Searcy Living Issue 2 2014

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2 Your Hometown Magazine 3

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8 Your Hometown Magazine

issue 2 2014

38 Duckblinds & Retreats


The Roman Soldier


The Roommates


The Duck Woods From A Woman’s Perspective


White River Giant


A 1 In 32 Years


Hitting On The Cross


Special Delivery


Just For The Turmeric



Charity Benefit Ball: A Great Success


Publisher’s Note


Hope Believe


Fashion Fun


Living In Searcy


We The People


Over The Counter


Fab Do It Yourself


Dinner & A Magazine


Out & About


Games & Puzzles


“Strong people don’t put others down, they lift them up.”

On the Cover

willie & korie Robertson 9

Publisher Christine Walker Art Director & Webmaster Garrett Johnson Graphic Assistant Ikey Ray Editorial Assistant Cherie Sewell Makeover Coordinator Christine Locke Office Manager Chasity Thomas Contributing Independent Photographers Kimberly Brackins (501)279-1515 George Dillin (501)268-9304 Cassie Jones (501)230-0539 Candace Skarda (501)281-6297 Taylor Howard Photography (870)917-8012 Feature Writer Cecelia Wilson

Searcy Living Locally Owned and Operated 812 South Main Street Searcy, AR 72143 (501) 368-0095 For subscription information go to

Copyright 2014 Shark Promotions LLC. Searcy Living, Cabot Living, and Your Hometown Magazine are trademarks of Shark Promotions. All rights reserved. Ownership, rights, and logos are property of their respected businesses. No part may be reproduced without written permission. Shark Promotions LLC is not responsible for claims, misprints, discrepancies, advice of any kind, or content in advertisements or editorials, but will rectify errors in forthcoming issues.

Copyright Š 2014 Shark Promotions LLC

Searcy Living Magazine is a subsidiary of Shark Promotions LLC.

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Last year I had this gut feeling (like I do so often with different things) that we would have the opportunity to interview a part of the Duck Dynasty clan. As the popularity of the Robertson family shows, there are many reasons why they are admired by so many people. But my personal admiration of that family is based on the example of their values. None of us are perfect, but to take a mainstream fame and use it to be a good example is bold and admirable in my book, and I’m sure it is in yours, too. There are a lot of charities that I hold in high regards, and Spark of Life, which is featured in the Duck Dynasty feature story, is one of them. But what I did not know until recently is that the founders of Spark of Life and Duck Dynasty have a common tie. One that is, as you know, very high on my list. Adoption. Shortly before we went to press with this issue of Searcy Living, my daughter and I celebrated the first anniversary of our adoption. Though I rarely have a knack for poetry, the poem below flowed so easily from my heart one night about a week prior to the anniversary. Even though I consider you, the Searcy Living readers, extended family, it is still not always so easy sharing my deepest thoughts so publicly. But I am sharing this with you in hopes that you will be inspired to love, give and pray - remembering the lost and lonely in our world. In return, the biggest blessing just may be yours. As always, thank you for reading Searcy Living. ~ Christine

Photo by Betsy Ridout

Dear Ashley, Precious angel in my heart God made you just for me

We’re now a team yes you and me So many souls know us well

That empty place that I once felt You filled it up you see

Fostering lessons everyday The stories we could tell

I always imagined a love so pure Was on this earth somewhere

God put you in my heart and home To hug your tears away

But never imagined a little child Could fill that space so well

And in return I was so blessed You healed me too you see

The years of sadness that we once knew Have melted so far away

And never forget when you grow up I’ll always be close by

Replaced by joy and happiness And such great memories

You were the gift I did not expect The little joy of my life

I hold you for a few short years Training in the way you’ll go

I love you precious tiny child Yes tiny but so bold

And pray that God in His great love Will help me when you want to go

The joy you are of my life You are precious I hope you know

But not until I raise you right And remind you everyday I love you always day and night Two spirits on the way

Find Us On

Love, Mommy Remember The Extras On 11

12 Your Hometown Magazine

Hope Believe

“ Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the Lord delivers him in times of trouble.� ~ Psalms 41:1 13

Hope Believe

Children enter foster care through no fault of their own. Most are in care due to abuse or extreme neglect.

* The Searcy Living Foster Care Boutique

The Searcy Living Foster Care Boutique is simply a room we have dedicated in the Searcy Living business office to helping foster families in need. Our awesome Searcy Living readers bring in donations, and DHS case workers and foster parents are able to “shop” for what they need for foster and disadvantaged children, at no cost. Our office is located at 812 S. Main Street in Searcy. We welcome gently used or new items. Thank you, Searcy, for your generosity and time spent to support the Foster Care Boutique!

A Bi


ou! Y k n Tha

Twice As Nice Needed Items

for the Foster Care Boutique • Underclothes. • Flip Flops in all sizes. • Diapers! All sizes. Never ending need. • Volunteers to sort. (No need to call for appointment, just stop by the Searcy Living office during volunteer hours between 1pm and 5pm.)

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Hope Believe As the old Proverb says, sometimes it does take a village to raise a child. Not one entity can provide the resources and support for all the children in need, but we can pull together and do our part. The children that the Foster Care Boutique helps are sometimes the most extreme needs in the community. Thank you for the clothing, diapers, and volunteer hours you have provided to this project.

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Melissa Luthe

ou! Thank Y

Thank You!

“Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.” – Mother Teresa

Lynnetta Perdue

A Special Thank You To Drew House Ryder Davis Zayne Davis Jean Spence For Donations In Memory Of Dell La Juan House

We Lost Count!

We do our best to provide “shopping” bags for the foster parents and case workers so they can fill it up for every child. This used to help us keep up with how many children were being served. We were over 1,000 bags some time ago, however we have lost count over the past year or so. Just know that your donations are helping A LOT of children! 17

Our spring makeover is Megan Smith. Melissa Badger of Symmetrix Salon & Day Spa styled Megan’s hair. Hays provided an outfit assembled by Before Diana Evans. Doris Yates of The Cosmetic Studio applied Megan’s makeup, and Taylor Howard photographed the result! Thank you to all our generous sponsors.

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n a g e M

 Smith 

SPONSORS Hair by Melissa Badger of

 Symmetrix Salon  Makeup by Doris Yates of

 Cosmetic Studio 

Outfit from

 Hays  Photography by

 Taylor Howard 

Christine Locke Makeover Coordinator

3005 E. Race St. • Searcy (501) 268-0800 Makeup by

Doris Yates at

In the Heart & Soul Plaza 1623 E. Beebe-Capps • Searcy (501) 279-2526 Hair by

Melissa Badger at

2904 Hawkins Dr. • Searcy (501) 268-4540

Turn the page for more fashion and beauty retailers. > > > > > > >>

1625 E. Beebe-Capps • Searcy (870) 917-8012 19

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By Jennifer Skinner





 In the dining room, diligent work and creative insight for texture and style transformed the room. 22 Your Hometown Magazine

uilt in 1925 and ordered from Sears and Roebuck, the home of Josh and Jenny Turner is a rare find in White County. It is particularly interesting for those who have a fondness for old houses and their character. Josh and Jenny knew they wanted to remodel an older home, and they have been working hard for two years to enhance the natural beauty of the house. They have successfully combined old and new and created a warm, sophisticated atmosphere. The Turners have a great talent for bringing out the traditional details with which we so easily identify in older homes. Maybe it’s the reminiscence of how Grandma’s hardwood flooring creaked, the tall ceilings, or maybe it’s the corners and angles that make their home feel so familiar. Whatever it is, the Turners’ remodeling exhibits their talent for do-it-yourself home improvement with professionalism and style. On the front porch, a large wooden screen door stands propped open, welcoming visitors. Once inside, the entryway faces a narrow stairway which the Turners opened up by tearing out walls. They added lovely white and wood grain railing and balusters. The stairs were also given the same finish, making the area feel fresh and open. In the dining room, diligent work and creative insight for texture and style transformed the room. The two dining room doorways were extended to open up the space. The Turners worked with and enhanced many of the natural features in the room. For example, an old chimney was exposed and the brick white washed, giving it character. On an adjoining wall they contrasted with texture and color by adding black lap siding. The idea was spurred by some of the home’s original wooden walls. A large window with delicate curtains allows soft light into the room, highlighting a refinished cabinet. They found the old cabinet for $30 and coordinated it with the same metal tin that covers the ceiling. Josh explained, “I said we should burn it as soon as we got it, because it was rough.” But, after some trim work, tin additions on the sides, and some cleaning, the piece stands gracefully amongst the other beautiful furniture in the room. The stained-glass chandelier hanging above the dining table was a perfect find to hang above a fantastic white and wood grain table. Josh made the table from old wooden beams they had discovered on the bedroom ceiling during their remodel


 The kitchen cabinets are beautifully painted in red and then subdued with a black glaze.

“ We wanted to try to get back to the old character of [the home] and show off the things we liked.” of that room. It is this recognition of the beauty of what was originally in the home, paired with the Turners’ artistic creativity, that gives them this fantastic ability to transform a space or item into something completely unique. They explained that they tried to get past all the remodels that had previously been done. Jenny said, “We tried to get it back to the older look.” In the office, they moved the doorway to the center, re-doing the door jambs to fit a set of old French doors they had already bought. They also closed a door off that led to the kitchen. His office is decorated in neutral colors, including an animal skin rug and a javalina (from the rodent family) that stands atop a large stained cabinet. One wall is covered with red lap siding to give the room a pop of color. The living room is open and comfortable, done in the same tasteful style as the dining area. In decorating the dining room, living room, and office, Jenny used calming neutrals, accenting with a splash of bright colors in reds and yellows. There were many projects that the Turners completed in order to take out the dated looks and generate a more modern style.

They removed the paneling and put up sheetrock walls, and also installed beautiful v-groove wood ceilings. They mounted great trim work and wide baseboards that really create a unified and distinguished look. Most interesting, is the way they added a unique selection of their personal preferences and styles, but brought it all together so smoothly. The cabinetry in their home was custom built by a friend, Duane Wallace, who also helped complete many of their projects through the remodeling process. The kitchen cabinets are beautifully painted in red and then subdued with a black glaze on top to accomplish a really distinguished look. The black mutes the red a little and adds a somewhat distressed look. Jenny explained they didn’t like any of the red cabinet colors they found, so they chose this technique. It is a fantastic finish for the cabinets. Jenny knew she wanted a screen door for the pantry under the stairwell, and they painted that red also and coordinated the screen into the doors of some of the smaller upper cabinets. The screen door was one of the first purchases they made for the house. All of their remodeling and decorating


 The living room is open and comfortable, done in the same tasteful style as the dining area. 23


 The master bedroom is unique and stylish, with a combination of elements from old styles and sleek modern looks giving it personality.  The distinctive night stands were made from old army dressers.

