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First Annual

ALT Pet Contest

Winners Harry & Heidi Barlow


covering the ark-la-tex


Back to School


Local Brides and Grooms Celebrate Their Love

August 2019 | Volume 13 | Issue 8

W W W . A L T - M A G . C O M | August 2019 03

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A u g u s t 2 0 1 9 / Vo l u m e 1 3 / I s s u e 8


covering the ark-la-tex


Local Teachers


Financial Focus


Pet Contest Winners


Fish Tales




Ribbon Cuttings




Calendar of Events


Local Rescues

Inside This Month...

A Look at Local Teachers Fo r a d ver t i s i n g info r m atio n, c all 903. 334. 9605 COO / PUBLISHER / EDITOR Debbie Brower ASSOCIATE EDITOR Alyssa Bertrand SALES & MARKETING Debbie Brower 903.334.9605 GRAPHIC DESIGN/SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER Michelle Horton PHOTOGRAPHY Alyssa Bertrand, Debbie Brower, Karen Lansdell

How you save is just as important as why you save. So whether it’s for your dream vacation or for an early retirement, we have a savings package that will help you reach your goal the right way. Learn more about BancorpSouth’s savings accounts and compare our options at

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Debbie Brower, Mike Brower, Dustin Stringer FEATURE WRITERS Anne Granado If you have an event you would like to include in our Upcoming Events section, please e-mail us at:

A LT - M AG . c o m 101 Slaton Dr. Nash, TX 75569 (903) 334-9605 ALT Magazine is published the 1st business day of every month. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission of ALT Magazine is strictly prohibited. ALT Magazine is distributed free of charge. Direct mail subscriptions are available for $42.00 per year. Contributions from our readers are welcome. We reserve the right to edit or reject any material.

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06 ALT Magazine August 2019

Pinnacle Creative dba ALT Magazine

Gilliam Hearing Center Voted Best Hearing Care Center 2019

(Left to right is: Mike Gilliam C.A.E Certified Acoustic Engineer, Justin Snow L.T. Licensed Hearing Specialist, Debbie Attaway Office Manager and Andrew Gilliam L.T. License Hearing Speicalist.)

3101 Kennedy Lane Center • Texarkana, Texas 75503 903-832-4327

From the Publisher... Wow! This month’s issue is full of so many things I absolutely love! Teachers, pets, and weddings! What could be better? Teachers are the rock that our entire lives are built around. What would we do without them? Throughout my life, I have had so many wonderful teachers. I grew up in a small town in Alabama. The school I attended graduated around 80-90 students each year. Small town folks and private schools – yes, it happens. I actually can say I didn’t particularly like high school. You see, I was that nerdy person who really didn’t fit in – except with the other nerdy people. I was not a part of the “cool kids” clique. My mom made most of my clothes because there was no place to buy anything to fit my 117 pound, 5’9” tall body. And I was smart. I loved going to class, and as long as I attended and listened, I didn’t have to do much studying at home. The result was straight A’s. That trend continued throughout my college days.

My kids hated that I was a straight A student. Not just because they thought that I was a nerdy person, but because I expected the same from them. I always told them I never expected anything I didn’t think they could accomplish. I can remember Jaclyn telling me how scared she was the first time she made a “B” in math! She struggled with math her entire school career. Math was always her nemesis. I find it interesting that now that she is in state trooper academy, the class she has really loved involved a lot of math – and she excelled at it! All those wonderful math tutors come to mind and the hours she spent after school. Again, teachers are amazing! At least I know they are helping her with her future. The futures of so many pets in our area were helped by monies raised by our local citizens. Our First Annual Pet Contest was a hit! Thank you so much to Scotty and Klancy Barlow for the large donation – but also thanks to everyone who made donations. Any amount, from $1 to $5,000, helps pets in need. And they did, indeed, help so many pets in need! Hope you love the cover photo and all the cute babies shown this month. Last, but not least, are our weddings. I always love the wedding issues. Weddings, with their beautiful clothes, venues, brides and grooms, melt my heart. It is such an honor to be allowed to help someone start the rest of their life. After almost 30 years of marriage, I understand how important the marriage is. I try to counsel the brides who allow me to photograph their weddings that once the wedding day gets there, roll with it. It’s a day out of their life. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Love your groom and don’t stress. After all, you will be married by the end of the day. And the marriage is where it is at. Memories fade with time – so no matter what goes wrong, don’t worry. You still have your love to make it through. May God bless you and yours.

08 ALT Magazine August 2019

Come Brunch With Us!!

#benchmarktxk BRASSERIE

noun | bras·se·rie \ bras-rē An informal restaurant style originating in France including simple hearty food usually including a large selection of drinks.

Locally influenced French-American cuisine with an upscale casual atmosphere. Family friendly dining room with a separate bar serving original cocktails.

Hours Tuesday - Friday 4-late | Saturday 12-late | Sunday Brunch 11-3 4115 N Kings Hwy #111 Texarkana, Texas 75503

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(903) 949-6720 | August 2019 09

Jennifer Gibson Pleasant Grove ISD

Educator Jennifer became a teacher after years in the corporate world. She met her husband, Josh Gibson, in high school. They married in 1997 and went straight to Howard Payne University graduating with their bachelor degrees in 2001. Josh started his teaching/coaching career immediately after college graduation, and Jennifer started a job with PDX, Inc. They moved where Josh’s coaching jobs guided them, landing in Frisco, Texas from 2004 to 2014. In 2009, Jennifer began her career in education split between the Career & Technical Education Center and Frisco High School as a business education and information technology education teacher. “After spending eight years in the corporate world, working for PDX, Incorporated, Countrywide Home Loans Corporate Offices (acquired by Bank of America) & Robert Half Technology, I decided to use my corporate experience in Information Technology, and employee placement to bring real corporate world experience into the career and technical education classrooms,” Jennifer says. “Teaching, leading, and guiding in a positive and constructive manner is something that I felt was important for our youth, so I jumped in ‘full tilt’ and absolutely love my job!” In 2014, Josh accepted the position as the Head Football Coach and Athletic Director for Pleasant 010 ALT Magazine August 2019

Grove ISD, and Jennifer accepted a position teaching business, finance and information technology within the Career and Technical Education department for Pleasant Grove High School. They have enjoyed the move to Texarkana and spending time here with their two boys: Jordan, 22, and Jackson, 14. “I very much enjoy teaching a variety of classes, and beginning new programs for the students of Pleasant Grove High School. In 2018, I earned my master’s degree in Educational Technology Leadership, and assumed the role of Career and Technical Education Director,” Jennifer says. “I am so grateful for Pleasant Grove ISD, and I absolutely love the school district, and our community. PG is definitely the place for me!” For Jennifer, it is important to spend time talking and joking with her students as well as watching their learning styles and design techniques to provide feedback to enhance their knowledge and skills. Many of her students are involved in extracurricular activities, so she attends their events outside of the classroom, and visits with them at sporting events, theater performances, band competitions, in the hallways between classes, and sometimes, she will even run into many of them at their place of employment around town. “The advice I would give to someone considering teaching as a career is that it is incredibly important

to be patient and to not take anything personally,” book, and raced back to TC to get the book to them,” Jennifer says. “Students need someone who they Jennifer says. “When I got back, they were shocked can trust, and feel comfortable around. They want how fast I made the trip just to get them a book. We to feel important, and they want their efforts given to ended up winning placing first in our very first UIL be worth their time. Build them up, encourage them, Accounting meet, so it was well worth the stress and but most importantly, be patient and kind. They speed!” need positivity in their lives, and as their teachers, we Because Jennifer teaches graphic design, have a great responsibility to be that for them.” animation, finance and business, the content is either Jennifer still stays in contact with her most applicable to students’ lives, or fun and entertaining influential teacher from middle school. His name to learn. Therefore, the motivation is easy to achieve. is Coach Martin from Mance Park Middle School in “I spend a lot of time preparing my lessons with Huntsville, TX. “Coach Martin was always happy, kind learning activities that are out of the ordinary and and patient,” Jennifer says. “He made junior high a fun. However, my students are motivated by the lot less stressful just by being so nice. I very much opportunities that they have to prepare graphic appreciate his joy and kindness that helped me get and animation material for the Foyer TV in the front through middle school.” of the high school, the jumbotrons in the cafeteria Recently, Jennifer’s funniest moment and competition gym, as well as a wide variety of happened during her team’s first UIL Accounting marketing and announcement material for most district competition. The team was all a little nervous, school district events and pep rallies.” and Jennifer decided to stop by the meet at Texarkana For Jennifer, the best part of her job is College (TC) between her classes. “When I got there, being recognized by students for having positively I asked the team if they needed anything, and it influenced their lives. “I love being a good role model, turned out that we didn’t have a book. Without friend and educator for them,” Jennifer says. “I also hesitation, I said, ‘No problem. I’ll go get Girls one,’ Varsity and I Soccer love when Area students return years later to visit with me left. I jumped in my car, ran back across Champions town for a to share their stories of life after high school.” ts, & Even ry t Issues la , Currening & Vocabu g n ti n u Spell Acco Teams: ematics, and 1st Place ced , Math sm li a ack Advan Tr rn Jou Girls Varsity ILPC Gold Star AdvanED/SACS/CASI rts in the A Accreditation for all Award s r’ o rn campuses ove State G Mixed UIL Academic Spelling & D o Region uble Ten Vocabulary Champion nis al Cha mpion s ing Sightread cert and l UIL Con oo h Sc le n Midd Varsity Footba 1st Divisio ll Area ContestChampions ck a r T y t si r a r V e Boys al Qualifi Region

