Friday, March 31, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Sylvan Hills girls beat Jacksonville twice

Leader sports editor

The Sylvan Hills softball team stayed undefeated with a doubleheader sweep of Jacksonville Tuesday at Dupree Park. The Lady Bears won by scores of 8-2 and 14-4 to remain in sole custody of first place in the 5A/6A-Central Conference.

“The first game we played great defense,” said Sylvan Hills coach Mark Anderson. “We pitched great. We just didn’t hit the ball well. We hit it well enough to score eight runs, but it was still too sporadic hitting. We’ve got to get more consistent, everybody in the lineup. Their pitcher kept us off balance a little bit.”

Sylvan Hills took the lead in the first inning of game one, scoring a run on one hit, two walks and an error.

The Lady Bears then opened up the top of the third with three-straight singles by Joy Franco, Destiny Sanders and Lynlee Broadway; the third hit driving in the first. That left two runners on with no outs, but Sylvan Hills couldn’t push another run across in that frame.

Another error led to another run in the fifth inning. Franco reached on the E4, and Sanders doubled to center field to drive in the run. Broadway walked and Doma’Nique Hunt singled to load the bases with no outs, but again Sylvan Hills failed to add to its lead.

Jacksonville pitcher Lindsey Holt struck out the next batter, then got two ground balls to end the inning.

While Sylvan Hills (8-6, 4-0) struggled to score with runners and no outs, it did manage a two-run rally with two outs in the sixth inning. Storm Ellis led off with a single to center field before two infield pop-ups.

Sanders then singled and was replaced on the base paths by courtesy runner Maddie Hogue. Broadway singled to score Ellis and Hunt singled to drive in Hogue for a 5-0 Sylvan Hills lead.

Jacksonville (2-8, 0-4) scored its two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Allison Seats led off with her third double of the game, and she advanced to third on a single by Rebeka House. That set up a two-RBI triple by Jordan Moody that made it 5-2.

The Lady Bears added three in the seventh on four hits, including a double by MacKenzie Rodgers, and an error to set the final margin.

Sanders went the distance in the circle for Sylvan Hills. She gave up eight hits and two earned runs while striking out nine and walking no one.

Sylvan Hills got three fewer base hits than the 15 in game one, but was much more productive with runners on base, especially in the first inning. Jacksonville also had 12 base hits in game two, but could not get the timely ones.

Playing as the home team in game two, the Lady Bears posted seven runs in the bottom of the first inning to take quick command of the game.

Four singles by Carly Pozza, Ellis, Sanders and Franco made it 1-0 and left the bases loaded. That’s when Broadway crushed a grand slam home run over the fence in center field to an instant 5-0 lead.

Holt got Hunt to pop up to second base for the second out, but then issued back-to-back walks, followed by a double by Pozza that made it 7-0.

Hunt made it 8-0 in the third inning after a leadoff error. A Harper’s sacrifice bunt moved Hunt to second. She attempted to steal third and the throw from Seats sailed into left field, allowing the run to score.

In the fourth inning, back-to-back doubles by Sanders and Franco scored one run. Another error by Seats then allowed Franco to score for a 10-0 lead.

Facing the mercy rule, Jacksonville had to score in the top of the fifth, and did so.

Seats and House singled and Moody doubled to drive in one run. Emma Gartman then singled to score House and Moody, and Abby Hooper singled to drive in Gartman and make it 10-4.

Sylvan Hills scored one run on two singles, a walk and a hit batter in the bottom of the fifth, and then ended the game with three runs in the sixth.

Two walks and a double by Hunt loaded the bases with no outs. A third walk by Tristen Goodson made it 12-4. A single by Pozza made it 13-4, and a sacrifice grounder by Ellis invoked the 10-after-five sportsmanship rule.

In the two games combined, Sanders went 6 for 8 at the plate. Broadway went 4 for 7 with seven RBIs. Ellis went 5 for 9 and Pozza 4 for 9.

For Jacksonville, Seats went 5 for 8 four doubles.

Broadway led the win pitching in game two.

Ann Tharp contributed to this story

SPORTS STORY >> Brilliant goals lift Panthers’ soccer teams

Leader sports editor

The Cabot soccer teams got a 7A-Central sweep of Conway on Tuesday at Panther Stadium. The Panther boys got their first league win of the season in beating the Wampus Cats 3-1, while the Lady Panthers handled their foes 3-0.

The Cabot boys are an inexperienced team as a whole, but senior Abi Brown played like a veteran on Tuesday. He scored Cabot’s last two goals, and the second one drew praise from head coach Steven Porter.

“It was a really incredible play that not many people can pull off,” said Porter.

Brown put the ball between one defender’s legs before kicking up and over the head of a second defender. He then drilled it into the top right corner of the goal from a hard angle on the left side of the field.

Seth Whitman scored Cabot’s first goal of the match, and Brown later scored on a free kick. The minor upset lifts Cabot to 2-6-1 overall and 1-2 in conference play. Conway dropped to 4-4-2 and 2-1 in the 7A Central.

The Lady Panthers, who are among the elite teams in the state and trying to work their way back to the 7A state championship game, won easily, but did not perform in the first half the way head coach Kerry Castillo thinks they should have.

“We gave them way too much time on the ball,” Castillo said. “We changed tactics a little bit and changed formation. But really we just played with a much better focus. We scored two of our goals in the first half, but they were both just a couple of really brilliant individual plays. I don’t think we were working together very well until the second half.”

Sophomore Gracen Turner scored in the 23rd minute of the first half to open things up for Cabot. She stopped the ball to shed a defender, and placed it perfectly in the top left corner from about 15 yards out.

Nine minutes later, freshman Kiley Dulaney dribbled through traffic on the left side to work her way into an open shot from about 10 yards out that she lobbed over the goalkeeper for the 2-0 Cabot lead.

Even though there was just one goal in the second half, it was a highlight reel play that took two phenomenal individual efforts as well.

Cabot’s two Division I signees, Hadley Dickinson (UCA) and Tristyn Edgar (Tulsa) got together for the exciting play.

Dickinson was deep in the left corner near the corner kick spot, covered by a succession of Conway defenders. She worked her way through each one before placing a perfect pass just in front of the goal where Edgar drilled a header past the diving goalkeeper.

“Even though they had two on her, they kind of played off her,” Castillo said. “If you leave Hadley enough room to beat you, she’s going to beat you. Tristyn had moved wide and they kind of lost her. When she moved back to the middle, nobody picked her up. It was a great header.”

