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Reflecting the Character of the River Valley

FEBRUARY 2011

a publication of SILVER PLATTER PRODUCTIONS, INC. www.aboutrvmag.com


strations. The seminar is free; light refreshments will be available and door prizes will be awarded.

seminar is free; light refreshments will be available and door prizes will be awarded.

KEEP THE RESOLUTION YOU MADE AND RENEW YOUR COMMITMENT TO

. GOOD IN MARCH 2011 FEBRUARY 22 • HEALTH 6-7:30 p.m. 30 • 12 noon THESE SAINT MARY’S SEMINARS WILL POINT YOU IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.

Eating Right – Right From the Start

Find It First

with Dr. Ron White

with Dr. Barry McCraw & Katie Watson F EB R U A RY 8 • 6-7:30 p.m.

It’s neveroftooaearly to embrace healthy eatHeart Woman with Dr. Dai-Yuan WangWatson and peing habits. Dietitian Katie Cardiologist Dai-Yuan Wang, M.D. (Russelldiatrician Dr. Barry McCraw (both of Millard ville Cardiology Consultants) will share the latest Clinic) on cardiovascular disease factors Henry will teach steps for a risk healthy for women and how to aggressively manapproach baby’s nutrition. age them to to your prevent or delay the Saint onset of heart disease. Saint Mary’s Wellness Fitness Center will also Mary’s Wellness Fitness Center will present present “Willpower and Grace” and “Body Dynamics” demonstrations. The seminar is free;Alive” light refreshments be available a“Drums demonstrationwilland Fit Kids and door prizes will be awarded. information. The seminar is free; light refreshments will be available and door prizes will FEB R U ARY 2 2 • 6-7:30 p.m. be awarded. Eating Right – Right From the Start

M AR CH 1 5 • 6-7:30 p.m.

Colorectal cancer is Do the most preKids Act Fast...So Poisons with able Dr. Richard Young cancer if deand beatable vent

More than 2 million poisonings are report-

tected early. why Control you need to find ed each yearThat’s to Poison Centers the country. The majority occur in itacross first. Get the facts on confronting the children younger than six years old. Join Saintmost Mary’s emergency physician third common cancer in men Richard and Young, M.D., for information on how you can actively ensure women withof gastroenterologist Ron and White, M.D. (RussellvilleThe the safety children in your home your community. seminar is free; light refreshments will be available and door Gastroenterology Clinic). Saint Mary’s Wellness Fitness Center prizes will be awarded. will also present a “Yoga Stretch” demonstration and provide information on the Silver Sneakers program. Cost is $5 and includes lunch. M AR CH 30 • 12 noon Find It First

with Dr. Barry McCraw & Katie Watson

with Dr. Ron White

It’s never too early to embrace healthy eating habits. Dietitian Katie Watson and pediatrician Dr. Barry McCraw (both of Millard Henry Clinic) will teach steps for a healthy approach to your baby’s nutrition. Saint Mary’s Wellness Fitness Center will present a“Drums Alive” demonstration and Fit Kids information. The seminar is free; light refreshments will be available and door prizes will be awarded.

Colorectal cancer is the most preventable and beatable cancer if de-

tected early. That’s why you need to find it first. Get the facts on confronting the third most common cancer in men and women with gastroenterologist Ron White, M.D. (Russellville Gastroenterology Clinic). Saint Mary’s Wellness Fitness Center will also present a “Yoga Stretch” demonstration and provide information on the Silver Sneakers program. Cost is $5 and includes lunch.

All seminars will be held in Saint Mary’s Annex, located at the corner of North Seattle Avenue and “C” Street (across from Saint Mary’s Outpatient Services).

Reservations are recommended. To reserve your space, RSVP at Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center’s page on Facebook or call 964-5333.

All seminars will be held in Saint Mary’s Annex, located at the corner of North Seattle Avenue and “C” Street (across from Saint Mary’s Outpatient Services).

Reservations are recommended. To reserve your space, RSVP at Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center’s page on Facebook or call 964-5333.

1808 1808 West West Main Main Street Street • • Russellville, Russellville, Arkansas Arkansas • • saintmarysregional.com saintmarysregional.com


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February 2011

table of

contents

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7 ABOUT...New Perspectives

14 14 Keeping ‘Women Safe’

John Terry and Kyle Bennett, cofounders of River Valley Martial Arts, had the idea to open a martial arts school together in Russellville. After training together and forming a close friendship, Terry said to Bennett, “You know how to teach good classes and I know how to run a business, so together we can open a business and make it successful.”

8 Open Door Policy

Newly-elected Russellville Mayor Bill Eaton grimaces slightly as he rises from his desk at the displaced City Hall Office to close his door. It’s mid-January and the city’s move to their newly-remodeled headquarters in Historic Downtown Russellville is just around the corner.

12 ABOUT...family

16 ABOUT...community 20 ABOUT...food

ABOUTour Cover Photo by Steve Newby

After years of serving both the United States

24 22 Shopping, Sights Sampled 24 When Seconds Count

She was only five years old, still small enough to be strapped into a child safety seat when an auto accident caused her car seat harness to malfunction. The Booneville girl was tossed out, her skull fractured and pressing on her brain -- a life threatening emergency where every second counts.

26 ABOUT...healthcare Our Associates Melanie Conley

ad ve r tis in g

479.858.2708

Vonna

Marpel

ad ve r tis ing

479.970.4263

of America and the local citizens, Bill Eaton felt a change was on the horizon for the city of Russellville. After campaigning and securing the office of mayor, the former city

Connie

Steve

Las Schneider

Newby

w r ite r

ph o to g r a phy

479.497.1110

479.880.1006

alderman moved forward as he accepted the office, pledging to keep everyone informed. Meet the Mayor as you read, “Open Door Policy,” beginning on page 8.

Cliff

Zimmerman

il l u s tr a to r

l ayo u t/ d e s ig n

479.890.3630

4 | ABOUT...the River Valley

Chris

Thomas

479.264.2438

February 2011


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February 2011

ABOUT...the River Valley | 5


ABOUT the River Valley

A Publication of Silver Platter Productions, Inc Vol. VI, Issue 1 – February 2011

OWNERS/EDITOR Nolan and Dianne Edwards editor@aboutrvmag.com

Advertising Sales Melanie Conley

melanie@aboutrvmag.com

Vonna Marpel

vonna@aboutrvmag.com

Graphic Design Chris Zimmerman

zimcreative@aboutrvmag.com

Writers Dianna Qualls

food@aboutrvmag.com

Kechia Bentley kechia@aboutrvmag.com

Christina Keaster christinakeaster@hotmail.com

Connie Las Schneider connie@aboutrvmag.com

PhotographY Steve Newby stevenewbyphotography@aboutrvmag.com

MaryAnn McCartney photo@aboutrvmag.com

ILLUSTRATION Cliff Thomas maddsigntist@aboutrvmag.com

ABOUT… the River Valley

is locally owned and published for distribution by direct mail and targeted delivery to those interested in the Arkansas River Valley. Subscriptions are available by sending $20 for one-year (10 issues) to: SPPI/ABOUT Magazine P.O. Box 10176 Russellville AR 72812 Material contained in this issue may not be copied or reproduced without written consent. Inquiries may be made by calling (479) 970-6628.

Office: 417 West Parkway Email: editor@aboutrvmag.com Postmaster: Please send address changes to: SPPI, P.O. Box 10176, Russellville AR 72812.

