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Please like us on Facebook and send stories or photos you want published to: jay_nelson_72443@yahoo.com. The magazine has been updated weekly since January of 2013. For the current magazine, go to “Current Issue” at the top of this page. We hope you enjoy our magazine of encouragement.  Sincerely, John H. Nelson, editor. Interveiw requests or need a paid advertisement? Call: (870) 353-8201.

The following stories are examples of feature writing done by author and editor John Hancock Nelson. We hope there is something that you will enjoy. Please email us if you have written a feature you would also like to see published here. You will get a byline and probably provide us with yet another good read.

Workforce helps Gurdon

get summer work crew

Tailgate News Editor
The Arkansas Workforce summer employment program will be active in Gurdon from June until September of this year, with the first screening netting the city eight potential workers on Thursday at a City Hall initial interview.
Pamela Brogdon, Arkansas Workforce Center case manager, said municipalities in her 10-county area are eligible to take advantage of available funding for the employees, which is $7.50 an hour for up to 1,000 hours of work performed, as long as they are not currently enrolled in school now or in the fall.
“Considering enrolling is OK,” she said. “But they can not be officially enrolled yet and participate in our work program.”
Brogdon said her 10-county area consists of: Clark, Hot Spring, Garland, Pike, Pope, Yell, Perry, Conway, and most likely Nevada and Ouachita.
Arkansas Workforce is statewide, to the best of this reporter’s understanding, but the summer employment eligibility is divided into county sections.
Brogdon said she has been involved with the summer work program for her 10 counties for a year and a half.
She is out of West Central Arkansas Career Development Center Systems Inc., 502 South 6th Street in Arkadelphia.
If you are considering applying for the Gurdon summer work, and you are 22, 23 or 24 years old without currently being enrolled for school this fall, you may contact Brogdon at: (870) 245-1451 to confirm your eligibility before application.
The eight potential employees will be required to come back and pass a test in early June before beginning their jobs at Gurdon City Hall.
According to Brogdon, an individual seeking to be included in the summer work crew must pass a basic skills test involving language, math and reading.
Applicants will be notified as to when the test date is to be, and a July date for the second hiring interview for the 22, 23 and 24 year-olds will be announced in Tailgate News as soon as that information becomes available.
Mayor Kelley said the eight young people already registered for summer work “seem like good kids.”
The mayor said work projects she intends to put them on will include mowing grass, working at the city animal shelter petting dogs and getting them some exercise, painting around City Hall and on downtown city projects such as Market on Main and the new Hoo Hoo stage.
“We will also be developing a web site for the city designed to give those coming to our city an idea of school schedules and trash pick-up times etc.,” she said.
“The Workforce employees will be allowed to make their own hours, up to 1,000 hours by September. We are glad to have this opportunity to get some things done around here, give $7.50 an hour jobs to young people and doing both at no cost to our city.”
Kelley said the employees will also be involved in preparing “welcome to Gurdon” packets to be handed out to new residents.
The interview process for the second group of potential employees will also take place at Gurdon City Hall by Workforce employees.
In addition to Brogdon, Workforce employee Jill Hendrix took part in the Thursday interview process.
Kelley said the program should be a win-win situation for the workers and the city.

School happy with

parental involvement

Tailgate News Editor
Gurdon School Board met in regular session Tuesday and were given slide show presentations by representatives of the high school, middle school and primary school campuses concerning what was called a successful effort to get parents and guardians involved in their children’s education.
For Cabe Middle School, Coach Brandie Kirkpatrick said, “Our turn out at open house and four parent nights is the best example of parental involvement at the middle school level.”
She said fifth graders invited parents to watch a movie, “Mr. Peabody,” the sixth graders invited parents to a Christmas tree lighting ceremony and seventh graders invited parents to a football oriented presentation. Eighth graders invited parents to a “Spooky Weenie” night. CMS also sponsored a winter dance and “Muffins With Moms” get togethers. Principal Amanda Jones said “Donuts for Dads” was also a hit.
On both the middle school and high school levels, parents and band members are in charge of the concession stand at football games in the fall, as well as doing concessions for others sports throughout the school year.
Teacher Debbie White spoke for high school involvement, with her slide show demonstrating how parents have helped the band and choir directors in extra-curricular activities concerning singing and instrumental performance.
She also noted how parents played a significant role in fund raising for juniors and seniors to take their annual “Close-Up” trip to Washington D.C.
Gurdon Primary School Counselor Melissa Franklin told the group, during her slide participation, about the success of grandparents day being so extensive GPS is considering having a grandparents day for each grade level in the future to accommodate all of the participants.
Franklin said, “In primary school, parents and grandparents are usually very eager to help.”
She said the school sponsored a grandparents breakfast with a book fair and Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) members sold cookie dough.
She noted Red Ribbon Week and the annual march to City Hall, as also being PTO backed.
Other activities at GPS, where parental involvement is encouraged, include: good behavior club, perfect attendance recognition, a Veteran’s Day program, a Turkey Trot dance, a migrant/ESL parents meeting, a December choir program and Christmas party with Santa in the library.
“We have a our parents and grandparents out in January for a tobacco education program,” she said.
“There is a spring spelling bee and science fair, plus our annual fishing derby.”
Other activities mentioned by all three presenters include career day and the CHAMPS program where younger students are exposed to positive peer skills by older students. High School Counselor Rita Guthrie involves parents in financial aid for higher education each year and juniors involve parents in the prom.
In other business, the School Board voted to keep United Health Services (HSR) as the district’s student insurance for all school sponsored activities, grades K-12, including athletics grades 7-12.
Superintendent Allen Blackwell said the insurance is a secondary policy unless a student has no coverage, and then it becomes primary. The annual premium is $6,652.

Memorable Moment: Fishing in the early morning

Tailgate News Editor
I covered the fishing derby, for fourth and fifth graders, on Monday, May 18 at the Gurdon Pond. I took a photo of two kids who had already caught five catfish each by 9 a.m. and some wild shots of the long-time adult sponsors, the Hulans.
It was nice to see them passing out the poles. I talked with Gurdon Primary School Principal Rusty Manning, who told me the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission had got it right two years in a row.
Game and Fish workers dumped the catfish stock at 8 a.m. on the day of the derby and gave those kids a chance to feel the joy of pulling one in!
There was at least one year, in the past 11 I have been the town reporter, when Game and Fish dumped the catfish early and the “bucket sitting patrol” showed up the day before and fished out those young catfish! This was indeed a shame. And I am glad to see the school and Game and Fish staff have worked together the past two years to stop this practice. Those catfish are for kids and I thank God they were there for those kids these past two years.
But let’s get to a Nelson Memorable Moment story. I have been having a romance with Gurdon Pond since I came to the small city of Gurdon back in 2004.
There are many times when I end up taking my disabled veteran friend Mike fishing out there and then it is hard to have a Memorable Moment because I have to cover his needs before mine. I don’t mind doing this, as I love the old guy, but once in awhile I need to go fishing there alone.
When I go alone, I like to go real early in the morning. This day I write to you would have been a good day to go fishing but I got up early, showered and dressed, to hit the advertising trail on cold calls – trying to build Tailgate News up enough to handle my bills plus a few bucks extra. Getting good sleep before a sales day is just as important as getting good sleep before fishing, especially when you walk around in a 56-year-old body.
One day last fall, it was a cool and sunny morning. Everyone else was concerned with deer hunting or football games, both worthy ways to relax and build character. I cover them as a reporter. But me, I am a fisherman. And a fishing I went!
I am a writer first. I have told my kids all of their lives, “If I am not writing, I am not working.” This is true now as much as it ever was. But sometimes, I just need to do something else. One of my favorite relaxation techniques is to drop a worm in a fishing hole. Well, one day last fall, here is how it went.
I got up about 5 a.m., worms, poles and lines ready to go. I wanted to be on the pond before the sun came up.
I got out there as the sun was just coming over the horizon. I walked back to my favorite spot, which I call the crappie hole.
I set up my chair, got my goofy fishing hat on, along with my goofy fishing sunglasses, poured myself a cup of hot, black coffee and threw my first cast. I talk too much. You can probably tell by the way I write so prolifically (which means I write a lot). But when I am in that situation, silence is the name of the game.
I listen to the water birds. I listen to the frogs and to the sounds made by other water critters. I watch the snake feeders as they bounce around the top of the water. At that moment, life is good and it is good to live.
It is not necessary for me to catch anything, but sure, it does help if I pull a few out. That particular day I caught four. I gave those brim to a family down the way, as I could see they were struggling to get a mess to eat. It also made me feel good to help them out.
I continued to fish in silence until about high noon, which is my habit. During those five or six hours, all was right with the world in my little mind. Sure, I thought about my business, my family, my friends, past accomplishments and past failures. But mostly, I fished. I had plenty of coffee and then some water. I walked back to the woods a time or two to feel the trees above me. But mostly, I fished.
I watched a squirrel scurry up a tree. I realized the joy of finally seeing my “barber” go under the water in a swift way – a sure sign of a decent sized fish on my hook.
It was all good and I look forward to doing it again one day soon – between spring rain storms. I have invited Mike to fish with me Sunday so that probably will not create the peace I seek, but it will probably be fun for both me and him.
I’ll make a date with myself again soon. And when I do, all will be right with my world. I am just sure it will constitute yet another “Memorable Moment.”



Burgers and Beans Bowl

set for June 5 in Gurdon

Tailgate News Editor
Spring football tryouts will be held at Gurdon High School from May 25, Memorial Day, until June 5, when school lets out for the summer.
Head GHS Football Coach Kyle Jackson said the “Burgers and Beans Bowl,” first look spring football game, will be held that Friday night, June 5, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Go-Devil Stadium.
Coach Jackson encourages all sports fans to be on hand to scout the 2015 “Boys of Fall,” as he believes they will be quite impressed.
“We have 38 young men out for football this year, as compared to 23 in 2014,” Jackson said.
“I believe we have the potential to have the best team yet, but a lot will depend on how these talented group of guys play together. Chemistry is hard to predict.”
Coach Jackson said spring football practice will be held every evening after school from 3:30 until 5:30 p.m. Although the Burgers and Beans Bowl is coming up, he said that is simply a friendly get acquainted game where team mates can show the public their enthusiasm.
“The winning squad gets to eat burgers and the losers eat cold beans,” he said. “We divide the groups arbitrarily, with two assistant coaches working with each group. Those coaches will also face either burgers or beans.”
As for practices, Coach Jackson said working on fundamentals will be the primary goal. He said a large group of sophomores from junior high school will be joining the eight remaining players from last year on offense and the five who handled the 2014 defense.
“We lost nine fantastic players to graduation,” Coach Jackson said. “Our sophomores will have to step up and fill those positions with the same zeal and integrity.”
With 38 players out this year, Jackson said coaches will be looking to have depth in positions, in case of injury.
“If we can come out of spring practice with at least two deep per position, that will be encouraging,” he said. “We want 22 on defense and 22 on offense. We don’t expect them to be perfect, but just to accept what has to be done in September.”
Coach Jackson said the team will continue to work on weight training and more this summer, with a three week break so they can relax and enjoy a vacation.
“Modern players don’t go work in the hay fields and stay in shape like in the old days so there has to be summer training,” he said. “Our hope is the team chemistry develops and team mates have mutual respect for hard work and dedication.
“Spring practice is a good time for this team to get to know each other and get back in the football groove. To me, it seems like yesterday when our 2014 team was in the playoffs. I look forward to a new season and for this team to be great, as our motto says.”
The head coach said he will referee the Burgers and Beans Bowl. Everyone else will have to eat the winning burgers or the losing beans. Jackson may eat some of each, as he considers them all winners who are willing to “work their rears off.”
“I want them to be ready for the fall, and for this team to be at the peak of their game when the real competition starts,” he said. “They will not always like me in the preparation stages, but it is my hope that once they get out there in September they will realize why they were pushed so hard to be the best football players they can be and that I did all I could to help them reach that status of Go-Devil Great.”
The coach promised the 2015 Go-Devils will look different in September than at the spring first look game, but encourages all sports boosters and fans to be there June 5 to show support for the continuation of the “never give up” Gurdon Go-Devil spirit. Admittance to the Burgers and Beans Bowl will be a white towel, laundry detergent or a DVD.

Coach announces honored athletes

Tailgate News Editor
The 2015 Gurdon Sports Banquet was held Tuesday, May 19 with Head Track Coach Kyle Jackson complementing the runners on winning the state 2A tournament.
The following awards were given out:
Basketball Coach David Davis said his team went 18-6 for the season and achieved co-conference championship honors.
Coach Jackson said hard work was making GHS “Great!”

Insurance man gets healing

for unknown body pain by prayer

A week ago Tuesday, I asked a lady that was in my office to pray for me.
I explained to her that I have been having a pain in my body – a dull pain but one that had been very much hurting me for over the last month constantly.
I have had this off and on going on several years,so I know that pain. Why haven’t you had that checked out ?…just hard headed,(yes) but now it was bothering me so much that I had told my wife that I was going to get a doctors appointment.(soon) ….
The day the lady was in my office I felt led to ask her if she would pray the prayer of FAITH over me. I knew she was a praying woman, that loved Jesus and knew the power of Prayer. She agreed and asked did I have my Bible with me?
I said sure I have two or three right here behind me. She told me to turn to JOHN 14:14 . Well I grabbed my oldest Bible and started to turn to JOHN 14:14 .. I was amazed that I already had that page marked with a note and the ribbon marker right there.
I read that verse to her, closed my Bible and she began to pray for me as well as her two daughters. (GOD Answered) I have not had that pain in my body since that day(PRAISE JESUS). Now marked in my old Bible on that page is a note that reads(04-12-2015) GOD HEALED MY BODY…
I’m writing this today because I have went back and read the verse several times. The verse before that verse says “ and whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the SON.
YES I have told several people about this, but I felt led to share with my Internet reading friends due to this verse…. “That my Father may be glorified in the Son.” I want to Glorify my FATHER IN THE NAME OF JESUS! Thank you for answering this prayer for me, to GOD be the Glory…God Bless…

Cobras host awards breakfast

By Ashley Bryant
Fountain Lake Venom
Fountain Lake High School Principal, Donald Westerman, arranged a Senior Breakfast Awards Ceremony for the graduating class of 2015.
Seniors were presented with completer cords, scholarships, and listened to a speech given by Dr. Benton from Henderson State University.
The Fountain Lake cafeteria prepared bacon, sausage, eggs, biscuits, gravy, and fruit for all graduating seniors with members of their family.
Future Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) served guests along with volunteers from the Alumni Association.
The Senior Breakfast Awards Ceremony took place in Safe Room A on Friday, May 15.

Gurdon graduation May 22,

scholarships noted

Tailgate News Editor
Gurdon High School will conduct graduation ceremonies for 55 seniors at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 22 in the Cabe Auditorium at the high school campus.
On May 7, many of the honored seniors received scholarships, and/or recognition for their academic or vocational achievements.
Gurdon High School Principal Harvey Sellers invites all parents, guardians or friends of the graduates to come and attend the event.
“These young men and woman have shown themselves approved for graduation from high school and they represent part of our hope for the future,” Sellers said.
The Cabe Auditorium has a seating capacity of more than 1,000 but is usually full for graduation so come eartly to get a good seat in order to create quality photographic memories, he said.
Debbie White, who is in charge of the GHS Yearbook photography and is involved with GHS public relations, offered the following list of awards and their recipients, as was presented on May 7.
The Rotary scholarship went to Bret Renfro. Henderson State University presented the Red & Gray Leadership scholarship to Ashley Harvey and Krista Harper.
Faith Shumate University Centurium scholarships went to Cameron Mayhue, Alunzo Leeper and Bret Renfro.
An HSU scholarship was awarded to Angela Yang, HSU Band scholarship, Makayla Campbell and HSU Cheer scholarship to Alyssa Blanton.
The first annual Ellis & Beatrice Stafford scholarships went to: Angela Yang, Alia Williams, Tykeidra Jones and Susana Loarca. The recipient of the University of Arkansas of Hope & Texarkana scholarships were: Alunzo Leeper and Melissa Rodriguez.
Southern Arkansas University’s Blue & Gold scholarships went to: Bret Renfro and Anna Elizabeth Dillard.
Louisiana Tech University presented a scholarship to Hunter Rowe. The Univerisity of Central Arkansas scholarships went to: Angela Yang, Alexis Jemison and Alunzo Leeper. Army Reserve College Fund scholarship monies went to Caitlyn Cannon. Air Force Education Benefit scholarship funding went to Timothy Shearin.
Ouachita Baptist University Trio Program scholarships were awarded to: Kelan Buford, Caitlyn Cannon, Susana Loarca and Melissa Rodriguez. The Delta Sigma Theta scholarship went to Susana Loarca.
The Allie Mae Ollison scholarship went to Alia Williams. The Junior Auxillary scholarship was awarded to Bret Renfro. The HSU Alumni scholarship went to Alia Williams.
The CD&E scholarship was awarded to Krista Harper. The Billy Wells Memorial scholarship went to Alia Williams. Red Springs Extension scholarship went to AnnaBeth Dillard and John Michael Clemons. The William Carey University scholarship went to Jessica Young. The Tasseltime scholarship winner was Angela Yang.
The Clark County Cattleman scholarship went to John Michael Clemons. Montel Williams & Kynan Barrett scholarship went to Alia Williams. The Arkansas Academic Challenge scholarships went to:Tristen Bearden, Alyssa Blanton, Caitlyn Cannon, John Clemons, Adam Cooper, Daz’Meonta Crusoe, Ruth Cruz, Krista Harper, Ashley Harvey, Naja Hawthorne, Tykeidra Jones, Susana Loarca, Dewayne Marlow, Cameron Mayhue, Bret Renfro, Melissa Rodriguez and Hunter Rowe.
Faith Shumate also awarded scholarships to:Alia Williams, Lillian Williams and Angela Yang. Eastern Star Baptist Church scholarships went to: Adam Cooper, Star Jones and Alexis Jemison.

Governor Asa Hutchinson

wants to be the job governor

Tailgate News Editor
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchison took the podium during the May 11 Republican Lincoln Dinner at Henderson State University and assured the crowd he “still has new job opportunities for Arkansans on top priority.”
“I want to be the jobs governor,” he said.
Hutchinson noted several ways he plans to recruit new jobs for Arkansas such as giving prisoners a better chance at succeeding in open society after release, reducing the amount of legislation that will discourage new companies from coming to this state, lowering taxes and “being willing to cooperate with existing business and potential new business.”
As to progress so far, Hutchinson said he has already made an improvement in the way a prisoner is released in Arkansas.
“The old state release policy has given a prisoner $100 and a bus ticket upon leaving the penal system,” Hutchinson said. “Now prisoners get $500, driver’s training and mental health counseling to help them re-enter society.
“But government can not do it all. We need to partner with faith based services so we can realize success in this area for our state.”
Hutchinson started his speech by assuring the crowd he is really enjoying his job as governor, “as the possibilities are essentially limitless.”
Another step the new governor has taken toward jobs is to talk with students about future job trends.
“When we ask students if they are interested in computer technology and the Internet as a way to make a living about 10 out of 100 say yes at first,” he said.
“But when we explain that all statistical indicators say 90 percent of the employment opportunity they will have in the future involves some type of computer technology, they change their minds.”
Hutchinson said after he explains the job trends about 90 percent, rather than the initial 10 percent, say they would like to have a solid education in how to maneuver around a computer and to use their high tech knowledge, on and off the Internet, to succeed in business jobs that will be coming up.
Gov. Hutchinson said his educational promotion of high tech skills started in Little Rock and then moved to Arkadelphia. He told the Republican dinner crowd they should be proud of their Arkadelphia schools, as the students of Arkadelphia were very courteous to him.
In other issues, Hutchinson said he has cut the state budget by 1 percent and instigated a hiring freeze to help grow existing (state) jobs.
He said at the request of voters the Common Core philosophy is under review.
Also on education, he said the first thought of government officials is “did you meet your performance challenges?”
“Small schools who are performing up to expectations will not be closed,” he said.
Whether it is an educational concern, or another issue, Gov. Hutchinson said his priorities are to stay consistently conservative, never give in to nay sayers and to realize positive change, for the good of Arkansas, is going to involve “putting our shoulders into our work and keep plowing.”
After the governor’s speech at the Lincoln Dinner, the group honored Clark County Representative Justin Gonzales and his wife Cassie “as the Clark County Republicans of the Year.”
Clark County Chairman Eddie Arnold spoke of how much Republican support in Clark County, and statewide, has grown over the past few years.
Arnold said, “There was a time when Charles and Anita Cabe were about the only Republicans you could find in Clark County.”
The state Republican chairman Doyle Webb, of Benton, said after 140 years the Republican party has now been designated the majority party in Arkansas. Representative Bruce Westerman gave the group an update on the Republican controlled Congress in Washington D.C. saying a budget, that does not require President Barack Obama’s signature, is now in place that is expected to balance the budget within 10 years.
Westerman said the national debt is $18 trillion and “this is the first time there has been a federal budget in 8 years.”
“It is exciting to actually have a budget in place,” he said.
Westerman spoke of presidential veto frustration, and how the latest trade agreement (TPA) issue is hard to agree to because many Congressmen are afraid to give this president any more authority.

Tailgate Travels advises

graduates on the future

Tailgate News Editor
It is easy to tell that this graduation issue is 99 percent Gurdon oriented.
It is the intention of this editor to change that next year. We plan to present the valedictorian and salutatorian, plus the high honor graduates, of the Malvern Leopards for the Class of 2016 by way of photographs.
Room in this publication will probably stop us from doing much more than listing the other Malvern graduates, but I look forward to the continued improvement of coverage in Malvern and will also maintain my base coverage of my new hometown of Gurdon.
Malvern is already a great advertising supporter of this weekly digital magazine and so deserves news stories, features and special events to be covered to the best of the abilities of a one-man-show Internet magazine.
It is our hope that the continued growth of the magazine, both in revenue and circulation (our Facebook widget tells me there are approximately 4,000 site hits per week at this writing) will also gain us an advertising sales representative by this time next year.
In regard to guidance from this editor if you are an upcoming high school graduate, the word “others” comes to mind.
You are not the only one who matters in your life. If you hope to one day be a success at maintaining a family, you must realize this early on.
Careers matter. Making your mark with the talents the Good Lord has given you matters. Serving others, be it with your career talents or just with a kind heart, matters the most.
Being strong matters. High School, for most, has been a cake walk compared to what you now face. Accept Jesus as your Savior and let Him take it from there.

Gurdon police arrest Hope man

for meth and loaded gun

Tailgate News Editor
A 25-year-old Hope man was arrested Monday morning, May 11 by Gurdon police officers and charged with aggravated assault, possession of a firearm, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of meth amphetamine.
Marshal Don Childres said Thursday the arrest took place at Gurdon’s Dollar General Store where Jeremy Edward Fortner, 25, of 3201 West 16th Street in Hope, allegedly held Ashley Burton of Gurdon at gunpoint at some time before the two exited their vehicle, forcing her to use her white jeep to transport Fortner. The illegal items were discovered by law enforcement officials upon searching the vehicle.
Childres said no other arrests were made in connection with the incident, but Fortner was placed in handcuffs and taken to the Gurdon holding cell and then to Clark County Jail.
The aggravated assault charge, as well as the possession of an illegal substance and a firearm constituted felony charges, according to a police report on file at the Gurdon Police Department. Included in the drug paraphernalia discovered at the scene was a meth pipe and a set of digital scales.
Gurdon police on the scene besides Childres were Deputy Garry Marshall and Sgt. Toby Garner. The police arrived after someone at Dollar General made a 911 call. Clark County Sheriff Jason Watson said Monday night he had back-up officers also go to the scene.
Marshal Childres said, “The subject seemed high and incoherent when we arrived at Dollar General.”
Miss Burton exited the store when police arrived and gave permission to officers to search her vehicle, whereas Fortner was discovered outside of the store.
In addition to the afore mentioned items, clothing belonging to Fortner was discovered in the Burton vehicle.
The incident is under investigation by the Clark County Sheriff’s Department’s Drug Task Force.



Gurdon Go-Devils win 2A

State Track Meet, beat out field of 49 schools

Tailgate News Editor
Track and field came alive at Gurdon for the Go-Devil track stars on Wednesday, as the Gurdon team earned the rank of state champion in 2A track and field over entries from 49 schools statewide.
Head Gurdon Track Coach Kyle Jackson said it was the first time any Gurdon sports team had won a state championship since Gurdon’s basketball players accomplished the feat back in 1982.
Coach Jackson said winning over talented teams, such as Junction City, came from a combined effort of a few points at a time by a group of determined, hard working and talented Go-Devils.
He said he has watched Gurdon players continue to improve in all sports during his four years as a Go-Devil coach.
“Our own Jackie Harvell was a big contributor Wednesday in the 100 and 200 meter dash,” Jackson said.
Track meet statistics indicate Harvell, who will be a senior this coming year and has earned the reputation of being a fantastic runner on the football field, ran that 100 meter dash in 10.93 seconds for a 10 in the event.
According to the stats presented by the coach, the record for 2A state championship runners was in 2007 when Fred Rose ran it in 10.52 seconds, with the 2A record being accomplished in 2013 when Curtis Rogers ran it in 10.83.
Harvell came in first place in the 100 meter on Wednesday with his 10.93 and his team mate Dewayne Marlow came in fourth with 11.30 seconds.
Coach Jackson said David Sims won the 800 meter run with 2:04.88 as his time.
Sims also helped win the championship with his performance in the 1600 meter and 3200 meter runs.
“Our 400 meter relay team took a first place with 44.10 and that is a great example of team work,” Jackson said.
“Junction City came in second for the tournament and it was nice to beat our rival.”
Coach Jackson said this is the second year for Gurdon to host the event and he hopes to host it again next year.
He thanked the 100 plus workers it took to put on the tournament. Coach Jackson said he is extremely proud of Gurdon’s work ethic and the Go-Devil spirit to win!
“They gave us a big trophy for winning 2A State in track and I hope to add to that trophy collection for track and other sports as the years go by,” he said.

Gurdon to use Workforce funds

to hire young summer mowers

Tailgate News Editor
Gurdon Mayor Sherry Kelley told Council members Monday she plans to use Arkansas Workforce employees to help with mowing duties around town this summer and take advantage of state funding that will give young adults a chance to earn a few summer dollars “and improve the appearance of Gurdon without using city finances.”
Kelley said, “I have discovered we can hire those needing work, ranging from ages 18-21, at the beginning of our summer and Workforce will pay them $7.50 per hour.”
Alderman Danny Paul said there are some sidewalks that have grown up with grass that could really use some intense grass removal.
“We can work these folks part-time, or 40 hours a week, as needed,” Kelley said. “The younger group can start May 14. Then in June, we can hire workers ranging in age from 18 to 24. This project will improve the looks of Gurdon, plus help students and other young people in the area have summer jobs.”
In another matter, she noted the stage on Main Street, in front of the Hoo Hoo mural, ended up being 16 by 10 feet in size and efforts are being made to get another Union Pacific Railroad grant to add lights.
Kelley said she asked Union Pacific Railroad for $10,000, but actually received $5,000 for the stage construction.
“The stage construction did not take the whole amount. My plan is to get a smaller lighting grant from the railroad and use our left over stage construction money to match it.
This will mean we have a new stage, with lighting, that can be used for Gurdon events in the future that did not cost the city any out of pocket money,” Kelley explained.
She said Gurdon has also put 25 acres in the industrial site availability program, through the Clark County Industrial Alliance job creations group. She said statistics show that 80 percent of new jobs are generated by existing industry.
“We have been doing what we can to try and generate more work for our area,” she said.
One in-Gurdon site we have explored is where the old Middle School is located. We have been attempting to contact the present owner of that property.”
Childres said she believes the old Middle School site is currently owned by Delores Hodges.
Moreover, Kelley said the Main Street Market project is in a slow-down because needed filler dirt must be placed by piling it over an existing wall.
This dirt work must be finished before an electrical pole can be installed because moving the dirt over head might damage electrical equipment. She said things should speed up once the power is on.
In other business, Treasurer and Recorder Tambra Childres said Ty Oppelt,animal control officer, has been working on enforcing the ordinance banning pit-bulls.
“The pit-bull we had at the shelter has been adopted and is gone,” she said.
“We get reports of pit-bulls in Gurdon but Ty has to see one before he can legally take action.”
She said if someone takes a photo of a pit-bull in a local area, that is good enough to allow the animal control officer to go take a look.
Childres noted that the annual City-wide Clean-up will continue through Friday night, May 8 (tonight) and that piles will begin to be picked up by city crews on Monday, May 11.
It was noted that Gurdon’s regular trash service has been picking up some of the debris, adding weight to their loads. Mayor Kelley told Childres to “give Bobby a call and tell him to stop because it will mean extra expense for Gurdon.”
Childres also noted there will be a city street clean-up, using volunteers, this Saturday, May 9. The City of Gurdon will furnish bags and gloves to pick up trash.
In other business, Kelley said the old Gurdon Hospital is being considered for a 50-bed alcohol and drug rehabilitation center.
Childres said a similar effort was tried years ago, “with the facility known as the Beautiful Woodland of Gurdon.”
Moreover, the council considered two ordinances that would close certain alley ways. Ordinance #15-002 passed, without an emergency clause. For details on the alley location, contact Childres at City Hall.
Ordinance 15-003 was tabled until the next Council meeting in June.
The next meeting will be at 6 p.m. on Monday, June 29 in City Hall.

Editorial on Mother’s Day

This coming Sunday, May 10, is the national day set aside for Mother’s Day in our United States of America.
It is a time set aside to honor those women who have contributed children to his world. Some of those children have become presidents, some factory workers and others soldiers to defend freedom and honor so the rest of us may enjoy life as we know it.
Look back on this day at what your mother did for you. Remember her eyes when she showed you approval and all of the meals she fixed so that you would grow up healthy and strong.
Remember her voice when she corrected you and her defensive ways when anything threatened your well being. Remember how hard she worked for your chance to succeed in this world.
This Tailgate News editor would like to say God bless all of our mothers, and/or substitute moms and here is hoping you hear from your kids in a way this Sunday that will warm your heart and give you peace in your soul.


Another Card
I grew up with a gambler,
a farmer they say
But Grandpa taught me
to never go astray

He said if a man
wanted a dream
Then that same man
had to smile and scheme

He told me when
all else had failed
There was no sin
in turning your tail

But most of the time,
the Indians were right
About the time for panic
they called it a night

But Grandpa was different,
and so friend am I
When the game looks lost
Is when I begin to thrive

You know the way
the poker face works
The faint of heart quit
The rest go to work.

So give me another,
yes just one more card,
I’ll try to win a pot
for you and push
your dream hard.




Gurdon to hold

graduation on May 22

Tailgate News Editor
Gurdon High School plans to graduate 55 seniors at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 22 in the Cabe Auditorium.
High School Principal Harvey Sellers said the awards ceremony this year will be at 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 7, with an end of the year band concert that night at 7. Both of those events will also being held at Cabe Auditorium.
The annual Go-Devil sports banquet will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 19 in the GHS cafeteria.
Looking forward to summer, Sellers is encouraging eligible students to take driver’s education.
The principal said the summer program starts on June 8, meeting from 8 a.m. until noon, and will meet Monday through Friday at the GHS Library.
It is for the first 12 qualified students who sign up for the summer driver’s education program. Application deadline is June 1. Contact Sellers for details at the GHS principal’s office.

Key encourages honor graduates to be prepared for goal changes

Tailgate News Editor
The Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner of Education, Gurdon’s own Johnny Key, told 13 honored GHS seniors Thursday night that it is very good to make plans for your life but it is essential “to always be prepared for a change of path.”
Key, who graduated high school at Gurdon in 1986, wanted to be a chemical engineer in Texas, but marriage to an Arkansas girl, coupled with his love for his home state, changed all of that.
“Things are going to happen in your life after graduation that are totally unexpected and you have to be flexible enough and ready enough to take the best opportunity for you that comes along in an ever changing set of circumstances.”
Key told the honor students and guests he had gone from his first job cutting Clay Cabe’s grandmother’s lawn for $5 to a position in Arkansas government where he was the head of the educational plans for the state “and I am not a teacher or an educator but I know how to ask questions and find the experts necessary to glean the proper advice and get the job done that will hopefully be the best course of action for the Arkansas educational system.”
Before accepting his present position, Key was a Republican state senator. He told the seniors becoming a Republican was a surprise to some because when he was growing up the Cabes were the only Republicans he had ever known.
“Things continue to change. You may think you know what you want to do after graduation, but circumstances change and so does your perspective of what you should do. The key is to always be prepared for the unexpected opportunities that come along. Don’t get your heart set on one thing and miss out on having a happy family or a fulfilling career that in your earlier years you never dreamed you could accomplish,” he said.
“When I graduated Gurdon High School 29 years ago, I would have never dreamed I would be standing in front of a group of honor students about to graduate GHS in 2015 and be holding the position of Commissioner of Education.”
Key told the group they should get ready for the possibility that graduation day, in their case May 22, might be the last day they ever laid eyes on classmates, even some who they consider close friends.
“We all move on,” he said. “I want to thank the Cabes and this Rotary Club for allowing me to speak to you tonight, and I can assure you of one thing, you may leave Gurdon and think you will never want to come back but many of you will come back and find some of the same people who believed in you as a young person are still here, and still on your side. As you grow older, that will become more and more important.
“So remember, make your plans and plan to be ready to use your never give up Go-Devil attitude down the road of life to achieve your personal version of success.”

Memorable Moment: Dream vacation to Florida

Tailgate News Editor
Like most of us, I spend far to much time worrying about what I don’t have at the time, rather than thanking the Good Lord above what I do possess.
My memories are one of my most prized possessions. You may say it is not healthy to live in the past. I agree if that is all a fellow does, but if you live in the past, present and future, I think that is healthy. Our past tells us what we have liked so far about this earth, and what we might ought to stay away from.
Our day to day tells us what we have learned and how we prefer to live now. Thinking of the future, making goals and dreaming of better days keeps a smile on our day to day faces.
So beings as the name of this column is “Memorable Moments,” allow me to take you down a more modern trip to the recent past for just a few paragraphs.
The time was the summer of 2012. My wife and I had lived cash and carry all of our married life, some 14 plus years at that point and she had to have a kidney stone operation. That operation was actually in July of 2011 and the bills of it came crashing down a year later. Like most folks who work for a living, we did not have the cash money to dole out the $2,800 that the bill collectors said would put us in the poor house if it were not spit out promptly.
So I did what most husbands would have done, I bit the bullet and entered the world of credit cards. I had been a business owner since 2007 and so the bank let me have one. Michelle, who works a “real job,” had already gotten one a year earlier for home improvement. I held out. But when the medical bills screamed, I paid them. And, like a lot of working people, I am still paying them in the form of paying off credit cards the installment method.
The good part of this story is that “medical” Visa had some cash left on it after we satisfied Baptist Hospital and all of its affiliates. So my idea, as always, was to go to Florida! This time we planned a route out of this world. Michelle and I had never had a real vacation so this trip was like a dream come true for both of us.
We started out heading for the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tenn. We heard Don Worley, or some such a country artist, and some other folks less known, but it was a wonderful experience. Then we headed for Montgomery, Alabama to visit Hank Williams grave monument and to take a small breather. After that, the car headed for my beloved Florida state line.
I believe we stopped in Ocala and spent the night. I remember the good meal we had and the Florida plant life around us that I was so grateful to see again. For those of you who may not have read just everything I have ever written. I lived in Arcadia, Florida, near Sara Sota, for two years off and on back in 1979 and 1980. So this part of the trip was like a homecoming for me.
We headed on down the state and managed to go through Arcadia, the rodeo town I had anchored in years ago, and enjoyed the small town life for a bit. Then it was off to Siesta Key Beach, Turtle Beach and elsewhere in Sara Sota. But being from a lower-middle class income background, neither of us really felt like partying with the nation’s wealthy folk very long.
Consequently, we headed on toward Tampa and stopped at a pirate’s dream town called Manatee. We both loved the beach there and the town. We dreamed a little of her working at a pizza joint as a cook or waitress and me doing pizza delivery. If we did not have kids and grand kids counting on us, that might have been a doable future. But alas, we have a family depending on us a little and a strong love for our own area, Clark County, Arkansas.
Michelle is a supervisor for SCAT, specifically South Central Transit, and I am the editor of the Southern Arkansas Tailgate News. Admittedly, neither position will make us millionaires, but in my considered opinion, we like our jobs and they will probably allow us to retire in peace, should both of us live another 20 years or so.
So the escape dream to Manatee was just a dream, but it sure made both of us smile thinking about it. I figure to visit Manatee again, probably with the help of another credit card one of these days. Sure, I hope to be out of debt at 73, when I want to retire from my weekly magazine duties. My wife is 8 years younger than me so I don’t want to quit my day to day until she can retire also, from her “real job.”
But let’s talk Manatee, Florida a moment. I went out on the beach that summer, 40 pounds overweight and all, and walked up and down the place like a big dog. The others there were also mostly middle-aged, modest income, working folk, on a beach-bum hiatus, so I felt right at home. Sure, there were a few beautiful women for me to smile at and a few six-pack type guys that most likely caught my wife’s eye, but for the most part, I looked at the ocean.
I checked out the waves, the seagulls and the beautiful white sand. I felt so at home for those few hours, as I acquired one of the worst sunburns I have ever had. But that was not an issue when I walked the beach that day. For a brief few hours, all was right with the world. And you guessed it, as the salt air flowed through my lungs, the seagulls made their weird noises and I watched sunbathers and walkers who looked equally at peace right along with me, it was yet another “Memorable Moment.”


Close-Up students

enjoyed meeting

others from elsewhere

Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon High School branch of the nationally based civics education group called Close-Up visited Washington D.C. to learn how the United States government works and for fun from April 5 until April 11.
Teacher-Sponsor Tabitha Stroud, who has made an annual trip with a group of juniors and/or seniors from GHS to our nation’s capitol for at least five years, said Monday, “We observed the Supreme Court and learned about current event issues, plus we took a few extra tours.”
Stroud said the Gurdon group was there with Close-Up groups from 16 other states.
This year, 10 GHS juniors made the trek to D.C., which Stroud says is a little smaller than the usual number.
“Most years we have both juniors and seniors, and take about 14 to 16 students, but I will say this was one of our better groups to go,” she said.
Stroud said the students visited the White House and also learned about the differences between leftist liberals in government and right-wing conservatives.
The annual Close-Up trip from Gurdon is sponsored by fund raising events that the students work and donations. Stroud said she would like to offer a special thank you to Anita Cabe, of Cabe Land Company, for always being a big sponsor of the trip.
“We are already going to work planning our trip for next spring and getting organized for the 2016 adventure,” she said.
The teacher and 10 Close-Up travelers for 2015 were asked what they liked best about the experience.
The teacher and the top comments from her students are as follows.
Ms. Stroud said, “I always enjoy seeing the kids become excited about government.”
Olivia Moore said, “My favorite thing about Close-Up was getting to interact and develop close friendships with people who lead completely different lifestyles than I do.
“It’s cool to see how people who live in New York, Arkansas (other parts), Alaska and so many more fascinating places in the U.S. can connect so easily, regardless of different cultures.”
Breyan Samuels said, “I enjoyed meeting all the people and seeing the monuments. My favorite was the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.”
Tanner Capps said, “The thing that I like most about Close-Up was getting to meet some awesome people from all over the country and seeing the monuments.
“I am grateful also to have gotten my back pack mailed back to me from other Close-Up folks from the motel. I had lost it somewhere and was worried about that.”
Taylor Whisenhunt said, “I enjoyed getting to make new friends and seeing the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.”
Devin Simpson said, “The thing I liked the most about the Close-Up trip was seeing the monuments and memorials.
“ We get so caught up in our lives that we don’t realize the symbolisms that our nation has.”


Governor to speak

at Lincoln dinner

on May 11 at HSU

Special to the
Tailgate News
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson will be the keynote speaker for the annual Clark County Lincoln Day Dinner on Monday, May 11 at Henderson State University’s Garrison Center.
Hutchinson was sworn in as the 46th Governor of Arkansas on Jan. 13, 2015, promising to bring more jobs and economic growth to his native state.
During his first full day on the job, Gov. Hutchinson called the executives of six companies to let them know Arkansas wanted their business. Among other goals, he has pledged to lower taxes, create a business-friendly climate and increase technology skills for students.
Before being elected governor, Hutchinson served in both the private and public sector. He served as the director of the Drug Enforcement Administration and as the first undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Voter’s in Arkansas’s third district also elected him to Congress three times.
A graduate of the University of Arkansas law school, Asa Hutchinson, at age 31, was appointed by President Ronald Reagan as the nation’s youngest U.S. attorney. He and his wife Susan have been married 41 years.
Gov. Hutchinson said, “It has always been a pleasure to visit Clark County. I think this is my first visit as governor. I am looking forward to talking with the good folks there, and hearing their opinions and ideas. I always learn something when I am in Clark County.”
The Lincoln Day Dinner, sponsored by the Clark County Republican Committee, will start with a reception at 5:30 p.m. in the Garrison Center lobby, where attendees may visit with Hutchinson and other state office holders. Those in attendance may also visit with State Representatives Richard Womack and Justin Gonzales.
At 6:30 p.m., dinner will be served in the ballroom. Tickets are $35 for individuals or $300 for a table of eight. The deadline to buy tickets is Wednesday, May 6 and tickets will not be sold at the door.
For more information, or to buy tickets, call Cabe Land and Timber at: 870-353-2063. You may also email: cabeland@iocc.com with any questions. Tickets will be mailed upon request.
Eddie Arnold, CCRC chairman, said, “We are very excited and fortunate to have Gov. Hutchinson coming to our banquet to present his vision and the needs of our county and state.
“In the last two years, we have had the largest Lincoln Day dinner in the state of Arkansas. We are hoping even more people will come out this year to meet our governor, give him a warm welcome and show our county’s desire to work with him.”

Mother makes house call

to help ailing child on weekend

Tailgate News Editor
Mother’s Day is just around the corner, Sunday, May 10, to be exact.
I grew up with my paternal grandparents on a farm in Indiana and Grandma Nelson did most of the mothering when it came to me.
But my real mother, Audrey Hancock Nelson, was a doctor in Indianapolis for close to 20 years before she passed away of cancer in 1976. Mom was one of the first woman doctors in the state of Indiana and she was as smart as a whip. Her grades high school, college and medical school were as perfect as they gave.
My dad, Dr. John W. Nelson of Oklahoma, was the fifth most renowned neurologist in the United States for many years, but he was still jealous of my Mom’s IQ points. You see, both parents qualified at the genius level, but Mom weighed in 20 points higher than Dad!
My parents split up when I was 7 months old and then visited me out at the farm from time to time. Mom came about ever third weekend, as she lived closer. We were only an hour from Indy in Hagerstown. Dad came about every three months. He lived in Oklahoma City.
When I was somewhere around the first grade, I developed an ear infection and was in a lot of pain on a Saturday night. My regular doctor, Dr. Alfred Hollenburg, was out of town so my grandmother called Audrey. Mother Audrey was there in less than an hour, diagnosed the ear ache and got me some antibiotics amoxosin to cure me up. She also recommended Grandma continue allowing me to rest the ear on a hot water bottle. As I laid there sick, I heard them talking in the kitchen. It was nice to see my mother in doctor action and to know she loved her son enough to come running, no matter what day of the week it was. You guessed it, the concern made me smile and for a moment all was right with the world. It was another Memorable Moment in my life!

Haskell Harmony Grove wins

district baseball championship

Tailgate News Editor
Game results for varsity baseball Monday night, where Haskell Harmony Grove traveled to Bismarck and beat the Lions 8-2, were announced at the tail end of the School Board meeting and the win brought a smile to the faces of the board members.
The man announcing the score said Harmony Grove needed to beat Bismarck by 5 points to win the championship and the 6-point victory did the job. The Cardinals are now the new District Champions!
It was also announced that the Lady Cardinals did even better at the Bismarck competition, skunking out the Lady Lions, 16-0.
Superintendent Daniel Henley said prom went well on Saturday night, April 18.
“The students wanted to have it in our gymnasium and it was well attended,” he said.
Haskell Harmony Grove graduation will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 21, also in the high school gym (Daniel Henley Field House).
Henley said plans are in the works for the high school football homecoming to expand that celebration in October. In addition, a new Junior High School Spirit Week has been approved for basketball season. Henley said he considers both activities “necessary and great disruptions.”
As to the business meeting, Henley asked the board to pass a school choice resolution which allows the acceptance of any student into the Haskell Harmony Grove School District who wants to attend “as long as the acceptance does not mean we have to increase our staff.”
That resolution passed. The board also: • approved the minutes of the last meeting • approved the financial report and the lunchroom report.
Henley said, “We operated within budget in March. There were no unexpected expenditures. Some money has been transferred as necessary to make payments on our new parking lot.”
As to lunchroom finances, Henley told the board federal funding came in and Harmony Grove is now caught up and in budget for food.
In other business, the board approved a maternity leave request submitted by Aimee Brown, allowing the employee time off from Aug. 7 until Oct. 2.
An audit report on the district for 2013-2014 was approved. A classified employee salary schedule was approved that stipulates $1,000 more will be paid for a person serving the district 10 years than any new hire in like position.
An Alternative Learning Education tuition agreement with Glen Rose was approved. Henley said if Harmony Grove does not send any students to Glen Rose there is no charge.
The board approved the following changes in staff: Resignations – Cara Cochran, special education teacher; Jared Guinn, high school science teacher/coach; Shauna Jackson, high school English teacher and Angela McWhorter, special education supervisor.
Hirings – Dyann Key, special education teacher; Crystal Prichard, special education teacher; Charla Holmes, Middle School secretary; Emily Parker, elementary school teacher; Shane Taylor, Junior/High School Teacher/Coach; Cynthia Rockett, High School English teacher; and Amanda Huey, Special Education coordinator. The board also hired Janice Heard and Pam Henley as Summer School teachers and Brandon Kelly as Summer School bus driver.
In the superintendent’s report, Henley discussed a new law that allows school board members to attend three meeting a year by way of computer presence to avoid being pushed off the board for missing three meetings in a row. No action was taken, although board members did not object. Henley said it might help in some instances where a quorum was needed for timely proposals.
Henley also told the board he liked the Chrome Book for online testing. He said Fountain Lake is using it and it is less expensive than the I-Pad version. Henley said the biggest problem with online testing has been the tying up of science labs as test sites.


Gurdon plans annual Clean-Up;

April 24 – May 8 are curb dates

Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon city-wide spring clean-up will begin on Friday, April 24 this year and continue through Friday, May 8.
Tambra Childres, treasurer and recorder, said Wednesday the rules will be the same as last year.
“You have two weeks to put your items to the curb. Do not call City Hall to schedule a pick up.
The city will begin picking it up on May 9. Workers will go down each street in Gurdon one time and pick up your items.”
Childres added there will not be any special pick ups, so have your items ready.
She said if the city workers miss your pick up, you the resident are responsible for removal of your items and may be fined if they are not removed from the curb. Childres said there will be no exceptions.
“We do not accept: loaded trailers, household garbage, bagged items, tires, batteries, canned food or commercially cut trees or limbs,” she said.
The City of Gurdon would like to encourage all residents to take advantage of this annual service. Childres said it is a city-wide effort to encourage residents to be proud of Gurdon.
Mayor Sherry Kelley said code enforcement, in regard to keeping Gurdon front yards free from broken down cars, old tires and other unsightly items, will begin after clean-up to give residents a chance to correct some of the violations on their own.

New Hoo Hoo stage to go up

in downtown Gurdon!

Tailgate News Editor
The results of a $5,000 Union Pacific Railroad grant for a stage in downtown Gurdon are about to come to pass.
The grant, according to now Mayor Sherry Kelley, was something she gained for Gurdon while still serving as Justice of the Peace back in 2013 and provides 100 percent funding with no matching money required.
“We have all volunteer labor on this project and so Gurdon will not be putting any additional money into it except for paying the light bill on the pole that was just installed to hook up the guitars and amps,” Kelley said Thursday.
“David Williams, of Williams Welding in Gurdon, put up our iron fence around where the stage will be. My mother and I painted the Hoo Hoo wall behind the stage and volunteers will construct that stage this coming week.”
Kelley said by not having to pay for so much of the labor, the actual materials cost Gurdon less than the $5,000 and the balance can be used to pay the second half of future matching grants so Gurdon’s budget can remain in tact when the opportunities come around to accept matching grants to make more improvements.
“I had one lady tell me I should not apply for matching grants because the matching funds would ruin Gurdon’s budget for basic bills,” she said. “This is simply not true if you know how to cut corners on the cost of labor. Many times we are just out materials because Gurdon people are so good to volunteer.”
Celebrate Recovery leader Jerry Williams, who also helps with a Bible study on Tuesday nights, will lead a crew in the construction of the 16 by 16 feet stage, she said. Joe Pruitt has also volunteered his time, as have several others around town.
The wood for the stage will come from Plyler’s Hardware Store in Gurdon.
“Our city workers installed that light pole last week and as soon as it is live this coming week we will be able to hook up the power tools necessary to construct the stage,” Kelley said.
“I have been researching other towns in our area, such as Amity, and I like their trade days idea. I hope to start an annual Gurdon Trade Day in May to where we too can use this concept to raise funds for various projects.”
Kelley said the Trade Day will be a community yard sale activity and one party has expressed an interest in combining the yard sale with a city-wide barbecue cook-off.
Kelley said the new stage can be used to provide music during the trade day effort, as well as be useful during the town’s existing celebration in October. Forest Festival, which has happened for years on the last Saturday in October, always fills the air with music and perhaps the Hoo Hoo stage will be utilized to make that effort a smoother project.
“Someday soon I hope to get some more money for this project through another grant and put up old-timey looking lamps to go with the Hoo Hoo background,” she said.
“My research indicates that the lighting grant I am working on will be for about $1,000 and is a matching grant. We can use $1,000 left over from the Union Pacific fund, or even monies left over after our Main Street Market project is complete from the USDA fund, to get those lights up and make our Hoo Hoo theme stage more appealing to use at night.”
Hoo Hoo, a logging fraternity type organization formed in 1892 in Gurdon by a group of log buyers, still has its international headquarters at Gurdon.
Kelley said the whole idea behind pursing the construction of the stage and slowly rebuilding downtown Gurdon into an area alive with activity and business, is to make “Gurdon seem more alive and prosperous for our citizens and to those who are scouting areas to place new industry.”



CD&E Club choosing

scholarship recipient who

plans to create job skills

Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon Community Development and Entertainment (CD&E) club met Wednesday at City Hall to discuss procedures for determining this year’s $1,000 scholarship recipient amongst the graduating seniors at Gurdon High School.
CD&E President Clayton Franklin developed the criteria for the scholarship during its first year in existence, which was last school year.
Tracy Ellis Drake, another CD&E member and GHS affiliate, said she would take the scholarship information to the counselor’s office but the first step would be to solicit the candidate letters.
Secretary for the club, Angela Harper, said records indicate that nine students actually submitted application letters for last year’s CD&E scholarship.
Franklin said letters should be about a page in length and are due at Harper’s office in City Hall by Friday, April 24.
“A student might be going to learn welding or any number of trade skills,” Franklin said. “We just want a plan and we will decide who gets the money. Last year, we gave it to a girl who had determined her future would be going to beauty school.”
The CD&E Club will meet at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28 in City Hall to go over the scholarship letters.
Franklin said, “Remember, you don’t have to be at the top of your class to apply for this one. Just be ambitious to get ahead and have a good plan.”
Drake agreed to take the word to seniors this coming week that they need to get their letters ready for the CD&E scholarship.
The actual scholarship will be presented at the 10 a.m. GHS Awards Ceremony, to be held this year on Thursday, May 7 in the Cabe Auditorium.
CD&E members also discussed fund raising ideas for the upcoming Unity In the Community Gospel Sing, to be held in either July or August, and for the 2015 Forest Festival, scheduled for the last Saturday in October.
Franklin said they are beginning this Forest Festival year with around $5,400 and $1,000 is already obligated to the scholarship fund.
“We are actually about $1,000 ahead of where we were last year at this time,” Franklin said. “The Unity In the Community Singing does not cost very much. It is just a matter of lining out the details.”
Franklin said the biggest financial challenge for CD&E is the free rides for the children at the Forest Festival. Last year’s bill for that alone was nearly $6,700.
“I’d like to see us get a smaller package of free rides for the little kids only and see if we can not get a carnival interested in coming here for a small guarantee against that night’s business to give the bigger kids something fun to do,” he said.
The group agreed to solicit bids from a few carnivals to get an idea of the cost. It was also agreed upon to invite the trick bicyclers back for another year of entertainment. Secretary Angela Harper said their charge was $750 plus motel expenses.
“They were well worth it though,” she said. “Everybody seemed to enjoy them and they communicated with a great spirit of entertainment to our crowd.”
Franklin said he would like the group to consider moving the time of the annual Forest Festival Auction to either late morning or early afternoon, in hopes that a bigger crowd would still be around to participate in the fund raiser.
“That auction, our T-Shirt sales and the beauty pageant money makes up most of what we collect for Forest Festival, outside of donations,” Franklin said. “So we really need to do our best to make the most of the auction so we can get a good start on next year’s expenses.”
In addition to possibly bringing back a carnival, Franklin said if the blow-up ride fee for the younger kids can be reduced he would like to consider a zip line. The first cost estimate he got on a zip line for Forest Festival was around $2,000.
Franklin said he will ask Big Chuck to entertain again, say from 5 until 7 or so. Drake suggested a line-dancing contest before the band starts.
“This would get our families all involved and be fun,” she said.
Franklin said he hopes to get Jimmy Smithpeters and his daughter Cindy Loe involved in the stage music this year.
“They have real talent. If we could get folks like them and Brian Clark, this stage music thing could be big,” he said. “And we definitely need a better sound system and a more complete plan for stage entertainment than last year.”
The meeting was adjourned. Again, CD&Ewill meet on April 28 to decide on a scholarship recipient.

Gurdon gets new bait shop

at Whatever Produce & Gifts

Tailgate News Editor
Whatever Produce and Gifts, a Gurdon business started a couple of years ago by Marshal Don Childres and his wife Treasurer and Recorder Tambra Childres, has expanded from the fresh produce and gift business to include a bait shop.
Marshal Childres said the shop will carry bottom worms, minnows, gold fish, chicken livers and the like, with a steady source of more bait coming all of the time.
Tambra Childres said, “So far this is really going good. And we are getting our fresh produce in too so that end of the business will be picking up as well. Before you shop out of town, come see Whatever Produce, Gifts and Bait for all your needs as of late.”
Marshall Childres said the bait shop end of things will be available to the public just about every day. Extended hours are planned to accommodate fishermen.
Whatever Produce, Gifts & Bait Shop is located on Highway 67, on the left toward Gurdon High School, before you come to the Cabe Baseball and Softball Fields, on your way to Gurdon Park and then the school. The Marshal said he will keep bait prices very competitive.

Memorable Moment:

Editor recalls hearing

from God’s Spirit…

Tailgate News Editor
I am a Christian of a non-denominational nature. I believe a fellow or gal who accepts Jesus Christ as a United Pentecostal, a Methodist, a member of the Church of Christ, an Assembly of God person or another person of non-denominational belief has just as much standing in the grace of God and the salvation of Jesus Christ as the next saved person.
And don’t let me forget the Baptist Church. They say more salvation experiences come from those Baptist salvation preachers than anywhere else in the Kingdom of Jehovah God. Maybe so. I am just going by hear-say.
But let’s get on with my Memorable Moment. It was about March of 2003 and I was the song leader at the Victory Assembly of God Church in Lono, Arkansas. The people of Lono are some of the finest country folks I have ever known in this life of mine.
Our preacher was the Rev. Glen McClung and he had me go up front to lead the singing. I had confided in my preacher, as I had been doing with several preachers across this country for years, that I believed myself a saved fellow, had been Baptized and felt good about that. But I also confided that I had never talked in tongues, as evidence that the Holy Ghost had His Spirit inside of my heart. I realize that is a Pentecostal doctrinal belief, but I have seen it in real life, read about it in the Bible and always wanted to experience it on a personal level.
I do not intend this column to be a sermonete, but if you take it that way so be it. Mostly, getting back to my story, I opened my song book and looked at a song. My preacher, without seeing the song, addressed the congregation and said, “This is John’s night. Let’s all support him as we sing Amazing Grace.”
The song book had indeed opened to Amazing Grace. Nothing marked that spot in the book. It had just flipped open there. I began to sing, as the organ music background started playing. There is a section of Amazing Grace, traditional version, where it says Praise God, Praise God, Praise God! It says that toward the end of the song.
I started singing that last verse and holding up my hands to God. The congregation, in vast majority, was following suit. All of a sudden an unknown language started coming out of me. I felt like God was praying a prayer I needed that I did not know I needed, if that makes any sense.
Now I will tell you I am not a regular tongue talking type Christian, but the Bible says seek and ye shall find. And I did find it, a prayer language. that is, from the Holy Spirit of God. On that Sunday in March of 2003, when I praised God and spoke in other tongues, all was right with the world and that would constitute yet another Memorable Moment.

Dog Catcher Committee

changes nothing about

Gurdon Animal Shelter operations

Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon Animal Shelter Committee met Wednesday and decided to table any changes of procedure at the shelter.
Mayor Sherry Kelley told this reporter after the meeting, “We really made no decisions of changing anything. And at this time no future meeting of the committee has been scheduled.”
Oppelt said while waiting for his turn with the committee, “I just want to be left alone to run the shelter as I have been doing. But I would appreciate it if they fix the leaky roof.”




Former Gurdon mayor now

Chamber president, vows

to play ball with industry seekers

Tailgate News Editor
It was announced at the Tuesday night Gurdon Chamber of Commerce Banquet that mayor emeritus Clayton Franklin will be taking over for a year as president of the local C of C, a job he once held back in 1969.
Franklin, who joked about most of the past presidents before that being already dead said he, by contrast, was looking forward to a bright economic future for the Gurdon area and to having a hand in building it.
“The Economic Industrial Committee of Clark County has worked with us by providing nearly a quarter of a million dollars on getting our water and sewer facility up to par so we can be a part of meeting the needs Georgia Pacific Lumber Company will have after their highly published $37 million expansion is complete,” he said.
“And there are many other instances I could site where Gurdon and the Arkadelphia based Clark County Economic Development group are now working together.
“As your Chamber president, I will not sit on my hands. This organization will continue to play ball with the economic powers that be in Clark County. We will do all we can to help create new jobs for Gurdon and to be cooperative financial partners with those also seeking a better economy in Clark County.”
Franklin served as mayor of Gurdon for 17 years. He chose not to run in 2014. Other officers for the 2015-2016 year are: Vickie Smithpeters, vice president; Michelle Anderson, treasurer; and Michelle Babineaux, secretary.

City Council passes resolutions

to tear down eye sore homes;

Mayor Kelley vows

to make local dog adoptions

more affordable

Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon City Council met in regular session on Monday, March 30 and passed resolutions concerning dilapidated properties within the city that were designed to help clean up the town.
Treasurer and Recorder Tambra Childres said those with properties that the City Council placed on the condemnation list by way of the resolutions will be given notice and 30 days to respond.
“If they tell us to remove the structure in question, action will be scheduled. If they tell us they are wanting to fix the property up, we will try and work something out. But if we get no response in 30 days after they are notified, action will be taken by the city to clean up the property.”
Mayor Sherry Kelley encouraged the City Council members to pass the resolutions “because I have received numerous complaints about the properties in question and this will let property owners know we mean to clean up Gurdon for their sakes as well as for the sakes of surrounding property owners.”
In other business, Clark County Economic Industrial Committee Chairman Stephen Bell gave a slide show presentation about recent business related accomplishments throughout Clark County. He said the $37 million investment by Coca Cola Corporation in Georgia Pacific, to increase the lumber yard’s capacity by 60 percent “should be great insurance that GP will be in Clark County for the long haul.”
He talked of the quarter of a million dollars that is going into fixing up Gurdon Water And Sewer facilities, and noted how it is a win-win situation for Gurdon and GP, as it will allow GP the privilege of working with Gurdon on an anticipated need for more water when the plant grows.
Bell said there is a tentative plan to expand the plywood side of GP, to the tune of $20 million more, but that plan has not been finalized.
In her mayor’s report, Mayor Sherry Kelley talked of her negotiations with state officials, attempting to gain funding for a Gurdon Sports Complex and to expand the day-time running areas for dogs housed at the Gurdon shelter.
The meeting was then adjourned to executive session. Clerk and Recorder Tambra Childres said a personnel committee was appointed to create an updated job description for Animal Control Officer Ty Oppelt. She said the committee will meet this week and then will meet with Oppelt. Results of this meeting will be available within a week, according to Childres.
Mayor Sherry Kelley has a background in veterinary science work and says she loves dogs. She has some new ideas about caring for the animals that are expected by this reporter to be voiced to the committee. No further action was taken at the meeting.
A crew of about a dozen supporters for the dog catcher and his current methods came to the meeting. Kelley said she would be glad to hear them out after the meeting was adjourned. Oppelt was not allowed to go into executive session with the City Council, although he did ask if he was not supposed to join them to present his side of why he runs the shelter as he does?
Apparently the mayor and City Council chose to get the particulars of the animal control officer’s job description specified and updated before offering to hear their worker’s input. In a news feature in Tailgate News last week, both Mayor Kelley and Animal Control Officer Oppelt said their main concern was the welfare of the dogs.
Mayor Kelley said on Thursday, April 2, “I am not interested in dictating some group of mandates to Ty. I have thought this over and believe the committee can best serve as a board to which our Animal Control Officer can voice his concerns.
“It has come to my attention that Ty would like to see more dogs adopted by the local residents, but vetting the animals is so expensive that breaking even puts the dogs higher in price than most local people can afford to pay.
“ I will look for some money to help reduce the cost of adopting a vetted dog from our shelter for the people of Gurdon,” Kelley said.
“We also intend to fix the leaks that Ty has told us about in the roof of the shelter. I plan to consult with Ty before making any other changes at the shelter, as his expertise and dedication are appreciated by this mayor.
“ We could use some volunteers at the shelter. If anyone is interested, please contact Ty.”

Coach Calley promote integrity,

good work ethic and desire to compete and win!

Tailgate News Editor
Bryant Head Football Coach Paul Calley, whose winning record is too large to mention, said the one thing he always tells his players first is that no matter how big or small your role is with a team or something else in life, “do it with the best integrity you can muster because somebody is using you as a role model.”
Coach Calley, a Gurdon High School graduate who spent a lot of time in his youth working at his father’s gas station, playing football and playing baseball, said his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Johnny Calley, have always been his biggest supporters in life.
Calley went on to play football at Henderson State University and earn a bachelor’s degree, but his climb to his current position was not always an easy road. He said the banquet hostess Anita Cabe called him and told him to speak tonight! After the laughter died down, he praised Mrs. Cabe for her continued support of Gurdon, “which I consider a hometown filled with wonderful people and I never plan to move so far away I can not get back in a hurry.”
Calley said working long hours at Calley’s Station, which his father has been running for 48 years, taught him a tremendous work ethic that has done him well as a coach, teacher and family man.
“The main three ingredients that I tell my players amount to success are: having a tremendous work ethic, placing a high value on your family and friends and understanding that the formula for any successful relationship is love and loyalty.”
Although his coaching success has gained him offers to coach college football, Calley said he plans to stay with the Bryant Hornet program in the foreseeable future. He had one tempting offer “but just did not want my kids to grow up that far away from Gurdon.”
He said his wife, a top Shelter Insurance agent, agreed to make the move but both decided family ties were too important to leave the area. Coach Calley said his secret for winning so many football games was remembering the plays of past challenges, like a certain 1986 Gurdon verses Junction City game and numerous times Bryant has beaten Benton in the Salt Bowl.
“Looking back, my first sports love was basketball,” he said. “When I was at Gurdon, my teachers taught me the value of competition and instilled a healthy desire in me to want to win at whatever I pursued.”
He admitted a big desire to be an architect as a child but went into education “for the money!” After the laughter subsided, Calley credited his Christian faith, family, football and his hometown community for whatever success he has had in life. “I love Gurdon and its wonderful people.”

Tailgate Traveler recalls

humorous Little League win


Tailgate News Editor

Perhaps the horrible rain season is over. I am sure some of the farmers may like it, but as for us journalists enough is enough.
I am planning a trip to Fountain Lake on Tuesday, April 7 to see the Cobras and the Harmony Grove Cardinals compete in baseball.
I plan to get lots of names, as I know us parents and grandparents love to see our little stars identified.
Baseball and spring go together in my mind. And of course fishing is in there somewhere. I am planning a mini vacation over the weekend of April 10 to Beech Grove, Arkansas where there is a fully stocked pond waiting on me, my best friend Mike and my grandson Zander.
Zander will be 8 years old on April 10 and our all day fishing trip is planned for Sunday, April 12.
In case my preacher is reading this, I apologize for not coming to church that Sunday in advance – but a big old bass is waiting on me!
Mike’s sister Sharon lives out in the country with her husband Larry and hardly anyone fishes that pond. Every time I have ever been fishing back there I have caught 4 and 5 pound bass and catfish and brim that are as big as I remember my Grandpa’s hands! And believe me, that old farmer had big hands!
But back to baseball, I will try and make a game or two for Gurdon, Haskell and Fountain Lake this year, as we need action shots in this paper of kids who are working and playing hard!
Since I have a little room here, let me tell you my favorite Little League story.
I was about in the second grade and playing second base back in Hagerstown, Indiana. The coach was Earl McMasters of the big kid’s team and he was scouting us little guys for his next year’s line-up.
Coach McMasters approached me after the incident I am about to tell about and said, “That was a great catch son. Next year you play for me!”
It was the bottom of the ninth and we were ahead by one run, but they had the bases loaded and our pitcher looked like he had just swallowed his father’s chewing tobacco – green to the gills.
The nervous little guy lobbed a ball toward the pitcher with all of the lightening speed one might expect from a turtle trying to rest a bit from a long walk…
So naturally, the opposing team got a hold of that ball and smack! It was a pop up right over second base. I was the second baseman…
I put my glove in the air and stared straight up into the sun. The ball came down, hitting me squarely in the face and falling into my glove.
It was their third out and we won the game! My grandfather got up out of his seat and started clapping. Everyone looked so happy.
I was about to die of pain, my jaw hurt so bad where that blasted baseball had landed.
I faked a smile and took a bow. It was all planned, my coach said. My team mates were all patting me on the back.
Everyone got ready to go home and then Coach McMasters made me his offer. I told him sure I would play for him, but I don’t remember that ever happening.
If memory serves, I found something else to do besides Little League the next year.
But I will never forget the smack of the bat, the pop up ball and the smack of that ball on my little face before that ball fell squarely in my baseball glove.
I wish the kids I will be photographing easier catches in their travels. See you on the road!





Gurdon Animal Shelter exceeds

expectations in getting dogs adopted

Tailgate News Editor
Ty Oppelt has been the animal control officer at Gurdon for eight years, and has accessed a circuit of animal rescue organizations and animal shelters nationwide to insure his dream of minimizing the number of dogs crossing his path that must be euthanized.
And the system works, as it is seldom any dogs are put down. Oppelt donates many hours of his own time so that the dogs remain healthy, “vetted” and ready for adoption as soon as possible.
There are currently around 25 dogs in his shelter. He says none of them are biters or aggressive and all are deserving of a good home. The law in Gurdon says the shelter must keep a dog alive five days before putting it down. Oppelt extends that to around two weeks minimum to be sure there are no rabies victims involved.
He said the average time it has taken him to place a dog that has been neutered, proclaimed healthy by a veterinarian and is up to date on shots is a couple of months. Black dogs, he said, for some reason are harder to place. This is true from his shelter and also of other shelters in his Internet circuit.
But whatever color of dogs he gets, Ty feeds them well, as he has ample food donations that do not cost the city anything.
“We occasionally have an aggressive dog that is too dangerous to adopt out, or one that comes to the shelter with a disease we can not treat,” he said. “So my dream of never killing a dog is unfortunately impossible. But our incinerator went out a few years ago and I found a company that will accept deceased dogs from our freezer and dispose of them. This seemed more sensible to me than buying a new one, as we really have very few that are put down.
“Then Mayor Clayton Franklin was thrilled with the solution because a new incinerator would have had a price tag of close to $15,000 and research indicated the old one can not be fixed. We only spend $200 a month at the most on the freezer pick-up process. Those dogs are taken to an incinerator and their ashes spread over a dog cemetery.”
Oppelt said he believes Franklin had complete confidence in him and his ability to run the shelter in a manner that would be both professional and with the most humane treatment of the dogs possible.
“Mayor Franklin respected my understanding of how to care for, keep healthy and place adoptable dogs and I really appreciate the years I was privileged to serve him and the City of Gurdon in that capacity,” Oppelt said.
The new mayor, Sherry Kelley, has a love for dogs. Kelley has expressed her appreciation for Oppelt’s efforts to make sure adoptable dogs from the Gurdon Animal Shelter get adopted. She worked in the veterinary profession for a couple of years and has brought several new ideas to the table. Kelley said she intends to check her ideas with her department head, Oppelt, and hopefully make a few agreed upon changes that will give the dogs a little happier life as they wait their turn for adoption at the animal shelter.
“No system is beyond improving. One of my ideas is to increase the running free time of the dogs during daytime hours. It is my hope that we can add a little more joy to the animals’ lives by giving them a bit more time to run and some added human contact.”
Oppelt’s love for animals beats any that this editor has ever seen. The one point Oppelt stressed over and over during the interview is “it’s all about helping the dogs.” Oppelt, who has done extensive research on how to keep the dogs healthy and adoptable, and through an Internet effort has built a network to do so, says he believes at least one of his dogs is in nearly every state in the union in a new and happy home. He places dogs ready for adoption on Facebook/Gurdon Shelter and on his own Facebook timeline and his communication efforts have panned out many times during his eight-year tenure.
Oppelt has made many trips to drop off a dog for adoption to rescue facilities, shelters and private individuals on his own time and at his own expense. He has also spent the night many a time with dogs at the shelter who were too weak to be left alone upon arrival. Sometimes he has taken them to his private residence for extreme care in extreme situations.
Ashley Bradshaw, owner of Nellie’s Pet Grooming and Boarding in Arkadelphia, and a Gurdon resident, said, “Before Ty came, many of our pets that were picked up by the other dog catchers in Gurdon ended up killed in two days. This did not give adequate time for dog owners to pick up their pets. This has never happened since Ty took over as animal control officer.
“Ty brings me healthy dogs to work on. That is very important in my business. We simply can not groom dogs that are currently sick.”
Oppelt is in contact with rescue organizations sometimes willing to take dog, such as in Little Rock, Memphis, Mississippi and even as far away as California. Local traffic at the shelter is pretty small and the Internet contacts have been a big part of his success in building an adoption network for the Gurdon Animal Shelter.
Oppelt has successfully written two grants to help the local shelter since he has been the department head and he also receives regular donations. One grant was for $1,000 from the Cabe Foundation and the other for $25,000 from the Horace Cabe Foundation.
“We increased our kennels from 10 to 15, improved on the lighting and also had a fence built around the shelter so the dogs can run whenever possible,” he said. “Because of some of them being treated for diseases that could infect others while the treatments take effect, the dogs can not all run at once. It is very important to their health that the cages are cleaned regularly, which I have done for years.”
Oppelt said each person, rescue center or animal shelter fills out an application with him. It gives him a few bits of information to check before releasing the animal. He held up a large stack of applications that have been accumulated during his tenure.
“Many check out just fine, but there are times we have rejected one because of finding a history of animal abuse. The future of these dogs is very important to me and I do all I can to make sure they get a good home,” Oppelt said. “The big thing I wish we had at the Gurdon Animal Shelter is volunteers. These dogs are not hard to care for, but they do appreciate visits from animal lovers.”
Oppelt is also the on-call dog catcher in Gurdon. He admits the dogs can out run him, but he has his ways of getting them. This may mean resorting to harmless traps, but most of the time Oppelt says he can win the trust of an animal with a little patience. Once the trust is there, he said, it is not hard to put them in a truck. The process of winning a dog’s trust may take a little time, but Oppelt is willing to put in the extra hours, on the clock or not. Oppelt works as a dispatcher on the weekends for the Gurdon Police Department.
Kelley said the duel employment allows Ty to keep his health insurance and she intends to see that this remains the case.
“We appreciate all that Ty does for this city and even hope to give him a raise as soon as possible,” she said.
Oppelt said, “For some reason, I love taking care of the dogs here and really want to continue. Our Gurdon shelter is respected by many. My biggest desire is to keep it that way.”
Oppelt is the department head for the animal shelter, cage cleaner, dog feeder and chief dispenser of shots and any medications his veterinarian gives him guidance to do. Although the shelter operates on donations, the operational money is limited so Oppelt does all he can to stretch the budget. He is always looking for ways to help the dogs through donations so as not to bother the City Council with requests for extra money.
During the interview, this editor was given a tour of the shelter. A lot of tail wagging was noted as this reporter was allowed to pick a dog for photography purposes. Nelson picked a dog named Brandy. Oppelt smiled and said she is in a tie for the friendliest and best dog for adoption in the shelter. Ty said he is even negotiating with a company that may decide to place Brandy as a disability assistance animal. Brandy is a mid-size, mixed breed, miniature collie looking critter that is mostly black but has tan markings around her sparkling eyes. She weighs about 50 pounds and has a very healthy and shiny looking coat of fur. Oppelt said she would be a fine dog for children to enjoy.
“If Sherry and I work everything out in regard to future changes at the shelter, I will continue to care for and place these dogs in good homes for years to come. I love these animals and they know it. That is the main ingredient for the reason I spent countless hours trying to help them.”
Former Mayor Clayton Franklin asked the City Council to hire Oppelt eight years ago and continuously saw the need to protect what Oppelt has built in regard to placing dogs in good homes and running a professional shelter by making sure he was able to maintain full-time employment in Gurdon.
Mayor Kelley said she wants to see this policy stay of making sure the animal control officer for the City of Gurdon has what he needs personally and professionally to continue improving what the facility can offer dogs in waiting and dogs being adopted.
“I believe Ty and I can work together for years to come for the benefit of our dogs in Gurdon. I will always do what I believe is best for the dogs,” the mayor said.
Mayor Sherry Kelley mentioned in a interview with the Tailgate News a couple of weeks ago that she is lobbying with state officials for General Improvement Funds to go to Gurdon totaling $45,000 for the year. If that money comes through, part is to go for improvements at the animal shelter.
Oppelt said he was unaware of her efforts to gain the funding until recently, but if it comes through he is looking forward to working with Mayor Kelley on how the animal shelter’s portion is spent. He said the shelter roof leaks and he hopes a new roof might come under consideration.
Both the mayor, and her department head, repeated a common goal; to improve the lives of the dogs.

Rescue squad members

discover body of missing man

Clark County authorities say the body of Wesley Livingston, 24, was discovered in Gurdon Tuesday evening. Livingston was first reported missing on March 10.
He was last seen at the Georgia Pacific plant in Gurdon where he worked. According to reports Livingston complained of a headache and went to take medication but never returned.
His body was discovered by the Clark County Search and Rescue team in a thickly wooded area within 5 miles of the Georgia Pacific plant. According to authorities an initial investigation suggests that Livingston’s death was self-inflicted.
Livingston’s body has been sent to the state crime lab for an autopsy.
Clark County Sheriff Jason Watson said, “I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank everyone that assisted in the search for Wesley Livingston. Throughout the last 14 days multiple agencies were involved.
“Myself, along with my deputies, traveled through many counties in our state following up on leads and notifying citizens of our search. Wesley was located at 7:29 p.m. Tuesday, March 24 by members of our Clark County Search and Rescue team.
“ I, as well as everyone else I know, prayed for a different outcome and had hopes of bringing Wesley home safe. If I begin to name names and departments I would leave some out because of the number involved. However it’s very important to me to mention the great men and women of my department from deputies to investigations to dispatchers that worked non stop in assisting me on this case.
“Our Clark County Prosecutor Blake Batson, who stayed in constant contact and assisted with this effort, County Judge Ron Daniel, OES Coordinator Mikki Hastings, Arkadelphia, Caddo Valley and Gurdon Police Departments, Arkansas State Police, Arkansas Game and Fish and all of the hard work and assistance from the Ashley County Sheriff’s Department, all deserve recognition for a fine effort.
“Many thanks to the men and women of Clark County Search and Rescue, who tirelessly walked miles and miles everytime I asked them to do so. I can’t begin to tell you, how impressed and appreciative I am to each and everyone of you.
“These men and women train and volunteer their time and services and there is not a finer set of men and women around. It’s an honor to work with you.
“To the citizens of our county and those that have reached out to me across the state throughout this case with prayers and encouragement for everyone involved and for Wesley and his family, I can’t begin to thank you enough.
My prayers are with the Livingston family as they go through the next several months.”

