features 2

The Tailgate News publishes a new magazine under current issue every Friday. This post is a continuation of stories/features found in those publications. You may look under oldies to see previous issues. Thank you for your interest.



Dillinger Days: Chapter 5 – The Crowd Behind The Crowd…


Tailgate News Editor

By this time, many of you have realized that my crazy schemes to rob banks, and keep it going, had to have taken more than just my ears and eyes to pull off.
I mean I did have cock roach like feelers for nerve endings, but the cops were a lot smarter than I have so far given them credit for being. It is just my family, Dillinger’s family and some mighty good friends covered for me and Marvel on probably 100 different occasions.
I made mention that my son married a girl named Audrey Hancock, one of 11 Cherokee/English children from Indianapolis. It just so happens that old Pop Hancock also had a sister named Audrey Hancock and a half brother named John Herbert Dillinger…
When John Dillinger’s father went to claim his body from the Biograph Theater shooting, John’s half sister Audrey offered to take it back to Indianapolis for burial. Audrey Hancock, John Herbert Dillinger’s sister, looked out for me the entire 18 months I was a professional bank robber. She hid me, she fed me and I knew her niece Audrey before my son met her in medical school.
I don’t know if I was much of a match maker, but she married my son, John Woolard Nelson, and they stayed married 9 years. They produced my grandson, who is writing this book for me. Even if I were alive, John Hancock Nelson would have to translate this book. I am a story teller, but he is a story teller and writer.
So you see, the web was a bit more complicated in 1933 and 1934 than I have revealed so far. I would rob a bank and then disappear with a different family member just long enough for the trail to get cold before I went on the lamb. The truth is, Marvel (Birdie at the time) and I would usually wait the better part of that first week in hiding. A crowd behind the crowd car would pick me up at the barn, or where ever we were dividing the loot. And I would change cars in the next 24 hours about six times. Then, when I was convinced the trail was cold, Marvel and I would go to Florida or wherever we wanted to go… Still, we had necks like pivots, always aware a cop might show up.
When you have a dozen people spreading rumors about a man “going that away,” and you figure a too eager Melvin Purvis was sure they could not all be lying, it becomes doable to stay afloat when you relax (days on the lamb). You have to realize the 1930s made up a different world than yours. I credit the Cherokee Indian blood as to how I dodged the cops as well as I did. Cherokees, back in those persecution days, were used to hiding out very effectively. And Omar (Pop) Hancock had married a pure-bred Cherokee lady named Anna Galbraith.
We used our limited, but yet vast, crowd behind the crowd members to move me here there and yonder for a time. And then we got fans. When the folklore of John Dillinger being some sort of modern day Robin Hood started, and all of the rumors about me giving money away to the poor were in full swing, I made some investments in six other body doubles. These guys all dressed in dark blue suits with a striped blue and black tie and business hat, just like Johnny Jack Rabbit Dillinger did at every bank robbery. And they all had pencil mustaches.
These hired doubles would find a widow or some gal with a half dozen kids to take care of, and go up to her in her back yard while she did laundry and give my same old speech, “I am John Dillinger and here are a dozen or more $20 bills to help you a little while to make it through this Great Depression. You don’t owe me a thing. It is my gift to you.”
They all described me as about 6 foot tall, a white guy in a dark blue suit, with a striped blue and black tie and a thin mustache – otherwise clean shaven. Years later, when I reached the age of 96 and passed away, I was buried in a suit that looked just like that. It was the very suit I wore during all 18 bank robberies.
I wore that suit to my grandson’s high school graduation and then to his Journalism School graduation at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. I had worn it to his dad’s graduation from high school, college and medical school. Mostly, the suit stayed in my closet and I wore overalls – after July of 1934…
I was actually planning to wear that suit once more as the active bank robber body double, but a disturbing phone call stopped me.
FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was on the other end of the telephone line. He said, “John, this is J. Edgar Hoover. I am afraid things did not go as we planned.”
I asked the man what happened? He told me John Dillinger was shot down by six FBI agents, on the orders of head agent Melvin Purvis, in front of the Biograph Theater when John Herbert Dillinger refused to put up his hands and surrender. Instead he ran down the street…
“Remember when we caught you that time and took you to Joliet State Prison in Illinois?” he asked. “I said yes, I remember it well.”
“You just threw up your hands and smiled,” he said. “Then you said don’t get excited boys, I will go peacefully.”
I realized I had not schooled Johnny Dillinger on how to react to the law, as Hoover and I had decided he should be kept in the dark about the Biograph Theater fingering by the Lady In Red and subsequent arrest…
“I should have clued him in on how to act like me and take a jail cell like an easy chair had been offered,” I told Hoover. “Damn it.”
There was silence on the other end of the phone. Hoover offered an apology, but also said his officers acted according to legal instruction when a felon was fleeing… They were supposed to shoot to kill if Dillinger attempted to escape on foot.
I figured there would be ample time to grieve over the failed plan later, when I would explain to Birdie how I felt partially responsible for her “husband’s” death. If only I had taken him under my wing, told him the plan straight up and told him how to turn himself in without giving the cops an excuse to use their guns…
But I assumed Johnny Dillinger had the same survival instincts as me. When a man is cornered, a prison cell is preferable.
This is especially true when you have a small Army behind you that will find a way to bust you out – that is if you have a crowd behind the crowd…
