Saturday, October 21, 2006

SPORTS >>Bryant defense stuffs Cabot, earns shutout

IN SHORT: Cabot was called for nine penalties and failed to score in a 7A-Central loss to Bryant Friday.

Leader sports editor

The Cabot defense turned in one of its best performances of the season Friday night at Pan-ther Stadium, but the offense turned in its worst as Cabot fell 7-0 to the potent Bryant Hornets to fall to 4-4 overall and 1-4 in conference play.

Bryant, which had been averaging almost 40 points per game, was held to one score and just 243 total yards by the Cabot defense, but the offense was abysmal.

If the offense didn’t commit a penalty right off the bat, it would commit one at a different crucial juncture. In all, Cabot finished with just 140 total yards, but netted only 90 when factoring in the nine penalties for 50 yards. Cabot was called for false starts five times, most of the time at very critical moments.

The Panther defense was solid. It gave up one long drive and a score after a controversial call benefited the visitors to the tune of about 13 yards.

The defense sacked elusive Hornet quarterback Matt Schrader four times, and stuffed the Hornets eight times for losses.

With the Cabot offense sputtering, all Bryant needed was one score, and it got it with 2:12 left in the first quarter.

The Hornet drive started at their own 26 took 10 plays to go the 74 yards.

The key play was on first down at the Cabot 16. Cabot sophomore Ben Ford got to Schrader and was dragging him down for a 13-yard loss. Schrader flung the ball forward as he was going down, and it landed about four yards downfield at a Bryant lineman’s feet.

When no flag for grounding came, Cabot coach Mike Malham vehemently protested, but the Hornets still got the ball back at the 16-yard line for second and 10.

On the next play, Schrader hit receiver Jake Jackson on a little short pattern over the middle. One Cabot defender whiffed as Jackson caught the ball, the junior wideout broke another tackle and scampered the rest of the way into the end zone for the go-ahead, and ultimately, winning score. Cabot only ventured into Bryant territory once the entire game. That was on its first drive of the second half, and even it only got to the Hornet 42 before a false-start penalty and a four- yard loss left the Panthers with third and 19.

Panther quarterback Cory Wade hit Colin Fuller for an 11-yard gain to the 40, and that was as close as Cabot got to the end zone all night.

Cabot got the ball moving well on its next drive, taking it from the 16 to the 42 in seven plays, but two more false start penalties on the next set of downs left the Panthers in another third and very long situation that they couldn’t overcome.

The Panthers made a big stop on Bryant’s next drive to take over on downs on their own 29, but got a holding penalty on the first play to dig another hole. A Fuller run and two incompletions forced Cabot to punt.

Cabot’s last stand started on its own 7-yard line with 3:09 left. After a 16-yard completion, a sack and another false start infraction made it second and 22.

A four-yard run and another incompletion made it fourth and 18, and Wade’s pass deep downfield was picked off by Bryant’s Trent Daniel to seal the win.

The Hornets improved to 7-1 overall and 5-0 in the 7A-East. The Panthers will travel to Pine Bluff next week.

SPORTS >>Harding Academy cruises

IN SHORT: The Wildcats easily handled their biggest game to date by beating Y-S at home.

Special to the Leader

SEARCY – The Harding Academy defense took away any of the dramatics on Friday night at First Security Stadium as the Wildcats remained unbeaten in the 2-3A Conference with a 28-14 victory over Yellville-Summit.

Thanks to the Wildcats’ defense, the final score became quite deceptive.

Harding Academy, now 6-0 overall and 4-0 in conference play, nearly pitched a shutout of the previously explosive Panthers’ offense. Y-S avoided being blanked for the first time this season when Brandon Evans plunged over from six yards out with 5:38 to play against Harding Academy reserves.

The Panthers, who had won four consecutive games coming in, then took advantage of a Harding Academy turnover in the final minute to tack on another score.

Despite a sluggish first half on the offensive side, the Wildcats dominated the first 43 minutes of the game. They led just 7-0 at the half after Luke Tribble connected with Chris Pack on a 13-yard touchdown pass with five minutes left in the second quarter.

Harding Academy managed just 140 total yards in the first two quarters, mostly due to Yellville-Summit’s ball-control offense eating up the clock.

The second half was a different story.

Tribble capped the Wildcats’ first possession of the third quarter by hitting Pack again with a three-yard scoring pass.

Tribble’s extra-point kick made it 14-0 with 9:50 left in the third. Six minutes later, J.T. Fisher scored on a five-yard run to make it 21-0.

Fisher took a middle screen from Tribble 50 yards for Harding Academy’s final tally early in the final quarter.

Harding Academy coach Tommy Shoemaker claimed no adjustments at halftime, despite his team’s slow start on offense.

“We made no adjustments, we didn’t do anything different offensively in the second half except that we started executing,” he said. “Part of the problem in the first half, of course, was that they did a good job not letting us have the ball.”

Yellville-Summit quarterback Tim Murray – averaging 10.5 yards per carry entering the game – was held at bay by the stingy HA defense. Murray kept the ball 27 times against the Wildcats but managed just 99 yards.

“We did a good job of controlling a pretty good offense tonight,” Shoemaker said. “Compared to what they’ve been doing to other teams, we really played them well. The thing about the ball-control style they play … if you don’t play a perfect game, it makes it tough on an offense.”

Harding Academy’s offense had its chances early in the game but failed to capitalize. The Wildcats lost yardage and were forced into a punt on their first series, despite starting at the Y-S 25 after tackling the Panthers’ punter for a loss.

The Wildcats got the ball back moments later at their own 48 and, after a couple first downs moved the ball to the Y-S 22, turned the ball over on downs.

“We had some shots there early that we should have taken advantage of,” Shoemaker said. “I’m just glad we were able to come out and play better the second half.”

Tribble, playing on an ankle injury suffered late in the first quarter, came back strong the second half and finished 16-of-23 passing for 293 yards. Fisher had four catches for 100 yards while Pack caught 6 of 99 and a pair of scores.

The Wildcats are now in the odd position of having to turn around and play another conference game on Monday, a makeup of their postponed game at Cave City from Sept. 23.

“The only real good thing about it is that Cave City is in the same boat,” Shoemaker said. “It’s not ideal by any means. We got some kids banged up tonight and we’ll probably hold a few out on Monday.

“We’re planning a walk-through on Sunday afternoon, though, and we’ll be ready to go on Monday night.”
Cave City is a first-year program still in search of its first conference victory.

SPORTS >>Belles get win over Cabot in 7A finale

IN SHORT: The Lady Panthers’ visit to MSM Academy resulted in a sweep by the Belles over Cabot in the final conference match.

Leader sports editor

It wasn’t the ending to the 7A-Central Conference season that the Lady Panthers had hoped for, as Mt. Saint Mary’s defeated Cabot in straight games, 25-25, 25-17 and 25-8 Thursday night in Little Rock at Mt. Saint Mary’s Academy.

The Lady Panthers (11-12, 4-8 conf.) took their turn holding the momentum over Mt. Saint Mary’s (26-7, 9-2 conf.) early in the first two games, but turned out their poorest performance all season in the third game, going scoreless in the frame until after the 12th point was scored by the Belles.

Junior outside hitter Katie Mantione kept the Lady Pan-thers in conten-tion early in the opening game with two kills that put Cabot up 3-1.

The Belles also committed a couple of early errors to give the Lady Panthers the initial advantage, but once MSM got completely warmed up, the momentum quickly changed. Mt. Saint Mary’s went from a two-point deficit to a five-point lead with seven straight points.

The Belles’ lead kept increasing from there, reaching double digits by the end of the frame to take the opening game by 10.

It was Mt. Saint Mary’s that took the initial lead in the second game, but the Lady Panthers quickly rallied to take 6-5 lead moments later. Mantione came away with another early kill, and also got help this time from sophomore hitter Tori Hendrix. Hendrix had two kills off of three attempts during the first six points to give Cabot its only lead for the remainder of the contest.

Just as in the opening game, the Belles overtook the momentum from Cabot and ran up the score. The Lady Panthers did manage to close to within four points with a brief run late, making the score 20-16, but Mt. Saint Mary’s then took five of the last six points to take a 2-0 lead in the match.

The third set was all Belles. Senior Chyna Davenport started the game off behind the service line, and clicked off 12 straight points on serve including four aces. The ace that put MSM up by 10 landed in the middle of the court on Cabot’s side, with no attempt of a return by the Lady Panthers. Cabot coach Terry Williams called a timeout at that point to rally the troops, which seemed to shake off much of the lethargy.

The offensive highlights were few and far between for the Lady Panthers in the third and final game, although four Cabot players did get at least one kill. Hendrix led the way with two kills and a block, with Kelli Lowry, Erika McCaghren and Cody Smith all getting a kill as well. McCaghren also had a block late in the game, and Smith served up an ace to get the Lady Panthers’ second point of the game.

Hendrix led Cabot in scoring with six kills and three blocks. Mantione added four kills for the Lady Panthers. For Mt. Saint Mary’s, Ashley Spaulding and Katie Rowen each had five kills, and Davenport had eight aces.

Cabot will finish the season out on Monday with a non-conference match against Jonesboro Westside. The final outcome of state tournament qualification will be determined on Wednesday. As of last Wednesday, the Lady Panthers were fifth in the conference standings before the match with MSM.

SPORTS >>Incomplete two-point conversion costs ’Rabs

IN SHORT: Lonoke fell just short pulling out the win over Marianna Friday night at Abraham Field in a 42-40 loss to the Trojans.

Leader staff writer

It was an offensive shootout, but the Jackrabbits needed just one more round of ammo Friday night to pull out the win over Marianna at Abraham Field in Lonoke. The ‘Rabbits pulled to within two off of a one-yard touchdown run from Clarence Harris with 1:09 left in the game, but quarterback Alex Cash’s pass to Rollins Elam in the end zone on the two-point conversion attempt fell just short, and Marianna barely held on in the final minute to claim a 42-40 win.

Turnovers were a huge part of the outcome on Friday. Lonoke committed fewer than the Trojans, but the ‘Rabbits’ gifts came at more vital stages of the game, and carried larger consequences.

Lonoke was on the good side of the turnover spectrum during the first 24 minutes, taking advantage of two fumbles from Marianna’s standout tailback Cameron Greer. Greer cleared over 100 yards rushing in the first half, but his two fumbles gave the Jackrabbits good field position.

Harris recovered the first fumble at the Marianna 35-yard line at the 2:12 mark of the first quarter, but the ‘Rabbits went three and out before punting back to the Trojans. Marianna took over at its own 7, but two runs from Greer quickly brought it out to the 30-yard line. Greer’s number was called a third time, and he coughed it up once again. This time, senior linebacker Amir Fleming fell on the ball for Lonoke to give the ‘Rabbits possession at the Trojans’ 29-yard line.

Lonoke made good on the opportunity this time with a 19-yard touchdown run from tailback Wendall Scales two plays into the second quarter. The two-point attempt was unsuccessful, leaving the score 14-8 in favor of Lonoke.

