Friday, August 11, 2006

SPORTS >> Lonoke achieves breakthrough

IN SHORT: Despite a pair of injuries, the Jackrabbits have made big strides in week two.

By JASON KING
Leader sports writer

The second week of practice for Lonoke was a productive one. The coaching staff spent much of the Thursday and Friday practices going over offensive and defensive strategies and the proper way to line up.

The defensive units also spent a lot of time working on snap counts, learning to move with the ball instead of on the count.

Thursday’s practice produced a couple of scares for the Jackrabbits. Starting tailback Duane Hood injured his knee on a running play, and senior re-ceiver Kylon Boyd suffered an injury to a finger attempting a catch.

Hood’s injury was not deemed anything major, but Boyd was headed to the doctor Thursday afternoon to see if there were any torn tendons in his wounded digit. Lonoke head coach Jeff Jones doesn’t think the injury will be that big of a setback.

“We can’t do anything with Kylon right now but speculate,” Jones said. “Duane’s injury is just something that has been hampering him some, so we let him sit out the last part of today. Hopefully it is something that he can overcome pretty quick.”

Jones said the practices have been solid throughout the week, with the exception of Tuesday.

“They’ve held up well,” Jones said. “We kind of hit the wall on Tuesday, but they’ve come back the last two days. We’ve had some quality practices the last two days, so I feel like we have busted through that wall.”

As the start of the season quickly approaches, Jones still stresses the importance of taking things one day at a time. He says he continues to see new progress made every day, but still sees the potential for much more improvement.

“I feel like they are getting better every day,” Jones said. “We have made a lot of progress, but we still have a long ways to go. I don’t think that by the day before our scrimmage, we will be exactly where we want to be or even after the scrimmage.

“We just want to go out there and make gains every day and continue to im-prove every time we go out on the field, whether it’s a game or a practice. That’s what coaching and the game of football is all about.”

The Jackrabbits will continue to work on lining up, and any adjustments that need to be made at the line. Jones says the lineup is ironed out for the most part, but a lot of cleaning up and improvement on execution is needed.

“We’re trying to do some adjusting and aligning to our defense. The most important thing in a good defense is not to get beat at the line, so we want to make sure we are as solid as we can be in that department. We’re just trying to leave no stone unturned right now.”

SPORTS >> Devil QB recovered, ready

IN SHORT: Jacksonville’s Daniel Hubbard says he’s fully recovered from the broken leg he suffered late last season.

By RAY BENTON
Leader sports editor

Jacksonville spent very little time during the first week of two-a-days practicing in full pads. That changed this week, but the excitement on the field apparently has not.

Of all the returning starters at the skill positions, none have been more eagerly and anxiously awaited as quarterback Daniel Hubbard. Hubbard suffered a broken leg in the Red Devils’ playoff loss to state champion Springdale last year, and has slowly recovered over the course of the past several months.

He has peformed well during summer seven-on-seven meets, and says he’s now fully recovered.

“The leg’s great, I’m at 100 percent now,” Hubbard said. “I think I got there about midway through the summer. I hardly think about it now.”

Hubbard is still being protected during full-contact practices. He’s wearing the green jersey that says to defensive players, ‘do not hit’.

Hubbard says his teammates have stayed energetic during two-a-days, but admits that the heat does get burdensome.
“It’s hot,” Hubbard said. “We’ve stuck it out. We’re doing a pretty good job staying after it, but it’s been really hot, and that can get to you. It’ll pay off in our conditioning though. It should help us late in games.”

Hubbard, who has started since the second game of his sophomore year, sees a difference in this preseason practice, compared to the last two. The most glaring difference is the advanced state at which the offense started practice.

“The last two years the defense has been way ahead of the offense when we started,” Hubbard said. “This year I think the offense is ahead. We’ve executed really well. The receivers are catching the ball really well, and of course we’ve got awesome running backs.”

There’s one other difference Hubbard has noticed with this group.

“Everybody gets along real good. There are no attitudes.”

At receiver, Hubbard will have a couple of new, and big, targets.

Seniors Marcus King and Norvel Gabriel will split wide this season. King has been a wideout since his sophomore year, but hasn’t been an every-down player. That is going to change when Sept. 1 rolls around.

“Marcus King has always had all the physical tools to be awesome,” Hubbard said. “Now he’s catching the ball really well and he’s going to be huge for us. He’s tall and real fast.”

Gabriel, 6-foot-4, played mostly defensive end last year, and played a few snaps at tight end. Hubbard doesn’t see the transition as much of a problem.

“Norvel Gabriel is huge. He’s an easy target and he catches it real well too.”

Senior Blake Mattison and junior Tirrell L’Hrisse are returning as consistent and dependable targets from last year.

Hubbard also recognizes Jacksonville’s uncertainty on the interior, but expects that area to come around and be solid.
“We’re going to be small, but quick on the line,” Hubbard said. “I think they’ll come on and be really good. I’m not too worried about it.”

SPORTS >> Sophomores standing out for Panthers

IN SHORT: Cabot’s 10th-grade class has stepped up this summer to fill holes left by small junior and senior classes.

By RAY BENTON
Leader sports editor

The Cabot Panther preseason two-a-days have had no shortage of bright spots, but the brightest is that of the sophomore class. Though not all will start, several 10th graders have stepped up and will fill important roles for the Panthers this season.

As of this week, the 36 sophomores outnumber the senior and junior classes combined. There were 15 seniors and 16 juniors still going through workouts this week.

“It’s been a pretty hard-working group overall, especially the sophomores,” Cabot coach Mike Malham said. “We go more than most other teams do, and there’s still 36 left out of 41 that started two-a-days with us. I don’t know how many teams even do two-a-days anymore, and most of them only do it one week. We’re in our second week plus Saturday mornings. And we’re going to go twice a day through next Wednesday too. This group has made it through that with fewer dropping out than recently. So that’s good. I think this group is going to stick with it.”

Senior Colin Fuller has moved to halfback for most of the repetitions, but still takes some of the snaps at fullback. His move was made possible by a strong surge from sophomore Sheridan transfer Vince Aguilar. Aguilar, 5-foot-8, 200 pounds, taking over at fullback takes some load off Fuller, who will also start at safety on defense.

“If he (Aguilar) keeps coming along, and I think he will, he’s going to help out a lot,” Malham said. “He’s a big kid that can run a little bit, and he’s tough to bring down.”

Two sophomores are looking like starters, or at least prominent backups, on the defensive line. Blake Carter, 201 pounds, and Kyle DeBlock, 196, have performed well and will see playing time.

Hunter Hess, who was the fullback for CJHN’s undefeated team a year ago, will help out in the secondary. Matt Jackson, 283, is one of several offensive linemen with good size in the sophomore class that Malham believes will play this year. The head Panther is especially excited about the future potential of such a large and athletic group.

“You get those big guys up front that can move a little bit and that helps you out,” Malham said.

SPORTS >> Local family races for fun and future

IN SHORT: Bryan, Kip and Nick Glaze all race in different series around the country. Bryan’s venture in the Hooters Pro-Cup series is a stepping stone for Nick’s racing future.

By JASON KING
Leader sports writer

The Glaze family of Austin is building a family tradition in racing, although in many different forms of racing. Brothers Kip, 38, and Bryan, 34, started out racing on dirt in hobbies and modifieds.

Bryan has made the recent move to the Hooters Pro-Cup Southern Series, racing asphalt shows in one of the country’s premier stock-car racing series.

Kip has raced several seasons in the IMCA modifieds around central Arkansas after racing late models in the Georgia and Florida area in the late 90’s up until 2002.

Add Kip’s son, 14-year-old Nick into the mix, and you have three drivers all in the same stable. Nick has spent this season racing primarily in Batesville in the economy-modified division weekly series.

The long-term plan is for Nick to get asphalt experience before he eventually makes his way into the Hooters series. For Bryan, it is a chance to help his nephew gain experience, while carrying out a life-long dream of his own.

“This is something I’ve always wanted to do,” Bryan said. “We’re gaining knowledge that Nick can use later on. I don’t know my future in the series, or in the sport in general for that matter.”

Bryan’s first attempt at Hooters racing came last year at Peach State Speedway in Georgia. A practice wreck prevented him from running the race, but he is hoping that a year of learning the car will help him when he returns to the speedway this weekend.

The race after Peach State is the one that Bryan is really anticipating. The Glaze Motorsports team will travel to the famed Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee for a Pro-Cup race the same weekend that the stars of the Nextel Cup series will take to the famed high-bank, one-half mile oval.

“That will be our biggest race of the year by far,” Bryan said. “All of the cup guys will be there, and we will be racing the same day as the Craftsman Truck Series.”

Although he says his racing season is over, Kip is probably the busiest of the trio. Along with helping out son Nick with his e-mod racing, he also serves as a spotter for Bryan on the Hooters side.

The spotter acts as a second set of eyes for a driver in many asphalt divisions. With all of the safety devices that are required around the head and neck, drivers have a hard time seeing what is around them. The spotter communicates a driver’s position via radio, telling him if there are cars alongside him on the outside or inside.

Racing is not the only game in town for the Glaze family. Through their successful family business, Five-Star Airbags in Cabot, they have found a lucrative way to finance their racing endeavors as a hobby, and a potential professional career for Nick.

“I’m too old to make a career out of this,” Kip said. “Nick is still young enough that he can still do it, so I’m going to give him every opportunity that I can.”

It has not been all fun and games for the Glaze family this year. Kip and Nick are just one month out of a tragic accident on their way back from Batesville that not only destroyed a car, it also claimed the life of Nick’s mother. Kip was injured in the accident as well, but says that help from friends and fellow racers have made a big difference.

“I didn’t realize how good of friends we had,” Kip said. “I knew we had a lot of friends, but I didn’t know just how good. The best therapy has been getting Nick back into a car, it helps to keep my mind off of it and has kind of helped to get things back to normal.”