One or two things might have happened. Either John Herbert Dillinger wanted to get shot that night, and that is why he ran down the street, or he broke a gangster rule without thinking. That rule, as the Cherokee say, is, “He who panics last wins.”
I honestly believe, Public Enemy Number One or not, if John Herbert Dillinger has simply smiled and said, “Come cuff me coppers, I am unarmed” and then turned his back and put his hands behind them, standing spread eagle and awaiting arrest, there were too many witnesses for even Melvin Purvis to have shot him right then and there. Dillinger, the biological one that is, would have gone to jail that night instead of to the morgue to await his sister and father coming after his body…
At any rate, getting back to my conversation with J. Edgar Hoover, I realized I had to confirm my own destiny and began to think on my feet. I figured a threat would be my first order of defense.
“OK Mr. Hoover. Our plan did not work. I still want to go into farming but I am going to have to have certain assurances,” I told him. “I am sitting on a quarter of a million dollars of $20 bills. I have to have your promise that bank records of the serial numbers of every single dollar in all 18 bank robberies will suddenly be misplaced by the law.
“If even one of those bills ever comes back on me, I will start this whole thing over. And in the first bank I rob see, I will tell everyone that J. Edgar Hoover’s coppers shot a stool pigeon. Then I will tell them I am John Dillinger and I am here to rob your god damn bank. I will tell them they have a 30 count to stuff as much cash in each bag as they can and that after that my four accomplices and I will leave peacefully – with no one getting hurt!”
There was dead silence on the line and he finally spoke. “We killed a legend tonight. My men are heroes in the eyes of the citizens who believe the law always wins and John Dillinger got what he deserved. History is now on our side,” he said.
I said nothing in return. Dead silence. I finally spoke, “I also want complete amnesty from any connection to the 18 robberies and I keep the cleaned up quarter of a million. If I don’t get what I want, the next robbery has already been scheduled. My suit has been pressed and as usual you will have no idea which bank I have chosen…”
“You son of a bitch,” Hoover said. “You can not blackmail the US government!”
I told him fine, we would play it his way. I told him I had to go get one of my other body doubles and a woman lined up that would pass for me and Marvel to work our farm, and so I needed to get off the line.
“You are serious aren’t you?” he said. “OK Mr. Nelson, you win. We have no warrants on John Hans Nelson. We have no record of any serial numbers involved in the John Dillinger bank robberies, and we welcome you home to Hagerstown from your 2-year stretch as a ranch hand in Wyoming, where you raised a little cash to start farming again in Hagerstown, Indiana. I don’t often admit this, but I have been outsmarted.”
I told him he had my word I would stay a farmer from then on, as long as he held up his end of the bargain. Hoover agreed. I never heard from him again. And I never robbed any more banks… I did steal a mini bucket once from a friend’s boat, but I returned it my next fishing trip. My grandson and I needed that bucket temporarily until we got home to our own bucket.
I also showed him how my old truck could be started from under the hood with no key in the ignition. I told him to turn his head and then hesitated, making sure he was watching.
I also taught my grandson many other ways to think like me, just in case Hoover, or those legal birds who came after him, ever changed their minds about the Nelson family amnesty. My grandson can shoot a gun with all of the accuracy I had. He knows rifles, shotguns and revolvers. He can also shoot a bow and arrow pretty nearly at a bulls eye every time… Of course he shoots Cherokee Indian style, with the arrow on the right side of the bow.
Some day there just might be a need for another “John Dillinger” body double caper. Again, there were six body doubles who roamed around giving out money. In all aspects of this type of organized crime, there was a crowd behind the crowd.
OK, let me be honest here. I sent one of the body doubles to Chicago where John Herbert Dillinger, then known as Jimmy Lawrence, was hiding out after his nose and face operation. I trusted a one-eyed relative of Marvel’s to do the job of informing Johnny, as Forrest Woolard was a smart man and master communicator. We fitted Forrest with a dark blue suit, light blue shirt and black and blue stripped tie. He grew a pin sized mustache. His glass eye was hard to see.
In my opinion, I might have done a better job convincing Johnny D. to turn himself in proper if I had gone myself to Chicago to school him on the bust… But he knew. Dillinger knew those cops would be waiting outside of that theater. It is anybody’s guess why he ran that night. Maybe he believed the coppers would kill him where he stood and was running to protect Birdie and his unborn son from Tommy Gun fire. Your guess, in this case, may be just as good as mine.
I went to his funeral in my one and only suit. I held Birdie in front of Marvel and she patted Birdie’s back at the service. Birdie was four months in a family way at the time… The crowd behind the crowd dispersed after the funeral of John Herbert Dillinger. We all went on with our lives the best we could and nobody else ever heard a peep out of the FBI or any other law enforcement agency.
It was over. I had won, but the cost was awfully high if you ask me. Would I do it again if I knew how it would turn out? Hell yes.
In the next chapter, I will reveal how our hide-out, shoot-out came to pass where Bugsy Malone drove me out through an orchard in a pick-up with a tarp over me. After that, I will tell you a little about what led up to me going to Joliet State Penitentiary, and how the crowd behind the crowd got 20 gunners into the prison to stage the diversion that gave me time to drive a street truck, after the original driver was paid off, to the outside of the prison gate and down the road to a hide-out that was never found.
I am tired now though. I am enjoying telling you this, but I need to get up early and plow another field. For you see, they need farmers in heaven too. By the way, it is true. For the saved outlaws, we are in charge of west heaven, “where the outlaws never die,” just like the song says. This is Johnny Jack Rabbit Dillinger, AKA John Hans Nelson, signing off until the next chapter.