Lone Star Cup, 7th Place

erce M-Comm Texas A&and- 8 students B Honor 24 ILPC Individ Achievement ual Awards UIL Solo and Ensemble- 21st Division Events Boys Tennis Singles Regional Qualifier l echnica Earned er and T ns 120 Careon Certificatio Educati UIL Robotic s, 1st Plac


Girls Varsity Basketball Area Champions

Celebrate Art Awards students zz Honors- 4 of Excellence All Region Ja rall e v O ll ions Overa ll District amp e a t b a se t a S B a Ch e UIL 6th place r Varsity ns A all Spirit, aseb Champio Varsity Football ity B Vars State Finalist One Act Play Girls 8th Grade Volleyball Champions, 5 Bi-District individual District Champions medals


t Distric Texas Art Teacher of the Year, Nicole Brisco all Bib e s a yB Varsit pions Girls 7th Gra de District Cham Champ Basketball ions d n a rt ic A ized n g Scholast o c e o R sc Writing r, Nicole Bri EducatoNational Scholastic Art Awards: Gold and Silver Award Winners rris: Charla Ha Education k Journalism National Yearboo Associationthe Year Adviser of l Division m Drill Tea lass- High Schoo Best in C Outsta Studen nding t Coun cil Drill Team Competition High Point Award- Kick

2017-2018 Hawk yearbook : CSPA Gold Crown l o o le Sch istrict d id D s M hampion Boys s Country District C Cros pions Tennis Bim a Te ll m a F Cha UIL Academic & Vocabulary Spelling r e c c State o S y Qu it alifier s Var ions Girls Varsity Track Girls Champ Regional Qualifiers Area Champion Band Dance r: UIL State Varsity Chee

8500 North Kings Hwy Texarkana, TX 75503 | August 2019 011

Leigh Haley Red Lick ISD

Educator Leigh says that she is a “mother, teacher, and Christian with all of them overlapping and intertwined.” Her favorite place is at home with her children: Allison, Martin, and Anna. Allison is a senior at TAMU-T, Martin is a sophomore at PGHS, and Anna is a seventh grader at RLMS. “They are my life, and I am beyond proud of each of them. We spend a lot of time together, including my parents and sisters with their families,” Leigh says. “I’m so thankful to have them all living so close to share weeknight family dinners and conversation.” If Leigh is not at home, you can find her at church or at school. She teaches fifth and sixth grade students at Red Lick Middle School about their rights and responsibilities as citizens. Right across the street from the school is Red Lick United Methodist Church, the church where she was born, baptized, and raised. Leigh helps with worship services and serves in various jobs within her church family. “In every stage of my life, I have been surrounded by people who love and support me,” Leigh says. “My life is full in all the best ways.” In 1993, at the age of 22, Leigh graduated with degrees from Texarkana College and East Texas State University at Texarkana. She began teaching that fall at Red Lick. In the next few years, she started her family. “I took breaks along the way to stay at home for a while with each of my three. I am thankful that I had support from home to be able to do that,” Leigh says. “In between caring for my kiddos and my teaching years at Red Lick, PG, and Kilgore, I also worked as a dental assistant and spent some time working in the family business. I returned to teaching full time in 2008 at Red Lick where I plan to stay put.” 012 ALT Magazine August 2019

Teaching was just a natural choice for Leigh. She was playing school with her sisters when they were all very little. Leigh was even helping teach Sunday school to the smaller kids at church. “I always loved school, and I really enjoyed the challenge of learning new things. I just knew that teaching would fit me, and it fit the life I envisioned for myself as a mother,” Leigh says. “I wasn’t really thinking of it as a career at first, but I grew into it. It seems every year, I am more and more glad to be in this field. Not only do I get to tackle challenges professionally, but I gain a deeper understanding for people as I interact with my students and their families. I believe that I am being used for good, and that makes me very content.” Leigh has been blessed with many influential teachers through the years, and she continues to learn and grow from interactions with her colleagues. “I fell in love with school in Mrs. Davis’ kindergarten class, and in sixth grade, Mrs. Norton made me want to be just like her. I learned to persevere in Mrs. Howard’s science classes, and at home and in church, I learned to love Jesus from my Mom,” Leigh says. “As the years go by, the more I realize that the teachers who I work with every day are influencing me in many ways, almost as much as those from my childhood. In all of my years in education, I have been honored to work alongside the most dedicated, amazing people who have shown me how to be a strong teacher and friend. Teachers are a special group of people! I am proud to be one of them.” When Leigh first meets students, she shows she cares by learning their names and taking time to listen to them. “I can’t say that I am great at this all the time, but I

try. I think this shows people of all ages how important they really are to you. I also try to laugh with them,” Leigh says. “Laughter, chatting, and just being silly seem to work their way into my room. When kids are comfortable and enjoying themselves, I believe they will be more receptive in class. I want students to leave my classroom feeling accomplished, encouraged, and happy.” One funny story that Leigh remembers from the classroom occurred a few years ago during a vocabulary lesson. “I mispronounced one word that, let’s just say, didn’t come out right. Of course, I immediately corrected it but those middle schoolers just couldn’t let it go,” Leigh says. “I still have students come up to me years later reminding me of this slip up. They laugh, I laugh. It’s still funny and embarrassing! I can tell you that not a day goes by without laughter when you work with kids.” Leigh believes that the strongest motivation comes from within, so she does everything she can to make her classroom a place that gives students a feeling of strength and confidence in themselves. Meeting with each student individually, Leigh encourages them to make small improvements each day. “We memorize quotes from the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. We take the quotes and break them down into easier language so they can recognize how significant these documents really are,” Leigh says. “This is a challenging assignment so we practice saying them together, I give them lots of

study strategies, and multiple chances to try to get it just right. This year, I will be using sign language and Spanish to teach the quotes. I’m excited to see how this will affect their learning!” Leigh believes that whatever career people choose, they should use it to make an impact on the people around them. She believes we should all show kindness, love, mercy, gratitude and respect, no matter where we are called to serve. Then, if someone is considering becoming a teacher, Leigh says that they will have daily opportunities to practice and experience these qualities. “It will be difficult some days, leaving you feeling drained or discouraged, and you may want to quit. All jobs do that to you at some point,” Leigh says. “Just remember that a teacher is one of the most important people in the lives of kids. And the kids will give you a thousand reasons every day to keep going. Choose teaching. You won’t regret it.” For Leigh, the most fulfilling part of her job is the opportunity to educate future leaders. “There are some who will go on to become great parents, serve in their communities, run for office, work in Washington, maybe even become President. I want to plant the seeds of patriotism, honor and respect for our country and our flag,” Leigh says. “The most rewarding part of my job is knowing that I am helping to shape future leaders who will go on to do even bigger things in this world than I can.” | August 2019 013

Though education is not always looked at as a top profession, Bridget Ivory believes that being a teacher is a fulfilling profession with a lifetime of rewards. “I am able to develop relationships with my students and parents for the rest of their lives and seeing students learn something they did not know before,” Bridget says. “I get to know their minds and their hearts!” Bridget graduated from Liberty-Eylau High School in 1990. She attended Texarkana College and then transferred to Harding University, and earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from East Texas State University at Texarkana. She has been married to her husband Derrick for 21 years, and they have a 17-year-old daughter, Raven, who is a senior at Texas High. Last year, Bridget was named TISD’s Elementary 014 ALT Magazine August 2019

Teacher of the Year. “I decided to become a teacher because I love children. I want to give my students the best education I have to offer. It is very important to me to develop a close teacher-student relationship because it shapes the way children think and act in school,” Bridget says. “When I have a good relationship with my students, they are more likely to feel positive about class and about school in general. They are also willing to work hard, to risk making mistakes, and to ask for help when they need it. “ In 1995, Bridget began her teaching career as a second grade teacher at Fifteenth Street Elementary, now renamed to Theron Jones Early Literacy Center, where she has been a first and second grade teacher for twenty three years. In 2010, she earned a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction from Texas A&M University at Texarkana. In the upcoming school year, she will be a Dyslexia teacher at Theron Jones and Westlawn Elementary. After all her years in education, Bridget’s advice for future teachers is that teaching involves more than just expertise in an academic field. “It involves being a teacher that shows deep care and concern for all students, loves children, and is committed to provide a rich learning experience in a pleasant atmosphere,” Bridget says. When Bridget begins the school year, she recognizes the need to build a relationship with her students. She spends the first 15 minutes of each day getting to know her students on a personal level. She gives them time to share what is going on in their lives. “I find out what they like and dislike. If they are playing sports, I take the time to attend a game, rain or shine,” Bridget says. “It makes a world of difference. I’m that teacher that truly cares!” To motivate her students, Bridget finds material that speaks to them and connects to real life. “Students who recognize that a teacher truly wants the best for them are willing to try harder. High-quality teacherstudent relationships influences the learning of my students,” Bridget says. “When students form close and caring relationships with their teachers, they will go above and beyond to make their teachers happy!” Though there have been many laughs in the

classroom, one particularly funny moment stands out to Bridget. Many years ago, one of her students saw Bridget working at her part-time job. “Later, he shared with his guardians that I worked at the ‘club.’ They replied, ‘She works at the club, really?’ Bridget says. “After asking me in a round-about-way, I immediately said, “I work at Sam’s Club.’ They were relieved that I didn’t really work at a club!” As she learns and grows as a teacher, Bridget thinks back on the teachers who influenced her and what they did to make her want to succeed. The three that made the biggest impact on her life are Ms. Margaret

Davis, Ms. Wanda Roberson-Randall, and Mr. Robert Utsey. “They were very demanding, challenging, and motivating teachers, who enjoyed being teachers. Their love, support, and encouragement meant a lot to me as a student,” Bridget says. “They were my role models! I want to follow in their footsteps and influence students’ lives the same way that they have influenced mine.”