The coach’s praise wasn’t just for the scorers.

“Our back line played really well tonight,” Castillo said. “I think they were trying to get us to come forward with more players, hoping we would commit too many and they could slip behind us. But we played with a much better focus than I think we have the last couple games.”

Both Cabot teams will travel to Bryant on Tuesday.

SPORTS STORY >> Mound dominance leads to Cabot win

A brilliant pitching performance kept Conway scoreless until the Cabot Panthers could finally push a run across the plate in the eighth inning Tuesday at Brian Wade Conrade Field.
Statistically the game shouldn’t have been so close. Cabot totaled 11 hits to just two for the Wampus Cats (8-4, 1-2), but the Panthers never could get a hit with runners in scoring position.

Cabot pitcher Logan Gilbertson, however, never let Conway sniff a run. He threw all eight innings, throwing just 91 pitches while striking out six and walking one. Conway never got a runner to second base.

Meanwhile, Cabot had runners in scoring position several times. The Panthers got their leadoff hitter on base in four separate innings. They got two runners in scoring position with one out in the fourth, and loaded the bases with two outs that same inning.

In the sixth, Cabot’s first two batters singled, and the bases were loaded with one out. But they couldn’t get a run across.

That finally changed in the eighth, though it wasn’t because of a timely hit. Cabot did get two base hits. With one out, Bobby Joe Duncan singled to right field. With two outs, Caleb Harpole singled to shallow center, putting runners at first and second.

Conway relief pitcher Cade Tucker then, literally, threw the game away. Tucker threw a wild pitch on ball two to Kyler Franks that moved both runners into scoring position. After another ball, Tucker’s ball-four pitch was also wild, allowing Duncan to score the game-ending, winning run.

Cabot coach Ronnie Goodwin reminded his team several times throughout the game to relax and enjoy the excitement. He even admonished them once in the sixth inning that they were too tight.

“Games like this are nerve-racking if you let them be,” Goodwin said.

“I was sitting there throughout the game, saying to myself that we’re winning every aspect of this game. We’re not committing errors. We’re not walking people. We’re hitting the ball. So I just tried to tell them, slow your heart down. Breathe a little bit and stay positive that something’s going to happen. If the blood pressure is getting too high in this situation, what’s it going to be in the playoffs when every game is probably like this? That’s why it comes down to the mental game. Who can stay strong mentally and who is going to cave in.

“So you try to learn to be confident. Stay in the moment and control the things we can control,” Goodwin said.

Of Conway’s three base runners, two were followed by double plays. Every shutout has at least one defensive gem. For Cabot on Tuesday, that came from center fielder Caleb Harpole in the sixth inning. Nine-hole hitter Parker Gavazzi hit a one-out single off Gilbertson. Leadoff hitter McCall Dail then smacked a hard line drive in Harpole’s direction that looked like it would drop for a base hit. But Harpole made an outstanding catch, and then fired a strike to first base that beat Gavazzi back to the bag for the 8-3, inning-ending double play.

Cabot (10-5, 3-0) is still two-projected starters away from being full strength. Harpole is playing center field in place of Razorback signee Evan Hooper, but Goodwin has been very pleased with the group that has taken the field this season.

“The next two weeks we’ll finally have everybody, but I’m really proud of the guys we’re putting out there,” Goodwin said. “Our pitching has been really good down the line. Logan Gilbertson has absolutely been big time for us, but we’ve had several that have been throwing well all year. Pitching, I know, is going to give us a chance, so it’s making sure we execute; just stay the course, stay positive and good things are going to happen.”

SPORTS STORY >> Cabot girls overcome errors in league win

Leader sports editor

The Lady Panther softball team overcame a bad defensive start with some timely hitting to beat Conway 5-2 Tuesday in an important 7A-Central matchup at Cabot.

The Lady Panthers didn’t score with every opportunity after piling up 13 base hits, but did get the timely ones in a three-run fourth inning that busted up a tie game.

“We made it look ugly early, but we fought through it,” said Cabot coach Chris Cope. “We didn’t give up too many and the defense started playing a lot better after that. We got some big hits with runners on. Even though I got one thrown out, in scoring situations. We put enough across when we had to.”

Cabot trailed 2-1 in the third inning when Grace Neal hit a double to center field. Hannah Montgomery followed that with a base hit to left field and Cope waved Neal around third. But Conway’s Tremere Harris played the hop on the run and fired a perfect throw to home plate to beat Neal by a couple steps.

“I didn’t think they could get her,” Cope said. “It took a great play from that girl and boy, she made one.”

Cabot still managed to tie the game. Aubrey Lee and Lauren McCluskey got back-to-back singles, with Montgomery scoring on McCluskey’s hit to make the score 2-2. Rylie Hamilton singled as well to load the bases, but Anna Beth Duncan grounded into a 5-2 force at home to end the threat.

Cabot’s big inning in the fourth started with a one-out base hit by Riley Walthall. Bethany Knowles singled to left field. The runners moved to second and third on a wild pitch to Neal. She then ripped a base hit to right field to drive in both base runners for a 4-2 Cabot lead. Montgomery then smacked a double to the wall in center to score Neal and set the final margin.

Conway (6-6-1, 2-2) threatened in the top of the sixth inning. McCluskey hit Megan Solberg with one out before Bailey Beckham and Lindsey Williams hit back-to-back singles. But Beckham’s shot to shallow center field dropped right in front of Knowles. Solberg did not commit to second base until the ball landed, and Knowles throw got her for the force out. McCluskey then got another fly ball to center field to get out of the jam.

Cabot scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the second. Lee reached on an infield single and McCluskey beat out what was supposed to be a sacrifice bunt to leave everyone safe. Hamilton then hit a hard grounder to shortstop that got Lee thrown out at third. Duncan then singled to center field to score McCluskey’s courtesy runner Tristan Peeples.

Conway scored both of its runs in the top of the third thanks to a walk and three Cabot errors.

McCluskey pitched all seven innings, giving up six hits and zero earned runs on with one strikeout and two walks. Neal and Montgomery led the way offensively, each going 3 for 4 at the plate.

Cabot (12-1, 3-0) hosted Little Rock Central on Friday. Results of that game will be in Wednesday’s Leader. The Lady Panthers play at Bryant on Tuesday.

