Wednesday, April 25, 2007

SPORTS>>Red Devils pile up the runs, beat Parkview

Leader sports editor

Jacksonville continued its impressive run through its non-conference schedule Monday with an easy 16-6 victory over Little Rock Parkview at Dupree Park.

The Red Devils ended the matter in six innings, but the Patriots put up a fight before giving way in the bottom of the sixth.
Jacksonville led 11-0 going into the fifth inning and needed only to finish the inning with one run allowed to end the game in five. Parkview, though, finally began putting the ball in play and Jacksonville, which had substituted in several positions, committed four errors in the top of the frame.

Errors at shortstop, third base and first base on consecutive at bats led to two Patriot runs. Two batters later with two outs, Parkview’s Ben Anderson got the first hit of the inning, a single to left field. Due to another error in left, the ball rolled to the fence, leaving Anderson on third and scoring two more Patriot runs to make it 11-4 and extending the game.

Jacksonville answered with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Adam Ussery led off the inning with a double to left field. Two batters later, Cameron Hood hit a two-RBI home run over the fence in left-center to give Jacksonville a nine-run lead.
Parkview got three hits in the sixth inning and added two more runs, but the Red Devils ended it with three in the bottom of the sixth.

Zach Thomas and Tirrell Brown hit back-to-back infield singles and advanced a base on a passed ball. Clayton Fenton then hit a deep fly ball to left field that scored Thomas, and Chris Noble singled to center to score Brown. Noble stole second base and moved to third on a passed ball during Ussery’s at bat. Ussery walked and Noble scored on a wild pitch with Blake Mattison at the plate to end the game.

Mattison started the game with a double to left field in the bottom of the first. He moved to third when Jason Regnas reached on an error at second base, and scored on a balk. Two more infield errors brought Regnas home and gave Jacksonville a 2-0 lead.

The mistakes kept piling up for the Patriots in the second inning. Tommy Sanders reached on an error at short to start the inning. Ussery walked with one out and both runners scored on another double by Mattison. Mattison then scored via another error at shortstop.

Leading 5-0, Jacksonville posted six runs in the third on the strength of three hits, two walks and two more Parkview errors.
Thomas led off with a walk and Brown reached on an error at second base. Sanders hit a sacrifice grounder that scored Thomas and another groundout moved Brown to third. Brown scored on another Balk before Ussery doubled to right field. Mattison then singled to drive in Ussery and advanced to third on an error in right. Regnas walked and Hood reached on an error in centerfield that also allowed Mattison and Regnas to score to score. Caleb Mitchell then singled to right field to drive in Hood and make it 11-0. Jacksonville got its 16 runs on nine hits, four walks and eight Parkview errors.

Jacksonville gave up six hits and four errors, all four in the fifth inning. Mattison went 3 for 4 with two doubles, three RBIs and three runs scored. Ussery got two hits, both doubles, walked twice and scored three runs. The win lifted Jacksonville’s record to 8-14 overall. The will finish the second Friday at home against Forrest City.

SPORTS>>Jacksonville No. 3 seed in East, tops in tie games

Leader sportswriter

Jacksonville continued its tying trend for the final two matches of the 6A-East Conference schedule. The Red Devils went into Friday’s game with Mountain Home with five ties on their record, and a 1-1 result against the Bombers made it six. To add to their already-unique record, Jacksonville tied with Jonesboro on Monday to bring the ‘Devils’ regular season record to 7-2-7.

“I’ve never heard of seven ties in a soccer season,” Jacksonville coach Leighton Canon said. “It’s pretty unique, but I do think the close game with Jonesboro will give us some momentum heading into the state tournament.”

Jonesboro looked to repeat a 3-1 win over the Red Devils just two weeks earlier, rushing out to a 2-0 lead in the opening minutes of the match. Jimmy Polatsidis put the Red Devils on the board before the end of the first half with a goal, and senior standout Manuel Alvidrez scored the final two goals for Jacksonville in the second half with a penalty kick, followed by a goal in the final two minutes of the game that set the tying final result.

Alvidrez had a shot at the win in the closing seconds with another free-kick opportunity, but flipped the ball over the goal on the attempt, leaving the score deadlocked at three goals each.

Not only did it mark the seventh tie for the Red Devils this season, it was their fourth consecutive tie in conference action. Jacksonville will end up as the No. 3 seed from the East conference, and will take on Little Rock Hall, the No. 6 seed from the 6A-South, in the first round of the state soccer tournament in Texarkana at noon.

Although the girls team will not be making a playoff appearance this year, the Lady Red Devils showed a slight improvement from last year’s winless season. Jacksonville beat Sylvan Hills for their first win in two seasons, and recorded a tie with Mountain Home. The Lady Devils were not able to carry the momentum into the last week of the schedule, however, losing to Mountain Home 4-0 and finishing the year with a 5-0 loss to Jonesboro.

SPORTS>>Owls win district crown

Leader sportswriter

Abundant Life held a 10-4 lead over Harding Academy heading into the bottom of the sixth inning of the Class 4A District 2 finals Monday night at Wiggin’s Field on the campus of Harding University in Searcy. They would take the win four innings later.

A six-run rally from the Wildcats in the sixth forced extra innings, but the Owls waited the storm out and took advantage of a fading Matt Lincoln on the mound. Abundant Life put five runs up in the top of the 10th to claim the tourney crown with a 15-11 final.

Lincoln was the third of four HA hurlers in the game, while the Owls only needed five and a third innings from starter Jake Chambers and four and two thirds from reliever Trey Moss.

T.J. Figler closed things out for the Wildcats after Lincoln surrendered four straight hits to Abundant Life, including three doubles that scored as many runs. Lincoln relieved Jacob Martin in the seventh inning, and gave up only one hit until the decisive 10th inning.

“We had to battle to win that one,” Owls coach Wes Johnson said. “We blew our lead, but you also have to give Harding Academy credit for stepping up the way they did and answering. But to allow only nine hits in 10 innings shows that our pitching did what it was supposed to do.”

Although he was thrilled with his team’s performance to take the win, Johnson was not without his criticisms of the team. After a brief trophy presentation at the mound, Johnson and the AL coaching staff had a heart to heart with the team behind third base.

“We talked about competing,” Johnson said. “When you’re up 10-3 and you let the other team back in the game, that’s lack of focus. Good teams don’t blow leads like that. For us to come back in extra innings and win, that shows our championship spirit, though.”

The game had the feel of a rivalry matchup from the outset. Both sides had full stands in attendance, and the chants coming from each of the dugouts were among the loudest heard all season. Now that the conference switch has been made from the old AA conference in which the Owls battled Arkansas Baptist for supremacy, Harding Academy seems to have filled the void left by the other Wildcats.

“People have asked all year who our rivals in the new conference were,” Johnson said. “I believe there was a rivalry established tonight.”

Each team also took its turn dealing with inconsistent officiating. A no-call on an interference play allowed HA to tie in the bottom of the sixth, but a run allowed in the top of the sixth when Owls’ batter Chambers was called out for lining up out of the box when he doubled in Justin Treece stuck, leading to two more runs in the frame. The many, many bad calls seemed to balance themselves out between the two teams, but it did not prevent respective fans from both sides questioning the seemingly bewildered plate umpire throughout the course of the game.

AL lead-off hitter Treece set the tone for the shootout when he nailed a home run to start out the game. Austin Crabill and Josh Selby both benefited from E7s to drive in runs in the first frame to put the Owls in front 3-0.

Although Chambers took the win with an impressive performance, his pitching started out somewhat shaky. After hitting lead off batter Lincoln, Chambers then walked the next two batters to load the bases before giving up a double to Figler that allowed HA to make up two scores. Chambers settled down after that point, although Ty Finley brought in the tying run on a fielder’s choice smack by Z. Cain.

The Owls added a run in the second inning, and really began to open things up in the third. A single by Selby scored Crabill, and Selby and Moss were both driven in on a single to right from Colby Woolverton.

Chambers also led offensively for AL, going 4 for 6 with 2 doubles and two RBIs. Treece also went 4 for 6 with a home run. Woolverton was 3 for 4 with 2 a double and two RBIs, along with two walks. In all, the Owls would record 18 hits against the Wildcats for the win. For Harding Academy, Brad London was 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI. The loss gives the Wildcats only their fourth loss of the year at 17-4, while the Owls improved to 23-9 on the year, and will be the No. 1 seed from District 2 in next weeks’ Regional tournament.

OBITUARIES >> 4-25-07

Edna Caton

Edna Lorene Caton, 86, passed away April 22. She was a member of Assembly of God Church and was a retired seamstress.
Survivors include two sons, John and wife Libby Rhodes of McRae and Jim and wife Frances Rhodes of Lonoke; a brother, Jr. Rhodes of Mayflower and one sister, Liz Rhodes of Scott; 10 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be at Boyd Funeral Home in Lonoke at Wednesday, April 25 at 1 p.m. Burial will follow in Hamilton Cemetery.

R.E. Noble

R. E. Noble, 94, of Ward died April 23. He born April 2, 1913, at Garner to Raymond and Dollie Graham Noble.
He was a member of Cabot United Methodist Church and he served in World War II. He was a member of the American Legion, the VFW, and Cabot Lodge #319, where he was a 32nd Degree Master Mason. He was also a past president of the Cabot Chamber of Commerce and was named Cabot Man of the Year.

He is survived by one son, Larry and wife Opal Noble of Ward; three grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; and one sister, Raenell Stokes of Batesville.

Family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25 at Westbrook Funeral Home in Beebe. Funeral will be at 10 a.m., Thursday, April 26 at Cabot United Methodist Church, with burial in Mt. Carmel Cemetery.

Danny White

Danny Howard White, 53, of Cabot died April 23. He was born May 25, 1953 in Jacksonville to the late Owen and Hazel Hollingshead White.

Danny is survived by his sister, Ginger Hemphill of Cabot; half brother, Larry White of Oklahoma; five nephews and one niece.
The funeral service will be at 2 p.m., Thursday, April 26 at Moore’s Jacksonville Funeral Home Chapel. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25 at Jacksonville Funeral Home.

Mark Soderlund

Mark Soderlund, 45, of Jacksonville passed away April 19. He was owner of Mark’s Plumbing.

He is survived by his beloved wife Lisa; daughter, Allison Paige Soderlund of Lonoke; mother, Mary Viala of Sherwood; father and step-mother, Mickey and Sherma Soderlund of North Little Rock; brother, Matthew and wife Sherry Soderlund; and sister, Mary Ann and husband Jerry Forrest, all of Sherwood.

Funeral services were April 23 at North Little Rock Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will be in Forest Hills Memorial Park.

Loyd Johnson

Loyd Parker Johnson, 77, of Jacksonville passed away April 21.  

He was born April 19, 1930 to the late Lee Roy and Crystal Tipps Johnson in Haynesville, La.  In addition to his parents, Loyd was preceded in death by his brother, A.L. Johnson.  

