., 150 psi. air compressor, construction site ready, $150. Call/text: (501) 772-7728.

F-SHARP BRONZE bell by Marlmark (Pennsylvania), sells for $350, asking $250 obo. (501) 882-2142.

HUFFY GREEN Machine, 20”, $40; Huffy Turbulent, 16”, $30; Murray Climber, 24”, $30; Kent Flatliner, 18”, $30. (501) 843-4890.

SCHOOL DESK, old gas can, ice tongs, hames and lots of small items, $5+. (501) 837-5798.

GUN SAFE, under bed style, $400. 288-0850.

ONE-OF-A-KIND WEDDING dress w/veil, sz. 10, pd. $500, best offer. (979) 257-3832.

MEN’S LEATHER Redwing slip-on boots, 13” height, sz. 14B, used, but in good condition, $35. (501) 843-2187.

CARPET, FREE to a good home, golden color, good condition, roughly 13’x16’ plus. (501) 920-9691.

COMPLETE CANDLE Making Business. Whitlow wax melter, holds 190 gallons of was, molds over 100 candles, pre-made potpourri, wooden roses and much more. (501) 749-6593.


TABLE W/6 chairs; gun cabinet w/glass shelves; china cabinet; pie cabinet. (501) 941-8732, Cabot.

SIDE-BY-SIDE REFRIGERATOR, $150. (501) 398-7060.

FREE TV w/remotes, 4’x4’x6” deep, on wheels. (501) 835-8534.

LOVELY OAK dining set, table expands to 91”, w/4 chairs, $180; Wardrobe w/clothes rack, shelves, drawers, doors, $180. (501) 605-2541, Cabot.

2 REFRIGERATORS, Frigidaire and GE, $100 and $150. 982-1183, Joe.

2 TVs w/built-in DVD players, can text pics. (501) 941-8573, after noon only.

RECLINER, beige, used, $23. 749-8667.

WASHER and dryer, $100 cash. (501) 413-7366.

WOODEN BUNK beds w/mattresses, like new, $50. (501) 288-2305.

NEW CAMO recliner, $100 firm. (501) 982-5261.

SMALL CHEST freezer, 5 cu. ft., good condition, $50 firm. (501) 319-5429.


WANTED: USED 15”-16” heavy duty floor buffer w/brushes. Call/text: (501) 416-0394.


ROMANCE AREA, new development. Rent it, money lost; buy it, money saved. Buy a 2 acre tract, septic included. Mobile or site-built home okay. Great for livestock, $750 down, $255 month, $24,500 total price. (501) 551-1982.

WATERFRONT LOTS, Des Arc mail, 75x100 ft., Highway 11. Owner finance, $12,500. (501) 593-3344 or (501) 658-6262.


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.

2 BEDROOM, 1 or 2 bath, 5 miles north of back gate on Hwy. 107, utilities paid, no mowing or weed eating. (501) 988-5187, ask for Ed.

HOUSE FOR rent - 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1 car garage, $675 per month, $675 deposit. 1 year lease. In Jacksonville. Call (501) 988-0822 or (501) 422-9068.

2 BEDROOM, 1 bath, $375 per month + $200 deposit. Tenant pays all utilities. Robbins Rd., Jax. (501) 749-9882.

2 BEDROOM mobile home, $375 per month, all electric, $200 deposit, tenant pays all utilities, 515 South Rd., Jax. (501) 749-9882.

CABOT: NICE older home in country, 3 bedroom, 2 bath with double garage, central heat and air, Cabot schools, 2302 Dogwood Ln, $725 month, 1 year lease. Call (501) 843-7812.


I BUY houses. North Pulaski any condition. Quick cash/top dollar. Quick closing. Call or text Bob, (501) 765-8200 or email


Mobile Homes with acreage. Ready to move in. Seller Financing (subject to credit approval). Lots of room for the price, 3Br 2Ba. No renters. 501-588-3300.

Used Mobile Home for Sale $13,300  - Call 501-653-3202.
New Single Wides.  $22,315 delivered! call 501-653-3202 before they are gone!

SPORTS EVENTS >> 7-27-16


Jacksonville Middle School coach Susan Cheatham is holding volleyball tryouts Aug. 1, 2 and 3 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Jacksonville Middle School, which is the former North Pulaski High School.

Athletes are to wear red shorts, white top and tennis shoes.


McAlmont’s own Jeff Henderson, a 2007 graduate of Sylvan Hills, won the U.S. Championships and Olympic Trials in the men’s long jump, and will compete for the USA in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics next month. Family members are asking for help to fund a trip to Brazil to watch him compete in the milestone event.

A Go Fund Me page has been created called “Road to Rio 2016 Jumping Jeff.” For more information or other ways to donate, contact Andrew Henderson-Johnson at 501-765-2665 or Dominique Henderson-Tillman at 501-266-2625.


A day on the golf course can help the Cabot Lions Club continue its vision screening for the Cabot community, buy a pair of eyeglasses for a local child or assist a local adult to receive much-needed eye care. The Cabot Lions Club will host its annual Memorial Golf Classic on Monday, Sept. 12 at Rolling Hills Golf Course in Cabot.

The event is a 4-person scramble and entry fees are $400 per team. That includes greens fees, cart, steak dinner, two mulligans and many door prize opportunities. Deadline for entry is Sept. 6.

Opportunities are also available for corporate sponsorships. For more information on the tournament or how to become a sponsor, contact the Cabot Lions Club at 501-920-2122.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

SPORTS STORY >> Jacksonville, Beebe end season shorthanded

Leader sports editor

Jacksonville and Beebe saw their Junior American Legion seasons come to an end in unusual fashion during the state tournament at UALR over the weekend.

