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FREE WEEKLY

January 4, 2017

THE POLK COUNTY

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1168 Hwy 71 S • Mena, AR 71953 • 479-243-9600 ...............................................................................................................................................................................

Your DAILY News Sources: KENA 104.1 FM & MyPulseNews.com

T ear f ul G oodby es

Charlie Company Deploys

Sales Tax Collections Down for 2016 BY MELANIE BUCK • news@mypulsenews.com

Sales tax collections for 2016 are down more than $ 23,000 for the year compared to the same period from the previous year for P olk C ounty. In 2016, $ 1,456,749.76 was collected, down $ 23,480.79 from 2015, causing a 1.6% decrease in collections. The same numbers apply to the R oad Improvement Sales Tax collections as well, with each being a 1-cent tax. The first uarter of 0 6 showed promising increases over 0 , however, six of the last eight months of the year had deficits, causing the decrease. February showed the largest amount of collections for the year with $ 132,108.05 being collected for both Sales Tax General and R oad Improvement Tax. April showed the largest increase from the prior year at CONTINUED ON PAGE 5

Newly Elected Officials Sworn-In for 2017 BY MELANIE BUCK • news@mypulsenews.com Newly elected heriff cott awyer was officially sworn into his new position on Mon day, January 2nd, as was incumbent C ounty C lerk Terri H arrison, and newly elected D istrict Judge D anny Thrailkill. The trio was sworn-in by C ircuit Judge Jerry R yan while surrounded by family and close friends. ncoming and incumbent officials were officially sworn into office for 0 7 by County C lerk Terri H arrison on Tuesday, January 3rd at the P olk C ounty C ourthouse. Those elected officials include randon Ellison, County Judge Jovan Thomas, Assessor Tanya Fret , County Treasurer Michelle eath chnell, Circuit Clerk Andy arron, Constable for Center CONTINUED ON PAGE 8

Mena Depot Welcomes First Train Passenger in 57 Years BY MELANIE BUCK • news@mypulsenews.com

PHOTO BY MELANIE BUCK

A total of 139 soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 153rd Infantry, Company C, also known as Charlie Company, based in Mena, boarded buses after being served dinner at the local National Guard Armory on New ears Day roops ill rst o to ort liss e to prepare for a 12-month deployment to the Horn of Africa. SEE MORE ON PAGE 6

The first passenger to depart a train in Mena in 7 years stepped off the railcar on Wednes day, D ecember 21st, to a warm home welcoming. Al P feiffer, a train enthusiast spent ten days on the famed C oliday Express as an elf before being dropped off in Mena on a brisk D ecember morning. “ I’m a member of the K ansas C ity Southern R ailroad H istorical Society and they asked for volunteers for the oliday Express. had fun! We had somewhere between 7 ,000 and 80,000 people visit the train in twenty-something stops,” said P feiffer. Although passenger

Mena’s Newest Event Venue! THE GREEN ROOM RESERVE YOUR DATE: 479-394-3737

CONTINUED ON PAGE 8


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January 4, 2017

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Harvest of Hope Radiothon Raises Over $23,000 for Backpack Food Program

VFW Donates to Covenant House Ministries Local VFW Post #4451 recently made a donation through a VFW Foundation Grant to Covenant Ministries, which provides a place of refuge for women and children in crisis situations in Polk County. Pictured: Edith Wegner (left) of Covenant Ministries accepting the $1,000 donation from VFW Commander Linda Johnson (right).

Pulse ulti e ia’s n annual ar est of ope a iothon raise he ar est of ope a iothon is a partnership ith the lo al ena ioness Clu he k as presente to hon a San ers C of the rkansas oo ank ho ensures all fun s re ei e are use to pur hase foo items spe i ally for Polk County stu ents Pi ture a o e are Pulse ulti e ia eneral ana er e nn Dil e k San ers ena ioness Presi ent olynn a a an Lioness Past-President Carla Mosley.

Assessor’s Notice A FRIENDLY REMINDER TO ASSESS FOR 2017 You Can Assess Beginning January 3rd, 2017 through May 31st, 2017 to avoid a 10% late assessment penalty Personal Property Required BY L A W to be assessed, but not limited to: Airplanes All Vehicles --- Cars, Trucks, SUVs Four Wheelers/Motorcycles Boats --- Houseboats/Trailers Jet Ski/Trailers Travel Trailers/Campers Tractors & Farm Equipment Livestock --- Cattle & Horses (Any Herd Animal) Utility, Cargo, Livestock, Car Hauler Trailers Motorhomes Heavy Equipment --- Backhoe, Bulldozer, Logging Equipment, etc. Business Inventory, Equipment, Furniture & Fixtures Business Office Equipment including Home Based Businesses

Real Estate --- Taxpayers responsibility B Y L A W to report: New Construction Any Remodeling or Additions to Real Estate should be reported

In Person:

Ways to Assess:

507 Church Ave Mena, AR 71953

Online:

www.scoutassess.com

By Phone: 479-394-8121

Thank You, Jovan Thomas, Assessor


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January 4, 2017

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Elks Honor Deputy of the Month

The Polk County Sheriff’s f e and Sheriff S ott Sa yer are proud to announ e that Deputy ra hiseur has een named the ena lk’s Lodge #781 Deputy of the Month for Novemer alte Ruler Brian hompson presente Deputy Frahiseur ith a Certi ate of ppre iation an a ift erti ate to the ran in ron Sheriff Sa yer ante to e press his appre iation to Deputy ra hiseur for his har ork an e i ation to Polk County e also ante to thank the ena lks o e for re o ni in the lo al Deputies

Mena City Council Approves news@mypulsenews.com 2017 Budget

Congratulations Lynn Foster of Mena, AR Winner of the

Rocker Recliner during our Annual Christmas Sale!

BY MELANIE BUCK •

Mena C ity C ouncil met D ecember 13 for their regular monthly meeting and approved a $ 3.5 million operating budget for 2017. Just over $ 2.47 was allocated for the general fund and j ust over one million delegated to the street department fund. P roj ected revenue from sources such as building permits, grants, tax es, state turnback funds, etc. is ex pected to be $ 2,480,935. The Mena P olice D epartment was budgeted $ 1,112,521 to run operations at the department and pay salaries. The C ity of Mena’s Administration D epartment was budgeted $ 477,879 for their daily operations, repairs and maintenance, and salaries. The Mena Fire D epartment will have a budget of $ 297,327, which includes supplies, turn-out gear, utilities, and salaries. Animal C ontrol will operate on a budget of $ 90,599; C ode Enforcement - $ 58,414; D istrict C ourt Ex penses - $ 70,526; Janssen P ark - $ 262,672; McMillan P ark $ 14,551; Mena D epot - $ 11,180; P ool D epartment - $ 66,612; Senior C enter - $ 8,686. In other business, the council approved an annual resolution designating the percentage of the city’s portion of funding district court. Mena will pay 33.3 percent, Grannis 9.3 percent and P olk C ounty will cover 57.4 percent. D istribution of the costs is based on fine revenues from the previous year. The Council also approved the appointment of evin Williams to fill the unexpired term of P hillip H ensley on the Mena Airport C ommission. Mayor George Mc ee expressed his appreciation to uth Gray for filling the unex pired term of her late husband, Walt Gray, until the end of the year. R on Tilley was voted to fill the vacancy beginning in January 0 7.

January 6, 2016

Thanks to everyone who registered!

at Mena

Assisted Living

Call us to set up a tour.

SINCE 1939! •• www.washburns.com 1020 Mena St. • Mena, AR 71953

479.394.4332 •• TOLL FREE 1.888.394.4332

HOURS: Monday - Friday 8:30 am - 5:30 pm •• Saturday: 8:30 am - 3:00 pm

• Meals and medication assistance • Weekly housekeeping • Transportation • Activity Programs

479-243-0033

1341 Mena Street, Mena www.theoaksatmena.com


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January 4, 2017

Weekly Publication

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DAV Auxiliary Places Wreaths & Gives Christmas Gifts

The Disabled Veterans Auxiliary met on December 7, 2016 at Pinecrest to place reaths on the eteran’s ra es for Pearl ar or Day

Minimum Wage Increases to $8.50 BY MELANIE BUCK • news@mypulsenews.com

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rkansans that earn minimum wage received a pay increase on January 1, 2017. The state’s minimum wage rose to $ 8.50 per hour as part of a 2014 ballot initiated act. In 2014, minimum wage was $ 7.50 per hour and after the approval of the act, it rose to $ 8 on January 1, 2016, and gained an additional $ .50 again this year, to reach $ 8.50. Federal minimum wage rates remain at $ 7.25 per hour. Arkansas j oins 28 other states across the nation that have chosen to ex ceed the federal rates. The act applies to employers with four or more employees, but does not apply to those who receive tips. Servers receiving tips will earn a minimum of $ 2.63 per hour.

N atio nal F amily C areg iver S up p o rt Pro g ram

Caregiver Support Meeting • January 5, 2017 at 11:15 am

If you are a caregiver of an adult 60 years and older please come join us. This information could be extremely helpful to you. The topic will be “Caring for Dementia” presented by Kassie Strother PTA, Mena Manor. For information call Taryn Jinks 870-385-2373.

Hope to see you there. Refreshments will be served. Win a door prize!

The Cossatot Senior Center

7366 Hwy 71 S • Wickes, AR 71973 • Office: 870-385-2373

SUBMITTED

he au iliary also met De em er th to i e Christmas ifts to the eterans at i h ountain ursin home ill Stokes Cureton illy ates C orner onnie an e r in or an on eyer illiams Pea htree ssiste i in ar orie Phipps Paul Smith eu en Cramp ena anor S ott elso Clifton D e som o s

Mena Elks Lodge

Annual

Hoop Shoot Hatfield Gym Sunday, January 8 @ 1pm

Open to ALL Boys & Girls ages 8 yrs. thru 13 yrs. Must have gym shoes!

For more information call 479-394-3740 Mena Elks Lodge • Hwy 375 East


Sales Tax

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, 0 . , 7, 0. more than April 0 . March had the lowest collections of the year at 0 , 6 .76 and June showed the largest decrease at , . , 3, 33.67 less than June 0 . This is the first decrease in collections following a four to five year trend of slight growth. County Judge randon Ellison explained that in 0 0, 0 , 0 , and 0 3, all saw slight decreases from the year before, with the increases coming back in 0 . Each year, whether an increase or decrease, has been less than a difference, and none have been catastrophic to the county s budget. Nonetheless, collections seem to remain at, as Ellison put it. think internet sales have something to do with it. t hurts local businesses and rural counties because we don t have the services that are available online. Delivery trucks and wheeler traffic bringing things in have tripled in the last few years. t s a little discouraging that our taxes aren t growing like they should, especially with the increased traffic. Ellison is hopeful that new legislation will help balance sales tax decreases in the future. There is legislation sitting at the federal level waiting for a marketplace fairness act that will basically make internet sales pay sales taxes to the states. t has to be done at the federal level it can t be done at the state level. That would be one thing that m hopeful for, that they would start looking at a sales tax to be remitted to local govern ments through internet sales. Ellison also explained that of the one cent ales Tax General and one cent oad mprovement Tax, the county only gets 7 of the collections. The rest is distributed to towns and cities throughout the county. t s a county city tax. The county is the only one limited to what we can spend the funds on. The county s portion of the oad mprove ment Tax can only be spent on roads. The rest is for general purposes, said Ellison. Each city and town receiving the tax can use any of it for general purposes.

Thank you for the privilege to serve you in 2016 and we look forward to working with you in 2017!

