Page 1

End of an era


Friday, July 1, 2011

Yarnell’s closes its doors

n Ice cream factory was Searcy mainstay — Page 2A n Our view — Page 4A

Help for former Yarnell’s employees

n To file a claim for unemployment benefits: esd/index.htm n Trucker opening: Pepsi Beverage, Batesville; contact Rhonda Hughey, (870) 251-2519 n Trucker opening: Stallion Transportation Group, Beebe; contact Butch Rice, (800) 597-2425

Former Yarnell’s employees react to plant closing

Worker: ‘It caught us off guard’

By Warren Watkins What went on in the last hours of operation for a local factory is not entirely clear, but some witnesses are speaking out. Employees of Yarnell’s Premium Ice Cream Company were not offered more than pay for their last day’s work, according to statements made by company’s former workers. “At 2:45 a.m. we were called for a meeting,” said former Yarnell’s employee Marisela Castaneda while standing in the parking lot of the Arkansas Workforce Center in Searcy. “It caught us off guard.” Castaneda, who said she had worked for Yarnell’s for two years, said she was offered no post-employment benefits or even advice. “They are having financial difficulty,” Cataneda said she was told by Yarnell’s officials. A local radio station employee said the station began getting calls about 6 a.m. from Yarnell’s employees claiming

the factory had been shut down. Hershel Thompson was a truck driver for the company’s fleet service arm, a sister company to Yarnell’s located on a connected campus. “I was just told they discontinued operations and there was a possibility of a buyout early next week,” Thompson said, claiming the information came from Rogers Yarnell. “It’s going to hurt Searcy.” Re-education for former Yarnell’s employees will be different from other factory closings. The plant claimed to be the only ice cream plant in the state, so workers not hired by other ice cream makers in other states will have to be trained for a new profession. Two trucking companies are advertising for employees: n Pepsi Beverage, Batesville; contact Rhonda Hughey, (870) 251-2519 n Stallion Transportation Group, Beebe; contact Butch Rice, (800) 597-2425 For information on filing a claim for unemployment benefits, persons may visit the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services’ web page,

Yarnell’s out of business

200 locals jobless

By Warren Watkins Yarnell’s Premium Ice Cream company in Searcy issued a press release early Thursday morning saying they have stopped production. The statement said the board of directors voted Wednesday to end production indefinitely for the privatelyowned company. The 200 employees were told as they arrived for work

they would be paid through every day worked but not beyond that.

“This has been an extremely tough year for the ice cream industry in general, and particularly to regional, independent manufacturers like ourselves,” said Christina Yarnell, chief executive officer of Yarnell’s. “We have examined many possible avenues to keep the company afloat — actively marketing the company to investors and strategic buyers, the majority of whom are undergoing the same financial distress we are. However, we’ve been unable Continued on Page 3A

Locals rush to purchase ice cream

Area fans snatch up favorite flavors


Mayor: Closure of company ‘devastating’ Yarnell’s was Searcy’s 6th-largest industrial employer

By Luke Jones Mayor David Morris described the closure of Yarnell’s Premium Ice Cream Company Thursday as “devastating.” “I think it’s going to be a blow to Morris our economy, no doubt,” he said. “That’s 200-plus jobs suddenly ended, jobs that have been here for a long time. I cannot

remember Searcy, Arkansas, without Yarnell’s Ice Cream Company.” Searcy Regional Chamber of Commerce President Buck Layne said the loss will have an immediate and crushing effect. “Any time you have a plant like Yarnell’s, and have 200 employees lose their jobs, it has a negative effect on our community,” he said. “Our hearts go out to the employees.” “We’ll work pretty hard to get new jobs in,” said Reynie Rutledge, chairman of First Security Bancorp. “I really feel bad about Yarnell’s closing, it’s been an icon for the Continued on Page 3A


Today: Sunny. Highs in the upper 90s. Southeast winds 5 mph. Tonight: Mostly clear. Lows in the mid 70s. Southeast winds 5 mph. Vol. 157, No. 157 ©2011 The Daily Citizen

Lanette Freeman of Searcy and daughter Evie, 8, stock up on Yarnell's ice cream at Sexton Foods on Race Avenue late Thursday morning. News of the ice cream plant's closure Thursday morning brought ice cream fans out in droves to local grocery stores to purchase the product. Jacob Brower/

