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Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley SEPTEMBER 2011


Bring the entire family to Arkansas Tech’s Pre-Game Plaza Parties. Meet us on game day in front of Baswell Hall for a fun-filled time of free inflatable games and music. Just $7 buys a tailgate meal of hot dogs and burgers. But the party doesn’t stop there - cheer on the Wonder Boys inside Thone Stadium. Football season has never been this much family fun. For more information call 479-498-6038.

Wonder Boys 2011 Home Games Date Sat., Sept. 17 Sat., Sept. 24 Sat., Oct. 8 Sat., Oct. 22 Sat., Oct. 29

Opponent Delta State West Alabama (Family Day) North Alabama SE Oklahoma (Homecoming) East Central (Senior Day)

Kickoff 6 p.m. 6 p.m. 6 p.m. 6 p.m. 2 p.m.

Party Time 4 p.m. 3 p.m. 4 p.m. 3 p.m. noon

Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011 ~ Historic Downtown Russellville Events include: • Friends of the Depot Omelet Breakfast • Car & Truck Show • Arts & Crafts and Exhibits Booths • 5K Run/Walk and Kid’s 1K Run • Old Fashioned Pie Contest at the Depot

• • • • • •

Tour de Pumpkin Bike Ride Chili Cookoff on Chili Alley Trick My Wagon Kid’s Parade Children’s Costume Contest Canine Capers Dog Show Live Music and Entertainment

For Information Contact Main Street Russellville Historic Missouri-Pacific Depot • 320 W. “C” Street • Historic Downtown Russellville, AR 479.967.1437 • • This ad paid for with a combination of state funds and private regional association funds.

September 2011

table of



8 A Time To Remember, A Time To Prepare


Nature’s Guessing Game

16 14



The Slow Road to Normal


Photos Convey What Words Cannot September 11, 2001, will be regarded as on of the most tragic days in American history. Dardanelle resident Tim Tackett is one of our brave citizens whose duty it is to run into the heart of disaster.


ABOUTour Cover

Whether the call for help is relayed to a first responder, a city policeman or fireman, the county sheriff, Search and Rescue or a volunteer agency, the request for emergency service assistance begins with a call to a ‘911’ dispatcher... the often-overlooked critical link in the rescue chain. In recognizing that September is officially designated as “Emergency Preparedness Month,” the Office of Emergency Management wants residents of the Arkansas River Valley to be aware of what they need to do in an emergency. Don’t miss, “A Time to Remember, A Time to Prepare” beginning on page 8.

Photo by Steve Newby and Chris Zimmerman

The devastating tornado that leveled portions of Johnson and Franklin County was a disaster of epic proportion. The resiliency and determination of the people of the Arkansas River Valley has allowed residents to move beyond the tragedy.


Brayberry Farm


Heart of the City


Potluck Monday!

The Arkansas River Valley is home to many beautiful landscapes. Mountains, lakes and parks around the area make it truly a spectacular place to visit. But, there is no place as breathtaking as the home of Brayberry Farm. It rests on the side of a mountain a little ways past Dover.

Preparedness and Recovery

Our Associates Melanie Conley

ad ve r tis in g





ad ve r tis ing



Las Schneider


w r ite r

ph o to g r a phy







il l u s tr a to r

l ayo u t/ d e s ig n




Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley


September 2011


St. John’s Harvest Fest

wealth of information. Sometimes, there is an overabundance of it on the internet. Weeding through all of it, and reading the many books which are available to guide us, takes time, patience, speed, and, sometimes, a lot of grace...” The retreat is “designed to equip the participants with internal silence, spiritual satisfaction, and practical applications for living a spiritual life in this modern, but noisy world.” Father Jos will present seven twenty-minute lectures followed by breaks for quiet practice and time for questions. Lunch is included will be served from 12:30 to 1:15. Childcare will be available by advance registration. On Sunday, Rev. Lisa Hlass of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Little Rock will continue the “Wisdom Living” All Saints’ Series Oct. 8 weekend at at the 10:30 a.m. service and Journey Series presents “Wisdom in a presentation to the Adult Sunday Living”: Simple Steps for Living in Holiness School classes. from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 8. To register, or for more information, call The event will be held in Sutherland Hall the church office at (479) 968-3622. at All Saints’ Episcopal Church, 501 South Phoenix Avenue in Russellville. Registration APPLICATIONS SOUGHT will be $25 for adults. Students (attending The Russellville Area Chamber of any educational organization) and members Commerce is now accepting applications of the clergy will be admitted for $10. for the 2011-2012 Leadership Russellville Fr. Jos Tharakan, priest from India and program. Leadership Russellville is an a former Franciscan Monk (now Rector annual program designed to identify, of All Saints Episcopal Church) will lead educate and motivate potential community the retreat. His topic will be wisdom/ leaders to become involved in the future mystical spirituality. of the community by addressing the Individuals from all backgrounds are realities, opportunities, and challenges of invited to participate. the community. It is aimed at developing a According to Father Jos, “In the pool of well-informed and well-motivated modern world, we are blessed with a men and women qualified to assume The annual St. John’s Catholic Church Harvest Fest Bazaar and Dinner will be held on Saturday, Oct. 1, at St. John’s in Russellville. Hours for the event, which benefits St. John’s school, are 2-10 p.m. Activities will include games for children and adults, a silent auction, Jumpables, bingo, live entertainment and a dunking booth. A Raffle is planned with prizes including: $5,000 cash, a 50-inch Flat Screen TV, a laptop computer, $500 Kroger gift card, and a Nook Color. A barbecue dinner offering chicken or pork with sides and a dessert will follow the 4 p.m. Mass. Take-out dinners are available. More information is available by calling St. John’s Catholic School at (479) 967-4644.

present and future leadership roles in the Russellville area. The program consists of approximately 13 sessions that include a two-day/ one-night mandatory kick-off retreat and orientation beginning in October that allows participants to become better acquainted. Sessions run through June and include programs on government, education, quality of life, healthcare, industrial development, non-profit agencies, teambuilding and leadership training. Applicants must commit both time and energy toward involvement in the community, be concerned with community issues, have a desire for personal growth, and demonstrate a concern for the future of the Russellville area. To apply for the class or to nominate an individual call the Chamber office at (479) 968-2530 or view the printable application online at

Senior Health Expo

River Valley Senior Network Group will be hosting the annual 2011 Senior Health Expo, “Promoting Healthy Aging,” on Tuesday, Sept. 13, at Hughes Center in Russellville. Hours will be 8 a.m. through 1 p.m. Free health screenings will be available and may include: blood sugar, bone density, foot and eye screenings, grip and balance testing, blood pressure and depression screening. Snacks and refreshments will be provided. A number of vendor services booths will also be available. To participate as a vendor or for more information, call (479) 880-1112 or 857-7863. n


S I E R R A 3300 E. Main • Hwy. 64 East, Russellville • (479) 968-1555 September 2011

Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley


ABOUT the River Valley

A Publication of Silver Platter Productions, Inc Vol. VI, Issue 7 – September 2011

OWNERS/EDITOR Nolan and Dianne Edwards

Advertising Sales Melanie Conley

Vonna Marpel

Graphic Design Chris Zimmerman

Writers Kechia Bentley

Connie Las Schneider

Johnny Sain

PhotographY Steve Newby


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.


The Editor’s Notebook

Emergencies come in all shapes and sizes. There are the car accidents you witness on the highway, home fires that result from an unwatched pot on the stove, or perhaps the drama that unfolds from a vehicle washed downstream during a sudden rain. Regardless, it is hoped that a troop of ablebodied individuals will answer the call when 911 is dialed. A recent memory of a neighbor rushing her child to the emergency room crossed my mind when planning for this issue. While not requiring the assistance of 911 or an ambulance call, this young mom carried her pre-school son directly to the ER... to have a Lite Brite peg removed from his nose! Now, it’s funny, and is the great source of entertainment when “swapping stories” but at the time, it was pretty serious. At least it was to the parents and most definitely the curious child. I was told later that the ER doctor had a hard time keeping a straight face. Other “childhood” emergencies surfaced when we began swapping stories in the office. One associate recalled the time when his then four-year-old daughter, who after swallowing a penny, ended up at Children’s Hospital for the removal of the coin which doctors determined was too large for the child to pass naturally. The “$700 penny” is still in the family’s possession. As young parents, my husband and I took our oldest into the emergency room one summer day after she was bitten on the neck by an unidentified “ugly looking bug.” Fearing the worst, we put the bug in a glass jar and took it with us to the hospital. (You see, my family has a history of severe reactions to bug bites so I was mortified of what might happen to my baby.) It turned out the bug was an “assassin bug,” a critter with a nasty name but a relatively harmless bite. This month’s issue, while not necessarily ‘themed’ with an emergency focus, is filled with stories that will remind you the importance of readiness. You’ll reflect on the beauty of the human spirit in the stories of those who rose to the occasion of recent storm victims. You’ll understand how wonderful it is to live in our beautiful state, where neighbors rush in to help neighbors, even when storms drop in unexpectedly – a hand up, not a hand out. Think of the storm as unannounced company; the neighbors that come to help cut down fallen trees are like the friend who drops off a freshly-baked cake right before your unplanned company arrives. Not to make light of the importance of ‘answering the call,’ I’m grateful to the many individuals who bail me out when my own “emergencies” result from dealing with lastminute deadlines. I try to plan, truly I do, but even bestlaid plans are subject to fail at a moment’s notice! To every one of you who rose to assist with the production of this September issue... thank you! You always make me proud. Dianne Edwards, Editor/Publisher

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: 220 East 4th Street Email:

Providing Peace of Home.