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looks very professional, but Jenny said, “We don’t have any design background. We just do what we like.” Next to the kitchen is a hallway they built, leading to the laundry room and a two car garage that they added on. There is a storage room in the hallway, but instead of just hanging a regular door there, Josh and Jenny painted a $5 door red and put it on a sliding track, making it both decoratively unique and functional for the hallway. Jenny added a vinyl design and lettering with their last name onto the textured glass of the door. The flooring in the hallway is made of brick tile pavers. “We wanted something a little bit different,” Josh said, and it adds another unique touch of character to the home. The next room “was just a big open room that we ended up turning into our master bedroom,” Jenny explained. Some extra beams from the ceiling were removed and later used as counter tops and the table top that Josh made in the dining room. These wooden ceilings were discovered during the remodel. Josh said, “It changed the way we were going to set up the bedroom.” They also built a beautiful bathroom in the spacious master bedroom. The black cabinets along one wall and the tile they installed really create a polished look. The master bedroom is unique and stylish, with a combination of elements from old styles and sleek modern looks giving it personality. For example, they hung an old chandelier from the wooden ceiling and created decorative night stands. These distinctive night stands were made from old army dressers of her father’s. They pulled off the handles, filled the holes, and then covered the drawer fronts with decorative patterned fabric, which unifies the colors of the room and adds to the modern feel. The décor in their master bedroom is both simple and elegant, which allows the natural features of the wood ceiling and the shape of the room to take the forefront. Jenny said, “We didn’t want it to end up looking like a whole new house, but we wanted to try to get back to the old character of it and show off the things we liked.” This is evident by the way they worked with the original features of the house, even the ones that surprised them. The Turners did not use a contractor to design the new layout of the home. They decided what walls to take out and where to make the additions. Josh said, “We changed a lot of things as we went. We worked on it a year before we moved in.” Jenny explained, “We did

 The black cabinets along one wall and tile installed create a polished look. 25

 The girl’s bedroom is fun and spacious, decorated in pink and green. The girls have custom white beds.

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as much work as we could ourselves with the help of friends and family, but contracted out the plumbing and electrical.” There are a lot of unique ways in which the Turners decorate their home and add personal style to empty walls. Jenny makes art from vinyl lettering and designs. These distinctive touches of vinyl artwork are subtly added throughout the home in various forms, such as the Turner name and design on the door. One magnificent piece is the family tree hanging near the kitchen. The design includes the family members’ names and a lovely brown and green tree, placed on the large glass pane of an old rustic window. What a great way to celebrate family. Other unique ways in which the Turners have used specific items as decorative pieces include the salvaged wooden window panes that were originally from the house. The old windows adorn walls, making them a part of the home again as if they were never gone, in keeping with the original beauty they once held. Shutters also hang as functional and decorative pieces. One in the back hallway hangs horizontally as a coat rack and another is in the girl’s upstairs bath. Additionally, Josh made a hand towel holder for their powder room by mounting an old faucet on a wooden plaque and hanging it near the sink. They reused and combined several of these older pieces while redecorating, which keeps some of the home’s original classic features. Upstairs is an old-fashioned sleeping porch. Josh explained that before there was air conditioning, the room was designed to allow air to flow in through the numerous windows during the night and that this is where the family would sleep. Currently, these windows provide a great view of the backyard, showing the full acre of privacy fenced yard and the huge tree house they are building for the girls. The girl’s bathroom is ultra-stylish and decorated with lots of bright pink and black with fun, frilly accents. They added decorative shower curtains to match and another wonderful old chandelier that was revived after being found in the back shed. The bathroom had to be gutted and required added support for the original claw foot bathtub, refinished in black and white. New beadboard walls and new tile were also added. The girl’s bedroom is fun and spacious, decorated in pink and green. The girls have pretty, white beds with tall headboards. According to Josh, “We made these beds, because we didn’t like any of the ones we saw.” A large open playroom adjoins the bedroom and there are plans to hang French doors between the two areas. They also extended two closets from their original 18” depth by knocking out walls. A spare bedroom is currently under remodel and there is also a storage room upstairs as well. There are so many unique and wonderful details about the Turner home that make it so fabulous and personal. Their appreciation for and recognition of the beauty that the original home had to offer, and their ability to incorporate and work with these natural elements, really help to keep the charm of the old home while giving it functionality and comfort. They say that others have likened their home to Pinterest styles, but their personal touches and hard work along with extraordinary artistic, decorative, and remodeling talents have created a one of a kind home with a unique beauty and style all of their own. They have a distinctive talent for bringing different elements together in their home and making it look great. That is not something easily done. The Turners even entered a Reader’s Remodel contest from “This Old House” magazine and a photo of their kitchen remodel was placed in the magazine! Just FYI, Jenny has a booth at “The Bees Knees,” where she sells many of the things that she creates.


 The girl’s bathroom is ultra-stylish and decorated with lots of bright pink and black with fun, frilly accents. 27

ASU-Beebe: Upward Bound Day of Service

Students enrolled in the Upward Bound program at Arkansas State University-Beebe initiated a “UB Day of Service� last fall. Students performed painting projects at the Greater Vision Baptist Church in Beebe, washed and vacuumed the vans at the Beebe Retirement Center, and gathered and delivered cat food donations to the Central Arkansas SPCA Cat Shelter. The Upward Bound programs on ASU-Beebe and ASU-Heber Springs campuses serve high school students in Lonoke County, Van Buren County, Faulkner County, southern portions of White County, Cleburne County, and Prairie County. The goal of the Upward Bound program is to increase the rate at which participants complete

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secondary education and enroll in, and graduate from, institutions of postsecondary education. The ASU-Beebe Upward Bound programs have begun recruitment for the 2014-2015 academic year, which includes a six week summer program housed at the ASU-Beebe campus. For millions of students from low-income families who strive to be the first in their families to attend and graduate from college, Upward Bound and six other federally funded programs called TRIO are making a world of difference. For more information about the Upward Bound programs and services, please visit

White County OEM Director Tamara Jenkins, White County Judge Michael Lincoln and Rick Spicer, BHP Environmental and Regulatory Supervisor

White County Volunteer Fire Departments Receive A Share Of $60,000 Donation From Bhp Billiton For New Equipment

United Way Donation Bryce Corporation contributed a corporate donation of $2,500 to the United Way of White County’s 2014 campaign. Robert Skinner, human resources manager, presents a check to Glen Metheny, United Way campaign co-chair, and Pat Downs, United Way executive director. 29

Justin Johnson, Mat Faulkner, Grant Dillion, Jason White

“Think” Takes Gold At American Advertising Awards Searcy-based marketing agency, Think Advertising, brought home a Gold ADDY Award from the American Advertising Awards in the digital advertising video category, Saturday, February 22. The agency won the award for its submission of “Beyond The Campus,” a digital video advertisement promoting Harding University and its International Studies Program. The video stood out from hundreds of submissions over multiple categories and served to encourage enrollment by introducing students to Harding University’s fun and exciting overseas learning opportunities. “What makes this particular piece special is the fact that our video services specialist, Grant Dillion, interned at Think as a Harding student… he is now a staff member with us and is producing awardwinning pieces for his alma mater. It shows what type of talent is being developed at Harding, and we are excited to be a part of both the educational and the professional process,” states Mat Faulkner, president and creative director of Think Advertising. Many agencies and advertising professionals participated in the American Advertising Awards banquet Saturday night hosted by the AAF Northeast Arkansas chapter. A group of design and advertising professionals from the Missouri chapter judged the submissions. “The American Advertising Awards are a great opportunity to meet other professionals in the industry and celebrate the achievements of friends and colleagues,” Faulkner explains. The award banquet also provided the opportunity to see up-and-coming talent from local universities including Student Best of Show, Alesha Haub, from ASU Jonesboro. The award-winning video can be seen at www.thinkadvertising. com/addy

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White County Medical Center President/ CEO Ray Montgomery; Nurse Informatics Specialist Beth Ann Jones, RN; Assistant Vice President of Ancillary Services Scotty Parker; Assistant Vice President and Director of Nursing Peggy Turner; and IT Department Manager Kevin Hoofman.

WCMC Announces Associate of the Quarter White County Medical Center associates recently selected Beth Ann Jones, RN, as the Associate of the Quarter for the first quarter of 2014. Jones has been with the hospital for 14 years and works in the WCMC IT Department as a Nurse Informatics Specialist; she previously worked in the Critical Care Unit (CCU). “I am honored to be named as the Associate of the Quarter,” Beth Ann said. “I love the people I work with and feel this recognition is a reflection of the team I am part of.” Attributes of the Associate of the Quarter include high values, a positive attitude and sense of professionalism. Beth Ann reflects the core values of the hospital: integrity, teamwork, compassion, excellence, stewardship, innovation and servanthood. The following comments were made by fellow associates who nominated her: ‘Beth Ann is such a valuable link between the technology and nursing sides of the hospital;’ ‘she is a joy to work with; she is always helpful in teaching and working with other departments to find the best way to care for patients and to meet quality and meaningful use measures;’ ‘Beth Ann looks at our

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current processes and looks for ways to improve our quality of care and streamline our workflow;’ ‘she realizes how important it is for the computer systems to run efficiently and how it affects patient care.’ ABOUT WHITE COUNTY MEDICAL CENTER As the leading healthcare provider in a six-county area, White County Medical Center associates strive to improve the quality of health and well-being for the communities it serves through compassionate care. White County Medical Center is the largest employer in a six-county area with more than 1,750 associates. The facility has a combined total of 438 licensed beds and a medical staff of 150 physicians that specialize in various areas of healthcare. In addition to the North and South Campuses, White County Medical Center includes Family Practice Associates, Orthopaedic and Spine Center of Central Arkansas, Searcy Medical Center and Searcy Medical Center – West Clinic, Westside Family Medical Clinic, WCMC Cardiology Clinic and White County Oncology.

Ahlf Junior High School Quiz Bowl Team The Ahlf Junior High School Quiz Bowl Team placed 2nd at the AGQBA 6A State Tournament on Saturday, February 22. Pictured are Ms. Sarah Blake, coach, and team members Riley Dixson, Kylie Trudeau, Emma Hendricks, Principal Steve Garrison, Makayla Bailey, Henry Nguyen, Victoria Brown, Hayden Houck, Ashley Workman, Blake Farley, Wyatt Mote, Claire Farley, Margaret Lim, and Ms. Christina Farley, coach. Not pictured are team members Letah Eversole, Davis Threlkeld, Jackson Benight, and Tara Short.