Nick has had a good rookie season in the e-mod division. He has held his own with modified standouts like Jason Wilkey and Jerry Waugh all season, and holds ninth in the season standings despite missing a couple of races. The biggest moment in his career so far came last year in the Beebe mini-stocks, where he won a feature race in just his eighth start. He was technically not eligible to race at the time due to his age, but says what the old track management didn’t know won’t hurt them.

“They can’t get their money back now,” Nick said. “Or the trophy either for that matter. It was an adrenaline rush to win that race, it gave me some bragging rights.”

The tentative plan for next year is for Bryan to continue in the Hooters series while Kip and Nick get asphalt experience in late models and modifieds at Nashville and Birmingham before Nick makes the eventual move to the Hooters series.

EDITORIALS>> ‘Good,’ ‘bad’ governors

Economic statistics can prove to be so perverse, but rarely to such an extreme as the report card that the Arkansas Policy Foundation issued the past week on the job-creating performance of Arkansas governors since World War II.

The Policy Foundation is the conservative, Republican-leaning think tank in Little Rock that promotes lower taxes, smaller government, private-school vouchers and reduced spending on public education. It maintains that business and job growth depend heavily on a good business climate of light regulation and low or nonexistent taxes on business and incomes. So it examined labor statistics both for Arkansas and the nation since the war to see how the governors stacked up.

If the figures that it gleaned were a valid measure of the governors’ economic performances, you would have to draw a couple of conclusions: (1) Republican governors are antibusiness and antigrowth, Democratic governors far better, and (2) governors who preside over tax increases tend to rack up more new jobs for people than those who don’t.

No one would seriously argue either of those assertions, and certainly not the Arkansas Policy Foundation. But what are we to make of the statistics?

- The worst jobs record of all the governors since World War II? Hands down, it belongs to Mike Huckabee. He is the only one of the 10 governors whose tenure produced a percentage growth in net non-farm jobs that was lower than the national growth for the same period. Next to worst would be Gov. Frank White, the last previous Republican, in 1981-83, who was the only governor during whose term the state actually experienced a net loss of jobs. But the country fell into a deep recession halfway through White’s single term and the nation as a whole lost jobs at a slightly quicker pace than Arkansas. Winthrop Rockefeller, the other Republican, ranked in the bottom half.

- The best governors for jobs growth? In order, they were David Pryor (1975-79), Dale Bumpers (1971-75), Orval E. Faubus (1955-67) and Sid McMath (1949-53). The job-growth rate ranged from 5.4 percent under Pryor to 4.8 percent under McMath. No one was close to those four. You wondered about Bill Clinton? He was low (1.7 percent) in his first term (1979-81) but moderately effective (3.8 percent) his second tenure (1983-92).

What lessons have we learned from the Policy Foundation’s intriguing report? The foundation seems not to have offered any itself. The best lesson may be that there is no lesson of abiding consequence. Arkansas is not an economy unto itself but, as Mike Huckabee’s 10-year record demonstrates, it is carried along in the eddies of national economic flow and ebb. The policies and successes of individual governors work at the margins of the economy.

But the little think tank that brought us the titillating statistics might absorb one lesson from its labors: what the figures do not prove, that raising taxes for education, highways and health care is the death knell of expansion and jobs. Those governors with the superb record of new jobs? They raised taxes significantly, all except Pryor, whose two terms were a virtual extension of the Bumpers administration, when every major tax was expanded in some way.

On the other hand, as the Policy Foundation would surely point out, taxes and government have grown mightily under Mike Huckabee and jobs have disappeared or cropped up sparsely. We’ll make the governor’s apologia for him: He did well during the Clinton boom years of 1996-2000, and the lucky Bumpers, Pryor and McMath did not have to stand in the wake when the economic tide went out with George W. Bush.

OBITUARIES >> 08-12-06

Shirley Hopkins
Shirley Ann Petty Hopkins, 67, of Stuttgart passed away Aug. 5.

She was born March 5, 1939, in Little Rock, to the late Julius and Myrtle Petty.

Survivors include her sons, Ray Harrison and wife, Becky of Little Rock, Lynn Berry and wife, Sherry of Austin; one daughter, Susan Deely of Stuttgart; two brothers, Dr. Gene Petty of Longview, Texas, and Dr. Charles Petty of Raleigh, N.C.; one stepsister, Lois Lovette of Stuttgart, and seven grandchildren.

A memorial service was held Aug. 7 at First Baptist Church in England. Funeral arrangements were by Thomas Funeral Service.


Robert Morrison
Robert Dwayne Morrison, 44, of Cabot, died Aug. 3.

He was the son of Robert Lee Morrison and Elender Ashmore Morrison.

He attended the Apostolic Church in North Little Rock. He was preceded in death by his father.

Survivors include one son, Robbie Morrison; one daughter, Sarah Morrison; one sister, Tamera Mor-rison, and his mother, all of Cabot.

Funeral services were held Aug. 7 at Griffin Leggett Rest Hills Fu-neral Home in North Little Rock.

Burial was in Rest Hills Memorial Park.


Jessie Scott
Jessie A. Scott, 77, of Jacksonville, died Aug. 7 at her home. She was born Oct. 19, 1928 in Washington, D.C. to the late Wallace E. and Elsie Schenck Miller.

She was also preceded in death by her husband, Norman Russell Scott; a son, Steven M. Scott, and two sisters, Murle Miller-Casey and Elsie Buddington.

Jessie was a member of First United Methodist Church in Jacksonville. She was a member of Seekers Sunday School Class and First United Methodist Church Young At Heart. She was a member of Rebsamen Medical Auxiliary, a lifetime member of AFSAA and volunteered at the Little Rock Air Force Base Pharmacy. She was a Leader employee.

Survivors include a daughter, Aileen Holt of Colorado Springs, Colo.; a son, Russell Scott and his wife, Angela of Jacksonville; five grandchildren, Chris Scott of Little Rock, Jessica Holt of Tampa, Fla., Kimberly Chrissonberry of Conway, Leslie Hallahan of California, Steven Holt of Colorado Springs and four great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were held Aug. 10 at the First United Methodist Church in Jacksonville with Rev. Charles Watts officiating.
Interment followed at The National Veteran’s Cemetery in  Little Rock.

Visitation was held Aug. 9 at Moore’s Jacksonville Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the First United Methodist Church in Jacksonville or to the American Red Cross.

 
Charles Schmitt
Charles Edward Schmitt, 49, of Jacksonville, passed away Aug. 6.

He was born April, 8, 1957, in Little Rock, the son of Heles McDaniel Stoneking of Jackson-ville and the late Waymon Schmitt.

Survivors include two brothers, Orville Mccoy, Sr., and Jackie Larell McCoy, Jr., both of Jacksonville; two sisters, Barbara Moon of Maumelle and Brenda Mitchell of Fort Smith; one aunt, Alice Thompson of Jacksonville; three cousins; a host of nieces and nephews and many friends.

Funeral services were held Aug. 9 at Griffin Leggett Rest Hills Chapel in North Little Rock.

TOP STORY >> Annexation appealed by Jacksonville

IN SHORT: The city will take the county judge’s ruling to circuit court to stop 2,000 acres from going into Sherwood.

By RICK KRON
Leader staff writer

Jacksonville will appeal the county judge’s recent decision to let four landowners annex their 2,000 acres into Sherwood.

Jacksonville had already opposed the voluntary annexation request by the owners, and Pulaski County Judge Buddy Villines ordered a hearing on the matter in June. At the hearing, he request that both Sherwood and Jacksonville submit their legal arguments by July 15.

Last week, the judge ruled that the annexation request met all the state and local requirements and could proceed. According to Mike Clayton, Sherwood’s city engineer, there are two ways to annex into a city, through voluntary or involuntary means.

Four developers—Greg Heslep, Byron McKimmey, Metropolitan Realty and Lilac LLC—volunteered to come into Sherwood. For the city to accept a voluntary petition, it must be signed by at least 51 percent of the landowners, controlling at least 51 percent of the land.

In this case, the voluntary petition was signed by 100 percent of the landowners, controlling 100 percent of the land.

Villines said in his order that Sherwood could only refuse the annexation if it were “unable to provide services to the annexed area.”

“Don’t worry,” Sherwood Mayor Bill Harmon said, “we’ll provide service.”

Jacksonville Mayor Tommy Swaim said the city would appeal the ruling within the required 30 days. An appeal would be heard in circuit court.

In its earlier objections, Jacksonville said the land was better served as part of Jacksonville, that the city had utilities already in that area.

Jacksonville City Attorney Bob Bamburg also argued that the Little Rock Air Force Base’s aircraft safety flight zone extended into part of the are proposed for annexation and that Jacksonville had ordinances protecting that area from excessive development as requested by the Air Force.

The city also argued that the annexation would create an island of residential housing around Hatcher Road that would remain in the county because it was not included in the voluntary annexation.

Mayor Swaim said those factors would be brought up again in the appeal. “At this time I don’t know if we’ll add any other points,” he said.

The appeal won’t necessarily stop one of the landowners who filed plans with Sherwood to build a light commercial development on part of his property. The owner, Heslep, according to city engineer, was going to file for approval with the county too, which still has jurisdiction over the land.

The 2,000 acres of undeveloped land stretches north off Sherwood and west of Jack-sonville, touching the edge of the Little Rock Air Force Base.

When the four property owners filed for voluntary annexation, Jacksonville opposed the idea and appealed to the county judge who had to release the land from the county, so it could become part of Sherwood.

In his recent order, Villines said. “The Court is not persuaded that extraterritorial planning jurisdiction precludes annexation.
The judge further ruled, “The creation of an island is not grounds to void an annexation.”

He also said in his order that the court “does not believe its discretion extends to determining which municipality is better able to adapt the property to municipal use…the Petition for Annexation is granted.”

Back in June, the Jacksonville City Council unanimously passed a resolution in opposition to the annexation, stating that the proposed annexation was “neither productive nor beneficial.”

The city’s planning commission joined in at its June meeting and voted to support the council’s resolution.

The city also expressed fear that a development spurt in the proposed annexed area could put the base in jeopardy of closing.