Postmaster: Please send address changes to: SPPI, P.O. Box 10176, Russellville AR 72812.

Non-Medical In Home Care Senior Life Partners


(479) 880-1112 •

Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

September 2011

Out and ABOUT Talk ABOUT...Those Who Serve With recent images depicting the return to school for students residing in the tornado-ravaged Joplin, Mo., district, we are reminded of the Summer storms occurring locally in Clarksville, Denning and Etna to our west. Though thankfully not as large scale, the physical and mental damage and loss of life still manifests an unparalleled sadness. To those affected by the storms, please accept our sincere condolences. If there is a bright spot in the cloudiness left behind by those recent storms, it can easily be discovered in the spirit of service to others. Immediately after the rains passed, volunteers and paid

Closest to home

emergency workers began appearing to offer assistance to those affected by the tornadoes. Though you will read statistics in this issue tallying the man-hours given during those days that followed the storms, there is no way to adequately pinpoint all the acts of kindness. Some people are called to service as a career; others are summoned by the heart. The act of helping others – whether during events such as these or other tragedies, or even everyday acts of kindness – continually demonstrates the caring of those who reside in the Arkansas River Valley and beyond. Makes you proud to be a part of the human race, doesn’t it?

Emeritus Senior Living Choosing assisted living at an Emeritus Senior Living community will actually give your loved one greater independence. You will gain peace of mind knowing that they are nearby in a safe and comfortable senior living community. Call us today to learn more about the benefits of assisted living for your loved one. We will be glad to arrange a private tour experience for you.

Come and join us for Community Bingo

September 22, 2pm-3pm. Ages 55 and over. Don Dempsey

September 2011

240 S. Inglewood Ave., Russellville, AR


Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley











































What’s Happening This Month...

Sept. 2: Downtown Artwalk, Historic Downtown Russellville, 5-8 p.m.; Talented artisans; music, refreshments; info: 967-1437. Sept. 11: 911 Exhibit Opening Reception, River Valley Arts Center from 1-3 p.m. Info: 968-2452. Sept. 13: Senior Health Expo, 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.; free health screenings, snacks, vendor booths; Hughes Center. Info: 880-1112 or 857-7863. Sept. 13: Transitions Bereavement Support Group, 10 a.m., Ark. Hospice, 2405 E. Parkway; Info: 498-2050. Sept. 13: Forget Me Not’s – Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Group, 6 p.m., second Tuesday of each month, Wildflower, 240 S. Inglewood Ave. 264-8805. Sept. 13-17: Annual Pope County Fair, PC Fairgrounds. Admission Free on Tuesday only. Sept. 14: Forget Me Not’s – Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Group, 1:30 p.m., Arkansas Hospice, 2405 E. Parkway. 264-8805. Sept. 17: Miss Mt. Nebo Pageant at the Dardanelle Community Center- Open to girls ages 1-21. For more information contact Andrea Pitts at the Dardanelle Chamber of Commerce 479-229-3328. Sept. 17, 24 (Family Day): Wonder Boys Football, 6 p.m., ATU Thone Stadium. Sept. 17: September Sunset Mt. Nebo Dinner Party, 6:30 p.m. Info: 968-2452. Sept. 22: Community Bingo, seniors 55 and older; 2-3 p.m. Wildflower, 240 S. Inglewood, 890-6709. Sept. 24: Great Arkansas Clean-Up and National Public Lands Day; locations vary. Volunteer or info: 968-2530. Sept. 24 : 63rd Annual Mt. Nebo Chicken Fry at Veteran’s Riverfront Park - Annual Chicken Dinner, Arts & Crafts Vendor, & Entertainment Sept. 29: Destination Downtown, The Welcome Back Event for Arkansas Tech students, faculty and staff; 4-10 p.m.; sponsored by Russellville Downtown Assoc.; info: 967-1437. Oct. 1: St. John’s Catholic Church Harvest Fest Bazaar and Dinner, 2-10 p.m., Prizes, auction, games, dunking booth; BBQ dinner follows 4 p.m. Mass. 967-4644. *Unless otherwise indicated, all area codes are 479. Visit 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.



A cold front is barreling south from Canada and has met with the warm humidity funneled up to Arkansas from the Gulf of Mexico. The contrasting masses of air converge on the River Valley region of Arkansas as a collective group of citizens stand as sentinels, watching and waiting.

As energy builds in the darkening skies, rotation is detected... and that’s when the call comes from the National Weather Service. A tornado warning has been issued. The message is sent to Pope County 911 dispatch and immediately all directors of Emergency Services are called and placed on standby. Simultaneously all on duty Emergency Services workers are notified by radio and the entire collection of Emergency workers in Pope County is on alert, things could turn bad in a split second.

Pope County is not so lucky on this spring afternoon. The call from a distraught citizen into 911 dispatch reports a twister touchdown in the northeastern section of the City of Russellville and all units of Pope County Emergency Services are dispatched to perform their particular duties.

As Pope County deputies and city police help to divert traffic from the affected area, the EMTs are assisting the injured. Russellville firemen are busy removing debris while Search and Rescue workers check with each household for injured or missing members. Like a well-oiled machine, Pope County Emergency Services is a model of efficiency in the midst of chaos.

Since its inception in 2004, National Emergency Preparedness month has been observed each September. Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) within the Department of Homeland Security, Emergency Preparedness Month encourages Americans to take simple steps in preparation for any number of


emergencies that could occur in their homes or communities. The campaign is designed to educate Americans, a proactive approach to dealing with anything from a household emergency to a natural disaster. The motto for the year 2011 is, “A Time To Remember, A Time to Prepare” – words well chosen on the 10th anniversary of

Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

the terrorist attack in New York and the Pentagon. Emergency Preparedness Month seems like a good time to discuss the organizations and people that stand at the ready for emergencies all year long. 911 – these three numbers carry so much weight, so much urgency, and so much hope. At the instant that these digits are pressed, there is the possibility that life or death hangs in the balance. As the fictional scene at the beginning of this article demonstrated, everything starts with that first call to 911. Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Communications Captain Denise Robinson gave a rundown on the responsibilities of a 911 dispatcher. “I think that most people don’t realize all that the dispatchers do. Every single time that an emergency is responded to, it started with a call to one of these dispatchers.” Robinson believes that the importance of dispatch is sometimes overlooked. “Dispatchers operate behind the scenes so to speak but they are a critical link in the chain. Everybody knows exactly what firemen do and the sight of a big red truck is instant notification that they are on the job. But the firemen or police came to the rescue only because the dispatcher did their job.” The 911 dispatchers are housed in a building in front of the Pope County Detention Center. The structure is referred to as “the molehill” by OEM workers and as “the bunker” by most folks in the community. “Bunker is a good description,” explained Robinson. “It’s built to withstand whatever is thrown at it. In the event of an epic catastrophe, all of the heads of the Emergency Services would meet here and the building is locked down. It’s partially in the ground and is reinforced with thick concrete walls providing protection from tornados or even a problem at Arkansas Nuclear One.” All directors manage their teams from the “bunker” when large-scale disasters happen.

