Category Archives: Local News

Three Public Servants Visit Attorney General’s Mobile Office

city hall photo

Hope Police Department CID Lt. Jimmy Courtney, Hempstead County Judge Haskell Morse and Hope Police Chief J.R. Wilson were on-hand to gree the mobile office of Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge at Hope City Hall Thursday.

Millwood State Park Still Closed


Millwood State Park between Saratoga and Ashdown remains closed due to damage from spring and early summer floodwaters. It is not known at this time when the park will reopen. Park officials say they will announce the park’s reopening date, but that is dependent on park repairs. At this time, the only park facility in operation is the visitor center. Current hours are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday and closed weekends. For further details, contact the park during those hours at 870-898-2800.

Meanwhile, park officials at another nearby park are urging caution because of the high heat index. Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro is urging park visitors to take precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses. Drink plenty of fluids but avoid beverages that contain caffeine or large amounts of sugar. Wear loose, cool clothing. Take breaks as needed in a shaded area. At first signs of heat illness, (dizziness, nausea, headaches, muscle cramps), move to a cooler location, rest for a few minutes, and slowly drink a cool liquid. Seek medical attention immediately if conditions do not improve. Keep pets safe during this heat wave, too. Be aware that high temperatures can lead to heat stroke in your dog causing permanent damage or death in a very short time.

DeQueen Man Dies In Garland County Accident


A De Queen resident is dead and five others are injured in a one vehicle wreck Saturday morning in Garland County on Highway 70 east of Hot Springs. According to the preliminary report by Arkansas State Trooper Andrew Ault, a 2001 Ford Excursion driven by Maria Figueroa, 55, of De Queen, was westbound when she apparently crossed the eastbound lanes and left the roadway, striking a tree and overturning several times. Killed was Bernebe Figueroa. Injured was the driver as well as Rosa Valazuez, Rosalinda Figueroa, and Esperanza Trojillo. Also injured was a minor. The injured were taken to St. Vincent’s in Hot Springs and Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock.

Sheriff’s Offers Gun Safety Program


Hempstead County Sheriff to offer Eddie Eagle Firearm safety classes.

Hempstead County Sheriff James Singleton and his deputies will be offering a program on gun safety for kids.

The program will be available to age’s Pre-Kindergarten – 1st grade and 2nd and third grades, day cares, churches and any group that has Pre – K through 3 grade age kids. Presentations will include a Parent’s Guide to Gun Safety that will be given to each child.

Eddie Eagle Gun Safe® program is a gun accident prevention program developed by a task force made up of educators, school administrators, curriculum specialists, urban housing safety officials, clinical psychologists, law enforcement officials and National Rifle Association firearm safety experts.

It began in 1988 with one mission: teach children four simple, easy to remember steps so they know what to do if they ever come across a gun.

  1. STOP

We talk about stranger danger; Internet safety, fire drills and more with children…so why not include gun safety?

The program makes no value judgments about firearms, no firearms are ever used, and it covers an important topic that needs to be addressed with kids. Like swimming pools, electrical outlets and matchbooks, firearms are simply treated as a part of everyday life. With firearms found in about half of all American households, it’s a stance that makes sense.

Neither Eddie nor any members of his Wing Team are ever shown touching a firearm, and there is no promotion of firearm ownership or use. The NRA does not make any sort of profit off the program, nor does it intend to. The goal of the Eddie Eagle Program is merely to prevent accidents and keep children safe.

The program will begin with the new school year to schedule a program Contact the Hempstead County Sheriff’s Office at 870-777-6727.

Alligator Permits Awarded


Hunters of Arkansas applied, and 71 won coveted alligator hunting permits for this fall. The random drawings were by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. The weekend hunts in September will be on both public and private lands, and the permits specify where each hunter can go after alligators. Rules specify that an alligator must be at least 4 feet long, and it has to be captured, usually with a harpoon, snare or noose, before it can be killed. Permit holders are limited to one alligator, and they can have helpers accompanying them. Southwest Arkansas permit winners include: Terry Hawthorne-Columbus…Marsha McCorkle and Craig Mosier-Fulton… Jonathan Parker, Aaron Parker, Justin Calhoon, Justin Dean and Jordan Short-all of Hope… Michelle Dudley, Tawna Landsdell and Jesse Hinton-both of Ashdown… Jade Hughes and Britany Perry-Nashville…Micheal Culbertson-Texarkana Jacky Simmons-Lockesburg…Kyle Jackson-Murfreesboro Anthony Dinger-De Queen…Christopher Gore-Stamps…Ronald Headley-Prescott