“We would never allow anything that would jeopardize the base, “ said Clayton.

Sherwood Mayor Bill Harmon was ecstatic about the judge’s decision and said, “We wouldn’t be surprised if all of Arkansas wanted to come to Sherwood.”

TOP STORY >> Vehicle shootout leaves a Cabot teen dead

IN SHORT: A possible sale of marijuana ended in one man being wounded and one murder Wednesday night.

By PEG KENYON
Leader staff writer

A shootout in a vehicle on the west parking lot at Jacksonville High School left a Cabot teen murdered and a Jacksonville man wounded Wednesday night.

Preliminary evidence leads police to believe it was a drug deal gone bad. “A large amount of marijuana was found at the scene,” said Lt. Martin Cass, assistant public information officer for Jacksonville Police Department.

Initially, police took two suspects into custody following the fatal shooting of Justin Davis, 18. Robert Cody Hall, 18, and Bret Michael Deangelis, 19, both of Cabot have been charged with one felony count each of capital murder, first-degree battery, aggravated robbery and conspiracy to possess a controlled substance. Neither had a bond initially listed.

“They were shooting at each other,” Cass said.

Deangelis allegedly admitted to being involved in a drug deal. He said the four of them met up at the high school along Linda Lane.

Four men were in a vehicle as the shootout began, Cass believes.

Three fled from the vehicle. Davis slid into the driver’s seat of a vehicle, al-though someone else had been originally behind the wheel, according to Cass.

“He then crashed into a retaining wall at the Linda Lane Apartments,” Cass said. “He got 100 to 150 yards away.”

At about 9:30 p.m., calls into the 911 Communications Center led local po-lice officers to the seriously wounded Cabot teen at the Linda Lane Apart-ment complex.

Davis was shot once in the chest and transported arrival, a white male was found lying on the ground with a possible gunshot wound.

A second victim who apparently had gunshot wounds to a hand and a knee went to Rebsamen Medical Center in Jacksonville. He was treated and later released, police said. The second victim was identified as 20-year-old Corzellis Neeley.

According to Cass, Neeley left the scene in another vehicle driven by a woman.

After going to a relative’s residence, Neeley ended up at the local hospital just before the ambulance arrived there with the mortally wounded Davis, Cass says. Deangelis alleges that there was a plan to rob Neeley who had brought the marijuana to sell to them. According to the police report, this resulted in a struggle between Davis and Neeley. Police recovered two 9-mm handguns from the vehicle.

This homicide marks Jacksonville’s third for the year.

TOP STORY >> Officials still battling over surplus

IN SHORT: Legislators debate what to do with the state’s $402.7 million surplus when the 86th General Assembly convenes in January.

By RICK KRON
Leader staff writer

Rep. Will Bond, D-Jacksonville says giving taxpayers a rebate check with the state’s $402.7 million surplus isn’t going to help the state’s residents as much as tax reform would.

“I think it would be smarter to have tax reform to reduce tax burden not just have a one time check ranging $30 to a couple of hundred dollars,” Bond told The Leader.

Arkansas ended the previous fiscal year June 30 with a $402.7 million surplus, the largest in the state’s history. Revenue officials have projected a $234.5 million surplus for the end of this fiscal year. That, plus surplus money left over from state budgets, would give Arkansas a projected surplus of roughly $721 million.

“There’s different type of reforms to look at such as elimination of grocery tax to reduce the burden on citizens,” Bond said.
Above all, Bond doesn’t want to see taxes go up. “My number one goal for the rest of my career as a legislator is to not raise taxes,” Bond said.

Bond agrees with putting some of the money aside into a rainy day fund for the state as well as funding building improvements for the state’s ailing and aging schools.

Since learning of the state’s surplus earlier this year. Gov. Mike Huckabee has been pushing for a tax refund for residents. “We’ve got to move very, very cautiously,” said state Sen. Bobby Glover, D-Carlisle. “I think we need to leave it up to the next governor and legislature.”

Glover said that he was not in favor of a rebate.” Once we give it back or do anything with it, it’ll be gone. We need to act appropriately so we don’t have to raise taxes in the future.” The senator added he was not going to vote for any type of a tax increase in the foreseeable future.

Glover said that if the surplus continues to grow, he would like to see the state phase out the tax on groceries. “That’s better than a rebate,” he said. “Any rebate amount we give back would be small per individual, but would cost the state a large sum.”

Glover said some of the surplus needs to be put into a rainy day fund, and he expects some will have to be used to fill the funding requirements for education and prison reforms and needs. “We also have to fill in what the federal government has pulled out of its Medicare funding.”

District 15 Rep. Lenville Evans, D-Lonoke, says he’s undecided and will probably stay that way until after state budget meetings in September and October. “We really won’t know how much of a surplus we truly have until we get the education and Medicare issues settled,” Evans said.

He added that every state department would now be asking for more money.

And to prove his point, Arkansas colleges and schools recently asked for an additional $239 million for their budget and another $318 million in capitol improvement projects. “Wanting is one thing, getting is another,” Evans said.

District 43 Rep. Jeff Wood, D-Sherwood, said he agrees with most of the other legislators about holding on to some of the surplus.

“Consensus is that we need a rainy day fund,” Wood said. He recalled a special session a few years ago where the legislature had to come up with about $120 million or cut state services. “It was not fun to be in that position,” Wood said, “and I don’t won’t us to go through that again in the future.”

Wood said there would need to be very specific regulations governing the rainy day fund. “After establish that fund, I’d like to see us put more into education, then I’d take a wait and see position on remaining funds,” Wood said.

District 14 Rep. Benny Petrus, D-Stuttgart, the incoming House Speaker, recently told Lonoke leaders that the legislature would take a slow, studious and sensible approach to the surplus.

TOP STORY >> Beebe only district to meet U.S. standards

IN SHORT: Several schools are cited for not keeping with federal No Child Left Behind Act.

By SARA GREENE
Leader staff writer

Beebe is the only school district locally that was not on the state’s school improvement list of 325 schools that aren’t keeping up with the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

“I think most of those schools on the list are doing a lot of things right. I think it will be difficult for schools to not be on the list at one time or another because of the way the schools are measured,” said Belinda Shook, superintendent of Beebe.

Of the schools on the list, 14 are in the local area, including one, for the first time, in Cabot.

A school can be placed on the list or remain on the list if it doesn’t, as a whole or its various subgroups don’t make adequate yearly progress (AYP) on the state benchmark or end-of-course exams.

All students are supposed to be scoring proficient or advanced on the exams by the end of the 2013-2014 school year.

Schools in the local area placed on the recently released school improvement list include Lonoke Elementary, England High School, Jacksonville Elementary and Cabot Middle School North — all on Year One status.

Jacksonville Middle School and Sylvan High School are in Year Two status, while Lonoke Middle School, England Middle School, Jacksonville High School, North Pulaski High School, Northwood Middle School and Murrell Taylor are in Year Three status.

Sylvan Hills Middle School is in Year Four status.

The following actions occur, ac-cording to the state Education Department, with each successive year of not meeting adequate yearly progress.

School Improvement Year 1: School must provide choice option for students to attend another school in the district not in im-provement.

School may, at the option of the school/district, offer supplemental services if choice is not an option;

School Improvement Year 2: School must continue to provide choice and add the option of supplemental services to students who qualify;

School Improvement Year 3: District is required to establish and implement a plan of corrective action;

School Improvement Year 4: District is required to plan to restructure the identified school;

School Improvement Year 5: District is required to implement restructuring of school;

School Improvement Year 6: District/school must continue with restructuring efforts.

About 50 more schools are in some phase of school improvement this year than last year.

Much of that is due to the fact that grades three, five and seven were added to the calculations this yea, according to the Arkansas Department of Education.

In doing that, schools became more likely to have subgroups with 40 or more students in them.

Subgroups of students with 40 or more from across all grades within a school must also meet AYP in both literacy and math; if a single subgroup does not meet the annual yearly progress goals in either subject, the entire school is placed in school improvement.

Subgroups that could put a school on the improvement list include economically disadvantaged students, students with disabilities, students with limited English proficiency, African-Ame-rican students, Caucasian students and Hispanic students.

Cabot Middle School North made the list because its students with disabilities didn’t score well enough in math or literacy.

“We are looking at what we can do to help the special education students meet the math and literacy requirements not just at Middle School North but throughout the district,” said Frank Holman, superintendent of the Cabot School District.

“I think Ms. Calhoun and her staff are doing some great things in helping special education students progress,” Holman said.

Jacksonville Elementary was added to the list because its economically disadvantaged students didn’t make enough progress in math.

The state did not list specific reasons for adding Lonoke Ele-mentary or England High School to the list.

Jacksonville Middle School stayed on the list because its combined population, as well as African American and economically disadvantaged students, did not make adequate progress in math.

Sylvan Hills High School stayed on the list because its African American students failed to do well in math or literacy, and its economically disadvantaged students also didn’t do well in math.

Lonoke Middle School re-mained on the list because its African-American and economically disadvantaged students, as well as those with disabilities, didn’t make progress in math.

Students with disabilities also failed to make progress in literacy.

England Middle School stayed on the list because its combined population, African-American students and economically disadvantages students failed to do well enough in literacy.

The school’s African-American and economically disadvantaged students also failed to progress in math.

Jacksonville High School moved to Year 3 status because its combined population failed to make adequate progress in math or literacy.

Also its African-American and economically disadvantaged students did not do well in math or literacy.

At North Pulaski High School, its African-American students didn’t make enough progress in math or literacy.

Northwood Middle School remained on the list because its economically disadvantaged students didn’t do well in math and students with disabilities failed to make enough progress in math or literacy.

While at Murrell Taylor Ele-mentary, the combined population failed to make the grade in literacy. Sylvan Hills Middle School’s students with disabilities failed to make progress in math or literacy.

Sylvan Hills Middle School’s economically disadvantaged students didn’t make the cut in math.