WCMC Graduates January CNA Class The White County Medical Center Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program graduated 15 students in January. WCMC offers the CNA training program through a partnership with ASU-Beebe. Curriculum for the three-week program includes classroom and clinical instruction, which prepares students to take the state certification exam to become a CNA. The group includes the following: (first row) Jessica Holland of Judsonia; Andrea McCoy and Alicia Jackson of Searcy and Nikki Lewis of Austin; (second row) Jasmine Brockman of Conway; Lisa Lawrence of Vilonia; and Erin Wagnon of Beebe; and (third row) Kayla Mitchell of Conway; Teddi Kyzer of Cabot; Yvonne Cantrell of Searcy; and (fourth row) Jessica Britton of Judsonia; Vannette Lusty and Jessica Self of Searcy; and Cassandra Robinson of Searcy. Not pictured is Emily Wilson of Searcy. For more information about the CNA program, please contact Outreach Education Coordinator Dee DeLoach at (501) 278-3189. 33

WCMC Cardiology Clinic Hosts Luncheon and Raises Awareness on Heart Health

White County Medical Center’s first Heart to Heart Luncheon celebrated Heart Survivors who attended, including: (front) Patsy Jones, Betti Earnest, Edith Barnes, Frances James, Kay Szafranski, Kathryn Anderson, Dot Beck, Anita Vinson, Lennie Pelkey and Karen Churchill; and (back) Karen Stevens, Kathlyn Blakely, Cherie Pettis, Loreda Hartsfield, Deborah Hall, Carol Hawkins, Jane Lasley, Susan Hudson, Wanda Holleman, Betty Churchwell, Sally Glover, Liz Leaver, Darlis Baker, Patty Rine and Joyce Ames.

White County Medical Center’s first Heart to Heart Luncheon to celebrate American Heart Month featured a personal story from heart survivor Karen Churchwell, a medical update on women’s heart health from Cardiologist Katherine Durham, M.D., and emcee Liz Massey, former television personality.

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K.C. Koala Gives Health and Safety Tips to Children K.C. Koala, the White County Medical Center mascot, recently made a surprise visit to children at Shirley’s Mother Goose Daycare and Preschool in Searcy. The nearly 30 students were excited to see K.C. in person and eagerly demonstrated the correct way to cough and sneeze into the bend of their arms as K.C. applauded for them. As part of the hospital’s mission to create a healthy community, WCMC provides K.C. as a loveable and helpful teaching tool in educating children about healthy eating, the importance of exercising, school zone safety and proper hand washing techniques. For more information about inviting K.C. Koala to your school, daycare or organization please contact the White County Medical Center Event Specialist at (501) 380-1050 or via email at

The All-State Choir Clinic and Concert The All-State Choir Clinic and Concert were held on February 20-22 in Hot Springs. Eleven Searcy High School students under the direction of Tina Niederbrach participated. Pictured are All-State choir members Charity Barnes, Alana Niederbrach, Sadie Henson, Jacob Stewart(front), Austin Shaw, Lizzie Bailey, Kennedy Turley, Jackson Wilson, Jordan McGrath, Justin Rea, and Ryan Cagle. 35

Tournament Winners

The 5th grade Arkansas Thunder won the HoopPlay tournament in Beebe to improve their record to 14-3 for the season. The competition included teams from Little Rock, Benton, and Cabot. The Thunder consists of 8 players from Searcy and 1 from Heber Springs and the tournament championship was their 3rd this year.

Thinking Of Others

My daughter Makenzie Altom recently donated 11 inches of hair to Locks of Love. She said, “Momma I want to share my hair with a little girl who doesn’t have hair.” I was so proud that my 11 year old thought to do something for someone she will never meet. She plans on growing her hair out and donating again as soon as she can. – Elizabeth Bryant

Pictured L to R (kneeling): Palmer Gilbrech, Wesley Jackson, Daniel Parrott, Adam Fager. L to R (standing): Ty Dugger, Coach Blake Hendrix, Caden Sipe, Griffin Newby, Carter Neal, Brock Hendrix, Coach Mark Fager.

Arkansas All-State

Three Searcy Band members were named to the Arkansas All-State Band on Saturday, February 15 at ASU in Jonesboro. They participated in the Arkansas All-State Music Conference in Hot Springs, AR on February 19-22 and presented a concert on February 22 at the Summit Arena at the Hot Springs Convention Center. Pictured are: Tyler Daniele, Emily Cook, and Jake Rains. 36 Your Hometown Magazine 37

By Cecelia Wilson 38 Your Hometown Magazine

television viewers means to help others in similar situations, the Mathews began know and love them. After all, they are considered researching and then training to make their dream of helping others “Duck Dynasty” royalty. Korie Robertson and her husband, become a reality. By 2009, they both were Certified Specialists in Willie, headlined the “Spark of Life” benefit held in January at the Grief Recovery, and they had contacted several different facilities University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Jack Stephens Center. The throughout the U.S. to host retreats, with Spark of Life holding its fundraiser was held to raise money for the grief recovery retreats first retreat in Texas. The non-profit organization has flourished ever since, with 16designed to help those struggling with the loss of loved ones. The retreats, held in a variety of luxurious resorts nationwide, are 17 participants at each retreat. David is the Executive Director, provided free-of-charge to people downcast, looking for answers Debbie is Retreat Coordinator and together they lead Spark of Life and yearning for hope to overcome their grief. Since the very first Retreats, along with Rusty and Nancy Meadows and Dennis and retreat held in 2009, over 400 individuals have found that “Spark Terri Rine. Since Spark of Life Retreats are free of charge to those of Life” after devastating loss. The only cost to retreat participants attending, contributions and fundraisers are necessary to meet facility operating costs, which brings us back to the January 18th is traveling to the retreat – everything else is provided at no cost. Stories about Willie, Phil and Uncle Si certainly had the rapt event at UALR, and the connection between the Robertsons and audience laughing throughout the evening. Willie disclosed his the Mathews. Mathews had been Korie’s Bible teacher when she was in high teenage business venture of selling gum to classmates on the school school. It was during that period that David and Debbie adopted bus and from his locker. He was making a healthy profit until the their youngest son, capitalist enterprise Chuck. The proud father was cut short by his brought his young son principal’s concern for to school, passed him the school concession “ He ingrained in us ... what true around in chapel and stand’s marked decrease religion is and that’s taking care hammered the lesson in sales. Korie met home to his students that Willie during third grade of widows and orphans...” if more people would and by fifth grade Phil adopt, there would be no was expounding on the homeless children. virtues of her marrying Fast forward many one of his eligible sons. years. The Mathews But, most of the tales they shared didn’t explain the connection between duck calls and moved to Searcy, Duck Commander explodes into Duck Dynasty grief recovery retreats. After all, the Robertsons travel around the and the Robertsons’ lives were now known to most anyone with country on behalf of hundreds of charitable organizations. So, just a TV. David had kept in touch through Facebook, though mainly how did the stars of Duck Dynasty find their way to Little Rock to with Missy (Jase’s wife), but he knew that Willie and Korie had share their heartwarming stories of “faith, family and ducks” for also adopted a son. But it was not until one of the first family books written by Korie came out in print that Mathews realized just how the Searcy-based Spark of Life? David Mathews, along with his wife Debbie, co-founded Spark deep an influence he had been on that decision. The Mathews were elated that they had been such inspirations; of Life, inspired to do so after the 2007 death of their first grandson, Josiah, who lived only seven minutes after he was born. They had however, they didn’t want to intrude on what they knew was an known during the last two months of pregnancy that Josiah would already busy life for the Robertsons. But, when Duck Commander probably not live long outside the womb. His condition was such videographer Lyle Sinkey and his wife Kelly attended a Spark of that his lungs were not developing and they knew his birth would Life retreat in Alaska, Lyle got in contact with Korie, a meeting lead to his death. Debbie disclosed the reason Spark of Life eventually came into being, “We do not believe Josiah died so we would do retreats; we do retreats to honor our grandson and to help those who are hurting due to loss.” A graduate of Harding University with a Masters in counseling from the University of Louisiana in Monroe, David has been a pastoral counselor for more than 40 years. Armed with that counseling background, it was a natural progression for David to bridge their loss with some type of structured recovery. After much dreaming and praying about the best

M ore than 8 million

 Korie Robertson and her husband Willie with Searcy Living Feature Writer Cecelia Wilson. 39

ensued and the only hesitation on headlining an event for Spark of Life was finding a date. Korie had told her husband years before, in no uncertain terms, that Dave Mathews had influenced her life. Willie jokes that when he and Korie got married, it took him about five years to figure out that the [Dave Mathews] Korie meant was NOT the singer! “David Mathews was my Bible teacher my senior year in high school [in Louisiana],” Korie explained. “[And] when David gets on a soapbox, he doesn’t get off…and that year he was on a soapbox about adoption. He ingrained in us our senior year what true religion is and that’s taking care of widows and orphans… but more importantly than talking to us about it, he lived it.” Seeing Chuck Mathews running around at her high school, witnessing her teacher’s passion for adoption manifested in flesh and blood, was life changing. It brought to mind her favorite quote: “The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.” Though she had known Willie since third grade, they didn’t begin dating until her senior year. She shared with him then that she wanted to adopt someday, and Willie was just as eager to share their lives with children who needed a loving home. Convinced that God had placed that on their hearts, they always knew they wanted to adopt, but didn’t know how or when it might happen. Though they already had two children of their own, they found out about Will, saw his picture and they were convinced he was theirs.

Within another week he was home with his new family. “It was the best thing we’ve ever done. He’s absolutely a blessing. When you adopt you think you’re giving a blessing to someone else, a child that may not have a home, a mother or a father, but YOU’RE the one getting the blessing.” Besides Little Will, Willie and Korie are parents to their biological children, John Luke, Sadie and Bella, and they recently adopted Rebecca, formerly their foster daughter. We wander through life, never really knowing how our passions and purposes touch those around us. While we are driven to share that passion, we have no idea how our message will be received. Will the hearers understand? Will they be impacted in the same way as we are? Can we create a spark in someone else to do with fervor what we have done? Whether it is through adoption or by counseling those in grief, that spark can be lit and be coaxed into a flame that burns brightly throughout a lifetime.