Both teams qualified for state because the second and third place teams from the zone tournament backed out of attending. Jacksonville, who finished fourth, and Beebe, who finished fifth, accepted the invitation to move into the empty slots, but both were badly shorthanded in their season-ending losses.

Jacksonville’s Gwatney Chevrolet squad picked up one win in the tournament, beating Beebe 6-1 and ending its year after the Post 91 O’Reilly Auto Parts team ran out of players in the fifth inning.

Beebe coach Tyler Burge only had 10 players to start the game, and had used all his substitutions when the heat got to another player, and he could not continue. It was the third player in the tournament to leave the field of play because of the extreme heat during the event.

As the visiting team on the scoreboard, Jacksonville took a quick lead in the top of the first inning. Jonathan Smith drew a leadoff walk and Trent Toney singled to center field. Two batters later, Quentin Stallard singled to load the bases, and Kameron Whitmore drew a walk for the RBI.

Gwatney made it a 3-0 game in the second inning. Isaiah Cain hit into a 4-6 fielder’s choice that got Brandon McGwire thrown out. Smith then hit what should’ve been an inning-ending grounder to third base, but the throw to second was wild, leaving runners safe at second and third. Toney hit a 4-3 groundout that scored Cain, and Caden Sample hit an RBI single to center field for the three-run Jacksonville lead.

Beebe drew two one-out walks in the bottom of the second, but Jacksonville pitcher Foster Rash picked off Hunter Warden at first base, then struck out Callie Neal to get out of the minor jam.

Jacksonville added three more in the top of the third. Each of the first four batters reached base. Whitmore hit a leadoff single, Axton Ramick walked and Joe Cummings laid down a perfect bunt for another base hit that loaded the bases. McGwire was then hit with a two-strike pitch to drive in the inning’s first run.

Cain struck out, but another grounder to third by Smith resulted in another E5 that allowed Ramick to score. Toney then hit another sacrifice grounder to second base that scored Cummings and gave Jacksonville a 6-0 advantage.

Beebe got some help from the Jacksonville defense in the bottom of the third. Jacob Rogers drew a leadoff walk, but was thrown out on a 4-6 fielder’s choice by J.T. Nicholson.

Blaine Burge hit a grounder to third, but Stallard failed to handle the throw to first, leaving everyone safe. Mark Clairday then popped up to second base, but Smith missed it, again leaving everyone safe and the bases full.

Randy Smith’s grounder to third resulted in unassisted fielder’s choice by McGwire, but also drove Beebe’s only run of the game.

Both teams went down in order in the fourth inning. Cummings hit a leadoff single for Jacksonville in the fifth, but that was followed by three-straight outs.

That’s when Tyler Burge informed the umpires and Jacksonville coaches that his player was sick and he didn’t have enough to continue the game.

That moved Jacksonville into Sunday’s third round, where the Chevy Boys found themselves in the same situation Beebe was in on Saturday.

A total of seven Gwatney players were absent for various reasons for Sunday’s game, leaving the team with only 11 total, and very little pitching.

Jacksonville competed with Blytheville while the pitching held out. The score was 5-5 after four innings, but Blytheville ran away late for a 17-7 victory. Cain led off the game with single to left field, but he tried to stretch it into a double and was thrown out at second base.

Jacob McCaa started on the mound for Gwatney. His first two pitches were several feet over the umpire’s head and he walked the first batter, but he struck out the next one.

Blytheville’s Austin Wren then hit an RBI single to center field.

Jacksonville took the lead in the top of the second. Whitmore hit a leadoff single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ramick. Cummings was hit before McGwire and Caleb Anderson drew consecutive walks. Cain then sacrificed to score Cummings.

Blytheville scored four in the second inning for a 5-2 lead, but Jacksonville answered with three in the third on three hits and three walks.

Sample and Stallard hit back-to-back one-out singles before Whitmore walked to load the bases. He was replaced by courtesy runner Robert Johnson and Ramick singled to drive in Sample. With the bases still loaded, Cummings drew a walk to score Stallard, and Johnson scored on a wild pitch to tie the game.

McCaa reached his pitch limit in the fourth inning, and Jacksonville had no regular pitchers left.

“We knew we would be in trouble today,” said Jacksonville coach Bob Hickingbotham. “We lost two players after Friday, both pitchers. Then we lost five more after Saturday’s game. McCaa, he did OK. He’s only 15 years old, so he did a decent job. After that we just didn’t have anything.”

Jacksonville opened the tournament with a 6-3 loss to Paragould. The Chevy Boys were down 6-0 in fifth inning when storms hit and postponed the rest of the game until Saturday morning.

Jacksonville rallied for three runs in the sixth, but couldn’t complete the comeback.

SPORTS STORY >> Cabot beats three at state

Leader sports editor

The Cabot AA American Legion baseball team won three straight games and advanced to the final of the winners’ bracket in the AA state tournament in Sheridan. The Centennial Bank squad has given up just two runs the entire tournament so far, including two shutouts and 18 scoreless innings in 19 innings of play.

“Our pitchers came to work and they’ve done an outstanding job for us,” said Cabot assistant coach Casey Vaughan after his squad beat host Sheridan 6-2 in the winners’ bracket semifinal on Sunday.

The Yellowjackets scored two runs in the first inning, but Cabot pitcher Michael Shepherd settled in and gave up just one base hit over the final six frames.

Sheridan’s Hunter Hicks and Austyn Wright hit back-to-back doubles to start the bottom of the first, with Wright’s shot scoring Hicks. Wright later scored on an error at third base, but Shepherd shut them down the rest of the way.

“He got off to a little bit of a rough start,” Vaughan said. “They hit him pretty hard early and wemade some mistakes behind him, but he never got discouraged. He really showed his determination in the way he came back and pitched the rest of the game.”