6 | ABOUT...the River Valley

A PAGE FROM

The Editor’s Notebook

One of the most exciting aspects of my job is getting the chance to touch base with our readers, even when they are hundreds of miles away. For example, I got the chance to chat briefly with Mrs. Annette Culpepper, a former Russellville resident now residing in Missouri. She called to give us a change of mailing address and we talked briefly about the recent snow and cold. ABOUT Magazine is fortunate to have not only a local following, but subscribers from across the country. Many of them are former Arkansas River Valley residents, have family who live here, or in the case of one California subscriber, were just driving through and happened to pick up a complimentary issue. Enjoying what they read and searching for a place to retire in the future, they requested copies of the issue, “to keep in touch with the area.” A second benefit of what I have the opportunity to do as editor (and owner of the magazine) is to sit and visit with some of the most wonderful people in the Arkansas River Valley. I was thrilled when our newly-elected Mayor carved out a few hours of interview time recently. I’ve known Bill Eaton casually for a number of years but sitting down with him during his recent “Coffee with the Mayor,” shadowing photographer Steve Newby during the Mayor’s photo shoot at the new City Hall, and later interviewing Mayor Eaton in his temporary office gave me new insights about the man who is our new mayor. Frankly, I like what I see. Every now and then you have to ‘breathe new life’ into what you are doing, whether that’s a change in diet, direction or determination. One of the changes we’ve made for this month is evident in the issue you are now reading. In December, during a planning session with our associates, talk turned to the future 2011 issues. The “flip” layout required shifting our usual back cover page, featuring a calendar of healthful seminars, to the inside front of the February issue. Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center has been a partner with ABOUT Magazine, appearing on our back cover since 2006. Working together, Saint Mary’s and ABOUT Magazine brings you the latest in updated health information each month, a service we believe is of utmost importance to our readers. Health seminars offered in February and March will help you keep your New Year’s Resolutions and “Renew Your Commitment to Good Health.” Don’t miss adding them to your calendar as you plan 2011. We’d love to hear your thoughts about this and other issues. Reader comments are always welcomed either by “snail mail” to P.O. Box 10176, Russellville AR 72812 or via email to: editor@aboutrvmag.com. Please feel free to use these addresses to make suggestions for future stories, as well. The addresses of all of our associates, including our advertising contacts, can be found on our website, www.aboutrvmag.com. Our pledge for 2011 – to continue to bring you stories about the people you know, “Reflecting the Character of the River Valley” in each issue. Dianne Edwards, Editor/Publisher

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Out and ABOUT

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What’s Happening This Month...

Talk ABOUT... New Perspectives Whether ‘new perspective’ applies to the clever presentation of our talented illustrator Cliff Thomas as it refers to this month’s ‘flip issue,’ or the new Russellville mayoral administration that took office last month, ‘times, they are ‘a changing.’ And, with that change brings new perspective. When we first discussed our editorial plans for 2011 as they involved ABOUT... the River Valley Magazine, I expressed a desire to do something different, ‘breathe new life’ into our future issues. Sometimes you just have to shake things up, so what better opportunity than our February issues? Producing our regular February magazine and then following it with the publication of our Weddings and Special Occasion February 2011

issue afforded the right chance to do something different. Russellville’s newest mayor, Bill Eaton, is no political newcomer, but we believe he’s going to offer a new perspective as well. Eaton has pledged to offer the citizens of Russellville an open door policy, and focuses on accountability in government as an upcoming theme. So, as you hold this month’s publication in your hand, we hope you’ll flip over it... or, flip it over... and read the adjacent content. Maybe it will make you smile; if so, we’ve accomplished something of which we can be proud. We all need to smile more in 2011, don’t you think? You’ll find stories throughout the combined 48 pages that we believe are “Reflecting the Character of the River Valley.” Enjoy.

Feb. 5: Wilderness Adventure Camp, Lake Dardanelle State Park9-4, info: 967-5516. Feb. 5: Russellville Symphony Guild “Talk of the Town Tables,” LakePoint, 6 p.m., info, call 229-2041. Feb. 5: Punchbowl Falls Hike, TAKAHIK River Valley Hikers, a 7-mile moderate to difficult (part bushwhack) hikem Meet at Tucker Coliseum at 8 a.m.; bring a lunch, daypack and GPS. Danny Hale will lead; info: www.takahik.com/scheduled_hikes Feb. 6-23: CenturyLink Collegiate Competition & Exhibit, River Valley Arts Center; info: 968-2452. Feb.12: 3rd Annual Monte Carlo Night, hosted by St. John’s Catholic School and the Knights of Columbus 6 p.m., St. John’s Catholic School; tickets, $25 per person; info: 967-4644. Feb. 12: Nelms Gallery Hike, TAKAHIK River Valley Hikers; surrounding 4-miles of hiking trails, rated easy; meet at Tucker Coliseum 8 a.m. with daypack and lunch or eat at the Ozark Cafe after the hike. www. takahik.com/scheduled_hikes. Feb. 13: Princess Tea Party, benefits RV Arts Center 2-4 p.m.; attendees greeted by Miss Arkansas 2010 Alyse Eady. Info: 968-2452. Feb. 19: Bower Hollow Falls, TAKAHIK River Valley Hikers; a 5.5 mile round trip moderate/difficult bushwhack to three waterfalls located on Cave Mountain; meet at Tucker Coliseum at 8 a.m. with daypack and lunch; www.takahik.com/scheduled_hikes. Feb. 24: Community Bingo, seniors 55 and older invited; 2-3 p.m. 4th Thurs. of each month; door prizes, grand prize, refreshments; Wildflower, 240 S. Inglewood, Russellville; 890-6709. Feb. 25: “Facebook and Get Listed” seminar by ASBTDC, 11-1; Chamber of Commerce office. Info: Cass at (479) 356-2077 Feb. 26: JA 2011 Charity Ball, “Moroccan Nights,” 6 p.m. until 12:30 a.m., ARV Boys and Girls Club; tickets: 880-6657 and 886-0323. Feb. 26: Pedestal Rocks Exploration Hike, rated “exciting” and moderate; meet at Tucker Coliseum at 8 a.m. with daypack, lunch and GPS; TAKAHIK River Valley; www.takahik.com/scheduled_hikes. *Unless otherwise indicated, all area codes are 479. Visit www.aboutrvmag.com for a list of activities updated as they are received. To have your event included in the ABOUT Calendar of Events, email: editor@aboutrvmag. com or fax to (866) 757-3282. Deadline is the 15th of the month preceding publication.

ABOUT...the River Valley | 7


Open Door Policy We will use every means at our disposal to keep you informed as we all work together for a better Russellville.

N

ewly-elected Russellville Mayor Bill Eaton grimaces slightly as he rises from his desk at the displaced City Hall Office to close his door. It’s mid-January and the city’s move to their newly-remodeled headquarters in Historic Downtown Russellville is just around the corner. “I have an open door policy,” he explains, “Something I pledged during my campaign for mayor. I like to keep my office door always open. But... well, the close quarters. You understand.”

Bill & his wife Sharron

8 | ABOUT...the River Valley

Story by Dianne S. Edwards Photos by Steve Newby

Edging the door closed becomes necessary as the volume level escalates outside the Mayor’s door of the temporary headquarters on Shamrock Boulevard. The apparent energy of staff members re-entering the common lobby area following lunch, outside meetings and official errands, is a pleasant sound and a tribute to the comfortable atmosphere within the current walls. Listed on the city’s site are Eaton’s campaign promises, which he pledges to focus upon during his tenure. They include: a Comprehensive Drainage Plan, a “Clean and Green Russellville,” restoring confidence in City Government, enhanced Police and Fire Protection plus enhanced Mobility and Trail System Development. Also pledged are: easy access to the Mayor, supporting Main Street Russellville and supporting Arkansas Valley Alliance for Economic Development. In keeping with his “easy access to the Mayor” pledge, is “Coffee with the Mayor,” the brainchild that sprung from conversations with supporters during Eaton’s campaign for the position. Early in his run for Mayor the idea of meeting with members of the public in an informal, regularly-scheduled format was discussed, then implemented following Eaton’s ascent to the office. Although future “coffee” locations may change, the initial invitation to hold the event at West Main Daylight Donuts by owner Mark Neihouse offered a first, then second location for the 10 a.m. gathering. Everyone is invited, further illustrating Eaton’s “Open Door Policy” approach. The purpose is to meet with citizens and gather information about their ideas, suggestions and concerns. The meetings give citizens of all ages an avenue to discuss items such as code enforcement, drainage issues, commercial and residential rezoning, the newly-proposed trail system and street projects. The conversations are engaging and no subject is off limits. Those attending leave the casual meeting encouraged by the Mayor’s pledge to follow up with them with answers, or an update as to their concern. Eaton, with legal tablet in hand, carefully considered each topic, making appropriate notes for follow-up. Future coffees will be held the first Wednesday of each month at 10 a.m. with confirmation and location available on the city’s web site, www.russellvillearkansas.org/government/mayor. A plan to hold two coffees a month is being discussed. A brief history of Bill Eaton reveals his appreciation for “the angels and mentors in his life. I’ve been lucky,” he explains. “It seems I’ve always had someone, a sort of guardian angel, there for me at times I’ve needed it most. Over my lifetime, I only recall once ever really searching for a job.” February 2011


February 2011

ABOUT...the River Valley | 9


The Eaton family includes daughters Julie, Traci and Myra, along with five grandchildren.

