Pickens, the sister of accused child-killer Howard H. Neal Jr., says
the family could not afford to buy him his anti-psychotic drugs.
real-life horror scene
23-year-old Jacksonville man charged with killing a 5-year-old girl
and stabbing his sister's boyfriend in the head and face with a screwdriver
Sunday night could not afford the antipsychotic medications prescribed
to control his paranoid schizophrenia, despite his history of violence
toward family members and sexually-related arrests.
to lose more than 200 beds
Pulaski County Quorum Court Tuesday night approved an ordinance reducing
the number of beds in the county lockup from about 1,000 to 800 in
order to comply with the requirement to submit a balanced budget.
The county has to cut about $7 million from the $40 million unobligated
portion of its budget. [FULL
Masters' decision met with derision
review of how special masters in the Lake View school funding case
addressed public school facilities was a springboard Monday for another
round of criticism of the masters' report, which has declared school
police upset with hiring by chief
Beebe police officers have filed grievances, claiming they were not
given an opportunity to apply for a promotion to sergeant before Police
Chief Jess Odom hired a 30-year veteran law-enforcement officer for
the position without advertising it.
students getting enough instruction
However, the accredited-probationary status given to the school in
August for not having enough instructional time will remain in effect
until the school's accreditation is re-viewed again in the spring.
All aboard Cabot train engineer working for the kids
took hours and hours to construct can quickly make a kid's day. And
that makes a lot of hard work a lot of fun for Cabot's Don Robinson.
Robinson, 71, is the engineer of the Grand Kids Express, a homemade
32-foot long train that can carry about 27 small children. Robinson
takes the train out to churches and area festivals in a 100-mile radius
around Cabot. "If I can bring a minute of joy to a child's life, it's
worth it," Robinson said.
pass bounced off the shoulder pad of Jacksonville receiver Lavar Neely
and into the hands of Forrest City's Niko Walker, who returned it
for a touchdown. Jacksonville had several similar mistakes it must
correct in order to beat West Memphis this Friday on the road.
Devils must focus to get win
The Jacksonville Red Devils have a huge task ahead of them this week
as they head into the hometown of the second-ranked team in the state,
on its senior night. While focusing on what's ahead, they also have
to forget what's behind them, an ugly loss to Forrest City that head
Red Devil Mark Whatley summed up perfectly.
playoffs get started this week
IN SHORT: The
class AAAAA and class AAAA state volleyball tournaments get underway
Thursday, with Jacksonville, Cabot and North Pulaski vying for their
respective shots in those events. After a one-year break, the AAAAA
state tournament is back in Cabot, where it was a mainstay for several
parent picks up her child Tuesday afternoon at Tolleson Elementary
School in Jacksonville, which faces possible closure under a district
leaders and residents rallied Tuesday morning in support of Homer
Adkins, Arnold Drive, Warren Dupree, Harris and Tolleson elementary
schools, which were identified among candidates for closure at a Pulaski
County Special School District workshop Mon-day as the district refined
its fiscal distress improvement plan.
enjoys steady growth
not a boom yet, but Beebe is growing at a faster rate than it has
in the past and new businesses are opening to provide services that
will be needed to support a larger population. Allen Ridings, Beebe's
code enforcement officer, said this week that he has sold almost as
many building permits in the first nine months of 2005 as he sold
all of last year. [FULL
PCSSD is to blame for woes, city says
growing number of people in the Jacksonville community think the Pulaski
County Special School District is inflicting punishment in return
for the town's attempt to start its own school district. "That's absolutely,
100 percent totally false," school board member Jeff Shaneyfelt said
Tuesday. "They'll throw gas on a fire to make it burn. I have no problem
with Jacksonville. I think it ought to get what everyone else gets.
jobs critical to balancing budget
question of a new quarter-cent, dedicated county sales tax to run
the jail was the 800-pound gorilla studiously ignored by County Judge
Floyd "Buddy" Villines and members of the Pulaski County Budget Com-mittee
during a meeting Tues-day morning.
property handcuffs street plans
about the ownership of streets consumed about half of the more than
two-hour city council meeting Monday night in Cabot, where traffic
is commonly congested and traveling across town has become a major
issue. Opening Elm Street to keep traffic off Hwy. 89 has been a goal
of Alderman David Polantz, and part of the $1.8 million in the bond
issue voters approved last month is supposed to pay for it.
National Guard unit visits Cabot Central Elementary, spreads anti-drug
Arkansas National Guard on Friday visited students at Cabot Central
Elementary School and talked about the fight the war on drugs in the
state. Guardsmen from the Counter Drug Unit from Camp Robinson arrived
in a Light armored vehicle (LAV) and an UH-1 helicopter. "That's the
most awesome sight to see the helicopter landing and taking off at
our campus," said Stacy Sales, a first-grade teacher at Central Elementary.
offensive lineman John Otis makes room for running back Justin Akins
during the Red Devil's 33-6 win over Sylvan Hills two weeks ago. Jacksonville
hosts conference-unbeaten Forrest City this Friday in a game that
features two head coaches that played for Jacksonville's state championship
teams in 1976 and 1978.