The turnover factor was an issue right from the start of the second half, but this time it was Lonoke giving away the ball. The Jackrabbits retained possession to start out the third quarter, but a fumble from junior running back Tyler Crow was scooped up by Marianna linebacker Channin Hardin and run back 35 yards for the score. The two-point attempt was unsuccessful, and the score remained tied at 20-20.

Scales scored again for Lonoke with 7:52 left in the game to put the ‘Rabbits up by eight, but Marianna refused to give up.

Not even a fumble by Greer on the Lonoke 5-yard line caused the Trojans to lose momentum. Glenn Evans recovered the fourth Greer fumble for the ‘Rabbits, but they went backwards on the ensuing drive. Brock Clement was forced to punt standing directly in front of the goal post, giving Marianna good field position once again at the Lonoke 32-yard line.

Greer held on to it this time, running on four of the six plays of the drive, including the touchdown run from four yards out with 4:42 left in the game. QB Hardin kept on the two-point attempt, and ran over Lonoke defender Josh Martin to cross the goal line and tie the score at 34 all.

The most vital turnover of the game occurred on Lonoke’s next possession. With the Jackrabbits driving into Trojan territory, Cash threw into coverage, and Hardin picked it off. Hardin took the ball all the way down to the Lonoke 3-yard line, where Greer ran it in for another score two plays later. Hardin kept once again for the two-point attempt, running it in to give the Trojans an eight-point lead.

Lonoke answered right back with a nine-play drive, highlighted by two big passes from Cash. The first one was to Clement on third and 10 at the Lonoke 36. Clement grabbed it at the Marianna 36 before being pushed out of bounds. Cash then found Ryan Hobson two plays later on a 22-yard pass play that gave the ‘Rabbits first and goal at the 10. Cash kept twice to get to the 1-yard line before giving it to Harris for the score. Lonoke went for the game-tying play on the two-point conversion, but the Trojans’ coverage was solid in the end zone, and Elam couldn’t come up with the toss from Cash.

Poor time management from Marianna gave Lonoke one last shot on a Trojans’ punt with eight seconds left in the game.

Alvin Farmer pulled down the squibbed punt from Hardin at the Lonoke 46 and returned it all the way to Marianna’s 12-yard line. Farmer’s run was stopped after the horn sounded with a shove out of bounds from Hardin to end the dramatic game.

Both teams scored on their opening drives to set the tone in the shootout. Marianna took first possession and went 64 yards on 10 plays, most of them runs from Greer. Hardin kept for the score from one yard out with 7:09 left in the opening quarter.

Lonoke quickly answered with an eight-play, 72-yard drive that was capped off with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Cash to Hobson on the left side at the 5:17 mark of the first quarter.

With Lonoke leading 20-14 with less than a minute left in the first half, Farmer prevented the tie with an interception in the end zone on a pass intended for Anthony Allison. The ‘Rabbits ran out the remaining 22 seconds left on the clock to take the six-point halftime lead.

Cash completed 14 of 28 pass attempts for 188 yards and one touchdown, along with one interception. He also carried 11 times for 36 yards and one rushing touchdown. Harris finished with 11 carries for 53 yards and a touchdown, and Scales had 12 carries for 64 yards and three touchdowns. For Marianna, Greer had 30 carries for 185 yards, two touchdowns and three fumbles, giving him over 1,330 yards so far on the season.

The win improves Marianna’s record to 6-1 overall and 5-0 in the 4A-2 Conference. Lonoke’s record now moves to 4-4 overall and 3-2 in conference. The Jackrabbits will travel to Stuttgart to face the undefeated Ricebirds next week.

SPORTS >>Red Devils prevail

IN SHORT: Jacksonville moved into a tie for first place in the 6A-East Conference Friday night by beating Forrest City 23-20 in overtime. The win lifts the Red Devils to 6-2 overall and 4-1 in conference play.

Forrest City Times-Herald

Forrest City thought they had won the game in overtime on Niko Walker’s 26-yard field goal.

Jacksonville quarterback Daniel Hubbard knew he had won the game with his 10-yard run one play after Walker’s field goal.
Hubbard’s overtime touchdown gave the Red Devils a 23-20 win over the Mustangs, and combined with West Memphis’ 17-7 loss to Mountain Home, vaulted Jacksonville into a tie for first place in the 6A-East Conference Friday night.

Both West Memphis and Jacksonville are 4-1 in the conference. Jonesboro, a 31-10 winner over Searcy, Marion a 28-6 winner over Sylvan Hills and Mountain Home are tied for second at 3-2. Forrest City slips to 2-3 while Sylvan Hills is 1-4 and Searcy remains winless at 0-5.

Friday’s loss left Forrest City reeling in the wake of their third straight conference loss.

“Our kids played as hard as they could,” said Forrest City coach Scott Reed. “It was a tough way to lose a ball game.”
Jacksonville led 17-10 at the half but Forrest City took the second half kickoff and used seven plays to tie the game when John Washington scored from two yards out with 9:16 to play in the quarter. Walker’s kick made it 17-17 which held through the second half.

Jacksonville had its chances to regain the lead. Manuel Alvidrez missed a 26-yard field goal try wide left with 3:55 to play in the third. Lee Robinson was stopped at the one-yard line by a tremendous Forrest City goal line stand that ended a Jacksonville possession that started with 37 seconds left in the third quarter and ended 19 plays later using up more than eight minutes.

Forrest City reached midfield with 16 seconds to play in the fourth quarter but punted and both teams opted for overtime as regulation ended in a 17-17 tie.

The Mustangs called on Walker for the 23-yard field goal on fourth and four from the Jacksonville 6. The kick was good and Forrest City celebrated the 20-17 lead.

The joy was short-lived as Hubbard took the snap and tip-toed his way just inside the right pilon and into the end zone on a called bootleg play.

Forrest City drew first blood after intercepting a Hubbard pass on the third play of the game.

The Mustangs needed only three plays from the Jacksonville 38 to take a 7-0 lead when Washington scored on a 30-yard run and Walker added the point-after kick.

Jacksonville tied the game at 7-7 after blocking a Forrest City punt and starting at the Forrest City 3-yard line. Justin Akins scored on the three-yard run with 6:08 to play in the first quarter and Alvidrez added the kick.

Jacksonville took a 14-7 lead with 3:57 left in the first quarter when Marcus King hauled in a 53-yard touchdown pass from Hubbard and Alvidrez once again added the kick.

Jacksonville’s Eric Berry picked off a Forrest City passing attempt by senior quarterback Wilson Parker which set the Red Devils up at the Mustang 35. Alvidrez’s fourth down 21-yard field goal attempt was blocked by Forrest City’s Chris Tripp and the Mustangs took over at their own 20.

Barrett Beshear’s fumble gave the ball back to Jacksonville, which promptly turned it over when Hubbard’s pass was tipped and intercepted by Washington.

The Forrest City possession stalled and Jacksonville started from their own 48 with 4:48 to play in the second quarter.
After Jacksonville drove to the Forrest City 22 in 10 plays, Alvidrez connected on a 39-yard field goal with 59 seconds left to put Jacksonville in front 17-7.

Walker made it 17-10 when his 42-yard field goal just cleared the upright as time expired.

Jacksonville finished with 305 total yards – 198 on the ground and 107 passing.

Hubbard completed 7-of-19 attempts with two interceptions and one touchdown pass.

Akins finished with 103 yards on 19 carries and one touchdown while Robinson had 73 yards on 13 carries.

Forrest City rang up 237 total yards with 163 of that coming on the ground. Parker completed 7 of 24 passing attempts and suffered one interception.

Washington finished with 152 rushing yards on 25 carries and two touchdowns.

Forrest City plays at Mountain Home this coming week while Jacksonville will battle it out at home against West Memphis. That game will be for sole possession of first place in the 6A-East Conference.

EVENTS>>Fall 2006

There will be a training session for Pulaski County poll workers from 9 a.m. until noon, today at the quorum court meeting room on the fourth floor of the Pulaski County administration building. This training seminar is for people who want to be poll workers for the general election Tuesday, Nov. 7. Poll assignments will be made after the seminar. Poll workers are paid $75 to work on Election Day and $37.50 for working a half-day. For more information, call the Pulaski County Election Commission at 340-8383.

The Great Safety Adventure, a free nonprofit interactive children’s exhibit, will be at the Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse in Jacksonville from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today. The 1,000 square foot animated home educates children and parents about home safety.

Lonoke County Safe Haven sponsors the Silent Witness project from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today outside the Wal-Mart in Lonoke. Life-sized red wooden figures represent women who were murdered by their domestic partners in the past year. For more information visit

The public hearing to discuss the new Jacksonville library today at the Central Arkansas Library System, 100 Rock St. in Little Rock has been cancelled. It will be rescheduled.

The first annual Lonoke County Wade Knox Child advocacy Center Charity Gold Tournament is slated for October 23 at Cabot’s Rolling Hills County Club, according to Blake Fletcher, chairman.
The entry fee is $300 per four-person scramble. Hole sponsorships are $200 or sponsor a hole and enter a team for $450. Lunch begins at 11 a.m., with a shotgun start at noon. Prizes will be awarded for closest to the hole, longest drive and most accurate drive. Entry checks should be payable to the Wade Knox Child Advocacy Center, 1524 N. Center Street, Lonoke AR 72086. For further information, contact Fletcher at (501) 259-8454.

Our Savior Lutheran Church of Cabot is hosting a hog roast plate-lunch fund-raiser starting 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct.21. The cost is $5.50 and includes sandwich, salad, drink and dessert. The church is raising funds to purchase medical equipment for a church member with lymphoedmea, which causes debilitating fluid build-up in the body.

The Arkansas State Firefighters Association central district meeting will be 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26 at First Electric Cooperative, 1000 J. P. Wright Loop Rd. in Jacksonville. For more information, please call Hubert Chapman at 676-6693.

There will be a going away party for children’s librarian Amy Mille at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25 at the Esther D. Nixon Library, 308 W. Main St. in Jacksonville.

The Fear Factory haunted house will be in the old Pet Quarters building on Hwy. 70 E. in Lonoke this Friday and Saturday as well as Oct. 27, 28, 30 and 31. Admission is $7.

Monday, Oct. 23 is the deadline to register for the Ward Great Pumpkin Hunt at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28. Children who register will get to search for plastic eggs containing candy and prizes. The hunt will be followed by the Ward Fall Festival from 5 to 7 p.m. at the municipal complex. To register for the Great Pumpkin Hunt or the costume contest, contact the Ward Water Office at 843-7686. All carnival games will be one ticket. Tickets are a quarter each or five for $1 and are available at the door. There will also be fall portraits available for $3. All proceeds from the event will go towards the Ward Annual Egg Hunt.

OBITUARIES >> 10-21-06

Mark Kaiser
Mark Melvin Kaiser, 49, of Ward passed away Oct. 12 in Little Rock.

He was born Aug. 17, 1957 in St. Paul, Minn., to Lois Kaiser and the late Melvin Kaiser.

