Category Archives: Local News

Governor Hutchinson Makes Local Appointments


Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has announced two local appointments to state boards and commissions.

Warren Plyler of Hope has been reappointed to the Red River Commission. The new appointment expires January 14, 2022.

Bob Williams of Nashville has been appointed to the Arkansas Rural Development Commission, replacing Marvin Exum. The appointment expires January 14, 2019.

John Belken of Little Rock was appointed to the Arkansas Parole Board. He replaces Dennis Young of Texarkana.

Hope City Board Holds 2nd January Meeting


IMG_20150120_191044The Hope City Board kicked off their second meeting of January by approving a resolution approving New Millennium’s effort to participate in the Arkansas Economic Development Commission’s Job Creation and investment incentive program. New Millennium has applied for a sales tax refund on about $ 1.2 million in purchases in a $2.3 million dollar expansion that will result in 25 new positions bumping total employment to 213. The tax back will be approximately $25,000. A waive bid ordinance was approved for the purchase of a new computer server for the Hope Police Department. An emergency clause was adopted and the board approved the $ 22,000 budgeted purchase. The board approved an ordinance updating the Arkansas Energy Code as utilized by the city. The city will require new standards on new construction specifically on windows. The updated code will be a requirement for a building permit to be issued. This change brings the residential code into parity with the commercial code. Under the city manager’s report the board learned the fire department has found a demo foam kit for the new fire truck from Rowe Industries in Hope and Rowe will also store foam for the city. The foam addition was in the budget and the city is delighted to purchase the kit from a local vendor. City Manager Catherine Cook gave an update on the recent Municipal League Winter Conference. Steve Montgomery, Mark Ross, and Kiffinea Talley attended and spoke highly of the conference. The board also paid tribute to the late Barry Brown who passed away Monday. Under Citizens Requests Sylvia Brown urged the city to look into more recycling effects. The board also made a presentation to Hope Community TV.

Mr. Barry Passes Away

barry brown

One of Hope’s best-known and best-loved businessmen has passed away.  89 year old Barry Brown died Monday (1-19) at his home.  “Mr. Barry” as he was known by 3 generations of Hope grocery shoppers started Barry’s Grocery with his late wife Ina Jean in April 1954.  Mr. Brown was active at the store up to his death.  In addition to Barry’s he also opened the first convenience stores in Hope, Barry’s Quik Sak #1 and #2.  Barry’s Grocery is still thriving in Hope and is operated by Mr. Barry’s son Duane.  Mr. Barry was well-known for his gardens and sold his produce at the store.  He was a veteran of World War II and a deacon at First Baptist Church.  Graveside services will be Wednesday (1-21) at 11am at Memory Gardens Cemetery under the direction of Herndon-Pharr.

Breaking and Entering, Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card, and Theft of Property

Jasselyn Parmer age 32 of Mabelvale, Arkansas Commercial Burglary, Theft of Property

At approximately 1530 hours on Saturday January 17, 2015 Deputy Derick Bunn was dispatched to the lobby in reference to a theft on Hempstead 210. Upon arrival he met with Cheyenne Burkhart who stated that when she got to her car this morning around 1100 hours she noticed that her wallet was missing. Cheyenne stated that Friday night she got her key out of her purse and placed the purse by the center console of her car. Cheyenne described the purse as brown, with gold MK all over it, with a gold zipper with a round zipper pull. Cheyenne stated that this morning around 1000 hours her grandmother, saw some people at the end of the driveway this morning. Deputy Bunn spoke to the Grandmother who she that a white male wearing a gray hoodie and blue jeans with brown hair, a white female wearing a black sweater and blue jeans with brown hair, and a small female child with blond hair at the end of her driveway in a small blue vehicle that appeared to broke down. Deputy Bunn spoke with Deputy McBride about the people he just brought to the Sheriff’s Office because they fit the description of the people was observed at the residence. Deputy McBride stated that a driver’s license, debit card, belonging to Cheyenne Burkhart along with a registration and insurance card belong to her as well was in the passenger door of the vehicle just brought in. Deputy McBride stated that a brown handbag was in Jasseyln Parmer’s purse. Deputy McBride asked Jasseyln if he could search her purse and she stated yes Deputy McBride opened the purse and found a brown wallet with MK all over it with a gold colored zipper. Deputy McBride asked if it was hers and she stated that it was not that she got out of a yard where they ran out of gas. Jasseyln stated that she used the debit card in the wallet to purchase about $32 and a little change in gas at the Shell gas station on North Hazel in Hope. Deputy Bunn returned the stolen property to the victim and Charged Jasseyln Parmer for Breaking and entering, fraudulent use of a credit card, and theft of property.