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Harry Potter Month 08/03 Sorting Day & Wand Making 08/10 Monster Books 08/17 Travel Trunks 08/24 Potions Class 08/31 Feast of Victory Have Fun all month with the Texarkana Museums System. Activities and events every Saturday In August! 219 N State Line Ave. Texarkana, Texas

903-793-4831 | August 2019 015

Kevin Jones Redwater ISD

Educator Kevin Jones’ decision to become a teacher stemmed from both his family ties to the profession and his personal passion for history. Kevin’s father was an educator, so Kevin came from a home where teaching and education were important. Also, Kevin wanted to incorporate his favorite subject into his daily life. “Teaching provided that outlet, someplace away from home, which my wife appreciates,” Kevin says. “For me, the teaching of history is my lifeblood. When I run into a parent of one of my students in town, and the parent goes on and on about how their child keeps telling them what they learned in history on a daily basis without being prompted, I can’t help but smile, knowing I must be doing something right.” Kevin met one of his most influential educational mentors in college. Though professor Henry Hood was still working on his doctorate when Kevin took the class, many students called him “Doc” because of his level of knowledge. “He treated all students with dignity and respect. He had high standards and expectations which he set for us. The moment we obtained success, he would raise the bar higher,” Kevin says. “Work isn’t always easy, but it is worth the rewards, and I want my students to learn that lesson as well. Doc taught me more about relationships than he ever knew, and I have tried to incorporate much of that into my classes with my 016 ALT Magazine August 2019

students on a daily basis.” Through his 27 years in the classroom, Kevin always starts off the year at building relationships with his students. He tries to learn their names and interests quickly. “Learning new students can be challenging. I wish I had the ability to meet them and instantly recall their name the next day they walked into my room. So, I use an old system of assigned seating to place faces with names,” Kevin says. “As for knowing them personally, I learn different aspects of the students’ interests, whether athletics, band, artistic, academic strengths in favorite subjects. These interests are valuable connections to the students which shows them an adult really is interested in their lives.” Though the technology may have changed since Kevin started teaching, the basics of how to get students working and learning has not. Kevin loves to use humor in the classroom to connect with students. “Something funny happens everyday! And while students often provide memorable moments, learning to laugh at oneself seems to make a huge difference when relating to students,” Kevin says. “Laughter is infectious and is a strong tool in learning. It breaks down barriers and makes the classroom more relaxed.” For the reluctant and unmotivated students,

Kevin finds that story-telling builds interest, especially with teaching history. “My classes are not lecture; instead I turn history into one long story from day one; a much more enjoyable format that many are not accustomed to when attending a history class,” Kevin says. “Most, even the reluctant, get caught up in the story and discover they are trying to guess what the next event is, why it is happening, and the results. Occasionally, when the bell rings to end class, I hear groans from some students who don’t want to wait until the next day to hear the rest of the ‘story.’ Those are gotcha moments!” When he’s not teaching, Kevin loves spending time with his family. He’s been married for 26 years to his wife, Kim, who he calls “wonderful and supportive.” They have two children, Kailee and Kadin, that keep him going. “I am blessed,” Kevin says. For future educators, Kevin suggests finding a job where they feel accepted and supported. Kevin says that he works for the best school district in Texas: Redwater ISD. “I work with the most professional, caring coworkers that one could ask for,” Kevin says. “My enthusiasm for teaching history goes beyond the classroom, and sometimes ends up with me going

on and on in the teacher’s lunchroom about some historical event and its connection to present day, while others patiently wait for me to pause so they can escape.” Kevin also wants future teachers to know that educators “wear many different hats” when supporting students. Many of the aspects of being a teacher are not taught in pre-occupation classes and training. “Many say teaching is rewarding, and while it is, that reward has many different facets,” Kevin says. “Frank McCourt, famous teacher and author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning autobiography Angela’s Ashes once was quoted saying, “You are a drill sergeant, a rabbi, a shoulder to cry on, a disciplinarian, a singer, a lowlevel scholar, a clerk, a referee, a clown, a counselor, a dress-code enforcer, a conductor, an apologist, a philosopher, a collaborator, a tap dancer, a politician, a therapist, a fool, a traffic cop, a priest, a motherfather-brother-sister-uncle-aunt, a bookkeeper, a critic, a psychologist, and the last straw. And sadly, none of these roles are taught to students going to college to be a teacher.”


EVERY DAY Doctor. entrepreneur. Scientist. Be inspired to learn.

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Preparing students for a world that doesn’t yet exist.

Strong Community Support Outstanding Faculty Nurturing Environment Excellence in Academics, Fine Arts, & Athletics 16 to 1 Student Teacher Ratio | August 2019 017

Jessica Sharp grew up on a farm in Oklahoma, the third of four children. She has a twin brother who is currently serving at the Pentagon and an older sister who is an ordained chaplain stationed at Ft. Jackson. That makes Jessica the third child in her family that served on active duty. Except, instead of joining the Army, Jessica chose the United States Air Force. She spent 10 years in Satellite WIDEBAND communications and traveled to places like Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, South Korea, and Germany. She also met a “charming” young man from Redwater Texas, who she married two years later. “I loved being part of something that was bigger than myself and had a greater purpose, but I found out I loved being a mother more than I loved my country,” Jessica says. “My husband and I decided that, 018 ALT Magazine August 2019

in the best interest of our family, one of us needed to be a civilian, and it made more sense for me to leave active duty than it did for him. We have two beautiful children who we adore. Ean will be in 8th grade at TMS and Lizzie will start 6th grade.” Jessica says that even though she wasn’t an educator in the Air Force, she was always teaching. “The decision to become a teacher had really been in the works since I was in high school. My grandfather was an algebra teacher, and my dad was a history teacher/football coach so I had those influences, but really it came to fruition after tutoring in high school and college and then again in the Air Force as a trainer. I basically taught new airmen the job,” Jessica says. “It seemed like whatever job I ended up doing, I was teaching. Jessica made the career official in 2012 when she started working for Texarkana ISD. In May of 2019, she was named Secondary Teacher of the Year for TISD. “I’ve been blessed to have only worked for TISD,” Jessica says. “I completed my field based student observations with two amazing science teachers the spring of 2011, and then completed my intern teaching that fall. I started working for the district as a full time sub right after graduation.” Jessica originally started college as an art major, but she was good in math and science, and often set the curve in her college science classes. So Jessica eventually changed majors and did not finish her art degree. Now in her science classes at Texas High School, Jessica hears a lot of her students say, “I love Mrs. Sharp’s classes but hate chemistry,” and Jessica works with them to feel successful, even when the subject matter is difficult. “My classroom is a safe space where they may not get all the answers, but they aren’t intimidated by that fact,” Jessica says. “I fall back on a scaffold approach that if they cannot answer a question, I find something that they do know and work that into what we are currently learning. I want them to still feel successful even though they didn’t answer that specific question.” When Jessica reflects on her teaching practices, she thinks of her most influential teacher, April Hill. “Mrs. Hill

taught me to never give up on a project when I got stuck and to see life as a fun journey to be experienced, not endured. She took the time to know her students on a personal level and is still one of the MOST loved teachers from my high school,” Jessica says. “She has since retired and has a restaurant on Lake Tenkiller where I grew up, and I take my kids to see her and her husband, who incidentally was my second favorite teacher and the one who got me excited about science, every summer when we go see family. She taught me that laying relationships with students can continue even after graduation.” In order to build those relationships with her students, Jessica assigns guided practice to students and uses that time to walk around the room and visit with them. “I try to engage the students in conversation and find out what sports they play or if they are in band or drama,” Jessica says. “I’m also a name person, and I talk to them in the hall between classes. They are amazed that shortly after school starts I can greet them by name when they walk by my duty station between classes. I honestly love their smiles when I say, ‘Good morning.’” Because Jessica teaches a science lab class, she often finds that there are funny incidents in the classroom as the kids experiment. One particular time, Jessica was showing the kids that if they hold a lit splint over the gas it will extinguish the splint and make a high pitch pop. “I always explain that it is going to make noise! But there was one particular student, a lineman on our football team, who put the burning splint over the test tube, and when it made a loud high pitch pop, he squealed like a girl and jumped back several feet,” Jessica says. “He has been part of my safety briefing ever since for that particular lab.” Jessica’s advice for anyone pursuing a career in education is not to give up. “It’s

hard, frustrating, and will drive you crazy. Then, you turn around and you feel like you have the greatest job on the planet,” Jessica says. “Try to find a good mentor and a support network. They will get you through the hard times and share in your success. We aren’t made to do this alone, so find someone that can help you and also find someone you can help.” For Jessica, the best part of her job is seeing her students succeed. “Whether their success is getting into Ole Miss on academic scholarship or just walking across the stage at graduation, being able to share their successes even after they leave my classroom is what I find most rewarding,” Jessica says. | August 2019 019

It's a great day to be an Eagle!