He was a member of First United Methodist Church of Jacksonville.  Loyd was retired from both the Air Force and the Postal Service.  He was a scout leader for 20 years, most of which were spent with Troop 216 in Jacksonville.   
He is survived by his wife, Patsy Johnson of the home; children, Bobby Johnson and his wife Carol of Sherwood, Larry Johnson and wife Karlyn of Maumelle and Steve Johnson of Plano, Texas; brothers, Travis Johnson and wife Sue of Silsbee, Texas; and Loring Johnson and wife Mary of Garland, Texas; three grandchildren, Crissy Rye of Conway, Ryne Johnson of Maumelle, and Lauren Johnson of Maumelle; and great-grandson, Tyler Rye of Conway.

Funeral services were April 24 at First United Methodist Church of Jacksonville with Dr. Carol Goddard and Dr. David Fleming officiating. 

Burial followed in Rest Hills Memorial Park. Donations may be made to Boy Scout Troop 128, First United Methodist Church of Jacksonville and Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Funeral arrangements were by Moore’s Jacksonville Funeral Home.

Donna Howell

Donna Howell, 69, of Ward passed away April 20. She was born Sept. 25, 1937, at Lincoln Park, Mich., to Roy and Helen Snead Logsdon. She was a member of Sylvania Presbyterian Church.

Donna was preceded in death by her husbands, Henry Howell and Carlee “Bo” Howell; her parents, and two brothers.
She is survived by two sons, Gene and wife Debbie Howell of Ward and John and wife Joanie Howell of Lonoke; three daughters, Pam and husband Danny Miley, Carrie Wood, all of Ward, and Melissa and husband Paul Eldried of Carlisle; 10 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and one sister, Deloris Miller of Lake Wales, Florida. Graveside service was April 24 by Westbrook Funeral Home in Beebe.

Smith Price

Smith Martin Price, 77, died April 13 at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Little Rock following a courageous battle with a serious illness. He was born Jan. 5, 1930 in Tamo (Jefferson County), and was the son of the late Sarah and T. Clayton Price.
He was a graduate of Linwood High School, attended Arkansas A & M and graduated from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. He remained an avid Razorback fan. After graduation, and serving in the Army during the Korean War, he married Barbara Anne Rankin of Pine Bluff on May 1, 1954. He retired from AP&L (Entergy Corporation) after 40 years of dedicated employment.

He was a devoted member for 39 years of First Presbyterian Church of Lonoke, having served as deacon, elder and trustee.
He was highly involved in the community and his accomplishments include being the President of Lonoke Chamber of Commerce twice, Lonoke Man of the Year in 1978, Lonoke Citizen of the year in 1997, Commissioner of Lonoke County Library, Lonoke County Red Cross Chairman, member of Lonoke zoning and planning commission, Kiwanian serving in all offices, including Lt. Governor and Board Member of “Our House” homeless shelter in Little Rock.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Barbara Anne Rankin Price; son and daughter-in-law, Gregory M. and Nikki Price of Chicago, Ill.; daughter, Jan L. Price of Maumelle; grandson Geoffrey M. Price of Boston, Ma.; and two granddaughters, Sara D. Price of Chicago, Ill. and Angela M. Blakley of Maumelle; sister, Dorothy P. Sitton of Little Rock and a sister-in-law, Jean Austin of Quitman.

Funeral services were April 16 at Lonoke First Presbyterian Church, conducted by Dr. Emmett Powers, with burial in Brownsville Cemetery.

Memorials can be sent to First Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 463, Lonoke, AR, 72086. Funeral arrangements were by Boyd Funeral Home in Lonoke.

Patricia Krier

Patricia Lee Krier, 65, of Beebe died April 21.

She is survived by her husband, Gilbert; three sons, Michael Ford and Patrick Atchison, both of Beebe, and Joseph Krier of Texas; five grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and one sister, Shirley Daly of Mt. View, Calif. Graveside services were April 23 at Weir Cemetery in McRae. Funeral arrangements were by Westbrook Funeral Home of Beebe.

EDITORIALS>>Lynching of a judge

Arkansas will have to be told once again whether the First Amendment to the Constitution applies to Judge Wendell L. Griffen of the Arkansas Court of Appeals. It does protect his right to speak as much as it does yours and ours, and an appellate court will one day affirm that one more time.

Meantime, Judge Griffen, who is black, will have to stand on the scaffold accused and probably convicted of dishonoring his judicial robes by uttering an opinion on moral issues of the day from time to time, usually in his capacity as a minister of the Gospel. The state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission Monday formally accused the judge again of violating the code of conduct for judges by expressing opinions while he was not on the bench.

Yes, that is the charge. Now the commission will hold a hearing, where Griffen will dispute the accusation, and then it will discipline him. The discipline could be a rebuke, a suspension or expulsion from his position on the Court of Appeals, to which people have twice elected him. Then, two or three years from now, the Arkansas Supreme Court or a federal court will overturn the sanction and restore his good name. All that has already happened once, but the commission by a narrow vote wants to try one more time.

In the interim, he will seek re-election, and voters might assume that the commission’s rebuke or whatever else it does means that he really has done something wrong and defeat him. One candidate has already been emboldened to run against him in 2008.

Here is what Judge Griffen is accused of doing:

Soon after Hurricane Katrina in September 2005 he criticized the federal government’s response to the hurricane in a discussion at an NAACP banquet. The remark got in a newspaper.

A couple of days earlier, during a discussion at a Baptist convention in Columbus, Ga., (Rev. Griffen was an officer of the national Baptist association) he talked about the qualifications of John Roberts to be chief justice of the U. S. Supreme Court, apparently not favorably. A story in the little Georgia paper characterized it as criticizing Roberts’ nomination. Someone sent the article to the Arkansas commission.

Last year, Rev. Griffen was one of a number of ministers who wrote letters formally endorsing an increase in the minimum wage. They were released at a press conference. Griffen’s was on his ministerial stationery, not the court’s. He also was on record making a comment defending the rights of homosexuals. They were God’s children, too.

James Badami, the commission’s director and Judge Griffen’s prosecutor, maintains that these deeds destroyed public confidence in the court’s independence and impartiality. This was his reasoning: If someone who liked the government’s handling of Katrina, or supported John Roberts, or opposed the minimum wage or hated homosexuals had a case before Judge Griffen he would wonder whether the judge would be fair to him.

The fact is that the man’s lawyer could tell him the backgrounds, philosophy and perhaps the specific views of all the judges hearing the case. Almost everyone who runs for a judgeship in our elective system has a public record. Most members of the Arkansas Supreme Court, who will eventually hear Griffen’s case, were active in politics before they went on the court. Lawyers and in some cases much of the electorate knew their political views when they ran for the court although they may not have reiterated them in the campaign.

Judge Griffen has uttered no public thought about any issue that is before the court or likely to go there, unlike several white judicial candidates of recent years. If he did, of course, he would need to recuse from such a case, as judges do all the time. But all of that is beside the point. The First Amendment guarantees everyone the right to express their opinion in the marketplace of ideas, and it does not except appellate judges. The U.S. Supreme Court, in a ruling adopted by the court’s conservative wing, affirmed that years ago.

Badami, who incidentally is known to hold opposite views from Griffen on at least one of his utterances (about homosexuals), knows that the courts will ultimately sustain Griffen’s right to express his pastoral views on issues of the day, notwithstanding that on weekdays he wears a robe and not a clerical collar. But putting the judge in the dock may accomplish what his foes have been unable to do at the ballot box. They should not be allowed to succeed.

EDITORIALS>>Firm must pay

The U.S. Supreme Court this week wrote the final chapter in the long-running suit over who should pay for the cleanup of the old Vertac chemical plant in Jacksonville.

While many of the former operators fought the federal government when they were presented with huge bills for the cleanup, the one with the deepest pockets, Hercules, Inc., finally ran out of appeals when the Supreme Court Monday refused to hear the case, in effect ordering the company to pay the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency nearly $120 million for the cleanup.
Fortunately for Jacksonville, the EPA had enough reserve funds to pay for the cleanup while the agency hunted down the responsible parties and collected from many of them. The cleanup cost at $150 million, and now Hercules is finally stuck with almost the enitre bill. Jacksonville’s long nightmare is over.

FROM THE PUBLISHER >> Why didn’t feds take this case?

You may have wondered while you were following the corruption trial of Jay and Kelly Campbell in Lonoke County why the U.S. attorney’s office in Little Rock didn’t prosecute the couple, along with two shady bail bondsmen, who will be tried later.
Did the Campbells have friends in high places who protected them from federal indictments — specifically, a good friend in the U.S. attorney’s office who has received favors from Campbell, and an FBI agent who also knows him well?

Here was a sensational case involving public corruption, drugs, thefts, misuse of prisoners — a law-enforcement system that was totally out of control as former Lonoke Police Chief Jay Campbell broke the law more often than the criminals he was supposed to be holding in the city jail, while his wife joined him in the crime spree and dated some of those prisoners.

Prosecuting Attorney Lona McCastlain had hundreds of othercases to deal with, so you’d think the U.S. attorney’s office and the FBI would have gladly taken on this high-profile case, but no, they said they weren’t interested.

It’s crazy stuff, but serious enough that a Lonoke County jury in Cabot last week found them guilty and recommended long prison sentences. He received 40 years, while she got 20. With good behavior, he could go free in 10 years, and she’ll be out in about three and a half years.

The Campbells could still win on appeal, but had they been convicted in federal court, they would have served almost their entire sentence since there’s no parole in the federal system. So they’re lucky the feds didn’t indict them.

Two law-enforcement officials have told us it was improper for a deputy U.S. attorney named Robert Govar to let Lonoke prisoners clear his land before he built his house in Lonoke.

Govar testified during the trial that he asked his pal Campbell to work on the land. Campbell used Act 309 prisoners who were housed at the Lonoke jail for lack of space elsewhere, but Govar, who paid Campbell for the work, insists he didn’t know they were inmates.

But if you’re going to ask the police chief to round up workers, how could you not have an inkling they might be inmates?
What’s more, although Govar was called to testify by the prosecution, he in effect became a character witness when he testified that Campbell had a wonderful family. The jury wasn’t impressed.

It makes you wonder: Maybe the Bush administration had good reason to fire former U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins, whose office didn’t do much to fight public corruption. As for the seven other U.S. attorneys who were dismissed, we’ll let Congress decide what happened.

Sure, there was a lot of politics involved in the firings, but in Cummins’ case you wonder what he was doing: He fought one small corruption case in Pine Bluff, and maybe we’ve missed a couple of others, but they still don’t add up to much.
So it was up to McCastlain to bring the Campbells to justice. They’ll appeal their long sentences, but whatever happens, McCastlain proved she could win against the best-paid lawyers.

It took a lot of effort by a small Lonoke County prosecutor’s office to nail the couple. They were all smiles when they were led out of the courtroom in handcuffs, but they probably stopped smiling when they spent the night in jail. They could get out on $200,000 and $100,000 respectively, and McCastlain isn’t happy about that. More than ever, she probably wishes the U.S. attorney’s office had been more helpful.