SPORTS STORY >> Bears get sweep at JHS

Speacial to the leader

The Jacksonville baseball Titans and the Sylvan Hills Bears faced off at Dupree Park Tuesday in a conference doubleheader. The Bears came away victorious in both, with wins of 14-4 and 10-0. Both games ended after six innings, with the run rule taking effect. The wins give Sylvan Hills a record of 17-2 overall and 6-0 in conference play. The Titans are 8-8 and 2-4 in conference.

“They were good games for us,” Sylvan Hills coach Denny Tipton commented. “The deal is, we pitched better today. The last couple of outings we’ve had, somewhere we’ve walked too many. But, I thought we pitched well. I thought we played good defense, and I thought we took advantage of their mistakes offensively.”

Jacksonville scored first in game one as Caleb Smith led off the bottom of the first with a double to deep right field, went to third on a passed ball, and scored on a ground ball to second by Jayden Loving.

The Bears took the lead in the top of the third. Kyle Clayton walked to lead things off, moved to second on a passed ball, and stole third. He scored on a triple by Zachary Douglass, who then scored when Nick Fakouri reached base on a dropped ball in the Titan outfield. The Bears loaded the bases on a walk and hit batter, and Fakouri scored on a passed ball before the third out was made. Three runs had crossed the plate for a score of 3-1.

Sylvan Hills added seven runs in the fourth to take a 10-1 advantage.

Two walks were drawn to start things off, then Spencer Zilkey drove in the first run with a base hit up the middle. Michael Coven reached on a bunt base hit, followed by a hit by Douglass to drive in a run. Fakouri drove in two with a hit to left field.

Another run scored when the throw went into left field on a double steal, and Fakouri scored on a wild pitch. Chaz Poppy was hit by pitch, made his way to third on a passed ball and a steal, and scored on a base hit to shallow right by Caleb McMunn for the seventh run of the frame.

Caden Sample and Quentin Stallard each had hits for the Titans in the bottom of the inning, but did not score.

Douglass and Fakouri each had doubles and scored in the top of the fifth for the Bears to stretch the lead to 12-1.

Jacksonville came back to score three in the bottom of the inning to extend the game. Jonathan Smith reached on a walk, Gabe Helsley doubled down the left field line, followed by an infield hit by Caleb Smith. All three scored to make the score 12-4 at the end of five innings.

Poppy and Zilkey each singled and scored for Sylvan Hills in the top of the sixth, and although the Titans loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the inning, Connor Beeching came in to pitch for the Bears and retired three to end the game with a score of 14-4.

“I thought we competed with the stick,” said Jacksonville coach Larry Burrows. “We didn’t throw enough strikes tonight. They’re a great club. They’re put together well. They’re put together to take advantage of some things we don’t do well. We’ve obviously got to pitch better to play with them. We did at times, but not enough. Offensively, I thought we had some tough breaks. I thought we did a good job against their two pitchers. Their pitchers are good.”

In the second game, it took six innings for the Bears to score ten runs while holding Jacksonville scoreless. Sylvan Hills had only five hits, but eight walks and three hit by pitches provided more base runners, eight of which scored.

River Hunt had a double with the bases loaded in the third inning to clear the bases, but was thrown out at third after a throw to the plate. Zilkey scored the only run in the fourth frame as he walked, stole second, and scored when the throw from the catcher went into left field as he attempted to steal third base.

The Bears only needed one run in the bottom of the sixth to end the game. McMunn led off with a walk, Jason Neeley had a pinch hit single, and Douglass a base hit to load the bases with two outs. Fakouri hit a hard grounder to the Titan third baseman who could not make the play, and the winning run crossed the plate.

Douglass led Sylvan Hills in hits for the night with four for both games and five runs scored. Fakouri had three hits in the first game and scored a total of four runs. Zilkey had a total of three hits and scored four runs. Caleb Smith led the Titans with two hits and two runs scored, all in game one.

The Bears lost two games last Thursday to break up its perfect season after 12-straight wins. They beat North Little Rock 6-5 on Thursday to run a new streak to five games.

TOP STORY >> Behind mother’s love

By SENIOR AIRMAN MERCEDES TAYLOR 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Hundreds of airmen cheered and applauded as Senior Airman Katie Cogbill was recognized as the Airman of the Year for the 19th Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base.

A ceremony was held in January to honor the 19th Medical Operations Squadron medical technician.

With tears of joy, Cogbill made her way onto the stage to shake the commander’s hand.

Her successes and challenges led up to her standing alongside hundreds of fellow airmen in the hangar, where the ceremony was held. She looked to her family after receiving her award and was reminded of where they were seven years ago.

Before the accolades and recognition for her career, a son came into her world. On July 29, 2010, Barrett was born and, with him, brought unpredictable challenges.

Katie and Daniel Cogbill noticed delays in Barrett’s verbal and motor skills shortly before his first birthday.

“He was able to do certain things like wave hello,” she said. “One day, he just stopped doing it like he never learned it in the first place.”

Barrett needed more than what his parents could research on their own. The Cogbills placed their son on a year-long waiting list to be seen at the Texas Children’s Hospital Autism Center.

There, Barrett finally received a diagnosis: Autism spectrum disorder.

ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that impairs a child’s ability to communicate and interact with others, according to the Mayo Clinic. It affects one in 68 children and each child’s case is unique.

Just under 2 years old, Barrett was considered delayed in verbal communication.

“We have to always keep an eye on him,” Cogbill said. “Like other children with autism, Barrett has an attraction to water. In the area we were staying, there was a lot of swampland and bayous.”

Orange, Texas, may have a lot of swampland, but the town didn’t have resources for children with ASD, which resulted in Barrett not receiving enough therapy.

“We could get therapies through companies that would only send someone twice a week for 30 minutes,” Cogbill said. “I had to fight tooth and nail to get him the help he needed.”

While fighting financial stressors and lack of resources, her strength and hope never wavered.

“I was working two, sometimes three, jobs at a time and taking care of Barrett,” Cogbill said. “Sometimes I would go to bed crying about how it would never get better.”

Knowing sleepless nights on friend’s couches wouldn’t get her family anywhere, she knew the choice she needed to make.

With the full support of her husband and son, she enlisted in the Air Force in 2014.

Her love, tenacity and dedication to her family led her to join the one percent in the United States who choose to enlist.

“From the time he got his diagnosis, I wanted to go into the medical field,” Cogbill said. “I wanted to find out more about neurological disorders like ASD so I could become more connected.”