Gurdon beats Spring Hill

in Homecoming contest

Tailgate News Editor
Coach Kyle Jackson said his Go-Devils must have had their minds on all of the Homecoming hoopla the first quarter of the Spring Hill game Friday night, as they started off moving pretty slow.
But somewhere in the late part of the first, or the early part of the second quarter, the team found its energy and began playing like they practice, with intensity.
Gurdon beat Spring Hill 49-23, moving into a 4-0 conference record, with an overall record of 3-4.
In the first quarter against Spring Hill, the Bears came out and led the contest 10-7. But by halftime, the Go-Devils led 35-10, making it 49-10 after the third.
As to the Go-Devil scoring, senior offensive linebacker Jackie Harvell, #3, racked up four touchdowns. David Sims, #2, had two running TD’s and Cam Gulley, #7, had the other touchdown.
Coach Jackson said the night really belonged to Gurdon quarterback Parker Whitson, #8, as Whitson threw for four of the TD’s, completed 13 of 19 pass attempts, completing 277 yards. Jackson said Whitson’s performance against Spring Hill was a school record.
“Overall, once our intensity started, we had a good game,” Coach Jackson said. “We played well offensively and defensively.
“Nobody got hurt and that is always good. Spring Hill was the first game this year where we had all 31 Go-Devils healthy and playing.”
The coach said a couple of his players had some sore muscles during practice this week “but I believe they will both play on Friday night.”
The Go-Devils face conference rival Lafayette County on the road Friday and Coach Jackson said Lafayette is also 4-0 in the conference, with a 6-1 overall record.
“It is going to be a tough game for us to win, as Lafayette County has an offensive star who is averaging 48 or 49 points per game,” Jackson said. “But we can beat them despite that great running back. We will have to play with our best intensity and do all we can not to make any mistakes.”
Coach Jackson said a mistake against a team as good as Lafayette County could end the Go-Devil winning streak but the Go-Devil spirit of greatness does not have to let that happen.
“We will need our own guys playing with all of the intensity we can possibly muster,” Coach Jackson said. “After Lafayette, we stay on the road and play Mt. Ida, another excellent team. These next two games will tell the tale for our 2A conference.”
As to Lafayette, rain is predicted as a possibility. Coach Jackson said he had the Go-Devils practice in the mud, just in case.
“We just can not let anything lead us into an error this week,” he said. “It may not rain, but if it does, we got ready to deal with that too.”
The Go-Devils will be home again against Foreman on Thursday night, Nov. 5.