203 Hwy 71 N, Mena • 479-243-0123 DiamondBanking.com

Guardrails Along Talimena Scenic Byway in Need of Beautification

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January 4, 2017

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BY MELANIE BUCK • news@mypulsenews.com

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s the gateway to the Talimena National cenic yway, beautification surrounds ighway West, with exception to the ever aging guardrails that line the roads and safeguards travelers from treacherous drop offs on the winding path. While structurally sound, the guardrails are dented, chipped, and rusted. Chad Adams, District Engineer for the Arkansas tate ighway Department confirmed they have received complaints, but with the rails be ing structurally sound and the limited funds of his department, they are limited in what they can do. Adams said, The ighway Department is responsible for the structural integrity of the guardrail. We have been working on replacing damaged posts and sections of rail over the past few months. And, as personnel and e uipment are available, we are clearing overgrown brush that has grown up behind some sections of the rail. owever, the main complaint that have heard has to do with the aesthetics of the guardrail, not the structural integri ty. D eemed to be safe, just not pleasing to the eye, the ighway Department is limited in what they can do. The guardrail was painted brown years ago, when this highway was constructed, in an effort to blend in with the scenery. This was done either at the re uest of, or in partnership with the Department of arks and Tourism, Adams explained. Through the years, the paint has faded and chipped away and rusted in many portions of the railings. Damage from fallen trees is also visible in many areas, but, as Adams explained, the structural integrity remains. From an aesthetical perspective, it is now in need of a fresh coat of paint. The ighway Department does not have funds for this type of work, but we are willing to issue a permit allowing others to repaint the guardrail.

January 6, 2016

January Specials EVERY FRIDAY 5-Close Half Price Extra Long Chili Cheese Coney

2 Regular Chili Coney & 2 Tater Tots

$6.29

Regular Size Pickle-O

$1.39

Large Single Flavored Soft Drink & Slushes

$1.00


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January 4, 2017

Weekly Publication

................................................................................................................................ The local National Guard unit, Charlie Company, deployed 139 soldiers on Sunday, January 1, 2017 for a year-long tour in the Horn of Africa. Pictured clockwise, beginning top left: Carlos Arce, of Mena, says goodbye to his four-month old daughter, Adley. he Polk County Sheriff’s Department helped serve a meal, provided by Tyson Foods and the Family Resource Group (FRG), to the troops and their families prior to shipping out. A soldier says goodbye to his loved one. Many locals lined the streets to show their support ith anners a s an cheers. Pictured are members of Faith Missionary Baptist Church. at el ire Department held a big send-off in honor of r e also a olunteer re hter for at el an the rest of the troops.

Auto-Home-Life-Motorcycle Mobile Home-Boat-ATV

Get’s you back where you belong.

Christy Medlin Insurance Agent

MEDLIN INSURANCE AGENCY 900 Hwy. 71 N. Mena, AR 71953

LICENSED IN OKLAHOMA & ARKANSAS cmedlin@farmersagent.com 479-394-5555

PineMoore Shavings has one (1) opening for a

Class-A CDL Truck-Driver

Please contact Beverly at 479-243-4577 for additional details or come by for an application.


Weekly Publication

RMCC’s Student Government Petco Foundation Invests in HSO Association Donates to Mena, AR Harvest of Hope

– H umane Society of the Ouachitas (H SO) of Mena announced it has been awarded a $ 10,000 grant from the P etco Foundation to support its low-cost “ Spay N euter Assistance P rogram” (SN AP ). H is a nonprofit no kill shelter serving homeless animals until permanent caring homes can be found for them providing low cost spay neuter, vaccination and other humane services and dedicated to the prevention of cruelty and neglect of animals in olk County. ince 7 , has rescued and found loving adoption homes for thousands of abandoned dogs and cats, developed a low cost spay neuter program, and more recently, a transport program, delivering adoptable pets out of the area to new homes. The etco Foundation investment will help to subsidi e spay and neuter costs, helping pet owners of lower income, thereby reducing the number of unwanted pets in the county in a humane way. y altering their pets, pet owners do not have to worry about dealing with an unplanned, unexpected litter of pups and kittens, and the cost and stress to feed and find them homes. lus, alteration keeps pets from straying from home, keeping them safe from certain dangers that straying pets face. These free spay/ neuter surgeries are income based. You can download the application from www.hsomena.org, or pick up an application at the shelter or several locations around town. L ocations include Department of uman ervices, Department of Workforce ervices, Mena Animal Control, Veterans ervices, to name a few. Dr. andy urgess, DVM, of Mena, is a supporter of the NA project and will be providing the surgeries. imply fill out the app and mail or return to the shelter, or email a scanned photo to tinasball@ aol.com. “ This grant support comes at the perfect time. There are many loving and caring pet owners in our community that understand the importance of having their cats and dogs altered, but whose budgets do not have room for the expense. These funds will make these surgeries possible. ur hope is to reduce the number of puppies and kittens being born that have no homes wanting or waiting for them. The grant from etco Foundation will go a long way towards making that hope a reality. A survey conducted by this past summer, showed what a huge animal loving community we are. Eighty six percent of homes have one or more cat and or dog. Forty three percent of these pets are not altered. et owners surveyed said the number one reason their pets were unaltered was cost. Thanks to etco Foundation, this will no longer be a barrier for many. et owners, please apply for the grant! said Tina all, Volunteer helter Manager. For more information on how to apply for the NA program, please call the shelter at 7 3 6 . Various locations around Mena have NA applications available, such as the public library, and the form is downloadable at www.hsomena.org. For more information about etco Foundation, visit www.petcofoundation.org. Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or by using the hashtag # P etcoFoundation.

January 6, 2016

HOLLY SPRINGS REAL ESTATE, LLC 394-4200 1114A Hwy 71S Mena, AR Toll Free: 1-888-394-4200 Keith’s Cell: 479-243-5341

Keith & Sharon Aleshire, Broker/Owners www.hollyspringsrealestate.com

We would like to thank our awesome clients and wonderful customers for their business this past year! Amid the bustle of the season may the peace of Christ and the love of God bless your heart and soul. Wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year!

Winners of the Snow Place Like Home GiveAways are...

Donna Morse Heated Throw Blanket

willSub HIRING SUBSTITUTES TEACHERS - CAFETERIA - CUSTODIAL

Ouachita River School District

www.pcmiservices.com • Apply NOW complete and submit an application Click the link to register for the upcoming training session. Online registration required, limited seating

Oden Campus Tuesday January 17th 10:00am – 12:30pm Acorn Campus Tuesday January 17th 3:30 6:00pm BRING: Driver’s License and Social Security Card or Birth Certificate Direct deposit banking info, payment (credit card) for FBI background check Check or money order for $10 for the Child Maltreatment Form If you have a college degree – official transcripts must be provided PCMI 1-877-855-7264

Elizabeth Webb Infrared Quartz Heater Fireplace S ame lo c atio n f o r o ver 4 5 y ears

Prices effective December 28, 2016 - January 24, 2017

394-1351 TOLL FREE 1-800-394-1351

Lynda Carnathan - Snowman Wreath........Gary Cole - Snowgirl Wreath

2 or more for sale price

• Works on door locks

201 HWY. 71 N., Mena

Mon.-Fri. 7am-6pm, Sat. 8am-4pm

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Johnson’s Traction De-Icer DI 13 10 oz. Melt CI Must purchase

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citizen

The Student Government Association (SGA) of the University of Arkansas – Rich Mountain recently made a donation to the Mena Lioness Lions for the Backpack Program in Polk County. The group donated $300. This was their second year to support Harvest of Hope Radiothon held in support of the Backpack Program.

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January 4, 2017

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Elected Officials

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Township; Gene H endrix, C onstable for Gap Springs Township; Jim C orazzo , C onstable for C ove Township; K ris L yle for Acorn Township; R ay H agler, C onstable for Eagle Township; D oyne Turner, C onstable for White/ Oza rk Township; H arold C oogan, Tri-L akes R egional Water D istrict; and B rian B owser, C ounty C oroner. On Tuesday night, Justices of the P eace were sworn in at the P olk C ounty Q uorum C ourt. Justices of the P eace are: B enj amin Finley, JP D istrict 1; Jim N eugent, JP D istrict 2; H arold C oogan, JP D istrict 3; Margo K imp, JP D istrict 4; Troy L unsford, JP D istrict 5; Terry Terrell, JP D istrict 6; Tommy Floyd, JP D istrict 7; Terry Scott, JP D istrict 8; B asil K esterson, JP D istrict 9; Mitchell Tidwell, JP D istrict 10; and Tawana Gilbert, JP D istrict 11.

MENA PUBLIC SCHOOL’S BREAKFAST

N ot availbable at press time, available online at MyP ulseN ew s.com

MENA PUBLIC SCHOOL’S LUNCH MONDAY 1/9 EL EM EN TARY : Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, chicken tenders, tomato wedges, mixed fruit, fruit blend juice or sunbutter and jelly sandCONTINUED FROM FRONT PAGE wich sack lunch. M I DDL E S C HO O L : meatloaf, pizza choices, salad choices, trains still run in parts of the U nited States, it’s been almost six decades since someone chicken sandwich, sunbutter & jelly sandwich sack lunch, beef q uesahas arrived at the historic Mena D epot via the rails. dilla. HI GH S C HO O L : Meatloaf, pizza line, tortilla line, ham melt, chicken K ansas C ity Southern (K C S) R ailway C ompany has a long history in Mena. In fact, tender’ s, hamburger or sunbutter & jelly sack lunch. without K C S, Mena might not ex ist. It was in 1896 when Arthur Stilwell and his railway TUESDAY 1/10 EL EM EN TARY : Popcorn chicken, roasted cauliflower, cucompany rolled into Mena for the first time, then called the ansas City, ittsburg and Gulf cumbers, mashed potatoes, hot dog, orange wedges, apple juice, or R ailroad (K C P & G). sunbutter & jelly sack lunch. M I DDL E S C HO O L : Popcorn chicken bowl, In 1940, the K C S introduced the Southern B elle, a diesel-powered streamlined day pizza choices, salad choices, hamburger, sunbutter & jelly sack lunch, train between K ansas C ity, Missouri, and N ew Orleans, L ouisiana, a route that traveled chicken fajitas. HI GH S C HO O L : Popcorn chicken bowl, pizza line, tortilla right through Mena. Over the nex t two decades, passenger service on railways would line, salad choices, California Ranch chicken sandwich, or sun butter & begin to lose money and most companies ed the business. C held on until the end of jelly sandwich sack lunch. the 1960’s. WEDNESDAY 1/11 EL EM EN TARY : Chili, chicken sandwich, celery sticks, According to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas, “ In D ecember 1967, K C S applied for Incucumber/tomato salad, banana, cinnamon roll, grape juice, or sumbutterstate C ommerce C ommission authoriz ation to discontinue all passenger service. In ter & jelly sandwich sack lunch. M I DDL E S C HO O L : Inside out penne pasta, May 1968, approval to discontinue the K ansas C ity to P ort Arthur trains was granted. H owever, continuance of Southern B elle service between K ansas C ity and N ew Orleans chicken nuggets, chicken salsa melt, salad choice, sunbutter & jelly was deemed to be in the public interest. The K ansas C ity Southern passenger train losses sandwich sack lunch. HI GH S C HO O L : Inside out penne pasta, pizza line, worsened, and the Interstate C ommerce C ommission in 1969 authoriz ed the discontinuatortilla line, salad choices, BBQ cheeseburger, chicken tenders, hot tion of the Southern B elle. The last run took place on N ovember 3, 1969.” dog, or sun butter & jelly sandwich sack lunch. N ow back, pulling the H oliday Ex press, the Southern B elle gave one local the best THURSDAY 1/12 EL EM EN TARY : Chicken enchilada, cheeseburger, campC hristmas gift ever, a step back in time on a mode of transportation that was his livelihood fire beans, coleslaw, applesauce, orange juice, or sun butter & jelly for decades. “ I worked on the railroad and I’ve been telling people that I waited 77 years to sandwich sack lunch. M I DDL E S C HO O L : Chicken Enchiladas, pizza choicdo this… I’ll be 78 in October,” smiled P feiffer, describing it as the ‘ ex perience of a lifetime.’ es, salad choices, chicken nachos, hot dog, or sun butter & jelly sandWhen asked about the highlight of his trip, P feiffer gave a big laugh and said, “ A little wich sack lunch. HI GH S C HO O L : Chicken Enchiladas, pizza line, tortilla girl said to me, ‘ H i, Mr. Elf, you look like P resident Trump!’ I don’t know what brought that line, salad choices, pizza burger, chicken sandwich, hamburger, or sun about but I thought that was the funniest thingI heard in a long time.” butter & jelly sandwich sack lunch. Weekly Publication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FRIDAY . . . . . . . .1/13 . . . .E.L .EM . EN. . TARY . . . :. .Cheese . . . . . . .pizza, . . . . . BBQ . . . . .pork . . . . sandwich, . . . . . . . . . steamed of Mena. broccoli, red pepper strips, mandarin oranges, fruit blend juice, or sun FRANCES ANN SMITH butter & jelly sandwich sack lunch. M I DDL E S C HO O L : Chili, fish patty melt, DOROTHY MAE Frances Ann Smith, age 79, of pizza choices, salad choices, beef taco, or sun butter & jelly sandwich TASH Mena, Arkansas passed away on sack lunch. HI GH S C HO O L : Chili, pizza line, tortilla line, salad choices, fish the afternoon of Tuesday, Decempatty melt, chicken tenders, cheeseburger, or sun butter & jelly sandDorothy Mae Tash, ber 27, 2016 in Mena. wich sack lunch. age 82, of Farmersville, She was born in Honeygrove,

obituaries

First Train Passenger

Texas on July 27, 1937 to the late Henry Allen, Jr. and the late Josephine George. Frances touched so many people’s hearts through her kindness, spirit, and her love. She will be dearly missed and remembered fondly by everyone who knew her. She is survived by husband, James W. Smith; sons, Russell L. Smith and Jefferson A. Smith; grandson, Bretan Smith, all of Mena. Memorial service will be announced at a later date by Beasley Wood Funeral Home