After joining the Air Force, she not only left behind a small town, she left behind the worry of choosing between groceries or electricity. In addition to financial stability, Cogbill received therapy benefits for Barrett and was shown how the Air Force fulfills its promise to take care of its people.

With the resources now available, Barrett receives occupational speech and physical therapy, and applied behavior analysis several hours a week.

“Barrett now attends school in Cabot and showed improvement after being there for one month,” Cogbill said. “He’s doing so much better than he was a year ago. He’s gone from having trouble sitting still in a chair to sitting with his entire class for lunch.”

While she celebrates Barrett’s progression with her husband, Cogbill continually balances being a parent and a successful airman.

“She is definitely one of the hardest working airmen I have ever met. Her work ethic is always above and beyond,” said Air Force Staff Sgt. Laura Loggins, 19th Medical Operations Squadron Medical Services flight chief. “She is extremely dedicated to her studies, peers, family and patients.”

After being in dead-end jobs and having financial instability, Cogbill’s devotion to her family led her to defy the odds and get out of their predicament.

“My family and I went from sleeping on a friend’s couch and floor just a few years ago to where we don’t have to worry about keeping the lights on or buying groceries,” Cogbill said. “I joined the Air Force to be able to better care for my family. I have wanted to do nothing else but be the best that I can ever be to ensure that they are cared for.”

TOP STORY >> Cabot to stage big Civil War re-enactment

A Civil War re-enactment will be held at Change Point Church, 3525 Hwy. 89 in Cabot, on Friday, April 28 through Sunday, April 30.

The Cabot Civil War Muster event will be led by re-enactors from the 1st Michigan Battery G, organizers said.

The re-enactment is intended to be an annual event and will coincide with Strawberry Festival in Cabot.

According to a news release, “The 1st Michigan Battery G took to planning this local event due to there being very few historical re-enactments in Arkansas. Re-enactments are educational events for children and adults alike,” “It is our mission to promote history and the hobby alike, as well as give the public the opportunity to see history come to life.”

School groups are invited to attend the events to see what life was like in the 1860s.

“There will be historical demonstrations where the students will be able to stop and observe, touch and hear stories about the American Civil War. Children will be able to meet with soldiers from the infantry, artillery, cavalry and engineers, as well as field hospital personnel. They will also be able to see blacksmiths performing their trades, visit sutlers (Civil War-ear peddlers who sold their goods to soldiers) and check out local Civil War artifacts that will be on display,” the announcement said.

The activities on Saturday and Sunday will include battle re-enactments of the campaign for Little Rock, which was fought along the old highway from Little Rock to Searcy that runs directly behind Change Point Church.

Approximately 400 re-enactors are expected to participate. Most of them will be from around Arkansas, but many will travel from other states.

“On Saturday, we will be representing the Battle of Reed’s Bridge, which was the Confederate victory that thwarted the advance of the Union Army near Jackson-ville. Sunday’s battle will recreate the Battle of Fourche Bayou, which ended with the Union gaining control of the capital of Little Rock,” the group said.

These battles will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. In addition, there will be an artillery night fire Saturday evening at dusk on the main battlefield. Camps are open from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and noon-4 p.m. Sunday.

“Our sutlers are merchants that sell Civil War era goods, uniforms, dresses and novelties and are traveling from as far away as Florida to be with us for this event. We will also have local food vendors on site with a variety of favorite foods,” the announcement said.

Organizers expect 3,000 people to attend the event over the three-day event.

“We are proud to have the support of the community, residents and businesses to put on this event. We also received funding from the Cabot Advertising and Promotion Commission, for which we are very grateful. The Cabot Civil War Muster will be running in conjunction with Cabot’s very own Strawberry Festival,” the announcement said.

For more information, visit, email or view the group’s Facebook page, @1stMichiganBatteryG.

TOP STORY >> Compromise made on noise walls

Leader senior staff writer

Jacksonville businesses along state Hwy. 67/167 will not be hidden behind noise-reduction walls after all, state Highway Department spokesman Danny Straessle said.

Two major concerns were raised at a March 9 meeting with homeowners along the route:

Concealing businesses and commercial property behind the proposed wall and

Questions of right of way taken from back yards of residents, and its maintenance.

Jacksonville Mayor Gary Fletcher was immediately concerned not only that passing motorists might miss the businesses but that commercial growth could be stymied.

Who would want to build a business at, but invisible from, the highway, Fletcher asked at the time.

“They’ve been receptive and responsive,” Fletcher said Friday of the Highway Department.

He said Straessle called him the morning after the meeting. “He wanted me to understand that they were open to changes,” said Fletcher.

“A draft proposal to possibly install noise walls along U.S. Hwy. 67 in Jacksonville is being modified in response to public input received,” according to a press release from the department this week.

“Noise walls were being evaluated in areas along the east side of U.S. Hwy. 67 between West Main Street and Gregory Street and on the west side of U.S. Hwy. 67 starting at First Street and continuing northwards until Evans Drive,” according to the department.

The department has modified the proposed noise walls that are being evaluated by removing those portions of the noise walls that would block the visibility of commercial properties from the highway, according to a press release. “These changes were made in response to comments that were received from local citizens, commercial property owners, and local officials.”

The mayor was not the only official concerned about the possible effects on commercial development.

“No way this can be beneficial to Jacksonville,” said state Rep. Bob Johnson (D-Jacksonville) following the meeting.

Johnson said at the time he would do what he could to change “these stupid 12-foot walls.” He was concerned it would discourage new restaurants and other commerce from moving to the town.

After the meeting, homeowner Patrick Thomas called the Highway Department’s presentation “bait and switch,” with the public shown pictures of concrete walls, but the apparent intent, he said, was to use fiberglass or PVC-type walls, which would need periodic maintenance.

“If a 100-year concrete wall is installed there should be no need for a maintenance or right of way,” he wrote in a letter to The Leader. (See page 8.)

Thomas said homeowners would not only lose the back part of their property to a maintenance right of way, but couldn’t fence to the noise wall, meaning they would have to build additional back fences.

“Who’s responsible to mow and maintain that right of way?” Thomas asked.

Fletcher said the city doesn’t have enough equipment to mow that area, and Thomas fears it would become a thicket harboring varmints.

For those driving on the highway, the original plan would have hidden from sight Denny Ward’s City Motors and much of Gwatney Chevrolet, as well as a local veterinarian and other businesses, Fletcher said.