He retired from the Army as a sergeant first class after serving 28 years.

He was also preceded in death by one daughter, Danaca Kaiser, on Oct. 21, 2004.

Survivors include his loving wife, Corinne Frans Kaiser of Ward; one daughter, Marissa Kaiser of Ward; three sons, Adam and his wife Andrea Wahlgren of North Carolina, Ian Wahlgren of Minnesota and Nathan Wahlgren of Connecticut; his mother, Lois Kaiser of Cabot; three brothers, Thomas and his wife Anne Kaiser, James Kaiser and Joseph Kaiser, all of Minnesota; three sisters, Suzanne and her husband Robert Amaro of Nevada and Jeana and Tanya Kaiser of Minnesota, along with many other family and friends.

Funeral services were Oct.17 at Cabot United Methodist Church with the Rev. Richard Lancaster officiating. Burial with full military honors followed in Old Austin Cemetery at Ward.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Marissa Kaiser College Scholarship Fund at Bank of America, 101 Gregory Place Jacksonville, Ark. 72076.

Funeral arrangements were by Thomas Funeral Service of Cabot.

Seth Stracener
Seth Edward Stracener, 16, of Kingsport, Tenn., was called home on Thursday, Oct. 12, from injuries sustained in an automobile accident.

He was a member of Tri-Cities Baptist Youth Group and was actively involved with the church. Seth was a junior at Sullivan South High School where he was a member of the musical theater. On Friday nights Seth could be found leading the student section at Sullivan South High School football games.

He loved life and he loved football. Seth had a big heart and was very accepting and loving of all people. Seth lived life out loud. He was employed at Ingles in Colonial Heights.

Surviving are his parents, Steve and Sheree Stracener; sister, Stephanie Stracener; and brother, Spencer Stracener, all of Kingsport, Tenn.; grandparents, Marvin and Nell Stracener and Ray, of Cabot and Pat Minor; great grandparents Hershel and Louise Webb of Beebe; aunts and uncles, Scott and Michelle Stracener, Stan and Stacy Stracener; four cousins, Ashley, Baylee, Cole, and Brooklyn Stracener, all of Cabot, Arkansas; and many dear friends at Tri-Cities Baptist Church and Sullivan South High School.

Services were Oct. 15 at Tri-Cities Baptist Church with Pastor Arden Taylor and the staff of Tri-Cities Baptist Church officiating. Graveside services were Oct. 16 at Washington County Memory Gardens.

Pallbearers were J. T. Lyons, Houston Martin, Stephen Owen-by, Josh Reed, Nick Cantrell, Brandon Bragg, Taylor Trent, Matt Crawford, Justin Zurn and Kurt Phillips.

Honorary pallbearers were Nick Arredondo, Joel Mermilliod, Jessie Black, T. J. Overbeek, Paul Mermilliod, Josh Mermilliod, Ryan Salyer, Andrew Oliphant and Chris Farthing.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggest memorial contributions be made to: Tri-Cities Baptist Church Youth Group, 171 Promise Land Drive, Gray, TN 37615 which was a passionate part of Seth’s life.

Hamlett-Dobson Funeral Home served the family.

Raymond Lovett
Raymond Lovett, 73, of Ward died Oct. 16.

He was born Nov. 30, 1933, at North Little Rock, to Clarence McKinley and Mamie Cook Lovett.

He was a retired construction worker and a U.S. Army veteran.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Clarence and a granddaughter, Angel Marie Judd.

He is survived by his wife, Carol Lovett of Ward; three sons, Michael Lovett of Ward, Raymond Mark Lovett and Clarence J. Lovett, both of Searcy; two daughters, Kathleen Burge of North Little Rock and Flora Gretchen Judd of Ward; 10 grandchildren; four step-grandchildren; two sisters, Mary Horne of Little Rock and Virginia Jones of Bald Knob.

Graveside service were Thursday, Oct. 19 at Mt. Springs Cemetery. Arrangements were by Westbrook Funeral Home at Beebe.

Larry Walker
Larry “Tony” Walker, 48, of Jacksonville passed away Oct. 15.  

He was born June 20, 1958 in Smyrna, Tenn. to the late L.T. and Lois Beakley Walker.  
Survivors include his wife, Pam Walker; daughter, Chelsea Megan Walker; step-daughter, Tiffanie N. Tarrow and her husband Richie, all of Jacksonville; his dog, Juvenile; sister, Pam Shields and her husband Ric of Cabot; nephew, Ryan Shields; two grandchildren, Gavin and Paige Tarrow; and a host of aunts, uncles and cousins in Tennessee.

Memorial services will be casual or blue jean dress Monday, Oct. 23, at 1pm at Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, 8012 Hwy. 161 S., Jacksonville, with Pastor Roy Polk officiating.  

Funeral arrangements are under direction of Moore’s Jacksonville Funeral Home.

Braxton and Christopher Woodell
Braxton Michael Woodell and Christopher Dale Woodell, 8 week old twin sons of Chris and Ryann Woodell of Beebe, became God’s angels October 17.

Other survivors are their grandparents, Angie Payne of Ward, Tabitha Craig and Jim Stevens of West Memphis, Barney Craig, Jr. of Beebe; great-grandparents, L.D. and Christine Folkner of Beebe; great-great-grandmother, Pauline Nosler of McRae; and a host of aunts, uncles and cousins.

Funeral services were Friday, Oct. 20 at Westbrook Funeral Home in Beebe with burial in Meadowbrook Memorial Gardens.

EDITORIALS>>Debates over, so you decide

The televised debates among the statewide candidates have come to a close, making hardly a ripple in the opinion polls since the debates were followed mostly by political junkies who made up their minds long ago.

Tuesday’s debate between Attorney General Mike Beebe, the Democratic candidate for governor, and Asa Hutchinson, his Republican opponent, was more spirited than most of the televised slugfests.

Hutchinson, who’s behind in the polls, hit Beebe at his most vulnerable — illegal immigrants and social issues important to conservatives — but this year’s elections are more a referendum on the Bush administration and less on so-called hot-button issues that made a difference in the past.

The other day, we noticed a yard sign for Jim Holt, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, and it played up his pro-life stance, but even Holt spends little time talking about abortion and hammers away at illegals in Arkansas — which is speaking volumes about Gov. Huckabee, a fellow Republican who is not at all concerned about illegal immigation.

But the issue could propel him into office, even if there’s not much Holt can do about the problem.

Watching a debate between candidates for lieutenant governor requires a willing suspension of disbelief. These guys cannot be running for lieutenant governor but for governor, at least, or president.

Bill Halter, the Democrat, and state Sen. Jim Holt, the Republican, consumed an hour of public television time promising bold action to solve the state’s manifold problems if voters give them the chance by electing them lieutenant governor.

It was livelier and more pointed than the deadly gubernatorial debates. Holt is going to cut taxes, reduce government spending and send illegal immigrants back to their native countries. Halter is going to “improve education from pre-kindergarten to graduate school” with a comprehensive education program, which includes a little extra cash from a state lottery.

You wonder momentarily: Has the state Constitution been amended or reinterpreted to invest the lieutenant governor with heretofore unmentionable powers? No, it hasn’t.

The Constitution gives the lieutenant governor two functions, and from the office’s beginning in 1927 until now the occupant has never exercised any other power.

He is to preside over sessions of the Senate when he wants to, and if the governor goes out of state or becomes so disabled that he cannot function he is to be the acting governor until the real governor comes home or his disability ends. And while he presides over the Senate he is expected to be an impartial servant of the senators.

He should not be taking sides, making speeches advocating some action on bills that are before the Senate or pushing his own program.

It would be entirely legal for him to do any of those things — the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the speech of lieutenant governors, too — but it would violate the courtesy of senators, who would in short order curtail the lieutenant governor’s prerogatives. Already, as it happens, there is talk of amending the Constitution to abolish the office and let the senators choose their own presiding officer, as the House of Representatives does. Halter and Holt repeat the refrain from many previous lieutenant governor campaigns that they will go out and recruit industry for Arkansas. It is the only plausible way to embroider on the narrow constitutional powers that the office has.

But no lieutenant governor has ever actually done that, not even the late beloved Win Paul Rockefeller. He wanted to and tried to, but industrial recruitment is the job of professionals in the state agency with a multimillion-dollar appropriation to do it.
If political clout is needed, only the governor can deliver that. So is all of Halter’s and Holt’s posturing pointless? Not if they were candid about it. There is a remote chance that the winner will become governor if the governor should die, resign or be removed from office with a long time left in his term.

It has happened three times in 80 years. Voters need to know something about the philosophy and leadership potential of the person who is a heartbeat away from governor. It would be refreshing if the candidates put their ideas into that context.
Even without that candor, the candidates make that choice easy for voters. Holt acknowledged in the debate that he was a pariah in the Senate, even among members of his own party. Gov. Huckabee, the titular head of his party, found his ideas revolting and said worse of him than he ever did a Democrat. Holt chalked it up to his own independence and stern principle.

But if senators absolutely don’t want him, how good a governor could he be if the job was thrust upon him or, for that matter, what kind of lieutenant governor?

TOP STORY >>Get ready for Halloween

IN SHORT: Pirate costumes are most popular this year as residents enjoy haunted houses, festivals.

Leader staff writers

Pirate costumes top the list for the most sought-after Halloween costumes for this year’s festivities Tuesday, Oct. 31, thanks in part to the popularity of the Disney movie “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” in theaters earlier this year.

“We’ve ordered twice as many pirate costumes and accessories than we normally do, and we’re still running out,” Teresa Dow, Party City manager in North Little Rock, said.

Halloween Express-North Little Rock manager Jaunita Horn said they too are selling lots of pirate costumes.

“We sell a great number of different priced costumes, and even in our nicer costumes, Leg Avenue, we’re selling a lot of pirates,” Horn said.

Men, young and old alike, have flocked to the costume stores wanting to be Disney’s Capt. Jack Sparrow and if not for a variation of the pirate theme, it’s for anything else Disney.

Top costumes for girls, if not choosing the pirate route, are Disney princesses like Snow White and Cinderella and any sort of fairy.

For babies, ladybugs are the most popular costumes. Pet owners are buying devil horn headbands for cats and dressing dogs up as Yoda, from the popular science-fiction movie series “Star Wars.”

There’s plenty to do before Halloween, starting with Sherwood’s Fall Fest this Saturday. Three of the most popular haunted houses are in Austin, Lonoke and Jacksonville.

Austin’s haunted house will produce scares at 103 Hendricks St. It opened Friday and is sponsored by the fire department. It will stay open each night from 7:30 until the last victim goes through. The cost is $5.

Jacksonville’s haunted house will be “boo-ing” the night away now through Oct. 31 at 618 W. Main in the old theater.
The frights start at 6 p.m. The cost is $12 for adults and $8 for children.

Lonoke Department of Health and Human Service’s Fear Factory also opens Friday inside the former Pet Quarters building on east Highway 70.

