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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.

Tractor Supply coming to Malvern,

three new restaurants to Gurdon

Tailgate News Editor
Malvern Mayor Brenda Weldon said Thursday Tractor Supply Company will open a branch at the old Brookshires Grocery Store on Paige Avenue.
According to Weldon, Tractor Supply is to start renovating the old grocery store on July 6 and has plans to open for business in September.
“This is big news for Malvern, as Tractor Supply Company will be a tremendous asset to our city,” she said.
Randy Cox, president of Gurdon Rotary, said at Thursday’s noon meeting he has heard of plans for Fresh Market to add seating and a Mexican Grill by middle fall.
Gurdon Mayor Sherry Kelley had previously said that the Main Street Market will open by September, featuring chicken and light baking and being an available meeting place for Gurdon Sports Boosters and other area clubs.
Cox said he has heard a new Mexican Restaurant, apparently a branch from a Glenwood establishment, will open in the near future where another Mexican place was previously located across from Whatever Produce on Highway 67.

Walco Road repair

to cost at least $150,000

Tailgate News Editor
Walco Road in Malvern, that is a stretch about a half of a mile from Teeter Motors back toward downtown, has serious structural problems from heavy spring rains and has been closed by the city.
Upon inspection by this reporter, there seems to be maybe a football field stretch that is closed with water flowing in the ditch on both sides of the road, as of Thursday, and it is barricaded and closed to all traffic.
Weldon said city engineers are estimating it will take at least $150,000 to fix the weak stretch of road to where it can safely hold vehicles once again.
“Our engineers are giving that estimate if we fix just the worst side and do necessary drainage repair to divert future rain water from causing more damage to either side,” she said.
“If we do both sides with reinforcements and put the road at nearly full strength again, the engineers are saying that estimate would climb to $320,000.”
Mayor Weldon said no decision on which way to go on fixing the road has been solidified, but a decision will be made shortly. Either way will be safe for normal traffic. Regardless of the choice made, Council members are considering restricting Walco Road in the future to not allow access to “big trucks and other heavy vehicles” in order to reduce the chance of the structural damage coming back.
“We have fixed a lot of potholes and street cuts all over Malvern,” she said.
“But the problem with Walco goes way beyond those simple solutions.”
In other Malvern updates, Mayor Weldon said Pastor Scott Efird will assume the duties of the Malvern Animal Control officer as of July 1.
The mayor said the Malvern Police Department staff has been rebuilding and updating the shelter, coming back with block walls and keeping the refurbished structure in code.
Weldon said Efird will also assist Malvern in code enforcement citywide.
“I am happy with the redone animal shelter and would like to say the police department staff members are doing a good job,” Weldon said.
“We anticipate being finished very soon, maybe by the July 1 date when Efird will take over as the new animal control officer.”

Dillinger Days: Chapter 1

Meeting John Herbert Dillinger

Tailgate News Editor
The year is 1892 and it is Sept. 6. My parents should be having a baby in their house about now. I guess you could say that was the start of me.
My name is John Hans Nelson and I am a farmer. I write this to you as I remember my life in 1942. The United States has gone through a depression and is now involved in World War II. My son, little Johnny, is 14. My wife Marvel is here with me on the farm near Hagerstown, Indiana. We work hard and bother no one…
My personal war has been over for a number of years. In this book, I will describe to you what led up to my involvement with John Herbert Dillinger and how I used his name while robbing 18 banks in the middle 1930s.
I do not want to bother you with exact historical details. If you want to know dates and places, you can look them up in your history books. The trip I am going to take you on is the story of how I fought the law and beat the system so that I could be a moderately successful farmer the rest of my life.
After a 5-year courtship, I got married in 1918 to the love of my life, Marvel May Woolard and made her Marvel Nelson. She and I struggled through life for awhile and tried our hand at farming, which is the trade I know. I also worked straightening cam shafts at the local factory to pay for the farm a bit quicker.
We bought a small farm called the Cheesman Place. I sold it and bought the Allen Place. I kept that Allen Place hill farm and then bought this 80 acres out here on Highway 38.
We had our one and only baby, Little Johnny, on March 9, 1928. John Woolard Nelson was what we named him, to honor Marvel’s family and mine. He is as smart as a whip and we are very proud of little Johnny. I work a lot of hours and so he knows his mother a lot better than he does me.
When Johnny was about 5 years old, I lost all of my hogs one year to the cholera. It looked like we might have to start all the way over on the farm. As a young man, growing up in Morris, Illinois, where I was born in a farm house, I learned how to play pool and poker as a teenager and became pretty good at both. I told Marvel when we lost the hogs I would go try my luck at cards and pool to make up the difference.
She agreed and I took off for a joint (bar) in Indianapolis, had some luck and then took off for some more joints in Chicago, around the area where I was raised. My good luck held out.
One night I headed back to Indy and decided to try one more joint to make a few more dollars before going home to buy a few hogs. I found a veterinarian in there some where and learned how to vaccinate for hog cholera to avoid the same disaster again.
When I walked into that last joint, I saw a man that was shorter than me with brown eyes – but his features were otherwise very similar to mine. He told me his name was John Herbert Dillinger and that he had just got out of the pen in Joliet (Illinois). He did 8 years for attempting to rob a grocery store and was on his way home to Mooresville to see his Dad. I told him I was a farmer down on my luck but had a small steak from pool and cards, and that I was headed home to Hagerstown to give full-time farming another go.
He said he wanted to get a job but nobody would hire him because of his police record. He said he loved mechanics and working with his hands and believed he would be pretty good at farming too. Dillinger said his Daddy raised him on a farm in Mooresville, Indiana, but he wanted to make his own way in life instead of just moving back there. That town was not all of that far from Hagerstown where me and Marvel had our farm.
We laughed awhile about both being named John and how we looked so much alike. Of course, he was 5’7” or so and I was about 6 feet tall. He had brown eyes and I had blue eyes, but our faces looked alike and we both had a rural upbringing.
John Dillinger said he had a girl friend in Chicago named Birdie Lawrence. He and Birdie had not been together long, but he was grateful for her interest as his wife divorced him while he was in prison. We had another shot of whiskey and stared out the window a bit.
I told him I did not have enough of a steak to really go home and make the farming thing work, but I was determined to try. Dillinger said he knew a way we could help each other. I smiled and thought that perhaps a good lie would entertain me so I asked him to continue with his story.
Banks, he said. I looked at him with curiosity. We could rob banks and split the loot. You could take my name and me and Birdie could run your farm for two years. During that time, you could rob a series of banks. If you got caught, you could tell them you were me. That way the Nelson name stays clean and we get some good out of this Dillinger name.
Then when Birdie and I get married, I could go by Johnny Lawrence and take her good name. I would have my split of the bank robbery money to buy a farm of my own and keep going. You and Marvel could return to your farm and have the life on the farm you say you have always dreamed of having.
We shot down a couple more whiskeys and I sat there in silence. I told him my in-laws would have to keep Little Johnny as I did not know him and Birdie very well. He said nothing. After a few moments, he gave me some names of some guys he knew that were educated in robbing banks. I told him I was going to call it a night and that I would get back to him in the morning.
I got a room and slept on this idea. I called Marvel and told her what had been said. These were desperate times and the United States Great Depression was making people jump out of windows. After a brief moment of silence, Marvel said if you want to do this we will give it a go. She said something about stashing herself in Indianapolis or Chicago and becoming a flapper (dancer) so that I could sneak around and still be with her as often as possible.
The next 18 months would be a whirlwind of meeting some of the most dangerous men and women on the planet and of using my wits and horse sense to survive. But I would make it through the maze. I went to snoring after I talked to Marvel and met Johnny Dillinger for breakfast. I would have to learn a lot about this guy if I was going to be him for two years.
God had blessed me with a genius level IQ and my wheels were turning as I listened to this Dillinger character. I thought about all of those poor devils out of work and determined that if we succeeded I would help as many down and outers, widows and orphans as possible. I wanted the money to farm and be left alone, but I also wanted to send Uncle Sam a clear message.
To me, it was time those potentates up there in Washington D.C. thought about the working guy a little and nobody seemed to have the guts to make that clear to them. My wheels turned some more as Dillinger rattled on. I was already thinking about how to go about this thing, with never a thought that our plan might fail. I always thought of myself as a winner and that has been the way it has always stayed.
1933 and 1934 would not change my opinion of myself, but my activities during that time did open my eyes to why liars were the one form of humanity on this earth that I would never have any use for. I also learned that a secret was only a secret if you never told a soul. I tell you this story now, not from my farming days in 1942, but rather thinking back on how I felt in 1942. That is why I added the phrase at the beginning of this story “as I remember my life in 1942.” I am a ghost now and actually died on Jan. 22, 1989 at the age of 96. So you see, this story can not hurt me anymore, or anyone. So I might as well get it off my chest.
Editor’s Note: This story is based on stories told to me by my grandfather for the better part of 30 years. To be continued in the July 3 Tailgate News.