He has a self-confessed “military side.” His past training is evident in his organizational style. Eaton spent 29 years in military service – three in active duty, serving in Vietnam, and a quarter of a century in the National Guard. He grew up listing to radio war sound bites and watching the resulting war movies that followed during his elementary years. His family’s military involvement ‘greatly influenced my thoughts,’ Eaton confessed. His grandfather was a World War I veteran; his father and uncles served in World War II while his mother worked in the defense industry. Both society and the economy were trying to recover from the aftermath of WWII during Eaton’s early youth. He recalled “playing Army.” And he remembered when the Korean ‘Conflict’ ended he told his dad there’d be ‘no more wars for me to fight in.’ “Well, I was wrong about that one,” he added. Before he entered the military, Eaton attended college at Little Rock University (now UALR.) He had been living in Little Rock with his parents. His mother and father were moving to Mobile, Ala., but Eaton had other plans. He decided to transfer to what was Arkansas Polytechnic College (now Arkansas Tech University) in Russellville. Knowing he’d have to have a job, and having worked summer jobs for Southwestern Bell, I applied with Western Arkansas Telephone Company.” He landed a job as an engineer’s assistant and began his Tech adventure. (He later worked as a draftsman, in management, marketing and eventually as an engineer, retiring from Century Tel in December 2006.) The young Eaton’s Tech adventure included moving into the dormitory, a room meant for two young men with two beds. Instead, Eaton soon discovered the room would be housing four

10 | ABOUT...the River Valley

young men in two sets of bunk beds sharing one desk; with no closet space, the students were required to keep their personal belongings in a suitcase. Having grown up without siblings, “I lasted one week,” Eaton chuckled. “Then I called my maternal grandparents who lived in Russellville and I asked them if I could move into their spare bedroom – they eagerly agreed.” When Eaton transferred to Tech with 50 hours to his credit, he was given the option as to whether or not he wanted to participate in the ROTC program. At that time, an undergraduate with less than 50 hours did not have that option -- it was a requirement. He declined and continued his studies, working at the phone company. He married his college sweetheart, Sharon, during his junior year. That was December 1966. As a student, Eaton soon found himself struggling with a particular course, Arkansas History. “It was the only thing I’d ever failed at in my life, and I was not happy. I decided I was just going to just quit school, but fortunately a guardian angel, P.K. Merrill, stepped in.” Merrill was head of the history department at Tech and having heard Eaton wanted to leave school, “stopped me one day after class.” Merrill invited Eaton to his house to have coffee. “He told me emphatically that I was NOT going to drop out and asked me what I was interested in. I told him I really liked sociology, criminology and penology.” When Eaton left the Merrill home, he had his class schedule for the next four semesters in his hand. He followed the schedule until graduation in January of 1968. Eaton had taken the Air Force pilot’s exam and scored extremely high. Wearing glasses, Eaton knew he’d never be a pilot but was interested in navigation. He’d been encouraged by his family that if he were to enter the military, he should do so as an officer. He had accepted an offer with Western Arkansas Telephone before graduating from Arkansas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Deciding to pursue a master’s degree in criminology, Eaton applied to, and was accepted by Tulane University in New Orleans. As luck would have it and as the Vietnam War loomed large, Eaton received his draft notice. Circumstances prevented him from entering the Air Force Officer Candidate School as he had hoped but he found his way into Army OCS in Fort Benning, Ga. – “where I received six months of the best training of my life,” Eaton recalled.

February 2011


It was while in basic training at Fort Benning that Eaton received notification that his application sent earlier to the FBI Academy had been accepted, which he unfortunately had to decline, explaining he was already “serving his country.” “They said they’d keep my spot open and I had thoughts of returning but life led me in a different way.” He left the Army as a First Lieutenant and returned to his job with the phone company, which had become Continental Telephone. “I resisted joining the guard until I found myself with a new baby, a new car, a new house... funds were sparse,” he remembered. “Even though (the phone company) been required to take me back, if it hadn’t been for another guardian angel, J.R. Owen, who stood up for me, I might not have been employed.” “Different people have had a major effect on my life,” he explained. “Owen, and his wife Elaine, were among them. Other ‘angel’ advice came from long-time friend Heartsill Bartlett who convinced Eaton to stay in the National Guard until retirement, “giving me great advice,” Eaton said. When Eaton retired from Century Tel in December 2006, he’d already made plans to serve, this time, the public. He took office as an alderman for Ward 2, Position 2. Then

February 2011

running for mayor of Russellville was never a consideration. It wasn’t until after Christmas of 2009 that Eaton, with the encouragement of supporters, broached the subject with wife Sharon. “I asked for her support, told her I really wanted for her to be happy too, but that this was something I really wanted to do,” Eaton recalled.”I felt like things were on the horizon for our city and I really wanted to be part of the change, to serve in a capacity other than alderman.” “After she asked me if I was crazy,” he added, laughing, “she told me she would always be there, by my side.” The intent of the new Mayor of Russellville and his current administration is to “keep you, the citizens we serve, informed as to how we are progressing and what our actions have been.” He urges constituents to “look for continued progress updates” using both traditional and social media. “We will use every means at our disposal to keep you informed as we all work together for a better Russellville.” Two words seem to earmark the present Mayor’s term – an open door and accountability. So far, he seems to be on the road to achieving both. n

TECH TRAVEL HOT SPRINGS DAY TRIP AND TULIP EXTRAVAGANZA AT GARVAN GARDENS:

Friday, April 1 (1-Day Trip) Enjoy a guided tour of lovely Garvan Gardens during the peak of tulip and dogwood season. Spend the remainder of the day shopping and dining in beautiful downtown Hot Springs & Bathhouse Row. Lunch on your own.

LONDON AND PARIS: April 7-14, 2011 (8-Day Tour) Enjoy a panoramic tour of London including Buckingham Palace and Big Ben before experiencing an afternoon theatre performance. Travel by Eurostar Train and a Seine River Cruise. Also included are a tour of Notre Dame, the Arc de Triomphe, an Eiffel Tower Dinner and a special dinner at Paradis Latin, Paris’s oldest cabaret theatre.

NORTHERN NATIONAL PARKS: July 29 - Aug. 5,

2011 (8-Day Tour) An unforgettable tour of Salt Lake City, Jackson Hole, the Oregon Trail Museum, Yellowstone National Park, Old Faithful and the Grand Teton National Park. Preview Date: Jan. 25, 2011, 5:30 p.m., Pendergraft Library, Rm. 300 South.

SPAIN’S CLASSIC: Sept. 25 – Oct. 4, 2011 (10-Day Tour) Arrive in Madrid following an overnight flight before taking a tour of the city’s historic center and arriving at the Prado Museum. Other highlights include tours of Toledo, the church at Santo Tome, an exploration of Cordoba, Seville, the peaceful Sierra Nevada and Granada. Experience Valencia and Barcelona. Flamenco Show included! Preview Date: Feb. 15, 2011, 5:30 p.m. Pendergraft Library, Rm. 300 South.

Tech Travel

Alumni and Friends of Arkansas Tech For additional information, please contact Dana Moseley, Office of Gift Planning, (479) 964-0532

ABOUT...the River Valley | 11


family

A Date with the Family Story by Kechia Bentley • Photo by Steve Newby Our 21-year-old son, Dillon, is our even tempered, mild mannered one. But occasionally, he throws us for a loop. Like the time he brought home the young lady with several fascinating tattoos and the snake-bite piercings. Now, don’t misunderstand -- I am not saying there is anything wrong with tattoos or snake-bite piercings. She was a very pleasant young lady and we enjoyed her company. It was just she fit the style of girl we might have expected our oldest son to bring home. Well, Dillon has done it again -- thrown us for a loop. He may win the prize for most surprising and nerve racking first date. Not only did he put his date into a tailspin but his parents, as well. To fully appreciate this story let me start at the beginning. One day this past October Dillon called to tell us he was planning a first date with a young lady and wanted to know if we would like to meet her. After I picked my jaw up off the floor I said, “Of course we would.” He then went on to ask if I would be willing to cook dinner for them so we could all four have dinner together. I was floored. At first I thought maybe he didn’t have money to take her out to eat, but when I offered to give him money so he could take her to a restaurant, he declined our offer. Dillon said he wanted them to eat dinner with us at our house. As a mother of three boys, I was thrilled. Most of the time we feel like our children would like to stuff us in a closet and pretend we don’t exist when it comes to their dating