California, formerly of Mena, passed away Tuesday, December 20, 2016 in Farmersville, California. She was born June 25, 1934 in Mena, Arkansas to the late James and Martha Coffey. She was united in marriage to the late Herbert Lee Tash. Dorothy loved her pets. She especially loved spending time with her family and friends under the big tree in her back yard. She was dearly loved and will be terribly missed. Survivors are sons, Milton Foshee of

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This weekly info proudly sponsored by:

GEORGE S. DAVIS STATE FARM AGENT SINCE 1964

Insurance with a name you know STATE FARM INSURANCE 624 Sherwood Avenue, Mena, AR

479.394.4521 Res. 479.394.1895


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 8

Farmersville, California, Herbert Eugene Tash of Farmersville, California, Jimmy Foshee of Farmersville, California, Brian Foshee of Exeter, California; daughters, Lola Sanchez of Hot Springs, Arkansas, Gail Sharrah of Fort Smith, Arkansas, Shirley Foshee of Las Vegas, Nevada, Wanda Tash of Hemet, Calfiornia numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, James and Martha Coffey, her daughter, Susan Marshall, and her brother, Eddie Coffey. Funeral services were Friday, December 30, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. in the Beasley-Wood Chapel. Interment followed in the Rocky Cemetery under the direction of the Beasley-Wood Funeral Home. Pallbearers were Dewayne Oglesby, Jimmy Malone, and Brian Foshee.

DORIS ALINE VARNER Doris Aline Varner, age 96, of Alder Springs, died Wednesday, December 21, 2016, at her home. She was born on Friday, June 11, 1920, to Amos Adams and Rosie Drew Sullivan Alexander in Houston, Texas. Doris loved helping others. She lived her life by the Bible. She served as a Sunday school teacher, for the Home Extension Office and was a Girl Scout Leader. She was a member of Hatfield Church of Christ. She enjoyed gardening, sewing, reading, tending her roses and spending time with her children and family. She was an excellent cook who made delicious cinnamon rolls and yeast bread. Doris was a loving mother, grandmother, aunt and friend and will be missed by all who knew her. She is preceded in death by her parents; her first husband, Carl Matzke, and second husband, Foy Varner, Sr.; two sons, Timothy Matzke and Carl Matzke, Jr.; two brothers, Warren Alexander and Ward Alexander; and

Caring for your family since 1928 479-394-1310 611 Janssen Ave. Mena, AR 71953 BeasleyWoodFuneralHome.com

one sister, Wilma Mann. Doris is survived by her son and daughter in law, Foy and Helen Varner, Jr. of Greenville, Texas; four daughters and sons in law, Cynthia & Phillip Clayton of Chapel Hill, Texas, Hope Motz of Luling Texas, Carla & Ron Broussard of Mena, and Darla & Allen Smith of Mena; 20 grandchildren, 46 great grandchildren, one great- great grandchild, several nieces and nephews and a host of other relatives and friends. Funeral services were Friday, December 23, 2016, at 10:00 A.M. at the Bowser Family Funeral Home Chapel with Ron Broussard and Kevin Randolph officiating. Interment followed services at Six Mile Cemetery in Hatfield. Visitation was Thursday, December 22, 2016 at the Bowser Family Funeral Home Chapel in Mena from 6-8 P.M. Online Guestbook: www.bowserffh.com

CATHERINE “KATIE” PLUNKETT Catherine (Katie) Plunkett, age 85, of Mena, Arkansas, died Monday, December 26, 2016 in Mena. She was born on July 3, 1931 in Helena, Arkansas to Hiram Argus Anderson and Louise Espy Anderson. Katie was a devoted wife, mom, granny, nenaw, aunt, and friend. She was a member of the First Baptist Church in Mena. A Hot Springs High School graduate, she spent over forty years as a registered nurse working for a number of doctors as well as a surgical nurse at the Mena Hospital. She also spent several years working as a home health nurse and spent countless hours alongside her husband Bill at their pharmacy, Plunkett Drug Store in Mena. In retirement, she and her husband, Bill, served their community faithfully through their work with the Ninth Street Medical Clinic. Katie was known for her wonderful bedside manner in her many years as a nurse, She had a caring, generous spirit, and loved the Lord and her family. Katie enjoyed sewing and needlework and found great joy in spending time with her husband and family. She was preceded in death by her husband Bill, who was the love of her life for nearly 62 years; her parents, Hiram Argus Anderson and Louise Espy Anderson; and her brother, James Anderson. She is survived by her sons, Terry Plunkett of Mena; Tim Plunkett and wife, Penny of Prescott, AR; P.T. Plunkett and wife, Christy of Mena; her daughter, Judi Plunkett White and husband, Tom of Mena; ten grandchildren, including Amanda Posey, Ty Plunkett and Ashlie Harris of Mena; Amber Hendrickson of Grand Rapids, MI and Abbi Peoples of Fort Smith, AR; Zach Plunkett of Cave Springs, AR, Caitlin Plunkett of Siloam

Springs, AR, and Josh Plunkett of Magnolia, AR; and Drew Plunkett of Fayetteville, AR, and Jake Plunkett of Mena; thirteen great grandchildren, several nieces, nephews, and a host of other relatives and friends. A celebration of Katie’s life was Thursday, December 29, 2016 at 10 a.m. at the First Baptist Church in Mena with Brother Russell Threet and Brother Ray Peoples officiating. Interment was at the Pinecrest Memorial Park in Mena immediately following the service. Visitation was Wednesday evening from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Bowser Family Funeral Home in Mena. In lieu of owers, donations in Katie’s memory can be made to Ninth Street Ministry, a ministry of the First Baptist Church at 811 Port Arthur, Mena, AR 71953 Clarice’s Room of Hope at 403 Morrow St. N, Suite C, Mena, AR 71953, or the organization of your choice. Pallbearers honoring Katie were her grandchildren.

VIRGINIA EVAH KEEBLER LUNGER

Virginia Evah Keebler Lunger, age 76, of Mena, Arkansas passed away Sunday, December 18, 2016 in Ft. Smith, Arkansas. Virginia was born in Ontario, California on June 12, 1940 to the late Martin Owen Keebler and Wynnette Alexander Keebler. She worked for Hughes Aircraft in soldering of electronics. Virginia enjoyed bowling and country dancing with family and friends. First and foremost she loved taking care of her family and raising her children. She was a loving and kind mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend to all knew her. She is survived by son, William Quantz of Lake Charles, Louisiana; daughters, Linda Nodes of Mena, Arkansas, Lisa Pochmara and husband Kenneth Boldwell of Mena, Arkansas; grandchildren, Randall Pochmara and wife Ashley, Kandace Pochmara, Micheal Nodes, Robert Valenti, and Haley Quantz; great-grandchildren, Elaina and Emily Pochmara, and Vanessa Valenti; brother, Arthur Keebler; nephews, Raymond Keebler and Bill Keebler. Mrs. Lunger was preceded in death by her parents, husbands, Tom Guerrero, Lewis Quantz, and Dennis Lunger, and son, Robert Quantz. Mrs. Lunger was sent for cremation under the direction of the Beasley Wood Funeral Home of Mena. Memorial service was Wednesday, December 28, 2016 at 3 P.M. at the Beasley-Wood Chapel.

SOLOMON “BUCK” D. CURETON

obituaries

January 4, 2017

Weekly Publication

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Solomon “Buck” D. Cureton, age 93, of Vandervoort, Arkansas, passed away Thursday, December 22, 2016 in

Mena. Buck was born in Cove, Arkansas on July 23, 1923 to the late Tom Dolton Cureton and the late Vona Fair Cureton. He was married to Clara Quigley on July 7, 1948 until her death in 2005. Buck worked in the logging business in Oregon and was a chicken and cattle farmer. He proudly served his country during World War ll. While serving in the military he earned the Silver Star and two Bronze Star medals. Being civic minded he served on several committees and boards, such as the Welfare Board, FHA Board, Farm Bureau Board, and Van Cove School Board. Buck enjoyed spinning yarns about his life experiences with his friends. Most of all he loved family and enjoyed spending time with them. He was a loving father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, and friend to all who knew him. He will be dearly missed. He is survived by daughter, Karlene Owens and husband Jock of Smithville, Oklahoma; son, Bruce Cureton and wife Susan of Cove, Arkansas; grandchildren, Trevan, and Valerie Cureton, Nikki Cureton, Jenise and Jesse Charlton, Sondra and Steven Hoobler; great-grandchildren, Clay, Megan, Quinton, Allie, Adan, and Bryce; brothers, Nick Cureton and Sherill Cureton; sister, Daisy and Kenneth Jacobs; brother-in-law, Ronnie Fleming; sisterin-law, Dorothy Castie; and special friend, Bonnie Blackburn. He was preceded in death by his parents, Tom and Vona Cureton, wife, Clara Cureton, sisters, Myrtle, Adele, Peggy, Louise, Wanda (Nubin) and Glenda. Funeral service was Tuesday, December 27, 2016, 10:00 a.m., at First Baptist Church in Cove, Arkansas with Brother Ron Ladd, Brother Todd Webb, and Brother Donnie Jewell officiating. Interment followed in the Witherspoon Cemetery under the direction of the Beasley Wood Funeral Home of Mena. Visitation was Monday, December 26, 2016, 5:00-8:00 p.m., at Beasley Wood. Pallbearers were Steve Dearing, Kenny Romine, Tewayne Watkins, Terry Jewell, Dale Baker, Dewight Barrett, Rex Johnston, and Mike Harwood. Honorary pallbearers were Sonny Dees, Billy John Davis, Roger Harwood, Maurice Manasco, David Dutton, Gary Dutton, Terry Belknap, and Terry Scott.

