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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

2009 in review - Part 2

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


The Viola School Board announced that dirt work for the new high school would begin soon.

Cost for debris cleanup in the county continues to rise with the cost now at $923,102.07. Fulton County Judge Charles Willett said that $142,759.29 covers only the first two weeks of the cleanup. FEMA and state money will help help pay for the disaster cleanup.

The Fulton County Fair Board appointed two new members, Pam Romine and Sam Roork, to its board. Both Romine and Roork have been involved in the fair as volunteers for several years.

DAR members Susan Henley, Nancy Thurston, Bette Wolfe, Gail Stone, Ruth Ashcroft, Carolyn Seaton, Grace Gervasi, Danette Kimmel, Janet Ross and Sara McAnally attended the Arkansas State Conference in March.

Brock M. Felton's teachers license was permanently revoked by the Arkansas State Board of Education at its March 16 meeting. Felton was convicted of a total of 16 counts of sexual crimes on Jan. 9. Felton was an Izard County Consolidated band and choir instructor and school bus driver when the offenses occurred.

Mountain Home Elks Lodge 1714 announced that Elisabeth Collins of Viola was selected as a finalist in the Elks National Foundations Most Valuable Student $60,000 scholarship contest.

Ozarka College's presidential search committee interviewed six potential candidates for the position of Ozarka's president. They hope to have a new college president by July 2009.

Former Sharp County OEM Coordinator Peter (Pete) Reilly Jr., 64, of Hardy was arrested March 30 on charges of rape and sexual indecency with a child.

Puttin' on the Hits 2009, sponsored by the Salem High School Band, was a big success with Caleb and Cameron Shaver taking first place with their performance from "O' Brother Where Art Thou."

Sharp County Coroner Randy McComas, 34, was found dead in a cemetery behind the Christian Tabernacle Church due to an apparent suicide.

Chocolate Escape was held April 8 in the Orange Room at NAEC. This annual event is a fundraiser for Fulton County's Relay for Life.

The Arkansas Department of Education announced that the Evening Shade Math/Science School received the highest ranking of five in the Gains Rating. This measure is an index representing the academic growth of the school's students in both math and literacy.

N-Sta-Smile toothbrushes were introduced at the Cherokee Elementary School. Each child was presented the new toothbrush, complete with toothpaste, to encourage children to brush their teeth at least three times a day.

Kayla Ragsdale, an EAST student at Mammoth Spring High School was honored by Oklahoma State University Institute of technology for her photography skills.

Loyola Cain, the Future Business Leaders of Tomorrow (FBLA) advisor at Viola High School was named the Arkansas FBLA Outstanding Local Advisor, 2008-2009 during the State Leadership Conference in Little Rock. Cain has taught at Viola for 30 years, 28 of which she has served as the FBLA advisor.

Mammoth Spring Schools was placed on a fiscal distress list by the Arkansas Board of Education. Superintendent Ronald Taylor said the school will not be on the list for long. He said the school realized over a year ago they were in going to be in trouble financially without some action taken. He said they were able to pass a millage increase going from 25 to 30 mills, along with tightening the budget in other areas. "We're going to collect the new millage in October of 2009," Taylor said.

The possibility of Sharp County getting natural gas looks good and if it goes through it would be the first county wide natural gas project in the state. Judge Larry Brown signed a pre-application form as a commitment to secure funding for the project.

Daisy, Molly, Rufus and Slugger are bloodhounds that make up an all volunteer based K-9 team, along with the dog's handlers and trainers, Michael Bristow, Tony Sutton and Tim Mansfield of the Lynn Fire Department, Blake Bristow of Jonesboro, and Jody Presser of the Cave City Fire Department. This search and rescue team will be available to help in this area as well as across the state.

The date of the graduation at Ozarka College was set for May 14 with Kevin Johnson announced as the speaker. Johnson is a graduate of Lyon college and employed with Bad Boy Mowers. He is a double heart transplant recipient who has an inspiring story of survival against the odds.

Melbourne standout Chase Massey signed a letter of intent to play basketball at Lyon College.

Sasha Rohder, a fourth grade student at Cherokee Village Elementary competed in the Disneyland Martial Arts Festival in California the end of March. She is a brown belt and represented the Joey Perry Martial Arts Academy in Jonesboro. She received gold, silver and bronze medals at the competition.

The first 40 cases of Swine Flu (H1N1) was confirmed in the United States. No cases had been confirmed in Arkansas as of late April.

The Salem Housing Authority was awarded money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and will be used to complete heating and air units in the complex.