Brickfest under way,

Diamond Rio Saturday night

Tailgate News Editor
Malvern Brickfest will take place on Friday, June 26 and Saturday, June 27 this year with Diamond Rio as the featured entertainment.
Mayor Brenda Weldon said the Saturday night Diamond Rio concert will be opened by local band Riverbilly. Diamond Rio will perform on the Main Stage at the Malvern park at 9 p.m. with fireworks to follow the show.
Weldon said music will be a part of both the Friday and Saturday of Brickfest, with plenty of booths, pony rides and the like to entertain the kids.
Don’t miss the annual Teeter Motor antique car show Saturday morning at the Malvern park.
Other than paying to park, admission to Brickfest is free. Sources say parking will be $10 again this year. Weldon has been on the Brickfest committee for 26 years, but said now that she is mayor of the city this will be her last year to serve.
“I will continue to help with Brickfest, but as far as committing to be on the committee, I have my hands full here in the mayor’s office,” she said.
Bull riding has come to Brickfest. Don’t miss the Friday night ride at 7 p.m. in the Hot Spring County Fairgrounds Rodeo area. There will be a second ride, same time, same place, on Saturday night that you can catch before adjourning to your lawn chair in front of the Main Stage.
Teeter Car and Truck Show registration will be from 7:30 a.m. Saturday until 11 a.m., with the actual show from 11 until 2 p.m. in the Malvern City Park.
Prizes will be given. Don’t miss the trip down memory lane.
A BB shooting contest will be held at 1p.m. with Malvern Insurance sponsoring the action.

Gurdon School Board asks

for consistant truancy policy

Tailgate News Editor
School Board members tabled the approval of the district handbook for the upcoming school year at Tuesday’s meeting because there are differences in truancy laws in Gurdon from campus to campus.
Board member Bernard Hatley made the point that parents have approached him and wanted to know just how many unexcused absences will result in being turned to the prosecuting attorney and he needs a consistent answer to tell them regardless of whether the excessive unexcused absents are at the high school , the middle school or the primary school.
Gurdon High School Principal Harvey Sellers said it takes 10 unexcused absents before he will turn a child and his or her family over to the prosecuting attorney “and then it becomes a matter of losing your credits for that school year.”
The handbook, on the high school level, notes several lesser punishments to be implemented, such as counseling with the child, with the child and parents etc., before the prosecutor is notified.
Cabe Middle School Principal Amanda Jones said her campus policy is to notify the prosecutor after six unexcused absents, “and I just don’t believe waiting until 10 is feasible.” GPS Principal Rusty Manning did not put his opinion into the discussion.
Superintendent Allen Blackwell had a discussion with the board concerning this matter, agreeing with Hatley that the matter needs consistency.
Blackwell said, “We will work on this section of the handbook and come up with a consistent unexcused absenteeism policy for all three of our campuses.
“I do understand why the board feels there is a need for this and I do believe we need to present a uniform front for the whole district when it comes to this matter.”
Blackwell told this reporter he is not planning a special meeting to review the consistent truancy policy that will be created.
He said it will probably be presented to the board at the 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 21 regular board meeting. Blackwell said the board will be asked to approve it, as well as the overall district handbook for the 2015-2016 school year.
In other business at the June 16 meeting, the School Board: approved an estimated budget for the 2016-2017 school year, as required by Arkansas law.
For details on that budget, see the legal on page 2 of this publication. It includes an estimated $3,080,792 in salary expenditures.
Blackwell said this required estimate for the school year after next is “only ball park” but fulfills a legal requirement. As to the 2015-2016 budget, it will be in place and approved before school resumes in the fall.
Moreover, the board approved a lunch increase of 5 cents for the upcoming school year. Those on reduced lunch will pay 40 cents, primary school students on paid lunch will pay $2.25 and Cabe Middle School, as well as Gurdon High School students, who are on full pay will be charged $2.35 a day. Teachers will pay $3.20 a day.
In other business, the board voted to discard the following items as no longer in working order, at the recommendation of Jon Capps, who is in charge of technology maintenance for the district: a projector, two printers, two televisions and a computer.
The School Board passed a district wireless use policy. The primary purpose of said policy is school security and to be in compliance with the Arkansas State Security Office’s Best Practices. It states Gurdon schools will scan for (and disable) rogue wireless devices at a minimum quarterly.

