Friday, February 04, 2011

SPORTS>>Short-handed ’Rabbits can’t get past Trojans

Leader sportswriter

Lonoke’s cupboard was bare as Marianna-Lee took a 62-32 victory at Lonoke on Tuesday.

The Jackrabbits went with one semi-regular starter in sophomore post player Reid McKenzie in the 2-4A Conference matchup; the rest were substitutes on a team hit by illnesses and disciplinary issues.

Senior guard Rico Bryant was the only upperclassman to start and see much time as regular starters T.J. Scott, Dre Offord and Storm Beeler were recovering from illnesses.

Scott was down with strep throat, Offord was suffering from an eye infection and Beeler was feeling the effects of a concussion sustained recently. Senior Darius Scott and junior Keli Bryant also did not see playing time on Tuesday.

“We got it taken care of,” Lonoke coach Dean Campbell said.

“It’s a learning process for them. Everybody goes through it. It’s part of our job to grow them up as men, aswell as basketball players.”

Campbell declined to list the players sitting out for discipline reasons.

The jumbled lineup resulted in a big mismatch on the court. The Trojans (11-11, 6-6) had four players over 6-3, including 6-8 post player Elbert Fields, along with 5-10 junior guard Demarcus Price.

Lonoke (2-9 2-4A) had three players under 5-9, with inexperienced post players McKenzie at 6-3 and sophomore classmate Zach Risner at 6-2.

“I don’t scout folks,” Marianna-Lee head coach Larry Mitchell said. “I don’t know anything about what they do, because I’ve got my hands full with my group. We’re just trying to learn how to play hard and get our intensity level up to a level that most people can’t play at.”

The Trojans took advantage of the disparity in size and speed and took a 39-13 lead at halftime, but it was reserve guard Joshua Smith who exploited the smaller Jackrabbits the most in the second half. Smith broke free for four dunks in the half, one of which drew boos from the home crowd after Smith hung on the rim briefly.

“I think they’re catching on to what we’re doing,” Mitchell said. “We really found something that fits them. We’ve been trying different defenses all year. I think we found the right fit.”

The Jackrabbits appeared timid in the first half but began to fight back as the second half progressed. The Trojans consistently stretched the margin until triggering the sportsmanship/timing mercy rule with just under six minutes left to play following a dunk by Fields that made it 57-27.

Junior Tarrale Watson and 5-6 sophomore guard Brandon Russell carried Lonoke through much of the second half.

Watson led the Jackrabbits with 12 points while Russell, who weighs under 100 pounds, did not let his size stop him from driving the baseline and fighting for rebounds in the lane.

“Brandon, that’s something he’s always done,” Campbell said. “He’s always attacked. He does a good job of that. He’s by far our smallest one, and our lightest one in the britches, there’s no doubt, but he understands what we’re trying to do, and he knew we needed to attack.”

SPORTS>>Balance, Neighbors give boost to Lonoke

Leader sportswriter

Lonoke spread out the scoring but Cara Neighbors’ totals did not suffer in a 76-50 home victory over Marianna-Lee at the Jackrabbits gymnasium on Tuesday.

The senior guard scored 32 points to keep her average of 30 points a game in 2-4A Conference play. Neighbors scored 35 in a victory at Clinton the previous night.

The Lady Jackrabbits (14-10, 6-5) had a solid supporting cast around Neighbors with two more players in double figures while junior reserve Kaitlyn Tate scored nine points.

Junior guard Mary Davis ended the third quarter with a pair of free throws for her first points, and she came alive in the fourth quarter with 10 more points, including a pair of three-pointers.

“I don’t know if you would call that complete, because a lot of it was layups and pitch-out threes,”

Lonoke coach Nathan Morris said. “We’ve probably had better offensive games, but as far as finishing around the basket when they were given to us that way — yeah, probably complete around the basket.”

The Lady Trojans (7-14, 3-8) had 24 points from junior forward Porsche Bowers, but her teammates struggled for the most part.

Neighbors scored 13 in the first half and found plenty of opportunities to set up teammates to start the second quarter. She assisted Emily Howell on a bank shot to start the period and give the Lady ’Rabbits a 15-8 lead, and Neighbors found a wide open Tate under the basket with 3:12 left in the half to make it 31-16.

Marianna-Lee made a push in the fourth quarter and cut Lonoke’s lead to 10 before Neighbors went to work in the lane.

Neighbors, who has drawn interest from the University of Arkansas-Monticello and Arkansas Tech, got a steal she turned into a layup with 3:47 left to extend the lead to 65-49, and she went underneath the Lady Trojans’ defense for two more points and a 69-50 Lonoke lead.

The Lady ’Rabbits ended the game with a 14-1 run.

“When they got a little bit winded and a little bit tired, they could have sent all five and weren’t going to stop her,” Morris said of Neighbors. “Earlier in the game, you can’t necessarily do that as much. I think in five straight possessions, she had five straight assists.”

Junior Derricka Mays finished with five points, but it was her defensive work that made the difference early for Lonoke. Mays came away with four steals in the first half, converting one of them herself with 6:58 left in the half to put the Lady Jackrabbits up 17-8.

“Derricka Mays is a kid that has just turned into an all-out hustle kid,” Morris said. “She might make a few mistakes, but she’s going to make some great hustle plays that no one else can make.”

SPORTS>>MSRA has new title, new deal for series

Leader sportswriter

The former Mid South Racing Association is now the Comp Cams Super Dirt Series.

The super late-model racing series based out of Beebe made the announcement at last weekend’s championship banquet and gave details of a three-year agreement between Comp Cams and the series.

Comp Cams was the title sponsor in 2010, and with the name change comes increased financial and marketing support.

The series, which began in 2007 as the brainchild of directors and Beebe residents Chris Ellis and Cary Jones, has enjoyed steady growth through its first four seasons. The schedule has grown from 16 dates in 2007 to 25 slated for this year, with the possibility of more dates to be added later.

“We’ve been blessed to have growth during tough economic times,” Ellis said. “We’ve done it by staying within an hour of the Arkansas borders. We have the biggest schedule we’ve ever had, and may end up with some more dates before it’s over. The weather will have to cooperate, and $4-a-gallon gas is a concern, but we’ve been fortunate so far.”

Comp Cams has been a leading manufacturer of racing-engine components for over 30 years. Based in Memphis, Comp Cams also supports a number of other racing series and events.