September 2011

Why We Serve

“I decided to become an emergency worker after watching one of my friends have a cardiac arrest right in front of my eyes. That feeling of helplessness, of not knowing what to do in a crisis situation, was something that I never wanted to experience again.” Doug Duer

“It was my childhood dream to be a law enforcement officer. I always wanted to be involved in helping my community. I’ve always had great respect for law enforcement. It’s what I was meant to do.” Shawn Harris

Road Deputy, Pope County Sheriff’s Office

Director of Pope County EMS

Of course events on a scale large enough to warrant the gathering of department heads into a central location are thankfully rare. It’s the daily call-ins that keep Emergency workers busy. Again it all starts with the call to 911, and from there, a number of departments could respond. “It depends upon the type of emergency,” stated Robinson. “In the case of an auto accident, the first person there could be a first responder, an EMT, a police officer, or even a fireman. It just depends on who gets there first, but once the EMTs arrive, the other departments fall into other jobs at the scene. The police direct traffic, the firemen may help with that or assist in extracting people from a damaged vehicle.” “Our Search and Rescue team is called upon if we need a water rescue or in the event of a lost hunter or hiker. The coroner is also a part of the team – though the need for his duties is the least favorite part of our job, it’s still a service that we need.” There are many organizations that are involved with the scope of Emergency Services but are not part of a government agency, explained Robinson.

September 2011

“I wanted to be a part of Emergency Services since I was a kid. My Dad (Jim Campbell Sr.) and our neighbor, Hack Horton, were both firemen. They were very strong role models in my life and I just knew from an early age that I wanted to follow in their footsteps.” Jim Campbell Assistant Director OEM

“We call these types of organizations non-governmental; they play a vital part as well. The Red Cross and the Salvation Army are two of these entities. We also get some help from a few local churches. They fall under the direction of the Red Cross when an emergency happens.” While Robinson recognizes September has been officially declared as Emergency Preparedness Month, being prepared is a state that all citizens should be in regardless of the month. “The Office of Emergency Management wants the people of Pope County and the River Valley to always be aware of what to do in the case of an Emergency. To make that happen we have literature available at the Pope County Courthouse all the time.” The OEM makes a point to be active in the community while campaigning for awareness, as well. Justin Drittler, Assistant Director of the Office of Emergency Management, spoke about the public programs available. “We often do demonstrations and speak to the students at the local schools. All we need is an invitation to visit with students or even other groups. We’re more than happy to explain about how OEM or Search and Rescue work.

Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

You can see some of our workers passing out literature at the county fair or we might have an emergency awareness program in the parking lot of a local business from time to time.” As we mark the 10-year anniversary of one of the most infamous days in the history of our country – Sept. 11, 2001 – the need for preparedness in the face of disaster seems even more poignant. While we all hope and pray that nothing approaching the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York ever happens again, we may certainly face other large scale emergencies, such as hurricanes and tornados, home and business fires, auto accidents or even accidents occurring while working or playing. The key to efficiency and, in some cases our mortal safety, lies in preparedness. A time to remember, a time to prepare is something we need to keep in mind throughout the year. For more information, visit n Note: All statements made in this article regarding job duties performed by Police, Fire, Search and Rescue, etc. are not to be construed as the definition of that specific department’s job duties in the event of an emergency.



Story by Connie Las Schneider

as the information we get” added Steve Amburn, Science Officer for the National Weather Service. Storms can suddenly change direction and usually turn at right angles. “We use a polygon (a shape with many angles) to project the path of the storm, with the narrow angle closest to the storm. If a storm suddenly changes direction, the new path may include areas not in the original storm warning,” said Amburn. “It is not only important to listen to weather alerts, but critical to observe the weather on the ground. Radar sweeps aloft at 14 different “tilt” elevations, but it does not operate at ground level,” said Amburn. “Without the input of people on the ground, we can’t verify if our predictions are correct. We need that information to improve our accuracy,” Piltz said. Aptly named SKYWARN, the Franklin County Emergency dismiss weather reports that don’t pertain Management volunteer storm chasing team to their specific local or believe they have provides those critical eye-witness ground time until the storm comes, are putting reports for the Tulsa meteorologists. themselves at big risk. Although March, April and May are usually “We (meteorologists) can only scientifically the most active months for damaging guess at the probability of a damaging storm storms, January and February have also hitting a specific area. There are so many been problematic, said Piltz. However, a variables to a storm’s path and velocity. bad storm can hit anytime during the year. We have a better idea of what is occurring 1500 feet above the surface of the land, than Winter Storms what is actually happening on the ground. National Weather Service Meteorologist, Although the weather service is equipped Robert Darby, said that 70% of winter storm with state-of-the-art technology, the human injuries result from vehicle accidents, while element is critical, said Piltz. 25% occur when people are caught out in ”Believe me, predicting the weather is the storm. Power outages can also be fatal. not like playing a video game. Every time Some people are poisoned by carbon dioxide we issue a storm warning, we’re on edge. from using an outdoor grill or other heating We try to do the best we can, but in the end, device not intended for indoor use. Fires are we can only make our best guess,” said also more common when the electricity is Piltz. That’s why it is so important to get out. A couple of house fires in the Tulsa area verification from “storm spotters” and other overnight (Nov.30) were probably the result of people on the ground. Amburn agreed. power outages, said Darby. “Be extra cautious “We need to get real-time feedback to using candles to light your home,” he added. hone our predictions. We are only as good  Story cont. on page 19

Nature’s Guessing Game

Storm Prediction and Safety Tips from the Experts


inter storm warning, tornado watch, and wall cloud are familiar weather terms to most Arkansas natives. You already know what to do and where to go when you hear these warnings, maybe learned it at an early age so you wouldn’t forget. School closings in winter or hiding in a storm shelter at other times, your emotions probably jumped from joy to fear and excitement as you waited for something that may or may not have fulfilled your big expectations. Today, when you hear the weather report and it mentions “storm warning” or “tornado watch”, you might assume you still have got time to complete another task before taking shelter. After all, the weather report specified another area of the county, or a neighboring county, and said the storm wouldn’t arrive for another hour. No problem, right? Wrong. According to Steven F. Piltz, Meteorologist in Charge of the National Weather Service in Tulsa, Okla., people who

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Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

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Photos Convey what Words Cannot Story by Johnny Sain

September 11, 2001, will be regarded as on of the most tragic days in American history. As commander of Arkansas-1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT), Dardanelle resident Tim Tackett is one of our brave citizens whose duty it is to run into the heart of disaster such as this. “As soon as I saw everything that was happening on 9/11 I knew that my team would be deployed.” Tim’s unit is best described as a MASH unit and comes under federal control when catastrophe strikes anywhere in our nation. The team was bound for Ground Zero shortly after the flight ban was lifted and soon found themselves in a surreal landscape of death and destruction beyond anything they had faced before.

“It was very much like a funeral,” explained Tim, “Besides the obvious shock of witnessing all of this destruction, there was just the feel of a family funeral. Everywhere you looked there were people looking for family members, fire fighters and other emergency workers looking for fellow emergency workers.” While Tim was there helping to save lives he also saw an opportunity to tell a story, a story that could reach beyond the pictures on the news and touch a more personal level. “I’ve always been interested in photography, when my buddies were buying cars in high school I spent my money on a camera. I decided I would try to capture the human side of the tragedy

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Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley



September 2011

so that people could maybe get that sense of loss that you experience when a family member passes on.” This was of course a daunting task as the search for loved ones and fellow workers continued. “It was emotionally taxing to do this. I had to be very respectful while at the same time be thorough. I just kept thinking about how I would feel if a stranger were taking pictures at the funeral of one of my family members,” Tim related. “I believe the pictures I took tell the story, while at the same time being very respectful of the lives lost that day.” Tim, who was profoundly and deeply affected by his experiences, took between 500 and 600 photos on 35 mm film as well as 1,800 images on his digital camera. His photos will be featured at the River Valley Arts Center in Russellville with an opening scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 11th – the 10-year anniversary of the national tragedy. The exhibit will begin at 1 p.m. and will open with some words from Tim. In addition to the photographs, there will be some pieces of the rubble from Ground Zero for visitors to view. The exhibit is open to the public and will run throughout the month of September. n

Tim Tackett’s path carried him from a 16-year old dishwasher at Catfish N’ in Dardanelle to unit commander of Arkansas’ Disaster Medical Assistance Team at the time of the 9/11 tragedy at the World Trade Center. Tim is president and chief executive officer of Legend Systems Corporation, a Dardanelle-based company that caters meals from 40 to 4,000 across the United States. He now owns Catfish N’. DMAT’s purpose is to manage the medical response for mass casualty incidents, and to ease the pain and provide care for the injured and ill patients, such as those resulting from man-made or terrorist events like 9/11. In a previous interview, Tim recalled the time he was in the room during a conference call with the President in the days following 9/11. “I felt like I was in a movie, watching someone else. I remember thinking, “I’m just a ‘fire coat’ from Arkansas. What am I doing in a conference call with the President of the United States?” In his early days, Tim served as a volunteer with the Dardanelle Rural Fire Department before earning certification as an EMT and eventually joining DMAT.  – Editor’s Note