Education If you spend any time at all on Texas A&M University-Texarkana’s campus you’re likely to hear someone say “it’s a great day to be an Eagle.” The phrase, a favorite of President Dr. Emily Cutrer, is a common theme around the university. With the recent opening of two state-of-the-art buildings, the addition of basketball to the university’s athletic lineup, and the recently announced addition of five new academic programs, there’s never been a better time to be an Eagle.

announced academic expansion that includes five new academic programs funded by the 86th Texas Legislature.

The Patterson Student Center will be the home of the newest intercollegiate athletic teams at TAMUT, as men’s and women’s basketball comes to the university beginning in the fall of 2019. The Building for Academic and Student Services will play a vital role as the university prepares to launch a recently

“A&M-Texarkana always receives a great deal of support from our local elected officials in Austin. State Representative Gary VanDeaver and State Senator Bryan Hughes are vocal advocates for higher education, and they were both instrumental in our university receiving this additional funding,” Cutrer added. The

In 2019, Texas A&M University-Texarkana was appropriated additional funding by the Texas Legislature that will allow the university to expand academic programs through the university’s Better East Texas Initiative. The Better East Texas (BET) Initiative is an educational strategy designed to specifically address both current and projected needs of The 2018-2019 academic year saw the the East Texas region. “Texas A&M Universityopening of two new buildings on campus, the Texarkana understands its impact on and Lois & Cary Patterson Student Center and the responsibility to Texarkana and the entire Building for Academic and Student Services. East Texas region, and strives to implement The two newest buildings are already playing academic programs that will make the area a role in bringing exciting new programs to an even better place to work and live,” said the university. University President Dr. Emily Cutrer.

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$3.6 million in funding recently secured through the 86th legislative session will allow for the initial development and offering of five academic programs that respond directly to the area’s educational, workforce, and health needs: Bachelor of Social Work (BSW); Master of Social Work (MSW); Master of Nursing- Advance Practice Nurse/Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP); Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (BSME); and Certificate in Paper Engineering.

Regional Alliance and experts in the pulp paper industry. This has allowed Texas A&M University-Texarkana to pinpoint specific educational opportunities that will serve the East Texas region well for years to come, while providing students with employment opportunities in fields that are very much in demand. “We’re excited to be adding these five programs to our academic offerings,” added Cutrer. “We know these new courses of study will be of tremendous value to our students and at the same time allow us to In designing the BET strategy, the university contribute to the health and prosperity of the sought a variety of sources to collect data entire East Texas region.” on which programs it could implement that would have the greatest positive impact on The new academic programs are scheduled the lives of East Texans, collecting data from to launch in the fall of 2020, and university a Texas Health Institute Community Health officials are already well into the process of Needs Assessment for the CHRISTUS St. bringing them to life. Which means that while Michael Health System, the US Department of yes, today is a great day to be an Eagle, it’s Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, The only going to continue to get better from here. Texas Workforce Commission, and working with groups like the Texarkana Manufacturers’ | August 2019 021

Texarkana Campus Adds to Success at The University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana

Education The University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana (UAHT) welcomed 1,563 students to the Hope and Texarkana campuses last semester. This increase in enrollment set the record for the highest enrollment in the 53-year history of the college. The previous record of 1,557 students was set in fall 2010. The college has experienced a steady rise in enrollment over the past five years with an increase of 15% from fall 2014.

UAHT has experienced consistent growth despite downward trends in enrollment statewide. According to the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, only three of the 22 two-year colleges in Arkansas experienced positive five-year growth. This growth moved UAHT from number 19 in unduplicated headcount among 22Arkansas two-year colleges in 2007 to number nine. “What makes this growth in enrollment extraordinary is that it has happened in an “A major factor in the growth of our college is economy with a lower unemployment rate the addition of the Texarkana campus in 2012. than in 2010 and UAHT has been graduating In fall 2011, eighty-five students from Miller students at historic levels,” said Thomason. County attended classes on our campus. That number has grown to 543 students from Miller While the enrollment growth at the college County and 102 students from Bowie County has been at the top in the state, UAHT is also attending classes at UAHT. The citizens of the graduating students in record numbers. The Texarkana region are integral to the mission number of unduplicated graduates at the of our college, and it is critical that we are as college has risen each year over the past five accessible as possible to them on both the years. The number of graduates has increased Hope and Texarkana campuses,” said Chris by 69% from 2014, and the total number of Thomason, Chancellor. degrees and certificates awarded have also risen with a 52% increase from 2014. “Making

022 ALT Magazine August 2019

it a priority to help our students graduate has resulted in UAHT awarding 3,243 degrees and certificates in the last five years and has helped our campus finish second among all of the 22 Arkansas colleges in the Department of Higher Education’s performance funding model outcomes,” said Thomason.

The college is now offering an exciting new Associate of Arts Degree with a Registered Nursing focus designed for students to transfer into the Texas A&M-Texarkana Bachelor of Science in Nursing RN program. UAHT also offers a variety of world-class technical programs such as Diesel Technology, HVAC, Industrial Electricity, Industrial Maintenance, UAHT has the most affordable tuition in the State Power Technologies, and Welding that prepare of Arkansas, and the college offers Bowie and you for great jobs. With the availability of online, Cass County residents the same affordable in- hybrid, and evening classes at UAHT, students state tuition rate. Along with affordable tuition, can earn certificates and degrees through a UAHT offers a textbook rental program where variety of avenues. students can rent college textbooks for only $20 per credit hour. The UAHT Foundation offers For more information, or to enroll at U of A students over one hundred twenty privately Hope-Texarkana, call 866-963-5060 or visit funded scholarships. There are also numerous today. financial aid opportunities, institutional scholarships, and work-study programs available to students. UAHT even offers the “U Can Scholarship” which may qualify students to take a free three-hour course.

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The proceeds of the contest went to two local rescue organizations: Passion for Pooches and Greg King Canine Recovery. They EACH were able to receive $3,585.51!






Miss Lila







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(870)-773-4444 • 212 E Broad St. • Texarkana, AR 71854 | August 2019 027

Jordan Drake and Morgan Pierce We met at the little league ball field through mutual friends. We talked for two months and spent tons of time together building an amazing friendship, before any type of romantic relationship built. We were together a little over a year when he decided to become a police officer. He went into the police academy in the winter of 2018 and graduated December 14th. He threw me a birthday party on the 16th (my birthday is the 18th but we both had work). He set up having my whole family there and a friend of ours took photographs of the party where he proposed.

Photos by: Amber Aaron Photography

October 26, 2019

Sean Baskin and Brittany Stewart We met last summer when he was hired at the school where I work. He’s the baseball coach and I am the softball coach. We were just friends and our connection through being able to do what we love together made us grow closer as the year went on. He proposed on the softball mound after one of my games. It was the sweetest thing, especially considering we were both pitchers in college. It included not only the sport we love, but my girls. I’ve been coaching these girls for the last five years and they are a huge part of my life! It was such a special night.

Photos by: Kali Rushing Photography 028 ALT Magazine August 2019

October 5, 2019



Classes for ages 3-18 Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Tumbling, Drill Team

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Hunter Yarberry and Brooke Baugus The end of my eighth grade year I had the biggest crush on Hunter. I could never tell him because he was two years older than me and that wasn’t the cool thing to do. One night some friends of mine and I got together to have a girl’s night and we were all looking at the yearbook trying to pick out the “cute guys” before we got to high school. All of us thought Hunter was so cute, actually the cutest one out of the “highschoolers” but we all joked and said he was too good for us and we could never date him. Towards the end of summer before my freshman year Hunter messages me asking to go out on a date, he was the first person I dated but the age gap between us caused issues for us and we went our separate ways. During the beginning of my senior year, my parents allowed me to date Hunter again because our age did not matter anymore and we immediately started dating again where we had left off. Then in September my father was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and passed away. This was such a hard time in my life because I was so young loosing someone who meant so much to me and going into all my senior year events without a father was going to be even harder. He and I then realized we were meant to be together after that. We were so drawn to one another anytime something good or bad occurred in either of our lives. We always felt like God brought us back together for a reason and it was perfect timing. On December 1, 2018, he got down on one knee and asked me to be his future wife and I couldn’t have been happier to say YES! Now here we are today planning our blissful wedding day.

November 9, 2019

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032 ALT Magazine August 2019

*APPLY TODAY 4241 Summerhill Road 903.794.3651 Ext. 1030 | August 2019 033

Cory & Kayla Berry April 27, 2019 We met at work around 2.5 years ago. He is a patrol officer with the Texarkana, Texas police department, and I am a detective with the Texarkana, Arkansas police department. He is friends with my uncle who is also a police officer and I asked him to set us up! Around January 2016 (after lots of patient waiting on my part, LOL!), we went on our first date! On January 18, 2019, we were at home eating dinner when he told me he had a surprise for me. His daughter, Allie, started videoing me when he walked in the dining room with a heart shaped box of chocolates. He got down on one knee and asked if I would marry him and Allie and it was amazing!