Five Salem High School students qualified to compete in the National FBLA conference. They were Ed Crews, Carson York, Stephanie McCullough, Colin Smith and Matt Langevin. The SHS FBLA advisor is Alanna Russell.

Viola Fire Chief Boyd Dailey recently earned certification as a car seat technician to teach others how to properly install child car seats in their vehicles.

Lynda Greene teaches Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) class at Mammoth Spring High School. This is an outstanding vocational program that gives students an introduction to the medical field and prepares them for a possible medical career.

Mammoth Spring State Park presented a program on Scalies and Slimies of Arkansas to a very inquisitive group of children and their parents. Ben Wheeler with the Arkansas Department of Conservation conducted the program.

The annual Mammoth Spring Loyalty Day Parade was held in Mammoth Spring April 25. A ceremony to honor and thank veterans was held at the Mammoth Spring City Park.

Logan Doss killed his first turkey April 4 during the youth hunting season. The turkey weighed 22 pounds and had a six-inch beard.

Patrolmen Daniel Fry and Steve Powell with the Ash Flat Police Department completed the Basic Police Training Course at Black River Technical College Law Enforcement Training Academy in Pocahontas.


No local cases of the H1N1 flu have been reported but officials are preparing for what many believe could be a flu pandemic.

The Melbourne Senior Quiz Bowl Team took first place at the 2A Championship game at Conway on April 18. The team received a check for $3,200 which will be used for scholarships for the team members which consists of Landon Downing, Blake Smith, Levi McCurley, Terri Hatfield, Kaleena Hutchins, Tyler McAnally, Josten Mitchell, Brittnee Arnold and advisor Caren Smith.

Bethany Nicole Kent-Hall was awarded a doctorate degree from the University of Missouri Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology. Bethany is a 1998 graduate of Thayer High School.

Graduates from 13 area schools were highlighted in a special section of The News sponsored by Areawide Media and local businesses.

Arkansas Tourism Day was celebrated May 16 at the Mammoth Spring State Park with food, entertainment and prizes.

Local resident Aemi Thompson donated a large number of stuffed animals to the Fulton County Sheriff's Department for officers to carry in their vehicles to comfort children in crisis.

The Fulton County Sheriff's Department arrested two suspects on felony theft charges stemming from the theft and sale of five head of Charolais cross bred cattle from the farm of Dennis Richardson near Elizabeth. Barbara James, 45, and Rex Foster, 41, of Gassville were charged in the thefts.

The Fulton County Board met in special session May 7 and approved the hiring of Joseph T. Hammond to the position of hospital administrator. Hammond will begin his duties June 1.

A five-week-old infant has been released from Arkansas Children's Hospital into the custody of the Department of Human Services, after being treated for a morphine overdose allegedly administered by the child's parents. The infant was taken to Fulton County Hospital May 4 and transferred to ACH. An investigation is ongoing.

Salem High School's J.W. Blevins signed a letter of intent May 5 to play golf for Missouri State University-West Plains. Blevins was a golf stand-out at SHS and earned many honors included All State.

Payton Dawn Flynn was born May 5, 2009. She weighed 7 pounds, 2.5 ounces. Her parents are Joe and Tiffany Flynn of Mammoth Spring. Grandparents are Janie Flynn, Areawide Media general manager, the late Jackie Flynn, Linda Massey and Bill Brown.

The Bank of Salem Board of Directors has elected John Ed Welch to serve on the board. Welch is a local certified public accountant and partner in Hughes, Welch and Milligan.

The 60th Annual Homecoming Festival was held in Salem May 22, 23. Reunions, races, games, food and good old fashioned fun were just a few of the highlights of the event.

Fulton County Hospital Board member Vicki Fowlkes announced she was retiring from the board at the May Fulton County Quorum Court meeting. Three Fulton County residents Joe Johnson of Mammoth Spring, Bill Pace of Mammoth Spring and Sherrie Keylon of the Fryatt community have all expressed a desire to serve on the board. The court will make a selection at their June meeting.

Heavy rains created even more problems for the Fulton County Road Department who are still recovering from problems created by the February ice storm. Crews were busy throughout the weekend repairing washed-out bridges and roads.

Ozarka College announced the appointment of Dr. Richard Dawe as the new president of the college. He replaces Dr. Dusty Johnston who took another position in March. Dawe will assume the presidency July 1.

The Viola Alumni Homecoming was held May 22 at the school's cafeteria. This is the 56th year for the event and draws several hundred former Viola Longhorns to the activities.

May was a busy month for events with the North Central Arkansas Bluegrass Music Festival held in Horseshoe Bend; Kid's Fishing Day held at Crown Lake in Horseshoe Bend; and a visit at Batesville by NASCAR driver Kyle Petty during the Chick-fil-A Kyle Petty Charity Ride.