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Story by Kechia Bentley

My House is Clean, M Am I Dead?

y world got a little out of sorts recently. I am going to explain this situation the best I can, but I must warn you that it is a little convoluted – so pay close attention and I think it will all make sense in the end. You see, I have this ritual I follow every time my husband and I are both going to be gone from our home for a few days. It involves three givens. One: I plan to clean the house from top to bottom before we walk out the door. Two: Something – waiting to the last minute to pack, a family emergency, a last minute lunch date with a friend, dogs getting sick all over the back porch – always gets in the way of my cleaning the house from top to bottom. Three: On my way out of town I will always call my friend Maylu and say, “Maylu, my house is a mess. If I die, please get to my house and clean it before anyone else gets there.” Let’s stop here for a minute and discuss my desire to have my house spotless before I leave town, just in case I die. And let’s just start at the heart of the issue: it is PRIDE. Yes, I said it. It is all about my pride. Heaven forbid, I should die and have people come to my home and find it messy. I want all of you to think I keep a perfect house every single day! You may be asking yourself at this point, “Does she really think her friends and family would care?” Apparently, I do! Yes, I have played out a scene in my head where people arrive at my home following my demise and offer their sweet condolences. Then, they proceed to my bedroom or worse, my bathroom. I imagine them saying something like, “I never knew she was such a slob.” Now the reverse of that is, would they really walk into my home following my demise and comment on how clean my house is? Again, apparently, I think they would. And in this very brief moment of sanity, as I write this, I ask myself (and yes, I know talking to oneself is a sign of insanity but just humor me...) would someone, anyone really say, “So sorry she is gone. Her house was always so clean and organized.” No, they would not. And a better question yet, is would I ever say either one of those things if one of my friends was to die? Of course not! But for some reason I seem to think they would say or think that about me. (Yes, we are back to insanity.)




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Now, let me tell you how a clean house and death got my world all out of sorts. My husband and I recently spent a long weekend in Fayetteville. I did what I always do on my way out of town: I called Maylu. She was given the “if I die” instructions. Late Monday afternoon I come home and walk into my house. First thing I notice is the smell – it smells clean. Next, I notice the floor is spotless. Soon I am looking all over the house and it looks amazing. It dawns on me; Maylu has cleaned my house, even my microwave. She is good! I think to myself, I am not dead? (Brilliant, aren’t I?) She is only supposed to do this if I die. I immediately get on the phone with Maylu and ask her if there have been some vicious rumors about me going around this weekend. I asked, “Did someone tell you I died, because my house is spotless?” After a few moments of laughter, she explained that she had been there doing some laundry and decided to clean my house while she waited. (Note: they have been living in their camper waiting for their new home to be ready.) Having Maylu clean my home was such a sweet blessing. But because our deal is you clean my house if I die, I kept laughingly thinking “I should be dead.” As I went to bed that night, I thanked God for my amazing friend. I also thanked Him that I no longer have to worry about dying with a messy house. We have already had a practice run and I am very happy with the results. So if I should pass on, ya’ll come on over to the house, it will look great. Just pretend that I kept it like that all the time, and quietly n whisper a ‘thank you’ to Maylu.

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The Slow Road to Normal Tornado Disaster Recovery in the River Valley Story by Connie Las Schneider

“Hurricane Katrina devastated us and the people of Arkansas did so much to help us. When we had the opportunity to help the people of Arkansas we could not pass it up.” Mike Jacobs, Johnson County Judge, also praised the massive clean-up effort. “Words just can’t describe how much assistance the community received, not only from individuals, but from organized groups like the Volunteer Fire Departments, religious groups, State Forestry, and U.S. Forestry. The rain had not stopped falling when these groups were out in full force to open roads and clear debris off houses. “The moral support from people not only from Johnson County but from neighboring counties and other states says volumes about the character of our moral fiber. County, State, and political boundaries come down when people are in Emergency Management, the tornado need,” said Jacobs. The folks in Johnson brought out more than 1,000 volunteers and County are a very resilient, caring, and close to 10,000 hours of volunteer work in volunteering group – neighbors helping neighbors, looking out for each other. I Johnson County. “We were blessed to have a number of am very proud of our counties cooperative organizations who assisted from faith- efforts in time of need,” said Jacobs. based to Red Cross to businesses and According to Johnston, there were schools, said Johnston. There were over approximately 280 homes in Johnson 5,000 meals served in the aftermath to damaged with approximately 100 major workers and victims and we had volunteers losses or destroyed. from Arkansas as well as several other “The rebuilding effort is an ongoing process and the recovery effort will take years to return states,” said Johnston. One volunteer from Louisiana told Johnston to normal and in some cases lives will never be normal again,” said Johnston. he wanted to repay a favor to Arkansans. The devastating May 25th tornado that leveled portions of Johnson and Franklin County was a disaster of epic proportion for families impacted by the deadly twisters. Yet the resiliency and determination of the people of the Arkansas River Valley, coupled with the generosity of thousands of volunteers, has allowed residents to move beyond the tragedy and start rebuilding their homes and lives. According to Josh Johnston, coordinator of the Johnson County Department of

If you want to make a difference in someone’s life, just volunteer!

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Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

“Johnson County will be involved for some time in the education and rebuilding process. The Department of Emergency Management takes more of a back-seat effort in the later stages of recovery and will look at Mitigation projects and measures that can be implemented to reduce the threat in future disasters,” Johnston explained. With FEMA’s approval for aid to uninsured or significantly underinsured residents and businesses affected by the storm in Johnson and Franklin Counties, people are beginning to rebuild. However, the process is slow and some families are still living in tents or somewhere besides their damaged homes. The recent heat wave also caused a slowdown of rebuilding efforts as temperatures soared into the triple digits, but resolve is high to complete necessary repairs and get victims into their homes as soon as possible, said Johnston. Volunteer Groups Johnson and Franklin County tornado victims were blessed to have several volunteer organizations come to their aid including the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and various Southern Baptist volunteer crews along with many other groups and individuals. Rev. Howard Kisor, White Cap and local coordinator for Southern Baptist response, said the main mission of Southern Baptist relief was to assist private home and home owners in the recovery process. In a five-day period after the tornado, the Arkansas Valley Baptist Association located in Russellville brought in 383 trained volunteers September 2011

from around the state. Kisor said Baptist crews cooked and served 5,420 meals in a five-day period to residents and volunteer crews in the Clarksville and Denning area. “Our feeding units are under contract with the Red Cross to assist in this process. We do 90% of the cooking that is needed for the Red Cross in disaster situation,” said Kisor. The Baptist Association also brought in crews of chain-saw wielding volunteers to assist homeowners in the recovery operation and recovery units were able to assist 50 families that were affected by the storm, said Kisor.

“I remember one such family well since it was our last job after five days of work. An 80-year-old man with a small chain saw in his hand was looking at 12 large trees that had come close to destroying his home. One very large tree fell right next to his house and its roots had destroyed the wheelchair ramp that had been used to assist his ailing wife into the car for her doctor’s appointments. As I approached him I asked if he would like for us to help him clean up this mess and he said, ‘I was praying for someone to come and you all showed up’.” It is experiences like this that keeps us on alert to intervene in the lives of those who are in need of our help. “The Denning/Clarksville event would have generated a cost of several hundred thousand dollars when you consider man hours and material, but for this service we never ask for or charge any price, it is a love gift from Southern Baptist to our communities,” said Kisor. The cost of the


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service is supported by our churches in cooperation with our National, State and Local organizations, he added. “We feel that this allows us to show the love of Christ in a special way to those we encounter during a disaster. It’s what drives our nationwide organization,” said Kisor. The Salvation Army located in Russellville was also very active in the early disaster recovery process and had a mobile kitchen and donation and first-aid station in hard-hit Etna. According Lt. Josh Robinett, Commanding Officer of the Salvation Army Corps Community Center in Russellville, he and seven volunteers from the Russellville Corps served 2,366 meals, thousands of drinks and snacks, and helped manage the donation center that was set up at the Church of Christ in Etna. “Without these selfless and benevolent volunteers giving of their time we would not have been able to do the work that had such a wonderful impact on the people of Etna, AR,” said Robinett. “We were not there just to feed and to supply drinks for hydration; we were there for spiritual support and to give hope in a time when there seemed to be very little. To see such devastation was heartbreaking, but to see the Lord manifest himself and His love in such a time was very encouraging to see,” said Robinett. The American Red Cross oversaw the recovery operation. According to Jeff Patrick, the Northwest Arkansas Red Cross Community Relations Manager, the Red Cross is a charitable organization – not a government agency – and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. “As with any disaster the American Red Cross was on the scene moments after the storm to ensure that all in need have their immediate needs met,” said Patrick. Immediately following the tornadoes that struck during the night in Johnson and Franklin counties, the Northwest

