Category Archives: Local News

Hope City Board Holds 2nd Meeting Of August

The Hope City Board tackled a number of issues in an hour-long meeting Tuesday (8-19).  The first action taken was a positive vote to allow the Hope Police Department to apply for $6,500 in grant funds from the Arkansas State Police Assets Forfeiture Fund.  The money would be 100% grant funds with no match.  The police plan to use the money to outfit a new car next year for their K-9 officer.

   The board said “yes” to a resolution showing support for a regional effort towards getting a proposed state prison to southwest Arkansas.  State Senator Jimmy Hickey has suggested the proposed prison be built between Hope and Texarkana but is mindful wherever it goes in the region it will benefit the entire region.  Efforts are underway by Senator Hickey to coordinate with Hempstead, Miller, Little River, Nevada, and Howard counties in seeking the project which would initially employ 250 and eventually could employ 500.

   A vacancy on the tourism commission was not filled at the meeting despite the board meeting for a few minutes in executive session.  Mayor Dennis Ramsey said an appointment will be deferred until another meeting.  Lavonne Jordan recently left the commission after serving several years.

    During the City Manager’s report Catherine Cook noted the Northside Park Community Center work is progressing well.  She also noted a demonstration for an “automatic” solid waste system was scheduled for Wednesday (9-20) morning at City Hall at 9:15am.  Possibly the most serious item in her report was a report on a train derailment recently on the city rail spur south of highway 32.  Catherine Cook noted several city employees have worked several days on moving loaded cars and getting the spur back into operation.  Cook says the spur needs some repair work and the city has been quoted anywhere from $19,000 to $147,000 for the work.  She says further evaluation will be done on what the work will cost and industries that use the spur including Georgia Pacific, New Millenium, and Momentive will be pro-rated for their share of the repair.  Cook says she is working to schedule a meeting with all the affected industries.  Another matter on the city manager’s report was the report of a purchase of an engine for the mosquito sprayer.  This will be delivered Thursday and installed and the mosquito truck will be back out 4 nights a week.  The cost for the engine is $3,000.  Cook also reported Hope Water & Light wants the fire department to particpate in a training exercise on a house across from the airport on Water & Light property.  Chief Dale Glanton says several volunteer departments will also participate.  Finally, Cook noted the Economic Development Administration has not approved the $1.79 million dollar grant request for the economic development project for Magnolia Development LLC on highway 29 north but the EDA has communicated that it is going through the steps on the matter and information on their efforts will be posted at the library.  It is hoped the city will know something by October.  It was noted Code Enforcement office Scott Bittle has left the city to work at UACCH and his position is being advertised.  In the meantime city employees are inspecting plumbing projects while a retired Hope Water & Light master electrician is handling electrical inspections.  Also the city urban deer hunt for this year has been approved by acclamation.

   Under citizens requests Alice May Flenory noted she had picked up a petition for the Ward 1 seat on the city board and had gotten her required signatures only to learn she was not in the city limits.  Flenory protested that she was not informed sooner and indicated her intentions to look into the matter further.

  The meeting adjourned after it was indicated the question of whether to change the city board elections from 7 individual zones to 5 zones and 2 “at large” will probalby not be on the ballot in November.


Chamber Cuts Ribbon for Karate Pig


The Hope/Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting on Thursday August 14th for the Karate Pig Bakery & Bistro. The new restaurant is located at 501 North Hervey and is open Monday through Saturday 10:30am until 8:30pm. The Karate Pig features great sandwiches and hamburgers as well as desserts, smoothies and more. Their sandwiches include stromboli, grilled chicken salad, philly melt, rueben, hickory wrap, muffalettas, and more.

Hope Kiwanis Club Hears From Hope Schools Superintendent Bobby Hart

You may be more used to seeing this man standing in front of a Rotary banner because he is President of the Hope Rotary Club but on Tuesday August 19th Hope Schools Superintendent Bobby Hart gave an update on the opening of school for the Hope Kiwanis Club. Mr. Hart gave a detailed report on the opening of school and reported on some of the first day “bumps in the road”. He closed his presentation with a spirited defense of the value of public schools.

Millwood Drawdown


A drawdown is underway at Millwood Lake to allow for bank stabilization work at Cottonshed Park. The lake is being drawn down a foot to a pool elevation of 258.2 feet. The drawdown began Friday, August 15 and was planned to take three days, but the Little River Basin that feeds Millwood has received heavy rain in places over the past two days. The drawdown will last to September 2 at which time the lake will be allowed to refill to its normal pool elevation.

Boaters should exercise extreme caution because submerged stumps and shallow areas may begin to appear. Boaters should use caution when launching because of damage or sediment buildup that may have occurred at the ends of the ramps. It is impossible to determine which ramps might be affected.

Hope Man Arrested in Mineral Springs Shooting


A Sunday afternoon shooting in Mineral Springs left one man injured and another in jail. Aaron Olden of Mineral Springs was shot at a home on Story Lane in Mineral Springs. After being shot, Olden left the residence and drove to his mother’s house on the Schaal Road. He was treated by medics from Howard County Ambulance Service before being airlifted to a Texarkana hospital.

Ray Thomas, Jr., 30, of Hope turned himself in to Howard County deputies at the Sheriff’s Office in Nashville. He remains jailed for Battery-1st Degree. The Mineral Springs Police Department continues to investigate.

Hope School Board Holds August Meeting

The Hope School Board held their August meeting Monday evening (8-18) following the first day of school.  In the Superintendent’s report Mr. Bobby Hart noted the Yerger bus drive is completed and came through Monday morning’s rain draining well.  He also noted some work being done in the Yerger library.  Mr. Hart noted he had a “body count” at Clinton Primary School and noted that count was 1,018 students which was a little down from last year.  The only other numbers he had were for Hope High and noted 737 were enrolled and he expected enrollment to stay around 730 there.  Also during the Superintendent’s report he noted there will be a ribbon-cutting and community Coffee August 27th at Hope High for the new construction. The board approved a tuition agreement with Nevada for alternative school students.  The board also approved a migrant grant.
   Under facilities requests the board approved a request from the Hope Jr. Auxiliary to use the Hope High cafeteria for their spaghetti supper on September 12th.  The board also approved a request from Wildcat Football to use Hammons Stadium and for the class of 1984 to use the Beryl Henry Cafeteria on October 3rd prior to Homecoming.
   There were a variety of personnel matters to close out the meeting.  Julie Lively, Christie Sullivan, Shirley Miller, and Janet Banister were hired as Parental Involvement Facilitators on the Clinton Primary, Beryl Henry, Yerger, and Hope High campuses respectively.  Johnny Turner was hired as a bus driver.  Stacy Wade’s resignation as a 4th grade teacher was accepted.  Certified hirings incldued Erin McCray, Martha Wake, Frances Henrix, Mary Berry, Athony Meeker, Ramunda Hamilton, Kirby Turner, and Debra Magness.  Debra Stuart’s resignation as a special ed paraprofessional was accepted.  Classified hiring included Brittany Grigsby, Kendra Turner, Toni Briggs, and Estafonia Hernandez.  Following the personnel items the meeting adjourned.

Silvey Family of Bodcaw Wins “Music in The Park” Competition at Washington


The final edition of “Music In The Park” was held Saturday August 16th at Historic Washington State Park. The program included a competition with musical acts performing an original song dealing with American conflicts or wars. The winner of the competition was the Silvey Family from Bodcaw with Mark Gunter winning 2nd place. The popular McWilliams Family from Caddo Gap also performed for the event.

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