Forest Festival plans complete,

parade riders line up at 9 a.m.

Tailgate News Editor
The schedule has been set and the 2015 Forest Festival celebration is ready to go, says Gurdon’s CD&E Club members.
The Community Development and Entertainment Club, with about a half of a dozen active members, has met every Tuesday for the past month or more so that the last Saturday of October (Halloween this year) will be everything everyone has grown to expect in the way of a celebration.
Forest Festival will start out with a pancake breakfast at 7 a.m. in the Mt. Canaan Baptist Church on Bell Street.
Then you can check out some of the booths, rides and displays setting up before the parade at 10 a.m. Those wanting to ride in the parade are to meet at the old Bell High School at 9 a.m.
The Main Stage is booked with music and entertainment from 10:30 a.m. on, with this editor kicking things off by singing selections from various artists such as John Anderson and Waylon Jennings.
At 11 a.m., the Mt. Canaan Baptist choir will sing. At noon, Gurdon Mayor Sherry Kelley will welcome everyone to Forest Festival.
The CD&E auction will take place early this year, starting at 12:30 p.m., just after the welcome speech by the mayor.
The Chamber of Commerce will host its annual Halloween costume contest at 3:30 p.m., followed by a canine costume contest. Free candy will be given away by area churches for Halloweeners starting at 5:30 p.m. and the night-time entertainment band, Exit 123 from Bryant, will start playing at 7 p.m.
For a complete schedule, see a pdf for page 2, Oct. 30, already under current issue on Tailgate News at: www.southarktailgatenews.com. It is free to print out.

Courtyard Garden readies

for carnival on Oct. 30

Tailgate News Editor
Courtyard Gardens Health and Rehabilitation Center, on Twin Rivers Drive in Arkadelphia, will be the site of the 10th annual fall carnival on Friday afternoon, Oct. 30.
Sandra Edwards, sales and marketing director for Courtyard Gardens, said the event will be held from 4 until 6 p.m. and will include booths set up for kids of all ages, face painting, a fishing pond, a ring toss and much more.
According to Kathy Barnhill, center administrator, refreshments will also be served at the carnival, including hot dogs, chili, nachos, popcorn and soft drinks.
Guests are invited to visit residents and do a bit of research on services offered that may become helpful to their relatives with health problems. Courtyard Gardens, a part of the Compass Point Corporation out of Boston, Mass., specializes in: out patient services, long-term skilled care, is one of six “certified” Alzheimer’s care units in the state of Arkansas, has respite care, hospice and short-term rehabilitation.
Barnhill said the home’s therapy department is quite extensive, offering physical, occupational and special therapies – along with outpatient therapy.
According to Barnhill, the Arkadelphia branch of Courtyard Gardens, at 2701 Twin Rivers Drive, is certified to care for 100 clients and currently has a case load of 84.
“In our Alzheimer’s Care Unit, we have 22 beds, with a current case load there of 13,” Barnhill said. “We also have a caregiver support group, especially designed for coping with the Alzheimer’s victim.”
Robin LeGuin, director of the Alzheimer’s Care Unit, is the contact person if you want to join the caregiver’s support group. The group normally meets at 1 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of every month at the Third Street Baptist Church.
LeGuin published, in a welcome brochure for the group, that the Alzheimer’s Association’s Caregiver Support Groups are designed to provide emotional, educational and social support for the caregivers through regularly scheduled meetings.
The meetings help participants develop methods and skills to solve problems. The group sessions encourage caregivers to maintain their own personal, physical and emotional health, as well as optimally caring for the person with dementia. The groups are free and open to the public. If you have questions about this group, or any other affiliated services of Courtyard Gardens, you may call the main telephone number, (870) 246-5566 and your call will be directed to the appropriate source to get answers.
Although Edwards and Barnhill agree that Alzheimer’s disease has no cure, patients can be maintained with medication – and some even show improvement from time to time.
However, there are many other physical or mental problems that short-term rehabilitation can cure and get an individual “back to living on their own at home, if that is what they want,” Barnhill said. “Many believe we are strictly a long-term care facility, but short-term rehabilitation plays a key role here too.”
Barnhill said those interested in short-term rehabilitation should contact Edwards at: (501) 350-6509. Courtyard Garden can do an in-house health assessment and go from there, whether a patient is just getting out of the hospital – or in a variety of other circumstances.
The personal touch is something Courtyard Gardens staff always stress. Two new slogans the facility has come to mind. “Our home is your home,” and “because everyone deserves great care!”
Barnhill said visitation with Courtyard Garden residents is something that is encouraged. The administrator said the Oct. 30 fall festival is an excellent opportunity for family members and friends to get off work, pick up the kids and go see an older relative “in a perky and upbeat environment.” “Our home is your home from 4 until 6 p.m. that day, so come get your face painted with us,” she said.
If you need a health assessment, email Sandra Edwards at: smd@courtyardgardenshealthrehab.com.

