Saturday, October 29, 2016

SPORTS STORY >> Lonoke out in quarterfinals

Leader sports editor

For the second-straight season the Lonoke volleyball team was knocked out of the state tournament by 4A-West powerhouse Mena, this time as tournament hosts at the Gina Cox Center on Wednesday.

The Lady Jackrabbits (35-5-1) fell to the Lady Bearcats 3-0 by scores of 25-16, 25-16, and 25-11. Mena (28-7) moved on to the semifinals to face Brookland on Thursday, a 3-1 winner over defending state champion Shiloh Christian.

The loss was a tough one for a young Lonoke team with an eye on a championship ring, but with a lot of key components returning next year, coach Laura Park is still optimistic about the future.

“I hate that it ended this way,” said Park. “They wanted to win state. They didn’t want the season to end. We had three seniors on the team. Madison McFadden is my starting libero. Sarina Jones and Mary Katherine Summer come off the bench when needed. Those three girls are great leaders on and off the court. They’re a big presence and a great group of girls. We played a lot of tenth graders and juniors. I feel like we should be a lot stronger and more experienced, and these girls want it. With that desire, and if it continues and their work ethic, there will be better things next year.”

Lonoke is very athletic and typically an aggressive volleyball team, but a shaky start hampered that aggressiveness and the Lady Jackrabbits never got fully into their gameplan.

“I think you can want something too much, that you are wound up too tight,” said Lonoke coach Laura Park. “They couldn’t take that breath and step back and get everything under control. We struggled from the beginning instead of starting off aggressive like we normally do.”

Mena won the first point of set one after a long rally, and the score reached 4-0 before the Lady Rabbits got on the scoreboard with consecutive points. Unforced errors and two kills by the Lady Cats upped the lead to 10-3. A net violation by Mena and a block to the floor by Kennedy White cut the lead to 10-5, but again the Lady Cats jumped out to a 17-6 advantage before the Lady Rabbits went on a scoring run on the serves of Lindsey McFadden and Emily Armstrong.

The run included a block by Maddie Pool, three kills by Keiunna Walker, and one by Kaley Woodruff. Lonoke pulled within four at 18-14, but two kills by Jayzlee Bahr and a set-ending ace by Reagan Sikes helped the Lady Cats take the first set 25-16.

The final score of set two was identical to set one, but was much closer until Mena pulled away at the end. Armstrong got the first point of the set for the Lady Rabbits with a kill tip, and the teams exchanged points until Armstrong won a joust at the net to tie the score at 8-8. Walker had a kill to tie at nine, and Lonoke had the lead at 10-9.

Kills by Sydney Hallum and Kayla Shelton, a block by White, and a net violation on Mena made the score 16-15 in favor of the Lady Cats, but Lonoke was only able to score one more point as Mena rallied on the serves of Grace Wagner and Alicia Barrett to finish out the set.

Two kills by Walker and one by White got set three off to a good start for Lonoke, but things then went more the way of Mena. Lonoke was within three at 11-8 on a kill tip by Walker and a kill by Pool, but the Lady Cats went ahead 17-8 on the serve of Sealy Thigpen, and the Lady Rabbits could only score three more points before Mena reached 25 points, and the 25-11 final set victory.

SPORTS STORY >> Bison escape Clarendon on homecoming

Special to The Leader

The Carlisle Bison held on for an exciting 35-34 homecoming victory over the Clarendon Lions (3-6, 3-4) on Friday night at Fred C. Hardke Field. Carlisle (6-3, 5-2) trailed at the half by two touchdowns, but the defense had three interceptions and a defensive stand late in

the fourth quarter to aid in the victory.

“It was a big win right there for us,” said Carlisle coach Mark Uhiren. “I think Clarendon deserves a lot of credit. They played hard, and they played physical. There were a couple of players on their team that would not quit, would not stop what they were doing. And most of what they were doing was working. We were very, very fortunate to get out of this one. We keep finding ways to win. We don’t quit. We’ve had to prove ourselves several times already.”

Carlisle scored on its first drive of the game with a completion from quarterback Carson Cunningham to Houston Garrich for 26 yards,w a big factor. Jasean Harper had a run of 10 yards, and Devon Kendrick carried the ball the final nine yards for the touchdown. Kendrick also added the extra point for the 7-0 lead with 9:14 remaining in the opening quarter.

Clarendon answered with a nine-play 80-yard drive of its own, with quarterback Jama Cross scoring from one yard out. The Lions went for the two-point conversion and were successful to take an 8-7 edge.

Braiden Jenkins returned the ensuing kick off to the 49-yard line, and Kendrick picked up a first down, but the Bison fumbled the ball away on fourth down and eight.

It only took Clarendon one play to take advantage as Cross took the ball 59 yards for a touchdown and the 14-7 lead. The two-point conversion was no good.

The Bison bounced right back to tie as Kendrick had a run of 23 yards, and Harper ran the ball in from 15 yards away. Kendrick added the point after for the 14-14 score with 11:07 to go in the second quarter.

The Lions scored twice more in the quarter, once on the next possession to lead 20-14, and then after recovering another Carlisle fumble, took a 28-14 lead with 0:10 in the half. Marvin Horns scored both touchdowns.

The teams exchanged punts to start the third quarter, but the Bison moved 79 yards to score and cut into the lead with 3:43 remaining. Harper had a run of 39 yards and Kendrick found the end zone from one yard away. Kendrick also added the extra point and the score was 28-21.

Then, the Bison defense had Cross under duress, and Tristan Seidenswartz picked off his pass for a pick six to pull Carlisle to within one. The Bison went for the two-point conversion and it was good by Kendrick to take the lead at 29-28.

Clarendon had moved to the Bison 19-yard line and was threatening, but Cross was again intercepted, this time by Jenkins.

Carlisle took advantage of the turnover to score again as Ian Seidenswartz had runs of 17 and 33, and Harper finished the drive with a 25-yard touchdown scamper. The Bison went for two and it was no good, so the score was 35-28 with 6:20 remaining in the contest.

Clarendon answered and scored with 3:45 to go in the game, and the lead was cut to 35-34. The Lions went for the two-point conversion and the lead, but the pass by Cross was intercepted by Harper to maintain the lead for the Bison.

Carlisle then fumbled, and Clarendon recovered on the Bison 45-yard line. Horns got loose for 31 yards, but then the Carlisle defense held firm and on fourth and seven from the 13-yard line, Dylan Nichols led on a tackle for loss, the Lions had turned the ball over on downs, and the final score was set at 35-34 Bison.