It looks like because of the political fallout over the U.S. attorney firings, Tim Griffin, Bud Cummins’ successor, won’t stay on as U.S. attorney in Little Rock. The White House should do the right thing and make Lona McCastlain U.S. attorney for the remainder of Bush’s term.

TOP STORY >>Sherwood puts freeze on changes of golf course

Leader staff writer

The Sherwood City Council wants to prevent any owner of the North Hills Country Club from making any changes to the property for at least the next six months—and it could mean a lawsuit against the city.

Aldermen approved the first reading of a resolution calling for a six-month moratorium on any and all building permits, rezoning requests or any other work projects for the 100-acre golf course on the corner of Hwy. 107 and Country Club Drive.
Mayor Bill Harmon explained that the soon-to-be owner had given the city 30 days to purchase the property from him.
“It’ll take us longer than 30 days to complete the feasibility study, get an appraisal, decide on how to pay for it and bring it before the people for a vote,” Harmon said. “We just can’t do all that in 30 days.”

The city has issued a moratorium before when Chapel Links Apartments wanted to build in the city. The apartment builders took the city to court over the moratorium. The city eventually pulled the moratorium and the apartments were built.
“You can prevent another lawsuit by leasing the property from me for $35,000 a month,” soon-to-be-owner Bill Campbell told the council. He expects to close on the deal later this week.

The developer has plans for a gated high-end housing subdivision for the golf course area. “If you needed more than 30 days, you should have asked instead of coming forward with this moratorium,” Campbell said.
The mayor said the moratorium wouldn’t cost the buyer any money.

“Yes, it will cost me,” Campbell said. “I’ll be stuck with a debt service of $35,000 a month.” Campbell said the moratorium does two things.

“It’s done to scare the lender, to stop any excavation and that’s so I don’t alter the greens,” he said. Campbell also made it clear that he would be meeting with the citizens of the city soon. “Not you city officials, but the citizens,” he said, adding that if the city takes the issue before the citizens for a vote it will lose. “But in the meantime, it’s all at my expense,” Campbell said.

The developer reminded the council that it had been sued over this issue before and ended up paying $250,000.
“You are as wrong as rain,” Harmon said, saying that the city did not lose the suit, but pulled out.

Resident Julann Carney, who is circulating a petition to get the prosecuting attorney to look into illegal meetings of the city council, said, “ I realize that the issue regarding the golf course is a very emotional one for many people, especially those who live beside it.  However, I do not feel that the moratorium that they put in place was an act of good faith by the city with the developers,” she said.

Carney added, “I won’t be surprised whatsoever if a lawsuit seeking an injunction against the city isn’t sought. We can’t afford more lawsuits that we won’t win.”

The resolution must be read and passed three times by the council before becoming law. At this point, the council will take up the matter again at its May council meeting. the end of May, unless a special meeting is called.

TOP STORY >>Jacksonville landfill to nearly double size

Leader editor

The Two Pines Landfill owned by Waste Manage-ment, Inc. in Jacksonville plans to expand to an open field on the north side of the North Belt Freeway — opposite the existing landfill — and is seeking to modify its air permit so it can produce more electricity from methane that’s produced at the landfill.

The landfill is planning a 105-acre expansion as it skips over the I-440 North Belt Loop just east of Hwy. 67/167, nearly doubling the landfill’s capacity. But the old landfill is nearly full and will be covered up after the new one is in operation.
The Jacksonville landfill last fall applied for a modification of its solid-waste disposal permit to allow it to take trash to the open area about a mile from the Redmond Road exit.

A spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality said it would be several months before the permit is approved. It could be up to two years before Two Pines makes use of the open space as a landfill. Doug Szenher, an ADEQ spokesman, said Monday his department “will inspect the site to determine if it’s suitable for expansion.”

The landfill is inspected every month, Szenher said, to make sure it is environmentally sound.

If the site is approved, Jack-sonville will in effect have two landfills, with the North Belt Loop cutting through them, although it will be several years before the new landfill will be as tall as the existing mound along the freeway.

The landfill, which processes about 152,000 tons — or 458,000 cubic yards — of garbage a year, accepts trash from Jacksonville, Sherwood, Cabot, Conway, rural Pulaski County and even as far away as Garland County and other areas. The landfill also has a recycling center that accepts materials from curbside pickups in the area.

Szenher said the landfill is more visible from the freeway because of many of the trees have been cleared in the area to make way for the North Belt Loop. He said it’s not unusual to have a large landfill in a city and pointed to one in a working-class area in Little Rock, which also has plans to expand.

Employees at the Two Pines Landfill say their facility is state-of-the-art, and they frequently hold tours for the public. They referred questions to Cranford, Johnson, Robinson and Woods, Waste Management’s public relations firm in Little Rock.
Jordan Johnson, a spokesman for CJRW, said Monday the landfill is a top-of-the-line facility that goes beyond environmental standards set by the state. In addition, the methane-conversion plant that produces electricity onsite is the only one of its kind in Arkansas.

“This is one of the safest landfills,” Johnson said. “It has an above-average rating.”

He said Waste Management is committed to making environmental improvements in the area and is working with Audubon Arkansas to restore nearby wetlands, including replanting more than 40 acres to provide habitat for ducks, deer, quail, rabbits and other animals. Two Pines Landfill is seeking to modify its air permit while the landfill continues to expand. The permit allows the landfill to capture methane at the landfill and convert it into electricity with six generators on site.
The landfill wants to make major modifications to its air permit so it can convert more methane and sell more electricity to neighboring cities. Two Pines Landfill’s gas-conversion plant supplies energy to more than 3,000 homes in North Little Rock. The landfill wants to double that amount if it is allowed to burn more methane.

Two Pines also burns methane through open flares that shoot up toward the sky at night, which destroys’ 97 percent of potentially harmful wastes, Johnson said.

The methane collection requires Two Pines to renew its air permit with the state Department of Environmental Quality. A 10-day comment period ends Friday. Area residents can send their comments to Doug Szenher, ADEQ, P.O. Box 8913, Little Rock, Ark., 72219-8913.

The department’s phone number is 682-8913. ADEQ is studying the amount of harmful particles that will be released in the process, including additional carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, sulphur oxide and other chemicals. In January 2006, U.S. Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, along with U.S. Reps. Marion Berry and Vic Snyder, all Democrats, urged President Bush to move toward developing more domestic, renewable sources of energy.

These members of Congress say the Two Pine Landfill conversion plant is a modest beginning toward energy independence.
Johnson, the spokesman for Two Pines Landfill, said in the last nine years, Waste Management has provided $320,000 in scholarships to nearly 300 Jacksonville students.

TOP STORY >>Parents see redesigned school lines

Leader staff writer

The Cabot School District is one of the five fastest growing districts in the state and because of that, the district is rezoning its elementary school attendance zones to accommodate its eighth elementary, Stagecoach Elementary, that will open in August.

A public meeting with parents and administrators was held Tuesday night at the Cabot High School Loft to share the district’s draft rezoning plan and allow parents to give input and feedback, as well as determine if their student will be moving elementary schools this fall. Another public meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday at the CHS Loft to give more parents the chance to hear the district’s plan before it is finalized.

Superintendent Dr. Frank Holman said the district opened Magness Creek Elementary six years ago and has added 35 additional classrooms at four of the elementary schools to delay rezoning the district and hopes the final plan will enable the district to go another three to five years without doing it again.

“A lot of work has gone into this for quite awhile. We think we have a plan were we won’t have to go back and rezone, but we never know,” Holman said.

“One major change is that the area outside of Austin is now zoned to Ward Central — from the White County line south all the way to Austin is now Ward Central,” Dalton, district assistant superintendent said.

Other notable changes include: Central Elementary’s zone now includes a smaller area; the Grayhawk area will attend Stagecoach Elementary and not Westside Elementary; any housing area that empties on to Bill Foster Memorial Highway will attend Southside Elementary, areas to the north of Bill Foster will remain at Westside Elementary, Crooked Creek and Willow Drive areas will attend Stagecoach Elementary. Dalton, presented the draft rezoning plan, saying the district tried to stay within the geographic areas around the schools when drawing up this plan.

TOP STORY >>Lawmakers send money back home

Leader staff writer

Members of the 86th Arkansas General Assembly believe they have found a way to move money to the benefit of their constituents that will pass muster with former Jacksonville Rep. Mike Wilson and the state Supreme Court, but lawmakers will reconvene at 1 p.m. Monday to replace a few bills Gov. Mike Beebe vetoed as local legislation.

House Speaker Benny C. Petrus and Jack L. Critcher, president pro tempore of the Senate called for the special session to assign the money from vetoed projects into various state agencies.

Wilson, who sued the state over the practice of earmarking General Improvement Funds for local projects at the close of the 2005 General Assembly, said last week that this session, lawmakers apparently got the message. They are turning money back to the cities and counties and to state agencies.

They are making money available for fire departments, senior centers and certified domestic violence centers, according to state Rep. Will Bond, D-Jacksonville. “What we essentially did this time around is to send a bunch of money back to the cities equally distributed by an existing formula and where a facility is located,” Bond said.

“We sent a significant amount—about $20 million — back to cities and counties,” Bond said. “Jacksonville will get in excess of $200,000.”

In addition, state senators each directed $571,429 in state turnback money to the city and county governments within their districts. Legislators carved up about $52 million last session for what Wilson called pork-barrel projects in violation of the 14th Amendment of the Arkansas Constitution, which prohibits local legislation.

Wilson sued to stop payment of about half-a-dozen earmarks, most of them in state Rep. Will Bond’s Jacksonville district, where Wilson lives and works.

The money for projects Wilson challenged would have allowed $190,000 toward the new Esther D. Nixon Library; $50,000 for the Jacksonville Senior Center; $10,000 for the Jacksonville Museum of Military History; $10,000 for the Reed’s Bridge (Civil War) Preservation Society and $10,000 toward the Bigelow library.

Wilson said he supports the projects he challenged, noting that his brother-in-law is Bobby Roberts, director of the Central Arkansas Library System, of which the Jacksonville library is a member. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Willard Proctor authorized the disbursement of those funds, but Wilson appealed to the state Supreme Court, which found in his favor on one big project.

“The remainder of my case is before the Supreme Court now,” Wilson said.

Wilson said his precedent would likely have had the effect of encouraging others suing the state over projects in their areas if legislators hadn’t found a legal, more equitable way to help their constituents.

“I don’t think there would have to be any further challenges, if it’s the way it appears,” Wilson said.

This year, state legislators directed $100 million in projects, with about $55 million of that for state highway roadwork, $20 million each for the Senate and the House to appropriate and $5 million for use at the governor’s discretion. State Sen. Bobby Glover, D-Carlisle, designated $300,000 and $106,429 to state Rural Services, $50,000 to the Natural Resources Commission, $50,000 for the state Military Department, $25,000 to the Arkansas Heritage Commission, and $5,000 for the Secretary of State and $35,000 for the Department of Parks and Tourism.