life. Oh, who am I kidding? It doesn’t stop at their dating life. Once they reached the teenage years I think they all would like to believe they somehow spontaneously came into existence with no involvement from those weird people called “parents.” No such luck boys; we are here to stay. Anyway, I told Dillon that I would love to cook for them. Dillon comes home on the appointed day and it is getting close to time for dinner. I asked him, “Don’t you think you should go get your date?” He then informed me that he had asked her to just come to the house and meet him here. I immediately went into “mother mode” and told him how inappropriate that was for a first date. He should go a pick her up. It was then that the whole story began to unfold. Dillon explains: his plan is to have her come to the house and them sit on our front porch swing and visit for a while. After about 10 to 15 minutes I was to come to the front door and announce that dinner is ready. Have ya’ll picked up on this yet? The sweet girl has no idea she is having dinner with her date’s parents! And we didn’t know that she didn’t know! Where did this child come from? Where in the world did he get the idea that asking a girl out to dinner for a first date and then surprising her with a dinner his momma prepared was a good idea? The young woman. rightly so, balked at the idea of driving herself to the house and

insisted Dillon come pick her up for the date. As he left the house I told him he HAD to tell her they were having dinner at his parent’s house. Ladies, we can all remember those days of first dates: the nerves, the changing outfits two or three times, the wondering how to act and what to say. My heart went out to her. Who wants to meet the parents on the first date? That would send the nerves into overdrive. I told Dillon that if, after telling her his plan for the evening, she wanted to change the plan it would be fine with us. Yes, dinner was all prepared but if she just felt too uncomfortable I would understand. Now, here’s the real kicker. He boldly asserts that if she can’t handle having dinner with his family then she isn’t a girl he should be dating. Any girl that he dates has to fit in with his family or it would never work. 

STORY CONT. ON PAGE 19

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12 | ABOUT...the River Valley

February 2011


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ABOUT...the River Valley Magazine

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Make gift giving easy. Will wrap and deliver throughout the year! For ten issues (1 year) send $20 payment to: ABOUT Magazine; P.O. Box 10176, Russellville AR 72812

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February 2011

ABOUT...the River Valley | 13


by | Photos a Keaster

Mary Ann

y

McCartne

hristin

Story by C

Self-defense has always been that one thing I knew I needed to learn, but I could never find the time to commit. In early Sept., fliers were posted publicizing a WomenSafe Self Defense class at River Valley Martial Arts in downtown Russellville. Surprisingly, after seeing these fliers and going back and forth in my mind about signing up, I received a call inviting me to attend the 12-week class and write a story for ABOUT. I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to learn selfdefense, and better yet, to write a story about what I learned. – Christiana Keaster

J

ohn Terry and Kyle Bennett, cofounders of River Valley Martial Arts, had the idea to open a martial arts school together in Russellville. After training together and forming a close friendship, Terry said to Bennett, “You know how to teach good classes and I know how to run a business, so together we can open a business and make it successful.” River Valley Martial Arts was established in 2006. At age 13, Terry became the target of bullies being the small “new kid” at his school in Russellville. As a result of becoming a target of bullies, his father signed him up for karate classes, at which time his career in martial arts began. Bennett always had an interest in martial arts, and began his career in the art after he graduated high school. Terry served in ministerial roles at local churches in Russellville. During his time serving in those areas, he met several young women who had been abused, assaulted, or raped.

“As I was involved helping the families with the aftermath of those situations, I saw a specific need to have something available to help teen and adult women address this problem that we have not just in Arkansas, but across the country.” He began researching the issues of child abuse and molestation, predatory behavior toward children, bullying, and sexual assault against women. Terry was presented with the opportunity to meet Edward Copley, director of the National Security Alliance (NSA). The NSA, a national non-profit organization, offered two programs: The Kid-Safe and WomenSafe programs. Terry completed the master certification in both courses in one year, and was promoted to regional director with the NSA. Terry then founded the “Fighting Back Institute” (FBI) in 2005 as a local nonprofit organization promoting the same values and courses as the NSA. The FBI uses the facilities of the River Valley

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Kyle Bennett, Priscilla Turner, Christina Keaster, Stacey Branscum, Barb Clark, and John Terry.

Martial Arts to carry out its Kid-Safe and Women-Safe programs. “The whole concept behind the Fighting Back Institute is community empowerment. We want to educate families and individuals of the dangers they may face at school or in the community.” Terry trained instructors from the Van Buren and Benton areas, and once they became certified, they began to teach the two programs in their own communities respectively. Terry has also trained three law enforcement officers who are now certified to teach these courses, as well as developed a certification course for officers to teach other officers in their community. The FBI has been working with the Russellville Police Department for five years now, helping to get the word out about these two programs to the River Valley. The first night of the 12-week WomenSafe program, John and Kyle welcomed each student, gave a preface to the program and discussed why knowing selfdefense is important. All agreed with John that criminals are everywhere, even in the quiet and safe River Valley. Classmates learned that one in six women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime, and that college women are four times more likely to be assaulted. Students learned that

the key to self-defense is awareness, and that awareness is a mindset, not a skill. The old saying, “This is never going to happen to me” is ignorant, as no woman can be immune to a threat. John told participants that apathy, denial, and complacency are deadly, and each student is responsible for her own safety. He reminded those present that, “even if a threat doesn’t happen, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.” Through proactive education, Terry believes that women are more aware to identify the threat before it becomes problematic and to avoid the threat altogether. The author finished the course with two extraordinary women, Stacey Branscum and Priscilla Turner. “I wanted to be more empowered,” said Branscum, “and be confident in my daily activities. I wanted to have the knowledge and know-how to take care of myself.” Turner agreed, “I always wanted to take a class on self-defense, and I decided to act on it when I saw the flier at Snap Fitness. I wanted to feel like I could take care of myself.” As for myself, at the beginning I was simply excited to learn a few moves, but as week by week went by, I found myself learning muscle memory for more than just “a few moves,” but a menu of choices I had for different situations that could actually happen.

The best part was that the menu of moves and techniques were customized just for me, and I could execute them effectively. I felt empowered and confident by the end of the program, as well as more aware of my surroundings to recognize potential threats to avoid. I am confident that if I had to fight back, I would be the one to win. Terry encourages his students to re-attend the Women-Safe program to refresh their memory and skills. “If you don’t review the basics and practice it over time, the quality of what you’ve learned will diminish over time,” he stresses. The Women-Safe Self Defense program is open to women interested in learning self-defense. “Women of all shapes, sizes, and styles can learn to do what we do from a grandmother in her 70s to a 12-year-old girl in the seventh grade. “We have had some handicapped women take the course, as well as a lady who is blind. We modify the curriculum for those women, and they finish the program feeling empowered as well.” For more information on the upcoming Women-Safe Self Defense course, please contact John Terry of River Valley Martial Arts at (479) 890-6988 or rvma@ imga.com. n

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ABOUT...the River Valley | 15


community

Myers Marches in Macy’s

Julia Myers of Russellville was selected to participate in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as a member of The Macy’s Great American Marching Band. The band consisted of 230 members from all 50 United States. Julia was one of only two students selected from Arkansas. She is a junior at Russellville High School where she is a member of the RHS Band of Distinction and has been a member of All Region 1st Band since 8th grade. She has been a member of All State Band and was a member of UCA’s Arkansas Honors Wind Ensemble. The Great American Marching Band members arrived in New York City on Saturday, Nov. 20, to begin a week of rehearsals combined with sightseeing. During the mornings the selected band members would participate in rehearsals; the afternoons were spent sightseeing. Some of the places the group visited were: The World Trade Center, Rockefeller Center, Macy’s, Empire State Building, Times Square and Radio City Music Hall where they saw the Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes.

We Love Making You

Julia is also a member of National Honor Society, Interact Club, RHS Volleyball and a member of First United Methodist Church. Julia is the daughter of Craig and Judy Myers and the granddaughter of Jesse and Vida Stollings. She has a sister, Victoria.

Guild’s ‘Tables’ Feb. 5th

The Russellville Symphony Guild will host its annual fundraiser, “Talk of the Town Tables,” on Saturday, Feb. 5, at Lake Point Conference Center. The event will begin at 6 p.m. with a silent auction and live music performed by a violinist and cellist from the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. The “Table of the Town Tables” event features dinner, tables decorated by local merchants, and a silent auction featuring sign-up parties, trips, art, and other items. Prior to the dinner, which The parade route started at Central Park begins at 7:30 p.m., guests may browse and concluded three miles later in Herald the silent auction tables, as well as the Square in front of Macy’s. The band had dinner tables, for items they would like to the privilege of escorting Santa Claus into purchase. The items from the sponsoring Herald Square. Along the parade route businesses not only will serve as the were 3-4 million people which included dining tables’ decorations, but also will Julia’s family. be available for sale.