Carlisle finished with 338 yards of offense, while the Lions had 515 yards. Kendrick led the Bison with 24 carries for 117 yards, two touchdowns, one two-point conversion, and three one-point conversions.

SPORTS STORY >> Grizzlies hand Panthers their second-straight 7A-Central loss

Leader staff writer

The scoreboard Friday night showed Fort Smith Northside beat Cabot, 35-21, but the Panthers really beat themselves with five turnovers, an errant long snap and an unsportsmanlike conduct called that caused the ejection of one of their offensive linemen.

The loss will make the Panthers, more than likely, the number five-seed in post-season play, which means they will have to win on the road.

For the Grizzlies, the win guarantees a second seed ranking and home field advantage.

The Panthers started out strong using eight minutes and a power running game captained by quarterback Jarrod Barnes.

Easton Seidl, listed in the program as a linebacker, was Cabot’s top running back, garnering about 100 yards, and the first score of the night, lumbering in from the one-yard line at the 4:30 mark of the first quarter.

An extra point by Mason Martin made it 7-0.

The Cabot defense looked solid early, forcing the Northside Grizzlies to punt.

But when Cabot took over this time, Barnes, who was shaken up during the first drive, was on the bench, and didn’t come back in until the fourth quarter. Cody Skinner was in at quarterback and had the team marching forward. On a second and one from their own 47, Austin Morse broke loose on a pitch out, but fumbled as he was hit 30 yards down field.

The Grizzlies capitalized on the fumble running two identical delayed handoffs to Kedrick Thomas who garnered 17 yards the first play and a touchdown on the second. The extra point tied things at 7 all.

Both teams traded short trips before a Cabot bad snap on a punt gave the Grizzlies the ball on the Panthers’ 19-yard line. The snap flew over the head of Eric Larsen who picked it up at the six-yard line to avoid a safety or an easy Grizzlies touchdown and ran it out to the 19-yard line.

Four plays later, Derrick Wise took it in around the right side for a Southside touchdown at the 2:44 mark.

Cabot countered behind the running of Seidl and Morse, tying it at 14-14.

But Northside went ahead for good with just five seconds left in the half Hunter Pendalton walked it in from the 1-yard line.

Northside was on the receiving end of the second-half opening kick-off and in less than three minutes made the score 14-21 in a six-play, 81 yard drive that was aided by a 15-yard Cabot penalty for hitting the quarterback after he went out-of-bounds.

A highlight for the Panthers came about midway in the second quarter when Dylan Smith nabbed his first interception of the year, stepping in from of Southside’s Greg Washington as the Grizzlies were looking to move the ball from the 45-yard line to the 28.

Cabot, behind that interception, bullied the ball all the way to first and goal at the five before fumbling it away on the 8-yard line. Three plays and 92-yards later, Cabot found itself behind by another touchdown, 14-28.

Things got testy early in the fourth quarter with the officials dropping flags for personal fouls. Cabot offensive lineman Colin Thompson got ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Barnes came back in to quarterback for Cabot in the fourth quarter, but the Panthers fumbled the ball on their own 34-yard line on a fourth down play, so either way Southside got the ball and one play later scored another touchdown. With the extra punt, Cabot was down 14-35.

Skinner was back at quarterback and Cabot scored with less than 40 seconds on the clock on a run by Morris to make the game 21-35.

An onside kick went Cabot’s way as the Panther’s recovered it on the 50-yard line. Barnes got blindsided on the next play even though he was 10-yards from the running play and laying flat on the ground in pain.

The next play was another interception and sealed the game.

SPORTS EVENTS >> Bears punish parkview

Leader sports editor

The Sylvan Hills defense was smothering and the offense was machine-like as the Bears totally dismantled Little Rock Parkview 48-7 Friday at Blackwood Field in Sherwood.

The game was all but over by the end of the first quarter, when Sylvan Hills already led 28-0. That increased to 48-0 by halftime, and the Sylvan Hills backups played the entire second half as the clock ran continuously.

Sylvan Hills’ defense recorded two sacks, nine tackles for loss, blocked a punt, covered a fumble and intercepted a pass in the first half.

Total yardage in the opening half favored Sylvan Hills 341-14, and that’s the statistic Bear head coach Jim Withrow liked the most.

“That’s the thing, in order for us to win a championship, our defense has to be good,” Withrow said. “They were great tonight. They’ve gotten better every week and that’s what we want to see.”

The Bears got the ball first and floated down the field, picking up yards in big chunks. Dylan Fairrow had back-to-back runs of 21 and 14 yards before quarterback Jordan Washington kept for 15 to set up first down at the 10-yard line.

Two plays later, Washington got the final 7 yards of the drive and Wesley Smith added the extra point for a 7-0 lead with 9:17 on the clock.

Parkview lost 21 yards on its second play on a sack by safety Darius Waddell. The Patriots punted from their own 12, but the kick was blocked. Bear defender Davien Farr caught the deflected punt at the 8 and returned it to the 4.

From there, Deon Youngblood rumbled 4 yards for a 14-0 lead with 6:22 left in the opening quarter.

Sylvan Hills held Parkview to just 4 yards on the next possession and forced another punt.

Starting from their own 30, the Bears went 70 yards in five plays. The key play came on third and 9 when Washington found Aaron Dixon down the right sideline for a 48-yard gain to the 21. Youngblood went 14 to set up first and goal, and Washington did the rest for a 21-0 lead with 3:30 remaining in the opening quarter.

Sylvan Hills then covered an onside kick and started again at the Parkview 47.

The Patriots sacked Washington on first down, but the Bear QB hit Fairrow down the middle on second down. Fairrow dodged one tackler and turned it into a 51-yard touchdown reception.

Smith’s extra point made it 28-0 with 2:38 still to go in the first quarter.

Not much changed in the second quarter. Parkview got a little bit of offense going, but plays for lost yardage negated most of the gains.

Parkview’s best drive started at their own 31 and got all the way to the Sylvan Hills 30, but everything went wrong from there.

Running back Zachary Smith was dropped for a 9-yard loss by Dixon, and then a 4-yard loss by Fred Mackey. The shotgun snap then got away from quarterback Gary Allman and resulted in a loss of 23 yards. On the next play, the snap bounced off Parkview’s motion man and into the arms of Farr, which set the Bears up at the Patriot 39.

Three runs by Jamar Porter of 14, 16 and 9 yards were all the Bears needed for a 34-0 lead with 11:12 left in the half.