He said he anticipated that about $200,000 would be available to complete both the Lonoke County Courthouse annex and also the county detention center.

Glover said he would write a letter asking the state Military Department to use the $50,000 toward a new National Guard Armory slated for Cabot.

“I never was really comfortable with (and am) still not comfortable with (earmarked) General Improvement Funds,” said state Sen. John Paul Capps, D-Searcy. “It’s a poor way to appropriate tax dollars, but I recognize there are many worthy causes that probably would never receive any funding from the state.”

He said he was much more comfortable with the method this year of designating the money to state agencies “which can then disburse them without designation from any member of the legislature.”

Just back from vacation, Capps said he didn’t recall the specifics of the state agencies he designated to split his $571,429.
In addition, House Bill 1836 gave back money to the cities, determined by a distribution calculation, sending at least $189,388 to Cabot, $36,751 to Lonoke, $25,855 to England, $22,111 to Ward, $19,751 to Carlisle, $5,186 to Austin, $2,400 to Humnoke, $2,014 to Keo and $994 to Coy. That’s assuming that Gov. Mike Beebe divides another $3 million among Arkansas cities, which Glover says he believes will happen.

Otherwise, each of those towns will receive 80 percent of those amounts. In White County, including the money from the governor, Searcy would get $162,264, Beebe would get $42,263 and McRae would get $5,666. In Pulaski County, Jacksonville stands to receive as much as $256,480 and Sherwood $184,407.

TOP STORY >>Campbells sentenced

Leader senior staff writer

Jay Campbell, the disgraced former Lonoke police chief, spent the first night of a 40-year prison sentence Tuesday night in a cell at the Correction Department’s Diagnostic Unit at Pine Bluff , while his wife Kelly was transported to the McPherson Unit, a women’s prison, at Newport to begin her 20-year sentence.

Special Circuit Judge John Cole Tuesday formally imposed the exact sentences recommended last week by the jury, but at least one of the jurors, who returned for Cole’s sentencing, told the prosecutor that the justice system didn’t work—that she had expected the Campbells to go to prison last week after the jury made its recommendation.

That jury recommended the maximum sentence for all but one of Jay Campbell’s 23 convictions and all but two of Kelly Campbell’s 26 convictions.

In all, his sentences would have added up to 315 years and hers to 304 years, but the jury recommended that all sentences run concurrently—at the same time.

With good behavior, Jay Campbell could be released after 10 years, Kelly Campbell after three years and four months.
Over the strenuous objection of Prosecutor Lona McCastlain, Cole ruled the Campbells were eligible for release on bond after their appeals are filed.

“They were in a position of trust,” said McCastlain. “They were leaders and community members and they will be going to church and see them every day. It’s a slap in people’s faces for them to go about their business like every other person.
“These people are trying to put their lives back together,” she said, referring to the victims.

“Why do you think more victims didn’t come forward?” she asked. She asked that the judge issue a no-contact order to keep the Campbells away from former friends and victims.

Kelly Campbell’s lawyer, Mark Hampton, has already filed a new motion for a directed verdict of not guilty and asked for a new trial.

“This case is full of more errors than any 10 cases I’ve seen combined,” Hampton said.

He said he believed that Patrick Benca, Jay Campbell’s lead attorney, would file a similar motion this week. Then Cole will hold a hearing, perhaps next Tuesday, according to Hampton, on the motion for a new trial. If the judge rules no new trial is in order, then Hampton and Benca could file notice of intent to appeal, at which point the Campbells would be eligible to bond out if they can raise the money.

Each Campbell had been held on a $50,000 bond, but Cole raised Jay Campbell’s bail to $200,000 and Kelly Campbell’s to $100,000.

Deputy Prosecutor Stuart Cearley argued that if the Campbells could afford those bonds, that they must not be indigent and eligible for continued court-ordered representation by these lawyers.

Prison spokesman Dina Tyler said she didn’t remember having another former police chief in the prison population, but she said, “He won’t be the first lawman we’ve had.”

Campbell will be in a cell alone during processing at the diagnostic center, where prison officials decide where to house a prisoner, Tyler said.

After that, he could be placed in administrative segregation or protective custody, she said.

“Another option is the interstate compact agreement among states,” she said. If necessary, he could be moved to another state.

At McCastlain’s request, the Campbells were ordered to undergo drug-urine screens, but Kelly Campbell, who is convicted of repeatedly stealing prescription drugs, reportedly was unable to urinate at the Cabot Annex bathroom.
Hampton said he was confident the only drugs to be found in her urine screen would be her multiple-sclerosis medication.
“Her MS has flared up,” he said. In his motion, filed Friday, Hampton said he asked for “every sort of relief.”
He said he was preserving the record on all issues for appeal.

The prosecutors drew a picture of the Campbells as a team that preyed on friends, fellow church members and people in ill health or recovering from surgery. Jay Campbell, a charming and likable man by all accounts, would routinely visit with them while his wife rummaged through kitchen or bathroom cabinets for prescription narcotics.

Charles McLemore, the State Police investigator who compiled most of the information that led to the Campbell’s arrests, said he would retire in October and that this may have been his last investigation.

“It was almost two years,” said McLemore, calling it the worst abuse by a lawman in his 12 years as a lawman.
“It’s good to go out on a victory,” he said.

Jackie and Donna Moore, who were prosecution witnesses, victims and former friends of the Campbells, attended the sentencing, but had no comment.

Roger Light, the former firefighter and methamphetamine user who testified regarding Jay Campbell’s charge of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, sat in the courtroom for the formal sentencing. He said the judge and jury got it right.
Before her sentencing, Cole asked Kelly Campbell if she had anything to say. “No, your honor.” He then sentenced her to 20 years of each of nine residential burglaries, 10 years for each of nine charges of obtaining a controlled substance by theft and various other charges.

Jay Campbell was sentenced to 40 years as the kingpin of a continuing criminal enterprise, 30 years for conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, 20 years for each of six counts of residential burglary, 10 years for each of seven counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and various other drug or theft related charges.

Benca told the judge that he was concerned about the reason that one juror was excused from the trial and wanted to question that juror prior to filing an appeal.

Still to be tried in connection with this case are former Lonoke Mayor Thomas Privett, charged with misdemeanor theft of services for having Act 309 jail trustees hang his Christmas lights and work on a faulty air conditioner; former dispatcher Amy Staley, charged with having sex with an inmate; bail bondsman Bobby Junior Cox, accused to conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, participating in an ongoing criminal enterprise and intimidating a witness, and bail bondsman Larry Norwood, charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.

Ron (Bear) Tyler, a prosecution witness, testified in the absence of the jury that Cox had solicited him to kill the prosecutor and a witness and that Norwood was involved as well, but so far no additional charges related to that solicitation have been filed against the bail bondsmen. Linda Ives, whose son Kevin was one of two teenagers found dead on the tracks after having been struck by a train nearly 20 years ago, greeted the Campbells and court watchers with a placard and her son’s picture at about 8 a.m. in the parking lot.

Various conspiracy theorists have linked the boys’ deaths to Jay Campbell, former Saline County Prosecutor Dan Harmon and to then-Gov. Bill Clinton.

Officially that case has never been solved. Campbell won a civil case, clearing his name.

Monday, April 23, 2007

SPORTS >>Owls reign supreme

IN SHORT: A runaway win for Abundant Life Tuesday over Riverview secured second place in the final standings for the 3A-2 Conference.

Leader sportswriter

Abundant Life needed a win against Riverview in order to wrap up second place in the 3A-2 Conference standings, which they took with a landslide win over the Raiders 15-2 Tuesday at the Rose City Boys and Girls Club fields.

The Owls built a solid lead over the first two innings, but the third inning took a solid lead to a downright whipping.

Abundant Life led 12-1 after three innings, and three more runs for the Owls in the fourth would set the ending margin in the lop-sided affair. Owls coach Wes Johnson was complimentary of his entire squad after the game, particularly winning AL pitcher Colby Woolverton and lead-off batter Justin Treece, who started the Owls’ offensive attack with a home run in the bottom of the first inning.

“We swung pretty well tonight,” Johnson said. “Another thing that helped us was Colby Woolverton throwing strikes. That gave our defense a chance to make plays.

“Justin’s home run really gave us a good boost. He’s been a good spark plug at the top of the order for us all season.”
Woolverton didn’t dominate from the mound, but he did hold the Raiders to four hits while giving up four walks. Abundant Life did dominate from the plate, however, with all but one batter generating at least one hit in the contest.

In all, the Owls chalked up 11 hits off of starting Riverview pitcher Cameron Angerman. Austin Crabill came out the biggest hitter for Abundant Life, going 3 for 4 with a triple, a double and a total of six RBIs. Owls centerfielder Jake Chambers took a beating at the plate, literally, scoring a single during his final at-bat after being struck with pitches on his first three trips to the plate.

Treece ended up 2 for 4 in the game adding a single in the decisive third inning to his opening blast. D.J. Baxendale was 1 for 3 with two RBIs. Josh Selby was 1 for 3 with one RBI. Jerry Lawson finished the game 1 for 2 with an RBI.

The Raiders had far less to celebrate, with only three players recording hits in the contest. Angerman took the loss at the mound for Riverview, but did manage one of the game’s two RBIs for the Raiders, driving in Robert Camel for a run in the top of the third inning. Angerman finished 1 for 2, with Jordan Robertson finishing 2 for 3 with a pair of singles.

The win gives Abundant Life an overall record of 20-9, and finishes out their conference record at 6-1, giving them a lock on the No. 2 seed for the district tournament behind conference champions Harding Academy. Riverview’s record dropped to 4-10 overall and 3-4 in the 3A-2 Conference.

SPORTS >>Mustangs and Bears defeated by Devils

IN SHORT: The Jacksonville Lady Red Devils stayed in front of the 6A-East Conference standings with wins over Forrest City and Sylvan Hills.

Leader sports editor

Jacksonville earned a trio of fastpitch conference wins this week. The Lady Devils got an easy sweep of Forrest City Tuesday night in a 6A-East fastpitch doubleheader at Dupree Park, winning by scores of 12-0 and 8-0. On Thursday they traveled to Sherwood to take an 8-2 victory over Sylvan Hills to improve to 10-2 in conference play and 17-4 overall.

Jacksonville pitcher Jessica Bock carried no hitters into the six inning of each game of Tuesday’s doubleheader. Although the no-no was broken up both times, she still struck out 14 and 12 batters respectively in two complete-game shutouts.

Jacksonville took game one as the visitors on the strength of 15 base hits, 11 of which came from four players. Gabby Hart, Bailey Herlacher and Raven Pickett each went 3 of 5 at the plate, while senior first baseman Kayla Williams finished 2 for 3 with three RBIs.

Hart also drove in three runs from her cleanup spot to lead the offensive onslaught.

