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Friday, May 6, 2016

2009 in review - Part 3

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Carrying 100 pounds of marijuana in a casket landed a Cave City man in jail on $100,000 bond facing drug related charges in Dallas, Texas, June 24.

An angry crowd of landowners were present to have their voices heard regarding the proposed annexation of white areas in Cherokee Village at the June 25 Cherokee Village City Council meeting.


In July, Cherokee Village's Industrial Drive got a new name in honor of a man who spent over 41 years working with the road department. Cherokee Village Mayor Lloyd Hefley, Street Superintendent David Crayne and members of the Cherokee Village Street Department were present July 10 at the dedication ceremony for Jimmie Cherry Drive in Cherokee Village. Cherry died suddenly at the age of 57. He had served Cherokee Village for over 41 years in various capacities.

In July, economic development for Sharp County was the topic of area meetings. These focus-group style meetings were held in Hardy, Ash Flat and Cave City. The purpose was to further explore ideas and issues that impact Sharp County more in depth than the initial countywide meeting held in May in which all representatives, city council members and mayors from all the cities in Sharp County met at the Sharp County Courthouse to explore economic ideas for the county.

David Andrew Waldrup, 22, of Cave City was found guilty of first degree battery, a class Y felony, July 14 in Circuit Court in Sharp County. The charges stemmed from an Aug. 20, 2008, incident where Waltrip caused serious injury to his 12-week-old infant son. He was sentenced to 10 years in the Department of Corrections for the crime.

Liberty Bank of Highland was the site of a private meeting July 28 of members of the newly formed Sharp County Hospital Foundation Inc. and mayors from Highland, Hardy and Cherokee Village, as well as Sharp County Judge Larry Brown and other public officials. The group discussed plans and ideas for the establishment of a very much needed hospital in Sharp County.


August began with Highland getting a new police chief. The city council appointed Jeremy Stevens as police chief at their Aug. 12 city council meeting.

The 30th Annual Cave City Watermelon Festival drew a huge crowd despite the heat Aug. 6-8. Rockin' Luke Stroud performed his Jerry Lewis rendition to a packed park.

Smoke from the Aug. 25 fire at Bar D Arena could be seen from nearly five miles out of Ash Flat. The huge blaze resulted in the total loss of four businesses in the arena. Firefighters and volunteers from seven area fire departments responded to the huge fire.

While area structure fires were prevalent in Evening Shade, Cherokee Village and Ash Flat, the city of Hardy received a new fire truck. The truck arrived from Watseka, Ill. The truck was donated by the Watseka Fire Department and delivered by Ted Martin to the city. Ted is Cherokee Village Alderman Peter Martin's brother and a member of the Watseka Fire Department.

The 2009-2010 school year began with a new face on campus of the Highland High School. Mike Baldwin began as the school's new resource officer as a daily presence at the school serving as a deterrent against many things that are against school policy including, thefts, vandalism, drug use, fights and problems with parking.

Matt Melton, a 16-year-old boy from Evening Shade, who would later recover in what many call a miracle, was seriously injured in a rodeo accident at Sidney, Aug. 29. He remained at Arkansas Children's Hospital for two months following head injuries he obtained in the saddle bronc riding incident.


Freeman Davis, owner of Davis Tree Service, was arrested Sept. 8 for two counts of felony forgery. The charges stem from an investigation conducted by the Cherokee Village Police Department that began in July where Davis defrauded an elderly woman by altering checks she had paid him for tree services.

The much anticipated lottery ticket sales became a reality in September, as they went on sale to crowds of happy gamblers. The proceeds from the Arkansas State Scholarship Lottery will help fund scholarships for not only high school seniors but also non-traditional students wishing to further their education.

An act of compassion elicited national attention as Thamail Morgan, a Cave City football player, knelt at the two yard line after foregoing a touchdown at the Sept. 18 Yellville-Summit game. He did this in respect for the family, team and community in Yellville who lost Kymball Duffy, one of their teammates in a Sept. 11 auto accident. The game was the team's first game after the incident.


A wet month of October began with the trial of Andrew Frolos, who was found not guilty in a jury trial that ended in a directed verdict by Honorable Judge Harold Erwin on Oct 1. Frolos was charged with a felony criminal mischief charge that stemmed from a July 11, 2008, incident where he was accused of burning his ex-girlfriend Cindy Branam's double-wide mobile home at Wirth following a break-up.