Brown family to continue

tradition of honoring fathers

Tailgate News Editor
Grandpa Al Brown, a Gurdon businessman who passed away at around 91 in the fall of 2014, found out his grandson Corey, and wife Shelby, were going to have a son before he left this world.
Corey and his father Max both said Monday that Al got excited about the Brown name going on and the possibility of the Brown traditions of close generational ties between the male members continuing.
And indeed, it would seem that both son Max Brown and grandson Corey Brown are more than willing and ready to pass on the traditions of integrity, wit and all around kind hearted ways that Mr. Al passed on to them.
As for being a new father, Corey said, “Being a new father is an awesome, exciting adventure, but it is also a humbling experience.”
Corey said one of his favorite parts of being a new Daddy to Little Max is watching his own father, Max, warming up to the role of being a Grandpa.
Grandpa Max said in addition to business integrity, being kind and loving the Lord Jesus Christ, his father Al taught him to “have more fun in life than a barrel of monkeys.”
“I plan to instill enjoying life in Little Max,” Grandpa Max said. “My Dad worked hard and he played hard.”
Corey said he will take his father golfing at El Dorado, where the two will get a chance to play a new course (Mystic Creek) on the day before Father’s Day.
Al taught Max the love of golf and Max had Corey playing in golf tournaments as a pre-teen. Max and Corey still enjoy the relaxation of the game and it is this editor’s guess that Little Max will be teeing off one of these days as well.
On Sunday, Father’s Day itself, Corey said he plans to grill steaks for Max and his new father-in-law, Larry Dial, of Leola.
Corey said it is important to him to instill good memories of his own Papaw, Al Brown, into Little Max, so the young man has a concept of his heritage of close family friendship and what it means to be a friend, not just a father or a son.
Max said he considers Corey his best friend, and his statement brought no objections from his son.
“Playing golf together for 21 years, ever since Corey was 10, has helped solidify our friendship, as has just being around each other and learning to accept the other person for who and what they stand for,” Max said.
Corey said one of his goals is to have the same golden friendship relationship with Max and Little Max as he did with Al and Max, keeping alive the tradition of having fun doing the Christian and wholesome things of life with three generations of the Brown family.
“I have so many good memories of my grandfather that I want to share with my son,” Corey said. “Al Brown believing in me, and in my father, has helped me to become a high school coach, get married to a girl I love and to have a burning desire to always be the man I know Al Brown would have wanted me to be.”
Max Brown waited his turn in the interview with what this editor perceived as healthy family pride and gratitude in his eyes while his son Corey described the rich relationship they shared with each other, and that they had shared with Grandpa Al.
Max recalled last August when Al had been told the Brown name would go on as Corey and Shelby were going to have a son.
“My Dad was so excited about that,” he said. “He left us in September with the knowledge that our Brown line would not end and that met a lot to him.
“As to Corey, I feel like we can discuss anything and that Corey is my best friend. I realize I am a very blessed man and I wish the same close friendship on Corey and Little Max.”
Max said spending time getting to know his son was a big key to developing friendship. In his case, he took Corey golfing at 5 years old and Corey was playing in tournaments at 10.
“On a golf course, or where ever, the big deal is to spend time with your son or grandson if you want a healthy bond to develop,” he said.
“I am warming up to being a Grandpa and look forward to being a big part of the life of Little Max.”

Phil’s Auto and Transmission

celebrates 30 years in business

Tailgate News Editor
Phil Shuffield, a 55-year-old Arkadelphia Badgers 1978 graduate, opened Phil’s Transmission and Auto on April 15, 1985 “on the other end of town.”
“That is an easy date to remember, as I intentionally opened up on tax day,” he said.
At first, he did a lot of transmission work. His shop still has that capacity but has added much more over the years. Phil said Tuesday he prefers to be known as Phil’s One-Stop Complete Auto Service these days.
Phil got many of his automotive certifications from the then Quapaw VoTech in Hot Springs, going to school there from 1978 to 1980.
He did not stay on the other side of town very long and opened with four bays at his present location on Jan. 2, 1986. That would do his company until Nov. 1, 2013 when he finished building a much larger 4-bay structure and started operating more extensively in the tire business, plus doing alignments.
“It is a step by step thing to build a business and we have seen a lot of growth in 30 years,” he said. “It is not an easy road, but I saw my Dad put 22 years into Reynolds Aluminum and then the place closed on him. I did not want to rely on someone else’s company policies for how my financial life turned out.”
Phil’s One-Stop Complete Auto Service, if that more descriptive name can be used, has gone from being primarily a transmission shop to doing anything from total engine rebuilds to tune-ups and oil changes. In addition to adding a wide selection of tires and doing alignments, the company does exhaust work and brake jobs in the new and improved shop.
“We change your oil and filter for $19.99, using up to five quarts of a good quality company oil,” Phil said. “I use the old oil out of the cars I service to heat my new building so I guess you could say I have gone green in my conservative ways.”
Although the old building, now used as the company office and for storage, has four bays, the structure is just 1,800 square feet.
The new and improved building, where Phil and his three other mechanics have been working out of since Nov. 1, 2013, is a 50 x 100, 5,000 square foot building.
Phil’s staff consists of: Alvie Schoenfeldt, Joe Greer and Dan Dempsey. Phil, Alvie and Joe live at Arkadelphia, while Dan lives at Bismarck. The shop is on Scenic Highway 7, across from Pizza Hut in Arkadelphia. The Arkadelphia address is 1200 North 10th Street.
In addition to cars and trucks, Phil’s Automotive and Transmission (still the official name) works on ATVs, lawn tractors and motorcycles. Phil says if it is a mechanical problem, he and his crew can get it going for you. Phil said his group can get transmissions, engines and differentials that come with a 3-year, 100,000 mile, nationwide warranty. If you have a mechanical need, call Phil at: 870-246-9127. Also remember Phil’s for your wrecker call needs.
Phil Shuffield said there have been a lot of changes during his 30 years in business, but one good improvement has been the invention of fuel-injection engines.
“They just make vehicles last a lot longer,” he said. “But I do want to stress one thing. Maintenance is the key to a car or truck having a long life. A good car is any car that you maintain from it being new until its paid for. If you maintain it, there will still be a lot of use left in your vehicle once it is yours.”
Phil said his shop carries a 12-month or 12,000 mile nationwide warranty on most repairs.