By Warren Watkins hen Rawley Freeman celebrates his 11th birthday party today, there will be something unique about the event: For what is believed to be the last time, fresh Yarnell’s ice cream will be served. Long a Searcy tradition, Yarnell’s ice cream will no longer be available after current stock runs out following the company’s surprise announcement Thursday that it was closing its doors. Across Searcy, Yarnell’s ice cream fans began to raid store freezers looking for the favorite flavors — or in some cases — any half-gallon container at all. Mark Richards, manager of Harp’s Food Stores, said he had noticed a marked increase in sales of Yarnell’s ice cream on Thursday after the announcement. At Sexton’s Food Store, Yarnell’s half-gallons were on sale three for $10 and customers were at times clogging the frozen food aisle to get a chance to dig through the case Continued on Page 3A

Yarnell’s issues statement concerning WARN law

Warren Watkins Yarnell’s Premium Ice Cream Company officials have issued a statement concerning why they did not provide a 60-day notice for the plant’s closure as required under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act.

The WARN notification, issued by Morris Buchanan, executive vicepresident of operation, said production will cease June 29 because it “has not been able to obtain the capital necessary to continue to operate and has not been able to find a buyer for the company as a going concern.”


“Some employees will be receiving less than 60 days prior notice of the facility closure as a result of its unexpected failure to obtain business capital and sell the company as a going concern,” the statement said. The statement said there will be a brief phase-down of operations with Continued on Page 3A

Life is like an ice cream cone. You have to lick it one day at a time. Charles M. Schulz Cartoonist, 1922-2000

Contact us: 3000 E. Race, Searcy, AR 72143, (Phone) 501-268-8621, (Fax) 501-268-6277

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Daily Citizen Serving Searcy and White County, Ark., since 1854

Educators: 9/11 import in history too soon to tell Harding professors discuss 9/11 legacy

By Marisa Lytle Ten years after the tragic attack on and collapse of the Twin Towers, our nation participates in memorial events and chants the words “Remember 9/11.” But how will history treat 9/11? Will it still be remembered once those alive today, those who witnessed that event are long gone? According to Harding University professor of history Continued on Page 2A

Bald Knob woman was 9/11 victim

By Marisa Lytle One local family will always remember and find significance in the events of 9/11. Malissa White Higgins, originally from Bald Knob, lived in New York City and worked in a human resources office at the World Trade Center. She was on the 99th floor when the planes hit. Higgins’cousin,JudyHart, who is an Aramark direc- Higgins tor at Harding University, remembers Sept. 11, 2001 clearly. “I was at work that morning, and we


Vol. 157, No. 219 ©2011 The Daily Citizen

Today: Partly sunny. Chance of rain and storms. Highs in the mid 80s. West winds 5 mph. Tonight: Partly cloudy. Lows in the lower 60s. West winds 5 mph.

were getting ready for the rush of students going to the cafeteria after chapel,” she said. “The TV came on, and I saw students standing around glued to the screen. As I watched the TV, I thought, ‘I have an aunt and cousin who live in New York.’ And then I thought, ‘Malissa!’ I knew — I don’t know how I knew — but I knew she was gone.” Hart said it was days later before she had heard for certain that Higgins was dead, but she believes Higgins’ immediate family knew sooner. The family held a memorial service a few weeks after 9/11 at the Bald Knob High School. Continued on Page 2A


Inside this edition:

n The former Searcy mayor and County Judge recall 9/11. — Page 3A n A Searcian was a CNN producer at the time of the attacks — Page 3A n Former editor talks about 9/11 in The Citizen's newsroom — Page 4A Pictured above: Placards featuring the names of each victim of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks are displayed at Benson Auditorium on the Harding University campus. A memorial service will be held at the venue at 7 p.m. today. Jeff Montgomery/Special to The Daily Citizen

9/11 changed local emergency response Local responders reflect on industry changes since 9/11

By Molly M. Fleming During the three tragedies of Sept. 11, 2001, emergency response personnel in the three cities — including fire fighters, police officers and EMTs — were dispatched to events

EMS since 9/11

First responders said they now have more training about homeland security, among other new occurrences.

they had never seen before. For some, they were dispatched out and would never return home to their families. Since then, the emergency Continued on Page 3A

Those whose lives were lost on Sept. 11 will remain in our thoughts and prayers forever. Vito Fossella Politician, 1965