40 Your Hometown Magazine

For more information on donating to Spark of Life or attending one of the Spark of Life Retreats visit the website at, e-mail, or call 501-580-9001. 41

42 Your Hometown Magazine 43


Becoming Market Ready

In a competitive housing market, it is important to give prospective buyers a reason to choose your house over another. Beginning in 2008, my husband and I have flipped houses in our “spare” time. Through our experiences we have learned many simple truths about selling a home. Here are a few tips that I believe to be the most important in making any house market ready. Your REALTOR Knows Best

Everyone wants top dollar when selling their home, but don’t price yourself out of the market. Nothing will scare off potential buyers faster than an overpriced house. The most critical time on the market is the first 30 days, so price your home well from the start. Choose a REALTOR that you trust and then take his or her advice; they are professionals and know the current market.

First Impressions Are Everything

Curb appeal cannot be stressed enough. If potential buyers drive by your house and don’t like what they see on the outside, they likely won’t take the time to look at the inside. Simple things

like pressure washing, tidy landscape, and a freshly mowed yard go a long way in a home’s appeal. Give special attention to your front entry. Make sure to sweep away any spider webs, buy a new welcome mat, and put a pretty wreath on the door.

Neutralize, Depersonalize, and Declutter

When your home is on the market, try to stop thinking of it as “your” home. As soon as you put it on the market it has become a “product” and should be made to appeal to the most people possible. Bright orange may be your favorite wall color, but it will not appeal to most people and will not work with everyone’s décor. Paint the walls throughout your house a neutral color and add pops of color with accessories. Be sure to limit personal photos and “themed” items. You want buyers to be able to envision their own belongings in the space. Buyers should be admiring your home instead of the cute photos on the wall. Declutter, declutter, declutter! Unnecessary items lying around give the appearance that your home has no storage, which is very important to buyers. Clutter also gives a sense of stress and chaos. A decluttered and organized room gives a calm and serene vibe.

Attention to Detail

As we live in our homes from day to day, we tend to stop noticing little things around us that could use some attention. Have a friend, family member, or neighbor go through your house with the eyes of a buyer. The fresh prospective will help you see things that may need fixing or sprucing up. Also, be sure to complete any unfinished projects. No one wants to buy someone else’s half finished work.

As the Saying Goes, “Cleanliness is Next to Godliness”

Make sure that for every showing your home is spotless, especially the kitchen and bathrooms. Buyers want to know that the investment they are about to make is on a home that has been well taken care of. They will assume that if you didn’t take the time to make the beds or wash the dirty dishes that you haven’t taken the time to upkeep other things in the house either. It is also very important to put away anything pertaining to your pet and have your pet out of the house during a showing. Many people are allergic to animals and pets are often associated with stains, damage, and odors.

There’s No Place Like Home

When your home is being shown, make sure that you have set the thermostat to a comfortable temperature. Open as many window coverings as possible to let the sunlight in. Spraying Febreze around the house makes it smell fresh and clean without being too overpowering. The more comfortable and inviting your home is to a potential buyer, the more they will consider making it their new home! 44 Your Hometown Magazine

Celebrate Your Event in Style!

Currently booking for 2015 events. Call today to reserve for your special day.

For tours or booking info call Wendy Dalrymple 501-207-1864 118 N. SpriNg • Searcy, arkaNSaS check out our new website at • Like Us on

Facebook! 45

Korie Robertson


By Cecelia Wilson

n the Fall of 1991, Lola Philpott had been admitted known where the library was if it wasn’t for her! She was just more

to Harding University as a Communications major. college-ready. She wanted to make all A’s; I was just happy with She had moved from a farm in Indiana to Searcy: “the B’s and C’s!” But, not long after moving in with Korie, Lola became convinced largest city I had ever lived in!” Unfortunately, when she arrived, divine intervention might have played a part in uniting the two she was met with some disappointing news. Apparently, she and several other Freshmen had roommates who hadn’t shown up to go friends as well. Lola’s grandmother, “Ma,” who was originally to college, leaving those who HAD shown up scrambling to find from Texas, had influenced her in attending Harding, so Lola was replacement roomies. Lola was provided a list of individuals who excited to call Ma and tell her about her pretty dorm room and new friend. She was peppered had the same misfortune and with questions by the interested was told to take the list and grandparent. “What’s Korie’s decide who to live with. How? last name?” and “Where’s she “Go talk to them.” So began “We were like sisters.” from?” were soon followed by, the search for a prospective “Really? Ask her if she knows roommate. Alton Howard.” Korie did – he Lola started with the first was her grandfather. “Ask her if name on the list and went to “interview” her. The girl was not she knows V.E. Howard.” Again, a nod - he was Korie’s great home. Mentally scratching that first name from the list, Lola read off the name of the second person on the list. That second person uncle. Ma found that extremely interesting and quickly informed was home. The two girls talked to each other and quickly realized her granddaughter, “He baptized me in the Trinity River in 1936!” they got along perfectly. “Within an hour we both said, ‘Yeah! The Lord does work in mysterious ways. Whenever Lola went to Louisiana with Korie for the weekend, Let’s move in together!’” Her new roommate was Korie Howard from Louisiana who millions of people would know 20 years later the Howards welcomed Lola into their home as if she were one of as the wife of Duck Dynasty’s Willie Robertson. And so began a the family. She had a great time hanging out with and attending church with the Howards. As for the Robertson family, Korie felt beautiful friendship. Within 24 hours, the weekend was upon them and the two girls compelled to warn Lola about them ahead of time: “Now, they’re were moving clothes and bedding into their dorm room. They real country.” Lola only laughed in hearing that revelation by were a good match: they were, of course, the same faith and they reminding her roommate of her Indiana cornfield roots, “That’s both had boyfriends to talk about day and night, but Lola laughs okay because I’m real country!” Korie told her that Phil would be when discussing their differences when it came to studies. “Korie dressed, as he was always dressed at the time, in a white t-shirt. was very studious; she did very well in school. I wouldn’t have And, true to form, he was. 46 Your Hometown Magazine

Just as the Howards had done, the Robertsons were simply downto-earth people who made Lola feel right at home. While Phil sported his trademark beard, 1991 was pre-beard days for his sons. Willie and Jase were clean cut and cute, and Jep was just a little kid. But just on the horizon, the two roommates would be parting ways when Korie found a different roommate – she and Willie got married in January, 1992. It has been over 20 years since that first semester of college for the women. Lola now works in the Support Division of the Searcy Police Department. She and her husband have four children, so there’s little time to sit down and make long phone calls to old friends. Letters, cards, pictures have been exchanged through the years, but hectic lives have kept the women from communicating as often they would have liked. Despite the distance and the years, they still share some eerie similarities. Just as Korie and Willie harbored a desire to adopt and did so by adding Little Will and Rebecca to their family, Lola and her husband David have done the same by adopting two children and fostering another in addition to their biological child. The four Philpott children range in age from 16 years to 18 months. While Korie’s desire to adopt came from an inspiring lesson from her Bible teacher, David Mathews, Lola’s introduction to adoption might have frightened less hearty people on the idea. “My dad was adopted and he was the horror story you always hear about [when adopting a child],” she states honestly. “He was that kid. He got into drugs and alcohol. He was all of the above. I should have looked at that example and said that [adoption] was not what I wanted. But my grandparents taught me that it was the greatest love of all.” She cites the Book of James in providing for widows and orphans as another incentive for considering adoption. “Any child is a gift from God,” she declares and then tosses out the notion most people espouse: “You can’t choose your family.” “But you can!” she laughs. Their first adopted child came to them at 5 months of age, then her husband brought up the idea of adopting an older child. So, their second adopted child came to them at the age of 10. But, whether adopted, fostered or biological, Lola loves all her children equally and flourishes with the active life a larger family creates. On Facebook, Lola was a huge supporter of her old friend’s new TV venture and encouraged others to be sure to watch Duck Dynasty, especially when it first hit the small screen. With no attention span and little desire to watch TV, Lola freely admits she has never seen an episode of Korie’s adventures. However, she can’t escape seeing her friend’s personal life laid out in print everywhere a magazine is sold. Speaking of her friend’s stardom, “It is surreal… I work in law enforcement, so by nature I protect those I’m loyal to and I find myself being very protective of her family. That was [part of] our relationship. We were like sisters.” And despite the years that have passed, the two women still have a bond that transcends TV demands and the miles between them. They are both huge advocates for adoption and, though Korie encourages others to adopt from a larger stage, Lola is just as vocal in her daily life. Korie spoke recently in Little Rock and adoption was an emotional part of what she shared with the audience. It was, then, a testament to their lasting friendship when later backstage Korie took this writer to one side and encouraged me to write more on the topic, “You need to talk to Lori Philpott [about adoption]…I would love to see her. She was my roommate.”

The Philpott Family

“Any child is a gift from God.” 47

By Tracy Windley know some of you think that I am crazy for many reasons (smile) - for going duck hunting, but I’d like to share with you what it’s really like out there. It is hard to get excited the night before about getting up at 3:00 a.m. out of a warm bed to go stand in freezing temps just to shoot a duck - there is laundry, dinner to plan, chores, and work. But when the morning comes and you head outside, the excitement starts. The timber early in the morning is a magical place (especially on full moon mornings). There are only the sounds of nature - owls hooting, snow geese and ducks. Looking up through the branches at the stars is indescribable. The sunrise is beyond words - it really is a shame that we miss it so often. The adrenaline starts, just a little, as you put out the decoys and get the guns strapped to the trees (and the coffee thermos!). You keep checking the time - no way are you going to shoot early when you hunt with a federal game warden! The ducks start landing all around - you hear the wings and the water splash but you can’t really see them yet. Then, it is time! I watch amazed at Jonathan call and work the groups. I still get


that weird taste in my mouth and butterflies when they start to make a final turn. I love to watch the wings cup and orange feet dangle and rock. And yes, I enjoy the shooting, even though it is not about the kill. I LOVE the walk in chest waders to get your trophy and marvel at the colors. I love the smell of gunpowder and the sound of reloading. I love the fellowship of the hunt - the talks and laughter, the coffee and snacks, the cheering of a good shot and the heckling of a missed one. My favorite time is when the hunt is over and we hang out and play with the duck calls - just to watch them come in! I especially love the ride out of the timber as Jonathan weaves his way through what seems like impassable trails. I love to watch the ducks get up in the timber as we make our way out. I love how all afternoon we relive the hunt. We unload the boat and clean the ducks - constantly marveling at the colors of the feathers. The hot shower is the best! And for some reason, it really doesn’t matter that there are dirty dishes in the sink or laundry piled up - you just hang out on the couch and retell stories of the day. It was a great day because

we would all enjoy life just a bit more if we spent some time in the duck woods!”