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Parents of the Bride: Stephen and Amy Cigainero Parents of the Groom: Joey & Carolyn Berry Flower Girls: Allie Berry Ring Bearer: Brett Berry Pastor/Officiant: Jeremy Sutton Flowers: Daniel Collier Hair & Make-up: Kimberly Rayburn Venue: Privately owned home Cake: Brianna James Caterer: TaMolly’s Texarkana Rentals: Dot’s Photographer: Kate Silva w/ K8 Photography Videographer: Cassidy Reeves Wedding Dress: Coco Melody Wedding Jewelry: Micah’s Jewelers, Target, and Dillard’s One thing that made my wedding so special, and was also funny, was the ring bearer (our nephew) and flower girl (his daughter) forgot to walk down the aisle! I walked down and stood next to Cory, when I noticed they weren’t standing up there. I asked him where they were and everyone, including us, just started laughing. It was so funny and made us both less nervous!

• Wide range of programs to fit every student’s needs. • Many styles of dance for recreational dancers or competitive dance. • Levels for all abilities. • Birthday parties. • Private lessons. • Choreography services. Red Door Dance Academy believes every child has something to gain from dance classes and we are here to give students the most positive experience possible. Our staff is highly trained and extremely enthusiastic to meet and work with Texarkana dancers!

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4059 Summerhill Square | Texarkana, TX | 903-792-0056 abbygayle’s_gayles | Abby Gayle’s and Gayle’s | August 2019 035

Jacob & Sarah Blaauw May 4, 2019 Jake and I have known each other since middle school, but have never ran in the same circles until after I moved back from college. His best friend Adam was dating my best friend Cassie, so we ended up being third wheels together ALL the time. Eventually, we decided to quit fighting all the signs and have been together ever since.

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Parents of the Bride: Renee Baker, Jodie and Jan Baker Parents of the Groom: Jeffrey and Toy Blaauw, Deborah Taylor Matron of Honor: Megan Pippin Bridesmaids: Hannah Buster, Cassandra DeLaughter, Taylor Trippe, and Sydney McElhany Best Man: Christian Mitchell Groomsmen: Jesse Blaauw, Jarrett Brewer, Adam Owens, Tyler Smith House Party: Heather Mitchell, Anna Ward, Callie Harris, Kirsten Suggs Ushers: Will Russell and Justin Owens Flower Girl: Charlotte Blaauw Pastor/Officiant: Cody Deal Flowers: Ruth’s Flowers Hair: Kailey Carr Venue: Blessing Tree Wedding Coordinator: Lisa Vickers Cake: Sugar Mill Bakery and Events Caterer: Jan Baker Rentals: Dot’s Photographer: Dee Ann Ward of Dee Ward Photography Videographer: Eric Ethridge of Eric’s Xtreme Video Wedding Dress: Providence Place Bridal in Rockwall, TX It was special that our long time friend and Jake’s former football coach, Cody Deal, performed our service. It was a random idea I had out of nowhere. I wasn’t even sure Cody would go for it. But, after some consideration and 15 minutes online applying, he became ordained and made the day that much more special for us.

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I can show you how to instantly get more profits by using tax strategies to slash your biggest expense. Did you know there are dozens of ways to save on taxes that conventional tax professionals have never even heard about? I can provide you with an action plan to use legal tax strategies, deductions, and credits to greatly reduce your tax bill. In some cases the savings is as little as $2,000 - $3,000 per year, and in some cases it is MILLIONS per year! Find out how much you can save by calling me for your free mini tax planning session!

Moxa Punk is burned on or above the skin at acupuncture points. It can be more effective than acupuncture

Suction cup method used to help circulation and reduce swelling

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or TCM is used in both acute and chronic illnesses and it includes internal and external therapy.

619 East 6th Street, Texarkana, AR 71854 Contact us at 870-772-8622 or | August 2019 037

Reed & Mallory Forte April 27, 2019 Reed and I went to the same high school for three years and never really knew each other. We both ended up going to the University of Arkansas and met through mutual friends my freshman year of college. We started hanging out more and more, became best friends, and eventually began dating November of 2013. Five years later on February 7th, 2019, he took me to my favorite little chocolate shop (Lord knows he’s a keeper for indulging my sweet tooth) and asked me to become his forever best friend. Not only did I now get to marry the love of my life, but also ended up with some free chocolateď Š We now live together in Little Rock, AR. Reed is a financial analyst for Bernhard TME and I work as a registered nurse in the labor and delivery unit at Baptist Health.

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Bride and Groom: Reed and Mallory Forte Date of Wedding: April 27, 2019 Parents of the Bride: Lisa Greene Parents of the Groom: Robbie and Margaret Forte Matron of Honor: Hillary Crabbe Bridesmaids: Madison McCormick, Kaitlyn Burrow, Stepheny Austin, and Ashley Mitchell Best Man: Robbie Forte Groomsmen: Kyle Forte, John Dukes, Will Harris, and Jackson Braswell Flower Girls: Maisyn Wood Ring Bearer: Lennox Crabbe Pastor/Officiant: Frank Poff Flowers: Pleasant Grove Florist Hair: Nikki Wilmoth DJ: DJ Chris- CB productions Venue: Blessing Tree Farm Wedding Coordinator: Lisa Greene Cake: Robin Hamnett’s Cakes Caterer: Come and Take It Catering Photographer: Molly Minter Photography Videographer: Jalen Jones Wedding Dress: Kleinfeld Bridal Tuxedos: Mens Warehouse

One of our favorite things that made our wedding special: During the grooms dance with his mother they asked that all of the sons and their mothers join in. Getting to watch all of our family and friends participate in that dance was a memory we will never forget.

Trust your families with us!


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Ryan & Shandie Forte May 25, 2019

We met through mutual friends on Facebook our senior year of high school. Six years later, Ryan proposed in a candlelit heart shape outlined with red rose petals, with the words “Marry Me� in bold white rose letters.

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Parents of the Bride: Ray and Wyonia Golden Parents of the Groom: LaRhonda Washington and Cedric Forte Matron/Maid of Honor: Codie DeVenney/Yanira Harper Bridesmaids: Hannah Kuhn, Ravyn Hubbard, Summer Harrison, Chelsey McDaniel Best Man: Donyell King (in spirit) Groomsmen: James Cole, Jacobi Lampkin, AJ Whitmore, Jalen Whitmore, Will Ward Flower Girl: Ryklan Harrison Ring Bearer: Briar DeVenney Pastor / Officiant: Brandon Williamson Flowers: Wild Flour Hair & Make-Up: Kelby Jackson / Makayla Robinson Venue: Garrison Gardens DJ – Chuck Guilbert Wedding Coordinator: Karen Guilbert Cake: Wild Flour Caterer: Three Ladies Catering Photographer: Benjamin Martin Photography Wedding Invitations: Minted Wedding Dress: Pronovia Wedding Jewelry: Already owned Tuxedos: Dolce Vita

Perfect weather with an amazing atmosphere to celebrate with family and friends.



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Wedding Venue in Arkansas By Voted Best

Outdoor Wedding Venue Five years in a row For ALT Magazine | August 2019 041

Nick & Haleigh Franck March 9, 2019 Funny enough, Nick and I met on Tinder about three weeks after each of us had moved to Little Rock, Arkansas. Nick had been living in Austin and I had just moved from Texarkana for a new job. After about three weeks of living in Little Rock, one of my good friends suggested that I make a profile on Tinder. I was convinced that nothing would come from my joining, but about two days into swiping, I swiped right on a sports journalist from North Dakota who then messaged me pretty quickly after matching. We talked for a few days via text and finally decided we should meet. We picked a day, but never decided on a time or place. So me, being the complete skeptic I was, drove home that afternoon without meeting him. Later that evening as I pulled into T-town, I got a text that we would try again soon. I thought “okay sure, whatever,” and left it at that. Two weeks later Nick text me saying he’d like to try and meet again, this time making sure a time and place was set. Impressed by his persistence I told him the only time I had available was a Monday morning at 9 am at a Starbucks. He agreed. I got to Starbucks about 30 minutes early half terrified at who could walk through the door and half surprised at myself for actually meeting someone who I “swiped right” on. Nick walked in right at 9 am with a huge smile on his face. Since then, it has been the easiest time spent with one of the most amazing people. 042 ALT Magazine August 2019

Parents of the Bride: Dr. Nathan and Juli Wright Parents of the Groom: Bill and Mona Franck Matron of Honor: Catherine Johnson Maid of Honor: Catherine Wright Bridesmaids: Ria Romano, Jordan Whitley, Brittany Rodriguez Best Man: Nick Voss & Jordan Hamm Groomsmen: Andrew Boven, Justin Beatty, Vaughn Hillyard Flower Girls: Kherington Lyda Ring Bearer: Jack Lavender Pastor/Officiant: Glen Voureen Flowers: H&N Floral Hair & Make-up: Catherine Wright DJ: Wes Spicher Venue: Ramage Farms Wedding Coordinator: Erica Ramage, Bella Roo Events Cake: Cake Boutique Caterer: Sugar and Spice Catering Rentals: Dots Rental’s and Sales Photographer: Kendal Dockery Thompson Videographer: Eric Ethridge Wedding Invites: Minted Wedding Dress: She Said Yes Bridal We agreed from the moment we started planning that we didn’t want to get lost in a “wedding” but that we wanted this to be a celebration of us with our favorite people, and that’s exactly what it was. Nick and I have always said to each other that everything happens for a reason, and we truly believe it! So throughout our day, there were several little things that happened that just made us feel loved! I was able to wear my mother’s beautiful veil from 1989 (no discoloration or anything). We watched the weather apps all week say there were going to be massive storms all during our wedding day. Although it rained (and by rain, I mean poured) all morning, by the time we were driving out to Ramage Farms it turned into a beautiful warm sunny day! I also kept finding ladybugs all over my veil throughout the day which I’ve always heard was a sign of luck! Most of all, we were surrounded by so many loved ones who traveled from LITERALLY all over the country to be with us on our big day. So many wonderful little things to choose from.