January 6, 2016


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. . January . . . . . . . .4, . . 2017 ....................................................................................................................

calendar

Weekly Publication

Thursday, 1/5 • 9:45 a.m. – Cossatot Senior Center in Wickes will host a Caregiver Meeting titled Caring for Dementia. • 10:30 a.m. – Gator & Friends will be performing at The Mena Senior Center. • 11:30 a.m. – Rotary Club of Mena/Polk County meets at Papa’s Mexican Caf . Contact Lisa Martin at 216-3383 or Charles Pitman at 216-4882 for more information. • 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. - The Cove Branch of the Polk County Library is open. • 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. - The Sonlighters in Action Card Shop will be open at 3671 Highway 8 West, one mile from Louise Durham. • 5:00 p.m. - 9th Street Ministries will have a free dinner and fellowship in the 9th Street Ministries building. pm ua hita e ional ospi e’s “Growing Through Grief” support group meets at the Hospice office, 1106 South Mena Street. For more information, call 394-1134. • 5:30 p.m. – Weight Watchers meets at Dallas Avenue Baptist Church Family Life Center. Call 479-234-2297 for more information. • 5:30 p.m. – Alcoholics Anonymous women’s meeting at the ABC Club across from Chopping Block, 1159 Hwy, 71, S., Mena. 479-216-4606 or 479-243-0297. • 6:00 p.m. – Disabled American Veterans & Auxiliary meeting and potluck. Meeting follows dinner, American Legion at Veteran’s Park at Acorn. • 6:00 p.m. – Live Country, Bluegrass and Gospel music in the Daisy Room at Janssen Ave Florist. • 6:30 p.m. – Narcotics Anonymous meeting at Saint Agnes Church Parish Hall. • 7:00 p.m. – Big Fork RVFD Business Meeting & Training will be at the Fire Station. • 7:00 p.m. – Alcoholics Anonymous at the ABC Club across from Chopping Block, 1159 Hwy 71, S., Mena. 479-216-4606 or 479-2430297. • 7:00 p.m. – The Ink RVFD Business Meeting & Training will be at the community build-

BEATS

* THE MENA SENIOR CENTER WILL HOST A BREAKFAST FUNDRAISER on Saturday, January 21, 2017 from 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. They will serve scrambled eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, and biscuits and gravy, with coffee or juice, for $6 per plate.

ing. • 7:30 p.m. – Dallas Masonic Lodge #128 meets at the Mena Lodge located in the Old Post Office by Janssen Park. Friday, 1/6 • 8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Road tests are given at the Morrow Street Housing Authority Community Room unless the roads are wet. Written tests are given at 1 00 p.m. • 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Fiber Arts Group meets at Mena Art Gallery. All types of fiber are welcome. • 12:00 p.m. – The Lions Meetings are held in the Lions Club House on Highway 71 South. • 7:00 p.m. -10:00 p.m. – Richmond Road Band will play at The American Legion in Acorn. $6 admission. • 7:00 p.m. – Narcotics Anonymous meeting at 812 Highway 71 South, Mena. • 8:00 p.m. – Alcoholics Anonymous at the ABC Club across from Chopping Block, 1159 Hwy 71, S., Mena. 479-216-4606 or 479-2430297. Saturday, 1/7 • 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. – Cossatot River State Park will host Leave No Trace. Meet at Cossatot Falls Parking Lot. • 1:00 p.m. – M.S.A.A. Support Group meeting in Room 156 at RMCC. • 2:00 p.m. – Owls – Silent Predators of the Night will be hosted at Cossatot River State Park. Meet in the Legacy Room at the Visitor Center. • 2:30 p.m. – Old Lyric Players (Seniors Readers’ Theater meets at Subway on the highway. Participants 50 years of age and older are welcome. For more info, Janelle Baldwin 479-243-6486. • 3:30 p.m. – Cossatot River State Park hosts Caring for Critters. Meet in the Legacy Room at the Visitor Center. • 6:00 p.m. – Gospel Singing at the Little Hope Baptist Church near Pine Ridge with dinner following. • 6:00 p.m. – PCVO Bingo at American Legion Building, Hwy 71 N., Acorn. • 8:00 p.m. – Alcoholics Anonymous at the ABC Club across from Chopping Block, 1159 Hwy 71 S., Mena. 479-243-0297 or 479-2164606. Sunday, 1/8 • 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. – Cossatot River State Park will host Animal Tracks. Meet at Cossatot Falls Parking Lot. • 2:00 p.m. – Alcoholics Anonymous at the ABC Club across from Chopping Block, 1159 Hwy 71, S., Mena. 479-216-4606 or 479-2430297. • 2:00 p.m. – Feed the Critters at Cossatot River State Park. Meet at the Visitor Center. • 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. – Cossatot River State Park hosts a Geocaching Adventure. Meet at the Visitor Center. • 5:00 p.m. – United Methodist Youth Group at the First United Methodist Church

in Mena. • 6:30 p.m. – Narcotics Anonymous meeting at Saint Agnes Church Parish Hall. Monday, 1/9 am pm o ’s ee in Hands Mission Center will serve free Groceries & free Toiletry to the needy at 1200 Reeves Ave, Mena. • 12:00 – 5:00 p.m. – The Cove Branch Library will be open. pm he irport Commission’s regularly scheduled meeting, RMCC Boardroom located in the Spencer Building, 1100 College Drive. • 6:00 p.m. – PCVO Bingo at American Legion Building, Hwy 71 N., Acorn. • 6:30 p.m. – Boy Scouts of America Troop 92 meets at First United Methodist Church. Everyone is welcome. • 7:00 p.m. – Alcoholics Anonymous at the ABC Club across from Chopping Block, 1159 Hwy 71, S., Mena. 479-216-4606 or 479-2430297. • 7:00 p.m. – Mena Elks Lodge meeting. All Elks are invited to attend. • 7:30 p.m. – Mountain Meadow Chapter #22 Order of the Eastern Star meet at the Mountain Meadow Masonic Lodge Hall in Hatfield. Tuesday, 1/10 • 8:00 a.m. – The Reynolds Gardner Community en’s reakfast at the First United Methodist Church in Mena. • 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Polk County Family Mission is open in the 9th Street Ministries Building. • 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – “Art Day” at Mena Art Gallery, 607 Mena St. Bring your current project and join other artists working in the classroom at the gallery. • 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. – The Sonlighters In Action Card Shop will be open at 3671Highway 8 West, one mile from Louise Durham. pm pm he at el Branch Library will be open. • 5:00 p.m. – T.O.P.S. will meet in the Union Bank Community Room for weigh-ins, followed by a meeting. • 5:30 p.m. – Second Tuesday Book Club meets at Christ Episcopal Church, Annex Building, 809 Church Street. If you en oy reading good books, The Club is looking for additional members. For more information and details call 394-1482 or 394-6221. • 5:30 p.m. – The American Legion Board of Trustees and Auxiliary will meet at the American Legion Building at Veterans Memorial Park. Potluck will be served at 6 00 p.m. The Legion meeting will begin at 7 00 p.m. • 7:00 p.m. – Al-Anon for the families of addicts and alcoholics meets at the ABC Club. • 7:00 p.m. – The Dallas Valley R.V.F.D. meets for maintenance at the Firehouse. • 7:00 p.m. – The Rocky Fire Department meets. All members are encouraged to at-

tend. • 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – Bluegrass music at Morrow Street Housing Authority Community Room. • 8:00 p.m. – Alcoholics Anonymous meeting at First United Methodist Church, 9th & Port Arthur. 479-234-2887 or 479-234-3043. Wednesday, 1/11 • The Emergency warning sirens will be tested in Mena at noon. monthly am S Class of ’ meeting at Paisano’s. Classmates, spouses, and friends are welcome. For questions, call 479-394-6221. • 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – The Polk County Library Cove Branch is open. • 12:00 p.m. – Mena Lioness Lions Club meeting at Limetree. For more information, call 243-3752. Guests welcome. • 12:00 p.m. – Quality of Life Outreach meeting at Lavilla Restaurant. • 5:45 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. – The Mena First United Methodist Church Kidz will meet. • 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – The Southside Church of God Warriors for Christ will meet. • 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Regeneration Youth Ministries at Mena Church of God Hwy 88 East. • 6:15 p.m. – Discovery Kids – Kindergarten Thru 5th Grade Collide Youth Ministry 6th Thru 12th Grades and Adult Bible Study at Dallas Avenue Baptist Church. • 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. – Trek and Varsity for Middle and High School students at Grace Bible Church, 1911 Hwy 71 N. Mena. All Area Middle and High School students are welcome. • 7:00 p.m. – Alcoholics Anonymous at the ABC Club across from Chopping Block, 1159 Hwy 71, S., Mena. 479-216-4606 or 479-2430297. • 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. – Inquiry classes into the Catholic Faith begins in the Parish Hall of St. Agnes Catholic Church at 203 8th St. There is no cost or obligation and anyone interested is invited to attend. Call 394-1017 or 394-5655 for more information.


January 4, 2017

THE POLK COUNTY PULSE

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n the past e ha e ompile a list of oth ea er’s Choi e an itor’s Choi e op stories he ea er’s Choi e as etermine y the ie ership num ers a aila le to us throu h our on line pu li ation yPulse e s om o e er hen re ie in those sele tions this year all of the most ie e online stories in lu e arrests fatalities or on i tions e hear onsistently that rea ers ant more oo an positi e ne s stories an yet thanks to te hnolo y e an see that the pu li ’s human nature an interest ine ita ly na i ates to the more ne ati e stories ather than re ir ulate those painful stories e sele te hat e onsi ere to e the top sto ries of our area that sho either pro ress si ni ant han e or pro i e histori al referen e of a ne s e ent ithin our lo al ommunity ith reat respe t for the ommunity in hi h e ser e e present to you the top ne s stories of

Nearly Century Old ‘Two Mile Bridge’ Destroyed Published on J a nua ry 13 , 2016 BY MELANIE BUCK & LEANN DILBECK

Editor’s Choice

A 95-plus year old bridge was destroyed on Friday morning when the driver of a semi-truck pulling a low-boy trailer hauling a skidder attempted to cross it, despite weight limit and height limit signs. The old iron bridge on P olk R oad 37 was built in 1920 over Two Mile C reek and has been the subj ect of many photos, paintings, and memories. Two Mile C reek B ridge, as it is known, had a weight limit of only 4 tons and a height limit of 12 feet, according to posted signs. Once the equipment was measured and weighed, it was discovered that the skidder, when loaded on the trailer, had a height of 14 feet, 7 inches and the total equipment weight between the truck, trailer, and skidder was 81,800 lbs. H owever, it wasn’t the weight that ultimately caused the collapse, it happened when the skidder caught the top BY MELANIE BUCK beam of the iron bridge, pulling it down. The Two-Mile C reek B ridge on C ounty Judge B randon Ellison said, “ The bridge is P olk 37 is open after months of ruined and, at best, will be closed for six months.” Ellison working through negotiations with met with a bridge engineer Friday afternoon who surveyed AG insurance and finding permitting the site and said they discussed replacement plans. “ D eweather. P olk C ounty Judge B ranpending on design and whether we can use the exi sting don Ellison said the crew worked abutments, for a 103-foot span, the replacement cost until 8 p.m. on Monday night to get could be between $ 120,000 to $ 200,000.” the asphalt set. “ We started early The driver of the truck, Jeremy Owens, was cited by that morning but it started raining so the olk County heriff s Department for bedience to fficial Devices e uired. The semi and we held the asphalt trucks here and trailer were able to make the crossing; however, the skidder had to be pulled from the collapsed waited until the rain let up to get it bridge. The equipment is owned by B & M Forestry C orporation. The skidder is estimated to have done,” said Ellison. more than $ 60,000 worth of damages. Judge Ellison did say that he would negotiate compenThe bridge was damaged on January 8th by a local timber contractor, who sation. H e added, “ The responsible party has insurance and I fully exp ect the county to be fairly attempted to cross the bridge with a skidder that was too tall for the structure. compensated for the damages.” D amages to the bridge are estimated at $ 150,000. The top of the skidder snagged the top of the bridge, causing the collapse and

Polk 37 Bridge is Open

Published on Aug ust 24 , 2016

Godfrey Appointed as Director of ASA Published on N ov ember 16, 2016

BY MELANIE BUCK

Former P olk C ounty Sheriff Mike Godfrey continues to advance in the ranks and now sits as the D irector of the Arkansas Sheriff’s Association (ASA). Godfrey served as Sheriff in P olk C ounty for more than six years, resigning in August 2016 to take a position as D eputy D irector of ASA. At the time, Godfrey said, “ When I decided not to seek a 4th term, I had every intention of staying until the end of my current term, which ends on D ecember 31, 2016. When the opportunity to work for the Arkansas Sheriff’s Association presented itself, I felt that it was an opportunity that I could not pass up.” And indeed, the opportunity opened yet another door much sooner than exp ected. H is predecessor, R onnie B aldwin, had held the position of D irector for four years and recently passed away, leaving his seat open, and Godfrey was appointed. “ H e had been battling cancer for

CONTINUED ON PAGE 12

destruction of the century old bridge. “ The contractor cooperated fully and responsibly and maintained adequate insurance to cover the damage,” said Judge Ellison. The settlement from AIG paid $ 215,000 to P olk C ounty. Ellison is glad to see the end of the proj ect and said the only portion left is painting the stripes. Although the bridge was widened slightly to 17 feet, it will remain a one-lane bridge. The original abutments were used in the construction of the new bridge. The previous bridge was 15 feet wide, leaving little leeway on the abutments to build the new one much wider. The new bridge won’t have any height restrictions but will have weight restrictions that will be determined by the Arkansas H ighway D epartment. There is a smaller bridge that sits j ust yards away that has a 10-ton limit. That bridge also received a touch-up while crews were in the area. The steel has been painted red and new signs were being hung on Monday. Ellison said they also laid asphalt between the bridges. “ L ast time we came out and laid asphalt in this area, we were unable to bring our equipment in between the bridges because of the weight restrictions. This time, we were able to come across the new bridge to bring that section up to date.”