B&V Grocery & Bait

ready for fishing when you are

Tailgate News Editor
Dave Worthen has followed in his parents footsteps as a Malvern entrepreneur but has had to evolve from a meat market to a convenience store to a full-line bait and tackle shop to do so.
“My fishing bait and tackle shop is in the same building where my parents had a full-line meat store in 1963, but without the fishing business I am not sure my establishment would have survived,” Worthen said.
“People in the Malvern area fish between February and November so I have two months there where the convenience store has to carry me. If I were going to ask anything of the public it is to support us entrepreneurs because in today’s economy we are a rare breed.”
Dave’s fishing supplies on hand have been growing for seven years and he is open for business seven days a week. Dave even lives on the premises so if you need worms, minnows, crickets or the like for a day’s fishing fun, you can call him and he will gladly sell you what you need, when you need it, and at a very reasonable price. The store number is: (501) 337-0662 and the address is 701 Sulpher Springs Road.
Dave’s parents were Bill and Virginia Worthen and are both deceased, but their dream of a successful, family owned store, is very much alive in the heart of their son, Dave Worthen. Dave, 51, is a 1982 Malvern High School graduate.
When his parents started the meat market and grocery store, they tore down the existing gas station and added on what it would take to establish a first-rate meat market. They too lived in the other side of the establishment.
In the 1980’s, Dave changed the meat market into a traditional convenience store and that kept him going until the economy changed.
In 2008, Dave changed with the times again, realizing Malvern proper had no place to go if you wanted to buy bait at a reasonable price on your schedule.
The store carries red worms, night crawlers, crickets, minnows and crawdads, Secret 7 catfish bait and a full line of poles, carrying cases for the bait, lures, sinkers – in short, everything you need to have in one stop to enjoy a fishing outing.The store also carries hooks, trot line, yoyos and tackle.
“The big thing is to keep up with the supply and demand of area fishermen, while making sure I am available when they want to head out to a lake,” he said. “My policy is when you are ready to fish, I am ready. Stop wishin’, just go fishing!”
Dave’s store is the home of the glow worms, priced at $2.89 a 12-count. Crickets are $4.50 a tube for 100-count and minnows $2.89 a dozen.
“I give away a free hook hat-pin with every fishing purchase, or you can have a free hook remover,” he said. “We also have hog head cheese, real block ice (and crushed), snacks and cold drinks.”
Dave loves to chat with his customers. He says what he likes best about his life-long business is the people. You can always hit him up for where they are biting!

Editorial: Honor your

Daddy on Father’s Day

It has been said that any potent male can father a child, but it takes a special kind of man to be a Daddy.
We have been a Daddy now for 31 of our 56 years with one daughter sharing her life and three children with us and the other daughter staying to herself in another state.
We had two children from different marriages and could not be two places at once, plus we were young and inexperienced in the art of being a Daddy.
We would like to say that indeed a person reaps what they sew. The youngest daughter, which we had more to do with her raising and have become adult friends with over the years, has not only become a fine woman she has grown into a lady we are very proud to call our daughter.
We hope that some day a friendship can be established with the daughter we barely know, but time has a way of dishing back to a person what they have put out. Sometimes only God can mend the fences.
When you love, try to show compassion by doing your best to protect and guide your off spring. Don’t give up on seeing a child despite divorce and other harsh circumstances and they will remember that.
Without further personal note in this editorial, we would like to say to all of the Daddys reading this, give those children everything you have got to give. And if you are tempted to give money instead of love, don’t do it.
Love is what we all want. We paid for part of the oldest daughter’s computer programming degree, but would have been better off fighting for more visitation when she was younger…
If you are an older Daddy looking back, be proud of what you did right and pray to God for forgiveness as to what you did wrong.
Statistics say children growing up in a two-person household, that is one man and one woman raising them, are usually the most stable and successful people.
If you were raised in the Baby Boomer era, like yours truly, you have probably figured out by now that going from flower to flower for pleasure is a terrible hardship on your kids.
Get stable, stick out your marriage and forgive your spouse and yourself of any wrong doings. If you do, your children will learn the value of tenacity, compromise, love and compassion.
If you desert your children, they will learn that being irresponsible and free spirited, instead of stepping up to the plate of marriage, child rearing and commitment, must be OK…
As a friend of ours said a few years back, someone is always watching you. And when they are small, those little eyes watching your every move are very often in the heads of our own sweet sons and daughters.
Children, if you can, go see Daddy this Father’s Day. Remember the good times.
Remind Daddy how much you appreciated the times when he has been there for you. He is already beating himself up for the times he was not.
Happy Father’s Day and may God bless.