It will open this weekend and next Friday and Saturday, as well as Oct. 30-31. Admission is $7.

Other area festivities include:
- Sherwood Halloween Carnival at Sherwood Forest, at 1111 W. Maryland Ave., Oct. 31 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. It is free to the public.

- Ward Annual Fall Festival at the Ward Municipal Complex, from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28. Carnival games will cost 25 cent each and fall pictures will be available for $3.

- The 15th Annual Boo at the Zoo at the Little Rock Zoo, this Friday and Sunday, then Oct.26, 27, 29 and 31 from 6 to 9 p.m. The cost is $5 per person and parking is free.

- Campus Halloween Party at the Arkansas State University-Beebe on Dewitt Henry Drive, Oct. 31 at 3:30 p.m.
You can visit two area pumpkin patches — the Barnhill patch at 277 Sandhill Road, Lonoke, which is open daily until 7 p.m., and Hidden Valley Farm, 719 Ferncliff in Little Rock, which is open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Oct. 30.

TOP STORY >>Candidates square off for Nov. 7

IN SHORT: Roberson will face former Sheriff Martin for the third time as spirited races include contests for quorum court, mayor of Cabot, Lonoke, Ward, Austin and elsewhere.

Leader staff writer

The marquee election in Lonoke County this year will be a rematch, with former Sheriff Charlie Martin challenging Sheriff Jim Roberson on Nov. 7. Roberson, a Republican, took the office from Martin, a Democrat, in 2002 and turned back Martin’s challenge in 2004.

In 2002, Roberson wrested the job from Martin by 8,646 to 7,515 after Martin and some members of his department were cited by the Bureau of Legislative Audit for improper use of money in the weapons and uniforms fund.

He later pled guilty to one count of falsifying a business record, was sentenced to one year probation and required to make restitution, with his misdemeanor charge expunged from his record.

In November 2004, Roberson beat Martin 11,582 to 7,660.

Roberson and Prosecutor Lona McCastlain are currently the only countywide Republican officeholders in Lonoke County. McCastlain is challenged this year by Tim Blair, a Cabot Democrat.

Democrat Dawn Porterfield faces a challenge from Republican Cassandra Pitts to fill the seat vacated after eight years by County Clerk Prudie Percefull. Percefull has worked in county government for nearly 30 years. In the only other contested countywide election, Republican incumbent Surveyor Samuel E. Smith is defending his seat against Democrat William “Randy” Gipson.

Running unopposed for countywide office are County Judge Charlie Troutman, Circuit Clerk Deborah Oglesby, Assessor Jerry D. Adams, Treasurer Karol DePriest and Coroner Sherry Stracener—all incumbents and Democrats, and Democrat Patricia McCallie, for collector.

Two Republican incumbents are being challenged on the Lonoke County Quorum Court. Democrat Larry Ridgeway, who lost his District 2 seat to Republican Jannette Minton two years ago, wants it back. Alexis Mal-ham, a Re-publican, faces a challenge from Democrat Chris R. Skinner and from Harry Roderick, an independent for her district 6 seat. Casey VanBuskirk, who beat Gina Burton in the Republican primary, faces Patty Knox, a Democrat.

Unopposed are incumbents Larry A. Odom-R, Donna Peder-son-R, Lynn Weeks Clarke-R, Richard Kyzer-D, Robert “Sonny” Moery-D. and Mike Dolan-D.

Also unchallenged are Demo-crats Jodie Grisham Troutman, Roger D. Lynch and Kyle E. Lackie, who defeated Norman Walker in the primary. Also unopposed is Mark Edwards, a Republican.

Lonoke will have a new mayor and at least three new aldermen come the first of the year, with the only contested races in the November General election pitting incumbent Democrat Phillip Howell against Independent challenger Shane Whitehurst.
Robert (Bob) Combs-R, Wendell Walker-I and Kenneth Pasley-R, will face off in the only other contested city council race.

Wayne McGee won a four-way Democratic Primary and the runoff against Alderman Jim Parks and runs unopposed for mayor.
He’ll replace Mayor Thomas Privett, whose record of progress on several fronts could not stave off his support of former Police Chief Jay Campbell and his own misdemeanor charge growing out of work done for him by Act 309 inmates.

City Clerk Billie U. Uzzell-D, and Treasurer Jack Walls McCrary-D, are running unopposed, as are incumbent Democrats aldermen Pat Howell, Efrem Z. Jones, Raymond Hatton and Michael Florence.

Jane Derning, running unopposed for the seat vacated by McGee when he ran for mayor, will be the first woman on the council in several years.

Woody Evans, who left his quorum court seat to run for alderman, runs unopposed after defeating incumbent Jackie Moore in the primary.

Like all city elections excluding Cabot, Lonoke and England, Austin has nonpartisian elections, with Mayor Bernie Chamberlain facing challengers Barry D. Weathers II and Jeremy C. Reed.

No incumbents are running for aldermen.
In Ward 2, Position 2, Chris-topher L. Dawson faces Michawn David and in Ward 2, Position 5, Tammy Williams faces Sandra Kay Chambers.

Running unopposed are Rusty Eisenhower, Ward 3, Position 1 and Randy Ryan, Ward 3, Position 4.

A four-way mayoral race has developed in Ward, where all elections are nonpartisan, with the incumbent Art Brooke challenged by Bill Boyd, former Alderman Donnie Rouse, and J.S. “Buford” McClendon.

Incumbents are challenged for half of the six city council, with Ginger Tarno trying to hold off Don Harris, Marrice Jackson facing a challenge by John B. Harris and Jeff Shaver trying to beat back a challenge by Murriel Seymour.

Familiar names are vying for the position Mayor Stubby Stumbaugh will relinquish in his bid to beat Marion Berry for Congress.

They are Republican Eddie Joe Williams and independents James R. Glenn, Da-vid Polantz and Kenny Ridgeway. Only City Treasurer Marva Verkler and aldermen Eddie Cook and Kenneth Williams are assured election, with all other positions contested.

Independent Clinton D. McGue and Republican Jimmy Taylor are vying for city attorney.

In the races for alderman, here’s who is running:
Ward 1, Position 1, John W. Johnson and Eddie Long, both independents.

Ward 2, Position 1, Michael A. Burton, an independent, and Republican Virgil O. Teague, Jr.

Ward 3, Position 1, incumbent Tom Armstrong is challenged by Bruce L. “Ernie” Ernst. Both men are independents.

Ward 3, Position 2, independent Nancy Cohea is running against Teri Miessner, a Republican.

Ward 4, Position 1, incumbent Odis Way-mack faces Becky Lem-aster. Both are independents.

Ward 2, Position 2, Robert L. Helton, Lisa Brickell and Thomas Standley face off in a three-way race. All are independents.

In a three way race for mayor, independents Ron (Yank) Wanne-macker, Harold D. Reed and Ray Glover seek the seat vacated by Bob McCallie.

Curtis Moody faces Leo Orton for Ward 1, Position 2 in the only other contested race in Carlisle.

Running unopposed for reelection are City Clerk Trudy D. Drye, City Attorney J. Michael Stuart and aldermen Mike Walker, William H. Kittlar, Eddie Moore and Brent Doney. Also unopposed is Windell Scales Sr.

With no contested races in Allport, Mayor Ulyssis Ingram and Recorder-Treasurer Rita Ingram will be returned to office, along with incumbent alderman Robert Dockery. New aldermen will fill the four other aldermanic slots. They are Freddie Lee Coleman, Louis Trimble, Eddie M. Robinson and Natishia Reed.

Ralph Jones is running unopposed for reelection as mayor. There is no opposition for any of the other seats, including Carolyn Jones for Recorder/treasurer and Mike Hale, Tony Edmonson, Dennis Webb, Ricky Hatfield and Jerry Pettit.

In England, Danny L. Maynard Sr. is unopposed in his bid to replace Jimmy Wallace as Mayor. Newcomer Peggy D. Baker is unopposed for alderman Ward 3, Position 1. Also unopposed are incumbents Rick Douglas, Mike Mashburn, Annette Cothren, Bill Newton, Bob Collins and Dearl Frizzell.

Mayor Harold “Bill” Morris faces a challenge from Roger Oliver.

All races unopposed, including Mayor Nancy Cobb Tardy.

Gloria A. Stachurski is running unopposed for recorder-treasurer and Tommy Anderson, David Lane-hart, James Vincent Cole and Jeffrey Robinson are unopposed running for alderman seats.

Constable seats are unopposed with the following exceptions: Carlisle Township, Todd Turner-D and write-in Jimmie Bowlan Jr.; Caroline Township, William “Doc” Klink-D against Jerry Gray-R; Furlow Township, Jimmy Pawlowki-R against Daryl W. Clement-D; Magness Township, incumbent Bill Peckat-D challenged by Jesse Bear-R; York Township, John Sukeforth-D against Todd Kerley-R and Ward Township Michael E. Kindall-D and Mike Reveley-R want to unseat James W. Williams Sr., an independent.

TOP STORY >>Jacksonville council pulls rezoning issue as votes aren't there

IN SHORT: Alderman Bob Stroud, sponsor of the ordinance, will decide when it will have its third and final reading.

Leader staff writer

“Corrupt government,” a resident hollered out Thursday at the end of the Jacksonville City Council meeting that saw the third and final reading of a rezoning ordinance pulled from the agenda.

The ordinance would allow developer Tim McClurg to build 35 townhouses on three acres of land south of west Main Street and west of Emma.

Alderman Gary Fletcher asked the mayor and the council why it was pulled.

“It was pulled according to the rules of order,” Mayor Tommy Swaim explained, meaning that it was pulled by the sponsor of the ordinance, Alderman Bob Stroud.

Fletcher asked again, looking for more of an answer. “Can’t I ask why?” he said.

Stroud replied that Fletcher could ask, “but I don’t have to answer.”

Alderman Terry Sansing be-lieves the ordinance was pulled because it didn’t have the votes to pass Thursday night, as two aldermen who were for the rezoning—Linda Rinker and Reedie Ray—were absent.

The ordinance should be on the agenda for the council’s first November meeting, but it’ll be Stroud’s decision as to when it comes back up, and he was out of town Friday and unavailable for comment. The planning commission in September turned down the controversial rezoning request, but McClurg appealed the decision to the council.

Stroud sponsored the ordinance to repeal the commission’s decision and approve the rezoning. For an ordinance to become law it must pass three readings.

In late September, the council passed the rezoning ordinance 5-4 (Rinker was absent). It passed the second reading on Oct. 4 by a 6-4 vote, and was on Thursday’s agenda for the third reading.

Planning commissioner Emma Knight told the council Oct. 4 that the commission had already turned down the rezoning request. She said she would resign if the measured passed through the council.

“I sell upscale homes,” she said. “These townhouses are not upscale. I don’t think this is the best plan for Jacksonville. We do not need these.”

“I will resign, mayor, if this passes,” she said.

Knight recently told the Leader that she stands by her plans to resign. She calls it a trust issue.