Jacksonville led just 1-0 through three innings. After adding two runs in the fourth, the Lady Devils broke the game open with five runs in the fifth inning.

Hart set the tone for the big inning with a leadoff home run over the fence in straightaway centerfield.

Jacksonville made it 9-0 in the top of the sixth, and set the final margin with three runs in the seventh.

Forrest City threatened to score in the sixth inning when Brittany Meredith hit a hard groundball to right field to lead off the frame. Three batters later, Ikeshia Chism hit a line drive down the third base line that put runners on the corners with two outs, but Bock fanned Whitney Stewart to keep the shutout intact.

Jacksonville didn’t wait as long to take command of game two. The Lady Devils put three runs on the board in the first inning with the help of three Forrest City errors.

Rochelle Holder led off with a bunt single and Bock walked. The two runners moved up on a sacrifice grounder by Ellen Bur. Hart hit a high, deep fly ball to centerfield that landed in and bounced out of the glove of the Lady Mustang outfielder.

Holder scored on the sacrifice, and Bock’s courtesy runner Abbie Hill came around when the Forrest City pitcher mishandled the throw back into the infield. Hart reached third on the play and scored on the next at bat on Paula Burr’s sacrifice bunt.

Jacksonville failed to score in the second inning. It had a chance to blow it open in the third. A single by Ellen Burr was followed by an RBI triple by Hart. Hart scored on the play when the throw to third went astray. The inning came to an abrupt end when Herlacher and Pickett’s courtesy runner were each caught stealing by FC catcher Chism.

Alana Whatley made it 6-0 in the fourth. She led off with a single, and scored two batters later when Holder’s bunt drew a bad throw to first base.

The Lady Devils set the final margin in the fifth inning. Paula Burr walked and scored on a hit by Herlacher. Herlacher then scored on a hit by Pickett.

Thursday night the Lady Bears trailed 2-0 through four innings before rallying to tie the score in the bottom of the fifth. Four base hits in the frame got the two runners across the plate.

Jacksonville made sure it didn’t stay close for long, scoring three runs in the top of the sixth and three more in the seventh to seal the win.

Elsewhere in league play, Marion beat West Memphis Thursday 8-1 to improve to 13-0 in league play and locked up the conference championship. Jacksonville hosts Marion Tuesday and will make up its rained out meeting with Sylvan Hills Wednesday.

Marion beat Jacksonville by one run in the conference opener for the Lady Devils. Jacksonville can secure second place and a No. 2 seed in the state tournament by winning one of its two remaining games.

West Memphis is 10-3 and split a doubleheader with the Lady Devils two weeks ago. Jacksonville owns that tiebreaker on margin of victory.

SPORTS >>SH takes local foes for two East wins

IN SHORT: Hillside rolled over Jacksonville in a pair of 6A-East matchups at Dupree Park.

Leader sports editor

Sylvan Hills put on a vulgar display of power Tuesday night at Jacksonville. After an exciting and competitive, 5-3 come-from-behind win over the Red Devils in game one of their 6A-East doubleheader, the Bears hit five home runs, including four in one inning, in routing Jacksonville 14-2 in game two to take the sweep and move into first place in the conference standings.

Jacksonville took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning of game two when Tommy Sanders hit a two-RBI single to score Blake Mattison and Jason Regnas. The hit left runners on the corners with two outs, but two groundballs ended the half-inning with no further damage done.

The Bears didn’t stay down long. Taylor Roark and Mark Turpin walked to lead off the inning, but Sanders almost got out of the jam by getting Hunter Miller to fly out to left field and striking out Garrett Eller for the second out. Ross Bogard then pounded a home run over the wall in left to make it 3-2 Sylvan Hills.

Both teams went three up–three down in the second, but the top half of the Bears’ lineup lit up the scoreboard in the third.
The 15-batter inning started with an out, but the line-drive shot to centerfield that was nicely snagged by Mattison was only the first of many hard-hit balls in the inning.

Mark Turpin walked and Miller reached on an infield single to shortstop to put two runners on base. Eller then hit the game’s second homer, a three-run shot over the right-field wall that made it 6-2. Bogard then walked and outfielder Davon Neal followed by sending one out down the left-field line. Pitcher Blake Evans struck out for the second out, and Sanders walked eight and nine-hole hitters JT Long and Clint Thornton. That brought Roark to the plate for the second time in the inning.

This time facing relief pitcher Clayton Fenton, Roark smashed one out to left field to make it 11-2. Turpin then reached on an error at third base, and trotted home after Miller launched a shot that cleared the scoreboard in left-centerfield. Eller then singled, Bogard walked for the second time in the inning and Neal singled to score Eller to set the final margin.

Fenton got the Bears in order in the bottom of the fifth, but the game ended when Jacksonville failed to score enough runs to get the margin under 10 in the top of the fifth inning.

Game one wasn’t so easy. Sylvan Hills got timely hitting and benefited from some untimely errors to take the 5-3 victory.
The Red Devils took a 2-0 lead into the fourth inning on a home run by Zach Thomas. Sylvan Hills tied it in the fourth, took a one-run lead in the fifth and scored its final two runs in the sixth. Only one of the four runs were earned.

Jacksonville mounted a rally in the bottom of the seventh, but could only manage one run.

Jacksonville pitcher Seth Tomboli carried the shutout into the fourth, and drew praise from Jacksonville coach Larry Burrows.
“He pitched well just like he has for us all year,” Burrows said. “He just walked a couple and we made too many errors behind him. He held them down pretty well though.”

The results of the doubleheader left the Bears alone in first place with a 9-2 league mark. Searcy dropped to 9-3 after splitting a doubleheader at Mountain Home.

Jonesboro is tied with Searcy for second place and Marion is fourth at 8-4. West Memphis is 5-7 and Mountain Home is 4-7 with a makeup game still left against Sylvan Hills. Forrest City and Jacksonville, who only have each other left on the conference schedule, are now eliminated from playoff contention.

OBITUARIES >> 04-21-07

Richard Jones
Richard Leon Jones, 89, of Jacksonville died April 17.  

He was born in Kemper County Mississippi on Feb. 4, 1918 to the late David E. Jones and Martha A. McDaniels.  
He was also preceded in death by a brother, John P. Jones, and a niece, Jackie Jones Yalowitz.  

He was a decorated colonel in the Army, serving in the Second World War. He was a long-time resident and businessman in Jacksonville.  

He was everyone’s “Uncle Dick” always having the time to talk and give advice.
Survivors include his wife, Jane Jones of Little Rock; nephew and caregiver, Richard Bailey Jones; three grandnieces, two grandnephews and four great-grandnieces and great-grandnephews.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 21 at First United Methodist Church in Jacksonville. Burial will follow in Bayou Meto Cemetery in Jacksonville.
Memorials may be made to The Jacksonville Museum of Military History, 100 Veterans Circle, Jacksonville, Ark.,  72076.  
Funeral arrangements are by Moore’s Jacksonville Funeral Home.

Robert Chapman
Robert M. “Bob” Chapman, Sr., 73, of Beebe passed away April 17.

He was born Jan. 28, 1934, at Groton, Conn., to Warren and Dorothy Chapman.

He retired from the Air Force after 23 years and was a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars.

A loving husband, father and friend, he loved fishing, working around the house, gardening and putting others before himself. He was also known as “Daddy Bob.”

He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Carol, and their children, Robert Chapman, Jr., of North Little Rock, Steven Chapman and wife Joi of Conway, Bobbie Hicks and husband Tony of Romance, Nancy Gardner and husband Allen of Jacksonville and Paula Hadaway of Conway; 14 grandchildren; one great-grandchild; seven brothers and three sisters.

His parents, two sisters, two brothers and a grandchild, Steven M. Chapman, Jr., preceded him in death. Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday April 21 at Westbrook Funeral Home in Beebe.

Janice Phillips
Janice Phillips, 82, of North Little Rock died April 14.

She was born July 25, 1924, at Old Austin to Paul and Ruth Gibson.

She was retired from Lonoke County where she served as county clerk for over 30 years. She was a member of Central Baptist Church in North Little Rock.

She is survived by her husband of 66 years, Avon Phillips; two sons, Junior Phillips and wife Jeannie and Jimmy Phillips and wife Connie, all of North Little Rock; three granddaughters; one grandson; five great-granddaughters; two great-grandsons; two sisters, Jean Harvey of Beebe and Frances Merritt of North Little Rock; and one brother, Joe Gibson, also of North Little Rock.

Graveside service was April 17 at Old Austin Cemetery. Funeral arrangements were by Westbrook Funeral Home in Beebe.
Memorials may be made to the donor’s favorite charity.

William Turney
William Turney, 73, of Cabot died April 11.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Elisha and Gurtie Turney, and daughter, Diane Johnson.

Survivors include his sons, Terry and Jerry Turney of Heber Springs and Trend Turney of Colorado; daughters, Brenda and Nadene Turney of Colorado; nephew, Harold and wife Penny Ramer; sisters, Mae Ramer of Drasco and Bell Black of Greenbrier, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Graveside services were April 13 with a memorial by Dennis Pigman at the Arkansas State Veteran’s Cemetery in North Little Rock. Funeral arrangements were by Wood Funeral Home of Jacksonville.

Carolyn Besaw
Carolyn McClure Besaw, 64, of North Little Rock died April 17, after a courageous battle with cancer.

She was born April 30, 1942, at Beebe to Herman and Myrtle Camp McClure.

She is survived by her husband of 41 years, Joseph Besaw and their four children, Karen and husband Jeff Bousman, Patricia and husband Danny Taylor, Larry and wife Stephanie Besaw and Robert and wife Jennifer Besaw; six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Also surviving are her mother, Frances McClure; one brother, Michael McClure, and one sister, Linda Speer.

Her father, Herman, and one brother, Kenneth McClure, preceded her in death.

Graveside service was April 20 at Meadowbrook Memorial Gardens in Beebe. Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society, 901 North University, Little Rock, Ark., 72207.

Funeral arrangments were by Westbrook Funeral Home of Beebe.

Sharon Sanderson
Sharon Kay Sanderson, 38, of Ward died April 13.

She was a member of Old Austin United Methodist Church.

She was preceded in death by her father, Jerrell Milam; one brother, Jerry Milam; and her father-in-law, John Sanderson.
She is survived by her husband, Gary Sanderson; her mother, Martha Milam; one son, Gary Don Sanderson, Jr.; two daughters, Kaitlyn Sanderson and Shelby Sanderson, all of Ward; stepdaughter, Kristal Sanderson of Sherwood; her sister, Karen Cates of Ward; her grandmother, Gertrude Milam of Beebe; two nieces, Sara and Jessica Cates; and her mother-in-law, Anita May Sanderson of Sherwood.

Funeral services were April 16 at Westbrook Funeral Home with burial in Old Austin Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Arvest Bank or Westbrook Funeral Home in the name of Sharon Sanderson.

Kenneth Evans
Kenneth H. Evans, 84, of Jacksonville passed away peacefully in his home April 14.

He was born Jan. 4, 1923 in Hartman.