48 Your Hometown Magazine

I got to spend it with my best friend and the love of my life! That’s why I love to duck hunt! I am blessed to have a husband who has let me become his hunting partner! And a great group of buddies who let an ole lady tag along - Jim Ronquest, Buck Jackson, Jeremy Nguyen, Racie Wells, and Mr. Oose! I appreciate you more than you know! Since duck season has closed, I have gone out several times very early in the morning with my Boykin Spaniel, Tally. As she runs around exploring in the backyard, I can’t help but think that it would almost be shooting time. Thankfully I didn’t stick my duck call in my pocket – the neighbors probably wouldn’t appreciate that! I watch the sunrise and ponder how different it seems from this vantage point. It’s the same sunrise – just a different setting. The sounds are different. There are no ducks quacking or owls hooting. No snow geese overhead. Only the sounds of vehicles traveling along Hwy 36. Then it hits me what makes this so different. “Hurry” is in the air. Maybe we would all enjoy life just a bit more if we spent some time in the duck woods! 49


RIVER Text interview taken by Chris Engholm, White River Memoirs

The story of how Jim and Frank met up with a giant paddlefish in Taylor bay, along the White River. Frank was sitting right here. And, of course, me driving the boat, I was sitting here next to the ten-horse motor. It had just picked up to its maximum speed when the spoonbill actually came out of the water and we ran under it. It came out just below the corner of the front end of the right, alongside Frank’s head. It arched up so high it was above the middle seat of the boat. We had some tackle boxes here in the middle of the boat. The huge fish came right over them and across the middle bench and landed between my legs. And I thought it was a huge gar, which have many sharp teeth. It was dark and we had no light. I didn’t want to get my hand down around it because I knew if I got it in his mouth, with him trying to get away from me, that I could get cut up. So I went to kick at him. And then Frank went to get his flashlight and I looked down and I realized it was a spoonbill that weighed thirty-five pounds. It was fifty-seven and a half inches long, and its bill was eighteen and a half inches long. All this was taking place in the middle of the night. So I grabbed the paddle and broke it all to pieces beating the fish unconscious so it wouldn’t jump out of the boat, once I realized it was a spoonbill. I finally knocked it out with the paddle and pinned its head up against the rib. By that time we had at least three inches of water in the boat, and I don’t know how Jim and Frank with the paddlefish. that got there. But it almost turned the boat over. When the commotion was over, we’d lost all our minnows and about a half a dozen yo-yo’s. And the tops of our Styrofoam buckets, they literally got knocked out into the river. When we got back to the cabin we were afraid to lift it out while the boat was still in the water. We were afraid the fish might have a little life left in it, or might flip and get away from us. So we pulled the boat, me on one side and Frank on the other, twenty yards out onto the sandbar before we would touch the fish, since we were afraid he’d get away from us. That’s the story.

Jim and Frank today.  50 Your Hometown Magazine

 A paddlefish makes an unscheduled landing in Jim Fortune’s john boat in the middle of the night on Taylor Bay. Drawing by Elizabeth Engholm. 51

52 Your Hometown Magazine 53

A 1st In 32 Years H






















A H I STOR IC E L E CT ION Question & Answers With David Parker H



















Q: Since the next election will usher in a new Prosecutor after 32 years, what do you see as some of the differences in the job today compared with 32 years ago? A: Certainly the job of Prosecuting Attorney has changed and evolved in the past 32 years, and that is a main reason I believe it is time for a change in this office. As technology improves and advances, so to do the investigative tools of law enforcement agencies. We now have better access to DNA, information, and evidence, which makes the prosecution of criminals more effective. At the same time, there are new challenges as new and more dangerous drugs come into our communities. However, many aspects of this job remain the same. The Prosecuting Attorney must still have a positive and productive relationship with local law enforcement, which includes all agencies interested in protecting our community, including but not limited to, the police. I believe in doing what it takes to represent the safety of our community, punish those who infringe on that safety, and rehabilitate those who can be reformed. Yet at its core, the job of a Prosecuting Attorney remains the same as it did 32 years ago—prosecuting cases in a courtroom. A Prosecuting Attorney must try the cases that need to be tried, not just the cases that we can win. Ultimately, just like 32 years ago, the Prosecuting Attorney’s job is to get in a courtroom and represent the victims and his community when there is crime, no matter how difficult the case may be. Q: How might the job be considered more difficult in 2014? A: One of the biggest challenges is the explosion of prescription drug abuse and the continued diversification of illegal drugs. As law enforcement and technology advance, so too do the criminals. The population of this area has also grown, and with that population growth the number of criminal cases has increased accordingly. Also, with our advancements in technology comes another problem—the “CSI problem.” Juries now want DNA and fingerprint proof in every case, just like they see on TV, and in the real world that simply is not possible. However, just because a case does not have that level of evidence, or a confession, does not mean the case should not be tried. I am less interested in a 99% conviction rate; my focus is to seek out justice for White County by trying the cases that should be tried, no matter how big the challenge. Q: How has technology changed the Prosecutor’s job in the past 32 years? A: Today’s technology has greatly has greatly influenced advances in DNA and other crime lab analyses. Technological advances have also positively improved today’s channels of communication, which I intend to put to full use. I will reach out to all agencies interested in protecting White County, such as CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) who investigate, monitor and encourage children who are victims of abuse or neglect, the Children’s Safety Center, which interviews child abuse victims, performs medical exams and aids child victims through the entire recovery process, the WISE Coalition (White County Invested in Substance abuse Eradication), which organizes community prescription pill collections, as well as other organizations in our community. Q: In which areas do you believe improvement is needed for this position? A: There must be better communication with all areas of law enforcement and other agencies. A change at the top of our Prosecuting Attorney’s office will mean more involvement with community groups, which will include attending their meetings, discussing cases, and working together to build stronger cases and helping protect our community. Currently, the Prosecuting Attorney’s office has very little interaction with these groups and I believe 54 Your Hometown Magazine


















we are missing out on an opportunity to build better cases and protect the victims from further abuse. One example is that the percentage of children who go through the Children’s Safety Center from White County results in a significantly lower percentage of criminal charges filed than those from neighboring counties. I believe that the way this is improved is through opening lines of communication between our offices. This percentage highlights the other major improvement needed at White County Prosecuting Attorney’s office—a change in philosophy when it comes to trying cases. We cannot worry about a conviction rate. We must instead do what is right for victims and our community. I will be aggressive and proactive when it comes to protecting our community. This means trying the hard cases and taking a stand against crime, regardless of a win-loss record. Q: What are the strengths you would bring to the office? A: I will bring a new, fresh, aggressive approach to prosecuting. The White and Prairie County Prosecuting Attorney’s office under my leadership will independently evaluate every case we receive and evaluate all cases with the single goal of seeking justice. In the criminal justice system there is a wide gap between the cases that are “slam dunk” cases, and the cases where the evidence is simply not strong enough to take to trial. This office has been far too hesitant to take cases to trial which fall in between those two extremes. And that is the philosophy under which my opponent has worked for 17 years. I am not an apathetic, longtime prosecutor interested only in moving a case along and off my desk without incident. My recent legal education means I have more recently studied technological advances in criminal cases than my opponent, and I have stayed current with the ever-evolving status of our state and federal laws. And perhaps my biggest strength, and the biggest contrast between myself and my opponent, is my desire for change in the office. I know that there needs to be a change in the way that criminals are brought to justice and my leadership will bring that change. Q: What is your current position? A: I have been a deputy prosecuting attorney for the 17th Judicial district (White and Prairie Counties) since 2011. Q: Briefly describe your career path leading you to your current position. A: I am a 6th generation Arkansan, born and raised in Little Rock. I am a graduate of Catholic High in Little Rock and I graduated college from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics. After college, I spent four years in Little Rock as a financial advisor with a local investment firm before attending law school at the William H. Bowen School of Law. During law school, I clerked at various firms in Little Rock and received an externship with the Honorable Price Marshall on the Arkansas Court of Appeals. After graduating from law school in two and a half years, I worked for two years at an estate planning firm in Little Rock until I accepted my current position in Searcy as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney. Q: If elected, what will be your main focus as Prosecutor? A: My main focus will to make White and Prairie Counties a safer place for our families and children to be raised. I will do this by effectively working with not only law enforcement, but everyone interested in keeping our community safe. I will listen to the people of our district, and do what is right, even if that means making a break from the ways of the past. A Prosecutor’s job is to seek justice. Under my leadership, there will be justice in White County. 55

A 1st In 32 Years H






















A H I STOR IC E L E CT ION Question & Answers With Becky Reed H



















Q: Since the next election will usher in a new Prosecutor after 32 years, what do you see as some of the differences in the job today compared with 32 years ago?

A: One of the biggest differences I see in the job of Prosecuting Attorney in 2014 compared to 32 years ago is the number of cases filed. When Chris Raff was first elected as the Prosecuting Attorney for the 17th Judicial District, which at that time included Lonoke County, he had one deputy prosecutor and two administrative staff members. The office now contains three deputy prosecutors, a chief deputy prosecutor, as well as Mr. Raff, and four administrative staff members. Another difference is the type of crime which occurs in White and Prairie Counties. Drug and drug related crimes have increased exponentially. In the almost 17 years I have been at the White County Prosecutor's office, I have observed the number of clandestine methamphetamine labs drop dramatically, while the number of prescription pill abuse cases have increased. Q: How might the job be considered more difficult in 2014?

A: Television shows have made the job of Prosecuting Attorney more difficult in that they create an expectation in the public that a case will always have forensic evidence such as fingerprints, DNA, fiber experts, etc. We, as prosecutors, have to remind jurors that this is real life, not CSI or Cold Case. Q: How has technology changed the Prosecutor’s job in the past 32 years?

A: Technology has made the prosecutor's job easier and more transparent. Groups such as the National District Attorney's Association maintains banks of data on expert witnesses, unusual defenses, and other issues prosecutors from across the nation have dealt with. This information is accessible with the touch of a key on my lap top. The job is more transparent as a result of social media. The performance of the Prosecutor is scrutinized, criticized, or complimented and spread like wild fire through Twitter, Facebook, Topix, etc. Transparency is a good thing as long as the reporting is accurate. Q: In which areas do you believe improvement is needed for this position?

A: I believe the prosecutor's office needs to be more technologically advanced. An on-line case management system which would permit the review of a case's status, issue subpoena requests, or issue inter-office memos. Q: What are the strengths you would bring to the office?