“It all goes back to the grass-roots racing, and we like to think of ourselves as starting from grass roots,” Comp Cams representative David McCarver said. “You’re a local Friday/Saturday night dirt track, and that’s your grass-roots racing. That’s where Comp Cams got started, and that’s who we want to continue to be with. When they flourish, we flourish.”

Local race fans know the Comp Cams name primarily for its sponsorship of the annual Topless 100 late model race held at Batesville Motor Speedway every August.

“We’re in their home market, so it’s a great asset to them as well,” Ellis said, noting the impact of fixed-engine late models. “The growth of crates in this area has gone against their business. To get more on board is a long-term benefit for them as far as marketing to their customers and to develop new relationships.”

The change was clouded in secrecy through most of the offseason, prompting some racers and fans to fear a total sellout of the series, just as the MARS series did to DIRT Motorsports in 2004.

But Ellis and Jones will still be running the show, and the series will return to all of the same tracks in 2011, as well as new venues such as Thunderbird Speedway in Muskogee, Okla., and Boothill Speedway in Greenwood, La. The CCSDS will also return to Batesville Motor Speedway in Locust Grove and Drew County Speedway in Monticello after no appearances at either track in 2010.

“It’s going to be business as always,” Ellis said. “The business part of it is the same. I’ll be calling all the shots along with Cary; it just has a different name.”

The Comp Cams Super Dirt Series will kick off the season at I-30 Speedway in Benton on March 26. It will make its first of three appearances at Beebe Speedway on April 8 and at Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis the following night.

The CCSDS will make its only appearance at Batesville on April 29. The series will return to Beebe on July 15 and again Aug. 12.

SPORTS>>Devils pounce on Patriots

Leader sports editor

One of the primary reasons the Jacksonville Red Devils beat Little Rock Parkview 60-44 on Tuesday could be seen in the way the players responded to the victory, coach Vic Joyner said.

“There wasn’t any hoopla, there wasn’t anybody jumping up chest bumping,” Joyner said of the all-business demeanor the players carried out of their meeting following the 6A-East victory. “That isn’t their mentality. They’re just a quiet kind of unassuming team.”

Jacksonville took its first lead, 10-9, on a running jumper by Justin McCleary, and never trailed again. Parkview was within 33-29 with 2:49 left in the third quarter but Jacksonville closed out the quarter with a 10-0 run beginning with Terrell Brown’s short baseline jumper and ending with McCleary’s three-point play that made it 45-29 with 2.2 seconds left.

“We kept scoring,” Joyner said. “At the point where we had the lead we weren’t worrying about increasing the lead.

“We just wanted to come down and score and maintain what we had. We didn’t want them to go on no 8- or 10-0 run.”

Jacksonville outscored Parkview 15-13 in the fourth quarter as it maintained its double-digit lead the rest of the way.

“We played entirely too soft,” Parkview coach Al Flanigan said. “We couldn’t stop them on the defensive end and they were red hot on offense. They just took it to us.”

“They pull for each other, they like each other,” Joyner said. “There’s no in-fighting, no animosity. There’s no heroes and no stars. They’re all kind of on the same level and that’s how it’s been with them all year. And they just compete.”

Parkview standout and Arkansas Razorbacks signee Aaron Ross scored 28 points, but he was the only Patriot with 10 or more points.

“We just executed,” Joyner said. “We spread the floor and wanted to make them play defense more than two or three passes.”

Jacksonville countered with the tandem of Raheem Appleby and McCleary, who scored the Red Devils’ first 17 points. Appleby finished with 26 points and 4 had 17.

But Joyner said every player did something to help out, whether it was a key rebound or a defensive play.

“You have to have a little depth to win, especially against somebody as good as Parkview and Aaron Ross,” Joyner said. “Everybody has got to contribute. If it’s just a minute here or a minute there everybody has to contribute and I thought everybody stepped up tonight.”

“We couldn’t get a stop,” Flanigan said.

The game was rescheduled from Jan. 11 because of winter weather. Jacksonville was snowed out at Little Rock Hall on Friday and makes its return visit to Parkview on Tuesday.

“It’s a long way from over,” Flanigan said of the conference race. “I imagine the winner might have three or four losses and then it might come down to a tie.”

SPORTS>>Frye was the guy in 2010

Leader sportswriter

The dirt late model series formerly known as the Mid South Racing Association held its annual Night of Champions banquet at the Holiday Inn Express ballroom on Saturday to crown 2010 champion Bill Frye, of Greenbrier.

The night started with an announcement from series director Chris Ellis regarding sponsorship and a name change for the series.

Comp Cams, the racing engine component manufacturer based out of Memphis, was the series’ title sponsor in 2010, and will now be the namesake of the series with increased financial support overthe next three years of racing action.

It was Frye’s first year to run full time with the series. He won five Mid America Racing Series championships from 2001-2007.

“We went through some years when I ran the MARS deal where I think I just got burned out,” Frye said. “Instead of racing with the passion that it takes to win races, I just kind of showed up and ran. This year, we got a little bit of that passion back.

“I still don’t have the focus I had 10 years ago or five, but I’ve enjoyed racing this year.”

Frye is still not sure how much he will race in 2011 as his wife, Carol, has battled cancer for the past five years.

Frye, a native of Squires, Mo., is also busy as a builder of customized GRT chassis.

“She’s actually doing well; she’s had a setback the past couple of weeks,” Frye said of his wife. “She’s going to be all right, I think. She’s working on it.”

Ellis and co-director Cary Jones recognized track promoters in attendance, which included Batesville Motor Speedway promoter Mooney Starr.

Jones then presented Frye with the Comp Cams Winner’s Circle award and a $500 check as the driver who won the most events during the season. Frye won races at USA Speedway in Sterlington, La., Crawford County Speedway near Van Buren and two events at 67 Speedway in Texarkana.

Malden Speedway promoter Phil Santie was given the promoter’s award, and in a bit of irony, Walnut Ridge driver Jeff Floyd won the JFR Graphics pole award. Floyd, who also owns JFR Graphics, took fast qualifier honors at five different events, and is the only driver to make every MSRA feature event over the past four seasons.

Jim Kuntz received the engine builder of the year award with five race victories, including four by Frye. Floral driver Brandon Smith was presented a trophy and $1,000 check as the Kuntz and Company Rookie of the Year.