“The end goal of No Child Left Behind and, more specifically, of determining schools that are not meeting adequate yearly progress, is a good one – making all schools accountable for the academic success of each and every student,” said Ken James, ADE commis-sioner.

“By identifying schools that don’t make AYP (adequate yearly progress),” James said, “We are able to help them identify areas that need strengthening through professional development or through spending additional time engaging students in the learning process. It’s really meant to be a corrective and not a punitive system.”

To that end, this year the state Department of Education is implementing America’s Choice, a “turn-around” model for schools that last year were as identified as being in years three, four or five of school improvement.

America’s Choice is a research-based set of strategies shown to improve the overall academic success in low performing schools.

The program will be initiated at Sylvan Hills Middle School this school year.

Across the state, schools that did not achieve adequate yearly progress this year as mandated included:

- 96 school that are in year one of school improvement

- 37 that are in year two of school improvement

- 90 that are in year three of school improvement

- 30 that are in year four of school improvement

- Three are in year five of school improvement

- One is in year six of school improvement

- 68 schools that have been in school improvement achieved adequate yearly progress this past school year, but need two
consecutive years of improvement to be taken off the list.

Schools have 30 days to appeal their status in regard to AYP.

Many times, according to James, these appeals are made because of coding errors that place students in the wrong subgroup.

These appeals do sometimes change a school’s status, and the Arkansas Department of Edu-cation will release a revised list once all of the appeals have been processed.

The list of schools in School Improvement is available under “What’s New” on the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) Web site, http://ArkansasEd.org.

Arkansas has just over 1,100 public schools serving students in grades kindergarten through 12.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

TOP STORY >> Fire takes Cabot school

IN SHORT: Suspected electrical fire destroys one of Cabot’s junior highs as district officials plan to use portable buildings for classes.

By SARA GREENE AND JOAN MCCOY
Leader staff writer

Parents were registering their children for classes Thursday afternoon when they realized Cabot Junior High School North was on fire.

Dozens of teachers, parents and youngsters hurried out of the building as flames engulfed the structure, which was destroyed despite efforts by firefighters who worked seven hours to contain the blaze.

By 9 p.m., the inner walls had collapsed and most of the roof and Cabot firefighters knew they would have to keep a close watch over it for at least two more days to make sure it didn’t flare up again.

Smoke could be seen from as far away as Jacksonville as a suspected electrical fire destroyed the 115,400-square-foot school.

The State Police will investigate the blaze.

The one-story building at 38 Spirit Drive across the street from the football fieldparking lot was eight years old.

The fire broke out in a closet in the library just after 2 p.m. Students in grades seven through nine had been in the building throughout the day for registration.

“Our administrators got everyone out like they’re supposed to. No one got hurt,” said Frank Holman, superintendent of the Cabot School District. “We’re going to get it put out and assess the damage,” Holman said.

Local restaurants brought food and businesses and citizens brought bottled water for fire crews that responded from Cabot, Jacksonville, North Pulaski Fire Rescue, Beebe, Ward and Austin as they battled the blaze in 100-degree heat and gusty winds.

Firefighters had to don safety masks to fight the blaze as they neared the school’s science lab. Two firefighters overheated while they were battling the blaze and were taken by ambulance to the hospital.

Cabot School Board member Brooks Nash, who was principal at Junior High South when Junior High North was built in 1998, called the loss of the district’s newest junior high building tragic.

“Something like this would hurt any time, but especially right here at the beginning of school. We’ve got 1,200 kids displaced and records destroyed,” he said. “Nobody got hurt. That’s the good part if there is a good part. Wegot everyone out of the building as soon as the fire started.”

Mayor Stubby Stumbaugh said he would call in State Police investigators on Friday and probably federal investigators since the loss was more than $1 million.

Stumbaugh, who took his RV to the school so firefighters could use the air conditioner to cool off, was emotional Thursday night as he talked about how proud he was of the way the community responded to the disaster and how thankful he was for the help from neighboring cities.

“I have never been so proud to be a mayor as I was today,” Stumbaugh said. Everyone worked together, he said, the police, fire department, water department, public works and even office workers from city hall.

“And not just city workers, there were teachers and coaches working out there,” he said. “You don’t know what a community we have up here. There’s probably as much bottled water up there as we used putting the fire out. And fried chicken and Subway sandwiches, we didn’t even know for sure who brought it all whether it was businesses or individuals, but we got so much we finally had to stop letting people in.”

At press time it was unclear exactly how the district would deal with the loss. ”We haven’t had a chance to circle the wagons yet,” Nash said.

Alan Turnbo, also a member of the school board, said plans for starting school are tenuous, but he believes it will start on time. Even before the fire was put out, school officials were trying to find empty classrooms in the district’s other schools to house the Junior High North students.

Using portable buildings is an option, but the portable buildings that were at the high school have been gone since school let out in May. More would have to be brought in and possibly set up in the low spot near the building that burned.
As the fire blazed, sobbing teachers comforted each other over the loss of what many considered their home away from home.

“I had just painted 50 white stars on an American flag mural in my room when we evacuated,” said one teacher, wiping away tears and pulling her daughter close.

A new forensics teacher to the district lost 12 years of teaching materials in the fire.

Onlookers gathered at the administration building down from Spirit Drive to watch the fire while Cabot School District employees carried bottled water and ice to the fire crews.

Billowing thunderclouds to the north and south gave one teacher hope for a passing summer thunderstorm to help firefighters stop the flames. But the rain passed Cabot by and Stumbaugh said without the help of neighboring fire departments, they could never have kept the fire from spreading outside the building.

“It did get out into the woods a little but they got it put out,” he said. According to a 2005 state educational facilities report, the school was scheduled to get $339,690 worth of fire and safety improvements in 2008.

Former Cabot School Supt. Don Elliott said, “It was a beautiful school. It’s a loss to the community.

“It’s terrible,” he said. “Things were looking so good with the new high school opening soon.”

”I have a lot of confidence in Dr. Holman, the school board and the principal School has to go on.”
Elliott heads the Cabot Scholarship Foundation, which held its annual banquet at the school cafeteria.

“It had the largest cafeteria in the district,” Elliott said.

Garrick Feldman contributed to this report.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

SPORTS >> Injuries, heat aren't hurting Lions so far

IN SHORT: Searcy coach Bart McFarland says practicing in the hottest part of the day should pay dividends.

By JASON KING
Leader sports writer

The 2006 Searcy Lions started out with 70 players last week for the opening days of summer practice, but found that number to be 10 players less heading into the second week on Monday afternoon.

Second-year coach Bart McFarland set the practices to begin during the hottest part of the afternoon, a move he says was done to prepare his squad for the long haul.

“We wanted to be out here in the heat of the day,” McFarland said. “We want to get these kids acclimated to the heat. This will be the time of day that we practice once school starts and that’s when we’re going to play, so we just wanted to get them used to it now and get some consistency in our routine.”

The numbers for the Lions break down pretty evenly. The group will be led by a core of 18 seniors, with 21 juniors and 21 sophomores filling out the team. The biggest difference between 2005 and 2006 so far has been injuries, or fortunately lack thereof for Searcy in the first stages of the season.

At least five key players for the Lions were hurt in the first weeks of practice last season, a disadvantage they never seemed to recover from all season, particularly on the defensive side. McFarland says he hopes the injury bug is a thing of the past.

“We have three or four out right now, hopefully they will be back,” McFarland said. “It’s nothing compared to last year, so far. We are just keeping our fingers crossed. We don’t want that epidemic to happen again. The key for us this year will be to stay healthy, that’s the main thing.”

A combination of summer weight lifting and 7-on-7 tournaments kept the team busy for the past couple of months. Although the first week saw the Lions undergo some conditioning drills, McFarland said the team was in good enough shape that the team could focus on strategy as opposed to conditioning from day one.

“Our linemen can stand to improve some, but most of our skill players are in really good shape. We did some conditioning, but we’ve mainly been working on fundamentals and technique. We have form tackled every day, even before we had pads.”
Most of the Monday afternoon practice was dedicated to hitting and tackling. The team broke up into three squads that rotated between hitting the tackling dummy, one-on-one contact and hitting from the line.

SPORTS >>Harding Academy down to 22 players

IN SHORT: The Wildcats will have a smaller team than usual during the 2006 football season.

By JASON KING
Leader sports writer

Harding Academy began its second week of summer football practice on Monday in the heat of the afternoon. While walking onto the practice field where the team was lined up for warm-up exercises with the mercury pushing 100, head coach Tommy Shoemaker took the opportunity to break the monotony with a little bit of humor.

“Brrrrrrr, it’s freezing out here, fellas,” Shoemaker shouted. “We’re going to have to break out our snowsuits and overcoats before it’s over with today.”

The small squad responded with shouts of “Yes sir” as they completed a round of jumping jacks and leg stretches before moving on to the tackling dummy.

The coaching staff set up the Wrap-Up dummy outside the corner of the field house. The entire team took a shot at the dummy a number of times, until it ended up in front of the Harris Gym on the other side of the practice field.

With a total of only 22 players, the 2006 Harding Academy Wildcats will rely on experience rather than depth. They will have significant leadership, however, with seven seniors, most of whom occupy skill positions.

“It’s a little bit of a low number for us,” Shoemaker said. “But I think we still have quite a few players who are really solid.
“Having a low count doesn’t concern me, as long as we have 17 or 18 guys who have game experience, that have been out there and done it before.”

One advantage that the smaller team has over the Wildcats teams of the past few years is size.

Harding has not had its share of massive players in previous years, but with 255 lb. senior linebacker James Kee and 245 lb. offensive lineman Jonathan Wal-ker, the Wildcats will have res-pectable mass on both sides of the football.

The Wildcats will have quality experience at the skill positions. They are especially set at wide receiver, which is a crucial slot in Shoemaker’s offense.

Seniors Chris Pack, Brad London and Brandon Ragsdale will make up the core of the receiving team for Harding Academy’s full-scale spread assault, along with starting quarterback and former leading receiver Luke Tribble under center this season.