A: I have several strengths I bring to the office of Prosecuting Attorney. * EXPERIENCE: I have almost 17 years experience as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in White County. I have tried cases in both district courts as well as all three circuit courts. I have tried more than 15 felony jury trials, and have prosecuted over 3,000 felony drug cases, as well as hundreds of other felony cases including weapons cases, homicide cases, hot checks and forgeries. I have tried over 50,000 misdemeanor and traffic cases. In addition, I have filed over 668 civil cases which resulted in the seizure of over $920,900 cash and 769 guns from drug dealers. In addition to felony drugs,

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I am assigned to juvenile court; therefore, I am keenly aware of the issues involving our children. * KNOWLEDGE: This goes hand-in-hand with my experience. I keep up to date with the continuous changes in the law. I am frequently contacted by law enforcement officers with questions about search warrants or other issues which require an immediate answer. This can only come from experience. * COMMUNITY TIES: I have lived in Searcy for about 16 years. My daughter went through the Searcy public school district. I have attended College Church of Christ for the past 15 years. As a parent, and a member of this community, I know the issues which face our children, but our community as a whole. Q: What is your current position?

A: I am currently a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney. My primary case load includes felony drug cases, felony negligent homicide cases, fraudulent prescription cases, felony fleeing, and felony DWI cases. I handle all the juvenile cases (delinquency, school attendance, and Family in Need of Services). In addition, I file and try all the civil drug asset forfeiture cases.

Q: Briefly describe your career path leading you to your current position.

A: My father was in law enforcement so I have always had a soft spot in my heart for this area of the law. In 1992, I entered the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Bowen School of Law and graduated in 1996. During law school I clerked and practiced as a "student attorney" for the Pulaski County Prosecutor's Office. I knew I was meant to be a career prosecutor. Immediately after graduating from law school, I worked as an Administrative Law Judge for the Department of Human Services where I heard primarily child abuse appeals. In 1997, Chris Raff offered me the position of Deputy Prosecuting Attorney. Taking a pay cut, I accepted without hesitation and returned to my calling. Q: If elected, what will be your main focus as Prosecutor?

A: My main focus as Prosecutor, will be two fold. First, our children need to be protected. I will closely review all cases in which society's most vulnerable are victims. I would like to create a juvenile drug court to provide counseling, education, and intervention in an attempt to reduce the drug use among our children. The closest drug treatment facility for juveniles is in Hot Springs, and it is one of only a handful in the entire state which treats child addicts. Second, I would facilitate the cooperation of the law enforcement agencies in White County with those in Prairie County and Lonoke County. Many of the crimes occurring in one county spread to and affect the surrounding counties, whether it be drugs, copper thefts, or scrap metal thefts. This cooperation would lead to a reduction in crime.
















Pleasant Grove Baptist Church

7th Annual Easter Parade & Resurrection Party April 19, 2014

2 Parades Augusta 10am-11am Starting at Bill’s Drug Store Bald Knob 12:30am-1:30pm Starting at Bald Knob High School

Resurrection Party

In front of the old Andrew’s Market Store in Bald Knob immediately following the parades with food, drink, music, fun and fellowship! 57

hitting on the


With Adrian Hannah

It is said that baseball is “America’s Pastime.” and clinics together with Long. So, Adrian was elated when he The game is even coupled in U.S. lore with apple was able to work his way onto Joe’s team, especially since the pie. But lately, with some of its top athletes in the organization was a great springboard into college baseball. Adrian’s news more for their drug use than their RBI, it is sister, Gabby, is already a sophomore majoring in Kinesiology at hard to sift through those stars’ off-field exploits the University of Arkansas and planning on becoming a physician’s and get back to the purity of the sport. So, learning assistant. As for Adrian, he is currently a 9th grader at Searcy High that there are currently teams for teens that not only and has aspirations of following in the legal footsteps of his father promote exemplary living, but promote Christ and his teachings, it and grandfather: Craig Hannah, Adrian’s father, is a Circuit Judge gives hope for the future of the game and its athletes. whose own father, Jim, is Arkansas State Supreme Court Chief Adrian Hannah is one of the fortunate young athletes to have Justice. But, while college and a career path loom on the horizon found the East Coast Baseball organization based out of for Gabby’s little brother, baseball is his here and now, and the Memphis, Tennessee. His friend Blake Wiggins East Coast team is an exciting character-builder for (who recently committed to the University the youngest Hannah man. of Arkansas baseball team) had been Craig Hannah says of his son’s team, playing on a team and his coach, Joe “Hitting on the cross is what [the “ Hitting on the cross Caruso, would come to Little Rock to team] is best known for. Hitting on is when [the players] go work with Blake. Adrian was able to the cross is when [the players] go join Blake for a practice and before into the batter’s box before they hit into the batter’s box before they started working on grounding and draw a cross to remind them of they hit and draw a cross to balls, infielding and hitting, baseball their faith.” It definitely opens up remind them of their faith.” practice began with a prayer. It was dialogue between them and members an uncommon activity at a baseball of the other team. Seeing the batter’s practice, needless to say. drawing, many from the other team will Caruso began traveling to North ask why it was done, providing the East Little Rock twice a month giving hitting Coast players a chance to talk to other instructions for kids to play on his kids about their faith in God. The elder team. A former University of Alabama Hannah appreciates Caruso’s organization baseball team member, Joe was for not only providing a sound foundation offered a scholarship to Alabama after for the boys, but also teaching great attending high school in his native fundamentals for hitting. Pennsylvania. From there, Teams for 15, 16, 17 and 18 he spent seven years in the year-olds combine kids from majors for the Kansas City all over the South. Adrian’s Royals, St. Louis Cardinals team includes 4 members from and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Arkansas, 2 from Tennessee, 2 Close friends with Yankees or 3 from Mississippi and 2 from Hitting Coach Kevin Long since Alabama. For seniors playing in the 2001, Caruso trains and conducts camps summer after their high school season has 58 Your Hometown Magazine

 Each practice opens with prayer and usually ends with a devotional or a testimony.

ended, approximately 20-25 of those kids will get scholarships from Division I and II colleges and junior colleges. East Coast has seen to it that their teams play at a higher level and the number of scholarships their players are offered provides quantitative proof of their efforts. The 9th grader (Adrian is now practicing with Searcy’s High School team and hopes to get to play varsity), is already beginning to see the fruits of his labor. At a recent camp at Ole Miss, he hit one over the fence. Recruiters were on hand to witness the feat and, despite his age, Adrian was invited to a Razorbacks spring game. This summer, the team will actually be playing in the SEC stadiums at Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Alabama. Adrian is currently being recruited by Ole Miss and Arkansas and was invited to a spring game by their respective coaches.

 Adrian Hannah is practicing with Searcy’s High School team and hopes to get to play varsity. Craig and his wife Mitzi were hesitant at first about their son’s schedule and the stress their family would endure as a result. Games are played all over the South from Tennessee to Florida and destinations in between. There is a lot of travel involved: once the high school season is over, they will begin East Coat team play around the last week in May and go every weekend until mid-July. All games are out of state and some tournaments can last a week, but they say they are glad they tried it and have never regretted their decision. Each practice opens with prayer and usually ends with a devotional or a testimony. Joe leads the prayer or asks one of the teens to lead everyone in prayer. Devotionals are given by Caruso, a player, parent, assistant coach or guest and touch on issues relevant to the kids and the problems they may be currently facing as teens. After every game, they invite the other team to the pitcher’s mound and say a prayer. It gives the boys true role models in the field of baseball to look up to. It molds them into better people by focusing on what’s important in life and reminds them that can be successful in the sport they love without having to resort to drugs and alcohol like so many of today’s stars who didn’t have the same fundamentals given to them as youngsters. And camps help motivate the players ever more. During a recent camp in Memphis, Adrian entered a hitting competition which he won and, due to Joe Caruso’s Kevin Long/Yankees connection, Adrian’s prize was a signed Derek Jeter baseball. Perhaps, though, it is Coach Caruso himself that is the biggest draw for the Hannahs. As a role model, he fits the bill perfectly. He is a man who admits his imperfections (past and present), but has placed his trust and lives his life for God. As a 28-year-old, Joe was in El Paso, Texas playing with the Wichita Wranglers. “I was a non-believer,” Joe explains. Drugs, alcohol, women were all a major part of his life and the other major part of his life was baseball. “Baseball was my idol for so long and it was keeping me from God,” he admits. “Because I was so good at [baseball], I [thought I] didn’t need a God.” But, he soon recognized that he was searching for everything else in life until, one day, he found Christ. 59

 Adrian Hannah is one of the fortunate young athletes to have found the East Coast Baseball organization.

60 Your Hometown Magazine

He was playing ball with one former big leaguer. The guy was struggling. Two hits, 40 at bats – he was not playing well, was nearing the end of his career and was close to being released. Joe noticed something as he watched the veteran work through the low point of his career: he was not getting mad, he wasn’t throwing his bat. Joe approached him one day and asked him how he was handling the stressful situation so casually. “When it’s my time, it will all turn around,” Joe was told. Caruso shook his head in disbelief; sure the man had no idea what he was talking about. The following week, the same player was Texas League Player of the Week. His explanation for the miraculous turnaround? “God just said it was going to be my time!” Joe was impressed. The man had displayed an incredible peace and strength through tough times, and Joe knew he didn’t have that in his life. Soon afterward, Joe walked onto the field toward that same man on the right field line. “I walked toward him and every step I took, my heart was beating. I was crying. I got real close and told him, ‘I need what you have.’” Joe prayed and let Christ into his life in the middle of that field of dreams. Today, at 39, Joe shares that for the 11 years he has been reborn, the first 6 years he failed miserably at serving God, but the last 5 he’s failed a little bit less!After his pro ball days, Joe was teaching language arts to 5th graders when he started up a team for kids as a hobby. What began as the East Coast Grays in the southeastern U.S., branched out and grew to a 10 team business partnership known as the East Coast Baseball organization with Joe as its Director. These days, he travels from his home in Memphis he shares with his wife, Karli, a Nurse Manager at a hospital and his two

sons, Joey (9) and Jacob (5), to cities throughout the South to speak to colleges, parents, and kids. He’s a coach, a trainer, a counselor, a motivator. He uses East Coast Baseball as a ministry and sees himself as a vessel used to lead others closer to Christ through the game. He wants to transform young lives by giving them the peace he found, leading them to God and helping them to become “high level witnesses for the Lord” through baseball. “I want to teach them that [even when] the college they dream of is watching them play, they shouldn’t fear failure.” Regardless of the scholarships they may receive, the big leagues they may or may not play for, Joe tells each and every player, “God has bigger, better plans for you.”