Two-time champ Joey Mack of Benton, Mo., was given the Rock Hard Powder Coating hard charger award as the driver who improved his finishing position from starting position the most throughout the season.

Emcee Keith Schutte announced positions 15th through 12th in the points, which included Charlie Cole of Wynne, Jeff Sloan of East Prairie, Mo., Prattsville’s Wesley Crutchfield and last year’s champion Billy Moyer, Jr. of Batesville. Russellville driver Dewaine Hottinger was recognized as the driver who finished 11th in points.

That brought Schutte to the top ten points finishers. Each driver was presented a check and a trophy, including 10th-place veteran Terry Henson of North Little Rock, East End driver Eddie Provence in ninth, Arlington, Tenn., driver and rookie of the year candidate Shane Stephens in eighth, Russellville’s Jon Kirby in seventh, Smith in sixth, Mack in fifth and Floyd fourth.

Jon Mitchell was third, while Trumann driver Kyle Beard finished as runner up in the points for the second consecutive year. Beard had 10 top-five finishes and two victories, one at his home track, Northeast Arkansas Speedway, in Harrisburg in mid June and at Beebe Speedway the following weekend.

Each driver thanked family and crews, and most congratulated Frye or thanked him for help throughout the season.

“One thing Bill brings into the series is that people respect you more with him running,” Ellis said. “He’s well known, not just regionally, but nationally. I’ve always said that we have a great group of guys, and he fit right in. He’s a humble man and a good dad. He’s a good example for young racers to follow.”

Frye took time to reflect on a storied career that spans three decades and well over 200 race victories.

“I’ve lived a life that most men only dream of,” Frye said. “It’s okay — life’s been good to me. It’s been hard, but I’ve really enjoyed it. Racing’s been good to me. My biggest accomplishment I feel like is that I’ve paid for everything I have with a race car.

“I’ve always paid my bills — some of them not always on time — but I’ve got them paid. I don’t have a lot, but where I came from, I feel like I do.”

EDITORIAL >>The Ledge in session

When the legislature has little serious business to tend to, it turns its attention to monkey business. We knew there would be a lot of monkey business in the 88th General Assembly after the tumultuous elections last year, and there seems to be nothing momentous to do this winter but pass Gov. Beebe’s little half-penny reduction in the sales tax on groceries and a tight state budget. The prospect for embarrassing and even dangerous mischief has looked overwhelming.

But after nearly a month, things do not look so bleak. We mention a few favorable developments that suggest the sensible quotient in the legislature may still predominate. At least sanity seems to prevail on one committee, the House Committee on Public Health, Welfare and Labor.

First, the committee killed a widely ballyhooed bill that was supposed to block implementation of the federal health-insurance reform law in Arkansas. The bill prohibited the federal government from requiring businesses and individuals to purchase health insurance if they could afford it, or else pay a small penalty to the federal government to cover health costs. The attorney general and the former attorney general (now the governor, Mike Beebe) said it was nonsense because the state cannot block federal law, as every first-semester law student knows. Arkansas has suffered mightily several times when its leaders thought the state was supreme in matters of federal-state policy.

The attorney general and the governor warned that if the bill became law, the state would be sued and would lose, at a cost of hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars. Moreover, if the state was going to insist that the federal government could not require insurance protection in Arkansas, would it also insist that the state stop other forms of federally mandated insurance, such as unemployment, disability, old-age and survivors insurance (sometimes called Social Security)? Would the state government be bound also to interpose itself between the people and the Social Security Amendments of 1965, which required the purchase of hospital and medical insurance for the elderly and disabled, otherwise known as Medicare?

The committee killed the bill 12-7, saving Arkansas disgrace and the taxpayers lots of money.

The same committee this week thwarted, at least momentarily, the first bill by Rep. Loy Mauch, who gained fame for labeling Abraham Lincoln a traitor for signing a proclamation freeing the slaves. Mauch’s bill would make every water utility in the state publicly detail every chemical in the water and prevent them from using any chemical that is not just to protect normal bodily functions. There is an ancient conspiracy theory that the communists or other enemies of America, with the help of city water companies, were poisoning water supplies through things like fluoride that would make people susceptible to a communist takeover. Mauch hears that lithium and statin drugs are being put into the water that to make people docile. Stopping such foolishness was another good day’s work by the Public Health Committee.

Another bill sought to use the new federal health-insurance law to make it impossible for insurance companies to offer coverage for abortions in the case of rape or incest. The bill would prevent insurance companies from offering coverage for abortion under any circumstances in the new state insurance exchanges that will be set up in 2014. The committee amended the bill to comply with federal law so that insurance companies could continue to write policies that provided coverage for abortions in cases of rape and incest as long as the policies were purchased entirely with personal or employer funds and not with taxpayer dollars.

The sponsors pulled the bill down then because they said the amended bill violated the state constitutional provision barring public funds for abortions. The state Constitution has been found to violate federal law if it prohibits abortions in the case of rape or incest.

All three bills were mere posturing. They would accomplish nothing in the end but embarrassment and expense, and Arkansas can afford neither. Let’s hear it for the Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee. There may be few chances for hosannas for anyone in this session.

TOP STORY > >Mayor reports Jacksonville is doing very well

Leader staff writer

Jacksonville Mayor Gary Fletcher, in the state-of-the-city report he presented to the council Thursday, called 2010 a year of extremes that left him in awe.

He said the city won the coveted Abilene Trophy for its strong support of Little Rock Air Force Base, but loss its effort to annex acreage to the north and south of the city to “everything in between.”

“In 2010, Pulaski County Special School District went to court in an effort to achieveunitary status,” the mayor explained. “The court’s decision is still forthcoming. Should it be favorable, it will provide Jacksonville with the opportunity to have its own standalone district.”

Fletcher added, “This is pivotal to the growth and prosperity of our city. While there are issues that will always face the city, there is absolutely none more important than the educational opportunities a city provides its citizens and their children.”

The mayor said the city has not just been sitting by waiting for the courts, but has made educational moves on its own.

In 2010 the city saw the construction of the Jacksonville-Little Rock Air Force Base University Center that is providing educational opportunities for base members and city residents. Five schools either are or will be holding classes at the center. They are Webster University, Park University, University of Arkansas School of Operations Management, Arkansas State University-Beebe and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.