Award Winning

Award Winning



Celebrate in a perfect setting and enjoy our stunning spaces. Silvermoon on Broad is a unique wedding venue in the heart of downtown Texarkana.


Historic Downtown Texarkana West Broad at Texas Blvd. Texarkana, TX | August 2019 043

Walton & Hope Gamble March 16, 2019 We had a mutual friend that thought "we would make a cute couple" so I looked him up an Facebook, stalked him, and took some screenshots of his profile pictures and sent to my best friend with the caption "I'm going to marry this man". The friend offered me Walt's number and I politely said no but you can give him my number if he's interested. He messaged me that night and it went from there. Before I even met him in person for an official date, I knew he was the one. It's cliche, but the whole "when you know you know" thing is real!! Walt asked me to marry him on my birthday weekend celebration January 13, 2018. We are always with friends/family, so it was perfect! There was a room full of family and friends when he proposed, "so, you know I love you right?" Then he got down on one knee. 044 ALT Magazine August 2019

Mother of the Bride: Brenda Pitts Littlejohn Parents of the Groom: Walton and Cheryl Gamble Grandparents of the Bride: Charles and Shirley Pitts Matron of Honor: Lindley Turney Bridesmaids: Hope Taylor, Kathryn Griffin, Gabrielle Gamble, Meredith Witten, Hannah Griffin, Cortney Boyd and Taylor Richard Best Man: Anthony Stewart Groomsmen: Arthur Berkins, Vincent Starks, Brandon Williams, James Fields, Andre' Evans, Mark Sumner, Mario Demery, Sly Williams, Justin Drake, Landen Gamble and Parker Brown Usher: Landon Littlejohn Flower Girl: Presley Gamble Officiant: Kara Miller Venue: Blessing Tree Farm Wedding Coordinator: Lisa Vickers, Best Day Ever Make-up: Hailey Cherry Hair: stylists from Shear Country Cake: Bri James, Twisted Fork Rentals: Dot's DJ: Brent DJ Kool Photographer: Cristi Hoyt Photography Wedding rings/bands: Micah's Jewelers Wedding gown: Azure's



Nominations: Lawyers can be nominated by anyone but themselves. Nominations will be taken from August 1st-31st, 2019. Winners will be announced in the December 2019 ALT Magazine. Eligibility Check: Nominees are confirmed to be in good standing with their local Bar Associations. Nominees will be announced in the October 2019 ALT Magazine. Voting will be from October 1-31, 2019.

Have you searched for an attorney and don’t know who to call? We want to help!

Texarkana’s Top Lawyers 2019 will be nominated by you, our readers! Prior to voting, we will confirm that they are in good standing with the local bar association. The objective is to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of outstanding attorneys that can be used as a resource for those searching for legal counsel. You will have an opportunity to tell us who you think should be Texarkana’s Top Lawyer 2019! Here are the categories, plus an overall Top Lawyer and Top Young Lawyer!

Administrative / Regulatory Law

Criminal Defense: Non-White-Collar

Appellate Practice

Criminal Defense: White-Collar

Banking and Finance Law

DUI/DWI Defense

Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and reorganization Law

Employment Law

• While there is no limit to the number of lawyers a firm may nominate, we suggest that nominees be in practice for at least ten years in order to give them time to build a legal presence in their community and practice area(s).

Business Organizations (Including LLCs and Partnerships)

Insurance Law

• We ask that a lawyer not nominate himself or herself.

Corporate Law

Commercial Litigation

Family Law Health Care Law

Law – Defendants Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs Product Liability Litigation – Defendants

Labor Law

Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs


Real Estate Law

Medical Malpractice

Trusts and Estates

Workers’ Compensation Law – Claimants Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers Texarkana’s Top Lawyer Texarkana’s Top Young Lawyers (Must be under 40 years of age for Top Young Lawyer) | August 2019 045

Brad & Angie Gray May 18, 2019

I met Brad almost 20 years ago when he was a bass player in my cousins’ band. We had an immediate connection but at the time we were both already in committed relationships with other people, so we decided to remain friends. Then three years ago Brad contacted me through Facebook and that’s when I told him that I had gotten a divorce. He then told me that he had just gone through the same and in his words, he said, “we should give this a shot.” After about three days, I finally messaged him and agreed to meet him. Brad worked out of town in Midland, TX, which is about eight hours away from Texarkana. So, he would drive in on the weekends and we would spend the entire weekend together. We did this for about three months, until neither one of us could stand it any longer and he asked me to move in with him. I left everything I had ever known to move across the state to be with this man. Everyone thought I was crazy, and they tried to talk me out of it. But I had felt something for Brad that I had never felt for anyone, so I took the biggest gamble of my life and it definitely paid off!

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Parents of Bride: Rick Simpson (father), Melody Aycock (mother), Larry Aycock (stepfather) Parents of the Groom: Brenda Kelly (mother), Thomas Gray (father) Matron of Honor: Crystal Martinez Maid of Honor: Kelsey Allgor Bridesmaids: Maranda Derrick, Robin Derrick and Devon McCloskey Best Man: Chris Nichols Groomsmen: Jared Putnam, Justin Weeks, Wesley Gray, Dyllon Carpenter House Party: Jami Hearne, Jenni Thomas, John Brown Ushers: Isaac Thomas and Trenton Davidson Flower Girls: Kerian and Rowan Thomas Ring Bearer: Gibson Gray Pastor/Officiant: Kay McCraw Bridesmaids and Bridal Bouquet: Meredith Mischler Hair & Make-Up: Ashleigh Ayer Band: Sarah Hobbs Venue: The Barn at Blue Sky Ranch Cake: Cakes by Carrie Rentals: Dots Photographer: Kendal Dockery Photography Wedding Dress: Gracyn Elizabeth Bride I wouldn’t say it was my favorite thing, but the crazy weather made it special! There were tornadoes all around us! My bridesmaids’ kids were calling freaking out about the tornadoes; we had to move the ceremony three times due to the rain. I told a friend of mine that I was marrying this man even if we were in the middle of a hurricane and I pretty much did just that! It was total chaos, but the ceremony turned out beautifully and, in the end, I got to marry the man of my dreams! | August 2019 047

Craig & Kacey Jenkins July 6, 2019 We met, as friends, back in the early 2000s. We would run into each other at different times or when out with friends and it was always very casual. Fast forward to 2011, he had been living in Dallas for about 10 years but was in town visiting friends and we reconnected at a local bar. We starting chatting on Facebook, but since he lived in Dallas and I was in Texarkana, we couldn’t exactly date. We continued to talk casually and in December, I went to Dallas to spend New Year’s Eve with him. When I got home, I knew I wanted to see him again, and soon! He felt the same way because we started our long-distance relationship soon after, with me going to Dallas and him coming here, but it was turning into an “every weekend” trip which isn’t easy. Finally, in November of 2012, he packed up and moved to Texarkana and the rest is, as they say, history! He proposed in our kitchen, two days before Valentine’s Day in 2014. It was simple but heartfelt and perfect! We decided earlier this year that we wanted to focus more on the reception, since we have a large circle of friends and family. The “reception-style” party turned into us planning one of the best surprise weddings ever. 048 ALT Magazine August 2019

600 N Kings Hwy I Wake Village, TX I 903.832. 5438

Parents of the Bride: Michael and Ann Davis Parents of the Groom: Harvey and Shelia Jenkins Maid of Honor: Natalie Davis Flower Girls: Chayse Jenkins Pastor/Officiant: Howard Thomas Wedding Vendors: Texarkana Convention Center/Hilton Garden Inn Hair & Make-up: Tonya Wilson and Kristy Glascock Venue: Texarkana Convention Center Ballroom Wedding Coordinator: Stacey Smallwood and Jennifer Montoya Caterer: Hilton Garden Inn Rentals: Dot’s Photographer: Brittney Brookes Ceremony Music: DJ Shelby/Shelby Irving Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal

It was special because it was a COMPLETE SURPRISE! Everyone thought they were coming to “just a party”. We created a Facebook event page and talked it up for months!! Having our friends and families there, cheering for us when our five-year-old daughter, Chayse, made the announcement was just a great feeling. It truly was THE BEST NIGHT EVER!