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THE POLK COUNTY PULSE

January 4, 2017

January 4, 2017

Published on M a y 25 , 2016

Published on M a y 4 , 2016

BY MELANIE BUCK

BY MELANIE BUCK

The Mena adycats stormed the University of Arkansas ogle ark field on Friday, May 0, in Fayetteville amid a large crowd of loyal L adycat fans and pulled out all the stops to bring home the C lass 4A Arkansas State Softball C hampionship trophy for the second consecutive year. In a seven-inning, 3 0 game, the adycats were just as great on the field as they were in the batters box. P laying the Po cahontas L ady R edskins, both teams played tremendous defense and kept the game scoreless, many times leaving runners stranded on base. “W e hit the ball pretty well. We had runners on base in every inning, we just couldn t get that two out hit to get someone across the plate, said H ead C oach R ay H unter. It wasn’t until the sixt h inning when Sealy Thigpen made it across home plate, thanks to a hit by exi rooks to claim the first scoring run of the day. That rallied the L adycats to another level and when the top of the seventh inning rolled around, a renewed spirit launched the team into victory. Jordan Ward knocked the ball out of the park, bringing the score to 0. en i purgin made it to first base on a hit to center field and was brought home by a sacrifice bunt from risten esterson, sealing the score at 3 0. When the edskins took the field in the bottom of the seventh, the adycats kept them at bay and ultimately shut them out to bring home the gold once again. D uring the game, the L adycats had a total

Editor’s Choice

Godfrey Appointed as Director

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 11

a while and the idea was to hire a deputy director to help him get caught up and help him out. I came to work on August 22nd and he passed away a short time later. The following week, I was made interim director and then the Exe cutive B oard voted to make me D irector. H e, in his time, brought our association a long way. We were almost broke when R onnie came in and we did not have the legislative support that we have now. H e brought our association so far forward and I want to continue to grow the association like he did. I inherited a very, very good situation.” In his new role, Godfrey will train sheriffs and network the sheriffs with vendors. Godfrey exp lained that the main role of the association is drug, alcohol, and bullying education in schools. H e also works as a lobbyist between the association Arkansas legislators to create laws that are beneficial to sheriffs and jails around the state. The Arkansas Sheriffs’ Association (ASA) is comprised of 75 sheriffs from across the state. The ASA holds a summer and winter convention every year to offer sheriffs the opportunity to elect board members, discuss the status of the ASA, and to assist each other with different issues such as – new laws, equipment, procedures, crime prevention, and other relative topics. The Association also offers various training throughout the year to assist Sheriffs and their D eputies in protecting and serving the citize ns of Arkansas.

Pictured (l to r, front row): President Dr. Phillip Wilson and RMCC Board of Trustees: Vice Chair Avel Mendoza, Carole Martin, Linda Rowe, Chair Sue Cavner, (back row, l to r) Michael Myers, Dr. Carlos Rocha, Al Gathright, Secretary John Maddox, and Gar Eisele.

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Ladycats are Back to Back 4A State Champions!

RMCC to Present Request for Merger at UA in May R ich Mountain C ommunity C ollege has announced the B oard of Trustees’ decision concerning the much-anticipated merger with the U niversity of Arkansas that has been in talks for months. On Wednesday, April 27, 2016, P resident D r. P hillip Wilson met with the R MC C B oard of Trustees to present a resolution requesting a formal partnership between R MC C and the U A System. The B oard of Trustees unanimously approved the resolution to join the University of Arkansas ystem effective July 1, 2016. The R MC C B oard of Trustees request for merger will be presented to the U niversity of Arkansas ystem oard of Trustees in their May 0 6 oard meeting for final consideration. Upon approval, R ich Mountain C ommunity C ollege would become the sixt h community college in the U niversity of Arkansas System. “ This day marks a new and historic day for R ich Mountain C ommunity C ollege,” said Wilson. The decision to request the merger comes after months of discussion with D r. D on B obbitt, U of A System P resident, R MC C B oard of Trustees, staff, faculty, and community members. P resident Wilson also stated, “ I commend the R MC C B oard of Trustees for their leadership and vision that led to this important decision. From discussions with all involved, the decision to join the University of Arkansas System is in the best interest of all our stakeholders. This is truly a day that we can all be proud of.” B oard of Trustees C hair Sue C avner shared, “ This is an exci ting day for R ich Mountain C ommunity C ollege. The decision to move forward with the request to become a member of the U niversity of Arkansas System will provide greater opportunities for those we serve. The overwhelming support received from students, staff and community members confirmed the oard s decision for the continued success for our community college.” Wilson commended R MC C B oard of Trustees as visionaries that serve with the best interest of R MC C and the community at heart. “ I would put the R MC C B oard of Trustees against any board or commission in the State. They are wonderful people doing great things for R MC C and their community. They have a keen understanding of the special challenges that exi st in Arkansas community colleges and the uniqueness of being the smallest in the state.” U nder the U A umbrella, Wilson would report to D r. B obbitt, who reports to the U A B oard of Trustees. The local B oard of Trustees will become a B oard of V isitors who will be “ his eyes and ears for all things locally.” Students are at the core of all decisions made and how such an alignment would impact them is at the forefront of Wilson’s and the Trustees’ minds. “ R MC C will not lose its identity. We will still be our community’s community college. P ractically, every decision will still be locally based.” Wilson continued by saying that scholarships and the Foundation will stay in local control. “ Tuition rates will always have the oard of Visitors and my fingerprint. MCC will continue to be an outstanding low cost tuition college. e went on to say, “ Our students will now have a diploma that will have the words ‘ U niversity of Arkansas’ on it. Those words are special and carry weight. We also believe that this gives us an opportunity to develop a U niversity C enter on our campus for partnership with the U A System U niversities, like U A Fort Smith and U A Fayetteville.” In 1973, the C ollege began as R ich Mountain V ocational-Technical School serving P olk, Scott, and Montgomery counties under the Arkansas D epartment of V ocational Education. In the late 1970s, community leaders alongside R epresentative Ode Maddox began discussions about the creation of a community college. R epresentative Ode Maddox introduced legislation, which ultimately became Act 16 of the 1983 General Assembly that established R ich Mountain C ommunity C ollege on July 1, 1983. “ We are the smallest community college in the state and that will not change,” Wilson added, “ This is a good relationship to have.”

THE POLK COUNTY PULSE

of twelve hits with an overall team batting average of .387. itcher Jordan Ward had 0 strikeouts, walked none, had her first ever high school home run, and was named Most Valuable layer of the game. You could see the joy on her face as she rounded the bases,” said C oach H unter of Ward’s seventh inning homer that went sailing over the fence. “ Of course, as the ultimate team player, she went and congratulated everybody else for being a part of it,” he continued. In the last four years, the L adycats have won 102 games and have lost an average of only 3-4 games per year. C oach H unter said, “ This is the most successful group of seniors that we’ve ever had. They’ve had help from several teammates along the way.” Five of the six seniors are committed to various colleges to continue their careers in softball. As C oach R ay H unter put it last week, “ This team doesn’t know what it’s like to not play in a state championship game.” The senior players on the L adycats, Jordan Ward, Ke nzi Spurgin, Kr isten esterson, Macy rotherton, Madelyn rotherton, and Daryan Torix, have been in the state finals all four of their high school years, placing runner up the first two years, and claiming the ultimate title the following two years. It’s obvious to their fans that their exp erience and dedication made for an unbelievable high school career and many stories for the history books.

Queen Enjoys Official Record Breaking Year Published on Aug ust 3 , 2016 BY MELANIE BUCK

Since the late 1800’s, there has been a lodge atop R ich Mountain inside Q ueen Wilhelmina State P ark where countless visitors have enjoyed scenic views, picnics, family gatherings, and so much more. Following an extensive renovation that lasted from D ecember 2012 until June 2015 and cost $ 9.6 million, the Q ueen has shown that her wait was more than worth it and she has the record numbers to prove it. n her first year after reopening on July , 0 , ueen Wilhelmina generated ,0 6, , with an overall lodge occupancy rate of 77.16% . The record numbers far exce ed any prior year the Q ueen has seen. In 2008, the previous record year, the park generated $ 1,545,171, with a 63.11% lodge occupancy rate. “ It’s been non-stop since reopening,” said Jack Faulkner, Front D esk Manager of the lodge who has worked there for 26 years. H e has become a friend to many of the lodge’s return visitors and says the lodge feels like a home away from home to most of them. In fact, exp lained P aula Magers, P ark Superintendent, there are some families who have been visiting the park at least once a year for 30 years or more. “T here are families who have raised their kids up here and now they are bringing their kids here,” said Magers. “ There are many families who have annual reunions here and some that come every C hristmas.” And although the renovations caused some families to miss a couple of years, they came back as soon as the lodge reopened and love the new look and feel of the crown jewel atop Arkansas second highest peak. “ We have a lot of people who are really amaze d with how it looks and how it’s changed since they were here before,” said Magers. “ All the comments have been positive; that they really like it. The park is so peaceful, so relaxi ng. It’s not like going to a huge hotel.” In addition to the lodge, the 460-acre park includes a campground with 41 campsites and a bathhouse; picnic areas; trails; and a seasonal miniature train. The campground has been remodeled as well with new electrical wiring and upgraded campsites. Of the $ 2,056,252 in revenue taken in from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016, $ 982,574 was generated by the lodge; $ 794,645 by the restaurant; $ 206,389 by the gift shop; $ 72,263 by camping; and $ 382 by concessionaires. “ The views are what draw people here,” said Magers. Just to sit and watch the sunset atop the mountain is a treat and many couples have chosen to take their vows looking over the exp ansive bird’s eye view of the region that lies below. Not only does the top of ich Mountain provide stunning views, uni ue ora and fauna, and wildlife, it also provides a large portion of revenue for those in the valleys below. n fact, the local population has thrived off of the popularity of the Q ueen for many years. John V acca sits as C hair of the Arkansas R egional C oalition (AR C O) and recently said the importance of the park has been felt, as citi ens and business owners alike benefit from what the attraction brings. With the lodge being closed, we were losing around 6 million in indirect revenue to just Mena. t s a great thing to see people going back to the lodge and coming down to visit Mena. It’s a big boost for our town.” As the ueen looks to the future, the hopes are that each year becomes, not just a record breaker, but a memory maker for many generations to come. Arkansas tate arks Director Greg utts summed up the majesty of the lodge by saying, think what you see is a first class facility. t s all about the beautiful views, about the special times, and special places like Q ueen Wilhelmina. We are continuing the hotel business here, now spanning three different centuries and here we are today. We’re in the memory business and the forever business. Folks come to state parks in the pursuit of happiness. In the constitution it talks about the pursuit of happiness and that’s what state parks are. We’re all busy, going 100 miles per hour and parks are a place to come reconnect with history, the natural environment, and outdoor spaces. It’s about special places, special times, and special people.”


14

THE POLK COUNTY PULSE

January 4, 2017

Governor Declares More than Half the State as Disaster Area Published on J a nua ry 6, 2016 BY MELANIE BUCK

ince the ooding event that began in Arkansas on unday, December 7th, 0 , Governor Asa utchinson has declared 3 of the 7 counties in the state as disaster areas. Goliath as the storm was so appropriately named trekked its way across the country leaving destruction in do ens of states and taking the lives of people, while spawning tornados, torrential oods, and bli ards. olk County received almost 3 inches in parts of the county in less than hours, causing damage to roads and bridges and spawning a handful of rescues. The full amount of damage across the state and country is still unknown, because some rivers and waterways affected are just beginning to crest and will not be able to be assessed until the waters recede. A federal disaster declaration has not yet been made and there has been no timeline given on when the decision will be made. owever, Gov. utchinson will be one of several governors applying for a federal declaration. ee story Ellison ays ut lans for 0 6 for further explanation on timelines and funding. n addition to olk County being declared as a disaster area, neighboring evier, cott, and Montgomery counties were included in Gov. utchinson s declaration. To help with response of the storm, the governor enlisted the help of the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management to constantly monitor the event and provide leadership the National Guard, who helped with sand bag operations and high water transportation, including one rescue in olk County tate olice provided additional patrols in evacuated areas Department of Correction inmates assisted with sand bag operations the Forestry Department is actively assisting with debris clean up and Arkansas Game and Fish, who assisted with swift water rescues. Gov. utchinson issued this statement about the team response across the state n conjunction with General erry, Colonel ryant, and Director Maxwell, am actively monitoring the situation across the state and am pleased to report that agencies have been working, and continue to work, diligently on all fronts following the weekend s severe weather. As cleanup efforts are underway, the safety of our citi ens continues to be my chief concern. encourage all Arkansans to use an abundance of caution even now after the storms have passed as oodwaters continue to be an issue throughout much of the state. particularly want to express appreciation for the work of our first responders and the Department of Correction in their relief efforts.