Also in 2010, the mayor said, the base “worked with the city to address older, dilapidated school buildings by presenting a plan to replace two local elementary schools with a new one on base property.”

The Jacksonville Lighthouse Charter School will open a school on base to serve about 400 middle-school students. That school will open later this year.

Fletcher said, “The new school will be located in the old Officers Club, which was slated for demolition, but LRAFB has donated use of the building to give area students an alternative” to the county schools.

In his 39-page report, the mayor also pointed out that the city had spent most of 2010 staying in competition for a possible move by the state fair. “The city is also working to acquire land for economic-development purposes on Wooten Road, with the hopes it will become the new home to the Arkansas State Fair. The Arkansas Livestock Commission is in the process of conducting a study of the proposed sites and we should be receiving it any day,” the mayor said.

The city received word at the end of 2010 that the Conestoga wood plant would close this month displacing close to 50 employees. “It is a call on the city’s part to promote with more vigor,” Fletcher said, “our industrial park to attract more job opportunities for our citizens.”

Even though the plant closing hurt, 2010 did bring some positive economic news.

The mayor said the old Walmart building, which sat vacant for about 10 years, became the home to the Memphis Flea Market.

“In nine months, it has brought thousands of people into our city, befitting our local businesses with increased traffic, and the base air show and open house, Thunder Over the Rock, brought about 225,000 people in our city and was a huge success,” the mayor said.

He closed by saying that he felt seeds of opportunity were being sowed and that the city had a very promising future reaping the “harvests of prosperity.”

Highlights from the 2010 report included:

The city’s garage kept busy maintaining a fleet of more than 250 vehicles, putting in nearly 2,500 hours of labor at a cost of $74,515. Parts needed to keep vehicles on the road ran more than $104,000.

The district court saw an increase of cases going from 12,056 in 2009 up to 14,832 in 2010.

During the year, the city hired 51 full-time employees, 28 part-time employees and another 55 seasonal employees. The turnover rate remained steady at 36 percent.

In 2010, the 911 Center became its own department, no longer under the direction of the police department. The center averaged 341 calls per day.

The animal shelter handled 2,176 animals during the year and a record-setting 915 dogs and cats were adopted out.

The fire department responded to 2,640 fire alarms and 2,841 emergency-medical calls. Fire loss for the year was estimated at just slightly more than $380,000, while fire savings, based on the department’s quick responses, were estimated at $2.6 million.

The police department saw a 22 percent increase in calls for service, going from 37,672 in 2009 to 47,895 in 2010, but saw an 18 percent drop in violent crimes. It had a 49.7 percent clearance rate on those cases compared to a 40 percent rate in 2009.

The city issued 224 building permits for 2010 with a total value of $20.4 million.

The new farmers market pavilion, just south of the community center, opened in May 2010 at a cost of $145,500. Construction also started on the multi-million dollar police and fire training center off Marshall Road.

For the city library, 2010 was the first full year in its new building. Checked-out items increased by 11,455, hitting 203,310 and the library had more than 142,000 visitors.

The city’s aquatic park, the Splash Zone, had a record season, bringing in $205,022.

The city street sweeper logged more than 9,300 miles on local roadways during the year.

The beautification department planted 1,286 plants, trees and shrubs, picked up 4,636 bags of trash and 21 used tires on city rights of way and cleaned nearly 13,000 feet of drainage ditches during 2010.

The sanitation department collected 1.35 million pounds of recyclables in 2010, saving the city $16,869 in landfill fees. Revenues from the sale of those recyclable items came to $92,466.

More than 7,750 tons of garbage was collected from city residents during 2010 costing more than $165,000 in landfill fees.

The senior center delivered almost 41,000 meals during the year to homebound individuals.

The North Metro Medical Center had 38,537 outpatient visits, 21,917 emergency room visits and 2,538 admissions.

The city launched a new interactive website during the year.

During the year, the city council adopted 17 ordinances and approved two rezonings.

TOP STORY > >Brawl leads to fines for Cabot men

Leader staff writer

Jack McNally, the new Lonoke County assessor, and Odis Way-mack, a former Cabot alderman, were both found guilty of disorderly conduct in Cabot District Court on Thursday in connection with an altercation following an October forum for Cabot mayoral candidates.

Both were fined $100 plus $100 for court fees. But the misdemeanor charges will be treated as civil charges and not become part of a criminal record.

Beebe District Judge TeresaHughes, the special judge in the case, refused to allow a second- degree assault charge against Waymack who struck McNally in the back of the neck and she told the special prosecutor, Beebe City Attorney Brent Walker, that he failed to prove the seconddegree assault charge against McNally for striking Henry Lang, a member of the Lonoke County Quorum Court.

It was disturbing, Hughes said, that elected officials could not deport themselves properly in public.

Since Arkansas law doesn’t recognize “fighting words,” Tim Blair, representing Waymack, tried to show that McNally’s comments, combined with a light blow to Waymack’s right shoulder, and his blindness, made the older man feel threatened and thereby justified his striking McNally.

McNally is 54 and Waymack is 78.

Although Waymack admitted to striking McNally, McNally said he didn’t strike either Waymack or Lang. He may have inadvertently tapped them while he was “in their faces,” he said.

Hughes said while watching a tape of the altercation made by cameras at the community center, where the forum was held, that she couldn’t tell what was happening.

“Gentlemen, I’m going to be honest with you,” the judge said. “All I see is three people standing around and rapid movement and it looks like somebody turns away.”

McNally’s attorney, Christian Alexander of Jacksonville, said Waymack’s blow was clearly retaliation for the remarks that McNally characterized as just an opinion, not a threat.

“How did you get off your leash, you piece of dog s***t?” McNally said he asked Waymack.

“I could have told him he was a handsome devil, but right then I thought he was a piece of dog s**t,” McNally said.

The question, McNally said, was his opportunity to get even with Waymack for a grudge he had held for six years.

Waymack was the person who made it public that McNally was under police investigation while he was employed by Cabot as a code-enforcement officer. No charges were filed against McNally but two residents said he illegally removed property from houses they weren’t occupying.

When Eddie Joe Williams (now a state senator) took office as mayor in January 2007, he laid off McNally. But McNally told the court that Waymack told him before Williams took office that he would be fired.

He was angry with Waymack because he had threatened the job that fed his family, McNally said.