Fouke Monster still

gathering sightings…

Tailgate News Editor
Fouke Mayor Terry Purvis told Gurdon Rotarians Thursday how the legend of the Fouke monster, an apparent “Big Foot” resident of his town of less than 900 people, has put his town on the tourism map since a movie came out about the legend in the 1970’s called, “The Legend of Boggy Creek.”
When asked by numerous reporters if he has ever seen the monster, his standard reply is, “Not since my divorce. I think she now lives somewhere in TexArkana.”
But all joking aside, Purvis said that although he has never really seen much more than remnants of what the monster has allegedly done, and some unexplainably large foot prints, he has been the listener to several consistent stories about the Fouke Monster “from very reliable and sane individuals.”
“If there was nothing in the Boggy Creek bottoms, this legend would have died out shortly after the movie ran its course back in the 1970’s,” he said. “But reports of sightings keep happening. There must really be something out there.”
The following information about the Boggy Creek legendary monster is a description from Internet sources. The “Fouke Monster” – or “Boggy Creek Monster” as it is sometimes referred to – is a Sasquatch-like creature said to haunt the network of creeks extending from the Sulphur River Bottoms in southern Arkansas to the small town of Fouke.
Over the years, the creature has been seen by countless people, including respected citizens, experienced hunters, famous musicians, and even a police officer. It has inspired several movies, most notably The Legend of Boggy Creek, which became a drive-in sensation netting nearly $25 million during its run.
The newspaper accounts of the early 1970s may have brought the creature to worldwide fame, but sighting reports did not stop after Hollywood moved on. Near the small town of Fouke, southeast of TexArkana, people are still reporting encounters with this mysterious creature even today.
The Beast of Boggy Creek will always be a stand-out among America’s spooky legends due to his movie fame, continued popularity and modern sightings. The creature is often mentioned on television documentaries including Monsters and Mysteries in America, Finding Bigfoot, Monster Quest, Lost Tapes, and Weird Travels.
The following description has been compiled from the numerous sightings of something strange out there in Boggy Creek’s vicinity: Approximately 7 feet tall, weighing 300-500 lbs; Dark brown or black hair covering body; Dark skin with an ape-like face; Habitat: bottomland hardwood.
Nearest town: Fouke, Arkansas; First alleged sighting: 1908; Latest alleged sighting: 2012; Track evidence: yes; Photographic evidence: no known photos.
Purvis said author Lyle Blackburn wrote a book about the Fouke Monster called, “The Beast of Boggy Creek.”
“All of the publicity over the years inspired us to create a museum with the Fouke Monster as the main attraction,” Mayor Purvis said. “There is a dollar value to having tracks and other remnant evidence around for the world to see when they come to Fouke.”
According to Purvis, the biggest time people visit his town to check out the legend is in October. Every year there is a Boggy Creek Festival. The strangers usually stop at the town’s convenience store, appropriately named “Monster Mart.”
Purvis said the last account of an actual Fouke Monster sighting was told to him in 2012 by two ladies he trusts.
“What impressed me about what they had to say was it was consistent throughout several interviews with each,” he said. “Our monster is said to have red glowing eyes. If someone is making something up, they usually forget what they said at first. Lies never seem to have consistency.”
Mayor Purvis said one of the women called the Sheriff when she allegedly saw the Big Foot and the officer more or less laughed it off.
“I was not so quick to call her a liar. I know the lady and respect her integrity,” he said.
“The girl was with her mother and it was during the day, not some made up story about a creature coming out of a bad storm.”
Purvis said Animal Planet degreed scientists came to Fouke and concluded something real was going on.
“They were researching evidence as to whether or not Big Foot exists and apparently we impressed them in a positive way,” he said.
“A lot of Fouke residents won’t talk about our monster because of all of the ridicule. But if you go back in history, the Indians had totem poles with images that look just like what people describe Big Foot as today.”
Purvis invites anyone interested to come to Fouke and check it out. He told Gurdon Mayor Sherry Kelley that Gurdon should market the legend of the Gurdon Light because legends make great tourist attractions.

Gurdon to have music

at first annual yard sale

Tailgate News Editor
Gurdon Mayor Sherry Kelley said Thursday a first annual Citywide Yard Sale is being planned for a Saturday morning in July in front of the Hoo Hoo Main Stage from “real early until noon.”
Kelley said the stage, complete with lights, was finished earlier this spring and local musicians Harry Blanton and Jimmy Smithpeters have agreed to provide entertainment during the sale.
Mayor Kelley said the date of the sale will be either Saturday, July 11, July 18 or July 25, depending on when the musicians can be scheduled to be there.
The exact date of the Citywide Yard Sale will be announced in Tailgate News as soon as a definite date is determined.
“This will be a free service for the public,” Kelley said. “You are encouraged to be sorting out yard sale items and set them up on Main Street the day of the sale as early as possible to get a good spot. The closer you are to in front of the stage and mural the better.”
Royce Ann Barbaree, director of CADC Senior Adult Center for Gurdon, will be selling cinnamon rolls, coffee, sodas and more to raise money to help senior citizens, Kelley said.
The mayor advises all who want to participate in the Citywide Yard Sale to utilize as much of the morning as possible because the sale will end promptly at noon.
In other business, Mayor Kelley said due to finishing up such things as countertop installation, plumbing, and the like the Market on Main project is now looking at a late August finishing date.
“This means we could still be enjoying the new restaurant and health oriented bakery come football season,” she said.
Moreover, the eight potential Arkansas Workforce employees, already under hiring consideration, will undergo skills testing this afternoon, June 12, at City Hall.
Mayor Kelley said Workforce will conduct another skills test after the summer work is finished “to see if the young men and women acquired any new skills through the experience.”
Workforce will host additional interviews for 22, 23 and 24 year olds for Gurdon work at City Hall on Wednesday, July 1.
In order to qualify, applicants can not be enrolled in school for the fall.
Malvern School Board recognizes

‘Teacher of the Year’