Despite the two runs in the bottom of the first, it wasn’t enough to put Sheridan in the lead. Cabot scored three runs without a base hit in the top half of the inning.

Caleb Harpole reached on an error at second base, Dylan Thomas was hit and Gavin Tillery walked to load the bases with no outs. Easton Seidl and Logan Edmondson drove in runs with sacrifice grounders and Tillery scored on an error at shortstop off the bat of Michael Crumbly.

After Sheridan cut the margin to one, Cabot set the final margin in the top of the second. Jack Broyles and Shepherd drew back-to-back walks to start the inning. Harpole then doubled to center field to score both base runners. Two batters later, Tillery singled to right field to score Harpole for the 6-2 lead.

Shepherd, who struck out the final batter in the bottom of the first, made it three-straight by fanning the first two batters of the second. He then got nine-hole hitter Montana Korte to pop up to third base to get out of the inning on just nine pitches.

It was the first of four-straight, three-up, three-down innings for Shepherd. He hit Hicks with a pitch to start the sixth inning, and Wright followed that up with a double to right-center field, but Harpole saved the run. He fielded the ball on one-hop on a dead run, spun and flung the ball on target into the infield, forcing Hicks to stop at third base.

That still left runners at second and third with no outs, but Sheridan failed to score.

Nick Whitley hit a hard grounder to shortstop, where Thomas made the stop before holding Hicks at third and getting Wright out in a rundown between second and third.

Cleanup hitter Evan Thompson then hit a hard grounder between shortstop and second base, where Thomas made the stop before stepping on second to get Whitley, and throwing to first for the 6-3 double play.

Shepherd got back to his old ways in the bottom of the seventh, getting Nathan Kirkpatrick to ground out to second base before striking out the final two batters to seal the victory.

Shepherd gave up three hits while striking out eight and hitting one batter.

Cabot only managed four hits, but added five walks and a hit batter.

Cabot opened the tournament on Friday with a 13-0 win over Crossett, busting open a tie game in the third inning with seven runs when Crossett’s pitching fell apart.

Broyles drew a leadoff walk before Shepherd and Harpole were hit by pitches. Thomas singled to drive in two runs and Tillery’s groundout to first drove in Harpole. Seidl and Crumbly got RBI base hits before Koletan Eastham was hit and Broyles hit a two-RBI double on his second at-bat of the inning.

The Centennial Bank squad added six more in the fourth inning on four walks, two singles, an error and a double by Thomas.

Shepherd started that game on the mound, and was pulled before hitting the pitch limit that required two days rest. He threw three innings of no-hit baseball, facing the minimum nine batters with three strikeouts and no walks.

Caleb Wilson pitched the final two innings. He gave up a two-out walk and a base hit in the fourth inning, and retired the side in order in the fifth.

“We hit it really well and we were disciplined at the plate,” Vaughan said. “That was really big for us to get that one over within five because it saved our pitching and we were able to come back with Shepherd today. Thomas went 2 for 3 with four RBIs in the win over Crossett. Harpole, Seidl and Crumbly all had two base hits on Friday.

Tillery got the shutout victory on the mound in Saturday’s 5-0 win over Central Arkansas Christian. He threw seven innings and gave up just three base hits, finishing with just one walk, along with nine strikeouts.

Cabot took the early lead with a single run in the first inning. Harpole and Thomas got back-to-back base hits, with Thomas’ shot scoring Harpole for a 1-0 lead.

Thomas then scored the first of two runs in the third inning. His grounder to shortstop got Harpole thrown out on a fielder’s choice. Tillery then singled to put runners on the corners, and Seidl’s single to right field scored Thomas. Tillery then scored when Edmondson’s grounder to shortstop was mishandled, giving Cabot a 3-0 lead.

The final two runs of the game came in the bottom of the fourth inning, and the rally started when Geno Germer took a pitch off the arm with one out. Broyles singled to put runners on first and third. Harpole’s fly ball to left scored Germer and Thomas singled to drive in the game’s final run.

“We were prepared for a slow start this summer because we had some guys that hadn’t played much,” Vaughan said. “But they’re playing great right now. It’s the same guys we’ve been going with all season. They’ve stuck with it and they’re coming around.”

Cabot (14-11) will face Magnet Cove at 5 p.m. Friday in the final of the winners’ bracket.

SPORTS STORY >> Bears win Aim High

Leader sports editor

The Sylvan Hills Bears took home the first-place trophy in Jacksonville’s Aim High/Let it Fly 7-on-7 tournament last Friday. The Bears lost to Atkins in pool play and took the two seed into the bracket round. After a scare against Jacksonville in the semifinals, the Bears routed the team it had previously lost to, beating Atkins 34-7 in the championship game.

“For the most part I thought we played pretty good,” said Sylvan Hills coach Jim Withrow. “Offensively, I thought we did a really nice job almost the whole day.

Defense made a lot of good plays, forced quite a few turnovers. We just have a tendency to lapse in focus. We’ll just hit a stretch where we’re not moving and doing things like we’ve been taught. We’ve got to get better at maintaining focus and being more consistent.”

Withrow and the Sylvan Hills coaching staff entered two teams in the tournament. Sylvan Hills Blue was the varsity squad while SH-White was made up of mostly junior varsity players.

The Blue team had little trouble with Mills and its own JV teammates, but found itself in a close battle with the tournament hosts. Neither team’s offense produced much, but Bears’ quarterback Jordan Washington found receivers Jamar Lane and Jamar Porter open downfield for a pair of long touchdown passes.

Jacksonville managed one score and that was how it ended, with a 14-7 Sylvan Hills Blue victory.

The Bears met the Atkins Red Devils in the last game of pool play, and suffered a 24-14 defeat.

After pool play, teams took a break for lunch and a quarterbacks’ challenge before returning to the field for bracket play.