Although many of the positions have already been ironed out, Shoemaker says that not everyone will be in place until after the Wildcats’ Aug. 22 scrimmage against Beebe at First Security Stadium.

“We kind of have an idea of where everyone is going to be, but we really like to wait until the scrimmage to see who is going to stand out,” Shoemaker said. “You always have a few guys who will step up and show you something that they didn’t show in practice.”

As for practicing in the heat of the day, Shoemaker says getting his players acclimated to the heat was not a very big task. Most of the team has already played through the biggest part of the summer in the 7-on-7 program.

“The guys are in really good shape,” Shoemaker said. “We have done great with the heat, and we feel pretty good about what we are doing as far as providing enough water when they need it. They’ve held up real well; I don’t think it has hurt us much practice-wise.

“Coach Moats did a great job with them in the weight room over the summer to help with their strength, so things are going really well for us right now.”

SPORTS >> Injuries, heat aren't hurting Lions so far

IN SHORT: Searcy coach Bart McFarland says practicing in the hottest part of the day should pay dividends.

By JASON KING
Leader sports writer

The 2006 Searcy Lions started out with 70 players last week for the opening days of summer practice, but found that number to be 10 players less heading into the second week on Monday afternoon.

Second-year coach Bart McFarland set the practices to begin during the hottest part of the afternoon, a move he says was done to prepare his squad for the long haul.

“We wanted to be out here in the heat of the day,” McFarland said. “We want to get these kids acclimated to the heat. This will be the time of day that we practice once school starts and that’s when we’re going to play, so we just wanted to get them used to it now and get some consistency in our routine.”

The numbers for the Lions break down pretty evenly. The group will be led by a core of 18 seniors, with 21 juniors and 21 sophomores filling out the team. The biggest difference between 2005 and 2006 so far has been injuries, or fortunately lack thereof for Searcy in the first stages of the season.

At least five key players for the Lions were hurt in the first weeks of practice last season, a disadvantage they never seemed to recover from all season, particularly on the defensive side. McFarland says he hopes the injury bug is a thing of the past.
“We have three or four out right now, hopefully they will be back,” McFarland said. “It’s nothing compared to last year, so far. We are just keeping our fingers crossed. We don’t want that epidemic to happen again. The key for us this year will be to stay healthy, that’s the main thing.”

A combination of summer weight lifting and 7-on-7 tournaments kept the team busy for the past couple of months.

Although the first week saw the Lions undergo some conditioning drills, McFarland said the team was in good enough shape that the team could focus on strategy as opposed to conditioning from day one.

“Our linemen can stand to improve some, but most of our skill players are in really good shape. We did some conditioning, but we’ve mainly been working on fundamentals and technique. We have form tackled every day, even before we had pads.”

Most of the Monday afternoon practice was dedicated to hitting and tackling. The team broke up into three squads that rotated between hitting the tackling dummy, one-on-one contact and hitting from the line.

SPORTS >> Falcons bring up numbers

IN SHORT: After a small turnout during the opening week of practice, the numbers have doubled for NP during week two.

By RAY BENTON
Leader sports editor

North Pulaski’s football team didn’t go full pads until Tuesday, but did get some good news when practice resumed Monday morning. After spending the first two days of two-a-day football practice (the Falcons didn’t start until Thursday) with only 19 players, a few more dropped in to participate Monday and Tuesday.

Monday’s practice consisted of 45 Falcons, and according to head coach Tony Bohannon, there are more to come.
“We’re expecting about 55 total,” Bohannon said. “We just have some kids that go out of state for the summer, and a few that still haven’t gotten their physicals, but when they all get here we should be in pretty good shape as far as numbers go.”

Another good sign from the NP camp is the conditioning of the players when they reported.

There has been very little trouble with the heat and hustle has been good.

“For the most part they were in fairly good shape when they got here,” Bo-hannon said. “We had pretty good participation in summer workouts and seven on seven, and it shows. Hopefully that will teach them that it does help.”

Week one brought a new quarterback prospect into the mix as well. Junior Melvin Tanner has joined Michael Fleschman as the potential starter under center.

Tanner didn’t play his sophomore year, but brings good size and a strong arm to the position.

Fleschman, a sophomore, has been the leading candidate through spring and most of the summer, but he is also one of the team’s best receivers, and could be of great use in that position if Tanner works out at QB.

“There’s still nothing decided,” Bohannon said. “It’s between those two, but we’ve got a lot of time to see who fits in best and where. They’re both going to be taking snaps that’s for sure.”

The Falcons still don’t have a place kicker, but Bohannon expects one of his dual-sport soccer players to fill that gap, although it’s not certain at this point.

“We’ve got one soccer player out here that I think will be able to handle that ok,” Bohannon said. We’ll just have to see how that goes. We’re not sure right now.”

One thing North Pulaski will have to do is grow up quickly through two-a-days.

Sophomores make up nearly half the roster, and many will be counted on to contribute in starting roles when the first Friday night arrives.

“We’re definitely young,” Bohannon said. “We’re going to have a very small senior class, but that may be a blessing.”

TOP STORY >>Victim's mom opposed to killer's early parole

IN SHORT: Michael Webb is the only one still jailed of four convicted in the Sherwood murder of a 17-year-old in 1993.

By RICK KRON
Leader staff writer

A convicted killer is up for parole, and the victim’s mother says it’s too early—way too early.

“My son was shot in the back. Murdered!” she wrote in a letter opposing the parole. “The scale of justice has not been served for my son’s life.”

Michael R. Webb, who is now 33, of Little Rock, was convicted in early 1996 of the December 1993 shooting death of Jason Hatcher, a Sherwood teen, who was 17 at the time of his death.

Webb is the only one of the four convicted in the incident still in jail.

Webb, who was 21 at the time of the shooting, was found guilty of first-degree murder and first-degree battery. He was sentenced to 40 years on the murder charge and six years for the battery count, to be served consecutively. So far he has served just about 10.5 years.

Webb asked for clemency in 2004, but he was turned down.

His parole hearing—his first—is set for Aug. 16. If approved, he could be released as early as Dec. 12. The victim’s mother, Kathy Hatcher; the Pulaski County prosecutor’s office and others oppose to Webb’s release met with the parole board earlier today. A final decision will be made Aug. 31.

Webb was one of four individuals involved in the shooting in the Harvest Foods parking lot in Sherwood, off Highway 107, just north of North Hills Boulevard. Prosecutors, according to the victim’s mother, did not try to prove which of the four actually shot Hatcher.

“Because of the accomplice liability law, the prosecutors set out to prove they were all guilty of murder by participating together in the actions that killed Jason on the night of Dec. 17, 1993,” Kathy Hatcher, who now lives in Ward, wrote in her recent letter to the parole board.

The prosecutors decided to try all four—Webb, Jason Carter, Chad Jones and James Gross—separately. Hatcher said this prevented jurors from hearing from others involved in Webb’s trial because of ongoing appeals. But Hatcher, who sat through all the trials, is convinced that Webb was the one who actually shot her son.

Carter, 18 at the time of the shooting and from Little Rock, was found guilty of first-degree murder, battery and aggravated as-sault.

He was sentenced to 60 years on the murder count, 30 years for battery and 10 years for the assault, all to run concurrently. He was paroled in March 2005.

Even though Carter got more time for the murder than anyone else, because of his age at the time of the shooting, an attorney general’s opinion allowed him to be paroled at any time.

Jones, 22 at the time, and a Cabot resident, was found guilty of first-degree murder and battery.

He was given 32 years on the murder charges and five years for the battery, to run concurrently. He was paroled in August 2004. Gross, 19 at the time, and from Gravel Ridge, was found not guilty of murder, but was convicted of battery and aggravated assault.

He was sentenced to six years on each charge, to run concurrently. He was the first to be paroled, in December 1996.

According to Leader articles and police reports at the time, there was a fight in the Harvest Foods parking lot.

Jason and others, who were at Taco Bell, came over to see what was going on. Gross, Tim McGarity and others were fighting.
About that time a car pulled up with Webb, Jones and Carter. Carter had a pistol and was firing it in the air as the vehicle pulled in.

Prosecutor John Johnson said apparently the pistol was passed around between Carter, Gross and Jones. McGarity ended up shot in the knee.

Shortly thereafter someone got a rifle out from the trunk of the car and began firing.

“By this time, “Johnson said, “everyone was running away and Hatcher was shot in the back. The bullet went completely through him.” In her letter to the parole board, Hatcher said police found lead fragments and copper casings at the crime scene.

She said the lead fragments were traced back to a gun found at Gross’s grandmother’s home. The copper casings were traced back to a rifle found at Webb’s home.

Copper fragments were found in Jason’s back, she wrote. Johnson agreed with most of Hatcher’s recall, but said the gun was found in Gross’s mom’s attic.

Johnson said the investigation found that Webb left the crime scene and went to the home of some friends. He walked in carrying his rifle and bragging.

Hatcher, in her letter, said that “Webb bragged to his friends by saying ‘I think I got one’ or ‘I think I shot one’ and that the worst part was he ‘had to throw his taco down.’”

Hatcher closed her letter, writing,  “I pray that you keep him in jail to show deterrence to other young people to not use guns, to show justice by giving punishment for murder, to make Webb take responsibility for his actions.”

SPORTS >> Panther volleyball

By JASON KING
Leader sports writer

Last year’s Cabot Lady Panthers volleyball team had plenty of talent, just not quite enough size to back it all up. From the looks of early practices this year, however, the size issue will be a thing of the past.

The Lady Panthers reported to the first practices last week in healthy numbers. A squad of 30, led by seven returning seniors, took to the Panther gymnasium to prepare for the 2006 season and their first venture into the 7A-Central Conference.

Head coach Terry Williams said the group came in ready to work on fundamentals, with very little conditioning needed.

“I feel like we are a little bit ahead of the game as far as conditioning goes,” Williams said. “Some of the girls worked with a trainer over the summer, and some of them worked on their own. Overall, they did a good job of reporting in good shape and ready for the first week of practice.