“The council entrusted us to make decisions, and now they don’t trust us.” She said when “you don’t trust someone you should replace them or have them go away.”

She plans to go away. “I’ve got too many other meetings and commitments,” she added.

Knight said that the commission covered all the issues involved or connected with this rezoning—traffic, wetlands, drainage, flooding density of dwellings, along with the number of local residents demanding, “that we protect them.”

“It was not a hard decision, not a close decision,” she said. The commission turned down the rezoning request by a 5-to-1 vote at the commission’s September meeting.

Looking out at the large crowd of residents Thursday, which t has shown up at each council meeting to oppose the issue, Fletcher said that he was concerned about the fairness of pulling the ordinance. “These people out here have expended their valuable time to be here,” he said.

In the first two readings, Sansing and Fletcher, along with Aldermen Marshall Smith and Avis Twitty have voted against the rezoning. The remaining six aldermen—Kenny Elliott, Kevin McCleary, Reedie Ray, Linda Rinker (she missed the first vote), Bill Howard and Bob Stroud—voted for the rezoning.

Stroud has pointed out that the developer could, under the current zoning, build cheap 900-square-foot homes, without seeking the commission’s or the council’s approval.

“But he’s not doing that, Stroud said, he wants to build upscale 1,500-square foot townhouses that will sell for about $166,000.

“We need this type of upscale housing,” Stroud said at the Oct. 4 meeting, before introducing the ordinance for its second reading.

Fletcher, a contractor by trade, said, “Starter homes sell for $150,000 to $160,000. These townhouses are not upscale homes.”

In other council business:

- In his monthly report, Fire Chief John Vanderhoof said that his department responded to 114 rescue calls, 47 still alarms, 17 general alarms and had 214 ambulance runs during September.

- Public Works Director Jim Oakley told the council that the animal shelter received 130 dogs and 87 cats during September. Forty dogs and six cats were returned to their owners, while dogs and 39 cats were adopted. Shelter officials euthanized 34 dogs and 39 cats.

- In his monthly report, Police Chief Robert Baker said they responded to 2,494 complaint calls and made 358 adult arrests.

TOP STORY >>Cabot’s ISO rating drops

IN SHORT: A decline after a recent inspection and analysis may cause some residents to pay higher premiums.

Leader staff writer

Cabot has outgrown its fire protection and several hundred residents could have to pay more for insurance until the situation is corrected.

Fire Chief Phil Robinson said this week that affected homes will be in Greystone and Magness Creek off Highway 5. The solution to the problem is a fully staffed and equipped fire station in that area, but right now the city has neither the land to put it on nor the money to pay for it.

So Robinson said he is looking at stopgap measures like a temporary fire station and bringing in Mountain Springs Volunteer Fire Department to cover the area. But whether either plan is feasible or will accomplish the goal of keeping insurance premiums down is not known, he said.

Previously, the city’s fire rating from Insurance Services Office (ISO) was a Class 3, but after ISO completed an inspection and analysis of the city’s fire-suppression system this summer, the rating dropped to Class 3 / 9.

With ISO ratings, the lower the number, the higher the rating and the less insurance is likely to cost.

A letter from ISO to Mayor Stubby Stumbaugh dated Sept. 27, 2006, tells the mayor that the rating has dropped for property that is more than five road-miles from the nearest responding fire station or within five road-miles of the nearest responding fire station but more than 1,000 feet from a fire hydrant. The former is now a Class 10, the lowest possible, and the latter is a Class 9.

Several city council members, contacted about the change in fire rating, said they had not been notified. Robinson said this week that all houses beyond 903 Greystone Blvd. are a Class 10. That includes these subdivisions: Mystery Lake, Southern Hills, Georgetown, Signature and Kensington.

In Magness Creek North subdivision, the 11 streets beyond 61 Lakeland are Class 10, Robinson said. Robinson said several houses in the subdivisions are under construction and several lots have not been sold, so it is not possible to determine how many residents are affected by the drop in ISO rating.

Robinson said the city is looking at land for the new fire station across Highway 5 from Greystone and he has applied for a grant for a $750,000 ladder truck from the Department of Homeland Security. A ladder truck would serve the area better than a fire engine because many of the buildings are tall, he said. However, a fire engine would cost $500,000 less than a ladder truck.

Whether the new station will be built anytime soon is not known.

“We’re working now to see if it would fit into next year’s budget for capital expenditures,” Robinson said. “If I had my way, we’d build it now.”

TOP STORY >>Drug competition heats up

IN SHORT: A $4 prescription drug program Wal-Mart tested in the Tampa, Fla., area expands to Arkansas and 13 other states, but many competitors say they’ll match the program.

Leader staff writers

Some local pharmacists will compete with Wal-Mart’s lower prices for generic drugs, although at least one chain — Walgreens — said it will leave prices as they are.

On Thursday, Wal-Mart ex-panded a program offering $4 prescriptions for some generic drugs to 14 more states including Ar-kansas, two weeks after rolling out the low-cost program in Florida.

Wal-Mart first launched the program in the Tampa, Fla., area two months ago and expanded it to all of Florida two weeks ago in what it called an effort to save working Americans money on health care.

Wanda Burton, a pharmacist at Fred’s Discount Store, 428 S. James St. in Jacksonville, said she was not worried by Wal-Mart’s latest offer.

“A lot of people like us for our quick service and our convenient drive-through,” Burton said. The Wal-Mart Supercenter at 2000 John Harden Dr. does not have a drive-through pharmacy.

Fred’s is implementing a $4 generic prescription program at five of its stores in Tennessee. The company has 283 pharmacies throughout the South.

Longtime Beebe resident Becky Short said insurance provider Humana covers only a fraction of the cost of her prescriptions each month. If any of the medicines she takes are among the generics on Mal-Mart’s list, she will buy them there and save some money.

“If they have got any of the ones I buy, yes, I would use it,” Short said. “I’d go once a month.”

Pharmacist Lisa Self with The Medicine Shoppe in Cabot has mixed views on Wal-Mart’s new prescription plan.

“It will serve a need for patients who have no other resources for medications (because of price), but for others looking for more personalized service, they may not find it there,” Self said.

Pharmacists in Beebe were reluctant to talk openly about Wal-Mart’s new program that could cut into their business, but one pharmacist, who asked for anonymity, listed several possible problems for customers who leave the pharmacist who knows them for the cheaper generic drugs now available at Wal-Mart.

The pharmacist said customers who take a lot of prescription medicine, especially older customers, become accustomed to the appearance of the pills they take. The drugs selling for $4 at Wal-Mart could look different from what they take now and that could be confusing to some.

Also a concern is the possibility that a volume dealer like Wal-Mart might not be aware of all the different drugs a customer has purchased, increasing the chances of problems from drug interactions, the pharmacist said.

The pharmacist called the new program “predatory pricing” and said the motive is greed, not philanthropy.
Customers might go to Wal-Mart for the generic drugs that are possibly manufactured in China or India, the pharmacist said. But chances are they will shop while they wait.

“They didn’t become the world’s largest retailer by selling things at a loss,” the pharmacist said.

Critics, including rival non-chain pharmacies, say the plan covers only a fraction of a prescription drug market that includes about 8,700 generics approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Wal-Mart’s plan covers a month’s supply of 143 drugs in a variety of dosages and solid or liquid forms. There are 24 categories of medication on the list to treat diabetes, cholesterol, asthma and colds. There are also anti-psychotic drugs and anti-depressant medicines found on the list. The company says the drugs represent 25 percent of prescriptions that it currently dispenses nationwide.

A 30-day supply of medication is the amount the doctor prescribes. For example if a doctor recommends taking a pill three times a day, a 30-day supply would include 90 pills.

The news of the $4 generic pharmaceuticals spread fast as Wal-Mart officials touted savings not only to their pharmacy customers but also to those states’ Medicaid programs, although Dan Vogelman, a Wal-Mart spokesman, had no projected estimates as to the savings.

“It’s a constant price,” Vogelman said. The program will be permanent, he added.

The savings could immediately affect more than 470,000 uninsured Arkansans. For example, a $75-prescription for a 30-day supply of a medication would only be $4, if it were one of the 314 generic drugs included on the Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club Prescription Program list.

Asked why the prescription program did not begin in Wal-Mart’s home state, Vogelman responded, “Tampa had the population demographics, including senior citizens obviously and the uninsured. It was a really good laboratory test site.”
Senior citizens factored heavily into Wal-Mart’s new prescription program. Vogelman says many of them fall into the “doughnut hole” found in Medicaid Part D.

“They’re covered for prescription costs up to $2,250, but between $2,250 and $5,100, seniors may have to pay 100 percent for prescriptions,” Vogelman said.

Kmart already offers a 90-day supply of selected generic prescriptions for $15 at its 1,100 pharmacies nationwide. By getting a 90-day supply, customers are saving time and money by not having to visit the store every 30 days for a refill, a Kmart spokesman said. At the time of the Florida announcement, Minneapolis-based Target Corp., the country’s No. 2 discounter behind Wal-Mart, said it would match its rival’s lower prices in Florida.

CVS Corp., based in Woonsocket, R.I., referred to a statement it issued when Wal-Mart began the Tampa trial. CVS said at that time that co-pays for most generics were already low and that the chain “has always provided its customers with very competitive pricing.”

Union-backed said Wal-Mart was just trying to deflect attention from criticism that it provides skimpy health care plans for its more than 1.3 million employees.

“This is a public relations stunt meant to drive foot traffic. Most people will find their prescriptions do not fall under the $4 plan,” said Charlie Sewell, senior vice president of government affairs at the National Community Pharmacists Association. The NCPA says it represents about 24,000 non-chain pharmacies.

In response to Wal-Mart’s plan, Walgreens Drug Store issued a press release stating that it “will not” match Wal-Mart’s prescription plan based upon several reasons.

A press release at Walgreens’ website referred to Wal-Mart’s pricing as a “limited price promotion” in response to the “increasing number” of senior citizens choosing their stores to frequent.

Wal-Mart’s program was extended to Arkansas and the following states: Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas and Vermont.

(Peggy Kenyon of The Leader and The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

SPORTS >>HA Wildcats playing for league crown

Leader sportswriter

Don’t tell Yellville-Summit that Friday’s game with Harding Academy is for the conference title; they are treating it like just another game. There is still an outside chance for Mayflower to end up as champions, but it would take Yellville-Summit beating HA, and then Mayflower beating Yellville to create a three-way tie that would be broken by conference points earned.
Both teams enter Friday’s contest at First Security Stadium in Searcy with undefeated conference records. The final two games on the schedule for Harding Academy are snoozers, along with the makeup game with Cave City that was postponed because of lightning a few weeks back.

The Panthers still have to face a tough Mayflower team, a team that Harding Academy had to come from behind late in the fourth quarter to get past. Panthers head coach Calvin Mallett knows his team is in for a tough fight, but says they will treat the Wildcats like any other opponent this year.