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Arkansas Chapter began providing a safe place for those affected to stay and hot meals. Shelters were opened in Clarksville and Ozark, and Red Cross Disaster Teams deployed to begin assessing the damage and providing assistance to those in need. Arthur Ashby and Travis Cooper, Disaster Zone Managers and Disaster Action Team Members, were in charge of the relief efforts and had over 75 staff and volunteer responders working the Denning, Etna and Clarksville disasters. The Red Cross served 2,364 meals, 3,187 snacks and opened 127 client cases involving 361 clients. We also provided mental health services to 228 clients during the response, said Patrick. During this response, Red Cross disaster workers not only ensured that those affected had food and shelter, they provided a shoulder to lean on and a listening ear. Workers used Emergency Response Vehicles (ERVs) to go out in the affected areas to deliver meals, clean up supplies and water to clients and emergency workers, said Patrick. Overwhelmingly, the victims themselves have been truly thankful for all the help they received. In talking to survivors of this tragedy, every person interviewed expressed sincere gratitude to their neighbors, friends and community volunteers, as well as to the many organized rescue teams for their overwhelming support. The moral of this story? If you want to make a difference in someone’s life, just volunteer! n

Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

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Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

September 2011

Continued from page 10 Darby also explained the time line for issuing winter weather alerts. “A winter storm watch is usually issued 48 to 72 hours before the storm is expected to hit. This is when people need to prepare by securing, medical supplies, prescriptions, food and water and making plans in case the electricity goes out. A freezing rain event can keep electricity out for a week in some places,” said Darby. A “winter storm warning” is issued when the storm is about to happen. This is the time to stay inside and travel only when necessary. FEMA and the Red Cross have a brochure, “Winter Storms, The Deceptive Killer” available on-line at Tornados When asked about common misperceptions regarding tornados, Piltz and Amburn agreed that opening a window is “a waste of time”. Usually, the most damage is done by winds accompanying a tornado. By the time a tornado hits and air pressure changes, most damage has already been done, they agreed. Straightline winds and downbursts, which are responsible for most thunderstorm wind damage, can exceed 100 mph and will also

do considerable damage to the inside of a structure if a window is left open. Another area of the house that can cause major damage is the garage, as most garage doors are not made strong enough to withstand strong winds. Once a garage door has been blow open, the wind rushes upward to find an exit and often takes off the roof. Topography also has nothing to do with the path of a tornado, said Piltz. Being in a valley or near a river or on the side of a hill won’t necessarily protect you, he said. “That’s just wishful thinking,” he added. What’s next? Another frequent question asked of Piltz and his colleagues is why the weather of recent years seems to be getting so much worse. “Weather is cyclical. During 1953 and 1954, the weather patterns were very similar to the ones in the past few years with similar drought, and hurricane and tornado frequency, explained Piltz. The best thing a person can do in a weather emergency is to be prepared and have a plan. The government offers a $1,000 rebate program for homeowners who install a storm shelter. The basic shelter costs approximately $3000 to build.

“Safe rooms” in a home are more expensive to build. Installing “hurricane clips” in exposed areas is also helpful as they can quadruple the strength of a structure. You can also purchase a “closet kit” if your home is on a slab foundation. It is also a good idea to make a sketch of where you plan to seek shelter during an emergency and notify your local fire department of the spot, in case you need to be rescued. Fortunately, through the diligent efforts of the Skywarn team, Franklin County is one of only 12 counties in Arkansas to be awarded the “Storm Ready” designation. Tim Gehring, Northwest Area Coordinator for the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, said that Franklin county Emergency Management Severe Weather Officer, Rick Covert, who has put in over 300 volunteer hours this year alone, and other dedicated members of the team have made Skywarn the most active group in the state. Other members are still needed however. Covert can be reached via e-mail at visit the Office of Emergency Services at The National Weather Service web site is tulsa or call toll-free Severe Weather Reporting (800) 722-2778.  n

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Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley ABOUT | 19


Potluck Monday

Story and photos by Dianna Qualls About the River Valley Food Editor


otluck is defined as food or meal to which participants bring various foods to be shared, to take potluck with a friend... In the Hodge Family Dentistry office most days we eat lunch together. Some run out and pick up something – that would be Lindsay, our picky eater – while the rest of us would bring food with us. Sometimes we each go our own way, going out to lunch or whatever strikes our fancy. Dr. Hodge had a “scathingly brilliant idea.” (Hey! I’m trying to make points with the boss again.) Her suggestion was to have “potluck Mondays.” So began our adventure in the culinary quest for lunchtime cuisine. Sometimes there are even leftovers to enjoy on Tuesday. Wednesday is a toss-up and Thursday we always go out to lunch. We have accomplished having healthier, cheaper lunches and “our picky eater” has taste-tested a time or two. You go Lindsay! Some of these recipes you have probably made, seen and tasted at church potlucks – the best food in the world – or at office potlucks or family reunions. So make a big bowl of Fruity Curry Chicken Salad and pita bread and invite your co-works to sit and enjoy the luncheon and the friendship.

FRUITY CURRY CHICKEN SALAD 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cooked and diced 1 stalk celery, diced 4 green onions, chopped 1 Golden Delicious apple, peeled, cored and diced 1/3 c. golden raisins 1/3 c. seedless green grapes, halved 1/2 c. chopped toasted pecans 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

2 c. Italian seasoned bread crumbs 1/2 c. olive oil 2 lbs. pork tenderloin Salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder to taste Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix bread crumbs and olive oil in bowl to reach consistency that would be moist enough to stick to the meat when pressed. Place pork on a shallow cooking


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sheet covered with parchment paper. Season with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder to taste. Press the crumb mixture onto all sides of the meat until there is no pink showing, usually 1/4 inch thick. Bake for at least 35 minutes until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees F (75 degrees C) or until there is no pink when the pork is cut. Let the pork rest for 10 minutes then cut into 1/2 inch slices.


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In a large bowl, combine the chicken, celery, onion, apple, raisins, grapes, pecans, pepper, curry powder and mayonnaise. Mix all together. Recipe from Qs-Tip: Refrigerate at 12 to 24 hour ahead for enjoy a fuller flavor.




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LAYERED TORTELLINI PESTO CHICKEN SALAD 1 pkg. (9 oz.) refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini 1 c. frozen sweet peas 5 c. torn romaine lettuce 1 ½ c. julienne carrots 2 c. chopped grilled chicken 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into strips ½ c. mayonnaise or salad dressing ½ c. basil pesto ¼ c. buttermilk 2 T. chopped fresh parsley or basil leaves Cook tortellini as directed on package, adding peas during the last 4 minutes of cook time. Drain; rinse immediately with cold water. Pat with paper towels to remove moisture. In 3 or 4 quart clear bowl, layer the lettuce, the carrots, chicken, peas, tortellini and bell pepper. In small bowl, mix mayo, pesto, and buttermilk. Spread over peppers; sprinkle with parsley. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours until chilled or overnight. Stir just before serving. Recipe from Qs-tip: Using a trifle bowl makes a great presentation for this salad. Omit the chicken and this becomes a side salad.

CHICKEN NICOISE SALAD SANDWICHES 3 c. shredded deli rotisserie chicken (from 2 to 2 ½ lb chicken) ½ c. refrigerated cooked diced potatoes with onions (from 20 oz bag) ½ c. chopped fresh green beans ½ c. quartered cherry tomatoes ¼ c. chopped kalamata olives

2 T. mayonnaise or salad dressing 4 hard-boiled eggs diced ¾ c. balsamic vinaigrette dressing 8 unsliced bolillo or small hoagie rolls 2 c. chopped romaine lettuce

Divide ham evenly among sandwiches, tucking in to fit. Place loaf on center of foil. Seal edges, making tight ½-inch fold, fold again, allowing space for heat circulation and expansion. Place foil-wrapped loaf in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until cheese is melted and loaf is hot. To serve, open packet, carefully to allow steam to escape. Remove foil from loaf; pull apart sandwiches and serve. Qs-tip: Using a smaller diameter loaf of bread will result in smaller sandwiches which are easier to handle. Try using sliced turkey and provolone, roast beef and Swiss cheese and horseradish mustard. Be creative.