Tailgate News Editor
Malvern School Board members chose Beth Barnes Monday as ‘Teacher of the Year’ out of a field of four teacher candidates nominated.
Barnes is a sixth grade English teacher at Malvern Middle School and will receive a $500 check from Southern Bancorp as a financial reward to go with the honor.
Superintendent Brian Golden said teachers Beth Morris, Tracy Davis and Kinzar Kurr were the other nominees. As their names were mentioned, one School Board member nomination confirmation voice vote for each of the four in the running was noted.
“The three other nominees for ‘Teacher of the Year’ will receive a $100 gift certificate from Wal-Mart,” Golden said.
In other business, the School Board approved the 2015/16 other classified salary schedule, adding on one more salary for the school nurse position, to be held by a Registered Nurse (RN).
Moreover, the School Board approved the bank bid of $40,000 from Malvern National Bank.
Golden said, “I concur that we accept this bank bid for the next two years. This money is where our awards are paid from.
“This includes the AP Awards and more.”
Golden asked School Board members to renew the current custodial contract for the school district buildings, with an increase in services and cost because of the addition of the new gym, a new health clinic and a new administration office.
“I recommend we keep Dow Industries,” he said.
School Board members approved the renewal of the Dow contract.
Golden told the board the construction pace, in regard to the new Malvern gymnasium, is good and complemented the builders on their progress.
He also said the old Bill Hunt gym is being refaced to match the appearance of the new facility.
“In time, we will refurbish the Bill Hunt gym,” Golden said. “We are looking into getting partnership money to do this.”
Although Golden said the completion of the new gym is important, he told the School Board the adjacent parking facilities would be completed first so as to avoid parking congestion problems in the upcoming school year.
“The parking lot will be finished before the building at my request,” he said. “We want to avoid the parking problems like we had last year.”
Superintendent Golden said the results of the annual survey are much more positive as the years go by.
He said the total number of surveys turned in for the current school year are approximately 500.
“We find the information useful as we make decisions. We do our smart goals to improve the district with the survey results in mind,” he said.
“I am happy with our progress. The biggest thing is the consideration of Malvern High School’s future – facility wise.
“We aspire to a high standard of safety and quality in regard to the education we offer and the facilities we can offer it in.”
A hat drawing among entries for Foundation prize money was held at the meeting.
Golden announced that Perry Wilson won the big price of $100 cash. Dante Reeder won $75 and Gage Greeno won $50.
Golden said the cash prizes would be distributed to these citizens as soon as possible.
After a short executive session for final personnel change decisions, the School Board approved the following employee changes.
As to accepting resignations, effective at the end of the 2014-2015 school year, those leaving the district include: Kathleen Owens, Alternative Learning Education( ALE) classroom teacher; James Stiles, bus driver; Kenneth Leon Turner, bus driver; and Kathleen Rankin, personal care aide.
In regard to new hires, the district employed: Akau Anyieth, Malvern High School science teacher; Jordan Brown, Malvern Middle School math teacher; Sherry Cox, Malvern Elementary School media specialist; Candice Gilbert, MHS dance team sponsor (Stipend only); Joy McDonald, interventionist; Tilman Sheppard, MHS, MMS, English teacher; and Matthew Weigand, head baseball coach and assistant junior high school football coach.
In new business, Superintendent Golden said the End of the Year (EOY) board meeting would be at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30.
The purpose, according to Golden, of the EOY is to close out the books on the district’s finances for the current school year.
An Arkansas School Board Association (ASBA) leadership conference will be held June 18 and 19 at Hot Springs.
There will be a summer leadership conference in Biloxi, Mississippi on July 19, 20 and 21.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Malvern School Board is at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, July 13.
Board members in attendance at the June 8 meeting included: Don Rash, president; Debra Smith, secretary; Connie Bane, Kevin Carr and Vonda Crawford.

Memorable Moment: Aspiring writer

since composing vampire stories at 8

Tailgate News Editor
I started becoming interested in a writing career at 8-years-old. My first experience was on an old Underwood manual typewriter on the kitchen table in the Indian farm house where I was raised.
That farm is between Hagerstown and New Castle, setting just off of Highway 38. I was a resident of that farm with my now late grandparents, John and Marvel Nelson. I lived there from age 7 until age 18, coming back for a few weeks here and there until I reached 30 years old, when my grandparents died within four months of each other.
Grandma went first, on Oct. 31, 1988. She was 92 and died of food poisoning. She had left a plate of cottage cheese in the refrigerator a day or two into the danger zone. She lasted six weeks in the New Castle Nursing Home. Grandpa, then 96, visited her every day. He still drove his truck.
Grandpa died of congestive heart failure on January 22, 1989. The months after Marvel departed this world were very hard on the old man. His nurse said she believed Grandpa died of a broken heart. John and Marvel had been together legally for 69 years. Before the marriage license, they were boy friend and girl friend for five more years on top of that.
My grandfather was a farmer. That was his profession, his love and his calling if you will. But he did all sorts of things to maintain his chosen occupation. Those colorful solutions he had to keep farming are not my subject today.
My subject today is my own path to becoming a professional writer. I have written for publication since 1980. I have never stopped writing for the past 35 years. In addition to newspaper and magazine articles, I have also written more than 100 songs.
I also enjoy writing poetry. I wrote an autobiograhphy type book in 2014 entitled “The Path I Took.” Part of it is on the web site of this magazine under the “Home” icon. Some of my stuff has been deemed pretty good by writers with far more talent than I probably have. Some of it is plain Jane. It is that way with all of us. Our expertise depends upon our own inspiration that day.
But a writer I wanted to be at 8, a writer I was at 8 and a writer I still am at 56. My experience at 8 was writing about vampires. I watched Dark Shadows, a spooky soap opera, every evening at 4 p.m. and got the idea I could just as well write some of their episodes. I pecked it out one letter at a time. My episodes were about a half of a page each – never published.
The long years in between my humble start and becoming a digital magazine editor have held both good times and bad times, similar to many others who struggle to practice and thrive in their calling. Again, Grandpa’s calling was farming. My dad, Dr. John W. Nelson, was a renowned neurologist. Me, I am a journalist.
I do not make a fortune at what I do. As with most writers, if indeed my work every becomes famous, it will probably be after I leave this body and this old world.
I have every intention of breathing, writing and enjoying my family and friends past the age of 90. My uncle Gussy, who was Grandpa’s younger brother, told me our family history confirmed the Nelsons usually outlive most other people…
When I was in college, I tried to become an optometrist. My writing gene, as Grandpa called it, would not hear of it. I then tried to become a Master of Social Work with about the same success.
About 11 years ago, I finally settled down in one town and bought an old house and a couple of pay as you go cars. My current wife and I have been married 17 years this September. I finally adopted a fairly traditional life pattern, although my blogging days these past two years are still evidence that traditional living is far from how I spend my time.
Before settling down, I visited around 45 states, plus France and England. I held writing jobs in Illinois, Louisiana and Arkansas. I also held a couple of writing jobs in Indiana before I graduated college. Thankfully, no publisher ever fired me. At 56, I fully intend to retire in my 70’s debt free, and then keep on writing until I draw my final breath.
Time will tell how that works out. Just now I am trying to make it through June’s bills. My income to debt ratio, according to my banker, is too high. This means I need to pay off a few things. I am working on that, one account at a time…
My struggles to keep writing have been many and there are times when my decisions would seem illogical to anyone that has never had a calling.
But when I am writing, I feel like I am accomplishing something special. To this day, each and very time I sit down to write to you I feel that same old joy I always have.
One time I made the AP Wire in Russellville with a feature about a guy who turned two railroad cars into two businesses. Mr. Harris had a really cool restaurant in one and used the other as his central office for a car dealership.
His innovation, my writing abilities, and frankly being at the right place at the right time, impressed the Associated Press and they forwarded my feature to newspapers all over the United States. That was indeed another Memorable Moment.