Editor’s Choice

Lambert Foster – Arkansas’ Blade Runner Published on N ov ember 9 , 2016 BY MELANIE BUCK

Determination, self sacrifice, courage those are all adjectives that could be used to describe many soldiers across the nation, including Mena s own, ambert Foster. A Marine to the core, a humble servant to a fault, and a charm that carries him through anything, Foster has con uered more than most and continues to serve his country, even after giving more than anyone should ever have to. Foster is now 6 years old and lives in Mena. e grew up in Mena for most of his life, only moving away during his freshman year of high school and would eventually graduate from mithville, klahoma in . e joined the Marines and served 3 years. During that time, on Valentine s Day of , Foster would receive a life altering injury, yet one that would not slow him down for long. e was serving in uwait during peration Desert torm when the truck he was in came into a sandstorm and wrecked. Foster would lose his left leg, having it amputated below the knee. e took the next couple of years off and went to work at Aalf s for a while and then installing poultry e uipment and then to treet erformance. While all of those jobs kept him busy, there was something missing. After the 00 tornado that destroyed much of Mena, his volunteer work began. Foster explained, ur church leaders were a big in uence and during that time started volunteering and got into prison ministry. Also during that time, New York ays Thank You came to Mena and built four homes. They brought with them a ag that was raised at the World Trade Centers after the attacks of . was selected as one of three honorees to stitch the national ag, Foster explained. The ag is now in the Memorial Museum. t was completely reconstructed by New York ays Thank You in Greensburg, . The superintendent at the twin towers site had the ag and he had never done anything with it. ome women started re stitching it and they toured it to every state and had a ag stitching. t is now completely reconstructed and hangs in the museum. t had been hanging on one of the towers. After the ag stitching, members of the tars of ope and New York ays Thank You, told Foster that he needed to go with them on these builds of homes, they have one every eptember. e thought about it and decided to take action. They had the tornado in Joplin and my niece was there in college. The edge of the tornado was at her apartment complex. o when they said they were going to Joplin, had a passion for that because she was there and then started volunteering with them full time after that. We posted stars in the community in Joplin. That was my first volunteer work with tars of ope. tars of ope is a disaster relief and community arts program that centers on giving children of all ages the power to transform communities affected by disasters through messages of hope and healing. According to their website, tars of ope has, empowered ,000 volunteers including school children, families, seniors, first responders, veterans, active military, partner organi ations, and entire communities to paint inspirational words, messages, and designs on foot wooden stars. The stars are displayed in public places in communities worldwide in the immediate and long term aftermath of tragedy serving as beacons of hope and compassion for all to see. An organi ation that Foster is more than proud to be a part of.

FOR FULL STORY: SEARCH THIS HEADLINE AT MYPULSENEWS.COM


January 4, 2017

THE POLK COUNTY PULSE

15

Cannon Named as Superhero Published on April 20, 2016

BY MELANIE BUCK

Mena has an official superhero in town and has the cape to prove it! Elena C annon, Sex ual Assault/ D omestic V iolence Investigator for the 18th West Judicial rosecuting Attorney s ffice, was awarded the 2015 C ooper Anthony Mercy C hild Advocacy C enter Superhero Award at a C hild Abuse Awareness R ally held on the steps of the P olk C ounty C ourthouse on Friday, April 15, 2016. The award is given to people who have worked hard on behalf of children in the previous year. C annon was involved in investigating 3 true findings of child abuse in P olk C ounty during 2015. C annon was taken by surprise as Janice B eaver, director of the C hild Advocacy C enter (C AC ), announced her as the recipient of the award. C annon said, “ I didn’t do any of this alone; we all did this. Thank you, thank you, thank you.” Along with a glass plaque, C annon was also given a uperman Cape, making her an official superhero. C annon also serves as the MD T C oordinator for the county. MD T’s are ‘ multiple disciplinary teams’ that are comprised of all the various agencies working together to better investigate and prosecute offenders and treat victims of abuse. B eavers said of the multiple agencies working in the county on behalf of abused children, “ I have to say about this community, you all in law enforcement, the City law enforcement, the heriff s ffice, rosecutor s ffice, Arkansas tate olice, Department of uman ervices, and MDT people, you BY MELANIE BUCK guys are the helpers, the hope, and are changing the lives of children,” said B eavers. “ We appreciate Elena C annon, Sex ual Assault/ D omestic V iolence Investigator for the 18th West all the work you do day in and day out for children.” Judicial rosecuting Attorney s ffice, and olk County s own super hero, was C AC has launched a new satellite center in Mena and will include B eavers, as well as therapist, recently honored by Arkansas Attorney General L eslie R utledge as the MontgomK aren Wright, and sex ual assault nurse ex aminer, Marcie H ermann. The C enter will be better able to ery County aw Enforcement fficer of the Year award. Cannon works in both olk assist local agencies in cases of child abuse having an office within the county. and Montgomery counties as part of the th West Judicial ffice. P rosecuting Attorney Andy R iner and Mena P olice C hief B randon Martin also spoke at the rally. t is an honor to recogni e the outstanding law enforcement officers we have Following the ceremony, 38 blue pinwheels were placed in a designated area on the courthouse across Arkansas,” said Attorney General R utledge. “ These men and women show lawn to signify the 38 cases of abuse solved in 2015. constant bravery by putting their lives on the line each and every day and going the R iner said of C annon’s award, “ You couldn’t have picked a better nominee. Elena is one in a ex tra mile, many times without the thanks they rightfully deserve. Our communities million. She never quits. B ecause of her intelligence, discipline, and work ethic, we have a strong would not be as safe without the bravery of those who proudly wear blue.” conviction rate in cases she investigated. N o one is more deserving of an award.” n addition to the statewide and regional utstanding aw Enforcement fficer of the Year awards, utledge recogni ed one law enforcement officer from each county as an utstanding aw Enforcement fficer. These awards recogni e col lege or university, municipal, county, federal or state law enforcement officers who go the ex tra mile. N ominations were accepted from police chiefs, county sheriffs, county j udges, mayors, prosecutors and other state law enforcement leaders from across Arkansas. utledge awarded the olk County utstanding aw Enforcement fficer of the BY MELANIE BUCK Year Award to fficer Will train with Arkansas tate olice. utledge announced Entertaining and teaching young girls about adventures in nature since 1945, C amp H igh P oint the recognition at the annual awards and recognition luncheon at the 2016 Arkanthat sits j ust outside of Mena is one of four Girl Scout camps around the state being closed. The sas L aw Enforcement Summit at C amp R obinson. announcement was made by the D iamonds C ouncil last week to much dismay amongst current and C annon was awarded the 2015 C ooper Anthony Mercy C hild Advocacy C enter former scouts. Along with C amp H igh P oint, C amp N oark, C amp K emp, and C amp Taloha are also Superhero Award at a C hild Abuse Awareness R ally held on the steps of the P olk on the chopping block. C ounty C ourthouse in April 2016. “ It was the decision of the board of directors that C amp H igh P oint will be rested at the conclusion of the 2016 residential summer camp, spending only what is necessary to address critical safety issues,” stated a letter sent out by the council. The letter also said that if there is not enough interest from girls or volunteer support, the summer residential camps may be cancelled as well. D iamonds C ouncil has vowed to honor current Girl Scout and community reservations but said “ no new reservations will be accepted, effective immediately.” Once current obligations are honored, utilities will be disconnected and the camp will enter a ‘ discovery phase.’ The discovery phase will include professional evaluation to determine the estimated value of the property, estimation of inherent natural resources, such as timber, shale, natural gas, etc., and ex ploration of marketability for private lease opportunities. The council ex pects the discovery phase to be completed by October 1, 2016. The letter went on, “ It is the discretion of the board to consider all information compiled during the discovery

Editor’s Choice

Polk County’s Super Hero Honored by Attorney General Published on O c tober 12, 2016

Camp High Point Set to Close Published on M a rc h 2, 2016

CONTINUED ON PAGE 16


16

THE POLK COUNTY PULSE

Judge’s Plan Approved & County Avoids Immediate Jail Closure

January 4, 2017

Published on April 27, 2016 BY MELANIE BUCK

Editor’s Choice

The regional j ail committee that oversees compliance issues for the P olk C ounty D etention C enter met on Tuesday, April 25, with C ounty Judge B randon Ellison, Sheriff Mike Godfrey, and Sheriff-Elect Scott Sawyer to discuss updates on the current j ail issue. Sterling P enix, the Governor’s Appointee Over Jail Standards, along with the committee heard a presentation by Judge Ellison that laid out the steps taken by the county to keep the j ail open. The most recent development has been the release of $ 10,000 by the P olk C ounty Q uorum C ourt to retain Spirit Architecture and SouthB uild C onstruction for the purpose of determining the repairs and cost of bringing the current j ail into compliance. Once the estimates are complete, it will be up to the Q uorum C ourt on whether to put forth the money to make the repairs necessary. The C ourt has already earmarked $ 500,000 for the cost and hopes to continue to put back that amount each year, in an effort to save for either a new j ail in the future or exp ansion of the exi sting facility. Ellison exp lained that if the county is able to continue to save the funds, it shouldn’t take long before a new j ail could be built, albeit a smaller j ail than previously proposed. L eon Myers, who sits on the committee, said he believes the county has made a good start in the process. Other committee members were pleased with the progress of the county as well. The committee will come back in August 2016 to hear the results of pirit Architecture s findings and will continue discussions. P enix thanked the Judge and the Sheriff for their diligence and hard work in trying to keep the j ail maintained and open and for pursuing a ‘ quality outcome.’

Jail Plan of Action Accepted by State’s Review Committee Published on September 7, 2016 BY MELANIE BUCK

P olk C ounty’s D etention Facility P lan of Action has been accepted and praised by the 18th West Judicial D istrict C riminal D etention Facilities R eview C ommittee and the Governor’s Appointee Over Jail Standards, Sterling P enix . In a letter received on Monday by P olk C ounty Judge, B randon Ellison, the committee said, “ The C ounty’s Improvement P lan, past actions, ongoing work, commitment to success, dedication to public safety, as well as other aspects are to be commended. The eview Committee applauds olk County officials, leaders, and citi ens as they work to bring about a detention enterprise that will well serve the community,” eliminating the once looming threat of j ail closure. The letter also said the committee “ is pleased to accept the P olk C ounty Improvement P lan U pdate as presented,” and that P olk C ounty “ will continue full detention operations,” during the implementation of the plan. The plan, as presented to P enix on September 1, 2016, by Judge Ellison, along with Interim-Sheriff Jack P eebles and Sheriff-Elect Scott Sawyer, outlines two phases of the proj ect. In phase one, dubbed the ‘ safety upgrade’ phase, updates and improvements will include: the installation of a camera system, creation of a mobile/ detached kitchen, intake area door ex pansion, book-in area ex pansion, encasement and/ or elimination of electrical cords, creation of a second ex it within the west wing, creation of a handicap cell, maintenance of a proper inmate population, fire safety code compliance, and the creation of an outdoor ex ercise area. The county is currently working with an architect through SouthB uild, L L C , out of C ollierville, Tennesse, who are well versed in building corrections facilities. Once the architectural designs are created, the C ounty is prepared to implement the plan. The county has allocated $ 500,000 from general funds to complete phase one. In addition to the $ 500,000 set aside, Ellison ex pects that another $ 500,000 can be added nex t year to complete the proj ect and bring the j ail into compliance. “ Fresh off of a sales tax election defeat, that was negatively decisive, the P olk C ounty Q uorum C ourt set aside $ 500,000 to start a fund dedicated to j ail improvement and/ or j ail construction. C onventional thought is that this amount can be added to this fund annually to either partially, or fully fund our eventual facility,” ex plained Ellison. P hase Two of the plan will be announced by N ovember 30, 2018. At that time, P olk C ounty will be prepared to either build a new facility or ex pand the current facility. Either way, the plan will bring several factors, including the creation of sufficient space re uired for an indoor activity room, sufficient storage space, sufficient space for administrative operations, ooding plumbing issues, long term food service component, housing plan, sufficient number of cells, as well as the other items and concepts as provided by the Arkansas C riminal D etention Facility Standards. With P hase Two, the county will have a compliant bed jail designed to efficiently meet local needs.