Ex-teammates now rivals
The talk surrounding this week's matchup between Jackson-ville and
Forrest City has revolved mostly around the side story of the two
head coaches involved in the matchup. Jacksonville's Mark Whatley
and Forrest City's Scott Reed were teammates on the last Red Devil
state championship team in 1981, and have remained friends over the
to host East conference tournament
IN SHORT: The
AAAAA-East volleyball conference tournament finally comes to Jacksonville
this Saturday afternoon. The event was supposed to be at JHS last
year, but flood damage to the gym due to a leaky roof forced it to
at Little Rock Air Froce Base's 2005 air show watch as pilots perform
stunts Sunday afternoon during perfect fall weather. The air base
celebrated its 50th anniversary in Jacksonville.
celebrates its 50th birthday
Rock Air Force Base personnel are calling the 50th Anniversary Air
Show this past weekend a success with more than 150,000 people in
attendance. The record attendance for an air show at Little Rock Air
Force Base is about 200,000, according to a spokesperson.
is winner of land dispute
contentious struggle between Central Arkansas Water and Deltic Timber
Corp. over ownership and control of 706 acres of prime development
land on the banks of the Lake Maumelle drinking water reservoir ended
late last week when Pulaski County Circuit Judge Mackie M. Pierce
signed an order condemning the land and giving CAW ownership. [FULL
Commission decides on manager to run utility
water and wastewater utility , which will become independent of the
mayor and city council on Jan. 1, now has a general manager. The Cabot
Water and Waste-water Commission, which will take over the city utilities
at the first of the year, has hired Tim Joyner, an engineer with the
water company that supplies the Pine Bluff area.
ready for next campaign
Mayor Stubby Stum-baugh was right at home Monday night when he addressed
the Lonoke County Republican Committee about his race for Congress.
Having served as chairman of the growing organization, he was familiar
with the members, and they responded with a $2,000 donation to his
prepared for major emergencies
management in schools is no longer restricted to knowing what to do
if a fire breaks out. In fact, fires aren't even on the top of the
list anymore for potential dangers to children. But local schools
have developed plans for dealing with threats, wherever they come
from. Many of the plans are similar because they come from programs
sponsored in part by the Wilber D. Mills Educational Cooperative in
to get 500 jobs
Health Inc., of Dublin, Ohio, announced Tuesday it is opening a call
center in Sherwood that will create 500 new jobs by the first of next
year. The call center will be located in a 71,000-square-foot office
space at the Furniture Row Building, 5422 Landers Rd. at Hwy. 67/167.
quarterback Daniel Hubbard is stood up and brought down by Sylvan
Hill's defense last Friday.
Devils set for Searcy
Friday's game between the Searcy Lions and the Jacksonville Red Devils
will be important to both teams for very different reasons. The Red
Devils are trying to keep their momentum intact as the season winds
down and secure a spot in the AAAAA playoffs and possibly at least
a share of the conference championship. Searcy is simply looking for
a victory to get rid of the dreaded goose egg that currently resides
in its win column.
in a must-win situation
IN SHORT: Cabot
is in quite a predicament as it approaches its homecoming game this
Friday night against Mountain Home. The Panthers are 1-5 overall,
but more importantly are 1-2 in conference play. That record is only
good for fifth place in the current AAAAA-East standings. Three teams,
including Mountain Home, are tied for first at 3-0, and Jacksonville
is 2-1 and in fourth place.
Air Force Thunderbirds make a return to Little Rock Air Force
Base this weekend, when the base celebrates its 50th anniversary.
The Thunderbirds are tentatively scheduled to perform as the
final event on both days of the open house.
crowd expected for variety-filled air showcase
Rock Air Force Base's 50th Anniversary Air Show from 10:30
a.m. until 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday could be the biggest
ever. The gates open at 8:30 a.m. each day and a full, tentative
schedule features a variety of aerial entertainment.
"In terms of the district's current situation,
the special masters just lit a bright candle in the darkness
called fiscal distress," Pulaski County Special School
District lawyer Sam Jones. [FULL
Attorneys want special session
a report on public school financing now in the state Supreme
Court's hands, attorneys and state officials pondered Tuesday
whether the legislature will be called into special session
to readdress school funding.
gains seen as modest
Air Force on Monday evening told Sen. Blanche Lincoln and
Cong. Vic Snyder that the active-duty side of Little Rock
Air Force Base can expect a net gain of five C-130s and the
Guard side can expect one additional plane as a result of
the final Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission's
recommendations, signed Sept. 9 by President Bush.
officials butting heads over response
tornado that hit the Searcy area last month as a result of
Hurricane Rita was the first disaster that has struck White
County since the quorum court took the dispatch center and
the 911 system away from the sheriff and put it under the
county judge and the Office of Emergency Services.