Kenneth was a dedicated husband, father and grandfather.He retired from the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in North Little Rock after 31 years of service. He also served with the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department from 1976 to 1979.

Kenneth was a decorated World War II veteran, having served in the Navy on several ships in the Aleutian Islands.

He was a member of Zion Hill Baptist Church in Cabot and also a member of Big Rock Masonic Lodge No. 633. Until his recent illness, he was very active with his yard and garden work, which he truly loved. He was everyone’s “PawPaw” and loved having all of his family around him whenever possible. Playing with his grandchildren was always the highlight of his day.

He was preceded in death by his loving parents, Walter and Versie Evans of Cabot; one brother, and six sisters.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years, Mary Louise Evans; daughter, Sandra and husband Sherman Fulmer; sons, Jimmy and wife Judy Evans, Dennis and wife Nita Evans; six grandchildren, Suzanne and husband Daryle Yarberry, Tommy Golden, Kim and husband Scott Brady, Tonya Evans, Dennis Lee and wife Kali Evans Jr. and Melissa Evans; five great-grandchildren, Brandy Brady , Aaron and wife Carrie Dollar, Tim Puckett, Lindsay Dollar, Hunter Brady; and one great-great-grandchild, Isabella Dollar.

Funeral service was April 18 at Zion Hill Baptist Church in Cabot officiated by Bro. Terry Fortner. Entombment followed at Griffin Leggett Rest Hills Memorial Park.

Wanda Moore
Wanda Moore, 82, of Jackson-ville died April 13.  

She was born March 28, 1925 in Lynnville, Ind., to the late Henry Barker and Hallie Opal Wright Jones.  

She was also preceded in death by her husband, James Moore; sister, Geraldine; and brother, Dallas.

Survivors include her daughter, Marti Curtis of Jacksonville; son, Michael Moore and his wife Alice of Kingston, Tenn.; sister, Donna Skelton and her husband Harold of Enterprise, Ala.; three grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were April 15 at Moore’s Jacksonville Funeral Home Chapel in Jacksonville with Michael Moore officiating.
Burial will follow in Chapel Hill Memorial Park.

EDITORIALS>>Alberto and Timothy

Everyone who was hoping that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales could reclaim a shred of credibility by convincing members of the Senate Judiciary Committee of his integrity had to be despondent Thursday. That includes President Bush, who had expressed reserved confidence in his old friend but whose own vanishing credibility cannot be reversed while Gonzales is running the moribund Justice Department.

Gonzales always had one important trait, unswerving loyalty to George W. Bush. It rose above everything, including the efficient and impartial administration of justice. He will serve his master best now by resigning and giving the president a chance to stop the hemorrhaging and restore public trust in the department.

Gonzales’ lame and contradictory explanations of the firings of eight U.S. attorneys had nearly every Republican on the Judiciary Committee sputtering. Only Orrin Hatch of Utah, who never heard of a Republican deception that he could not defend or a Democratic peccadillo he did not find revolting, came to the attorney general’s aid.

Even Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who was revealed by correspondence to have been primed by the White House to ask supportive and marshmallow questions of Gonzales and others, expressed dismay at Gonzales’ performance. On the matter of immediate interest to Arkansans, the firing of U.S. Attorney H. E. “Bud” Cummins III to make way for the Republican political operative Timothy Griffin, Gonzales retreated to his first story, which was that Cummins was fired not for cause but merely to satisfy White House interest in putting Griffin in a key job before the 2008 elections.

At one point, Gonzales had objected that Cummins, too, was fired because his performance was poor. Before a critical election in Missouri last year Cummins had refused a Republican request that he publicly give the Missouri governor, a Republican friend of the White House, a clean bill of health in a corruption investigation.

Cummins had been substituting in Missouri after the district attorneys there had disqualified themselves. But after he was told that he was being fired, Cummins did issue the public exoneration that the governor wanted – in violation of policy.

It was the rage of U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., over Gonzales’s lies to him that gave the hearing Thursday much of its energy. Pryor is not a member of the committee ,but Republicans and Democrats alike said they were affected by the unusual bluntness of the junior senator, ordinarily the most sweetly dispositioned member of the Senate. Pryor used the word “lied.”

Gonzales told Pryor that Griffin’s “interim” appointment would be submitted to the Senate for confirmation, but internal memos showed that the Justice Department intended to do the opposite, drag things out until it was too late to replace Griffin before the 2008 election. Griffin is in his fifth month on the job.

Meantime, enterprising re-porters examining Griffin’s fanciful résumé discovered that his blistering record as a prosecutor was nothing more than paper shuffling. In short stints in the Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps and federal prosecutor offices he had never taken a single case to trial. His career has consisted almost altogether of political hatchet work.

Whatever its designs, the White House wanted him doing what he does best in the eastern district of Arkansas through 2008. It is time to close that chapter, too.

EDITORIALS>>Dividing spoils

Lawmakers and the lawyers appear to have worked out an arrangement that will keep the money flowing from General Improvement Funds into our communities without violating the state Constitution against directly funding local projects. It’s all smoke and mirrors, but it looks like it might make just about everybody happy, even the courts, although a few disappointed lawmakers think they’ve been shortchanged.

You’re always going to have some complainers, but even former Rep. Mike Wilson of Jacksonville, who challenged GIFs in court, says he’s happy with the way the system has been reformed and probably will not file another lawsuit.

Legislative leaders tried hard to work within constitutional guidelines and divide some $52 million in pork for local projects as fairly as they could and pass muster in court, even if some lawmakers felt they were left out of the loop when the money was carved up for the folks back home.

Although lawmakers insist that everyone got a fair shake and no one was rebuffed over their political loyalties or disloyalties, it still appears that some veteran legislators did better than others.

Maybe we’re just suspicious by nature and should accept Rep. Will Bond’s explanation that no one put the hurt on Jacksonville just because he opposed Rep. Benny Petrus for House Speaker. There was an equitable formula for cities and counties, Bond says, although counties still have to decide what to do with their funds.

That said, it appears that some veteran lawmakers, like Sen. Bobby Glover of Carlisle, did exceedingly well with the latest GIF formula. Now, maybe he was helping other lawmakers get money for their communities and received the credit for it, but it helps to have seniority like Glover, who knows how to turn on the spigot.

Unless the Arkansas Supreme Court decides all GIFs are unconstitutional — because no matter how you divide the money, it still smacks of special local legislation, contrary to the Constitution — the new spoils system does appear to have a good chance of surviving future challenges.

EDITORIALS>>Entergy out of line

Utility ratemaking is an arcane science that governments from Little Rock to Sacramento practice with varying degrees of concern for the public interest. Every time we read of a rate increase sought by one of our electric or gas corporations we remember Lord Hale’s dictum about regulating ferryboat fares across the English streams when King James was on the throne. The king gave us a good Bible and good public policy.

“Each ferry,” Lord Hale declared, “ought to be under a public regulation, to wit, that it give attendance at due time, a boat in due order and take but reasonable toll.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt, when he was governor of New York, embroidered on the good lord’s idea when he declared that the state Public Service Commission was not to be a mere arbitrator between the people and the utilities but a tribune of the people, “the biscuit cookers” as the late “Witt” Stephens liked to call his gas company’s customers. The Arkansas commission in its various incarnations has sometimes followed that rule, sometimes not. How should the commission approach the latest rate filing by Entergy Corp., the giant New Orleans-based holding company whose Arkansas subsidiary wants to charge its customers another $106.5 million a year in addition to the fuel charges that are passed on automatically to ratepayers?

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel says the company is entitled to nothing more than it is earning now, and the commission’s staff recommends slashing electric rates to reduce revenues by $13.5 million a year. They are unabashed champions of consumers, but their analysis is based on market considerations.

Thirty percent of the new revenues would be used to engorge the lifestyles of the holding company’s top executives, who are not doing badly already. The detailed assumptions for the rate increase ought to shock the conscience of the commissioners. Entergy would collect roughly $30 million a year to pass on to its top executives through bonuses, stock options, country club dues, jet travel, golf vacations, personal financial advice, football tickets, catered parties and — we are not kidding — help in paying their taxes. Entergy’s CEO last year hauled in nearly $18 million.

And you should help him pay his taxes?

The company also wants Arkansas homeowners to pick up the tab for a telephone bill that soared to $934 because Entergy was six months delinquent in paying it. A company spokesman explained that all the perks are necessary to keep the best suits happy so that they will not be tempted to take their talents to a competitor. If that is so, the rewards should come to Entergy from shareholders around the world who benefit from boardroom canniness and not the ratepayers. Stock options and bonuses are typically awarded for performance all right, but not of the kind that helps its captive customers, who have no other place to go. The executive compensation packages are based upon, as one financial consultant described it, “stock price, stock price and virtually nothing but stock price.”

We should remember, too, that part of the performance of these executives that the company says has been so stellar was to saddle Arkansas ratepayers with large rate increases to subsidize business and residential customers in Louisiana, Mississippi and south Texas. Arkansans will feel that increase later this year.

The current rate increase does not meet Lord Hale’s simple test.

EVENTS>>Spring 2007

The Sherwood Chamber of Commerce annual installation and awards banquet will be held starting at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 26 at Sherwood Forest, 1111 W. Maryland.
“Come Sail Away” on the S.S. Sherwood with social hour at 6 p.m. and dinner and awards beginning at 7 p.m. Guest speaker will be Walt Coleman, well-known NFL referee No. 65. Music for the social hour will be by Joe Lewis, the Sherwood Chamber’s favorite musician.
The awards for business of the year and for the best people in Sherwood will be presented. To nominate someone for these awards, the nomination forms can be downloaded from the Sherwood Chamber Website,, or call the chamber office at 835-7600 and one can be sent by fax.
Everyone in Sherwood is invited to make nominations for the wonderful people in our city that deserve to be honored and to attend the banquet. Make plans to attend by calling 835-7600 or e-mailing the chamber at; tickets ar $25 each and tables of eight or more can be reserved.

The Concord Cemetery Association will hold its annual meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 25 in the Family Life Center at Concord United Methodist Church. All persons owning lots in Concord Cemetery are invited to attend.
All persons owning lots or who have family members buried in the cemetery are encouraged to contribute to its maintenance and up-keep. Contributions should be mailed to Concord Cemetery Association, c/o Secretary Karol DePriest, 436 Furlow Loop, Lonoke, Ark., 72086.

Lonoke Community Center will sponsor wellness screening, exercise programs, diabetes control and presentations on healthy aging from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, April 25. Participants will enjoy a free lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Reserve your lunch by calling 501-676-4390 or stop by the Lonoke Community Center.

Cabot Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual Business Appreciation Cookout for its members. Free hotdogs and hamburgers will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, April 27 at the town square, located in the courtyard area of the Cabot Mini Mall, behind city hall.
Arkansas Federal Credit Union, Busy Bee, Cabot Nursing and Rehab, Colton’s, Community Bank, Cool 104, Dixie Cafe, First Arkansas Bank and Trust, KFC, King Buffet, Knight’s Grocery, Kroger, Larry’s Pizza, McDonalds, Metropolitan Bank, Cabot Parks & Rec., Price Cutter, Re/Max Connections, Sonic (Hwy. 321) and Wal-Mart are sponsoring this event.