The Blue Bears faced their JV counterparts again in the first round and won handily, 28-7. That put them in a rematch with Jacksonville.

The second game against the Titans started like the first one, with neither team doing much offensively, but that changed dramatically in the final few minutes of the contest.

The two teams began trading quick touchdowns about halfway through. Washington hit Jordan Flippo in the back left corner of the end zone with 1:32 remaining to give the Bears a 28-21 lead, but Titan quarterback Rowdy Weathers completed three quick passes before hitting Jonathan Hall in the middle of the end zone just as time expired.

Jacksonville had the opportunity to take the seven points for the touchdown and go into overtime, but decided to go for two and either win or lose.

The Bears covered a rollout pass to the right well, and Weathers chose to go back across the field with his pass. But Washington was there for the game-winning interception on the only defensive snap he played the entire tournament.

“That was it,” Withrow said of Washington’s defensive plays. “I asked them (defensive coaches) if they wanted Jordan for this one, and they said yes. But really, that play goes to all the guys that covered that rollout. They didn’t leave anybody open and that forced their quarterback to go the other way. I’ll take Jordan Washington in a one-on-one jump ball against just about anybody.”

The exciting finish to beat a rival energized the Bears, and they carried that momentum into the championship game.

Sylvan Hills got the ball first and Washington hooked up with Lane for a 40-yard touchdown on the first play for a quick 7-0 lead. Safety Anthony Duncan then intercepted an Atkins pass on the Red Devils’ second play to make it 10-0 by 7-on-7 rules.

Another quick score, this time on the third play, a 30-yard pass to Jamar Porter, made it 17-0 Sylvan Hills.

Atkins finally put together a nice drive and finished it up with a short touchdown pass to make the score 17-7. Sylvan Hills scored twice more, once on a 25-yard pass to Lane and a 30-yard pass to Ryan Lumpkin.

Duncan then got his second interception on the last play of the game to set the final margin.

“I don’t know if the heat got to those guys or what,” Withrow said of Atkins. “They played really well the whole tournament, and just didn’t look the same. On the other hand, we played a lot better. We played with energy and focus the whole time and that’s what we need.”

EDITORIAL >> KGB thug is still at it

Donald Trump may have had a modest bump in the polls after last week’s Republican convention, although Hillary Clinton — the first woman nominated for president by a major political party — will likely get a similar boost at the end of her convention.

Democrats are now mostly united behind Hillary after Bernie Sanders’ endorsement during his keynote speech Monday night, although many of his supporters kept interrupting even those speakers who support his policies, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who called for a higher minimum wage, raising taxes on the 1 percent, free college tuition and more.

Michelle Obama, the only speaker who was not heckled Monday night, stole the show and, unusual for a first lady, attacked Trump without mentioning his name. Mrs. Obama is the only Democrat Trump will not attack. Why is that? His wife, Melania, is said to admire Mrs. Obama and that may be why Mrs. Trump inadvertently plagiarized the first lady’s speech from 2008 when her husband was running for president.

Trump told an interviewer Tuesday that he liked Michelle Obama’s speech. “I thought her delivery was excellent. I thought she did a very good job,” he said.

Trump and Clinton are virtually tied in the polls as both Republican and Democrats who did not support either candidate are reluctantly rallying around their parties’ nominees.

A surprising development is Russia’s increasing involvement in our presidential election. Trump praised Russian dictator Vladimir Putin earlier in the campaign, and Putin, a former KGB thug, has returned the compliment by hacking into the Democratic National Committee’s computers and dumping 40,000 embarrassing emails. The FBI is investigating.

“I think Putin and I will get along pretty well,” Trump said.

You may have thought the Cold War was over when the Titan missiles were deactivated around Arkansas and the Soviet Union collapsed a couple years later.

We may never know when Trump and Putin became good friends. Maybe it was when Russian oligarchs started buying condominiums in Trump Towers in the United States to hide their assets from Interpol. They may have met in Moscow three years ago, when Trump held his Miss Universe pageant there.

The two have formed a mutual admiration society, and for whatever reason, Putin hopes Trump becomes president in November. Why else bother releasing the emails just before the Democratic convention if not to help Trump?

The two have accused the United States of hypocrisy when we criticize Russia, Turkey and other nations of turning into dictatorships. “When the world looks at how bad the United States is, and then we go and talk about civil liberties, I don’t think we’re a very good messenger,” Trump told The New York Times last week.

“I don’t know that we have a right to lecture (other countries),” Trump added. “It would be wonderful if we had good relationships with Russia so that we don’t have to go through all of the drama.”

Trump and Putin both want to weaken NATO and the European Union. Putin has funded far-right parties in Europe that are opposed to NATO and the European Union, and he thinks Trump can help undermine western alliances.

Trump supported Britain’s exit from the European Union, and he said last week he might not honor our NATO commitments in Latvia and elsewhere in Europe. That could encourage Putin to invade the Baltic states as he did Ukraine and Crimea. Trump, dubbed the Siberian candidate, sounds like he wants to make the Baltics Russian again.

Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager, was a paid lobbyist for ousted Ukrainian dictator Viktor Yanukovych, a Putin puppet now in exile in Russia. Other Manafort clients have included Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines, Siad Barre of Somalia, Mobute Sese Seko of Zaire, the Pakistani Inter-Service Intelligence Agency and other nefarious groups that paid Manafort millions of dollars in lobbying fees.

Still think the Cold War ended when the Soviet Union collapsed 25 years ago. Think those purloined emails were sent from Russia with love? We can’t let Putin subvert our presidential election.

TOP STORY >> Cabot weighs in on road plans

Leader staff writer

Cabot city officials and the Cabot Chamber of Commerce held a town hall meeting on Thursday at the Arkansas National Guard Armory for the state Highway and Transportation Department to explain its 30-Crossing highway improvement plan.