City spruces up for weekend festival
warm weather helped make Cabot's Fall Cleanup a success for
the more than 200 volunteers who worked Saturday morning to
tidy the town for this weekend's CabotFest. "We didn't
collect as much trash or tires as we normally do," said
Matt Webber of Cabot City Beautiful. "That might mean
we're getting ahead of the litter bugs."
halfback Raul Gault gains big yardage last week during the
Panthers' loss to West Memphis. Cabot goes to Forrest City
Panthers focused on rest of season
The Cabot Panthers find themselves in a very unfamiliar situation.
At the midway point of the season, the Panthers have just
one win, and are staring at the possibility of falling below
.500 in conference play for the first time in quite sometime.
It's been the 1980s since Cabot finished below .500 in conference
play, but the Panthers aren't thinking about that right now.
to face powerful Wynne
IN SHORT: The
Beebe Badgers cleared a huge hurdle last week in their bid
for an AAAA-East conference title with an improbable come-from-behind
38-35 win against the Marion Patriots. The Badgers will need
another performance like that this week, as Beebe travels
to Wynne to face the Yellowjackets in a battle between two
teams which are both undefeated in conference action.
Hale (center) talks with members of the Red Cross and friends
after his mobile home was destroyed by a tornado Saturday
evening on Hwy. 70 near Lonoke.
Rita packs punch
storm survivor tells of ordeal in his mobile home. An F-2
tornado smacked Mike Hale upside the head with the door of
his mobile home Saturday evening, blew the home to smithereens,
spewing debris everywhere, and left Hale momentarily dazed
about 30 feet away under a piece of wall.
church feels fury of area's twisters
Debra Betts of Searcy was finishing up the church bulletin
at West View Missionary Baptist Church on Hwy. 36 about 7:30
p.m. on Saturday when she first heard the sounds that a violent
storm was outside. "I'm sorry, but it didn't sound like
a train," Betts said. "It was just different."
Regardless of the sound, the aftermath proved what Betts heard
was a tornado. [FULL
Former Air Force officer escapes Rita
few weeks ago, John Felsher was busy helping victims of Hurricane
Katrina find food and shelter. Felsher and his family are
now evacuees themselves. A former Air Force public affairs
captain stationed at Little Rock Air Force Base from 1990-1993,
Felsher is back in the area after seeking refuge from Hurricane
Rita, a storm which battered Felsher's Lake Charles, La.,
neighborhood on Saturday.
doubles branches with its acquisition
Arkansas Bank and Trust, headquartered in Jacksonville, will
officially merge Nov. 1 with First Team Bank in Heber Springs,
giving the bank branches in Heber Springs, Greers Ferry, Marshall,
Damascus, Center Ridge, Greenbrier, Guy, Quitman, Concord
police chief charged
Briggs, who was police chief in Beebe during much of Mayor
Donald Ward's first term in office, was arrested in Shelby
County, Tenn., Monday for allegedly forging former Mayor Mike
Robertson's signature to dozens of magazine subscriptions.
Robertson, who was instrumental in getting Briggs arrested,
said Tuesday that trying to get the subscriptions stop-ped
and clearing up his credit record after he refused to pay
the bogus bills had consumed about a year of his life.
promotion comes under fire
IN SHORT: Former
Beebe Police Chief Dennis Briggs' arrest came on the same
day that former Mayor Mike Robertson, now a city alderman,
took Mayor Donald Ward to task during a city council meeting
Monday for what Robertson says was the questionable hiring
of another police officer. Though neither Ward nor Robertson
have formally announced their intention to run for mayor in
2006, both say they likely will run.
New fire trucks boost Beebe, Cabot
Beebe Volunteer Fire Department has unveiled the newest addition
to its fleet, a 2005 Freightliner fire truck with a 4,500-gallon
capacity. "This new truck enables us to pump more than
3,000 gallons of water on a fire if we're somewhere in the
fire district where there aren't fire plugs," Chief William
Nick said. The truck has a 2,000-gallon tank and 2,500 gallon
drop tank. The drop tank can be left at a fire while the engine
goes to get more water.
quarterback Cory Wade will lead the Panthers into a huge showdown
this Friday against West Memphis at Panther Stadium.
Blue Devils coming strong
Cabot and West Memphis meet up this Friday at Panther Stadium.
While Cabot's overall record isn't as impressive as it usually
is this time of year, this battle between the two perennial
AAAAA-East heavyweights is no less huge as any other year.
The Panthers enter Friday's game 1-3, while West Memphis is
4-0, but don't tell West Memphis coach Lanny Dauksch that
his team is a big favorite.
Devils needing little things for win
IN SHORT: The
Jacksonville Red Devils will try to rebound from their conference-opening
loss to Mountain Home last week when they travel to Jonesboro
to take on the also 0-1 Hurricane. The 13-7 loss to the Bombers
was the second consecutive lackluster performance from a Red
Devil offense that showed signs of explosiveness in the first
two weeks of the season.