“They’ve been working hard. We still have a lot of spots open right now, our lineup has not been determined yet. There are still several positions that two or more people are going for, so it’s pretty wide open right now as far as who the starters are going to be in a lot of places.”

Even with a good core of seniors, --Williams says that starting positions will have to be earned with strong performances on the court, regardless of what grade each player is in. With several younger players adding much-needed height to the starting lineup could potentially posses more underclassmen than in years past.

“We have some height,” Williams said. “Some of them aren’t jumping real well yet, so we have been working on that. If someone has a 16” vertical (jump), we want them to use all of those 16 inches instead of just five or six.”

Along with morning practices at the Panther gym, the Lady Panthers are also taking part in a team camp at Hendrix College this week in the afternoon from Monday through Thursday. Sev-eral area schools are participating in the camp, including conference opponents Conway and North Little Rock. Among other schools at the camp are Vilonia, Morrilton, Greenbrier and May-flower.

With the luxury of two good workouts a day this week, Williams says the focus right now is on serving and passing, with emphasis on their hitting and blocking to come in future practices.

“We did a lot of passing and a lot of serving mixed in with our conditioning,” Williams said. “In fact, we are still focusing on our serving and our passing this week. Hitting and blocking will probably come in a lot more next week.”

The Lady Panthers will start their season at home on Aug. 22 with a varsity-only tri-match against Lonoke and Morrilton starting at 5 p.m.

EDITORIALS >> Casinos Royale

By winter, Arkansas will have casinos at Hot Springs and West Memphis, the first since Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller shut down the illegal ones at Hot Springs in 1968. The state Racing Commission last week gave the franchise owners permission to operate 1,000 gambling machines each. The Arkansas Supreme Court could block the casinos when it returns from its summer recess, but one of the franchise owners is confident enough about the court’s decision that they are already building the grand gambling hall and is ordering the machines.

Oaklawn Jockey Club at Hot Springs is more prudent. It is waiting on the Supreme Court to say that the elections last November in both cities were legal. They have good reason to be cautious.

While the Racing Commission’s licensing of the operations at the thoroughbred track at Hot Springs and the greyhound track at West Memphis is good news for those with gambling impulses and for the out-of-state track owners, people addicted to constitutional niceties are not so happy. The act passed by the 2005 legislature lets the racetrack owners open casinos if the games require at least a little skill, even if the outcome is still always based on chance. That is supposed to get around the Constitution’s ban on lotteries.

But the immediate issue is whether the elections in which local voters approved the casinos are valid and constitutional. The voting procedures were strange indeed. The legislation let the track owners choose the most propitious moment for the elections and who would get to vote on the issue. The tracks chose city voters only, not voters in the surrounding counties.

Past gambling votes indicated that city voters were more likely to approve gambling than voters countywide.

The track owners paid the election judges and clerks and other ballot costs. Local judges ruled that this and the unusual leverage over the elections given to track owners squared beautifully with the constitutional protections of free, fair and impartial elections. Now we must see if the Supreme Court agrees. If it does, we hope it is not a trend.

EDITORIALS >> The Fed does nothing

After 17 straight periods in which it raised benchmark interest rates, the Federal Reserve yesterday lay doggo. Equity exchanges, bond markets, traders and economists everywhere waited for that news and then, their prayers answered, didn’t know what to make of it. The indexes fluctuated wildly and then finished, very oddly, lower across the board.

A better attitude all along would have been, “so what?” We think the Fed made the right decision in not raising the target federal funds rate again, but the reality at the moment is that its interest-rate policy has such marginal effect on economic movement that it hardly bears watching. Since the most anemic economic recovery of modern times finally gathered a little steam in 2004, the Fed raised the benchmark rates a quarter-point at a time to keep inflation at bay. Inflation still seems as dangerous as it has been at any time the past two years, maybe much more dangerous, but there are harbingers that a crueler foe, recession, is gathering his weapons.

Another quarter-percent hike in the fed funds rate would not change the inflationary forces, primarily climbing energy costs. The executive and legislative branches of the federal government could affect those forces through farsighted domestic and foreign policies, which have been absent now for six years, but we learned this week that not even Solomonic government policies can put the country wholly outside risk.

A sizable part of America’s domestic oil production will soon be halted because of miles of corroded pipeline across the Alaskan north, driving up energy prices and further imperiling the nation’s economic security. Alan Greenspan would not have had an answer for that, though he might have had the Fed raise interest rates again, just in case it might reduce demand a little and avoid igniting more inflation.

The markets may have intuited Tuesday that the decision they so wanted from the Fed — static interest rates — might not engender the continued good times they expected but rather represented a warning to get their houses in order. The Fed put out the usual happy talk, subtly boasting that its monetary policies were restraining demand and would moderate inflation pressures “over time.” It noted a “gradual” slowing of economic growth, which the Fed considers desirable.

Gradual slowing, of course, if it continues over time becomes static growth and then recession. Other indicators are not so good.

The housing boom that fueled whatever economic growth there was after 2002 is now over. People in central Arkansas find their homes on the market many months when a year ago everything was snapped up in weeks. Employment growth is back at the poor levels that appeared early in the recovery. New unemployment insurance claims are rising. Here in Arkansas, manufacturing jobs continue to disappear every month, and technology and service jobs are not replacing them any longer at a sufficient clip.

If the Fed performed a service for all of us, it was to tell us to get our houses in order. That ought to start with the national administration, but good luck with that. The message should not be lost either on state policy makers, especially those talking about cutting taxes and giving away surplus money that will soon be needed. Finally, it shouldn’t be lost on households.

TOP STORY >>Large ditch roadblock to Wal-Mart

By JOAN MCCOY
Leader staff writer

A country road, paved like most country roads in Lonoke County, now leads from Highway 5 almost all the way to the new, really big Wal-Mart in Cabot.

The only thing separating shoppers from their destination is a big ditch that one Cabot alderman hopes to fill at least temporarily with a couple of large culverts.

Two stumbling blocks to completing the two-and-a-half mile road built in less than a year by Lonoke County Judge Charlie Troutman are money and the bigger problem of control of the ditch.

And that isn’t a county-city issue; it’s federal.

Troutman said Tuesday that he learned recently that the ditch that separates his road from the shopping district where the new Wal-Mart is located is controlled by the U.S. Corps of Engineers.

The Corps will allow him to cross the ditch, he said, but it requires a flow study from a certified engineer showing that the culverts he would install are large enough to handle the water that would run through them.

Troutman said he is meeting with an engineer Friday about the flow study.

Armstrong wants the city to pay for the culverts, since the county has already spent about $100,000 to build the 40-foot roadbed and pave it in a process commonly called chip and seal.

Armstrong said he believes the new road will help ease traffic congestion around Rockwood where Wal-Mart is located and also bring in additional tax revenue to the city.

It is commonly believed that some city residents who live around Highway 5 avoid Cabot traffic congestion by driving four and a half miles to shop in Jacksonville.

Troutman said that asphalting the new road 26 feet wide would probably cost about $225,000 and there is no way the county can pay that much this year.

But it is possible the new road still might open with or without city help before the end of the year.

The city could help with the flow study, since it has a certified engineer on staff, but Troutman isn’t waiting for that since the mayor and the majority of the city council was not willing to help build the road.

Earlier this year, Armstrong and Alderman Odis Waymack sponsored an ordinance to allow the county to replace seven worn and dangerously narrow bridges on First Street that lead to a ball park in Cabot in exchange for the city helping the county build the road to Wal-Mart.

Troutman said he could replace the bridges with culverts for $75,000 instead of the $750,000 it might cost to replace them with bridges and sidewalks.

Mayor Stubby Stumbaugh told the council that he has seen no engineering reports on the planned project and questioned Troutman’s motives, demanding to know during one council meeting if Troutman owned land on the road he was building.
Troutman answered that he did not, that his land was on Highway 5.

Troutman said he had always expected to at least get some private help with building the road, but so far only one business (not Wal-Mart) has offered to help.

And neither did the city since the ordinance sponsored by Armstrong and Waymack failed despite Troutman’s assertion that the $200,000 he wanted the city to pay to put asphalt on the road would likely be made up with increased sales tax revenue from shoppers who might chose Cabot if they could get there without fighting the traffic.

TOP STORY >>Returning to classes

IN SHORT: A roundup of school districts in Cabot, Beebe, Lonoke and north Pulaski County as they prepare to welcome new and returning students Monday, Aug. 21.

By PEG KENYON
Leader staff writer

Area schools are preparing their classrooms to welcome students back in less than two weeks for the first day of classes Monday, Aug. 21.

Students attending Cabot’s High School and junior highs can pick up their class schedules in the cafeteria from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, and campus tours will be available for students from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18.

The tours are necessary because when the bell rings at 7:45 a.m. Aug. 21, about 1,800 students will be the first to step foot in the new $13.9 million, 191,015-square-foot Cabot High School campus designed by Steve Elliott, a Cabot graduate.

When school starts, students have six minutes to navigate the 105 classrooms, a great improvement over past years when students had to go outside in the elements to attend classes in 25 trailers and smaller buildings scattered across campus.
Administrators expect about 8,700 students throughout the district, gaining an average of 300 new students each year based on past enrollment numbers.

Students at Cabot Middle School South and Cabot Mid-dle School North have already received their schedules. There will be an open house-cookout-orientation at Mid-dle School North from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Just how many new students won’t be reported to the state until September and are expected to be similar to last year. Cabot had 8,488 students enrolled last year, a growth of 425 more than 2004.

The Beebe School District expects about 65 to 95 new students. Last year, the district had 2,915 students, an increase of 133 students over 2004.

The Lonoke School Dis-trict, where a new middle school is expected to open later this fall, last year added 37 students to its rolls, pushing enrollment figures to 1,855.

PULASKI SCHOOLS
At the secondary level in the Pulaski County Special School District, Kenneth Clark, principal at Jacksonville High School, said changes there include regulating the use of vending machines until after breakfast and lunches are served and receiving news of being chosen by a local cable channel for JHS football games to be televised. Cabot, North Pulaski and Searcy high schools were vying for this opportunity to be seen on My Town TV, according to Clark.