Tailgate Traveler defends the right

of police to defend themselves

By John Nelson

Tailgate News Editor

There has been a lot of talk in the news lately about police officers shooting suspects because of their skin tones rather than because said suspects were putting the officers in mortal danger – real or perceived.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a prejudice man. I believe in promoting folks, encouraging them to high achievement and so forth, regardless of color, creed, gender or any other difference.
But here is how I see it. If I were a police officer, which I did a bit of police work in the prostitution racket many years ago in Florida, I would protect myself from mortal danger.
For that matter, I would do so whether I wore a badge or not. I would protect my life it were threatened. I had a couple of folks try and harm me with a sawed off shotgun many years ago. As you can see, I am still here.
Folks, we should not condemn our officers for defending themselves, whether their attackers are black, white, red or even ISIS Muslim.
And everyone is innocent in America until proven guilty. Cops do the best they can. Let’s give them a break. To assume their actions are always based on race sounds to my like an idea planted by someone wanting to stir up issues that have been more or less settled for a half of a century.
Sure, there are bad apples in police departments, just as there are sensationalist journalists – preying on the bad fortune of others.
In the old days, the newspapers justified such actions as adhering to the “if it bleeds, it leads” principle. The idea was that people love to read about the bad fortune of others.
Although there may be a little truth in that, it does not excuse those who hop on charges instead of convictions and put those charges front and center on their front pages.
I would imagine in the police world, or any world, it is the same. Some folks involved have ethics, some do not. But as I tried to teach my children, and will no doubt teach my grandchildren, two wrongs do not make a right.
The lynch mobs in our country, who would crucify police officers, especially before a fair trial, may be very sorry in the long run.
They may come upon a fellow that is a real bad egg, with vengeance in his heart. Then we just might really be looking at a racial issue where some innocent men and women of color get shot and killed because of being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
The judicial system in our country is far from perfect. But as my grandfather, the late John Hans Nelson, taught me, “If the law will solve your problem, let them. It is a whole lot easier than looking over your shoulder for the rest of your life.”
Grandpa, so the facts I have discovered say, was probably affiliated with the John Dillinger gang in his younger days.
He made it through it to live more than a half of a century more as a peaceful farmer.
Grandpa always said bad eggs come in all color, shapes and sizes. But if you judge by appearance, you are probably going to overlook real danger.
Our cops do the best they can to serve us and uphold the law. They are trained domestic soldiers. No matter what your color, if you pull a gun on “the heat,” that fellow in the uniform may very well shoot first and ask questions later. Trying to survive is not an act of prejudice, it is an act of common sense.
Happy Travels and Happy Easter!


Health care recruiter from UAMS

says modern doctor candidates

want more time to themselves

Tailgate News Editor
A health care worker recruiting specialist from the University of Arkansas Medical School (UAMS) South, in Magnolia, told Gurdon Rotarians Thursday it will take one and a half doctors in this new world of changing priorities to replace one old doctor with the dedication to be on call 24-hours per day.
Dennis Cooper, pre-health recruiter for UAMS South, said, “The younger doctors want time off. I am not saying this is all bad, but it is a very different way of looking at it than the older doctors have.
“I am not sure just how bad the shortage of old-style integrity doctors is in Arkansas, but I do know they are being replaced, as they die off, with an entirely different breed of health care professionals.
“Many of those with the old integrity are now past 60 years old. It will be a huge loss to our society when they die off.”
Cooper is online at: DPCooper@uams.edu. He offered the following information about the UAMS health care worker recruiting program.
As the only medical school in the state, UAMS established eight regional centers to serve as satellite campuses. Each center provides clinical services, education and training, and community outreach programs to the many rural areas.
The mission of UAMS health care recruitment is to address the growing shortage of healthcare professionals in rural Arkansas with fun and innovative programs.
The intent is to inform students, in primary grades through college, about the healthcare careers that exist in Arkansas.
A worker with a four-year degree will earn an average of 60 percent more over a lifetime than if he had stopped after high school.
Modern health care careers can take as little as a few months of training to up to 10 years.
Retired Gurdon High School Principal Leonard Gills, who asked Cooper to make a presentation to Rotary, said GHS has participated in the MASH and CHAMPS program before.
MASH AND CHAMPS are summer enrichment programs for juniors and seniors. They range from one to two weeks, giving students the opportunities to learn about health-related careers, shadow health professionals and to receive hands on training to enhance their experience in the healthcare field.
Cooper said when he visits schools his concentration is on eighth grade career classes through undergraduates in college.
He said a lot of the UAMS recruiter salaries come from government grants. Cooper joined the program about 18 months ago but said the healthcare recruitment program through UAMS has been around 6 years.
“Primary Care Physicians are really changing in Arkansas,” he said. “Many of the new recruits just want to work four days a week and be unavailable at other times.”
Although the rules of integrity have apparently evolved, Cooper said the number of students applying to be first year medical school students at UAMS are more than enough to fill the available 174 spots every year. This past school year, Cooper said 2,375 students applied for those coveted 174 first year medical school seats.
Cooper said the average GPA in medical school is 3.74 and the average MCAT is 30.4.

Chamber Banquet to host

Coach Paul Calley as speaker

Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon Chamber of Commerce Banquet will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31 in the Gurdon High School Cafeteria.
The guest speaker for the evening will be Bryant Hornet Head Football Coach Paul Calley, a Gurdon graduate and son of Johnny Calley, local business owner.
Calley, whose record at Henderson State Univeristy and as a coach for many years, will be discussed, as well as his love for football. Calley grew up working at the local gas station, owned by his father, and received financial aid for his talent in football to attend college. For details, see page 7 of the March 13, 2015 Tailgate News, under oldies, on this website.
It will cost $15 to attend the Chamber banquet. In addition to the meal and speech by Coach Calley, Citizen of the Year, Teacher of the Year and Chamber Member of the Year winners will be announced.
Michelle Anderson, Chamber of Commerce secretary and employee at First State Bank in Gurdon, said Chamber members are encouraged to cast votes for the three top citizens until Friday, March 27. You may vote at First State Bank or the Cabe Land Office.
Tickets to the banquet are on sale at US Bank, the Cabe Land Office and First State Bank in Gurdon. They will also be available at the door on the night of the event.
Paul Calley was tabbed 7A Central Coach of the Year in 2007. Calley was also a 2006 and 2008 Hooten’s State Farm Coach of the Year finalist. In 2011, he was named 7A Central Conference Coach of the Year, Hooten’s Farm Bureau 6A/7A Coach of the Year, and was a KATV Coleman Dairy Coach of the Year finalist.
Paul graduated from Gurdon High School in 1987 where he was a two sport athlete – football and baseball. His athletic efforts and talent awarded him an athletic scholarship to Henderson State University in Arkadelphia.
While attending Henderson (’87-91), Paul was a 4 Year Letterman, named All-Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference Selection, NAIA Honorable Mention All-American and Team Captain. Paul received his Bachelor of Science in Education in ’92 – Physical Education with a minor in Social Science. He also received his Masters of Science in Education Leadership from Arkansas State University in 2012.
Paul is married to Laryssa Calley. Together, they have two children -Kenzee Calley, 21 and Kurt Calley, 17.

Gurdon School Board considers

new lunch program, sends

students on spring break

Tailgate News Editor
Gurdon School Board voted to have spring break, despite seven snow or ice days, at the regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday.
Superintendent Allen Blackwell gave the board several alternatives to make up the time, but extending school through the week of June 5 was selected.
“We had six snow days built into our 2014-2015 calendar so we really just needed to use them and then come up with one more day,” he said.
“We could have tried to go to school for an extra hour, but that would have taken quite a while to finish and probably conflicted with sports or other after school activities. Our teachers and principals have said they wanted spring break and then to extend the school year.”
Again, the School Board members agreed to that request and gave the teachers and principals what they wanted.
Blackwell said the schedule change will mean moving finals to the week of June 5.
Graduation, he said, will still be on Friday, May 22.
In other business, the board passed a proposal to invest $10,000 in legal liability insurance.
Moreover, School Board Member Bernard Hatley explained a problem concerning letter jackets and how some seniors had not been getting them before graduation in the past. Some never got them, he said.
Hatley said he would like to see those finished with a sport after the 10th grade get their letter jacket then so their efforts are not forgotten by mistake. Blackwell said he will check with Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Kyle Jackson for his ideas concerning the letter jackets.
Blackwell gave an update on a new proposed lunch program that he said might be a worse financial move than the reduced and free lunch program now in place.
Many statistics about the proposed Community Eligibility food program, and how the Gurdon community qualifies, were presented.
The superintendent said the “free food” program is set up for one segment not to pay and the others to pay full price. There are no reduced lunch prices in between in Community Eligibility. The School Board tabled the issue and Blackwell said no decision has to be made by the district until June as to whether the new proposal would be better than the current Gurdon lunch program.
Blackwell said if the district accepts the new program it is a 4-year commitment. He said there is no guarantee that more children will get to eat.
“And it will cost this district $57,000 a year…” he said. “There must be some benefit to this new program, but I am just not seeing it. Maybe by June, we can learn more about how switching could help our district.”
Tickets to win a gun;
sales will help Go-Devils
The Gurdon High School football program is having a 5-gun-giveaway to help support the football program.
Coach Kyle Jackson said tickets are $10 each to win a give-away gun and it is possible to win up to 5 guns with each ticket. Tickets can be purchased from any member of the football program or call the field house at 353-4031.
The dates for the give away will be April 8, 15, 22, 29, and May 6. The guns are a Ruger 22, a CVA muzzle loader, a Barnett Crossbow, a Mossberg shotgun and a Browning 300 Magnum.
Jackson said, “We would appreciate your help in raising funds for the 2015 Go Devil Football team.”

Jeremy Hughes enjoys being

Shelter Insurance (R) Agent

at Arkadelphia branch

Tailgate News Editor
Jeremy Hughes, 29, has been the Arkadelphia Shelter Insurance (R) Agent since July 21, talking over the office on Pine Street after John and Deborah Tackett retired.
The Tacketts had their Shelter agency for approximately 27 years and Hughes said he is appreciative of the warm reception he has received from nearly all of the existing clients.
Hughes is a 2004 graduate of Hope High School and a 2008 graduate of Ouachita Baptist University with a bachelor’s degree in business, finance and marketing.
He started his insurance agent career in Texarkana, working for another insurance company for six years – from 2008 until 2014.
He switched to Shelter “because they are just a really great company to work for and this was a good opportunity to stay in the Arkadelphia area and continue building a network of people I can serve.”
Hughes recently received his Life Underwriting Training Commercial Fellow (LUTCF), which he described as “like getting a bachelor’s degree for insurance.”
Hughes had nothing but good things to say about the way Shelter Insurance (R) is there for its employees and customers.
He was not left to fend for himself when the opportunity to continue where the Tacketts left off came along.
Sharon Cottingham, who has worked in the Arkadelphia Shelter Insurance (R) office for the past 12 years, stayed on and Hughes said he and the office manager work together as a team to serve the public.
“Sharon is good at what she does and everybody knows this,” Hughes said. “We do our parts and get things done right for the customer.”
Hughes is used to team work. While in college, he played four years of golf for OBU Coach David Sharp.
Jeremy Hughes is married to the former Hayley Dixon of Arkadelphia. Hayley is a Henderson State University graduate and works in the field of psychology.
Jeremy says although there are no children at this time “we do have two dogs, Brodie and Pretzel.”
“I guess you could say we are dog people,” Hughes said.
Hughes said the product reliability and service at the Shelter office has not changed – just the name on the sign.
He reminds clients that his license includes all of Arkansas so if you are reading this in Gurdon, Fountain Lake or Haskell you can make the short drive to Arkadelphia and take out an auto, home or life policy with Hughes.
“We specialize in life insurance. We have solid and competitively priced policies,” he said. “Many customers purchase life insurance policies to help ease the burdon of funeral expenses.”
When asked why he went into the insurance business, Hughes said he enjoys being there for folks who start out as customers and end up being both customers and friends.
“All I ask is that you give me a chance to serve you,” he said. “As the relationships build, so does trust and friendship.”
In addition to making new customers and friends, Hughes said he enjoys the day by day variety in his work.
“When you come to work on a Monday, you never know what challenges you may face,” he said. “Sure, we want to maintain our customer base and experience growth like any business does.
“ All I ask is that you don’t shut me out because I am the new guy. I would enjoy proving my loyalty to you as an agent and giving you a chance to find out I am just like you are in many respects.”
Hughes believes in community involvement and is a member of the Arkadelphia/Clark County Chamber of Commerce.
He also maintains a Masonic Lodge membership out of TexArkana (#341). He and his wife are of the Baptist faith.
Cottinghan, who has lived in Bismarck 20 years with her husband Tommy, is a 1971 graduate of TexArkana High School.
She was in the office management aspect of the car business for 21 years and decided to go into the insurance business “because I wanted a change and yet still wanted to be involved with the public.”
“At Shelter, I enjoy visiting with our customers and helping them get what they want,” she said. “Our customers are our business and I sincerely care about them.”
Sharon said working in the insurance office is definitely not boring, as there is a variety of circumstances that come up. She said working with Jeremy is enjoyable.
“Sometimes working with new blood is good,” she said. “I feel like I am helping him get to know everyone and their particular needs. We are a good team.”
Hughes invites all who read this to come see him and Sharon for any insurance need you might have. The office is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
To ask a question on the telephone, call: (870) 246-8001. You may also email Jeremy and Sharon at:JHughes@ShelterInsurance.com
If you need to reach Jeremy at odd hours or cannot get through on the main line, his cell number is: (870) 703-4958.
Jeremy Hughes said, “Stop on by and visit with me awhile. If you need a change in your insurance, or just need to understand your coverage, I will take the time to help you.”

Haskell extends Thanksgiving

break to week next year

Tailgate News Editor
The Haskell Harmony Grove School Board met in regular session Monday night and made some decisions on the school calendar.
Because of the recent seven days of snow and ice, Superintendent Daniel Henley said, “We will make up two of the days missed because of inclement weather on April 3 and April 27. The last day of this school year will be June 5, 2015.”
April 3 is Good Friday and April 27 is a professional development day.
Henley then turned his attention to the upcoming year’s calendar, siting a change of heart concerning the Thanksgiving vacation.
“All of the schools around us are taking a week off for Thanksgiving,” he said. “It would really cause a lot of trouble if we decided not to do the same.”
The School Board voted to approve the change.
In other business, Henley told the board members about a need to install 114 new lockers on the junior high school level. The cost, he said, will be $10,412. The request was approved.
The board approved the retirement of Susie Cash, Gifted and Talented teacher, who has served the Harmony Grove School District for 30 years.
In addition, the board approved the retirement of Elaine Edmonson, kindergarten teacher, who has served the district for 27 years.
The School Board employed the following; Wayne Kuhn, maintenance/bus driver, to continue from February 26, 2015; Heather Trammel, high school aide; and Jill Henly, G/T coordinator.
In sports positions, School Board members approved Superintendent Henley’s recommendations for: Chase Cleveland, drop assistant girls basketball coach; Chris Smith, drop seventh grade girls basketball; Rachel Cleveland, add assistant for girls basketball and seventh grade girls basketball; Jeff Hogue, drop seventh grade boys basketball; and Brandon Kelly, add seventh grade boys basketball.
Moreover, the superintendent noted that the age to attend first grade has changed again.
Now, if your child has turned 5 by Aug. 1, he or she may attend school. The old law said her or she had to turn 5 by Sept. 1.
Haskell started testing this past week, using the Park curriculum, but Henley said it is being debated whether Park will be used next year because of some instability in federal grants that were financing the relatively new achievement test.
Henley told the School Board he does not like the way the government is taking public schools.
“I text other districts enough to know what is going on,” he said.
“The government will give school districts a 1 percent raise next year. But the cost of living will be going up 3 percent, so we are really going to have a 2 percent loss.”
Henley said Thursday, May 21, will be the high school graduation date for Harmony Grove High School this year.
The next School Board meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 20.
The district is on spring break this coming week. The school web site notes that Tori Jackson recently received the honor of being named All State in Cheer for the 2014-2015 school year.

Memorable Moment: Lady vanishes

from New York City Apartment

Tailgate News Editor
The year was 1978 and Indiana University was on a coal strike break, which ended up lasting six weeks.
The Graduate Resident Center dorms were cold and so me and my buddies were about to go home to our respective towns.
Then I got a call from Bill Hicks, a guy I had known through the Nettle Creek Players back in Hagerstown, Indiana. Bill wrote musical scores and acted in plays. He was from a horse ranch in Kentucky. We met because the theater crew always came out to the Hartley Hills Country Club in Hagerstown after the show to drink beer and relax. I was the greens keeper back then and out there watering greens. Bill and I struck up a conversation and became good friends.
So when he called me from New York and asked me how I would like to stay at 175th 73rd Street, Apartment 8A, in Manhattan for a few weeks, I said sure, why not?
Bill has a job writing music for Broadway shows. I had a key to his place and plenty of time to explore. I talked with all sorts of people from the shady side of life; pimps, drug dealers, you name it.
One evening, after going to a bunch of party places on 42nd Street, I looked at my watch and decided I had better go back to the apartment and wait for Bill to get off work so we could go to supper.
On the way to 73rd Street, a pretty girl got in step with me. I figured it was just another hooker, or even just another student like me, looking for adventure. I struck up a conversation and asked her what her name was? Angelic, she told me. I knew that name from my old Dark Shadows television episodes I watched growing up on the farm.
Angelic dressed in old-style clothing, with a black cape tied around her neck. She was ghost white, but painted up with red lipstick. Her hair was curly and also dark brown or black.
We walked along talking about everything under the sun. She told me she had a meeting with some friends that night and I ought to attend it with her. I side-stepped the question and asked her to come back to Bill’s apartment with me to have a beer and play a little guitar.
She lit up on that one and quickly agreed. We got through the security locks on Bill’s building and made it to the elevator to go up to the eighth floor.
As soon as we got in the elevator, I kissed her. She kissed back and we did that a few minutes as the elevator took us to the floor of our destination.
Angelic smiled at me and we held each other tight. But something was really strange about this encounter. She was cold as ice to the touch and her lips and tongue were like you would expect from someone who had spent the last few hours in a freezer…
I tried not to think about the weird stuff going on and just concentrate on the fact I had stumbled on a woman, seemingly wild and willing!
We got to the door of the apartment and I unlocked the eight deadbolt locks that it took to get into the place. We entered the kitchen and kissed some more.
I told her I had to relock the door and she smiled at me and headed for the bedroom I was using at the time.
I was barely 19 and quite the excited young man. When I got in the bedroom, she was sitting in a chair, staring out the window.
I reached for my wide neck guitar and started playing “College Blues,” a song I had penned a few months before. She turned and smiled at me. We heard a couple fighting in another building across the way. She asked me to play some more. I did.
But when I turned from my music to find her beautiful face, she was gone. My friend Bill had come in and was working on his musical scores at the kitchen table.
I told him about her and he said he had looked in on us and decided to respect our privacy. He said there was no way she had gotten out of his apartment with all of those locks. She was nowhere to be found and I have never seen her again to this day.
Bill and I searched for her for more than an hour. Finally, with spooked looks at each other, we gave up. We were two frightened young men. And that is another Memorable Moment in my life.


Gurdon Marshal Don Childres and Mayor Sherry Kelley

to enforce codes about unsightly cars, tires


Tailgate News Editor

New Gurdon Mayor Sherry Kelley said Thursday the people who elected her asked her to clean up the downtown and residential areas and come May that is just what she and the police department are going to do!
Kelley said, “This is project code enforcement. Marshal Don Childres and Officer Garry Marshall will be helping me get this done and it won’t cost the city any more money, as they are both on board with this clean-up program.”
Marshal Don Childres said, “We have had this code enforcement regulation on the books several years, but other priorities kept getting in the way of us approaching the public to comply.
“Our new mayor feels like this is important and so the police department will do all we can to help her enforce it. Officer Garry Marshall will be our specific code enforcement officer, starting right after our annual spring clean-up in May.”
Kelley said dates have not yet been set for the May clean-up, but code enforcement, such as making residents move untagged or immobile cars to their back yards, will begin as soon as the clean-up is over.
Childres said things like old tires with stagnant water will have to be removed. He said the enforcement, warnings, fines etc., will not begin until after the spring clean-up to give people a chance to get rid of unsightly yard items on their own.
“We have a lot of immobile or untagged vehicles and actually we could make citizens get rid of them all together according to our ordinance, but Mayor Kelley wants to be fair and let folks keep those old cars and trucks if they will move them to the back and out of sight,” Childres said.
“This will be good for our city. We are not going to be unreasonable. We just want you to clean up your place so the value of your neighbor’s property, and yours, stay as high as possible and your community can take a little pride in its appearance.”
Mayor Kelley said the code enforcement, stipulated by City Council around eight years ago, only has teeth in the city limits of Gurdon, but Officer Garry Marshall will continue visiting with citizens, even after the May clean-up, who have stagnant water, old junk cars in their front yard and other unsightly items such as old toilets, furniture etc. out front that would hinder the goal of having Gurdon’s residential area “clean and decent.”
The mayor said cleaning up the downtown and the residential parts of Gurdon will help her in getting grants to improve the city, “and it should make people feel a little better about where they live.”
Kelley complemented the Gurdon Street Department workers for an excellent effort to mow yards for out of pocket home owners and those too sick or poor to do the job in Gurdon.
“I hope to get a program started where we loan you a mower with gasoline in it and let you mow your own yard if you are able,” she said. “I envision folks leaving their driver’s license at City Hall and then taking off with our push mower and gas to do the job. That way those who can help themselves have that opportunity and its less burden on the street department workers.”
In other city business this week, Mayor Kelley said she spent Wednesday in Little Rock with Senator Bruce Malock and Representative Richard Womack.
She also had lunch with Okolona Representative Justin Gonzales.
“Malock is on the General Improvement Fund Senate committee and there may be as much as $1 million in GIF this year,” Kelley said.
“I think Gurdon has a good chance of getting say $45,000 of those funds for general improvement projects here. I believe in an open line of communication to let those in charge know we need some of that money for our youth sports complex goal and for improving conditions at our animal shelter.”

Haskell battles code enforcement,

considers unsafe driving ordinance

Tailgate News Editor
HASKELL – The Haskell City Council met in regular session Monday and granted property owners an extension on code enforcement clean-up efforts because of recent inclement weather.
Mayor Janie Lyman asked Council members to give a 30-day extension to “Mr. Aldridge and others who have not been able to get out there and do very much cleaning up because of the snow and ice.”
Council members agreed on the extensions. Lyman reminded the audience and aldermen that Haskell will sponsor “A Great American Clean-up” on Saturday, May 2 “but you can not bring household waste or burn barrels.”
“Gerald Hines will be around to help move heavy things, and the fire department personnel will be on hand to hose everything down,” she said.
Pot hole repair will begin again as soon as weather permits. Lyman pointed out that state efforts to fix potholes during recent heavy rains have already washed away and so it was decided Haskell would be better off putting off such repair until it would stay in place. It was noted that the cost to fix a single pothole is approximately $50.
Fire Chief Brian Cotton said the heavy rains resulted in a mini-van hydroplaning into Dottie Lake at the end of Grand Avenue, “but the female driver had a cell phone and got help in time.”
Cotton said the incident happened around 9:28 p.m. on March 4 and the mini-van floated into the lake from the roadway.
Haskell firefighters towed the van and its passenger to safety. Cotton also told the Council that plans for a new fire station are in progress and he appreciates the support the city has shown.
In other business, Mayor Lyman complemented city authorities for keeping watch at the Haskell ball park, where new restrooms and other improvement efforts have been ongoing.
“As for this month, the only vandalism I know of is somebody dumped over all of our trash barrels.”
Police Chief James Bauldree and his officers will continue to keep watch on the park.
Chief Bauldree gave a report on items taken from a police car brought in for repair to Dub’s Automotive in Benton.
Bauldree said Dub’s Auto Service, on South East Street, had incurred a total equipment loss of $20,000 in the shop heist. The police car equipment loss was valued at $1,790. The chief asked Council members to replace the stolen equipment from the patrol car, which included such items as bullet proof vests and cameras.
“I have implemented a new policy where officers needing to turn their cars in for repairs in the future will be required to empty all police equipment into storage first,” he said.
The repairs on the car in question came to $1,044.43. No formal action was noted as taken by the City Council.
Mayor Lyman said the police chief has suggested Haskell adopt an ordinance allowing him to give tickets for unsafe driving, which would help pay for needed law enforcement equipment in the future.
Chief Bauldree said Benton has such an ordinance and is able to ticket say a person cutting donuts in a parking lot. The person getting the ticket is allowed to pay their fine and the unsafe driving ticket does not go on their record and therefore does not raise their car insurance rates.
Benton’s ordinance gives the police the right to put the unsafe driver in jail for 5 to 30 days, thus giving an added incentive to pay the fine.
Mayor Lyman mentioned an energy efficiency program called Retrofit where a grant covers 70 percent of the cost saving measure. Lyman offered two telephone numbers to contact her if anyone has a question or suggestion; (501) 350-3584 or (501) 776-2667.

Memorable Moment: Seeing the Atlantic Ocean

at Fort Lauderdale, 1978

Tailgate News Editor
I suppose the weather finally starting to act more like spring time has gotten me to thinking about the unusual things I have done in life to explore nature.
Last week, I told you about the first time I ever saw redwood trees. This time I want to share with you my reaction to seeing the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico when I was barely 19. It was in the spring of 1978, if memory serves.
At any rate, I was a freshman at Indiana University and I was tired of being in somebody else’s mold of life. I wanted to see something on my own and I wanted to breath deep of everything God’s world had to offer. I figured heading to the beach and the state of Florida was as good of a start as any.
When I hit the Florida line, with a 1974 Dodge Dart Swinger hauling a U-Haul trailer, I was probably a half-crazy kid but I was a determined kid. I knew there had to be more to life than go to school, go to work and grow old. Frankly, I was right.
I had traveling fever and it lasted until I hit Gurdon, Arkansas in 2004. I traveled this country, and a couple of other countries (France and England) until I was 46 years old. I have been settled down for 10 years and I have enjoyed Southern Arkansas or I would have moved on.
But going to Florida in 1978 was awesome. I hit that Florida state line after a 26-hour drive and headed for a small town park to just sit on a bench and enjoy the sunshine and the new forms of nature I found down there.
There was a state sign back then that said, “Arrive Alive.”
I was a Neil Young fan back then and listening to “This is Nowhere” on an old eight-track plug in stereo in the car.
I pulled into that first park, and I don’t remember the name of the Florida town where I landed, but I remember sitting there for about two hours. After listening to the birds and smelling the early morning smells, I decided I would find me an ocean. It would be a few days before I did so.
The first order of business was to get housing and find a job. I did both in Arcadia, Florida. I rented a trailer in an orange grove and then I met an Amway guy the next week who hired me to deliver his products for $250 a week.
Oh, I joined the business and drew the circles, but the power of gold was not why I came to Florida. I went down there to find out who John Hancock Nelson was and I believe I accomplished that.
After settling in at Arcadia, I took a drive to Sara Sota and first saw the Atlantic from Siesta Key Beach and Turtle Beach, gulf coast side.
I had saved up $7,500 from working nearly every day in my last two years of high school at the local golf course mowing grass and the local newspaper cleaning the place up.
But that savings would not last forever, even with my Amway weekly income added to it, and I knew I only had so much time in Florida before I would have to make good on my promise to my grandparents and go back to Indiana to finish college.
I stayed down there off and on for nearly two years, with a half of a dozen trips home to feel the love of my family and to make sure I did not exclude them in my quest to find John.
But one day, after I had delivered my Amway and gotten my orders for my volunteer job trying to help run away girls get home, I went exploring.
I drove my old Dodge Dart to the Atlantic Ocean, ocean side, at Ft. Lauderdale. And the first thing that got my attention was the huge ocean waves.
Sure, the beach was beautiful and the girls were very pretty, but my eyes kept drifting back in awe to those huge, skyscraper tall, waves. And the sound they made was equally awesome.
I felt the power of my God of love and all of Jehovah God’s wonder. I had a different outlook somehow. In fact, all was right with my world. And you guessed it, it was yet another Memorable Moment!

Tailgate Traveler: Pushing for freedom,

socialists go home!

It has been a much better week than last week or the week before.
Monday came around and I sold a few ads before heading to Haskell to cover a City Council meeting.
The town seems to have a relatively new police chief who is organizing things in his department. Before the meeting, he told the City Council about having one of his police cars repaired and some items turning up missing while it was at a local establishment.
Although he said there were no leads on the thieves, he suggested in the future officers be instructed that they must put all equipment in storage for safekeeping before taking the vehicle anywhere for repair.
Although it may or may not have been a formal agreement, no Council member objected. I believe the police chief handled the embarrassing situation in the best way he could.
As to my two feature stories, I will get to them. I was just grateful to have the opportunity to cover the City Council meeting.
You see, I am not done. I am not 56 and finished. I plan to work at my journalism profession on up into my 70’s. Oh, I may try the semi-retirement path when I turn 62 to take a bit of financial pressure off the advertising side of the business. But I will do all I can to help spread the good news about small town America until I can not do so anymore.
When I was a boy, they called that the altruistic approach to life. I have a very understanding wife and a great bunch of kids and grand kids, and I also have this career.
I am optimistic about the next presidential election. Whether it is a Clinton or a Bush, or maybe even a Walker that becomes president, I believe our country will once again be on a path of freedom instead of socialism.
We are Americans and we have always had a lot of hardships. We will indeed see this man from Kenya through.
It saddens me to see Mr. Barack Obama stirring up race relations. Color does not make the man, nor does it diminish him. To touch on politics just a little bit more, I wish to goodness our first Afriican America president had been from a background of small-town America.
I wish Obama had been a football hero, or a rancher’s son from Colorado. But wishing only goes so far. I realize I am preaching to the choir.
But in truth and honesty, ever since the days of President John F. Kennedy, civil rights for all of us has improved, be we half-breed Cherokee Indians like myself, or black or white.
For a modern-day Malcolm X to come on the scene and stir up hatred after 50 years of progress among the American people makes the old Tailgater want to throw up. But enough on that, term limits will save us. Term limits and a merciful God.
In the mean time, I will continue my travels from Gurdon to Fountain Lake to Haskell and the surrounding bigger cities. I will continue to praise integrity, competition and human decency, without regard for race, color or creed.
And if you read somewhere ISIS beheaded me, check the report twice. I am pretty shifty for an old farmer’s grandson. I suppose there just might be a little more than a small amount of Johnny Dillinger rolling through these veins. Happy travels and have a good week.

Easter Pageant coming

to Gurdon March 21

Tailgate News Editor
The Community Development and Entertainment Club (CD&E) of Gurdon is announcing plans for an Easter Pageant. Children involved must live in the Gurdon School District.
The pageant will take place at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 21 in the Cabe Auditorium and will involve toddler boys and girls up until the age of 12.
CD&E Pageant Director Heather Nolan said categories will be for ages 1-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12.
“We will be selecting winners from each category and then an overall Mr. and Miss. Easter,” she said.
“There will be a $25 entry fee and a $5 cover charge to get in, with all profits going back to CD&E to be used toward the upcoming expenses involved with putting on the 2015 Forest Festival.”
In addition to the overall age group being judged, Nolan said there will be four other special categories. They are: best presentation of Easter, best dressed, best personality and best smile. You can enter your child in any one of these categories for $10 extra or pay $30 to have him or her be in all four special contests.
Angela Harper, a secretary for CD&E and also a Gurdon City Hall office worker, said the biggest expense for the Forest Festival, which always takes place on the last Saturday in October, is the free rides for the kids. Last year, the rides ran about $6,500.
Any donations, such as donating to the People’s Choice award for individual pageant contestants, would be appreciated. Winners of all contests will receive a small crown.
Harper said, “Our free rides at the Forest Festival give all of our area children a chance to come to our event and have a full day of fun.”
Those wanting to enter the Easter Pageant should contact Angela Harper at the Gurdon City Hall for an application and to pay their fees there.
The Tailgate News editor, John Nelson (also a CD&E member), has volunteered to put entry photos in the online magazine, but photos should be turned in to Harper at City Hall by Wednesday, March 18, to be in the Friday, March 20 issue of the Tailgate News, www.southarktailgatenews.com
Bunny Childres, long-time member of CD&E, said years ago Gurdon had an Easter Pageant and “it was really popular.”
“Everyone wanted their kid to be a Mr. or Miss Easter,” she said. “I am glad to see Heather and Angela putting in the effort to bring back this old tradition.”
Nolan said contestants should wear traditional Easter outfits, but tuxedoes are not necessary.
An Easter dress or frock for the girls and a traditional “church type” suit for the boys will be appropriate for the pageant.
“We want this to be a fun community event and not put any financial hardships on anyone,” she said.
“Some details for the pageant, such as a time for rehearsal, are yet to be determined. You can ask Angela for updates when you pay your entry fees.”
Nolan said she hopes to come up with an Easter Bunny who is willing to have his picture made with the winning Mr. and Miss Easter for 2015. If anyone has an Easter Bunny costume, tell Angela at City Hall. For additional information, call: (870) 353-7080.

Gurdon hit twice

with snow and ice

Tailgate News Editor
For the second week in a row, Clark County, Saline County, Garland County, Nevada County and Hot Spring County all experienced snow, ice and time off from school.
This week’s inclement weather came in Wednesday night, starting out with a slushy rain and turning to snow as the evening’s winter ragings continued.
Upon waking up in Gurdon the next day, the bright sun came out and temperatures probably hit 40 degrees or warmer by noon. Melting occurred, but the residue of several inches of snow created a winter wonderland this editor had not seen in his time here since 2004. Friends told him there was a snow storm around 2001 or 2002 when 12 inches covered Southern Arkansas!
None of any such quantities has hit since. The first snow storm, coming in last week, deposited about 6 inches on Gurdon. This one, guesstimating, probably put at least 3 more inches on the ground.
A snow plow made its way around Main Street and over by the post office during the noon hour Thursday. Citizens were out and about during the day but warned by Clark County Sheriff Jason Watson to stay in as much as possible that evening, as refreezing was expected.
Arkadelphia and Gurdon both took off school again on Friday. Melting occurred again by noon. Clark County Sheriff Jason Watson’s warning for night driving was, “Everyone please stay in if you don’t have to get out. The roads are becoming very dangerous. They are extremely slick. If you absolutely have to be out, please have seatbelts on, drive slow, allow plenty of room between yourself and any other vehicles. Please be safe!”
Forecast Gurdon from Internet Yahoo is: – 44°21°Friday sunny, 55°34°Saturday sunny, 50°33°Sunday rain, and 55°34°Monday cloudy. Extended forecast looks like the 60 degree mark will be the normal high for next week

Memorable Moment: Redwoods in California

Tailgate News Editor
The time was early 1978. I had just made a trip to New York City alone to be with my friend Bill for six weeks during the Indiana University coal strike. IU was off and I had the time and the money to explore, so off I went.
While I could write you a series of Memorable Moments about New York and my experiences there, this piece will be about my subsequent journey to Berkeley, Calif. with my friend Scott Height.
Scott lived across the hall at my Indiana University dormitory. He was from Indianapolis, the city where I was born.
The strike lasted longer than expected and my high school savings was not used up so off to California we went!
We arrived at the Berkeley campus dead tired, having ridden buses for nearly three days to get there.
Both from Indiana, and so cheap our shoes squeaked, we rented a room at the YMCA the first night in California. I slept 16 hours.
Then we explored with eyes a little more open and met a girl named Ta-Lee Baker from San Lorenzo. She put us up for the second night.
From there, we met some folks who had a Mooney Camp out in the hills near Cloverdale, Calif. They offered us free food and housing and a chance to meet other kids our own age.
After saying our good byes to Ta-Lee, we took off for the camp. It did not take either one of us very long to discover we did not have a socialist bone in our bodies and we were ready to “split the scene.” Our hosts said we would have to stay a week before we could catch their bus back to San Francisco, some three hours away.
I suppose they figured to brain wash us into selling flowers and wearing weird robes by then. The Mooneys were a cult and we knew it. We just wanted the weird experience, not what they were preaching.
We agreed to split up and make our own ways back to San Francisco, where our bus tickets would get us back to Bloomington, Indiana, our college home away from home.
Scott threw in with some Navy guys and got back to San Francisco. Me, I fancied myself a Casanova back then and decided to pick up a girl. A red-head named Elaine was playing volleyball.
The Mooneys were telling her to chant “blast with love” every time she hit the ball. I walked up to her in the middle of a blast.
It turns out Elaine DeHart was from Marion, Indiana, a town about 40 miles from Hagerstown, Indiana, where I grew up on a farm with my grandparents, the late John Hans and Marvel May Nelson.
We agreed to leave the camp together, by way of hitchhiking, that evening after the supper chores were done.
I waited for her to do some dishes and wondered if she would show up to meet me. The cute little red head not only showed up, we lived together for nearly a year after that.
But on that memorable night that we took off on our own from the Mooney camp, we managed to get over the fence and haul our Midwestern butts to the road.
We walked in silence in the moonlight, both of us fascinated by the giant redwoods that outlined the old logging trail that passed for a highway.
It dawned on me I was 2,000 miles from my family and friends and with a girl that I did not know from Adam at the time. A shiver of fear passed through my soul, but I tried to keep it to myself.
She smiled at me and asked if I was enjoying my vacation? I smiled back and we stood there kissing on the side of that California road – probably about 10 p.m.
Then a log truck driver started flashing his lights, pulled over and asked us if we needed a ride? We both hopped in with the utmost gratitude. He took us to a local motel, where we enhanced our friendship into a pretty decent relationship.
The next morning we took off again, catching a ride straight into San Francisco, where we met up with Scott and headed home to Indiana.
But when I was walking along looking at those very large redwoods, it was a sight I will never forget. You guessed it folks, all was right with my world and it was yet another “Memorable Moment.”

Editoral: Obama socialism on the way out

We would like to say the Congress is doing good work holding President Barack Obama accountable to the United States Constitution.
We do not believe all of those elected officials will back this renegade in regard to setting his own rules for immigration or single-handedly trying to insult Israel by cozying up to Iran, a country that has openly stated they want to wipe Israel off the face of the earth!
While we do not wish to call President Obama a liar, we do not believe him to be of the Christian faith. He was raised Muslim and his politics repeatedly show where his loyalties are in regard to religion.
While we agree Mr. Obama has the right to be a Muslim, or worship trees for that matter, we do not believe he has the right to speak for the rest of us. Apparently Israel is unimpressed with the United States attempting to strike a deal with their arch enemy of Iran.
While we do not believe such a deal will ever happen, we encourage our president to come clean these last two years of his term, give us a full back ground resume and start acting with integrity as to his dealings with Congress. Other presidents have learned to compromise over party lines to get things done for the good of the United States.
Mr. Obama, if your are a loyalist to Kenya, fine. Go back there! If you are indeed trying to represent the United States, please get on with it! Your reckless actions threaten our freedom. We have waited six years to find something we like about your attempt to socialize a free nation. So far, the old rule of if you can not say anything good just stay quiet, seems to be the most appropriate comment we can muster.


Gurdon mayor says pit bulls

will not live in her city!

Tailgate News Editor
GURDON – Several reports of pit bull dogs being housed within Gurdon city limits have reached the desk of Mayor Sherry Kelley and she said Thursday citizens are hereby warned “that we are coming after them.”
Deputy Marshal Toby Garner said an ordinance against housing pit bulls in Gurdon city limits has been on the books for at least 5 years. This reporter was present when City Council members passed said ordinance and the reasoning was banning the dogs “with the locking type jaws” could prevent unnecessary injury to the general public.
Deputy Marshal Garner said he can think of only one such “near miss” dog injury on his watch and it happened about 8 months back to Deputy Marshal Chris Russell.
“We were responding to some sort of complaint at a trailer and this pit bull mix dog came bounding straight for Chris. The dog seemingly had every intention to attack the officer so Chris pulled his firearm and shot the animal a couple of times to stop him.
“Chris was not injured and the dog was taken to the vet and actually survived.”
Garner went on to say that first offenders caught housing pit bulls within the city limits of Gurdon are usually given a break from having to pay the $300 fine attached to the violation if they cooperate with police.
“We ask them to immediately relocate the dog to a safe place out in the county,” he said.
“We tell them about our ordinance and fine and give them a chance to comply before resorting to writing them a ticket to have to pay the fine.”
Garner said if no safe place is known by the dog owner, said pit bull is taken to the Gurdon Animal Shelter for housing until an appropriate home can be found for the animal outside of city limits.
“If we have to go back to a residence for a second offense of housing a pit bull in Gurdon, then a ticket is written and the fine implemented,” Garner said.
Mayor Kelley said the reasoning behind removing pit bulls from Gurdon is safety of citizens.
“We realize dog owners will make the argument that their pet is different and not a danger to anyone in society,” she said.
“We are just not willing to take that risk when it comes to our citizens who walk the streets, young or old.
“If it were your grandchild who got bit and possibly seriously injured, you would want the city to have done what we could to have prevented such a tragedy.”
To the knowledge of this reporter, there is no ordinance against housing pit bulls in greater Clark County.
Pit bull lovers are encouraged to find homes for their animals out in the area of the county where it is perfectly legal to house them and to where dog and man are less likely to be put in harm’s way.

School Board passes audit,

working on correcting auditor’s complaints

Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon School Board met Thursday night and tabled the acceptance of an approved 2014 district-wide audit in order to have time for officials to eliminate and/or address a couple of minor violations noted in said audit.
School Board member Bernard Hatley said the first auditing complaint involves accountability that seems to be lacking due to the same person making the deposits and writing district expense checks upon a few occasions.
Superintendent Allen Blackwell said the auditing criticism is a common one in auditing reports throughout school district after district in Arkansas and efforts have been made to correct it for Gurdon in past years.
“It is an economic thing,” he said. “The district can not afford to hire a separate person to exclusively do all deposits or all of the check writing for perfect accountability. We already have three people hired who can write checks for the district. And past auditors have given us no assurance that even if we did hire an additional employee just for this purpose that the criticism would be eliminated from the report.”
Blackwell said one auditor tried to create a plan whereas district compliance could eliminate the auditing criticism, but that auditor was replaced the subsequent year and the criticism about accountability was on the report again!
Prior to the discussion between Hatley and Blackwell, School District Business Manager Rhonda Spruill presented the 2014 audit report to School Board members as approved by the auditor and ready for acceptance by the district.
As to working on the accountability criticism, School Board member Elaine Halliday suggested Blackwell call districts who are not receiving the criticism and see how they are avoiding it. Blackwell agreed to do the research.
In addition to the one criticism concerning accountability of who makes deposits verses who writes district checks, the auditor also had a criticism involving verification procedures for those receiving reduced or free lunches.
Blackwell said the auditor realized that food service staff have received 600 applications for free or reduced lunches and that only a sample of applications are taken from said stack for evaluation.
“The auditor may look at two applications out of a selected group of 25 applications, or it may be they just took two applications to look over out of the entire stack of 600,” he said. “We really do not know.
“If the district verifies one too many reports, this also constitutes an auditing criticism.”
According to Blackwell, Gurdon again was not found in a serious enough application filing evaluation to where the district audit was flagged, and steps are being taken to make sure food service applications are all complete and filled out with uniformity in the future.
“We have hired Brenda Hammon of the Primary School to work with food service staff to be sure all of the applications are filled out in the required auditing details in the future,” Blackwell said.
“I believe what happened this year involved oversights by the three people addressing the applications and they just need to slow down. It is understandable to me how going over 600 applications can get overwhelming. I also believe we will not have this same problem next year, having hired Hammon to give the situation another look.
“The auditor just told us to be sure and fill out the applications accurately in the future.”
Blackwell said the district has not been accused of falsifying a government grant application, but only asked to fill them out in more detail.
Halliday said, “Falsifying a government application would be pretty serious so I am glad steps have been taken to correct the oversights.”
In other business, School Board members approved two changes in cheerleading policy. The changes include changing the senior high school cheerleading squad from 15 to 16 cheerleaders, and to include the selection of a captain.
• Tabled for a couple of months the approval of legal liability insurance for the district, as the old insurance has been extended for a short while during negotiations and proposal evaluations.
• Approved Workers’ Compensation invoice of $20,979.
• Approved replacement of the fire alarm system for $18,825 in the kindergarten and main primary buildings at GPS through Tyco SimplexGrinnell of North Little Rock.
Gurdon High School Principal Harvey Sellers said during a break at School Board that the Gurdon High School Go-Devils will travel to Parkers Chapel tonight for regional basketball action.
“If we can just win one game at the regional tournament, I believe we are in for some state tournament action,” he said. “But we are going in as third spot from district so the teams we face in regional will be pretty tough.”
Sellers encouraged all basketball fans to make the trip to Parkers Chapel to support the team.

The next regularly scheduled School Board meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17.

New Gurdon mayor establishes

contacts to get more local funding

Tailgate News Editor
Despite the snow and ice storms of late, Gurdon Mayor Sherry Kelley has been burning up the roads between Southern Clark County, Hot Springs and Little Rock.
She braved the roads after Monday’s ice storm and joined legislatures at Union Station in Little Rock, who met with members of the Arkadelphia Regional Economic Development Alliance for Clark County.
Those attending the meeting included: EDCCC CEO Stephen Bell, Senator Larry Teague, Mayor Sherry Kelley, Senator Bruce Malloch, Representative Richard Womack and Bill Kelley.
“Getting a relationship developed between Gurdon and the folks who can approve funding for grants I am working on is very important and I believe attending this meeting, even though it was difficult with the storm and all, was worth doing,” she said.
Kelley is currently seeking grant funding for a Gurdon Youth Sports Complex, Main Street revitalization, and the Gurdon Animal Shelter.
Last year Gurdon secured some of the state’s general improvement funding, which paid for a tree-house at the park and is being used on the new pee-wee football and soccer field, also at the park.
That funding was received through Representative Richard Womack and was somewhere in the ball park of $20,000, according to news reported by Tailgate News last year.
“We want Gurdon to be considered again in 2015,” Mayor Kelley said.
Another project the mayor is seeking grant funding for involves some repair work needed at City Hall, namely replacing wore out flooring and repairing some damaged walls.
“We will need about $10,000 to do the work I have in mind at City Hall,” she said. “It is a step by step procedure, getting grants and funding for things. But I intend to keep applying and doing all I can.”

Tailgate Traveler intends

to establish Haskell section

I have been a weekly newspaper editor since 1980, cutting my teeth back in college days on the Delaware County Sports Times and the Muncie Weekly News.
I have been told, for the better part of 35 years, how news of encouragement and community progress, is a thing of the past and that modern society is only concerned with the bad things that happen, such as terrorist beheadings or presidential administrations assuming they have the power to bypass laws plainly laid out in the United States Constitution.
I read the national news on Yahoo just like you do, with high hopes that whether it is Barack Obama, or Joe Blow on the street, U.S. Justice will prevail. Time, as they say, will tell.
But I enjoy finding out some positive things that communities are up to and reporting that to you on a weekly basis. In the Southern Arkansas Tailgate News, which has survived since May of 2007 through hard work and the grace of God, I have reported Gurdon news, Fountain Lake news and some from Malvern, Arkadelphia, Benton, Bryant and Hot Springs.
For the past year, I have been covering Haskell City Council reports and Harmony Grove School Board. I believe Haskell has a lot more potential than one news page. I believe it enough that I took a business loan out to pay a month or two of bills to create a time on Wednesdays to develop something new.
I have been delayed because of Mother Nature and some harsh winter weather. But it looks like this week may be different. I am looking forward to writing a couple of features for your reading enjoyment that are home-spun success stories from Haskell, Arkansas.
One will be about the town’s history, as described by the keeper of the local museum, and one will be about a sports star.
The sports story, if I have the name right, will be about Neil Moore, a Haskell Harmony Grove football player, receiving the Paul Ellis award for football. I want to thank Haskell City Councilman Hal Baker for giving me this information.
One of the things I have enjoyed the most about my long professional writing career has been giving recognition and encouragement to hard workers with the talent to make their communities proud. Indeed, I look forward to the interview.
And I look forward to developing the necessary sources to create a weekly Haskell section for the Tailgate News.



Gurdon iced in

on Monday, Tuesday

Tailgate News Editor
Gurdon residents woke up to ice on Monday, Feb. 16.
The power was still on at 7:30 a.m. at 111 East Cherry Street but by 9 a.m. the house was dark.
The editor took off looking for ice damage photos about 9:30 a.m., finding a few but nothing to indicate any personal injury.
Upon arriving back at his Cherry Street home, Marshal Don Childres came by and gave this reporter a story about a huge tree falling on a house behind Whatever Produce that caused a natural gas leak.
Childres said the 200 Miller Street home was unoccupied and there were also no other injuries reported anywhere else in Gurdon as a result of the ice storm.
“Officer Garry “Gub” Marshall and I realized right away that the tree had busted a gas line,” Marshall Childres said.
“We got the proper authorities on gas out there quickly, but making sure no more gas could escape took several workers most of the night.”
Mayor Sherry Kelley said Thursday that she was really impressed with response of the local police, fire and street departments, as well as Entergy and its affiliates, during the power outage.
According to Childres, Gurdon was up and running by 9 p.m. Monday except for a few homes in the Pine Street area and one section by Jim’s Body Shop and the Pizza/Taco Barn on Highway 67.
The dark Monday had a couple of generator induced light spots. Doug’s Grocery and Johnny Calley’s Gas Station were both open for business, with limited resources.
Ice and a small amount of snow kept students out of school on Monday and Tuesday. Some believe another ice storm will hit this small Southern Arkansas city this coming weekend, but weather reports tout above freezing temperatures that should protect the area on Saturday and Sunday. However, rain is predicted for Monday, Feb. 23 with temperatures ranging from 24 degrees to 31 degrees. Caution is recommended for drivers on Monday.

Mayor seeks funding

for Gurdon Sports Complex,

plans annual Trade Day

Tailgate News Editor
Research is being down to see if it is feasible to create a sports complex for Gurdon, to be located on some flat city property next to the Gurdon Airport on Highway 182.
Gurdon Mayor Sherry Kelley said she has been talking with Dewayne Pratt, a representative of Southwest Central Planning and Development, to get the ball rolling financially.
“We have that land and my thought is we could put our baseball and softball fields out there, or set it up to accommodate multiple sports like the complex does in Arkadelphia,” she said.
“I have heard for a long time that Little League baseball and softball enthusiasts would love to have a new area to play in, where Gurdon could once again host baseball and softball tournaments for little leaguers or adult players.”
Kelley said Pratt seemed optimistic about acquiring grant money for such an operation, but nothing has been nailed down yet. Kelley said she would be visiting with the governor and area representatives to try and find funding for this brain storm and other ideas she has for Gurdon.
“We will have our stage built in front of Hoo Hoo on Main Street ready to use shortly,” she said. “I am hoping to start an annual Gurdon Trade Day this spring, with entertainment sounding off from that stage. I understand that fund raising idea has caught on in Amity, as well as elsewhere in Arkansas.”

Bryant plans March Clean-up

Submitted by Shelli Poole
Special to Tailgate News
The City of Bryant will conduct its annual “Spring Clean-up” in March this year, due to recent inclement weather.
Bryant officials said the decision was made in order to be the most help to the city’s residents as they get rid of extra garbage created by weather damage.
The schedule is set by Ward:
WARD I – March 2-6
WARD II – March 9-13
WARD III – March 16-20
WARD IV – March 23-27
Each ward will take approximately one week to complete. Once a ward or street is complete, they will not return. (There are no pick-ups on Saturday or Sunday.) Please place stacks of limbs and brush at curbside or next to the street by 7:00 a.m. on the Monday for your Ward.
Crews will not be able to pick up trash, lumber, leaves, treated wood or root wads, as we have no way to dispose of these items. For these items you can contact the Landfill at 501-569-3751 to see what their procedure is.
If inclement weather occurs during this time, the “Spring Clean Up” might be delayed temporarily. Sign up for the City of Bryant’s Notify Me alert system to ensure you receive all notifications.
If you have any questions, please contact the City of Bryant Street Department at 501-943-0468.

Memorable Moment: Mr. Shaver’s Money Box

Tailgate News Editor
I suppose I had to have been about 8-years-old when I first heard the tale of Mr. Horace Shaver and his money box.
The snow was pelting down on our Indiana farm and the television was not on, as it was not evening. My grandparents, John and Marvel Nelson of Hagerstown, Indiana, rarely turned on the television until after the supper hour. I had been exploring our upstairs attic earlier that day and remarked that I had heard several creaks from seemingly out of nowhere.
My Grandpa immediately piped up, “That would be the ghost of old Horace Shaver come to see if there are any coins left in his money step. You can hear him when he approaches it. Sometimes late at night, you can even hear old Mr. Shaver open that step and you have to wonder how a ghost could do that.”
I would search my grandfather’s face for any detection that he might be lying, but his face remained as straight as an arrow. Grandma put on an equally convincing poker face.
Grandpa said, “The only way you will know if any of this is true is to go upstairs and check out the top step, first level, with that coin slot in it. Otherwise, you just might go through life believing a ghost story – and one told on a chilling cold winter’s day to boot.”
My old man knew me pretty good. I arose and headed up the stairs. It would not have mattered if a Mountain Lion had been up there, Grandpa had more or less dared me to check it out and I was going to see what the heck was going on!
To my surprise, as I figured the entire ghost story was from the old man’s vivid imagination, I found the hollow step easily. And indeed, it had two coin slots in the lid. I lifted that lid, figuring I might find some old silver dollars.
There was nothing in there but cobwebs and mouse droppings. I did not have any use for either. I lowered the lid back down and then I noticed the creaking noise that lid moving provided…
The wheels in my young mind started turning. I began to wonder if my Grandpa’s story was true. That night, like most nights, we watched television to nearly 11 p.m. and then went to bed. I was to get up at 6:30 a.m., like clock work, and they, of course, would get up at least an hour before that.
Grandpa had to fire up the old Ben Franklin stove in our farm kitchen. The wood heat supplemented the oil furnace he had. Grandma had to fix my oatmeal, eggs and toast. We had a routine. But about 11 p.m., when the television went off, for several nights after the story of Horace Shaver, I sat on the couch and listened. I could swear I heard that lid on the top step move at least a couple of times.
But it was winter in Indiana. I was a small child looking for excitement. It was just my imagination right? Still, sitting there listening for that creaking sound, all was right with the world.
You might say it was one more Memorable Moment in the life of this writer!



Jimmy Ray Smithpeters says

he would marry Patsy again and again!

Tailgate News Editor
It all started when they were about 17 and 15 years old and Patsy came to Gurdon to hear her Uncle Buster Purifoy sing gospel music.
She saw a young guitar player and gospel singer named Jimmy Ray Smithpeters and Patsy Wilson, of North Little Rock, simply could not get Jimmy Ray off of her mind.
“Now for the next 6 years we dated. We also dated other people,” she said.
“But things just seemed to work out for Jimmy and I. We were married in a Christian Church on Sept. 4, 1965. It was the beginning of what will be 50 years of marriage this fall.”
Jimmy Ray Smithpeters, then 25, married Patsy Wilson, 23, and said Thursday, “I have no complaints and would marry her all over again in a heartbeat!”
The couple has one child, Cindy Loe, 42, married to Tim Loe, of the Blevins/Prescott area. They have one grandson, Rocco, 8, and Cindy works at the Gurdon Post Office.
Tim works at the Bank of DeLight in Prescott and the couple lives on what was Tim’s grandfather’s land.
In addition to playing gospel music on his guitar, and singing at nearly every church in the area, Jimmy Ray worked for Reynolds Aluminum for about 30 years.
The couple still lives at the home where Jimmy brought his bride, now 50 years ago. They live on South 67, just across from the Evergreen Church.
Patsy said, “That Evergreen Church is the name for the Church of God now at Gurdon. We got married in the Church of God at Gurdon when it was on Main Street.
“We’ve done updates to our house over the years, but it has always been home and we both sure do appreciate that fact.
“The secret of a good marriage is compromise. Sometimes it is 50-50, but other times you have to be understanding and you take 40 percent and let your spouse have 60. It is a question of being able to work things out and staying with it.”
Patsy said Jimmy never had much of a temper. When he got mad about something, he would simply go off by himself and get over it.
The couple has attended the First Assembly of God Church in Gurdon for more than 40 years. Cindy was raised in it and now teaches a Sunday School class there.
“Jimmy was raised Pentecostal. I started out Baptist, but have been in several types of Christian churches. The main thing is we have stuck with what we believe to be a Christian walk and and made an effort to help each other,” she said.
Patsy said she has always worked. Her last job was as a secretary and book keeper for the Gurdon First United Methodist Church. She did that for 23 years.
Jimmy recalled a few hard times, namely when Reynolds closed its doors at Gum Springs in 1985.
“Alcoa reopened the plant in 1993 and they called us union guys back to work,” he said.
“I worked at Alcoa until 2005. I started with Reynolds back in 1973.”
Patsy said Jimmy has always worked hard to provide for the family. Now, in their retirement years, they are enjoying the fruits of their labor by “staying involved with church and going out to eat.”
Patsy said she gave her husband the best years of her life and now that they are growing old together “he will just have to keep taking care of me!”
Both Jimmy and Patsy admit spoiling their grandson Rocco is also one of life’s pleasures they both love. The couple’s ages, of 75 in December for Jimmy and 73 for Patsy, have not been an issue when it comes to entertaining the boy.
When asked what irritated the other about their spouse, both fell silent. Patsy admitted her back seat driving makes Jimmy uneasy. He smiled.
“My voice is a little scratchy in my older years and that bothers me some,” Jimmy Ray said. “Music has always been a part of me, but God gave Cindy a beautiful voice. I believe God gave my daughter that voice for me and I sure am thankful.”
The Smithpeters have kept life simple. Neither ever drank or smoked. They just took things as the came. Patsy said she was raised that when you get married you stay strong for the hard times and enjoy the good ones. You don’t quit.
Jimmy said, “One thing everyone needs to remember is that you can’t buy happiness with money.”
Of Valentine’s Day, Jimmy smiled and said he usually gets Patsy a dozen roses and they always go out to eat. She smiled right back…
Patsy said, “I am glad I married him.”

Mayor Franklin gets retirement party;

gives highlights of life, says Elvis called everyone Ace

Tailgate News Editor
Since retiring from public live, Mayor Clayton Franklin has grown a beard and read five or six Louis L’Amour novels. He has spent many hours at his deer camp, and plans even more extensive stays as the weather breaks.
Franklin was honored Thursday with a going-away retirement party at the Gurdon Senior Center, sharing some life memories with Rotarians who met there that day.
He started off by confirming himself to be Gurdon native and graduate of GHS in the 1950s.
Franklin recalled joining the service and being in the US Army with Elvis Presley. Franklin served as a communications chief.
“We could not get that guy to sing a note,” he said. “Elvis told us he was bound by contract not to and did not offer his fellow soldiers so much as a whistle in entertainment. All we knew him as was a guy who drove a jeep.”
Franklin said Presley called everyone Ace, admitting he had a hard time remembering names.
“When I was in the service, I wrote to the love of my life, back here in Gurdon. Her name was Winnie Key,” he said.
“When I got home from service, I was with my family at our Miller Street home and in came Winnie for a visit. We got married and for the next 35 years if you saw one of us, you probably saw both.”
His wife passed away some years ago and Franklin never remarried.
“One thing I am grateful for in my life is I never had a real job. What I mean to say is I have enjoyed everything I had the privilege of working at,” he said.
Franklin described his first job as a bank teller and how he worked his way up to being president and CEO of three financial institutions.
Then he worked for Henderson State University through President Charles Dunn, forming the Department of Economic Development. While being director of that he met former United States President Bill Clinton.
“Clinton had just decided to run for president and found out through me he was going to speak to a group of small manufacturers. After I briefed him, he called them by name as if he had known them all of his life. Clinton is one sharp politician.”
Franklin said things rocked along at HSU for awhile and 12 or 13 years drifted by. His wife had passed away and he was approached by Don and Tambra Childres to see if he would consider being mayor of Gurdon.
“I was appointed as mayor the first time and then elected four times after that,” he said. “I thought being mayor of my hometown would be fun and I was right.”
Franklin said his years as mayor were not without turmoil. For example, he had to work hard at getting the proposed multi-county landfill, to have been located in Clark County, voted down.
“I knew that massive dumps of garbage would contaminate our water eventually and ruin the area,” he said. “We successfully stopped that effort.”
Franklin named several other accomplishments he was proud of as mayor, such as helping to create an ongoing fund to tear down around 150 eyesore homes so that Gurdon would be ready as a place to build new ones should the future turn brighter.
“We also passed a half-cent sales tax to pave the streets,” he said. “We got this voted in by publicizing our priority streets and getting residents excited about the improvements.”
Franklin said that has been several years ago and now that oil is down in price it might be time to try that again.
Franklin said the Gurdon Park and Pond combination was a pleasure to develop. He praised Arkansas Game and Fish for keeping the pond stocked and city workers for doing labor at the park, such as the construction of the peer.
“I guess the closest peer is White Oak,” he said. “We also added playground equipment every time we got a financial chance to do so.”
Franklin said he has confidence in now Mayor Sherry Kelley and believes her efforts to continue the progress in Gurdon to be admirable. He said he has offered his help but has also assured her he will stay out of her way.
“Gurdon is a great community with much growth potential,” he said. “With those cleaned off lots having utility hook-ups in place and our super school, we have a bright future.”
Franklin said he always approached being mayor with a common sense philosophy; “never jump over a dime to pick up a dollar.”

Haskell Mayor has desire

to bring vandalism to surface

Tailgate News Editor
A Haskell man approached the City Council Monday about certain areas of the city where garbage is piling up, rampant illegal drug use is suspected and trailer houses have been abandoned for years.
Dale Anderson, a resident of North Harding Street in Haskell, said things are getting worse in his neighborhood.
“There is one deserted house where I believe people are gathering to smoke crack cocaine,” he said. “And people are throwing their trash in the street a lot worse than in the past.”
Anderson said he and his wife built a house in that neighborhood eight years ago and had to put up a privacy fence to keep the trash from landing in their yard.
“There are multiple trailers in our neighborhood that have been deserted for more than a year,” Anderson said.
“The trailers are owned by J.C. Potter Jr. and there are six dogs that bark nearly all the time over there. We have considered selling out and moving, but did not figure we would have any luck with all of what is going on.”
Councilman Hal Baker said he believes the Harding Street problem should be put on the police chief’s highest priority.
Police Chief James Bauldree said the dispatcher telephone number is: (501) 303-5648 and he encouraged Anderson, or anyone else with a problem, to call that number and let him know as incidents come up.
“The quicker the call, and the more information we have, the better chance law enforcement has to solve an offense,” he said.
The chief said he would send extra patrol cars out to check the Harding Street area.
Baker said, “It has been like that for 30 years and mostly nothing gets done. I believe it is about time we take steps to improve things out there.”
Mayor Janie Lyman told the Council and guests, “We will be having our annual clean-up day on Saturday, May 2.
“Solid Regional Waste will provide big bins for tires. Last year, we had four truck loads of tires.”
Lyman said Solid Waste uses the tires to recycle into playground equipment. The main part of the Clean-up will begin at noon on that Saturday and last four to five hours.
Mayor Lyman said citizens of Haskell and Traskwood are all eligible to take advantage of the free service.
In other business, the mayor said the new restrooms at the ball park are finished “and are very nice.” She expressed concern about possible vandalism, but said keeping them locked at night will cut down on the risk.
“Our improvement efforts will be concentrated on getting the needed funding for new playground equipment out there we have talked about,” she said. “This is a city park and as much access to the restrooms, playground and walking trail as possible is necessary to meet the grant requirements we agreed to in order to make the improvements. I just hope the people take care of these nice facilities.”
Lynam pointed out that the restrooms were not free to build, nor will the proposed new playground equipment be free.
“Getting grants for this sort of thing is a matching dollar for dollar situation,” she said. “Your taxes are paying for at least half of the funding for these improvements.”
She said increasing the lighting at the park has been considered, but only two spots exist where AP&L could add light poles.
“People find these motion detector lights and sometimes they shoot them out,” she said.
Hidden cameras, when discovered, are also subject to vandals. There have been past efforts to install them and reports that they disappear quickly.
Lyman said she intends to continue letting city workers and police know about specific vandalism efforts to get as much of it stopped in a timely manner as possible. Police and fire officials indicated they would do all they could to maintain city property.
Young teenagers have been seen doing vandalism. For more information on Haskell, go to Mayor Janie Lynam’s Facebook page.

New Celebrate leader forms

volunteerism group for Gurdon

Tailgate News Editor
A group of volunteers had an organizational meeting on Thursday at the Gurdon Housing Authority office to disscuss ways of improving the looks of the city.
Melody Williams, executive director of the Housing Authority, spoke of her plans to buy and place new signs around her residential area and to add more playground equipment for HA children.
“I also hope to install metal roofs,” she said.
Brother Jerry Williams, said he plans to continue efforts to pick up trash all over town.
“We plan to target unsitely areas for clearning, do some painting and visit the elderly and other shut-ins to clean up some loneliness while we are at it,” he said.
A concerned citizen addressed the group in regard to increasing the activities for young people to do in Gurdon. He said boxing might be a healthy way for some to take out aggression.
Williams said efforts were in progress to get a Clark County Boys and Girls Club branch to locate in Gurdon, “but we do not have a time table on that yet.”
Gurdon Mayor Sherry Kelley said she applauded the efforts of the group and had high hopes a larger number of citizens would join. Kelley gave an update on the effort to get a grocery to locate and stay in Gurdon, saying Cash Savers may be a real possibility.


Linda Hulan, Gurdon teacher

to retire after 43 years in education

Tailgate News Editor
Linda Varnell Hulan, long-time fifth and sixth grade teacher in the Gurdon School System, and before that at Marianna, will retire this spring after 42 years of teaching.
Hulan said there was a transition year in1989 when she changed school systems where she substituted and waited for a job opening because her husband, Thomas “Bill” Hulan left a principal’s job in Marianna and become the Cabe Middle School principal. It was a position Bill held four years before retiring in the spring of 1993.
Then Linda Varnell, Mrs. Hulan graduated Arkansas State University with a bachelor’s degree in education for grades K-6 in 1972. She taught in the Marianna public schools for 17 years before the Hulans became Gurdonites.
Superintendent Alan Blackwell said, “Linda Hulan and her husband Bill have been two of the biggest supporters of the Go-Devils I have ever seen. They volunteer to keep game scores, work concessions and attend just about every game function that comes up. We will miss Mrs. Hulan and wish her well in her retirement.”
In addition to attending so many ball games, the Hulans keep score for softball in the spring and are in charge of the annual fishing rodeo for Gurdon Primary School kids. The rodeo is held at Gurdon Pond and the Hulans keep up with a lot of fishing poles and catfish catching.
Mrs. Hulan said, “I will miss watching the students in my classroom grow up. And then their children come back and you realize you have taught their parents. I have had doctors and lawyers come through and so many success stories of kids with problems becoming successful in many different aspects of life.
“It is a great feeling when some of them give you credit for encouraging them and teaching them when they needed that so much in their young lives.”
Mrs. Hulan said one young man in Marianna comes to mind. He was a boy with virtually no parental guidance from the outcast side of life.
“I befriended this young man and encouraged him to work his way out of his outcast situation in Marianna,” she said.
“I did not realize it at the time but my then future husband and principal also befriended the young man.
“Some years later, he came back to me in a Marine’s uniform. He gave me credit in his success story and that meant so much.”
Mrs. Hulan said she claims all of the children she has taught over the years. Once in her class, they become family members – and she says that is forever.
Mrs. Hulan said being able to teach the children with new technology and helping them keep up with computers and all has been a good thing.
“I have heard teachers say they don’t want to use computers and such because they have done things a certain way for years,” she said.
“I do not agree. To me, it is our duty to teach them the most modern technology we have available so they can go out into the world as it is today and write their own success stories.”
Hulan said teachers have to be in step with the world as it is and adapt so their students will be ready for life in these modern times.
When asked what change she has liked the most, her reply was students moving from classroom to classroom at a younger age (starting in second grade) so that they can be exposed to an instructor who specializes in certain subjects.
Currently, Mrs. Hulan teaches fifth and sixth grade social studies.
“In the old days, we taught all of the subjects and kept them all in the same classroom the whole day,” she said.
“This met if something was making a kid uncomfortable, there was no changing it until the dismissal bell. I believe moving them around is better for the students and for the teachers. Attention spans are only so long.”
Mrs. Hulan said a typical day involves coming to teach her regular class, staying after school to tutor kids who need it and then getting ready to go to a ball game to help out or just be a fan.
“You make so many friends along the way,” she said. “I will miss them and of course I will miss interacting with the children.”
As to retirement plans, Mrs. Hulan said she and her principal husband will go fishing, hunting, head to deer camp and do some traveling.
“We love to just drive and explore,” she said.
Linda and Bill Hulan have two daughters; Ashley Hulan, 29, of Gurdon, and Kim Riley, 27, also of Gurdon.
Ashley is a scorekeeper for high school basketball and baby sits her nephew and niece, Conner, 5, and Ellie, 3.
Kim is married to Victor Riley and has followed in her mother’s footsteps as far as a career.
Mrs. Riley also teaches fifth and sixth grade at the Cabe Middle School in Gurdon.
“We made sure our kids had educational opportunity,” Mrs. Hulan said. “Both of them have their degrees. Kim chose the teaching path. I think Ashley may still be searching for her path, but she has time.
“She sure does love sports and keeping up with the games,” she said of her oldest daughter.
“Whether it is my blood kids or a member of my student family, children all need to be encouraged to find their passions and then pursue them.”

CD&E Club plans Easter Pageant

to help finance Forest Festival

Tailgate News Editor
The Community Development and Entertainment Club (CD&E) of Gurdon met Monday night and did some planning for the upcoming Easter Pageant.
The pageant will take place at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 21 in the Cabe Auditorium and will involve toddler boys and girls up until the age of 12.
The Easter Pageant will be for youngsters who live in the Gurdon School District.
CD&E Pageant Director Heather Nolan said categories will be for ages 1-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12.
“We will be selecting winners from each category and then an overall Mr. and Miss. Easter,” she said.
“There will be a $25 entry fee and a $5 cover charge to get in, with all profits going back to CD&E to be used toward the upcoming expenses involved with putting on the 2015 Forest Festival.”
In addition to the overall age groups being judged, Nolan said there will be four other special categories. They are: best presentation of Easter, best dressed, best personality and best smile. You can enter your child in any one of these categories for $10 extra or pay $30 to have him or her be in all four special contests.
Angela Harper, a secretary for CD&E and also a Gurdon City Hall secretary, said the biggest expense for the Forest Festival, which always takes place on the last Saturday in October, is the free rides for the kids. Last year, the rides ran about $6,500.
Any donations, such as donating to the People’s Choice award for individual pageant contestants, would be appreciated. Winners of all contests will receive a small crown.
Harper said, “Our free rides at the Forest Festival give all of our area children a chance to come to our event and have a full day of fun.”
Those wanting to enter the Easter Pageant should contact Angela Harper at the Gurdon City Hall for an application and to pay their fees there.
The Tailgate News editor, John Nelson (also a CD&E member), has volunteered to put entry photos in the online magazine, but photos should be turned in to Harper at City Hall by Wednesday, March 18, to be in the Friday, March 20 issue of the Tailgate News, www.southarktailgatenews.com
Bunny Childres, long-time member of CD&E, said years ago Gurdon had an Easter Pageant and “it was really popular.”
“Everyone wanted their kid to be a Mr. or Miss Easter,” she said. “I am glad to see Heather and Angela putting in the effort to bring back this old tradition.”
Nolan said contestants should wear traditional Easter outfits, but tuxedoes are not necessary.
An Easter dress or frock for the girls and a traditional “church type” suit for the boys will be appropriate for the pageant.
“We want this to be a fun community event and not put any financial hardships on anyone,” she said.
“Some details for the pageant, such as a time for rehearsal, are yet to be determined. It is still a month away so we have time to chance of few of the particulars if the need arises.”
Nolan said she hopes to come up with an Easter Bunny who is willing to have his picture made with the winning Mr. and Miss Easter for 2015. If anyone has an Easter Bunny costume, tell Angela at City Hall. For additional information, call: (870) 353-7080.

Pregnancy Center gives support to Southern Arkansas
Tailgate News Editor
Pregnancy Resource Center for Southwest Arkansas (PRCSA) is a place women with unwanted, and/or unexpected pregnancy can turn to for help.
Center Director Beverly Hankins told Rotarians Thursday the Arkadelphia based center is a pro-life ministry that is in existence because uncertain pregnant women need the service.
The center offers free one-on-one consultations and emotional support, free laboratory quality pregnancy tests, pregnancy test verification and referrals for medical care, WIC and to the Department of Health and Human Service.
It offers sexually transmitted disease information and testing referral, information on pregnancy, abortion and alternatives. Adoption information and referrals are offered upon request.
Hankins said, “83 percent of woman who have had an abortion say they would not have had one if they had just had some kind of support to turn to. We are that support.”
PRCSA is located at 911 Clinton Street in Arkadelphia and is open on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Hankins said after hours appointments are available. You can also call the center at: (870) 210-5353.
The pregnancy center may be reached by email at: PRCSA@live.com. An informational website is provided at: www.ArkadelphiaPregnancy.com.
Hankins noted other services provided by PRCSA as: abstinence education, referrals to community resources and agencies, parenting classes with an incentive program to assist with baby supplies, maternity clothes and other material goods and prenatal information.
The pregnancy center also provides childbirth and breast feeding classes, plus ultrasounds by appointment. There is a 24-hour help line: 1-800-712-HELP(4357).
Hankins said the center offers a safe and non-judgmental environment, “but we do not perform abortions or refer anyone to an abortion center.”
If a client wants to consider adoption, Hankins said there is an adoption information line: (501) 786-6644.
“We do not push adoption on anyone, but we do want people to know that there is now such a thing as an open adoption,” Hankins said.
In an open adoption, she added, the expectant mother is allowed to view videos of prospective parents in action with their own children and a contractual agreement is offered and honored by those parents regarding how much the mother would like to have to do with her baby’s life.
“It is a win-win situation with open adoption,” Hankins said. “If a mother, for example, wants to see her child on Christmas and birthdays, that can now be stipulated. Adoption no longer has to mean the mother gives up all rights to the child.
“That child will have parents who have the time and money to raise them, plus he or she will get to know their biological mother.”
Hankins said research shows open adoption is healthy for the child. He or she knows they have every day parents that love them and care for them and they also know their birth mother and she gets to show her love and visit.
Our center can help get a mother involved in an educational endeavor to get a decent job to eventually support her child and/or raise it the rest of the way.
The adoption can be set up for five years to 18 years, she said. But again, the pregnancy center does not push this option.
“We do, however, strongly discourage abortions,” Hankins said. “Since our organization began in 2013, we have had five babies, that we know of, headed for abortions, and we turned that around to where the mother had the child.”
Hankins said her records indicate the pregnancy center accomplished the following in 2014; gave 28 pregnancy tests and confirmed how the test came out, and did four ultrasounds.
“The biggest group of women to use our services are between 20 and 29 years old,” she said. “Our youngest visitor was 16 and our oldest was 36. Of the 128 clients we helped from January to December in 2014, only eight were married.
“48 percent were black and 40 percent were white. We do have some Hispanic and a few from other races. We had one mother who did choose adoption.”
Hankins said some of the clients are from Gurdon and the surrounding area. The center likes to get representatives to visit schools to spread the word that help is out there for the expectant mother.
Hankins said the organization is run by an all-volunteer staff, who all have the goal of helping the pregnant girls to find stability. PRCSA has a 501 C and is a non-profit organization.
“If a girl needs food, we can help with that too,” she said. “The pregnancy center has more than 30 referrals we can give the client. We have three great Christian doctors that help us a lot.”
Hankins said the pregnancy center has seven consistent volunteers and seven board members. It has good will from city governments, local businesses and the two Arkadelphia colleges; Henderson State University and Ouachita Baptist University. Students volunteer to help with advertising and public relations.
The biggest reason Hankins came to Gurdon Rotary, she said, was to get the word out about the organization and its mission of love and encouragement through one more source so more pregnant girls in trouble will know where to turn.