Lang got involved after McNally spoke to Waymack. Lang testified that he was acquainted with both men but not really friends with either. But when he heard McNally speaking in a derogatory manner to Waymack, he intervened telling him that the forum was no place to use such language. His concern was less for Waymack than for the propriety of the situation, he said.

McNally testified that he told Lang to “Shut up. I’m not talking to you. I’m talking to this jerk over here.”

It was at that point, that Lang said McNally struck Waymack hard enough in his abdomen to aggravate a hernia that had troubled him for many years. Waymack told the court that since he is blind, he didn’t see the blow. No other witnesses saw it and it was not visible on the tape.

Waymack testified that he felt threatened because of McNally’s abusive language and because McNally struck him first, although not very hard.

The judge was clearly not buying any of it.

She said she was concerned that McNally, who was visibly angry while testifying, could hold a grudge for six years.

And although she told Waymack that she sympathized with him for the blindness that kept him from realizing that McNally had already turned to leave when he struck him, his action was unacceptable.

“He threw a haymaker and if he didn’t hit McNally, he might have hit someone else,” the judge said.

The altercation was just days before McNally was elected as county assessor.

“I think politics has probably raised its ugly head in this case,” Hughes said.

TOP STORY > >Big Reserve unit coming to base

19th Airlifit Wing Public Affairs

Air Force Reserve Command is assigning a new unit to Little Rock Air Force Base to augment the older C-130 training mission with an additional 700 reservists and support staff in the next few years.

The new Reserve unit commander, Col. Archie Frye, huddled recently with Col. Mark Czelusta, 314th Airlift Wing commander, and Col. Jim Summers, 189th Airlift Wing commander — the two commanders he will work most closely with — to discuss plans for the new unit and its impact on their missions and the base.

The training unit for the aging C-130s will grow to its projected full strength of 706 Air Reserve technicians, traditional reservists and civilians. The 19th and 314th Airlift Wings will then have almost all-new C-130Js.

The unit, most likely to be designated a group, is expected to grow to approximately 75 people this year, including roughly 40 full-time jobs.

This year, the unit and its personnel director will target hiring for its supervisory and leadership package in all of its functions. Next year, it plans to add an additional206 people, and then approximately 200 people a year until it reaches full strength.

As active-duty C-130E models are retired, borrowed Guard and Reserve C-130Hs are arriving at the base from around the Air Force. The C-130H fleet will be upgraded as active-duty units transition to an all J-model fleet.

The Reserves provide the legacy C-130-training community with flexible capability while shoring up active-duty aircrews to deploy and fight the nation’s wars.

This change may have gone unnoticed because the unit currently employs only two people — the unit commander and the director of personnel — but the unit expects to grow to 706 reservists over the next few years.

The new reservists will work primarily with the 314th Airlift Wing over the next two to three years as the 314th maintains the lead for legacy C-130 training and the reserve unit grows. The reserve unit, expected to be a group, plans to grow 18 full-time crews and 18 part-time crews, all of them instructor-qualified.

Their manning numbers, which will be reconsidered yearly, are driven by the needs of the 189th Airlift Wing, which will lead the legacy training on base. The Reserves are flexible, designed to serve as the mission’s “shock absorber,” Frye said.

The new Reserve unit will ultimately be associated with Arkansas Air National Guard’s 189th Airlift Wing. In fiscal year 2013, when the Reserve unit is at or near full strength, the 314th will “hand the baton” to the 189th as the lead wing for C-130 legacy training, alongside the Reserve unit.

The 189th will primarily train students in the C-130H-AMP variants — C-130s upgraded by Boeing’s avionic modernization program, which includes the installation of a modern digital glass cockpit akin to that found in a commercial Boeing 737-800 — while the Reserves will primarily handle training in the legacy models that haven’t been modified.

The 314th AW has seven C-130Hs, and the 10 Reserve and eight Guard planes are arriving the wing’s E model sare retired, Czelusta said. By October, there will be 18 older C-130Hs with the 314th but still owned by their respective home Reserve or Guard units. These 18 planes will continue to transfer between Little Rock and their home bases according to maintenance schedules and operational needs.

Mixed Guard and Reserve instructor crews will be a common sight, Summers said. By 2020, all 221 legacy combat-coded C-130s will be modified.

Beginning last October, the 314th Airlift Wing began retiring its aging C-130E fleet. In its place, the reserve-component training unit will stand up to train legacy C-130 aircrews, provide flightline maintenance and internal support functions.

As part of the total-force integration plan, Air Force Reserve Command will bring in 10 C-130Hs and the Air National Guard will add an additional eight C-130Hs to meet programmed flight-training requirements.

The 314th Airlift Wing has 14 E models remaining in its inventory and plans to retire approximately one and a half per month until they’re gone. The planes are flown to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base’s 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, the aircraft retirement “bone yard,” in Arizona, where they are resold, stored or scrapped.

The 314th AW’s remaining C-130Es are assigned to the 62nd Airlift Squadron, whose heritage dates back to World War II. There are no plans to deactivate the 62nd, Czelusta said. Air Force leaders have not yet determined what the squadron’s role will be after its E models are retired.

The active duty will no longer have the manning to staff the schoolhouse, so standing up the Reserve unit and transferring the legacy training to the Guard and Reserve was a “common- sense solution” as they “gracefully degrade the active-duty presence in the legacy schoolhouse” said Czelusta.

The active-duty airmen aren’t out of the legacy business yet; in fact, the 314th is still hiring legacy crews for the next several months.

The active-duty force will go to “almost a pure J-model operation,” said Czelusta.

The Guard and Reserve would then be the only components flying the legacy aircraft, and since their manpower pool is more stable than the active duty, fewer crews will need to be trained and fewer instructor crews will be needed to train them.

Therefore, the long-term solution is to give the eight Guard planes back to their units and the 189th and Reserve unit will operate the 19 remaining legacy aircraft here.

The 314th AW will still have a hand in training the legacy aircrews that are getting their initial qualification, as they will start at the wing’s 714th Training Squadron for classroom instruction and simulator training.

All three commanders agreed that the impact of these changes to the students for whom all three units exist will be negligible.

“The bottom line is that if we do this right, it’s totally transparent to the student,” said Summers. It won’t make a difference to the student whether the student is flying with an active-duty, Guard or Reserve instructor, because all three components train to the same high standards.