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Arkansas Hospice is a communitybased, not-for-profit organization serving more than 30 counties throughout the state including Pope, Johnson, Logan, Yell, Perry and Conway counties in the River Valley area. For more information, please call 498-2050 or (888) 498-2050 or visit arkansashospice.org.

Proceeds from the “Talk of the Tables” fundraiser will be used to bring the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra to Russellville for an April concert as well as to promote music in the local schools. The Russellville Symphony Guild is one of only three guilds in the state of Arkansas and supports music scholarships to local schools, raises awareness of the arts and music, and helps bring the ASO quartets to local schools. Tickets to Talk of the Town Tables are $60. For tickets or more information, contact RSO guild board member Judy Murphy at (479) 967-1177.

Downtown Art Walk March 4th

Seventh Sweetheart Saturday

Arkansas Hospice’s 7th Annual Sweetheart Saturday is just around the corner! Get your sweet tooth ready and mark your calendar now for Saturday, Feb. 12, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the First Baptist Church on 2nd and El Paso. For the past six years, local bakeries and restaurants have provided a tempting display of delicious treats and savory snacks for our Sweetheart Saturday guests to enjoy. In addition, area merchants donate a variety of unique items for the silent auction. There is also live entertainment. This community event was a huge success in 2010, raising record proceeds for the Arkansas Hospice

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River Valley Home, which is slated to open this summer. But Sweetheart Saturday is about more than raising money. End-of-life care is such an important service for our community, and this event is one of the many ways that Arkansas Hospice is able to provide the same high-quality care to all in need, regardless of ability to pay. Tickets for Sweetheart Saturday are $8 for one or $15 for two and may be purchased at the Arkansas Hospice office at 2405 East Parkway, Suite 3, or by calling Shelly at 4982050. Tickets will also be available at the door.

The Downtown Art Walk will be held Friday night March 4 from 5-8 p.m. This is the first Spring Art Walk in several years, so come out and enjoy what is sure to be a great event! Downtown merchants will open their doors during expanded hours to showcase the talents of area artists and musicians. Guests are invited to stroll the sidewalks of the Downtown Historic District while greeting friends, shopping for art, and enjoying refreshments provided by the participating downtown businesses. The event is free and open to the public. Starting in 2006, Downtown Art Walks are a project of the Russellville Downtown Association, a committee of Main Street Russellville, in partnership with the Arkansas River Valley Arts Center. Area artists interested in showcasing their work are encouraged to contact Main Street Russellville at (479) 967-1437. n

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ABOUT...the River Valley | 17


JA: Working to Better the Arkansas River Valley

On the first Thursday of every month at noon, one can find a hard working group of women gathered in a spare room at the First United Methodist Church planning and organizing numerous projects to benefit the children of Pope County. The women make up the Junior Auxiliary of Russellville and they work diligently to serve their community and continue the strong legacy of giving and helping that JA has become known for on a local and national level. Junior Auxiliary is a national non-profit organization that represents a serious endeavor on the part of women to be active and constructive community participants and to render charitable services which are beneficial to the general public, with particular emphasis on children. The award-winning Russellville chapter is one of 102 chapters in the national association. The 2010-2011 chapter is comprised of 36 active members and 10 provisional members. This year’s slate of officers include: Amy Tarpley, president; Chrystal Hall, first vice president; Cindy Waits, second vice president; Jennifer Samuels, corresponding secretary; Ashleigh McMillian, recording secretary; Tonya Bloodworth, treasurer; Shannon Fulton, assistant treasurer; Jennifer Aquilar, parliamentarian; Elizabeth Streett, historian; Paige Fisher, public relations chairman; Mel White and Cindy Waits, finance chairmen and Debra Choate, associate to the board. The Russellville chapter supports numerous annual projects like “Project School Supplies,” which provides school supplies to more than 550 children in the Russellville School District. The project benefits students in kindergarten through fifth grade who do not have funds for basic supplies. Additional funds are provided to the

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Russellville Middle School, Junior High and High School to provide supplies for students as requested by school counselors. JA supports local schools through other projects like “Achieving Through Academics” in which each JA member is required to provide literacy tutoring to fifth grade students at UE5G. Another school-based program is “Scrubby Steve.” This program uses a puppet skit to educate preschoolers and kindergarten students about the importance of proper hand washing to reduce the spread of germs and illnesses. JA also supports local teachers through Teacher Assisted Grants. The TAG grants provide opportunities for the teachers in the Russellville School District to fund innovative

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proposals for their classrooms that the district cannot support. The chapter allocates $9,000 to support these grants. In addition to annual projects, Junior Auxiliary provides volunteer as well as financial assistance to a number of local organizations. For several years, JA has partnered with Big Brothers and Big Sisters to provide a celebratory event for the Big volunteers and their Little counterparts. JA has also assisted with the Steps Dance Program at Oakland Heights Elementary as well as provided volunteer assistance and funding to the Boys and Girls Club of the River Valley. The majority of the projects and grants provided by the Russellville JA are funded by the chapter’s annual Charity Ball. The 46th annual JA Charity Ball will be held from 6 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. Saturday, February 26, 2011. It will be held at the L.V. Williamson Boys and Girls Club of the Arkansas River Valley located at 600 E. 16th St. in Russellville. Tickets for the black tie-optional event are $65 per person. The evening will include a catered meal, a live and silent auction, complimentary photograph and dancing to the music of popular band, The Rockets. To support the efforts of the Russellville JA and purchase tickets, call (479) 8806657 or (479) 886-0323. n

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STORY CONT. FROM PAGE 12

I could have sworn the heavens parted and I heard the Hallelujah Chorus. It was music to a mother’s ear. It gives me hope that my days of being shoved in the closet may soon be over completely. As he walked out the door, he further informs us that if she balks at the plans he will just pick up one of his guy friends and have a “man date.” You know girls, they sometimes talk real big when we can’t hear them. I don’t know what he would have really done if she had felt too uncomfortable to follow through with his plan. Fortunately none of us had to find out. She nervously but graciously agreed to join us for dinner. As soon as she walked in I began apologizing for the surprise and informed her it had been as much a surprise to us as it was to her. She accepted a big hug from me and I knew we were all going to be alright. She did admit this was a first for her, but she liked the fact that Dillon wanted his family to meet her. After a lovely time at dinner, my son finally gave this girl a break and did something normal. They went to the movies -- just the two of them. I am still learning that old adage, “Never say never.” Your kids will always find ways to surprise you. And young ladies everywhere, ‘don’t say you haven’t been warned.’ n February 2011

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food

Recipes You’ll

‘Flip Over’

A

BOUT’s February magazine is combined with our annual Wedding and Special Occasion publication in the special ‘flip’ issue you are now reading. The benefit? You get an extra sprinkling of Dianna Quall’s great recipes! Don’t miss her ‘charming’ recipe suggestions on page 7 of the “Wedding and Special Occasion” issue. Whether you are planning for a family gathering, a luncheon with the ‘gals,’ a bridal shower or wedding reception these savory suggestions will round out any special occasion.

GOUGERES A gougere is a French puff pastry flavored with Gruyere cheese. Pipe the little morsels with a pastry bag or dollop the dough from a spoon. 1½ c. water ½ c. butter, cut into pieces ¼ tsp. salt 1½ c. all-purpose flour 5 eggs 1½ c. (6 oz.) shredded Gruyere cheese 4 tsp. Dijon-style mustard 1/8 tsp. ground white pepper 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional) Lightly grease two baking sheets; set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, butter, and salt. Bring to boiling. Add flour all at once, stirring vigorously. Cook and stir until mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Cool for 10 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating with an electric mixer on medium speed for 1 minute after each addition. Stir

COOL ANTIPASTO KABOBS 3 to 4 c. assorted vegetables -- small radishes, red sweet pepper slices, cauliflower, yellow squash, or small pattypan squash 6 oz. firm cheese -- white cheddar, or smoked Gouda, cut into 1/2inch chunks 6 oz. smoked sausage, cut into 1/2-inch chunks, and/or cooked medium shrimp 1/2 c. bottled Italian salad dressing

in Gruyere cheese, mustard, white pepper, and the 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch star tip, pipe batter in 1-inch mounds about one and one/half inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. (Or use 2 teaspoons batter for each puff.) Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Serve warm. If desired,

SAVE THE DATE!