Gurdon has first annual football and cheerleading

banquet, many awards were given out

Tailgate News Editor
The 2A District Champs (for the 13th time) of Gurdon, and their hard working cheerleaders, received honors on Thursday at what is being called the first annual football awards banquet.
Head Go-Devil Football Coach Kyle Jackson went over their outstanding stats and how well Gurdon did in the playoffs before turning the floor over to Cheerleading Coach Tara Beaver.
Beaver gave out many awards to her young ladies, who earned seven All-America cheerleader spots and won state runner-up.
Honored cheerleaders and football players will be named in more detail in the Feb. 6 issue of Tailgate News, along with a host of photos of players and cheerleaders receiving award plaques. The banquet ended with the crowd shouting, “Go Devils are Great all the time!”

Gurdon Council passes conservative

budget for 2015,  swears in Council members

Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon City Council held a special meeting on Thursday evening to pass the 2015 city budget before the Feb. 1 deadline and did so.
Tambra Childres, treasurer and recorder, provided a copy of the budget to the Tailgate News which reflected $528,025 for the general fund, down from $667,966.31 in 2014.
Upon inspection, it appears all departments will have slightly less running money than last year. The administrative department is budgeted at $136,000, down from nearly $200,000 last year.
The police department budget for 2015 is $385,300, down from the 2014 budget of $428,714.28. Mayor Sherry Kelley has stated all along that she wants to conserve and save money for the city.
Childres said, “It is a balanced budget. Nobody is in the red. But I am sure we will have to amend the budget throughout the year.”
In other business, Teresa Powell was sworn in as a Council woman to replace Stacy Blackard. David Buck and Danny Paul were sworn in to continue as Council members.
The Council approved the transfer of signatures from former Mayor Clayton Franklin to Mayor Kelley for the signing off on Market on Main.
They passed a resolution to make all areas where children are present at the Gurdon City Park tobacco free.
They hired Charles Summerfield Engineering to head the quarter of a million dollar Gurdon waste water treatment project – under way to assist Georgia Pacific lumber with its expansion. Kelley noted Clark County Economic Development is footing the entire bill and Gurdon will essentially end up with a like-new waste water facility. Kelley told the group she plans to work on the new peewee soccer/football field as soon as weather permits. She plans to spend time next week working on new grants.

Horse hair artist also book author,

will sign children’s b ooks Feb. 6

Tailgate News Editor
Valerie Hanks-Goetz is a featured artist at American Art Gallery, 724 Central Avenue in downtown Hot Springs, and she has become inspired to write three children’s books at last report.
Popular just now is the book “The Truth about February.”
On Friday, Feb. 6, at the downtown Gallery Walk, Valerie will be signing copies of her book about February and displaying her art work.
She will be the artist in residence for the evening at America Gallery, along with Willie and Ann Gilbert, owners.
Hanks-Goetz has been internationally recognized for her story telling, basketry, horse tail pottery and artifact reproductions.
Inspired by her grandchildren’s curiosity, “The Truth about February” asks and answers the question of why February is the shortest month of the year?
The book is a heartwarming story of fact and fiction that would make a great Valentine’s gift – especially for your own children or grandchildren.
Valerie’s career as an author was launched when she came home to find a very weak horse in her backyard.
She said, “Lucky Ed was an abandoned, malnourished, animal and we took him in.”
Valerie said not only did Lucky Ed inspire her to write, he is a constant companion and contributing artist, as he produces a supply of 100 percent natural horse hair that she uses in her work.
All three of her books are available for purchase at American Art Gallery. For more on Valerie, go to: www.nativeworks.com.

Tailgate Traveler sees profit

in Keystone pipeline for USA


Tailgate News editor

The jury is still out as to whether President Barack Obama will make good on his promise to veto the Keystone pipeline.
Without going into the detail of how many thousands of dollars this could put into the United States economy, I would just like to quote my grandfather.
Old John Hans always said if everyone else has a differing view than you, perhaps you had better re-evaluate your position.
Our Senate and House have passed a bill to get this Canadian oil line in operation through our country, thus creating jobs and lowering transportation costs.
The environmental argument of risk is unsound. The thing could be built with safeguards. We are not in the stone age anymore.
When I was in Bryant, we had to watch out for the death train. It was common knowledge that poisonous substances moved over those rails on a daily basis.
But safeguards were put in, HAZMAT did its job and you really did not hear about very many tankard spills destroying a town’s population.
On a much larger scale, we are talking about oil and the potential of an oil spill. This is not a good thing, but I believe it could be prevented with a portion of the profits the Keystone pipeline would bring to us.
Obama has vowed to veto the proposal over his green stand… Wind and other resources are still in the developmental stage to become cost effective ways of heating and cooling buildings, and/or moving product through this country. We are a nation of petroleum users.
Once again, Mr. Obama, should he decide to veto this economically sound chance to get a Keystone pipeline here, makes most thinking people wonder if he was dropped on his head as a child?
Our economy has many holes. One of the most obvious is that we have no federal budget, much less try to keep one. We borrow and borrow for left wing projects that do not produce anything but alleged help for the disabled. I am all for helping those who can no longer work, be they too old or too disabled.
But we have a lot of free loaders on the dolls in America and everybody knows it. Folks like me, who work for their dollars, have been griping about it for years because the give away programs raise our taxes and no accountability sheets are ever presented to us as to what precautions are being taken to get rid of freeloaders on those programs.
A deal like Keystone pipeline could create a bigger tax base of workers so that maybe a federal budget might could be considered and then actually funded with available monies.
Sure, this editor is a journalist, not an economist, but it seems funny that apparently Congress agrees with me in both the House and the Senate.
They say our president has folks read a lot of what goes on this Internet and report back to him. That makes sense. Well Mr. Obama, if you are told what my article says, good.
Maybe, since both the House and the Senate want this cash cow called the Keystone pipeline, and you still want to feed the illegal immigrants, you might help us so we could help you.

I-30 Benton has Christian

pole barn dealer, check out Tirey

Tailgate News Editor
The owner of Derksen Portable Buildings/Pole Barns, on Interstate 30 in Benton, guarantees his work will be done with durability and integrity and says his work ethic stems from his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jimmy Tirey, owner, said Wednesday, “If somebody buys a pole barn from me, my crew will spend time making sure the foundational preparation work is solid and then that the building is put together in a way that both meets the customer’s expectations and is simply done right.
“My Bible teaches a life of integrity and that is what I practice both in my personal life and when dealing with my customers.”
Tirey said he has had the business since 1997 and has been at his present location since 2007.
Tirey, 60, is from Batesville but now lives in Landmark. He said he was looking for a way to supplement his income on top of a grocery store business and decided on pole barns.
“I knew a lot of people from the grocery store business and that helped get me started,” he said.
“The business grew so much I decided to do it full time and dropped the grocery store.”
Tirey said he now has four lots for the pole barns and portable buildings, but if someone wants a pole barn they need to contact him at the I-30 lot. The full address is 20113 I-30 East.
Tirey’s other locations are at Landmark, on Asher in Little Rock and a new one in Benton.
“You can buy a Derksen building from any of my lots, but to get a pole barn you have to go through me. I walk the crew through how your pole barn is to be customized myself,” he said.
Tirey said your new pole barn will be finished within 30 days of the date you order it.
“The biggest time consumer is the land preparation, making sure cement work is done properly and all,” he said. “The pole barn itself takes about a week to build.”
Tirey said his pole barns have trusses on 3 feet centers instead of the traditional 5 feet, which makes for a more stable, long-lasting building.
“We also put a rat guard around the building to keep the mice out,” he added.
“Insulation is included in the price. We have a one-year warranty on everything, with a lifetime for the color on the metal.”
As to his pricing, you can go to: www.I-30portablebuildings.com and get a complete listing. Prices range from a 24x30x10 feet pole barn at: $9,200 to 40x60x12 at $27,500. To find out more, call: 501-681-5467.
Tirey said the Derksen buildings are delivered. As to the pole barns, he said, “I will build them a good building and this I promise.”
Tirey said if a building can not be done up to his standards of integrity, he won’t do it at all.
“I will not cut corners. I would not want someone doing that to me.”
Tirey is a member of the Village Creek Baptist Church and takes honesty and hard work seriously. He believes in an old fashioned Christian work ethic and invites you to come see him.
“We have testimonials of satisfied customers on our web site,” he said. “I am not big on promises but when I make one I keep it. I give God and his ways credit for my success.”



Haskell Harmony Grove reorganizes

grade levels to use four principals

Tailgate News Editor
Haskell Harmony Grove School Board approved a recommendation by Superintendent Daniel Henley Tuesday to reorganize the district into four grade level categories so that when a fourth principal is added the supervisory workload for all four administrators will shrink.
The new campus structure will take effect at the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year and involve K-3 being the elementary school category, 4-6 being the new middle school, 7-9 being junior high school and 10-12 being high school level.
Henley told School Board members he had checked with the State of Arkansas and been given the go-ahead on the change.
The superintendent said fifth graders next year will be physically moved mostly to what is now the middle school for their classes.
The new junior high school, consisting again of 7-9, is already attending classes in what is now the middle school building so that will remain the same.
“Other larger campuses that are restructuring have been making the 9th grade into a separate freshman category, but because of our smaller size I believe it is best to have them combined within the new junior high school,” Henley said.
The superintendent said Harmony Grove’s student population has leveled out at approximately 1,150.
Henley said he wanted to gain School Board approval of the grade reorganization now because he wants to hire a principal next month and wants to offer him the fourth through sixth grade spot.
Henley said, “I don’t mind saying that Kevin Taylor is my choice for that principal’s job. He is fully certified and I believe he has paid his dues and will do us a good job.”
Again, no board action will be taken until the Monday, Feb. 16 meeting to fill that position.
In other business, the School Board accepted a $10,000 gift from RONCO, a Haskell industry. Henley said the only stipulation was the district is to make up its mind what to do with the money and let RONCO officials know how it will be used.
Henley recommended the board invest the funds into buying another mobile computer lab for the fifth and sixth grade building in order to accommodate students taking mandatory on-line testing.
“We need to continue adding mobile computers to accommodate the on-line testing,” he said. “We are looking at Chrome Books software because it can be useful in other teaching agendas besides just testing.”
No objections from the board were voiced in regard to using the money to improve the school’s computer accessibility.
Moreover, Henley thanked School Board members for their dedication to improving Haskell Harmony Grove and told them January is School Board Appreciation Month.
In other business, the board approved the resignation of long-time custodian Connie Smith. David’s Janitorial Service will clean the gym in the future. Josh Zuber was approved as a referee.
In future business, Henley is considering the possibility of putting a ban on VAPS, a substitute for tobacco involving water vapor, from the district.

Go-Devil and Coach

will be in All-Star game

The first annual Gurdon High School football and cheerleader awards banquet has been scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 29 in the GHS cafeteria.
Gurdon Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Kyle Jackson said highlight videos of the 2014 season will be shown, in addition to the presentation of the 2014 football and cheerleader awards.
Admission to come on in and enjoy the presentations and a meal will be $5. The sports boosters for Gurdon will announce the winner of a gun drawing fundraiser.
“We would like to invite everyone to come out and share this time with us as we recognize and honor the accomplishments of our football players and cheerleaders for the 2014 season,” Coach Jackson said
Coach Jackson said at the Gurdon verses Sparkman basketball game Thursday, Jan. 22, that Gurdon Go-Devil football player John Michael Clemons has been invited to play in an All-Star football game. Details are under photo on page 2. Jackson said he will be part of the coaching staff at that All-Star football game.

Tailgate Traveler suggests

free community college

could create permanent workers


Tailgate News Editor

I read the recent proposals of our Mr. Obama that he announced at the State of the Union Address and figured none of them would ever come to pass until if and when another liberal Democrat takes our highest office.
With Republicans controlling the House and the Senate, President Barack Obama will be hard pressed to get anything done these next two years.
But I have been thinking about his educational proposal. Obama said he would like to see Community College attendance become a free-of-charge deal.
This, of course, means he would expect us taxpayers to pay the bill. With all of the money this country wastes on foreign aid to our enemies, such as Pakistan, where Ben Ladin was harbored before the USA assassinated this man who was instrumental in blowing up our twin towers in the 2001 911 attack, we could take those millions and pour them into paying our community colleges to prepare our young people to enter the job market.
I told a client of mine today that I do not care who is president that individual should be required to present a budget to Congress, get a budget passed and then do their level best to stick to it.
She had went a step further and said all college education should be free. I do not see how the taxpayers could afford that. But if we limit the free ride to the first two years, which is normal for a community college to offer, this could significantly reduce the welfare rolls and jobless who have given up looking.
If a guy or girl could become a welder or an LPN for example, via a community college education, then that would be producing taxpayers and give struggling students a chance to earn the privilege of getting a decent education by keeping their grades up.
Oh sure, I understand this goes against the pay for it yourself America attitude that I have subscribed to for years, but if making community college free would help our young people get started in the business world, and eliminate talented but financially struggling students from simply dropping out to work minimum wage jobs, I think it would be worth the investment.
But again, in my humble opinion, the government should keep a budget just like us little people have to do. And instead of always adding to the debt, why not do some trading out of expenses?
If a country, such as Pakistan mentioned earlier, is a self-proclaimed enemy of the United States by way of their adverse actions, why should we support them?
I am a guy who loves to encourage children to develop their skills and go for their dreams. Normally I am against anything that smells of socialism and a hand out.
But taxpayers chipping in to help folks achieve a community college degree and become life-long contributors to the United States workforce sounds reasonable to me.
As to coverage this past week, as our Haskell page reflects, I covered the Perryville/Haskell basketball games and the Haskell Harmony Grove School Board.
Advertising was sluggish which means I will have to work harder to get new subliminal advertising sponsors for this publication.
That is OK. Any business will have its ups and downs. I am very thankful for Tailgate News and the opportunity to continue my community journalism style of writing. As the old saying goes, the publication will continue until the fat lady sings. And so far, we have been able to keep the doors open since May of 2007.
The good thing about needing to develop new sponsors is that I get to meet more of the business people in my five-county trade area. And I love to meet people.
I am attending the Gurdon/Sparkman game tonight (Thursday, Jan. 22) here at home. I predict our Go-Devils will win on all levels this evening. We shall see shortly if I am right.
Happy traveling everyone. If you make your living on the road like I do, remember to leave your path filled with smiles. Until next week, so long


Market on Main

should be done by June

Tailgate News Editor
GURDON – Mayor Sherry Kelley said Thursday the Market on Main, a project to help revitalize the downtown, should be operational by no later than June.
The multi-use center will be a source for residents to get Hillstein Farms chicken, direct from the Arkadelphia Industrial Park factory.
“Hillstein Chicken’s industrial site became operational as a Clark County factory less than a year ago and they have agreed to supply us with all natural, fresh, Arkansas chicken,” she said.
“As far as I know, the Market on Main will be the only place you can get this type of chicken.
“We wanted something that would not compete with existing Gurdon business, but rather add to what is available here.”
Mayor Kelley said it is her understanding that the Arkansas chicken will be the only meat available at Market on Main when it opens, but this could change – depending on the desires of the entrepreneurs who end up renting the building and running the business.
In addition to offering the Hillstein chicken, Kelley said the business will have a “bit of a bakery.”
“We intend to make sure the format of this business stays within the guidelines of the grant that has made it possible,” Kelley added.
“We will only have baked goods in our bakery, such as baked cup cakes. Market on Main will have no fried bakery goods or processed donuts etc. Those items are already available elsewhere in Gurdon.
The mayor said other functions of the new bakery will be a catering service for birthday cakes and baked muffins for customers to enjoy in the restaurant area or to go.
Baked chicken will be offered in the restaurant, either to eat in or to go.
If memory serves this reporter, the total grant for this project was $98,000 with a grand total of around $140,000 in expenses once labor costs are added.
Mayor Kelley said total construction space is 24 feet by 70 feet.
The inside facility will be in 24X47, while an outdoor bistro seating area will in a space of 24 by 23. But the actual restaurant space will be open in a total combined area of 24X43.
“It is our hope that the open restaurant space will provide a pleasant meeting area to add to what we already have at City Hall,” Mayor Kelley said.
“We hope it will be rented for weddings, reunions and more.”
The entrepreneurs running the business will pay between $300 to $350 a month to rent the facility.
Kelley said the inexpensive rent will hopefully create more profit money and therefore encourage the business managers to add even more to Market on Main.
“We will not have any fried or grilled foods, as others already do that in Gurdon,” she emphasized, “but we realize the entrepreneurs may have their own market strategies that are within the grant guidelines to add to our original plans and ideas.
“Once the structure is completed in the manner agreed upon by the grant approval, we will be excited to see how those running the business put their own thoughts into taking what we hope will be a unique, and culturally desirable facility, to turn it into a permanently profitable enterprise that can be a cornerstone for future downtown revitalization in Gurdon.”

ABC Beauty College offers

career that can last a life time

Tailgate News Editor
Charles Kirkpatrick, owner of ABC Beauty College in Arkadelphia and ABC Barber College at Hot Springs, said his lifelong career as a hair stylist has been rewarding in both personal enjoyment and financial matters.
Kirkpatrick, who retired from the Arkansas State Board of Barber Examiners on Jan. 1, after 28 years of service in that capacity, is now on site full time for his three enterprises; the ABC Beauty College, the ABC Barber College and his Cutting Edge full-service barber and hair stylist shop. The Cutting Edge is located adjacent to ABC Beauty College in Arkadelphia.
The Beauty College is at 203 South 26th Street in Arkadelphia and has been a successful school to achieve a “career in a year” for many years. He and his daughter Beth Waggoner Kirkpatrick are personal testimonies as to how being a cosmetologist is a career that never has to end.
Beth works at Cutting Edge and also continues to be an important part of the training program at ABC Beauty College.
Charles said, “So many things a person can get into, employment wise, end up being seasonal or go from being a full-time income to a part-time income because of changes in the economy. But no matter what is happening with our economy, people will continue to need hair cuts. If you have a desire to please the customer, work when that customer needs you and stay as long as it takes to do the job right, then this may be a good choice for you.
“The consistent repeat business in my profession has helped me a lot in life planning.”
Shelby George, office administrator and financial aid director for ABC Beauty College, said the first step for a student to enroll in beauty school is to complete a financial aid packet (FAFSA).
For cosmetology, the tuition is $12,400, plus $1,500 for books and supplies. George stressed there are many avenues of financial aid are available to the students.
ABC Beauty College also offers manicuring, with a tuition of $6,800. Books and supplies for that course are $800.
You may also train as an instructor/teacher for a tuition of $7,650 in tuition. Books and supplies for that course are $750.
For more information on the courses, you may contact George at: (870) 246-6726. Ms. George said the cosmetology course takes 1,500 credit hours, which takes approximately a year to finish full-time. A part-time enrollment is available for those who need it due to work or family schedules.
George said part-time enrollment is offered at the beauty college, but not at the ABC Barber College.
ABC Beauty School students who attend full-time will report to the Arkadelphia school from Tuesday through Saturday. Tuesday through Friday, the hours are 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday hours are from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.
“Our policy is one of disclosure. There are no hidden costs or fees. Our students understand a complete financial plan from the time they enroll, she said.
Ms. George has taken the position of Ms. Delores Clark, who retired after about a dozen years as office administrator.
Ms. George is a licensed cosmetologist from ABC Beauty College and also has three business degrees. They are in office management, office administration and accounting.
“Being a cosmetologist is not just a career. It is a living and a lifestyle that can be very enjoyable,” she said. “If you have the interest, and like being of service to people, we invite you to enroll.”

Tailgate Traveler;

Still expanding Haskell way

Tailgate News Editor
Although most of my clients report a slow financial start to 2015, our ad sales are up.
In order to make an attempt to keep that trend going, and also in order to enjoy some writing about fresh subjects, this editor will once again being a year-long quest to cover the City of Haskell.
It is my hope to one day have as much advertising support from Haskell-Benton as the Tailgate News currently has from Gurdon-Arkadelphia.
In this line of work, journalism that is, our room to write depends on our advertising base.
In order to head toward that goal, every attempt will be made to be in Haskell Tuesday night.
It will be a photo opportunity to shoot the Haskell Harmony Grove Cardinals as they host Perryville.
After the game, the Harmony Grove School Board will meet. That meeting was delayed a night, if memory serves, because of the up and coming Martin Luther King holiday.
Although many traditional publications deem small towns and small schools not worth covering, this editor takes the opposite view.
It is my belief that those graduating from small town America are in fact more likely to succeed in the game of life than their urban dwelling counterparts.
Naturally I am prejudiced in this regard, as I graduated from Hagerstown High School in Indiana, a farming community not much bigger than Gurdon or Haskell.
The Tailgate News welcomes aspiring young or old writers who would like to submit stories about students, teachers or community pillars from our two primary cities. To do so, email them to: jay_nelson_72443@yahoo.com. I hope to see you Tuesday night.

Hot Spring County hears

update on drug testing

Tailgate News Editor
MALVERN – Two drug testing authorities from Jonesboro came to the Quorum Court meeting on Tuesday and said even though drug testing is legally considered a search, any government employee, or applicant, including on the county level, can be tested for illegal drug use and it is within the employer’s rights.
Bill Phillips and Niki Lovett, from a drug testing office at Jonesboro, told County Judge Bill Scrimshire a county job offer could be made contingent on passing a drug test.
Scrimshire asked about county drivers and the cost of a drug test required by the Department of Transportation (DOT)? Phillips said that cost would be $40, “but Road Department Drug tests are paid for by the Arkansas counties.”
A member of Hot Spring County law enforcement said current drug test costs here range from $25 to $42.
It was noted that the Quorum Court approves a line item in the annual budget, dedicating $500 to pay for drug testing.
County Judge Scrimshire said he realized the procedure for in-county drug testing was set in place “but when you use a third party, sometimes this avoids the problem of us being accused of favoritism.”
Lovett said when her organization does the drug testing for DOT, “We get a list of medications that the potential drivers are supposed to be taking and then we go from there.”
In other business, the Quorum Court passed several budget item adjustments necessary to have correct accounting for a 2015 Hot Spring County budget.
For example, $196,066.64 of hospital tax money was mistakenly deposited into the 2015 budget category because of an unexpected arrival time so Quorum Court members voted unanimously to place it back in the 2014 budget stack where it belonged.


Sherry Kelley tries on

being Gurdon mayor

Tailgate News Editor
Sherry Kelley was sworn in as the new Gurdon mayor on Jan. 1 and had hit the door running with plans and activities designed to make life for her citizens a bit more economically solvent and/or just more pleasant.
Her first step, besides trying to organize an extremely busy daily schedule, is to hear her people out. Kelley is maintaining an open door policy at the mayor’s office in City Hall and can usually be found there or at the Market on Main Street site, where work continues on a new downtown market to which she is responsible for securing a grant.
“We will be closing on the sale of the land Friday for the market, a downtown lot that belonged to the late Austin Capps, for $10,000,” she said. “Eric Hughes and Company donated the $800 in title work involved in the process.”
The Main Street Market project is intended to provide a meat market, restaurant and downtown meeting area for Gurdon and will be ran by local entrepreneurs. Construction will include refurbishing the old Austin’s Variety Store.
Besides supervising the market design and hearing her constituents, Mayor Kelley is designing a new downtown banner series involving the Hoo Hoo International club.
Hoo Hoo is an international railroad oriented club that began in Gurdon “back in the age of the train” and has been centrally located in Gurdon for many years.
Kelley, who initiated a downtown banner project through an apparent combination of grant money and donations, swaps out downtown banners every few months. A Go-Devil football banner that has recently hung up and down Main Street was designed by Kelley in cooperation with the Gurdon High School art department.
“We are going to work with all of Clark County and make sure Gurdon continues to grow and expand by taking advantage of the economic development prospects county wide and beyond. For example, I will be working with the new Whelen Springs mayor, Glen Hughes, on some ideas to help both of our areas.”
Kelley said her immediate schedule will also include following up on the planned Gurdon water treatment plant refurbishing, which has been approved to help provide service needed due to a Georgia Pacific lumber company expansion.
“I feel good about that project and becoming mayor in general,” she said. “I want to thank the people of Gurdon for giving me this opportunity to be of service.
“And there is plenty to keep me busy. I have a lot more on my schedule and this is just one day’s worth.”
Kelley said one thing she has stressed in her first week is a tightening up on expenses around City Hall where ever she sees a chance to save money.
For example, this reporter witnessed her turning the thermostat down in the corridor.
“We are going to be looking for ways to make money and also ways to tighten things up,” she said.
Kelley said before she goes too far with changing things in regard to the roles of city employees, she plans to learn each one of their jobs first hand.
“I want to be involved enough to understand each of their responsibilities in order to help them by understanding the reasoning behind their requests by first hand experience.
“I even intend to ride with the police to learn about what our officers go through.”
Mayor Kelley said her office will always be open to the public, but no definite hours will be set.
“Just catch me if you can,” she said. “If you need something, and I am out somewhere – probably at the Main Street Market site – you may also call City Hall and make an appointment with me.”
After a week on the job, Kelley joked about her office being a mess. She said her task list was so long, and she had been so busy, that cleanliness in the office had taken a back seat.
This reporter did not think the office looked too bad, just worked in. But Mayor Kelley may have stricter standards of cleanliness than this magazine editor. We both laughed about the busy clutter.
Kelley noted that City Council meetings will remain scheduled for 6 p.m. on the last Monday of the month at City Hall. The next one will be on Jan. 26, when final budget changes for this year’s city budget are to be presented for approval by Treasurer and Recorder Tambra Childres.
Mayor Kelley is also involved with the Youth Advisory Committee at GHS. YAC is a group of students who learn to write grants. She said they will tentatively meet during the noon hour on Wednesday at the high school library and are to write six grants this semester.
Kelley will work to strengthen cooperation between Arkadelphia and Gurdon. She will speak about grant writing at Dawson Co-op to share her knowledge and to make a list of more grants that may be available to help Gurdon.
Kelley will also work closely with the Economic Development Committee of Clark County, Stephen Bell, CEO.
Kelley said Thursday morning that the first order of business was to get a hold of Representative Richard Womack to request that Gurdon get some state turn back money.
“I am working with Sheriff Jason Watson on getting a crew of prisoners to help clean up Rose Hedge Cemetery. I am also renegotiating with J&K Lawn Service to save a little money on maintaining our cemetery,” Kelley said. “I want to save money where ever we can.”

Tailgate Traveler recovers

from shore leave…

Tailgate News Editor
I enjoy Christmas and New Year’s break with my family, but not like many of the women folk I know seem to do. It may be a man thing. It may be a work-a-holic journalist thing. I really don’t know what it is but many times I find myself surviving a series of get togethers.
I love seeing the expressions on the children and grandchildren’s faces when we are able to get them some toy or item they really want. But my wife tells me I lack tact in some of the stuff I say around the crowds of her relatives. In my defense, according to that same girl, I am not nearly as much of a lug-head as I used to be.
Still, the possibility of me looking stupid to her tribe makes me nervous. I am who I am. I would rather be in the midst of my eight grandchildren, playing with a football, or just hanging out on the nursery rhyme site of “Five Little Monkeys.” Being part child inside, I enjoy all of that playing stuff. I give them piggy back rides and tell them simple and clean jokes.
And I don’t do so bad with the four of my five adult children these days. My oldest daughter Erin prefers to not keep in touch. I do send her Christmas and birthday well wishes. I was raised by an Indiana farm couple who said what they thought. Sometimes that qualifies as a person who is too blunt in my current Southern Arkansas culture. For example, I told my 7-year-old that not responding to a person who is talking to you is rude. This went over like gas in church…
But after his father thought about it, both he and his dad started responding to my small talk instead of ignoring me. The rest of that visit went pretty well, at least in my estimation. Again, I survived the holidays. This does not mean I agreed with everything that went on, but nobody yelled in anger and nobody got physically violent. I reckon that is something to be thankful for in a diverse family such as mine.
Over the years, I have accepted each of them for what they are. I believe they have done the same for me. It is wonderful to have family and friends at 56. I know several my age who spend the holidays alone. Some have simply lost their spouse to death and never had kids. Others have gone through the big D, that is a divorce, and never had the want-to to get involved again.
Two fellows I know seem to contemplate suicide on the holidays more than any other time of the year. One girl does the same. All three are good people but they probably need James 3:3 just like I do. If I am quoting the right verse, it says something about how a bit in the mouth of a horse can direct a large creature.
I trust God that much. I pray daily, at least here lately, for him to put that bit in my mouth and lead on. The holidays, after Christmas, involve a new year and the resolutions to change in the case of many of us. I said this year I was not going to make any resolutions I did not believe I could keep. Once I survived the holidays, I took a good look at said goals.
I have resolved that 2015 will be the year I get my business solvent and start a decent, auto-draft, savings from Edward Jones Investments. That sort of thing is a good deal like starting a family. Nobody is ever ready. You just have to dive in and start swimming. I hope to get that started during this work week. I will let you know if I keep that promise to myself.
On a more personal note than money matters, I vowed to cut back on my cigar smoking. I switched brands and am having some success. Since the current brand does not seem to be going inside of me so much, the coughing I was worried about has subsided.
I vowed to go fishing more this year, worry less and enjoy the little things in life more that the Good Lord has seen fit to give me. I have found, when it comes to materialism, it is not so much a lack of faith with me as it is a lack of desire. My folks used to show me the riches of other farmers and tell me that those things are what those farmers wanted more than money.
I wanted a decent home, a decent car to drive and decent equipment by which to work and relax. I have all that stuff and hope to hang onto it. But if it goes away tomorrow, I will simply start over as long as God gives me the mental and physical health to do so.
And so the New Year’s resolutions, in my travels, have come and gone another year. Oh yes, I want to see the other side of 200 pounds by the end of the year. I will cut my food portions down when I can find the discipline in order to make a stab at that one. I also intend to do more walking at Gurdon Pond, where I love to go for peaceful solitude.
In your travels, your goals and resolutions may be quite different than mine. I wish you the very best in achieving yours.
As to the Southern Arkansas Tailgate News, I hope to continue to serve Gurdon and Haskell directly as a reporter and to increase the hand-in photos and stories published from throughout the five-county area I travel to acquire advertising and tid-bit news of a positive nature.
Our Facebook Widget counter said we had more than 8,000 site hits after our Dec. 19 final paper for 2014. We had more than 30,000 site hits a month last year. I have faith this number will continue to go up as more and more folks who want to read about the positive side of religion, community progress and high school sports discover the site and come to enjoy our product.
There is a museum in Haskell where the coordinator has told me I am welcome to do a feature. That sounds fun to do and fun to write about. That is where it is at with my writing. Normally, if I enjoy creating the piece, folks tell me they like to read it.
Well, I am in the midst of a sales week and so must get ready to go to Prescott, Gurdon, Arkadelphia and Caddo Valley today. Tomorrow I will tackle Malvern, Haskell, Benton and Bryant in my travels. I hope to get to more and more basketball games and learn more names of players that are putting their hearts and souls into their games this year.
While I admit that I am not really a sports nut, I do believe that athletics usually have a very positive influence on young men and women – teaching them to be competitive with integrity. It has taught many a child that selfishness is not the answer to being happy in life, but rather learning to treat the other players like you want to be treated goes a long way to the goodwill most all of us want in our lives.
Here is hoping your 2015 travels are prosperous and enjoyable. As one of my veteran friends said years ago, “Just don’t sweat the small stuff. And remember, in the end, it is all small stuff.” When it comes to worldly cares, I must say I agree with him. Happy travels until we meet again.

Editorial on Obamacare;

the victims are those work…

We are concerned with the ever increasing tax penalties for choosing a health insurance in your budget rather than going with an Obamacare plan that may very well cost more and pay less.
While we are not in favor of repealing the national health care system, we are in favor of it being revised so it will not force some people into the Alternative Care Healthcare Market that choose to keep their old plan.
Obamacare has made it possible for indigent, and/or fixed income people to have basic health care for whatever ails them that emergency room visits of the old days did not provide.
However, free services are never free. We realize the income tax penalties for keeping our own choice of insurance are part of President Barack Obama’s plan as to how to pay for the healthcare that the non-tax paying public gets for free.
And a flat rate penalty to all taxpayers, say $200 a year across the board, might not be that bad. After all, us worker bees might get disabled, or grow too old and feeble to be productive – and therefore someday need the socialistic insurance called Obamacare ourselves.
However, let’s look at the reality of Obamacare tax penalties by using this editor as an example. We understand our first year penalty for keeping a $1 million, no deductible insurance policy in our budget, is $95. Our plan has a cap and violates the rules.
We can live with that. Then the next year it goes to $325 and the third year to $1,440 if we continue to keep private insurance of our choice and income level.
This is blackmail in that third year. While we may still keep our policy out of pure stubbornness, we will be praying that the now Republican controlled Congress will revise Obamacare to flat rate tax penalties for the independent worker instead of leaving the anti-freedom of choice penalties in place.

Gurdon loses Dr. Peeples at 91

Dr. George R. Peeples MD, 91, of Gurdon, Arkansas, died Wednesday January 7, 2015 at Baptist Health Medical Center in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.
Dr. George R. Peeples MD was born January 8, 1924 in Arkadelphia, Arkansas to Ruben Earl and Ina Pearl (Reed) Peeples. Dr. Peeeples served the community of Gurdon as its Medical Doctor for a number of years. Dr. Peeples was also a long time member of Beech Street Baptist Church.
Dr. George R. Peeples is preceded in death by his parents and three sisters.
Dr. George R. Peeples is survived by his wife of 63 years, Jean (Morford) Peeples of Gurdon, Arkansas, two daughters, Georgia Peeples of Akron, Ohio and Charlotte (David) Smith of North Little Rock, Arkansas, one brother Dr. Raymond Peeples MD of Parkway Village, Little Rock, Arkansas, two grandchildren, Donna Kennard and Rebecca Nolan and two great grandchildren Taylor and Kennedy
Visitation will be: Monday January 12, 2015 at 1 p.m. until service time at 2 p.m. – in the Beech Street Baptist Church of Gurdon, Arkansas with Bro. Randy Cox officiating.
Interment will follow in: Rosehedge Cemetery, Gurdon, Arkansas under the direction of Pharr Funeral Home of Gurdon

GPS kindergartners

note requests to fuzzy faced old man

MRS. JONES GPS KINDERGARTNERS – Dianne Jones’s kindergartners are looking forward to what Santa may bring them. Class grandmother Ella Barfield, right, stands with the teacher. Mrs. Jones wrote, Beneath my tree I hope to see… Marilyn Allen, A Doctor Set; Jakhia Burton, Doc McStuffins; Anabelle Davis, Equestria Girl; Tripp Frisby, Trick Bike; Jordan Henry, Nerf Gun; Rocsi Hughes, Cotton Candy Machine; E’lyas Lanton, Fire Scooter; Anahi Leon, Elsa Doll; Alan Martinez, Monster Truck; Madie McCurley, Yoyo; Joel Perez, Transformer; Kharsyn Radford, Ana Doll; and Lyla Shehane, Fish Tank. We love you!

MRS. ANDERSON’S KINDERGARTNERS – The boys and girls in my class have been so good this year. For Christmas, please bring each one a special gift. Maggie Abernathy, a Barbie dream house; Jamya Burton, a baby doll house; Daniel Cruz, i pod; Venus Cruz, a baby doll; Naomi Deaton, a Barbie doll; Brenley Gulley, a tablet; Adyn Khun, a drum set; Landon Myers, X-box; Margrett Pate, a baby doll house; Jason Raglon, a Yo-Yo; Lillyanna Wiggington, a baby doll and crib; and Cory Yarbrough, a phone. P.S. Don’t forget to bring something extra special for Mrs. Wanda Crow, our foster grandmother. Thank you, Mrs. Mary Anderson.

MRS. ASHLEY COLLINS KINDERGARTNERS – Ashley Collins, right, teaches kindergarten at GPS and says her class has really been good this year. On the left is foster grandmother Carolyn Woolf, who agrees with Mrs. Collins. Their classroom list of gifts from Santa Claus includes: Braxton, blue transformer; Jaelin, boots like Momma; Jamarius, stuffed animal; Xavier, medium 4-wheeler; Jordan, woody; Lilly Belle, make-up; Esteban, car; Nevy, toy; Lateisha, Dora backpack; Thetar, helicoptor; Julia, Elsa from Frozen; Emilee, Fairy Princess doll; Lexi, Barbie house with elevator; and Caroline, puppy dog lab.

Gurdon Primary School Pre-K

places Santa orders

MRS. WHITSON’S PRE-K CLASS – Dear Santa, Mrs. Jimmie Sue Whitson and Mrs. Mindy Burns said we have been extra good boys and girls in Pre-K this year. Please bring us some special things for our Christmas. Adalyn wants a musical Elsa dress, Brinley wants some squishy sand, Carter wants a helicopter, Chase wants some cowboy clothes and a guitar, Claire wants Elsa and Anna dolls, Conner wants a T Rex transformer, Issac wants a super hero, Jack wants a Lego movie and a dump truck, Jacob wants a helicopter, Jeremiah wants a helicopter, Jikaya wants a Barbie doll with glasses, Kyndalyn wants some play dough, Makenzie wants a doll and play dough, Minnie wants a Barbie doll, Missy wants an Anna doll, Samantha wants a Barbie house, Teagan wants a Batman and Robin cape and mask, Triton wants a computer and army men and Wendy wants a bike. Please bring something special for our teachers Mrs. Whitson and Mrs. Burns. We love you Santa!

MRS. BOYCE PRE-K – Dear Santa, We know it’s not long before you come visit us. We have been counting the days on our calendars. Mrs. Diana Boyce and Bonita Grayson think we have been very good this year. We know you have been busy making toys to deliver to good boys and girls around the world so we made a list of our gifts we would like to find on Christmas morning: Jose Alfaro, Legos; Lucas Anderson, X Box 4; Sasha Beasley, computer; Griffin Collins, pocket knives; Alvin Cruz, truck; Cash Dickerson, Teddy Bear machine; Tucker Dillard, puppy dog; Jalraylin Garland, phone with earphones; Bennett Gonzales, Hawkeye, Piper King, purple machine; Ja’Nya Nettles, phone; Sasha Payne, X Box 4; Jack Rogers, cat; Yajaira Santiago, Barbie; Lane Smith, Monster Truck; Ella Thomas, car; Garvin Wells, toy gun; and Makhlaa Williams, fingernail polish. Thank you Santa and please bring something special for Mrs. Boyce, Mrs. Grayson and Mrs. Pam Wells. Love, Mrs. Boyce’s Pre-K.

MRS. TRACY STONE’S PRE-K – Dear Santa, Our class has been very busy getting everything ready for Christmas. We have been very good this year. We would like for you to come and visit and bring lots of gifts. Here is a list of things that we wold like: Aiden Arrington, Anything from the Goosebumps movie; Rianne Baird,Tinkerbell; Gracelyn Bryant, doll; Chassidy Cornish, Disney Princess toy; Caleb Davis, toy truck; Ethan Dye, big toy; Ryland Ernst, robot; Benjamin Evans, Batman toy; Jimena Garcia, Tinkerbell; Jamal Garland, Red Lightning McQueen Flippy; Christopher Gibson, toy Monster Truck; Shandie Gutuerrez, doll; Evan Hammonds, Monster Truck; Eric Hughes, Batman truck; Jonah Jester, video game; TaMia Kennedy, tablet; JaMia Lacy, baby doll; Kadence Roach, rain boots; and Donatio Lewis, toy cars. Please bring Mrs. Lisa Shaver something nice. She helps us a lot. We look forward to waking up on Christmas Day and finding lots of neat things. We love you Santa. Have a safe trip. Your friends, Mrs. Tracy Stone’s Pre-K class.

Gurdon Food Pantry

to get direct delivery

from Arkansas Food Bank

Tailgate News Editor
The Community Food Pantry of Gurdon, which is hosted by Faith Mission and financed by four area churches, is now distributing around 288 of the 30 to 40-pound staple food boxes per month to area residents.
One such distribution occurred on Tuesday, Dec. 16, when Co-Director Velvet Gonzales said 35 or more volunteers were to fill approximately 200 boxes for struggling Gurdon area residents.
“We ask them for two forms of identification proving a local address and then we give them the food,” she said.
The Community Pantry officially started out of a combined effort from the other Co-Director, Tommy Potter, owner of Faith Mission, and Evergreen Church, pastored by the Rev. Kevin Sims, in 2012.
Potter has been giving food away out of the mission and from his private residence for more than a decade, but the needs of the people outgrew that effort. Evergreen Church provided a 501C 3 tax exempt status and the Community Pantry was born.
Gonzales said the winds of change are blowing in January. Potter and Sims have been going to Caddo Valley to meet the Arkansas Food Bank personnel out of Little Rock and hauling the food back to Gurdon. This has allowed two days of distribution a month, with the distribution day for shut-ins varying – depending on the schedule of volunteers.
Those coming after the food do so on the designated Tuesday and available parties from the group of 56 total volunteers deliver to qualified shut-ins as time permits.
“We have 36 or 40 of our volunteers show up on any given distribution day,” Gonzales said. “Things will go a little different in January as to our schedule.”
Gonzales said 15,000 pounds of food is to arrive from the Arkansas Food Bank to Faith Mission on Monday, Jan. 26 and the semi-trailer truck is to be unloaded by prisoners that Clark County Sheriff Jason Watson said he will assign to the detail.
Potter said some of that food may be more than what is needed for their current client list “and that will give us an opportunity to help other food banks.”
The cost of the food is covered by $1,000 collected from the four churches and other donors throughout the month.
Gonzales said the January food might be delivered to shut-ins first on Jan. 26. But the 200 or so residents who come after it will still pick the food boxes up between 3 and 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 27. Again, the shut-in delivery time is not set in stone.
Gonzales said she has applied for and received government grants to buy freezers and other tools for the Community Pantry, but the food itself is financed strictly by concerned churches and donors.
Potter said sometimes donors will give him things, such as a load of turnips, that he passes on to those in need between food distribution days.
“Since I will not have to go after our food at Caddo Valley in the future, I will be able to help more on distribution days at Faith Mission, as well as help keep folks going with food emergencies throughout the month.”
Potter said he would like to thank God for the Community Pantry “because without the blessings of Jesus Christ and all who love Him this effort would never have been possible.”
Gonzales said volunteers are asked if they have ever been convicted of a violent crime, especially a violent felony, in recent years, before a decision is made to allow them to participate in the program.
“We are not trying to judge anyone, as we appreciate the willingness to help by the people, but we do ask a few questions just in the spirit of keeping the Community Pantry a safe place for people to come and get the help they need,” she said.
“Once a volunteer starts, he or she is entitled to one of the 30 to 40-pound boxes of food for their family. But they must present two items to prove their address. We ask that our volunteers do not eat in front of others coming to get food supplies, and that food boxes belonging to volunteers get taken to their vehicles. We tried storing them at the mission, but there is really not enough room to do that.”
Gonzales said volunteers are not assigned to specific jobs, but rather told if they see a task that needs doing, go for it.
“Our mission statement for the Community Pantry says it is to be an organization feeding body and soul,” Gonzales said.
“We officially opened in November of 2012. Although we work closely with Tommy Potter, all of the finances are managed by a board of directors at Evergreen Church.”
Each food box given out to families in need consists of a meat, potatoes, rice, fruit and an assortment of cereals etc. Canned goods are included if available.
The Food Pantry is looking for volunteers to deliver food to shut-ins. If you have the time to do this, please contact Gonzales at: (870) 230-7628.
Regular distribution day, that is like it was on Dec. 16 and will be again on Tuesday, Jan. 27, starts with volunteers arriving about noon to do preparation work.
The truck, usually driven by Potter and Sims, arrives at 1 p.m. Potter said he has been heading to Caddo Valley for the food at about 9 a.m. and then he stays for the clean-up after distribution to sometimes 9 that night. Food is distributed from 3-6 p.m. Those in need should bring a box.
Gonzales said senior citizens will get their boxes of food first, starting at 3 p.m., with the goal being to start distributing to the general public by 4 p.m.
In the past, shut-ins have received their boxes as early as the next day after regular distribution. Again, this home delivery schedule may change.

Haskell Harmony Grove Board

expels two for marijuana possession

Tailgate News Editor
A sophomore and a junior at Haskell Harmony Grove High School have been expelled for the remainder of the school year, with loss of their credits, because they were caught on campus in possession of an illegal drug – specifically marijuana.
Both juveniles, the Tailgate News staff chooses not to name them.
According to Superintendent Don Henley, they were suspended for 10 days each before their hearings on Monday, Dec. 15. The superintendent recommended the expulsions and board members agreed.
A third letter was given to the press concerning another student charged with the same thing, but action during the meeting did not reflect a third expulsion, to the best of this reporter’s knowledge.
In other business, the board voted for a contract disclosure with Ramsey Tire, which was necessary for the district to continue doing business there because Johnny Ramsey is now on the School Board.
Moreover, board members heard a report from Superintendent Henley regarding the budget. Henley told them the school district has received a large check in November, for $800,000, which helps balance the finances. The money, he said, was a scheduled allotment rather than of any surprise.
In addition, Henley said the lunchroom balance is now approximately $8,000 “so we are doing better even with how slow federal funds are to come in.”
Henley said he did get with a food service management company, and the representative agreed to work up a proposal for Harmony Grove District, “but any change is still at least a year and a half away.”
Henley said he continues to get positive feedback from other districts who have gone with cafeteria management companies. He stated last meeting that the reason for considering such a change is that the management companies have the sources to buy food items cheaper and therefore employees could be paid better and given more incentive to stay on their jobs.
In other business, board members voted to pay the district’s current bills.
In regard to personnel, the board accepted the resignations of special education teacher Cindy Roberts, special education teacher Karen Dodson and maintenance worker Jodi Jones.
Also at the recommendation of Superintendent Henley, the district employed: Lanelle Crawford and Cherie Schall, as cafeteria workers; Deborah Magann, as special education aide and Kimberly Collins as special education teacher.
The board also hired Keri Taggart as a long-term substitute and Bobby Smith as a full-time bus driver.
Moreover, the school board voted to proceed with the expansion of the football concession stand, as James Insurance Agency of Benton committed to contribute $10,000 toward the project.
Henley said the $10,000 should cover almost the entire cost but “might leave the district paying some on heat and air.”
In addition, the superintendent said school enrollment has dropped slightly since school started, from 1160 to 1150, “but hopefully we have now leveled off.”
Henley said last year the numbers held steady, “but you never know when students will decide to come or go.”
He announced the holiday break this year will begin on Dec. 19 and students will return to class on Monday, Jan. 5.
The School Board will meet at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 20, one day later than usual in observance of Martin Luther King day.


Magnet Cove poet

receives citation of honor

from senator

RECEIVES CITATION FROM SENATOR – The late Etheree Taylor Armstrong, of Magnet Cove, was a world renowned poet and was placed in the Congressional records by Senators David Pryor and Dale Bumpers after her poetry was read on the U.S.  Congressional floor. Her son, Larry Britt “Santa” Armstrong, left, received an honorary citiation in appreciation for his mother’s poetry writing from Senator Alan Clark on Wednesday, Dec. 10 at the library in Malvern.

Senate Memorial
Whereas: Etheree Taylor Armstrong spent most of her life in Hot Spring County, Arkansas where she excelled in the roles of loving wife to L.W. “Larry” Armstrong and proud mother of their two sons – Larry Britt and Ike, pursued her chosen profession as a writer of poetry and created a unique poetry pattern based on syllables which today carries the name “Etheree” in her honor; and
Whereas: her uncanny ability to capture in poetic form a specific time or event, a tribute to a beloved person or a favorite memory, held great appeal to poetry lovers throughout the world, and her works were proudly read on the floor of the U.S. Congress and placed in the Congressional Record by Arkansas Senators David Pryor and Dale Bumpers and have been reprinted in 23 foreign countries; and
Whereas: In her homtown of Malvern, Mrs. Armstrong wrote a poetry column for the daily newspaper, helped to create the Malvern Poets Club, and the Malvern library is beneficiary of many of her most notable works and memorabiliea; and
Whereas: The members of the Arkansas Senate wish to join Senator Alan Clark in recognizing posthumously the outstanding life and talent of a native daughter, Etheree Taylor Armstrong, whose poetic works will forever remain as her continuing gift to future generations. Now therefore, pursuant to the motion of Senator Alan Clark, the Arkansas Senate directs that this Citation be presented on this 10th day of December, 2014.

Senator Alan Clark


Gurdon mayor retiring

from third long-term job

Tailgate News Editor
Gurdon Mayor Clayton Franklin will be retiring for the third time come January 1 and will be spending more time camping on the river, hunting, fishing and reading his favorite author, Louis l’amour.
“I was in banking for 20 years and retired,” he said. “Then I was on the economic development board at Henderson State University for 15 years and retired.
“And now I have served as Gurdon’s mayor for another 15 years and will retire come January 1. I believe I am getting good at keeping busy after a retirement.”
As to his plans, Franklin said retiring from the mayor’s position will be followed by a mind set of rest and relaxation, especially before 9 a.m.
Getting out away from the world, at his camp on the Little Missouri River, will probably be something he will choose to do more often.
“When I am in town, I plan to continue to go to the senior center here for lunch,” he said.
“And I will be available if Mayor Elect Sherry Kelley needs some advice, especially in the area of city finance. That is an area where I have a lot of experience.”
As to family, his grand children are grown so that entertainment is in the past.
Franklin has been the mayor for the entire 10 years this editor has been in Gurdon.
Some of his accomplishments include consistently improving the City Park playground and Gurdon Pond, plus now being instrumental in the renovation and restoration of Gurdon’s sewer and water plant. He has also kept up city street repair, as finances have allowed. Franklin has also worked on ridding the city of eyesore houses.
Franklin is the president of the Community Development and Entertainment Committee, which organizes Gurdon’s biggest annual activity – the Gurdon Forest Festival. That event is always the last Saturday in October and attracted probably 2,000 people this year.
Franklin has always had an open door policy with the press and has been very helpful to this editor in regard to gathering reports.
He has also promoted tourism in regard to the legendary Gurdon Light.
“We have applied for a grant from the Arkansas Tourism branch of government to get $5,000 to do some research to see if there is enough traffic to the Gurdon Light to merit some additional upkeep and security out there,” he said.
“So far, Sherry (Kelley) and I have not heard back. She applied for that grant at my suggestion.”
The Gurdon Light, recognized on Ripple’s Believe It or Not some years back, is allegedly the lantern of a beheaded train operator as he looks along the track area for his head.
Franklin said there was some concern about the Light disappearing here recently when the tracks going past the phenomenon were pulled up.
Making it a trail back there, instead of a matter of following the railroad track from Highway 53 back toward Sticky Road, has actually made access to the Light area easier. One Henderson State University study concluded the Light may be some sort of gas or foxfire, but the numerous reports that it follows its visitors, and seems to appear out of nowhere on dark nights, leaves final conclusion uncertain as to what it really could be.
“We may not get a lot of visitors, but we do get some.When the grant comes through, and we are able to measure traffic to the Gurdon Light, we will know whether it is just a spooky Halloween spot or if the city needs to invest in some mowing and maintenance to make it more tourist oriented – and then maybe we could charge admission to re-coup the maintenance costs,” he said.
Franklin said the future of the Light is Sherry Kelley’s responsibility after January 1, but he will be around to help her plan its viewing improvements if the new mayor wants his help.
“I have enjoyed being mayor at Gurdon and will be watching to see what Sherry gets accomplished. I believe the key to success is to listen to not only to your gut reaction, but to what the majority of your people seem to want. I understand there will be some paving money in our future. I am glad. We need more than to just be able to fix potholes. I am for anything that will improve Gurdon’s quality of life.”



Forget Me Knot Flower Shop

gets new Okolona owner

Tailgate News Editor
Forget Me Knot Flower Shop has changed hands and the new owner hosted a grand opening on Wednesday, Dec. 3.
Vickie Smithpeters, a Clark County justice of the peace and Okolona resident, took over ownership of the long-time business in Gurdon on Sept. 12.
Smithpeters said, “In addition to our full-service flower shop, we can do all kinds of picture framing.
“If you have a picture, large or small, check us out for our professional framing.”
Smithpeters assures the public that silk or fresh flowers are still available for all occasions. She said the flower shop is carrying poinsettias for the Christmas season.
“We do have some holiday gifts at the shop that might be just right for that special person,” she said.
Forget Me Knot is located next to the Cabe Land Office on Front Street.
“Remember our framing services,” she added. “Check out our friendly service and quality work.”
A crowd of about 15 well wishers attended the grand opening. Refreshment were served.

Editor recalls the joy

of putting up a tree

Tailgate News Editor
The year was probably 1974 or so and I was still living at home on the farm in Indiana.
My grandparents, John Hans and Marvel May Nelson, raised me about two and a half miles west of Hagerstown, on State Road 38.
Every year, my grandfather and I would go out in the woods and pick us out a Christmas tree. Even though Grandma usually objected, my old man knew how important the tree was to me so she got over-ruled.
Once it was decorated and looking all artsie and so on, I could swear I saw her smile a time or two, despite her complaints.
Having a live tree, we always put it down in a deep holder so I could water the thing a bit. I think it was a 5-gallon bucket but I really don’t remember.
Once Grandpa had it set up for me to go to work, I got down the ornaments and such from the upstairs. Our farm house had about four generations of storage up there so I could usually take my pick on Christmas decorations.
I remember my Mom and Dad brought back the prettiest angels from Germany. Dad was a MASH doctor in the Korean War, stationed in Germany, so they lived there awhile in the 1950’s.
And then there was this blue star with a twirler in the center that I put on top. But before I put on the angels and ornaments, I dressed it up with strings of golden stuff that glittered in the dim light of a spare living room where I did the honors.
Growing up an only child may have had its disadvantages, but at least nobody argued with me about the Christmas tree.
I would fiddle with the thing for a couple of hours or more and make sure all of the lights worked.
I recall the order of installation as being the lights, the golden strands, the star on top and then the smaller ornaments going down to the bottom where I put the big ones. Those angels were some silver and some white. They made my decoration plan all over that tree. I suppose you could say the thing was my annual art project.
Once it was up, I had this swirly light I put in the window so the people from the road could see the swirly gizmo and the tree.
I suppose I was either 14 or 15 years old back then, in 1974. Actually, I did our tree from the time I was about 8 years old. Grandpa always said it looked great. I am not sure he was telling the complete truth on that, but it gave his grandson encouragement to do it again, year after year.
I have read since a lot of stuff about how a Christmas tree started out a thing that the pagans did back in the middle ages and the Catholics agreed to have it brought into the house of God as a compromise to get those heathens in there for some fire and brimstone preaching.
Me, I just like the art value of a Christmas tree, and I like thinking back on how many Christmas seasons I have enjoyed.
I remember my grandparents sitting on that old black, imitation leather couch, staring out the window beyond our telephone at State Road 38 during the Christmas season, waiting on my Daddy and step mother Nancy to come visit us from Oklahoma. We all got so excited to see them. I really don’t recall whether they complemented my art work tree, but I do recall they never said it was awful. That in itself suited me just fine.
My favorite Christmas present ever was a GI Joe set. One was dressed Army and the other Navy. I had them on some serious pretend missions on Christmas day.
My folks usually got me a little something the day before, as Dec. 24 is my birthday. Plus Grandma always made an angel food cake. If you still have those who raised you available to hug, hug them. My grandparents died in 1988 and 1989, at the ages of 92 and 96.
When the tree was decorated and my folks were watching the lights blink with me all was right with the world, and you guessed it, that was another Memorable Moment…

Coach Jackson recaps

Gurdon football season

Tailgate News Editor
The Boys of Fall in Gurdon, 2014 vintage, finished the season 9-3 overall, with a 7-0 conference record and 7-2A district championship.
The Go-Devils were 1-1 in the playoffs, winning against Carlisle and falling by 4 points to McCrory.
Gurdon Head Football Coach Kyle Jackson said, “I was extremely pleased to finish the year 9-3 and be district champions.
“The playoff loss left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth, but we need to sit back and look at the season as a whole. To finish 9-3 and win a conference championship with 23 players and only 2 people weighing in at over 200 pounds is something to be proud of.
“ It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of those 23 guys in the locker room and the assistant coaches. I am extremely proud for our seniors. They have us headed in the right direction as a program. They have shown the younger guys what it means to be a senior and to lead the right way.
“Now it is up to the younger players to continue that into the future. There is no way I can list everyone that has helped in some way this year, but I to want to say thank you to everyone that played a part in our success.
“A lot of people donated their time and money for these players and this program and we certainly appreciate it.”
Coach Jackson said the following is a list of post season awards:
District 7-2A Coach of the Year: Kyle Jackson
All State : Jackie Harvell
All District: Jackie Harvell , Diondre McCoy, Alunzo Leeper, Adam Cooper, John Michael Clemons, Jackson Kirkpatrick, David Sims, Damontra Quarles, Baylee Hughes, Dewayne Marlow
All District- Honarable Mention: Parker Whitson , Donald Haynie
Stat Leaders:
Passing : Parker Whitson- 1600 yards- 16 touchdowns
Rushing: Jackie Harvell- 1347 yards- 22 touchdowns
Receiving: Dewayne Marlow- 528 yards- 7 touchdowns
Tackle Leader: John Michael Clemons- 135 tackles
The Junior Go-Devils had an overall record of 7-2 and 6-1 in the district. This made them district runner-up.
Coach Jackson said, “Our junior high squad had a successful year. Our main goal in junior high school is to run the same schemes as our senior high team that way they are used to the terminology when they get older.
“ We also like to get everyone playing time during this point in their career. If we can win some games along the way it is a bonus. I feel like we accomplished all of that this year and it will help us in the future.
“ We have a big group of young men who were freshmen this year and moved up with the senior high squad after their season was over.
“If we can keep all of these guys out for football next year we have a chance to be a good team. The time between your freshmen and sophomore year seems to be the time that people quit for whatever reason.
“If we can keep this group of guys together for 3 more years they have a chance to win a lot of games.”
The coach had the following remarks about Go-Devil football in the future:
“We are proud of the season we had in 2014, but as a coach you are ready to get back to work start preparing for the 2015 season. We will take a week or so to take up equipment and max out before semester tests and Christmas Break.
“When we get back in January we will start our off season conditioning program to prepare for the 2015 season. This is the time where we develop our bodies and become mentally tougher for the upcoming year.
“ We lost a great group of seniors but we have a solid core of guys to build around for next year. The entire offensive line will be returning along with our quarterback and leading rusher. We do have some holes to fill on the defensive line.
“If we can keep the group of next year’s sophomores together, I think we can have a decent team. It all depends on if they will stick with it or quit during off season. We are trying to build this program where we are competitive every year.
“ We have had a good run of success here lately, but it is time we break through and make some noise in the playoffs. This will be determined by the work ethic and dedication starting in the weight room in January.”

Gurdon passes resolution

to update water treatment plant

and help Georgia Pacific

Tailgate News Editor
Gurdon City Council voted unanimously Monday night, Nov. 24 to go ahead with the extensive remodeling of the city’s water/sewer treatment plant in order to receive a “just like new upgrade,” while helping Georgia Pacific (GP) to stay in budget on the planned $37 million expansion.
Mayor Clayton Franklin said the Council’s passing of Resolution #14-003 means Gurdon will be eligible for $243,993.33 in Clark County industrial tax money that has been earmarked for the creation of new jobs here – or the maintaining of old ones.
Now that City Council has passed the Resolution, Mayor Franklin said the project will be getting under way in the near future.
“GP lumber company needs a way to process their wood and dry it out, and that requires a lot of water treatment,” he said.
“If they were not in agreement to use our soon-to-be state of the art water treatment system, they would have to build, and/or expand their own when they do the expansion. That would most likely put GP out of their $37 million project budget cap.”
The Economic Development Corporation of Clark County (EDCCC), holder of the half-cent sales tax money, has agreed to give the City of Gurdon $243,993.33 in reimbursement funding to upgrade the Gurdon sewer pond system in order to help GP with their lumber business expansion plans.
Franklin said the area’s largest employer (more than 600 local jobs) needs to be secure about the increased capacity and safety of its kiln furnace drying capabilities so when more wood comes to the Gurdon lumber facility it can be easily processed.
“I will go so far as to say that once these improvements are made Gurdon will have an essentially new, state of the art, waste water treatment plant,” Franklin added. “Many people do not realize that a tree is 50 percent water and the kiln drying procedure takes that down to 15 percent.”
Franklin told City Council members and guests that the Gurdon water and sewer plant was built 41 years ago.
The question was asked what sort of contingency plan the city had if the improvements at the aging facility ended up costing more than the approved funding from EDCCC?
Franklin said if that happens, and we are short of money, the plan would be to ask EDCCC for more tax money to finish the project or to revise the project improvements by cutting them back enough to still finish in budget.
“The way this deal is set up there should be no cost to the City of Gurdon,” he said. “And we will be bringing our wastewater plant back to the condition it was in 41 years ago.”
In other business, the City Council voted to give Mayor Elect Sherry Kelley a $200 a month raise over what has been stated in past meetings as a $1,000 a month salary “because Sherry is not old enough for Medicare like I was and she will need this money to have her health insurance paid for by the city in like manner as to what I have had,” Franklin explained.
Moreover, the City Council approved a request to honor Christmas bonuses for city workers this year.
Treasurer and Recorder Tambra Childres said city workers have not been given even a cost of living raise in five years “because our budget is just that tight due to insurance and everything else continuing to go up.”
Franklin said the Christmas bonuses were already built into the current budget.
Before close of the meeting, a citizen pointed out that certain street lights needed fixing. Council agreed to the repairs.
The City Council will meet again at 6 p.m. Monday on Dec. 29 and will approve a final budget.


Benton Beauty Academy

prepares students

for the world of work

Tailgate News Editor
Benton Beauty Academy opened on April 1, 2012 with the philosophy of teaching what the hair business is all about, not just how to pass a state board.
The school is located at 920 Edison Ave. Ste 8 in Benton and currently has 19 students getting ready for day to day careers doing hair, nails and more, not just studying for a state test.
Drew Gentry, co-owner of the school with Misty Wright, said, “We want everyone to do well on their State Board, as they will need their license to do hair.
“But we promote the hair business, that is doing people’s hair. We want our students to be comfortable working on clients and believe part of our school’s responsibility is to get the student ready for that first day of work after they get their license and enter the work a day world.”
Gentry said salons ask him all of the time, when considering the placement of a new graduate, “Do you teach them anything?”
He said what the business owners are referring to is does Benton Beauty Academy teach work ethics like being on time, pleasing a customer instead of worrying so much about pleasing yourself and generally how to get along with people and roll from one client to the next as they come in the door and all deserve equally professional service?
“And the answer is you bet we do,” he said. “We don’t just teach technique at our school. We teach our students how to be competent members of the hair profession.
“We want them to get a good job and keep it.”
Gentry said full time students seeking to complete the cosmetology program at Benton Beauty Academy must finish 1,500 hours of work – which generally takes them about 9 months.
If a student must hold a job, or has family responsibilities etc., and can not attend the normal student hours; 8:30 until 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, with 30 minutes off each day to eat lunch, then a part-time program is offered.
Gentry said those choosing to go the part-time route will attend classes 24 hours a week instead of the traditional 40 and can expect to finish beauty school in 15 months, rather than 9. Either way, the cost is $5,800 total.
In addition to traditional cosmetology, Benton Beauty Academy offers a course to become a nail technician that involves 600 hours of training in 4 months. That cost is $2,550.
The school also offers an aesthetics course, which involves 600 hours of training and takes 4 months to finish for $3,640.
Lastly, a 600-hour course is available in instructor’s training.That program costs $3,200.
“Most schools do not offer the separate programs, but we do because professionals who specialize are also needed in the work world,” he said.
Gentry said many of the 19 students currently enrolled are mothers whose children are now in school and they are seeking a career that goes with child rearing.
“We are pretty successful with the 25 to 35 year old woman because the school can work with her family schedule. The hair profession is a goal she now has time to pursue,” he said. “However, we accept students from age 16 and older, including men and women.”
The school has two full-time instructors; Mattie Woods and Lannette Johnson.
There are also part-time instructors available for the specialized categories of training; that is nails, aesthetics and instructor’s training.
A prospective student may start the first Tuesday of each month at Benton Beauty Academy, but they will need a signed contract at least a week before they plan to attend classes because of state permit processing time.
Gentry said each student must have a vocational permit by the state of Arkansas in order to attend VoTech classes, which beauty school falls under that category. The permit is $20.
“You will need a vocational permit before the school orders your books and kit,” he said.
As to financial aid, the cosmetology course costs $5,800 and can be financed privately, with monthly payments being acceptable over the time you are training, or finances can sometimes be obtained through agencies such as Arkansas Rural Endowment Fund or private student loans. You can apply online at: .
If you are eligible through Arkansas Rehabilitation Services, funding may be available. To ask, call: (501) 317-1390.
Gentry said, “Our school is in process of securing federal financial aid, but the process is a long one.
“I would say most of our students find it acceptable to make monthly payments as they go, unless a relative or good friend decides to pay.”
Gentry said if a student chooses the 15-month part-time contract, then monthly payments can be stretched over the entire 15 months of attendance. The specialty courses, since they run four months, would need payments completed by the time the student finishes.
Gentry said high schoolers have a special program that involves attending cosmetology school three months after your sophomore year, your junior year and then finishing the nine-month program during the three months following your high school graduation. The state requires them to be 16 before starting.
Gentry said the school has a maximum training capacity of 33 students.
Prospective students may contact the school though email at: . You may also search for Benton Beauty Academy on Facebook, or call: (501) 860-6100.
Remember you can not reach your goal until you make the effort to start and then have the tenacity to finish.
“We are here to prepare you for a good future in the cosmetology industry,” Gentry said. “If this is your dream, come see us and we will make every effort to find a way for you to attend and succeed.”

American Art Gallery

to host horse hair artist

Tailgate News Editor
Valerie Hanks-Goetz, a Native American artist and member of the Muscogee Nation of Florida, uses horse hair, pine needles and the like to make beautiful pottery, ash trays and baskets.
She lives at Y Mountain, west of Little Rock, and has been displaying her practically unique and refreshing art items at the American Art Gallery for about two years.
Gallery owners Willie and Ann Gilbert said Valerie will demonstrate her techniques using horse hairs to decorate pottery, and how to manipulate pine needles in ways that usually prompts a happy smile by observers, at the Friday night, Dec. 5 Gallery Walk in downtown Hot Springs.
Ann Gilbert said, “We enjoy it when Valerie comes around with new items, as her ashtrays, pottery and such are good sellers.
“People seem to appreciate her style and find her work very appealing.”
Mrs. Gilbert said Gallery Walk audiences are fascinated by her horse hair and pine needle weaving techniques and Valerie always gives a demonstration worth seeing.The Gallery Walk, which takes place the first Friday of every month, is held from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m.
Valerie also uses gourds in her upbeat Native American art.

Conclusion of  GPS

Kids Cooking Turkeys

Alissia Fracier – This year I am cooking the turkey for Thanksgiving. First, I would go to Wal-Mart and get the stuff for it, and get really.
Next I will get the surprises. And the season to cook it and go to the woods.
Then I will find a turkey and kill it. Then I will take the feathers out and take the turkey to my house.
Then I would cook the turkey for 19 minutes and cook more stuff for Thanksgiving.
Jessie Wotters – Kill it. Stuff it. Put sauce on it. Cook it. Cut it. Eat it.
Emily Lopez – This year I am going to cook the turkey. First I would kill the turkey. Next, clean or wash the turkey.
Then, cut the turkey open and take everything out. Then, stuff it with mashed potatoes.
Finally, I put the turkey in a pan and put it in the oven for two hours at 50 degrees fahrenheit.
Emma Jo White – I am cooking a turkey. First, buy the turkey. Then put it in a big silver pan. Then put spray on it.
Then cook the turkey for one your and 16 minutes. Finally, eat the turkey with mashed potatoes and macaroni.
Omar – First, buy the turkey at Wal-Mart. Next, I am going to help my Mom. Then we will make it in the oven and put on 10 minutes.
Finally, we will get together with our family; cousins, aunt, with everybody together.
Ayanna Bernise Garland – I get to cook the turkey. First, hunt it and kill it. Next, take it home.
Then, season it, stick it in the oven. Finally, wait for 20 minutes and then it is done. Out comes the chicken.
Jordan LeMay – First, buy it and put it in a pan. Next, put spises on it. Then put the shoot thag in it.
Finally, set the oven for maybe 10 minutes and 6 hours.
Karen Alfaro – Editor’s Note: This recipe was blank so here is what she probably met. Cook that turkey at 450 degrees for eight hours, check it every couple hours and add water in the pan if it is too dry, and oh yes, take off the feathers after you kill it, and take out all of the insides, get it clean and then put it in that oven.
You might want to stuff it and put on some spices if you like. Take it out when it is tender and carve your bird.
Remi Kay – First buy the turkey at Wal-Mart and then take it home. Next put the turkey in all of the ingredients.
Then put some salt and pepper on it and let it sit. Finally, stick the turkey in the oven until it is good and brown. Cook it for 10 hours and 15 minutes at 100 degrees fahreheit.
Ja’Mya – This year I am cooking the turkey for Thanksgiving. First, buy it and I would season it really good. Next, I would put it in a pan and put it in the oven, and sat the oven to 20 minutes.
Then I would take it out and season it some more and let it cool off.
Finally, I would put the stuffing in it and take it to the table. And everyone eats.
Sania – This year I am helping. This year we might see a turkey in the woods. I mit shoot a turkey. We might cook eggs.
I would put the turkey on for 20 minutes at 50 degrees. We will make dressing and bread.
When you get done cooking the turkey, you might want to put barbecue sauce and pepper on it.
Then buy some pepper plants.
Sydney – This year I’m cooking the turkey!!! Buy it from Wal-Mart. Get some spice. Cut it out of the package.
Set the oven for 300 degrees. Then lay a pot down and put the turkey in the pot.
Let the oven heat for 15 minutes.
Finally, after 30 minutes in the oven, we put some spice on it then. Put the turkey in the oven for about 50 more minutes.
Juauivion Gulley – I will go hunting and kill a turkey and put some seasoning on it.
Cameron – Editor’s Note: Another blank paper. We will say that Cameron would buy his turkey at Brookshire’s, take it home, have his mother get it ready to cook and set the timing to 8 to 10 hours at 400 degrees in the oven, stuff it spice it and eat that big bird!
Angel – This year I am going to help my mom cook the turkey. First, buy it at Wal-Mart or Brookshires. Next, take the blood out of the turkey.
Then cook it for two hours at 250 degrees. Finally, make sure it is good.
Keyton – This year I am in charge of the turkey cooking. First I shoot the turkey.
Then I put it in the oven. Then I cover it with tin foil and leave it in there about 8 minutes.
Then take it out. Then put it back in for about 20 hours. Then add salt and eat it.
Brooklynne M. King – This year I am going to help cook the turkey. It is going to be delicious!
First I am going to depluck it and kill it. Then I am going to put the turkey in the batter.
Then you put oil on it. Finally, I will eat my very own chicken.
Laralon – We go to Brookshires and leave. Then we hammer.
Put the turkey in the oven and that is what it is to cook a turkey.
We take it out and we put barbecue sauce on it. Then we eat it with a knife and a fork.
We really like the knife see. It is hot because we put it in the oven for 11 hours.
But it is not burned. But it is too hot to eat so we had to let it cool off first.
Editor’s final note: As always, we love the creative writing of our flagstaff town’s youngsters.
All we can say, if you are cooking a Christmas turkey as well, use these recipes with extreme caution. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Tailgate News!


