Friday, July 24, 2015

TOP STORY >> Mother and son find an angel

Leader staff writer

During the extremely hot weather, people are asked to check on elderly neighbors.

A Lonoke police officer took it upon himself to do that and may have helped save a life.

Lonoke High School re-source officer Adrian Page is on street patrol during the summer. His cousin, Nikki Martin, saw on Lonoke County Sheriff John Staley’s Facebook page a recommendation to check on the elderly and young during the hot weather.

Page then decided to check on Martin’s neighbor, Linda Archer, 72, and her 30-year-old son living at 904 Barnes St.

“Monday it was on my heart, pulling hard, and the Lord told me to handle it,” Page said. He discovered on Tuesday that Archer was living without electricity or water.

Archer told The Leader on Friday they had been without lights for 45 days and without water for three weeks.

A neighbor allowed them to use a spare ice box outside, so their food would not spoil. They had to buy bottled water.

Martin contacted several people and raised $300 in three hours. Page used the money to get Archer’s two-months’ worth of past-due water and electric bills paid up.

Since the power could not be reconnected that night, the police department allowed Archer and her son to cool off there if needed.

Interim Police Chief Randy Mauk then authorized giving vouchers from the Lonoke Ministerial Alliance to put the Archers in a motel room for the evening and have a meal.

The power and water were turned on 10 days ago. The Archers are still trying to stay cool with several fans, as their air conditioning is broken.

According to Page, Archer inherited the house in a trust to take care of her mother after her father passed away. They fell behind in their bills after her mother passed away.

Archer was saving her Social Security checks to pay the bills and to get her water and electricity turned on. The family had accrued property-tax debt, and the house was auctioned off by Lonoke County.

The new owner has not made them move out yet, but the Archers will now need to find a new place to live.

“I’m trying to make a difference in this life. The Lord is trying to bless someone else through you — a miracle delivery agent through the Lord,” Page said.

Archer said, “I didn’t know where to go to next. I was in real desperate need. They say you have an angel somewhere. (Page) is mine.”

Mauk added, “We don’t put this badge on just to arrest people. All our officers have compassion. Don’t hesitate to contact us. We have several resources at our disposal to handle different situations for our citizens.”