Of the area north of McArthur Church on John Harden Drive, Fletcher said, “I foresee that becoming commercial property, but there’s no value if there’s not accessibility and visibility.”

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Rabs acquit selves nicely

Leader sports editor

After advancing to the semifinals of the Central Arkansas Invitational, the Lonoke Jackrabbits lost their last two games of the event. But the 4A team isn’t down in how it played against 7A power Catholic High, 10-4, and defending tournament champion Conway, another 7A team, 5-2.

Against Catholic on Friday, the Jackrabbits were up 4-1 after three innings, but gave up two in the fourth, five in the fifth and two more in the sixth before rain ended the night early.

On Saturday in the third-place game, Lonoke led 2-1 after two innings, but the Wampus Cats posted three in the third and one in the fourth, and that’s how things stayed the rest of the way.

First-year Lonoke coach Chris Foor, a longtime assistant at perennial power Sylvan Hills, believes his team is headed in the right direction.

“We approached this tournament with the idea of going all out to win those first two games, and we accomplished that,” said Foor. “We wanted to save our pitching these last two because we’ve got a conference doubleheader coming on Tuesday. But I still think we competed well. I think we showed we could compete with some of the top 7A teams in the state. We want to build this thing into a program that can do that year in and year out.”

Lonoke (6-7) got on the board in the second inning against Catholic on Friday. Caleb Horton hit into a fielder’s choice that got Keith Lingo thrown out at second for the second out of the inning. Christian Cooper walked and both runners stole a base.

Kameron Cole then singled to drive in one run, and an error at third base off the bat of Casey Martin scored another for a 2-0 Lonoke lead.

That became 3-0 in the top of the third, but Lonoke had an opportunity for more. Haven Hunter, Cade Stewart, Tallon Swint and Lingo hit four-straight singles to start the inning, but one run was all the team could muster from the phenomenal start.

Catholic got one back in the bottom of the third when nine-hole hitter Eric Moll hit a solo home run to start the inning. Lonoke pitcher Ryan Truelove got the next three batters out in order to preserve the Jackrabbit lead.

Cole got another base hit to start the fourth inning, and scored on a double by Martin for a 4-1 Lonoke lead.

Catholic pulled to within one run with a one-out rally in the bottom of the fourth. Luke Wewers doubled to right, Noah Bray tripled for the RBI, and William Plafcan singled to score Bray to make it 4-3.

Catholic (8-4) got another solo home run to start a five-run fifth inning. Leadoff hitter Cameron Tissue sent the ball out to left field. Ethan Fowler and Evan Hiatt hit back-to-back singles and Cody Hogg was hit to load the bases. Seth Van Dover popped up to shallow center field for the first out, but Truelove hit Bray to drive in another run. Plafcan popped up to shortstop for out number two, and a base hit by Blake Burney drove in two more runs. The final run scored on a passed ball to put Catholic up 8-4.

Tissue, Fowler and Hiatt got three consecutive base hits off relief pitcher Noah Mulligan for the final two runs of the game in the sixth inning.

Lonoke was the home team against Conway, and the Wampus Cats took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning thanks to a mental error by Stewart at first base. Leadoff hitter Parker Gavazzi bunted right back to pitcher Hunter Kyzer, who fielded the ball easily was ready to throw to first in plenty of time for the out, but Stewart was a no show at first base until it was too late to get the speedy leadoff hitter.

Gavazzi then stole second base and reached third on a sacrifice grounder by Kolby Reck. Another sac grounder to second scored Gavazzi.

The lead didn’t last long. Martin slammed a home run over the fence in left field to tie it up with no outs in the bottom of the first. Dalton Smith then doubled to right. He moved to third on a grounder by Haven Hunter, and scored on a grounder by Stewart to put the Jackrabbits in front.

That was it for Lonoke’s offense. Conway pitcher James Hicks gave up a pair of two-out hits in the third inning before snagging a hard comebacker by Swint to end the inning. Hicks was replaced in the fourth by Jackson Hull, and Hull threw four innings of no-hit relief to keep the Jackrabbits at bay.

Horton walked with one out in the fourth, and Smith reached on an error at first base with one out in the fifth, and those were Lonoke’s only two base runners over the final four innings.

Conway (8-3) scored three runs on just one hit in the top of the third, and that was just supposed to be a sacrifice bunt, but Gavazzi placed the bunt perfectly and used his speed to reach base after McCall Dail was hit to start the inning.

A 3-2 fielder’s choice failed to get Gavazzi at the plate. Cade Tucker walked and an error in left field led to two more runs.

Lonoke’s final run came in the fourth inning, and without a base hit. Eli Davis and Dail were consecutively hit to start the inning, and then advanced on a balk. Gavazzi was finally thrown out on his third infield grounder of the game, but recorded the RBI with the sacrifice to shortstop that set the final margin.

Catholic, the tournament host, went on to win the 16-team tournament, beating Watson Chapel 5-0 in the championship game on Saturday.

SPORTS STORY >> Cabot gets win at Chapel High

Leader sports editor

The Cabot Panthers went to Watson Chapel on Monday and came away with a 6-4 victory, avenging a 7-4, eight-inning home loss to the Wildcats back on March 8.

Chapel entered the game fresh off a runner-up performance in the Central Arkansas Invitational, and led Cabot twice before a three-run seventh-inning gave the Panthers the victory.

Cabot had opportunities to take control before the final inning. The Panthers had 11 base hits to just three for Chapel. The Wildcats also committed four errors while Cabot had two.

The Panthers’ projected starting lineup has been dotted with injuries since the beginning of the season, but that got a little better with the return of Bobby Joe Duncan, who has been out all season with an injury suffered during basketball.

He made an immediate impact, going 2 for 4 with a triple and two RBIs in the eight-hole for Cabot.

Zach Morris gave up all three hits and all four runs infive innings of work, but none of the runs were earned. He struck out eight and walked two in earning the no decision.

Michael Shepherd pitched the sixth inning, and got one out in the bottom of the seventh after Cabot took the lead to get the win. Brett Brockinton got the last two outs for the save.

Cabot (9-5, 2-0) took the early lead in the top of the first, but Chapel posted three in the bottom of the same inning. Clayton Gray reached on an error in left field with one out. Denver Mullins and Dillon Thomas then hit back-to-back singles to load the bases.

Wildcat pitcher Trent Goodman fanned Houston King and Dillon Wofford, but Gray was able to score on a passed ball during Wofford’s at-bat for the quick Cabot lead.