“Coach (Jerry) Wilson was instrumental in getting the football games televised,” Clark told The Leader.

As for the vending machines, which offer not only fruit juices, water and carbonated drinks but also ice cream treats, Clarks hopes by regulating the hours in use will decrease some disciplinary measures.

“We don’t need them (students) hyped up too much,” Clark said. “We’re going to let the teachers hype them up this year.”
New at the high school located along Linda Lane in Jacksonville is a mural currently being painted by Zach Price who will be a senior this year at JHS but he is not the only one helping with the project. His family — Gary, Paula, Hannah, Phillip, Jacob and Caleb — and a former student, Courtney Cable, have assisted so far.

About 1,240 students are expected to attend JHS as the school year kicks off and as they change classes, they will get to view their school colors in an artistic form. Clark also revealed a teacher/student ratio of 28 to 1 decreasing to 25 to 1.
A less colorful but extremely functional project is getting underway to provide wheelchair accessibility to the school’s media center. A ramp will be constructed near the principal’s office. The steps up to the media center will then be history according to Clark.

“We’ll lose an office and this was a bathroom,” Clark explained as he pointed out the area where the ramp will be upon its completion.

Meanwhile, Don Henderson, a new principal at North Pulaski High School, has apparently adopted a wait-and-see attitude as the school year begins.

“Coming into a new situation, you really don’t know what to expect but I believe if it’s not broke don’t fix it.”
One of the changes has already been decided for him. There is a vacancy to oversee the Simply Delicious restaurant operated by NPHS students this year.

“We’re hoping to keep this program going but have yet to find a qualified person,” Henderson said.
Despite being new to the school, Henderson does have a plan, which includes parents and members of the community. He hopes the phrase ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ will become more than just words.

“I want to create a school where parents and the community will be involved and feel comfortable when they come here,” Henderson said.

Henderson also wants NPHS students to become hyped up about school.

“I want our students to waking up and being excited about coming to school rather than making excuses for not being here,” Henderson told The Leader.

As a new principal, Henderson is focusing upon safety and learning. NPHS is located off Harris Road near Little Rock Air Force Base. Both high schools ban the use of cell phones, which could be a possible source of distraction from learning. Finding a student in possession of a cell phones, will result in it being confiscated and the teen being suspended, according to NPHS personnel.

MIDDLE SCHOOLS
The two middle schools separated by gender teach students attending the sixth through the eighth grades.

Michael Nellums, principal at the Jacksonville Boys Middle School, and Kimala Forrest, principal at the Jacksonville Girls Middle School, agree there are more disciplinary needs among boys than girls at these ages. Nellums indicated it is projected that 500 boys will be attending the local middle school this year.

“Five hundred boys is the equivalent of 1,500 kids on a coed campus,” Nellums told The Leader. “But it’s just because boys are extremely active at this stage of their lives.”

Despite it being extremely active, it is considered disciplinary needs by the school district. This youthful exuberance may decline, as increased physical activities will get underway during the 2006-07 school year.

According to Nellums, the school will be getting playground and fitness equipment to meet Arkansas’ physical-health standards. “We’re going to be a physically fit school,” he said.

The Jacksonville Boys Middle School will have 60 new computers this year as well.

At the Jacksonville Girls Middle School, Forrest feels right at home because she attended the school here when the middle school was still coed. This marks the second year for the school-gender split.

This is also Forrest’s first year to be principal at the girls school, located along Main Street near downtown Jacksonville. “I’m glad to be back,” she says.

Plans underway include “girl activities” geared to promote self-esteem as well as outward appearances. “We’re going to work on the girls inside and out,” Forrest said.

Forrest plans to instill the young girls with confidence enough allowing them to obtain whatever career goal they choose in the future. “I always tell my kids there is no limit,” she says.

During this school year, sixth-grade students are required to participate in physical education, art and “general” music or band, according to Forrest. Seventh-grade students must take courses in health and computer keyboarding. In the eighth grade, students are subjected to career orientation and family work connections courses. Several of the local principals concluded ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ means not only parental but also community involvement to get the best results in building the next generation of adults in the American workplace.

TOP STORY >> Housing board resigns

IN SHORT: A review leaves most positions vacant on the Jacksonville authority.

By PEG KENYON
Leader staff writer

Most members of the Jacksonville Housing Authority Board have resigned as a review by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development continues into possible wrongdoing at the authority.

The three men who quit are Ferrell Gray, Robert Colford and Robert Whatley.

A fourth member, Johnny Morry, previously resigned due to a family illness, leaving only Fred West at the helm of the Jacksonville Housing Authority’s five-member board of commissioners, according to one of the commissioners who resigned Tuesday.

“We just felt like we needed to under the circumstances…to get some new blood involved,” What-ley told The Leader.

Jacksonville Mayor Tommy Swaim accepted the three one-sentence letters of resignation from those commissioners Tues-day morning.
“The consensus of the people today is that the program is a great service to the community and they offered their services if they could be of any help,” Swaim said. “The people who turned in their resignations had served in good faith.”

The identical letters except the names read, “I, ______, resign my position as Housing Authority Board member effective immediately.” The letters were dated Aug. 8.

The beleaguered agency oversees local property management, in which the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has a vested interest.

As of Tuesday afternoon, no decisions about recreating the JHA Board of Commissioners had been made. According to Swaim, the board is responsible for recommending commissioners to Jack-sonville City Council.

The city can confirm these appointees but cannot substitute them with others since the JHA Board of Commissioners’ inception in the late 1970s.

“Consideration will be given to an interim board,” Swaim said. “I’m confident that there is a way the city council can fill them….I have talked with someone familiar with this type of program to assist.”

Swaim would not reveal this individual’s identity.

The JHA last week lost its director of about 14 years, Virginia Simmons, before the board’s three commissioners stepped down. According to Whatley, Simmons had worked in various capacities at the JHA for approximately 31 years.

Whatley said, “As far as we know, it had nothing to do with money being stolen. No theft was involved.”

According to Whatley, Mary Boyd has a contract to serve as interim director until Aug. 31. In the meantime, a review is underway into the JHA’s operations and management, according to Bessie Jackson, field office director for HUD in Little Rock.
Jackson previously explained that the Little Rock agency does not have the authority to hire or fire personnel at the JHA.

After HUD’s request, Simmons was placed on administrative leave with pay for two to three weeks, according to Whatley.

Jackson also revealed that the review is still incomplete. “So far, we’ve found some things we have questions about,” she previously told The Leader.

As an original commissioner since the board’s inception in the late 1970s, Whatley indicated that the housing authority had never had serious problems.

On July 31, the board went into a private executive session during its meeting. Whatley explained that he cannot comment on what transpired during this session but he did comment on Simmons’ resignation.

Whatley also said Simmons had indicated she had enjoyed working with the board.

Whatley also revealed that one of Simmons’ close relatives who lives out of state is currently ill and she needs to be there for him.

Jackson explained that she had previously met with Mayor Swaim to apprise him of the review of the local housing authority.
“We don’t have any further details right now,” Jackson said.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Swaim still didn’t know the details about the inquiry.

“I’m not involved in its day-to-day operation, but HUD told me they were looking into some circumstances and that I would be informed,” Swaim said.

“Until HUD turns in their inquiry, I have no understanding about the details,” the mayor added.

Messages left for Jackson to call were unreturned at press time.

TOP STORY >> Smaller fees are possible in Cabot

IN SHORT: City still undecided on proposals to charge builders to pay for infrastructure improvements.

By JOAN MCCOY
Leader staff writer

A proposed impact fee in Cabot remains a political hot potato.

The rhetoric during the public meeting Monday evening for a proposed impact fee on building in Cabot was much the same as the meetings earlier in the year, when it was decided that if the fee is imposed, they won’t be as high as recommended by the experts.

Duncan Associates, the Texas firm that conducted the impact fee study at a cost to the city of $63,000, has recommended fees that would bring in about $2.3 million annually — or several thousand dollars per new home — to pay for such growth-related expenses as widening roads, putting in larger sewer pipes, adding on to the library and building fire stations.

Most council members have said they would never even consider collecting that much, that phasing in half that amount is more what they have in mind.

It’s unlikely the council will approve even a watered-down impact fee before the November elections.

The builders and developers said an impact fee would cut into their paychecks and could stifle residential and commercial growth, which would hurt the city much more than the impact fee would help. And the city residents who support the impact fee said they want it passed at the maximum amounts allowed by law so they don’t have to pay for growth that has nothing to do with them.

The big difference between Monday’s public meeting and the Stakeholders Committee meetings held earlier was that seven of the city’s eight council members were present to hear what both sides have to say.

Only Alderman David Polantz, who sponsored the resolution calling for impact fees and the ordinance now on the table that would establish the fees, did not attend the public meeting.

The ordinance to impose the impact fees that is now before the council would set the fees at the amount recommended by the experts and would add up to $4,000 to the cost of a large, new home.

But the Stakeholders Commit-tee, made up of area residents involved in the building industry, was working with Mayor Stubby Stumbaugh the evening it made its recommendation on the fees that stand a better chance of being passed by the council.

Stumbaugh said Tuesday morning that even though Po-lantz’s ordinance has been read twice, a new ordinance will likely be introduced this month that will contain the impact fee structure recommended by the Stakeholders Committee.

The mayor said the new ordinance will say the fees will be collected 90 days after the ordinance passes. The fees will be set at 25 percent of the recommended amounts for the library, parks, streets and wastewater and 100 percent for fire protection.
One year after the council ordinance setting the fees is passed, another 25 percent would be added for a total of 50 percent of the recommended amounts for parks, streets and wastewater and 100 percent for fire. Since it is generally believed that some form of impact fee will eventually pass, the biggest question is when.

Stumbaugh said Tuesday that the planning commission still hasn’t given a recommendation on the fees. So the complete process has not been worked through yet.

