Hempstead County Master Gardeners Spring Seminar

Hempstead County Master Gardeners President Gary Martin visits with Bob Byers of Garvan Woodland Gardens Monday March 30th at the annual Hempstead County Master Gardeners Spring Seminar at Hempstead Hall. Byers spoke More »

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Quorum Court Discusses illegal Dumping in the County

I’m going to do something on here that the Chamber pays me NOT TO DO! I”m going to show you the worst of Hempstead County…last Thursday at the Quorum Court meeting County More »

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Bluff City Man Dies in Clark County Accident

83 year old Bill Walker of Bluff City was killed in a two-vehicle accident Thursday (3-26) around 11pm in Clark County.  Walker’s 1997 Ford was traveling south on state highway 53 approaching More »

James Carl Pafford age 71 of Hope, Arkansas Rape, Sexual Assualt in the 2nd Degree, Sexually Grooming A Child

Pafford Facing More, Separate Charges

James Pafford has been arrested on charges in separate incident from his arrest earlier this month. According to Hempstead County Sheriff James Singleton Pafford has been arrested on one charge of rape. More »

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Hempstead County Judge Hosts Hempstead County Mayors Meeting

Hempstead County Judge Haskell Morse hosted an historic meeting of Hempstead County Mayors Friday March 27th at the court house. The mayors heard about grant opportunities available from Southwest Arkansas Planning and More »

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Missing Nevada County Man

The Nevada County Sheriff’s Department is asking for the help of the public in locating, Jonathan Crews. Jonathan is a white male, with a date of birth of 06-25-81. 6’0, 130 lbs, More »

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Local Railroads Recognized

Three local short line railroad operations have been recognized with 2014 safety awards from the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association. The Prescott & Northwestern Railroad and The Arkansas Southern Railroad More »

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Hempstead County Quorum Court Meets

The Hempstead County Quorum Court met Thursday (3 – 26) for their March meeting. After the prayer and Pledge of Allegiance the JP’s discussed paying their part of the 9 – 1 More »

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Elkins Ferry Legislation Passes

An Act to make an appropriation to the Department of Arkansas Heritage-Historic Preservation for the purchase and improvement of the Historic Elkin’s Ferry Battlefield near Prescott is on its way to Governor More »

Van Dale  Stueart age 67 Nashville, Arkansas

Nashville Man Charged with Sexually Grooming a Child

On March 19, 2015 The Hempstead County Sheriff’s Office was notified by the parents of a 9 year old female that they had learned their daughter had been videoed naked and had More »

Nashville Man Charged with Sexually Grooming a Child

Van Dale  Stueart age 67 Nashville, Arkansas

On March 19, 2015 The Hempstead County Sheriff’s Office was notified by the parents of a 9 year old female that they had learned their daughter had been videoed naked and had been shown some pornographic films. Investigators from the Hempstead County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation into the allegations and presented a probable cause affidavit to Circuit Judge Duncan Culpepper who signed the affidavit for the arrest of Mr. Van Stueart 67, of Nashville, Arkansas. On Wednesday March 25, 2015 Mr. Stueart and his attorney came to the Hempstead County Sheriff’s Office where Stueart surrendered himself to Hempstead County investigators who arrested the 67 year old and charged him with Sexually Grooming a Child. He was placed in the Hempstead County Detention Center awaiting a first court appearance.
Definition of Sexually Grooming a Child (5-207-307) (b) A person commits sexually grooming a child if he or she knowingly disseminates to a child thirteen (13) years or younger with or without consideration a visual or print medium depicting sexually explicit conduct with the purpose to entice, induce, or groom the child thirteen (13) years of age or younger to engage in the following with a person: (1) Sexual Intercourse; (2) Sexually explicit conduct; or (3) Deviate sexual Activity.

AHTD Pulls Projects Including Some or Hempstead County

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Hempstead County Road Projects Cut

The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department has withdrawn 56 construction projects scheduled for consideration in its April 21 bid opening due to continuing uncertainty of Federal-aid reimbursements available from the Federal Highway Trust Fund. Several of those were planned projects in southwest Arkansas, including:

Overlay projects on Highway 278 north of Highway 32 in Hope and from the Red River on Highway 67 to Peavine Creek in the Fulton area…Overlay project in Murfreesboro on Highways 27 and 301, a signal light at Highway 32 and 32Y in Ashdown and a overlay project on Highway 41 in the Foreman area.

The estimated value of the 56 withdrawn projects is more than $112 million dollars and includes $50 million dollars authorized by the Arkansas Highway Commission for its 2015 highway overlay program. This brings the total number of projects withdrawn in 2015 to 61, valued at $162 million dollars.

“Now that we have canceled our overlay program for this year, there are few areas in the State that are not affected by projects withdrawn from the April bid letting,” said Highway Director Scott Bennett. “If you stop and think about the economic impact this has–not only on construction jobs, but the lost commerce that results in each local area because construction isn’t taking place–then you begin to understand the trickle-down effect and the urgency of solving this national problem.”

Since December 2014, the Highway Department has been conducting an evaluation of scheduled Federally-funded projects prior to each bid letting to ensure sufficient State funds are available to fulfill commitments.

Missing Ashley County Man Found Dead

Wesley Livingston was found 3/25/15

The Clark County Sheriff’s Department is reporting that the body of 24 year old Wesley Livingston has been found. Livingston’s body was apparently found late Tuesday (3-24).  No details are available as to where the body was found but the Sheriff’s Department says initial indications are Livingston’s death was self-inflicted.  The body has been sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for an autopsy. Livingston was last seen March 10th at the Georgia Pacific Mill in Gurdon. An extensive search was conducted around Hope’s Fair Park after several alleged sightings. The facebook page “Bringing Wesley Livingston Home” is asking for prayers for the family.