How to Cook a Turkey;

Gurdon Primary School cooks…

Gurdon Primary School Second Grade How To Cook A Turkey Writings; Cindy Thomas, teacher:
July – Here are the three steps to make a turkey.
First, I take the ingredients out. The ingredients of the turkey aresauce and cheese.
Then I put the ingredients in the turkey so it will taste good.
Last, I will put the turkey in the oven. Then I will take the turkey out of the oven. This is how to make a turkey.
Emma – You skin to get the turkey.
Don’t forget the fether’s. You get the ingredients and put it on the turkey. Don’t forget the salsa.
You put it in the oven to eat it. Don’t forget to take it out. We will cook a turkey.
Colin – Here are my steps for making a turkey.
You hunt a turkey. Make sure you clean it. Cook the turkey. Don’t forget to check in once in awhile.
Then you eat the turkey. Before you eat the turkey, you have to cook it.
I eat the turkey.
Gabby – There are three things to cooking a turkey. First, gather up all of the ingredients.
The ingredients are turkey, salt and sauce.
Then put the ingredients on the turkey. Don’t put it in the oven yet. Last, you put the turkey in the oven.
This is how you make a turkey.
Jamari – This is how you cook a turkey. First, I get the turkey. Then I cook it. Then I put the turkey in the oven.
Then we eat the turkey.
Dakota – This is how I cook a turkey. I shoot a turkey. The turkey can’t move. The turkey is wille ded.
The turkey wille not move. I check the turkey is still ded.
We cook a turkey.
Stephany – First, get your ingredients. Then put all your ingredients together.
Last put your turkey in the oven. Then make sure that when you take the turkey out you have on glooves because the turkey is hot.
After that make sure the turkey has no hair on it that the turkey is clean.
Then let the turkey be a little hotter for it will not be cold. After that take your turkey out of the oven and then put your turkey on your plate. Those are the three easy steps. Happy Thanksgiving!
Sha’nyah Gulley – My turkey has three steps. First you put the seasoning in it. You can put seasoning, milk and salt and pepper.
Then you put carrots. You are supposed to put braccoli in it. Last you put the turkey in the oven.
Then you take the turkey out of the oven.
These three steps are great. This is a good thaing.
Mackinzie – There is three steps to cooking a turkey.
Catch the turkey’s feathers. Cut the turkey. Cook the turkey. Share the turkey. Eat the turkey. That’s how you cook a turkey.
Mollie Cox – There are three steps to cooking a turkey. You have to take the turkey out of the fridge.
You have to be careful so you do not drop it.
So put it on a dish. Pop it in the oven and keep it in the oven. Keep it in the oven for 66 minutes.
Take it out of the oven and eat it. But you have to put dressing on it. That is the way you make a delicious turkey.
Bradyn King – You got to have lots of stuff. You need a knife and some flower. You put the turkey in the oven.
The turkey is OK in 16 minutes. You eat the turkey.
You can eat with green beans and burgers. These are the three steps of how to cook a turkey.
Zyriona – There are three steps to cook a turkey. First you get it out of the fridge. You put on the table.
You wait till its done and ding, ding. Then you get it out of the oven. You eat it with the family. These are my three steps.
Tameria – First go look for a turkey and catch it. When you go home you have to take the feathers out.
Then put it in a bag and take it home, and get the turkey really plump. Last, put it in the ofin.
And you can eat it with your family. That is how you cook a turkey.
Stella – Here are my steps to make a turkey. First you get the ingredients and make sure you get all the spices.
Then put the spices on the turkey. Last put it in the oven.
Put the turkey in the oven for an hour. Then it is ready.
Gunner – There are three steps to making a turkey. First, I get the ingredients together.
The ingredients for the turkey are salty, pepper, olive oil and vinegar. Then I stuff the turkey with the ingredients to make it taste real good.
Last I poot it in the oven. Then I will take it out of the oven. This is how to cook a turkey.
Bella – I will hunt a turkey. I will pluck the turkey. I will cook it. I will eat it. So that is how you cook a turkey.
Mollee Manning – First you buy a turkey. So you will buy a turkey at your favorite meat store.
Then you put the turkey in your favorite oven so you can take a break from cooking.
Last you have a delicious turkey so you can eat with your family.
Noah – First kill a turkey with a gun. Then I cut it up and put it in the oven.
Then I put it on the table. This is how to make a good turkey.
Chris Olivers – There are three easy steps to make u turkey.
First you get your ingredients ready to put it on. First, get your ingredients for your turkey. Then, put on butter on the turkey.
Then get your turkey ready to put on the ingredients. Last, put it in the oven. Last, get your turkey and put it in the oven.
Those are the three easy steps to making a delicious turkey.
Rhett – There are three easy steps to making a turkey. First you drive by the store and get the turkey.
While you are at the store, get white peas. Then you pick it up and set it in the oven. Wear stuff for your hands.
Last you get a knife to get some white pieces. Be careful while you are cutting these.
These are the three easy steps of making a turkey.
Hannah – First you need a turkey. You can get the turkey at Wal-Mart.
Then you must put the turkey in the oven at 320 degrees. It takes about 24 minutes.
Don’t forget to check it. Last you put it on the Thanksgiving table and eat up. You can have a side dish.
And those are the three easy steps to making a turkey.
Alexis – All of these are ingredients. Here is the turkey on the plate. I put the ingredients on the turkey.
Then I put it in the oven. Last, I put some salt and pepper and let it cook.
Next I get it out of the oven and eat it. I eat dressing with it.
Alex – I will buy my turkey at the store. The turkey has been kild.
I put the turkey in the oven. The turkey is in the oven. I am taking out the turkey.
The turkey is out. That was the three steps to this story.
Savannah – These are the three steps to make a turkey. First, go hunting for the turkey.
After that, get the bad stuff off. Then go home and cook it.
Cook it for 10 minutes. Last, take it out of the oven. After that, eat it.
This is the three easy steps to make a great turkey.
Breasia – I will biy my turkey. First I put the stuff on it. I love the turkey. It is yummy.
Then I put it in the oven. Last it is going to tasty good.
We will eat the other food. We eat some pie and ham.
Conner – There are three steps to make a turkey. I am pooting the turkey on a pan.
I poot the turkey on the pan. I am putting the seasoning in the turkey. I put the seasoning in the turkey.
I am cooking the turkey. I put the turkey in the oven. I get the turkey out of the oven.
Remington – There are three steps how cook a turkey. First you will kill a turkey.
I love turkey. It is yummy. Then you put the turkey in the oven. Put it on 52 minutes.
Last you will eat it at the table. I love the dressing. These are the three steps to make a turkey.
Kailynn – It is really easy to making a turkey.
First you put the turkey in water to thaw out. You might salt the water.
Then put gravy and dressing on it. Last, let the turkey get done cooking and then pop the turkey out and eat it!
You can slurp your turkey too.
Jakobe – These are the 3 steps to cook a turkey.
First go hunting for a turkey. After that get the stuff off. Then I put it in the oven.
Then I get it out. Last put it on the table. Last we eat it next. Those are my three steps to making a yummy turkey.
Kyle – These are the three steps to cook a turkey.
First I would get my turkey and my gravy. I would get a pan and put it in the oven.
I would wait for 50 minutes. Everything is ready to eat so get ready and eat!
Maygan – Here are the three steps to cooking a turkey.
You put the turkey in the oven for one hour. You got to get it out of the oven. Then you pop it on the table.
Then you eat it.
You put it in the oven. While you are waiting for the turkey you can do other things.
Then you take the turkey out. You put the turkey on the table and then you eat it!
Riley – Clean it off real good. You don’t want to drop the turkey. Then you put it in the oven.
Don’t make it slide on the pan. Then it’s done. Be careful. It may be hot.
That is the way you make a turkey.
Kayiigna – This is the three steps to cook a turkey.
We let the turkey thaw out. My mom puts the turkey in the oven. We eat the turkey.
That’s how I make a turkey.
Karly – There are three steps to cooking a blishes turkey.
First you kill the turkey and bring it to the house.
You will want to pull off any feathers.
Then you want to wash the turkey very good. You might want to wash it in the morning.
Last, you cook the turkey and eat it. You might like it hot.
This is how you make a turkey.
Gabbi – First you get the ingredients. You will need a dead turkey.
Then you cook the turkey. You can cook on the grill.
You eat the turkey. You sit down at the table and enjoy your dinner.
Take all the ingredients and eat your turkey.
Lille – First you get the ingreditents you want for your turkey. Then you put your turkey in the oven on 450 degrees.
Take the turkey out of the oven and put all of the stuff on it. Last, now put the food on the table.
Then you put the food on your plate and then you eat the food.
Yoselin – First you get all of the ingredients and put them on the table. Then you go and kill a turkey.
Then you get all of the grease off of the turkey. You put a little red stick in the turkey.
Last you put the turkey in the oven for 25 minutes. You take the turkey out of the oven.
Then you put the turkey on the table. Here are the easy steps to cook a turkey.
Landan – You cut up the turkey. You cut up the meat. Then you pop the turkey in the oven.
Then you spices the turkey. Put the turkey on the plate. Then you put the turkey on the table. Then you eat the turkey.
Joe’dan – First you wash the turkey and put it in the pan. You put the ingredients on the turkey.
Then cook the turkey in the oven on 425 degrees. Cover the breast area so it does not dry out.
Then you cook the turkey according to how much it weighs. Last you take the turkey out of the oven.
Slice it and it is ready to eat.
Fatinia – Orange and pinapple and potato. Butter and bread and green beans.
Carrots and peppers.
Jayla – Here are my three great steps on how to make a turkey. First you go to the store and buy a turkey.
I would go to Wal-Mart if they are selling them. Then you can set it in water. I would just cook it, put it in the oven for 140 degrees and cook it.
I would take it out in 40 minutes. I may not know how to cook a turkey but I tried!
Memorie – I know you can put spices on your turkey when you are done.
If you do the turkey right, it is done and it looks good. You take it out of the oven and put it by the other dishes. Then you eat it.
Logon – First get out your sauces and pans etc. Then you put pepper on it and then you put sauce.
Then you put things on the ham. As for the turkey, the first thing is you have to put it in the oven.
Then you put sugar and then you put sauce. Then you put two bones in it.
Then you have to put pepper. Then check the ham. Then you take that turkey out of the oven.
Aiden – There are three steps how to make a turkey. First you get the turkey from the store.
You put salt and pepper and salsa. Then you get the ingredients. Then you set the oven to 40 minutes. Last you put the turkey in the oven.
Then you eat the turkey.
Camelia Ashford – Thanksgiving I will cook a turkey. First I would go somewhere and buy the turkey and get all the stuff I need for the turkey.
Next I will cook the turkey and wait for it to get done. I’ll put it in a pot and cook it in the oven and I would cook it for a whole hour _ degrees. I would make sure it is cooked good enough and make seasoning like salt and pepper.
Finally I would be done with the turkey and my family and me will eat turkey.
And have it ready for Thanksgiving.
Emma Cox – Today I have to cook a turkey for Thanksgiving. This is how I will do it.
First I will buy a turkey at Family Dollar. Next, I will cut the turkey into small pieces.
Then, I will season the turkey with salt and garlic. Finally I will put some cooked vegtub’s around the turkey, then put it in a pan and put it in the oven at 220 degrees.
Then I will take it out and put it on a plate and eat with my family. The end.
Harlie – This year I am cooking a turkey for my family before Thanksgiving. First buy spices and ingredients from the store and pick a turkey.
Next, put it in the pan and get the right way in the pan. Then stuff it wiith stuffing and put sauce and put it in the oven. Wait for two minutes at about 1 degree fahrenheit or 3 degrees. Then get it out and put some sauce on the turkey.
Finally, get it ready to put it on a very big plate and eat it.
Samiel – This year I will cook the turkey. First I will kill the turkey. Next take the turkey’s feathers out.
Then, cut the turkey. Finally, put the turkey in a pan.
Then put the turkey in the oven for four hours and put pepper and salt on it.
And eat the turkey with salad, and with a knife and a fork, and a spoon with the fork.
Chassidy – Put it in the pot and then set it on 100 degrees. Get out a spoon. I got it on a farm. Put on some pepper to taste it better. Oh yeah, then put flower in it to make it softer.
Put salt on it to make it saltier. Stir it up to make it tastier. I am so proud because my whole family gets to eat the turkey.
Blaise – This year I am cooking a turkey. First, go get a turkey. Put the turkey in a pan.
Next, stuff the turkey with stuffing. Then put it in the oven for 30 minutes. Later take it out of the oven.
Finally, eat the turkey.
Jayden M – This year I am in charge of making the turkey.
Buy a turkey and kill it with a knife. Cook the turkey in the oven for 20 minutes.
Then pull the turkey out of the oven and put rise on the turkey.
Pull out the turkey and eat the turkey.
Sedet Nevaeh Oliver – This year I am cooking a turkey. First, go get a turkey at a farm. Next, kill the turkey and put it in a pan at 40 degrees.
Then stuff the turkey. Cook the turkey in the oven. Finally eat the turkey and share with my family. And get the plates out.
And get seasonings.out that we needed out. Then we do the dishes.
Jonathan – First, kill the turkey for Thanksgiving.
Skin the turkey to get skin and feathers off. Dress the turkey with dressings and seasonings.
Then cook the turkey in a pan for about 30 minutes. Then put it on 960 degrees in the oven.
Fernando – This year I cook the turkey. First I go to a farm and get a turkey and kil the turkey. Next take all of the feathers off and wash the turkey.
Next, put the ingredients in the turkey. Then, cook the turkey. Put it on 100 degrees.
Finally, put the turkey in a pan.
Slate – I am in charge of cooking the turkey.
First, I would kill it, then stuff it.Then I would massage it. Then I would clean it.
Finally, I would cook it and eat it.
Tarquarius – This year, I am in charge to cook the turkey.
First, my Dad, we will buy the turkey from Wal-Mart.
Next, my Mom will stuff the turkey.
Then my Dad will hammer it with a hammer. Finally, put all of the junk inside of it.
Put it in a pot for 30 seconds and then cook the turkey for 20 minutes.
J Brijon Dickens – This year I am going to cook a turkey on Thanksgiving Day.
First you need to pluck the turkey. Next you stuff the turkey with potatoes. Then cook the turkey in the microwave for 18 hours…
Then we put sauce on it. Then eat the turkey and we eat the turkey with a fork.
Bryce Hughes – This year I am in charge of cooking the turkey for the family. I would hunt and kill the turkey.
Now I would skin the turkey. Next cook it for 15 minutes at 250 degrees fahrenheit in a pan and in the oven.
Then I would take it out of the oven and then put in the seasoning for the turkey. Finally, we eat the turkey with my family.
Editor’s Note – The letters the editor found the most humorous this year are in bold black lettering.
We can not, in good conscious, advise you to cook your turkey as these children have indicated unless you want to risk a very intense belly ache…
The remainder of our third grade turkey cookers will appear in the Friday, Nov. 28 issue of the Southern Arkansas Tailgate News due to room limitations.
The Tailgate News staff wishes each and evey one of you a blessed and happy Thanksgiving!


Gurdon to get

new water sewer system upgrade

for helping Georgia Pacific

Tailgate News Editor
The Economic Development Corporation of Clark County, holder of the half-cent sales tax money, has agreed to give the City of Gurdon $243,993.33 in reimbursement funding to upgrade the Gurdon sewer pond system in order to help Georgia Pacific with their lumber business expansion plans.
Gurdon Mayor Clayton Franklin said the Gurdon sewer pond system will assist in performing vital parts of the wood kiln drying procedure for GP “and make possible the planned $37 million expansion without the project incurring a lot of unnecessary and unplanned expenses.”
Mayor Franklin said Thursday Gurdon will be expanding and restoring its water sewer system facilities to “pretty much like new” because the Gurdon system being fully operational and in excellent shape is vital to processing the amount of wood projected to go through GP’s kiln drying furnaces.
“This is a win-win situation for GP and for Gurdon,” Franklin said. “Our City Council will be asked to pass a resolution on Monday night (Nov. 24) which will then be referred to the Economic Development Corporation for tax money to ultimately pay for the improvement.”
Franklin said he believes the sewer pond expansion project will get under way in the very near future, as GP needs to be secure about the increased capacity and safety of its kiln furnace drying capabilities so when more wood comes to the Gurdon lumber facility it can be easily processed.
“I will go so far as to say that once these improvements are made Gurdon will have an essentially new, state of the art, waste water treatment plant,” Franklin added. “Many people do not realize that a tree is 50 percent water and the kiln drying procedure takes that down to 15 percent.”
In other Gurdon business, Franklin said the Council will consider closing an undeveloped street, extending from Jackson Street, so that members of the Mt. Canaan Baptist Church can use the land for church functions.
“We are talking about a stretch of land that was plated for a street, but never has been one,” he said. “It is over in the old Bell High School part of town.”
The Gurdon City Council will meet at 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 24 at City Hall.


Haskell School Board

hears plan to get

cafeteria management



Tailgate News Editor
Although Haskell Harmony Grove’s current cafeteria service is solvent, according to the head administrator, Superintendent Daniel Hensley believes employee retention and food costs would “probably be better off in the long run if we hire a cafeteria management firm.”
Although no action was taken, School Board members indicated they would go along with Hensley’s desire to pursue the matter.
“As to our lunch room program, we do have money in the bank and it looks like we will end the year with money,” Hensley said.
“But Barbara Morgan just resigned from the cafeteria to pursue what she feels is a brighter future at the hospital. I am sorry she is leaving, as she had worked her way into a leadership role.”
Hensley said besides losing good employees in the current lunch room staff, cost of the food is a consideration. By way of comparison, an item that Haskell Harmony Grove School now pays 40 cents for can be had by a cafeteria management company, like Chitwell’s, for 14 cents.
“The problem is our expenses are so much higher than management company has to pay that it makes it harder to compete salary wise with schools that are managed by cafeteria companies,” he said.
Hensley plans to meet with Chitwell’s soon but said if nothing could be worked out with them he would continue searching for an appropriate cafeteria management company to come to Haskell.
Hensley said recruiting a cafeteria management company involves a bidding process.
And it is a slow process. Hensley said he will shoot for having Harmony Grove fitted with a cafeteria company by year after next, that is 2016.
“We would still handle all of the money under that system,” he said. “But everyone says participation goes up and schools I have talked to who use it seem to like it.”
The next meeting of the Harmony Grove School Board will be at 7 p.m., Monday, Dec. 15 in the school administration office.

Go-Devils beat Carlisle,

face McCrory in second

playoff round tonight

Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon Go-Devils took the field and the game on Friday, Nov. 14 when they racked up a 40-0 half-time lead over the Carlisle Bison in the first round of the 7-2A football playoffs.
Gurdon Head Coach Kyle Jackson said the mercy rule was in effect and so he played a ninth and 10th grade crew during the second half.
The final score was 40-24, leaving Gurdon 1-0 in the playoffs, 9-2 overall and claiming the conference championship with a 7-0 conference record.
This week’s action, weather permitting, as a cold rain was coming down earlier this afternoon as this piece was being written, the Go-Devils will once again be home playing the McCrory Jaguars in playoff round two. Coach Jackson said McCrory is 8-3 overall and they play in the 6-2A conference.
“They finished third in their conference, but they are a solid team,” Coach Jackson said. “In 2010, McCory beat Gurdon at McCory in the first round of the playoffs.”
With a vengeance factor in the mix, and Gurdon playing at home, Coach Jackson said those things may help the team keep a winning attitude “but we will still have to take care of business to beat them.”
Jackson said Kagon Rogo, who usually wears #4 for McCrory, is the team’s star running back. Rogo has more than 1,500 yards for the year and must be stopped for a Go-Devil victory.
Defensively, Jackson said McCrory “does a little bit of everything.”
“They will be bigger than we are, but we are used to that. Our team is healthy and we should have a depth of 40 players, counting our younger stars from the junior high school squad,” he added.
Coach Jackson said Go-Devil Quarterback Parker Whitson “is getting better every game and has been having about 5 TD passes a contest.”
“Parker has already topped Austin Kirkpatrick’s record for passing yards in a season.”
It was 18-0 Gurdon after quarter one against Carlisle with the first TD coming when Whitson through a 35-yard pass to #4 Dewayne Marlow.
The second TD was after a pass from Whitson to #2 David Sims. The third TD was a 15-yard pass to Gurdon runner #3 Jackie Harvell. Come see for yourself what makes your Go-Devils great!

New Sidewalk funds

Tailgate News Editor
The Haskell City Council met Monday evening, Nov. 10 and unanimously passed a resolution to supplement a $58,000 government grant with $28,000 from existing city funds for the purpose of finishing a sidewalk project starting on Vulcan Road and going to connecting through fares.
Mayor Jeff Arey said, “We wanted $90,000 in grant money, but $58,000 was all they would approve for our new sidewalks.
“The best bid we can come up with would cost $79,000 but we need enough over that to have money on hand to finish this project, should any miscellaneous expenses arise during the procedure.”
Moreover, the exact difference between the grant money and the bid would equal $21,000, but Mayor Arey apparently asked for a $7,000 contingency fund so further Council action would not be necessary if a few surprises were to come up during sidewalk construction.
Councilwoman Rose Marie Wilkinson moved for approval of the mayor’s funding request to finish the sidewalks. Council members agreed unanimously.
In other business, the City Council voted to continue offering employees health insurance through a Class 3 governmental rating with a $500 deductible.
Mayor Arey said, “The city has been paying 100 percent on the city employee insurance and by maintaining the $500 deductible we will need to appropriate $6,000 more from the general fund in 2015.”
Arey said no family plan is offered through the city. The insurance cost increase is the first in six years.
“We have been in Class 1. To stay with the $500 deductible, and go with Class 3 on this municipality health insurance, the monthly premium per employee will increase from $379 to $415 per month. We are lucky. You can not find private insurance for this rate on the insurance exchange.”
Arey told Council members the premium increase would be billed out, but the budget would still have to adjust for the $6,000 per year increase.
Moreover, Haskell’s court room is moving to Bryant. City owned chairs have been moved to the City Council room.
Haskell Police Chief Mike Holt is retiring. A reception was planned for Nov. 13.
Mayor Arey said the new public restrooms at the Haskell Ball Park should be finished by year’s end.
As to the proposed 2015 budget, submitted last meeting by Arey for $1,252,000 in expenses, the mayor said Council members usually pass it in January and he plans to review it at the December City Council meeting. That meeting date has been changed to 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 22.
Before adjourning the meeting, Council members heard from concerned citizens about traffic congestion around the Haskell Harmony Grove School from 7:30 until 8 a.m. Citizens pointed out motorists could not leave the area for work and speeders were putting children in danger who were walking to class.
Mayor Arey said the road needs to be widened but getting property owners to agree to let go of the necessary land might prove difficult – let alone finding the funding to complete such a project. Arey suggested the group go to a Haskell Harmony Grove School Board meeting and seek satisfaction from that body.
Arey said the city and its police department have looked at several options to stop the cluttered traffic, but added those solutions have not worked. He said road widening in years to come would help, but for an immediate solution the citizens need to get the School Board to act and then get them to let the City of Haskell know what part it might play to insure the safety of the school children and a reasonable traffic flow for citizens needing to get past the school for early morning obligations.

Kelley says she

will work full-time as Gurdon mayor

Tailgate News Editor
Sherry Kelley, mayor-elect for the City of Gurdon, said she plans to pursue as many projects as possible on a full-time basis to improve the facilities and economic scope of Gurdon during her four years in office.
“I will first of all finish up with the Market on Main Street project’s construction and work toward getting that to be a viable Gurdon business as quickly as possible,” she said.
“And I will finish the youth soccer and peewee football field out at the park.”
Kelley said she will also continue working on the land development of an iron fence and stage in front of the mural downtown.
She and Mayor Franklin have been discussing street paving in Gurdon and Franklin said Gurdon is on a list to receive between $300,000 and $350,000 in government funding to do a paving project.
Franklin said, “There are many on the list and our money is supposed to come in around 2016. Arkadelphia has received this sort of grant before and Arkadelphia City Councilman Dick Rudolph got Gurdon on the list while he used our city for an internship he was doing through Henderson State University.
“My idea would be to make a list of our worst streets in the meantime. It will depend on oil, gas and asphalt prices as to how much $300,000 can do.
“I would suggest getting the list ready, making sure there are an equal number of streets to be paved from all sections of town and then asking the people of Gurdon for a half cent sales tax to generate another $500,000 to do a more complete job.”
Franklin said the last time Gurdon had such a tax, the city paid it off in a reasonable amount of time and the public benefit for $800,000 in street paving would be so much more satisfying to residents than what could be done for $300,000.
“The thing is it has been six years since we have had funding to do any significant paving, and have just been patching,” Franklin said.
“This grant money might just be the motivator voters need to really make a difference in our street conditions, but the key is those lists of streets have to help all of our city’s areas.”
Franklin said he has taken care to do just that in past paving projects.
Kelley said she will be glad to get the grant for the $300,000 but will reserve comment on the half cent sales tax proposal until she explored the actual paving needs and the possibility of getting additional funding from other sources without a new tax being levied.
Both Mayor Franklin and Mayor Elect Sherry Kelley remain optimistic about the upcoming $37 million update that Georgia Pacific lumber company is planning.
Although neither can confirm the changes will result in new jobs, Franklin did say all three shifts, some 500 people, are now working full-time again.
“They quietly called back about 100 employees that had been laid off and that is a good sign,” Franklin said. “GP is in full operation again.”
Franklin said this does not even count the several hundred folks making their living from hauling lumber for GP.
As to another priority for Kelley just now, she said she is working on the upcoming city budget with Franklin and Treasurer/Recorder Tambra Childres.
“I am enjoying working on the budget and want to thank once again everyone who has trusted me to be your mayor. I look forward to taking office in January,” she said.


Veterans honored

at GHS program

Tailgate News Editor
Local Veterans were honored in Cabe Auditorium at Gurdon High School Tuesday in celebration of Veterans Day.
According to Leonard Gills, retired GHS principal who attended, all school choirs, from grades K-12, sang to the veterans.
Master Sgt. Jeremy Parker gave a speech and several veterans expressed thanks for being honored.
Colors were presented and Taps, the song honoring those veterans who gave the ultimate sacrifice, was played.
Gills said refreshments were then provided for the group.
“I called several of them to let them know about it and attendance was pretty good,” Gills said.
Gills said the veterans signed in and noted their branch of service and years served.
The veterans then participated in a brief interview.
After that, Master Sgt. Parker gave his speech on being in the United States military.
“I thought it was an appropriate ceremony,” Gills said. “There were other school programs on past Veterans Days, but this year’s effort was top rate. Still, the refreshments seemed to have been a last minute thing.”

Go-Devils seek

fan support

in Carlisle playoff game

Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon Go-Devils will host Carlisle tonight, Nov. 14 at the Go-Devil Stadium in the first round of the 7-2A football playoffs.
Coach Kyle Jackson said he hopes all who back the Devils can make the game “because our team is more likely to succeed in our quest to beat them if our stands are full and our fans are cheering loud.”
The Gurdon Go-Devils had a solid victory over Mt. Ida Oct. 31 (32-16), but it was only enough for an uncertain claim to the 7-2A conference championship without knowing the outcome of the Gurdon/Foreman Gators game on Thursday, Nov. 6.
Well that outcome came and went and the contest is yet another example of the Gurdon Go-Devils, 2014 vintage, “taking care of business.”
The Go-Devils beat the Gators 39-14, with a 39-0 halftime lead already prompting the mercy rule in quarters three and four.
Head Go-Devils Coach Jackson said the win ends the regular season and now “we can see what our team is really made of in the playoffs.”
He said he is proud of the 23-member team for being serious about their football and finishing 8-2 overall and 7-0 in the conference, which gave the Go-Devils the conference championship.
On the other side of the bracket, Coach Jackson said Mt. Ida also won their last game of the regular season but since the Go-Devils already left them in the dirt, Gurdon is the rightful team to declare conference champs.
Coach Jackson said playoff games will be going on for the next five weeks and he has high hopes the Go-Devils will be playing until the end.
Jackson said the Carlisle Bison are a competitive ball club, but the Go-Devils will be fine “as long as we continue to take care of business.”
According to the coach, several star players from the junior high school squad are now playing for the senior high school Go-Devils, as the younger Go-Devils are finished for the year.
“We should be facing Carlisle with 40 Go-Devils instead of our usual 23,” he said. “And some of these younger players will make a difference.”
When asked where Gurdon’s arch rival Junction City fits in to all of this playoff action, Jackson said they are playing on the other side of the bracket “and if we play them it will be at the end of the road.”

Memory of night

held at gunpoint…

Tailgate News Editor
I ran away from college and home when I was 19 and stayed in Southern Florida off and on for about 2 years.
It was actually just a little more than a year, if memory serves. I left in the early spring of 1979 from my GRC dormitory life at Indiana University and applied for college again in the fall of 1980 at Indiana University/Purdue University combined in Indianapolis.
Since the theme of this week’s magazine is at least in part about veterans who have fought for our country, I will tell you about what happened to me down in Florida one evening after doing a bit of spinning for the authorities.
I have put this to print on several occasions, so if you have already read it perhaps this version will be just a bit different twist.
I was working during the day delivering Amway, making about $200 a week for a guy named Al Lyons. Al had been a paratrooper in the Korean War, if I am remembering correctly.
He was a very patriotic sort of guy and I still have contact with him on Facebook from time to time. While in Florida, you might say Preacher Al was my God Father.
He was about the same age as my real Dad, Dr. John W. Nelson, who was meat ball surgeon in that same war over Korea way.
Again, I do not call any war anything less than a war when troops are getting injured or killed to preserve our freedom in this country.
In short, the term conflict seems wimpy to me, so I will call it the Korean War.
But on with my story. Al and I talked a lot about human rights and the right to not be a slave in this country. The police, and some concerned citizens like Al, were fighting a crime known back then as white slavery.
The situation involved young white girls who were forced into prostitution by strangers who thought they could get rich at the expense of their innocence, as well as their self worth.
As many of you may recall, I grew up on an Indiana farm and had a basic value system that the folks and the Methodist Church in Hagerstown, Indiana had a lot to do with forming.
I got involved with the Freedom Fighters by way of my own youthful lusts and the guidance and encouragement of my preacher friend Al.
Al used to tell me I should respect a woman who gave me her body with high regard because she was giving me all that she had… I bought into that, as I had a high school girlfriend named Joni that did so and Joni and I had a teenage love for one another that was very real.
Immaturity on both of our parts left us short of legal marriage, but we still cared deeply for one another for close to five years.
So when I went to the Ft. Lauderdale strip bars, and became a regular because of my youthful lusts, it did not take me long to notice that the girls there had pasted on smiles.
I would put a $1 in their g-strings to pay for a kiss and then go sit down to enjoy my Micolob beer.
I had saved up $7,500 from working through high school so I figured I had the right to give some of it away to satisfy my curiosity about kissing these wild gals.
Even so, my lust soon turned to pity. I realized what a hard job they had as strippers and I noticed them going to the back room with some guys that made a mud fence look cute…
Apparently some police officers noticed my concern and probably spoke with Al about my farm boy background.
Soon I started spinning. Being a music buff and a singer, I had been exposed to Jim Croce’s tunes on the life and times of certain slave training types called pimps.
These fellows protected the girls from being raped or killed in return for a percentage of their whore house take in those back rooms…
Pimping did not bother me. I figured if these ladies wanted to be a part of the oldest profession, it was their business and I did not blame them for hiring a body guard to stay alive. But something beyond traditional prostitution was going on here. It involved a mountain of snow. Snow, back then, was a street name for heroin.
The pimps would tell me in the Gilded Cages strip bars about how a girl high on horse, another name for heroin, could train a group of 10 men in a day while a sober girl could only handle maybe four guys before becoming exhausted.
The whole thing was rather sick if you ask me. So I agreed to help the cops. I would spin a white slavery, heroin providing pimp with a line about how I had a stable of six women myself.
We would compare notes at the bar and soon the cops would intervene and bust the pigeons. This was dangerous for me to say the least.
I am half Cherokee and had an Indian name of Tygar back then that I used in the Gilded Cages.
The night would go like this. I would be introduced to a girl, many times about 14 years old, who had already developed her womanly figure and was an involuntary stripper/whore.

She would tell me a little bit about herself and pretend to be proposing we went to the back room. But she was really letting me know what state she wanted to go to that night by airplane so her parents and her could have a tearful reunion.

Then she would go on stage to dance and I would go to work. It was not long after the conversation that her pimp would come and ask me if he could buy me a beer to discuss terms for a sexual encounter with said girl.
I would talk with him awhile and then tell him I was in the same business as he was, spinning him my best yarn so his replies would incriminate him and free the girl.
One night things did not go so well. Oh the guy got busted and the girl went free, as planned. But a couple of his friends caught on to my act. I finished my beer and went in search of my Dodge Dart Swinger to head back across Florida to the town where I was living; Arcadia.
The two large black men followed me, armed with machine guns. I figured out pretty quickly I was being followed so I did not go home to my trailer. My then girlfriend Alice did not need this sort of trouble.
I won’t say I was scared, but I was very concerned about dodging these brutes. I took a room at the local motel in Arcadia. I had thrown them off my trail, but they soon sniffed me out again.
I got in the room, pulled out a rather large knife and stuck it in my Iowa T-shirt, laying quietly on the motel room floor – I listened to them plan my murder until dawn. When the morning light came, I heard them drive away.
When they left, all was right with the world, and you guessed it, that was another Memorable Moment.



Kelley, Lyman win

mayoral races

Tailgate News Editor
The winds of change are there for the leadership positions in Gurdon and Haskell, with Sherry Kelley and Janie Lyman both winning their mayoral races by a sizable margin.
In the Gurdon race, Sherry Kelley, a Clark County Justice of the Peace, was running against Tommy Potter, president of the Clark County Boys and Girls Club and director of Gurdon’s Faith Mission.
Courthouse totals, according to the Arkadelphia Siftings Herald, had Kelley weighing in with 405 votes to Potter’s 154. This gave Kelley 72 percent of the votes cast and Potter 28 percent.
Mayor Elect Kelley said, “Good things are happening in Gurdon. I will work hard over the next four years to make the people of this city glad they voted for me to be their mayor. Thank you for your overwhelming support. Together, we are going to make improvements for our city.”
Outgoing Mayor Clayton Franklin said he would do all he could to help Kelley get a good start in the job he has held for close to two decades. Franklin decided not to run for re-election, but said at the time he would stay as involved with helping Gurdon’s progress as much as possible.
Janie Lyman, who has been the treasurer and recorder at Haskell for the past seven years, was victorious over three other candidates for the mayor’s position.
Long-term Mayor Jeff Arey chose not to run for re-election but rather to make a successful bid for the county judge’s chair.
In the mayor’s race, it was Lyman with 52.2 percent of the votes cast, that is 533 votes.
Her closet contender was Jayme Watson/Bruton with 31.54 percent, that is 322 votes.
Trailing in the backfield were Gary Vice with 10.77 percent, that is 110 votes, and Jerry D. Tittle with 5.48 percent, that is 56 votes.
Lyman said she would be glad to carry on with the city’s business and that her familiarity with city ordinances, resolutions etc., through working with Mayor Arey, should allow for a smooth transition when she takes the mayor’s office in January.
In other Clark County races, incumbent County Judge Ron Daniell defeated challenger Julian Jaeger, 4,422 to 2,443.
In the Arkadelphia mayor’s race, James Calhoun won over Roland Gosey, 1186 to 1082.
More Clark County stats:
Dist. 18: Damon Daniels defeats Richard Womack, 3047-2634. Dist. 19: Justin Gonzales defeats Jeremy Ross, 690-479
Dir. at Large: Julie Winfrey defeats Matt Johnson, 1385-1131
Ward 4: Joanne Nelson defeats Jason Edington, 361-284
JP2: Mac Neel defeats Darin Buscher, 375-235. JP6: Tom Calhoon defeats Derek Helms, 425-451. JP7: Art Tippin defeats Mark Hodnett, 429-299. JP9: Vickie Smithpeters over Jackie Rhodes, 359-213. JP10: Galen White defeats Keith Craft, 334-283
JP11: Larry Manning defeats Stan Rogers, 444-265.


Benvenuti Italian Restaurant

popular top for travelers, college students

Tailgate News Editor
The owner of Arkadelphia’s benvenuti Italian restaurant said Wednesday his new business venture has not only been profitable so far but he looks forward to going to work every day “and can not think of anything I would rather be doing.”
Tye Gills, businessman and former school teacher, said he took over the business from his former bosses, remodeled for about a month and opened it up again on July 3 of this year.
Tye said the menu is very similar to what Little Italy had, but the thing that seems to attract businessmen off of Interstate 30, and a host of college students from Henderson State University and/or Ouachita Baptist, is the Italian special dinners and the brick-oven cooked pizzas.
“Men and women who are traveling, and suddenly get hungry, will Google us on the Internet and many of those who do routes have made us a regular stop,” he said.
“We have regular times, usually on weekends or sometimes on Wednesday nights, when our cook makes the specials, but if someone wants one at an odd time, we do our best to accommodate.”
Benvenuti is at 2607 Caddo Street, #1, in Arkadelphia and may be reached by calling: (870)-617-7040. Restaurant hours are: Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. until 9 p.m., Sundays from 11 until 3 p.m. and closed on Mondays.
Gills said customer response has been excellent so far. Once they try a benvenuti special, they want it again.
The benvenuti restaurant has a host of menu items, such as appetizers, soups, salads, sides, drinks, a kids’ menu and house specialty pastas.
They serve baked pastas, eggplant entrees, chicken and veal entrees, steaks, seafood, sub sandwiches and rolls.
They have Napoli cheese pizza, as well as benvenuti specialty pizza and stuffed pizza.
In addition, they have desserts and a very reasonably priced lunch menu.
Gills said his popular specials include chicken giambota, fried chicken or baked and a salad on Wednesday nights, or by special order.
“If someone has a taste for one of our specials, even if their timing for the special to be offered is wrong, we will still do our best to make it,” Gills said.
“It is very important to us that you have a good experience here and can not quit talking about how good the food is. That is how we get repeat business so we can stay around.”
In addition to giambota, Gills said the chicken and shrimp verona special is very well received. It includes such things as red bell peppers, fresh garlic, basked in creamy pink sauce, pasta and salad.
Then there is the Seafood Alfredo. According to Gills, a variation of this item is on weekend special.
“Once in awhile, we have shrimp during the week, but normally our specialty shrimp meals are served on Friday and Saturday nights,” he said.
Seafood Alfredo includes sauteed shrimp, scallops and imitation crabmeat in a creamy Alfredo sauce with fettuccine noodles.
Tye says he has a staff of eight, but some of them work just part time.
“I am up here a lot myself,” he said. “We are cutting corners with our staff in our early months in order to be sure we can keep going and be here to serve.”
Gills said the June preparation included removing the Italian picture mural from the dining room wall and generally doing a lot of painting to create a relaxed atmosphere with a style more appealing to the new owner.
Some of the equipment was replaced in the kitchen, including a freezer and a salad cooler.
“We kept some ovens and the dining room furniture was here,” he said.
Tye said benvenuti, that is owning his own restaurant, had been a dream and desire of his for several years.
Tye Gills graduated high school as a Murfreesboro Rattler in 1999. The now 33-year-old then went to Henderson State Univerity.
A mass media major, Tye wanted to teach journalism. He got a job after graduation teaching English at Hope High School.
“I finished my year’s contract, but then I decided teaching was just not making me happy,” he said.
“I worked for Little Italy in 2008 and decided I really enjoyed Italian Restaurant work. When the previous owner had health problems and was going to move, I approached her about buying the place. She said yes and here we are.”
But Giles did not work straight through at an Italian Restaurant since 2008, as he took fours and went to Destin, Florida before returning to buy Little Italy.
While in Florida, he worked at a restaurant called Harry T’s. He said it was seasonally busy there at the quiet little beach town, but he missed the Italian Restaurant atmosphere and decided to come back to Arkansas.
Destin is in between Pesicola and Panama City, Florida.
“I miss the relaxed atmosphere of Destin sometimes, and just hanging out at the beach, but the way it worked out I got to come home and see one of my dreams come true – buying a restaurant that is,” he said.
Gills talked of the long hours he works, but said the greater effort of owning benvenuti is made up for when he gets reports of customer satisfaction.
“People like the food here and it just gets them to a special and friendly place,” he said.
So whether you just want to try an oven cooked pizza with your friends, want to take someone you are fond of to a place that serves specials with a good reputation up and down the Interstate, or you are just hungry for something different, plan a lunch at benvenuti or come on a weekend night and experience the amazing cooking of Pepe Gutierrez…
You will find a quiet booth, with a clean and comfortable atmosphere waiting for you and yours. And remember, to go orders are perfectly fine if you want to take the delicious Italian food back to the house for some private wining and dining.
Gills said his favorite part of being in business is meeting the customers “and doing what I enjoy.”

Go-Devils become

conference champions!

Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon Go-Devils had a solid victory over Mt. Ida last week (32-16), but it was only enough for some uncertain claim to the 7-2A conference championship without knowing the outcome of the Gurdon/Foreman Gators game on Thursday, Nov. 6.
Well that outcome is upon us and it is yet another example of the Gurdon Go-Devils, 2014 vintage, “taking care of business.”
The Go-Devils beat the Gators 39-14, with 39-0 halftime lead already prompting the mercy rule in quarters three and four.
Head Go-Devils Coach Kyle Jackson said the regular season is now over and playoff month is before us.
He said he is proud of the 23-member team for being instrumental in the 8-2 overall season and the 7-0 conference championship.
On the other side of the bracket, Coach Jackson said Mt. Ida also won their Thursday night game but since the Go-Devils already left them in the dirt, Gurdon is the rightful team to declare conference champs.
The quarter by quarter score against Foreman was 27-0 after one, 39-0 at halftime, 39-7 after three and the final score was 39-14.
Coach Jackson said the junior high school season has ended and so Gurdon had 40 at the game instead of its usual 23 players. He said a few of his starters had bruises from Mt. Ida and were not there against Foreman, “but we should have everyone there against Carlisle.”
The Gurdon Go-Devils will host their first playoff game at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 14 against the Carlisle Bisons.
As to MVPs at the Foreman game, Jackson said defensive honors go to Demontra Quarles, #25, for his interception in the third play of the game – resulting in a touchdown. That extra point was good.
Coach Jackson said Quarles just had an outstanding night on defense.
As to offensive MVP, Coach Jackson said Quarterback Parker Whitson, #8, takes that honor for a 17 yard touchdown pass, with the extra point good, making it 27-0 after the first quarter.
Jackson said Whitson also had an overall good playing night.
Jackie Harvell, #3, took the special teams honor against Foreman. Jackson said one outstanding accomplishment by Harvell was running in a touchdown on a punt return!
“Jackie Harvell probably has 1,300 yards on offense, yet people keep punting to him,” Coach Jackson said.
“I am glad we have him again next year and I am also glad our team does not have to play against his talent.”
As to play by play, Jackson said the action started with Quarles getting his TD on an interception, with a good extra point, and then Harvell ran in a 20-yard TD with a good extra point, making it 14-0 Go-Devils.
Then Harvell made his second TD for the evening, but that extra point was no good – leaving it 20-0 Gurdon.
Then Whitson threw the ball to #2 David Sims who ran in a 17-yard TD. The extra point was good and thus the first quarter ended with Gurdon leaping out in front, 27-0.
Coach Jackson then decided that several starters would be pulled to give the 40 Go-Devils who attended all some playing time.
“It was not just the playing time,” he said. “We can not afford to risk serious injury to our starters just before playoff season.”
Coach Jackson said playoffs will be going on the next five weeks and he has high hopes the Go-Devils will be playing until the end.
“Now is when we really see what our team is made of,” he said. “They will be fine if they concentrate and continue taking care of business. Come on out next Friday night and support the guys against Carlisle. A large crowd in the stands always adds to a good playing attitude.”






Forest Festival

big success

Tailgate News Editor
GURDON – The 2014 Gurdon Forest Festival went off without too many unplanned items and crowd response to the new trick bicycle act was great.
The day began with a CADC/Rotary pancake breakfast at the senior citizens center, followed by a 10 a.m. parade.
Then it was time to explore the booths and car show, plus enjoy the first of three trick bicycle shows. Several children showed up to dig in the wood pile for gold coins and the new head football coach for the Gurdon Go-Devils was on hand to get dunked in the dunking booth at 11 a.m.
Coach Kyle Jackson did that to help raise money for the Close Up group. They are a group of GHS juniors and seniors who make a trip to Washington D.C. every spring to witness how Congress works an visit our nation’s capital.
Coach Jackson, who got dunked repeatedly, said he sure was glad the weather was summer like instead of cold and wet.
Then it was time for Mayor Clayton Franklin to give his last rodeo welcome after nearly two decades of serving Gurdon in its highest office.
Come January Tommy Potter or Sherry Kelley will take that office and guide Gurdon into its future.
Around 10 county and state political candidates, vying for votes this first Tuesday of November (Tuesday, Nov. 4) were on schedule to give 2 minute pleas to voters.
Mayor Franklin canceled all of those speeches, saying, “This is my last rodeo as mayor so I guess I can do what I want. And what I want is no political speeches at the 2014 Forest Festival!”
His decision was accepted but the disappointment on the faces of the candidates was obvious. Still, the festival continued with music and laughter.
One can look at the regular schedule of events to get details about what happened next, but the Halloween costume contest went off without a hitch, as did the best dressed dog contest.
Then CD&E, the sponsoring Gurdon club for the festival, had its auction about 4:30 p.m..
An unexpected out of town musician took the stage by surprise from about 3:45 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. to pleasure us with old country, rock and folk music. This editor interviewed the Branson musician, now living in the Delight /Nashville area and his particulars will be under his picture in this issue.
After Brother Eudy left the stage, the auction took place and then Big Chuck and the Iron Bridge, a Gurdon local band, played for the crowd until just after 8 p.m. Then it was clean-up time and Forest Festival 2014 became a memory.
There was also a large turn-out for the free kiddo rides throughout the day and the cutest kid contest had plenty of entries. Forest festival queen contest winners rode in the parade and helped with the auction. To break the old fashioned journalism rule, this editor would like to say, by way of observation, it would seem “a good time was had by all.”
Oh yes, Tommy Potter, the mayoral candidate, was driving a monster truck, borrowed from Rowdy’s Zip Line Adventures, and the thing quit on him during the parade. Apparently Mr. Potter got the machine going again without a tow. Senior night in Gurdon tonight, on this Friday Halloween, have a safe and pleasant weekend. If you visit the Gurdon Light later, out by the graveyard, be careful for snakes.

Haskell mayoral candidate

sees bright future for city

Tailgate News Editor
Jayme Watson/Bruton, 33, is a Haskell stay-at-home mother with a good background in business and exposure to what it takes to work in Little Rock politics, and she wants to make her city small business friendly and residentially appealing “by using my education and youthful drive to concentrate every day for years to come on what will make Haskell a better place to live and work.”
“First let me say I believe retiring mayor Jeff Arey has done an excellent job and I want to continue his efforts to get grants for our ball park, improve our sewer and water systems and finish work on our sidewalks.
“Mayor Arey will be our county judge and we need to follow his lead in the future by making sure what he has done is maintained and new ideas are brought to the City Council table to do even more improvements.
“I would like the opportunity to promote and improve the Haskell of today and to make sure it is all it can be in the future by continued hard work, sound business decisions and enthusiasm for our city.”
Bruton is a native of Saline County and has been a Haskell resident since 2009. She is a 1999 Benton High School Cum Laude Graduate, a 2003 Southern Arkansas University Magna Cum Laude Graduate, has a Bachelor of Science – Agriculture Education with a minor in horticulture and a 2010 Southern Arkansas University Graduate with a Master of Science in agriculture with emphasis in Education.
Watson/Bruton is running for mayor against Janie Lyman, treasurer and recorder of Haskell; Gary Vice and Jerry Tittle.
Jayme is the wife of Briggs Bruton of Carman Lane and the couple has one child, 19-month-old Mac.
Her husband is a technician for Data Max out of Little Rock and has done so for the past six years.
Jayme works at Haskell Sonic on weekends, when her husband can be home with their son.
“It has given me an opportunity to meet the residents of Haskell and learn what they want out of their mayor and council in the future,” she said.
“Haskell is a wonderful place to live, with a great school system, reasonably priced housing and a small town atmosphere that is definitely family friendly,” she said.
Before quitting to have her child, Jayme worked at a political job for the Poultry Federation as an assisting officer and manager next to the state capital in downtown Little Rock.
She held that position from February of 2012 until March of 2013 but decided to stay home and raise her son.
While growing up with her parents, who owned Watson’s Wireless in Benton, Jayme was named Benton Chamber of Commerce Ambassador of the Year. Her parents had that business from 1981 until they retired in 2011.
“My qualifications, skills, and experience come from my last two places of employment.
“At The Poultry Federation, I managed the everyday needs of the office, maintained the company website and social networking sites, and researched data to assist in getting new legislation passed to benefit the poultry industry in Arkansas.
“ At Watson’s Wireless, I managed all day to day operations. This included sales and service with customers, and managing cash, budgets and bank deposits. I also managed the inventory, scheduling of employees and maintained a leadership role with local agencies and city governments as a part of the business in the community.
“These qualifications, skills, and experiences are pertinent to the Mayor’s position because the Mayor acts as the manager of the city. Serving the public, managing employees, communicating clearly, and being responsible with money are just a few of the skills that I have obtained in the past that I can use to benefit the City of Haskell.”

Garner to be at American Art Gallery

for Nov. 7 Hot Springs Gallery Walk

Tailgate News Editor
Caren Garner,an Arkansas artist and art teacher, will be on hand at the Friday, Nov. 7 downtown Hot Springs Gallery Walk to display her work and answer any questions about her lessons.
You will find Garner at the American Art Gallery on Central Avenue during the Gallery Walk hours of 5 until 9 p.m.
Co-owner of the American Art Gallery Ann Gilbert said Garner is a mixed media artist who loves texture and acrylics. She has a very unique style. Some of her works include: Movement of Nature, the Elephant Walk, African Mysteries, Mysterious Images of the Forest and Jungle Beat.
The artist has the following remarks about her classes.
“I offer ongoing painting classes for beginning & intermediate level students. Classes will be on experimental art, water media and/or collage, carving your own stamps and many ideas for additional textures in your work.
“Class will include different techniques and use of assorted new mediums. I will have a supply list available along with assistance if needed in getting your supplies.
“You may start with watercolor or acrylics, mixed media and collage with students working at their own pace and their choice of subject matter. Art may be non objective or bring a drawing or collage material that may be integrated if you wish.”
To contact Caren Garner, give her a call at: (501) 786-1424.
Ann and Willie Gilbert, owners of American Art Gallery, said several of her works will be on display for the evening of the Gallery Walk and continue to be at the Gallery for viewing pleasure and for sale in weeks to come.
Ann said, “Her style is very unique but very popular. Come see for yourself next Friday evening.”
Garner is a single mother who worked for Hobby Lobby in Little Rock. She first displayed work at American Art Gallery nearly 20 years ago. To see more of her work, go to: www.carengarner.lrarts.com.

Remembering those friends

who used to live at Gurdon…

Tailgate News Editor
I have attended 10 Forest Festivals to date. My first was on the last Saturday in October of 2004.
Back then, Austin Capps was alive, as was Al Brown. Both men came to my aid in many ways, but the most important way was friendship.
I spent Christmas with my wife that year, who was living in Oregon because I was in the process of paying a college abatement lawsuit so my oldest daughter Erin Anne could finish computer programming school and because Michelle was uncertain about our marriage.
In our case, absence made the hearts grow stronger. My new friends, and the Assembly of God Church of Gurdon, made sure I had air fare back and forth to Portland, Oregon, where Michelle picked me up for a week in Waldport, where she was living.
Brother Jim Farris, then pastor at the Assembly, told me a lot of the air fare came from Austin Capps. He said Mr. Capps wanted nothing in return.
Austin later helped me get my home, when it was announced to him that Michelle had agreed to give the marriage another try.
I thanked him for helping me find the house, but kept mum about knowing anything about him paying for at least part of the air fare.
Austin passed away not long after all of this. Al, as most know, just died a little while back. Al was my sounding board when I did not know who to talk to. He sat just in front of me, with his wife Audrey, when I attended the Assembly alone before Michelle came home.
The Browns would give me encouragement and the church family helped my wife and I make a start of it in life again.
Al and Audrey are both gone now.
And then there was Ruby and Arvil Purifoy in Whelen Springs. Ruby loved writing poetry and publishing it in the Gurdon Times and Tailgate News later on. Back in 2004, I was the editor of the Gurdon Times, a job I held for two years before working for the Standard out of Amity for a year.
Then in May of 2007, I started this Tailgate News. It was in print five years and has been in digital blog for two.
Arvil went first, after putting Ruby in a nursing home and visiting her as often as he could.
Ruby left the area to be with her son there at the last and I happened on her obituary, attended her funeral and was given a copy of her poetry. I have published several over the years.
And then there was Bob Atkinson. He put me up at his house from October 2004 until June of 2005 when I moved out to reunite with Michelle.
Bob died in 2011. He was a friend indeed. If I needed an ear, or just to listen to a bit of Texas wisdom, Bob was my man. We went to the South Fork Truck Stop about once a month and attended Celebrate Recovery together for about four years.
So the Gurdon I knew early on is gone. I wandered the streets this year at Forest Festival and thought of all of the friends that have gone on to their eternal homes.
Memorable Moment? I suppose that would be getting up this morning, realizing I was still alive and well and setting out once again, in my own small way, to try and make a positive difference in the world in which I live…

School buys reading programs

to help special education students

Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon School District had its annual public meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, followed by the regular School Board meeting.
During the public meeting, Letha Duke, federal programs coordinator for Gurdon Schools, told the group 82 students out of an approximate total of 770 district wide, were good candidates to be in special education.
“We are classified as a low achievement district on the power scale because 76 percent of our students qualify for free or reduced lunches,” she said.
Duke went over how students are discovered that belong in special education. They enter the program through parental referral, response to instruction or being referred to as needing the service through another school district.
Then Melissa Franklin, Gurdon Primary School counselor, discussed Red Ribbon Week, which is this week, and how the kids were being taught they are too cool for violence and too good for drugs.
“Our main stream students have strong reading skills in many cases,” Franklin said.
“We are also teaching against tobacco use. In grades 6, 8 and 12, 83 percent do not use tobacco. That is the best in the state.”
Franklin talked of high achieving students going on a field trip to the Clinton Museum to see the recycling process and get exposed to downtown Little Rock history.
She said the goal is for Gurdon to get involved with some new achievement tool, such as an opportunity class, Quiz Bowl or Governor’s School.
After the evaluations and suggestions were done, and questions from the public were taken, the board came into regular session.
The first order of business was for the board to vote to get two reading software programs for the district’s special education students.
Superintendent Allen Blackwell said while the reading and math softwares were expensive, the special needs children need these advantages.
Duke said the first software included a Mindplay Virtual Reading Coach and Symphony math. The cost of that program was $15,295.
The second program, which is called Reading Plus Matching Grant Initiative, has a total cost attached to it of $14,000.
Superintendent Blackwell said, “I recommend to the School Board that we purchase both of these packages.”
The board voted to buy both programs.
In other business, a 72” riding mower was purchased, using a 2-year payment plan at the recommendation of board member Bernard Hatley.
The zero turn mower will be purchased from Hoxie Equipment, Cox implements. The bid was for $1,122.66.
Blackwell said two John Deer mowers were worn out that the district has been using. The district will try to salvage one of them for getting down in the ditches.
In other business, the board voted to give the family of the late Beverly Glenn pay for 23 days of unused sick-day pay. Glenn, who was the long-time school secretary, passed away.

Take Time to Vote Your Heart, Do Your Part…
There will be a mid-term election on Tuesday, Nov. 4 that is very important.
Men fight and die in wars to keep our freedom to vote. One local election involves the selection of a new Gurdon mayor.
Tommy Potter is the president of the Clark County Boys and Girls Club and director of Faith Mission, via Celebrate Recovery in Gurdon.
He is a life long resident of Gurdon.
Justice of the Peace Sherry Kelley is a long-time Gurdon resident and grant writer. She recently got approved for a $98,000 Main Street Market grant for downtown Gurdon.
Your vote counts. Use it.


School changes name;

now Haskell Harmony Grove Cardinals

Tailgate News Editor
HASKELL – Superintendent Daniel Hensley received the blessing of his School Board Monday night in the matter of changing the Cardinals name to reflect Haskell rather than Benton.
The former Benton Harmony Grove Cardinals are now officially the Haskell Harmony Grove Cardinals.
Hensley said his coaches like the name change and have agreed to start calling the team the Haskell Harmony Grove Cardinals at games, in public and for publication.
The team’s name will be changed in the Arkansas Athletic Association handbook.
In other business, the board approved the 5 percent pay raise proposal for the year.
Hensley said the 5 percent pay raise was intended to be a maximum and no certified personal got the maximum raise.
“Some of the lower paid people got a 2.5 percent pay raise, plus a $250 bonus,” he said.
“In their cases, that may have amounted more than our 5 percent cap.”
Moreover, the School Board passed the proposed foreign exchange student acceptance criteria.
They then granted maternity leave to three employees; Cicely Menace, Samantha Land and Kathy Lewis.
After a discussion on health care changes the board passed policy 7.23 for a revision of Aug. 20 health care coverage criteria.
Hensley said, “A teacher’s spouse is not eligible for health care through us if they have health care available at their work place.
“We used to cover families at their discretion, but the health benefits keep going down and the premiums and deductibles keep going up.”
The superintendent said state employees can now get cheaper health insurance than school employees in Arkansas “but if you desire insurance though the school than this new set of health insurance stipulations are your only option.”
In other business, the board employed long-term certified substitute Charles Young as a math teacher.
The next meeting of the Haskell Harmony Grove School Board will be at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 17.
Before delving into business at the Oct. 20 meeting, Hensley went over School Board member educational requirements and made sure all members are signed up to get those requirements. Minutes were to be read from the September meeting and a lunch room report was to be given.
A Haskell Police Officer was on duty in the hall way during the meeting.
The officer said he was not necessarily around for school board meetings “but I am tonight.”
At Haskell City Council last week, the mayor and the police chief agreed to negotiate a solution to ball game traffic, and traffic in general, blocking fire lanes on the new school parking lot with the school superintendent.

Forest Festival offers

free rides for the children,

Big Chuck for adults

Tailgate News Editor
The 2014 Gurdon Forest Festival will take place all day and half the night on Saturday, Oct. 25.
The Community Development and Entertainment Club is sponsoring the event, Mayor Clayton Franklin, president.
The day will kick off with a pancake breakfast at 7 a.m. in the Central Arkansas Developement Corporation (CADC) Senior Citizens Building on Main Street. Gurdon’s Rotary Club will assist with the serving.
Then it will be time for the crowd to breeze through the booths and head over to the car show behind First State Bank. If you are a parent or guardian of a minor child, the CD&E Club has done you right again this year as there will be no charge for the rides.
The $6,500 cost of those entertainment rides has been picked up by the club and its sponsors.
A new item to the festival this year will be a trick bicycle ride, with three shows that day near the Post Office area, Joslyn and Second Streets.
The Main Stage will be packed with singers and other entertainment throughout the day until the children have their Halloween costume contest between 3 and 3:30 p.m.
This will be followed by the canine costume contest. Prizes will be distributed before the CD&E Auction takes place at 4 p.m.
Big Chuck and the Iron Bridge Band will take the stage about 6:30 p.m., after a tuning session following the auction.
CD&E members encourage you to attend the auction and participate, as that is the main source of money to have free rides for the kids again next year.
Forest Festival Queen Micheyla Nealy is the winning queen of the Gurdon Forest Festival Beauty Pageant. Micheyla was also selected as the most photogenic out of five queen contestants and as having the best interview.
Micheyla will be on hand to help with passing out auctineer items, as will some of the other winners and contestants from the Forest Festival Beauty Pageant.
Kylie Wilkins was crowned 2014 Princess by Reigning Princess Kalie Stone at the Forest Festival Beauty Pageant held in Cabe Auditorium.
Kylie was selected most photogenic out of six princess contestants and for having the best answers during her interview.
For a complete schedule of the Forest Festival, see pages 11 and 12 of this Tailgate News issue.
Mayor Clayton Franklin will give welcoming remarks from the Main Street stage at noon, followed by short addresses from around 10 political candidates.
Mayoral Candidate Sherry Kelley said candidates will be timed by CD&E member Paul Shaver and asked to limit their remarks to 2 minutes each.

Editor finds big black snake

slivering in bath tub

Tailgate News Editor
I write to you in the fall of 2014, thinking of a recent home invasion where I live. I am not talking about unwanted people coming into my Cherry Street house, but rather about a 3 feet long black snake…
I have since been told this critter, who showed up on Sunday night while I was trying to get to bed early, was a king snake. I am sorry, but I did ask him for his ID. I simply let the farm boy in me rule and got a hoe out of shed, created shredded wheat snake in my bathtub and disposed of the evidence of my crime.
When my wife Michelle and son Jacob alerted me of this critter in the bathroom, they knew what I would do. Some say this snake would not have hurt us. I can see that. I am glad of it. And I suppose I should feel a little guilty for taking the snake out, but I really do not.
I know the weather is getting colder and critters are going to come in. I captured a lizard the day before an set him free outside. But the snake was different. At least in my mind at the time, the snake was threatening to me and mine, and I was tired. I am, after all, my grandfather’s kid… Grandpa was an Indiana farmer that was a great guy if you did not cross him up by endangering him or his family. He taught me self defense and it is hard not to feel threatened when something that big is slithering around your bath tub.
My son Jacob wanted to take a shovel to the snake. Having been raised on an Indiana farm, I knew I could do a better job of assassinating the beast with a hoe. We used Jacob’s shovel afterwards to haul off the body.
My cat Charlie had to go outside and inspect the thing. I did not see my dog Gidget in all of this. I think the little long haired goomer was hiding under the bed.
Some years ago, my ex-wife Doris and I were living in West Helena, as I was the news editor for the Phillips County Progress and my daughter Kelley was just a few months old. This was actually close to 30 years ago now.
Well Doris called my newspaper office. I was doing something very important, that Is I was playing a game of chess with my boss Dee Bailey after our deadline was over and the paper was being printed. At any rate, Doris called and told me a rat had just climbed out of the toilet while she was getting out of the shower and I had better get home quick.
I told Dee it was probably a mouse because my wife used the words mouse and rat interchangeably. He laughed and told me to go check it out. I hauled my young self to the house and found my wife up on the couch in a towel, refusing to put her feet on the floor and my baby swinging in one of those wind up swing set deals that used to be popular.
Doris told me the rat was in the bathroom. I got my 22 rifle out and headed in there. Sure enough, there was a huge rat behind a Styrofoam cooler. I took aim and shot the thing a couple of times. No more rat. And I was a good enough shot that my house was not damaged.
I was the hero in that deal too, just like with the black snake here recently. I plugged the hole up in the drain on our bathtub where the snake got in. Our landlady back in West Helena had to get a screen for our toilet drain so no more rats made our acquaintance. As I recall, that incident happened in the fall of 1984.
I could go on with this home invasion story by telling you about a possum that came up a dryer vent in Alexander, Arkansas or about a racoon who slept in my cat’s bed on the porch about five years ago who I put my hand on to pet by mistake and nearly got bit, but you get the idea.
Now the possum and the coon were ran off but let go. I guess I just don’t have the same sympathy for a snake or a rat. I suppose there is just something about those creatures that brings out the killer in me. Not to sound morbid or anything, but I enjoyed ridding my home of the snake and the rat. I think it has to do with feeling threatened and the relief it brings to stop a threat.
The two furry creatures that I let go did not pose a threat to me. Again, this is what happens when you are taught survival growing up. If survival is the first order of business, it just is. Sometimes, as my Vietnam buddies used to tell me, you have to shoot them all and let God sort them out…
At any rate, when I hoed out the snake, got rid of it and went back to watching my civil war movie starring Jimmy Stewart, it was a moment of relief and all was right with the world. In other words, you guessed it, it was another Memorable Moment.

Principal gives reward day

for good Bench Mark scores

Tailgate News Editor
The second annual Bench Mark Bash Day took place on Monday for Cabe Middle School students who had high marks on the government’s Bench Mark achievement test they took for 2014.
Principal Amanda Jones said the carnival rides at Go-Devil Stadium were enjoyed by fifth and sixth grade students at one time and seventh and eighth graders at another.
“The last 45 minutes will be for all students who have shown achievement, so as not to leave out any of our achievers on all levels who have done their best.”
Jones said that would include special education literacy students who have completed their academic goals.
The principal said the big test next year will be Park, rather than Bench Mark, to check her students for the expected academic progress.
“I would like to thank all of our sponsors, and those who helped make this celebration possible,” she said.

Go-Devils shut out

Spring Hill, 41-0

Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon Go-Devils went on the road to shut out the Spring Hill Bears on Friday, Oct. 17 to the tune of 41-0.
Head Gurdon Football Coach Kyle Jackson said Monday the conference win puts Gurdon 5-2 over all and 4-0 in the 7-2A conference.
Jackson, who said when Homecoming is over Friday night, Oct. 24, he is scheduled to be in the dunking booth at 11 a.m. on Saturday during Forest Festival to raise money for the Close Up group at the high school, told this reporter the Homecoming competitor this year is the Lafayette County Cougars.
“The Cougars are 6-1 over all and 4-0 in the conference,” he said.
“I realize that with the parade, the royalty court and thoughts about tomorrow’s Forest Festival, we are not only up against a competitive, yet young, pack of Cougars from Lafayette County, we have all sorts of things that could ruin our concentration.
“But we are healthy. All 23 Go-Devils should be playing at Homecoming, and we are ready – if we will concentrate and take care of business when we get on the football field.”
As to the Spring Hill game, Jackson said Gurdon was ahead 22-0 after the first quarter.
#3 Jackie Harvell, a junior and Go-Devil star running back, ran 4 yards for the first TD. Harvell also got the 2-point conversion. The second TD was the result of a 61-yard pass from Quarterback #8 Parker Whitson to #4 Dewayne Marlow.
That extra point was no good. Alunzo Leeper, #21, ran 6 yards for the third TD and Harvell made the 2 point conversion, leaving it 22-0 after 1.
In the second quarter, a TD was made via a 31-yard pass from Whitson to #11 Adam Cooper.. The extra point was good by Marlow. Then Harvell had an interception and ran in another TD for 45 yards. The extra point was no good.
This put the Go-Devils up 35-0 at the half. The mercy rule had the clock running in the third. There was no scoring in the third, but Harvell came back in the fourth and scored a TD on a 60-yard run, finishing off the Bears, 41-0.
Coach Jackson said a lot of Go-Devils got playing time in the second half, as it was mostly a matter of running out the clock.
He said the Junior Go-Devils beat Spring Hill Thursday, 50-16, leaving them 6-1 over all and 5-0 in conference play.
Harvell was the MVP for defense against the Bears. Jackson said he leads the state for interceptions. The special team went to #5 Jackson Kirkpatrick, who had 4 tackles.
The offensive MVP is David Sims, #2, with 5 catches for 61 yards. Jackson said one key to stopping the Cougars this week will be to stop #14 Tredarius Burks, a strong, thick legged kid.


Haskell residents

block school fire lanes

Tailgate News Editor
HASKELL – A Haskell City Council member spoke out against double-parking in fire lanes on the new Benton Harmony Grove parking lot “because I have received angry calls on this issue and I believe we need to address it.”
Councilman Hal Baker asked Mayor Jeff Arey and the Haskell Police Department to start issuing citations for those who block fire lanes at ball games and other functions “across the street at our school.”
Haskell police officers responded to Baker by saying they had been working on the parking lane problem with Superintendent Daniel Hensley “and it appears to be worked out.” Mayor Arey said fire lanes are used when parents pick up their children after school “and that is OK with the school and the police department.”
However, the mayor did say parking in the fire lanes at ball games and other unauthorized times is prohibited and must be dealt with for safety reasons.
“We have been trying to work through this by seeking the cooperation of the school staff and families,” he said.
“If they will not cooperate, we will have to start issuing citations or towing vehicles away.”
An officer for the Haskell Police Department said local police have an idea they want to run past Superintendent Hensley to solve the parking problem.
Councilman Baker moved on to the topic of bulletproof vests. He said one large officer has been wearing a vest that does not fit and he has not spoken up for himself.
Mayor Arey said that officer needs to tell his superior so a properly fitting vest can be ordered.
In other business, the council heard and approved reports from the water and sewer department, the police department and the fire department.
Arey talked of a concrete curtain wall that is needed at the sewer plant but has no cost figures yet. He did mention $75,000 a year coming in for the next 10 years to Haskell from a one-half-cent sales tax.
“This is our first full year to get this sales tax money,” Arey said. “Improvements in our water system are ongoing and hopefully some money will be approved to continue doing what we need to in that area.”
As for police, the department made 65 calls last month; issuing 16 warnings and 59 citations.
In old business, Arey said progress is being made to complete the new restroom facilities at the Haskell ball field.
“We had some rain delays, but they should be starting on the roof this week,” Arey said.
In other business, Arey reported progress is being made toward the city being awarded a playground equipment grant for $86,820.
“Now it would be 50 percent matching,” he said. “We will make it through the first phase of approval on Oct. 29 – that is playground eligibility.”
Arey said there is $28,000 in the parks and recreation fund toward the 50 percent matching part at present and he asked the City Council to approve a $16,000 transfer from the general fund to show the city has available funds for said matching.
Arey noted there is presently about $100,000 in the city’s general fund. Council approved his request for transferring the $16,000.
Janie Lyman, city treasurer and recorder and one of the four mayoral candidates, gave a positive report on the recent legislative audit noting “there were no non-compliance issues brought up against Haskell by the auditors.”
Moreover, the council passed Ordinance 05 of 2014 which sets fees for subdivision developers.
The city fee for primary subdivision development is now $150, a bill of assurance is $50 and the mini subdivision fee is $50.
Subdivision regulations were adopted in October of 2009, but no fees were set at that time.
The city stipulated that violators who begin work on a subdivision before paying their proper fees will incur a charge three times what the regular fee would have been.
Mayor Arey brought up the 2015 city budget and passed out preliminary figures to be pondered.
The budget is to be taken up for approval at the 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 10 City Council meeting.

GP confirms

expansion plan

Article submitted
to Tailgate News
GURDON – Georgia-Pacific announced plans to invest $37 million at its Gurdon, Arkansas, lumber operations to expand the production capacity of the lumber mill by approximately 60 percent and position the facility for long-term success.
Improvements at the lumber mill include the installation of a new continuous dry kiln and a state-of-the-art planer mill, along with related infrastructure improvements. Project completion is expected by the third quarter of 2015.
A source who attended the ceremony talked with a GP employee who said the expansion will not result in any reduction in personnel and no down time is expected to result from the changes.
“As the housing market continues a slow, but steady improvement, our plans to invest at Gurdon ensure our ability to meet the growing needs of our customers and become their lumber supplier of choice,” said Fritz Mason, vice president and general manager for Georgia-Pacific’s lumber business. “This is an opportunity to broaden our product offerings, enhance quality and improve our cost competitiveness.”
The company is evaluating additional investments totaling approximately $20 million at the nearby Gurdon plywood mill that would increase the mill’s efficiency and capacity, as well as further reduce air emissions.
“The Arkadelphia Regional Economic Development Alliance is pleased to provide local support through the Clark County economic development sales tax to help Georgia-Pacific complete this expansion,” said Eric Hughes, chairman of the Alliance. “Georgia-Pacific has been a great corporate citizen in Gurdon for many years, providing hundreds of jobs in Clark County.”
“This is exciting news for our community and state,” President and CEO of the Alliance Stephen Bell said. “We have been working with Mayor Clayton Franklin and other community leaders to upgrade the sewer treatment plant and increase the treatment plant’s capacity at the City of Gurdon – a key element to Georgia-Pacific’s expansion effort.”
Clark County Judge Ron Daniell said, “This as a win-win for the citizens of Gurdon and Georgia-Pacific. These upgrades will not only support Georgia-Pacific’s expansion, but will help us in our effort to recruit more industry to our region.”
Clark County Justice of the Peace Sherry Kelley said, “This expansion is made possible thanks to the hard work and dedication of the employees the Georgia Pacific Gurdon Wood Products facility. The City of Gurdon will also grow and benefit from this expansion. This is the largest capitol investment that GP has made into a building products facility. Georgia Pacific invests in winners and that is what these employees are and we thank them.”
Kelley added that she expects the city’s sales tax revenue to grow through the increased purchases made in Gurdon by the construction crews and the additional loggers and truckers who will visit the facility.
“The City of Gurdon will also benefit from a substantial upgrade to our water treatment facility funded by the Economic Development Corporation of Clark County,” Kelley said. “The upgrade will serve the needs of the Georgia Pacific Wood Products Plant and our community. This is a win win situation for all.”
Grant Tennille, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, said, “Georgia-Pacific is among the top three largest manufacturing employers in Arkansas. This significant expansion investment in Gurdon confirms Georgia-Pacific’s commitment to doing business in Arkansas and is a testament to the company’s confidence in the local workforce.”
Georgia-Pacific officials confirmed Thursday that more than 665 employees work at the Gurdon lumber and plywood operations. No news was released in regard to whether that number will increase after the production capabilities are improved. Georgia-Pacific has eight facilities in Arkansas, five of which are part of the building products division. The company employs approximately 2,700 people directly in the state of Arkansas. For more infomaton, go to: gp.com.

Memorable Moment…

Thanksgiving dinner

with old Bob in 2004

Tailgate News Editor
I came to Gurdon in August of 2004 under a lawsuit from my first ex-wife Renee.
She was determined to make me pay for my part of our daughter’s college, that is $23,000 of it, or to go to jail.
I accepted the editor’s job in Gurdon, under this college abatement lawsuit for Erin Ann Nelson/Bond/Williams, my oldest daughter who turned 30 this past Feb. 1.
About 65 percent of my Gurdon Times wages went up north to Erin to finish up my payments that I had been making from Minneapolis the previous year. I left Malvern for Minneapolis for higher wages and a shot at paying Erin off.
But when I got to Gurdon, I rented a place that I lost within a month over the lawsuit. When the garnishment kicked in, I was living on around $400 a month.
My boss George Jinx let me stay in the back of the Gurdon Times but warned me I needed to find some way to afford independent housing soon, as the company might choose to fire me for insurance liability reasons.
I met Tommy Potter in September of 2004 and told him of my situation.
Things rocked along a few weeks and then Tommy invited me to Celebrate Recovery. I went, as I was fighting a lot of turmoil inside over the lawsuit and too much beer drinking to escape the stress. The group counseling was good for me.
While at Celebrate, which I would stay in for five years, I met a man named Bob. Many called him old Bob. Bob also liked beer.
We started telling each other drinking stories and laughing and joking around.
We were supposed to be turning over a new leaf of life. Oh, I was serious enough. From 2004 until 2008, I do not recall taking a drink. When I started back, it was at a very moderate pace and thank God above it has stayed that way.
My old night out would amount to 12 to 15 beers. Since Celebrate, it amounts to 2 to 6 beers. Many have asked why I did not stay quit? I love to socialize, sing and loosen up. And besides, my dad the doctor says a non-drinker will live 10 years less on the average than a person who takes a little wine (or beer) for his or her health.
I believe the recommended dose is 2 glasses of wine a night. That is about 4 glasses of light beer so I am not too far off the recommended amount for my “medication” of choice.
But getting back to Bob, he had the most wonderful stories of dating strippers, roaming California and Indiana and how his pipe fitting wages provided him with a lot of fun.
Now Bob believed in God and had accepted Jesus as his Savior. And Bob stuck with his moderate drinking the whole time I knew him. I realized he could have gotten drunk as a skunk had he wanted to, but he always said, “I just want a couple of beers to help me sleep.” In all honesty, I heard rumors he fell off the wagon a couple of nights but that was after I moved out and I did not see him in such a state. Tommy admitted Bob could be a fun drunk…
More to the point, In October of 2004 I moved out of the Gurdon Times and into the back of Bob’s house on Front Street.
You want to talk about hitting the skids. I went down and out. As to self esteem, all I had left was my editorship at the Gurdon Times. I was broke and my family had deserted me because I would not control my anger or my drinking.
I suppose they had reason to believe I might blow up like a loose cannon. Bob and I had one argument the whole 9 months we lived together about his loud television coming on when I was reading my Bible in the morning. We got over it quickly. Bob always told people he guessed I just did not like Walker Texas Ranger. I actually like the show, but the television volume of a nearly deaf man is not pleasant at 5:30 a.m.
He was a loyal friend. In the years between 2005 and 2011, my wife Michelle and had him over to eat Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas dinner with us every chance we got. Bob had been there for me and I tried to return the favor.
Bob had lung cancer all of the time I knew him but I never knew it until the last year of his life. He was offered treatment but decided to just live on and not worry about it. It killed him in April of 2011, when it became active after the first of that year. He lost weight, strength and finally his life.
We used to go to Southfork Truck Stop to eat out once in awhile after I got back on my feet financially. I will never forget all of the good times I had with him.
The last time I took him Bob thanked me for taking him out and for being there. He barely ate his grilled cheese that night. When he went to the bathroom, one of his old truck stop buddies came up to me and thanked me for “taking that old guy out because it looks like it may be his last adventure.”
The man in the cowboy hat was right. Bob passed away shortly there after.
Bob and I got up and started having coffee, both of us wondering what we might eat that Thanksgiving Day. Tommy and Stephanie Potter, the proprietors of Faith Mission, usually brought us some food. They were out of town.
There was a knock on our door. It was Denise Ezell, who was with the Extension Homemakers Club.
She and a couple of her other members were there with turkey, dressing, vegetables, potatoes and all the fixings. They said Bob and I were on their list of needy folks that they wanted to help.
We took the food, told them how thankful we were and began chowing down.
Old Bob looked up from eating to say that Bob phrase, “This sure is a goody!”
In the next few months, Bob and I would wash dishes together for the mission, do the vacuuming before Celebrate meetings and laugh our way through most of the work. He helped me build my self esteem up during one of the lowest points in my life. I fixed his coffee every morning from October of 2004 until June of 2005 when my wife and I ended our separation and got a house together here on Cherry Street. But I have never forgotten Bob and his kindness.
And man did that Thanksgiving meal taste good back in 2004. It was more than just a goody. All was right with the world when I was eating that meal. It was another Memorable Moment…




Rotarians talk of helping

curb human trafficking, house disabled veterans

Tailgate News Editor
GURDON – A Rotarian from Arkadelphia, in training to become a district governor of this zone in a couple of years, shared some of the national and regional causes that Rotary supports at Tuesday’s meeting at the Senior Adult Center.
One of the most fascinating subjects that Allen Morgan talked about was the fight against human trafficking, that is human sexual slavery.
According to Morgan, two American cities, Houston, Texas and Atlanta, Georgia, have some of the worst cases of sexual slavery markets in the world.
“This is the computer age and these young ladies are carrying digital tracking devices with GPS and this makes it even harder to escape the clutches of their captors,” he said.
Morgan said there are 1.2 million Rotarians in the world and many are supporters in the fight against this dehumanizing problem.
“The biggest problem is in third world countries where the sexual predators promise the parents of girls, say 12 or 13 years old, that they will educate those children and help them have a better life,” he said.
“Then once they get the parents to allow the girls to go with the slave traders, those girls are marketed as sexual entities.”
Morgan said an estimated one-half million girls and young women are involved in human trafficking. And again, this can happen anywhere, with Atlanta and Houston being two places where it does.
Again, Morgan said the fight against this sort of modern-day slavery is getting harder because of implants involving bar codes and other forms of tracking their “property.”
“They just can’t hardly escape on their own, even when they are trapped in the United States,” he said.
Morgan said the Rotarian vision is one of building bridges across this rushing river of human slavery.
“This club could get involved for $200 a year,” he said. “This would go to fight this human slavery problem.”
Morgan said another project involves Rotarians building houses valued at $250,000 for disabled American veterans and then paying all but a $50,000 mortgage for the soldiers so they can have a reasonable expectation of paying off their home and have an accessible and decent place to live.
“We are helping these heroes in Houston who are dealing with the financial problems of being an American veteran,” he said.
Morgan said Joplin, Missouri has 280 business partners working with government agencies to give a leg up to these who were victims of natural disasters, such as tornadoes.
“They were able to build three new high schools and get them functioning by working together in true Rotarian spirit,” he said.
“The disaster in the Joplin area was used by concerned Rotarians to build that community up rather than letting its citizens go into despair.”
Morgan said it is all about creating a better life in the USA and elsewhere. Donations by local Rotary Clubs, he said, go to help in all of these projects and much more.
As to the disaster relief fund, like goes on in Joplin, Morgan said Rotary is helping in 17 communities and four states.
“When I saw that for 60 cents a day I could save a child’s life, I decided there was much more reason for being a Rotarian than just digging deep to help in my individual community,” Morgan said.
“I ask you to recruit new Rotarians by letting them know about more of the important work we do outside of the community, as well as at home.”