Camp High Point

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15

phase and make a determination as to the future of the camp during this time.” The letter also stated, We are sensitive and reali e some people will have difficulty embracing this decision. And, in fact, there are many that are having difficulty understanding why the council has made such a decision. B ack in 2006, the national Girl Scout C ouncil had a ‘ realignment’ and began looking into their program portfolio. Since then, their program has changed to focus less on the outdoors and more on new technology. Many of the old badges are gone and girls now work on ‘ j ourneys’ as a part of their curriculum. H undreds of camps across the U nited States have been sold off in the past decade for millions of dollars. Where did that money get spent? Much of it has gone towards building new urban mega-centers where girls learn more about technology. As one parent put it, “ aren’t we trying to get the devices out of their hands and get them to be more involved with their communities and environment?” H owever, the national council isn’t listening and they have created a storm of upset Girl Scouts and leaders who don’t understand why measures can’t be taken to keep the camps running. C iting high maintenance fees and lack of interest, councils across the country continue to sell off properties – properties that were either bought and paid for by volunteer work and the sell of cookies, or donated for the enj oyment of the scouts. This concept leaves many to wonder how regional councils continue to sell properties that were paid for with donated money? B ut they are, and they plan to continue to do so. C ausing suspicion amongst some groups is that in recent years, the Girl Scouts of the U SA (GSU SA) underfunded their pension plan by almost 3 0 million, leaving them scrambling to fix it. Around the country, many groups have been formed to keep camps open, either by raising the funds and actually buying the camp from the council, or by fighting legal battles. Many are still in limbo and many have been lost but that hasn’t kept them from trying. For the four camps in Arkansas that are in j eopardy of being closed forever, there has been a group formed. Social media has helped launch Save Our Girl Scout C amps on Facebook for camps across the nation and Save C amp H igh P oint and C amp K emp, also on Facebook, for the local camps. Information on meetings and how to contact the local councils are included, as well as the national council. If you would like to let the national council know how scouting impacted your life through camps, contact GSU SA at 1-800-478-7248 or write them at: Girl Scouts of the U SA, 420 Fifth Avenue, N ew York, N Y 100182798. Mark any mail correspondence: Attn: K athy H opinkah H annan, B oard P resident.


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .January . . . . . . . .4,. .2017 ........ Louise Durham Super Students for the Week of December 12th through 16th are: Aiden Everett, Landon Bush, Kaylee Wisnoski, Halee Hoobler, Marie Miller, Shooter Davis, Rylan McMellon, Hunter Hicks, Payton Hostetler, Dori Walker, Andrew McMellon, Javon Morgan, Marquis Aviles, Chloe Pollard, Marcus Jackson, Truett House, and Addison Seaton.

Acorn Students Receive MOS Certificates

T

he Microsoft ffice pecialist Exam assesses a person s ability and knowledge of the Microsoft ffice uite. The Exam covers the pro grams Word, Excel, ower oint, Access, utlook, hare oint, and neNote. At Acorn igh chool the students only test on Word, Excel, Access, and ower oint. This test gives the students the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of these programs. The students take practice tests before taking the actual M test. When they have tried the test, they are given the opportunity to take the M exam. f the student scores at least a 700 on the test, then they are certified in that program. nce passed, the certification can be presented on r sum s and possibly receive college credit. The students below passed the Word test for 0 3. [PICTURED LEFT] Back row: Ethan Sides, Lexi Powell, Chad Sutton, Cody Abbott, Jordan Ward, Jack Young, CJ Thacker. Second Row: Rebekah Frost, Nikole Denley, Makenna Goss, Mercedes Mowdy, Haley Sandoval Front row: Gracie Hill and Brickie Sachs

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THE POLK COUNTY PULSE


citizen of the year

18

January 4, 2017

Weekly Publication

................................................................................................................................ Note from the Editor: Each year, The Pulse has had the daunting task of selecting a Citizen of the Year from 51 well-deserving candidates previously featured that year. This year, The Pulse left that decision to its readers and the readers overwhelmingly spoke through their number of online views and “likes.” e present to you he Pulse ea er’s Choi e Citi en of the ear

John Mesko, MD – Keeping God at the Forefront

1,200

1,620 Views

BY RENEE HENDRIX

M

any years ago John Mesko, while serving as a missionary doctor, traveled to R omania on a mission trip where he was able to reach out to people that were impoverished and without hope. While he learned much from the international trip, one particular lesson helped to mold the remainder of his career: you don’t have to y around the world to reach people you can do that where you are. Mesko stated, t helped me to reali e my purpose as a physician, it s not just about giving people the best health care that can, but to be able to witness to them about the things the L ord wants them to hear.” John Mesko, MD has been practicing for 30 years in this area. This practice here has been wonderful in the fact that we are friends with our patients,” Mesko said. H e and his wife, Sarah, have raised three children here, R ich, R achel and Zach Mesko. They also have been blessed with two adorable granddaughters, atie and Eli a Mesko. e credits the area as a really good place to live because of outdoor activities and the wholesome environment for raising kids. After three decades of delivering obstetrics and gynecological services to women, Mesko has coined a new word while recogni ing a new milestone in his career, have now moved into the area of delivering babies of babies had delivered. These are my grand deliveries. Mesko has witnessed many changes over the last 30 years but noted one of his proudest moments was being able to see the Mena hospital move from a small rural hospital to becoming a leader in new technology. With the addition of the new state of the art Women s Center, Mena egional ealth ystem was one of the earliest small hospitals that ac uired Telemedicine. Mesko along with Mena egional ealth ys tem were on the forefront to try and get the best for rural hospitals and communities. Mesko elaborated, Telemedicine is where you interact with the Med Center in real time. The hospital also has a stroke network monitor on location. A doctor can instantly talk with a neurologist in ittle ock. Every second counts during possible strokes so the neurologist is able to consult with the local provider, providing critical recommendations and instruction. This advantageous technology has removed multiple barriers in healthcare, especially for patients living in a rural setting and with limited means for travel to specialists, etc. Mesko discussed other benefits made possible through telemedicine such as allowing for specific ultrasound services for women with high risk pregnancies. The hospital also now has capabilities to show a dermatologist in ittle ock a skin lesion and they can relay how to treat it. The range of assistance is expansive and even includes psychiatric treatment for women suffering post partum depression, or helping women that may be struggling with a difficult pregnancy. t also allows for many healthcare providers to obtain re uired continuing education hours and eliminating the travel. Mesko is particularly proud to have been a recipient of an award that was presented to him in 2007 by two renowned Ob/ Gyn doctors, D r. Stephen Marks and D r. Workman of Arkansas for his tireless efforts in bringing telemedicine to M . Mesko was instru mental in targeting grant funding and attending multiple conferences. e was the first non Med Center person to receive this distinguished award. B eing a member of C hrist C ommunity Fellowship, a deacon, and Sunday school teacher are some of his proudest accomplishments. Mesko believes that the purpose of everyone as a Christian is to tell other people how much God loves them. o often we don’t feel loved,” he said. Mesko says he regularly prays with his patients before surgery or even when they are just struggling with things. n my daily life and what want is want people to know God loves them. Mesko said. What people need to hear is that everything we do stems from what we believe about God. f we believe e is angry with us then we will act a certain way, but if we believe that H e wants good for us and to bless us we will act in another way.”

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business of the year

January 4, 2017

Weekly Publication

19

................................................................................................................................ Note from the Editor: Each year, The Pulse has had the daunting task of selecting a Business of the Year from 51 well-deserving candidates previously featured that year. This year, The Pulse left that decision to its readers and the readers overwhelmingly spoke through their number of online views and likes e present to you he Pulse ea er’s Choi e usiness of the ear

The Carriage House Inn – A Personal & Historical Lodging Experience BY MELANIE BUCK • news@mypulsenews.com

T

427 1,000 Views

he C arriage H ouse Inn was a concept developed after a by-chance encounter with guests after Scott and Ashley V acca moved to Mena and bought the famous haver ouse at the curve on ort Arthur and th treet in Mena. Ashley explained that when she was pregnant with their first child, the couple decided to raise their family in a small town instead of the D allas area. Ashley grew up in Mena and it was here that they would relocate and branch into the world of lodging. “ I loved the house as a child, smiled Ashley. The idea of The Carriage ouse was far from their minds when they arrived in Mena in 00 , they were just buying a home. During that time, there was only one ed reakfast in town and they had double booked their only room during CMA s Changing of the Colors week. The Vaccas knew the owners of the , but never dreamed of the phone call they received. They called us up and asked if there was any way that they could send a couple to check into our carriage house. said, we re not e uipped for anything like that. ut, long story short, we let them come stay and they eventually stayed with us during CMA s Colors Week for the next four years, booking in advance each year. That was how it all started. We thought, we can do this, said Ashley. The nn began with just the Carriage ouse but has now grown to include two cot tages and two ueen rooms. After the tornado of 00 , we purchased the property behind us, which allowed us to expand to the second cottage and we put a room above the garage. Ashley explained that their peak seasons are Fall and pring, however, year round business has developed to keep them hop ping all year. We now have people coming in on business, or for Wolf en Gap, and we have tons of parents that have campers at Camp ark. he said that one couple traveled from outh America and stayed the whole week while their child was at Camp ark. Mena is a central hub for the Dallas and klahoma City areas to come to. We are also a hub for the outdoor activities in the area. ne family from California stayed a week at The Carriage ouse so they could drive to Murfreesboro everyday to hunt diamonds. Their son is an avid rockhound and the trip was ideal for him. ur guests have given us a better appreciation for what the area has to offer, said Ashley. The family from California thought we must go diamond hunting every weekend, she laughed. Those guests make us want to visit the activities close to home because they are so excited about them. The Carriage ouse nn is set in the historic haver house in Mena, built in by Judge enjamin haver, who was the son of the famous Confederate hero, Fighting Colonel haver. t was later purchased by Dr. edman and became the first hospital in Mena. ater it was converted to apartments until it was bought by the Vacca Family and converted into an Inn. The C arriage H ouse Inn offers nightly rates and monthly corporate housing rates and their accommodations offer guests all of the conveniences and privacy of home in a private, idyllic, relaxing, and luxurious setting. With The Carriage ouse located within walking distance from downtown Mena and Janssen ark, it is right in the center of many great local attractions and sided by the beautiful Ouachita Mountains. “ We love to meet the diversity of guests that stay with us. We have anything from nurses and businessmen, to mountain bikers and motorcyclists. There is always something interesting going on, and the house has so much history to share. f you would like to learn more about The Carriage ouse nn or to book a room, visit their website, http www.thecarriagehouseinn.net or call 7 3 0 7.

January 6, 2016

479-394-3650

309 S. Morrow, Mena

Dr. Kervin Putman Palmer Graduate

479-394-4535

701 S. Morrow, Mena menaspineandrehab.com

Like us on Facebook!

479-437-4444

Open 7 Days a Week


20

THE POLK COUNTY PULSE

January 4, 2017

WHAT A YEAR IT’S BEEN...

FROM YOUR MULTI-MEDIA

THANK YOU for the privilege to serve you in 2016... looking forward to a fabulous 2017!

FAMILY


family

January 4, 2017

Weekly Publication

21

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POLK COUNTY BIRTHS AT MENA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM Tonya and Carmen Olalde, of Wickes, are the proud parents of a baby boy, born on December 20th.