Parkview’s Zachery Smith reeled off a 16-yard run on the next possession, but on the next play, Sylvan Hills safety Camron Flippo got his first of two interceptions on the night.

Ryan Lumpkin caught a pass for 11 yards on the first play after the turnover. Three plays later on third and 10, Porter turned a swing pass to the left into a 22-yard gain to the Parkview 38.

A holding penalty backed the Bears up 10 yards, but Devante White made a 21-yard catch before Washington kept for 21 yards to the 15.

Porter then had runs of 12 and 3 for a 41-0 lead with 6:38 to go in the second quarter.

Parkview gained just 2 yards on its next possession before turning it over on downs at its own 37.

Lumpkin replaced Washington at quarterback and threw for 7 yards to Jamar Lane on second and 10. Porter got 3 yards on fourth and 1 to keep the drive going. Lumpkin then hit Porter for a 20-yard pass play to the Parkview 6. After a 4-yard run by Porter, Lumpkin hit tight end Cole Miller in the end zone for a 48-0 lead with 1:04 left in the half.

Parkview scored to set the final margin on the opening drive of the second half. Sophomore Chris Scroggins carried four times for 37 yards on the drive, including a 27-yard run for the touchdown.

Sylvan Hills’ offensive attack was balanced and spread out. The Bears ran for 219 yards though Porter was the leading rusher with 55 yards on eight carries. Sylvan Hills threw for 174 yards, with Washington completing 5 of 8 for 144, and Lumpkin going 3 for 3 for 30.

The Bears (8-1, 5-1) will travel to Beebe to close the regular season next week. The Badgers (4-5, 3-3) have struggled at times this season, but will be playing for a potential playoff berth and have beaten Sylvan Hills the past two seasons.

Friday, October 28, 2016

EDITORIAL >> How to cut lines at polls

Early voting sites have seen long lines ever since opening on Monday.

In Jacksonville and Sherwood, people have waited an hour to cast their ballots. We think the long waits are caused by unnecessary, perhaps illegal, requests by poll workers that voters present photo ID. Poll workers should be reminded by election officials that they should not ask voters for identification, only their name and address.

Poll workers deserve better training on that point. Voter fraud is a partisan myth. It seldom occurs, and when it does it isn’t enough to sway an election.

The real election scandal is that most people don’t vote or care to learn about what’s on the ballot.

Another reason why polling sites have lengthy wait times is that there are seven ballot issues, though three have been disqualified by the state Supreme Court but nevertheless will be on the ballots and delaying voters who will struggle to read them and understand them the best they can.

Voters can speed things up by knowing that Issues 4, 5 and 7 have been declared illegitimate for various reasons but not in time to be removed from the ballot. Don’t waste time trying to read through the legalese, because no votes will be counted for those anyway.

But voters should be informed about Issues 1, 2, 3 and 6:

Issue 1 asks voters to extend county officials’ term limits from two years to four.

Issue 2 wants to allow governors to retain their authority while traveling out of state.

Issue 3 asks voters to allow the state and cities to give limitless incentives to businesses in the name of economic development and job creation. Sounds promising, but anyone who had reservations about Jacksonville hiring an out-of-state economic developer should know that cities could fork over millions of dollars to anyone with a convincing sales pitch. They can throw $100 bills down Main Street and call it economic development.

Issue 6 wants to legalize the use of medical marijuana for 17 illnesses.

We hope this helps move things along. Campaign season has gone on long enough.

TOP STORY >> One marijuana issue removed

Leader staff writers

The state Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that supporters of Issue 7, the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act, failed to gather the necessary number of qualified petition signatures to be counted in the Nov. 8 general election.

Since the ballots are already prepared electronically and printed on paper and early voting has begun, Issue 7 will appear on the ballot but will not be counted.

Issue 6, a proposed constitutional amendment short titled the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, passed an earlier challenge in the Supreme Court and remains on the ballot.

The sponsor of the stricken measure submitted 117,547 signatures to the secretary of state’s office. An initiated petition must contain at least 67,887 signatures of registered voters from at least 15 counties.

The secretary of state validated 77,516 signatures, nearly 10,000 more than required, but attorney Kara Benca challenged 17,746 of them for various deficiencies, and after striking about 12,104 signatures, sponsors of the measures were left with approximately 65,412—approximately 2,465 fewer than needed to appear on the ballot.

The court granted Benca’s petition, thus Issue 7 failed to have enough signatures to appear on the ballot.

The court’s majority disallowed 7,580 from canvassers who did not have State Police background checks, or had them after beginning to collect signatures.

Another 2,087 were disqualified because canvassers used their business addresses instead of their residence address. Another 3,329 signatures were disallowed because the voter signing didn’t include the residential address.


Issue 7, the one disallowed by the Supreme Court, is perhaps best distinguished from the other because it included a “grow-your-own” provision for patients who lived too far from a dispensary.

“The sponsors of the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act will fight this decision, but the priority for Compassionate Arkansans is and has always been that patients have safe access to medical cannabis,” said Ryan Denham, deputy director of Issue 7.


Issue 6 or the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment is an initiated constitutional amendment.

A “no” vote opposes this amendment, while a “yes” vote creates a medical marijuana commission; supports the legalization of medical marijuana for 17 conditions; directs tax revenues to vocational and technical institutions and workforce training and the state’s General Revenue coffers.

Arkansans United for Medical Marijuana is a supporter of Issue 6 and David Couch, a sponsor, said, “If a physician believes it is appropriate for his patient then that’s his medical judgment. It should be respected.”

Statewide polls indicate that more than 80 percent of Arkansans support the use of medical marijuana when prescribed by a doctor.

Issue 7 or the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act would have allowed the General Assembly to determine the legality of medical marijuana by a two-thirds majority. It would have charged the state Health Department with oversight of medical marijuana.


Gov. Asa Hutchinson opposes Issue 6, along with Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin, Arkansas Surgeon General Greg Bledsoe and U.S. Sen. John Boozman, as do the state Health Department, the Arkansas Faith and Ethics Council and Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families.

Former U.S. Attorney and candidate for the U.S. Senate, Conner Eldridge on Thursday announced his support for Issue 6 on the Arkansas ballot, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment.

Lonoke County Sheriff John Staley said he didn’t support either ballot issue. “Burning or inhaling anything causes more issues than not,” he said.

Bledsoe has taken the lead in opposition on behalf of Gov. Asa Hutchinson, and has made himself available to churches and civic groups to speak against medical marijuana.