“We are going to have a seamless presentation of C-130 Combat capability to the war-fighting units in the shape of combat-ready crews,” said Czelusta.

TOP STORY > >Save our school, parents plead

Leader senior staff writer

Don’t consolidate our high school with Jacksonville High, and don’t send us the underclassmen and the upperclassmen either, many among the 85 people attending 2020 Vision school facilities meeting at North Pulaski High School told district officials Thursday night at the fourth and final public meeting before the school board considers a plan to build new schools and close others.

They asked for, and seemed to receive, assurances that such action wasn’t in the works, at least in the first phase of change and construction.

Derek Scott, Pulaski County Special School District’s chief of operations, said neither of those scenarios would be on the proposal he and Superintendent Charles Hopson would submit to the board at its Feb. 8 meeting.

“I will not present a high school in phase one,” Scott promised the group.

Board president Bill Vasquez and Hopson gave Scott the responsibility to assess and prioritize the district’s facilities needs and recommend a plan and a way to pay for it.

While the board may act on the proposal at the February or March meeting, the real decision would be set in concrete at the April meeting, when the board is slated to vote on the 2011-2012 budget, according to Vasquez.

While a single high school is part of the more aggressive plan promoted by Vasquez, board members Gwen Williams and Gloria Lawrence joined Tom Stuthard in saying they didn’t favor such moves, at least at this time.

Stuthard represents north Pulaski County on the board.

“I agree with one new high school (for the Jacksonville and north Pulaski zones)” Stuthard said, “maybe in six or eight years. Leave them the way they are now.”

“I am pro-Derek Scott,” said Lawrence. “He will lead us down the right direction.”

“Have you talked to the kids?” asked Rebecca Bailey, a Northwood eighth-grader. “Me and a lot of the other kids don’t want this to happen.”

Bailey attended at least two of the four facilities-planning meetings.

Scott told the group that he expects to recommend the construction of two new elementary schools and a new middle school, plus some rehabilitation and repair.

“I teach at Cato Elementary,” said Tangie Peters, fighting back tears. “I’ve heard no mention of our school and our kids deserve good schools.”

“This school district isn’t short of needs,” Scott said, “but short of resources.

“Pimp my school,” Scott said, alluding to the cable television show “Pimp My Ride,” in which derelict vehicles are rebuilt and re-spruced into enviable new vehicles on old frames.

If the board can squeeze sufficient savings to pay for the sale of a construction bond, Scott said he expects to recommend that a new school be built on Little Rock Air Force Base to replace Arnold Drive and Tolleson elementary schools, and at the site of the current Jacksonville Middle School, both a new Jacksonville elementary school and Jacksonville middle school, both flanking a core building including administration, kitchen and perhaps mechanical areas.

Arnold Drive is on the base, within the fenced perimeter and Tolleson is on base property, outside the fence.

The perimeter fence would be moved to leave the new school outside the fence, Scott said. Scott received widespread applause when he asked if they favored one new school to replace Arnold Drive and Tolleson. The two are only about a mile apart.

Many attending said they opposed sending students temporarily to other schools while new ones were built.

“I’ve heard that a lot,” said Scott, and he said he’d try hard not to do that.

During construction of the new elementary and middle schools east of Hwy. 67/167, the middle-school students may attend the old junior high next door, Scott said.

He said the estimated $104 million needed could be leveraged from $8 million savings the board would need to squeeze from the budget. “We want to cut the fat, but not nick the bone,” said Scott, a civil engineer who oversaw facilities for the Air Force for the last 18 years of his service.

“If we don’t break ground by the end of the year, I’ll be disappointed,” he said.

He said he hoped to get the schools designed this winter and break ground by next fall or winter.

He said he hoped to have students in the three new schools “two-and-a-half years from today, but we’ll start planning the next phase before then.”

Tightening the budget by $20 million would pay for Vasquez’s more ambitious plan. The district receives $33 million a year from property millage—money that is supposed to be used to retire bonded indebtedness. In reality, he said, only about $10 million is used for that purpose, the rest going into salaries of administrators, teachers and other costs.

“If you put the elementary and middle schools together, you’re going to create more problems,” said parent Keith Weber.

“Some buildings are deplorable, but the building is not what makes a school successful,” said Cheryl Carpenter, a 9th-grade English teacher to applause. “(Little Rock) Central was built in 1929 and it gets the most merit scholars in the state.”

She said the most important factors were the people in the building and the lack of discipline.

TOP STORY > >Trash rates won’t go up as much in Jacksonville

Leader staff writer

Garbage rates are going up in Jacksonville, but not as much or as quickly as originally planned.

The council modified is original plans Thursday night and dropped the planned increase by a $1.50 per month and will delay the start of the new rate until March 1.

The decision to decrease the planned $6 rate hike, which would have taken monthly residential fees from $11 to $17, was changed after aldermen listened to a report by Finance Director Paul Mushrush.

Mushrush said the original increase was based on some money being used to service the area the city wanted to annex. The annexation of about four total square miles was turned down by voters in November.

Mushrush said because the annexation effort failed, the city just needed to increase the rate to $14.50, a savings of a $1.50.

“The rate will have to be revisited in five years,” Mushrush said. It had been 11 years since the last rate increase, he said.

Collection service will still go down to once a week, more than likely also start in March, and the city will move forward with plans for an automated system.

One change in that idea is that the city will offer two sizes of containers. Instead of just the standard 96-gallon container, a smaller 48-gallon container will be available for seniors and single residents.

Mayor Gary Fletcher said the automated system could start as early as May. The changeover could cost the city around $1 million to start and the money will have to be borrowed through a loan or a bond issue.

In other council business:

In his monthly report, Police Chief Gary Sipes said even though murders and sexual assaults were up in 2010, overall violent crimes were down about10 percent from 2009, he said.

For the year, the city had one murder (none in 2009), 50 sexual assaults compared to 36 in 2009, 32 robberies compared to 46 in 2009, 108 felony assaults compared to 150 in 2009, 329 burglaries compared to 316 in 2009, 917 thefts compared to 1,046 in 2009, 72 vehicle thefts compared to 91 in 2009 and no arsons compared to three in 2009.

Adult arrests were up slightly for the year, while juvenile arrests moved down a tad. For 2010, the police arrested 3,911 adults compared to 3,885 in 2009. The police arrested 451 juveniles for the year compared to 458 in 2009.