“I don’t think we’ve faced a team this year that can throw the ball as good as they do or have the kind of athletes they do,” Mallett said. “Even if you’re in their hip pocket, they are throw a drop out on you. We’ve got our work cut out for us if we’re going to stop them.

“Mayflower may have a lot to say about who wins the conference, obviously they are rooting for us to win this Friday, so they can try to beat us next Friday to create a three-way tie, so we just have to do what we have done all year and treat this just like another game.” It will be a game of very contrasting offenses on Friday. Harding Academy is well known as a spread team, and Yellville-Summit runs out of the tricky double wing-T formation. Mallett says senior quarterback Tim Murray is the heart and soul of the Panthers offense. Murray is just 15 yards shy of 1,000 yards rushing with three games still left to go in the season.

“We pretty much just put it in our quarterback’s hands and let him call the play at the line,” Mallett said. “He is pretty good at reading defenses, and adjusting wherever he needs to.” Along with a quarterback that can control things play-wise, the Panthers also have a big advantage over the Wildcats in terms of depth. With a 40 player roster, Yellville-Summit has no two-way players. The offense and defense each has 11 separate starters, something that could prove to be a huge factor late in the game.

The Wildcats and Panthers will fight it out for the title Friday in Searcy with kickoff at 7:30 p.m.

SPORTS >>Lonoke will battle with Trojans for higher seed

Leader sportswriter

Friday’s game between Lonoke and Marianna at Abraham field in Lonoke has serious playoff implications for both teams. Both teams are mathematically still alive for a shot at the conference title, but neither have faced powerhouse Stuttgart.
The Ricebirds will be highly favored over both teams this year, which makes this Friday’s game between Jeff Jones’ Jack-rabbits and Trojans a likely battle for the No. 2 seed for the 4A-2 Conference.

Marianna is still undefeated in the conference with a 4-0 league record, one better than Lonoke’s 3-1 record. The Rabbits’ only conference loss was a close one in the 4A-2 opener against Heber Springs. Marianna beat Heber two weeks later, which makes the post-season scenario between the three teams that much more complicated.

Trojans head coach Billy Saia says Lonoke’s 4-3 record is a very misleading one. The head Trojan says the Jackrabbits appear to be one of the most athletic teams his squad will face at this point in the season. “I don’t know that we’ve seen anyone with as much speed as they have,” Saia said. “We played Newport, and they had a lot of speed, but Lonoke has more overall kids who are pretty fast. They have a tailback named Scales who has a lot of speed, and their quarterback Cash is athletic.

Defensively, they fly to the ball. To tell you the truth, I am very surprised that they are 4-3; it surprises me that they have lost a game at all.” Marianna has its share of quick players as well. Senior tailback Cameron Greer has led the team with 1150 yards rushing so far this season. Senior qaurterback Shannon Hardin has very balanced numbers for the year. His 930 all-purpose offensive yards are made up of 450 yards passing and 480 yards rushing. The Trojans also have a stout big man in the backfield with junior fullback Derrick Hill.

The Trojans started the season off with a loss to HWHC, but since then have clicked off five straight wins. Saia says his team has taken the success in stride so far, and hopes that the progress will continue. “We’ve done the things we needed to do to win,” Saia said. “We still have a lot of work to do. We have some young kids that have moved up, and right now we are still progressing with them, but we have the opportunity to be a very good team.”

Saia says that it is not personnel or play schemes that concern him the most going into Lonoke, but tradition. He says it is one advantage the Jackrabbits have against his team hands down. “It’s been a surprising year for us,” Saia said. “We have just gelled together; we have had a lot of strong senior leadership. We don’t have a lot of tradition, which is something that concerns me. You need some tradition when you get into big, close ballgames like the one we will probably be in on Friday to help push you through.”

SPORTS >>Sylvan Hills riding high; Patriots get players back

Leader sports editor

Sylvan Hills and Marion are two teams that seem to be catching each other at just the wrong time. The Bears just went to Forrest City and got their first conference win. It was a game that they needed not just to stay in the playoff race, but to build some confidence for the postseason chase that is the final three weeks of the year.

The Patriots suffered a big loss last week to Mountain Home, but they will have star running back Darcel Johnston back at full speed for this week’s matchup. In the preseason, Johnston was labeled one of the top running backs in the state, and his return is very important to the Patriots, who are 2-2 and in a three-way tie for third place in the 6A-East standings.

“I think we’re pretty much going to have him ready to go this week,” Marion coach Mark Uhiren said. “He hasn’t played a whole game since week one against Wynne. He missed a few weeks there and he’s played in spots since then, but he hasn’t been full speed. I think he’ll be ready this week. We’re going to bank on that.”

Sylvan Hills fullback Davon Neal has been hampered with injury this year too. Neal wasn’t the prospect that Johnston was at the start of the season, but he’s a major concern for Uhiren. “Of course everybody worries about their quarterback, and rightfully so, but that little fullback they’ve got is a good hand,” Uhiren said. “He’s not real flashy, but he’s strong, he runs strong and makes good decisions. He’s a very good back and you have to be ready for him.”

Uhiren also notices the team speed the Bears possess, but his team has seen speed before. “Assuming we play smart on defense, we ought to be right there with them on speed,” Uhiren said. “Any team with the kind of speed Sylvan Hills has concerns you, but we’ve seen a lot of it this year. Mills was an exceptionally fast team. Wynne is always fast and even Rogers was very fast compared to what they usually have. But Sylvan Hills is fast too. They’re probably just as athletic as any team we’ve seen, and we’re going to have to play smart. If you don’t, you’ll get burned.”

While Neal is one type of threat, the players that line up at wide receiver for the Bears are breakaway threats. That also has Uhiren’s attention. “That’s where playing smart comes in. Their receivers are very good. Of course you have to have a quarterback that can get it to them, and they definitely have that. They’re playing well right now so we better be ready to play.”

Johnston and a few other players will return for Uhiren this week, but getting them on the field is just one aspect of recovering from injury. The Marion staff will just have to wait and see how ready they are to hit and be hit.

“We’re getting some back, but you know once you get them back, you got to get ‘em back in the groove of playing football,” Uhiren said. “We’re battling that right now, some of them aren’t in good football shape. Hopefully we’ll be ready when Friday comes.”

SPORTS >>Red Devils worrisome for Reed

Leader sports editor

In its last two games, Jacksonville has started showing signs of the potent offense that was expected at the beginning of the season. When they kick off this week in Forrest City, they will be taking on a Mustang team that has begun to struggle in recent weeks.

Both teams played opponents that were winless in conference play heading into last Friday. Jacksonville dominated Searcy while Forrest City saw Sylvan Hills slip out of their home stadium with its first league win. Both teams played most of the game without their best offensive weapons. When Jacksonville’s Justin Akins left his game in the first quarter after hitting the asphalt of the long jump ramp at the end of a run, teammate Lee Rob-inson stepped right in and the Red Devil offense didn’t miss a beat.

Forrest City quarterback Wilson Parker played sparingly for the first time in three weeks, but couldn’t go full speed and didn’t play much at all in the second half. His reserve, Nakier Barton, didn’t move the team as effectively. Forrest City coach Scott Reed didn’t blame the play of his backup quarterback. He was disappointed in the entire effort.

“Individually Nakier played pretty well,” Reed said. “He ran it well and made the right reads. Our problem was the overall team play wasn’t very good at all. It was pretty bad.” Reed is a Jacksonville graduate and former teammate of Jacksonville coach Mark Whatley. Reed led his Mustangs to a big win over Jacksonville in his first trip back to Jan Crow Stadium last season. That win helped lift the Mustangs to a higher seed in the playoffs, and this game has equal postseason implications. Jacksonville is 3-1 and alone in second place in the conference, while Forrest City is 2-2 and in a three-way tie for third. Reed, though, didn’t want to discuss that aspect of the upcoming game with his former school.

“Right now we’ve got to fix a lot of things and play a lot better before we talk about anything like making the playoffs,” Reed said. The head Mustang isn’t just worried about his offense, Reed is also concerned with the problems Jacksonville presents for his defense. Whatley’s goal is for his offense to be balanced between the run and the pass. The last two games have seen his team progressing towards that goal, and being successful, although the team is still having more success keeping it on the ground.

Despite that, Reed believes his team will have to be prepared for anything, especially with Jacksonville’s progress in the passing game. “The can do either one,” Reed said. “This is their second year in that system and they look to be a lot more comfortable. They’ve got a lot of weapons, a lot of speed all over the field. You can’t just focus on one thing defensively. If you do, they’ll burn you with the other one. They give you a lot to prepare for.”

Akins will be back and at least very close to full speed this week. Parker is still questionable with his ankle injury. “It’s still just day to day,” Reed said of his quarterback. “He played a little bit last Friday, but he couldn’t go very much. He wasn’t very mobile. If it improves he could be out there a lot, but we just don’t know.”

FROM THE PUBLISHER >>Attack Iran by air, says general

Thousands of Arkansans in the military who serve in Iraq and Afghanistan may see action in two other trouble spots in the not too distant future. Threats of UN sanctions won’t stop North Korea and Iraq from pursuing their nuclear ambitions. North Korea continues to test its nuclear weapons and Iran forges ahead with its own nuclear program.

Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice says the U.S. has no plans to attack North Korea (for now), but at least one former Air Force general believes war against Iran is inevitable. Ret. Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, a former pilot and a strategic commander for 35 years, said in an interview recently that Iran should be attacked next fall if it doesn’t abandon its nuclear program.

He favors a combined air, land and sea attack against some 1,500 targets within 24 to 36 hours, which would knock out Iran’s nuclear program for at least five years and depose the ayatollahs, leading the way to democracy. A rosy scenario? Perhaps, but with better planning, a war against a country with real weapons of mass destruction would make more sense than attacking Iraq, which, we now know, was only bluffing about its nuclear capabilities. McInerney would send in waves of spy planes, bombers, cruise missiles, refueling aircraft and probably cargo planes to land troops on the ground.

It’s a tall order, which would still leave North Korea’s nuclear ambitions unchallenged. Assuming UN sanctions will lead nowhere, would the U.S. take on a third rogue nation and bring on regime change? Although the Iraq will remain a huge burden to the U.S. military, it would not surprise if President Bush’s inner circle, seeking vindication against the axis of evil, will go for a knockout punch before the presidential elections.

Bush wants to improve his standing before the American public and in the history books, and he might go after Iran’s rulers next and then perhaps North Korea. When a retired Air Force general thinks that’s the direction to go, policy makers must be listening. After all, the Air Force did its job well in Iraq, knocking out Saddam in a matter of days.
It’s the ground forces that need better leadership to finish the task at hand.

OBITUARIES >> 10-18-06


Jimmie Keith Bowlan, Sr., 49, of Carlisle departed this life Oct. 14.

His parents, Tom and Ruby Bowlan, preceded him in death. He is survived by his loving wife of 23 years, Mary; children, Jimmie Bowlan, Jr. and Ashley Bowlan all of Carlisle; his brothers, Tommie Lee of Mansfield, Ronnie and Dannie of Carlisle; two sisters; Louise Snider of Hazen and Bonnie Kay of Floyd, and many nieces and nephews.