Chapel (7-7) leadoff hitter Gianti Turner reached on an error at second base before Cabot recorded two outs. Morris hit Andrew Morgan and Ja’Kobi Jackson doubled to left field to drive in Turner and leave two runners in scoring position.

Hayden Arnold then singled to drive in both base runners for a 3-1 Chapel lead.

Cabot got one back in the top of the third inning after Blake McCutchen hit a leadoff single. With one out, Denver Mullins hit into a 4-6 fielder’s choice, but the throw to get the lead runner was wild, and McCutchen advanced to third.

Thomas then hit a fly ball to center field, deep enough to score McCutchen and make the score 3-2.

The Panthers tied it in the fourth when Wofford hit a leadoff single, and then scored on Duncan’s triple down the right-field line. Harpole then hit a grounder to third that Scott Taylor couldn’t wrangle. Duncan couldn’t advance, leaving runners on the corners. Kyle Franks went down looking for the first out of the inning before the Panthers ran themselves out of a rally.

Harpole stole second base and McCutchen grounded to third. Duncan tried to score but was thrown out, Harpole then made for third where he was also thrown out for the rare 5-2-6 double play that ended the inning.

Chapel reclaimed the lead in the fifth when Davion White reached second base on a two-out error, and scored on a base hit by Morgan.

Cabot’s game-winning rally in the seventh started with Franks taking one for the team to start things off. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by McCutchen, and to third on a single by Gray. Another hit by Mullins tied the game and left runners at first and second.

Thomas then singled to score Gray and advance Ty Cyr, Mullins’ courtesy runner, to second base. Duncan then got his second RBI with a blooper just out of the reach of first baseman Joe Moore that set the final margin.

Cabot hosted Conway in a crucial 7A-Central game on Tuesday. Look for details of that game in Saturday’s Leader. They will host another 7A-Central opponent in Little Rock Central on Friday.

SPORTS STORY >> Lady Badgers grind out win over ’Rabbits

Leader sports editor

Abby Burch threw a complete-game two-hitter while Hannah Gammill provided the power as the Beebe softball team defeated Lonoke 7-1 on Monday at Beebe High School.

It was the first game in 10 days for both teams after a spring break layoff, and both offenses were slow out of the gate.

Burch issued her only walk in the top of the first inning, and she got a small break when Alyssa Hearon’s line drive went right to outfielder Lexi Devore. A groundout to All-State shortstop ended the half inning.

Lonoke pitcher Maddison Pool sat Beebe down in order in the first inning, but the Lady Badgers got something going in the second with the help of a fielding error.

Lexy Lockhart reached base with one out when a pop fly was dropped in the infield. Burch then singled to put runners at first and second. A wild pitch advanced both runners into scoring position, and another wild pitch allowed Lockhart to score the first run of the game.

The bats start to come alive for Beebe in the bottom of the third. Katlyn Gordon hit a one-out, line-drive double to center field. Two batters later, Gammill cranked one out to left field for a 3-0 Beebe lead.

Beebe (8-6) posted three more in the fourth inning. Burch started the rally with a one-out, infield single, and then stole second base with no throw. Devore then singled to right field to score Burch. Molly Poe then singled to center field, and the runners advanced an extra base on an error. Devore then scored on a passed ball, and Poe made it 6-0 when Gordon hit an RBI base hit to center field.

The lead grew to 7-0 in the fifth inning after Gammill’s leadoff double. She later scored on a sacrifice fly by Haley Dinapoli.

Hearon finally got Lonoke (4-4) on the board in the top of the seventh. After her leadoff single, Hearon advanced all the way to third on an error in right field. She then scored on a grounder to first by Pool that set the final margin.

Gammill had 2 for 4 with a home run, a double, two runs scored and two RBIs. Gordon finished 3 for 4 at the plate with one run scored and one batted in. Burch went 3 for 3 at the plate. She also gave up no earned runs on three strikeouts and one walk in the circle.

Hearon had both of Lonoke’s two base hits.

Lonoke will host England in another nonconference game on Friday. Beebe plays at Jacksonville at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

SPORTS STORY >> Bears get back on track

Leader sports editor

On Saturday, the Sylvan Hills baseball team responded well to its worst day of the season that took place Thursday. In their final two games of the Central Arkansas Invitational, the Bears beat Little Rock Central and Maumelle 5-3 in consecutive outings at Lamar Porter Field in Little Rock.

The two wins came after back-to-back losses to El Dorado and Arkadelphia at home on Thursday, the team’s only two losses of the season.

In the early game on Saturday, the Bears (14-2) got out-hit by the Tigers 8-6, but were more efficient and took advantage of three fourth-inning errors in a three-run frame.

Leading 2-1, Sylvan Hills’ Kyle Clayton drew a leadoff walk to start the bottom of the fourth. Spencer Zilkey then hit a hard grounder to the second-base side of shortstop where Aaron Mann made an easy grab. But his lob to second for the first of what should’ve been a double play was dropped on the exchange. Clayton was out, but Zilkey was safe at first.

Leadoff hitter Michael Coven then ripped a deep fly ball over the fence in left field for a two-RBI home run that made it 4-1. After Zach Douglass grounded out to short. River Hunt hit a fly ball to right that was dropped, and stole second base. Central intentionally walked Nick Fakouri. Hunt then tried to steal the third, and the throw from home sailed into left field, allowing Hunt to trot in for a four-run lead.

Central (1-12-1) got a rally going in the top of the seventh when its first two batters reached base on a HBP and a single to right field. A wild pitch moved the runners up, and Mann hit a fly ball to the wall to score Luke Porter from third. Garrett Hatfield then singled to drive in another run, but the next two batters grounded out to end the threat.

Sylvan Hills scored a run in the first inning. Coven hit a leadoff single and stole second base. Two outs later, Fakouri singled to drive in Coven.

In the second inning, Gage Taylor was hit by a pitch and scored on a double to center field by Chaz Poppy. Central’s other run came in the top of the third on a double by Mann and a single by Charles Pyron.

Cameron Flippo threw 6 2/3 innings for the win. He gave up three earned runs on eight hits; with three strikeouts, zero walks and two hit batters.

Flippo pitched through some early trouble and got through the first two innings unscathed despite three of the Tigers’ first five batters reaching base on errors.

In the later game, Sylvan Hills again scored first, but had to come from behind for the win. In the bottom of the third, Douglass reached on a one-out walk before Hunt got on base because of an error in center field that moved Douglass to third. He then scored on a passed ball for a 1-0 lead.