Former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, past director of the state Health Department, has a different take.

“If a doctor feels that smoking a plant or chewing and eating a plant…is helpful for their patients with certain chronic diseases and it makes them feel better, why not?” she told Jonathan Kaufman of KUAR. “Why not let them be as comfortable as they could be for as long as they could be?”

On Tuesday, she told The Leader, “There are several medical conditions in which patients and doctors felt it was beneficial.” She cited patients with nausea, vomiting and with cancer and AIDS, who lost appetite or suffered seizures and those with certain types of neurological diseases as possible beneficiaries.

She said marijuana was safer than the opoids currently prescribed in many cases.


Eighty-four of 135 state lawmakers this week signed a letter opposing legalization of medical marijuana.

“Although I understand the need for compassionate care, I believe there is a better way than what is being offered to the voters of Arkansas with Issues 6 and 7, wrote House Speaker Jeremy Gillam (R-Judsonia). “I encourage Arkansans to vote against these issues and work with legislators in the upcoming session to craft a responsible and compassionate solution.”

“Many of us agree that there are medical compounds that can possibly be derived from marijuana, but we need to allow the medical community and the FDA to make those determinations, not those looking to simply profit off of Arkansans,” said Senate President Pro-Tempre Jonathan Dismang (R-Beebe). “Please vote no on Issues 6 and 7.”

Several other local lawmakers are among those who signed the letter, including state representatives Tim Lemons (R-Cabot), Donnie Copeland (R-North Little Rock), Karilyn Brown, (R-Sherwood) Doug House (R-North Little Rock), Joe Farrer (R-Austin) and senators Jane English, (R-North Little Rock) and Eddie Joe Williams (R-Cabot).

“There could be some benefit, but the risks and downside is too great,” Williams said.

State Rep. Camille Bennett (D-Lonoke) was not listed on the press release, but she said this week that she’s not convinced that either one of these measures should pass.


“If we’re going to have recreational use, let’s vote on that and not pretend it’s about medical marijuana,” Bennett said. “I’m concerned about the ability to grow your own.” She said the list of conditions for which it could be prescribed is “so exhaustive that it seems to be opening up to recreational use.”

Bennett is challenged by Republican Roger Lynch. “I feel that allowing either, the way they are worded, is wrong. If someone is really in need, they should be able to go through their local doctor and pharmacy,” he said.

Lynch said there is an extract legally available.


Rep. Bob Johnson (D- Jacksonville) says his son, 100 percent combat disabled with post traumatic stress disorder, could be helped by the drug. “I see the benefit. I’m probably going to support it because my experience with him,” he said.

“I don’t want to get into recreational use, and I’d like to be assured of patients getting a quality product.”

His son, whom he didn’t name for privacy reasons, is chairman of the Veterans Impact and the Central Arkansas Mental Health Council.

Farrer called marijuana “a precursor to harder drugs, that’s where they start.” He said he’s against both measures. “I don’t think Arkansas is ready for it.”

State Rep. David Hill-man, (D-Almyra) said he’s against a constitutional amendment that allows a few people to get rich off it. “The Legislature could rewrite a better more comprehensive act,” he said.


He said he had conferred with Dan Douglas (R- Bentonville), who has a draft proposal that the general assembly could consider if neither of the ballot proposals is approved.

Douglas’ draft legislation, called the Arkansas Compassionate Use Act of 2017, would allow medical marijuana use for 10 conditions: cancer; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease or ALS); epilepsy or seizures related to head trauma; multiple sclerosis; Crohn’s disease; mitochondrial disease, Parkinson’s disease and sickle-cell disease.

In Thursday’s decision, Justice Courtney Hudson Goodson concurred with the majority in disqualifying Issue 7, but wrote that “As forewarned in (McDaniel v.) Spencer, this case illustrates that the general Assembly has made it unduly difficult for measures to be placed on the ballot.”

Goodson wrote that Act 1413 of 2013 infringes on citizens’ constitutional right to propose laws and amendments to the constitution, “The Act imposes arduous and burdensome requirements to the procedures for circulating and filing petitions for initiatives and referenda. By erecting such obstacles, the Act imposes a chilling effect on the rights of our citizens to initiate laws.”

TOP STORY >> Early voting rolls on with few hiccups

Leader staff writer

About 100 people stood in line to cast their vote at the Jacksonville Community Center on Thursday afternoon, and all the half dozen who were asked said they believed in the fairness and honesty of the state’s voting system.

Robert Bolwinick, a Pulaski County resident, couldn’t remember any incidents of voter fraud in the state but had heard of fraud in Texas on Facebook and was worried about the possibility of fraud in other parts of the country, including Arkansas. Nonetheless, he said he had faith in Arkansas’ polls.

Pulaski County voting station Chief Judge Laura Umfleet, who is overseeing the voting at the Jacksonville Community Center, said, “We take our job very seriously.”

Chris Powell, spokesman for the Arkansas Secretary of State’s Election Division, said there have been no reports of unauthorized poll watchers in the state. The Arkansas State Board of Election Com-missioners said the same.

Shawn Camp, assistant director of elections for Pulaski County, said his office has received “no reports of unauthorized poll watchers” in the county. However, he said poll workers are “trained to work with authorized poll watchers on Election Day.”

Susan Inman, who is a former director of elections and Arkansas Election Commission and in 2011 published a book titled “A How-to Handbook for those interested in Becoming County Election Commissioners in Arkansas,” said, “Allegations of voter fraud is like a slap in the face, an insult to all the people who work hard to ensure we have fair, honest elections. Voter fraud has not been and is not a problem in Arkansas.”

Inman is currently running for the state House of Representatives.


Not only do Umfleet’s six poll workers take an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, they are also required to sign the oath and they receive classroom training on election process and procedure.

She said many of her poll workers are cross-trained in case of an absence or other problems.

“We can fill in for each other,” she said.

Training usually lasts from two to six hours and is repeated each year.

Umfleet said different polling jobs include varying responsibilities, such as overseeing the voter rolls or dealing with voter machines.

The rolls of poll workers is made up of Democrats and Republicans, but nonetheless, Inman said, “It’s not just that they take an oath, but most feel a sense of civic responsibility to get it right. Many chief judges and poll workers go above and beyond what’s expected of them.”

Inman added, “The entire process is very strict with lots of checks and balances.”

In addition to training, Inman said every voting machine in the state is checked for accuracy and publicly tested and certified with the county clerk’s office before the election.

Once this happens, the machine is locked, numbered and sealed.