In medium bowl, gently mix all ingredients except ½ cup of the dressing, the rolls and romaine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cut slit in top of each roll, being careful not to cut all the way through. If necessary, remove excess bread from interior of each to allow room for filling. Stuff each roll with ¼ cup lettuce and rounded ½ cup chicken mixture. Drizzle each sandwich with 1 tablespoon dressing. Recipe from Qs-tip: Any crusty roll can be used for POTLUCK SALAD this sandwich, but a roll about 6 to 7 inches 3/4 c. vegetable oil 1/4 c. fresh lemon juice long will work best. 2 garlic cloves, minced HAM AND CHEESE PULL APART 1/2 tsp. salt SANDWICH LOAF 1/2 tsp. pepper 1 loaf Italian bread (10 to 12 inches long) 2 heads romaine lettuce - rinsed, dried, 3 T. butter or margarine, softened and torn into bite-size pieces 1 T. spicy brown or country-style Dijon 2 c. chopped tomatoes mustard 1 c. shredded Swiss cheese 6 slices (1 oz each) Swiss cheese 2/3 c. slivered almonds, toasted ¾ lb. thinly sliced fully cooked ham 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese 8 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled Spray 25x18-inch sheet of heavy-duty 1 c. Caesar salad croutons foil with cooking spray. Without cutting all Double Nickel Dressing (recipe follows) the way through, cut loaf of bread into 12 (3/4-inch) slices, cutting to within ¼ inch In a jar with tight-fitting lid, combine of bottom. oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper; Stir together butter and mustard. Spread cover and shake well. Chill. In a bowl, toss every other slice of bread with slightly less romaine, tomatoes, Swiss cheese, almonds than 2 teaspoons mustard mixture, creating if desired, Parmesan cheese and bacon. 6 sandwiches. Fold each slice of cheese Shake dressing; pour over salad and toss. in half diagonally; tuck each into sandwich. Add croutons and serve immediately.  >>

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Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

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POTLUCK TUNA AND MACARONI SALAD Salt and pepper 1 lb. elbow macaroni 3 ribs celery, finely chopped 1/2 c. finely diced red onion 1/2 c. finely chopped fresh parsley 1 carrot, grated 1 (12-oz.) can tuna in water, drained 1/2 c. plus 2 T reduced-fat mayonnaise 1/4 c. plain low-fat yogurt 4 tsp. cider vinegar

DOUBLE NICKEL DRESSING 1 c. white sugar 2 T. mustard powder 1 T. kosher salt 1 pinch red pepper flakes 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper 1/4 c. white vinegar 1/2 c.water 1 T. pureed garlic 2 c. corn oil

Pour over cereal mixture; mix well. Using rubber spatula sprayed with cooking spray, press mixture into pan. Cool slightly. Cut into 6 rows by 4 rows.

In the container of a blender or food processor, combine the sugar, mustard Bring a large pot of salted water to a powder, salt, red pepper flakes, black boil. Add macaroni and cook according to pepper, vinegar, water and garlic. Cover package instructions until al dente. Drain, and blend while drizzling in the corn oil to rinse with cold water and drain again. form an emulsion. COCA-COLA CAKE While the pasta is cooking, combine 1 (18.25 oz) package chocolate cake mix celery, onion, parsley, carrot and tuna in PEANUT BUTTER-CEREAL BARS 1 (12 oz) can or bottle cola-flavored a large bowl. Add cooled macaroni and 3 c. Corn Chex Cereal carbonated beverage (such as Coke®) toss to combine. In a small bowl, whisk 2 c. Total Honey Nut Clusters Cereal mayonnaise, yogurt and vinegar. Season ¾ c. creamy peanut butter Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Grease with salt and pepper and whisk. Pour over ½ c. corn syrup a 9x13 inch baking dish. pasta and toss until well coated. Cover and 2 T. butter or margarine Combine the cake mix and cola in a large refrigerate until ready to serve. 20 large marshmallows bowl. Use a hand whisk to mix ingredients Qs-tip: Adding fresh vegetables such until light and smooth, about 3 minutes. as broccoli, cauliflower summer squash Spray 13x9-inch pan with cooking Pour batter into prepared baking dish. or zucchini cut into bite size pieces or, spray. In large bowl, mix cereals; set Bake cake in preheated oven until a artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes or aside. In 2-quart saucepan, cook remaining toothpick inserted in the center of the cake roasted red peppers. Trade pastas, any ingredients over low heat, stirring comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. While short pasta shape will work in this recipe. constantly, until marshmallows are melted. still hot, frost with Coca-Cola Frosting.

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Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

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COCA-COLA FROSTING Combine and heat to boiling: ½ c. butter or margarine 2 T. cocoa 6 T. cola soft drink Pour over 4 cups confectioners› sugar and mix well, adding more cola until desired spreading consistency. Mix in 1 cup chopped nuts and spread over hot cake. Allow cake to cool before cutting. Qs-Tip: Diet cola may be used. Use other flavored cake mixes and cola.

EASY STICKY BUNS 12 T. (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temp. 1/3 c. light brown sugar, lightly packed 1/2 c. pecans, chopped in very large pieces 1 pkg. (17.3-oz/ 2-sheets) frozen puff pastry, defrosted

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For the filling: 2 T. unsalted butter, melted and cooled 2/3 c. light brown sugar, lightly packed 3 tsp. ground cinnamon 1c. raisins Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place a 12-cup standard muffin tin on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the 12 T. butter and 1/3 cup brown sugar. Place 1 rounded tablespoon of the mixture in each of the 12 muffin cups. Distribute the pecans evenly among the 12 muffin cups on top of the butter and sugar mixture. Lightly flour a wooden board or stone surface. Unfold 1 sheet of puff pastry with the folds going left to right. Brush the whole sheet with the melted butter. Leaving a 1-inch border on the puff pastry, sprinkle each sheet with 1/3 cup of the brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the cinnamon, and 1/2 cup of the raisins. Starting with the end nearest you, roll the pastry up snugly like a jelly roll around the filling, finishing the roll with the seam side down. Trim the ends of the roll about 1/2inch and discard. Slice the roll in 6 equal pieces, each about 1 1/2 inches wide. Place each piece, spiral side up, in 6 of the muffin cups. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry to make 12 sticky buns. Bake for 30 minutes, until the sticky buns are golden to dark brown on top and firm to the touch. Be careful - they’re hot! Allow to cool for 5 minutes only, invert the buns onto the parchment paper (ease the filling and pecans out onto the buns with a spoon) and cool completely. Recipe: n September 2011

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BRAYBERRY FARM A Gentle Cross to Bear Story by Allyson Johnson | Photos courtesy of Brayberry Farm


he Arkansas River Valley is home to many beautiful landscapes. Mountains, lakes and parks around the area make it truly a spectacular place to visit. But, there is no place as breathtaking as the home of Brayberry Farm. It rests on the side of a mountain a little ways past Dover. In the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s, it was a large peach orchard owned by the Shoptaw family. This orchard was irrigated by a natural spring that ran through the property. In an attempt to enhance the flow of the spring, dynamite was used and unfortunately it rerouted and destroyed the spring leading to the decline of the orchard. Ron and Nora Reimer purchased the property in the 1980s. Ron was a landscape contractor and is responsible for creating the beautiful landscape that exists on the property today. Ron invested over 20 years developing a strain of apricot trees conducive to Arkansas climate. Over 500 apricot trees still remain on the property. Phil and Lori Howard purchased this property in 2005. It was kind of a coincidence that this property fell into their hands. They had been looking to purchase a location outside of town in 2000 when they found this one-of-a-kind piece of land. Unfortunately their home didn’t sell and they had to forfeit on buying the property. In 2005, they were in search of property once again when they heard about this beautiful land outside of Dover. They knew this had to be the same property they wanted to purchase in 2000. They immediately considered this providence, and purchased the property. After building a beautiful three-story house, they moved into their new home in January of 2007.

24 | ABOUT

When Phil and Lori purchased the property with such beautiful landscaping, privacy and wildlife galore, they made a commitment to share it with others as much as possible. Lori says their goal has been to create an atmosphere of simplicity and to encourage others to appreciate nature and all that God has created. For the past three years the Howards have been host to a fun-filled pumpkin patch. This includes pumpkins, face-paintings and games. The proceeds of their annual pumpkin patch benefits the preschool program at their church. Their home also is a haven for area photographers looking for beautiful pictures. Many children also visit their property during school field trips. While this is one breathtaking place to visit based on the landscaping and nature alone, not to mention the cooler weather and evening breezes, there is one other thing that makes Brayberry Farm unique. They raise miniature Mediterranean donkeys. Yes… donkeys.

Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

September 2011

Most people are not familiar with miniature donkeys (including the author.) Once around these precious creatures, I cannot imagine a more special animal to raise. The story of how the miniature donkey farm got started is quite comical. After Lori saw a picture of a baby miniature donkey online, she convinced Phil to visit the only farm they knew of in Arkansas that raised these creatures, in Vilonia. After just one minute in the pasture, they were both hooked. While Phil was on a mission trip to Central America, Lori purchased the first two. What a surprise for him when he got back to Arkansas. The idea was that it would be a fun addition to the pumpkin patch to have a couple of driving donkeys for carts. Almost three years later their herd has grown to 25 donkeys. Miniature donkeys are very affectionate animals and they are naturally attracted to people. They strongly care for their family and develop lasting bonds with humans. Miniature donkey intelligence is superior to that of other farm animals. They think, reason and are easily trained. They are known to not put themselves or their humans in harm’s way. These donkeys have an average life span of 30 to 35 years with good nutrition and proper care. But many miniature donkeys have been known to live much longer. Almost all donkeys have a “cross.” This cross is a darker brown or black stripe running from the top of the donkey’s back from the withers and extending to the rear and down the tail. There is also a shoulder stripe that intersects the dorsal stripe at the withers running down each shoulder. There is a legend called the “Legend

of the Donkey’s Cross”. It states that the donkey was rewarded for his loyalty to Jesus when he carried Him into Jerusalem and staying with Him at the crucifixion by placing the shadow of the cross across the donkeys back for all to remember the importance of God’s humblest of creatures. Who knew? The Howards say that miniature donkeys are small and easy to manage, and they’re generally healthy. As far as “livestock” go they are economical to raise. The demand has remained steady and the prices have remained relatively stable for quite some



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time even through the ups and downs of the economy. The donkeys are very easy to market because they sell themselves with their delightful disposition, love of people and easygoing nature. It seems there are many things one can do with miniature donkeys. They are easy to train to lead and pull carts. They can be taken to fairs, nursing homes, schools, churches, birthday parties and donkey shows. They always seem to be a hit wherever they go, and they seem to enjoy the adventure. Some miniature donkeys have become registered therapy donkeys and bring joy to hospitals for children and the elderly. After one visit to their majestic landscaping, emerald-green pond, overflowing wildlife and ever-affectionate miniature donkeys, visitors will have to tell everyone they know of the wonderful experience that sits just atop the mountain outside of Dover at Brayberry Farm. For more information visit the website n

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Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

(479) 968-2284 ABOUT | 25

Heart of the City Story by Dianne Edwards | Photos courtesy MSR


ain Street Russellville, while often confused with ‘Main Street Mission’, is on a mission of its own – “to revitalize and develop the downtown area of Russellville as a business and governmental center as well as a cultural center for the River Valley.” Poignant words, but exactly what do they mean? By bringing together community members who care and are willing to work diligently to develop a vital and growing economy, members of Main Street Russellville combine those efforts while improving the appearance and purpose of Historic Downtown Russellville. A body does not function without its heart and Downtown Russellville serves as the ‘heart of the city’ and has since Russellville was incorporated as a city on June 7, 1870. In fact, the first business to be established in the town was owned by Mr. Shinn, who later built a masonry structure to replace his wooden store in 1875. Known as the Shinn Building – which houses Italian Gardens Restaurant – still exists today. Even then, the area was central to the lives of early settlers as the Shinn Building was constructed at heart of the intersection of an east-west road from Little Rock to Fort Smith and a north-south buffalo trail to a ford on the Arkansas River. Russellville’s oldest commercial structure benefited from a successful rehabilitation project and shed new light on the potential for adaptive reuse of historic structures in 1995. In 1996, Gov. Mike Huckabee presented a Main Street Arkansas “Special Recognition in Economic Restructuring” Award to Shinn Building owners Mike and Joy Miller. The Shinn Project and countless others have been collaborations of the efforts of Main Street Russellville. In 1992, Gov. Bill Clinton designated Russellville as an ‘official’ Main Street City. 26 | ABOUT

An open house signified the official opening of the Main Street Russellville (MSR) office in the Worthen Bank building with Angela Halverson (Woker) serving as the first MSR program manager. Beginning with MSR’s inception in 1992, options for funding became available. The first Mini-Grant Program awarding two $1,000 matching fund grants were awarded. Antiquated parking meter posts removed from downtown sidewalks and any street signs were replaced in downtown area. A flagpole island at the intersection of West Main and Arkansas Avenue was landscaped, creating an attractive entrance to the Downtown area. This island is still maintained by long-time dedicated volunteer Mary Cahoon. In 1995, a water source as acquired at the Flag Pole Island

matching funds Model Business Grant for Lefler’s Fashions at 103 N. Commerce. J Thacker Shoes was approved for $4,200 matching funds Model Business Grant (’94.) A $15,000 matching funds Model Business Grants for Hall Studio was issued in 1995. Another on behalf of The Frame Shop for rehabilitation of the Hamilton Building at 203 W. C was issued in’96. (For a complete list of all grants and awards, visit the MSR page at In 1994, two male Gingko trees were planted at City Hall and existing trash receptacles were cleaned and painted. A County Courthouse Restoration Grant in the amount of $5,000 for the Pope County Courthouse was received. The word of MSR’s success spread. The image was enhanced as mugs, t-shirts,

$1,324,561 Grants and other funds invested in the Main Street Russellville projects are just a portion of the 8 million dollars that have been reinvested in Russellville’s downtown since 1992. Betsy McGuire, Director MSR for ease of maintenance. The MSR’s first-ever Downtown Fall Festival and Chili Cookoff took place in 1992, followed by a “Taste of the Valley,” the first fundraising tasting party which premiered at the Hughes Community Center in 1993. The event later won the Arkansas Festival Association’s ALFIE Award for Best New Festival of 1994 and many subsequent awards recognizing its continued success. MSR relocated to 100 N. Denver, the historic building which once housed Russellville’s first hospital. Betsy McGuire, who continues to serve as Program Director for Main Street Russellville, was hired in 1993. The years that followed saw a $4,000 Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

sweatshirts, aprons and caps bearing the MSR iconic logo were distributed beginning in 1994. Accolades are numerous, too many to accurately mention but among them, in 1994, Russellville received the first of many Main Street Arkansas awards for Special Achievement in Organization for Membership and Fundraising. The first in a series of limited edition Community Christmas Ornaments featuring the 1931 Pope County Courthouse was introduced in 1994. New ornaments, offering historic buildings within the downtown district, have been offered each year since. As early as 1994, Main Street Russellville hosted a day-long series of meetings at the September 2011

Russellville area Chamber of Commerce to develop recommendations for Streetscape Improvement Plans. By 1995, the University of Arkansas’ Community Design Center agreed to work with MSR and the community to develop a Master Plan for Downtown Public Improvements. Phase I of a Master Plan for Downtown Development was presented in 1996. In 1996, Russellville’s Historic Downtown Commercial District, consisting of 60 buildings, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Through a partnership with Main Street Russellville, the City of Russellville acquired the old post office building/federal building from the General Services Administration in 1996. A Downtown Revitalization Grant enabled MSR to present a $3,500 check to the City for exterior restoration of the Old Post Office/Federal Building in 1997. A committee dedicated to the preservation and redevelopment of Russellville’s historic Missouri-Pacific railroad depot was created in 1996. “Friends of the Depot” was formed. A special children’s t-shirt proclaiming “Clikkety Clak…bring the Depot back!” brought special attention to the FOD project. In 1998 Gov. Mike Huckabee and staff met with volunteers to generate awareness and support for the project. Later that year, the Union Pacific Foundation approved a grant in the amount of $1,500 to MSR. The Friends of the Depot continued to work toward the city’s acquisition of the historic Missouri-Pacific railroad depot in 1998. The city council approved a contract with Union Pacific in November. In 1999, a successful bid of $1,500 at statewide auction yielded the Hope, Ark., Caboose for the Depot Project. In 2000, the City Council approved use of funds from the Arkansas Highway and

Phase III was completed at a cost of $64,483 and included the sidewalk, curb and gutter and bollards to create a pedestrian friendly multi-use plaza at the entry to the Depot. Main Street Russellville provided funding in the amount $16,283.60. Russellville appointed a nine-member Historic District Commission and approved a local ordinance protecting Russellville’s Downtown Historic District in 2008. In 2009, City Resolution No. 1114 authorized the development of a Downtown Master Plan through Main Street Russellville. The efforts of this committee continue. Further studies, such as one recently completed by The Walker Collaborative, will be presented in future articles. Main Street Russellville provides several incentive programs to encourage downtown revitalization and improvements in the designated Main Street District. The district, designated in 1992, is defined as bordered by Parkway on the north, Third Street on the south, Boston Avenue on the east, and El Paso Avenue on the west.  Cont. on page 29

Transportation Department (AHTD) and proceeded with the Depot Project. Burris Memorial Plaza was dedicated as a memorial tribute to the six members of the River Valley that lost their lives in the airline tragedy in Little Rock on June 1, 1999. “Strike the Spike” groundbreaking of the Depot Project was held in 2002. Reunion ‘Round the Rails” celebrated the rededication and public opening of the Depot in May 2004. In 2006, the Depot Project Capital Campaign received a Main Street Arkansas Award for Best Creative Fundraising Effort. First Friday Downtown Art Walk was named Best Special Event by Main Street Arkansas. Phase IV of the Depot Project (completed in 2007 due to the availability of our TEA funds) at a cost to Main Street Russellville of $62,258. The funding for this phase was provided by a $5,000 DTR Competitive Grant in addition to Friends of the Depot fundraisers that included Rummage ‘Round the Rails, the Fall Fest Omelet Breakfast, and the ongoing sale of engraved brick pavers.