Contact us: 3000 E. Race, Searcy, AR 72143, (Phone) 501-268-8621, (Fax) 501-268-6277


Sunday, September 4, 2011

$ 25


Daily Citizen

Serving Searcy and White County, Ark., since 1854

Harding opens season against SAU new Garden honors teacher’s memory The Bisons went on the road Saturday to face Southern Arkansas in the 2011 opener. — Page 1B

Labor Day travel

n More people driving than flying n Travel lower than in 2010 n Travelers staying close to home

Labor Day travel lower than 2010

Locals: economic situation to blame By Molly M. Fleming Since Thursday, more than 31.5 million travelers were forecasted to have left home during the Labor Day weekend, which is a 2.4 percent decrease from 2010, said Mike Wright, AAA public affairs officer. “Most of the travel will be in motor vehicles, which has actually increased half a percent from last year,” Wright said. “Overall travel is down this year because of the general economic situation, including the gas prices, increased air fare, a reduction in disposable income for many people and an overall anxiety about the financial future.” While more people are staying home, one of those travelers is Carlotta Taykowski of Lonoke, who is driving to visit her daughter and grandchildren in Heber Springs. “I’d visit them a lot more, but the gas prices have kept me from traveling as much,” she said. Taykowski lives in Lonoke, works in Searcy and often travels to Pangburn to see her mother. Searcy resident Winoka Young said gas prices are also affecting her travel plans.

“They are just too high,” Young said. “When gas prices are this high, it hurts the whole economy. My husband is a truck driver and he said that when gas is more expensive, it increases the price of goods and services.” While more people are traveling by car, some are hopping airplanes, trains and buses to get to their destinations. All three of those modes of transportation have seen a decline this holiday season. AAA expects 2.5 million people to travel by air this year, which is down 1.9 percent from last year. According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, Labor Day airfares are expected to be 13 percent higher than last year with an average lowest round trip rate of $202 for the top 40 U.S. air routes. Increasing airfares and fees are factors contributing to the decline in air travel, the first expected decline for a major travel holiday in 2011 as forecast by AAA. “People are looking for bargains if they’re going to travel,” Wright said.  Nearly 2 million travelers will reach their destination by bus or train, which expects to have 5 percent of the weekend’s travelers, down from 8 percent in 2010, but well above the 4 percent Continued on Page 2A

Alison Krauss to perform in less than 2 weeks Tickets still available for Sept. 16 show

By Molly M. Fleming In less than two weeks, Alison Krauss & Union Station will take the stage at Benson Auditorium at Harding University in a stop along their Paper Airplane Tour. Tickets for the Sept. krauss 16 show are still available, but they are selling quickly, said Corey McEntyre, director of student life for Harding University. “Ticket sales have been going really well,” McEntyre said. “There are still a few hundred seats available, especially in the balcony area.” Tickets are $40-$50 for the general public and $20$30 for Harding students. The prices vary based on location in the auditorium. The sellout capacity of the auditorium is 3,468 people. McEntyre said he has heard great things about Krauss coming to campus. “Everyone seems to be really excited about the concert,” he said. “Some people

Alison Krauss & Union Station

When: Sept. 16 Where: Benson Auditorium, Harding University For tickets:

thought we were kidding when we first announced it.” Krauss will be one of two musical acts on campus this fall. McEntyre said there will be another concert later in the year, and the Student Life Office will sponsor a music festival in the spring. Krauss' tour is in correlation with the release of her 14th album, which shares the same name. The album was released on April 12 and debuted No. 1 on the Billboard Country Chart and Bluegrass Albums Chart and No. 3 on the Top 200 Album Chart. The album is a followup to the band's 2004 triple Grammy-winning album, Lonely Runs Both Ways. Doors for the show will open at 7 p.m. and the show will start at 8 p.m. For more information about the concert, call the Harding University Campus Life office at 279-4106.


Today: Cloudy. A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the lower 80s.

Vol. 157, No. 213 ©2011 The Daily Citizen

Tonight: Cloudy. A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows around 60.

A garden in Lori Newby’s honor brightens the grounds of McRae Elementary this school year. — Page 3A

‘When I grow up, I want to be...’