Fire Chief John Vander-hoof, in his monthly report, said his department responded to 223 rescue calls, 75 still alarms, 18 general alarms and had 226 ambulance runs during December.

He said fire loss for the month was estimated at $20,500, while savings were estimated at $75,500.

The council agreed to accept the $40,700 bid by Allen’s Building Construction to construct new street-department offices.

The council, at the request of Alderman Mike Traylor, put off approving changes to the employee-policy manual until the next meeting to give aldermen a chance to read over the changes.

The annual joint-planning meeting between the council, the planning commission and city departments was set for 4 to 7 p.m. Feb. 22 at the Jacksonville Community Center.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


Grady Starr

Grady George Moses Starr, 93, a World War II veteran of Beebe, born in Enola on June 7, 1917, was called home to be with the Lord on Feb. 2.

His parents, Arthur Starr and Artie Garland Starr, preceded him in death.

He leaves behind his beloved wife of 70 years, Pauline Watson Starr; his sister, Vivian Cheek Sehorn of Bakersfield, Calif.; his sons, Donald and his wife Linda, Larry and his wife Suzanne, and Mike and his wife Janie;  daughter, Sonia Spigner and her husband Tom; loving grandchildren, Don, Tammy Waldron and her husband Steve, Michelle Salazar and her husband Alex, Mark, Meredith, T.J. Spigner and his wife Kristin, and Elizabeth Spigner, great-grandchildren, Jeremy, Alec, Alexa and Alyssa, as well as beloved nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 6 at Wood Bean Family Memorial Center in Jacksonville. The funeral will be held at the Romance Church of Christ at 3 p.m. Feb. 7.

Memorials may be sent to Arkansas Hospice, 14 Parkstone Circle, North Little Rock, Ark., 72116.

geneva kent
Geneva Clem Kent, 86, of Lonoke departed this earthly life on Feb. 2 to meet her Lord and Savior.

She was born in Izard County on Oct. 6, 1924, to the late J.T. and Lily Clem.

Geneva was a member of Lakewood United Methodist Church but attended Eastside Baptist Church after moving to Lonoke. She was a graduate of Melbourne High School. She was also a graduate of Harding College in Searcy and received her master’s degree in science and social work from the University of Tennessee.

She is survived by her son Sam Mason and his wife Cynthia of Lonoke.

Geneva was “Geega” to her two grandsons, Brendan and his wife Jessie of North Little Rock and Alex of Lonoke. She is also survived by her sister, Jane Haley, of Mabelvale and several nieces and nephews.

The funeral will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5 at Melbourne Cemetery with Bro. David Gibson officiating. Visitation will be from 6 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4 at Boyd Funeral Home in Lonoke.

Memorials may be made to Arkansas Children’s Hospital or to Alzheimer’s research.

Geneva’s family would like to thank Chambers Nursing Home of Carlisle and Baptist Health Hospice for taking such good care of her.

robert hinson
Robert Carrol “R.C.” Hinson, 94, of Cabot died Feb. 2.

He was born Jan. 26, 1917, in Centerville, Tenn., to the late James Henry and Docie Ann Tibbs Hinson. 

R.C. was a member of Briarwood Baptist Church of Cabot.  He was a retired owner and operator of a grade-A milk dairy and later worked as a building contractor in Cabot and surrounding areas. 

He was known as the “chair man” as he loved working and selling oak rocking chairs and porch swings. 

Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Doris Marshall Hinson, and sons, Robert Carrol Hinson Jr. and Don Marshall Hinson.  He was also preceded in death by three brothers and two sisters. 

He is survived by a host of nephews, nieces and friends.

The funeral will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5 at Briarwood Baptist Church with Pastor Fred Reddoch officiating.
Interment will follow at Mt. Carmel Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to Briarwood Baptist Church, 1872 Willie Ray Drive, Cabot, Ark. 72023.

Arrangements are by Moore’s Cabot Funeral Home.

joseph hudson jr.

Joseph Barksdale Hudson Jr., 85, of Romance was born April 5, 1925, in McBride, Miss., and he died Feb. 1.

He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II and served as deputy sheriff and worked for Shell Chemical Company for 25 years.  He was a Baptist and a Mason who enjoyed flower gardening and fishing.

Joseph was preceded in death by his wives, Virginia and Wanda; one son, Joe Wayne; grandsons, Logan, Mike and Daniel; brothers, Edward and Boyd, and his sister Margie. 

He is survived by his children, Gary and his wife Mary of Colorado, Sandi and her husband Ronnie of Arkansas, Rick and his wife Frannie of Arkansas, Doug and his wife Christy of Colorado and Dee Dee and her husband Ronnie of Arkansas, 24 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, brothers, Cornie of Mississippi and Johnny of Colorado; and sisters, Francis of Louisiana, Sylvia of Washington and Annette of Tennessee.

The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Westbrook Funeral Home in Beebe. The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 7 at Floyd United Methodist Church, with burial in New Floyd Cemetery.
mary purcell

Mary Ellen Purcell, 87, of Roswell, Ga., passed away Jan. 31.  

She was born and raised in Paxton, Ill. She married Army Air Corps Sergeant Junot Purcell in January 1941.  After his retirement, they resided in Jacksonville until his death in 1995, when she moved to Roswell.

She is survived by her children, Sally Dodds and her husband Norman of Alpharetta, Ga., Linda Bailey and her husband Darrell of Cullman Ala., and Nancy Kiehl of Phoenix, Az. She is also survived by six grandchildren, John Dodds of Raleigh, N.C., Stacey Dodds Armond of Mandeville, La., and Benjamin Bailey of Orlando, Fla., Wendy Tuger of Ponchatoula, La., Tony and Christopher Kiehl of Phoenix, Az. Mary had four great-grandchildren.

Mary helped to establish Hope Lutheran Church in Jacksonville.  She was a member of Rivercliffe Lutheran Church in Sandy Springs, Ga.  

Visitation will be from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 6 at Moore’s Jacksonville Funeral Home. Graveside service will follow at Chapel Hill Memorial Park in Jacksonville.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Rivercliffe Lutheran Church or the American Lung Association in Mary’s memory.
Seth Renuard
Seth Andrew Renuard of Little Rock passed away Feb. 1, the day he was born to his loving parents, Brandon and Rebecca Renuard. 