Inman said if the seal is broken, it can’t be used, and the numbers must match the machine issued to a precinct.

Umfleet said, “I believe in our equipment 100 percent.”

Once the election is concluded, the machine is sealed and the results are certified by the County Board of Election Commissioners and filed with the secretary of state’s office, Inman said.

One woman who didn’t want to give her name, said, “I have faith in our system.”


The polling place inside the Sherwood Senior Center also had about 75 people waiting to vote around 3 p.m., but Bill Satterfield of Pulaski County had his ID ready and was undaunted by the large number of voters.

Neither was Bill Wilde.

“I have faith in Arkansas. I think we have a good (voter) system,” Wilde said.

But at the Jacksonville poll located inside the community center on Municipal Drive, June Porter, a Pulaski County resident, strongly believes that in order to prevent voter fraud, “They should ask for ID.”

In Arkansas, poll workers do ask but the voter doesn’t have to produce ID, said Umfleet.

However, here are exceptions, including a first time voter who registered by mail but didn’t include the proper identification with the application.

If the name, date of birth or other information don’t match what is on the current voter roll, the voter may be asked for ID by the poll worker.

Early voting continues at a strong pace in central Arkansas with sunny, warm weather aiding those often waiting in relatively short lines. The election commission said that through Friday evening about 32,000 votes had been cast in Pulaski County this week.

In Jacksonville, the number of early voters topped 2,100 and in Sherwood it’s more than 2,200 for the week.

Early voting continues Saturday and all next week, as well as Monday, Nov. 6 in Cabot, Lonoke, Searcy and Little Rock before Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 8.


According to Encyclopedia of American Politics, Ballotpedia, the poll workers’ request stems from a 2013 Senate Bill that required voters to provide photo identification despite Arkansas’ Constitution, which says the state has no right to write a law that prevents or impairs an Arkansan’s voting rights.

Then Gov. Mike Beebe vetoed the bill.

A few days later, the Arkansas Senate overrode Beebe’s veto, as did the Arkansas House of Representatives.

The next year, the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas and the Arkansas Public Law Center filed a lawsuit on behalf of voters without ID.

“On April 24, 2014, a circuit court in Pulaski County ruled that the Arkansas State Legislature had exceeded its authority in implementing the voter ID bill,” Ballotpedia stated.

The Arkansas Supreme Court sided with the circuit court later that year.

In New Jersey in 1981, the Republican Party put together a coordinated poll watch that included armed police in precincts with a large number of minorities on the ballot rolls.

As a result, the Democratic Party filed a suit with the U.S. District Court and won.

For nearly 34 years, the RNC has been under a court decree, which is set to expire next year and prevents the party from taking ballot suppression or interrogation measures — similar to the ones Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is now calling for by his faithful because he claims the presidential election is “rigged.”

In response to RNC support of Trump’s call for “poll watchers” at polling sites around the country, the Democrats have again filed suit.

TOP STORY >> Ghosts of Lonoke County Courthouse

Leader staff writer

There are published reports of hangings, a suicide and a death in a dumbwaiter, of a loud bang and a scream at midnight and an early morning ghost sighting by a well-respected and beloved Lonoke County journalist, law- enforcement officers and other residents.

Still, the county judge remains skeptical of ghosts roaming the halls of the Lonoke County Courthouse, but there are others who claim to have heard strange noises and witnessed flickering lights, an old man whose presence can’t be explained but who seems to have the ability to appear or disappear in an instant, and there are unusual office machinery malfunctions that can’t be explained.

For years, rumors of ghosts have swirled around the building that’s nearing it 88th birthday, but the grounds where it was built has a much longer, more colorful history dating to before the Civil War.


Just a few feet from Lonoke County Judge Doug Erwin’s office, his assistant, Leigh Kennedy claims her adding machine starts clicking at odd moments and when no one else is around.

“It’s always zeros,” Kennedy says about the key that acts up. She believes the ghost’s fascination with the adding machine means the ghost is a woman.

Her office mate, Jenny Nelson, nods in agreement, but otherwise, she says, she’s seen “nothing strange.”

The judge muses that perhaps Kennedy needs a new calculator.

Two floors above, Margaret Uzzell, court assistant to Circuit Court Judge Sandy Huckabee, has heard her share of noises, including the slamming doors — ones that were open only moments earlier, she says.

“I’ve never seen a ghost but have heard doors shutting and open in the morning before other people have gotten here and in the evening after everyone is gone.”

She tells the story of a prisoner who got stuck in the dumbwaiter and died.

Erwin says, “I’ve heard that story before.”

Uzzell says about the third floor, located just below the old jail, “I just don’t know, but there are things that I can’t explain.”


While Lonoke County Sheriff John Staley says he’s heard stories, Deputy Keith Sorrells, who serves at the courthouse, claims to have heard and seen “things” he can’t explain.

While locking up for the evening, Sorrells says there are strange noises and “lights going on and off” for no reason.

Staley says, “I’ve heard of the (old man) ghost” firsthand and from a trusted source.

Sorrells has heard the same story from others as well.


A few blocks away at the Lonoke County Museum, its director, Sherryl Miller, says the Lonoke County government has a colored past that predates the Civil War and its first courthouse at Brownsville.

The first courthouse was a wooden structure, built in 1847, that burned down about seven years later. The next courthouse and the county jail were built in 1854 but were later torn down by the Union Army.

She says the brick was moved to DeValls Bluff, and it was used to construct ovens to bake bread needed to feed Union soldiers.

The cells and doors from the original jail were saved and used by a local Brownsville farmer as a corn crib.

The county seat was moved from Brownsville to Lonoke in 1873, and the courthouse at Brownsville was dismantled and moved to Lonoke.

In 1928, a new four-story brick courthouse with the county jail on the fourth floor was built. The original jail doors from the Brownsville jail were again recycled and used to secure prisoners on the fourth floor. There are 20 cells, 18 for men and two for women, and the jail opens to the roof, where prisoners could get a little exercise and fresh air.

The original door still hangs on the old jail.

The Lonoke County Courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“It’s a beautiful courthouse,” Miller says.


While Miller has no firsthand experience with ghosts at the courthouse, she says deaths have occurred at the building.

Before construction of the present day courthouse, Miller says, “Henry Burnett was hanged Thursday (Sept. 3, 1885) in the presence of 4,000 people,” according to a newspaper report.

She believes it probably happened on the courthouse lawn as was the tradition at that time.