That’s how it stayed until the third inning. Sylvan Hills starting pitcher Braden Withrow cruised through the first two innings and two batters. Withrow retired the first eight batters in a row, but then failed to get any of the next five out. He had two outs and two strikes on Maumelle nine-hole hitter Ethan Cash when Cash poked a single into right field.

Withrow then hit leadoff hitter Mo’Nique Wilkerson. Nicholas Grimsley then singled to drive in Cash before Withrow hit #24. Cleanup hitter #17 then hit a two-RBI single to left field to put the Hornets up 3-1.

Ray Young took the mound for the Bears and struck out Brody Ammons to get out of the jam. He also pitched the fourth and fifth innings, giving up one base hit and no runs.

Sylvan Hills then rallied for four runs in the bottom of the fifth. Caleb McMunn drew a leadoff walk and was replaced on the bases by pinch runner Jacob Galiano. Poppy then singled to center field, and the catcher was replaced by courtesy runner Payton Terry. Clayton’s sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third base, and Zilkey singled to left to drive in Galiano.

Coven then singled to drive in Terry, and Zilkey was able to score when Wilkerson misplayed the bounce and let the ball get by him and roll to the wall. Two batters later, Coven scored on a single to left by Hunt to set the final margin.

EDITORIAL >> David Solomon, 1916-2017, RIP

Sad to hear that David Solomon, the longtime Helena lawyer and civic leader, passed away last week at his home at the age of 100. Everyone in the Arkansas Delta thought he was a mensch (a Yiddish word for someone of great character and integrity). Mr. Solomon worked for the Helena school board and the hospital pro bono for many years and was a member of the Arkansas Highway Commission, serving as its chairman in 1984-85.

He was a delegate to the Arkansas State Constitutional Convention in 1969. He was in banking and managed the Solomon Farms.

We saw him in 2006 at Temple Beth El in Helena that is now a Delta Heritage House. Always a sharp dresser, Mr. Solomon wore a beautiful dark blue suit that day.

He told us about going to Harvard Law School before the Second World War. He kept his law office open on Cherry Street until last year. The famous KFFA blues radio station was across the street, where his three sons used to watch blues musicians going up the stairs in the alley.

Helena’s annual blues festival is held down the street. We used to look inside his law office on blues festival weekends, probably the only time he wasn’t working besides the Sabbath and high holidays. He retired in 2015 after practicing law for 75 years, probably a state record. In 2014, the Arkansas Bar Association honored him for his lifetime of service.

Mr. Solomon was much loved and respected in a region that admires Israel for its courage and for winning against all odds.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. today at Temple Beth El Heritage House with burial at Temple Beth El Cemetery.

Eli Evans wrote in “The Provincials,” his portrait of Southern Jews, “Being Jewish in the South is like being Gentile in New York.”
Mr. Solomon made us feel we weren’t outsiders. May his memory be a blessing.

EDITORIAL >> Welcome, new chief

A search committee last week chose Geoffrey Herweg, 53, the deputy chief of the Lovington, N.M., police department, as Jacksonville’s next police chief. He will succeed Kenny Boyd, who has been with the department for 29 years, the last three as chief. Boyd announced his retirement earlier this year after serving with distinction in various capacities.

Boyd’s low-key but effective approach to law enforcement is worth emulating not just in Jacksonville but in all of our communities. Thank you, Kenny Boyd, for your long service to the community.

Herweg, who starts in a couple of weeks, has more than 30 years of law-enforcement and military experience and has been the deputy chief in Lovington since January 2015. He joined the Lovington force in 2012. He has a master’s degree in public administration and may pursue a doctorate.

Herweg served eight years in the Texas Army National Guard, starting out enlisted and ending up a second lieutenant. He was a rapid-response commander at Victory Base Complex, Baghdad, Iraq, as a civilian contractor, helping provide security for about 68,000 military and civilian personnel. He also served as shift supervisor for the U.S. Embassy Emergency Response Team in Afghanistan.

Mayor Gary Fletcher introduced Herweg, who goes by Jeff, to about 50 members of the police and fire department, city officials and others at a Friday afternoon gathering at the public safety building.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with two great police chiefs,” said the mayor, “Gary Sipes and Kenny Boyd, and now I feel that Jeff will take us to that next level.”

Herweg was partly chosen for his military experience. Jacksonville, home to Little Rock Air Force Base, he noted, is “a military town and I come from a military family. It is a small town (although nearly double the size of Lovington), and it’s a very welcoming community. That means more to me than anything.”

Chief Herweg, welcome to Jacksonville, one of the great military communities in the nation. It’s a job that requires reaching out to residents from all walks of life, but also coordination with the air base. Herweg’s decades of experience qualifies him for his new job. We look forward to a long partnership.

TOP STORY >> Ward eyes Disney $20K parks grant

Ward Parks and Recreation Director Karen Dawson invites the public to nominate the city to win a $20,000 grant for its parks from the Walt Disney Co.

The nomination period starts Saturday and continues through the end of the month. Nominations can be made online at

The city with the most nominations will win the grant. Everyone who nominates a city will be entered into a drawing for a tablet computer outfitted for the outdoors.

The contest is called “Meet Me at the Park” and is a collaboration between the National Recreation and Park Association and Walt Disney and aims to revitalize and restore parks across the country.

“Local parks make Ward a better place to live and shape so many of our lives. Parks are essential to our city’s health and wellbeing. They provide safe places to be active and enjoy nature—and they help preserve the environment and bring people together,” Dawson said in the announcement.

“That’s why from April 1 to April 30, Ward residents will have the opportunity to nominate our city to receive $20,000 in grant funding to make improvements at a local park,” Dawson continued.

“Ward’s park and recreation programs continue to grow. This year alone, we have seen a 14 percent increase in the number of participants who have signed up for spring sports. $20,000 would go a long way in supporting our park and recreation program,” she said.

“This Earth Month, Ward can show what parks mean to our community by nominating our great city. Encourage your friends to nominate our city by taking a selfie in your favorite park and using the hashtags #MeetMeAtThePark, #Parkies and #BeInspired,” the announcement said.

For more information, visit or call Dawson at 501-843-7686 or email

TOP STORY >> Five cities plan spring cleanups

Sherwood’s spring cleanup will be held Saturday, April 8. The annual event, sponsored by Keep Sherwood Beautiful, will begin at 9 a.m. at Jack Evans Senior Center, 2301 Thornhill Drive.