April is Confederate Heritage and History Month. There will be a decoration day at Camp Nelson Confederate Cemetery in Cabot from 1 to 5 p.m. April 29. Everyone is welcome to come honor and remember the Confederate veterans. For more information, call Col. E.J. Hart at 501-743-8315.

The Rolling Razorbacks’ annual luncheon will be held at the St. Vincent Medical Center/North Rehabilitation Hospital Employee Dining Room from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 27. Each year, rehabilitation volunteers donate money to the Rolling Razorbacks. This year’s donation will be presented by Anita Brewer, president of Rehabilitation Volunteers, to Jarred Johnson, Rolling Razorbacks manager.

Free event being held at Beyond Boundaries Barn, 2191 Peyton Street off Hwy. 319 in Ward, from noon to 2 p.m. April 28. This is an Equine Assisted Therapy Center. Owners are inviting everyone interested in learning more about the program through the exhibition riders. There will be a free lunch and silent auction. For more information, call Jamie at 259-8334.

The annual Miss Lonoke County Rice contest, sponsored by Farm Bureau and the Cooperative Extension Service, will be held April 28. The purpose of the contest is to recognize the importance of the rice industry and to promote rice throughout the county. To be eligible for this competition you must be between the ages of 16 and 19 during the next school year 2007-2008.
For the contest you will need to make a presentation on rice and develop a special rice recipe for the judges to sample. For more information or an application contact Carolyn Burns at the Extension office 676-3124 or Farm Bureau at 676-3111.

The Beebe Believers will be in concert at 6 p.m. April 29 at North Little Rock Church of God, 4003 Roundtop Drive, two miles from McCain Mall. For more information call 982-7164 or 612-4193.

TOP STORY >>Ex-engineer back with city

IN SHORT: Jacksonville Mayor Tommy Swaim hires Jay Whisker to fill position as city administrator.

Leader staff writer

Jacksonville’s former city engineer, Jay Whisker, was introduced at Thursday’s city council meeting as the new city administrator.

Jacksonville has been without a city administrator since mid-2004 when Murice Green retired.

In making the announcement, the mayor said he had found it easier to do the job of the administrator than to try to explain or train someone for the position. “It was hard to find someone who knew about all aspects of our city and able to work with the public. I feel Jay has the insight from his six years as city engineer to fill the position,” the mayor said.

Whisker had resigned in late 2006, taking a job with a Little Rock engineering firm. “When you are hired as a city engineer you just don’t have the opportunity to go up or move,” he said at the time. The Little Rock job offered him a chance for advancement.

In accepting the new job, Whisker said that he’s missed the city and he’ll enjoy not making that commute to Little Rock. He starts Monday and will also oversee the engineering department until a new city engineer is hired. Whisker had been serving as a consultant for the city in the engineering area since his departure.

As city engineer, Whisker’s salary was $63,592, as city administrator he’ll be making $66,000. Top salary for the engineer position is $67,207, and $71,080 for the administrator’s job.

The city is also trying to fill the human-resources director position, which has been vacant for almost a year when Charlie Brown retired. “We’ve interviewed about eight to 10 people for the position, but just haven’t found the right fit yet,” the mayor said.

In other council business:

- Aldermen condemned nine properties. The owners have 60 days to either bring the properties up to code or tear them down and remove them.

After 60 days the city will pay to have the structures torn down and place a lien against the properties.
No one spoke for or against the condemnation at a public hearing right before the aldermen passed the ordinance condemning the properties.

According to the ordinance, the property owners failed to repair their respective properties, despite repeated notices and demands, and that the structures present public health and safety hazards.

Three of the properties are burned-out homes. The condemned properties include 104 Cross St., owned by Leon and Jennifer Brooks; 105 Pike Ave., owned by James L. Mixon; 128 Central Ave., owned by Deerco, Inc.; 130 Joiner Ave., owned by Glenn and Robert Davidson; 141 North Ave., owned by Marvin and Mavis Douglas; 184 Pike Ave., owned by Loria Parks; 206 Roosevelt Rd., owned by Agnes Jordan; 1116 Sorrells Dr., owned by Jimmie Miller; and 1504 Keaton St., owned by Dawn Querida House.

- In another public hearing no one spoke against the idea of a multi-purpose improvement district for the Legacy Center Development.

The Legacy Center is a commercial and residential development by the Dupree family and encompasses about 1,250 acres of land east and west of Hwy. 67/167 between the new I-440 exit and Redmond Road, commonly know as the bean field.
Aldermen approved the formation of the improvement district, which will give the developers options in financing streets, drainage, lights, sewer and water lines for the planned community.

An attorney for the project told the council that it was a great opportunity for Jacksonville.
“Since the property is inside the city limits, the city will eventually gain all the streets and all the improvements without the cost,” he said.

- The council also voted to spend $70,332 to build sidewalks along Redmond Road from the community center to Dupree Park.

- Aldermen also approved a resolution saying the city would provide 20 percent of the funding to upgrade traffic signals at the intersections of West Main, Marshall Road and T.P. White Drive. Federal funds will provide the other 80 percent of the $200,000 project.

- The council also waived competitive bidding to allow the police department to purchase video cameras for new patrol cars. The police wanted the same make and model of cameras currently be used in its units for constituency. The department will buy four cameras from Mobile Vision of New Jersey at a cost of $14,880.

- In his monthly report, Fire Chief John Vanderhoof told the council that his department responded to 108 rescue calls, 57 still alarms, 12 general alarms and 223 ambulance runs during March. There was no fire loss for the month.

- Public Works Director Jimmie Oakley, in his monthly report, said the animal shelter received 130 dogs and 79 cats during March. Two cats and 27 dogs were returned to their owners, while 38 cats and 58 dogs were adopted. Shelter officials euthanized 25 cats and 45 dogs during the month.

Two bite cases were reported during March, both involving pit bulls. One of the two dogs was declared vicious and was euthanized.

- In his monthly report, Police Chief Robert Baker said the police department responded to 2,424 complaint calls in March, down 10 percent from last year. Police made 358 adult arrests and 44 juvenile contacts in March.
Nearly $57,000 worth of items was reported stolen in March and $15,753 worth of items was recovered.

TOP STORY >>Major hurdles seen for city

IN SHORT: Federal court, John Walker and setting boundaries are challenges to a Jacksonville school district.

Leader senior staff writer

The two biggest hurdles facing a stand-alone Jack-sonville-area school district will be satisfying Federal Judge Bill Wilson and also determining the new district’s boundaries, Pulaski County Special School District lawyer Sam Jones told members of the Jacksonville Lions Club Wednesday.

Jones said that while only Jacksonville-area PCSSD members Bishop James Bolden and Danny Gililland were excited about the prospect of Jacksonville’s possible split from the district, most other school board members seemed resigned to the notion.
“It’s not their favorite topic,” Jones said.

He said that if the majority of local residents wanted the district, the board wouldn’t try to hold the schools hostage or slow down the process.

After the meeting, Jones said that the district could achieve unitary status in all areas by the end of the school year.

State Rep. Will Bond, D-Jacksonville, helped find $1 million in the budget this term for the state Education Department to hire a desegregation consultant to determine what remains to be done so that PCSSD, Little Rock and North Little Rock districts all can meet unitary school status and be released from the agreement.

That’s a necessary step for a Jacksonville district.

There’s been a movement for nearly two decades in Jacksonville to break away from the Pulaski County Special School District, and until Judge Wilson put a stop to it two years ago, it appeared that residents would get to vote on the matter.

Jones said the proposed boundaries for a Jacksonville district would coincide with the city limits, or include the attendance zones of all schools that feed Jacksonville High School or else include all attendance zones of all schools that feed Jacksonville and North Pulaski high schools.

Other boundaries could be set instead, Jones said. “The further west you go, the more mixed emotions there are,” he said.
He said breaking up a district would be like getting a divorce, with the need to divide up property and school buses. “In the day of teachers’ unions, you can’t say ‘you go here,’” Jones said.

“Like a divorce, it may start friendly, but it’s a long, drawn-out process,” he added. “The (attorney general’s) office will be out front. John Walker says he’ll oppose every step.”

(Walker is the civil-rights attorney for the Joshua Intervenors, a class of minority students and their parents; the district was placed under court supervision in 1982 to enforce equal opportunity in education.)

“Fasten your seatbelt,” Jones said. “This train has left the station.” Jones said that PCSSD has been declared unitary in five areas in the past, lacking only the implementation of an acceptable discipline policy and infusion of multi-cultural curriculum.

TOP STORY >>New school will cause changes in attendance

IN SHORT: Parents might be taking their children to a different elementary school in August.

Leader staff writer

Parents of Cabot elementary students might be taking their children to different elementary schools in August after the Cabot School District completes its rezoning plan.

Two public meetings will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 24 and Thursday, April 26 at the Cabot High School Loft to talk with parents about the district’s rezoning issue and seeing what ideas parents have on the matter.

Cabot’s seven elementary schools are being rezoned to pull students into the new 83,313 square-foot Stagecoach Elementary, which will be completed in August.

In 2006-2007, Cabot’s elementary school enrollment ranged from 385 to 640. After redrawing the attendance boundaries to include Stagecoach Elementary, enrollment at all but one elementary school will be 450; Magness Creek’s enrollment will be closer to 500.

The current rezoning draft was shown and discussed Thursday night during the Cabot School Board meeting.

Changed boundary lines in the firstdraft of the rezoning map will change attendance zones for all elementary schools.
Some zones are slightly changed while others are drastically increased or decreased to allow for Stagecoach Elementary.

Cabot students living in the Butlerville area, while currently split between Ward Central and Eastside elementaries depending on which side of Hwy. 38 they live, will all go to Stagecoach in the draft version.

Central Elementary’s zone has drastically decreased while Southside’s has shifted to include up to Hwy. 67/167.

Students living in the Parnell area will still be at Southside, but those from Oak Grove, currently also at Southside, will attend Stagecoach.

Sylvania area students will still attend Eastside Elementary.

Superintendent Dr. Frank Holman said the district had considered many variables while working on the redrawn attendance boundaries.

“We looked at traffic flow with input from the mayor, police chief and county judge; at the safety and security issues, and how to keep enrollment at 400 to 550 per school,” Holman said.

Although he thinks the current plan is pretty good, Holman said they would spend time talking about it with parents at the public meetings held in the coming week.
Work is ongoing at Cabot’s $6.6 million elementary school near Campground and Stagecoach roads. Brick work began last week, half of the roof is in place, the heating and air units are going in, and the painters are expected to start work next week.
“We feel good about the timeline and the progress,” Holman said. “Our construction people do an amazing job,” he added.
Other district construction is also going well.