Tragically in 1893, Lonoke County Judge H.T. Bradford’s son entered the nearby jail and with a gun he found there, he “took his own life,” whether accidentally or on purpose.

He was in the fifth grade.

Erwin tells the tale of a prisoner jumping off the fourth floor’s exercise yard on the roof to the ground below.

He didn’t die but broke both legs.

At one point, coffins for paupers were made onsite.

There’s also an Oct. 27, 1999 article, written by Ed Galucki for the Lonoke Democrat. The now retired reporter turned ghost hunter spent the night at the courthouse with his wife, Sue.

They were awakened at midnight by a gunshot or slamming door and a scream, but Galucki also reported seeing a vanishing old man and an overturned potted plant, among other unexplained events.

In retrospect, Galucki says, “I never did go back, though I wanted to. And yes, I think there is something there.”

He says he has tried to find someone to talk about the old man — perhaps the same one he saw — but, he adds, “I found no one willing to speak for print. They were worried about being thought a little crazy.”


Whether ghosts roam these halls or not, Erwin says he wants to give the old jail new life.

“All it needs is a facelift,” that, Erwin says, includes a good cleaning and a new coat of paint.

Currently, it remains off-limits to the public because it’s filled with decades of court papers — already mountains of papers are being moved to the old county jail at 301 Court St. that was replaced by the new Lonoke County Sheriff Detention Center at 440 Dee Dee Lane.

Each county department gets its own cell for storage, he says.

Erwin believes he could do the work on the cheap, and the old jail with its 162-year-old door and other hardware, as well as the building, could potentially draw tourists to the courthouse, he said.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

SPORTS STORY >> Grizzly QB a concern for Panthers

Leader sports editor

The Cabot Panthers continue to struggle as they enter the final two weeks of the regular season against the current top two teams in the 7A-Central.

This Friday the Panthers host second-place Fort Smith Northside, who just lost its first conference game of the year to first-place North Little Rock, 35-28.

It was the Grizzlies first loss since falling 33-25 to Greenwood 33-25 in the season opener Sept. 2.

Senior Tre Norwood, who is committed to the University of Louisville as a cornerback, led Northside at quarterback last week.

He hasn’t played quarterback most of the season, however. He filled in for regular starter Max Frazier, and it would suit Cabot coach Mike Malham just fine if Norwood were back on defense this Friday.

“They had another kid playing quarterback that was injured,” said Malham. “Norwood is a good runner, throws it pretty good, too. He’s a lot like that quarterback from Pine Bluff that gave us so much trouble. I kind of hope the other one comes back to be honest with you.”

Cabot has had its own quarterback injury problems the last three games. Razorback commit Jarrod Barnes suffered a high ankle sprain three weeks ago on the first play of the second half against Conway. The Wampus Cats scored 23 unanswered points after that injury and won the game 37-14.

The following week, Cabot (6-2, 3-2) edged by last place Little Rock Central 23-20, before getting drummed 48-20 by Bryant last Friday.

It was Cabot’s pass defense that suffered in last week’s game. The Panthers gave uponly 40 yards on the ground, but Bryant threw for more than 300 yards. Some of that had to do with missing one starting defensive back and another playing with a nagging injury.

Malham expects the defense to be back at full strength this week.

“That should help some, but we just didn’t cover anybody,” Malham said. “Our run defense was strong. We should have (starting safety Evan) Hooper back, and (Dylan) Smith should be back to pretty close to 100 percent. So hopefully that’ll help.”

Cody Skinner threw 13 passes at quarterback for Cabot last week.

He completed eight of them, seven to Barnes, who decided on Friday he felt good enough to take the field.

“He didn’t practice all week,” Malham said of Barnes. “He told us Friday he felt about 80-85 percent, so we decided to put him out there on an island, kind of keep him away where he wouldn’t have to get all the contact.”

As of Tuesday, it still wasn’t determined whether Barnes would remain at wide receiver, or return to quarterback for this week’s game.

“As soon as he gets 100 percent, he’ll be back handling the ball on every play,” Malham said. “We just don’t know when that will be right now.”

Barnes had 96 receiving yards and two touchdowns last week.

Northside (5-2, 4-1) has played one less game than most teams. It’s final nonconference game against Pine Bluff was canceled because of storms, but the Grizzlies and Panthers share four opponents in conference play. Most of the results seem to favor Northside.

The Grizzlies beat both teams that beat Cabot. They manhandled Bryant 29-0 in the league opener at Bryant on Sept. 23, and also got a road win over Conway, 28-21.

Northside beat Central 19-0. The Grizzlies skirted by Catholic 26-19 while Cabot beat the Rockets 35-14.

Kickoff at Panther Stadium is scheduled for 7 p.m.

SPORTS STORY >> Lighthouse after state in first year

Leader sports editor

The Jacksonville Lighthouse Charter Wolves have high expectations for this basketball season, the first one in which the school will be eligible to compete as an officially sanctioned team.

The Wolves move up to Class 2A this season, and though they lose one key starter, they have enough returning to go with some key additions, that the state’s highest prize is their final goal.

“We’re moving up, we aren’t even worried about it,” said Lighthouse coach Kelvin Parker. “Conferences are all messed up, mixing 1A and 2A. None of that matters to us. We won’t be satisfied unless we win the whole thing.”

The returning starters include 6-foot-5 senior Zack Bobo, 6-foot-3 guard/forward Cameron Shaffer, 5-8 point guard Chris Mims and 6-3 forward Courtney Jefferson. Senior Dior Cox and junior Jakalon Simuel also saw ample playing time last season.

Even with all that experience returning, the Wolves’ offense will revolve around two freshmen that led the team in scoring in its unofficial exhibition game last week.

Gerald Doakes is one of the highest rated prospects in his class in the entire state. The 6-2 guard, Parker says, is a pure scorer.

“He can flat fill it up,” Parker said. “We’re working on his defense. He doesn’t play too much defense right now, but you got to let a kid like that do what he can do. The defense will come along.”

Doakes scored 28 in last week’s 83-50 win over the Saline County Home School team. The second-leading scorer was another freshman, Davonte Davis, who dropped in 18 points.

“We have a lot of guys that can score,” Parker said. “Bobo, Shaffer and Mims probably all led us in scoring at times last season. Doakes will probably lead us most games this year, but it’s not like you’ll just be able to shut him down and you got us beat. That’s why I’m so optimistic about this team.”

Eric Childs is a junior who has worked himself into the starting rotation this season, and 6-foot-4 McClellan transfer Troy Spivey adds even more athleticism to the squad.