In a medium bowl, toss together vegetables, cheese, and smoked sausage. Pour dressing over mixture in bowl. Toss to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove from refrigerator. Alternately thread vegetables onto eight 6-inch bamboo skewers. Alternately thread cheese, smoked sausage, and/or shrimp onto eight 6-inch bamboo skewers. Makes 16 servings.

sprinkle with additional cayenne pepper. Makes about 60 gougeres. To make ahead, bake gougeres as directed. Cool on wire racks. Place cooled gougeres in an airtight container and store in the freezer up to 1 month. To reheat, place frozen gougeres on a baking sheet and bake, uncovered, in a preheated 350 degree oven for 6 to 8 minutes or until heated.

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20 | ABOUT...the River Valley

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CHEESE TRIANGLES 2 c. all-purpose flour 2 tsp. baking powder ¾ tsp. ground red pepper (optional) ½ tsp. salt 3 T. shortening ½ c. (2 oz.) finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese ¾ c. milk 1 T. milk ½ c. (2 oz.) finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese Preheat oven to 400 degree. Lightly grease baking sheets; set aside. In a large bowl stir together flour, baking powder, red pepper (if using), and salt. Using a pastry blender cut in shortening until the size of coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/2 c. finely shredded cheese. Add the 3/4 c. milk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Form into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a 10-inch square, 1/4-inch thick. Brush with the 1 T. milk and sprinkle with 1/2 c. finely shredded cheese; press lightly. Cut into sixteen 2-1/2-inch squares. Cut each square in half diagonally to make 32 triangles. Place on the prepared baking sheets. Bake about 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. Makes 32 triangles.

with yellow and red cherry tomato halves and/or halved cucumber slices. If desired, garnish with baby arugula or fresh basil leaves. Makes 15 servings (two sandwiches per serving).

EASY BREADSTICK APPETIZERS 1/2 lb. sliced Genoa salami 16 oz. whipped cream cheese Garlic powder 1 pkg. sm. (approx. 4-5”) sesame bread sticks Using one slice of salami, spread one side with cream cheese. Sprinkle garlic powder on cheese. Place one bread stick at one end of salami. Roll salami around bread stick. Arrange on tray. Serve.

STRAWBERRY LIME PUNCH 1 (12 oz.) can frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed 1 c. vodka or rum (optional) ¼ c. fresh squeezed lime juice 1 (2-liter bottle) cherry-flavor, lemon-lime carbonated beverage Strawberry-Lime Ice Ring (see recipe below) or ice cubes

In a punch bowl, combine lemonade concentrate, vodka or rum (if using), and lime juice. Slowly pour cherry-flavor, lemon-lime OPEN FACE SANDWICHES carbonated beverage down side of punch ¼ c. butter, softened bowl. Stir. Float Strawberry-Lime Ice Ring on 4 oz. cream cheese, softened top or add ice. Makes 12 to 15 servings. 2 T. purchased basil pesto Strawberry-Lime Ice Ring: Cut one lime 30 baguette-style French bread slices, into thick slices; halve or quarter slices. toasted if desired Remove stems from four to six strawberries; Yellow and red cherry tomatoes and/or halve berries. Arrange fruit in a 5- to 6-cup halved cucumber slices ring mold. Pour 1/2 c. white grape juice or Baby arugula or fresh basil leaves water over fruit in mold. Freeze. Pour 2-1/2 (optional) c. white grape juice or cold water over frozen mixture. Cover and freeze. In a medium bowl, beat butter, cream To unmold ring, dip bottom of mold into cheese, and pesto with an electric mixer hot water for a few seconds. Remove ice on medium speed until smooth. Spread ring; wrap in plastic wrap and freeze until mixture on baguette slices. Top each slice serving time. Makes one ice ring. n

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ABOUT...the River Valley | 21


Shopping, Sights Sampled New England was the destination for excited travelers departing Russellville in late November. Tech Travel, in association with the Arkansas Tech University Foundation led by director Dana Moseley, visited the area, sampling the region’s “Yuletide Treasures” during the six-day trip. The festive journey began in Newport, R.I., and included tours of The Breakers, The Marble House and The Elms, three historic mansions beautifully adorned for the Christmas holidays. The group enjoyed a welcome dinner in America’s Oldest Tavern and attended a dramatic reading of A Christmas Carol overlooking Newport Harbor. Following festive entertainment in a 200-year-old

farmhouse converted to a quaint village music hall, the group enjoyed a horse-drawn wagon ride through a Christmas tree farm in The White Mountains of North Conway. Shopping for the holidays was easy in the numerous outlet stores in Kittery, Maine and the famed Faneuil Hall marketplace of Boston, Mass. The Skywalk Observatory afforded the group a 360-degree panoramic view of Boston and beyond. The evening ended with a farewell dinner at America’s oldest Oyster House, set on the historic Freedom Trail, truly evoking a “Ye Olde New England” atmosphere for the Tech travelers. For information on how you can accompany the group on a future trip, contact Dana Moseley or Phyllis Stone at (479) 964-0532.

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ABOUT...the River Valley | 23


When Seconds Count Story and Photos by Connie Las Schneider

S

he was only five years old, still small enough to be strapped into a child safety seat when an auto accident caused her car seat harness to malfunction. The Booneville girl was tossed out, her skull fractured and pressing on her brain -a life threatening emergency where every second counts. Fortunately, the AirEvac Lifeteam helicopter was only minutes away, and airlifted the injured child to St. Edward’s Hospital in Ft. Smith in record time. Once stabilized, the helicopter flew her to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock where she recovered. Months later, the helicopter’s Registered Nurse/EMT, Chris White, was shopping when the mother of the injured child recognized the Air Evac employee and walked over to the man with her now-healthy daughter in tow. The mother explained to her daughter that this was one of the men who saved her after the accident. “The little girl came up and grabbed my leg and hugged me. It was great to see the after-effect of what we do,” said White, who is the father of four children. Air Evac Registered Nurse Lyndle Thacker, described the rescue of a 14-yearold boy who flipped a four-wheeler over on himself and suffered internal injuries which left him without a pulse. “We knew he was bad. The boy had no lung functions since his lungs had collapsed,” he said. An ambulance arrived a few minutes before the Air Evac team and had already started working on the boy. “We immediately placed a needle in his chest to decompress his lungs. The first needle didn’t produce a pulse, so we stuck him again and this time the boy’s heart started beating. One month later the boy was back at school and suffered no lasting “deficits” from his ordeal, said Thacker, who credited the ground paramedics for their outstanding

24 | ABOUT...the River Valley

Rural Trauma victims Twice as Likely to Die within One Hour Rural trauma victims are twice as likely to die from an accident or medical condition versus an urban victim due to failure to arrive at a hospital within the “Golden Hour”, or one hour after the trauma occurs. The Air Evac Lifeteam was formed in West Plains, Mo., in 1985 and since has grown into the largest privately owned air medical service in the US, with 96 helicopter bases in 14 states across the central US and over 600,000 members, work to help save the boy’s life. “We didn’t need to say a word. We are like tools in a tool belt. We function as a team,” he said. Unfortunately, not every response ends in a life saving event, but Air Evac employees always try to focus on good outcomes and keep a smile of our faces, said Thacker, who previously worked for 10 years as an Emergency Room nurse at St. Edward’s Hospital in Fort Smith. The company motto, “When Seconds Count” means exactly what it implies, said RN/EMT-P Rick Rauser,Program Director of the Air Evac Lifeteam 22 stationed in Paris, AR. “Helicopters are all about response time and tertiary or advanced medical care,” he said. Rauser said the Air Evac’s medical helicopter is also stocked with more advanced equipment and medicines than emergency ground personnel are allowed by state requirements to carry. In one instance, a vehicle roll over resulted in a 17 year old male being thrown from the vehicle. He was in critical condition and unresponsive, said Rauser. We had

said Beverly Bauer, Membership Coordinator for Air Evac Lifeteam. These bases cover rural areas where advanced medical care (a category 1 or 2 trauma center) is not available close by, she said. The Paris base, which services a 70 mile, 12 county overlapping radius around the base, including Pope, Yell and Johnson County, is staffed 24/7 by highly trained and experienced personnel, including Pilots, Registered Nurses, Paramedics, a Base Manager and base Mechanic. Each emergency flight is manned by a pilot, an RN and a paramedic. When an emergency call comes in from the 911 call center with a life threatening situation, the helicopter service is activated, whether or not a person to administer “rapid sequence intubation” medicine, which temporarily put him to sleep and paralyzed his muscles so we could insert a tube in his lungs to breathe for him while he was being transported to Springdale. This medicine is not allowed to be carried on ground ambulances, he added. The young man survived and one month later he and his mother showed up at the base to thank us for saving his life, he said. Rauser stressed the importance of the lifesaving teamwork between 911 dispatch and area ground personnel. “We are not any better than the EMS personnel, fire department and 1st responders. Without them we could not do our job effectively,” emphasized Johnson, who previously worked for five years with Franklin County as a ground medic. “When I worked on the ground, hearing the sound of a chopper approach was music to our ears,” he said. “A base is only as good as the people we work with, on the ground or in the air.” Although a helicopter crash in June took the life of three Air Evac employees, the team February 2011