Gurdon gets three grants,

via Justice of the Peace

Tailgate News Editor
Justice of the Peace Sherry Kelley presented three grants to three Gurdon organizations Thursday, including one for the city’s housing removal program, a second one to CD&E for the free rides at Forest Festival and a third one to Gurdon Primary School to finance book fair participation for lower income students.
The city grant is for $2,000, which Mayor Clayton Franklin said would augment an existing fund used to tear down dilapidated houses when owner funds are low.
“This will do about four eye sore houses and get us back in the housing clean-up business,” he said.
Franklin changed hats to being president of the Community Development and Entertainment Club (CD&E) and accepted the second grant, for $1,250, to be put toward the $6,500 cost the club incurs for providing free rides all day long for the children to enjoy at Forest Festival.
The third grant, for $1,000, was delivered by Kelley to the Gurdon Primary School, to be used in the school’s next book fair by financially depleted students.
Kelley said the grants were awarded through the Clark County Strategic Planning Committee.

Beauty Pageant success,

$3,600 in profits this year

Tailgate News Editor
The 2014 Forest Festival Beauty Pageant was held in Cabe Auditorium Saturday night, processing more than 50 contestants in front of a full house.
The original crowd probably exceeded 500 spectators, but dwindled as particular daughters were paraded and judged.
The pageant is sponsord by the CD&E Club of Gurdon, Clayton Franklin president.
According to Franklin, Pageant Director Heather Nolan and her assistant, Angela Harper of City Hall, deserve a lot of credit for the pageant’s success this year “as it was their combined hard work that made it the biggest turn out we have had in years.”
Franklin went on to say the pageant had a net profit of approximately $2,500, which will be put back into the Forest Festival fund by CD&E. Nolan later reported that actual profit was $3,600.
He said past pageants have had $2,000 profit, “but we added two new baby categories this year and that had to have been part of the bigger profit; more contestants.”
Franklin also thanked Justice of the Peace Sherry Kelley for being the master of ceremonies for the pageant.
This was a new category and the youngsters were 0-2 years old. There were eight entries. Miss Baby Miss for 2014 is: Kambree Jester. The People’s Choice and Most Photogenic was Adelyn Deaton.
Sicily Bufkin was first runner-up and Blaklee Keeling won second runner-up.
This was the second new category and consisted of five young ladies, all 2 years old.
The winner was: Stella Childres. Bristol Nolan was first runner-up and won the People’s Choice award.
Second runner-up was Adalyn Williams. Adalyn also won Most Photogenic.
Reese Shelton was named 2014 Miss Tiny Miss from a field of four contestants.
Piper King was the People’s Choice, most photogenic and first runner-up.
Zoey Windham was the second runner-up.
Addison Jones is the 2014 Little Miss, picked from nine contestants. Mikaela Bradshaw was the People’s Choice and most photogenic.
Emilee Davis was voted first runner-up and Caroline Hurst was second runner-up.
Aneesa Williams was the winner and voted most photogenic out of a field of 11contestants.
Emma Dickerson was picked as the People’s Choice.
Gabbi Gibson was chosen as the first runner-up. Lilly McKinnon was the second runner-up.
Heavenly Zachery was voted the winner out of a field of four contestants.
Tamia Gulley was voted most photogenic and the first runner-up.
Kenzie Harper was the People’s Choice and second runner-up.
Kylie Wilkins was voted the winner out of a field of six contestants, most photogenic and she won the interview contest.
Kylie Shackleford was the first runner-up. Kayla Ventress was second runner-up.
Addison Rutherford was the People’s Choice.
Micheyla Nealy was chosen to the the 2014 Gurdon Forest Festival Beauty Pageant Queen on Saturday, Oct. 4. Miss Nealy was also the winner of the most photogenic category and declared the winner of the interview contest.
Callie White was the first runner-up and the winner of the People’s Choice award.
Ellyn Walls was second runner-up in the queen contest, out of a field of five contestants.
Queen Micheyla Nealy will receive a $250 financial award from the CD&E Club.
Master of Cermonies Sherry Kelley invited all winners and contestants in general to ride in the Forest Festival Parade at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25, during the festival.
In addition to Nolan and Harper, pageant committee members were Tracy Drake, Sissi Little and Haley Neathery. Harper was not listed on the committee, but did work on the pageant.
(pagent photos, P-11, 12)

Go-Devils over Mineral Springs, 52-2

Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon Go-Devils were on the road Friday, Oct. 3 but they came back home from Mineral Springs with a sound conference win.
Go-Devil Coach Kyle Jackson said the 52-2 victory was great “but we still had a lot of mistakes.”
The win puts them at 3 and 2 overall and 2-0 in the 7-2A conference.
The first quarter ended 13-0, Go-Devils over Hornets. Coach Jackson said Jackie Harvell (#3) had a rushing touchdown. Then Quarterback Parker Whitson (#8) threw a touchdown pass to Dewayne Marlow (#4).
“We made the first extra point,” Coach Jackson said. “It was 31-2 at the half, with us scoring 18 points in the second quarter and them scoring 2.”
Baylee Hughes, #22, made an interception for the Go-Devils and ran it in for a TD. Whitson ran 15 yards for another TD in the second.
At the end of the third quarter, it was 45-2 Go-Devils. Coach Jackson said the team scored 14 points in the third, with 2 TDs and the extra points good both times.
The coach said the mercy rule was applied in the fourth quarter but Baylee Hughes happened to score, leaving the final tally at 52-2 Gurdon.
Coach Jackson said there were no more significant injuries to his 23 players, and he does not know of any conflicts that would prevent the whole team to be there and be ready to play at Go-Devil Stadium tonight against the Murfreesboro Rattlers.
Game time is 7 p.m. so come early and get a good seat to cheer on the Go-Devils.
As to Mineral Springs, Coach Jackson said, “It was a sloppy game on both sides. We had 14 penalties and they had 12.”
Coach Jackson said Mineral Springs tried new strategy on the Go-Devils and kept them to 230 yards of rushing for the game.
“We had too many false starts and got penalties,” he said. Defensively, Jackson said the Go-Devils had 6 interceptions.
“We have had 11 interceptions over the last two games,” Coach Jackson said. “And Harvell had two rushing touchdowns on 60 yards.”
Coach Jackson said in facing the Murfreesboro Rattlers the Go-Devils will run into a better offensive team.
The coach said the Murfreesboro quarterback, Alex Kennedy, #10, is a senior and does a good job on passes and such.
“We will have to make it past Kennedy by getting two or three interceptions,” Coach Jackson said. “We also need to get out there and try and generate some turnovers.”
Murfreesboro is also ahead of the game in numbers, with a team roster of 45 players to Gurdon’s 23.
“They have the type of offense and snap like we have not seen since Prescott,” Coach Jackson said.
“We will need our key people and to keep Parker (Whitson) playing strong and long.”
Coach Jackson said against that many players Gurdon will have to concentrate on keeping the momentum going the entire four quarters.
The Rattlers and the Go-Devils will both enter the contest tonight with 3-2 overall records.
“But they have lost their last 2 games and are 0-2 in their conference. Gurdon is 2-0 in the conference,” Coach Jackson noted.
In Junior High School action, the Junior Go-Devils beat the Junior Hornets of Mineral Springs, 21-0. Coach Jackson said they are 4-1 for the season.
Jackson said two or three junior high players should move up to varsity toward year’s end.

Memorable Moment

of grave yard races

after church choir practice
Tailgate News Editor
From around age 8 until I was about 16 years old, I was in the First United Methodist Church choir in Hagerstown, Indiana. I met my high school sweetheart Joni there and dated her for the better part of five years, from the age of 15 until I was barely 20.
She was a fantastic girlfriend and she had been a really good friend-friend before we started our closer relationship. Joni was in church choir with me and I always wanted to stand next to all of her freckles, her curly brown-reddish hair and her winning smile. The rest of her was welcome to sit in on each conversation we had.
My friend Kevin and I always rode with his mother, the organ player named Martha, to and from choir practice. Mrs. Giggy (Martha) always wanted to stay after choir practice to work on some of her organ music for the next Sunday.
This meant me and Kevin were left to our own devices for awhile. For some reason, several of the other mothers and fathers were never in any hurry to pick up their choir members either. This met a group of five or six of us usually took off for the Hagerstown graveyard.
Perhaps this memory has popped into my head because it is Halloween season. We would chase each other through the graveyard, playing tag etc. I remember a lot of laughing and generally having a good time.
When your friend hides behind a grave stone and then jumps out at you, it is an especially exciting experience for a teenager. We were, after all, just kids. I loved to watch Joni run and so I would watch that body I liked so much to look at go from stone to stone and try and figure out where she was hiding. My motivation was a combination of admiration and lust – even at 14. We started our closer relationship when I was 15 so this memory was still in my age of innocence.
I remember one chilly fall evening, after a good romp in the graveyard, Joni and I ended up at Abbot’s Candy and Gift Store. I wanted to buy her everything, but just had a few bucks to buy a bag of candy. I shared with her. I don’t remember if Kevin went into the store that night or not. But I do remember buying the candy and sharing it with the girl I would essential hold in my arms for five years. This was, of course, unknown to either one of us at the time.
When I looked into her blue eyes and saw the smile and sparkle after I handed her the delicious locally made candy, you guessed it, all was right with my world and that was yet another Memorable Moment.



Gurdon Forest Festival

Beauty Pageant Saturday

Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon Forest Festival Beauty Pageant will be held at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 4 in the Cabe Auditorium with well over 50 contestants, according to pageant coordinator Heather Nolan.
Photos of those wanting the public to see them before the pageant will be presented with this article. However not all of those listed presented photos by publication deadline.
The Tailgate News will simply show those who turned in photos and put their competition category under said photos unless submissions had a name on the back. In that case, category and contestant name will appear under the photo.
The editor would like to wish each and every contestant good luck. Tailgate News plans to attend and take pictures of the winners for the Friday, Oct. 10 issue.
Admission to the pageant is $5. Profits will go to the Community Development and Entertainment Club. CD&E finances the rides and other entertainment during Forest Festival.
This year’s event will be on the last Saturday in October, as is the Gurdon tradition. In the case of 2014, that will be on Saturday, Oct. 25. A parade will be held between 10 and 10:30 a.m. and all pageant winners are invited to ride and wave.
They should line up at the old Bell High School by 9:30 a.m.
This will be the first year for an ages 0-1 division. Nolan listed eight entries; Jena Williams, 1; Adelyn Deaton, 10 months; Alexis Currey, 3 months; Sicily Bufkin, nine and a half months; Blaklee Keeling, 21 months; Kambree Jester, 18 months; Sarynitti Johnson, 4 months, and Emry Clark, 13 months.
Another new category this year is Teeny Miss, with five contestants, all 2 years old. They are: Bristol Nolan, Krya Ellis, Stella Childres, Natelie Gober and Adalyn Williams.
The third category is the Tiny Miss, ages 3 and 4. No photos were presented by deadline. However, four entries are noted. They are: Piper King, 3; Zoey Windham, 4; Maci Williams, 3, and Reese Shelton, 4.
The fourth category is Little Miss, ages 5 and 6. Nine entries are noted. They are: Railey Ellis, 6; Caroline Hurst, 6; Bailey Collie, 5; Kalynn Davis, 6; Emilee Davis, 5; Mackenie Morgan, 6; Mikaela Bradshaw, 6; Makennah Gober, 5, and Addison Jones (age not provided).
The fifth category this year is Petite Miss, ages 7-9. Eleven entries are noted.
They are: Aneesa Williams, 7; Emma Dickerson, 7; Savannah Currey, 8; Kailynn Gober, 7; Gabbi Gibson, 7; Jaycee Ezell, 9; Jordan LeMay, 8; Riley Cadwalader, 7; Lauryn Ventress, 8; Lilly McKinnon, 9, and Chassidy Walker, age not provided.
The sixth category is Junior Miss, ages 10-12. Four contestants are noted. They are: Kenzie Harper, 11; Tania Gulley, 10; Jasmyne Shelton, 11, and Heavenly Zachery, 11.
The seventh category is the Princess, ages 13-15. Nolan noted six entries. They are: Addison Rutherford, 14; Kayla Ventress, 14; Kylie Shackleford, 13; Kylie Wilkins, 15; Ashley Shaver, 14, and Brook Shelton, 14.
The eighth and final category of the evening will be the selection of the 2014 Forest Festival Queen. The CD&E Club has voted to give this year’s winner $250 to do with as her highness pleases! Gurdon has always been very proud of their queens.
She will have a special place in the parade on the morning of the event and traditionally she will pass out auction items that evening. CD&E plans a fund raising auction from the Main Street stage at the traditional 4 p.m. Monies will go to fund next year’s Forest Festival.
There will be a Chamber of Commerce Halloween contest before the auction, as well as a canine costume contest.
Those interested my inquire of Michelle Anderson at First State Bank about the Halloween contest and Ty Ophlet, animal control officer, at City Hall.
CD&E Vice President Sherry Kelley said, “We all believe it is very important that the rides and events at our festival stay free so all of Gurdon’s children can have a fun-filled day. But we need your support to keep doing this. Come see what auction items might be of interest to you.”
After the auction, local country/rock/rap band “Big Chuck” will take the stage. Don’t miss this very talented band.
Queen contestants, ages 16-18, are as follows. Nolan has noted five young ladies this year. They are: Ellyn Walls, 17; Callie White, 16; Laren Carter, 17; Micheyla Nealy, 16, and Anna Beth Dillard, 18.
The editor requests that next year everyone put their child’s name on the back of their pictures for easy identification during the publication process. Thanks folks.
More photos
on pages 6 & 11.


Dunaway Body Shop

has two locations,

enjoys successful business

Tailgate News Editor
Jason and Keri Powell are the owners of Dunaway’s Body Shop at 101 Cones Road in Hot Springs, with a second location at 1019 Henry Street in Malvern. Both are just off of Highway 270.
Jason is from North East Arkansas and a trained body man from the Crowley’s Ridge area.
His wife Keri is from Tennessee and was a school teacher for a number of years before joining her husband in the uphill climb of owning a growing and successful business.
Jason said, “We bought Dunaway’s Body Shop at Hot Springs and opened on Aug. 15, 2011.
“We opened the Malvern Dunaway branch on Jan. 30, 2014.
“Our business has tripled since buying the original shop.”
Jason said he and his wife bought the name and the shop. The original Dunaway’s has been at the 101 Cones Road location (behind King Cone) for 10 years and has been an established Hot Springs body shop business for 35 years.
Since the Powell’s have taken over, the shop also sells an occasional vehicle.
There are 10 employees. Two of the employees are at Malvern and the rest at Hot Springs.
Jason said, “We offer a lifetime warranty on all paint and body work. We also do glass repair and replacement, as well as truck bed liners.
“We want to provide good quality service and quality work, with a personal touch.”
Jason went to Pocahontas Vo-Tech in 1996 for auto body school certification, but said he has been doing this type of work even further back than that.
“This is what I do,” he said. “And ever since I finished Vo-Tech school I have been continuing to do the work I know and enjoy.”
Keri Powell is from Jackson, Tennessee. She taught school for 11 years before throwing in as business manager for her husband Jason’s dream of building and maintaining a successful body shop enterprise.
“I taught the third grade for six years in Tennessee and then the fifth and sixth grade for five years in the Hot Springs School District,” she said.
Of her career change, Keri said, “Dunaway’s is now not only family owned but family operated.”
Speaking of family, the couple has two boys; Judson, 14, and Trace, 3.
Judson plays football for Lakeside, Keri said.
The Powells are members at the Airport Road Church of Christ.
Keri said another courtesy she and her husband provide customers is free house-call estimates.
Jason said, “If someone has had a wreck and the vehicle can not easily be moved to one of our shops, we go to the vehicle and give them a rough estimate as to what it would cost to fix it.”
Jason said Dunaway’s will work with insurance agents in regard to cost estimates for a quality repair job. Jason added that he has done some insurance adjuster work in his past.
“My background in insurance works as an advantage for our customers in regard to getting the best deal for a high quality repair job,” he said.
“We go and see their insurance agent and go to the vehicle site.”
The Powells believe in the value of referrals. Both agree that a lot of referrals for new jobs come their way “because our customers know we stand for quality and business integrity.”
Jason said, “We also want our customers to get a comfortable service. Many times they have been through an accident and we want to relieve some of the stress that goes along with that experience.”
He said another goal of Dunaway’s Body Shop is to make the repair and restoration experience as painless as possible, process and expense wise, while making sure the end product is something they can once again enjoy.
Keri said working with her husband on a daily basis “means there is never a dull moment.”
Jason said one thing he really enjoys about owning his own business “is the possibilities of improvement and expansion are virtually limitless.”


Curtis man kills

huge alligator
Tailgate News Editor
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has a legitimate gator season in Arkansas and it just ended, according to one of the hunters involved in a recent local kill.
Diane Rogers, long-time resident of Southern Clark County and supervisor at the Georgia Pacific Guard Shack, went hunting with her husband, William “Auto Bill” Rogers, and two of his buddies, Stephen Pennington and Bo Ellis.
Diane Rogers said Thursday, “They actually went gator hunting four days and I was only involved with the last hunt, Friday and officially Saturday, just by luck.
“I say that because it was just after midnight when my husband Bill, who was lucky enough this year to get a Game and Fish permit for alligators, snared what was in my mind a huge gator,” she said.
“Now we measured this critter at 12 feet and 5 inches, but when we put him on a scale he broke it. It said the gator weighed 550 pounds but I personally think the thing weighed quite a bit more.”
Mrs. Rogers said her husband killed the gator at 12:20 a.m. on Saturday at Bois D’Arc, a swampy body of water and grass near Hope. He first snared the alligator and then shot it, as is the mandatory hunting method Arkansas prescribes to legal gator hunters.
She said the Arkansas gator hunting season for 2014 started Sept. 19, 20 and 21, and ended this past weekend when it was open Sept. 26, 27 and 28.
As to what the Rogers did with the gator, she said, “It is in the freezer.
“Some people think it tastes like chicken, but to me it is more like eating pork chops.”
Television Station Channel 4, out of Little Rock, picked up on the story.
Sheena Massey, Bill’s daughter, commented to Channel 4, “My daddy!!! My dad killed this gator with a legal permit to keep the population down. It wasn’t just killed and tossed aside. None of it has went to waste. It was more than just a trophy kill. And, it is some mighty fine eating!!”
Diane Rogers said, “This has been a once in a lifetime experience for me. I will remember Bill and his gator.”



Tommy J. Wells
to ride ‘White Macie’
Tommy J. Wells, the Gurdon cowboy that had intended to retire from bull riding after this year’s Clark County Fair, has accepted another bull riding challenge this Saturday night.
He will be riding #57 White Macie, son of Alley Cat, at Wingfield Lou.
Wells said, “They say he has not been rode and he is one bad bull.”
Wells said he decided to continue on the rodeo circuit after his wife Linda asked him for a divorce.
“Linda said she could not live with a cowboy anymore. She said she did not know why she ever married me.
“So when this ride came up I decided to keep riding,” he said.
“I ask that everyone pray for me. I was hoping it would work out for Linda and me, but it didn’t. So I am back in the circuit and I need everyone’s prayers.”
Wells said he would like to thank all of his cowboy fans for being there for him “and this cowboy loves you all.”
The cowboy said he loves everyone on the earth and appreciates everyone who has backed him up during this hard time “but the cowboy lives on in me.”
He invites everyone to come to the bull ride. He said his friends are very important to him right now and any encouragment will help during this troubled time in his life.
Linda left in July and Tommy J. was hoping she would reconsider when he offered to quit the rodeo. Now, he has gone back to his cowboy love. Come watch him ride Saturday if you get the chance.




Auction set

for Sept. 30

Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon Chamber of Commerce and the Gurdon Rotary Club will host their annual silent auction/dinner at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 30 in the GHS cafeteria.
Anita Cabe, spokeswoman for the two groups, said Gurdon Head Football Coach Kyle Jackson will donate a 2014 team signed football helmet to be auctioned off and there will sports memorabilia from college teams as well.
“We hope the sports fans will join us and bid as high as they can,” she said. “This is our annual big fund raiser and is used for such things as scholarships, sponsoring the Close-Up kids at the high school, helping with the CADC pancake breakfast at the Forest Festival Saturday, Oct. 25 and so much more.”
Cabe Land Office personnel provided the Tailgate News with a list of top items to be auctioned off. Top items include: Razorback tickets to the Little Rock verses Georgia game, jewelry; including a valuable Nikki Lisson coin bracelet, plus men’s and women’s Razorback watches; a hand crafted quilt; autographed items, Craig O’neill sneakers anf a Frank Broyles football; a handcrafted Go-Devil park bench; tools, racing box tickets, home decor, children’s baskets, an oil painting, restaurant certificates and much more.

The evening will begin with a silent auction at 6 p.m., dinner at 6:30 p.m. and the live auction at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $15 to attend. Come on out and enjoy a wonderful evening. Tickets are available at the First State Bank, the Gurdon US Bank and the Cabe Land Office. Questions? Call: 870-353-2063.

Memorable Moments:

The day my daughter

won at chess…

Tailgate News Editor
I have two biological daughters. They are Erin Anne and Kelley Marie. One is nearly a stranger these days. One is a dear friend and the mother of my three wonderful grandchildren.
I had quite a bit to do with the raising of Kelley Marie. I have told my ex-wife Doris I did it all. Obviously, or at least I hope it was, I was joking. But I did have some influence on my daughter and to this day she calls me, lets me keep my grand kids for a weekend once a month and is someone I am very proud to know.
When Kelley was little, I shared a part of myself that I rarely share. I shared my love for the game of chess. I still have a chess set and play by myself on the back porch now and then. It is much more fun when you play with a partner. Kelley, for years, was that partner.
I always thought she liked it. But she played for a long time, finally beat me, and quit. Now some might think that was a drag. I know I did at the time. I wanted to see who would then win best three out of five etc. It was not to be. She had beaten her Daddy and that was good enough for her. So be it.
But thinking back on what I taught her about how to win was worth her leaving the nest. Chess is a battle game. But it is a game of chivalry. The object of the game is to trap the king. You are not to kill the king, simply trap him to where he has no feasible move. When you accomplish that, you have won the game.
I was playing chess with myself last weekend, between energy spurts I was using to mow my yard. I think I smelled too much rag weed out there because my eyes have been watering all week. Still yet, I can see and I thank God for that. But as I sat there playing chess, I thought back on Kelley’s facial expressions as she thought the 10 to 20 moves in advance I told her about in order to win the game.
I realized her style of thought was much different than mine.
But I was never easy on her. For her 6 moves ahead, I thought 10. You have to realize I used to play the third best chess player in the United States back in 1980. I beat him eight out of 10 games. To explain, I had a lot of time to play chess as a child growing up alone. And I was on the high school chess team, never losing a game.
These are not brags. I simply had a good record. At 55, I am sure there are better chess players out there than me. I even found one 10 years ago. Stan could beat me three out of five, and then some. I felt lucky when I won a game with him. You never know in life who you will run into in the world of chess. But in my day, I was one of the best in my area.
I told the guy at Ball State University, with those third best in the nation credentials, that I won over him because I played with my guts and emotions and he played like a computer. Sometimes in chess, as in life, you have to take a wild chance that is unexpected. Wow did that make the chess master upset. Oh well, as my grandfather used to say, that is the way it goes, first your money, then your clothes… That was an old Swedish expression designed to convey the message that many times the good stuff will cost you.
We can not help what we are or what we are not. But other than Stan, I have never ran into a chess player that could hold a candle to my farm boy, self-taught chess technique. Never that is, until the day Kelley got one over on me. I believe had she continued, she could have beat me consistently. That is the way it should be. Our kids should improve on the talents we have mastered.
So even though I wanted my child to continue playing chess with me, I was still very proud when she beat me fair and square. God bless her for it. Chess teaches patience, integrity, honesty and chivalry. It is an old tool that teaches these ancient values in a world gone crazy by way of lies and deceit.
So you guessed it. That day that Kelley said “Checkmate” to her Daddy, and beat me fair and square, all was right with my world. It was yet another “Memorable Moment.”

Coach Jackson has

high hopes of upsetting

the Dierks Outlaws

Tailgate News Editor
The mighty Go-Devils of Gurdon came out Friday night and showed a huge home crowd they are indeed a team to be reckoned with!
They came away with a hard-fought victory of 27-14 over the Glen Rose Beavers.
The game was actually closer than this writer had predicted, but thanks to an interception at just the right time by #11 Adam Cooper, the touchdowns rolled our way.
Coach Kyle Jackson said Tuesday the offensive player of the week was Jackie Harvell, #3, with 221 yards of rushing on 20 runs and 2 touchdowns.
On defense, the MVP was #12 Hunter Rowe, with 7 tackles. Coach Jackson said Rowe “did what he ought to do.”
Dewayne Marlow, #4, kicked well and returned a kick for 25 yards.
David Sims, #2, made the first touchdown. Then Glen Rose scored in the second quarter and the teams were tied up 7-7 at halftime.
“Jackson Kirkpatrick, Adam Cooper and Alunzo Leeper all three had big interceptions,” Coach Jackson said.
“All 23 Go-Devils should be healthy enough to play against Dierks Friday night. It will be our first game of the season with all 23 of them out there.”
Jackson complemented Glen Rose on having a good team, siting the fact that they competed in the 3A state playoffs. Even without their seniors from last year, “the Beavers played us a tough game.”
He said it was good to see the Go-Devils score first and to come back in the second half with a fever to win.
“The victory feels good to me and to the team,” he said. “We’ve had a tough non-conference start.”
The Go-Devils are now 1-2 overall going into conference play tonight against the Dierks Outlaws.
Coach Jackson said the boys will be up against the same size of players as Gurdon has, but the game will be tough because Dierks is the defending conference champion.
“We will have to play our tails off, but we are full staffed and I believe the team has incentive,” Coach Jackson said. “You see some of us feel that should have been our conference championship last year and the Outlaws took it away from us.
“In addition to the vengeance motivation, we are playing them on our turf. There is something about playing a team at your own stadium that seems to help you win.”
Coach Jackson said Dierks came out 11-1 for the season last year and they currently hold a 3-0 record.
“They have a big running back and a huge offensive line,” he said. “We will have to stop them defensively.”
Jackson said he believes the Go-Devils can measure up with their passing game, “but we need to do everything right and get past their defense to win.”
Offensively, Coach Jackson said the Go-Devils will have to bring the ball around the edge.
“We have some skilled kids,” he said. “We just have to get them where they can run. If we can do that early, it will be all right.”
Coach Jackson said he wants his team to have pride in their abilities when the go out there. Win or lose, a healthy belief in the possibility that hard work can result in a win is what is needed.
He said focus from each of his players is the main thing. Coach Jackson is expecting a tough battle and wants the 23-man “Go-Devil machine” to give it all they have got.
Coach Jackson complemented the Dierks Coach Bennett, saying “he does a good job.”
“We have the attitude that we are going to play our tails off the whole game. That will help us. I also encourage the boys to stay healthy if possible.”
Coach Jackson said homecoming this year will be on Friday, Oct. 24 with Lafayette County as the opponent.
After Dierks, the Go-Devils will be on the road Oct. 3 against Mineral Springs. Then Oct. 10, they will come home to play Murfreesboro. The coach said the Junior Go-Devils are 2-1. He is encouraged by the number of boys who are out for football; 27 ninth graders and 38 in junior high school football all together. He said some of the better players may be called upon to help the senior high team on special Friday nights.
“We have some boys on the junior high school level that are really showing us some good skills,” the coach said.”We like to see a new quarterback talent every year and Thomas Muldrew is showing us a playing style similar to AK (Austin Kirkpatrick, last year’s star quarterback).


Coach Jackson predicts

Go-Devils will beat Beavers

Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon Go-Devils are 0-2 as they face the Glen Rose Beavers at home tonight.
New Head Coach Kyle Jackson blames injuries and exhaustion from playing two opening teams with two and three times the number of kids out for football as reasons for the record. Gurdon has 23 players.
Prescott and Smackover have at least twice that many out, allowing for fresh bodies in all four quarters. But Gurdon Go-Devils, Jackson said, are showing improvement “and we have a lot of talent that will secure us a lot of wins this year against schools in our conference who have our number of players – if we can just get healthy and stay healthy.”
The first two games of the season resulted in a Prescott win over Gurdon of 47-14 and a Smackover win over the Go-Devils of 41-18.
As for the Prescott Curley Wolves, Coach Jackson said he is glad it is over with. While the Go-Devils showed that spirit of Greatness that he teaches, in that they did not give up, injuries to Adam Cooper and Jackson Kirkpatrick were extensive enough that they did not play against Smackover.
Jackson said Cooper and Kirkpatrick should both be on the field tonight against Glen Rose.
“Glen Rose has lost a lot of good players and just came off of losing to Malvern 39-0, but we still can not take it for granted that we will win. We still have to concentrate and not assume anything.”
Coach Jackson said the Sept. 12 away game against Smackover should have probably gone more in favor of the Gurdon Go-Devils.
As for the Go-Devils, #3 Jackie Harvell made the first touchdown in the second quarter, but the extra point was no good.
Coach Jackson said Harvell ran in an interception in the third quarter for yet another Go-Devil touchdown, making up 12 of Gurdon’s 18-point total.
Quarterback Parker Whitson, #8, made the final touchdown for the Go-Devils in the fourth quarter by throwing a successful pass to the running in part of that touchdown, Alunzo Leeper, #21.
“The score may have been 41-18, but there was a surprise to me at the half,” Jackson said. “We had a little drive going and I thought we would go into half time at 7-7.
“They intercepted the ball and scored. That halftime score ended up being 29-6 Smackover.”
However, Jackson said he was a lot more pleased with the overall performance of the Go-Devils against Smackover than he was when they faced Prescott.
“We played our tails off against Smackover,” he said.
Diondre McCoy, #55, was injured and will be out against Glen Rose, but is expected to return to playing next week.
Coach Jackson said Quarterback Parker Whitson was offensive player of the week, with a tie between John Clemons and Baylee Hughes for defensive player. Jackie Harvell received the special team mate of the week award for his touchdowns and interceptions. See www.go-devilsfootball.com for more details.

Safe House
You said something
that struck a heart chord.
I do not know how
it came about,
but when I heard you say it,
my spirit began to shout.

You talked of coming home,
Just like I did back then.
You talked of living always
in my house where
we can laugh and grin.

Sometimes we need
a safe house son, people
like you and me. Somehow
we know where our house is,
between the sky and sea.

Yours is where I live,
you are welcome anytime.
Mine is gone from earth now,
it is only in my mind.

But we both have a
safe house,
mine on an Indiana farm
where I lived without a care.
Yours is right before me,
my space with you I’ll share.

And so when times get hard,
as they surely will,
just come on home son,
your mountains of stress will
become tiny mole hills.

Your thoughts will turn
to catching lizards, your
old pals outside this house.
Or you can always pet Charlie the cat
as he curls up
for comfort like he was
pouncing on a mouse.

Or you can let Gidget
the dog in from
the front porch,
with a treat hid in your hand
to give a good dog her
just reward – from
Grandpa’s little man.




Gurdon School Board

accepts special education

policy to increase security

Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon School Board heard an update on the district’s special education program Tuesday, Sept. 16 and then approved and adopted state agency procedural safeguards and protections for special education students while they are in the care of teachers and principals.
One area of discussion involved the possibility of a challenged and/or disabled child panicking and running off from school.
School Board member Bernard Hatley asked what the school’s role would be in the case of a run-away disabled child?
Superintendent Allen Blackwell said the flight instances typically do not happen until the older age brackets of the disabled children.
“If a child gets away from a principal and teacher, the next step is to see if they have a home address and go there,” Blackwell said.
Hatley asked about parental contacts on file and the like? Blackwell said that is usually the case, and efforts are made to contact a parent or guardian, but by passing the state of Arkansas Assurances and Agreements School Age Services for 2014-2015, this district has a firm guideline designed to keep challenged students safe and in an educational environment where maximum learning can occur, given their individual set of circumstances.
“I recommend you pass this state special education set of rules for the protection of the children and the good of our district as well,” he said.
The School Board passed the state policies. Blackwell said special education students may also need identification so they can be recognized in the community should they take flight from the school.
The board recognized there might be extenuating circumstances where the state policy rules would have to be altered in the Gurdon School District to fit a unique situation, but the School Board adopted the Assurances and Agreements for the Gurdon District. Blackwell stressed these were policies, not laws.
The School Board also passed a request from special education teacher Letha Duke that Title 6 federal funding be used by the special education department.
In other business, Superintendent Blackwell told the group the Casey Pye proposed transfer to Arkadelphia was now a mute point, as the family is satisfied with the Gurdon School District’s after school care.
Moreover, the School Board discussed ways of attracting a higher percentage of minority teachers to the Gurdon District.
Jeremy Bell, the school’s instructional facilitator, said Gurdon has five African American teachers out of 73 and needs more to satisfy percentage goals required by the government.
Bell said talking with graduating seniors at colleges, Gurdon is known as a good place to teach. Blackwell said Gurdon “has the highest salary base from Hope to Glen Rose.”
“Getting more minority teachers here is something we will have to concentrate on to accomplish,” Blackwell said.
He said the goal is to have the same percentage of minority teachers as Gurdon does minority students, 27.46 percent.
Ideas on how to accomplish this are to participate in the Arkansas Department of Education’s Career Fair and Career Fairs at a variety of Arkansas colleges, and give qualified minority applicants preference when positions become available.
The district could also advertise statewide when teaching and administrative positions are open.
In conclusion, Blackwell outlined some meetings in Malvern and other places where School Board members can complete required training.
The board will meet again in September on Tuesday, Sept. 23, at 7 p.m. to approve the 2014-15 budget and ACSIP plan.
Board member Hatley said he has received complaints about bullying and is beginning to believe it may be happening because he has received three similar complaints.
The principal involved said he would check into the allegation and thanked Hatley for telling him.




Sherry Kelley offers

herself as a stable

and enthusiastic Gurdon mayor

Sherry Kelley, Clark County Justice of the Peace for District 10, announces her candidacy for Mayor of the City of Gurdon.
“My four years of experience serving as a JP on the Quorum Court overseeing Clark County Government, my real life experience as an economic developer, grant writer, project director, event organizer and human resources manager as well as my solid relationships with other leaders throughout the county and state have prepared me to be an effective mayor and qualified leader for the City of Gurdon,” Kelley said.
As Justice of the Peace, Kelley controls the purse strings and sets the policy for Clark County.
“In my past four years as JP I have worked successfully on the county’s revenue, budget, ordinances, taxes, resolutions, services and safety. Fiscal responsibility is important to me. On a daily basis I have dealt with the issues and concerns of the more than 2,000 people I represent in District 10,” Kelley said.
As an economic developer, Sherry Kelley served as a founding member of the Economic Development Corporation of Clark County. She helped set the guidelines that govern the ½ cent tax incentive for economic growth. While serving on the Economic Development Corporation of Clark County Board, Kelley received an extensive education of all aspects of economic development including classes and training from Del Boyette, the former Executive Director of the Arkansas Industrial Council. While serving on the board Kelley helped create and sustain 100’s of jobs.
Sherry Kelley currently continues her work in economic development as a board member of the Clark County Industrial Council.
“Because I understand the complexities of job growth, retention and development I believe that now is an exciting time for the City of Gurdon. Now more than ever, it is imperative that we have an experienced, qualified, strong and stable leader at the helm.
“I am working closely with Stephen Bell, the Chief Executive Officer of the Economic Development Corporation of Clark County and my peers in economic development in Clark County and at the Capitol,” she said.
Sherry Kelley furthered her education while attending and graduating from the rigorous Leadership Arkansas, which she attended on a full scholarship. This nine month course is Arkansas’ premier program for economic developers and leaders who study the economic and political challenges that face the State of Arkansas and expands their impact on their communities.
“The challenges and the education that I experienced while examining and traveling all the areas of Arkansas and working at the State Capitol strengthened my knowledge and capabilities and increased my passion to serve and develop my community.”
She also graduated from Leadership Clark County, the inaugural class and attended on a scholarship.
Sherry Kelley is a grant writer and project director who is directly responsible for bringing more than a quarter of a million dollars of improvements to her District 10 communities of Curtis, Okolona and Gurdon through her grants.
“Grant writing can be extremely difficult,” said Kelley who is no stranger to challenges. “For instance, The Market on Main is a United States Department Agriculture Rural Business Enterprise Grant that took more than six months of very intensive labor and research to complete. The grant has been awarded and the project is ongoing. By its completion in early 2015, I will have invested more than a year and a half of work. I write all of my grants and direct all of my projects as a volunteer. I receive absolutely no compensation for my efforts.”
Sherry Kelley’s grants serve a wide range of needs and include: the demolition and removal of the Old Okolona High School to eliminate a health and safety hazard and create more room for the Okolona City Park and campers and horses during the Okolona Spring and Fall Trail Ride, a grant for reflective address markers for rural residents of her district to insure prompt assistance from first responders during emergencies, a grant for raised dog beds at the Gurdon Animal Shelter to reduce stress and improve health and appearance of dogs while they are waiting to be adopted, several grants for the Gurdon Pee Wee Football Team for uniforms and equipment so that all children regardless of their ability to pay may participate on the team, a grant for rubber mulch for the Okolona City Park to improve the appearance and safety of the playground, a grant to purchase the paint for the Gurdon Mural to increase community pride and improve the appearance of our gateway, a grant for the Main Street benches to provide a place for people to rest and to linger longer in the downtown district, a grant for the planters and flowers to create a positive atmosphere for people who visit, live in and travel through Gurdon, a grant for façade improvements to transform deteriorating store-fronts into pleasing signage and a grant for the banner poles and banners on Main Street to create changing Gurdon specific outdoor identifiers that reflect Gurdon’s history, pride and heritage.
Kelley also enlisted the help of Mark Hunt at Entergy to have the deteriorating and peeling gray paint on all the downtown street lamps repainted in black. She orchestrated a land swap to create the Plaza, a park that is being developed in front of the Gurdon Mural. David Williams will construct and install a decorative black iron fence this month that will run approximately 130 feet along the side walk located in front of the mural. The fence will improve the appearance of the gateway and define the space of the Plaza. The funding of the fence construction and installation is funded through a grant written by Sherry Kelley.
“I try to spend all of my grant money in Gurdon,” Kelley said.
The Market on Main is funded through another grant that Kelley wrote for the City of Gurdon to purchase 117 Main and restore and refit the building to create a meat market with fresh, natural meat, a bakery offering fresh baked goods and custom cakes, an event space to host parties and weddings and a small restaurant. The Market on Main will be a vibrant edition to downtown and will spur other development.
“I’ve set my sights on the Old First National Bank Building for restoration and development in 2015,” she said.
Kelley is currently working with the City of Gurdon, Judge Ron Daniel and others to construct a combined little league tackle football field and youth soccer field near the tennis and basketball courts at the Gurdon City Park where she had a light installed for night games.
“Quincey Dickens and Chris Harper shared with me their desire to bring the Pee Wee Football program back to Gurdon. It’s a great idea and I am glad that I am able to help make the field a reality. If all goes well the dirt work will be done by January and the kids will begin practice and play in 2015. Soccer is a growing sport in Gurdon and the field will be used for both soccer and football,” Kelley said.
She has been approached improve the little league baseball fields in 2015.
Kelley also created the Curtis Country Mile Yard Sale to benefit the Curtis Volunteer Fire Department. The Curtis Country Mile Yard Sale is now in its fifth year and the Gurdon Monster Mash on Main Halloween event is in its second year this Oct. 31.
“I have written several grants which are pending including a grant for the funding of free rides at the Gurdon Forest Festival, free books for the Gurdon Primary School student’s bookfair and to demolish and remove six vacant houses. I am currently writing a grant to study the feasibility of developing The Gurdon Light as a tourist attraction,” Kelley said.
Besides her experience as a Justice of the Peace, Board Member of the Economic Development Council of Clark County and Board Member of the Clark County Industrial Council, Sherry Kelley is a Board Member of the Clark County Community Foundation, the Facilitator of the Gurdon High School Youth Advisory Council, Secretary of the Gurdon Rotary Club, Vice-President of the Gurdon Community Entertainment and Development Club, Member of the Gurdon Chamber of Commerce, Gurdon Chairman of the Clark County Strategic Plan, 2013 Gurdon “Citizen of the Year” and a seven year volunteer delivering meals to homebound seniors for the Central Arkansas Development Council Gurdon Senior Adult Activity Center.
She has attended Gurdon City Council meetings for more than 10 years and she is endorsed by Clark County Sheriff Jason Watson. “I have worked with Sherry for many years and look forward to working with her as mayor. I heartily endorse her candidacy,” the sheriff said.
In conclusion Kelley said that she will be a full time mayor. “Despite this lengthy announcement, I wish to say that actions speak louder than words. Please take a moment to see what I am doing at my website: at:www.kelleyformayor@weebly.com

Corey Brown becomes

head girls basketball coach

at Ouachita High School

Tailgate News Editor
OUACHITA HIGH SCHOOL – A Gurdon native is now the head girls basketball coach and the golf coach for Ouachita High School near Friendship.
Coach Corey Brown, a 2001 graduate of Gurdon High School and 2009 Henderson State University graduate, with a bachelor’s in education, took a job at Poyen out of college and stayed there as an assistant football and basketball coach, plus girl’s softball coach, for five years.
In the meantime, Brown has been furthering his education and is scheduled to receive his master’s degree in educational administration from HSU in December.
Taking the job as head girls basketball coach at Ouachita High School this 2014-2015 school year has been an exciting change, Brown said.
One of the things that makes his anticipation of basketball season even more exciting is the fact that for the first time in many decades, the basketball floor, bleachers and gym in general at Ouachita is being remodeled.
“There will be an announcment about who is funding our project in a couple of weeks,” OHS Principal David Thigpen said.
Brown said the floor is virtually ready and has been completely sanded down and refinished. The bleachers have been painted as well and Ouachita’s green and gold colors are shining brightly everywhere.
OHS will begin its basketball season on Tuesday, Oct. 14. with the players taking the floor at 4:30 p.m.
Coach Brown said the order of play will be Junior Girls, Junior Boys, Senior Girls and Senior Boys.
The first official game for Brown’s Senior Girls will be on Tuesday, Oct. 21 after the Junior Boys first take on Umpire, starting at 5:30 p.m. The new floor will also be dedicated that night.
Brown said work on re-dong the gym started Aug. 18. The big thing left to do in the remodeling is to put in two new basketball goals.
This is the coach’s first year as a head coach on the high school level. However, he is head coach for girls ranging in age from seventh grade through grade 12, which involves three teams. OHS Senior girls made it to the first round of the regionals last year and graduated six or seven seniors. Coach Brown said his brand of basketball involves hard work and an up-tempo style. He will also perform his coaching duties for girls and boys golf this fall. In the spring, Brown will be the head softball coach at OHS.
“If I take care of my business and get my masters this winter, I could be a principal someday,” Brown said. “I feel very excited and very blessed to be working as a head coach at Ouachita High School. The school personnel and students have been very enjoyable to work with.”
Brown is a member of the Sycamore Church in Beirne, and also attends his wife’s church in Poyen, the Poyen Assembly of God. Cory and Shelby Brown are at home in Arkadelphia, as is Corey’s father, Max Brown, of Max Brown’s Insurance Agency. The elder Brown is also a Gurdon native.
Coach Brown said, “No matter how good our teams are, we will work hard and compete for some exciting basketball.
“Our girls are 2A this year and we would love to have as many folks come and watch us play as can fit in our newly refurbished gym.”

Gurdon cowboy plans

last bull ride Saturday evening

at Clark County Fair

Tailgate News Editor
Tommy J. Wells, 57, of Gurdon, has been a cowboy/rodeo man for the better part of his adult life. That chapter is about to close on Saturday, Sept. 13 at the Clark County Fair.
Wells will be doing his last rodeo ride at 8 p.m. that night. The bull’s name is “High Stand” and the bull number is 92… Despite multiple injuries and hardships, the aging cowboy said his rodeo career has been worth it. Still, it is time to let the younger cowboys have a chance and spend some time with the family.
The Tommy J. Wells story can best be told through the thoughts of the man himself. So the following highlights of the local cowboy’s life, in his own words and thoughts, are offered for your inspection.
The Tommy Wells Story – I was born on August 13, 1956 and started my career with horses in 1974. I went to work at Delta Horse Farm on the other side of Gurdon, Arkansas and worked there until 1976.
My job was breaking race horses so they could be trained to run on the racing tracks. I got my arm broken there and some of my ribs.
Then on Jan. 4, 1976 I married my first wife. Then I went from breaking horses to working under cover riding bulls. Something happened and it met my wife and I had to use other names so we would be safe. Then in 1979, she decided to stay home. I went from place to place being a rodeo man. We got too much space between us so in 1984 we got a divorce.
Then I got hurt really bad in Wako, Texas. I got my right arm, my back, my right leg and my collar bone broken by a bull called Red Man Chew. That put me out for the rest of the season. Then my first wife and I got back together. Then I got Black Tornado and got bad hurt. Then in Fort Worth, Texas, I rode Black Tornado for 89 points.
Then I drew Bodashes in Cheyenne, Wyoming and got 86 points on him. Then in 1990, I came back home and got married to my first wife again. She got killed in a car wreck in 1997.
In 1992, I road in the Clark County Fair for charity. That was my last ride for a long time, and I don’t remember the bull’s name.
But another ride has come up. I will be there Saturday (Sept. 13) at the Clark County Fair Rodeo. The event starts at 8 p.m. My wife that I got now will be there for me. She knows that this will be my last time to ride. We have been married for five years and went together for two. So it has been seven years for us and I hope that we will have a lot more of them.
I have had a lot of fun. I have really enjoyed it every time I got on a bull. And I have had people ask me what I am going to do if I get hurt? I tell them people will hurt you a lot worse than a bull. So after Saturday, I am retired from bull riding. But I will always be for the cowboy. It is in my blood.
God bless everyone. This is my last ride coming up on Sept. 13, 2014. And this cowboy loves you all!
Editor’s Note: Tommy Wells lives on East Walnut Street in Gurdon. He and his first wife had four children; Lynn Wells, Tammy Wells, Belinda Wells and Tommy W. Wells.
The cowboy also adopted a son, Tommy D. Wells.
Tommy J. Wells and his second wife have two children; Christian Nicoles and Joe Pittman.
The cowboy said, “They are my step kids and my wife and I have 19 grandchildren all together.”



Haskell appoints

two new Council members



Tailgate News Editor
Haskell City Council met in regular session on Monday, Sept. 6 and appointed two new members to replace Terri Babbs and Allen Nash, who resigned.
Babbs informed Mayor Jeff Arey that she is too ill to continue serving her term and Nash said he is no longer able to serve.

Dallas Wright was sworn in as a new Haskell Councilman, replacing Terri Babbs.

Roy Carmen took the oath of Haskell Alderman, replacing Allen Nash.
In other business, Council members approved Ordinance 02-2014, which allows the increase from 2 percent to 4 percent annually for water and sewer service in Haskell.
They also approved Ordinance 03-2014, an ordinance levying a tax on all real and personal property in the City of Haskell.
Thirdly, City Council members voted to approve Resolution 05-2014, approving a water and sewer rate increase of 4 percent to start on Oct. 1, in accordance with Ordinance 02-2014.
In a final action, Haskell aldermen approved an ordinance creating a master list of streets which are eligible to be maintained by the City of Haskell; providing a procedure for making amendments to the master street list, declaring an emergency and for other purposes.
Mayor Arey offered an update on the new restrooms to be constructed at the City Ball Park by way of stating the construction should start any day now.
“The folks we hired to do that job are under time constraints in their contract and if they do not finish in what was deemed a reasonable amount of time, they can be penalized,” he said. “I fully expect them to start this coming week.”
The next meeting of the City Council is tentatively set for Monday, Oct. 6.


Phil’s Auto has new building,

owner loves his wrecking business

as he enjoys helping the stranded

Tailgate News Editor
Phil Shuffield, 54-year-old owner of Phil’s Auto and Transmission, on the Arkadelphia end of Scenic Highway 7, across from Pizza Hut, has a state of the art 50×100 foot new facility, with five bays, plus himself and three auto technicians with more than 100 years of combined experience to meet just about any automotive repair need you have.
Shuffield, who has been in business in Arkadelphia since April 15, 1985, says his most important message to his customers is “if you will get the recommended maintenance done on your vehicle, at the recommended time, it will save you time and money in the long run and your transportation investment will take you down the road a lot longer.”
When Shuffield opened in 1985, he was on the south side of the city but stayed there only about a year and a half before moving to his present location in January of 1987.
He built a 30×60 foot, 4-bay facility, which is presently being used for storage, pending remodeling.
The present 50×100 5-bay facility was open for use in November of 2013, after several months of preparations.
Shuffield said his company offers: complete automotive repair, including alignments, AC work, exhaust systems and transmission rebuilding.
Phil’s Auto sells tires and occasionally sells a vehicle. The shop works on motorcycles and ATVs and has parts and accessories for motorcycles, ATVs and trucks. Phil’s also works on side by sides.
“We’ve been using the new building a little less than a year and are still making a few adjustments with it, but it has been a worthwhile improvement,” Phil said.
Shuffield said his favorite part of the business is his wrecker service.
He drives the wrecker himself, as the member of the five-person crew with the most desire and qualifications to do so.
“I enjoy helping people that are stranded to get back on track. The wrecker is a public service as well as part of our business. It has been part of Phil’s Auto & Transmission for years,” Shuffield said.
Shuffield said he has been doing mechanical work since high school, but his interest in fixing things stems way back into his childhood.
“Joe Grier, one of my mechanic techs, has been at this more than 30 years like I have. So between the two of us, we make up at least 60 years experience of the 100 years I mentioned for all four of us working on vehicles.”
Shuffield said he started out fixing bicycles and such from an early age and just never lost interest.
“As far as my decision to become a mechanic for a living, it was a high interest to me and I also did not want to end up like my father,” Shuffield said.
“They closed the Reynolds plant after he had worked there 22 years and it was very hard on our family. I did not want something similar to happen to me so I chose to go into my own business.”
Phil Shuffield is married to Pam, and the couple has two children, Natalie and Cole. They have one grandson, Cash, who is 7. His entire family resides in Arkadelphia.

Gurdon Chamber and Rotary

plan fund raising auction for Sept. 30

Tailgate News Editor
The annual auction fundraiser for the Gurdon Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club has been scheduled for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 30 in the high school cafeteria.
Chamber spokesperson Anita Cabe said Thursday that Go-Devil Head Football Coach Kyle Jackson is donating a helmet signed by all of the current Go-Devil team members.
“Coach Jackson is putting in the helmet and we will have a lot of other memorabilia up for auction as well that should entice some Go-Devil parents and fans to want to bid,” Cabe said.
“As most people know, this is our big fundraiser to do things such as scholarships for the high school seniors, buying dictionaries for Gurdon Primary School students and various other community service projects.
“Rotary usually donates to our Close-Up travelers in the spring. A good auction allows us to do more giving back to our community. Come enjoy a good meal and have some fun with our auctioneering process.”
The annual auction starts out with a silent auction and crowd members getting the chance to sign up bids on auctions displayed around the edge of the room.
Then the meal will follow about 6:30 p.m., with the live auction getting under way around 7:30 p.m.
Tickets to attend this year’s event are $15 each. Cabe said the date of Sept. 30 was chosen because it is a fifth Tuesday of the month and should therefore have the least conflict.
Those wanting advanced tickets may purchase them from the Cabe Land Office on Front Street, Gurdon’s First State Bank or Gurdon’s US Bank branch.
“Last year’s turn-out was really good,” Cabe said. “This year’s profit will also help us to donate more for Forest Festival, coming up on the last Saturday in October.”
Rotarians have agreed to help CADC workers to bring back the traditional Forest Festival pancake breakfast, as a great start to the big day and a fund raiser for the senior citizens center.
If you have any questions concerning the donation of auction items, or questions in general, please feel free to contact the Cabe Land Office at: (870) 353-2063 or 353-4444.

American Art Gallery will

host two artists on Sept. 5

Tailgate News Editor
Art lovers will be in for a special treat during the September Gallery Walk on Friday evening, Sept. 5, as the American Art Gallery will host two of their star displayers; Valerie Hanks-Goetz and Jimmy Leach.
Goetz uses salvaged copper, pre-owned leather, home grown gourds, reclaimed clay, recycled glass, pine needles and horse hair to create her “renewable art.”
Jimmy Leach, known for his “eye to mind, through brush to canvas,” described his plans for the upcoming gallery walk show.
“The show will be comprised of acrylic works of a variety of subjects – from floral landscape to dramatic skies and snow scenes to animals. I will be releasing limited Giclee fine art prints on canvas. This is a first in the Gallery.”
Leach will have “Team Work” on display Sept. 5, as well as “New Found Hope” and “Mums the Word.”
The American Art Gallery is at 724 Central Avenue, downtown Hot Springs. To call for any questions, dial (501) 624-0550.
Jimmy Leach owns Timeless Impressions of Nature’s Beauty and is a self-employed fine artist.
He studied Art Education major Marketing minor at Northeastern State University
He is from Stilwell, Oklahoma and lives at Wauhiliau, Oklahoma.
As to Valerie Hanks-Goetz, she said she loves to see someone smile when looking at the “work of my hands.”
“It is the greatest complement I can receive because it means they are sharing my smile,” she said.
Valerie said it was in search of her smile that she discovered herself after leaving corporate America in 1999.
Goetz added she was suffering from burn out and a broken spirit when she left the corporate world.
“I wanted to do something that I enjoyed, something that would not need to be upgraded or replaced in a year,” she said.
“I wanted to bring honor to my family and tribe, the Muscogee Nation of Florida. My heart returned me to the traditional, and “Native Works” became a sustainable company. Now I have many more reasons to smile.”
She said her passion to find art in unusual places has grown from the Muscogee belief that everything has a purpose and nothing should be wasted.
Goetz even uses horse hair in her pottery art. She gets it from a malnutritioned horse called Lucky Ed, who she found and nursed back to health
Willie and Ann Gilbert, owners of American Art Gallery, invite you to the Sept. 5 Gallery Walk, a first Friday event in downtown Hot Springs for 25 years.


Director of Nursing says

Courtyard Garden did well

on state inspection

Tailgate News Editor
Karen Jones, a registered nurse and an 1986 Gurdon High School graduate, was promoted to Courtyard Gardens Director of Nursing in February and has already had a significant state accommodation on her watch.
She said the annual state week-long survey from the Arkansas Office of Long-tern Care, was conducted in July and the Arkadelphia Courtyard Gardens facility received a 0 deficiency rating.
Jones said this means state inspectors found nothing wrong. Jones said she has been working at Courtyard Gardens in Arkadelphia since October of 2010, when she hired on as an 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. charge nurse “and a 0 deficiency rating from the state is very rare in this business when the state inspectors look you over for a week under a microscope.”
Jones is in charge, as director of nursing, of 31 Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and Registered Nurses (RNs), plus around 40 Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs).
She said one of her biggest goals for 2015 is to get another 0 deficiency rating from the State of Arkansas after that week-long inspection of such areas as maintenance care, dietary and activities has happened again.
“We are a health and rehabilitation facility that strives to provide excellent care,” she said. “Normally the inspectors find something or other that we have to correct to meet state regulations. To get a perfect rating is unusual but I would sure love to do it over and over again.”
Courtyard Gardens Health and Rehabilitation is owned by Compass Point Health Care out of Baltimore. Compass Point has similar facilities in other states.
According to Jones, the Arkadelphia facility has 100 beds, with 81 currently occupied.
“Another one of my goals is to have a full facility,” she said. “But the most important thing that we strive for is to give the residents the kind of care they would get at home. This is their home now and we are in it. We want Courtyard Gardens to be a facility that works for the resident and his or her family and friends.”
Jones said if anyone is interested in checking out the facility as a possible home for a loved one, they may call: (870) 246-5566 and make arrangements for a tour or just walk in and take the tour that way.
“Our goal is to assure a family that their loved one will be in good hands if they choose our facility,” she said.
“And we want to make the transition as easy as possible.”
Jones studied nursing at Baptist Health School in Little Rock and then completed her registered nursing degree at the College of the Ouachita in Malvern.
She is married to Jim Jones and they live in the DeGray Lake Community.
The couple has four children; Ryan and Taylor Norman, Kara Hurst and Jake Jones.
They have one grandchild, Jett William Jones, 10 months old, son of Jake and Kelsey Jones.
The DON served as an 11-7 supervisor after her days as a charge nurse. Then she moved to 3-11 p.m. supervisor before accepting her current position as overall director of nursing. Her favorite part of working at Courtyard Gardens is the people.
“I love the people here. The residents are wonderful and we have a great team of workers,” she said. “At Courtyard Gardens, the residents come first. I have not worked elsewhere but I have been to other facilities. Ours has a family atmosphere, while some nursing homes are more about their corporate rules.
“Here, we always want to do the right thing for our residents – all the time.”

Pizza Barn owners

may operate new Main Street Market

Tailgate News Editor
Art lovers will be in for a special treat during the September Gallery Walk on Friday evening, Sept. 5, as the American Art Gallery will host two of their star displayers; Valerie Hanks-Goetz and Jimmy Leach.
Goetz uses salvaged copper, pre-owned leather, home grown gourds, reclaimed clay, recycled glass, pine needles and horse hair to create her “renewable art.”
Jimmy Leach, known for his “eye to mind, through brush to canvas,” described his plans for the upcoming gallery walk show.
“The show will be comprised of acrylic works of a variety of subjects – from floral landscape to dramatic skies and snow scenes to animals. I will be releasing limited Giclee fine art prints on canvas. This is a first in the Gallery.”
Leach will have “Team Work” on display Sept. 5, as well as “New Found Hope” and “Mums the Word.”
The American Art Gallery is at 724 Central Avenue, downtown Hot Springs. To call for any questions, dial (501) 624-0550.
Jimmy Leach owns Timeless Impressions of Nature’s Beauty and is a self-employed fine artist.
He studied Art Education major Marketing minor at Northeastern State University
He is from Stilwell, Oklahoma and lives at Wauhiliau, Oklahoma.
As to Valerie Hanks-Goetz, she said she loves to see someone smile when looking at the “work of my hands.”
“It is the greatest complement I can receive because it means they are sharing my smile,” she said.
Valerie said it was in search of her smile that she discovered herself after leaving corporate America in 1999.
Goetz added she was suffering from burn out and a broken spirit when she left the corporate world.
“I wanted to do something that I enjoyed, something that would not need to be upgraded or replaced in a year,” she said.
“I wanted to bring honor to my family and tribe, the Muscogee Nation of Florida. My heart returned me to the traditional, and “Native Works” became a sustainable company. Now I have many more reasons to smile.”
She said her passion to find art in unusual places has grown from the Muscogee belief that everything has a purpose and nothing should be wasted.
Goetz even uses horse hair in her pottery art. She gets it from a malnutritioned horse called Lucky Ed, who she found and nursed back to health
Willie and Ann Gilbert, owners of American Art Gallery, invite you to the Sept. 5 Gallery Walk, a first Friday event in downtown Hot Springs for 25 years.



Gurdon Schools seek pay plan

for school lunch chargers…

Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon School Board met Tuesday and decided that no child in the district should go hungry on their watch, but also decided that those families who refused to pay for meals, even on a sliding scale, would have to endure collection procedures.
Superintendent Allen Blackwell said, “Our board wants to be sure the kids get fed, but the parents who should be paying need to make arrangements to do so.”
According to Blackwell, the board has voted to discontinue alternative meals for those who can not pay. The old policy allowed the school to give a student a cheese sandwich, or something else very simple, if lunches had been eaten on credit for say 20 days.
“Our hope was the bland food would inspire the student to get the parents to start paying for the regular meals,” Blackwell recalled. “But that alternative lunch idea just did not work and I am glad the board discontinued it.”
As to current policy, Blackwell said the board has ruled students can eat on charge for five days and then a written reminder to pay for lunches will be sent to the parents.
If the no pay continues for 10 days of charges, the school administrators will call the parents or guardians and ask for payment arrangement, and/or an explanation of special circumstances.
Board member Bernard Hatley lobbied on behalf of hardship cases that had fallen between the cracks of requirements for free or reduced lunches.
“We don’t know what is going on when a parent that has paid in the past stops paying for a child’s lunch,” he said. “Some of these children may not be eating anywhere but school. I just think we should evaluate each non-paying student case individually to find some solution, rather than just cutting them off from eating here,” Hatley said.
The board agreed with Hatley’s sentiment that no child should do without a cafeteria meal available, but that some sort of pay arrangements should be insisted upon.
“Our school has 78 percent of the student population qualified for free or reduced lunches,” Blackwell said. “But the government says we are not qualified for SNAP, which is program based on Social Security numbers, and that disqualification cuts us down to 73.8 percent eligible.”
Board member and Nevada County Human Services Worker Elaine Halliday said the Social Security card problem is that with Hispanics they are assigned one temporary Social Security number from one governmental agency and a second Social Security number from another agency.
“This means some of the parents are not in our system with the Social that would help their children get reduced or free lunches.”
The board voted for one more collection procedure for the lunch chargers, to be effective after 15 days of charging the meals. At that point, the student and his or her family must come to the school for an administrative conference – with the object of said conference being the successful creation of lunchroom payment arrangements.
Blackwell said he is not sure how much success the conferences will have, “but we are not talking about a large population of students who can’t or won’t pay. I feel confident something can be worked out to where our food budget is not too damaged.”
In other business, the board discussed a transfer request for a child to attend Arkadelphia. The family said they were having problems with the child being alone until 5:30 p.m. or 6 p.m. while attending Gurdon because of parents having to work.
The board approved an after school daycare program, with someone on duty for children in the fourth grade or younger at Gurdon Primary School until 6 p.m.
The couple, Jason and Rachel Pye, agreed to try this program and report back at the September 16 meeting as to whether or not they still wanted to transfer their student to Arkadelphia.
“I was glad the board approved the after school daycare because at least it gives parents like these, who have to work and need somebody to watch after their small child for a few hours, an alternative to transferring,” Blackwell said.
“Besides, school choice laws changed in 2013 and the future of school choice is uncertain.”
The board decided to discuss charges for the daycare service at a later time.
Moreover, Blackwell said Aug. 18 the school population was at 726, but he expected it to go up by 20 or more students once everyone was settled into classrooms.
The superintendent said Gurdon gets $6,520 per student by way of governmental budget money. In other business, the board accepted a $1,900 bid on an older model tractor the district owned, approved migrant participation and application for students moving in and out of the district, approved Act 1120 requirements to present spearhead reasons for a 5 percent or more salary increase for employees, approved the transfer of $225,000 to the building account to meet balance requirements, approved a 2 percent personnel raise for all employees – not just the ones eligible for tenure step raises, and approved a $1,000 stiped for teacher Jon Capps to coach golf.

Larry’s Pizza of Malvern touts great food,

hometown atmosphere and convenient carry out

Tailgate News Editor
Larry’s Pizza of Malvern, at 2300 Leopard Lane in the mini-mall next to Wal-mart, is the place to be on Tuesday or Friday evening for a tasty buffet with a variety of all you can eat pizza and salad.
If you are of Malvern, or just passing through, you are sure to get treated like family as you get your meal and watch your favorite sports events on the big screen televisions.
Shirts of honored Hot Spring County football and basketball players are on the walls for discussion.
The owner, Caleb Deimel, is a Malvern native and former football quarterback for the Leopards. When he left high school, Caleb Deimel had one aim – manage a restaurant in a way that nearly everyone he knew would enjoy coming for the food and socializing and then buy that restaurant.
In May of this year, after managing Larry’s Pizza of Malvern since he was 19, Caleb bought the place at 25, zeroing in on his goal of ownership like he used to a touchdown on the football field.
Deimel said he has 14 employees, all friends and family. Some of the more noted ones are: Roy Overton, his uncle and primary manager; long-time employee Shirley Cooper; manager Brandi Lyn Montgomery; and general workers Dale Ray, Nadia King and Katie Meyer.
“I bought the Malvern Larry’s Pizza franchise in May of this year from John Wright, our previous owner and a really good friend of mine,” Caleb said. “I have been the one running the store since August of 2009. I took one year of training at the Larry’s Pizza in Bryant and then came here to run this place.
“We have a fantastic crew of family and friends here. Miss Shirley (Cooper) is John’s aunt and she keeps us on target.”
The restaurant offers carry-out and is considering a delivery service in the future. Right now, Caleb said, delivery is still in the think-tank stages. If you want carry-out, you can call ahead on either of the restaurant’s two telephone lines at: (501) 337-0770 or 337-0771.
“Our main goal is to keep giving the customers the same excellent service, hometown atmosphere, to go along with their pizza and salad orders, that they have always been used to getting,” he said. “I also would like to get more Interstate 30 travelers to stop here on there way up and down the highway past Malvern. We would like to be there to give them a positive impression of my hometown that they can take with them where ever they go.”
Store hours are 11 until 9 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Larry’s is closed on Mondays. With football season coming up, Caleb intends to start staying open until 10:30 p.m.
“We normally have our night-time buffets from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays. I know I will be open later on those two nights once the football crowds start coming in,” he said.
Caleb said he played all sports at Malvern, with football being his real success story. But he was in a bad car wreck in 2006. A good friend with him did not make it and the untimely death brought on what Caleb called “a stubbornness in me.” So instead of returning to the traditional classroom, he finished school with a GED.
“I had the wreck and just lost interest in regular school,” he said. “But I did get my GED in 2007 and managed to go into the restaurant business. Working in the restaurant world is what I knew I would really enjoy.”
In addition to eventually expanding the business to delivery service, Caleb said he is always looking at ways to increase the food selection.
“We already concentrate on birthday parties and plan to do more of that in the future,” he said. “The kids come and really seem to enjoy our game room.”
Caleb said Larry’s Pizza birthday parties have a huge prize selection. He said the restaurant does benefit buffets on nights other than Tuesday and Friday, sharing a percentage of the profits with those in need.
“We help churches, schools and much more. Usually those special buffets are a win-win situation for those folks we are helping and us. We try and be generous with their percentages. We strive to have a good reputation for helping those in need as much as we can,” Caleb said. “When we have a special fund raising night, I give $100 donation and also a percentage of my profits.”
Deimel said he would like to give a heart-felt thank you to all of his customers and friends for supporting the restaurant. He invites you to join him next for good food, good conversation and what has become a hometown pizza tradition.
“My regular customers have been very loyal. If you give us a try, we will strive to please you and make you a new regular,” he said.

Benton Harmony Grove School Board

hears superintendent’s report on parking lot project

Tailgate News Editor
The Benton Harmony Grove School Board heard a report from Superintendent Daniel Hensley Monday night on the nearly completed school parking lot and how the project had to be increased in cost by $30,000 so that needed gravel could be bought and placed, drainage fixed and additional overlaying completed.
Hensley said, “We were involved with $185,000 project and needing it finished by football time, so I added $30,000 to it to make sure the job was done right.”
According to Hensley, the contractor, Tri-State Asphalt, will more than likely be done by the end of the week.
“I think they have done a very good job,” he said.
The School Board meeting was held on the first day of the school year and Hensley said the district is growing in student population.
He said 1,140 students attended Benton Harmony Grove last school year and preliminary reports indicate 1,175 will attend the 2014-2015 school year.
In other business, the board accepted the resignation of School Board member Norman Caldwell.
They then appointed Johnny Ramsey to take Caldwell’s place.
The following students transferred into the school district: Parker Landreth of Benton and Jacob Scroggins from Glen Rose. The board also accepted the superintendent’s recommendation to release students Jacob Knight and Mary Baker to the Glen Rose School District.
Hensley further recommended that the School Board rescind the expulsion of Clint Vines, effective immediately, so that his mother will be allowed to home school him.
The School Board hired Brandon Mynhier as a bus driver. They also hired Russell Powell as a part-time special education teacher for the high school.
Moreover, the board turned down an offer for the district to purchase an acre and a half of property next to the district for $80,000.
It was concluded the district would have no use for the old house on it and that was too much to pay just for the land.
High School Principal Chad Withers said his female students were objecting to dress code requirements. He had told them not to have holes in their jeans, but that is the new style.
“I came off as being very strict about the dress code, but if that is about all they can buy in the store then we will make adjustments,” Withers said.
Withers said he was also cracking down on the abuse of cell phone use. Students are allowed to have their cell phones so they can receive text messages from parents concerning rides and such, but the phones to remain off during the school day’s classroom time so as not to distract classmates from their work.
“If they abuse the privilege of having a cell phone on their desk, their parents will be called and asked to come get it,” he said.
Middle School Principal Sarah Gober said she has been emphasizing to her students that using a cell phone is a privilege and one that can be taken away if a student does not follow the school rules.
It was concluded that the new cell phone policy of receiving family texts about rides etc. would come with a learning curve.
Principal Withers said cell phone disruption of class would not be tolerated on the high school level without ramifications.
Hensley said, “We have to offer to let them be used for parental texts about rides and such.
“We can not just ban them. They are here to stay so we might as well embrace them and incorporate them to our benefit when possible.”
The next School Board meeting will be at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 15.



Haskell mayor race heats up;

bathroom construction to start next week

Tailgate News Editor
Jeff Arey, long-time mayor of Haskell, did not choose to run for another term but is instead highly likely to become the next county judge of Saline County in January.
In light of this fact, three candidates, according to Janie Lyman, city clerk, are running for Arey’s mayoral seat.
Although the third candidate is not known at press time, the Tailgate News has been informed that Lyman and Jayme Watson Bruton are enthusiastically vying for said position.
Lyman has been Haskell’s city clerk and recorder for seven years. In that time, she has assisted the mayor with many ordinances and resolutions and has been directly knowledgeable of city business.
Jayme Watson Burton is also a candidate for mayor. She attends City Council meetings, is young, friendly and enthusiastic about keeping Haskell on a steady path of being in good repair and stable.
Both candidates were cordial at the meetings. Lyman said she was looking forward to being elected mayor and carrying on with the city’s water line repairs and other business at hand.
“I am well suited for this job,” she said. “I know what is going on in the city and will pledge to do my very best to keep it running in a way that residents will continue to be proud to live here.”
In other business, Mayor Arey led the council to pass the July minutes, hear the police and fire reports and get an update on the water main situation.
Arey said, “We have had two more water main breaks since our last meeting. The good news is we have already installed two of the proposed five new shut-off valves.
“That has helped in isolating the leaks and not having to shut down as much of city when repairs are necessary.”
The mayor said the other three shut-off valves will be installed shortly.
He said the extensive rains this year have made drainage problems more severe. The Haskell water system in general is being evaluated for the best solution to increasing its reliability.
According to Arey, construction crews are supposed to start on the proposed city park restrooms next week, with anticipation of them being completed by spring.
“We want to get them up and running so we can move on to applying for another grant to provide our park with new playground equipment,” he said.
The board heard a request from a Little League representative for $12,000 to purchase three new score boards for the park.
Jason Hall made the request. No council action was taken.
Moreover, the ordinance to raise the annual water and sewer tax rate hike from 2 to 4 percent was read to the council with no objections. However, the mayor said not enough council members were present to pass it with an emergency clause so the matter was tabled until next meeting.
Arey said the city has been operating with $197,000 loss in the water department because of leak repairs etc and the additional funding is needed to maintain the system and balance the books.
Another ordinance was read and tabled for lack of a proper quorum concerning the levying of a 5 mill tax on all property in Haskell.
That tax will be collected by a collector in Benton, should it pass in the September meeting.
City Council heard a resolution (07) saying the five-valve water project, along with work on a pump station, would cost between $50,000 and $70,000. No objections were voiced to keeping the water and sewer system in good repair.
In conclusion, the City Council heard Ordinance No. 4-2014, an ordinance creating a master list of streets which are eligible to be maintained by the city of Haskell: providing a procedure for making amendments to the master street list, declaring an emergency and for other purposes.
Arey said the street list, which contains many streets eligible for repair by the city and a few lanes not eligible, is needed for work direction in the future.
The street proposal ordinance will also be read again at the September meeting.
That meeting is tentatively slated for the second Monday in September at 7 p.m., in particular on Monday, Sept. 8.


New industrial director says gas and taxes

should go down so jobs will come back from over seas

Tailgate News Editor
Steven Bell, the new Clark County Industrial Development coordinator, addressed the Gurdon Rotary Club on Tuesday, letting them know that he will be attending a Wal-mart speared meeting designed to “get overseas jobs back to America.”
Bell said the exodus of companies, back in the 1980’s, was because of US taxes being so much higher than other countries and because of high energy costs.
“The United States has since become number one in energy production, especially with the vast availability of natural gas. If the prices of energy and US taxes can come down, our companies over seas should see fit to come home,” he said.
Bell told Rotarians he would keep them posted on how this effort was going as to the big picture and if any new chances for more Clark County industries come out of the meeting discussions.
In other business, the Rotary Club is planning its annual auction fund raiser, along with the Gurdon Chamber of Commerce, for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 30 at the Gurdon High School cafeteria.
Rotary President Randy Cox said the profits are divided equally among the two groups and used for such things as school scholarships.
The night will proceed with the silent auction at 6 p.m., the meal at 6:30 p.m. and the live auction at 7:30 p.m.
Cabe Land Offices will be coordinating the auction items, according to Cox. He told Anita Cabe there would be several sports balls for auction with famous sports heroes lined out to put their signature on the balls to increase the auctioning values.
Moreover, Cox congratulated Gurdon mayor’s candidate and Justice of the Peace Sherry Kelley on her $98,000 downtown renovation grant, which is supposed to close next week.
The grant is for demolition and reconstruction of the old Austin Capps variety store building on Main Street, which will be converted to a meat market, bakery and restaurant, owned by the city but leased to entrepreneurs.
Mayor Clayton Franklin said Thursday two sets of business entities were already interested in leasing and running the business, once it is ready for occupancy. No time table on construction completion has been set.
“Sherry could not have gotten this USDA rural grant if we had not already had a commitment from someone willing to run it,” Franklin said. “But they are in business elsewhere and must remain anonymous for now.”
Superintendent Allen Blackwell invited Rotarians to school. Gurdon school district student population is expected to be between 750 and 800 students this year, roughly the same as last year. Harvey Sellers is the new GHS principal and Kyle Jackson the new head football coach.