The 30-Crossing is a 6.7- mile project that includes replacing and widening the I-30 Arkansas River Bridge, widening the interstate and improving interchanges from the I-30, I-440, I-530 in the south to the I-30, I-40, Hwy. 67/167 north terminal.

The project is expected to cost about $631 million. Bids will be accepted in 2018 and the project should be completed in 2022.

One improvement that may interest residents from Sherwood and other areas north of the river is a one-mile segment along I-40.

Drivers headed toward Little Rock on Hwy. 67/167 south, enter I-40 on the two outside westbound lanes. Traffic traveling west from Memphis on I-40 use the inside lanes. Traffic from Hwy. 67/167 must merge into the inside lane while westbound traffic must merge into the outside lanes.

A solution is to split the highway at the big First Pentecostal Church and construct a flyover. It will take I-30-bound traffic over both east- and westbound lanes of I-40.

Going the other direction, drivers heading north toward Jacksonville from Little Rock and North Little Rock will, instead of weaving across I-40 east to merge onto Hwy. 67/167, stay in the outside lane until after North Hills Boulevard, then loop onto a new flyover that will cross all remaining lanes of I-40 to merge onto Hwy. 67/167.

Meanwhile, through traffic eastbound on I-40 will remain in the two left lanes, go under the new flyway and continue east.

Cabot Alderman Ed Long is on the Regional Planning Advisory Council.

RPAC is an advisory council to Metroplan’s board of directors. RPAC studies and gives non-binding recommendations to Metroplan on planning issues.

“RPAC has asked for a 30-day comment period that (began) on Sunday and closes on Aug. 23. We need comments. Our comments and recommendation go back to the Metroplan board that are public and comment driven,” Long said.

People can find information on the project and have a chance to add comments at

“It is a good project but it does have its detractors,” Long said.

Ben Browning, the state Highway and Transportation Department design building project director, said, “Metroplan has a 20-year-long standing policy that freeways cannot be built more than six lanes. Once the freeways are at six lanes, money is invested in arterial networks and transit. When those are completely filled out, then capacity can be added to the interstates.”

Browning said the Highway Department has an ability to ask for a waiver for a particular job. The Highway Department looked at alternatives and determined that the corridor problems cannot be saved with six lanes.

The Highway Department asked Metroplan for a waiver. Metroplan wants to wait for comments from the public and from RPAC, and Metroplan will make its decision based on what they hear from the public.

The 3-D models and simulations can be viewed at under the heading “public information” then “videos.”

TOP STORY >> Pokémon craze takes over area

Leader staff writer

Last week, while the Jacksonville Advertising and Promotion Commission met inside city hall, outside the parking lot was filled with about a dozen Pokémon Go fanatics.

Players of the smartphone game can get points for finding three landmarks located on city hall property, including the eagle and two plaques dedicated to former Jacksonville mayors.

Now, the Jacksonville Police Department is receiving complaints of gamers trespassing on private and public property and “people walking aimlessly in circles while staring at their phones,” according to a police department press release.

There are cases of people wandering into traffic or smashing into street signs, colliding with bushes, banging into trees and even buildings.

“We like to play games just as much as other people and see the benefit in good gaming fun. We would like to take this time to remind you of a few dangers while playing the Pokémon Go app,” Capt. David Jones said.

Husband and wife team, Eric and Danielle Childs, are Pokémon Go fans and enjoy playing together.

“Of course, you have to use common sense,” said Danielle Childs in response to Jones’ message. Her husband agreed.

Jones said, “We urge drivers NOT to use mobile gaming apps while driving; please wait, park, then, Pokémon Go.”

The Childs, who had a baby in the backseat, also understand the putting the phone down while driving and that it’s illegal to text and drive in Arkansas.

Instead, they drive to a spot and then walk in order to find their next PokéStop.

“It gets us out of the house and we get some exercise,” Eric Childs explained as he stood in the city hall parking lot. He works while she stays home with their baby, and it also gives them time together and some exercise. They say the baby also loves the fresh air.

The popular game, created by Satoshi Tajiri and released in 1995, centered on fictional creatures called Pokémon, which humans, known as Pokémon Trainers, catch and train to battle each other for sport, according to Wikipedia.

For Eric and Danielle Childs, Pokémon Go brings back childhood memories but in an updated version that works on iPhone or Android phones.

Eric Childs said, “It makes us feel nostalgic. It’s like a piece of our childhood in adulthood.”

Unlike its older counterpart, where players traveled through a fictional world, the newer version requires people get out and capture Pokémon in the real world.

There are five PokéStops along Municipal Drive, including the three at city hall, one at the community center and one at the pavilion. But there are more to be found around Jacksonville, including at Dupree Park at 1700 Redmond Road and the Jacksonville Police Station at 1400 Marshall Road.

Pokémon Go is proving a worldwide phenomenon, with no shortage of players in Jacksonville.

Jeannie Hart and her adult son, Wes, enjoy playing Pokémon together. Before Pokémon Go, they played Ingress, sort of a game of mystery, Jeannie Hart said.

They lay claim to creating the eagle PokéStop because of their suggestion to the Ingress game designers. PokéStops are based on Niantic’s Ingress portal and is currently not accepting new locations, Wes Hart said.

About playing with his mom, he said, “It’s a bonding experience.”

The Jacksonville City Hall parking lot has been full of players for weeks, said Alderman Reedie Ray, while City Attorney Robert Bamburg relates the story of a woman, dragging her child in tow, wandering the halls of city hall one evening after hours.

It was unsettling, he recalls.

Jones reminds people, “Please do not freely walk in or around the departments without having checked in with the business office.”

Entering businesses, churches, government buildings or private property, whether game in hand or not, is trespassing, and Jones asks, “If you are locked up, who will be training your Pokémon?”

