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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Willett takes over as Fulton County judge

Thursday, January 6, 2005

Saying farewell: Former Fulton County Judge Curren Everett (right) says good-by to well wishers Dec. 30 during a retirement party held in his honor at the Fulton County courthouse.
Staff Writer

For the first time in 14 years the Fulton County Quorum Court had a judge other than Curren Everett presiding at its Jan. 3 meeting.

Newly elected Fulton County Judge Charles Willett opened the meeting with a brief sentence.

"We want to call this meeting to order," said a grinning Willett. "If ya'll will help me, we'll get through this."

Everett, who chose not to run for an eighth term as county judge, was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives District 82 seat.

Willett said he was "a little nervous" before the meeting. He said he grew more comfortable as it progressed.

In quorum court business, Willett said Jake Weston of the Arkansas Department of Transportation would be in Fulton County Jan. 10 to consider possible county road projects. Fulton County has been earmarked $186,000 in state funds, provided the county can provide a 10-percent cash match, Willett said.

He said if any of the justices of the peace had ideas about which county roads needed repairs, they could meet with Weston.

The quorum court unanimously approved the appointments of quorum court members to several committees including the Budget and Finance, 9--1--1, Building and Jail Committees.

Newly elected District 6 Justice of the Peace Marjorie Rogers of Cherokee Village was selected by the quorum court to represent Fulton County at the Quorum Court Association meetings in Little Rock.

Quorum court members unanimously approved a $2,500 request for the Sheriff's Drug Fund by new Fulton County Sheriff Walter Dillinger.

Dillinger said the money, which was a part of a fine paid by Viola business owner Robert Wray, needed to be transferred from the Fulton County General Fund into the Sheriff's Drug Fund.

Wray was ordered to pay the fine after a gambling conviction last year.

Before the quorum court meeting began, new Fulton County Clerk Vickie Bishop swore in the members of the quorum court, including new Justices of the Peace Lynn Guffey, Jack Haney and Rogers.

Bishop succeeded Gene Maguffee, who retired last year after serving as Fulton County clerk for 32 years. Bishop was sworn in at midnight Dec. 31 by Judge Weaver in Melbourne.

Bishop then swore in Willett and Dillinger at approximately 1 a.m. Jan. 1.

"So far it's been good," Bishop said about her new job. "We've had a lot of work to do."

In Izard County, Rayburn Finley, the new county judge, and Tate Lawrence, the newly elected sheriff, were sworn in at midnight Dec. 31.

Finley replaces former Izard County Judge Eddie Cooper who was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives District 71 seat.

Lawrence was elected after former Izard County Sheriff Joe Martz chose to retire.

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