Brickfest on June 26 & 27,

Diamond Rio Saturday night

Tailgate News Editor
The 2015 Malvern Brickfest celebration will take place on Friday, June 26 and Saturday, June 27.
Malvern Mayor Brenda Weldon said Monday the event will take place at the park and on the Bank of the Ozarks main stage where the old Boy’s and Girls Club used to be. Live music is promised throughout the celebration.
Weldon said Friday night’s kickoff entertainment will include Christian Rock with Gary Helms, Super 55 and Just Sayin. The mayor said the late Rick Dial’s family will be included in the musical performances.
Booths and entertainment for the children will be available, and the traditional antique car and truck show will begin the Saturday activities.
“We will have our 5 K run Saturday morning and a barbecue ribs cook off and dinner,” she said. “And we will have the Brickfest Baby Contest, as well as the Brickfest Queen Contest.”
The Miss Brickfest Pageant will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 20 in the Malvern High School Auditorium. The Baby Contest will be from 9-11 a.m. on Saturday, June 27 on the Bozeman Stage in the park.
There will be a horseshoe tournament at 10 a.m. in the Malvern City Park.
Weldon said the Saturday evening entertainment will kick off on the Bank of the Ozarks main stage with local band Riverbilly being the opening act for Diamond Rio. Diamond Rio will begin performing at 9 p.m. Fireworks in the park will occur right after the show.
Organizations, such as the Hot Spring County 4-H clubs, will have pony rides for the children during the daytime hours on Saturday. There will be a petting zoo, inflatables and rides.
There will be activity in the bull riding arena on Friday and Saturday night for entertainment of cowboys and cowgirls of all ages. The two Brickfest Bull Bash sessions will be on Friday night in the Hot Spring County Fairgrounds arena at 7 p.m., with another Bull Bash at the same place and time on Saturday, June 27.
Brickfest T-Shirts will be available. For more information, please contact the Malvern Brickfest Committee at: 501-458-1115.
Mayor Weldon said she has been instrumental in organizing Brickfest for 26 years and plans to finish up this year with that duty.
“I feel like what with all that being mayor for Malvern involves I have too many things to do for our city to continue with Brickfest,” she said. “I am sure future Brickfests will be in capable hands.”
A complete Brickfest schedule page will be presented in the Friday, June 12 issue of the Southern Arkansas Tailgate News.

Summer Reading Sign-up

until June 17

Tailgate News Editor
Sign-up for the Cabe Library Summer Reading Program at Gurdon started on June 2, with children going into grades 1 through 6 being eligible for signing up at the library until June 17.
Head Librarian Amber Buck said Kristyn Walker will be coordinating the 2015 reading program, with the first meeting date on Thursday, June 18.
Story time will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursdays for younger readers and older readers are invited to come at 2 p.m. for weekly entertainment/educational programs. All students will meet at 2 p.m. on the final Thursday for the awards presentation. No story time will meet that morning.
Walker said the June 18 2 p.m. program will consist of the readers hearing a story by “Captain America.”
On June 25, the afternoon program will consist of a tour of the library.
On July 2, kids will not want to miss, as Scott Davis, Hot Springs magician, will be on hand to entertain and awe the 2 p.m. group.
Also mark your calendars for the 2 p.m. Thursday, July 16 program as the Little Rock Zoo will send zoo keepers and animals for the children’s enjoyment.
The groups will meet at 10 a.m. and at 2 p.m. every Thursday through July 16, with the July 23 Thursday consisting of the giving of awards and some final fun for all readers at 2 p.m.
“We will give an award for the most books read by first and second graders, third and fourth graders and fifth and sixth graders,” Walker said.
Walker said most who participate come from the Gurdon school system but if someone from a neighboring district wants to sign up they should feel free to come to the library and do so.
Those signing up are required to be able to read independently. Each participant will keep a book log, to be turned in to the library before noon on that final Thursday.
Buck said, “Last year we had about 20 participants all together, with around 14 in attendance on any given Thursday.”

Police officers at Malvern

rebuilding animal shelter

Tailgate News Editor
Malvern Police Chief Donnie Taber said the city is looking at applications for an animal control officer, but first things first.
Chief Taber said his officers have been attempting to take care of the animals at the shelter and a lot of structural problems have been discovered, such as walls that caved in.
“I am aware of our tight budget so I have asked my officers to supply the labor for fixing the shelter.
“In doing so, we may be able to get by with around $2,000 in materials,” Chief Tabor said at the Monday night, June 1 City Council agenda meeting.
“I will admit I did not get many volunteers to clean up the shelter and get busy with the necessary carpentry work, but I offered them some convincing motivation and the police officers have taken on the construction task.”
Chief Taber said upon inspection of the animal shelter, he found a lot of rust, mold and that several of the walls were falling in.
The police officers are patching up the shelter as best as they can.
“We plan on going into our budget if need be,” he said. “I need it fixed in two weeks.”
Mayor Brenda Walden said in addition to the bad walls, the shelter roof needs not to leak.
She said materials could cost as much as $5,000 “but I believe our police officers can handle the labor.”