The high school’s multipurpose building, CHAMPS Hall, will be ready for the start of the new school year. Career and technical classes will be held in CHAMPS Hall starting in August.

Although the plan was to move in before school was out this year, the district decided to replace the old carpet with tile to make it much better.

“It’s an outstanding building and it’s going to look great,” Holman said.

In other business, the school board approved three recommendations — two by the board’s building and grounds committee and one by Kelly Hayes, district comptroller.
n The building and grounds committee, headed by Brooks Nash, made the recommendation to accept the state’s offer of $5.2 million to help rebuild the burned down Cabot Junior High North and move forward with the rebuilding process.

Work will begin on the $18.5 million two-story junior high on July 1 with an estimated 18-24 months needed for construction.

“We’re talking about 1,200 kids enrollment maximum,” Nash said. “That’s the bad part because we have 1,075 kids enrolled at Junior High North now. If we want to build that thing bigger and accommodate 300 more kids, the state’s not going to help us, and that will mean $3 million more dollars,” Nash said.

Some work has already been done on the site, demolition was completed in March and blueprints for the new school have already been drawn up.

n The second recommendation from the building and grounds committee was to accept the city’s offer to lease the old post office and portions of the old Community Bank building for the district’s use.

The high school’s museum would be housed in the old post office. The museum has been in storage for the last three and a half years.

The district’s charter school, the Academic Center of Excellence (ACE) or the Alternative Learning Environment (ALE) will move to the bank space. Both are currently housed at the old superintendent’s office on Locust Street.

“If one of the programs moved over there, then we would have more space to increase both programs,” Nash said.

Rent for the space would be $1,500 a month with a two-year contract; utilities would be prorated with the chamber of commerce, which has also moved into the bank building.

“We appreciate the mayor and his work and trying to really come to us about some things to help us knowing we had some needs,” Holman said. “It will be an opportunity for our community and people to see all that museum stuff,” Holman added.

n Hayes recommended moving the district’s property and vehicle insurance to the state of Arkansas for the coming year; the district’s current insurance coverage expires in June.

Nash asked if the district’s current property insurance provider, Great American Insurance Company of Ohio, had contacted Hayes about renewing their policy.

Hayes said the agent had contacted him but Hayes had not given a reply; Nash offered to reply to the agent with the district’s answer.

Great American fought the Cabot district for eight months after CJHN burned down Aug. 10, delaying a settlement and the start of rebuilding the school.

According to Holman, the district was about to sue the insurance company when a settlement for a total of $12,069,000 for the eight-year-old, $9 million school was reached in February.

TOP STORY >>Campbells' fate rests with judge

IN SHORT: Former Lonoke Police Chief Jay Campbell and his wife Kelly were found guilty last week on 51 drug and theft charges and the jury recommended 315 years for Campbell and 304 for his wife. The jury recommended concurrent sentences, meaning that Campbell could be eligible for parole in 10 years and his wife in less than four.

Leader staff writer

Special Judge John Cole will formally sentence Jay and Kelly Campbell Tuesday, the conclusion of the two-month-old drug and theft corruption trial of the former Lonoke police chief and his wife.

The jury April 17 convicted the two of 51 charges, finding the former chief guilty of running a continuing criminal enterprise and of conspiring with codefendants Bobby Junior Cox and Larry Norwood to manufacture methamphetamine.

After sentencing Tuesday, “I’ll present a notice of appeal,” said Jay Campbell’s lawyer, Patrick Benca. “He’s entitled to bond. (Cole) will address the issue of bond,” he said.

Prosecutor Lona McCastlain petitioned to revoke Campbell’s bond after the jury recommendations and is expected to try again next Tuesday.

Benca said the defense has 30 days to file for a new trial and that he expects Cole’s interpretation and instructions on the predicate crimes and elements of an ongoing criminal conspiracy.

“We have a number of good issues for appeal,” said Benca, “most compelling is what is the proper interpretation of the criminal enterprise statute?”

On almost every count, the jury recommended the maximum prison sentence for the Campbells, but relented to make recommendations that all charges for each Campbell be served concurrently.

The jury could have recommended that Jay Campbell serve a life term on the criminal enterprise charge, but recommended a 40-year sentence.

If Cole imposes his sentence as the jury recommended, Campbell could be eligible for parole in 20 years, 10 if he accumulated the maximum good time.

Kelly Campbell, who was not convicted of participating in a criminal enterprise and was not charged in the meth manufacture conspiracy, was sentenced to 20 years, could be eligible for parole in 10 years, or in three years and four months if she accumulates the maximum good time.

If his sentences ran consecutively—one after the other—Jay Campbell could serve as much as 315 years, his wife as much as 304 years.

Benca said the jury seemed to be reacting to what they thought was a violation of the public trust by the Lonoke police chief when it recommended in nearly every case the maximum prison term.

The prosecutors drew a picture of the Campbells as a team that preyed on friends, fellow church members and people in ill health or recovering from surgery.

Jay Campbell, a charming and likable man by all accounts, would routinely visit with them while his wife rummaged through kitchen or bathroom cabinets for prescription narcotics.

Campbell, Cox and Norwood allegedly had Ron Adams manufacture methamphetamine as part of a convoluted scheme to determine the whereabouts of Gene Beasley, who jumped bond leaving Cox and Norwood liable for his $150,000 bond.
Although the prosecution spent days establishing that there was a sexual relationship between Kelly Campbell and two inmates in her husband’s keep, when the state rested, Cole threw out those charges.

At the time the acts were committed, it was not technically illegal for a civilian to have sex with an inmate, although it was illegal for an inmate to have sex with anyone except on furlough and illegal for a jail or police employee, like dispatcher Amy Staley, to have sexual relations with an inmate.

The state failed to prove that Jay Campbell stole $15,000 from Ryan Childress, who alleged the former chief confiscated the money.

Campbell presentencing
- Count 1: Jay, running a continuing criminal enterprise, guilty, sentenced to 40 years.
- Count 2: Kelly, participating in a continuing criminal enterprise, not guilty.
- Count 3: Jay, conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, guilty, 30 years.
- Count 6: Jay, hindering apprehension or prosecution, guilty, 10 years.
- Count 7: Jay, filing a false police report, guilty, 6 years.
- Count 10: Jay, obtaining a controlled substance from Michael Leszczynia, not guilty.
- Count 12: Jay, obtaining a controlled substance from Scott Cash, guilty, 10 years.
- Count 13: Jay, theft of property, $15,000 from Ryan Childress, not guilty.
- Count 15: Jay, theft of property, $240 from commissary cash fund, guilty, 1 year.
- Count 19: Jay, obtaining a controlled substance, prisoner medications, guilty, 10 years.
- Count 20: Jay, obtaining a controlled substance, drugs used to train dog, guilty, 10 years.
- Count 22: Jay, theft of services, personal work done by Act 309 inmates, guilty, 1 year.
- Count 23: Kelly, furnishing prohibited items to Act 309 inmates, guilty, 10 years probation.
- Count 24: Kelly, furnishing prohibited items to Act 309 inmates, guilty, 10 years probation.
- Count 25: Kelly, furnishing prohibited items to Act 309 inmates, not guilty.
- Count 28: Kelly, furnishing implement of escape, a car trip with Shane Scott, guilty, 1 year.
- Count 31: Jay, hindering apprehension, dispatcher Amy Staley for sex with Scott, not guilty.
- Count 36: Kelly, criminal trespass, Lori Bevill’s home, guilty, 30 days.

Jackie and Donna Moore
- Count 37: Kelly, residential burglary, of Jackie and Donna Moore’s home, guilty, 20 years.
- Count 38: Kelly, obtaining controlled substance, Moore’s home, guilty, 10 years.
- Count 39: Kelly, theft by receiving, jewelry from Moore’s home, guilty, 10 years.
- Count 40: Jay, theft by receiving, jewelry, from Moore’s home, guilty, 10 years.

Mike and Becky Wilson
- Count 41: Kelly, residential burglary, Mike and Becky Wilson’s home, guilty, 20 years.
- Count 42: Kelly, obtaining controlled substance, Wilson’s home, guilty, 10 years.
- Count 43: Jay, residential burglary, Wilson’s home, guilty, 20 years.
- Count 44: Jay, obtaining a controlled substance, Wilson’s home, guilty, 10 years.

Jo Talley
- Count 45: Kelly, residential burglary, Jo Talley’s home, guilty, 20 years.
- Count 46: Kelly, obtaining a controlled substance, Talley’s home, guilty, 10 years.

Rocky and Denise Thompson
- Count 47: Jay, residential burglary, guilty, 20 years.
- Count 48: Jay, obtaining a controlled substance, guilty, 10 years.
- Count 49: Kelly, residential burglary, guilty, 20 years.
- Count 50: Kelly, obtaining a controlled substance, guilty, 10 years.

Kelly Lackey Ratcliff Waller
- Count 51: Kelly, residential burglary, not guilty.
- Count 52: Kelly, obtaining a controlled substance, not guilty.
- Count 53: Jay, residential burglary, not guilty.
- Count 54: Jay, obtaining a controlled substance, not guilty.

Jerry Dozier
- Count 55: Kelly, residential burglary, guilty, 20 years.
- Count 56: Kelly, obtaining a controlled substance, guilty, 10 years.
- Count 57: Jay, residential burglary, guilty, 20 years.
- Count 58: Jay, obtaining a controlled substance, guilty, 10 years.
- Count 59: Kelly, residential burglary, guilty, 20 years.
- Count 60: Kelly, obtaining a controlled substance, guilty, 10 years.
- Count 61: Jay, residential burglary, guilty, 20 years.
- Count 62: Jay, obtaining a controlled substance, guilty, 10 years.

Charlotte Hill
- Count 63, Kelly: obtaining a controlled substance, guilty, 10 years.

Mike and Vivian Brown
- Count 64: Kelly, obtaining a controlled substance, guilty, 10 years.
- Count 65: Jay, hindering apprehension, guilty, 6 years.

Cheryl Anderson
- Count 66: Kelly, residential burglary, guilty, 20 years.
- Count 67: Kelly, obtaining a controlled substance, guilty, 10 years.

Monique Moby
- Count 68: Kelly, residential burglary, guilty, 20 years.
- Count 69: Kelly, obtaining a controlled substance, guilty, 10 years.
- Count 70: Jay, residential burglary, guilty, 20 years.
- Count 71: Jay, obtaining a controlled substance, guilty, 10 years.

Leon and Charlotte Hill
- Count 72: Jay, residential burglary, guilty, 20 years.
- Count 73: Jay, theft of property, jewelry worth $10,000 or more, guilty, 20 years.
- Count 74: Kelly, residential burglary, guilty, 20 years.
- Count 75: Kelly, theft of property, guilty, 1 year.
- Count 76: Jay, theft by receiving, not guilty.
- Count 77: Kelly, theft by receiving, not guilty.
- Count 78: Kelly, possession of paraphernalia to smoke methamphetamine, guilty, 1 year.