has a membership in Air Evac, said Rauser. About 7% of the people we transport are members, he added. The 911 call center follows an EMS (Emergency Medical Service) dispatch protocol based on medical criteria to dictate if Air Evac is activated. “We never respond without local EMS responding. We all work together as a team to provide the best care possible,” said Rauser. If the ground EMS unit at the scene determines the patient does not require immediate air transport, Air Evac will return to its base and the ground EMS unit will transport the patient. About ½ our call outs are cancelled, he added. Cancelled flights, or “empty flights” as Air Evac calls them, are never charged for and the company absorbs these costs as a public service. While chest pains and strokes are the most common medical reasons for Air Evac to be called, life threatening criteria also includes roll over accidents, shootings, falls from great heights, near drowning, head or spinal injuries, major burns and other potentially debilitating and life threatening conditions. Victims are airlifted to the “closest, appropriate facility”, usually to Ft. Smith or Little Rock, said Rauser. However, some patients have been flown to hospitals as far away as Dallas, Tulsa or Memphis, he added. Crew members keep in contact with family members on the ground to let them know how the patient is doing. “Nothing is as scary as the unknown. We don’t make light of the situation, but we try to calm the family and joke with them a little as laughter really is the best medicine,” explained Air remains up-beat. Air Evac Pilot, Larry Stephens, said although flying has some inherent risks, Air Evac is very safety oriented. The Paris base has also received several safety and service awards including a Safety Award for Base of the Year, the 2010 “Good Samaritan Award “ by the Arkansas Counseling and Guidance Association, and the National Community Service Base of the Year. Stephens and other Air Evac Pilots spend a lot of their time keeping tabs on weather reports from several different computer sites. “Our goal is to complete our mission. If severe weather conditions are indicated, as much as we want to help, we do not fly,” said Stephens. The crew is reminded to stay calm and mentally prepare for each rescue operation. A simple phrase is painted on the flight line each crew crosses before manning the helicopter. Written in bold letters across the tarmac is “Are You Ready?” Yes, they are ready. Are you? For more information on joining Air Evac, contact Rauser at (479) 963-6018. n February 2011

Evac Paramedic, Malvern Gann, who has worked with Air Evac since 2001. Once onboard, the patient is constantly monitored by the medical personnel on board, who sit directly behind the patient’s head to enable them to utilize the advanced tertiary medical equipment onboard and administer life saving drugs ground ambulances are not allowed to carry. Victims without a membership in Air Evac can pay from $6,000 to $12,000 for one emergency helicopter transport. However, there is no charge to members for each emergency airlift besides the yearly fee. A single membership is $50 per year with $5 for one additional family member or $60 yearly for a family of three or more Members who travel in states covered by Air Evac are covered while traveling in that state, said Bauer.

Although air lifted patients with medical insurance coverage may have part of their transport cost covered, many insurance companies pay out the same rate for emergency ground transportation, several hundred dollars, as for an emergency air transport, several thousand dollars. This often leaves the patient, or the patient’s family, with a huge balance due. “All it takes is one incident to realize the cost savings of the yearly membership,” emphasized Bauer. Local membership support is a vital, said Bauer. Without it, Air Evac Lifeteam could not place and maintain its aircraft, pilots and medical crews in rural American communities. Since up to half of all local 911 Air Evac call outs are later cancelled at no charge to the patient, the membership dues help cover the cost of empty flights, said Bauer. The Air Evac team is involved in many charitable activities, both locally and nationwide. After Hurricane Katrina, Air Evac was the largest civilian rotor-wing responder and within five days transported more than 100 patients. A similar effort was mounted for Hurricane Rita. Anyone interested membership or curious about the service is urged to contact Bauer at (800) 247-3822. n

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Sam Strasner ABOUT...the River Valley | 25


healthcare

It’s February – Where’s Your New Year’s Resolution?

Whether you’re still meeting your resolution, beginning to lose steam, or have already taken a “What Resolution?” approach, these Saint Mary’s seminars can help you revitalize your commitment to better health in 2011! February 8: “Heart of a Woman” with cardiologist Dai-Yuan Wang, M.D. February is American Heart Month, and although significant progress has been made in increasing awareness among women that heart disease is their #1 killer, most fail to make the connection between its risk factors and their personal risk of developing heart disease. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health, this disease kills one out of every four American women. While heart disease risk begins to rise in middle age, heart disease develops over time and can start at a young age, even in the teen years. It’s never too early, or too late, to take action! By taking a proactive approach to cardiovascular health, women can greatly reduce their likelihood of heart disease.

Join Dr. Dai-Yuan Wang of Russellville Cardiology Consultants to hear the latest on risk factors for women and how to aggressively manage them to prevent or delay the onset of heart disease. This fun and informative “Fearless and Fabulous” event is free, and is scheduled from 6 – 7:30 p.m. in the Saint Mary’s Annex. Instructors with Saint Mary’s Wellness Fitness Center will also present “WillPower and Grace” and “Body Dynamics” demonstrations. Guests will enjoy light refreshments and door prizes. “Fearless and Fabulous” is Saint Mary’s women’s health initiative designed to arm River Valley women with the knowledge and confidence to make informed health and wellness decisions through every stage of life. Seminars are scheduled throughout the year and cover a variety of current health topics. February 22: “Eating Right – Right From the Start!” with pediatrician Barry McCraw, M.D. and registered dietitian Katie Watson. Children grow at an incredible speed! Even in infancy, feeding choices can have an impact on health and weight. Setting the stage for healthy eating habits is key to good growth and development and the prevention of disease.

Learn more about nutrition for infants and toddlers with Dr. McCraw and Katie Watson of Millard Henry Clinic at a conversational “goodmoms” event beginning at 6 p.m. in the Saint Mary’s Annex. Saint Mary’s Wellness Fitness Center will also present a “Drums Alive” demonstration and information on the center’s “Fit Kids” program. This seminar is free and will offer refreshments and drawings for door prizes. 26 | ABOUT...the River Valley

Saint Mary’s goodmoms program is a comprehensive source of current, research-based information on pregnancy, birth, and child care from infancy into adolescence. Goodmoms benefits include newsletters, take-home items, birth announcements, books, classes and regular seminars with the hospital’s obstetric and pediatric clinicians and medical staff. All River Valley parents, grandparents, and caregivers are encouraged to sign up for the weekly goodmoms e-newsletter. Enjoy timely health information specific to your family, and stay informed regarding events, Saint Mary’s Women’s and Children’s Services, and more! Find goodmoms online at www.saintmarysregional. com, or call 479-964-5333. March 15: “Kids Act Fast…So Do Poisons” with emergency physician Richard Young, M.D. National Poison Prevention Week occurs annually each March, and is designated to highlight the dangers of poisonings and how to prevent them. According to the National Prevention Week Council, more than 2 million poisonings are reported each year to the 61 poison control centers around the country. More than 90 percent of these poisonings occur in the home, with the majority also occurring in children younger than six. Parents and caregivers are invited to this goodmoms discussion on ensuring the safety of children at home and in your community, featuring Saint Mary’s emergency physician Richard Young, M.D. Dr. Young will present steps to preventing and treating childhood poisonings, and offer important tips on how to poison-proof your home. Light refreshments and door prizes will be offered at this fun, free event, scheduled for 6 p.m. in the Saint Mary’s Annex. March 30: “Find it First” with gastroenterologist Ron White, M.D. According to the Centers for Disease Control, if everyone aged 50 years old or older were screened regularly, as many as 60 percent of deaths from colorectal cancer could be prevented. Colorectal cancer is the most preventable and beatable cancer if detected early. That’s why you need to find it first! Join Dr. Ron White of Russellville Gastroenterology Clinic during National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and get the facts on confronting the third most common cancer in men and women. Admission to this Vintage Club “Lunch with Your Doctor” is $5 and includes a meal and registration for door prizes. Instructors with Saint Mary’s Wellness Fitness Center will demonstrate “Yoga Stretch” and offer information on the “Silver Sneakers” program. The luncheon begins at noon in the Saint Mary’s Annex. Through the Vintage Club program, Saint Mary’s provides River Valley seniors with health and wellness information as well as social and travel opportunities. Vintage Club membership is exclusive to people 55 and older and their spouses. “Lunch with your Doctor” is a popular Vintage-sponsored seminar event at which a physician or other health care professional speaks on topics relevant to senior wellness over lunch. Guests of all ages are welcome to attend! Saint Mary’s Annex is located at the corner of North Seattle and “C” Street, across from Saint Mary’s Outpatient Services. Reservations for each event are appreciated, and may be made by calling 479-964-5333. Guests may also RSVP at Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center’s page on Facebook.` n February 2011