Nathan Circle of Hardy was the runner-up in this year's Arkansas State Golf Association Match Play held at Big Creek Golf and Country Club in Mountain Home.

Lauren Perkins Allen, formerly of Koshkonong, was named 2009 A Young Lawyer of the Year by the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association.

Roger Harvell, Boyce Gillihan, J.C. Grills and Malcom Lawrence were honored for their military service by the United Daughters of the Confederacy at a ceremony at the Batesville Country Club.

It was a rainy day, but that didn't stop kids and their parents and grandparents from attending the Fulton County Fishing Adventure May 16 at the Salem City Park. It is sponsored each year by the Fulton County Conservation District and the Fulton County Farm Bureau.

Salem High School Top Achievers were honored in a special two page picture spread in The News May 21.

While many car dealerships were being closed across the country due to the economy Paul Miller Motors in Melbourne and Earl' Dodge in West Plains were not among those dealerships receiving the dreaded letter from Chrysler. A total of 789 Chrysler dealerships nationwide were closed.

The mother of an infant who was given a morphine overdose, Crystal Williams of Cherokee Village, has been charged with the introduction of a controlled substance into the body of another, a class Y felony; endangering the welfare of a minor, a class D felony; and possession of a controlled substance (morphine) a class C felony.

Clayton Heath Lesley, 38, of Ash Flat, drowned at Slick Fork Bridge in rural Cherokee Village May 20.

A play, Drugs are Not Cool, was presented to students at the Salem Elementary School by Mylet Trotter's sixth grade class.

Joshua Ray, 17, faces charges as an adult, for attempted murder after he shot David Bates four times in an incident near Saddler Falls over the Memorial Day weekend.

The Memorial Day weekend netted Fulton County over $19,000 in cash after a policy change required anyone arrested who wasn't local pay their fines in cash. Over 50 people were arrested over the weekend with most of the arrests in the Fulton County area of the Spring River.

Betty Graves, a custodian at the Salem School District for 26 years retired this month. She was honored at a luncheon for her many years of service.


Joe and Debbie Jennings of Brockwell were named the 2009 Izard County Farm Family of the Year.

First degree arson charges and second degree murder charges were dropped against Nicholas Pachecco in connection with a fire at the Alton Jail in September of 2007 where one in-mate, Jesse Johnson, 17, of Mammoth Spring died. Oregon Prosecuting Attorney Fred O'Neill said evidence against Pachecco were circumstantial and it is possible other inmates were also involved in starting the fire.

A large crowd attended the annual meeting of North Arkansas Electric Cooperative (NAEC) June 4 at the fairgrounds in Salem to enjoy the food, entertainment and to take home a few gifts.

A Williford man died and his wife was seriously injured in a one-vehicle accident on Highway 62 between Viola and Gepp. Carol Sue Norton, 74, was taken by Air-Evac to a Springfield hospital. Her husband Donald Norton, 76, died at the scene.

Robert Williams, the husband of Crystal Williams who was recently charged with three felonies in connection to an overdose of morphine to a 5-week-old child, has now been charged. He was charged with four felony charges: introducing a controlled substance into another person (his wife, Crystal), accomplice to the introduction of a controlled substance into another person (the infant), endangering the welfare of a minor and possession of a controlled substance.

Charles Wray of Viola, with co-driver Teddy Dillinger, were the big winners at the demolition derby during the Fulton County Fair. They took home a check worth $1,260.

Fulton County Relay for Life was held at the Salem High School Football Field and raised $28,593 to continue the battle against cancer.

A Fulton County doctor, David Kauffman, had his medical license suspended once again by the Arkansas State Medical Board June 4. The suspension came after Kauffman took a Claritin D which the board says violated the contract between Kauffman and the board.

The Fulton County Quorum Court appointed Mammoth Spring resident Bill Pace to the Fulton County Hospital Board to fill the position of retiring board member Vicki Fowlkes.

A group has formed in Sharp County to work towards keeping Sharp County a dry county. The Coalition for the Future of Sharp County has held several meetings to encourage citizens not to sign the petition to place the issue on the 2010 ballot.

As a result of the ice storm and numerous flood damage, Fulton County should receive $1,969,759 from FEMA to help pay expenses for the cleanup and repair efforts, according to Fulton County Judge Charles Willett. NAEC is also a beneficiary of FEMA funds with the revised estimate of damage due to the ice storm approaching $37 million dollars. Mel Coleman said their share should be in the $8 million range. He said they had already received $12 million from FEMA and the state of Arkansas to help cover the expenses.

To be continued next week.

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