Potter is negotiating land for industries to purchase near GP

Tailgate News Editor
Tommy Potter, 54, is running for mayor of Gurdon, a town he has spent the better part of his life trying to help.
Potter said Wednesday he believes the town where he played football, graduated from GHS in 1978 and has spent years as a self-employed barber, needs to be marketable to new industries so that subsequent independent businesses can come here to stay and Gurdon can once again flourish.
Potter took action already and has been leading negotiations with a local land owner to acquire 25 acres of industrial land north of town near Georgia Pacific, Gurdon’s top employer and a lumber industry on Highway 67.
“The idea is to put the land on the market after it is acquired. I can not be more specific because an exact price as to how much will have to be paid per acre to the present owner has not been reached,” Potter said.
“The law says we must have 10 acres per plot in order to be put on the industrial market list for prospective businesses to come to Gurdon. If anyone else in the Gurdon area would like to sell off a block of 10 acres or more to be listed as industrial site acres, feel free to contact me. The possibility exists that more than just the current 25 acres will be purchased to help market Gurdon to those who would bring us legitimate industrial jobs.”
According to Potter, Gurdon has never been marketed properly in this manner and more industry locating here is essential if a financial base is to be rekindled that will support downtown businesses, or any up and coming small business.
“We need our people working and then those businesses will be sustainable. I am all for downtown business rejuvenation but the first step is to recruit the jobs and create a money base here so those downtown businesses have repeat customers. With the current depleted job base, businesses come in and they go right back out again. We need job stability and then businesses will come here to stay because there will once again be a substantial customer base to serve.”
Potter, who has been married to Stephanie Cash Potter for 18 years, said he and his wife have been helping the people of Gurdon get a leg up for 14 years through being Celebrate Recovery leaders.
The group meets on Monday night at St. Andrew’s Methodist Church in Arkadelphia at 6:30 p.m. and also on Thursday night at Faith Mission. Celebrate deals with life issues such as alcoholism, drug addiction, divorce, depression and more.
The Mission on Main Street is also the site for the food pantry, an organization where Potter is in partnership with Evergreen Church and Velvet Gonzalez and has been for nearly two years.
The food pantry is a member of the Arkansas Food Bank and feeds between 150 and 200 families a large box of food once a month. It also provides meals for around 80 shut-ins. Potter is on a task force focusing on feeding the elderly through the food effort.
“I have been working with many people who are struggling and now I am negotiating for this industrial land with a group that has money and influence in the community. My hope is to create the jobs that are necessary for the families needing help to get out of the food lines and into employment roles. Sure, some do not want the help and are too far down to come back up, either by way of mental and./or physical condition.
“But you might be surprised to find that many of those struggling would work and hold a good job if a good job were available.”
Potter is also the president of the Arkadelphia Girls and Boys Club. He and Max Brown, one of the group’s founding fathers and also a Gurdon native, are working toward getting a Boys and Girls Club started in Gurdon.
“It all takes time,” Potter said. “My wife and I have seven children between the two of us and 11 grandchildren. Not only from a family standpoint, but in general, helping youth get a good work ethic and a ticket away from hopelessness is my passion.”
Potter said he wants to become mayor because Gurdon has been his home for so long and he has seen it where there were two Gurdon ponds, a Hoo Hoo Theater, downtown businesses filling the square and flourishing and work for even a kid who wanted to learn to earn.
“My father, Paul Potter, was a barber here for years. I earned my first $1,000 at $1.50 a week for keeping his shop clean,” he said.
“I have heard some say I want to change people employed by the city, but if I am elected mayor I would just as soon they all stayed. All I am going to ask is for a work accountability system to be put in place where public employees will have to state the facts of what they are doing about a problem to me and to any citizen that might be interested. For example, if somebody complains that their sewer is overflowing, such a record might state response time, time spent fixing the problem and any suggestions as to how to prevent the same problem from occurring in the future.”
Tommy Potter is a volunteer fireman in the Kansas Community and in Whelen Springs.
The mayor’s candidate is also certified in hazardous materials.and in a HazMat work zone.
He is trained to handle wild land fires and incident command. Potter received Home Land Security training after 911.
He led “Team Clark” save and rescue squad at the Albert Pike flood.
Tommy Potter and his wife attend the Trinity Assembly of God Church in Arkadelphia, where they share duties in the nursery.
Tommy Potter said he grew up in a barber shop near where Thomerson’s Drug Store is today. His father, Paul, cut off a broom when he was 2 years old and paid him 5 cents for sweeping up hair.
He said he would take the money to Thomerson’s for a dip of ice cream.
Tommy also sold snuff bottles to train passengers in the early days.
“I was a Boy Scout under Clarence Haltom, Kenny Clark and John Edwards,” Tommy said. “I was a Little League coach for my brother and my sons. Both teams were league champions in the years I was coach.”
Tommy Potter continues to run his business, Hair It Is, and has been in the hair business for 35 years. He was a graduate of the Clark County Leadership Group in 2012.
Before that, he was a member of the Community Development and Entertainment committee for 17 years.
“When I was in CD&E, I ran the wood chipper at Forest Festival, but they discontinued the chipper deal,” he said.
“It gave me a chance to see more of my family. I dropped out of CD&E because I was needed at home so my wife Stephanie could have some help raising six kids.”
In the 1980’s, a political issue about Gurdon spurred Tommy into action. He lobbied against the proposed landfill on Locke Road and the opposition won. Having a landfill that close would have ruined some deer hunting land and angered many people who wanted to preserve the natural beauty of the area.
“It was good to get that situation behind us, as many native Gurdon folk knew having a landfill out there would not have been in our best interest,” he said.
Tommy was a Jaycee, and helped start the chapter for South Clark County. He served as vice president and “roostered out” at age 35.
“Our club always wanted to honor Gurdon native Louis Randolph, Thomas Jefferson’s grandson, with some sort of land mark. I still think that would be good for our tourism goals,” Potter said.
Tommy said he used to rattle the door of the old Gurdon Jail with his grandfather, Guy Arnold, and would like to see that jail restored for its historical value.
Potter was employed at Fainier Bearing in Arkadelphia for the entire six years (in the early 90’s) the company existed here. He worked under John Robinson, the current 911 director for Clark County.
“My job involved product technology and planning,” he said. “But the plant sold and they paid for me to be retrained as an electrician. I graduated from the College of the Ozarks as an electronics technician and was fifth highest in grades out of 25.”
Potter drives a van and helps with 80 at-risk kids every Wednesday night for Evergreen Church.
As to more recent management experience than Fainier Bearing, Tommy Potter was in charge of construction at Rowdy’s Adventure in Okolona, which was a $700,000 project boosting Southern Clark County tourism back in 2010.
He said another tourism boost would result if the second Gurdon Pond could be restored.
“I used to love to fish at our other Gurdon Pond and I believe it can be restored through grant money and really be a ploy to attract strangers to Gurdon. Former Representative Tommy Robinson stands ready to help on this,” Potter said. “It would be a great site for camp grounds. I say try to make it work. I am not afraid to research and then try anything to improve the business or residential climate of Gurdon. You may ask why? I have been here many years and I bleed purple.”

Gurdon to apply for $5,000 evaluation grant

to determine tourism marketability of the Gurdon Light

Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon City Council met Monday night, Aug. 4 and approved a $5,000 grant application that is designed to finance a feasibility study concerning the Gurdon Light as an effective tourist attraction.
Justice of the Peace Sherry Kelley, also a candidate for mayor, will apply for the grant by way of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, through the tourism attraction feasibility study matching grant program.
Mayor Clayton Franklin said Thursday, “This will give us a chance to find out if the powers that be think our Gurdon Light would really be tourist effective, that is if we get the money.
“If so, there will be some sort of study done as to how many people actually go out to the light. If the only time it is even noticed is on Halloween, we might figure out some sort of Halloween holiday monitoring program to make the visit safer.”
No mention was made as to whether such a venture would come with a charge. Details, the mayor said, “will not be known until we know what sort of tourist attraction we are really looking at.”
Justice of the Peace Kelley said verification or denial of the grant would probably occur in late September.
Mayor Franklin told the City Council that the city workers have dismantled about 120 eyesore houses since Southern Ban Corp invested some seed money in the program a few years ago.
The subject came up because Councilwoman Stacy Blarckard said she knew of at least one house she really wished could be removed from Gurdon.
Franklin said he has heard Southern Ban Corp is considering a second round of seed money, but that rumor has not been confirmed.
Blackard, who works for that bank, did not offer any confirmation.
“When we ran out of money from the Southern Ban Corp fund, we started charging people $500 when they requested a tear-down, or we billed them for the $500 if we condemned their property and we had to remove the house because a property owner refused to take action on a condemned structure,” Franklin said.
The mayor admitted the city’s brainstorm program of charging the home owner $500 for a tear-down has all but ceased because of the difficulty the city had in collecting the funds.
“We would offer to let them pay it out and many did not even have the money to make payments,” he said.
“But yes, we would love to take care of some more eyesores if we get some money to do so.”
Franklin said the city’s biggest challenge to get torn down has been the old Bell High School.
The mayor said he believes proper permission is now in place to tear the school down, but more grant money from somewhere will have to be forthcoming to accomplish the task.
“Our charge of $500 was just an attempt to make the tear-down program pay for itself, but when we condemn a building there are too many times that we tear it down and the city ends up working for free,” Franklin said.
Regular meeting time for the Gurdon City Council is the last Monday of the month at 6 p.m.

Enjoy every moment you play football and never give up the fight

Tailgate News Editor
Paul Calley, head football coach for the Bryant Hornets, former Go-Devil football player and All American Center for Henderson State University, gave a speech on never giving up and striving for your dreams even when things look pretty bleak, to 23 Gurdon 2014 “Boys of Fall” Thursday night and a well wishing crowd of nearly 100 supporters.
Calley was invited to speak at the last minute when the scheduled speaker canceled due to family illness problems.
Although Gurdon Head Football Coach Kyle Jackson said it would be a question and answer session to take pressure off of Calley, Coach Calley brought out some food for thought on how important it is to have your family and friends back your dreams.
“I have had a pretty successful career in football, but it was not always that way,” Calley told the crowd.
“I would like to share with you what happened to this Gurdon boy at Henderson State University when I no longer felt grounded like I did going to football practice and working at Calley’s Service Station during my high school days.”
According to Calley, poor grades and not being able to gain enough weight to be a competitive center for HSU nearly sunk his dreams into the ocean.
“I finished my first semester at college with a 1.8 GPA, three D’s and a C,” the coach recalled.
“I dropped advanced math and did not pay the attention to my grades I should have. The second semester was also a 1.8 and I knew I was in trouble,” he said.
“It took me forever to get my grades back up. And then my coach started me as fourth center on the team, telling me I needed to gain 30 pounds before I could do his team any good. He warned me I was in danger of losing my scholarship. I could not gain the weight and the grades were not there. I lost the scholarship.”
“I called my dad (Johnny Calley) and told him I was no quitter and I did not want to quit college and the team.
“He said if that was how I felt about it to keep on trying and he would have my back financially. He let me know that he believed in me…”
Coach Calley said after that things began to turn around. He tried a lot harder to keep his grades up and ended up graduating with a 2.9 (low B or high C). Things got better on the football field too.
“I was still fourth center down during the week of a big game, but the three men in front of me were injured and/or eliminated.
“The coach had no choice but to let me play center and my career took off from there.”
Calley said once given a chance he became an All American Center and after college continued his love for football by entering the coaching profession. His winning record at Bryant speaks for itself and this year he has 130 players out for the Bryant High School Hornets football team.
“Only 22 of them will start so I do have a lot of mad parents to contend with,” he said.
Calley attributed his willingness to keep on keeping on to his background as a Gurdon Go-Devil and the work ethic his parents put in him in his early days.
“When I got to college, I started out as a business major but I knew I always wanted to be a coach.”
Calley said it has always been about more than the money for him.
“The only right reason to be a coach is to be in it for the kids,” he said. “My advice to you is play football and play all sports as long as you are able. And my advice to the 23 out for Go-Devil football this year is to beat Prescott. Our team never did get to know that rivalry victory feeling when I was a Go-Devil. A lot of that is because of how good of a coach your coach’s father was for Prescott back then.
“Parents, keep letting your boys know you are behind them all of the way. And boys, things will get hard sometimes. Just remember to never count yourself out of a fight.”
Calley also advised the Go-Devils to listen and learn from your coach and enjoy every moment you play because it might be your last.

Gurdon applies for paving grant; $250,000

Tailgate News Editor
Gurdon is applying for a grant through the Arkansas Highway Department in the amount of $250,000 to pave approximately 10 streets, but demand for that grant money puts the city on a waiting list until probably 2016.
Mayor Clayton Franklin said Thursday, “We learned about this grant through Dick Rudolph, a city council member for Arkadelphia.
“Dick is enrolled at Henderson State University for an advanced degree through the school of business and is taking advanced resource management. He needed a town to learn on and has adopted Gurdon.
“He chose to do his studies on a municipality and was told to get an internship. HSU agreed to let the City of Gurdon serve in that internship capacity”
Franklin said Rudolph asked him what the top priority would be in regard to Gurdon’s current needs?
“I told him paving our streets. We don’t have the money for the 2-inch overlays we need to do. Our budget lets us fill in potholes and that is about it,” Franklin said.
“I believe we do have our sewers underneath ready for the overlaying, but our crew will check to be sure before actually beginning a paving project.”
Rudolph discovered the $250,000 grant through the Arkansas State Highway Department and it is under the State Aid Commission Project for small towns and cities.
Franklin said he believes the paving grants are funded through Arkansas gambling. He said Rudolph learned about it originally because Arkadelphia received one of those $250,000 grants in the recent past.
“Even if we get the $250,000, that may not be enough to do all of the 10 streets we have in mind as top priorities,” Franklin said. “But that kind of funding would go a long way toward solving our paving needs.”
According to research done by Rudolph, the available paving grants have been assigned for 2014 and there are already more grant applications than there are grants to be awarded in 2015.
“We think we will get it in 2016 if we follow up and get all of our applying done now,” Franklin said.
The mayor said this may work to Gurdon’s advantage, as he predicts the price of oil will go down by 2016 and therefore the city will be able to buy more asphalt for $250,000.
Franklin, who is not running for re-election, said the new mayor should pursue the paving project in order to get a much needed 2-inch overlay on the Gurdon street system. The last significant paving done on Gurdon streets occurred between 5 and 10 years ago.

Gallery Walks now span 25 years in Hot Springs

Tailgate News Editor
The downtown Hot Springs Gallery Walk, with more than a dozen art galleries and studios to now enjoy, started from humble beginnings 25 years ago this month.
American Art Gallery owners Ann and Willie Gilbert were instrumental in getting the first Friday evening of the month event going in August of 1989.
Willie said Dick Antoine, another Hot Springs cultural enthusiast, helped them get it started with around 10 in the association. After 25 years, the program has stood firm, now boasting approximately 15 galleries and art studios.
It is currently headed up by the Gallery Guide (Walk) Association. Before it’s conception, the Gilberts bought Arkansas Art Gallery and changed the name because one already existed in Little Rock. The Gilberts continue to take an active roll in the art community to this day and have participated by being open for nearly every Gallery Walk during this past quarter of a century.
Willie has been chairman for 11 years of the Gallery Guide. He described his job of organizing the art galleries and studios “as about like herding cattle.”
Ann said, “It has been fun. American Art Gallery now has more than 40 artists
“Twenty five years ago, we opened with about 20 out of the old Arkansas Art Gallery, but it boiled down to us and five reliable artists.”
Willie said those artists were: Ben Carniham (now deceased), Virgil Barksdale, Beau Beauford, Marlene Gremillion and Erselle Hiemstra.
“Jimmy Leach was the first artist we had a show with once we moved to our present building. He will give another show during the September Gallery Walk right here at American Art Gallery,” Ann said.
On a personal note, Ann and Willie have known each other slightly longer than they have been hosting Gallery Walks these past 25 years. In particular, they will have been married 49 years as of this Sept. 3.
“We got married on Labor Day weekend so we could have a little honeymoon,” Willie recalled.
Willie is retired from working as a power company lineman. His wife had always loved art and the American Art Gallery put feet to her dreams.
Ann said, “I still like coming down here every day.”
Willie and Ann agree that sometimes there are pretty good crowds of lookers and buyers and other times not so much.
Ann said, “The weather effects people when it comes to looking at art. If it is too hot, too cold or too wet, they are probably going to stay at home.”
But the excitement picks up when the First Friday of the month rolls around.
“I have missed one Gallery Walk in 25 years,” Ann said. “I have been very, very blessed with good health.”
Ann said she loves to show off the upstairs of her gallery, as it is still filled with the works of the late Thomas Kinkade.
She keeps stocked up with native American jewelry, which sells for a variety of affordable prices.
“The jewelry is something they can decide quickly on and helps encourage people to come see what we have,” Ann added.
The Gilberts encouraged any first-time Gallery walkers to come on out any first Friday of the month, from 5 to 9 p.m., and circle the area on foot. Tonight, Aug. 1, would be a good night to start.
The art galleries and studios are close together and easily accessible.
If you have any questions, you can call the Gilberts at: (501) 624-0550 or email them at: amerart@outlook.com
Art is addictive, says Ann. She and Willie said wood turner artist Virgil Barksdale dropped out of the art world to go to law school, but he came back.
“Talent is like that. It just has to be done and what these wonderful people leave behind is indeed worth seeing,” Ann said.


Haskell to build park restrooms

Tailgate News Editor
Haskell City Council voted Monday, July 14 to proceed with the construction of a new restroom facility to accommodate men and women at the Haskell ball park.
Mayor Jeff Arey said there was a bid opening on May 8 concerning the planned improvements of the construction of a bathroom building at the park and improvements on the playground.
The low bid for the bathroom building was $80,240 and the low bid for the playground improvements came in at $20,000.
Mayor Arey said, “The bond we have toward these improvements is $37,000 short.
“We are working to solve the problem, but if we have to choose, the bathroom facility is more important for our park at this time.”
Council woman Rose Marie Wilkinson said, “We polled the City Council and it was decided to go ahead with the construction of the bathroom facilities despite the financial shortage.
“We considered shaving the project but realized the need for a quality restroom facility and so decided to move forward in that direction.”
Wilkinson said construction of the new restroom facilities will start in August. Mayor Arey said Dayco Construction representatives said about $1,000 worth of ditch work, beyond the original bid, may be necessary to get the bathrooms completed in 60 days, boosting the total cost to $81,240.
Councilman Hal Baker voted in favor of the bathroom project but said he would still like to see the Park Commission “have something to do with paying for it.”
Mayor Arey said a new grant will be sought to improve the park playground so that project can be accomplished at a later date.
Official business reading was delayed at the July 14 meeting because of a lack of a quorum, but began a few minutes later.
“In 16 years, the past three meetings have been the only times I have ever had a problem getting a quorum,” Arey said. “But Hal Baker should be here shortly.”
Councilman Baker, Ward 4, did arrive, despite medical difficulties, and the official meeting began.
Under old business, the ordinance to raise the Haskell water rates by 4 percent in order to make needed line and valve repairs was placed on first reading and the matter will be taken up next month.
Arey noted that five new valves needed to be installed in the water system to avoid a large percentage of the town being out of water when a leak could be isolated.
“We discovered, after a major leak last month, that we had water valves that would not shut off,” Arey said.
He said new shut off valves are needed at: Highland and Grand, Kesley and Grand, Kesley and Ford, and at Elm and Second Streets on both sides.
The mayor said the proposed cost to install the five valves is $13,000, but noted the Water Department is over budget on that line item.
The Council approved the request by the mayor for $20,000 to increase the line item in order for the mayor to get the work done.
Arey said the Water Department overall has brought is $70,000 more than expenditures so far this year so transferring some money was feasible.
In another matter, the Council voted to take the countywide 911 Emergency Dispatch off of their agenda for now, as only four of 22 fire departments in Saline County have adopted it.
The Council heard from various departments, including police, fire and street.
Mayor Arey said the Street Department finances are “a little behind because we ask them to do a lot of repair work.”

Magic man to be at Cabe Library July 24

Tailgate News Editor
GURDON – The 2014 Cabe Library summer reading program, tagged “Fizz, Boom, Read,” is winding down with a magic show at 2 p.m. on Thursday, July 24 and an awards ceremony at 2 p.m. on Thursday, July 31.
Librarian Amber Buck would like to remind this year’s participants that reading logs must be turned in by Friday, July 25 to calculate winners.
Buck said the July 10 Little Rock Zoo presentation was well received with 21 children and nine adults in attendance. The crowd was introduced to “Antigo the Lizard,” “Doodles the Tortoise,” and an alligator head.
Zoo workers Medine Watson and Al Notter said the lizard can climb a tree, the tortoise has a sensitive outer shell for the children to pet and the alligator, due to less taste bud sensors, is less likely to attack and eat you than the crocodile. The round nosed alligators are found in fresh water and have sensors around their mouth only, where as the crocodiles are a salt water creature with a pointed nose and sensors all over their bodies.

Gurdon gets $98,000 grant for meat market, bakery

Tailgate News Editor
A $98,875 rural business grant, designed to revamp an old Main Street building into a meat market, bakery, restaurant and event center, has been approved for Gurdon.
Sherry Kelley, a Clark County justice of the peace and candidate for mayor in the small Southern Arkansas city, wrote the grant and has had the dream of increasing the food source for local residents, while significantly improving the downtown, for more than a year.
Kelley said Tuesday the grant is through the United States Department of Agriculture(USDA). The cash amount does not count in-kind labor and donated materials.
According to Kelley, the total goes to $140,000 in grant money and pledges when you count the work and material pledges on top of the $98,875. Kelley said she wants to say thank you to a long list of local business people who have helped her with the grant and to put this project together.
“I want everyone to know this grant is not just about me and my dream for Gurdon’s revitalization . It is becoming a reality due to a huge combined effort by our citizenry.” she said. “Writing this grant, and organizing how we could make it happen, was probably the hardest project I have ever taken on. But we did it.”
Kelley added that all of her work has been donated and every penny will be spent in Gurdon to improve Gurdon.
Mayor Clayton Franklin said Thursday, “The Market on Main, as it is called, will be worth it to me because a lot of times I make trips to Arkadelphia just to buy meat. If the meat at the Market on Main is of good quality, and sold at a competitive price right here in Gurdon, then that saves me time and gas. I am definitely in favor of that!”
Kelley said the project will be an anchor for the north side of Main Street (across from the old Kuhn’s Hardware Store).
She did not attempt to project the amount it will increase the tax base for the city’s general fund, as that will depend on its reception from the community. However, she believes it will create as many as 10 new jobs. Once the facility is finished the city will own it and rent it out at fair market value to local business people who want to run it “with an obviously very low start-up cost because of our building.”
Kelley said, “The title work and architectural plans are expected to begin this month. The project will be open to bids when the plans are completed.
“I began working on this grant in July of 2013 and I will be the project director.”
Mayor Franklin said at least one other business owner in the downtown area is brainstorming an improvement project for downtown Gurdon “once the Market on Main is up and running.”


Icehouse Grill to have breakfast bar

Tailgate News Editor
The Icehouse Grill, located next to the Economy Inn where the old Denny’s Restaurant used to be, 16732 I-30 North in Benton, is quickly becoming a popular spot because of tasty food delivered in generous proportions.
The restaurant opened on April 6 of this year. Current hours are from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday and on Sundays from 11 until 3 p.m., with lunch specials every day.
Tanya Burch, one of seven waitresses, said Tuesday a new breakfast bar is in the works and when it opens early risers can come on down to the restaurant at either 5:30 a.m. or 6 a.m. to get a tasty and healthy start to the day.
“I do not know the details yet,” Tanya said. “But it will be a large breakfast selection and will no doubt be popular.”
One of the generous portion specials already available is the hub cap burger. The two-pound seasoned monster burger will feed three or four for under $20!
Tanya, from the Wynne area, came on board at Icehouse just a month ago, but is already raving about the pecan fried pies.
Icehouse Grill, she said, is a fun place to work and eat because the people are so nice.
“I moved to Benton from Wynne so my son could go to Catholic School and I have been impressed with the positive attitude of my co-workers as well as the people of the Benton area in general,” she said.
Tanya said while the full menu of Icehouse Grill is extensive, what with appetizers, salads, wraps, Icehouse burgers, specialty burgers, sandwiches, Po’Boys, steaks, seafoods, combo platters and Icehouse originals, the daily lunch specials seem to be very popular.
The daily lunch specials include a drink and are reasonably prices at $7.99.
She provided a list of 10 lunch specials to choose from: 1) burger and fries (cheese extra); 2) PO’Boy turkey or ham with fries; 3) two piece fish and fries; 4) three piece chicken strips with fries; 5) chef salad (turkey, ham or both); 6) vegetable plate (choice of four); 7) Nathan’s hot dog with fries; 8) Grilled chicken sandwich with fries; 9) hamburger steak with fries; and 10) a loaded potato (grilled chicken, smoked ham or turkey).
She noted that amongst the Icehouse originals, Italian meatball and spaghetti is generous in serving, seasoned and priced right.
Tanya said her customers order a lot of shrimp. It comes grilled or fried, butter-filled and served with steak fries and hush puppies or grilled and served with sauteed vegetables and rice.
The Icehouse Grill has a party room and catering services available. If you are interested, contact the restaurant at: (501) 772-8186.
The restaurant does have special prices for kids and the fried pecan pies the waitress loves are just $2.99. In addition to peacon, the Icehouse Grill has apple, apricot and chocolate fried pies.
You can add ice cream for 75 cents.
Drop by the Icehouse Grill and see for yourself that a local restaurant with personality plus and delicious food still exists in Benton!


A way to save a pet’s life

Tailgate News Editor
Sue Wiese, founder and president of Operation Roger, a pet transport system through volunteer truck drivers, was in Prescott Monday and looking for layover homes there, Gurdon and the surrounding area.
Wiese said she spends considerable time at Prescott taking care of an aging relative. She lives at Joshua, Texas but is currently operating Operation Roger from Nevada County.
“Our organization is set up to save the lives of pets that are about to be put down (killed) by overcrowded shelters or Humane Societies,” Wiese said.
“The reason we need layover homes is because sometimes a new home for a pet can be found but a truck can not arrive to transport that pet to its new living quarters until after a shelter has the pet scheduled for termination.
“We get that pet out of there and into a safe house. We need these layover safe houses in Gurdon, greater Clark County and more here in Nevada County.”
Wiese said her organization has used Southfork Truck Stop before to transport dogs.
“We don’t go to the layover houses in our 18-wheelers, but if say a new pet owner has said, for example, he would adopt a collie from a shelter in Gurdon, then the trucker calls the shelter (or the foster parents if the dog is already away from the shelter) when he gets to the truck stop and somebody brings the dog to the truck so the hitch hiking can begin.”
Operation Roger is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and Wiese may be contacted at: (682) 622-1172 or operationroger01@yahoo.com
The website is: . Tony Hamilton is the public relations director, from Hartselle, Alabama, and may be reached at: (256) 286-8573. or at tony-hamilton@live.com
The mission statement of the organization is, “Volunteer commercial truck drivers providing transport for lost, abandoned, surrendered or abused pets to their new fur-ever protective homes.”
Wiese said some of the benefits of volunteering your services as a temporary foster layover home for such a pet in transition is: “lots of licks and purrs, big smiles, companionship, 24/7 security, extremely rewarding, community service and health walks.
This reporter explained Operation Roger to Gurdon Police Officer Chris Russell on Wednesday, asking him to give an explanation card to dogcatcher Ty Ophlet.
Russell said he would talk to the dogcatcher about the program as soon as possible.
“I really like this,” Russell said. “And I believe Ty will get all kinds of excited about it because it will be one more way he can save a dog from being put down.”
Wiese said in this day and age of posting on Facebook etc., a family in Virginia might see a dog in Arkansas they want to adopt. Sometimes a shelter has used up its time and resources set aside to help that particular dog…
Operation Roger gives those doomed animals one more chance at a pardon.
In the spirit of July 4, you can honor a veteran and provide a wreath from Wreaths Across America for a grave in a National Cemetery and support Operation Roger. Click on the link… support TXORTQT1 – Operation Roger Truckers Pet Transport.
Wiese said, “I am looking forward to meeting all of the animal shelter and Humane Society personnel in this Southern Arkansas area.
“Again, if you want to talk to me about saving a dog or a cat, call: 682-622-1172.”

Teaching children how to milk a cow

Tailgate News Editor
Farm Bureau Insurance Company representatives gave a demonstration July 3 at Cabe Library in Gurdon with a cow-shaped milking machine so students could get an idea of what dairy farmers go through with the real thing.
The Cabe Summer Reading Program hosted Becky Baumgardner and Jason Kaufman, of Farm Bureau, to give the 19 students present a little taste of farm life.
Baumgardner read a Farm Bureau created book called “The Cow in Patrick Shanahaun’s Kitchen,” which gave a fictional interpretation about where milk, eggs and bacon originate.
The book assumed there were cows, chickens and hogs in the kitchen producing milk, eggs and bacon. After reading it to the students, Baumgardner donated the book to the library. Before the actual milking demonstration, where the kids got to “milk” the mechanical cow, Kaufman gave them some facts about the subject at hand.
“One dairy cow produces 11 gallons of milk a day and must be milked twice a day,” he said. “That is 176 glasses of milk a day. Actual milking is much harder than what this machine illustrates and you must get all of the milk out.”
The July 10 program is the zoo.


Benton Harmony Grove to pave parking lot

Tailgate News Editor
HASKELL – The Benton Harmony Grove School Board met on Monday, June 23 and heard a superintendent’s report about the paving and repair of the main parking lot used by sports fans and for other school functions.
Superintendent Daniel Henley reminded the board he had been given a $200,000 budget to get the parking lot fixed and a bid had come in for $185,000.
“I took that bid and the contractors have promised me they will be through by the time we need it this fall,” he said.
“As far as the football players coming in for two-a-day, pre-season practices, they will have to use the middle school parking lot until this job is done. Frankly, I am excited about this. I believe it will be a big improvement to our school campus.”
Henley said the contractor promised him he will be done with the parking lot repair before the first day of school and will shoot for an Aug. 1 completion date.
In addition to the paving, Henley said a couple of lights have been added to the parking lot, which should make it easier on those needing to use it.
In other business, Henley told the board the school district was operating in budget overall and that “things are looking good for next school year.”
Moreover, the board heard an update on policies and approved changes.
The meeting was called to order by School Board President Buck Burchfield. He gave the floor to Middle School Principal Sarah Gober.
Ms. Gober said this year’s handbook will include a change in the cell phone policy for students.
For a complete update, she said the school’s web site address has changed to .org on the end.
On cell phones, she said the first offense of having it on and using it during class was for the parent to have to pick it up.
The punishment gets a bit more severe with each subsequent cell phone violation because distractions take away from the educational process, she said. If someone offends five times, they can get expelled.
Board member David Donham asked why students were allowed to have phones at school in the first place? Gober said the argument was the children could bring them to receive texts at lunch for such issues as a parent picking them up after school, but the cells were to be turned off during class at all times.
The new agenda of cell phone controlling rules will also be adopted by Benton Harmony Grove High School, Gober told the board.
Meghann Donaldson, Elementary School principal, explained that in the younger kids cell phones have not been a problem “so far.”
She did discuss excessive tardies, saying parents will be notified after three times and a truancy officer notified after six offenses.
She also made note of bus riding rules, saying the handbook now calls for one warning, then a three-day bus suspension for the second offense and a five-day for the third.
In other business, the board hired Tammy Jackson as a summer employee at the elementary school and Becky Montovo as a summer employee for the middle school.
Chris Smith has been hired as head girls basketball coach and teacher. Jeremy Meek was hired as a middle school teacher.
Two non-certified personnel were hired; Amy Brown as the high school principal’s secretary, and Jerry Zuber, cafeteria worker. The last hire was due to a transfer of a former cafeteria employee to the special education department.
The board also voted to raise the pay for certified personnel, acting as substitute teachers, from $60 to $65.
Moreover, the board approved the construction of 150-foot fence to protect students at a cross walk.
Henley said it will be the same type of fencing as the district uses around the playground area.
Henley said Sykes, who had pledged certain donations to the school system, would discontinue their scholarship donations when their agreements ran out. However, the company has agreed to continue doing the “Athlete of the Month.”
The next board meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Monday, July 21.

Gurdon starts summer reading

Tailgate News Editor
The Cabe Summer Reading Program, for grades Pre-K through sixth, became a reality for 2014 on Thursday morning, June 26 as Librarian Amber Buck started singing “If You are Happy and You Know it, Clap your Hands!”
There were four to show up for Pre-K and K story hour, which started out with the reading of a few simple books, including “The Popcorn Book,” and popping some popcorn to kick off the six-week summer program.
The theme this year is Fizz, Boom, Read, Science, with the older readers listening to a Lake DeGray wildlife specialist as a first program that same Thursday at 2 p.m.
Buck said there have been 26 participants signing up for Summer Reading fun so far and she will continue to take new sign-ups though 5 p.m. on Friday, July 4.
Next week’s program, on July 3 at 2 p.m., will be a cow milking demonstration by Farm Bureau. They will bring a mobile dairy.
Prizes will be given away as the reading progresses and final awards for the most books read on Thursday, July 31.
Buck said the science theme means many of the books being read to the younger children during story hour may relate to tales of the oceans.
Ja’mya Garland, 8, who is going into the third grade, came early on the first Thursday and picked up two books to get started reading. She picked out “Cheater Pants” and “Party Animal.”
Buck explained to Miss Garland about keeping a log of all of the books she reads and how that log must be turned in to be eligible for prizes.
All reading age children are encouraged to come at 2 p.m. to enjoy the programs.

Haskell to raise water rates 4 percent,

will have fireworks July 1

Tailgate News Editor
HASKELL – The Haskell Water Department lost $197,000 in operating costs during the 2012 and 2013 operational years, according to figures presented by annual auditor Scott Lovell at the Monday, June 16 City Council meeting.
The city raised water rates to cover the cost of fixing and updating the residential water lines, effective May 1, 2013. It was noted this was the first time water rates had been raised in 20 years.
According to Mayor Jeff Ayer, the rate hike involved an ordinance with a 2 percent increase per year, to go into effect just after each annual audit, unless said Council voted down the scheduled increase.
“This is not going to get us new lines and new shut-off valves that we need, but it should get our revenue back to where it was three years ago when we were not losing money. If we want the new valves and lines, it will mean passing a bond issue.”
Of the $197,000, $155,000 of the operating loss occurred in 2012, while $42,000 of the loss occurred in 2013.
Lovell said this year, 2014, Haskell will be at the new water rate the entire 12 months, but the profit or loss will depend on how dry the summer is. A dryer summer will mean a better chance for a profit.
“I think it will take the 2 percent raise at least to offset the losses of the past two years,” Lovell said.
City Councilman Hal Baker said he pays $100 a month on his water bill and would be willing to go up $4 instead of $2 “if we can get the city water department moving forward with a little profit again.”
Mayor Ayer said he believes the council should at least let the 2 percent raise in rates occur “so we have a chance not to have a new loss in operating costs.”
Ayer warned that the Water and Sewer Department will stay in debt because of the need for new equipment and fixing leaks etc.
Baker motioned to increase the stipulated annual rate increase to 4 percent, unless the council votes it down after the annual audit. The motion got a second and was approved by the City Council.
It was noted that 251,651 gallons of water per day was used in April. This was purchased from Southwest.
Water used in the Haskell system increased to 277,000 gallons per day in May.
Police and fire reports were delivered, with four felonies reported for the month and 22 fire calls ran. There was also a pole set too close to a fire hydrant, which will be moved.
Councilwoman Rose Mary Wilkinson asked fellow council members, and the mayor, if the city was going to donate to fireworks this year for Independence Day?
It was decided to donate $2,000 toward the fireworks planned for dusk on Tuesday, July 1 at the Arkansas Health Center.
Under old business, Mayor Jeff Ayer said there was a bid opening on May 8 concerning the planned improvements of the construction of a bathroom building at the park and improvements on the playground.
The low bid for the bathroom building was $80,240 and the low bid for the playground improvements came in at $20,000.
Mayor Ayer said, “The bond we have toward these improvements is $37,000 short.
“We are working to solve the problem, but if we have to choose, the bathroom facility is more important for our park at this time.”
Councilman Baker asked if the Youth Club might have any money to contribute?
The mayor said they had given a financial report last year sometime. He told Hal he could look into encouraging Youth Club members to disclose their current finances.
Baker said he would be looking into the matter and seeing if the Youth Club, which is a public board according to him, would be so kind as to give financial updates more often?
“We should at least know where their monies are going to,” Baker said.
Moreover, Brad Cotten, Haskell Fire Captain, gave a report on firefighters being called out as first responders in medical emergencies and making diagnostic calls without the benefit of proper training.
Cotten said there are 22 volunteer fire departments in Saline County and the ranks have been thinning out because they are also the medical first responders.
There has been talk of getting the firefighters the medical training they need so that the danger of a misdiagnosis is not nearly as great.
Cotten said, “This is a nationwide problem, not just in our area. We are called on 300 runs a year and sometimes we can not do anything.”
He said examples include someone running a high fever or having a splinter in a hand “and we have to stay with them until the ambulance gets there even if we get an actual fire call.”
Cotten said in Haskell these sorts of medical calls only represent about 10 percent of the over all volume.
Baker said when it comes to something like a person having a heart attack the first responder is very useful.
Ayer, “The negative part is the risk of misdiagnosis of a problem.”
The mayor said discussing the situation may be a mute point “because we will have to get all 22 fire departments to agree that they need the training before any money will be invested.”
Ayer said Saline County has three 911s; Bryant, Benton and out in the county. There may be a $250,000 Oct. 16 government short fall for the training, but again all 22 volunteer fire departments must agree.
Ayer said, “Whether they follow through or not, Haskell is not really hurting in regard to firemen being tied up with medical calls, as we do only have 10 percent of our calls falling in this category.”
The official word from the 911 directors is there is no money for the training at this time.
Baker made a motion to table Haskell’s approval or disapproval of the medical training for local firefighters. It was tabled.
The next Haskell City Council meeting will take place at 7 p.m. on the second Monday in July, that is on Monday, July 14.
At the end of the meeting, John Nelson, editor for the Southern Arkansas Tailgate News weekly magazine, , was allowed to address the council in a reporter’s capacity.
Nelson told council members, “I will be covering your meetings from now on and presenting City Council reports for Haskell in Tailgate News the Friday after the meeting.
“I graduated from Ball State University (Muncie, Indiana) in 1982 with a magazine journalism major and minor in psychology. I have been in the newspaper business since 1980 and have owned Tailgate News since May of 2007.
“If you need an advertisement, our open rate is $6 a column inch with discounts for volume runs.
“If you have any news items or photos concerning a community or sporting event, please email me, or leave a voice mail and we can do a telephone interview.”
Nelson said his email is: jay_nelson_72443@yahoo.com. The Tailgate News telephone number is: (870) 353-8201.
Councilman Baker invited Nelson to help him determine the financial status of the Youth Committee. Nelson agreed to ask a few questions…


Girl arrested for

Tobacco store theft

Tailgate News Editor
A now former employee of the Tobacco Warehouse store at Gurdon has been arrested on felony theft, jailed and bonded out in connection with last week’s missing deposit bag, containing nearly $5,000 in cash.
Sgt. Toby Garner, of the Gurdon Police Department, said Thursday Sarah Beth Roper, 25, of Pine Street in Gurdon, was arrested Tuesday by Lt. Chris Russell of the GPD and taken to Clark County jail. Roper went before a judge and got out on a $15,000 bond.
Sgt. Garner said Roper is awaiting a trial date. He said no restitution has been made to date on the company money.
Garner said Roper was offered a polygraph (lie detecter) test to help establish her innocense as to the person who removed the “blue bag” from the safe, but she did not show up when it came test time.
“It would make a big difference if she would agree to give the money back,” Garner said. “So far, this has not happened. All that is a for sure is that she has been arrested for the theft and a trial date will be set.”
Garner said Roper was one of the ones to originally report the “safe cracking incident” last week at the Gurdon Tobacco Warehouse.
Missing from the safe was a blue deposit bag containing $4,968 in cash and $304.82 in checks. Roper was also charged with breaking and entering.
Sgt. Garner said $1,500 was left in the safe, as well as a $300 book of lottery tickets.

Safe cracker steals $5,000

from Gurdon Tobacco Warehouse

Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon Tobacco Warehouse was burglarized over the weekend with a total of $5,272.82 missing from the safe.
Store manager Kaye Brown said $4,968 was in cash, while the other $304.82 was in the form of checks.
According to a Gurdon Police report by Investigative Officer Garry Marshall, police were called Sunday morning when Sales Clerk Sarah Rogers went to open the store and noticed the outside padlock, on the iron gate, was gone.
Rogers said she went to the telephone and called her manager Kaye Brown and the police.
When Brown arrived, she said she noticed money on the floor but then realized the safe was jammed.
Upon inspecting the inside of the safe through a small opening, Brown realized a blue deposit bag was missing.
Police got the safe open and Brown provided the content information concerning the bag.
Brown also told police that no cigarettes or beer were missing and the money in the cash register had not been disturbed.
She also noted the extra money, kept in a special store tray, was still there. However, it did have water on it.
The store is at 205 North First Street in Gurdon and the incident happened either late on June 7 or very early on June 8.
Brown said when she tried to open the safe she noticed something very different. It appeared to have been broken into and then closed in an unusual manner to where it jammed.
Store owner Matt Lafitte arrived on the scene and noticed the safe still contained a $300 book of lottery tickets and other items.
Lafitte confirmed that the missing item was the blue deposit bag, which contained $5,272.82 worth of cash and checks.
Officer Marshall said Clark County Investigator Brian Daneils was notified and will be conducting a formal investigation of the commercial burglary.
Marshall’s report further stated that authorities had to have the safe cut open to gain entry.
The store was closed most of Sunday while a store inventory was conducted. But no other items were reported missing after the inventory.
The store carries some grocery items, but mostly tobacco and alcohol, specifically cigarettes, beer and wine.

Children miss Daddy;

fishing, riding the roads, friendship

Tailgate News Editor
Father’s Day 2014 is Sunday, June 15 and the memories of the guy who was your “Daddy” flood most of our memories.
Carolyn Woolf said her Daddy was Melving Benson, born in 1909 and died in Curtis back in 1981.
“I was born in Des Ark on July 28, 1939,” she said. “My Dad was called to serve in the Navy in World War II. After he served, we moved to Odessa, Texas and he worked in the oil fields. Then we moved back to Arkansas and lived at Curtis. He passed away at the Gurdon Hospital.
“My favorite memory of Dad was that he was a quiet natured man who loved his kids and grand kids and he loved to take them fishing with him.”
Carolyn said she thanks the Good Lord that her father lived to see his kids grow up and that he was able to also enjoy being a grandfather.
“I still think of him and his kind ways,” she said.
Julia House Slater and Kim House Phillips, now both sisters of Glen Rose, grew up in Antioch with their father, Ron House.
Their Dad died at age 44 of a rare disease, but they remember the man as a guy who loved to play guitar “and give us Daddy music.”
Kim said, “I guess you could say it was country. We did not appreciate it back then as much as we do thinking back. Now we both want to hear some more Daddy music.”
Kim said her Daddy was a construction worker and loved to take his daughters for long rides on the back roads.
“I think we both enjoyed those rides with him,” she said. “He was a patient man and very quiet.”
Julie nodded in agreement and the two sisters said they missed Ron House. He passed away in December of 1999.
Kim is the owner of Kim’s Attraction Beauty Salon in Glen Rose. One of her logos is a guitar that she picked out “because it reminds of my Daddy and I love to think of him.”
As for me, John Hancock Nelson, age 55. I was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on Dec. 24, 1958, the son of two doctors, John Woolard Nelson and Audrey Hancock Nelson.
My biological parents got a divorce when I was very young and my doctor Dad received custody, along with his mother, Marvel May Woolard Nelson.
John Hans Nelson, my grandfather, acquired possession of me at 7 months old and was there for me until his death when I was 30 years old.
Grandpa died at age 96. My biological Dad, his son, was a dedicated neurologist and had no real time to raise a boy. His parents, Grandpa and Grandma, made the time and did the job.
Growing up in rural Indiana, I was a very fortunate young man and had several very dear friends. But none was dearer than my grandfather. He was the one who was there for me playing Daddy.
I remember looking out in the crowd when I played Little League and always being able to spot him clapping for his grandson.
We went fishing whenever a cloud came up and he was tired of plowing his fields. Being semi-retired, he had that option. He could let his “hand” Bill Harter take over and go do something with Johnny.
We played checkers, chess, golf, kroquet, poker, pitch and many other games together. He was there when I caught my first decent fish. I was 3-years old and it was in Memphis, Tenn. The fish was a 3-pound catfish.
He helped me raise, care for and show over 300 New Zealand White rabbits at a time.
And it got cold in Indiana. You had to pour them a bit of drinking water on a chunk of ice many times in the winter.
When I started datting, Grandpa was the advisor every boy should have. I was not much of a rounder at first, dating Joni from age 15 until I was 19.
In those four years, Joni became part of our world. Grandpa and Grandma both treated her like family.
Grandpa was a believer in Jesus Christ and raised a Norowegian Luthern. He taught me the basics about God and encouraged me to learn more.
I joined the Methodist Church and attended from age 8 until I was 18. That church was where i met Joni.
Grandpa Nelson was always good to me, even when I did not deserve it. At 5 years old, he chased me around the barn yard with a broom because I did not want to take a bath. He won the argument, but the neighbor farmer Lowell Harter said he never laughed so hard in his life at what he saw of the two of us in his binoculars!
Grandpa was the one who encouraged me to do what makes me happy for a living but to realize that working for myself at it would be an option. He said some folks enjoy making their own way, like farmers for example.
Grandpa worked with journalist James Canfield out of Jacksonville, Ark. to teach me how to sell ads and manage a weekly newspaper.
Grandpa did not just tell me to go for my dreams. He did everything in his power to help me get those dreams. Sure, I miss him on Father’s Day. Grandpa died on Jan. 22, 1989.
Part of me died with him. I always had something else to ask him. And I probably always will…

Veteran thanks VA

for medical treatment

Dear Editor,
In this world of everyone complaining, I felt it necessary once again to offer my sincere thanks to the Veterans Administration for helping me recover from a puncture wound that might have otherwise left me severely disabled and unable to continue my work as a sign maker.
Although it has been a long year, and involved a number of months in a Little Rock VA hospital, I am now able to stay at home with my wound being taken care of with clean wraps daily so that I can drive my truck, make my sign production appointments and resume my place in the work force.
I am a 66-year-old pilot with nearly 50 years experience. Before this wound, and a heart attack a few years back, I was a pretty healthy and hard working retired Air Guardsman.
Although the puncture wound, which is a lot more complicated than it sounds, may require more hospitalization, I seem to be getting stronger and now have hope of a full recovery.
I would like to thank the following Veterans Administration medical team for giving me another shot at what I call normal life: Damon Johns, RN; Carol Palczynski, M.D.; Kat Vereker, LPN; plastic surgeon staff at NA LR/North Little Rock UAMS – Children’s Hospital; Dr. James Yuen, and Nurse Practitioner Linda Fletcher.
I sincerely hope I have not left any critical member of my medical care team out. This has been a tremendously difficult time for me, as I just fell down at my house one day and woke up with an inwardly growing puncture.
The condition has been complicated by my diabetes. Weight loss seems to have that part under control for now. Again, I thank the VA for working hard to help me regain my health.
I realize it may be a long time before I am completely healed, but this great medical team is making tremendous progress.
Sincerely, Britt “Santa” Armstrong, Magnet Cove.

Free lunches at Gurdon

for the young people this summer

Tailgate News Editor
Although the Gurdon School District has been accustomed to feeding those students who come to school hungry for free for the past several years, the free food normally stops when the school year ends.
But this is not the case with Gurdon Primary School this summer. For the first time, because of various governmental funding, GPS is serving free lunches to all children 18 and under, five days a week.
Superintendent Allen Blackwell said there were about 50 student eaters at the GPS cafeteria on Monday, the first day of the program.
“This is mostly a K-12 program to help our students stay fed over the summer,” he said. “I suppose I am an Indpendent when it comes to politics. I am conserative about some things, but I really am grateful we have this free food program for Gurdon’s young people.”
Blackwell went on to say that 80 percent of the Gurdon School Distirict student body is eligible to receive free or reduced lunches under federal guidelines.
“We have known for sometime that a real problem with hard times exists here in Gurdon. At least this way, the kids get one meal a day during the week even if there is no food in their kitchens,” Blackwell said.
According to the superintendent, adults can eat also, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., Monday through Friday this summer at GPS for $3.20.
“This is still school food,” he said. “Our cheeseburgers may not taste quite like a Sonic meal, but they are not bad. I would like to personally invite anyone out who has a child that might be hungry.”
GPS started feeding free breakfast food during the school year to students under Superintendent Bobby Smithson’s tenure.
Both Smithson and now Blackwell are sensitive to the biological fact that a hungry child is not a child very open to the learning process.


Gurdon gets principal

from Magnolia

Tailgate News Editor
Gurdon High School will have a new principal in the fall, as Principal Tommie Campbell is transferring to Hope to be principal there and Harvey Sellers, 39, of Magnolia has been hired to man the Go-Devils.
Superintendent Allen Blackwell said Sellers comes to Gurdon with 11 years experience as a junior high school assistant principal at Magnolia and more than six years as principal for Magnolia High School.
Sellers said, “I am happy to be here in Gurdon. I was at a 5A school for 17 years and I am looking forward to experiencing what goes on at a smaller school.”
Blackwell said Sellers went to college at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and did his student teaching at Magnolia High School.
“Magnolia is the only school district Harvey has been in, but he sure has a lot of energy,” Blackwell said.
“I feel confident he can handle the problems and questions of our 250 or so Gurdon High School students since he is used to dealing with the 700 kids who go to Magnolia Junior High School.”
In addition to his administrative experience, Blackwell said Sellers does a lot of sports officiating. It was during his officiating at a regional tournament held in Gurdon that Sellers became interested in a career move to GHS.
“Sellers seems to be a by the book sort of guy,” Superintendent Blackwell said. “I believe he will do well here.”
Blackwell said Sellers will officially start with the district on July 1, “but I am sure he will attend some performance development sessions for Gurdon even before that date.”
According to Blackwell, the new principal will get some early training for principals at Dawson Co-op in Arkadelphia.
Sellers said, “I really appreciate the confidence the superintendent has shown in me and I am looking forward to showing a lot of support for the Gurdon Go-Devils.”
Blackwell said Sellers plans to move to Gurdon so he can take a more active part in the community.
Outgoing Principal Tommie Cambell told Mr. Blackwell he enjoyed Gurdon but believed Hope to be the right move for him.

Tutu and AK will meet again on a football field

Tailgate News Editor
According to retiring Head Gurdon Football Coach John Pace, AK (Austin Kirkpatrick), who just graduated from GHS after being the starting quarterback for the past three years, had 76 touchdowns under the Go-Devil colors.
But without the suburb defensive blocking of Devante “TuTu” Charles several of those TDs just might not have happened.
TuTu was his clear the way man. And clear the way he did. AK had 6,115 yards of rushing during those same three years.
But the two team mates are no more. While to this writer’s understanding there has been no spat, things will be different this fall. If both get to play football, AK will be on the OBU Tigers team and TuTu will play across the road for Henderson State University.
The two athletically and academically successful athletes will no doubt handle the change professionally. Of AK, Coach Pace has said, “He handles things with integrity. I like the way AK does things.”
As for TuTu, Pace said he has known this man since he was a little boy carrying candy and sodas to the game and trying to sit by him if it were some other sport than football where Pace had to be out on the field.
“TuTu has cracked me up many times when he was little. He is a big guy. I am not sure he was ever very little,” Coach Pace said. “But that is TuTu. He is big and he is excellent when it comes to defense in football. I will be watching both of these boys in college ball this fall and expecting good things.”
AK’s mother, Coach Brandie Kirkpatrick, said at Thursday night’s football white and purple jamboree, “AK graduated and then he went up to Alaska where my mother is. He will be back in plenty of time to get oriented to OBU and he says he is looking forward to going to college,” she said.
“As a defensive lineman in his senior year, TuTu had 74 tackles and 75 sacks. three blocked punts and two fumble recoveries.”
Pace said Charles has come a long way, both on and off the football field. Academically, he had a 24 on the ACT. Devante made All District for three years (in the 7AA District) and was All State last year and this year.
Charles was nominated, and voted to participate, in the All State football game.
GHS Quarterback Austin Kirkpatrick won outstanding offensive player in AA football. AK’s scholarships will pay about 90 percent of his college. Tutu has a full ride to HSU.

Tailgate to cover Haskell and Benton Harmony Grove School

Tailgate News Editor
The Southern Arkansas Tailgate News Weekly Magazine is expanding direct coverage.
At present, direct coverage is predominately Gurdon related with hand-ins from all over Clark County, Garland County, Hot Spring County, Nevada County and Saline County.
Starting in the month of June, every effort will be made to also directly cover Haskell City Council and Benton Harmony Grove School Board meetings.
There will also be an effort to include a calendar of upcoming events for the Haskell community as well as continued direct coverage of Gurdon City Council and Gurdon School Board.
Haskell is a community of about 2,500 residents, as is Gurdon. Haskell is located between Malvern and Benton proper, with a shopping base in Benton/Bryant and in Malvern.
A greater effort will be made to accumulate new advertisers to add to our existing sponsors who would like to attract business from the Haskell community news readership.
The Tailgate News keeps up with its actual site hits by way of Facebook Widget and at present we are getting approximately 3,500 readers per week.
John Nelson, editor, said he is looking forward to serving the journalism needs at Haskell.

Two Sisters remodeling at Malvern

Tailgate News Editor
Malvern’s best kept secret for gently used, upscale clothing now has an all glass front display, with just a bit of framing left to go.
Two Sisters Consignment and Resale owners Stephanie Ussery and Shanna Gray said the remodeling won’t stop there, as plans to change the inside of the store should yield additional floor spaces for more of their stylish products. And yes, the owners really are sisters.
Stephanie said, “Starting this shop in August of 2013 was like a long-time dream come true for Shanna and I. And we can’t wait to have more space so we can get more gently used items.”
Two Sisters is located at 422 South Main Street in Malvern, with store hours from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Shanna said, “We are also open on Saturday from 10 a.m. until… You can always call and check to see if we are still there at: (501) 732-9074.”
In the clothing line, shoppers will find “Miss Me” jeans, “Rock Revival” jeans, “Daytrip” tops, and “Afflection.”
In addition to the jeans and tops, Two Sisters carries: purses, jewelry, shoes, formals and even pageant dresses.
Two Sisters has a convenient dressing room to try on things before purchase.
Stephanie said, “We really enjoy this. Not only is it a dream come true, but the opportunity to operate this store just sort of fell into our laps.”
Stephanie and Shanna, both of Malvern, have found out a little history about their store as they have studied up on what might be the best course of action in their remodeling.
“This place was a jewelry store (Kanauts), a movie theater and even a record store,” Stephanie said.
Shanna said they had found items in the walls, such as some sort of bottle caps, from way back in the day.
“It is hard telling what we will find before we are through,” she said. “But it will be nice to have some extra room for three to five more racks and also the space to maybe add furniture and house ware.
The sisters said their research on the building and its theater history revealed the tidbit that it used to be “The Joy Movie Theater.”
The new all-glass front takes that old look away from the entrance and displays the clothes in an eye-catching manner.
Stephanie admitted that family members backing the sisters really helps.
She is married to Dan Ussery, a former Malvern police officer who now attends college and still works in law enforcement.
“I am really proud to say he is a 4.0 college student,” Stephanie added.
The Ussery family includes four children; Destiny, 13; Alaina, 10; Tommy, 5 and Bejamin, a year and a half.
In addition to her part in Two Sisters, Stephanie is a licensed cosmetologist.
“I do hair three days a week at Crosstown Nursing Home,” she said.
Shanna’s husband, Mike Gray, is an in-store enthusiast and “our reliable third helper.”
Sanna and Mike have two children; Lance, 7 and Jacob, 4.
“Mike is a grocery store manager at Food Center here in Malvern,” Shanna said. “But when he is not at Food Center, he stays down here and really does a lot of work. We call him our third official helper.”
Shanna went on to comment about Two Sisters saying, “We are not the typical resale shop. We try to do upscale, but we do have something for everyone.”
Shanna said in addition to the searched out, upscale merchandise, Two Sisters has a new mark down every week – so bargain hunters come on in!
Although Stephanie admitted she does not spend much time on a computer, Shanna does. And Shanna has set up Two Sisters on Facebook. She invites everyone to find them and press like.
“We have Coach Bags,” Shanna said,” and really we have something for children of any age, men and women.”
Getting what you like while Two Sisters has it is key to shopping there. To make sure you get the items you want before somebody else beats you to it, the store has a lay-away program.
Shanna said it entails putting 20 percent down on your selected items, with the agreement you will have it paid off in 30 days.
The Two Sisters are community minded and being mothers they are also child activity oriented.
Stephanie said, “We do sponsor a T-Ball team. Our sons, Tommy and Jacob, are on the Two Sisters team.”
Stephanie and Shanna, plus that “third wheel” Mike, invite you to check out Two Sisters the next time you are on Malvern’s Main Street.
The family atmosphere, abundant smiles and enthusiasm concerning those “gently used clothes” should bring a smile to nearly any shopper’s face.
And for those who like downtown history, ask Shanna to show you her collection of unusual items found in the store walls. Those items may bring back some pleasant memories from days gone by.


Many honors at awards ceremony

Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon High School Academic Awards Ceremony for the upcoming graduating class of 2014 was held on Tuesday, May 6 in the Cabe Auditorium with numerous students receiving scholarships and praise.
First up was the Gurdon Rotary, with club president Randy Cox presenting $1,000 scholarship to Jase Anderson, this year’s salutatorian.
Then eight seniors received monetary scholarships to Henderson State University in Arkadelphia.
One student, Austin Kirkpatrick, received scholarships amounting to approximately $38,800 to attend Ouachita Baptist University where he will play football and enjoy being the recipient of the Dean’s Scholarship.
Hallie Clark received a $10,000 scholarship, that is $2,500 per year for four years, to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
Dr. Trey Berry, of Southern Arkansas University (SAU), presented the first annual Cabe Foundation scholarship to Kelsey Smith for $2,500.
Britta Clark, a GHS alumni representing SAU, announced $35,000 scholarships for Sarah Sims (co-valedictorian), Kyle Currey and Nick Stubbs.
Jase Anderson, salutatorian, received a $44,000 SAU scholarship.
Henry Thompson, president of the GHS Class of 1963, awarded Krystal Bell with $1,000 from that class.
The Quachita Baptist University Trio Upward Bound program awarded a credit at OBU, valued at $1,650 to Diane Leon and Kelsey Smith.
Connie Nelson, for the Rev. Johnny Harris, awarded the Ollie Mae Ollison Scholarship to Martesia Cunningham.
Hallie Clark received a $600 scholarship from the Junior Auxiliary of Arkadelphia for choosing a field relating to children.
Leonard Gills, Henderson State University Alumni, presented a $500 scholarship to Krystal Bell.
Clayton Franklin, president of the Gurdon Community Development and Entertainment Club (CD&E) presented a $1,000 scholarship to Erica Shaver, who plans to attend ABC Beauty College.
Paul Shaver presented a Billy Wells Memorial Scholarship for $500 to Andrew Kuhn.
Vicky Smithpeters, for the Clark County Catteman Association, presented a scholarship to Sarah Sims.
Gracie Smith presented the Red Springs Extension Homemakers Brighter America Scholarships to Austin Kirkparick and Kelsey Smith for $200 each.
Football Coach John Pace presented the Montel Williams and Kynan Barrett Athletic Scholarship for Academics for $1,000 to Hallie Clark.
Counselor Rita Guthrie explained the Tasseltime Scholarship and the Arkansas Academic Challenge Lottery Scholarships.
Hallie Clark received $100 scholarship from Tassseltime and 22 upcoming graduates received $2,000 in scholarships or more from the lottery.
Six medallions of completion were given from Southwest Arkansas Preparatory Academy. GHS Principal Tommie Campbell recognized Leah Boulden and Austin Kirkpatrick as Army Reserve National Outstanding Scholar Athletes. Tara Williams and Stacy Stone recognized vocational completers.
For FCCLA, Williams recognized Amanda Howell and Kelsey Smith. In agriculture, Stone recognized Jase Anderson and Kevin Kruger. National Honor Society new members were noted.


Gurdon masters new software, buys new police car

Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon treasurer and recorder told City Council members Monday that 85 percent of the software/computer conversion to a new and more efficient system for keeping up on the city’s business is “finally finished.”
Treasurer and Recorder Tambra Childres said, “All of 2013 is completely up and running. We had about $490,000 in the general fund for 2013.
“The bank balances are balancing and the new system is going to be so much more convenient than our old way of doing it in the future. But the conversion has been difficult.”
Childres said there is no need for redoing of listings with the new system, as it is mindful of all of the city funds through the end of March.
She said Gurdon had an Internal Revenue compliance review, which is not an audit, and she was told of some changes in Social Security for firemen by the IRS representative.
“The lady from the IRS told me firemen are considered employees, even though they are volunteers.
“She said they will pay Social Security and this change will be reflected when they receive W-2 forms.”
Assistant Fire Chief and City Council member Danny Paul said Social Security has not been taken out in the past from a fire fighter’s pay because the IRS said “our wages were received from an enjoyment, not as an income.”
The Council approved the treasurer’s report.
In other business, Council members also approved the purchase of a new police car for Marshal Don Childres.
The vehicle will be a 2014, unmarked and black, with all of the required police lighting on the inside.
Sgt. Chris Russell said their source had one car left and it would be appropriate for Marshal Childres. This would mean the chief’s current Dodge Charger would be passed down the line and “we can retire Officer Garry Marshall’s old car.”
The new car is a 2014 Dodge Charger, priced at $27,783.46 and the city is already budgeted to pay $800 a month for the vehicle.
According to Mayor Clayton Franklin, the plan to get a more modern police car, under four years old, and keep the same payment structure for Gurdon, was derived several years back and it is now time for a police car update, as per dictated by that plan.
“It levels our budget and keeps the marshal’s fleet of cars in a consistently updating mode,” he said.
The purchase will be made under Arkansas State bid, which means multiple bids are not required to get a new police car in Gurdon.
“The revolving car plan gives us a new police car approximately every three years,” Franklin said. “We are consulting with local banks to get a better interest rate.”
The mayor said the city hopes to secure an interest rate between 4 and 10 percent.
In other financial news, the city sold a Mack truck for $15,000.
Councilman Paul noted reports of street deterioration on East Crayton, on both sides of the street.
Mayor Franklin said he would put a little pressure on County Judge Ron Daniel to see if any help can be secured toward repair on Gurdon streets.
Childres said, “The water has taken its toll and I wish we had the money to respond by doing another city-wide paving.”
Justice of the Peace Sherry Kelley approached the Council on behalf of basketball players at the city park, siting they had been asking her about the possibility of a flood light so they could play there after dark.
The Council agreed to get a 350 Watt security light, to be placed on a pole near the basketball court. Kelley said the project should cost Gurdon less than $20 a month. Danny Paul said he would try and get a pole donated to eliminate that monthly fee.
Kelley had said the pole would lease for about $6 a month and the security light itself for $14 a month from Entergy.
The Council accepted the resignation of Ward #3 City Council member Ronald Scott, siting health reasons. An appointment to replace Mr. Scott was suggested but Childres said she wanted to check with that individual to confirm willingness to serve. The appointment for Ward #3 was tabled.


HSU Quarterback encourages GHS academic wizes

Tailgate News Editor
Ten of the 11 top seniors at Gurdon High School (Austin Kirkpatrick was playing in a baseball game) were on hand Tuesday night when Henderson State University football quarterback Kevin Rogers gave them encouragement to develop their talents by way of accepting help from others when it was offered, living by the Golden Rule (do unto others as you would have them do unto you) and by not listening to the naysayers of life.
GHS seniors on that top 11 academic achiever list are: Hallie Clark, co-valedictorian, Sarah Sims, co-valedictorian, and salutatorian and Rotary academic scholarship winner Jase Anderson.
Also in high honors, with grades above 3.75, are Austin Kirkpatrick, Nicholas Stubbs, Leah Boulden and Kyle Currey.
Those with grades between 3.15 and 3.74, making up the dozen students honored, were: Kelsey Smith, Krystal Bell, Andrew Kuhn and Diana Laura Leon Hemandez.
The majority expressed plans to go to HSU in Arkadelphia.
Rogers went on to tell his young audience of academic scholars, and well-wisher, about recently completing a bachelor of science in business at HSU with a 3.9 GPA and how he is working on a master’s in business administration with one more year of football playing eligibility.
Rogers is a Rockwell, Texas native and talked about his struggle to get to play football his first year at Henderson. But they let him play finally, and now he has made 92 touchdowns!
Rogers is a Baptist Collegiate member and enjoys volunteerism. He is also the president for the business honor society at HSU.
“Challenge yourself,” he told the seniors. “I sat where you are four years ago, wondering what God had in store for me. My advice is work hard and be humble. Trust yourself. Give back. Have faith in God. And take a leap of faith. Trust your heart and don’t be afraid to fail. My first year of football at HSU, I was third string and not doing well. But I followed my heart. My heart told me I could make it if I took it one day at a time and played like a champion.”

Hoo Hoo goes public with membership drive

Tailgate News Editor
A long-time employee of the Hoo-Hoo Fraternity, which originated from a conversation conducted by six lumber industry men in Gurdon back in 1892, has announced a major change to the previously closed membership organization; in order to save Hoo-Hoo from becoming extinct the fraternity has opened its doors to non-lumber industry related members.
Beth Thomas, 69, who runs the Hoo-Hoo Museum in downtown Gurdon, and has been the international keeper of its history for 30 years, told Gurdon Rotarians Tuesday the previously closed membership group is now open to public membership for $49.99 locally, with dues varying from club to club across the nation and the globe. Acceptance of new members is still up to those already on board.
Thomas said active groups are encouraged to meet once a month, with a speaker from lumber industry, “but now they play golf in Phoenix.” She said in Minneapolis, Minnesota they still have formal meetings on a regular basis.
“We were an all male membership for years,” she said. “Not only all men, but you had to be someone with at least 51 percent of your income coming from the lumber industry. Then, back in 1993, we let women into this as full members. I was their first woman member but had been working for them since 1984. Some clubs are still all male.
“The decision to open membership to the public is one of survival. We have survived two World Wars and the Great Depression in these United States, with a peak membership of 14,000 during the 1950’s in our fraternity. We have had over 102,000 total members. When I came on board, back in 1984, as their office manager and only paid employee, we had about 8,000 members.”
According to Thomas, the Hoo-Hoo has had chapters in every state except West Virginia and Delaware. The International Headquarters moved to Gurdon in 1981. Horace and Lewis Cabe were very active in Hoo-Hoo at that time and helped with the relocation. Hoo-Hoo rents its museum in Gurdon from the city for $1/year.
There are international groups in places such as Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore and now in Indonesia. The 2016 Convention will be held in Australia.
“Everyone of our chapters has a project they are working on to improve basic living conditions around them such as educational scholarships and the like,” Thomas said. “We do have a fraternity initiation or ‘concat’ ceremony involving our fascination with the black Egyptian cat of nine tails, but I would not let that worry me if I were considering joining.
“Our presidents are called Snarks and we have a list of them at the museum, which was the old Gurdon City Hall years ago. The Snark of the Universe serves a year and then becomes a Ramesses through our House of the Ancients.
“We had another major change here lately, as for the first time we have a lady Snark.”
Mary Moynihan is that Snark. For a complete list of the Snarks, visit the museum. There are two monuments there with all of the Rameses, that is past Snarks, listed. When the organization was 100 years old, Jeff Loth was the Snark of the Universe from 1991-1992.
The sad part of the Hoo-Hoo is that it is not only Snarks who fade away. After fighting to survive for nearly 123 years, current worldwide membership has dwindled to around 2,500, according to Thomas.
“Some people say we are a fraternal order like the Masons because our members have ceremonial costumes and go around doing good Samaritan work for those who need a little help,” Thomas said.
“But the Hoo-Hoo is an open group. We have no secrets like the Masons. If you want to know something about us, come on over to the museum and ask me.”
Thomas said the Gurdon club does not meet on a regular basis, but is still considered eligible to be considered active status. A club must have nine official members to be considered active and Gurdon still has nine. If you join and your town lacks the nine members, you are a member at large.
“Our fraternal mascot is a cat of nine tails, and that is why the number 9 is such a big deal to us,” Thomas said.
“The annual dues in Gurdon, that is $49.99 a year, was arrived at because of those nine tails.”
She said the dues are used for such things as postage, activity announcements and the like.
“Some of our groups do not even have dues,” Thomas said. “Hoo-Hoo is based predominately on volunteers helping those who can not help themselves.
“It may have began from the musings of a bunch of bored lumbermen drinking and being light hearted, but they have been civic minded from the start. The organization started after a lumber meeting in Camden, Arkansas, back in 1892, lasted until 2 a.m. and bored some participants half to death. They went by bus, that is covered wagon, back to Gurdon and ended up at the hotel.
“Hoo Hoo of the future needs new members who feel the same way about improving communities as those lumbermen did back when it was required members made their living at least 51 percent from the lumber industry.”
Hoo-Hoo has a magazine that comes out three times a year on line. At one time, actress Elizabeth Taylor was Miss Hoo-Hoo of the Bulletin.
“Once you meet Hoo-Hoo people, you will realize we are like family,” she said. “They are very down to earth people.”
The following historical account has been reprinted from a magazine entitled “Log & Tally,” created in part by Gurdon’s own Billy Tarpley back in 1992 at the century mark of the Hoo Hoo organization.
In the cold, simple lobby of the Hotel Hall, in Gurdon, Arkansas, Hoo-Hoo was born in 1892, amid the quiet solitude of six gentlemen engaged in conversation, amid friendly company and spirited beverage.
Those six included: Bolling Arthur Johnson, George Washington Swartz, William Starr Mitchell, William Eddy Barns, George Kimball Smith and Ludolph O.E. Adalbert Strauss.
Back in that Hotel Hall, which Thomas suspects to have been near First State Bank in downtown Gurdon of today, the conversation turned toward forming what would eventual become a fraternal order of lumbermen that would exist to promote goodwill among those in the lumber industry.
It was that very topic that brought them together on that winter’s day, and Bolling Arthur Johnson, a journalist with the Timberman in Chicago, Illinois, was the center attraction.
By afternoon’s end, the men had not only spawned a lasting friendship but the beginnings of an organization that continues today, throughout the United States and the world.
To understand the basis of Hoo-Hoo, one must look at their code of ethics, or nine aims.
The International Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo came up with the following standards of unified thinking:
1) To fill with credit the sphere in which we are placed without interfering with the rights of others.
2) To promote human advancement and higher standards of civic, social and economic relations by developing in business the spirit of the Golden Rule, which we accept as the basic principle of peace and prosperity for the world.
3) To establish the spoken word on the basis of the written bond.
4) To cultivate true friendship and therefore confidence among persons engaged in the lumber business.
5) To conduct ourselves and our business so that we may render service to society.
6) To consider our vocation worthy and to be worthy of our vocation as the Nation’s homebuilders.
7) To assist liberally and sympathetically all that seeks to elevate humanity, by charity of action and thought.
8) To keep in view the world bonds of human interest and trade, seeking to promote friendly understanding among all nations and races.
9) To recognize the abiding power of cooperation and organization and so to act as individuals that the International Order of Hoo-Hoo shall ever be regarded with honor as a source of community benefit and goodwill.

Grant gives counties Narcotics agent

Tailgate News Editor
A $43,000 grant to employ a
Clark County Sheriff’s Department
detective as a multi-county narcotics
violation officer has been
approved by the Clark County
Quorum Court, as of Monday,
April 14.
Clark County Sheriff Jason
Watson said Detective Blake
Forca will begin his new duties

immediately and receive a salary
of $54,000 a year.
This means Clark County
Quorum Court members agreed
to pay about 20 percent of
Forca’s salary to be a narcotics
agent serving Clark, Hot Spring
and Grant counties.
Watson said the grant is up
for renewal on an annual basis
and therefore the job will be taken
year by year.
“Det. Forca will still be doing
things for the Clark County
Sheriff’s Department and if the
grant comes up for renewal and
fails to renew, he can hopefully
come back to his old job,” Watson
“But Forca is aware that he
might not have a job if that grant
is not renewed.”
The grant is through the
Arkansas Department of Finance.
and now that the Quorum Court
has approved the acceptance of
this year’s money, Detective
Forca will start immediately in his
multi-county narcotics agent position.
Watson said that way grant
requirements can be met.


Gurdon gets improvement money

Tailgate News Editor
The City of Gurdon has received $25,000 in general improvement funds from the State of Arkansas, which is the first such disbursement here in more than a decade, according to the mayor.
Mayor Clayton Franklin said Wednesday he has been mayor for 15 years and when state government has had general improvement funds available for Clark County those funds have always went to Henderson State University or other Arkadelphia oriented entities.
“I give full credit for this to Representative Richard Womack and Mr. Womack deserves the heart-felt thanks of the City of Gurdon,” Franklin said.
The $25,000 is earmarked for playground equipment at the Gurdon city park, with a tree-house and slide combination on the top of the list to buy.
“We have been wanting to add to our park playground equipment for sometime, as we had heard this money might come our way,” Franklin said. “But now that the money is in the bank for us, we can get started in a hurry.”
Mayor Franklin said general improvement funds only become available to cities, learning institutions and other organizations after the General Assembly meets and the state pays other funds necessary for its operation, such as roadway improvement, jails, education and the like.
“Sometimes there are no general improvement funds left after the state pays the required bills,” Franklin said. “This year, there was some money left and our Representative Womack went to bat for Gurdon to get it.”

Franklin said he began conversing with Womack about two years ago concerning the possibility of Gurdon getting some general improvement money for the park playground equipment.
Womack said he believed Gurdon could use the improvement funds effectively, as he could see the local park is used for playing, birthday parties, anniversaries, weddings etc.
Franklin said this money will be spent on the park itself, not on any pond projects.
“We are thinking of the kids and anyone who uses that playground this go around,” he said.
When general improvement money is left over, after the General Assembly meets, each representative is allowed to say what happens to the portion allocated for his district. Franklin said Womack picked Gurdon for disbursement.
The actual disbursement of the $25,000 came through West Central Arkansas Planning and Development after one of their representatives told Mayor Franklin funds were available to improve the Gurdon park. Planning and Development Representative Dwayne Pratt presented the money to Gurdon Wednesday.
Rep. Womack said he chose Gurdon, and specifically a park improvement project in Gurdon, “because the park is something the public can enjoy with no cost attached to that enjoyment.”
“I love stuff like the Gurdon park and playground because it is for all types of people to enjoy that happen to be in the area,” Womack said.
Franklin said general improvement money, left over cash, is usually around every two years and goes through the governor’s office before being divided between the districts.
“This is along the same lines as a person paying their family bills and then having a little left over to divide among the children,” Franklin said.
“Again, we are very grateful that our Rep. Womack was thinking of Gurdon when he found out there would be some geneal improvement funds available in 2014.”


Boys and Girls Club growing in Arkadelphia

Tailgate News Editor
The Arkadelphia Boys and Girls club has come a long way from a brainstorm four years ago to serving 55 to 75 children a night.
Erik Edington, director of the site on Pine Street near Goza Middle School for these past two years, said Wednesday the club serves those in second grade all the way up to eighth grade.
“We have a few that have come up through the program and grown beyond the traditional Boys and Girls Club age, and we put those youngster to work helping us on ‘power hour,’ or just generally helping us out,” Edington said.
The Boys and Girls Club is open from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. after school, Monday through Friday.
During the summer, the facility is open from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
Erik is an Arkdaelphia native, living here 32 out his 34 years so far.
He is a certified teacher, with a Bachelor of Science in Education (BSE) in science, with an algebra endorsement.
“Our day to day operations begin with serving them a snack,” Edington said.
“The about 3:30 p.m., they are required to go to ‘power hour’ for whatever they need. They do this Monday through Thursday. On Friday, our schedule is a bit looser.”
According to Edington, power hour offers tutoring, homework help, or sometimes just somebody to talk to if the student has special problems.”
Edington said statistics show those receiving tutoring at Boys and Girls Club have significantly higher grades than before coming to the program.
“We pride ourselves on being able to enhance a student’s test performances,” he said.
“But Boys and Girls Club is much more than that. For example, we get to use John’s Outlaw gym, when Goza Middle School is not using it, for basketball and more playtime activities.
“We have pool and ping pong facilities and we have a couple of classrooms set up for our tutoring.
“We also have access to the school’s computer room, with more than 20 computers available to our students. Of course, this is all supervised so inappropriate sites are not pulled up.”
Edington has experience in the traditional classroom, but says he counts himself lucky to be the director at the club “because it just seems like I can help more kids this way.”
In addition to classroom experience, Edington taught math for adult education.
He said there are eight part-time helpers at the Boys and Girls Club besides himself. One, Brittany Hickman, is a certified teacher.
Edington said there are approximately as many girls in attendance as boys.
The general cost is $25 per year per family. Then it goes to $50 per child per semester.
The cost of meals is based on the free or reduced fees charged by the school. For more information, contact Edington at: (870) 245-6829.