N | August 2019 049

Andrew & Laila Miller April 5, 2019 "We found love in a hopeless place..." on OkCupid. I was about to give up hope until I came across Andrew's profile. After several conversations on the website, we finally decided to meet each other at Olive Garden. I knew Andrew was someone I could see myself with after talks of traveling to Italy, his love of his family, and, finally, when he pulled out his Pokemon wallet to pay for dinner. We took a family trip to Orlando and Universal Studios. On Tuesday evening, we were getting ready to watch the light show at Hogwarts. My mom told us to get together in front of the castle for a picture and before I knew it, he was on his knee pulling out a snitch pocket watch with a ring inside. I was beyond words and immediately pulled him tight to embrace while I cried tears of joy. I am still amazed at how well all of my friends and family kept his secret!

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Parents of Bride: Vickie Al Dubais Parents of the Groom: Mary and Shane Miller, Kristina and Jimmy Purtell Man of Honor: Clay Mills Bridesmaids: Bitsy Morris, Ashley Fallin, Jessica Hunter, Allison Wright, Alyssa Justice, Bailey Hogan, and Emileigh Purtell Best Man: Carl Jensen Groomsmen: Shane Miller, Jon Miller, Jimmy Purtell, Todd Miller, Josh Purtell, Jason Love, and Alex Purtell Ushers: Rodney Love, Austin Alford, Barry James Acosta, and Trey Gist Pastor/Officiant: Sherri Waters Soloists: Lacy and Matthew Robinson Readers: Tere Myers, Austin Alford, and Kaelee Abbey Hair & Make-Up: Ashley Derrick Venue: Williams Memorial United Methodist Church and 1894 Art Gallery Coordinator: Laurie Booker and Sarah Jenkins Cake: Super 1 Caterer: Whisk Photographer: Rod Arnold and Alyssa Bertrand Videographer: Bryan Jefferies - Fresh Focus Films Wedding Dress: Cocomelody, Los Angeles Wedding Jewelry: Cocomelody, Los Angeles Tuxedos: Squires Our postcard guest book is one of our favorite things from the wedding! We constantly look back at the advice and comments from our loved ones that attended! Andrew's favorite moment was seeing me walk down the aisle. Laila's favorite moment was his reaction during the first look. | August 2019 051

Weldon & Meagan Murry May 11, 2019

Weldon and I first started to date during our junior year of high school. Sadie Hawkins dance was around the corner and I was too nervous to ask him. Weldon surprised me by asking me out to the dance. A week later, on February 14, 2010, he asked me to be his girlfriend on Facebook. Even though it was a little corny, I could not be more excited. During the summer, we would take walks around Spring Lake Park every morning. It was during this time that we truly fell in love. On December 23, 2017, at the same park we fell in love, Weldon got on one knee and asked me to be his wife.

052 ALT Magazine August 2019

Parents of the Bride: Dan and Ginger Rosser, Denise and Kevin Goodwin Parents of the Groom: Judge John and Andrea Finley, Monty and Ryan Murry Pastor/Officiant: Butch Riddle Wedding Venue: Mildred Cooper Chapel, Bella Vista, AR Flowers: Zuzu’s Petals and Gifts Hair & Make-up: Fox and Sparrow Cake: Shelby Lynn’s Cake Shoppe Photographer: Ashton Rail Photography Wedding Invites: Etsy Ceremony Music: Laura Huff - Cellist and Glenda Riddle - Pianist Wedding Dress: Lulu’s Bridal Tuxedos: Black Lapel We decided not to do a first look. We have been planning this moment for almost a year and a half. When I walked down the aisle, it was an unforgettable moment to see his loving reaction admiring me in my wedding dress for the first time. It is a moment that we will cherish forever. INTRODUCING


Debbie Brower



Birthdays Graduation New Baby Thank You School Event

Sports Party Sports Events Open House Marketing Anniversary

Back to School Holidays Wedding Shower Welcome Home Homecoming

Engagement Good Luck Get Well Prom Congrats



101 Slaton Drive Nash, TX


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(903)392-9935 Clyde and Beckie Lewis | August 2019 053

Derek & Kamron Scott June 8, 2019

We met at an ugly sweater Christmas party in November of 2013. We continued texting and hanging out and shortly after, Derek asked me to be his girlfriend December 29th. We have been together ever since and last August, on the 18th, Derek asked me to spend forever with him! He surprised me by getting down on one knee at home before his birthday dinner with the family. He intended on using his birthday dinner to announce it to the family and it was perfect! 054 ALT Magazine August 2019

Parents of the Bride: L ​ eslie & Phillip Westbrook  Parents of the Groom: ​Ramona & Kelly Scott  Maid of Honor: ​Calee Coffman  Bridesmaids: ​Shelby Kelley, Kandice Westbrook, Danielle Scott, Natalie  Copeland, Ashlyn Surratt, and Jayla Jacques  Best Man: ​Ryan Scott  Groomsmen: ​Ben Witherspoon, Jeremy Davis, Oliver Tschirschwitz, Patrick Montgomery, Deven Surratt, and Zach Martin  House Party: ​Kassady Westbrook, Brittany Brewer, Megan Pippin  Ushers: ​Brady Scott, Tyler Shuffit  Flower Girls: ​AvaLynn Kemp  Ring Bearer: ​Rydan Scott  Pastor/Officiant: ​Johnny Jones  Flowers: ​Cecilia- Albertsons  Hair: Logan Akins Makeup: Sabrina Worley  Band: ​385 Events DJ  Venue: ​The Venue at Twelve Oaks  Wedding Coordinator: ​Melissa Tackett  Cake: ​Cake Boutique-Shelly  Caterer: ​Petit & Keet- Little Rock  Rentals: ​Dots & Party Time Rentals-Little Rock  Photographer: ​Marissa Adams Photography  Videographer: ​Carlee Erwin  Ceremony Music: ​385 Events-Mena, AR  Wedding Dress: M ​ artina Liana- LOWS Bridal- Brinkley, AR  Wedding Jewelry: ​Dillards  Tuxedos: ​Squires

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Holiday Cleaners

NOW OPEN IN TWO LOCATIONS!! 1443 N. Kings Hwy. 903. 838. 0422

K-Mart Shopping Center 903. 223. 0149

Donuts are ALWAYS the Answer!

870.773.4072 | August 2019 055


Your usual? Familiarity bias means sticking with what you know – but there may be a lot that you don’t

ARE YOU A CREATURE OF GET FAMILIAR WITH FAMILIARITY familiarity bias is the subconscious HABIT? WHEN YOU VISIT Atendency to gravitate toward what we know, often without realizing it. It’s THE GROCERY STORE, why you might place the same coffee DO YOU FILL YOUR CART order every time without thinking WITH THE PRODUCTS AND twice, or perhaps why you’ve owned a particular brand BRANDS YOU’VE BOUGHT consistently of car. FOR YEARS? THE SAME Lots of us go with what we know – CHEESE, THE SAME WINE, and that’s not always a bad thing. THE SAME SOAP. IS THAT However, when it comes to your financial plan, leaning too heavily on BECAUSE THEY’RE THE what’s familiar can lead to an under BEST OF THE OPTIONS … diversified portfolio and gaps in your wealth plan. By trying to play it safe, OR BECAUSE THEY’RE THE you could actually be putting yourself ONES YOU KNOW BEST? IT and your hard-earned wealth at risk. CAN BE HARD TO TELL, CAN’T IT? HOW CAN A FAMILIARITY BIAS DISRUPT YOUR FINANCES?

The trouble with familiarity when it comes to wealth is that it can sway people to make decisions that aren’t aligned with their holistic financial picture. When it comes to investing, this often leads to a lack of diversification in portfolios. For example, if someone is selecting investments based on familiarity, they might be over weighted in domestic securities, or a disproportionate number of their investments could be large, well-known companies or those they’ve worked for. Plus, if an investor chooses a stock solely 056 ALT Magazine August 2019

Familiarity might be playing a role in some of your decisions if: •You often frequent the same places and order the same things.

•You consider yourself loyal to certain brands, whether cars, clothes or toothpaste. •You gravitate toward products and places that you’ve heard of, perhaps because you’ve seen them in a commercial or heard someone talking about them.

because of its name, they might not have researched all of its underlying characteristics – like risk. Just because you like a company as a consumer doesn’t mean it is the best fit for your portfolio. And just as we shouldn’t overestimate what’s familiar, we shouldn’t necessarily underestimate what’s unfamiliar, either. For example, someone might not know much about certain estate planning solutions but that doesn’t mean these specialized vehicles aren’t a good fit in their financial plan. Similarly, an individual may opt for a traditional savings vehicle instead of

considering alternative solutions like several steps you can take to help you 529 plans or HSAs. avoid the potentially negative effects of familiarity in your financial plan.

When familiarity factors into your financial plan:

•You might be over weighted in domestic securities, well-known companies, or companies you’ve worked for. •You may have avoided unfamiliar planning solutions, like insurance, cash management and more, that could provide a more wellrounded financial plan. •You might risk increased losses by concentrating a large portion of your portfolio in a particular investment, asset class, or market segment. •You may not be considering whether your investments are the best fit for you from a riskreward perspective.