Walco Road under repair

due to rain damage

Tailgate News Editor
Walco Road in Malvern has suffered excessive rain damage and Street Superintendent Mike Smith says “It has a lot of holes and is closed until we can fix it.”
Mayor Brenda Weldon said Monday, at the City Council agenda meeting, repairing the road is not in the budget but it has to be fixed. No cost estimate was noted.
Agenda Committee member Wayne Reynolds said it might be a good idea to put a weight limit on Walco Road after the repairs are done, as its being structurally unsound could pose a hazard to big trucks and/or other excessively heavy vehicles.
The matter will be taken up at the regular City Council meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 8.
Mayor Weldon said the pump station at the Malvern City Park needs work and could cost $20,000, “but this repair is necessary for our future growth.”

Mayor Weldon said a Malvern waste water treatment pond “is in bad disrepair” and funding is available for such necessary maintenance.
A scuba diver will have to be hired to go down in the sewer water and fix the baffles.
The only bid so far is for $190,900.
Weldon said the company only warranties their work for 24 months, but so far this is the only company Malvern has been able to find that does this sort of scuba diving repair work.
The scuba diving and baffle repair bid was from JPS Industries out of New Hampshire.
The bid was a proposal to replace the #5 baffle curtain originally installed in the year 2,000.
The total for the 1,700 feet of JPS baffle, manufactured, delivered and installed, is $120,806.
The other $70,000 involved in the project would be for a three-man-crew to repair the air laterals of the lagoon system.
Moreover, the agenda committee discussed a possible lease-purchase agreement for an excavator. Mayor Weldon said, “We need the truck.”

Memorable Moment: Daughter

learns true meaning of love and loyalty

Tailgate News Editor
Sometimes in life we wonder if our children even heard the good parts of what is us, as it is usually obvious when they pick up the bad stuff.
This article is about a positive incident that happened just yesterday, Thursday, June 4, 2015.
My daughter Kelley Marie, who I had quite a bit to do with raising, will be 31 in a few days. She is trying to raise three kids with her boyfriend, Ryan.
She has not ruled out marriage bells, but already tried that once in life and is understandably a little gun shy.
Without getting any more personal than necessary, this father wants to let the world know that his daughter has given him one of the sweetest early Father’s Day presents imaginable.
Kelley told me that love is supposed to be unconditional, and that family, especially, is supposed to ride out the storms of life with you through thick and thin.
My grandparents taught me the same thing many years ago. I passed it on to my little girl.
Although she told it back to me in a venting session concerning her would-be father-in-law displaying control freak tendencies and irrational, arrogant behavior, she did tell it back to me and boy was I pleased.
They say you are never dead and gone as long as you are remembered. My grandparents were alive today when my little girl assured me she knew what real love was.
So many times in this life, somebody says something horrible, forgets your birthday or socks you in the nose and you hate them forever. This is not only unChristian, it is stupid.
Forgiveness does more for the soul doing the forgiving than the slob who needed to be forgiven. My little girl gets this. I praise the Lord for it!
I love Kelley and Ryan and their three kids, Josh, Rayne and Daniel, more than anything in this old world – borrowing maybe my wife Michelle – who for some strange reason has given me 17 great years so far.
I was a wild one when I was younger. I later found out part of that was because of a medical condition involving bad nerves and moods. I have taken medication and found stress release valves for that junk the past 10 years or so and consequently my family has a much easier time of being close to me than back in the day.
I also have a temper. I too, like Kelley, tend to vent upon occasion. Kelley’s Ryan just got a wonderful job in his field of computer technology. I am so proud for them. Kelley works in In ICU unit at one hospital and in the Emergency Room at another.
Both of them work hard and both of them do an excellent job of raising my grandchildren. But as far as being controlled, Kelley and I are tied. We make our own decisions, allowing the Good Lord to make suggestions.
If the rest of humanity would like to direct our lives, well, there goes that Nelson blood again. In my case, thanks goes to my Grandpa, John Hans Nelson. In Kelley’s case, I take credit. Sign this a grateful daddy. Indeed, this is a Memorable Moment!

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 yea

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    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.”
    Larry said if the building would have had to be constructed by the men and paid for in their traditional finance method “it would have cost at least $250,000 – maybe more.”
    The donors of the facility wish to remain anonymous…
    Gary Jennings said he started “My Father’s House,” back in 2005 because his son, David Jennings, was involved with a crystal methanphetimine (meth) addiction 18 years ago. David recovered his self-respect, integrity, work ethic and trust and now owns his own hydraulics company.
    The men coming to the rehab center range in age from 18 to however old they need to be. In the past, a few teenage boys have gone through the program, but through trial and error it has been realized the greatest help can be given if all are over 18 in the bunk houses.
    Larry said, “It just gives us a better chance of getting them through the program. This place is set up for adult men who want help.”
    Gary said “The Father’s House” is connected with many judges and drug programs, who give their drug or alcohol problem prisoners a choice to go to the rehabilitation facility to recover or go to jail. Sometimes, that still works out; if that person really wants to change.
    “We stay away from accepting men convicted of any sexual related crimes and try and stay away from those convicted of crimes connected with violence. Our facility is not for everyone, but everyone who goes here needs their chance to recover so it means we can not take all who want to come.”
    Larry said, “We do take people that have fallen off the wagon. One fellow had 26 DWIs.”
    Spann, who said that wagon has slipped out from under him a few times before his dedication to the Lord developed, spoke of a three-month restoration program. The Father’s House recycles those trying again in half the time as those new to the refuge.
    Jennings said, “We lose very few of the men; especially from those who make it through the first week of their six-month path to a fuller life.”

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