SILENT AUCTION FAMILY FUN & MEMORIES

JUST FOR HER

Kids Tennis Camp Entry Fee Razorback Baggo Set Birthday Party Character Gift Certificate Northwest AR Naturals Baseball Tickets Four Open Jump Passes Free Sitting Fee and 15x30 Storyboard Collection Photography Session and 16x20 Wall Portrait with Standout Mount

LIVE AUCTION OUTDOOR FUN: Chesapeake Wood swing comes complete, including a playhouse, slide, wooden roof and three large decks totaling 32sq ft. Includes on-site assembly at your location. Be the envy of the neighborhood with this great outdoor fun for all kids! FAMILY FUN IN THE SUN: A 4 night, 5 day stay at Gulf Shores, Ala. Two bedroom, beach front condo has all the amenities. Come relax on the white sandy beaches while the kids build sandcastles and play in the waves. THE GREAT ESCAPE: A 5 night stay in the Big Cabin at The Cedars in Calico Rock nestled away on 240 acres. The two story, 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom cabin features 10 beds, dishwasher and washer/dryer plus 4 barbecue grills and inviting front porch. Included is a one day guided fishing trip for two that includes all gear and lunch. IT’S COOKING TIME: Come enjoy a weekend in Memphis while learning some new recipes at the Viking Cooking School. This package includes 2 tickets to the Viking cooking school and a 2 night stay in downtown Memphis. LOVE IS IN THE AIR: A week’s stay in California, beginning at the luxurious Carmel exclusive ocean-front Tickled Pink Hotel overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Includes private decks with amazing views to breakfast and evening wine. Superior shopping, exquisite cuisine, and award-winning golf courses. End at the newly renovated Napa Valley Marriott Resort with breakfast with an evening cocktail. Enjoy a 2-day wine passport in Napa which includes tours and tastings at 3 different wineries. ULTIMATE GOLF RETREAT: Golfing experience of a lifetime! Enjoy a trip to Montgomery, Ala., and a 3 night, 4 day stay in the Marriott at Capitol Hill. Includes 3 rounds of golf on the famous Robert Trent

February 2011

Coach Sunglasses with Case Clinique Happy Fragrance Gift Set Pink and White Gold Filigree Pendant w/Diamond Accents (1.05ctw) Microplane Foot File Gift Set Travel Bag Dolce and Gabanna Sunglasses

DINING OUT AND ABOUT

Two Large Quiznos Party Trays Brown’s Catfish Gift Certificates Large Decorated Catherine’s Cake Sheet Cake One Free Night in Hawthorn Inn Suite with Dinner for Two Included

Jones Golf trail with golf cart included. Play all 3 beautiful golf Courses… the Judge, the Senator and the Legislator. Come prepared for a golf adventure! TIME TRAVEL: Love the old, Anti-Bellum South? It’s time for a trip to historic Charleston. Enjoy a 3 night stay at the Restoration on King Hotel in Charleston, S.C. Enjoy upscale shops, fine restaurants, and the ever popular antique district. Charleston’s first boutique hotel and AAA four-diamond rated. Enjoy a walking tour of two historic Charleston Homes and a romantic dinner at one of the finest restaurants in Charleston, 82 Queen. TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME: There is nothing like the experience of a baseball game at Wrigley Field! Cheer on the Cubs from the stadium. Five lucky people will fly to Chicago and not only watch the Cubs play, but spend two nights in the Windy Cindy and enjoy all this phenomenal city has to offer. DIAMONDS, DIAMONDS, AND MORE DIAMONDS: This beautiful diamond necklace will be the talk of the night. It is an 18 Karat white gold diamond pendant with 16 princess-cut diamonds and 113 round diamonds for a total diamond weight of 1.15CT. The Diamonds are F/G color and VS2 clarity. Diamonds truly are a girls’ best friend! BRANSON BOUND: Enjoy a relaxing 3-night, 4-day stay at the Holiday Hills Branson, Mo., located between the magnificent Ozark Mountains and beautiful Lake Taneycomo. Holiday Hills is known for their amazing championship 18-hole golf course. While in Branson, the family can enjoy 4 tickets to the famous Silver Dollar City. Come experience Branson like never before! THE HAWAIIAN VACATION: Enjoy a week stay at the Wyndham Resort on the Big Island, Hawaii, the island of adventure. Discover one of the most active volcanoes in the world, see the tallest sea mountain, experience some of the best marlin fishing,

THIS, THAT AND SOMETHING ELSE Parkway Cleaners Gift Cards Pet Gift Basket of Treats and Homemade Toys Poppa Wheelies Gift Certificate Bizzy Bee Quilts Gift Certificate Oil Change and Tire Rotation Microplane Kitchen Gift Set Autographed Corliss Williamson Basketball *More items from local businesses will be available at ball.

or just take a stroll in the largest park in the state. The Big Island has it all from lush rain forest to volcanic desert. You’ll feel as if you’re stepping back in time to a simpler, unspoiled era, yet you will have all the comfortable amenities and activities you expect in a modern-day tropical resort. Suite features two large bedrooms with plenty of storage space, luxuriously furnished. Dates are set for July 1-8, 2011. THE PERFECT LIVING ROOM: Ready to turn your stale space into a dream living room? This is the set for you! This package includes a designer nail head sectional with matching wood end tables. Complete your new space with 2 gorgeous lamps also included. This living room set is a must have! GATHER ‘ROUND THE TABLE: A traditional style kitchen table that would look great in any kitchen! This beautiful Dutch chocolate brown table, with mild distressing and medium sheen, gives the look and feel of excellence. The table is counter height and includes a leaf and 6 chairs. It measures 52x52x36 with the leaf and 52x36x36 without the leaf. A WINNING SMILE: Have your choice of either invisalign or traditional braces to achieve that beautiful smile you have always wanted. Package includes x-rays, treatment plan, aligners, office visits, retainers and months of retention visits. Not only that, it can benefit a wide range of people including children, teens or adults. PICTURE PERFECT: Enjoy the utmost in quality photography! This five canvas gallery wrap collection will capture those special memories of your family members. If you are looking for a contemporary look for your home, this is just the thing you need! Guaranteed to be one item that you and your family will treasure for a lifetime. GUITAR HERO: Always wanted to learn to play the guitar? Now is your chance to rock-out for real, not just on a video game or in your dreams! Package includes 4

lessons by Arkansas’ own Robb McCormick, lead singer of local band Some Guy Named Robb. You will receive a guitar to start your lessons off right. ICE YOURSELF: Nothing accentuates a wrist like a diamond tennis bracelet. This bracelet is a 14 Karat gold tennis bracelet with 33 round diamonds. The total estimated weight is 2 carats and each diamond is separated by yellow gold Z shapes. This exquisite bracelet will be the icing on the cake for any woman’s jewelry collection. HUNTER’S SPECIAL: This unique gun will be the perfect addition to any avid sportsman’s gun collection, a Browning out of a one year- production. It’s a Takedown 22 Grade 2 with Octagon barrel. Keep it for yourself as you enjoy and explore the natural state or make it the choice for your son’s first gun! THE SUITE LIFE IN BUD WALTON ARENA: Come cheer on the Razorback Basketball team Wednesday, March 2, as they play against Mississippi State. Bring family and friends and enjoy the game inside one of the luxury suites. Enjoy the game in a relaxed atmosphere with catered food and comfortable seating. RAFFLE: Three chances to be the big winner! First place winner will receive one ladies 14kt white gold diamond solitaire necklace with a 1.78 Carat Round Brilliant Cut Diamond. Second place winner will receive a deep freezer stocked with over $100 worth of various meats and other frozen food items. Third place winner will receive a dinner and dessert for four or a catered small business luncheon. So make sure to purchase your raffle tickets now!! *Other auction items from VSpa and Home Theater Store, Car Stereo Express will be announced at a later date. All auction items are subject to change.

ABOUT...the River Valley | 27


ABOUT | February 2011  
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