“ I want to teach them

that [even when] the college they dream of is watching them play, they shouldn’t fear failure.”

 Coach Caruso uses East Coast Baseball as a ministry and sees himself as a vessel used to lead others closer to Christ through the game. 61

62 Your Hometown Magazine 63

For many nurses who work in the New Life Center at White County Medical Center

(WCMC), life has come full circle. Of the 53 associates who work in the New Life Center, 11 of them were born at the hospital and returned to WCMC to pursue their healthcare career. “The opportunity to work at WCMC, where I was born, truly feels like the ‘circle of life,’ to know that I was brought into the world here, and now I am helping bring other new lives into the world every day is extremely rewarding,” said Jennifer Arnold, RN. “I thoroughly enjoy working in my hometown hospital where I was born,” said Nicole Hames, RN. “It makes my co-workers seem more like a second family!” Jennifer Thomas, RN, agreed, “Knowing I work at the place I was born just adds to the fact that we are a family,” she said. “We laugh together, we cry together; we are here for each other.” “I cannot imagine working anywhere else,” Kelly King, RN, added.

Answering the Call A desire to serve and help others is the thread that ties the nurses together. Nursing is not simply a job, it is a high calling. Interacting with patients, showing compassion, making a difference, caring for expectant mothers and their families during one of the most memorable moments of life are all reasons the nurses chose to work in the New Life Center. Jennifer Arnold, RN, felt the call when her daughter was an infant. “I was in a completely different field when she was born,” Jennifer recalled. “She had multiple medical issues that required us to spend time at Arkansas Children’s Hospital for stays and surgeries. We had so many great nurses that took such great care of us and blessed us so much. I decided to make a career change so I could help others by caring for their families, and, hopefully, make them feel the way I did when my daughter received such great care.” “Being a Christian is a huge part of my life, and I am blessed that I can serve Christ by serving others,” Jennifer added. “I have a unique opportunity to show love to our patients on a daily basis. In most cases, I get to share one of the biggest and best experiences of people’s lives in helping to get their new baby here. It’s so fun and exciting. I also get to be here for people when they experience a terrible loss; I am here to help them to cope and help them say hello and goodbye to their precious angels.” “I always knew I wanted to be a nurse,” said Shelly Parsons, RN. “I love helping people, so even on the toughest days, I feel blessed to be a nurse. I treat every patient as if she is one of my family members. I just try to be the type of nurse I would want to have if I were the patient.” As a Mom herself, Nicole Hames said she knows that many pregnant women think about their delivery day long before they 64 Your Hometown Magazine

give birth. “They have lots of expectations for their day, so I strive to bond with each of my patients and help make their experience everything they have hoped for. It is, after all, one of the most memorable days of their lives!” Five of the ‘New Life Center work family members’ delivered their own bundles of joy with the assistance of their fellow nurses at WCMC.

Lifelong Memories Fond memories are written on the hearts of each New Life Center nurse. With countless positive experiences, the nurses said they have numerous favorite stories they hold near and dear to their hearts. Shelly said she has a positive experience every day. “That’s why I love this job! It is so rewarding,” she said. “I love taking care of a family throughout the whole labor and delivery process. Then, I get to see them go home with their beautiful new baby!” “There are so many awesome stories I remember of patients I have shared a connection with over the years,” Deana said. “I have loved getting to know our premature babies and their families. When Sarah Oxner delivered her daughter as a preemie, little Mary Frances spent several weeks here with us in the nursery before she got to go home. I worked the night shift at the time, and I remember holding and feeding Mary Frances and loving on her during the night. Those of us who took care of her felt like she was partially ours, too! We nicknamed her our ‘Sissy Bear!’”

‘Miracles Happen Every Day’ The White County Medical Foundation officially announced its new capital campaign “Miracles Happen Every Day” to the community last November. Funds raised through the campaign will benefit the New Life Center at White County Medical Center. With nearly 1,200 babies born in the WCMC New Life Center annually, the center has welcomed thousands of patients, babies and family members over the years. After these busy years of serving the community, the White County Medical Foundation chose the New Life Center as its project to focus on for its next campaign. The Foundation first announced the “Miracles Happen Every Day” campaign to WCMC associates and volunteers with great success as hundreds joined the PEP Club to support the project. The PEP (Positive Empowered People) Club is a committee of the Foundation that is comprised of both WCMC associates and Auxiliary members who donate funds to the Foundation to provide

the hospital with funding for renovations, state-of-the-art equipment and special projects to enhance patient care. “New life is cause for celebration, and we are grateful for the support from our White County Medical Center family,” said Cassandra Feltrop, Executive Director of the White County Medical Foundation. “We are truly blessed to have this support to be able to continue bringing quality patient care and advancements in healthcare to our patients. Now, we are excited for the community to join us in these wonderful developments that will benefit mothers and babies, as well as their families, in our New Life Center.”

A Community Campaign Funds given to the Foundation will help purchase the following: an advanced fetal monitoring system; state-of-the-art nursery equipment; a new triage area with four spaces for patients; an upgraded infant security system; and renovate six patient rooms into labor, delivery, recovery and post-partum (LDRP) suites. Patient suite renovations will include more amenities to help patients and their families feel right at home. Updates will include: big-screen televisions, more seating for families, a sofa that folds out for sleeping and showers in all suites, custom built-in surface area with storage, new rocking chairs, and new flooring. “This campaign is personal to so many of our community members and associates, myself included, because our babies were born here at our hospital. We want our New Life Center to have the best technology and amenities available so that we can continue to offer expectant parents the best experience possible as they welcome their newborns into the world,” Feltrop adds. “Our goal is to raise $1.7 million to fund the New Life Center project, and we are fortunate to have $1 million already pledged from local businesses, individuals and associates. Now, we are hoping to partner with individuals and businesses in our region to meet that goal.” To join the White County Medical Foundation in support of the “Miracles Happen Every Day” campaign, please call (501) 278-3191 or email For more information about the Foundation and campaign, please log onto and click “WCMC Foundation.”

White County Medical Center nurses who were born at the hospital and returned to work in the WCMC New Life Center include: (front) Amber Cleveland, Jordan Strickland, Nicole Hames and Kelly King; and (back) Shelly Parsons, Jennifer Thomas, Jennifer Arnold, Brandie Poor and Deana Minyard. Not pictured are Jamie Stallings and Dianna House. 65

66 Your Hometown Magazine 67

Seasonal Allergies By Dhruvi Patel, PharmD/MBA Candidate and Rodney G. Richmond, RPh, MS, CGP, FASCP

Over The Counter Harding University Center for Drug and Health Information

68 Your Hometown Magazine

Itchy watery eyes, sneezing and runny nose! While allergic rhinitis is a problem for some people during the pollen seasons, it is a problem for some others all year-round. The first step in controlling your allergies is to understand what causes them. For example, often allergies are seasonal. If you are a springtime allergy sufferer, they are usually triggered by pollen from trees. Summertime allergies are triggered by grass pollens and fall allergies by weed pollens. Others can suffer from indoor allergies year-round caused by dust, dust mites and pet dander. One way to prevent allergy symptoms is to avoid the things that cause your allergies. While it might be easy to avoid pet dander and dust mites, it is usually more difficult to avoid exposure to trees, flowers and grass without becoming a hermit! In circumstances where allergies cannot be avoided, the use of allergy medications can help to control your symptoms. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, 8 out of 10 people self-medicate themselves during allergy seasons without proper research or guidance, causing many people difficulty in managing their symptoms. With the variety of over-the counter medications to choose from, it becomes hard to decide which medication and dose is right for you. Compounding this is the fact that many allergy products also have additional ingredients to treat other symptoms—ingredients that you might not need or that might not be right for you. Talk to your pharmacist—tell them about your symptoms and any other medications you take. Let them be your drug expert and recommend the right product for you! 69

By Casey McLeod, Medical Center Pharmacy

Everyone wants a “cure-all.” You know, that pill

or shot or vitamin or supplement that will fix every ailment you have. As a matter of fact, I think I’d like that. The problem is, however, that it just doesn’t exist. There are millions of products (maybe millions is a slight exaggeration) promoted on TV, the internet and all other media outlets to hook us into buying a something that will do everything from make us skinnier to more virile to super-energetic. Unfortunately, these claims are so appealing that many waste money on these “cures” to no avail. Or, many of us more skeptical folks grow in disbelief of every product that touts too much efficacy in any area. Healthcare is one area that most of us are easily hooked to a quick fix. As a pharmacist, I take very seriously the job of educating people on the truth about their health. If you have read any of my previous articles in Searcy Living, you know that I am a proponent of a balance in “modern” medicine, herbs and supplements, exercise and clean eating to achieve optimal health. To understand that balance, you first must be educated about the options available to you. One of the areas I focus on is vitamin and supplement therapies. Within this area there is a plethora of products, some of which are beneficial for a number of purposes. In my own quest for a more natural treatment for chronic joint pain and arthritis, I stumbled upon information for the spice TURMERIC. Turmeric is a bright yellow spice that is a member of the ginger family. Turmeric has been used in ancient cultures for hundreds of years for its flavor and health benefits. It is most often used in Indian and Indonesian cooking and adds a slightly bittersweet flavor to food. The “active” chemical in turmeric is curcumin. Curcumin has several properties that are beneficial to your overall health, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Within the last 25 years, over 3000 healthcare articles have been published concerning its benefits and uses, validating its use in combination with modern medicine. 70 Your Hometown Magazine

Here are 5 areas turmeric has been tested and found effective.

Arthritis and chronic joint pain

Turmeric contains compounds known to inhibit the same inflammatory enzymes as Celebrex® and other prescription medications for arthritis and joint pain. In clinical studies, curcumin was found as effective for post-operative inflammation as a prescription anti-inflammatory. Another study showed curcumin was equally effective as other similar treatments for Rheumatoid arthritis. Turmeric can increase stomach acid slightly but is generally easier on the stomach than most prescriptions or over the counter antiinflammatories.

Alzheimer Disease

In Alzheimer’s disease, something called beta-amyloid accumulates and forms amyloid plaques. This plaque inhibits cerebral function, which is part of the cause of disruption of cognition in Alzheimer’s disease. Curcumin blocks the formation of beta-amyloid, therefore slowing the onset or progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Curcumin for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease will be most effective when used as a preventative or in very early stages of the disease.