Tax money should mean 100 new jobs yet

Tailgate News Editor
Clark County Judge Ron Daniell said Tuesday Quorum Court members voted to hear quarterly financial reports from Alliance, a group set up to handle industrial sales tax money, rather than settle for the annual reports of the past.
Daniell said the one-half cent Clark County sales tax has passed for another seven years and Quorum Court members are interested in keeping closer tabs on where the new money goes. Gurdon Mayor Clayton Franklin said the first six to seven years of the tax netted the local government about $10.5 million and very little tracking as to how it was spent.
Sources say nearly $5 million is still in the bank, set aside for an Arkansas Industrial Park Railroad Spur, intended to serve industrial clients like the anticipated chicken factory processing plant to go in operation sometime later this year and the new wood mill, if indeed it comes to do business at Arkadelphia.
Daniell made no indication he thought any of the industrial tax money of the past had been misused. He simply said Quorum Court members have a greater desire to stay informed about its use as industrial plans unravel than they did in the past “because it is the public’s money and we are all entitled to updates.”
Daniell stressed that Alliance, a private subcontracting company that Arkadelphia hired sometime ago to recruit new industry and new jobs to Clark County, will still have the right to privacy while business deals are in process but “we just want to be kept in the loop on a quarterly basis as to how things are progressing.”
The next Quorum Court meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 14. Daniell said it is always on the second Monday of the month in the District Courtroom. The public is welcome to attend and may enter the building next to Summit Bank, according to the county judge.
“We would love for everyone to come on out and hear Kay Brockwell, our temporary Alliance industrial recruitment manager since Shawnee Carrier resigned. She is to fill us in on some positive economic steps being taken for Arkadelphia and Clark County as a whole. Positive, that is, as to it relates to recruiting new industrial jobs for our public,” Daniell said.
Daniell addressed the issue of the existing Gurdon Railroad spur, as opposed to building a new one in the Arkadelphia Industrial Park on Highway 67. He said Union Pacific Railroad wanted to charge Clark County $1.2 million on each end, for a total of $2.4 million to set it up to where the spur could be directed and operated “from some far away city.”
“This still might have been cheaper than Quorum Court members voting to build a new one in the industrial park, but I believe the decision will make it more convenient for our upcoming chicken processing plant, the tentative new wood mill or any future type industry we recruit to fill up our industrial park,” Daniell said.
“The Gurdon spur was not where these first two industries could conveniently use it, and Union Pacific sounded like they were going to be expensive and hard to work with if we decided to go through them.”
Daniell did not rule out the possibility that the Gurdon Railroad Spur might be revived in the future “if significant industry ends up setting up shop in the south end of our county.”
• Although Daniell admitted no hiring dates have been set for the Arkadelphia Poultry Production Plant, to open in the near future at the Industrial Park on Highway 67, he said Arkadelphia is still slated to get a new chicken factory, which should require a crew of at least 100 new employees.
“There was some family disputes among the new owners, or so we have heard,” the judge said. “I think that is all behind us now.”
Last August, in a grand opening ceremony, Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe, along with Prescott Mayor Terry Oliver and Gurdon Mayor Clayton Franklin, announced there would be a Vikon Poultry processing plant located in the former Petite Jean Poultry plant building at the industrial park.
As a result of new ownership litigation, Daniell said, even though the Arkadelphia Poultry Production Plant was to be a division of Vikon Farms, it is now legally a division of Hillstern Farms. Once the company has enough chickens hatched in Prescott and grows enough chickens in Eldorado to keep up with supply and demand, the Arkadelphia processing plant will go active and be an important link in the loop of delivering the number of chickens promised to various markets.
The plant is at 125 Technology Drive, in the industrial park near Gum Springs. It is just off of Highway 67. Judge Daniell said work is going on to revamp the inside of the building in preparation for killing birds and processing them.
Originally, Vikon had promised Arkadelphia 172 jobs, with hiring to begin around February.
The judge said Alliance was handling the particulars with the new chicken factory and Quorum Court members are looking forward to getting an update on April 14.
Gurdon Mayor Clayton Franklin said last year Petit Jean Poultry, which has been closed since April of 2011, had more than 500 employees in its glory days. Old Petit Jean workers will be the first to be considered for hire.
Franklin said those interested in employment should check with the Clark County Employment Security Division in Arkadelphia.
“I am not sure they will be hiring through the unemployment office, but that would be a good place to start,” he said.
As to wages, Franklin said he believed starting pay would be somewhere close to $10 an hour.
The new plant will be processing chicken, but not the same type Petit Jean Poultry did. Franklin said Arkadelphia Poultry will deal with smaller “range” birds, say 2 pounds instead of the 4-pounders processed through Petit Jean. The new poultry are more like a game bird.
The mayor said several retail markets have already been established. Those markets are in Asia, as well as in California and other western states.
Franklin said growers in Eldorado would be utilized, as they also lost a processing plant “that left employees high and dry” and workers there have the necessary experience to grow the smaller birds.
“This bird is grown to be less fat, whereas Petit Jean grew them to get big quick,” Franklin said. “There will also be four or five employees over at Prescott, where there is a building for egg hatching.”
Daniell said Tuesday most of the original estimates were still on target, to the best of his knowledge.
“It is not just the equipment installation that is causing this delay,” he said.
“I believe the biggest reasons for the delays in hiring and opening at Arkadelphia have been the family dispute over who was in charge of what, and also those in charge want to be sure enough birds can be produced to meet market needs before launching the local processing plant. It is my understanding we are close to resolving these concerns.”



Coach Jackson will teach winning by using head, hustle and heart;

hopes to get new uniforms next year with three motivational stripes

Tailgate News Editor
When a Go-Devil greets a Go-Devil from now on they need to think of that “big G” and think BE GREAT!
And rather than arrogance, the new athletic director and head football coach said that Big G is going to mean a great football program, great integrity among the players, academically sound players in all sports and players that are known throughout 2A schools as the most well equipped to win in the state!
As to our varsity football team, great will mean great talent, a great community of proud fans behind them and a group of young men who have pride in hard work, accomplishment and integrity.
New Head Football Coach Kyle Jackson said Wednesday he plans to build pride in the Go-Devil program that is a healthy reflection of integrity both on and off the field and that pride will spread to every band member, cheerleader and fan in the Gurdon area!
He summed it up by saying, “This is a dream job for me and I will work my tail off to make sure that we continue to uphold and build upon the tradition of this great school and town.
“I would not have taken this job if I did not think that we can transform this program into the premier 2A athletic program in the state of Arkansas. This will be a collective effort involving everyone in the community to build something that everyone in this town can be proud of and people across the state try to imitate.”
One major change right of the bat that the coach told this reporter Wednesday involves getting Gurdon athletes to thinking in terms of a three-way success formula; including head, hustle and heart.
Coach Jackson mentioned in passing during an earlier interview that completely outfitting the Go-Devils in new football uniforms for the fall could cost as much as $60,000.
This is a school budget stretch, but Jackson said he does not intend to burden the Gurdon School System for extra uniform money. He does intend for his players to have the new uniforms, with three lines on every one of them – signifying the head, hustle and heart. And one of the first places that formula is going to have to become a reality to get something done is fund raising toward those new uniforms.
“I want those players, and Go-Devils from now on, to have those three stripes of integrity and hard work on their uniforms, as a simple tool of winning,” he said.
“As to the fund raising, yes we will have to work very hard to finance new uniforms for this fall but we will get it done!”
As another symbol of his healthy pride, competitive character goals and a symbol of a true Go-Devil winner, Coach Jackson said from now on the coaching staff will be the ones to pick who wears the number 3. It will be a symbol of a player judged by the coaches to be operating with head, hustle and heart
“If there is nobody operating with this high level of integrity in a certain year, then nobody will wear the number 3 jersey,” Coach Jackson said.
“Before I go on with my plans for the future, let me pay proper respect to the past. I have been in Gurdon coaching football for two and half years under Head Coach John Pace.
“Coach Pace gave me a chance to be a part of the Gurdon Go-Devils, a team with a winning record and an outstanding history. I would like to thank Coach Pace for the opportunity to be a part of what he, and others in the community, built, and for the opportunity to insert the Coach Jackson version of competing with integrity and building deep community pride for all sports and school achievements in general as the new seasons roll by.”
Coach Kyle Jackson was hired three football seasons ago as the defensive coordinator (head coach of the football team’s defense). Jackson said the Go-Devils have had three great seasons under the headship of Coach Pace since he has been here “and my job is to keep it going and make it even better in the future.”
Kyle Jackson grew up in his Dad’s field house and says he never really considered any other profession except coaching.
“It gives me a way to stay competitive in football, even though I am not playing,” the younger Jackson said.
Kyle Jackson is the son of Eddie Jackson, a football coach for the Prescott Curley Wolves for 28 of his 44 years of coaching football.
Coach Eddie Jackson had 210 total football game wins, winning the state championship four times and runner-up three other times.
The elder Jackson did some exploring, school wise, in the seven years after he finished his 28 years in Prescott’s Curley Wolves arena.
His son said his father took jobs in Texas and then came back to Genoa Central, where he built their football program.
Coach Kyle Jackson graduated high school at Liberty Eylaw in Texas back in 2001.
He played football for Arkansas Tech at Russellville from 2001-2004. Jackson was an offensive tackle. Jackson stayed on at Tech an extra two years for a master’s degree in physical education and to be a graduate assistant for their football program.
While at Tech, he met his wife, the now Beth Jackson from Montgomery, Alabama, who is the Head Softball Coach at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia.
The couple has two daughters, Claire, 3, and Presley, 15 months. Coach Jackson said he was intending to have a couple of Go-Devils but ended up with a couple of soon to be cheerleaders!
When the Jacksons left Russellville and that college atmosphere, it was time to get a job. Kyle Jackson became a defensive line coordinator for Nashville, Arkansas. He stayed in that capacity four years. Then Coach Pace offered him a chance to be coordinator of defense overall for the Go-Devils.
Coach Jackson will not officially take over as head football coach and athletic director for the Gurdon Go-Devils until July.
But he is getting up early to make his plans every week day, as can be illustrated on his message board in what used to be Coach Pace’s office at the GHS field house.
“As far as the athletic director part of my new job, the main thing is I want to have regular meetings with my coaching staff and let them know our goals so we can all train the kids in like manner and get this Gurdon sports staff working on the same page,” he said.
“We need to be working as a unit. This school is too small for us to not have to share athletes sometimes. And we need to look into a pee wee basketball program, not just pee wee football. The earlier we can get our kids started in sports, the better.”
Coach Jackson said he plans to revive the Gurdon Booster Club as well, plus utilize churches who are willing to feed the team on certain Friday nights.
“As I told School Board member Elaine Halliday, I will answer my phone promptly so we can plan meals for the players or whatever our parents and community boosters need.”
Coach Jackson said all players, not just football players, should be monitored on a regular basis for potential grade trouble “unless somebody is a straight A student and then we might not watch them as close.”
“The thing is, the coaches need to work with the teachers to make those teachers have an easier job of it. If it takes coming up here early to tutor a player to keep him eligible to play, I will do that personally. One of the elements all coaches on my watch must develop is we will do what it takes to give our students as many tools to win in the sports arena, or life in general, as we can possibly give them,” Jackson said.
Coach Jackson said developing an interest amongst younger students in playing sports is a key element to success in the long run.
“There will be years when the talent is not at a high level. But if the community support and drive in our students is where it should be, you can win games with community and team enthusiasm sometimes even when the talent is not top of the list.”
Jackson said another way to develop enthusiasm is to build up rivalries. He said the Prescott/Gurdon high school game this year will be on Friday, Sept. 5 at Go-Devil Stadium. The junior high school will play in Prescott, at a stadium named after his dad, Jackson Stadium. Gurdon’s Coach Jackson, a Baptist, said he also plans to take his players to church.






Coach Jackson plans to teach winning methods

Tailgate News Editor
After interviewing three prospective candidates Wednesday for the position of Gurdon head football coach and athletic director, the man who said he wanted the job worse than anyone else, and would work harder to perform it with excellence, was selected by Gurdon School Board and had already been endorsed by the Gurdon football team.
As to the athletic director position, Kyle Jackson, who has served as assistant football coach here for two and a half years, said he would have a regular meeting amongst head coaches of all sports in order to get Gurdon athletics on the same page.
“I am Mr. football, and people know that is my sport,” said Jackson, who is a second generation successful football coach and the son of a man who knew how to win at Prescott, “but as athletic director I believe the key to improving things for kids is for everyone to get on the same page. If I am lucky enough to get this job, problems such as kids wanting to play more than one sport, or the need for basketball fundamentals to be taught earlier at Gurdon will be solved with better communication. We have got to work together for what is best for our kids.”
Jackson said he believes in winning and giving every student who wants to play a sport every tool at their disposal to win, and he believes in academic success of athletes. He said he wil do whatever it takes to achieve both.
“To me, we need to keep an eye on their grades and check on them every couple of weeks before an academic problem gets serious and ends up making them ineligible to play, or worse yet effects them graduating. The key is communication between coaches and students, and between coaches and those who support the gold and purple.”
Jackson told board member Elaine Haliday, a sports booster enthusiast, that if her church or group wants to fix a meal for the team he will call them back promptly and be grateful for their support of his players.
On getting students at Gurdon started with basketball, he said he wants to meet with primary school physical education teachers and talk about working basketball into their gym classes so seventh grade will not be the first time many are exposed to the hoop shooting sport.
Superintendent Allen Blackwell asked Coach Jackson what he would do if it were half-time in a game that if Gurdon won the Go-Devils would be in the football playoffs and Gurdon was two touchdowns down?
Jackson said, “Half time speeches are over-rated. I would give them one, but if we had a grip on our training throughout the year, those boys would want to win and get out there and give it all they had.
“Besides, if it were the Go-Devils, we would not be behind two touchdowns in the first place.”
Jackson said he trains young men to work hard nine months during the off season, and learn a lot about integrity and sticking to the goal of winning, so that when football season comes around “they are ready to work their rear ends off and they do so.”
Jackson told the board he wanted to stay in Gurdon and build a football program that other 2A schools in Arkansas would consider a model. One board member asked how he would react when that eventual losing season came around?
Coach Jackson said he plans to build a community pride in wearing the gold and purple and a winning tradition the whole town can believe in. This will include getting events to the media on a regular basis to help develop that community pride.
The coach pointed out that there are 40 pages in his book on how to win at football and he plans to have at least 100 more pages added as his career progresses. He said life is a process where you are always learning and adding to what the book says is “absolutely right.”
“If we hit a snag and don’t always win, we will find more tools to win for our students and never give up on coming back for another win,” he said.
Jackson was asked if he would be there for his players even after their senior playing days were over? He said after having a boy for six years, he would feel close to each one of them and want to continue being there for them for years to come. He said safety was always a priority with him, but the hardness of weight training and the like sometimes means the boys do not always like him. His hope is they will always respect him and that the six years they spend in his program will make them men of high integrity with a winning attitude about life, not just sports.
Haliday asked the coach about college recruiting and how fast he would respond to recruiters. Jackson said because of his background he knows several college sports recruiters and realizes they want a quick resume, video etc. on an athlete. If an athlete expresses an interest in playing in college, Jackson said he would begin preparing the video early so a recruiter could come in and pick it up “and decide pretty quickly if a boy could play for them.”
The School Board deliberated for more than two hours after interviewing the three candidates. Other candidates were Coach Brad Harris, formerly of Gurdon, and Coach Stephen Mink, formerly of Tyronzo. While waiting in the wings for the decision, this reporter got to listen to the opinions of the Gurdon football players and from Cabe Middle School teacher Hollie Bratton.
The teacher said the players respect Coach Jackson and he talks to them like “a good daddy who wants a son to treat a wife and children right and have some integrity in life.”
About a dozen football players attended the head coach and athletic director selection meeting. During the deliberation, this reporter heard comments such as, “Coach Jackson is a determined man, but he is mature enough to submit to authority when he has to,” and “Coach Jackson has taught me some things about football I never learned under anyone else. He believes in working hard to win and to have that winning attitude. In reality, Coach Jackson is one of big reasons we have been winning as well as we have these past two seasons.”
They talked of Jackson’s insistence that no matter what else was going on in their lives, they were to report to the field house on time, “at 7:31 a.m.” for practice. Coach Jackson gets there at 4:51 a.m., ready to find one more winning tool to give to his players.
Bratton said she believed the players were very attached to Coach Jackson’s way of doing things and she could not understand why the School Board had not just promoted from within without the formality of advertising the positions…
When the School Board ended the closed session and called the players, teachers and this reporter back into the meeting, Superintendent Blackwell said, “I thinks Mrs. Haliday has an announcement about our head football coach position and our athletic director position.
“Coach Kyle Jackson has been selected as head football coach and athletic director,” she said. “We proudly announce this because he has earned it.”
The crowd of young players began clapping and seemed very pleased with the decision. The teacher, Ms. Bratton said, “These boys are used to Coach Jackson. I am not sure they would have went out for football if the decision had went any other way.”


Coach Pace steps down from head coach position

Tailgate News Editor
Gurdon’s Head Football Coach John Pace, 53, has announced he will resign his post after 23 seasons and eight conference championships with the Go-Devils.
In addition to coaching football, Coach Pace was the head coach for baseball here for 20 years.
Pace said Wednesday, “I have been coaching since I was 23 years old and I have decided I need a change.”
Pace will continue to teach at Gurdon for the next two years and then plans to go into business.
For now, he will teach in ALE at Gurdon High School, but says he plans to teach where ever needed by Principal Tommie Campbell.
Pace has also resigned as athletic director, as that position is usually reserved for the head football coach. No replacement has been selected for the fall of 2014 as of yet, although advertising has been placed for the position.
“I wanted to make sure this was the right decision for me and my family so I have been considering this change for about two months,” he said. “For me, this is the right move. I just need a break from coaching.”
Pace was originally from Oklahoma, but came to Arkansas to coach football, spending two years at Marked Tree, five years at Helena/West Helena and one year at Adkins before settling down to 23 years with the Gurdon Go-Devils.
Pace’s winning record was not surpassed by any other coach in Gurdon’s history, with 146 wins, 1 tie and 101 losses.
In baseball, the teams he coached won 274 times for Gurdon and lost around 115 to 120 times.
“”Our football teams had eight conference championships and got runner-up three or four other times,” he said.
“That baseball record was so phenomenally win heavy because for some reason the kids in Gurdon just love the game of baseball. But I sure can not complain on team cooperation in football either.
“I would like to thank each and every one of the kids I coached in both sports for their solid effort to win.”
Coach Pace said he realizes winning is not everything, but being in the loser’s bracket is just not acceptable for Gurdon Go-Devil winners – and he considered them winners and told them so.
“In the coaching world, if my kids had not bought into the idea of winning, I would not have been invited to stay here all of this time. I taught a winning philosophy and my players bought into that way of thinking. Again, I thank each and every one of them that I coached for keeping that winning mentality and usually carrying it out,” Pace said.
What was probably to be Coach John Pace’s last football season in Gurdon, the fall of 2013, came out on the winning end, 10-2, with two of his star players receiving hefty scholarships.
Austin Kirkpatrick, the quarterback, received and accepted an athletic and academic scholarship to play football for Ouachita Baptist University.
DeMonte “Tutu” Charles, a phenomenally talented defensive player, got a full ride, four-year scholarship to play for Henderson State University, across the street from his quarterback, and signed on for HSU.
Although spending many nights and weekends with other coaches and his team members, Coach Pace did manage to maintain a family life with his wife, Rene.
The couple had a boy and a girl; Colby, 30, and Taylor, his younger sister. Taylor married a Gurdon boy, Josh Griffin, and they now have two children of their own, both girls.
Colby and his wife have one girl and a boy on the way. Colby is in sales and marketing in Norman, Oklahoma.
But to Go-Devil fans, Colby Pace and Josh Griffin should be familiar names, as both played football for Coach Pace.
“Yes, they did and one of the most exciting games of my entire career was with both of them in action when we beat Carlisle 27-26 in 1997,” Coach Pace said.
Pace said it was a well executed football game and the second round of the playoffs against Carlisle at Gurdon.
“We threw a touchdown pass with three minutes left in the game, had a bad snap but still got the extra point to win!” Coach Pace said. “It was an exciting game, but we came back and won it!”
Coach Pace described the play where Gurdon came up with the 1-point win over Carlisle like it was yesterday, with his son Colby holding and his now son-in-law Josh being involved with the play, and the ball being scooped up by another Go-Devil named Dermont Beasley, who made the score because of an official ruling to count the point.
Not having been there, this writer is having a hard time describing the play with the excitement it deserves, but suffice to say Gurdon needed that extra point in the worst way. However many football players were involved, the job got done according to the official score, and Gurdon won 27-26 over Carlisle.
The Go-Devils then lost to Harding Academy, 14-6 in the next round.
In regard to accuracy in the description of the 1997 Carlisle game, this writer is going by long ago memories of Coach John Pace about an exciting football game, and if that game description is wrong, we’ll invite Coach Pace to run a correction and set the record straight in Tailgate News.
Our point is simple. Gurdon got the extra point because of determination and a last minute scoop from a football that may have been down.That scoop turned into a score that won the game!
We interviewed former School Board President David Williams after talking to the coach. Williams has a son in coaching at Prescott.
“I am a Gurdon boy and I have seen the dedication that Coach John Pace has had, working night after night, and weekend after weekend. He could not even have a peaceful Sunday most of the time, as just as soon as church was over he would head to the field house during football season.
“When a man gives his life to the game and the players like Coach Pace has for all of these years, you should let that man decide how it is going to end.
“John Pace needs to spend time with those grandchildren, time that he did not get to spend with his own children. When you have that much dedication, there are simply some family things you will miss. Gurdon will miss John Pace as the head football coach, but Coach Pace says its time to go so its time to go.”
Editor’s Note: I have covered football in Gurdon 10 years, getting story after story and photo after photo of players pouring their hearts out to win for Gurdon,win for Coach Pace – and win because that’s the goal. But if there was an injury, Coach Pace had the team take a knee and pray. He prayed the Lord’s prayer with his team after every game, teaching integrity and respect. I will miss him.



Welder artist travels to Hot Springs

Tailgate News Editor
A Tennessee welding artist made an icy journey from Chuckey, Tenn. to Hot Springs, Arkansas on Tuesday, March 4 so he could make sure his artwork was on display at the American Art Gallery on Friday night for the popular first Friday of the month “Gallery Walk.”
Brian Mace, 56, said his only display in Hot Springs has been American Art Gallery downtown and he has been bringing his steel structures, all hand painted, to the gallery off and on for between 7 and 8 years.
“I have been welding artistic creatures and painting them since I was in welding class in high school 43 years ago,” he said.
“I must have been about 15 when I made my first piece. That would have been in my third year welding class.”
Ann Gilbert, co-owner of American Art Gallery, said the welding art pieces are popular and reasonably priced.
“I have had pretty good luck selling Brian’s pieces over the years and I am glad to get this new supply,” she said.
Mace said if anyone wants additional items, tell the Gilberts. He called Willie and Ann Gilbert, and the American Art Gallery, his special display partners in Hot Springs “and any orders should go through them.”
In addition to cats, dogs, possums, peacocks etc., Mace is always looking for new ways to please customers.
“I brought a whole van full of art this time so welding art fans should have plenty to choose from,” he said.
Mace’s art has multi-colors and seems to be all nature oriented from observation.
“The displays are curved to where you can generally tell the animal being depicted and then I add the brightly colored paint for that good mood feeling on a porch, patio or out near a garden,” he said.
Mace has been producing art work after art work in the recent past as therapy to combat grief. His wife of 5 years recently passed away from cancer.
“We had five great years and you won’t hear me complain about that,” Mace said. “When I think of all of the joy she gave me, it is easy to create this uplifiting art.”

Mayor says accountability needed before  trusting tax money to Alliance again

Tailgate News Editor
Gurdon Mayor Clayton Franklin said Wednesday he is not opposed to the renewal of the 1/2 cent countywide sales tax for industrial recruitment in Clark County “but my vote on March 11 may reflect the lack of accounting transparency current administrators of the tax money have given the public.”
Franklin said the tax has been in effect for seven years and expires in 2014. It has produced at least $1.5 million per year. According to Franklin, it has produced a total of nearly $10,500,000.
When the mayor was asked what all of this money was really used for, he said, “I really don’t know.”
The tax was approved by Quorum Court vote seven years ago and then put to a vote by the people of Clark County. Franklin said it carried in Gurdon.
“Our people are not opposed to the tax, just to the fact that it was subcontracted to an independent agency from a Quorum Court board that was supposed to be in charge of its administration and accountability,” Franklin said.
“Once the Alliance and Arkadelphia Chamber of Commerce got the purse strings, there was no longer a legal requirement for public book keeping and accountability and they were free to do what they wanted with the money.
“I am not calling them crooked and accusing them of any wrong doing. I am simply saying that before I would be in favor of this tax again, the press and the rest of the public would have to have access to the industrial tax slush fund books.”
As to the mission of the money, increasing Clark County manufacturing jobs, Franklin is unconvinced of any success. He sited 1065 manufacturing jobs lost in the past 10 years for Clark County, according to the University of Arkansas division of research.
The mayor said he had heard the construction of an Arkadelphia Industrial Park railroad spur will cost the Alliance group close to $5 million before it is completed.
“Gurdon is never included in their plans. I told them a long time ago if they would turn over the portion of the sales tax money collected in Gurdon for the City of Gurdon to openly manage for industrial recruitment down here, I could go for that,” Franklin said.
“They never would respond to that offer. They are ran by a subcontracted body of independent folk that do not have to answer to the government of the people as to how they spend that $1.5 million a year and it does not appear that said group is the least bit interested in developing any industry in Gurdon, Arkansas.”
When asked about the chicken factory that was supposed to open up this spring, Franklin said he has heard nothing recently about that still being about to occur.
“I am not saying they won’t come and I am not saying that would not benefit Gurdon. I am saying the Alliance has kept closed mouth on any progress that might have happened with the chicken factory recruitment effort, which means the potential workers don’t have a time table either. Many really need some answers so they can make plans to go back to working a steady job.”
Mayor Franklin said the existing railroad spur, just south of Gurdon, was brought up early on as a plus to recruit new industry but that ball was dropped by the Arkadelphia based managers of the sales tax.
“They already pledged $1 million of the $5 million necessary to build a new railroad spur in the industrial park where that chicken factory was said to be opening up again,” Franklin said.
Franklin stressed the following logic as his bottom line on the sales tax vote coming up on Tuesday, March 11.
“I don’t feel it’s a vote on an industrial recruitment tax. I am in favor of having some money available to bring jobs into Gurdon and Clark County overall,” he said.
“This upcoming vote is really a referendum by the voters as to their satisfaction on how their tax money has been spent, and what industrial recruitment progress has really been made. It will also give voter reaction to the fact that those in charge feel no sense of accountability in regard to letting the public know how their money is being spent – at least they make no regular report on it.”
Franklin restated they don’t have to make such a report as the Alliance folks are not a governmental body with open-door requirements, such as the Freedom of Information Act puts on bodies such as a City Council or the Quorum Court and their committees.
“In considering the referendum on how the money is being spent, I must make a note that I can not find any evidence they spent any of this for the economic benefit of Gurdon – unless Gurdon workers want to drive to Arkadelphia if and when the chicken factory opens,” he said.
“Again, I think the vote on March 11 will be a referendum on the management and how the money has been spent, and on the organizational structure.
“People are either satisfied with Arkansas Regional Alliance and its affiliates, as to how their industrial tax fund has been spent or they are not.”
Franklin said he personally has found Alliance to be less than straight forward when asked about the number of jobs actually created with the tax money available, and about future plans- if the funding continues…


Come get a career in a year

Tailgate News Editor
The ABC Beauty College in Arkadelphia celebrated two years at its 26th Street location on Jan. 31 and is in the process of remodeling the Cutting Edge hair salon next door. The owner would like to assure the public he will continue to cut hair during the facelift.
ABC Beauty College student population continues to average between 20 and 25 and school personnel would like to invite anyone with a possible interest in a hair career to “come on in and get acquainted.”
Charles Kirkpatrick, owner of the school, the Cutting Edge hair salon and ABC Barber College at 103 Brenda Street, Hot Springs, said Feb. 13, “We have really been happy in our new Arkadelphia facilities and we continue to brainstorm ways to make our students more and more competitive in today’s workforce.
“The hair business is still one of the best ways to have a career in a year. If you come in to check us out, stick around any evening, Tuesday through Friday, and get yourself a pleasing hair cut at the Cutting Edge.”
School hours at both the beauty college in Arkadelphia and the barber college in Hot Springs are from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., with ABC Barber College also having a student population of between 20 and 25.
According to Kirkpatrick, the Cutting Edge takes off Mondays but stays on other weekday evenings “as long as there are still requests for haircuts.” It continues to serve the public with three hair stylists. Charles, his school manager and daughter Beth Waggoner and Beverly Hardin all work there. During the interview, Charles was cutting the hair of a Henderson State University baseball player, Colton Lorance, of Arkadelphia.
Lorance said, “Another one of my team mates said he came to Charles Kirkpatrick and was very satisfied with the haircut he got so that is why I am here. I plan on coming back.”
Kirkpatrick and he and his daughter Beth moved into the 203 South 26th Street mall/building in order to better serve the needs of the student body and the customer base. In addition to the tradition of working hard to please the hair customer, the move created a bit of history.
The ABC Beauty College moved to its former 2708 Pine Street location 28 years ago, on Jan. 31, 1984 and opened for business on South 26th Street on Jan. 31, 2012.
When Charles and Beth first took over the beauty college and hair salon, it was 1980 and their first location was at 620 Clinton Street.
Kirkpatrick said the beauty college has graduated approximately 1,050 students to become licensed cosmetologists since 1984 and around 1,450 total since he took the school over in 1980.
Anyone interested in a career as a cosmetologist should contact Delores Clark, ABC’s registrar and business manager. She can be reached at: (870) 230-0777.
“We are still a great choice for a career in a year, with a pretty well depression-proof guarantee, as people will continue to get their hair worked on even in hard times,” Kirkpatrick said.
Mrs. Clark said ABC Beauty College currently has 20 plus students enrolled, but the school is ready for an increase. The beauty college has added a new instructor and a new office worker since moving to the new location. There is plenty of room for a few more hair-career ambitious students, she added.
“It is like anything else,” Mrs. Clark said. “Once we get you in here, and we find a way for you to pay for the education, it is up to you to finish your 1,500 hours and make this a worthwhile experience and a ticket to a good job.”
Kirkpatrick said he and his daughter have lived in Clark County just about all of their lives.
Originally from Amity, Charles said he traded working with wood pulp for working with heads of hair. Charles Kirkpatrick is the executive director of the Arkansas Barber Board and one of the founders of Barbers International, plus he is in the Barber Hall of Fame in Ohio.
He said many of his beauty school and barber school graduates start out making $100 a day or more. Any age is a good age to go to school to do hair. He has had students from ages 17 to 62.
“It takes 1,500 clock hours to become a licensed cosmetologist,” Kirkpatrick said. “This takes most of our students about a year to complete.
“We are accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS) and the Arkansas Department of Health, cosmetology section.”
Kirkpatrick said ABC Beauty College has financial aid through Title 4, as well as Pell grants for those who qualify.
“All student work is performed in the presence of a licensed instructor,” he said. “The new facility is state of the art and a great place to learn not just haircuts, but hair coloring, pedicures, manicures, perms and the like. You learn to please the customer hair-wise.”
As an aside, Charles said when he cuts he likes to ask about hair length before he gets too far. He called it a hair stylist’s nightmare to hear a customer exclaim, “that is just too short!” Always ask before you cut and avoid this situation…
Kirkpatrick said a new class of students begins during the first week of every month. Those wanting to enroll do need proof of citizenship, as well as economic and family information.
Instruction, he said, is available through a traditional class setting and also on line.
“We teach the basics,” Charles said. “But we do have many success stories. Once in a while one of our former students will give us a call to let us know some good news. They may be starting a business or they have just landed that good job in a great location.”
Kirkpatrick said he would like to see the classes graduate 30 to 35 per year and believes enrollment will pick up to that level “as the word of the fine facility continues to spread and available jobs continue to be hard to find.”
“If you want to cut hair, and you work it, this certificate can mean making a good living – even if our country heads back into economic recession or worse. People get their hair done and will continue to do so.
“My motto at both schools has always been if hair is something you enjoy doing, invest a year of your life getting an education so you can not only have a job but enjoy your job.
“Once you are a trained hair person, you have something you can rely on to make money and to possibly own your own business.”




Valentine couple enjoys rainbow on their honeymoon

Tailgate News Editor
Togetherness says a lot. If you can work with a person and then go home and spend time with them, that says a lot about how much you not only love them, but like them – and like being around them.
Charles and Anita Cabe, both 69 and of Gurdon, have been married for 46 years. They are the ones you see at the Cabe Land Office when you want to apply for various foundation grants.
But they are also man and wife and have been ever since a minister finally decided Charles would take Anita to be his lawful wedded bride, but not her twin sister…
The Cabes have many such anecdotes in their years together. They have one son, Clay, 45, who is married to Sarah B. Cabe. There are no grandchildren yet.
But how did this all start? Anita said Wednesday she met her husband, and now long-term Valentine, at Henderson State University. Charles was visiting Arkadelphia and at the time attending college at the University of Arkansas in Monticello.
“I have lived in Gurdon all of my life,” Charles said. “Anita and Annette were from Forrest City and were originally from Mississippi. I dated Anita for three years before asking her to marry me at Dairy Queen. She said yes and we took off on a Hawaiian honeymoon after getting married in Forrest City.”
Anita said she and Charles were married on July 2, 1967 by Brother Hankins at the Forrest City Baptist Church.
After coming home to Gurdon, they have been active members of the First United Methodist Church for many years.
Their son Clay was born on Sept. 14, 1968.
The particulars of the anecdote mentioned earlier and their marriage ceremony went like this.
Anita said, “Brother Hankins got nervous about the situation of two twins in his church, being myself, Anita, and my sister, Annette.
“He asked, “Do you Charles take Annette…”
Anita said the preacher had to be corrected and the ceremony went on as planned. But on the marriage certificate was written the following explanation. It says, Do you Charles take Annette? No. Do you Charles take Anita? Yes.
But before we get to a bit more romantic occurrence related to the Cabes’ honeymoon, let’s get a few more basics uncovered.
Charles and Anita met at the Henderson State University student union back in 1964. They both ended up alumni from Henderson.
Charles said, “I took her to a movie in Arkadelphia on our first date. I think it had something to do with a computer, but I don’t really remember.”
They continued dating through December of 1966 and he popped the question in January of 1967. She said yes and the engagement began, with apparently summer wedding plans in mind.
“I asked her at the Dairy Queen where we could at least be alone,”Charles said. “I sure don’t understand these guys who ask a woman to marry them on television or the like. To me, that would be awful if the girl decided to turn you down.”
Well after the date at the movies, and after the wedding where Charles nearly ended up married to the wrong twin, it was time to get away from all that preliminary marriage stuff. It was time for the honeymoon and their love for traveling sparked to life in Hawaii.
Anita said, “We flew into Hawaii and I looked out the window to see a rainbow.
“I took that as a very good sign to start our marriage by.”
Charles said he and his bride visited Honolulu, the island of Ma hi and the Island of Hawaii while over there.
He warned this editor Hawaii is a beautiful place “but it is pretty expensive. I would advise anyone planning a trip there to take plenty of money.”
After touring three islands, the Cabes took a cruise ship home. Then the day to day marriage began, as it does for every couple.
But Charles and Anita’s marriage has stood the test of time.
“I would have to say the secret to getting along and keeping things positive in marriage has to do with giving and taking. And sometimes you just have to know when its time to give more than you take,” Anita said.
Charles thought a minute and decided his wife was right.
“I was going to tease and tell you it was a matter of saying ‘yes Anita’ when she asked me to do something, but the truth is give and take in this marriage has been the secret of its success. That, and just enjoying each other’s company.”
This editor asked the couple when it was they fell in love? Anita and Charles smiled at one another.
Anita spoke first, “Falling in love for us has been a process.”
Charles must have agreed with his wife, as he smiled and never said a word. At least part of that process, in the case of the Cabes, has been the discovery of common ground.
Charles and Anita both said their satisfactions in life come from seeing those in need get help from foundation grants that they process through boards for approval and from traveling.
At work, Charles and Anita are in charge of two lumber business related grant foundations;
“We have basically spent at least 30 years in this office together and many times we spend 24 hours a day together,” she said.
“When we get home, I knit or we play board games and such. We like DVDs and some television. Besides the give and take, the part about liking each other is very important. Especially when you are always with the other person.”
Charles said he also likes politics and history. He and Anita are Republicans and attended the inauguration of United States President Ronald Reagan.
“Reagan started out a Democrat, but made the statement that the Democratic party ran off and left him,” Charles said.
The C. Lewis and Mary C. Cabe Foundation was established in December of 1989. Then the Horace C. Cabe Foundation was set up around 1993, by way of nieces and nephews after Horace Cabe passed away in 1992.
But the overall Cabe Land Company has had an office next to the railroad track, near Front and Main Street, for years.
“Before this was Cabe Land Company, Paul Potter the barber was cutting hair in one end of it,” Charles said.
Anita said grants from the foundation and their boards have been awarded throughout Arkansas, but the help they have been able to secure for Gurdon has been “the most rewarding for me to see.”
“We live here,” she said. “Yes, we now have a weekend place on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, but we live here during the week. And we watch Gurdon and the needs around us. When our foundation work is able to help, we can see first hand some worthwhile results.”
Anita used as an example of grant recipients, the Cabe Library, the Baptist Medical Clinic, the Cabe Auditorium on the GHS campus and the Cabe Middle School.
There are many more projects that have been funded here through the Cabe Foundations and the grant process they have to offer. Not every grant application is funded, but Charles and Anita continue to invite any worthy cause to apply.
As to their other passion, that is traveling to new places, the couple has been to Hawaii four times, Greece, the Caribbean and the Scandinavian countries, to name a few adventures. State side, they have been out west and also to Florida.
Anita shared a vacation memory from a 1980 family cruise in Athens, Greece.
“We had sort of a language barrier mix up,” she said. “When we paid the bill at a restaurant, they brought the change back in a tray. I understood the waiter to tell me to ‘take the tray,’ and so I started to put it in my purse. A little fat Greek security person said No!”
Charles teased his wife by saying it was the one time she almost went to jail. Anita just smiled and gave him his fun. After all, they did say marriage was give and take.
As to Valentine’s Day, the Cabes plan to go to a Valentine’s party at the Hot Springs Country Club.
“We enjoy getting out with family when we can,” Charles said. “We do things for ourselves, but more importantly we try and do things that we know will make us both happy.”

Two Gurdon boys get a scholarship/athletic boost

Tailgate News Editor
The head football coach at Gurdon got to see a little bit of his dream come true Wednesday morning when the offensive quarterback star of the Gurdon Go-Devils and the renowned defensive lineman both signed athletic/academic scholarships to play college ball and pursue a college degree.
Head Coach John Pace, a 23-year veteran to his post in Gurdon, said GHS seniors Austin Kirkpatrick and Devante “TuTu” Charles “are two of the finest athletes and academic achievers I have had the privilege of coaching in all of my career.”
Coach Pace said Kirkpatrick,#15 for the Go-Devils, played football at Gurdon from his seventh grade year on. As he senior, he is 5’9” and 175 pounds.
Pace said Kirkpatrick has also had experience playing defense in football. “AK” played defense and on the outside line back in junior high school.
But as a quarterback, Pace said Kirkpatrick has had 6,127 yards of rushing overall during the past three years. The quarterback also had the all-team best record in touchdown throwing, as well as rushing.
Kirkpatrick made All-District as a sophomore and was also All-State sophomore. Moreover, he was an All-State as a junior and a GHS senior. AK was also nominated to play in the All-State game. Pace said Kirkpatrick was also AA offensive player of the year.
Pace also touted AK’s top rate academic record and said he is a “4.0 student,” meaning Kirkpatrick had the perfect high school grade point average of 4.0, that is all As.
“AK is a fine athlete, an academically excellent student and an outstanding individual,” Coach Pace said.
The coach added that AK’s scholarship will pay for “probably 90 percent of his expenses at OBU,” rather than 100 percent like Devante’s at HSU because of the higher cost to go be a Tiger.
Devante “TuTu” Charles, #53, played football at Gurdon since seventh grade.
Coach Pace said Devante’s senior weight is 308 pounds and the defensive powerhouse is 6’2 and a half inches tall.
“Devante has played both sides of football. As a sophomore, he was a right guard on offense,” Coach Pace said.
“As a defensive lineman in his senior year, TuTu had 74 tackles and 75 sacks. three blocked punts and two fumble recoveries.”
Pace said Charles has come a long way, both on and off the football field. Academically, he had a 24 on the ACT.
Devante made All District for three years (in the 7AA District) and was All State last year and this year.
Charles was nominated, and voted to participate, in the All State football game.
His family gave him the nickname Tutu. Pace said his positive and enthusiastic personality has gained him many friends.



The Path I Took; Chapter 1, The Best Band Ever

By John Nelson

Tailgate News Editor

When I entered the fifth grade, it was proposed to me that I join band in Hagerstown, Indiana. I loved music, and my Daddy had been in band, so why not?
I began by taking up the clarinet. Before it was over, I would get pretty good on the coronet as well, plus get good enough on the guitar to write my own songs. But back in fifth grade, I just smiled and asked for a clarinet.
My Daddy got me one from somewhere in Oklahoma. It was a wooden woodwind, which was an old clarinet. But it played pretty good and the best part was making music with my friends. To this day, I wish that is what I did for a living; make music with my friends.
And yes, I realize that is a line from “On the Road Again” by Willie Nelson, but believe me, it fits. I went to work with that Clarinet to be first chair in the clarinet woodwind section. I made first chair out of about a dozen or so players. However, I shared it with a girl named Peggy Lindley. We would challenge each other from time to time. Sometimes I was first, sometimes second. It all depended on who won the challenge.
I have a column in Tailgate News Magazine called Memorable Moments. This book is probably going to be a series of such moments; times I remember that somehow stick out at 55 years old. The stuff we are talking about now represent some pretty good times when I was between the ages of about 11 and 18. They all took place in Hagerstown, Indiana, my childhood hometown.
My first band director was Mr. Haskett. I don’t recall his first name. It might have been Joe, like my second and final band director was called. Joe Backmeyer came into my life when I was about in the seventh grade. I loved his class and how he made me and my fellow musicians feel a part of each other’s lives.
I probably learned more friendship skills back then than at any other part of my upbringing. I used to have a lot of close friends. I don’t let all that many folks that close to me anymore. I know I should, and I am working on it. I suppose I have been playing life a little over cautious these past eight year but that is another rabbit to chase entirely.
Let’s go back to band class. I remember those challenge trials with Peggy. She was a slender, very tall blonde girl, a grade or two ahead of me in school. I have always been short; 5’6” is stretching me. But hey, Napoleon was short right?
I remember Ross Bennett playing trumpet, John Sanders playing trumpet and Dean Charles playing trombone. Bob Farris played the tuba. I saw Bob at our 35th class reunion but did not get to talk to him. I hope to do that at our 40th. That should be coming up in three years, say 2017…
So let’s try and get a handle on the year I first started band. I graduated Hagerstown Jr. Sr. High School in 1977 and so my first experience with band must have been around 1970. I don’t really recall too much about fifth and sixth grade band, or if I did all that much with Mr. Haskell except figure out I enjoyed what I was doing.
But in seventh grade, when it was announced that Joe Backmeyer would take over, things started to change. There was this girl who played clarinet also. Her name was Joni and she went to my First United Methodist Church with me. We sang in choir together there and played in band together. She had curley reddish brown hair and freckles. I watched with interest as she grew up…
But somewhere in junior high school, Mr. Backmeyer decided to let some of us young folks, with what he called talent, move up to play with the high school kids now and then. I was one of those that got to play with the bigger kids. That was great boost to my ego.
I was not only in band, but in 4-H, Methodist choir and vice president of the Hagerstown Historical Society. This met I got to help another classmate, Jim Hudson, clean out cemeteries from time to time. We mowed them, set up broken head stones the best we could and recorded names and dates of the dearly departed. That data would probably be of use in today’s world of the Internet in something Ancestry.com. But back then, it was taken down and I have no idea what happened to it after that. Jim Hudson was the Optomitrist’s son. I thought Dr. Hudson was cool and his profession was the first one I attempted before switching majors in college to Social Work and then to psychology and journalism. I stuck with the latter and eventually got a bachelor’s with a major in journalism and minor in psychology.
So I was a busy kid back in 1970. I also took care of between 100 and 300 rabbits, from which I picked a prize winning buck, doe and meatpen to display at the Wayne County Fair every fall.
One of my first memorable band moments was in a church. I had competed in this music memorization contest with my clarinet and Mr. Backmeyer played along with my song on the piano. The contest was at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, where I would eventually get that bachelor of science afore mentioned. I got a superor rating and felt so accomplished.
But the moment that stands out in my memory came about a month later when I was supposed to reconstruct my musical piece in front of Dr. John W. and Nancy Nelson, my Daddy and step mother. There was only one problem. I did not take seriously relearning the piece…
I got up on the stage and started out pretty good. I noticed my Daddy smiling and Nancy smiling. I so wanted to impress them. You see, I only got to see them every three months, when they came to visit me from Oklahoma City. Other than that, my grandparents (his folks) raised me on the farm. Even back then I was a lover of life and the pleasures there of. Before I fully understood the path of following Jesus Christ, I understood pleasure and exploration. This little moment we are on is an example.
I had spent the time I should have been practicing for that concert talking to my Daddy, which I idealized back then and frankly still do. His dropping out of my life is the single most painful thing that ever happened to me. That pretty much happened when I was 20 years old and newly back from Florida.
I know I was hard to take as a young, “bullet proof” young rebel. But still yet, I wanted to see my Daddy every chance I could. He did come to my college graduation in 1982 and his own father’s funeral in 1989. That is the last time we were together. I have never understood why and I probably never will. My latest research, here in 2014 is swaying me to believe that my neurologist father has passed from this world. If he is still alive, and he happens to read this, I sure would like some contatct. Just for the heck of it, my telephone number is 1-870-353-8201. As always, I am throwing the bottle out into the ocean.
But let’s return to those innocent times. That church concert was a hoot. I started looking at my Daddy and step-mother and completely forget the song! I mean I had no idea what in the dickens I was playing. But I am a natural song writer. Having written more than 150 poetic tunes for guitar, I suppose I can say that. And it was no different at the age of 14 or so. I played that group a tune they seemed to be into. My band director cut his eyes to me and then started following my jazz piece with his piano keys. We both played along a while until it seemed like an appropriate place to stop…
The crowd went wild. I received all sorts of applause. I got the heck off that stage as fast as possible, after taking the customary bow with Mr. Backmeyer and after seeing that my Daddy and Nancy seemed fine with the tune.
Back stage, Mr. Backmeyer could not help but laugh. I laughed right along with them. We even went out and took another bow, or at least I am remembering such. All I know for sure is we pulled it off. It was the John Nelson version of Mark Twain’s “Royal Nunsuch,” straight out of Huckleberry Finn! And it worked. Mr. B asked me if I could play the same tune again. I laughed and shook his hand. I said something to the effect of, “Not until donkeys fly!”
It was one of the first times I remember that I realized I work better under pressure. That is why, in my opinion, my 16-page Southern Arkansas Magazine, is turning out to be much more entertaining to create for you than my 12 pager I created in 2013 was. It fills my schedule and challenges my talents. That is the best thing for John, and hopefully for you the reader.
I remember going home and telling my grandparents what happened. Sweet Jesus, I said, I simply went blank and then decided, what the heck, time for improvision. They too had a great laugh about it. I don’t remember whether I told Daddy and Nancy or not. If I did, I am sure I was somewhat embarrassed, but at any rate, we do what we must. At least that is the way I was raised.
The next big band memory was my first band camp. It was also my first time away from home, other than that occasional visit to Daddy’s house in Oklahoma, or before that Milwaukee, Wisc. And of course North Webster Church camp. That is worth a mention in another chapter. But now, for my favorite band memory, “It happened at Band Camp.”
To fully understand the wonderful relationship I had with this 65-member band, you just have to have a little background to how bad I wanted to go to that first band camp. I was 15 and had just been snipe hunting with Joni Woodward. That is the little curley headed gal I mentioned earlier, also a clarinet player. Now at band camp, I was playing the coronet. I switched ombisures and instruments for marching band to be heard more. Even as a writer of the written word today, I love it when we have a huge number on the site visits. It makes me think maybe someone is enjoying what I have to say.
But anyway, I was in first section trumpet, never first chair like on the clairinet. My trumpet playing buddies all had five or six years more experience than me and besides, I just did this when I marched.
Back to Joni. I promised my wife Michelle that I would not write anything dirty in our Christian based magazine, so I will not go into the full relationship. But I can tell you Joni and I were in puppy love and I could have done a lot worse than to love, honor and obey that gal. She was fantastic. We never married though. It was the era of, “If it feels good, do it,” so when I went to college on my own I started dating other women and eventually moved on to Elaine DeHart, my second serious girlfriend.
Again, back to the age of innocence. I was excited. I had kissed Joni snipe hunting and that was a thrill to me back then. She kissed back with a lot of enthusiasm and we went to the show pretty regular. We also spent a lot of time at each other’s houses. But band camp took our relationship to the next level, where it stayed for five great years. In short, our childhood relationship became accepted by our family members to the point where the term John and Joni was used a lot, instead of thinking of us as two people.
But just before band camp, about three years before my graduation so it had to be in 1974, I started dating this gal that was two years older than me. And we had big plans together for when we got away from home…
I was so excited about it I dropped a huge dresser drawer on my right big toe! I mean it was seriously meated up and horrible looking. I lost that toenail and it grew back funky. It is something I just looked at as I was writing this. Yes, it is a childhood folly that stuck with me this far in life an will probably always look funky and double-layered.
My folks suggested I go to the doctor and that I definitely needed to cancel my band camp plans. I did neither one. I had a date with Joni for some serious smooching and I was not going to let her down! We band folk left the next day for some 16-hour-day marching. This was actually my second band camp we are talking about. I knew the routine and still wanted to go – because of my heart-throb for Joni Michelle Woodward.
My first band camp, where I met a gal named Kelley Thompson, was a lot of fun too. But nothing compared to band camp number two. So we will go on with the Joni band camp story of 1974. It was everything my folks said it would be work wise, and I was a rank leader. That made it even more challenging.
I had a straight ranked file and I had a comical way of lining them up. I remember saying some word phrase akin to “Butts up!” and all of the five folks in rank formed a perfectly straight line for marching . Mr. B caught me doing that one time and remarked that my unique approach to life had not changed since that church audition a few years before. I smiled at him. Our rank actually won an award, despite the fact that I felt like my foot was going to fall off.
I think Brent Meadows actually got put down in the airduct the year before. He was good natured about it though. A group poured water on him and let him loose. It was so hot in Indianapolis that year and also the second time that water was defintely a good thing.
But all rabbits aside, Joni and I had a plan. She was going to sneak down to the boys floor and we were going to listen to eight track tapes after room inspection. My room mate, Grover Brower, a drummer, was part of the plan. Most of the band knew about this rondevous, but nobody ratted us out.
We came up with some cock and bull story the next morning about how Joni had just wanted to borrow a couple of tapes and had only been in my room a few minutes. It was still a violation of rules. We waited for the axe to fall and Mr. B to send us home… He was no dummy. He knew she had not been in my room for just a few minutes. But what happens at band camp stays at band camp… just like in Vegas right?
He scolded us and told us there would be no more violations of the rules on his watch and then sent us back to our ranks and files. We did not chance any more get togethers that week, but the flood gates had been opened. After that week, for five years, it was never John. It was never Joni. It was always John and Joni.
We were kids and we from decent families. But we were in lust/love and that, as they say, was that. Yes, it was a band thing. And we stayed in band. She was there until her graduation in 1975 and me until mine in 1977. We never dated around. It was always John and Joni. I tried to date a couple of times, but somehow my innocense was in tact. She was my one and only those five years, and that was the way it stayed.
As for the band, they were my closet friends in high school. I can honestly say I had a love for each and every one of them. We played concert after concert, and marched in those hot uniforms every summer. We also played with frozen horns on the post office steps every Christmas as the Christmas carols bellowed out and the seasons passed.
We were in pep band too. I remember these giant sweet tarts, sorta solvo tablet sour treats, that I loved ot eat as I watched my classmates play football and basketball. To me, it was only yesterday.
Next week, in Chapter 3, we will go into family memories during high school, both good and bad on the farm, and how life progessed for the John and Joni dating scenerio. Every day was exciting back then. I was a young man in love and full of dreams to conquer the world.




Magnet Cove veteran receives life saving wound vac to cure pressure wound from VA

Tailgate News Editor
In this ever changing world, the Veteran’s Administration receives a lot of criticism but one veteran pilot and sign maker from Magnet Cove praises VA efforts and gives them credit for keeping him alive.
Britt “Santa” Armstrong, owner and operator of Signs by Santa, said Monday, Jan. 20, “I can not say enough good things about the doctors, nurses and other staff members at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Little Rock.
“Without them, I may very well not have been able to anticipate a 67th birthday, and I am 66,” Armstrong said. “I am a pilot and veteran with 50 years experience flying airplanes and I am not used to being so laid up. It is not over with yet, but I believe VA treatment will have me completely well within four to six weeks. It is taking a little time, but the wound vac is working.”
Armstrong, whose wife Sunni passed a way a few years back, lives alone in a dome house he designed years ago. He has a small pet dog that appears to be a wienie dog with long hair. The dog is many times his only company. The sign maker cut his business back to part-time several years back to attend college and accumulate an associates degree in graphic arts from National Park in Hot Springs after Santa suffered a major heart attack and no longer had the physical stamina to continue working at his previous pace.
He was given the name “Santa Claus” by former Malvern Daily Record Editor Mark Bivens because Armstrong and his wife were involved for several years with the Santa Train, toy-give-away effort in Hot Spring County. Santa also went to his wife’s native Texas during the Christmas season to do Santa shows every year to play his favorite character. And he is Santa Claus. If you have any doubts, ask him to show you his pilot’s license…
Feeling more like himself after recovering from his heart attack, but needing time to study for his goal of turning that associates degree into a bachelor of science in aviation from Henderson State University at Arkadelphia, Santa took a job as a customer service representative for Sykes in Malvern. He had attended HSU years before, without getting to finish, because he elected to join the service.
Armstrong came down with bronchitis this past November and took a leave of absence from college and his customer service job. His sign business, and his ongoing charitable giving, also came to a halt.
“I was really sick and the bronchitis ran me down something awful,” he said. “But after the Veteran’s Administration doctors put me on antibiotics, I began to feel like my old self. Then I misplaced the meds and it took a couple of days to get more. I took a turn for the worse, but was starting to feel a little better when the biggest part of my illness occurred.”
Armstrong said he was alone in his dome house and needed to go to the restroom. His electric wheelchair batteries began to go out. The power was too low to pull the chair across the dome floor and so Santa got up to walk himself to the bathroom entrance. His dog got in the way and he tripped and fell. The fall resulted in the start of a pressure wound.
He got medicine from the VA to treat the wound at home but despite getting the medical help in changing it that he needed, it kept getting worse until he finally went to the Hot Springs Veterans Clinic.
“This is when I met practical nurse Damon. Damon wanted me to go to McCllellan Veterans Administration Hospital Emergency Room at Little Rock to be admitted right away because the wound was tunneling and needed attention. I told him I needed to get my dog fed and to the vet and would then go to Little Rock. He said I could wait until morning but it would be better to go tonight. I went to Little Rock that night, on Dec. 2.”
Armstrong then met Applied Nurse Practitioner Linda Fletcher. She acted as counselor and “drove the bus to my recovery.” Santa offered a special thank you to Fletcher for her special interest in his case and the hard work she did to help him. He was not released from the VA until Dec. 11.
Santa said, “I would like to also thank my heart doctor Susan Trussle, as she was a very conscientious cardiologist and did all she could to keep me alive. The danger, you see, was they were afraid the wound infection tunneling would spread to my blood, possibly causing me to die.”
Armstrong said the doctors considered cutting out the infected wound, leaving him to use a colostomy bag. They asked him for direction on that surgery and he told them to avoid it unless it was a last resort. They did just that and found a way to get the wound to finally be on the way to a full healing.
His pressure wound is now being treated by what appears to be an electronic cleaning device, about the size of Bible. It keeps the infectious material out of the wound and helps in the healing process.
“It is working! That is all I can tell you about the thing. I am very grateful for this wound vac,” he said. “And the VA went to bat for me with it so I did not have to have a colostomy bag the rest of my life. I would like to give special thanks to the team that continues to monitor this wound vac. They are: Elizabeth Johnson, Applied Practical Nurse (APN); Linda Fletcher, APN, Dr. Powel Dutklewicz, attending nurse Leslie Harris, who changes the bandages on the wound; APN Ritza Robinson and others on the staff.”
Santa said medical tests he took while in the hospital also revealed that his insulin intake for diabetes could possiblycause kidney failure. He elected to take himself off of the insulin to avoid this so APN Fletcher helped him figure out appropriate diet and exercise to control the diabetes.
“I could go on and on about the VA staff and home support effort made. So many times our Veterans Administration takes too much heat for being slow because there are so many veterans to serve. But they got to me as soon as they could and it would seem they were able to give me a life back,” Armstrong said.
“I am looking forward to going back to work and school. Many years ago, I promised my mother, who was a poet and loved education, that I would finish college. Because of the VA and mercy from the good Lord above, it looks like I may be able to keep that promise. Hats off to the VA and God bless them.”

We dodged the mandate tax on Obamacare this tax season

Tailgate News Editor
Despite rumors about hidden taxes connected with Obamacare, Quick Tax owner and consultant Sue Uchtman said Wednesday, “We have not been instructed to figure any Alternative Care Act taxes or penalties for this year.”
Uchtman said her IRS continuing education was in New Orleans for this season and instructors talked about the possibility of penalties for those who have no health insurance, or “substandard” health insurance, “but that is all we did was talk about it.”
Uchtman said she has not even heard of anyone being penalized tax wise over the health insurance changes brought on by Obamacare.
Uchtman was not quite so optimistic for late filers from last October. She said last fall’s government shut-down somehow caused those taxpayers refunds “to go out there somewhere in limbo.”
What it amounts to is they got behind at the IRS due to the federal government shutting down, she said.
“To be honest, someone filing at the end of January is more likely to get their refund faster than an October 2013 late extension filer. When we pull up an October filer to find out what happened to their refund, the computer can not seem to give us any timetable.”
Uchtman also said taxpayers wanting to file in the middle of January this year will not be allowed to do so “because the federal government will not accept any filings until the end of this January.”
“We can usually start printing refund checks before Martin Luther King Day, that is around Jan. 17 or 18, but this year we can not start filing until Jan. 31, again as a result of the Internal Revenue Service getting behind because of last fall’s government shut down (Oct. 1-16). The IRS told us in New Orleans that refund checks would only be delayed a week, but I believe I will be printing checks on February 10 this year.”
On the brighter side, Utchman said five consultants from Quick Tax went to the three-day IRS continuing education classes for this year in New Orleans and standard deductions going up was something they knew would be a plus for their Southern Arkansas customers.
“We get to pick up things in the training to bring back home and share that are area relative. This year, if you are under 65, single, or married filing separate, your standard deduction has gone up to $6,100.”
Uchtman said the married filing joint has now gone up to $12,200. Head of Household standard deduction is $8,950.
Uchtman added that if you are a taxpayer over 65, all of these deductions go up even more.
As to how much tax deductions have gone up since last tax season, single or married filing separate in January of 2013 was $5,950, while married filing jointly was $11,900. The old Head of Household deduction was $8,700.
Another positive change for filers this year is you will be able to check the status of your refund, for federal (IRS) taxes, within 24 hours of the IRS receiving your tax return electronically.
“You can check the status of your refund by way of your smart phone or computer,” Utchman said.
“You go to Amended, Where’s My Amended Return IRS, IRS2GO, from ITunes or Google Play,” she said.
“You can also go to IRS.GOV on your computer and that will check on your refund status or amended tax return. If you get confused, just let us know. The point is we can track your refund much quicker than ever before because of this change.”
Yet another positive change for area taxpayers this year comes in the arena of business mileage pay. This year the IRS has gone up 1 cent, from paying 55.5 cents per mile to 56.5 cents per mile.
Medical miles are now 24 cents. Uchtman said moving expenses mileage pay is also 24 cents a mile.
Uchtman said operations at her Gurdon office, 109 E. Joslyn Street, as well as the Arkadelphia branch at 904 Main Street, will be open during the upcoming busy season from 8 a.m. until every customer has been served, Monday through Saturday, and by appointments on Sundays.
Uchtman said her five consultants normally stay open until about 6 or 6:30 p.m. but from the last week of January until the end of February those hours will be extended as needed.
Nikki Jennings is the contact operator in Arkadelphia.
Consultant Claudia Moreno, who has been with Quick Tax seven years, specializes in Hispanic clients. She is the one many clients go to for answers about Identiy Theft or ITIN questions.
ITIN, that is Individual Taxpayers Identification Numbers, are applied for through the IRS if a person has no Social Security number and needs to file taxes.
In the case of Identity Theft, the victim applies to the IRS for a pin number, insuring that the pin number gives a definite identification to the filer.
Moreno said to get an ITIN, a person needs a valid passport and if they are under 18 they also need school records, medical records and parents’signatures. Minors may also be filed under their parents as dependents.
Moreno said, “From now on, an ITIN is only good for five years. The ones issued before 2012 were good forever.”

Running in the rain; and all was well with the world

Tailgate News Editor
This moment happened when my daughter Kelley was very young. My then wife Doris and I had moved to Dardanelle, Arkansas so I could take a job as a reporter for the Russellville Courier Democrat. She would go to work for Warner Cable, but I don’t think she had taken that job when the moment came.
Russellville was economically sound back in 1987. Life would level out a bit and be fairly stable. But there was a lot of work involved at my new job and I was a dead man coming in from work that evening.
If I remember right, my then mother-in-law Mandy Akins was visiting us, probably to help Doris unpack and to keep Kelley Marie happy while the place was being put together.
It was one of those moments that a person just remembers in life, sort of like letting go of the steering wheel on your car at 70 miles per hour just to see if the thing happens to be in alignment.
I was tired that day and my eyes met my wife’s as I walked in the door. It was raining cats and dogs and thunder and lightening were even beginning to rumble and flash.
Our daughter was with Mandy in the back bedroom. This memory in detail is not so clear but the moment I am coming to is vivid, like it happened just yesterday.
We had moved to McCleansboro, Ill. for a year and a half and came back down to Arkansas and lived in Benton for about six months so I could take “a money job” as a copy desk editor at the then Arkansas Democrat.
But I couldn’t take the boredom of editing the copy and headlines of my fellow writers. I just had to pick up the pen again. I took that job in Russellville to get back to some basics in reporting and doing the feature stories I so loved.
So there I was, probably about 28 years old with a wife and 3-year-old daughter. Indeed, more and more details are coming back to me as I think about this moment in time. We were barely unpacked and my wife was doing dishes.
I looked at her exhausted face and she looked at mine. We were both crazy back then; me for being so bent on following my dreams and her for following me anywhere out of what appeared to be blind love. But we both knew the whole thing was getting too heavy. Too many bills, too much moving and just plain too much reality to suit either one of us…
I smiled at her, as I came into the house soaked from my head to my toes. She started laughing at me as I started shaking the rain off shouting something about oh what an exhilirating feeling!
I noted her apparently entertained smile and said, “Well then, let’s run down by the Arkansas River (about a block away) and just feel the rain on our faces as we look at its vastness. After all that sounds more fun than unpacking to me.”
She agreed and we were off. The umbrellas remained by the door. We were certain we would not need them. We ran and ran and ran in the rain. As I recall, Mandy got an umbrella and brought Kelley down by the river as well.
She was probably trying to find us so as to give the folks with the white coats some clear direction as to where we were…
Doris and I started dating when I was editor of the Osceola Times, back in 1983. The Mississippi River bank was one of our regular haunts.
Perhaps we ran in the rain that day trying to recapture some of those good times.
But for whatever reason, we ran. We were impractical, crazy but happy “as two bugs in a rug.” For an instant, all seemed right with this old world…



Saving a tourist attraction…

Tailgate News Editor
Most of the interest from neighboring cities in preserving the 52 miles of deserted railroad land between here and Glenwood has died down, but Gurdon’s mayor still believes there is hope of saving the Gurdon Light tourist attraction.
Gurdon Mayor Clayton Franklin said Dec. 11, “I believe if we wait until the 5 miles we are interested in goes through the bankruptcy courts, and becomes the property of Blue Sky landholders, we can still have a tourism attraction in the Gurdon Light.”
Franklin said a Little Rock attorney had volunteered to look into getting the land around the Gurdon Light involved in a rental agreement last summer. After months of study, it was determined that all 52 acres of railroad right-a-way land would probably go through bankruptcy, thus going back to the original landowners.
“Blue Sky will need a fire lane back there to where the Gurdon Light has been seen,” Franklin said. “My idea is to try and convince them that Gurdon could maintain such a fire lane for the right to have a tourist site. Blue Sky is a timber-growing holding company and I believe we could work together as such, for our mutual benefit.”
Franklin said he believed the old railroad land in question will be in bankruptcy litigation until at least spring. The Gurdon Light is a Halloween favorite spot, just off of Highway 53 and the now “cow trail” that used to be a railroad track. The Light entry is about 2 miles from the Highway 67 and 53 intersection, to the left and past the cemetery. To get there, cross over eight or so railroad trestles before going right. You will be walking toward Highway 183 (Sticky Road).
Legend has it that the Gurdon Light is a ghost looking for his head. Allegedly two robbers came on a train long ago, chopping off the conductor’s head and stealing the money from the lock box. The conductor is said to take out his lantern on certain clear lights and search around the track area to find his head.
The mayor said a student group from Henderson State University, of Arkadelphia, did a study on the Light years ago “and they think it is some sort of swamp gas or fox fire.”
The siting has been so frequent that Ripplies Believe It Or Not did a televsion show about the strange phenomenon that aired back in 2004.


Feeding the Hungry…

Tailgate News Editor
GURDON – Faith Mission and Evergreen Church have been busy the past year, as the Community Pantry has given away 98,000 pounds of food to a public with a “huge need that God has amply filled.”
Co-chairs for the Community Pantry are Faith Mission Director Tommy Potter and Velvet Gonzales.
Gonzales provided the following statistics about the project.
“We served 280 families in November. We have purchased more than 98,000 pounds of food from the Arkansas Food Bank at a cost of slightly over $12,000 during the past year,” she said.
Gozalez added that 598 families have been served at some time during those months since the project’s inception in October of 2012.
Potter said the Community Pantry operates under non-profit status, through the 501 license of Evergreen Church, located on Highway 67 near the Gurdon Park.
The food is distributed with the help of 12 to 30 volunteers, every fourth Tuesday of the month at Faith Mission on Main Street in Gurdon.
Because of Christmas Eve, the next big distribution will be from 4 until 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 17.
Those without viable transportation to get to Faith Mission receive food box deliveries to their homes every second Tuesday of the month. Potter said there are 80 such families at this time.
Gonzalez said food donations have been made by the Post Office (“Stamp Out Hunger”), Henderson Nursing Students (from HSU in Arkadelphia), CarMart and Tyson Food.
The Community Pantry has received grants from the Cabe Foundation, Arkansas Food Bank, Clark County Community Foundation and WalMart. There has also been financial support from several churches and individuals.
There are no financial requirements to prove; just be hungry. There is a registration process so that folks receiving food can be tracked, just in case there are any expiration date problems.
“We require two utility bills and some sort of photo ID, usually a driver’s license,” he said. “We like to take down a valid telephone number. The information goes on computer and do all we can to keep it current.”
The Community Pantry is Christian based and a news letter with encouraging verses is distributed each month, according to Potter.
“We don’t preach at them. We just try to show Christian love,” he said.
Potter said he is sure there are those who take advantage of their system, but it is worth it to get to those who have a real hunger need.
“And you never know. Sometimes hearts can melt,” he said.
On any given fourth Tuesday, around 300 folks show up with boxes to cart off the meats, canned goods, potatoes and other staples.
Potter said the Community Pantry works with Arkansas Food Bank on the Senior Task Force to determine the best way to serve the older population.
“We let seniors come a little early on distro day so they can get their food first,” he said. “Several volunteer to help us and also take food. If you believe our amount of distribution is unreal for a small mission and a small church, you are absolutely right. This project is bigger than logic would suggest. It reminds me of the part in the Bible where Jesus took a few loaves of bread and pieces of fish and then fed 5,000.”
Potter said Community Pantry is always looking for more volunteers.
“Just come on and we will put you to work,” he said. “It is very humbling but very spiritually rewarding.”
He went on to mention the back pack program at Gurdon Primary School. The Community Pantry partners with Rice Depot, another food providing organization from Little Rock, to feed hungry kids at school.
Evergreen Pastor Kevin Sims said food boxes given away average about 50 pounds.
Sims, who has been a minister for 20 years, said he is from Glen Rose. He saw the local hunger need strong in Gurdon during his Wednesday, community-wide, Bible study efforts. Evergreen members, along with volunteers from other churches, pick up about 80 Gurdon kids every Wednesday evening to show them the path to Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
“Tommy is one of our Wednesday night volunteers and he asked me if Evergreen Church wanted to help open a Community Pantry? I told him yes,” Sims said.
The directors plan to invite Arkansas Health Department personnel to the Food Pantry so they can offer flu shots. The organization has already had representatives from SNAP, the modern term for the food stamp office, to come and sign people up.

Gallery Walk, Friday, January 3 in Hot Springs downtown


Tailgate News Editor

Marlene Gremillion calls herself a sensitive person who enjoys life and her surroundings. She will have her work on display and be creating art for the public at American Art Gallery, downtown Hot Springs, during the December Gallery Walk, from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 3.
In addition to the artist at work, American Art Gallery will have a gangster book signing that same evening. From Capone to Costello, written by Robert Raines, Director of the Gangster Museum of America, was to be coming Nov. 25 to the shelves of Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Wal-Mart, and, of course, The Gangster Museum of America gift shop at Hot Springs.
The book’s debut will be followed by a signing tour. Some exciting spin-off developments for television are brewing as well. Ask the author for details. Author Robert Raines will be signing copies of Capone to Costello during the Gallery Walk at American Art Gallery.
As to the artist at work that night, Marlene examines the beauty of nature especially in bright sunlight looking for the transparency in flowers and the shadows cast by objects onto another. Texture plays a major role in her paintings along with color that expresses a mood and feeling seen in the subjects she puts to paper or canvas.
Traveling with her husband throughout the United States, much of which has been in the out doors, Marlene loves mountains, streams and flowers which are visible in her realistic and abstract paintings and collages.
Marlene is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and is a registered nurse. Being a very sensitive and observant person when caring for others has carried over into her artistic endeavors. Marlene is active in the arts in her community and has also studied art extensively, polishing her watercolor techniques as a major subject. She has taken workshops from nationally renowned artists, who she feels has broadened her abilities to really see minute details that can express an atmosphere in a particular piece.
Marlene explores visually varied subjects along with photographing and just sitting and taking in the ambiance of God’s creation. She has displayed her expressive photographs and also used them as tools in her paintings and collages. Unable to put to words why she must create, except to say she feels a desire to keep on trying something new. “It’s like I’m a child with a new toy, each time I pick up a paint brush full of paint. I’ve just got to have fun!”
Marlene is a signature member of Mid-Southern Watercolorists (Arkansas) and Louisiana Watercolor Society. She is a charter member of the Ouachita River Art Guild in West Monroe, Louisiana and member of Brush Strokes in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas. The Arkansas Studies Institute in Little Rock, Arkansas, Backwoods Gallery in El Dorado, Arkansas, Ouachita River Art Gallery, West Monroe, Louisiana and Artist Workshop Gallery in Hot Springs, Arkansas represent her.
Marlene and her husband have built a home in the mountains of Hot Springs Village, Arkansas and have retired, devoting full time to the outdoors and the creating of art and grandchildren!
Marlene’s work is on display at: American Art Gallery – Hot Springs, Arkansas; 724 Central Ave Hot Springs, AR 71901 (501)624-0550; Butler Center for Arkansas Studies – Little Rock, Arkansas, 401 President Clinton Ave. Little Rock; Backwoods Gallery – El Dorado, Arkansas
209 E Main St Ste A El Dorado; Ouachita River Art Guild – West Monroe, LA
308 Trenton St West Monroe, LA; and Gallery 726, 726 Central Avenue Hot Springs.
From Capone to Costello, written by Robert Raines, is being considered by television producers, along with actor Sylvester Stalone, for a movie.
American Art Gallery owner Willie Gilbert told this reporter Stalone (Rocky) would like to be a part of killing a gangster during the film.

I see
over there

I see over there,
not just on this side,
but over there
where more memories
are yet to be made.

I would like to tell you
that like so many,
a 55 year life is plenty,
but I can not.

Because you see,
I see over there,
not just on this side,
but over there.
Where rivers flow,
where sunshine is,
where I want to go.

Do I speak of heaven?
Not just yet. I believe
this life has more
chapters for me to write.

The end times folk,
they tell me its the end.

But as my Grandpa used to say,

“I will be a new man in the spring.”

John Nelson

Building friendships…

Tailgate News Editor
It may very well be Friday, Nov. 22, as you are reading this article on being thankful for the opportunity to work toward tearing down the walls of isolation and building the bridges of friendship.
If so, and you can make it, the editor encourages you to go see the annual Gurdon Primary School Turkey Trot program scheduled for this morning in the GPS gym. It is an elementary school perspective on Thanksgiving and why we should be thankful for our allies – even if those bonds of friendship are with people from very different cultures.
In order to be thankful for a new country where they could practice their Puritan Christian religion, the Pilgrims of old had to be thankful for the friendships they had with each other, and they had to believe in their cause enough to take risk.
One of the risks the Pilgrims took, after getting off of the Mayflower and docking at Plymouth Rock or where ever a particular group happened to land, was the risk of making new friends.
In their case, they had to build bridges with Native Americans. The Pilgrims were a peaceful lot and the Indians taught them about growing and eating corn, and how to live off the land.
Having not been there to conduct an interview, this editor has no idea if the Pilgrims and Indians ate turkey for the first Thanksgiving dinner.
But history reports they ate together as friends. It was not until greed got in the way, sometime later in history, that the white man and the Indian became bitter enemies over land disputes, buffalo hunting rights and “ownership” in general.
The Indians wanted to share with their new friends, while the later Europeans wanted takeovers rather than treaties.
But let’s look a little more at the first Thanksgiving, when the Pilgrims and their Indian hosts were getting along. They had built bridges of friendship, one stick at a time, just like the second graders at GPS have been doing this past week or more.
By building physical bridges, Mrs. Norris has illustrated to the children that it takes effort to build anything, and even more so to be able to work with someone else successfully.
Three of her second grade bridge builders commented on their favorite part of the project.
Jaden Berry said, “I liked the working, that is the construction itself.”
Leo Yanez said, “I liked being able to work on a project with my Mom.”
Ja’Mya Garland said, “I liked to participate and help out.”