Domestic Battery 3rd Degree

John WitcAndreaBallard

At approximately 2300 hours on 01/14/15 Deputy Jim Bush was dispatched in reference to domestic battery. Upon arrival made contact with John Witcher Deputy Bush observed multiple scratch marks on John’s chest, face, and neck. John stated that he and his girlfriend Andrea Ballard got into an argument and “she went nuts”. Deputy Bush asked John what she did in more detail and John would only tell me that he was trying to hold her back and keep her from hurting him and would not tell me exactly what she was doing. Deputy Bush then spoke with Andrea Ballard. Andrea stated that her and John got into an argument and then told Deputy Bush that she wanted to go to jail and told him that she hit John. Deputy Bush asked her for further details on what happened and she would not tell him any further. Deputy Bush observed scratches on Andrea’s forehead, she had blood around her lips and in her mouth, and red marks around her neck. Andrea also had blood on her fingers on both hands possibly from scratching John. Deputy Bush then spoke with a neighbor who lives at apartment across the road. The neighbor stated that he heard screaming and arguing so he came outside his apartment and observed John wrapping his arms around Andrea and pulling her into the apartment. He stated that Andrea then came out of the apartment and screamed for help. The neighbor said at this time he saw John grab Andrea by her hair and drag her back into the house. Due to the marks and injuries on John and Andrea’s statement saying that she hit him Deputy Bush arrested Andrea for Domestic Battery 3rd and asked Deputy Bunn to transport her to the Hempstead County Detention Center. with court date of March 2, 2015. Due to the witness statement and the marks and injuries on Andrea Deputy Bush also arrested John Witcher for the same charge of Domestic Battery 3rd and transported him to the Hempstead County Detention Center. Court date of March 2, 2015.

Arrest for Commercial Burglary, Theft of Property, Criminal Trespass, and Endangering the Welfare of a Minor


On January 17, 2015 at approximately 2:45 p.m. Deputy Jeremy McBride was dispatched to a suspicious person at the Union Pacific yard on Hempstead 12. Upon arrival Deputy McBride witnessed a blue, Hyundai Santé Fe backed into the North yard. As Deputy McBride was turning around in the South yard the vehicle turned onto Hempstead 12 traveling East. Deputy McBride activated his emergency lights and performed a traffic stop. As Deputy McBride approached the vehicle he noticed a roll of thick, black coated wire in the back of the vehicle. He made contact with the driver, later identified as Joshua Smith, and informed him why he stopped him. Deputy McBride asked Joshua Smith and the passenger, identified as Jasseyln Parmer and a seven year old juvenile female to exit the vehicle all complied. Deputy McBride placed Smith into custody for criminal trespassing. Deputy McBride advised Jasseyln that she was going to be charged with Criminal Trespassing. Jasseyln asked Deputy McBride if someone could come pick up the seven year old female Deputies allowed Jasseyln make a phone call and she stated that the people who would come get the juvenile were out of town at this time. Deputies escorted Jasseyln and the seven year old to the Hempstead County Sheriff’s Office. Where the seven year old was turned over to a responsible person. While searching the vehicle, Deputy McBride located a 25 foot roll of thick, black wire in the back of the vehicle. As deputies continued the search, they located an Arkansas Driver’s License belonging to another Person a debit card, vehicle registration and a proof of vehicle insurance belonging to another person in the front passenger side door. Special Agent Archer from the Union Pacific Railroad Police arrived to assist in the investigation. Deputies and Special Agent Archer discovered that the suspect (s) had taken a lock off of a door entered the building and took a propane torch and the wire. Josh Smith and Jasseyln Parmer face Criminal Trespass, Theft of Property, Commercial Burglary and endangering the welfare of minor charges They are currently being held pending a first court appearance.

Aggravated Robbery


At approximately 10:07 pm on Friday January 16, 2015 Deputy Derick Bunn and Deputy Cody Aaron responded to a call at the Red-E-Mart in Blevins in reference to a man being stabbed and his car stolen. Upon arrival deputies made contact with the Victim a 16 year old male from Nashville who stated that he was in Nashville and was asked by 2 white males, later identified as Shelby McKenzie age 19 and Braden McCormick age 19, if he could give them a ride to their house for $30.00. Victim stated that he agreed only because one male stated that he knew a friend of his. Victim stated that when they were going down Hempstead 18 and when they got to around the 1000 block of county road 18 Shelby McKenzie who was sitting in the front passenger seat, asked the victim to pull over so he could use the bathroom. Victim Stated stated that when Shelby got out of the vehicle Braden, who was sitting in the back passenger seat, punched him in the neck on the right side. Victim stated that Braden then reached up with a knife attempting to stab him in the chest on the right side, only making a small puncture of the skin. Victim stated that he then reached for Braden’s hand to try and grab the knife and got cut on his right index finger. Victim stated that he then accelerated his vehicle to get Braden back in the seat, and then stopped the vehicle and got out. Victim stated that Braden then got in the driver’s seat and drove off as Shelby got into the passenger seat. Victim stated that he started running towards Blevins to try to get to a phone. Victim stated that minutes later Shelby and Braden returned with his car with Shelby driving. Victim stated that Shelby and Braden got out of the vehicle and gave him the keys back. Victim stated he got back into his car and locked the doors and drove off leaving Shelby and Braden walking on the road. Victim stated while leaving one of them broke the backseat passenger side window. Deputy Neal Barwick arrived to assist and stayed with the victim while other deputies went to attempt to locate the suspects. Deputies located two white males walking down Hempstead 18 in the 900 block. And ordered them to stop as they turned around, Deputy Bunn noticed what appeared to be blood on the blue jeans of one of the suspects. Deputy Bunn placed both males into custody and transported them back to Red-E-Mart at Blevins where they were positively identified by the victim as the two males that took his vehicle Deputies located a blue knife under the driver seat of the victim’s car. Both Suspects were transported to the Hempstead County Detention Center and booked for Aggravated Robbery. Pending the investigation more charges could be filed.

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