“I don’t really say we have a starting five,” Parker said. “I have about 10 guys I feel like are starters. They know they’ve got to practice to earn that time in a game.”

Bobo averaged a double-double last season while Mims and Shaffer scored near or above 20 several times.

The Wolves were not eligible for postseason in Class 1A last year, but did put together a good season for as long as it lasted. After Christmas when other teams began their conference schedule, the Jacksonville Lighthouse Charter School didn’t have many more games, but it did win first place at the Conway Christian tournament, lost a competitive game to Jacksonville High and beat North Pulaski in the Red Devil Classic, and also beat Class 6A Russellville in a tournament last December.

The Wolves are back in the Jacksonville tournament this year, and slated to take on defending Class 7A state champion Cabot in the first game Dec. 19.

“I told the kids about that game and they’re pumped,” Parker said. “They feel like they can compete with anybody. If we’ll get our defense going like we need to, and that’s what we’ve been working on, I think we can, too.” JLCS’ first official game is this Friday at Pangburn.

SPORTS STORY >> Lonoke rolls in first round

Leader sports editor

The Lonoke volleyball team has been a 15-year mainstay in the state tournament, but wins have been hard to come by. That changed Tuesday when the Lady Jackrabbits swept Pocahontas 3-0 in first round of the 2016 Class 4A State Tournament it is hosting.

Even though Lonoke has been in the state tournament every year since 2002, it’s the first tournament win for the Lady Jackrabbits since 2006, and the ultimate goal is three more and a state championship.

Scores in Tuesday’s win over the Lady Redskins were 25-17, 25-14 and 25-22. Lonoke’s front line was solid defensively, making life very hard for Pocahontas’ big hitters.

“Our front row was really strong,” said Lonoke coach Laura Park. “That’s been a strength of ours all year. We’ve got some tall girls up there and good jumping ability with our height. We’re a pretty athletic team so that should be a strength for us.”

Lonoke wasn’t quite as aggressive as Park would have liked, and certainly didn’t play as cleanly as it will have to in order to continue advancing through the tournament.

“We hit too many out of bounds and too many serves into the net,” Park said. “I thought we were more aggressive than we were in our loss in district finals. I thought we were way too timid in that one. We were a little better today, but not as aggressive I want us to be. So those are two things I think we can improve upon. But our goal is the same as it’s always been, and that’s to win state. We took one more step towards that goal today so overall I’m pleased.”

Lonoke scored first in every set on the court-two match. The Lady Jackrabbits relinquished the big arena floor to Berryville and Booneville, and faced Pocahontas in the old gym.

Game one was tight. Lonoke’s Lindsey McFadden took serve with the host teamleading 11-8. She served one ace, followed by a stuff block by Madelyn Sherrill and kill down the line by Keiunna Walker that made it 14-8 and forced Pocahontas to call its first timeout.

The Lady Redskins broke serve out of the timeout, The two teams traded side outs until Sherrill served four-straight for Lonoke. Walker added two more kills and Kennedy White drove home another, making the score 20-10 and forcing another timeout.

Pocahontas scored six-straight out of that break, but never got any closer. Mikayla Kirk got three-consecutive kills during the rally, but Lonoke broke before Kayla Shelton added a pair of kills down the line for a 23-16 Lonoke lead. Lonoke won game point on an unforced error.

The Lady Jackrabbits opened game two with a Walker kill right into the face of Pocahontas setter Macy Matlock and it set the tone for the entire game. Lonoke jumped out to an 11-5 advantage before Pocahontas rallied back to within one point.

Shelton took serve for Lonoke and put up four-straight points, including an ace that made it 16-10 and forced a timeout.

Again, Pocahontas (16-10) broke out of the timeout and pulled to within 16-12, but after Lonoke broke serve, White served up an ace to start another four-point rally that left Pocahontas in too large of a hole to dig out.

Lonoke took control of game three as well, but lost a handle on it late in the game. Lindsey McFadden took serve for the Lady Jackrabbits with her team leading 9-7. After a kill by Walker, and block by Sherrill and three long hits by Pocahontas, Lonoke led 14-7 and the visiting team needed another break.

The two teams traded side outs to 19-12 before Poca-hontas had its best run of the match. The Lady Redskins got two kills apiece from Kirk and Serena Crisco. Those went along with a pair of Lonoke unforced errors that made it 19-18. Pocahontas finally served long to go down 20-18, but got right back to within one on a net serve by Lonoke.

Pocahontas then served long again, and Lonoke scored two-straight for a 23-20 lead. The Lady Jackrabbits thought they had point 24 on a tip by Walker, but a net violation gave Pocahontas the point and serve trailing 23-21.

On the ensuing serve, a near ace by Pocahontas turned into a point for Lonoke. McFadden made a diving dig of the serve. The ball caromed over the net, where the Lady Redskins failed to react properly, and ended up four-balling into the net to set up match point.

It took one more side out, but Pocahontas missed its 14th serve on match point to give Lonoke the victory.

Walker and Kirk led their respective teams with 12 kills apiece. White had nine kills and six blocks for Lonoke while Shelton had seven kills for the Lady Jackrabbits. Sherrill had four kills and four blocks while Emily Armstrong led Lonoke with nine points on serve.

Shelton and Gracie Mason had eight service points each.

Serena Crisco added nine kills for Pocahontas.

The Lady Jackrabbits (35-4-1) will face defending state runners-up Mena in today’s quarterfinal. Mena (27-7) knocked Lonoke out of the 2015 state tournament last season. The Lady Bearcats, the 4A-West District champions, beat West Fork in straight sets in Tuesday’s first round. Scores in that match were 25-11, 25-19 and 25-16.

TOP STORY >> New Lonoke Senior Center

Leader staff writer

If all goes as planned, 2017 will be a busy year for Lonoke County Council on Aging. In addition to the recently announced refitting of the old Cabot library at 506 N. Grant St. to serve as the future Cabot Senior Center, the LCCA announced this week the construction of a new Lonoke Senior Center.

“We’re pleased with this development,” LCCA executive director Buster Lackey said Monday.

Also, the LCCA plans to start preparing the meals it serves to seniors within the next few weeks.


The next 18 months or so will be demanding as his staff tackle two major construction projects, he said.

Renovations at the Cabot Senior Center should begin by Jan. 1 and will be done in two phases ending in late 2017.

“It doubles the space,” Lackey said. The new Cabot Senior Center will be about 8,000 square feet.