He was an avid hunter and fisherman. When he was on the lake or out in the woods, he was happy. He worked for the Lonoke County Road Department for 23 years. Jimmie leaves behind to cherish his memory his family, friends and co-workers.
Funeral services were held Oct. 17 at Boyd Funeral Home in Lonoke with burial in Hamilton Cemetery.


Wayne Cochran, 77, of Cabot passed away Oct. 15.

He was born Sept. 29, 1929 in Bearden to the late Tom Henry and Myrtle Marie Cochran. He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother. Survivors include his wife, Melba Cochran of the home; two sons, Steve Cochran of Little Rock and David Cochran of Cabot; one daughter, Cindy Cochran of Atlanta, Ga.; one sister, Eloise Landis of Grapevine, Texas; nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18 at Thomas Funeral Service at Cabot. Graveside services will be at 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19 in Mt. Carmel Cemetery at Cabot officiated by Bruce Tucker, minister of Southside Church of Christ.
Family requests memorials be made to Southside Church of Christ; Arkansas Hospice Foundation or the Alzheimer’s Founda-tion of America.


Melanie Dawn Cox, 20, of Cabot passed away October 10 in Searcy.  

She was born July 20, 1986 in Blytheville. Melanie was a member of Southside Church of Christ in Cabot. She received a liver transplant in 2002. She was a 2004 graduate from Cabot High School, where she participated in band and junior high basketball.

She was preceded in death by her grandmother, Janiece Smithson, and grandfather, Douglas Fairley; great-grandparents, Martha Abbott, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Fairley, and Mr. and Mrs. Doyle V. Bradsher. Melanie is survived by her mother, Maleah Smithson of Cabot; stepfather, Michael Smithson of Austin; two sisters, Malorie and Melissa Smithson both of the home; grandparents, Ron and Billie Finley of Searcy, J.W. Smithson of Trumann, and Rosa Cox of Tenn.; great grandparent, Ira Abbott of Trumann; aunts and uncles, Trey and Paige Talley, Shane Fairley, Debbie Smithson, and Dana Ferguson.   
Services were Friday, Oct. 13, at Southside Church of Christ with Bruce Tucker officiating. Burial was in Mississippi County Memorial Gardens in Osceola.  

Pallbearers were Mike Fortson, Hal Reper, Jonathan Walthall, Josh Henson, Matt Straschinski, John Minard, Jonathan Taylor, Lindsey Fairley, Shane Fairley, Derrick Smithson, Doyle Bradsher, David Bufford, and Trey Talley.  

Memorials may be made to the Cabot Schools band program and to any organ-recipient association. The family would like to encourage others to have an awareness of the importance of organ donation. Arrangements were under the direction of Moore’s Cabot Funeral Home.


Betty Anne Gibbs, 60, passed away Oct. 9.

She was a member of Mountain View Baptist Church in Wolverton Mountain, and was a loving wife, mother and grandmother.
Survivors include her husband, Don Gibbs of the home; one son, Tim Gibbs and his wife Derenda and two grandchildren, Blake Gibbs and Seth Gibbs, all of East End; her mother, Betty Marie Howard of Heber Springs; two brothers, Jimmy Burris of North Little Rock and Daryl Wilds of Mayflower; two sisters, Charlene Wilds of Quitman and Jeanelle Verser of Prim.

Funeral services were Oct. 12 at Boyd Funeral Home in Lonoke with burial in Lonoke Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice Home Care, Inc. of Conway, 821 North Creek Dr., Conway, Ark. 72032.


B.A. “Buck” Griffith, 81, of McRae died Oct. 14. He was born March 20, 1925, to the late Lee and Elsie Osborne Griffith.
He was baptized in the Methodist Church and a member of McRae United Methodist for many years. He served three years in the Navy in the South Pacific during World War II, two years in the Korean War, four years in Naval Reserve and four years in the Air Force Reserve.

Buck served 20 years with the Little Rock Police Department, retiring as a lieutenant. He worked for Arkansas Trailer Manufacturing for six years as vice president and sales manager. Later, he was employed at Baker Leasing Corporation for seven years, also as vice president and sales manager.

He was preceded in death by his mother and father; a sister, Pauline Griffith; two brothers, James H. and Paul F. “Cub” Griffith; two nephews, Mike and Jim. Buck is survived by his loving wife, Peggy Self Griffith; two sons, Danny Griffith and wife Liz and Jacque Griffith, all of Little Rock; one grandson, Scott Griffith and wife Melody; one great-grandson, Zac, all of Little Rock, and a host of nieces and nephews and wonderful friends.

Donations may be made to the McRae Veterans Memorial c/o McRae City Hall, 115 South Grand, McRae, Ark. 72102, which Buck and numerous others were instrumental in establishing. Funeral was Oct. 17, at Westbrook Funeral Home with burial in Meadowbrook Memorial Gardens in Beebe.


David Houston Kight, 40, of Cabot passed away on Thursday, Oct. 12. He was a welder and member of Boiler Makers Union Local 66. He is survived by his wife, Kimberly Blucker Kight and one son, Ian Tyler Kight, both of Cabot; mother, Margrett Kight; a brother, Heath Arlen Kight; father and mother-in-law, Wayne and Joyce Blucker; sister-in-law, Linda Blucker, all of Jacksonville and his best friend, Buddy.

He was preceded in death by his father, David Arlen Kight; grandparents, Gilbert Houston and Willie Pearl Kight and Edward L. and Natella Childs. Funeral services were Oct. 17 at North Little Rock Funeral Home Chapel. Burial was in Bethel Cemetery.


Elven DeLos Slavens, 69, of Jacksonville went to be with the Lord Oct. 15 in North Little Rock.  

He was born July 19, 1937 in Napa, Calif., to the late Cameron Elven Slavens and Ruby Evelyn Craig.  He was also preceded in death by his step-mother, Genela Slavens and sister-in-law, Esther Crowder.  He served in the Army, was a carpenter by trade, a manufacturing engineer for IBM and a member of two bowling leagues at Sherwood Lanes.  He was a Christian.
Survivors include his wife, Marlene Slavens of Jacksonville;  children, Kandy and her husband Steve Sager of Tucson, Ariz., Frank Slavens and his wife Marsha of Bowling Green, South Carolina, Steve and his wife Libby Slavens of Harlingen, Texas, and Jacqueline and her husband Douglas Zender of Loveland, Col.; stepfather, James T. Crowder, Sr. of Col., brothers James T. Crowder, Jr. and his wife Linda of Longmont, Col. and David Alan Crowder of Col.; sister, Lois Ann Tatum and her husband Lynn of Jacksonville; sister-in-law, Joyce Kandra-Bell of Salt Lake, Utah; grandchildren, Cember Slavens, LaRee Slavens, Crystal Slavens, Heidi Meador, Rochelle and Jeremy Roden, Cameron Slavens, Craig Slavens, Phillip Slavens, Christopher Mercer, Jonathan and Shea Slavens, SSGT Elizabeth A. Jones, and Jeremy Zender; great-grandchild, Haley Roden; nieces and nephews, Debbie and Dan Sedelmeier, Kathy and Bruce Tenenbaum and Mark and Annette Tatum; other family, Paul A. Jones and Shelly Page- Slavens.  

Memorial services will be at 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, in Moore’s Funeral Home Chapel at Jacksonville.  In lieu of flowers, please plant a tree somewhere in his honor.


Mildred Harleston Warren, 91, a long time resident of Beebe passed away Oct. 15.

She was residing at Autumn Leaves of Carrollton, at Carrollton, Texas. She was born on May 11, 1915, in Hazen. She is survived by one daughter, Rosalie Alexander and husband Ron of Highland Village, Texas, and one son, Dr. Robert Hughes Warren and wife Tommie of Little Rock; four grandchildren, Ann Marie Warren, Mark Richard Warren and wife Mandy, Robert Vera, and John Vera.; two great-grandchildren, Madison and Megan; two sisters; Rosalie Hassell and Jane Stephens of Judsonia.

Her husband, Robert Lee Warren, preceded her in death in 1990. She spent many years as an elementary school teacher. She also taught piano and organ lessons and served as a church organist at both First Baptist Church and First Methodist Church in Beebe. During her career she was a director of public school music at Beebe High School, music education instructor at the Arkansas Children’s Colony, and was the developer of the first public school program for the educable mentally retarded in the Beebe school system. She was active in the community and shared her love of music with many by playing for community functions and special occasions. She was named one of the remarkable women in Arkansas in 1977.

Even with an active career, she always put her family first. Her greatest joy was her grandchildren, always reminding them that she loved them more than the last number. She was a true example of a person who put God first, family second, and others third. She was loved by many and will be greatly missed.

Memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, at First United Methodist Church in Beebe. Memorials may be made to: Castle Hills Baptist Church Choir, 4561 N. Josey Lane, Carrollton, Texas 75010.

EDITORIAL>>Huck makes Sooners mad

Gov. Huckabee’s brief sojourn in Oklahoma last week to campaign for local Republican candidates explains better than anything else why he will never get far in the stakes for the presidential nomination of the Republican Party. He has an irresistible impulse for oafish, intemperate and embarrassing remarks when he crosses the border and escapes the becalming influence of the Arkansas public.

That weakness was first detected when he went to New York in 2000 to be on the Don Imus nationally broadcast radio show and referred to his state as “The Banana Republic of Arkansas” because its people were insensitive to election fraud. Huckabee said the motto in Arkansas was “Vote Early and Vote Often.” Imus did not get around to the obvious question: Aren’t those the same people who elected you?

Someone was around to ask the obvious questions when Huckabee went to Tulsa last week and attacked that state’s attorney general and the state’s environmental protections, which he said were entirely too strong. Arkansas’ government is much kinder to polluters, and the governor implied that Sooners would be well advised to take their cues from us. He suggested that Arkansas just might dam the Illinois River in Washington County and prevent its waters from flowing into Oklahoma if the state didn’t shape up and be kinder to polluting industries in Arkansas.

However much we deserved them, Huckabee’s remarks were an embarrassment for Arkansas, and they must have sent the Oklahoma Republicans whom he was there to help running for cover. The man sometimes just does not think before he opens his mouth.

Huckabee and Oklahoma’s Democratic attorney general, Drew Edmondson, had exchanged barbs before. Edmondson is suing poultry producers in Arkansas and Missouri because the chicken litter that the big commercial chicken farms use for pasture fertilizer fills the Illinois River with phosphorus and makes the stream unfit for municipal water supplies when it crosses from Arkansas near Siloam Springs into Oklahoma, where it gums up Lake Frances and Lake Tenkiller with algae.

Huckabee and Arkansas Attorney General Mike Beebe have defended the big poultry companies and Arkansas’ pollution standards. According to the Tulsa World, Huckabee said Edmondson’s suit was politically motivated and that his criticism of the poultry industry and the Arkansas government’s laissez-faire attitude toward its depredations on the environment were unfair and offensive.