Story and images by Marisa Lytle

n honor of Labor Day weekend, The Daily Citizen asked 11 local elementary school students what they want to be when they grow up. Their responses are published here: Trenton Williams

Grade: First School: Sidney Deener Q: What do you want to be when you grow up and why? A: I want to be a farmer because I like combines. Q: Why do you like combines? A: They’re in the movie “Cars.” Mater and Lightning McQueen run away from the combine. Mater is my bestest character in Williams the movie. Q: Why else do you like farming? A: Farmers get on a tractor and the pull this little big thing and they get rice and stuff. Q: What do you think about growing up? A: I want to. Q: Will it be boring or fun? A: Kind of in the middle.

Kailee Baker

Grade: Second School: Sidney Deener Q: What do you want to be when you grow up and why? A: Right now I think I want to be a softball player. I played last year, and I’ll play again this year. I want to be a softball player because you get to have lots of home runs and when I play, Williams I feel really great. Sometimes you win some, sometimes you lose some. I think I’ll be about 19-and-a-half when I become a softball player. Q: What do you think about growing up? A: I’m gonna be proud when I grow up because I’ll know more and learn a lot more.

Andrew Barkley

Grade: Third School: Sidney Deener Q: What do you want to be when you grow up and why? A: A race car driver. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is one; that’s why I want to be one. He went from 8 to 88. Eightyeight is my favorite number now. Q: How do you know so much Barkley about car racing? A: I don’t know. It’s a family thing, I guess. Hey, I’ve got something to tell you about when I was born. I had this curly hair. Everyone thought I was a girl. They just looked right past the clothes.

Talon Ball

Joey Summers

Grade: Kindergarten School: Westside Q: What do you want to be when you grow up and why? A: I wanna be a soccer coach because I really like soccer. I play every single week. I think I’m going to play basketball after soccer. Q: Why do you like soccer? Do you like the running and kicking? Summers A: No. I like that we get snow cones after. Q: What do you think about growing up? A: I think it’s going to be really hard. Grown-ups have to always go to work.

Grade: Kindergarten School: McRae Q: What do you want to be when you grow up and why? A: I want to be a dad so I can make money. Q: What do you think about growing up? A: I will like being the boss. I do not like working when you’re a grown-up, but I like it when you make Ball money.

Jayden Berry

Grade: First School: McRae Q: What do you want to be when you grow up? A: I don’t know. Q: What do you think about growing up? A: I want to grow up because I want to give kids spankings. I don’t Berry like being a kid and getting spankings.

Jorielle Strode

Ty Morgan

Grade: Second School: McRae Q: What do you want to be when you grow up and why? A: I want to be a police officer because the officers get weapons. The other reason is I want to help people not to get hurt. I want to teach people not to do bad things. Mostly what police officers do is getting the bad guys Morgan not to do anything bad. Q: What do you think about growing up? A: I kinda like being a kid, but I kind of want to be a grown-up. When you’re a kid, the only money you get is from chores. Grown-ups get to have a job. Kids’ work is just chores, and that’s boring.

Meredith Webbe

Grade: 3rd School: McRae Q: What do you want to be when you grow up and why? A: A nurse. I just want to help people. My mom was a nurse. Now she’s trying to help people at the nursing home. Q: What do you think Webbe about growing up? A: I don’t want to grow up.


Grade: First School: Westside Q: What do you want to be when you grow up? A: A dentist or a mom. Q: Can you be both? A: Yeah, I can be both. I want to be a dentist because I really like kids, and I like teeth, and I like shiny ones, too. I want to be a mom because I like kids, too. Strode They’re really cute when they’re babies. Q: What do you think about growing up? A: It sounds fun to grow up.

Mary Frances Oxner

Grade: Second School: Westside Q: What do you want to be when you grow up? A: A lot of things. A teacher, doctor, artist, veterinarian, music teacher ... that’s about all. Q: What will growing up be like? A: I think growing up will be fun. I think I’ll be 21 Oxner when I start having all those jobs.

Emilee Knighton

Grade: Third School: Westside Q: What do you want to be when you grow up and why? A: A teacher. I just think it would be fun. Reading would be fun. When I’m a teacher, the kids would learn, but at the same time they’d be having fun. Q: What activities would you have the kids do? A: Getting some water in a glass and putting Knighton a pencil in it to make the pencil look broken.

Children are educated by what the grown-up is and not by his talk. Carl Jung

Psychologist, 1875-1961

Contact us: 3000 E. Race, Searcy, AR 72143, (Phone) 501-268-8621, (Fax) 501-268-6277

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