While we all enjoy taking the path more traveled from time to time, that doesn’t mean familiarity needs to get in the way of your long-term financial success. Fortunately, there are are

For starters, seek out objective research in all elements of your wealth strategy. For your investments, this can help you vet a security for its risk level and historical performance. As your advisor, I can not only help provide you with research about individual investments but can also offer guidance and recommendations to help ensure you have a wellbalanced portfolio that fits into your larger wealth plan. Further, we can review your comprehensive financial plan and see where we might incorporate strategies and solutions that may be a good fit for you – including those you might not be familiar with. Using the sophisticated planning software at my disposal, we can monitor your progress and adjust as needed to make sure your financial plan is aligned with your long-term goals.

think before you act:

To help you keep familiarity from overly influencing your financial plan: •Don’t confuse awareness with understanding or expertise. Rely on objective research. •Take the time to consider your motivations for selecting certain investments or strategies. •Don’t rule out an investment or financial strategy because it’s foreign to you. •Call us or schedule a meeting anytime to receive the objective insight you need to make important decisions surrounding your wealth.

• • • Put simply, there are many factors to take into consideration when crafting a healthy financial plan. That’s why I’m here to serve as a trusted resource and sounding board, able to provide you with the experienced insight and knowledge you need to address each of your objectives with objectivity.

Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Investing involves risk, and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected. © 2018 Raymond James & Associates, Inc., member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC © 2018 Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC Investment products are: not deposits, not FDIC/ NCUA insured, not insured by any government agency, not bank guaranteed, subject to risk and may lose value. 17-WorthWhile-0028 CW 11/18 | August 2019 057

Fish Tales with Mike Brower Casting for Cash Well, ICast was last month and the tackle manufacturers were showcasing their old and new wares in order to part us fisherman from our money. Some of the cool things that made “Best Of” categories are: The Humminbird MEGA 360 Imaging, with forward imaging, kinda sorta like a cross between radar and side scan. Pretty neat and I’m sure with a pretty neat price tag. It appears to mount in front of your trolling motor and if you fish anywhere near or around stumps, will snap like a twig. Lowrance “Ghost” trolling motor that is brushless, quiet, sports a 3k price tag and likely breaks as much as the sonars do. (Did I say that out loud?) Garmin also has a brushless trolling motor like above and is in the 3k price range, too. These electronics companies just need to leave trolling motors to Minn Kota and stick to making sonars. Of course some guy will most likely say he could not have won that derby without his ?????? trolling motor, and we will all laugh. Then there is the Motor Guide Tour Pro. The term “Tour Pro” is so they can bilk you out of another $200. It will likely be an ok trolling motor, but Motor Guide lost its way back in the late 80’s when Minn Kota came on strong. One thing I personally think is pretty cool is a Lunkerhunt Phantom Spider, which is a frog type bait. I can hear it now, “Caught my fish on the spider, using spidey sense,” or “dang, he took one of my eight legs.” I’m always amazed at the new and remodeled stuff that comes out this time of year. Yes they will take more of my money. I think my new boat will have the MEGA 360 on it along with four screens.

058 ALT Magazine August 2019

The new generation of emergency care.

Drug Take Back Initiative Operation Medicine Cabinet

The Texarkana Arkansas Police Department is proud to partner with Texarkana Emergency Center in an effort to remove unused and out of date prescription medicines from your homes. •It is important to know that law enforcement is only interested in the removal of unused and/or outdated medications from the homes of our citizens. •It matters not whose name is on the prescription, by whom it was prescribed, where it was prescribed, or where you reside. •We stress that it makes no difference if you live in Texas or Arkansas. •We take back all medications, no questions asked. You can remove the label if you desire but it’s not necessary. •We ask that you do not deposit needles (sharps), inhalers, medication from businesses or clinics, ointments, lotions, liquids, aerosol cans, hydrogen peroxide, or thermometers.

One box has been placed behind the Bi State Justice Building at 100 N. State Line Ave., Texarkana, Arkansas and another outside the Texarkana Emergency Center, 4646 Cowhorn Creek Rd., Texarkana, Texas. These boxes are regularly checked and the contents are immediately packaged for destruction. If you would like to personally drop your medications off to law enforcement, you can at the Miller County Sheriff ’s Office on East Street and Bi State Justice Building in Texarkana.

You can learn more about this program by visiting or on Facebook by searching Arkansas Take Back or Arkansas Drug take Back. FIND US ON 4646 Cowhorn Creek | Texarkana, TX 75503 | 903.838.8000 | August 2019 059

What's on the AGENDA?

AUGUST 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Every Thursday

Dance Dance Party Party - 6:00 pm

An all-women’s free style dance workout. Basically, you show Up, we turn down the lights, turn up the music, and dance to our heart’s content. It’s part exercise, part therapy, ALL fun! It’s free to all women, but we do take donations to help cover the cost of our rental space. We will be meeting every Thursday night at 6PM at Flat5ive Studios at 2415 Texas Blvd, Texarkana, TX. Our first session is August 1st at 6PM. We do ask that people RSVP since we have limited space available. We have an Instagram @ddpptexarkana for more information.


Sorting Day & Wand Making - 2pm – 4 pm

Harry Potter Month is BACK! Join us for Sorting day August 3rd at 2:00pm. Each person will be sorted into a House, and each House will create their House Banner with their House Name and House Animal. After all the Banner are complete we will be making wands. Every Wizard needs a wand! This is the First Harry Potter Event for 2019


Monster Books - 2 pm– 4 pm

Harry Potter Month: Join us at Discovery Place to create your very own Monster Book. Be sure to rub the spine before opening! Register at


Travel Trunks - 2 pm – 4 pm

Harry Potter Month: Join us create and design a Travel Trunk. Every Wizard needs a Trunk for Traveling! Register at


Potions Class - 2 pm – 4 pm

Harry Potter Month: Join us as we conjure a magical mixture, that any Dragon will protect. Register at


Feast of Victory clock - 5:30 pm – 7 pm

Harry Potter Month: Harry Potter Month comes to an end, thank you to everyone that attend our events. Join us one last time to enjoy a wonderful feast Harry Potter style. The final Harry Potter Event! Register at


Angel Fund Foundation's Putt for a Purpose - 6:30 pm

Will be held at Texarkana Country Club, #1 Country Club Lane, Texarkana, Arkansas. Drawdown tickets are $100 and include entry for one into the Putt for a Purpose Event, Chance to win $5,000, fun putt, fish fry, entertainment and Silent Auction. Event tickets are $50 and include entry for one into the Putt for a Purpose event, fun putt, fish fry, entertainment and Silent Auction. Musical Entertainment will be provided by Danny Maxey & the Barn Kats again this year. All proceeds will be for providing financial assistance to cancer patients in our area. More information can be found on the Angel Fund Foundation’s Facebook Page – For more information or to apply for financial assistance, go to





OPEN MON - SAT: 10:00-6:30, SUN: CLOSED

060 ALT Magazine August 2019

Featured Listings

3808 Sylvia Drive


Check out this fantastic home that features three bedrooms, two baths, open floor plan great for entertaining family and friends. Gas log fireplace in family room, tall ceilings throughout. Nice size kitchen with island and granite counter tops, this home has so much cabinet space and storage. Privacy fenced back yard.

Bill Spradlin Realtor 903-748-3186

Tracy Spradlin Broker 903-748-2477

Fabulous home in Redwater School District. Features four bedrooms, four full baths, two living areas. Nice size kitchen will lots of cabinet space, granite counter tops. Open floor plan. Updated inside and out! Brand new roof, air conditioners are only 2 years old. Two car garage. Over 3,800 square feet on an acre lot! Must see! Check it out!

Jan Williams Realtor 903-277-5771

Stephanie Maddox Realtor 903-701-1341

1356 N. Kings Hwy. | Nash, TX 75569 | 903.223.0710 | August 2019 061 | |

Local Rescues

Adopt, Don’t Shop! ARKLATEX COCKER SPANIEL RESCUE ArklatexCockerSpanielRescue ARTEX ANIMAL WELFARE, INC. (mostly horses) 903.824.1990


Boxer Rescue of Texarkana


Texarkana Animal League




Passion For Pooches



Texarkana Humane Society


Poodle Patch Rescue Inc.


Arklatex Cocker Spaniel Rescue


Muttley Crew





The Animal Care & Adoption Center of Texarkana, Arkansas is located at 203 Harrison, Texarkana, AR, 71854. For more information, call 870.773.6388, or visit: www. or AdoptionTXK. Please note, all dogs adopted from this shelter MUST be spayed or neutered. Spays cost $89-$104, neuters are $76-$92 depending on the weight of the dog. We also have SPONSORED dogs and cats! This means someone has already paid for their vetting! Come see who’s waiting! We are always in need of caring, capable volunteers to assist in with duties at the center, adoption events, fund-raising activities and more. Open Monday-Friday 11AM 5PM; Saturday 11AM - 2PM.

062 ALT Magazine August 2019

LEGE N D A R Y F irearms








Come in on Tuesdays in August

and cool off with a


$10 EN T Beat the Heat R O This Summer! F



OPEN MON-SAT: 10:00-6:30 | SUN: CLOSED

Profile for ALT Magazine

ALT Magazine - August 2019  

The August 2019 issue of ALT Magazine.

ALT Magazine - August 2019  

The August 2019 issue of ALT Magazine.