Amber and Ryan Tipton, of Cove, are the proud parents of a baby girl, born on December 20th. Mandie Stafford and Rodolfo Esquivel, of DeQueen, are the proud parents of a baby boy, born on December 20th. Emily and Logan McCourtney, of Mena, are the proud parents of a baby girl, born on December 21st. Sarah and Jamie Broach, of Mena, are the proud parents of a baby girl, born on December 24th. Sarah Aiken and Herbert Williams, IV, of Mena, are the proud parents of a baby boy, born on December 24th. Caroline and Jason Singleton, of Mena, are the proud parents of a baby boy, born on December 27th. Lorena and E.J. Tena, of Grannis, are the proud parents of a baby girl, born on December 27th.

#LOL

At the end of their first date, a young man takes his favorite girl home. Emboldened by the night, he decides to try for that important first kiss. With an air of confidence, he leans with his hand against the wall and, smiling, he says to her, “Darling, how ‘bout a goodnight kiss?” Horrified, she replies, “Are you mad? My parents will see us!” “Oh come on! Who’s gonna see us at this hour?” “No, please. Can you imagine if we get caught?” “Oh come on, there’s nobody around, they’re all sleeping!” “No way. It’s just too risky!” “Oh please, please, I like you so much!!” “No, no, and no. I like you too, but I just can’t!” “Oh yes you can. Please?” “NO, no. I just can’t.” “Pleeeeease?...” Out5ofkey the blue, porch Prostate light goes on, and the girl’s sister shows up in her pajamas, factsthe about Cancer: hair disheveled. In a sleepy voice the sister says: “Dad says to go ahead and give him a 1. Affects 1 in every 6 men kiss. Or2.IDeadlier can do it.than Or breast if needcancer be, he’ll come down himself and do it. But for crying out Detectable early stages loud tell3. him to takeinhis hand off the intercom button!” 4. NOT an old man’s disease 5. Does NOT go away if you avoid testing. Gentlemen: We encourage you to get Please share your favorite photo of your pet. You may drop it off or mail a PSA blood test.

it to: The Polk County Pulse | 1168 Hwy 71 S. Mena, AR 71953 or email: e.rowell@mypulsenews.com

January 6, 2016

MILES CONSTRUCTION & HANDYMAN SERVICE OWNER - JASON MILES

*Free Estimates*

“We’ll go the extra mile for you!”

* Custom Homes * Remodels * Window Replacement * Additions * Vinyl Siding

479-216-3072

Please make The Cole Team Bold & larger than the address & phone numbers below it.

MENA REAL ESTATE

Manufacturer Omit the 800 number and of Quality CNC Parts

Farrell & Sharon Cole

104 Mena, ARIn71953-3344 the web address across

816 S. Mena St. Mena, AR 71953 Office: (479) 394-5000 www.FarrellCole.com www.MenaRealEstate.com

the e-mail address and substitute 479.394.4248 www.FarrellCole.com Port Arthur instead. Avenue

the bottom, capitalize the M in Mena, the R in Real & the E in Estate.

The Cole Team

479-394-7301

1102 Crestwood Circle Mena, AR 71953


police

22

January 4, 2017

Weekly Publication

................................................................................................................................

The following information was received from Polk County law enforcement agencies. The charges against those arrested are allegations and the cases are still pending in the courts. Individuals charged and whose names appear in this column may submit documentation to us at a later date that the charges have been dismissed, or that they have been found innocent, and we will include that information in this space in a timely manner.

erty (shoplifting). The arrests followed a call from a local retail store employee. Rodney Dale Morrison, 30, of Mena was charged with third degree battery after a call to a local mobile home park. December 23, 2016 Report was made of a local boy having run away from home. He was later located and returned to his family. December 24, 2016 Officers made a traffic arrest for careless driving and failure to register a vehicle.

Mena Police Department December 18, 2016 Report was made that someone had broken into two units at a local storage facility. Case is pending further information. A local woman reported that she had been harassed on the parking lot of a local retail store. Case is pending interview of witnesses and review of surveillance tapes. December 19, 2016 John Hollis, 20, of Mena was arrested on an outstanding warrant. December 20, 2016 A Mena man reported that someone had vandalized his vehicle by scratching the paint. Case is pending further investigation. December 21, 2016 Scott Melton, 40, of Conway was arrested on an outstanding warrant from the Van Buren Police Department. Levi R. Cottman, 26, of Mena was arrested on an outstanding body attachment warrant. December 22, 2016 Neisha Fay Wikel, 24 of Cove and Benny Lee Anderson, 43, of Mena were arrested and charged with theft of prop-

Polk County Sheriff’s Department December 25, 2016 No reports filed. December 26, 2016 A 16-year-old Mena boy was charged with disorderly conduct after officers were called to his residence. December 27, 2016 Report was made of an altercation at a local apartment complex. No charges were filed. Rachel Renee Wolf, 19, of Mena was charged with possession of an instrument of crime after a search of her apartment. Several previously stolen items were recovered from a local residence after a search of the house. No charges have been filed at this time, but the file has been forwarded to the prosecutor’s office for possible issuance of a warrant. Cody Young, 28, of Mena was charged with criminal mischief after a call to a local residence regarding a vandalized vehicle. December 28, 2016 Report was made of a woman using vulgar and threatening language to her young children on the parking lot of

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a local retail store. No charges were filed, but the woman was advised not to behave in this manner again. Jonathan Matthew Harris, 28, and Dawn Marie Williams, 46, both of Blytheville were each charged with felony possession of a schedule I or II controlled substance and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. The arrests followed a routine traffic stop. A Mena man reported the theft of a chainsaw from the back of his pickup. Case is pending further investigation and interview of suspects. Report was taken of someone breaking a window on a locked pickup and stealing a gun from the interior. The theft occurred at a local business. Case is pending. December 29, 2016 No reports filed. December 30, 2016 A Texarkana man reported that someone had disabled his vehicle while it

was parked at a local retail store. Case is pending. Bryan Edward Sturgis, 49, of Mena was charged with felony possession of methamphetamine or cocaine, felony furnishing prohibited articles, felony possession of drug paraphernalia, misdemeanor possession of schedule VI, and misdemeanor possession of an instrument of crime. Eric Cearley, 23, of Mena was arrested on an outstanding warrant for failure to appear. December 31, 2016 Michael McKelvey of Purcell, Oklahoma was charged with unlawful removal of a detection device and theft by receiving. Bryan L Strother, 25, of Mena was arrested and charged with loitering and driving on a suspended driver’s license.


January 4, 2017

Weekly Publication

23

UP TO 20 WORDS - $4 PER WEEK, $0.25 EACH ADDITIONAL WORD • BORDER $1 • ALL CLASSIFIEDS MUST BE PREPAID.

Ad deadline is 5 p.m. on Monday. Payment is due with ad. Publishing and distributing 8,000 copies weekly. I BUY computers! Desktops, laptops, new, old, broken, working, full of viruses, in pieces, hit by lightening, I’ll offer you a fair price! NO printers or CRT monitors, Mitchell Computer Services, 717 Mena Street next to OMG Phone/tablet repair. 1/25

classifieds

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Peachtree Assisted Living is looking to hire an experienced cook. Shifts are 12 hours and benefits after 90 days. Pay based on experience and must pass a drug and background check. Must apply in person and ask for Debbie. 1/11

Notice is hereby given that DFA, DIVISION BUILDING AUTHORITY on behalf of ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES is soliciting lease proposals for potential office space in the City of Mena, Polk County, AR. Proposals for existing structures consisting of approximately 8,000 sq.ft., w/40 parking spaces will be considered. Interested parties should contact Charles Thomas, Division Building Authority, 501-682-4344 or charles.thomas@dfa.arkansas.gov for an RFP package. The deadline for proposals is 2 p.m. C.S.T. on Thursday, February 9th, 2017. 1/11

Clean and comfortable housing since 1969, J. Ray & Maria’s MH Park and Rentals. Hwy 71 North, Mena, TFN AR. 479-216-3085

For Rent: Two bedroom, two bath brick home in Mena, Stove & refrigerator, central heat & air, no inside smokTFN ers or HUD. Rent $475. Deposit $350. 394-4634

Appliances Wanted. Please donate or sell us your working or repairable appliances so that we may bless 1/4 others. Call 479-227-1468.

Dugan Lawn Care and Landscaping is offering both residential and commercial lawn care and landscape maintenance. Now taking customers fro 2017 in the Mena area, call 479-394-2699. Let us keep you place looking great! We are a fully insured and uniformed ground maintenance company. 1/25

MOVING SALE- Fri. 1-6-17 only 8-4. 110 Dogwood Dr. Mena. Leather Couch, 2 Arm Chairs, 6 D.R. Chairs, Cherry Drop Leaf Table, Small Desks & Chair. Bentwood Rocker, T.V, Credenza, More! 1/4

For Rent: Two bedroom, one bath, duplex. Has stove and refrigerator, washer and dryer connection. Water bill paid. No inside smokers or HUD. Rent $400. Deposit $250. 394-4634. TFN

scmobiledogwash.com- Dog grooming, Hand dry, nails trimmed, ears cleaned, brushing. Deanna Boyd 479-234-1866. I will come to you! Like Facebook. 1/18

J&N Dozer- Trackhoe, Backhoe, Dump Truck, Ponds, Pads, Clearing, Roads, Hauling, Rich Top Soil, Fill Dirt, Shale, Gravel. Dozer operator Randy Egger, over 30 years’ experience. We appreciate your Business! Call 479-234-1357 TFN

3 Bedroom, 2 Bath mobile home for rent in Hatfield. Call 870-389-6578 1/4

Weekly Publication

Artists’ Garage Sale at Mena Art Gallery CONTRIBUTED BY BARBARA M. TOBIAS • barbtobias09@gmail.com

J

anuary will see the 2017 Artists’ Garage Sale at the gallery. The sale will incorporate almost anything related to art: canvas, sketch pads, pencils, pens, paints, framing materials, or whatever you might need to create art of any variety. There will also be completed artwork for sale in lots of different media. If you are an artist, this is the time to go through your studio and gather up those things you have not used in a couple of years and bring them in—you have a chance to get reimbursed for some of what you spent on them and someone else finds just what they need for inspiration at a bargain. Not an artist, but you inherited Aunt Susie’s studio? Go through and decide what is usable (no dried-up paint or distressed brushes, please!) and bring it in. Throughout the month of January, the collection will be on sale. Maybe this is just the time for you to spread your wings a bit and start the new year by exploring pastels or charcoal drawing or watercolor. We are changing things up a little bit this year. Entries for the shows will be on Tuesdays instead of Wednesdays. Then we will hang the show on Wednesday mornings. The only exception to this on the 2017 schedule is the Americana Open Show, since Tuesday falls on July 4 holiday. Also, please remember if you cannot get here the day we are accepting entries, call our Executive Director, Julie Vande Zande, at 479-394-3880. She will be happy to arrange a date for you to bring them in prior to hanging the show. You can find an entry form online at www.MenaArtGallery.org or come by the gallery at 607 Mena Street during regular gallery hours: Tuesdays 11 am to 2 pm, Wednesdays through Saturdays, 10 am to 3 pm.

Mena Art Gallery Starting New Fiber Arts Group

arts

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . January . . . . . . . .6, . 2016

CONTRIBUTED BY BARBARA M. TOBIAS • barbtobias09@gmail.

O

n Friday, January 6, 2017, Mena Art Gallery will kick off the new year with a new Fiber Arts Group, which will meet every Friday from noon until 3 pm. Any form of fiber art will be welcome: knitting, crochet, cross stitch, quilting, spinning, weaving, and anything else you can come up with using fiber of any type. Missy Williams will be leading this group, and for more information you can call her at 636-359-0911. You can also call the gallery at 479-394-3880 during regular gallery hours: 11 am to 2 pm on Tuesdays, or 10 am to 3 pm Wednesdays through Saturdays. The group will be a great place to share information about fiber arts projects, as well as enjoying seeing what everyone else is working on. Usually, if you have a problem with some project, someone there will know how to solve it! Come join the fun and

Get your news on with your Multi-Media Giant! Visit us at

MyPulseNews.com

January 6, 2016


24

THE POLK COUNTY PULSE

January 4, 2017

We are open for business January 3rd

at our New Location 1027 Hwy 70 East

Also....

entry hevrolet

www.GentryChevyInc.com

1027 Hwy 70 East De Queen, AR 1-800-649-9929

January 4, 2017  
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