He also reminds residents that the police and fire stations are “not places of amusement,” but facilities that are designed for quick emergency responses.

“Emergency vehicles could exit the station at any time from the front or the rear of the building responding to an emergency.

“Some players have already placed themselves in harm’s way in our city while playing Pokémon,” Jones said.

Use the visitor parking instead.

Wes Hart is a security guard at Ernie Biggs in the River Market, and he said he feels there’s less opportunity for crime with more people—many with phone in hand—seeking PokéStops in the area.

The Childs haven’t been to the River Market but hear it’s filled with PokéStops, and they would like to find the time to go.

But Capt. Jones gave this warning: “Across the country, people have been lured to places they thought were safe, only to have been robbed or assaulted. We ask players to stay aware of their surroundings by not staying so focused on their phones and being careful when sharing their locations with strangers through the app. Not everyone who said they are friendly ends up being friendly.”

Eric Childs said they don’t play with their heads down, unaware of their surroundings, but set their phones to vibrate when near a PokéStop.

Again, Eric Childs said players need to exercise sound judgment.

One final word of advice from Capt. Jones, “Play it safe in the real world so your virtual world can keep moving in the right direction.”

TOP STORY >> Active shooter classes

Leader senior staff writer

Avoid killers, deny them access to your place of refuge, and if those fail, defend yourself any way you can—those are the responses to an active- shooter or other threat at a school, business, residence or anywhere, according to Lt. Brett Hibbs, a patrol and training officer with the Jacksonville Police Department.

Hibbs or other trainers teach civilian-response classes upon demand several times a year in the police and fire department training rooms, he said on Tuesday.

About a dozen people came to the Tuesday training held at the request of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce.

“We’d like to walk the business with you,” said Hibbs, to point out ways for people to protect themselves—making sure they know the fastest way out of a building or that doors and handles are sufficient to hold an intruder at bay while people can find a way out, or to secure the room or give police time to respond.

“If you can get out, get out,” Hibbs explained to the class.

But nationwide, the average response time to reports of an active shooter at a school is three to four minutes, so locking out and delaying a shooter for even a few minutes increases the likelihood of survival.

Hibbs said that despite mass killings of students at schools and colleges over the past few decades, a determined stranger could still walk in the front door and directly to classroom areas.

In 1998, a 13-year-old and an 11-year-old shot to death four students and a teacher and wounded 10 other students in Jonesboro. The following year, 15 people were killed and 21 wounded at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo.

Hibbs said, 18 years later, schools are still soft targets.

Of the new high school and elementary school on the drawing board of Jacksonville-North Pulaski School District, he said, “We’d like to make those schools safe.”

For schools or businesses, Hibbs said it was important to secure the classrooms and other rooms against intruders—doors that lock securely.

Doors that open inward can be blockaded with tables and chairs to keep someone from pushing in, if inward opening classroom doors are legal.

At the beginning of an event such as an active shooter or a fire, Hibbs said people go through three stages—the three “D’s”.

First is denial—those must be firecrackers or a car backfiring, not gun shots.

Second, upon recognizing the threat, is deliberation—what do I need to do?

And the third is the decisive moment, when a decision is made and action taken.

Situational awareness can save you, too, Hibbs said. When 100 people died at a Great White show at a club, if people had known where the exits were other than the doors they used to enter, many more people might have survived.

Gathered for the class Tuesday were employees from a bank, a church, the Jackson-ville senior center, Camp Robinson and more.

Hibbs said in the case of an active shooter, people who couldn’t escape must find a way to lock the door of the room in which they take shelter and have layers of protection, such as throwing up barricades and attacking the shooter with a fire extinguisher, heavy books or other equipment if he breached the door.

If it’s possible, shift emotions from fear to anger.

Hibbs said not many people knew that the man who shot two Little Rock National Army recruiters June 1, 2009, killing one, actually came to the area to attack the front gate at Little Rock Air Force Base, but discovered it was a hard target with armed guards.

An attack took place there last summer, but the attacker was killed by guards.

Friday, July 22, 2016

SPORTS STORY >> Badgers off game in final team camp

By RAY BENTONLeader sports editor

The Beebe Badgers went through their final team camp Wednesday at Conway High School. While far from pushing the panic button on such a young team, head coach John Shannon would like to have seen a much cleaner effort in his offense in its final offseason scrimmage.

Holes opened slowly and the ball hit the ground a lot, many times before a play could even develop.

“We haven’t had that much trouble getting a snap all summer long,” said Shannon between segments of the camp. “We dropped it more today than we have in all our other camps combined. This is the last one of the year, and it’s probably our worst one.”

That was before the camp teams reconvened from a water break for live scrimmaging. The offense still wasn’t as consistent as Shannon would like in its 20-minute, continuous clock games against Clinton and Morrilton, but did pick up a few first downs and broke a few big plays.

“I thought we looked a little better in the second half,” Shannon said. “We put it on the ground a lot less, but we need to get a lot more consistent. We’d look real good one drive, then go out there and not look very good the next one.”

The big play hurt the Badger defense more than sustained drives. Clinton put together one eight-play drive and scored, but failed to get more than one first down the rest of the session.

Morrilton didn’t fare any better than Clinton in sustaining offensive momentum against the Beebe defense, but it did bail itself out of a few third-and-long situations with big gains, mostly on pass plays.

Much of that is also due to having such young players in the defensive backfield. Two players who could project as the starting inside linebackers are sophomores, as is one safety and one cornerback.

“Like I said earlier this week, we’re just young and we have a lot of holes to fill, especially in the skill positions,” Shannon said. “There’s going to be growing pains. That’s just something you have to expect when you’re playing as many sophomores as we’re going to be playing. But I like their potential. They were a very successful freshmen team, but they’re learning this is a whole different level. They’re going to get better.”