Seth was preceded in death by his great-grandfathers, Richard Ewing, Dominador Biscante and Thomas Renuard Sr., as well as his great-grandmother, Sandra Renuard.

He is survived by his grandparents, Robert and Rosalina Ewing, and Thomas and Kimberly Renuard, all of Cabot; three great-grandmothers, Gladys Renuard, Tomiko Wakefield and Hermida Biscante; a great-grandfather, Marion Snaples; and aunts and uncles, Marcela Ewing, Trey and Kayla Renuard and Kordell Renuard.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 5 in the chapel of Moore’s Cabot Funeral Home, with Reverend Ernest Hardesty officiating.

Arrangements are by Moore’s Cabot Funeral Home.

toshiko st. john
Toshiko Maeshiro St. John, 68, of Cabot ascended to heaven Feb. 4.

She is survived by her husband of 40 years, William P. St. John, of Cabot; two sons, Brian of Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., and Jeffrey of Germany, currently  serving in  Afghanistan; a daughter-in-law, Ceylan “Jenny” of Velsec, Germany, and her two granddaughters, Mariah and Asia.

Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 8 at Moore’s Jacksonville Funeral Home. Interment will follow at Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery in North Little Rock.  

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the American Cancer Society. Arrangements are by Moore’s Jacksonville Funeral Home.

EDITORIAL >> Ethics reformwithout teeth

The great democratic imperative, as exercised by the Arkansas Legislature, is that when people demand that you change your ways, pretend to do something. So the legislature is about to enact a law that pretends to end the back scratching and influence peddling that has so often characterized state legislatures, and this one in particular.

This is supposed to be an example of bipartisan cooperation and, indeed, Republicans and Democrats collaborated in drafting the ethics bills in the Senate and the House of Representatives. But ethical misconduct has never been confined to one party or the other, so when there is an effort to keep the gravy train on the track, you should expect it to be bipartisan.

Oh, yes, there is some good in the bills, but it is window dressing. The bills would bar former legislators from hiring out as lobbyists to work the legislature for only one year after they leave the Senate or House. (Gov. Beebe said it ought to be at least two years.) Then they would be free to collect their dues for voting right by the standards of this or that interest.

But the restriction would not apply to current legislators. Only their successors would have to be ethical. Piety must be introduced into legislative affairs gradually, you see.

The bills would tighten the rules on travel reimbursements slightly. When they travel on the taxpayer’s dollar lawmakers will have to charge the state for the cheapest route and conveyance. That will correct a small but enduring abuse. Legislators liked to tack a little family vacation on to their travels to legislative conferences or take circuitous routes to and from the Capitol to raise their expense reimbursement.

Neither bill would do anything to close the loopholes that allow lobbyists to wine and dine legislators and then, almost uniformly, collect their votes on issues of importance to their clients. Legislators, you see, should not have to pay for their own meals and liquor. To pass a law to make them do it would cast aspersions on the integrity of the men and women who serve in the legislature. That is the argument always. A glass or two of premium pinot noir, dinner and an aperitif at Sonny Williams’ Steakhouse would never divert them from their honorable duty to vote their conscience.

At Walmart, taking even a cup of coffee from a potential supplier will get an employee fired. But then Walmart employees are not as virtuous as politicians.

EDITORIAL >> Who’ll make the first cuts?

Rep. Tim Griffin (R-Ark.) told the annual banquet of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce last week that Congress must bring spending under control and balance the federal budget, or face “our next Pearl Harbor” if those problems are not solved in the next few years.

The Second District congressman wouldn’t be specific when The Leader asked him where he would cut spending to reduce a $1.5-trillion deficit. But he said the cuts would be across-the-board and would include the military.

“We’re doing our research and homework and identifying problems,” said Griffin, who is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, in an interview with The Leader. “We’ll look at the military budget and other programs. We have a tough road ahead.”

“We need to continue to fund our national-security priorities, including C-130s,” the freshman congressman cautioned.

Republicans, who control the House, have said they will not extend the national-debt ceiling this month without spending cuts. Some in the party are pushing for as much as $100 billion in cuts, but the GOP will have to point to specific programs they want reduced. Social programs, agriculture and the military are among the likely targets.

Griffin has crunched the numbers and concluded that a $14- trillion debt and a $1.5-trillion deficit are unsustainable and fiscal restraint is in order.

The congressman, like most Republicans, has ruled out tax increases to close the deficit and reduce the national debt. He points to Caterpillar’s move to North Little Rock from Illinois after receiving tax breaks and other incentives, which should be offered to other businesses in the state, he said.

President Obama has offered similar tax breaks to corporations, and he could convince fellow Democrats to go along with the idea, provided the spending cuts are less severe. Would Democrats meet Republicans halfway and support a $50 billion reduction in spending in return for raising the debt limit and throwing in tax breaks for corporations?

A compromise is likely, thus avoiding a shutdown of government services and postponing a real knockdown fight until 2012, when the balance of power could shift in Washington from the White House down to Congress. Until then, expect a lot of rhetoric and symbolic gestures.

TOP STORY >> Cabot student lost after recess

The principal of Mountain Springs Elementary School in Cabot has ordered teachers to count students upon returning from recess after a student was left unattended outside for nearly a half an hour last Wednesday.

Cabot Superintendent Tony Thurman said a second-grader “went around the corner of the building alone, sat down and went to sleep.”

Thurman said students spent recess in a different area than usual because of the muddy schoolyard. He believes the change in routine may have led to the mistake.

“This was an unfortunate accident, and we are thankful that the student was fine. This should not have occurred and we have reviewed procedures and implemented precautions as a specific result of the incident.

 Thurman said that Mountain Spring’s principal is requiring staff to count students after recess. She will also revise faculty schedules to provide for additional supervision, he said.

 The student’s mother, Renee Bettger, was upset when she heard her 7-year-old was left outside in the cold. She holds the school administration responsible.

“I think parents who have children in the Cabot School District have the right to know that there is not adequate supervision during recess. I’ve been told the state minimum requirements for recess duty is one adult per 100 or less children. To me, that is not nearly enough,” Bettger said.

Bettger also noted that the school has been open since August, and that there is still not a fence around the playground.

“The district has ordered a fence to be installed when weather allows. That will keep students from entering the area between the wings of the building and along the perimeter of the playground,” he said. 

Thurman said all Cabot schools follow state guidelines about monitoring children.

The school nurse examined the child, and the principal called her parents.