Studies have shown curcumin beneficial in preventing or treating several types of cancer, including prostate, breast, skin and colon cancers. Curcumin is rare in that it can differentiate between “good” cells and cancer cells, and it selectively kills cancer cells. Curcumin may prevent cancer, slow the spread of cancer, make chemotherapy more effective and protect healthy cells from damage by radiation therapy.

Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease of the digestive system. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of turmeric help keep this condition in remission. In one study the relapse rate of patients on a turmeric supplement showed a significant decrease. Adding curcumin to the treatment regimen for colitis allowed for lower doses of other medications to be given with the same efficacy. This is helpful because many drugs used for ulcerative colitis have side effects that can be avoided if given in lower doses.


There are over 70 million Americans age 20 or older living with pre-diabetes, a condition that most likely will develop into full blown diabetes. In a clinical trial testing patients who were prediabetic over a 9 month period, those given curcumin did not develop diabetes vs. over 16% of patients who developed diabetes that were not treated with curcumin. Curcumin helps stabilize blood sugar and also decreases the effect of the chemicals TNF and nitric oxide. These chemicals play a role in diabetic neuropathy, the feeling of pain or numbness in hands and feet caused by elevated blood sugar. Turmeric in the form of a supplement will likely be found under the name Curcumin. The recommended dose is 500mg of curcumin one to three times daily, depending on the purpose for its use. Curcumin is generally very well tolerated with few side effects. The greatest concern in taking this supplement is interaction with other medications. Turmeric and curcumin supplements should be avoided if you are taking blood thinners or other antiinflammatory medications. Although turmeric should not be used to replace current treatments for any of these conditions, it can be beneficial as a supplement to what your doctor or healthcare provider has already recommended. If you have a family history of one or more of the conditions listed here, turmeric would be a great option as a preventative, as well. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist before taking any supplement to be sure it is compatible with medications and diseases. Remember, your health is in your hands. Get educated on what you can do to stay healthy by adding the vitamins and supplements that are right for you to your diet and healthcare regimen. 71

By Patty Hogan Hughart “Who is this man?” I asked myself, “Whom the people do condemn;” And with hate and wrath they cry out, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!”

Such terrible darkness covered the land, The day Jesus Christ was slain; The earth did quake, the rocks were rent. And the veil of the temple was torn in twain.

Then we Roman soldiers were commanded, To scourge Jesus with a whip; So we beat Him without mercy, Until the blood began to drip.

Oh, but I was that Roman soldier, Who took the spear and pierced his side; And out flowed blood and water, Then I knew, it was for me He died.

We put the scarlet robe upon Him, And placed the crown of thorns upon His head; We spat upon Him and we smote Him, Still not a word He said.

As fear and anguish gripped my heart, I bowed my head in shame; Truly, this man was the Son of God, He died and I’m to blame.

Then we led Him to Golgotha, And we nailed him to the tree; Yet He prayed, “Father, forgive them,” As He died in agony.

I should have paid the penalty for my sins, And hung on the cross in disgrace; But, with tender love and compassion, Jesus, the Son of God, took my place.

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Junior Auxiliary of Searcy’s Annual Charity Benefit Ball:

The Funds Raised during the JA Charity Benefit Ball Help Meet the Needs of Children and Their Families in White County Junior Auxiliary (JA) is proud to celebrate over 50 years of service to Searcy and White County. Their Annual Charity Benefit was held March 1, 2014 at the Searcy Country Club. This year’s theme was “Mardi Gras” and JA featured silent and live auction items. Mr. & Mrs. Michael and Sarah Oxner were honored as the 2014 King and Queen of the Benefit Ball. Sarah is a Life Member of Junior Auxiliary of Searcy. She and Michael own Red River Farms and produce rice, soybeans, corn and cotton in White and Woodruff Counties. They have three children: Mary Frances, Laura Grace and Paten. “As Junior Auxiliary members, we help children with caring and compassion that pours out into our seven projects. Our mission is to meet the needs of children and their families by sharing our time, talents, leadership and the money we raise each year at our Charity Benefit,” said JA Finance Chair Ashley Marshall. Junior Auxiliary is a nonprofit women’s service organization. Sunshine School is the chapter’s pride and joy. JA members founded the school on October 4, 1965, and still work closely with the students in many ways. But there are many other projects the ladies of JA are proud to have brought to the community which raised awareness of certain issues pertaining to children. Child Lures teaches local children about strangers. JA members go into the local schools and the third-graders are taught “lures” strangers use and how to recognize and avoid them. Students learn what is appropriate for a friend or stranger. Backpacks are provided to children for items they need to start the school year. Local schools that are aware of a student or family that cannot provide needed supplies, or even clothes can contact JA for help. Food Baskets is a large project organized to provide food for families at Thanksgiving. Local schools help gather items, and participate in a contest for who can raise the most. Over 300 families were served in 2013. Angel Tree is a project near and dear to many members’ hearts. JA members organize this annually to help provide Christmas presents to local children who would otherwise have none. The Department of Human Services (DHS) and state funded organizations give lists of children in need and JA has booths in various locations in Searcy encouraging passers-by to “adopt an angel.” JA members love hearing the stories about how the families were touched, or JA members and their children who got so much joy shopping for their special angel each year. Approximately 400 children were given a wonderful Christmas thanks to Angel Tree in 2013.

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Other projects Searcy Junior Auxiliary participates in include White County Medical Center’s A Day of Caring and presenting college scholarships to two local seniors. The Charity Benefit is the Junior Auxiliary of Searcy’s largest fundraiser to support the aforementioned projects. The evening included dancing, delicious hors d’oeuvres prepared by the Searcy Country Club Chef, a live band, Boom Kinetic, and silent and live auctions. The success of each year’s Charity Ball determines how much the ladies of JA can help in the community in the coming year. Junior Auxiliary of Searcy is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose purpose is to render charitable services which are beneficial to the general public, with particular emphasis on children. JA is a group of women dedicated to improving the lives of children in Searcy and White County. JA projects are designed to fulfill the virtues of Charity, Youth, Health, Community Service, and Leadership in members and those it serves. JA believes that by caring today we build character for tomorrow. Contact: JA PR Committee at (501) 940.7175 or

Charity Ball Photos Are Available On 75

Sarah Oxner

Searcy Junior Auxiliary Mardi Gras Queen 2014

76 Your Hometown Magazine

Previous Queens

2001 Queen Anne Gardner 2002 Queen Mary Green 2003 Queen Belinda LaForce 2004 Queen Janett Crain 2005 Queen Letain Devore 2006 Queen Ginny Morgan 2007 Queen Julie Killough

2008 Queen Ginger Beebe 2009 Queen Kathy Lightle 2010 Queen Jane Bell 2011 Queen Ruby Nell Moye 2012 Queen Sara Dacus 2013 Queen Ann Rutledge 77

Creamy Burrito Casserole 9x13” Casserole Dish

This appears to be a long, drawn out recipe, but TRUST ME ON THIS ONE... it will be worth every bite! My daughter requested I send this recipe in for this issue; it made a huge impression on her apparently and she wants everybody else to enjoy it. “Creamy” is a great adjective for this yummy casserole; it is loaded with cheese, smooth, refried (okay, I just mashed them) beans, and tangy sour cream. The homemade tortillas are worth every second you invest, I promise. Most store bought versions have preservatives and even if they say “whole wheat,” there’s almost always bleached flour in there, too. Crazy, I know! You can use ground turkey if you like, but we just stick with organic ground beef. Enjoy!

TORTILLAS >2 c. unbleached flour 1/2 tsp salt 3/4 c. warm water 3 Tbsp olive oil

casserole 2 fresh mushrooms, diced 1 Tbsp olive oil 1/2 tsp salt 1 Tbsp unbleached flour 1 c. milk 1 Tbsp cream cheese 1 lb ground beef 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped 1/2 tsp cumin 1/2 tsp chili powder 1/4 tsp garlic powder 1/4 tsp onion powder 2 c. or so mashed pinto beans 6 large flour tortillas

making the tortillas

Combine ingredients in the order listed in a large mixing bowl, adding more flour if necessary, trying to achieve the feel of soft baby skin. Allow mixture to sit, covered, about 30 minutes (so the flour can absorb the liquid and “relax”) before dividing into 8 sections, rolling them super thin on a well floured surface and frying them on a dry griddle or skillet on rather high heat. I normally cook mine on one side until it begins to puff up ( maybe 45 seconds to 1 minute?) then flip it over and cook on the other side just until slightly “toasty” looking. After cooking each tortilla, place on a pizza pan or baking sheet and keep covered with a clean hand towel to retain moisture. Set aside until you’re ready to assemble the casserole.


In a smallish saucepan, sauté diced mushrooms in olive oil and salt until they’re soft; add flour and toss to coat. Add milk and stir until it begins to thicken. Add cream cheese and stir to melt/dissolve; set aside.


In a skillet, brown ground beef and diced onion; add the next 4 spices and stir in mashed pinto beans. Remove from heat.


Add sour cream to the mushroom mixture you sat aside earlier. Spread 1/2 of the sour cream mushroom mixture in a 9x13 casserole dish; tear up 3 of the tortillas and place them over the sour cream mixture. Pour 1/2 the meat/bean mixture over the tortillas and add 1/2 of the shredded cheese. Repeat all these layers, ending with shredded cheese on the top.


Bake in a 350° oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Enjoy!

(Hopefully made earlier with the recipe above)

2-3 c. cheddar & Monterey Jack cheeses, shredded 8 ounces sour cream (Daisy is great because it’s just cultured cream; nothing else)

78 Your Hometown Magazine

Tanya Turner Leckie’s cookbook Cartwheels In The Kitchen, is available at Tonya’s Consignment, Midnight Oil Coffee House, as well as through Tanya by e-mailing her at Partial proceeds through sales benefit the Makonde Team mission work in Tanzania, Africa. 79



3. Faith, family, and _____. 5. Jim and Frank met up with this type of fish. 6. This year is a historic election for _____. 8. _____ wants a cure-all. 9. Adrian hopes to play _____. 10. _____ _____ is a cause for celebration.

1. Jenny makes art from _____ lettering. 2. Outside of the duck woods, _____ is in the air. 4. Duck Dynasty couple support this foundation. 7. Lola and Korie were _____ in college.

Find The Answers On

Everyone has me but nobody can lose me. What am I?

How do you share 34 apples among 33 people?

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Keep your head up. God gives His hardest battles to His strongest soldiers. Show your support for life and help raise money at the same time! Purchase an Official Choose Life Arkansas License Plate for the rear of your car. You can obtain one through direct purchase from the Department of Finance and Administration. Let’s make the readership of Searcy Living the BIGGEST supporters for life in the state! 81

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