Some residents, not involved in building, who attended the public meeting asked the council members present to forget that it is an election year and set impact fees that will do the most good for the city. But since the impact fee ordinance that will be passed has not yet been introduced, it is conceivable that the election will be over before it is passed.

TOP STORY >> Smaller fees are possible in Cabot

IN SHORT: City still undecided on proposals to charge builders to pay for infrastructure improvements.

By JOAN MCCOY
Leader staff writer

A proposed impact fee in Cabot remains a political hot potato.

The rhetoric during the public meeting Monday evening for a proposed impact fee on building in Cabot was much the same as the meetings earlier in the year, when it was decided that if the fee is imposed, they won’t be as high as recommended by the experts.

Duncan Associates, the Texas firm that conducted the impact fee study at a cost to the city of $63,000, has recommended fees that would bring in about $2.3 million annually — or several thousand dollars per new home — to pay for such growth-related expenses as widening roads, putting in larger sewer pipes, adding on to the library and building fire stations.

Most council members have said they would never even consider collecting that much, that phasing in half that amount is more what they have in mind.

It’s unlikely the council will approve even a watered-down impact fee before the November elections.

The builders and developers said an impact fee would cut into their paychecks and could stifle residential and commercial growth, which would hurt the city much more than the impact fee would help. And the city residents who support the impact fee said they want it passed at the maximum amounts allowed by law so they don’t have to pay for growth that has nothing to do with them.

The big difference between Monday’s public meeting and the Stakeholders Committee meetings held earlier was that seven of the city’s eight council members were present to hear what both sides have to say.

Only Alderman David Polantz, who sponsored the resolution calling for impact fees and the ordinance now on the table that would establish the fees, did not attend the public meeting.

The ordinance to impose the impact fees that is now before the council would set the fees at the amount recommended by the experts and would add up to $4,000 to the cost of a large, new home.

But the Stakeholders Commit-tee, made up of area residents involved in the building industry, was working with Mayor Stubby Stumbaugh the evening it made its recommendation on the fees that stand a better chance of being passed by the council.

Stumbaugh said Tuesday morning that even though Po-lantz’s ordinance has been read twice, a new ordinance will likely be introduced this month that will contain the impact fee structure recommended by the Stakeholders Committee.

The mayor said the new ordinance will say the fees will be collected 90 days after the ordinance passes. The fees will be set at 25 percent of the recommended amounts for the library, parks, streets and wastewater and 100 percent for fire protection.
One year after the council ordinance setting the fees is passed, another 25 percent would be added for a total of 50 percent of the recommended amounts for parks, streets and wastewater and 100 percent for fire. Since it is generally believed that some form of impact fee will eventually pass, the biggest question is when.

Stumbaugh said Tuesday that the planning commission still hasn’t given a recommendation on the fees. So the complete process has not been worked through yet.

Some residents, not involved in building, who attended the public meeting asked the council members present to forget that it is an election year and set impact fees that will do the most good for the city. But since the impact fee ordinance that will be passed has not yet been introduced, it is conceivable that the election will be over before it is passed.

TOP STORY >> Hanshaw: releasing prisoners is wrong

IN SHORT: Judge holds Lonoke County Sheriff Jim Roberson in contempt of court for releasing three state prisoners with leg monitors, but Hanshaw decides not to sentence the sheriff to his overcrowded facility, ruling that no one is above the law and he wants no repetition of what had happened before.

By JOAN MCCOY
Leader staff writer

Circuit Judge Lance Hanshaw ruled Tuesday that Lonoke County Sheriff Jim Roberson was in contempt of court for releasing three state prisoners on leg monitors while they waited for several months to be sent to rehab treatment paid for by the state.

But the ruling did not come with any penalty, not even a fine.

“This court has no intention of jailing Sheriff Roberson and certainly not in his own jail,” Hanshaw said. “The purpose of the hearing is to get the sheriff’s attention.”

The judge said he was not unsympathetic to overcrowding problems at the jail, but the women Roberson had released were sentenced to the Arkansas Department of Correction with a recommendation that they be sent to treatment facilities, and Roberson did not have the authority to release them.

“No one is above the law,” the judge said.

Roberson was contrite when he took the stand, saying he had nothing but respect for Hanshaw and had not intentionally disobeyed his orders.

“I think a lot of this court,” he told the judge.

He said in a later phone interview that the problem was in great part the result of a lack of face-to-face communication.
Jeff Sikes, the attorney for the county who represented the sheriff, argued that the measure for contempt was not present in Roberson’s actions.

“If willful intent is the measure of contempt, then Roberson is not in contempt,” Sikes said.
The judge disagreed.

Meanwhile, the population at the jail is growing.

“We’re 75 today. We’ve got 56 beds,” the sheriff said during the phone interview.

He did not talk to reporters immediately after the judge’s ruling. County Judge Charlie Trout-man, who attended the hearing, said he believed enough had probably been said already.

The rift between the judge and sheriff had already been the subject of several newspaper articles.

Sikes also declined to comment on the judge’s ruling.

Roberson said he could still release on bail or on leg monitors prisoners who have not been sentenced to prison. And he can release prisoners sentenced in district (formerly municipal) courts. But he will no longer release any prisoners sentenced to state prison without a court order.

When the crowding becomes a big problem, he will go to the quorum court about paying to send some prisoners to other jails if he can find any with enough room to take them.

“We used to send them to Dallas County (Fordyce) but they’re taking federal prisoners now,” Roberson said.

Farming out the state prisoners is the most economically feasible since lockups with room to take them are likely to charge $28 a day, exactly the amount the state pays the county to keep them.

But sending the prisoners elsewhere also means Lonoke County won’t collect the money for room and board, which is part of the operating budget.

The county has about $300,000 to add on to the jail. The money came from the state and was secured by State Sen. Bobby Glover, D-Carlisle. Roberson wants to add about 15 or 20 beds, but Troutman said the architect is dragging his feet with the plans.

The jail committee chose Taggart Foster Currence Gray Architects Inc., of Little Rock to design the addition, but after six months Troutman said all he’s seen is a rough draft.

The architects are concerned that the county doesn’t have enough money to do the project, Troutman said.
But he is concerned that if they don’t get it started soon and use the money the state has given them, they won’t get anymore.

Troutman said he and Roberson want to take the project as far as possible this year and try to complete it in 2007.

Roberson said trying to follow federal and state laws about overcrowding as well as Hanshaw’s orders that he not release any state prisoners awaiting room in treatment facilities is a lot to juggle.

But the two-term sheriff, who is running for a third term against former Sheriff Charlie Martin, said he doesn’t intend to complain.

“I asked for the job. I can handle it,” he said.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

OBITUARIES >> 08-09-06

John Sutton
John Shelby Sutton, 52, of Alexander, passed away Thursday.

He was born September 27, 1953, in Little Rock to the late Van D. Sutton and Mary Yar-berry Sutton Cullins.
He was an ordained minister. 

He is survived by his children, Shelly Cagle and  husband Terry of Cowan, Tenn., and James Sutton and wife Connie of Ward; brother, Lee Sutton; sisters, Sue Mullings and husband Sam of Alex-ander and Sharon Flu-ker; two nieces, Kim-berly Axelson and LeAnn Bajorek; five grandchildren and his fiancĂ©, Zora Anderson of Beebe.

A memorial service was held Tuesday at Viney Ridge Em-manuel Baptist Church.


Karl Oelschlager 
Karl H. Oelschlager, 54, of Jacksonville, died Friday at his home.  

He was born October 31, 1951, in Bridgeville, Penn., to the late John H. and Myrna C. Gilkeson Oelschlager.  

He served in the United States Air Force and was a Lutheran. He was a member of ABATE – 13, American Motorcycle Association and an honorary member of Rolling Thunder Inc. Arkansas Chapter I. Survivors include his children; Marissa and Jon Oelschlager, both of Gainsville, Flo., two sisters; Diane Heinz of Port St. Lucie, Flo. and Margaret Watts and her husband Ed of Bridgeville, Penn., two brothers; James Oelschlager and his wife Corry of Flemington, New Jersey and Jack Oelschlager and his wife Jacqueline of Canonsburg, Penn. and two grandchildren.

Memorial services will be at 3 p.m., Thursday at Moore’s Funeral Home Chapel in Jacksonville.


Leroy Bacus
Leroy Bacus, 68, of Beebe, died Thursday in Searcy.  

He was born August 22, 1937, to Elmer and Maybell Powell Bacus.  

He was a member of Oak Ridge Baptist Church in Austin.

He was preceded in death by his father; Elmer Carl Bacus Jr. and his sister; Margaret Martin.   

Survivors include his wife, Corena Gray Bacus, mother, one brother, Carl Bacus III of McRae, five sisters; Leola Christene Young and Norma Gene Forester, both of Beebe, Margie Stephens of Conway, Lorrine Bacus of Florida, and Patricia Secreast of Florida.  

A private service was held at the home of Leola Young Monday with the Rev. Otto Brown officiating.


Sherry Stanfield
Sherry Anne Stanfield, 66, of Jacksonville passed away Sunday at her home after a long illness.  

She was born on September 29, 1939, in Bemis, Tenn., to the late Raymond T. and Ann Elizabeth “Garr” Davis.  

She was an active member of the Brockington Road Baptist Church in Jacksonville.  

She was a nurse for many years and served as such in both Mississippi and Arkansas, especially to the elderly.

She is survived by four sons, Mike Beall of Atlanta, Georgia, Todd Beall and wife Charolette of  Jacksonville and Scott Beall and wife Joanne of Columbus, Miss. and Jeff Beall and wife Cindy of Brandon, Miss., two brothers, John Davis of Ellijay, Georgia and Tommy Davis of Clinton, Miss., grandchildren, Alan, Byron, Courtney, Katie, Wyatt, Lauren, Kristopher, John David and numerous other family members and friends.

Funeral services will be at noon Thursday at Wright & Ferguson Funeral Home Chapel in Raymond, Miss..  

Burial will follow in Raymond Cemetery.  Visitation will be today from 5 until 7 p.m. at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Brockington Road Baptist Church.