Feed the people and make no excuses…

Tailgate News Editor
A director for Arkansas Rice Depot, an organization that supplies more than 300 church food banks throughout the state, told Gurdon Rotarians Tuesday Arkansas has the second highest percentage of hungry Americans of any state in the union, coming in ahead of Mississippi.
Cyndi Gregory, corporate development director, said her organization provides nourishing food items to the elderly, school children and everyone in between. She said it provides everything free, whether it is helping a food bank like the one at Gurdon’s Faith Mission, in cooperation with Evergreen Church, or a Meals on Wheels situation where the elderly are receiving meat and beans etc. or sending staples home by way of a back-pack to school children who are victims of no groceries in the household and yet they are expected to learn with a growling stomach.
“You would be surprised how many of the people we help are not on public assistance,” she said.
“Many are the working poor, trying to feed several children and keep the rest of the bills paid.
“Our hope is to help them get on their feet, rather than for us to take them on permanently. God has blessed this effort for more than 30 years and we have never had to charge for anything.”
Gregory said Rice Depot helps along side Arkansas Food Bank, but is an entirely different organization.
“We have been asked to join them, but our leaders have insisted we continue to operate in Arkansas’s 75 counties like we have since our inception – feeding hungry Arkansans without any fee scales attached – ever.”
Gregory said food supplies sometimes come to them at the last minute, “but God keeps bringing in the food as long as we are willing to serve Him in this capacity.”
Gregory said Rice Depot is Little Rock based and all faith based.
“For 31 years, we have been praying in the food and the money to continue feeding every county in Arkansas and that is the way our fundraising stays. We are here to feed the hungry, not to charge them in any way.”
She said services are provided to four basic groups; 1) food for families directly and church pantries and their families; 2) the school back-pack program; 3) food boxes to senior citizens and 4) disaster relief programs, such as giving food to tornado victims.
Gregory said her organization does have a heart for those that are hungry, and/or near starvation, in other states, but “we have always concentrated on Arkansas.”
Donations are accepted from anyone who wants to give and food is given out to any Arkansan that is hungry. There are not forms to fill out to get rice, beans and meat, plus a whole host of other food items. You just have to tell them you need a meal.
If you do determine that Rice Depot is the type of Christian missionary work you want to give to, Gregory says 98 percent of the donations go for the food and its distribution. Only 2 percent are kept for administration expenses. This is possible because of the hard work the nearly 8,000 volunteers statewide do on a daily basis.
She said Rice Depot now has food outlets in 50 small communities the size of Gurdon.
“It is hard to imagine what people go through,” she said. “Even if a single mom or dad is working two and three jobs, one medical bill can mean no groceries in the house.
“Some people are just not as prepared for added costs in their budget – and not everyone has family members or friends to turn to when times get hard.”
Gregory said Rice Depot currently feeds 70 senior citizens, mostly in the Little Rock area. They try and arrange it so the same volunteers visit the shut-ins on a consistent basis. The company is needed as well as the food.
“When it comes to food boxes for the seniors, we mostly give ham, turkey and beans because those foods help them to maintain strong bones and muscle mass. That way there is not so much risk for health issues relating to eating the wrong kinds of food,” she said.
In addition to providing high protein foods, Rice Depot volunteers take vital signs and give blood pressure tests.
Volunteers and donations are always needed and sometimes short until just before a delivery. Gregory says God always comes through on time, just not always early.
She thanked Anita Cabe and the Cabe Foundation for the Rice Depot gift shop in Little Rock. She said a foundation grant and volunteers run the place.
“It’s name is the Cabe Foundation’s Simple Pleasures Gift Shop and we have a lot of great items for Christmas presents. Check us out and help us feed our part of America.”
As to government funding, Gregory said there is none on a regular basis. When helping with a major disaster, sometimes a small amount of federal funds come their way.
“Working for Rice Depot will keep you humble,” she said. “I did not eat all of my corn at lunch today and boy do I feel guilty.”
To volunteer, or donate, call Cyndi Gregory at: (501) 565-8855, Ext. 143 or email her at: cyndi@ricedepot.org.




A Soldier
for Freedom…

They send the boys
and girls off to war.
Far from the days
of football games
and cheerleading

All of a sudden those high school chaps and dolls

are weilding guns and bombing halls.

But they decency and freedom of choice that they left behind

keeps their minds ever dwelling on freedom so kind.

As many have noted, and many have said,

freedom is not free

and some will come home dead…

It is not a given
that you get a ticket home.

Now, in this day of political confusion,

even burial may mean a loan!

But soldiers fight on,

because there will be another day.

A day to work hard,

and a day to make hard work pay.

That day will come if one thing is true.

The aim of a soldier to protect me and you.

Many are jealous of the freedom we possess.

Lock and load my soldier, give it your best!


Editorial – Obamacare a mandate, not a choice

We will make this editorial short and to the point. Obamacare is a communist mandate, not an American health insurance choice for those with pre-existing conditions.
We previously wrote an editorial indicating we believed the policies in Obamacare to simply be a series of guaranteed issue insurance options for those unlucky enough to have uninsurable pre-existing conditions. It is much more than that.
Our government is in the process of taking our choice of health insurance out of our hands in the name of uniformity. We in America are not used to that.
Insurance has been a product, just like toothpaste. Nobody tells you that you must buy Crest. The government is attempting to coherse us into buying their insurance, even when it is a terrible choice as to value, in order to make sure there are enough healthy people in the insurance pool that the sickly ones do not bust Obamacare.
This is pretty well the act of a dictatorship, not a democracy. Come on folks, this is a clear violation of the United States monopoly laws. You can not go around pushing your product to the front of the line and then holding a gun (in this case a fine or jail term) to the head of your potential customer before telling the fellow or girl this is something they must do “for the good of the country.” Hi Hitler! Give me a break! This is Nazi Germany all over again.
I realize I am a 54 year old American male who grew up on a farm in Hagerstown, Indiana, not some fancy socialist law school drop out from Kenya. But even I am smart enough to see it when somebody is trying to destroy the freedom of choice my father fought for in the Korean War and many of your fathers did too, in whatever war you want to name.
On the Internet, one Republican is denying saying that he can not stand to look at Barack Obama. I will not deny the same feeling. I respect him just as much as other names in history such as Hitler or Mussolini.
I am sure that last fellow may not be familiar to some, but he was a dictator who would have been pleased with Obamacare.
I am not even saying our country does not need some sort of guaranteed issue health insurance for the indigent or the traditionally uninsurable, but not at the cost of our freedom of choice.
I would urge everyone reading this to contact your congressman or senator and raise hell. I do not know how else to put it. This is ridiculous. Obamacare needs serious gutting or repealing. We were sold a bill of goods. This is supposed to be the Alternative Care Act, not the Alternative Care Mandate!
Mr. Obama said his original proposal would not have forced us to drop our current coverage in favor of the government’s. In short, he blames Congress and the Senate for this mandate part and all of these threats of fines and/or jail terms.
Frankly, it does not matter who created this communist manifesto. We need Obamacare to be like other American products, a choice rather than something the government forces down our throat – much like a farmer might a sick calf who refuses to take his medicine. People of integrity are going to weigh the odds and check their options. They will opt to take private insurance if it helps them more and especially if it costs less. And then they will pay higher and higher fines for rejecting the government insurance or eventually go to jail for not signing up for Obamacare. I wonder if they will let me take my chess set?


Tailgate News Editor
HOT SPRINGS – Valerie Hanks-Goetz, an internationally recognized Native American artist now residing in Bigelow, will be the guest artist on Friday, Nov. 1 at the American Art Gallery.
Hanks-Goetz will display her horse hair pottery techniques.
A member of the Muscogee Nation of Florida, Valerie’s art is unique, mixing the traditions of her tribe into decorative designs for home or office.
A mixed media artist, she uses basketry, gourds, pottery, leather, wood and copper to express and educate her public about her particular brand of Native American culture.
Valerie uses horse hair to mix in with her pottery, which makes her items of pottery and baskets unique. But she is not the first to use horse hair in this way.
She said the horse is a gift to the Indian, brought by the white man.
The bond forged between and horse and rider was like no other.
Horse hair pottery is said to be the act of painting battle pain between white and Indian riders on pottery using a horse’s tail.
The horse is said to have witnessed such brutal battles so many times, and felt such compassion for all concerned, that artistic expression was the result – thus the horse hair pottery evolved as an animal need for artistic expression, according to Valerie’s horse hair history lesson.
An art like no other, each custom piece is pulled from a fiery kifn at 1800 degrees and touched with clippings of your horse’s mane or tail.
The strands of hair warp and curl from the immense heat, transferring a permanent carbon image unique to each vessel.
Making the most of all resources, Native Americans began using horse tail as a basket making material shortly after the arrival of the horse.
While the earliest historical recordings of horse-tail baskets were with the Trojans, many different Indian tribes, including the Apache, Navajo and Arapalio are known for their intricate and ornamental basket design.
A dying art form, Valerie strives to keep it alive and use Muscogee traditions in her basket designs, creating both traditional and contemporary art forms.
For more information about Valerie and her art work, visit:www.nativeworks.com . She captures the unbridled spirit of your faithful steed in an award winning art form.


Tailgate News Editor
BRYANT – Paula Jordan is going to keep baking cakes and pies, and no doubt winning contests from those who go around judging taste.
Paula said Tuesday, Oct. 15, “I love to bake and this new location with more on the menu seems to be going pretty good so far.”
She and her husband Gary opened Paula Lynn’s Kitchen, Old Fashioned Dairy Bar & Bakery, on Sept. 30 just down Reynolds Road from where she had Paula Lynn’s “Really” Homemade Sandwich and Sweet Shop for the past three years.
The new location is at 302 South Reynolds Road, just down from City Hall, and the hours are from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
Paula Lynn’s praise record for her baking includes top pie awards from such publications as the Arkansas Times, the Saline County Courier and now the Tailgate News. The Times talked of her fluffy pies and cakes topped with chocolate moose, the Courier gave her a first place for the best bakery in Saline County and runner-up for the best sandwich shop in the county. The Courier also voted her best dessert in the county for 2012.
This editor got to taste some of her peanut butter cake after the interview and must agree her baking talents are top notch.
Gary Jordan, who owns Jordan’s BBQ and Catfish with his wife, at 110 North Reynolds Road, said, “Our family has been in the barbecue business for 27 years.
“Paula has always loved to bake and this is why we have opened Paula Lynn’s Kitchen.”
Paula Lynn’s offers cakes for weddings, anniversaries and birthdays. The menu has gourmet sandwiches, fresh salads, combo specials, homemade chili and soup, foot long hot dogs, fresh ground beef burgers, a kids menu and a waterin’ hole with plenty of fountain drinks and coffee.
Gary said all of the meats are smoked and cooked at Jordan’s.
On the dessert side, Paula has homemade pies, such as pecan, lemon, coconut, chocolate, apple dream pie, strawberry cream cheese, chocolate peanut butter and key lime.
The dairy bar has homemade cookies and cakes. The cakes include such favorites as Reese’s Peanut Butter Cake, Smores Cake, Strawberry Cake and Lemon Cake.
Also on the menu, you will find homemade fudge, homemade brownies and assorted cake balls.
As to ice cream, Paula’s offers it in shakes, cones, coke floats, Brownie Delights and Sundaes.
If you need to call in an order for carry out, the number is: (501) 847-2066.
Gary said his wife takes pride in the “all homemade” part of her business. The hamburger paddies are fresh, never frozen, and fries are homemade.
Paula said her specialty sandwiches, such as club, BLT, grilled Fajita chicken and cheese, Rueben, and steak and cheese are all very popular.
“She specializes in great tasting foot long hot dogs too,” her husband said.
Paula Lynn’s Kitchen, Old Fashioned Dairy Bar & Bakery, has five employees ready to serve you.
Paula said she is getting some traffic from Bryant High School before ball games, or around other events. and welcomes youth of all ages from the community and surrounding area to come in and give her a try.
Although she is grateful for the new location, convenient parking, and generally hometown atmosphere of her new restaurant, her reason for cooking remains the same as it has always been.
“I love to bake and I can’t say that enough,” she said.
And, as with most anything, if a person loves something they usually become very proficient at what they love to do as the years go by.
Although you could call this subjective, stop in the next time you are in Bryant and see if you don’t agree with this editor.
Not only is the food really homemade, your taste buds will most likely perk up when you think about Paula Lynn’s Kitchen once you have tried out your favorite sandwich, pie, cake or whatever your pleasure on the menu.
Paula and Gary both thanked the community of Bryant, as well as the surrounding area, for a continued good reception and for allowing them to be of service in the restaurant business.
Prices are old fashioned too, so come on out and enjoy yourself.





Little Mo’s Liquor; a business dream come true

Tailgate News Editor
It all started as an idea that two friends in the timber business had when selling alcohol became legal in Clark County, Arkansas and therefore the availability of liquor, wine and beer was going to become more widespread whether they tried to become a part of that business growth or not.
Both men were a bit skeptical at first of the legal process being described to them as to how the limited number of liquor permits would be distributed. They suspected “the powers that be” would get those permits, rather than a couple of hard working country guys with a dream of doing something a little different with their lives.
Mitch Pennington and Rodney Hurst opened Little Mo’s Liquor in 2012 after Clark County “went wet” and did so with an attitude of being of service to their customers and taking advantage of a business opportunity that had come their way.
“I can not complain about the fairness involved with selecting who got the limited number of liquor licenses . We drew #4 and it really was just a matter of chance. But once we realized the opportunity to build this business existed, Rodney and I began to go to work,” Mitch said.
Rodney said he was a bit skeptical of adding a liquor business to his logging duties at first, but he has really enjoyed the change.
“The Liquor Store business is just a lot less stressful than what Mitch and I used to do full-time. Most people come into a liquor store in a good mood and make our job of serving them a pleasure,” he said.
Ever since Little Mo’s opened in the spring of 2012, it has continued to grow in service, product and customer base as the store becomes more and more well known.
Rodney said construction started in January of 2012 with the intention of opening May 1. Although the building was finished during second week of April, May 3 ended up being the best opening date.
The business is located on Highway 67, between Gurdon and Prescott, with an official address of 8996 Highway 67 South, Beirne. If you are in search of Little Mo’s, it is close to the Little Missouri River, well lit and easy to find.
Rodney said Little Mo’s Liquor is in a 40×80 feet building that he and his partner built themselves. It does have a drive-through for customer convenience and a dedicated staff of five employees.
“Something we do, that nobody else in this business does that I know of, is we carry your purchases to your vehicle for you and put them in the car or truck. This is important, especially to some of our less able-bodied customers. One thing I love about this business is we get to see people when they are about ready to relax and have fun. We provide them a way to take it easy and the curb service we do gives them one more reason to smile,” Mitch said.
The store hours are 8 a.m. until 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Little Mo’s Liquor has a full line of liquors, wines and beers. This includes a full line of NA (non alcoholic) beers.
It is also probably the cheapest place in the Clark and Nevada County area to buy ice. Little Mo’s charges $1.54 for a 10-pound bag!
The store carries kegs of beer. Just ask the staff or details.
Mitch and Rodney both said they would be glad to entertain suggestions for improvement.
Mitch said, “The law limits what we can have in the store besides liquor, but a few snacks, deer hats and such are OK and we carry them.
“So we can not always do all of the suggestions of our customers because of legal limits, but we want to hear them anyway because we want every opportunity to please people. Again, we usually see them happy and ready to relax. We want them to still be that way after they stop here.”
Mitch and Rodney invite you to come out and visit with them at Little Mo’s Liquor.




Never take more than the feds will insure…

Tailgate News Editor
I grew up on a farm in middle Indiana during the 1960’s and 1970’s and was raised by my paternal grandparents, the late John Hans and Marvel Nelson.
During my upbringing, my grandfather and I had numerous conversations about John Dillinger, the famous bank robber of the depression era.
It would seem that Mr. Dillinger had grown up on a farm at Mooresville, Indiana, probably 60 or so miles from our place, which was a little more than 2 miles from the small town of Hagerstown.
Growing up alone, I had occasion to take up rabbit hunting. We had a woods attached to the 80 acres we lived on and there were probably a half of a dozen roadsters from the early 1930’s junked out there in Johnson Balls, which was the ground just to the edge of what we always called Warfles’s woods.
The thing I noticed at about 10 years of age was that the abandoned roadsters had what appeared to be rivets in the sides of them.
I asked Grandpa what had made those little holes? He smiled and replied, “A Tommy Gun did that many years ago.”
He told me the John Dillinger gang had probably left the cars back there, or some such a bunch of desperate men that had achieved a lot of extra cash during the Great Depression.
He seemed to know a lot more about it than what he was telling. I asked him if he knew John Dillinger.
“Everybody did back then, I suppose,” he told me.
Time rocked on and I found myself about 14 years old, getting ready to turn in a report on the John Dillinger Gang to my history class at school. The eighth grade teacher, a Mr. Lloyd Michaels, had told us to write on any group connected with the Great Depression.
I learned in my research that Baby Face Nelson shot a deputy during a Dillinger bank robbery. Nelson had been a member of the gang for a short time during the year and a half “Public Enemy Number One” ravaged the banks of Indiana. I believe it all occurred in 1933 and part of 1934.
Grandpa had continued telling me stories of the robberies and how the bank robber always gave to the poor and needy, especially widows or single mothers trying to feed their family.
He told me “Dillinger” never took more than the $100,000 from each bank, as that was all that was insured by the federal government and so no poor soul trying to create a life savings need suffer.
I brought my paper home that day and used several facts Grandpa had mentioned about John “Jack Rabbit” Dillinger, a man apparently known for being more than one place at the same time.
I asked him why he had told me nobody ever got hurt in any of the 18 bank robberies and yet history records Baby Face Nelson, also known as “trigger happy” Nelson, as having shot a sheriff’s deputy during one of the famous heists?
My grandfather was reading the Richmond Palladium Item, sitting in his favorite rocking chair in our living room when I asked him about Baby Face. He got up quickly and screamed out these remarks, “Baby Face Nelson was one of the dumbest people I ever knew. I told him there was to be no shooting see and he did not pay any attention to me.
“I fired him the next day!”
I stopped my grandfather there and asked him, “You fired him?”
He just smiled and sat back down, picking up the newspaper once again.
At that time, I thought Grandpa might be the real John Dillinger. But he let me know he was not a couple of years later in a fishing boat.
We were out on Scout Lake there in Hagerstown and Grandpa had grown a mustache. I had asked him earlier, while we were showing rabbits at the Wayne County Fair, what was with the hair under his nose?
He had said at the fair, “Just thought I would grow it out. It was part of a disguise I created many years ago.”
When he said that, I asked him directly, “Are you John Dillinger?”
He smiled but gave no response. However, he did not forget the question. Once we were alone, out in the boat, he began to open up about a few things.
Out of the blue, in the quiet of the morning, Grandpa began to get real…
“You know my best friend died recently right?”
Yes, I said. He was Lawrence Hoover.
“Think about that name. It stands for Jimmy Lawrence, a code name for John Dillinger, and J. Edgar Hoover, the federal copper that I struck a deal with. You see, Jimmy Lawrence wanted a life on my farm for a couple of years. I needed money because my hogs had died of the cholera. So we made a plan.”
Dillinger, Lawrence, so I learned, had a sweetheart who was pregnant. The grandson, also named Jimmy Lawrence, wrote a book about his grandpa trying to get a nose operation to change his looks etc. My grandfather had a natural bump in the bridge of his nose. I also have that.
The idea was to make the real McCoy look like the double so neither would look like the wanted man, John Dillinger of Mooresville.
Grandpa also talked of how he had no fingerprints because of burning them off on a hot motor “by accident of course.”
When Dillinger was shot, after being fingered at the Biograph Theater in Chicago on July 22, 1934, the brown-eyed man lay dying in the dirt. The main shooter, FBI agent Melvin Purvis, saw the brown eyes and cringed. You see, my grandfather had blue eyes. So did the man they arrested twice during the bank robbery sprees; being held both at Joliet State Prison in Illinois and in Kendalville, Indiana. Purvis killed himself because he knew the wrong man paid for the crimes.
You could not change your eye color back then. They killed John Dillinger, the grocery store robber, but they did not kill the man responsible for robbing 18 banks.
Grandpa had the bluest eyes I have ever seen. I would imagine the conversation between him and J. Edgar Hoover went something like this: “You got Public Enemy Number One and the FBI looks like a team of heroes.
“But if you continue to chase me, I will go back to robbing banks and it will be obvious you did not catch the real robber.”
Hoover, after a short pause, said, “You are John Hans Nelson. We were looking for John Dillinger and we found him, shot him dead to rights. Go back to farming John. Nobody is after you.”
And that is just what he did, went back to farming and continued it for more than half of a century. Grandpa learned how to vaccinate hogs and never ran short of money over losing a crop of them again.
Somehow, during the depression, he always had $20 bills to pay for his feed and seed in cash. He paid everything in cash, as a matter of fact.
When I would ask him about that, he would smile and simply recite an old Swedish poem, “There was an old man and he had a wooden leg. The tobacco that he chewed was tobacco that he begged. So he went around the corner where the money is thick as rocks and he always had tobacco in his old tobacco box.”
Truth? Yes. Every word of this story is true, to the best of my knowledge. Can I prove it? No. The only man who probably could have died on Jan. 22, 1989 at age 96.


Artist loves nature, has wonderful discovery style


Tailgate News Editor
Lorrie Bridges, a naturalist who loves capturing “the thrill of discovery” with her silhouette painting or surreal idea, will be the featured artist from 5 until 9 on Friday, Oct. 4 at the American Art Gallery in downtown Hot Springs.
The Gallery Walk star is the former Lorrie Martin and grew up in the river valley of Arkansas. She is also a computer programmer and serves as an officer on the local art guild’s website. Jason and Lorrie Bridges moved back to Arkansas from Texas in 2005 and built a house in Greenwood. Flower gardening became Lorrie’s passion.
With nature around here, her painting has thrived. Lorrie moved into her own style of painting when she discovered silhouette techniques. She arranges plants, stems, branches, leaves and flowers on a painted canvas and then sprays over the top of them, creating detail and depth that mesmerizes viewers.
Keeping in her life’s theme of being a naturalist, her garden has become a source of endless possibilities for silhouette paintings.
Lorrie said, “Painting became a way of capturing the calmness I feel outdoors.”
Lorrie Bridges’ silhouette paintings began to sell quickly when she displayed them in business offices, restaurants, doctor clinics, plant nurseries and local art shows.
Lorrie added, “It is thrilling when someone tells me they saw my work and immediately knew whose it was.”
“Whether I am working on a silhouette painting or a surreal idea, I’m working toward a goal of creating more than a pleasing picture. I am relying on our desires to know the truth, focus the blurred and piece together what does not make sense.
“When I create silhouette paintings, I often use real plants, limbs, leaves and flowers for that ultra-real effect, while still allowing for the thrill of discovery. I love how viewers will point out something I didn’t even notice.”



Recalling the Light…
Tailgate News Editor
I had a conversation about general news with Gurdon Mayor Clayton Franklin Wednesday morning, as is my weekly habit. Among other things, we touched upon the subject of the Gurdon Light.
There is a lawyer, Jess Askew III, of Little Rock, who is to present some papers to our council on Monday night, Aug. 26, at 6 p.m. about Gurdon getting right a way of 4 miles of railroad track path from Highway 53 to where the light is normally spotted.
If memory serves, that used to be eight trestles and a graveyard from the Southfork Truckstop Highway 53 Road to where reports of the Gurdon Light were common. We will know Monday how successful Askew thinks the town will be in getting rights to the property so it can be maintained for a tourist attraction.
One new, and really good, piece of news that the mayor shared was there have been reports of curiosity seekers going back to the old light location and the phenomenon has been seen since the railroad tracks have been lifted.
This inspires me to believe that our ghost, or swamp gas, whichever you believe, is still very much a part of the terrain. With the ease of the path back there now, and the reported filling in of the weak spots in the trestles, this editor just may get a good pair of snake-proof boots and go Gurdon Light hunting fairly soon.
Seriously folks, Forest Festival would not be the same without visiting the light during the Halloween season around Gurdon. I am very glad this Gurdon namesake is being pursued.
According to Mayor Franklin, a study done by Henderson State University concluded the Gurdon Light is simply swamp gas and nothing more.
Those of us who “do believe in spooks” beg to differ. I much prefer the following explanation of what is going on. You see, on a train ride, say about 150 years ago, a couple of robbers jumped from the woods onto the caboose, where the conductor was playing solitary and drinking a glass of wine.
You see, said conductor was surprised by the intruders and rose up to grab his pistol. When he did, the robbers panicked and quickly formed a plan of violence so they could get on with their stealing. One saw a large saber hanging on the caboose wall. He grabbed it and before you could say “Jimmy Crack Corn,” that robber took the head of that old conductor. The body fell to the floor and the head rolled out the door.
All of this time, you see, the train was moving on down the line. It got about four miles from the future Highway 53 Southfork Road in Gurdon when that conductors head hit the edge of the track and bounced over to a nearby wooded area.
The robbers took all of the valuables they could find and jumped the train some miles down the track, never to be heard from again. When the engineer came back to talk with the conductor, he discovered his co-worker dead and headless!
But this is not where the story ends. You see, on clear and dark nights, when there is virtually no moon, brave souls have sought out that exact spot where the conductor’s head bounced off the track. They say they see a figure, headless man I have been told, with a lantern, going up and down the area where the track laid for so many years, and then moving a bit toward the wooded area.
Many of you have figured out the spooky tooth explanation. You guessed it, the old conductor comes out at night, with his lantern, in search of his head…
While not to discredit the natural explanation from HSU about the swamp gas/foxfire etc., more than one report has reached this editor of the light actually chasing people down the track area. It is as though it is following those that might have a clue as to where that dog gone head has gone…
The Gurdon Light was on Ripply’s Believe it or Not back in 2004, when this reporter was the editor of the Gurdon Times. The legend, going by that fact and the numerous reports over the years, does have some credibility.
If Gurdon can get the land rights, and the city maintain a bike trail back to it for easy access to the Gurdon Light area, I believe it might even put Gurdon on the map – with the right publicity. People do go to remote places to do things they really want to do. Case in point, “Rowdy’s Adventures,” a zip-line company in Okolona, Arkansas… It’s Internet advertising campaign, according to a former employee, helps it bring in thousands of dollars per weekend.
If this city plays its cards right, maybe we can sell Gurdon Light novelty T-shirts and flashlights to raise money for the police and fire departments. I could envision a successful tourism business here; small at first, but worthwhile.



Tailgate News Editor
Arkadelphia Poultry Production Plant, a division of Vikon Farms, is coming to the Clark County Industrial Park and locating in the old Petit Jean Poultry Plant facility.
A ceremony was held Monday, Aug. 12, at the plant to welcome Arkadelphia Poultry and its projected 172 new jobs.
Gurdon Mayor Clayton Franklin was on site, along with Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe and several other area leaders. Clark County Judge Ron Daniel and Prescott Mayor Terry Oliver were among those who attended.
Franklin said Wednesday Petit Jean Poultry, which has been closed since April of 2011, had more than 500 employees in its glory days. Old Petit Jean workers will be the first to be considered for hire.
“It was a very dignified opening ceremony and the owners of the Vikon Farms operation were present,” Franklin said. “But  we still don’t know exactly when the plant will begin hiring or when it will open.
“We do know that if someone wants a job out there, and they are among those with Petit Jean experience, they had better speak up quickly because we are talking about 172 new positions and many more than that were let go when the plant closed.”
Shawnie Carrier, president of the Arkadelphia Regional Economic Development Alliance, introduced Quan Phu, chief executive officer with Vikon, at the Aug. 12 welcoming ceremony.  The company will be investing $5.4 million into the Clark County facility. Phu said Vikon will add the necessary equipment, contract  growers and the hatchery, and solidify when it can open. The plan is to begin operations in six months.
Franklin said those interested in employment should check with the Clark County Employment Security Division in Arkadelphia.
“I am not sure they will be hiring through the unemployment office, but that would be a good place to start,” he added.
The mayor said the new industry will be good for Gurdon “as a lot of our people have experience from working at the old plant and Gurdon is a blue collar town.”
As to wages, Franklin said he believed starting pay would be somewhere close to $10 an hour, but again nothing exact was announced at the Monday afternoon welcoming ceremony.
The new plant will be processing chicken, but not the same type Petit Jean Poultry did. Franklin said Arkadelphia Poultry will deal with smaller “range” birds, say 2 pounds instead of the 4-pounders processed through Petit Jean. The new poultry are more like a game bird. The mayor said a retail market has already been established through Vikon’s other holdings. That market is in Asia, as well as in California and other western states.
Franklin said growers in Eldorado would be utilized, as they also lost a processing plant “that left employees high and dry” and workers there have the necessary experience to grow birds for Vikon.
“This bird is grown to be less fat, whereas Petit Jean grew them to get big quick,” Franklin said. “There will also be four or five employees over at Prescott, where there is a building for egg hatching.”

Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon Community Pantry now feeds more than 200 families out of the Faith Mission every fourth Tuesday of the month and has plans to continue the fight on local hunger.
A brain child of Mission coordinator Tommy Potter and Evergreen Church’s Velvet Gonzales, a need was recognized and contacts were made with the Arkansas Food Bank, Caddo Valley branch, so that Thanksgiving could be enjoyed by 175 Gurdon families in 2012 who otherwise may not have eaten at all – much less enjoyed a holiday meal.
“Through the help of volunteers from the church and community, and the continued cooperation of the food bank at Caddo Valley, we were able to feed 175 families Christmas dinner as well,” Potter said.
But the Community Pantry really stepped up to the hunger plate in 2013, with 60 tons of food being dispersed since January 1 and no anticipated slow down in service. This figure does not count what has been collected this month.
In addition to the 200 to 250 families per month that come get groceries from 4 to 6 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday, Potter said Tuesday, Aug. 13, “We deliver to between 75 and 80 Gurdon shut-ins. The little box of food we bring just does not seem very much when we put it in a refrigerator and on shelves where nothing else exists.
“Our only requirement is a light bill or some sort of proof that a person lives in Gurdon. We realize there are those who just take this food because it is here. But the Christian based philosophy of Evergreen Church, as well as Faith Mission, is we have to go through the greedy to serve the needy.”
Potter and Gonzales are heading efforts currently to stuff back packs with food items for hungry children who are returning to the Gurdon schools.
At last report, Gurdon public schools has 76 percent of its student population who are eligible for free or reduced lunches.
For several years, there has been a district sponsored breakfast program to encourage students to get something to eat so their minds will be more receptive to learning. The Community Pantry has taken this one step further by stuffing back packs with food items.
Potter said the idea for the Community Pantry sprang from a Wednesday night community youth Bible Study he was involved with at Evergreen.
Pastor Kevin Sims had Tommy volunteering to drive a church bus as part of the transportation for 80 children to attend the mid-week youth meeting last school year. Sycamore Church Pastor James McCain and his congregation also helped with transportation.
Potter served as a driver and a teacher. It was noticed that several of these kids seemed  undernourished… A concern by Tommy and the church resulted in an effort to feed those children and their families over Thanksgiving.
The Wednesday night Bible Study effort will continue again this school year and so will the expanded Community Pantry effort that spurred from seeing this community need.
“Velvet Gonzales got us a grant for a freezer that we put at the mission and we had to really revamp things over there physically to meet all of the requirements to get our food from Arkansas Food Bank but it was worth it,” Potter said. “We have other gift sources of food and money but the food bank is our main source.”
The Community Pantry has probably six freezers full of donated food. There are huge ham loaves, frozen vegetables and other frozen meats. There are also at least six huge shelves of canned goods, as well as potatoes.
“Once the need was recognized an people started working together,” he said, “things started really taking off. I can not believe we have distributed at least 60 tons already this year. I give God all of the glory and the credit.
“This is more food distribution than I ever considered possible back when I just had a small mission food bank for a few people to use.”
Potter said the Community Food Bank kicked off in September of 2012, after much remodeling was done to Faith Mission – especially in regard to shelving.
“Velvet and I had to attend state food bank classes about properly shelving food items,” Potter said.
The hunger need in Gurdon is “so much bigger than most people realize.” Potter said he also gave away between 8 and 10 tons of donated pretzels. That truck load donation was not unusual, as donations sources for the Community Pantry are too many to mention.
Potter said Gonzales has been trained on computers and keeping records. Velvet keeps the records while Tommy physically goes and gets the food from the Caddo Valley Branch of the Arkansas Food Bank. Tommy’s wife Stephanie Potter keeps the books for the mission itself. She also helps with Celebrate Recovery’s women’s group.
Celebrate Recovery, a program for helping people get over grief, kick additions and much more, has been a main part of the Faith Mission for more than a decade.
Tommy said, “As for Stephanie’s being involved with the food bank, she works selling advertising to pay for the utilities at the mission, and has furnished me with a truck and gas to go get the food. Quite honestly, I would not be able to help anybody if I did not have a hard working wife who encourages me and prays with me for God to bless us to where we can increase our efforts to whatever level He sees fit. Stephanie is the backbone of this mission and if it were not for her financing so much of it, the Community Pantry would have nowhere to put all of this food.”
Tommy is aided in the physical transport of the food by Pato, Velvet’s husband. Potter carries it back to Gurdon by the trailer load, pulled by his heavy duty pick up.
“Other churches are helping us with money donations and food as well,” Potter said. “We go and get our main loads on the second and forth Tuesdays, but distribution is on that fourth Tuesday from 2 until 4 p.m.”
Potter said the volunteers get to his mission on the fourth Tuesdays and begin to set up tables. In reality, 4 p.m. is a myth as to a quit time. Potter said food is usually handed out by the 20 some volunteers until its gone.
He and Pato go get the food from Caddo Valley about 10:30 a.m. that morning.
“We encourage everyone to come and help,” Potter said. “Our shut-ins many times need a visitor nearly as bad as they need the food. Sometimes they just need something simple done – like changing a light bulb.”
Distribution day includes packaging up the 75 boxes of groceries that are then delivered to area shut-ins.
Grocery boxes include portions of meat, vegetables and potatoes.
“We recently passed out 220 watermelons and 450 pounds of bell peppers,” he said.
“Our plans for the future are to keep on giving as long as hunger is an issue in this community,” Potter said.
Potter is also the current president of the Clark County Boys and Girls Club.
This gives him yet another means for discovering a hunger need.
“My heart is really in that Boys and Girls Club effort,” he said. “I would like to see a chapter in Gurdon and Amity both.”
Celebrate expanded from Faith Mission. It meets at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday nights in Gurdon and at the same time on Monday nights in St. Andrew’s Methodist Church at Arkadelphia.
Former Prosecuting Attorney Bob Sanders, who is a Methodist minister, hosts Celebrate on Monday.
“I can not stress enough how grateful I am for my wife’s support in all of these helping endeavors,” he said. “She is a team player and that is what it takes.”

Seeking cigars
for Beal Street
Tailgate News Editor
I got lost in Memphis without a cell phone on my nine-day vacation the last part of July. I was lost about three hours.
It might be best, if reading this, to prepare for a good belly laugh. It really is a funny circumstance. I was not, however, laughing at the time. We arrived at our first motel for the 2013 vacaction lift off at about 4 p.m. at a Day’s Inn in downtown Memphis that my wife had pre-booked.
The idea was to see the sights on Beal Street that night and listen to some good blues. We got settled in and I told her on this Friday night, July 19, that I was going out for just a minute to buy cigars. I was sure there would be a Tobacco Superstore just around the corner. WRONG!!!
That store would be on Summer Street, about a million miles from where I was. I never did make it there, finally settling for a pack of Marlboros three hours later after going up and down Poplar and where ever else. I think I hit Central and wound up on Southern Avenue over by the old Memphis State University Campus. Gez.
At any rate, I neglected to take my cell phone. When I finally got back to the room, Michelle was still there. She said she thought I ran off and so she might as well at least relax for the night while making up her mind what to do next. I informed her that somebody had swaped up the streets in Memphis since I had been here nearly 20 years ago and set all sorts of traps for me up and down the blocks – intentionally getting my old butt lost as a goose!
She tried to keep a straight face, bless her heart. Then we both realized how rediculous the situation was and laughed heartily.
Then it was off to Beal Street for an enjoyable evening listening to the blues. They even played one of our favorite old Eric Clapton songs, “My Darling, You Look Wonderful Tonight.” That got us dancing a bit. It was a good evening.
‘The Ride’
I now have a Florida sunburn that once again, after not looking this way since I was 20 years old, makes me wonder if my body might be mistaken for a color television set that was not tuned in very well.
My wife Michelle and I left Gurdon, Arkansas on Friday, July 19 and returned on Sunday, July 28. The vacation we took was the first one she and I had taken in 15 years of marriage. Sure,we have visited with family. We even went to my home state of Indiana to attend the 35th Class Reunion of the 1977 Class at Hagerstown High School last summer. But we had never take a vacation just because we could and on a route we picked just for fun.
The route started with a night in Memphis. We went to Beal Street and caught a blues concert. The guy was great. The performer was an older black gentleman with more talent in his little finger than most music folk have in their entire bodies. He and his group even played, “You Look Wonderful Tonight,” an old Eric Clapton blues slow dance tune that my wife has known for years makes me think of her. Yep, we did dance to it and that was one spectacular memory.
Being older than dirt, I insisted on cutting the party short pretty early. But we got on the road the next day for the Grand Ole Opry. We saw Darryl Worley and listened to his patriotic songs about 911 that are now updated with the fact that Ben Laudin has been killed.
They had numerous other artists from the distant past, such as Connie Smith, a country singer my daddy used to like. The entire Saturday night at the Opry was fun! We again turned in fairly early and hit Interstate 65, heading for Montgomery, Alabama.
I wanted to see the grave monument of country singer Hank Williams. His son, Hank Williams Jr., and no doubt other family and friends, have created a great place to sit and think about one of the cornerstones of country music. It was a shame Hank died so young. I do not know the details, but my daddy the doctor taught me early in life that sleeping pills and booze do not mix. They stop the heart, cheating or otherwise…
After spending a peaceful night in Montgomery, Michelle and I continued our ride from Highway 82 to Interstate 75. We were on our way to Sara Sota, Florida. On route, we stopped at Ocala for the night. It was our first stop in Florida. I remarked to Michelle how much I have always loved Florida trees.
We ate at a place called the Gator. The food was fantastic! Then we spent the next day getting to a town between there and Sara Sota named Arcadia. I lived there in 1979 and 1980. The old bus station, where my boss sent me around distributing Amway and such, seems to now house a newspaper called the Arcadian. Ironic, in my mind, since I have been a newspaper man since returning to Indiana in late 1980 to finish college before launching into a lifelong career as a journalist.
We ate at the Clock in Arcadia and caught up a little on 33 years of gossip. Many things change in more than three decades. But what I loved about Arcadia remains; a great rodeo town with friendly people. They are still holding that rodeo and I have photos to prove it.
Then we finally went to Sara Sota and watched the sunset at Turtle Beach… We then headed to Bradenton, Florida to get a motel and some rest. The next day, Wednesday, I got this wonderful sunburn badge. If only a body cast sunburn made a 54-year-old writer lose weight. But alas, an old fashioned chicken soup, celery and peanut butter diet until football season will probably have to do that. My wife has had much success in losing weight. Me, I am much too stubborn to lose weight traditionally. But lose it I will, as soon as this sunburn heals…
So after walking the beach, playing with my wife and a float toy in the waves near the beach and collecting sea shells by the Gulf waters, we went back to the motel. The next day was the hardest, We drove about 14 hours to New Orleans. On Thursday night and Friday night, we lived in a bed and breakfast, just down from Bourbon Street. Now there is one wild place. We listened to much music, bought weird looking hats and such for our grand children and also walked around the French Quarter wearing out two pairs of shoes.
My wife tells me all of the walking was to gaze at the old architecture. I grew up in an old Indiana farm house. Some of the old stuff in our hotel reminded me of that structure; such as the hard wood floors and fancy throw rug. The place even had pink sinks and a pink toilet, just like back home. Apparently that was a popular thing from my Grandpa’s world of the 1930’s.
And then, as all good things, do, the vacation had to end. We left New Orleans on Saturday morning, heading to a family gathering in Paragould, Arkansas and also to help my best friend get some phone service. Reality has set in. We promised each other we would pay off the card that had allowed this vacation by next July so we can take a similar trip again.
As to Gurdon, there is a City Council meeting tonight. It was great to get home last night and my house is still standing after my son Jacob looking after things for nine days. So all is well with this small town writer. I know, as you might surmize, have many new stories to tell. And I feel very blessed.
And the sunburn is pretty well painless. Finally. Sure, I should have used Sun Screen. But hey, I need my pain. It earns me a few things and certainly keeps me awake.


Tailgate News, June 28, 2013 issue

Tailgate News Editor
Many people over the years have refused to believe that anything more unusual that rocks, dirt and sky could actually exist.
Tal Branco, of the Bryant area, is not one of those people Tal has investigated the existence and particulars about a creature known to Native Americans as Sasquatch, that is Bigfoot, for nearly 50 years.
Tal said he has seen a Bigfoot up close three times. He leaves food out for them near his cabin in the Quachita National Forest and they come up close to eat.
He has also investigated 15 incidents of Bigfoot in Alabama, as well as several other states.
A law enforcement investigator and expert witness in his younger days, the 78-year-old is no doubt used to investigating secretive and odd habits of people and other animals.
Tal went to an undisclosed area, near Okolona in Southern Clark County this past week to investigate two alleged Bigfoot “woods apes” who were said to attack cattle.
“I was able to get hair samples from the fence and I believe one of the Bigfoot creatures is a young teenager, while the other in his early 20’s,” he said.
“When a Bigfoot attacks a calf, it is interested in the heart and liver, not much else. They eat fruit, nuts, a variety of things and they stay to themselves. I believe our two guests in Clark County are probably small, say 5 to 7 feet tall. Full grown red-haired Bigfoot grow as high as 9 feet.”
Tal interviewed one anonymous guy who claims to have seen the two Okolona area Bigfoot by the road as he was driving through the area.
Determined to validate the claims, Tal took off with a small band of followers, including this editor, on Tuesday night. He played recordings of other Bigfoot screaming their “kill calls” and jungle -like greetings.
Tal said the erie kill call sounds were from a siting in Minnesota. Bigfoot are said to live deep in the woods and swamps of North America, known to the Native Americans as “the other brothers.”
They are non-aggressive to humans and simply seek to be left alone. The kill call, Tal said, is screamed by the hunters of the pack of Bigfoots so the females and children know that there will be something to eat.
Although the shadows were playing their tricks in the moonlight, the recorded callings did not seem to bring the beast-like creatures bounding from the woods.
Tal did not give up. He said sometimes it just takes time to find some evidence. He said if you look into a suspected wooded area with infrared binoculars, sometimes you will see orange type eyes staring back.
Tal said at Gurdon Rotary last week that Bigfoot can not be hunted effectively because “they will hunt you.”
“But they will reveal themselves and I’ve even seen them bluff charge skeptical humans just to laugh at them while they run to their trucks.
“It gives the Bigfoot a laugh for the night.”
After the hunt, Tal said he was going to spend a couple of hours investigating another siting, south of Malvern. Or at least that is where this reporter understood him to say. Tal said his persistence, and the fact that he has seen these creatures with his own eyes, have facilitated a lot of success in finding evidence of Bigfoot.
“I wanted to show all of you a Bigfoot running from the woods out here tonight and make believers out of all of you, but no such luck.”
Tal did stare at one section of woods with intensity. He vowed to continue gathering evidence.



June 5, 2013

Tailgate News Editor
A Little Rock lawyer is researching the laws of bankruptcy in regard to railroad property so the City of Gurdon can apply for the right-of-way to a 4-mile track path, which includes the site of the Gurdon Light.
If Council members approve the application, and so does the court system, Gurdon could end up having authority over said path under the agreement that the city maintain it. The next step would be to apply for grant money to improve the accessibility of the tourist attraction.
The Gurdon Light has been an unexplained phenomenon on the tracks in that area for years, appearing as a glowing entity moving up and down the railroad area, giving many a Halloween enthusiast a thrill.
The Gurdon Light, according to Mayor Clayton Franklin, has long been an attraction to the South Clark County area but has been disrupted recently when 50 miles of railroad track was abandoned in a bankruptcy case. Much of the actual iron track has been pulled up.
The 50 miles in question runs from  Highway 53 where Midland Railroad track maintenance ends, all the way to Glenwood. A mill was closed that used those tracks and the loss in revenue caused the bankruptcy.
Franklin said Wednesday Little Rock Attorney Jess Askew II is very interested in bike trails and has agreed to donate some legal time to Gurdon in order to secure the sought after 4-mile stretch. It starts where Midland maintenance ends and extends past an old graveyard where the  ghost of a young lady has also allegedly been seen by Halloweeners gone by.
According to the mayor, the track looks like a bike trail for the entire 50 miles because of the missing iron tracks. Franklin said he is not sure if removing the track has damaged any of the trestles, but did not see that as a problem getting to the Light – just a slight diversion of the path.
“I am sure there is grant money out there for us to get an easy access, well maintained, bike or waking trail to the Light,” Franklin said.
“But the first step is to wait on our lawyer to get with the court about what sort of paperwork needs to be filed by the city to claim the right-of-way on the appropriate 4 miles of property. If we fail to get the right-of-way, it will go back to the original property owners.  This could make it much more difficult for us to get it in the future.
“Askew is optimistic about Gurdon getting the right-a-way without involving the original property owners.”
Another concern about the Gurdon Light is whether or not it can be seen without the presence of the iron railroad tracks. Legend says an engineer who was beheaded by robbers about 100 years ago is searching the area with his lantern for his lost head…
Science suggests that the “foxfire” might need the iron from railroad track to properly display the Light.
In addition to tourism, Franklin said the 4-mile stretch of right-away could be a good industrial railroad spur sight sometime in the future.
“I don’t believe that will happen in my lifetime, but some future company needing to move something by rail might be very glad Gurdon has these rights,” he said.

May 6, 2013


Believe It or Not?

Rabbit hunting brought curiosity
from rivited holes in old roadsters
Tailgate News Editor
I am John H. Nelson the second. I used to sign my name that way before Grandpa passed away because I loved him so much and was so very proud to carry his name.
When I was 8 years old or so I started asking questions about something unusual that I saw going on at my mentor and adopted father’s farm. It would seem, in an area of our farm called “Johnson Balls,” there were several cars of the 1934 vintage. All had multiple holes in the metal.
I used to hunt rabbits back there in the winter time, as part of my early on experiences growing up on my grandparents’ Indiana farm. I did not shoot very many rabbits, mostly went back to the woods to think.
I suppose us writer type guys do a lot of that, thinking up stories and all. So one day, after coming back from Johnson Balls, I asked my Grandpa about the cars. He was silent for quite a long way as we walked through the snow covered fields.
Finally, he began to speak. Those cars, he said, were relics of a by-gone time in his life. They were from a past that would be better off left in the past.
It was my turn to walk in silence. After about 200 yards I started talking to him.
“Grandpa, how could those cars have gotten so many holes in them?”
He looked at me and smiled. Those holes came from an old fashioned machine gun, he began. In particular, they came from Tommy Guns.
I asked him why shot-up cars ended up in the back of our Warfle’s Woods? He smiled again and said they were the result of 18 jobs done and vehicle wise what was left after the tasks.
Now my face was really starting to crinkle up with curiosity.
We walked a while again and Grandpa began to ask me questions.
“Have you ever heard of John Dillinger?” he asked..
“I know he was a bank robber that my teachers say thought like Robin hood,” I told him.
Grandpa smiled and let go a laugh. So that is what they are saying about Mr. Dillinger. He rubbed his chin and thought about that.
“I knew John Dillinger, the bank robber,” he began. “I heard tell he would rob $100,000 from each of the banks he hit because that is how much FDIC insurance the banks carried.
“You see Dillinger believed our government’s mismanagement of tax dollars caused the Great Depression. And he did like to give money away after the robberies.
“There were times he would look up single mothers hanging their laundry in their back yards just to give them a few $20 bills to tide them over until things got better…”
So Grandpa agreed with me that Dillinger was a bit like Robin hood. He robbed from the rich old government coffers, via banks, and then gave the money away to hard working folks he ran into along life’s path.
We sat in silence once again, just next to one of those roadsters with the riveted Tommy Gun holes in it. The snow fell. I was not sure what to ask next.
Grandpa seemed to be thinking back on that time, hearing those rat-a-tat-tat Tommy Guns going off once again. Yet it was just a dream. You see, this part of my life took place in about 1966, about 32 years after the Dillinger Gang took down its last bank.
Then all of sudden he looked straight at me and said, “Remember son, my name is Nelson and my best friend and fishing buddy is Lawrence Hoover.”
I looked at the old man and smiled, not knowing what the beegeebees he was talking about at the time.
But times changed. I got older and more curious. Grandpa told me more and more and I began to fit together a puzzle that to this day gets more sensible and believable every time I write it.
But on that winter’s day in 1966, I went over and stood by one of those riveted cars. I know they were supposed to be from 1934 but when I was young they always registered in my mind as from the early 1950’s. I guess my brain just could not fathom that they had been parked their after 18 bank heists in 1933, 34 and 35. It had to have been about the spring of 1935 when the biological John “Lawrence” Dillinger was fingered by the Lady in Red, iced by Melvin Pervis and his gang of J. Edgar Hoover FBI agents, for those guys only to discover that the fellow who robbed the banks was still at large.
But I get ahead of myself. The next hint growing up that my grandfather, John Hans Nelson, 1892-1989, was the body double for John Dillinger and actually led a gang to rob 18 banks in the 1930’s came when I did a paper on the John Dillinger Gang in the eighth grade – so 5 years after the Tommy Gun car partial explanation, some more entrapping information came from the old man.
I think, as he got older, he got to caring less and less who knew the truth about the whole thing.
Next week, In Dillinger Days, Part II, I will tell you about Grandpa throwing a fit over a deputy getting shot in one of those robberies. Until then, so long.

Dillinger Tales
‘The Firing of Baby Face’
Tailgate News Editor
Hello again folks. This is the follow-up article on the anger of my grandfather, an alleged John Dillinger look alike, when he fired Baby Face Nelson for being trigger happy.
The year was somewhere around 1974. I had to have been about 15, which made my grandfather about 81. It was when I was learning to drive and first understanding the complications of having a steady girlfriend. Actually, Joni was great. I was a very lucky kid to have someone so pretty, smart and understanding. Unfortunately, I did not realize how lucky and she slipped through my fingers a few years later.
Back then, I was still in 4-H showing rabbits at the county fair. The conversation about Baby Face Nelson took place in the fall of that year, just after fair time in Wayne County, Indiana.
Apparently my old man was thinking of his Dillinger days out at the fair grounds. I have recently found out there is a book called Dillinger Days. Small world. For those of you who have not heard my “insane” assertion, I believe John Hans Nelson, 1892-1989, was one body double for John Dillinger back in 1933-35 and was the bank robber that knocked down at least part of the two dozen bank heists that occurred during that time period.
Their size was right. Their basic facial structure was right and the public in a panic could have been convinced old John Hans was the real McCoy. Also, Grandpa had blue eyes, just like it is my understanding did the “Dillinger” they caught and put in Joliet Prison. Interestingly enough, Dillinger also had blue eyes at Crown Point Jail. He escaped both times. Grandpa had not record, but then he wouldn’t would he, if he was being incarcerated as John Dillinger!
Further notice should be given to those reading and speculating that the biological John Herbert Dillinger that was shot to death in front of the Biograph Theater in July of 1934 had brown eyes. The FBI got their man. And they got the real John Dillinger. But go with me on a limb here. If John Dillinger was using Jimmy Lawrence, a real person that looked like him noted in the historical account on this Internet, so that he, Dillinger, could lay low and enjoy a few weeks with his woman, what is to say he did not also figure a guy looking like him could pull off some bank jobs while he was resting. Or maybe pull them off at the same time. Grandpa always said it was 18 bank robberies that told the tale of Dillinger. History is saying two dozen robberies. Perhaps my grandfather, in my way of thinking, might have been responsible for 18 – enough to get the cash for buying and maintaining 169 acres of farm land in the middle of a Great Depression, and enough to send his high IQ son to medical school and foot the bill.
But I digress. Let’s go to the county fair in Wayne County, Indiana in 1974 where John Hans and his grandson (me) are participating in a rabbit contest. Things are going great. As usual, Johnny (me) has won the grand champion for the rabbit fair. The ribbon had just been spotted on the cage of our best shaped New Zealand White doe. She had just the right amount of bulk and the perfect rabbit shape.
Grandpa had grown out his mustache a little, which wa still different from his normally clean-shaven face.
I said, “You look diffenent with that hair under your nose.”
He smiled until his gold tooth sparkled in the sun and did not say a word.
I stood there in the rabbit section at the fair pondering the situation. I was tired of wondering. I had been doing a research paper in school about the John Dillinger gang and thinking about the hundreds of conversations concerning Dillinger I had been prevy too with my Grandpa over the years.
I did not come up with the body double theory until just a few years ago. Back then, I believed Grandpa was Dillinger and some stool pigeon had been killed at the theater after being fingered by the Lady in Red. I have since determined the facts do not support the original theory.
I read a lot of history today and had to rethink some of my other theories while trying to concentrate on what my grandfather had really said – without my adlibs… It would seem the real John Dillinger did commit at least part of the two dozen successful bank robberies in 1934. He did have a girl he loved, his girlfriend Evelyn “Billie” Frechette. “Jack Rabbit,” as one reference called the biological John Dillinger, did have a fellow that looked like him called Jimmy Lawrence. He did attempt to go by that name some to lay low and just enjoy domestic life. But accounts are sketchy on the real Jimmy Lawrence. I once had a fellow claimimg to be Jimmy Lawrence’s grandson to reveal a book he wrote about his grandfather being a body double for Dillinger. At least, if memory serves, that was the jest of it.
At any rate, I could go on and on with history and theories, but let’s get to the facts of this week’s Dillinger tales. The fact is after Grandpa and I left the fairgrounds, he invited me to go fishing in his old “Mayflower” boat out on Scout Lake. I naturally accepted.
Once on the boat, the silence between us lingered as we fished our favorite holes. He rowed and fished. I fished. Then he spoke up, “My best friend’s name, as you recall, was Lawrence Hoover. That is Jimmy Lawrence and J.Edgar Hoover did me a huge favor many years ago.”
I asked again if he were Dillinger? He laughed. I am beginning to believe he was a substitute for the man. I do not believe he was the original. As he said, “Always remember my name is John Hans Nelson and I am proud of that name.”
The 1930’s were wild times to say the least. A lot of things could have happened. My grandfather had an extremely high IQ and he wanted his farming operation to work in the worst way. He always called money “just a tool.” But he had a lot of money that nobody could ever explain.
To conclude this week’s diaglogue, and reveal to you what he said about Baby Face Nelson, we have to come in off the fishing lake and go back up to our farm house. He started reading the Palladium Item, that is the Richmond newspaper. I decided to get his goat a little.
“Grandpa, I am doing this report in school on the John Dillinger Gang and I thought you told me nobody was ever killed during a bank robbery?”
“I did tell you there was no gun play to go on during the robberies,” he said.
“Well what about Baby Faced Nelson shooting a sheriff’s deputy? Did that really happen?”
My grandfather got out of his rocking chair and tossed the newspaper to the floor. He started talking very loudly and flailing his arms with excitement.
He said, “I want you to remember that Baby Faced Nelson was not related to our family. He was an idiot who could not follow orders. He was trigger happy and did not have much regard for human life. When he shot that sheriff’s deputy during that bank robbery, I fired the X#B the next day!”
I had what I wanted and I called the old man’s hand.
“Grandpa, you just said you fired Baby Faced Nelson. You said you fired him.”
The old man shut up tighter than a drum and sat down. He was done talking for then. So long folks and check us out again next week when I will talk about the desparate year, the unexplained good fortune, the pile of $20 bills that were always around and an alleged meeting up with somebody that could have been him during a long night at a bar in Chicago.
Could have been Dillinger, but was not. Again, the guy who escaped prison and jail, that they had caught robbing at least some of the banks had blue eyes, blue as the ocean. So did Grandpa. John Dillinger, according to record and according to what was seen at his death, had brown eyes. This was July of 1934, before eye color cold be altered. So long folks and have a good week.
Looking at the historical nickname of “Jack Rabbit,” perhaps Mr. Dillinger could be two places at once because in reality there were two bank robbers and one of them never got caught…
My grandfather’s ‘Dillinger’ history
In every family, there are rumors and folklore tales. Mine is no different.
I was born in Indianapolis, Indiana back in 1958, the son of two doctors. Both of them picked their careers over raising a child. Thus, my Dad’s folks stepped in…
I was raised by John Hans and Marvel Nelson, born in 1892 and 1896 respectively. They raised me on a farm near Hagerstown, Indiana, a town of about 2,500.
Being raised an only child, I was with my folks a lot. Like most older people, they loved to tell me their old stories, over and over again.
One of Grandpa’s favorite subjects was the John Dillinger Gang, a group that had about 18 months of successful bank robberies back in 1934. Most of the robberies were done in Indiana or Illinois, with the group going on the lamb in Florida.
Since this is 2009, despite the fact that I am very familiar with the stories about John Dillinger, both folk tales and historical accounts, I will assume you, the reader, have never heard of “Johnny Death.” I think it is an odd nickname since, to the best of my research on the streets and in books, the group never killed anyone. They did, however, shoot a sheriff’s deputy during one robbery. Dillinger was reportedly very unhappy with Baby Face Nelson about that “and had to fire that idiot!”
I must start this account with an admission toward the dramatic. I once asked Grandpa Nelson if he were John Dillinger? He smiled. But he never said yes or no. There is a part of me that hopes he was, and another part of me that would be just as happy if he really were not. The truth, since Grandpa died in 1989 at the age of 96, probably went to the grave with John Hans Nelson.
The year was 1934. My grandfather would have been 42. The historical accounts of John Dillinger would have put him around the same age.
I once did a history report, while in the eighth grade, concerning the John Dillinger Gang. I asked Grandpa, since he admitted at least knowing them, how the gang got started.
“Well Johnny, the stock market crash of 1929 hurt a lot of hard working people,” he had said. “Dillinger did not like seeing all of that suffering. So he started robbing banks of $100,000 each and giving most of the money to the poor to keep them from starving or sleeping out in the cold.”
The $100,000 was the amount insured back then by the FDIC. Now that amount has been raised to $250,000 that the government must replace if its stolen or lost. Grandpa made sure I know that his best friend in life was named Lawrence Hoover. I met that guy. He fished with me and my grandfather a lot at the Hagerstown Scout Lake.
John Dillinger was pursued by J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI and paid a fellow named Jimmy Lawrence $100,000 to have a nose operation so the guy would look like Dillinger and get shot after being fingered by the “Woman in Red.” I believe Jimmy Lawrence was the street name for the biological John Dillinger killed in front of the Biograph Theater on that historic night.
History says they got their man. Melvin Purvis, a leading investigator of the Dillinger bank robberies, killed himself shortly after the shooting of “John Dillinger” when it was revealed all over the streets that it was brown-eyed Jimmy Lawrence that was killed instead. Dillinger, that is the blue-eyed version, came out of the wood work long enough afterwards to warn the government that if they ever tried to say it was not John Dillinger the bank robber who was killed, John Hans Nelson would go on yet another rampage of bank robberies, using the Dillinger name – that is the name of then Public Enemy Number One.
Grandpa wanted to farm and he wanted amnesty. My grandfather said John Dillinger, the bank robber, got exactly what he wanted and lived to be an old man. Grandpa, who admitted no criminal activity on his part other than bootlegging moonshine for his brother-in-law, Searn Rossendoll, had no fingerprints.
I asked him what happened. He said he and some friends put their hands on hot Model A motors so that all of their hands would be smooth. Then he smiled at me.
I re-asked Grandpa about the beginnings of the Dillinger Gang. He always gave me a few more details at every interview. He told me the Dillinger name came from the Derringer pistol. Grandpa was of Swedish and Danish descent and could not speak very clear English. Dillinger was simply Derringer mispronounced. But history reports there was a John Dillinger with brown eyes. My grandfather always told me to remember his real name was John Hans Nelson.
I believe Grandpa robbed the banks and the real Dillinger farmed in his place during the two years of heists. I believe the Dillinger name was soiled after the baseball playing real Dillinger went to jail for eight years over robbing a grocery store. I believe that store was the only thing the biological John Dillinger ever robbed. The real Johnny Death traded his life for two years of freedom on the farm with his love, Birdie, and to spend time with his little boy. Young Jimmy Lawrence, the original’s grandson, eventually wrote a book on the subject, which I read and enjoyed.
As to something else, Grandpa said the Dillinger Gang took their farmer’s white handkerchiefs, cut the middle of their hands with pocket knives and mixed the blood together. The blood turned off purple, thus the Dillinger Gang was the spearhead of a much larger and more renowned gang called “The Purple Gang,” originating, according to history, from Indianapolis and Chicago.
I asked Grandpa why the Dillinger Gang decided to use force against a sheriff’s deputy in just one robbery? He was reading the Richmond Palladium Item daily newspaper at the time. Becoming very angry, my grandfather dropped the paper and said, “I told him not to do that. That Baby Faced Nelson was reckless and strung too high. I had to fire him.”
You, I asked? Grandpa came back to himself and said no more. But he never denied that he met “I,” leading me to believe he really was the John Dillinger who escaped Joliet State Penitentiary in Illinois and was recorded to have blue eyes – that is he was the man who looked a lot like the biological John Dillinger but had the guts, or just desperate desire, to rob those banks. My later research indicates that when my grandfather’s hogs died on the farm from the cholera, John Hans went to winning money playing pool in Indianapolis and Chicago. One night he walked into the bar and met himself… The two men could have been twins. A deal was struck right then and there.
Let’s put it to you this way folks, the old guy sure knew a lot about those bank robberies not to have been involved. I knew this man, how he thought, his method of operation and values. He also had a safe full of $20 bills during the great depression and would never explain where that loot came from. The secret was in his deep blue eyes. He convinced me he lead a group of men to rob those 18 banks and then retired to a life as an Indiana farmer, and frankly, I believe I was not only his grandson but also his best friend. Grandpa also had a lot of 1934 roadsters on the back of his farm, riddled with what appeared to be bullet holes.
He said, “Those Tommy-Guns went wild back then. I let my friends use the old Johnson Balls acreage at the back of my farm to stash the get-away cars.”
There were too many coincidences. There is a lot more evidence than time or space permits here. My Dad the doctor once asked my grandfather to be sure and not do anything illegal, as Dad’s pension would be in danger and besides the old man might go to jail!
Grandpa said, “I am 88 years old. What are they going to do? Do you think I will get a life sentence for growing the wrong kind of plants to suit the cops?”
Grandpa was the type of a person who worked hard as a farmer, but kept quiet about how much money he did or did not really have.
It took six months to find all of the banks he had deposits in throughout this nation after his death in 1989. When John Hans Nelson left the Quaker Nursing Home for a weekend visit in 1988, I was driving him around Richmond before we went home to Hagerstown’s farm, some 18 miles out in the country.
He said, “Pull over to this bank.’ I gave him a confused look and asked why, as that was not the bank he used. He replied, “Just do it.”
He pulled out a bank book I had never seen before and handed to the girl. He called him John and asked how he was? She was smiling from ear to ear. He smiled back and said fine. Then he asked her for $6,000 cash. She handed it over without so much as asking for identification!
So was Grandpa John Dillinger’s body double and the master mind behind 18 successful bank robberies? In my opinion, yes. You may draw other conclusions. But it is up to you, do you Believe It Or Not?


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  3. John Hancock Nelson says:

    Believe It or Not?
    The Testimony Before Fishing…
    Tailgate News Editor
    The time was approximately April of 2003. I had just received the Holy Ghost at a church meeting in Lono, Arkansas and was feeling pretty good about God’s love.
    The devil would soon hit me hard with a college payment lawsuit. It was something I struggled to do and am proud I did manage to get Erin, my oldest daughter, her $22,500 toward her higher education.
    I had friend after friend advise me to fight it or just go to jail for non-payment. I did not do either. I paid it.
    You see us journalists in this part of the country are lucky to make $18,000 a year. So for about four years, I lived way below the poverty level. They mandated 65 percent of my income toward the college payment. Erin is now a computer programmer, and as far as I know, happily married to an auto diesel mechanic up in Indiana. Go Erin! I am so proud of you.
    But this story is not really about Erin and struggling to help pay for her college. It is about a trip I took to Paragould just before finding out about the college abatement lawsuit and my darkest hour, money wise, on earth – at least so far.
    I was excited that morning, in anticipation of going fishing with my best friend, Michael Reddick. My wife and I went to the Paragoud area and stayed in a room at her sister Becky’s house. Becky lived out in the country by Lafe.
    I woke up at 3 a.m., which is unusual for me. Normally my biological alarm clock goes off about 4:30 a.m. But something woke me early. I got a shower, kissed my wife Michelle goodbye for the day and went to get gasoline. I had no idea, really, what the hurry was that morning. But God knew.
    I remember entering a convenience store just across from the Paragould Dailey Press to pay for a tank of gas in our old Lincoln.
    Nobody was in there but the girl checking me out. She was a young woman, maybe 25 at the most, but she seemed quite upset. I asked her what was wrong?
    She just looked down. I asked her what her name was. I believe it was Mary.
    Well Mary told me her name and then told me her problem.
    “I am living with a guy who does not know whether to believe in Jesus Christ or not,” she said.
    “I want to marry him and I want us both to be in church to raise our children.
    “But here lately, I have been listening to his position about the Lord a little too much. You see, I love Jesus but I just don’t know if he really loves me. I mean why would Jesus make it so difficult to show the man how important he is to our enternal destination and our quality of life on earth?
    “And my boyfriend, Rick, keeps asking me if there is a hell, why would God send anyone there? Rick thinks I am going to heaven and he looks up to my faith. I don’t want to let him or me down.
    “But frankly John, I am beginning to have my doubts if I am really a Christian. Rick asks me how Christ lived and why my life is not more like that if I am supposed to be a Christian woman?
    “I don’t know what to say. I sleep with him because I consider him my husband and we have a date set already to have the legal ceremony.
    “I want so badly to please Christ and I read in the Bible where he and Father God are love. So I ask you, why would Love tell me to give up the love of my life over some bunch of rules?
    “John, I love Rick and I love Jesus Christ. I know Jesus died for my sins, but will that make any difference if I fail to overcome what he calls sin? Is love really enough?”
    I pondered what the girl had told me and decided to ask God to give me some direction before responding…
    The thing is, I too had wondered what she was wondering. But as of late, the only thing I had to live on was faith.
    I told her that Jesus Christ, love if you will, could not lie, as by definition he was a man incapable of falling to any temptation to sin. I told her he was our example as to how to live, sure enough.
    But if we could overcome all of our shortcomings, there would not be a need for a Savior.
    I told her that God’s word says he is a friend to the overcomer. To me, I told her, the overcomer is a fellow or a lady that is trying to live more and more the kind and decent lifestyle that Jesus was said to have lived.
    The overcomer had to forgive or he could not be forgiven. That means an overcomer, or just a good old born again Christian who may not even be aware yet of the need to be an overcomer, must also forgive him or her self.
    I pointed her to the Roman road of salvation, where the Bible says if you believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins and that he had the power to rise from the destructive death that Satan had planned for him after the third day in the ground, then by the faith it takes to believe that, and the grace God has shown through the sacrifice of his only Son for the sins of mankind, that believer, with a sprinkle of faith to believe in the miracles of love, will be saved from the fires of hell and the slavery to evil that the rest of the world faces. I told her it also says you must confess that belief with your mouth.
    I told her that nobody gets to heaven by good works, least any man should boast. I told her that her love for Jesus Christ would carry her through if she would put her faith in him first, before worrying about having faith in herself. He, upon realizing she loved him, would guide her to eventually having faith in herself to overcome her sinful habits; usually one habit at a time.
    Mary pondered all that I said and then began to respond. Still no other customers came in, so we had a little time to talk things over.
    “I feel better than I did,” she said. “You are right. I need to renew my faith in Jesus and take my eyes off of me and my botched up life. I was trying to show my boyfriend Jesus through the example of my actions when I should have been pointing out Christ’s actions and letting Rick know that Jesus did not need fixing so that is why we should have faith in Him.
    “You have helped me John. I think I can muster the strength to keep trying as a Christian now. I sure do need Christ as a Savior because I can not save myself from my next unmarried kiss, much less hell!”
    I told Mary I had lived with all four of my wives before legally marrying them. I told her I was legally married to Michelle now but I did not honestly feel the piece of paper made it anymore of a love relationship.
    God led me to make an honest woman out of Michelle, I told Mary. This made her smile. I told her that if she would pray for God’s will to be done in her life, no matter how much her past was messed up when she was running things, and no matter how many mistakes she was still making, God would lead her to a path where she could be an effective witness for Him. I told her if Rick wants the same thing, God will make a way for you and him to be effective Christian messengers.
    Mary continued to smile at me and her tears began to melt away. I think I passed on a little hope to her and nudged her faith in God enough to sustain her in her Christian walk for a little while longer.
    What I did not realize at the time was that I was also preaching to myself. When I lost all of my money over the college abatement lawsuit and had to live in Minnesota alone for a year, I held on to parts of the speech I had mustered up for Mary. For you see, God teaches us faith more when we try to help another…
    I held on to the fact that its Christ’s righteousness I should praise, and His perfection worthy of having a personal relationship with. Indeed, as the song says that gives me comfort, “Precious Jesus, hold my hand.”
    Indeed, Jesus Christ died on the cross at Calvary as a ransom for many; even those who might get depressed in a dark hour – like me in Minneapolis, Minn. and Mary in Paragould, Ark.
    I have never seen Mary again, but I have never forgotten our talk. I found out God can even use a journalist now and then to bring comfort to another one of his children. But as always, it is up to you, do you believe I got up one morning early to be a witness for Jesus by the prompting of the Spirit of God or not?

  4. John Hancock Nelson says:

    The following is a feature about a help organization that has had much Christian success in being there for those who want to improve their lives. Some wanted to kick addictions. Some wanted to simply find Christ and learn to live by his example.

    Here is a feature about “The Father’s House” in Donaldson, Ark. It was in the July issue of Tailgate News, 2012. Look it up in our archives if you want photos to go with this story.

    ‘Mending Hearts and Changing Lives’
    Tailgate News Editor
    Some came there because their crutch in life fell apart and so did their castle of dreams. Others became addicted to their crutch or crutches before dreams could even develop and family members finally threw up their hands and disappeared…
    The Father’s House is a place about three miles from Joan, Arkansas on Vansliver Road, where 30 men are seeking a better life without addiction and attempting to get to know God, who most of them ran from the better part of their lives.
    A man named Larry Shireman, 61, is the director of the rehabilitation facility, and humbly states that he has been clean and sober for 14 years.
    “I was in the drug world up until then,” he said. “I did cocaine and a variety of other drugs, always drinking alcohol at the same time. Then they told me I had hepatitis C and needed Chemo Therapy treatments. The treatment was almost as bad as the disease, but they got rid of it. When that disease slapped me down, I knew I wanted more out of life.”
    Larry says he has a son and a sister. He said things have changed since he has been with “The Father’s House” and Pastor Gary Jennings. Since he found Jesus Christ and sobriety, Larry has regained family trust. Now, both the son and the sister let Larry have a key to their homes…
    Larry has been with Brother Gary since the start of “The Father’s House,” when instead of two bunk house trailers and a redone tool shed for offices, a kitchen and a meeting hall, all they had was one trailer up on the hill.
    The help center is on seven acres that the preacher and his wife donated to the cause. That preacher and his wife are Gary and Danette Jennings, married now 27 years. Gary has a non-denominational Christian Church in Hot Springs (508 Butterfield) called The Ark of Praise with a congregation of nearly 225 and a house on the rural Donaldson acreage where the center exists.
    The facility was started in April of 2005 and has helped approximately 400 men get “clean and sober” by way of working an eight-hour-day, five days a week, attending a one hour Bible study and or church service nightly and studying a curriculum another hour before bed that teaches how to regain self-respect, integrity and trust.
    Jennings has expanded in Hot Springs and the organization now has a women’s rehabilitation center set up on the same pattern as “The Father’s House.” It started in November of 2011 and is currently helping 18 women get clean and sober, using the same philosophies of six months of separation from society, with unsupervised family visits after 30 days on Saturdays, and learning self-respect, integrity and trust through five days of manual labor and seven days a week of learning about the Christian walk of love.
    “We kept 10 acres and our home,” Pastor Jennings said. “My wife works in Arkadelphia at Dawsom Co-op and Larry and I work 10 to 14-hour days with the men. When we first started, it was one trailer for the residents and I was bringing food up the hill from my home.”
    Director Larry said he has worked at “The Father’s House” since day one. Like most there, he wanted away from his old life because the crude fun of his world “just wasn’t fun anymore.”
    Tim Spann, 37, of Little Rock, is one of Gary and Larry’s five staff members at the facility. Tim has been clean and sober for 13 months, although his addiction to hard liquor has been under control at various other points in his life.
    “This time I am following what Jesus Christ told me to do and where He told me to be,” Tim said. “I am 37 and single. I had a wife but she ran off with someone else and it ended in divorce. Someday the Lord may bring me a wife and a family but for right now He has told me to stay here and help the other men so that is what I plan to do.
    “I have found out the hard way that if you ‘know that you know’ that God has told you what to do, it is the best thing for you and other people to do the Lord’s will instead of flying off on some tangent to once again cut your own path.”
    Tim said he just bought a truck from “The Father’s House,” and although it is an old fixer-upper, he is proud to have some transportation. After interviewing Tim, he offered to pray for this reporter and his family, which we did. At the rehabilitation center, Christianity is practiced openly.
    Brother Gary Jennings said he and Larry Shireman realized early on that the rehabilitation center was something “God will probably have us keep open until we die.” There is no alcohol, or any other form of addictive substances, allowed at the facility. It is a refuge, as Tim stated, where those temptations just do not exist.
    But what does exist is the bills for living expenses of 30 men and five staff members, plus a pastor and his wife and a director. Gary and Larry used to work outside the facility and donate money to keep the center going, when the place was small enough to do so. As it grew, it became obvious this was not going to be enough.
    Brother Gary said, “We have never asked for government assistance by way of grants or any of that. This facility is independent and its Christian. We want our centers to stay that way so we found an old fashioned way of paying the bills. We put the men to work.”
    Gary and Larry agreed that having the men work eight-hour shifts of manual labor, five days a week, has gone a long way to restoring their self-respect, integrity and trust.
    “Many of them have been used to finding ways to manipulate money out of others for their beer, whiskey, drug habits and more,” Gary said. “Our formula is simple. We contract labor the 30 men to different construction or factory-type facilities in the Malvern area for $8 an hour per person working and they agree before coming here to donate that wage to ‘The Father’s House’ so they can eat, have a place to sleep and study, and so when they leave here in six months clean and sober the facility can still exist for the next guy to find his sobriety and salvation.
    “This is all perfectly legal and every bit of their labor wages goes to the facility, I work 10 to 14 hours a day and draw a salary from the company, which I use to make my own house mortgage payment and other living expenses. Larry and I are not getting rich off of this endeavor, but ‘The Father’s House’ is solvent and the work can financially go on.”
    The new women’s facility in Hot Springs is set up to be financed in an identical way. Brother Gary said he may have to raise the $8 an hour labor charge to the companies because the government’s taxes have gone up so much, but the pattern will remain the same.
    “When we started this, having the men work was seen as our means of always having a facility,” he said. “We never realized how important it would be to a man’s recovery from addiction. Many of them simply never knew how to work an honest day, or if they did it had been so long ago they could barely remember the feeling of self-respect connected with earning an honest pay check. This obviously prepares the men to re-enter the workforce for themselves and their families when they get clean and sober, finish their six months here and get on with their lives.”
    When the men complete 30 days at “The Father’s House,” they are allowed to have off the premises Saturdays with their wives and children. Before then, they simply visit in the kitchen on Saturdays. But family contact is encouraged so the positive changes can be an encouragement for loved ones as well as those under treatment.
    Tim said, “We get people in here that don’t want to be here, from court orders, as alternatives to jail etc. They are generally among those who make it through the six months to get clean and sober. The number one success factor still remains that you have to want a different life. Nobody can force you to change. Nobody can force you to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior. Those things must come from your own heart if they are to come.”
    Tim recalled one man who was court-ordered to come to “The Father’s House” and ran away to the woods the very night he was brought in.”
    “He was out there all night,” Tim said. “Finally he came upon this house near the property and knocked on a door for help to get back to main stream society. The door he knocked on was our preacher and owner of the facility, Brother Gary. The man did accept our help and we laugh about this now.”
    Director Larry said, “Not all of them will be helped. That 400 success stories figure is just a guess. But if a man wants to change, this program is an effective way to do so.”
    Larry gave this reporter a tour of the kitchen facility, a new chapel under construction by way of labor from those living at the facility, and lastly a tour of the new brick facility soon to be called home for 32 residents.
    “When we move into the new house, we will only be increasing our client list by two,” he said. “The older trailers will be used for office, storage and whatever is needed, but the men will be housed in the new house.
    “The structure is well insulated and beautifully set up for our needs, with a main room, two huge bedrooms where 16 men will sleep on eight sets of bunk beds in each room and four showers with four accompanying sinks for easy access to getting ready for work in the morning. There are four toilets as well. We can move into the new house as soon as our $10,000 sewer system is installed, as the state requires it so we can hook up to Donaldson’s water system. The entire new facility was donated to us.”
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