One Badger back had a very good day. Sophomore halfback Taylor Boyce broke a couple of long runs. He also caught a screen pass in the left flat that appeared to be snuffed out by the Yellowjacket defense, but Boyce juked three successive defenders and turned it into a nice gain.

“He’s the quickest guy and he’s a natural at setting up blocks and making runs,” Shannon said. “As far as setting up his blocks, he’s the best I’ve ever had. It’s just natural for him. He just knows when to cut and how to turn things into big plays.”

For most of the summer, Nathan Burnett and Khalil Anthony have rotated at fullback, replacing 5,000-yard rusher Trip Smith, who broke the school career record last year.

Boyce, Connor Baker and Luke Oakley are getting most of the rotations at the halfback positions.

Juniors Mason Walker and C.J. Caldwell are battling for the starting quarterback position. Caldwell started at quarterback his freshman year, but didn’t play last season. Walker moved into the backup QB role, and led two touchdown drives against state runner-up McClellan before tearing his ACL while playing defense.

“I thought Mason moved the team better (Wednesday), but if you’d have been here last week, it was just the opposite,” Shannon said. “Caldwell was a little behind just from not playing last year, and Mason still isn’t 100 percent back to where he was speed-wise before the injury. We started out working four guys at quarterback. Those two have separated themselves from the group, but neither one has separated from the other. So I still haven’t named a starting quarterback.”

SPORTS STORY >> Lexi Weeks emotional over Cabot outpouring

Special to The Leader

FAYETTEVILLE – Just when her tears of joy upon vaulting to the U.S. Women’s Olympic track and field team finally dried, Lexi Weeks’ hometown opened her tear ducts again.

Cabot is the hometown of the University of Arkansas freshman pole vaulting Weeks twin sisters: Tori, amazing in her own right as a NCAA Indoor All-American and SEC Indoor third-placer and SEC Outdoor runner-up. And Lexi, unbelievable as the rookie NCAA and SEC Indoor and Outdoor champion, helping coach Lance Harter’s Razorbacks win the NCAA Women’s Outdoor championship, become a U.S. Olympian by qualifying for the third and final team vaulting spot at the U.S. Trials in Eugene, Ore.

Cabot wants the Weeks family watching Lexi at the Olympic Games Aug. 16 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Lexi’s parents, Brent and Amy Weeks, Tori, and the twins’ brothers, Brent, Matthew and Connor, couldn’t make it to Eugene when Lexi’s personal record 15-5 nabbed the thirdspot behind 2012 U.S. Olympic champion Jenn Suhr and Sandi Morris, the UA grad and 2015 NCAA Indoor champion off Arkansas’ 2015 NCAA Indoor championship team.

Weeks fought tears when it turned out her 15-3 vault in Eugene might make the U.S. team, which it ultimately did. Tears so overcame her that she never attempted another height after vaulting 15-5 still with a chance to compete for a top two spot with Suhr, 15-9, and Morris, 15-7.

“She was just crying and doing all that, so we said, ‘Just shut it down. You made the team,’” Arkansas women’s vault coach Bryan Compton said following Lexi’s 15-5 vault. “An hour later we are still crying.”

Meeting Arkansas media Tuesday, Weeks fought tears again discussing Cabot’s love for her and her family and the Razorbacks.

She was a qualifying long shot behind Suhr, Morris and Stephen F. Austin collegiate record holder Demi Payne, but Payne didn’t recover to jump well off her more recently broken wrist than Morris suffered, but was able to overcome.

Weeks bettered the next tier trying to fill Payne’s void. She was still emotional when queried by U.S. track officials.

“The day I qualified for the team they asked me, ‘Who of your family is going to be going?’” Lexi recalled. “And it was, ‘I have no idea.’ No one planned this is going to happen and Rio is expensive. So I don’t know if anyone is going to make it at this point.”

Citizens of Cabot plan to decide for her. They want the Weeks family in Rio some time at or between Lexi flying to Rio Aug. 3, and participating with the entire U.S. team in opening ceremonies then vaulting in the Aug. 16 prelims and, Lexi hopes, the Aug. 19 finals.

“My community has really come behind me,” Lexi said before her July 19 practice in Fayetteville. “My high school teacher set up this online fund-raiser for my parents and my sister to raise money to go, and so far our community has raised almost $12,000.”
Another tears vs. Lexi battle ensued.

“It is so overwhelming for me and my family,” Lexi said. “I am going to cry thinking about it because I am just so thankful that my community has come behind me and supported me and my family. It’s just incredible and overwhelming that they have been so supportive and encouraging. It’s so crazy to have that support from them.”

Frankly it’s still crazy to Lexi that she is a U.S. Olympian.

“It hasn’t quite sunk in yet,” Lexi said. “But I am an Olympian and it sounds weird to say that. So it’s all crazy to me. The first time I go to the Olympics will be the first time I am out of the country. It’s surreal to me, this whole thing. I am thankful.”

And thankful that while the Trials marked the first time she didn’t vault with twin sister Tori, she had in Eugene and will have in Rio an Arkansas big sister with Morris among the favorites to medal.

Though with Nike since graduating the UA as the 2015 NCAA Indoor champion and NCAA Outdoor runner-up to Payne, Morris, the USA 2016 Indoor champion and World Indoor runner-up, still is coached by Compton, still trains with the UA women vaulters and mentors the UA’s youngest Olympian.

“I told her I would be a lost puppy without her because I am so new to it all, especially something like the Olympics,” Lexi said. “I am so thankful I will have her there with me to help me go through it all.”

Morris marvels that while others tensed competing for that third spot with Payne out that Lexi the rookie relaxed yet seized the moment.

