Category Archives: Local News

National Distracted Driving Enforcement Campaign


The message is clear – April 10-15, 2014, law enforcement agencies across the country will be cracking down on motorists who drive and text as part of the national U Drive. U Text. U Pay. high-visibility enforcement (HVE) campaign. This effort combines periods of intense enforcement of anti-texting laws coupled with advertising and media outreach to let people know about the enforcement and convince them to obey the law.

“People know the law: they see and hear the ads and the social media, so anyone caught driving and texting was will be pulled over and fined. We warn everyone that we’re serious about stopping this deadly behavior,” said Tomlin

It’s sad that motorists are willing to risk a ticket – or much worse – over a text, explained Tomlin.    According to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nationwide in 2012, more than 3,328 people were killed, and approximately 421,000 were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver.  

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Hempstead County Farmer’s Market Board Meets, Plans for Hope And Washington Markets


The Hempstead County Farmer’s Market Board met Wednesday April 9th to finalize plans for the markets in Hope and Washington for this year.  The Hope market will be held each Tuesday in the parking lot behind Wilson’s at Third and Elm.  The Washington market will be held each Saturday behind Washington City Hall.  Both markets will open the first week in May.   Several special activities were discussed including an art show in Washington set for June in conjunction with the Southwest Arknasas Arts Council and a July 4th celebration.  Representatives of the Hope market discussed signage, the need for a refridgerator, and sponsorship opportunities.  Both markets are part of the Southwest Arkansas Farmer’s Market Consortium which also includes the Howard County market in Nashville.

Pictured is Steven Sheets, Jodi Coffee, Dr. Terry Kirkpatrick, Judy Flowers, Shelia Ballard, Kelly Tyson, Nancy Kenworthy, Jane Collums, and Billy O’Roarke

Hope Haven Hosts Chamber Coffee


The Hope/Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce Community Coffee on Wednesday April 9th was hosted by Hope Haven. Pictured is Pam Johnson, Sandra Crocker, Administrator Vicky Little, Beatrice Morrison, and Jennifer Fincher. A great crowd turned out to enjoy refreshments and visit with the residents

Hope City Board Holds First Meeting of April


The Hope City Board met one week later than normal for their first meeting in April.  They waited until April 8th because they hoped to act on some bids for an economic development project for some sewer extensions for the Pafford Building on 16th Street.  Glen Spears is the engineer on the project.  He brought four bids from $114,952 up to over $148,000.  The board voted to accept the low bid of from Bobo& Bain Construction. Spears kept the floor when the city talked about some possible plans on the wastewater rehab project.  Spears is suggesting the city look into a project to install some wastewater lines that will allow the city to avoid a pump station.  The board asked Spears to get some more data and report back at another meeting. A zoning proposal to change some property at 1005 West 5th from R-2 To R-3 was not acted upon for a second time.  Francisco Salazar and the Fuente De Aqua Viva church have applied for and been granted a constructed permit to build a low power religious educational radio station.  The zoning change would be to allow the church to install radio studios.  The planning and zoning commission has approved a variance to allow the church to install a 90 foot tall tower to house the station antenna;  however there were many questions as to what might happen should the church move from the site and potential hazards should the tower fall.  The board tabled the matter The board examined some flow monitor reports Glen Spears brought on some of the waste water lines.  It was noted where some of these lines were going from a flow of several hundred gallons of fluid a minute to over 1,000 gallons per minute during storms. These reports might indicate where there are serious problems with infiltration.  No action was taken The board approved the low bid on comprehensive landscaping for City Hall for a 12 month period.  The board approved the bid for $4,500 from Stroud Construction. A resolution was approved to begin the design phase of reconstruction of 6th Street from the railroad to Spring Hill Road.  The board also approved paying $5,000 for design work required by the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department. A “waive bid” ordinance was approved to allow the city to get some storm damage repaired at the Hope Airport.  The April 3rd storm took off some roofing on the front of the historic large hanger and also damage some windows on the building.  The city is covered by Municipal League Insurance on the damage with a $5,000 deductible.  It is expected the city will work with Hostetler Roofing on at least some of the damage.  The city has received bids of $39,000 from Hostetler and $58,000 from another company.  Some further items will need to be fixed within the hanger.  No planes were damaged in the storm.  There was also some damage to the “baler” building at the landfill but it appears that damage can wait to be bid out. The city board agreed by acclimation to allow the police department to apply for a “STEP” grant to assist with DWI and Seat Belt enforcement.  City Manager Catherine Cook noted the first city-wide clean-up is set for April 26th and that the 2nd “Train Day” is set for downtown Hope on May 17th.

Hope Water & Light Names New Manager


The Hope Water & Light Commission has named a new manager for the utility to replace the retiring Jim Kirchoff.  Steve G. Saum will assume the general manager duties at the utility on May 19th.  Saum is currently Utilities Director of Danville, Virginia, a position he has had since 2012.  Prior to that he served as General Manager and C.E.O. of Richmond Power & Light in Richmond, Indiana.  Kirchoff announced his retirement last year and will remain at the utility until June 30th to assist in the transition process.

Junior Farmers Market

The Old Washington Farmers Market will sponsor a “Junior Farmers Market” for young people beginning in May says Hannah Barry.  Youngsters can sell their own produce, handcrafted arts & crafts or even obtain produce to sell from the Southwest Research and Extension Center.  The Junior Farmers Market will operate during the regular Washington Farmers Market Saturdays from 7am until noon beginning on May 3rd.   Special events are also planned including an art show in June and a July 4th celebration.  For info contact Maggie Barry at 983-2417 or email Hannah Barry at

David Nail to perform at this year’s Hope Watermelon Festival Concert

Hope/Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce President Jeff Maneth had a big announcement at the Chamber banquet Thursday (4-3) about this year’s Watermelon Festival Concert.  Maneth announced that the headliner for this year’s concert will be David Nail.  Nail has had two number 1 songs, “Let It Rain” and “Whatever She’s Got”.  Nail is a native of Missouri and has Arkansas ties.  He attended ArkansasStateUniversity in Jonesboro.  Nail is currently on tour with Darius Rucker, and Billy Currington.  Announcements about the “early bird ticket day” and ticket sales will be forthcoming soon.  Make you plans to see David Nail August 9th at the Hope Watermelon Festival.

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