Huckabee said the stream standards established by the Oklahoma Water Resources Board in 2002 and approved by the federal Environ-mental Protection Agency — George W. Bush’s EPA found them acceptable! — were unattainable. The World took it that he was saying that Arkansas would never try to reach such standards.

The newspaper’s conservative editorial page said Huckabee couldn’t resist “sticking his foot in his mouth.” But let the World explain it: “[Huckabee] threatened that if Oklahoma persisted in the lawsuit, Arkansas might dam up the Illinois before it crosses the border. ‘You won’t have any dirty water, but you won’t have any water,’ he said, apparently admitting that the water flowing out of Arkansas is indeed dirty.

We’ll just divert it. We can live with it. Can Oklahoma live without any of it?’” “First of all, does Huckabee not realize that damming the river would cut off water to Oklahoma only until the reservoir behind the dam filled up? Does the Keystone Dam cut off the flow of the Arkansas River into Arkansas? “Second, Huckabee’s threat might actually be good for Oklahoma. A dam on the Illinois might trap a lot of the Arkansas chicken poop that flows into Oklahoma.

“Third, why is a guy who hopes to run for president making such intemperate and parochial statements? “Huckabee’s line of baloney might sell in his home state, but it’s difficult to imagine that it helps the Oklahoma candidates for whom he is stumping. Most Oklahomans, after all, like the idea of clear, clean water in their state.”

Well, so do most Arkansans. And, as near as 18 months ago, so did a narrow majority of one house of the Arkansas Legislature, which thwarted commercial development that would pollute Lake Maumelle, central Arkansas’ major drinking-water source.

But the poultry industry in Arkansas is like the oil and gas industry in Oklahoma. The government and the leading politicians are at its service. Arkansas people understand that, too. But most of them would like their goodwill ambassador not to rub it in their faces when he goes forth from their bourn to enlarge his career. Try to make us look good, governor, or else just ignore your native state and talk about what you know best, body fat and gay marriage.

FRONT PAGE STORY>>Beebe likes pre-K class during visit

Leader staff writer

With a platform of improving education in the state, Attorney Gen. Mike Beebe, the Democratic candidate for governor, Monday visited Ward Central Elementary School’s pre-kindergarten program that he hopes to implement statewide. According to principal Michele French, it was a chance for lawmakers and school board members to look at the school’s pre-K classes and see how it helps youngsters get their start in school.

“It was a chance for us to spotlight our program and what we do for kids,” French said. “We are proud of what we do and the kids are great.” Beebe’s education program includes a fully funded quality pre-kindergarten program for all 3- and 4-year-olds, and after watching pre-K teachers at Ward Central, Beebe said he was glad he had seen it in action. “It lets me see what I’ve talked about and how effective it is,” Beebe said. “I see it in practice.”

There are 11 pre-K classes in the Cabot School District; seven at Ward Central, two at Westside Elementary, and two at Northside Elementary. After a tour of the pre-K program, including stops in numerous classrooms, Beebe said it was “a great system.” He described his look at Ward’s pre-k program as “a wonderful implementation of a quality program,” stating that school board and parent involvement are indicative of a quality school system.

“Pre-k programs elevate the academic quality of our students,” Beebe said. “Nobody does it any better.” Beebe believes that continuous learning starts early; pre-kindergarten is vital for future learning, school readiness and success in the job market, he said.

“It’s a validation of what I’ve been saying,” Beebe added. “They (Ward Central) are a first class school and are really committed.” Ward Central’s pre-K program is part of the Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale (ECERS) program, which is designed to assess group programs for children of preschool through kindergarten, ages 2 ? through 5.

A science lesson on metamorphosis was being taught in one class when Beebe looked in, using tadpoles as an example.
“Metamorphosis?” Beebe asked, surprised that an eight-grade science topic was being taught to three- and four-year olds.
“This is where we’ve got to go,” Beebe said of the school’s program.

Ward Central’s pre-kindergarten program is grant funded, with money coming from both the Arkansas Better Chance for School Success (ABCSS) and the 21st Century Community Learning Center (21stCCLC). The 21stCCLC funding is used for Ward Central’s afterschool programs. The 220 pre-kindergarten students at Ward Central attend full school days, and go once a week to art, library, music, physical education and science lab activity classes.

FRONT PAGE STORY>>Council still votes to allow rezoning

Leader staff writer

Commercial development will continue for now on Main Street in Cabot west of Highway 67-167 over the objections of residents in that area who say traffic is becoming unbearable. The Cabot City Council voted 6-2 Monday night in favor of a commercial rezoning that will allow Crye-Leike, a real estate company, to locate there on 1.3 acres adjacent to Stephen Blackwood’s real estate office.

Five of the city’s eight council members are not running for reelection, and two of the three who are running have opposition. So it is conceivable that the council’s position could change in January with potentially seven new members on board. Aldermen Jerry Stephens and David Polantz voted against the rezoning which was part of an 11-acre rezoning request the council turned down earlier this year. Polantz said the rule against applying for a rezone more than once in a 12-month period should have been upheld. Stephens said the council should consider a moratorium on all commercial development in the area until traffic issues are addressed.

“It should not have come before us until the year is passed,” Polantz said. Stephens told the council he was concerned that continued commercial development will make it difficult for residents to get to work in the morning and back home in the afternoon.

But Mayor Stubby Stumbaugh said commercial development is crucial to the city’s stability. Without commercial tax revenue, the city will never be able to pay its fire fighters and police officers enough to keep them, the mayor said. Cabot will be nothing but a training ground.

“If we start putting a moratorium on commercial building, you’re going to see this town dry up and blow away,” he said.
Bill Staggs, who lives in the area that was rezoned said the council is opening the door for more commercial rezoning of the 11 acres it refused to rezone in February.

“You’re just going to domino one acre into another and before long you’re back to where we started,” Staggs said. Mike Smith, owner of the property, said he would eventually ask for more to be rezoned commercial because commercial is the “highest and best use.”

“We tried to bring it in as a controlled development of the whole 11 acres but that didn’t seem to work,” he said, calling attention to what was apparent to both the council and the residents, that by turning down the controlled development, the city left him with no option except to develop piecemeal.

In other business, the council approved borrowing up to $355,000 from Community Bank to furnish the new community center which is supposed to open in two weeks. Alderman David Polantz voted against the resolution approving the loan, saying that instead of applying for the loan online with every bank in town, the city should have advertised for bids in a newspaper as it does for other services.

City Clerk Marva Verkler said the city always advertises for banking services by contacting all the local banks. City Attorney Clint McGue said there was no state law that required bidding banking services. Polantz appeared incredulous at the mayor’s assertion that he was trying to delay the opening of the community center, scheduled for Nov. 1.

“I’m not trying to stall the opening. Is that what you just said?” he asked. “That’s exactly what you’re going to do,” Stumbaugh answered. Jim Towe, the city’s director of public works, said in a later interview, that barring unforeseen problems like heavy rain that would slow the paving of the parking lot, the community center will be completed by Nov. 1. However, the furnishing that will be purchased with the loan the council approved can’t be moved in until after the building is completed.

Carroll Astin, parks director, never intended to have the building ready to open until Nov. 15, Towe said. The council also approved the low bid of $31,905.70 from Lasiter Construction, Inc., of Little Rock, to pave the parking lot at the new animal shelter.

After a disagreement with other council members about whether the city could pay for a sidewalk linking the new community center to the senior citizens’ center with money borrowed to furnish the community center, Polantz pulled his resolution asking the mayor to supply the council with an estimated cost of laying the sidewalk.

Polantz said since the loan would be for $355,000 and Astin thinks the cost of furnishings will be $260,000, there would be enough to pay the estimated $13,000 for the sidewalks. Other council members and the city attorney said sidewalks fell outside the parameter of the resolution for the loan.

The council also approved paying $18,150 for three handheld radios and two mobile radios and $60,000 for 10 cameras for the police department.

FRONT PAGE STORY>>Candidates debate before farmers

Leader staff writer

Lonoke County Farm Bureau members witnessed a clash of both style and substance Monday night when Cong. Marion Berry, D-Gillett, countered challenger Mickey “Stubby” Stumbaugh’s passionate and pointed attack on his record with a calm, low-key appeal for farmers’ votes based on his past performance and his prominence on farm-related House committees.
Republican Stumbaugh’s standard stump speech received enthusiastic reception from some in the room, while Berry—a farmer speaking to farmers—received a heartier response and partial standing ovation.


Stumbaugh, currently the Cabot mayor, is known for his humor and his straight-ahead style. He charged that Berry had not brought home enough benefits for First District constituents and “wants to be a pawn of the Democrats.”

“The truth is not in him,” said Stumbaugh. “I want to lower EPA standards and invest in alternative fuels.” “Illegal immigration will be the downfall of the nation,” he insisted. He said the First District is among the poorest per capita and is losing jobs, has big drug problems and hasn’t gotten its share of highway money under Berry.

Stumbaugh promised to make President Bush’s tax cuts, benefiting some businesses and mostly the wealthy, permanent. He said he would work to eliminate the estate tax. He called Berry the King of Pork and said he helped earmark $300,000 to preserve habitat for the ivory-billed woodpecker—“which may or may not exist,” but not doing enough to help small businesses and keep the economy afloat. He charged that Berry voted against health care, tax relief for small businesses and accelerating tax cuts to help spur the economy. Stumbaugh said he favored price supports for farmers until there is a true free market for their products.


Following Stumbaugh’s attack, Berry, the First District congressman since 1997 and a former Clinton White House appointee, told farmers, “I’m perfectly willing to let my record stand on its own. If you have confidence in me, I hope you will vote for me.”

He reported that the commanding general of the Army Corps of Engineers last week signed off on the Bayou Meto irrigation project, designed to pump irrigation water from the Arkansas River and deliver it to area farmers. “The civilian chief said he would sign it,” said Berry.

“I hope that within a few years we’ll be able to take water out of the river and spread it across the (area).” He reported that rice prices seemed to be recovering after falling off when genetic contamination was recently announced.

“Biofuels will increase the prosperity of the farmer,” he said. “It will increase the value of your land, create prosperity and clean up the air all at the same time.” “This election will bring change in health care,” Berry predicted, “so that all can afford health care and drugs.”

He said he would be the No. 2 ranking member of the House agriculture committee when it comes time to write the 2007 farm bill. “This administration has made no secret — they will trade away our subsidies or cut them with the farm bill,” Berry charged.


Dereck Schafer and Jason Fortner, both of Lonoke, and both seniors majoring in agri business at Arkansas State University at Jonesboro, each was awarded a $1,000 Gordon R. Brown Scholarship, according to Mike Freeze, outgoing president of the Lonoke County Farm Bureau.

The membership voted unanimously for those nominated for officers for the next year. They were, Woody Bryant, president; Bill Sandage, vice president; Blake Swears, secretary, and Dow Brantley, treasurer. A slate of 27 men were accepted to serve on the next board of directors.