Highland High School Senior, Kaitlin Scribner, was crowned the 2009 Homecoming Queen the homecoming festivities Oct. 9. She was escorted by Michael Tarver.

Independence Hall at the University of Arkansas Community College was the site of the Fourth Annual Variety Night to benefit John 3:16 Ministries in Cord, a spiritual bootcamp type alternative to hospital based drug treatment programs. The gala event was packed with public officials, corporate sponsors and the general public, all who came to support the cause of overcoming addiction.

The much debated issue of annexing white areas in Cherokee Village, known locally as 160 acres and Big Oak Estates, was discussed at a public meeting Oct. 14 before Cherokee Village City Council at Cherokee Village City Hall. Many voiced their concerns over the proposed annexation.

Also in October, the Sharp County Sheriff's Department launched its new Web site. Sharp County Detective Ken Guidry said the Web site is very functional and includes updated press releases as well as detailed information about registered sex offenders as well as a place to submit anonymous tips about crimes.

In Sharp County, Judge Larry Brown announced the county was declared a disaster area on Oct. 30 following the rainfall that some accounts say reached as high as 7 inches in less than 24-hours. Use pic from 11/04 edition.

Exactly two months after a life threatening injury left Matt Melton in Arkansas Children's Hospital fighting for his life, the sun came out for one of its brief appearances over the past few weeks, for what appeared to be the sole purpose of welcoming Matt home Oct. 29. Balloons and signs led a caravan down the country road to the Melton home where friends and family gathered to welcome Matt as he arrived from Little Rock. Matt is the 15-year-old son of Gary and Dianna Melton of Evening Shade who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a rodeo event Aug. 29.


A focus group for Powering Rural Development met Nov. 12 to discusss the newly discovered availability of grant money to help fund high speed broadband Internet access for the area. The need for the high speed Internet as an avenue of promoting the area and for new businesses was one of the top priorities in many of the town hall meetings held in May and June throughout the county.

Wednesday, Nov. 11, Larry Busby of Salem, was awarded the big $10,000 Publishers Clearing House check, complete with the balloons, roses, champagne -- the whole nine yards.

A North Aurora, Ill., man died Nov. 6 when his Zodiac 601 XL plane crashed in a field in the Agnos community. The crash scene was approximately 1.2 miles from Highway 62/412 east of Salem, off Peace Valley Road. Charles Cummings, 71, was the pilot and only person in the plane.

The much anticipated opening of the A.L. Hutson Memorial Center hosted its open house Nov. 8. Highland School Superintendent Ronnie Brogdon welcomed attendees to the event and the Community Choir performed for the crowd. Johnny Carter and Brogdon conducted the dedication service followed by tours of the facility.

The recent suicide of 12-year-old Sarah Butler, a Williford seventh grader, has once again brought attention to the need for more aggressive cyber bullying legislation in the state.

Following an emergency call Nov. 28 regarding a house fire, a Paragould man was arrested on three felony charges including arson, residential burglary and terroristic threatening. Todd Franklin Rowland, 32, admitted to officials in both Greene and Sharp County to burning a house by lighting separate fires in different rooms in the home of his ex-girlfriend Lisa Sellers.

The newly established Sharp County Hospital Foundation announced Nov. 30 that they have commissioned a feasibility study to evaluate the viability of a new hospital in the area.


A Cherokee Village man died in a vehicle fire Dec. 8 at Ivey's Car Wash in Ash Flat. According to records obtained from both the Ash Flat Fire Department and the Sharp County Sheriff's Department, the fire department responded to the call at the business around 11 p.m. in which a vehicle was reported on fire. The call came from the occupant, Brittany Dahm, 28, of Cherokee Village, who died as a result of smoke inhalation.

After months of discussion and several very disappointing holdbacks, the Williford community is one step closer to making their new library a reality. The new location will be out of the way of the grasp of the mighty Spring River that has notoriously flooded the current location on three different occasions, causing thousands of dollars worth of damage.

Audrey James Thompson, 89, of Williford, Ark., died Dec. 20, 2009, at the Ash Flat Nursing and Rehab Center following a long illness. Thompson was a lover of history and was instrumental in getting several Hardy homes listed on the National Historic Registry.

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