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WE’VE GOT ‘EM ALL! September 2011

Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

ABOUT | 27


Story by Sam Strasner, ATU

ATU Center for Preparedness and Recovery

When Arkansas Tech University first offered a Bachelor of Science degree in emergency management in 1997, it revolutionized the field in the Natural State. For more than a decade, Arkansas Tech has trained and prepared leaders in the field of emergency management –- leaders who have gone forth to make a difference in our communities. Now, Arkansas Tech is ready to share what it has learned to make Arkansas even stronger. The Center for Preparedness and Recovery at Arkansas Tech is a new initiative that offers disaster response assistance for school districts and local government agencies throughout the state. Entities that contract with the Center for Preparedness and Recovery receive training and planning assistance that help ensure the continuity of operations for schools, cities and counties when disaster strikes. Ed Leachman, head of the Arkansas Tech Department of Emergency Management, said that understanding the threats and their potential impact on essential processes for an organization are the first steps toward developing a disaster recovery plan. “You have to know what functions you must be capable of within one day, three days, a week and a month after a disaster,” said Leachman. “That involves computer

28 | ABOUT

programs and data, but it also involves people. There is a human resources element to it. You must be able to identify your essential personnel, and you must have back-up personnel in all of those areas.” And not only do organizations need to have those personnel identified. Leachman said that it is critical to know what those people are capable of. “When you look at a school district, it is important to know who is certified in CPR, who has a CDL license and who has other special skills that are important in an emergency situation,” said Leachman. “Having that skills inventory at hand before trouble arrives can make all the difference.” The Center for Preparedness and Recovery at Arkansas Tech has worked with 15 school districts to aid them in preparing a disaster plan. Each team that prepares a disaster plan for

Reflecting the Character of the Arkansas River Valley

an entity is led by a graduate student in the Arkansas Tech Department of Emergency Management. Undergraduate emergency management students at Arkansas Tech provide support for the researching of data and development of strategies. “It is very much of a team structure,” said Leachman. “Once we complete a disaster recovery plan, we conduct exercises to train district personnel on the plan and test it for any weaknesses. We also perform annual updates and maintenance for our clients. “Every school district is strapped for resources, but they have audit requirements that mandate disaster recovery plans like the ones we provide,” continued Leachman. “We can help facilitate that process in a way that benefits our communities through improved preparedness and benefits our students by providing them with real-world experience.”

September 2011

Arkansas Tech was at the forefront of emergency management education when it developed its academic curriculum in the field in 1997. It was just the third such baccalaureate program in the country. Since then, Arkansas Tech has become the first emergency management program in the world to receive accreditation from the Foundation on Higher Education in Disaster/Emergency Management and Homeland Security. Arkansas Tech has also added a Master of Science degree in Emergency Management and Homeland Security. “Emergency management is a very active profession,” said Leachman. “Successful students in our program and successful professionals in our field are typically people who like to collaborate as part of a team. They are also willing to work in new and challenging areas as threats emerge. Communication, critical thinking and leadership are essential tools to have in our field.” For more information about the Center for Preparedness and Recovery at Arkansas Tech, or for more information about studying emergency management at Arkansas Tech, call CFPR Director Tonya Roberts-Young at (479) 880-4192 or visit n Cont. from page 27 For additional information on various grants and projects which are high visibility, high impact, long term projects that benefit the greatest number of people call MSR at (479) 967-1437. A Downtown association of business and property owners and residents gather to promote the “heart of the city” on a regular basis. Main Street committees and members of the Master Plan Committee work continually to enhance Historic Downtown Russellville and propel it to economic vitality. Eight individuals have served as president of the Main Street Russellville program since its inception in 1992. They have included: Toni Laws, ’92-94; Jan Shaw, ‘95’ Joyce Larkin, ’96’ Peggy Talkington, ’97-2003; Richard Ruble, ’04; Jim Coutts, ’05-’06; Linda Carnahan, ’07-08; and Dick Goodman, ’09-’11. John Harris, current vice president of the MSR executive board, will serve as president beginning in 2012. Eighteen board members and three Ex-Officio members, as well as the twomember MSR staff, meet a minimum of once a month as a board to stay abreast of current situations involving the Main Street Russellville program. It is impossible to tell the story of Main Street Russellville within the confines of a few pages. Visit for additional information. n September 2011



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Calendar listings on the pages of each issue of ABOUT … the River Valley are available at no charge. They may be mailed to: ABOUT Magazine, P.O. Box 10176, Russellville AR 72812 or sent via email to: (A phone number must be included for verification.)

–September 10–

Holley Freyaldenhoven and Joshua Shepard Kristin Littrell and Justin Cothren Kiffany Noles and Lawson Hipps Amanda Talley and Paden Phelps

–September 24– Charity Stuart and Bryce Smith Lindsay Terry and Zach Orlicek Allison York and Thomas Jones

Johnston, Moix to Wed

–October 1– Kalyn Riggs and Jason Stark

–October 7– Miki King and Coe Biggers

–October 8–

Katie Pounders and Kelsey Harelson

–October 15–

Karen Daniels and Tim Lynch Claire Kennedy and Matt Glover Jenny Harrison and Kory Loop

–October 16–

Ginger Humphreys and Rene Garza, Jr.

–October 22–

Megan Johnston and Kane Moix Kristin Shehorn and Adam McMahan Alexis Tucker and Shan Scrimshire

–October 29–

Grace Ann Yokem and James Depper

–November 19–

Jessica Rutledge and Christopher Smith To have your engagement or wedding published in a future issue of ABOUT Magazine, visit

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30 | ABOUT

Megan Leigh Johnston of Russellville and Kane Michael Moix of Rogers announce their engagement and approaching marriage. The couple will be married at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011, at First United Methodist Church in Russellville. Megan is the daughter of Dr. Mike and Mrs. Terri Johnson, and Gordon and Leslie Blackwell, all of Russellville. The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Marilyn McKelvey of Pine Bluff, Bess McNeer Schell of Hudson, Fla., the late Bruce Johnston and the late Bill NcNeer. She is a 2006 graduate of Russellville High School and earned a bachelor of science degree in 2010 from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, graduating with biology emphasis and a minor in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies. She is currently attending the College of Nursing at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and is employed as a pharmacy technician in Maumelle. Kane is the son of Ed and Nita Moix of Rogers. He is the grandson of Ben and Catherine Pinter of Morrilton, Maryann Moix of Conway, and the late Edmond Moix, Sr. The prospective groom is a 2006 graduate of Rogers High School and earned a bachelor of science degree in 2010 from the University of Central Arkansas, graduating with an emphasis on physical therapy and a minor in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies. He is a student in the Doctorate of Physical Therapy program at UCA where he is employed as a graduate assistant by the UCA Physical Therapy Department. Friends and family are invited to attend. A reception will follow at the home of Dr. Finley and Mrs. Raye Turner of Russellville.

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September 2011

Sastry Prayaga, M.D. Interventional Cardiologist

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Here At Home. Leading physicians. That’s our promise. Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center and Russellville Cardiology Clinic are pleased to announce the addition of Interventional Cardiologist, Sastry Prayaga to our skilled medical staff. Dr. Prayaga’s skill and experience provide leading cardiology services that include: heart catheterization, angioplasty/stents via the radial artery, and intravascular ultrasound. For more information on the services that we offer or to schedule an appointment, please call 479.968.4311.

106 Inglewood • Russellville, AR 72801 • 479.968.4311

ABOUT | September 2011  
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