Concurrently, the groundbreaking and construction will begin on the $700,000 Lonoke Senior Center on 1.5 acres on the corner of Hwy. 70 and West Academy Street.

Robert M. Schelle of Cabot is the architect on the Lonoke project.

The 5,517 square-foot senior center will be on the lot where the Lonoke Community Center’s soccer fields are now located, adjacent to the Community Center.

“We’re not taking the kids’ soccer fields away,” Lackey stressed. Instead, the soccer fields are being moved to the other side of the Community Center and this will give the kids more area to play.

The city donated the land for construction of the senior center, saving the LCCA about $20,000 and will help with site prep work, which will save another $150,000, Lackey said.

“It was a big deal,” he said about the city’s help.


“We’re building it (the Lonoke Senior Center) in two phases,” Lackey said.

Phase I will include the construction of the three offices and a conference room, storage space, a dining hall and activity center. Phase II includes a commercial kitchen and more storage.

The conference hall will be rented out for meetings, parties, family reunions and other events.

Phase I will be paid for in part by a $200,000 Arkansas Economic Development Community Grant, plus a $350,000 USDA low-interest, fixed-rate 40-year loan.

“That gets us started,” he said, but in order to pay for Phase II, expected to cost approximately $150,000, LCCA staff will start looking for grants.

Once the kitchen is completed, he said they might consider building a greenhouse and raised beds for gardening for their members.

Lackey said if a potential and large donator is interested in naming rights to the new facility, to give him a call.

Phase I should be completed by the end of 2017.


Lackey said that as the number of seniors continues to increase, the need for services becomes more vital.

Annual numbers for 2015, included serving 32,954 Meal on Wheels’ meals, in-center meals totaled 17,422 and adults transported to medical appointments, shopping and day trips numbered 4,887.

Without services such as those provided by LCCA, Lackey said seniors have little choice but to enter into a care facility or move close to their children.

TOP STORY >> Early voting is underway

Early voting started Monday in Arkansas.

As of 6 p.m. Tuesday, 6,331 early votes were cast in Pulaski County on the second day of voting. That brings the total number of votes cast in this election to 12,471.

White County had 1,662 early votes cast as of 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Lonoke County had 1,570 early votes on Monday. They did not have today’s numbers.

Broken down by polling location:

Cabot 800; Lonoke 350; Ward 234; England 101, and Carlisle 85.

Early voting will be held until Nov. 7 at the Lonoke Community Center 1344 W. Front St., and at the Cabot old projects building, 802 N. Second St., across from Harp’s grocery store.

Polling places will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Early voting is being held this week in Ward at the chamber of commerce building, 80 W. Second St.

Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Early voting will also be held through Saturday, Nov. 5 at the Jacksonville Community Center, 5 Municipal Drive, and at the Sherwood Senior Citizens Center, 2301 Thornhill Drive.

Hours at both locations are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Pulaski County residents can also vote early at the Pulaski County Regional Building, 501 Markham St. in Little Rock from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays Monday, Oct. 24 through Saturday, Nov. 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

On Monday, Nov. 7, voting there will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Offsite early voting will run 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays through Nov. 4 and 10 am. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

Early voting will be held in Searcy in the White County Courthouse lobby and at the Carmichael Community Center, 801 S. Elm St.

The locations will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Nov. 4.

They will open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29 and Saturday, Nov. 5.

They will be open on Monday, Nov. 7 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Besides local, state and national candidates, five issues are on the ballot, including medical marijuana. Issue 1 asks voters to extend terms of county officials to four years.

Issue 2 extends the authority of governors when they are out of state. Issue 3 would allow more incentives to businesses.

TOP STORY >> Dr. Holmes’ legacy on display

Leader staff writer

For more than 60 years, Dr. Byron Eugene “Gene” Holmes was an important part of the Lonoke community. First as a doctor, but he also donated his time and intellect to making the small town a better place to live and work.

Holmes died on Oct. 2 at the age of 90.

In addition to a medical office on 305 Southwest Front St. in Lonoke, he was the kind of old-fashioned doctor who made house calls.

According to his children, their father improved the community’s quality of life through his public service that included 21 years as a school board member and a 25 years as a city alderman.

Holmes was a member of the Lonoke County Medical Society, Arkansas Medical Society and the American Medical Association.

At some point in his career, he was Lonoke County health officer and county coroner, and he was a church elder at First Presbyterian Church.

In 1982, Holmes was named Lonoke’s Man of the Year, and 20 years later he was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Lonoke Chamber of Commerce. That same year, he received a Presidential Citation for his community service.

Now the city is further paying tribute to Holmes’ contributions with his own display room at the Lonoke County Museum and Research Center.

“We tried to make it just like walking into his office,” says Sherryl Miller, Lonoke County Museum director about their newly opened permanent Dr. Holmes Exhibit.

It includes numerous pieces from Holmes’ office, including examining tables, scales, cabinets and equipment.

This, Miller says, pointing to a large bag, its bottom wider than the top, was the bag Holmes carried when making house calls, Miller says.

“It’s my favorite,” she adds.

She also points out a microscope — it’s one of four on display — that came from Holmes’ collection.

In addition to his own instruments, he had collected a number of pieces from other physicians through the years, Miller says.

Holmes’ children donated the pieces to the museum, and his son, Lee Holmes of Fayetteville, has seen the exhibit.

He said he liked what he saw, and he and his siblings felt the museum was the “right place” to donate the mementoes to.

“It was nice to see his equipment on display. The museum was the right place…It’s like stepping back in time,” Lee Holmes says.

Holmes’ namesake, Byron E. Holmes Jr. of Forrest City, says about his father, “He was a big community supporter and gave to it in so many ways.”

Like Holmes’ contributions, his children felt the exhibit should remain part of the community and help educate future generations.

“It’s a good exhibit and museums are a fantastic way of keeping the past alive,” Bryon E. Holmes Jr. says.

His daughter, Amelia Muse of Lonoke, is also delighted with the exhibit.

“There are things he had since the beginning of his practice, which he started in 1950 and retired in 2011 at the age of 86, and “We wanted the community to see it.”

She says there are a few more pieces the family plans to donate to the museum.

“He was a big part of Lonoke and everyone loved him…People would always remember going to him as a child,” she recalls. Muse says about the exhibit, “They did a great job.”

The museum is staffed entirely by volunteers and operates on about $500 a month. It receives no city, county, state or federal funding.

For more information, call the Lonoke County Museum and Research Center at 501-676-6750.

The museum is located at 215 East Front St. in Lonoke. It is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.