Prescott-Nevada County Special Services Preschool Component

Prescott Nevada Co Special Services Staff Logo


It’s about the children. It’s about their past but; it’s mostly about their future. It’s about their hopes, their dreams, and how to achieve them.  Such is the case at Prescott/Nevada County Special Services (PNCSS) Children’s Preschool Services. Angela Newton, Child Program Coordinator at PNCSS, shares those same hopes and dreams and has set their future success as priority one. She’s a 19-year employee who has worked in virtually every sector of the services offered and knows all too well how the program serves the area. “I had a set of twins who were premature and had many delays,” she said recently. “They needed services and this is where I came to do that. Somehow, I just got reeled into the whole program.” She currently oversees more than 75 children throughout the school year, serving children from birth to five-years-old. Her direction was galvanized by former director Priscilla Trayson Traczewitz. “When I came here, Priscilla was the director and she was very headstrong.  She had a dedication and she stuck with it. I wanted to be a Prissy when I grew up,” Newton says with a chuckle. “I was grown up when I got here, but I wanted to be a Prissy when I really grew up.” Newton now has her own set of goals and direction. “This is home away from home to me,” she noted. “With the children, when you see one that comes in with delays, you know that once they leave here they are going to be ready to encounter whatever is ahead of them. You want the kids to be on target when they reach kindergarten and with the rest of the kids they are going to be classmates with. We’ve had children go from the infant room all the way to kindergarten, you see their test scores and they are at the top level. That sure makes you feel proud.” It takes a team effort and Newton couldn’t be more proud of the staff that serves the children. “I am very proud of my staff, “she says. “I am proud of them to the point I don’t have to constantly go in and see how they are doing.  If there is a problem, they know to come right in and tell me. I go to every classroom each morning and if there is something that needs to be brought to my attention, they bring it to me then, right away. My staff is open like that. I always want to keep that communication open.” There is a method to the success of the children at PNCSS. “We learn through play,” notes Newton. “A lot of our parents don’t quite understand because when they come in they just see the kids playing all the time. Our kids have time when they sit at the table and do an activity as a group, but not for very long. We are also trying to motivate their social awareness, so they will be able to socialize and share their thoughts. And, they do that through play. “One of the things I encourage our teachers to do is to interact with our children on the playground. Be active with them. When I was a teacher, I spent time jumping rope with somebody; we were racing and doing things like that. That’s motivation to a child.” Newton shares that PNCSS is where she wants to be. “I can’t see myself anywhere else right now.  I raised four kids as a single mom and when I got married, I accumulated three more. So, this became my life. I had every intention of going up the ladder as a nurse, but instead that’s what I ended up doing here. I started as a substitute and at some point into every part of this entity.  I’m going to make the best of it while I’m here. It’s awesome here.” For more information regarding PNCSS Preschool Services, contact Newton at 870-887-6674.

U of A Hope Hempstead Hall Seeks Volunteer Staff


Hempstead Hall on the campus of the University of Arkansas at Hope is seeking volunteers who would like to assist with programs at the theater and conference center.  The Volunteer Program is a pilot program that is being developed by Hempstead Hall Assistant Director Brad Rogers. 

Rogers explained, “Hempstead Hall has hosted over 40,000 guests this year.  As I looked at the number of guests and the variety of events we are hosting it became evident that individuals from the community might like to volunteer to assist with our hosting these guests.  We are in the “people business” here at Hempstead Hall and we want each of our guest to have a proper Hope/Hempstead County welcome and enjoy their visit.  A group of trained volunteers would certainly help the facility serve our guests while giving a volunteer a great way to give back to their community through the service.”    

A volunteer registration form is available online at and anyone interested in serving at Hempstead Hall is invited to complete the application by August 31.  There are specific jobs that the volunteers will be trained to perform which will include box office worker, usher, stage technician, and facility greeter to name a few.  The volunteers, once trained, will be added to a contact list and will be informed of opportunities to help as events are booked at Hempstead Hall.  The volunteers will be able to schedule the times they are available and a rewards program will be setup in appreciation of a job well done. 

For more information or to apply for the Hempstead Hall Volunteer program, visit the HH website at   

Chamber Coffee Hosted by Elder Law Firm of Justin Elrod

The Hope /Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce Community Coffee on Wednesday July 15th was hosted by the Elder Law Firm of Justin Elrod. Pictured is is attorney Jamison C. Bonds who recently joined the firm. The Elrod offices are at 718 South Main in Hope.

City of Hope Joins Cities Nationwide for “America’s Night Out Against Crime”


On Tuesday, August 4th 2015 from 6 to 8 p.m., neighborhoods throughout Hope are being invited to join forces with thousands of communities nationwide for the “32th Annual National Night Out” crime and drug prevention. From 6 to 8 p.m. on August 4th, residents in neighborhoods throughout Hope and across the nation are asked to lock their doors, turn on outside lights and spend the evening outside with neighbors and police. This is a night for America to stand together to promote awareness, safety and neighborhood unity. National Night Out showcases the vital importance of police-community partnerships and citizen involvement in our fight to build a safer nation. The Hope Police Department and Hempstead County Sheriff’s Office have teamed up with several of our local businesses to provide families with a night filled with fun, food, and entertainment. Join us at the Hope Fair Park and participate in Dunk-a-Cop and other games.  Co-sponsored by: Arkansas State Police, Hempstead County Health Unit, Hope Fire Department, Pafford EMS, UACCH, Arkansas Game & Fish, and Arkansas Highway Police and others.

Hope Kiwanis Club Hears Program From Prosecutors

The Hope Kiwanis Club welcomed Prosecutor Christi McQueen and Deputy Prosecutor Traci Graham. Graham spoke to the club about juvenile court and later answered questions from the club members.