High Speed Chase Results in Wreck

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At approximately 10:55 pm on March 20, 2015 Deputy Neil Barwick advised dispatch that he was in a pursuit heading east on Avenue A. Deputy Barwick advised that he lost sight of the vehicle at the intersection of Avenue A and Hervey and then could see the vehicle again as it ran the stop sign at Avenue A and Elm. The vehicle continued going east at a high rate of speed and then wrecked in the 400 block of Avenue A. Upon Deputy Bush’s arrival Deputy Barwick advised him that he observed the vehicle going south on Washington and disobeyed the stop sign continuing south on Washington across Avenue B at a high rate of speed. Deputy Barwick engaged his emergency lights to attempt a traffic stop on the vehicle. The vehicle turned left onto Avenue A and disobeyed another stop sign while turning from Avenue A to Pond Street heading east bound at a high rate of speed. Deputy Barwick then observed the vehicle disobey the Traffic light at Pond and Hervey going strait onto Avenue A in a reckless manner. Deputy Barwick lost sight of the vehicle due to vehicle pulling away from him because he had to slow down for the red light. Deputy Barwick then gained sight of the vehicle again and observed the vehicle disobeying the stop sign at Elm and Avenue a still continuing east bound on Avenue A. Deputy Barwick observed the vehicle disobey another stop sign at Avenue A and Hazel. Deputy Barwick observed the vehicle veer to the right lost sight of the vehicle again Deputy Barwick found the vehicle wrecked in the 400 block of East Avenue A. Deputy Barwick observed the driver, later identified as Logan Ortez, climb out of the vehicle which was on its side in the ditch. Deputy Barwick ordered Ortez to lay face down on the ground at this time he could smell the odor of alcohol coming from Ortez. Upon Deputy Bush’s arrival Ortez was placed under arrest as deputies waited for Pafford EMS to arrive. Deputies turned Ortez over to Hope Police Officer Scott Hurd for him to perform the investigation for DWI. Pafford EMS then transported Logan Ortez to the Wadley Regional Medical Center in Hope. Officer Scott Hurd placed Logan under arrest for Suspicion of DWI. Hope Police Officer Charlie Featherston performed the accident investigation and report. Deputies charged Ortez with disobeying a stop sign four counts, disregarding a traffic light, Fleeing and reckless driving, with a court date of April 20, 2015.

Hempstead County Sheriff Receives Grant for Body Cameras

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Hempstead County Sheriff James Singleton announced today that his office has received a $4,200.00 Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Grant to purchase body cameras for deputies in his department. The funds will be used to purchase 3 body worn cameras which can be used as a mobile camera in the patrol vehicle and can be worn on the deputy’s person. Body-worn cameras will protect deputies from false accusations, reduce agency liability and citizen complaints, and provide evidence for use in court. Unlike vehicle-mounted cameras, the body-worn cameras travel with the deputy when he steps away from the patrol car. They can be attached to a shirt pocket, or integrated with the deputy’s portable radio microphone, and can serve to augment in-car video systems and provide an option to the expensive in-car systems. An in car system can cost as much as $6,000.00. The Body worn system can be purchased for under $1,500.00. The sheriff’s office currently has one deputy who has been testing a body camera since November of 2014, with this grant we will have 4 of our eight patrol deputy’s equipped with cameras. The Sheriff’s Office is currently looking for funding for four more cameras which cost approximately $1,400.00 each. The goal is to equip all eight patrol deputies with body worn cameras.

Rotarians Hear Program on Astronomy

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The Hope Rotary Club heard from Richard Read, who presented on Astronomy practices in Southwest Arkansas. Read informed the group of the history of Astronomy and how it has impacted many fields of learning from weather forecasting to mining. Pictured with Read is Rotarian John Watkins.

Hope Student Brooke Cornelius Named Miss Henderson State University

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Brooke Cornelius, a junior from Hope, was crowned Miss HSU Thursday night at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia. Cornelius also won the swimsuit and talent competition. She was also the Academic Achievement Award winner.

special thanks to Saratoga, AR Digest

9th Annual BBB Event A Success for U of A Foundation

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The University of Arkansas Community College at Hope Foundation would like to thank the 250 people who attended the 9th Annual Beads, Bags, and the Bayou fundraiser. The event held at Boonie’s Bar and Grill in Hope was huge success. The evening was full of activities that included the West Memphis Band, “The Snearly Ranch Boys” who filled the venue with great music. Magician Darryl Miller entertained the crowd with many magical tricks and attendees even took home their very own balloon animal. Special guest The Duck Decoys, which features Hope’s very own Dalton Brewer, were also a hit with the crowd. The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers brought a baby alligator that really set the tone for the “Bayou” themed event and was only matched by crowd participation with the celebrity duck calling contest that featured contestants Novalene Slatton, Cherry Stewart, Nicki Purifoy, Henry Struckman, Robert Green, and Dennis Ramsey. The crowd feasted on great Cajun cuisine like red beans and rice, catfish, alligator, and frog legs provided by Boonies and Amigo Juans. Alexander Jewelry, Unraveled Boutique, Accents by Gabrielle, Gary Bachers art, and the Southwest Arkansas Education Co-op were all vendors that provide great merchandise for the guest to purchase. The event also featured over 80 silent auction items from local merchants that were a great part of the event. Funds raised from the event will assist Kids’ College and Prep Academy programs at the U of A Hope-Texarkana. The Foundation would certainly like to thank the BBB Committee as well as other community volunteers to help make this annual event such a success.

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Baseball/Softball Clinic Rescheduled Due to Rain

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