“There were a lot of other girls who were under a lot of pressure to make team, and she was just out there smiling and having a good time,” Morris said. “She was able to go out there and get it done and jump high. She didn’t just end up on the team. She jumped her way onto that team.”

SPORTS STORY >> State champs stay busy

Leader sportswriter

The state champion Cabot boys’ basketball team hasn’t let up over the summer. The Panthers stayed busy last month, competing in double-digit exhibition games at team camps, and most recently took part in a Pulaski Academy team camp last week in Little Rock.

“We had a real busy June,” said Cabot coach Jerry Bridges. “We went to the Hendrix team camp and played some good teams and learned a lot about us, and then the following week we went to Russellville for three days and had a good camp there, and I thought we really made good progress.”

Cabot graduated three players in May, all three of which were 6-foot-3 or taller, but the Panthers return five of their top seven players from a season ago. Those players have continued to develop over the summer, but Bridges has always used summer competition as a way to develop his entire roster.

“I’m going to platoon people,” Bridges said. “We’ll run 10 on varsity and 10 on JV, and everybody’s going to play. One thing we try to do in the summer, we want to continue to try and develop our players. That’s the main thing.

“I’ve never hung a banner for what we’ve done in the summer. As I’ve gotten older I’ve gotten better at accepting that – you’ve got to. And I saw some good things from everybody. I think our young ones are getting better, and that gives us a chance to learn about some that are going to be juniors. Are some of these ready to step up, because we really need them to be.”

Bridges said it does help the developmental process of the entire team not having to worry about what he’s going to get from his starters/heavy contributors from last year’s championship team.

“Five of our top seven from last year is back,” Bridges said. “I’m not worried about what Bobby Joe (Duncan) can do, Matt (Stanley) can do, Gilly (Logan Gilbertson) can do, Jarrod (Barnes) can do, Jalen (Brown) can do. I know they’re going to be there for me, and it’s been good to see.”

Bridges mentioned some inexperienced juniors to-be that are going to be looked at to step up and contribute when the 2016-17 season tips off in the fall.

“Jared Vance has got a little bit of a bad back, but he’s getting better,” Bridges said. “I feel like he’s going to be able to help us out and he shoots the ball extremely well. I think Christian Weir is going to play more. He’ll be able to help us more.

“He’ll be able to give Bobby a little more (rest) time, but I feel like I can play them together some, too, because Christian’s real strong off the dribble and can D-up. Noah Allgood, he’s been a pleasant surprise. We need Noah to continue to improve to give us more depth (at forward) behind Gilly and Matt.

“It’s good to see Noah getting better because you’ve got to have an extra guy inside, because it can be physical sometimes when you get in foul trouble. Parker Childress is another guy. He’s a senior. I know he’s not real big, but he can shoot it deep and I really feel like he’s going to be able to help us some.

“It’s a different team. I know we’ve got a lot of the top seven back, but (graduates) Hunter Southerland and Garrett Rowe, they gave us so much stuff you don’t see in the scorebook, and Chandler Casteel did a great job coming off the bench. Those are three big bodies and players and great kids that we’ve got to replace. So hopefully we’ll be ready.”

One thing the Panthers have learned this summer is that being the champion means they’re going to get other teams’ best shot.

“Our guys need to understand, and I think they saw some of that as the summer went on, you’re going to get some people’s best shot,” Bridges said, “because everybody wants to say, ‘Hey, we beat the champions.’ We’ve never defended anything before, so you better be ready.”

Bridges wasn’t at last week’s team camp at Pulaski Academy. Two days before that camp, on the morning of July 11, Bridges’ father, Jack, passed away at 86 years young. Jack Bridges coached for 34 years, was an athletic director after his coaching days, and in retirement, spent a lot of time watching his children and grandchildren play and coach.

Jack Bridges was a regular on the front row of Panther basketball games, and the last game he saw his son Jerry coach was when the Panthers beat Bentonville in the Class 7A state championship game in their hometown of Hot Springs in March.

“I wouldn’t be where I am without him,” Bridges said of his father, “and that’s the honest truth. He gave me so much knowledge, and basketball, and the foundation of my beliefs. It’s why I’ve done what I’ve done. I promise you that. We’ll miss him over there in that section of his.”

Cabot assistant coach Nathan Brown coached the team at the PA camp on July 13. Cabot beat Mountain Home and PA at the team camps, but Bridges was told the team really showed improvement in the second half of their exhibition game against the host Bruins.

“We really got better, they told me, against PA,” Bridges said. “We didn’t look good the first half. We were down like two at half, just 13-11 for instance, and it’s like we ended up beating them 45-28.”

The Panthers are currently going through their weekly practice routine, working mostly on ball-handling and shooting. Bridges said practice sessions will have more focus on defense and conditioning once school starts next month.

It’s been a busy and trying summer for the head Panther. Bridges dedicated a lot of his time toward the end of June coaching the East All-Star team, and with the recent loss of his father, the CHS head coach hasn’t been with his team as much as he would like, but said he’s pleased with the progress the team has made over the last couple of months.

“I’m very pleased,” Bridges said. “It’s like I told coach Brown, part of me feels like we’re not ready because I haven’t been around with me coaching All-Stars, the two dead weeks and then my father, I haven’t seen them in a month. I saw them (Tuesday), and I miss them.

“They’ve been doing stuff and I’m fortunate I got coach Brown. He does a great job for me and I know they’re in good hands with him. Part of me says since I haven’t been here I don’t think we’ve been doing anything, but they have been, and I’m glad to be back and getting in that routine.

“We’re going Monday through Thursday now. We just want to keep getting better. Some of them got vacations planned, and my policy is, when you’re in Cabot I expect you to be at practice. If you have a family vacation, family time’s important. You go do that, and they’ve been good about being there (at practice). I’m fortunate.”