Volunteers are needed and will have a choice to pick-up litter or participate in beautification assignments. Participants will receive a free lunch, Keep Arkansas Beautiful T-shirts and have a chance to win door prizes.

The cleanup is held in conjunction with Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup.

The community beautification reports can be sent by e-mail to, at or at the group’s Facebook page.

Keep Sherwood Beautiful will also hold its annual shred-a-thon from 9 a.m. till 1 p.m. Saturday, April 22 at the Walmart Neighborhood Market parking lot, 8801 Hwy. 107. Participants will be limited to five boxes. There is no charge, but donations will be accepted.

Cabot’s spring cleanup and hazardous waste roundup will be held from 9 a.m. until noon Saturday, April 22, which is Earth Day.

The annual event includes a city-wide litter pick-up effort and a drive-through dropoff point for unwanted electronics and household hazardous waste at the Cabot BMX Complex at the end of Willie Ray Drive.

It is sponsored by the city of Cabot and Cabot City Beautiful and will be held in conjunction with the national Great American Cleanup campaign and Keep Arkansas Beautiful Month.

Litter pickup volunteers should meet at Briarwood Baptist Church at 1872 Willie Ray Drive no earlier than 9 a.m. April 22 and check in at the registration canopies.

Volunteers will be assigned routes if they have not already designated their own areas to pick up during the annual event.

The drop-off service will allow for the disposal of various electronic waste and household hazardous waste materials like latex paints, oil-base paints and paint thinners, motor oil, antifreeze, fluorescent bulbs, pesticides and herbicides, household cleaners, household batteries (nicad, alkaline and lithium), automotive batteries and tires (must be off the rim), computer components, TVs and VCRs.

Austin’s spring cleanup will be held next month. City workers will pick up unwanted items and garbage from residences west of the railroad tracks from April 17 through April 21.

The same service will be provided to residences east of the railroad tracks from April 24 through April 28. Batteries, tires and hazardous chemicals will not be collected. Paint cans must be empty.

Lonoke’s annual spring cleanup will be held Saturday, April 22 through Saturday, April 29.

Dumpsters will be placed at the Lonoke City Shop at 1219 Barnes St., but the city will not be accepting liquids, paints, batteries, lumber, building or other hazardous materials.

A tire container will be available.

For more information, call the Lonoke Public Works Department at 501-676-4370 or 501-676-2422.

The city’s annual spring cleanup will be held Saturday, April 22 through Saturday, April 29.

Dumpsters will be placed at the Lonoke City Shop at 1219 Barnes St., but the city will not be accepting liquids, paints, batteries, lumber, building or other hazardous materials.

A tire container will be available.

For more information, call the Lonoke Public Works Department at 501-676-4370 or 501-676-2422.

Ward will hold its spring cleanup from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 29 at the former Co-Op building on Hwy. 367. It will close earlier if the dumpsters are full.

TOP STORY >> Aftermath of spring storm

By JEFFREY SMITH Leader staff writer

A tornado and high winds on Friday night left many area residents picking up debris over the weekend.

An EF-2 tornado hit a trailer park in north Pulaski County at Lowridge and Slipspur Roads. The National Weather Service in Little Rock reported the tornado touched down at 11:20 p.m. near the Pulaski-Faulkner County line south of Frenchman Mountain Road.

The twister lasted seven minutes. It traveled 4.1 miles and was 100 yards wide. Winds were between 111-135 mph. Six people were injured and four mobile homes were destroyed.

Landowner Sheila Shearer said two of the mobile homes were vacant. The trailer park has 11 residents. She said power and water service is back on.

“The last two days have been a blur,” Shearer said.

Angie and Marvin Fisher with Sylvan Hills Church of Christ delivered donated water, food and snacks for residents of the trailer park on Sunday. Members of That Church in Sherwood helped with clean-up efforts on Saturday.

Fire and Ice Heating and Air owners Ricky and Rhonda Davis volunteered repairing sheet metal on the mobile homes. Jesse Dickerson brought his tractor.

“We were sitting at home watching TV, and they said there was a severe thunderstorm warning. When the storm hit I heard glass breaking, and I hid behind the couch,” Ethan Hawkins said.

“The power went out five seconds before it hit. The house was shaking. It really does sound like a freight train and then five seconds later it was gone,” said his sister, Heather Hawkins.

“We looked out the window and the neighbor’s house was gone. A pregnant woman was trapped under her house. My mom helped her and she is OK.

“Another neighbor, an older man in his 70s, was trapped under a support beam,” Ethan Hawkins said.


A patchwork of blue and white tarps now cover the roofs of many homes and businesses in Beebe.

The National Weather Service in Little Rock surveyed the damage and determined straight-line winds of 80 mph caused damage from West Dewitt Henry Drive at ASU Boulevard over the freeway continuing along Hwy. 64 West.

Shingles were peeled off, tree branches were broken. Signs were bent over or blown out.

The strong winds toppled two stone monuments at the Veterans Memorial. The city council is seeking bids to replace it.

The old boat factory building caved in.

Regions Bank at 1500 W. Dewitt Henry Drive had insulation draped from the ceiling on the second floor. A window was broken on the ground floor. Next door, a strip mall had glass doors and windows shattered.

Sy Brazeal of 50 Hwy. 64 West was picking up debris in his yard on Sunday.

“They say it was just winds, but I’ve never seen winds pull brick off a house before,” Brazeal said.

More severe weather is being forecasted this week.


The North Little Rock City Council approved donating used tornado sirens to Cabot and Ward during Monday’s meeting.

Cabot will get three and Ward will get four. North Little Rock replaced the sirens with newer models.

Cabot Fire Chief Phil Robinson said the city has seven sirens. One is not working and another does not rotate to broadcast the sound.

Cabot will use the donated sirens for parts or replacement.

Ward has three tornado sirens. In November, the city council turned down a $12,000 request to repair its three sirens. The sirens wail but do not rotate to broadcast the sound to all areas of the Ward.

Ward will use the donated sirens for parts or replacement and may install one on a pole for warning. A new pole will be around $1,000 a piece, plus cost of wiring.

Ward city officials suggested residents purchase weather radios or sign up for CodeRed, mass notification system sent to phones, text or e-mail messages.

Residents voiced their concerns during the following council meetings for Ward to repair or replace its sirens.