Sherry’s Corner: Some still want to help…

Gurdon Mayor
Do the leaders at the Capitol in Little Rock really care about us here in Gurdon? Well, you decide.
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge came to Clark County last week. She spent an afternoon with the county’s mayors, city managers and the judge explaining how her office can assist us, listening to our concerns and sharing the major focuses of her first year in office. Rutledge is working to alleviate medicare fraud and Internet stalking of children among other things. The Attorney General’s Office has a staff of 177 employees.
A few weeks ago, Robin Pelton, from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC), came to Gurdon to visit with the owners of Anthony Higgs Lumber Company. Pelton explained that Governor Asa Hutchinson believed that some areas of the state had been under served by the AEDC, so Pelton was tasked with visiting Gurdon to listen to challenges faced by our industries and to offer a helping hand to solve problems and create jobs.
Last week was homecoming. The town really turned out for the homecoming parade. There were many floats, the band and cheerleaders put on a wonderful show. Homecoming Queen Calley White and her court were beautiful. The game was exciting and the team’s efforts on the field were impressive. We sat by the band and really enjoyed Mr. West’s ability to get the very best from the band students. They seemed really enjoy pumping up the crowd.
Now we are on the final push to the Gurdon Forest Festival. The street department and others are doing their best to get the downtown ready for the crowds who will attend the annual event. The celebration of our timber industry will be held on Saturday, Oct. 31, Halloween.
All of your favorite attractions, plus several new features will be a part of this year’s Forest Festival, including The Monster Mash on Main. It’s a safe trunk or treat event that begins at 5:30 with set up of booths and tables at 5 p.m. All free, first come first serve for locations. For more information give me a call at (870) 406-1396.

Homecoming at Gurdon

involves facing Spring Hill

Tailgate News Editor
Gurdon will host Spring Hill tonight at 7 for the Homecoming football game.
The Go-Devils are 3-3 over all and 3-0 in the conference. Spring Hill is another conference rival.
There will be a Homecoming parade at 4 p.m. today in downtown Gurdon and the royalty court will be in attendance at the parade and on the field tonight at Go-Devil Stadium.
This year’s royalty, and escorts, includes: Queen Calley White and team captain Jackson Kirkpatrick; attendants Ella Thomas and Jonah Jester; Maid of Honor Hannah Dykes and co-captain Chris Howell; attendants Sasha Payne and Jamal Garland; maid Monica Nelson and escort David Sims; Dae’ sha Ivory and Jackie Harvell; Kellee Miller and Parker Whitson; Yasmeen Wesley and Maurien Ross; Gloria Medina and David Cruz; Kira Accor and John Smallwood; Alexandria Holliman and Marcelius Holliman; Houstin Kirkpatrick and Tanner Capps; Candy Estrada and Josh Cooley; Olivia Moore and Hunter Lewis, and Jaimee Lockwood and Dylan Sellers.

Forest Festival Beauty Pageant Winners

to ride at 10 a.m. in parade on Oct. 31

Tailgate News Editor
Many of the 39 Forest Festival Beauty Pageant winners from Saturday night’s contest received awards and are invited to ride in the Forest Festival Parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31.
CD&E member Tracy Drake said all parade participants should begin lining up at 9:15 a.m. at the old Bell High School in Gurdon and will take their usual downtown parade route, past Sonic and so forth.
Heather Nolan, pageant director, said this year’s beauty pageant was successful financially to the tune of $2,300 in profit which will help finance the Forest Festival’s many activities.
Popularity was measured in many ways with the girls involved, but financial contributions from the public created a People’s Choice winner in each of the eight categories. For the queen, first runner-up Calley White was the People’s Choice. For princess, PC went to Heather Gray; junior miss, Blaise Childres (also the winner), PC; petite miss, Emma Dickerson, PC; little miss, Brinley Woolf, PC; tiny miss, Chloe Gray, PC; teeny miss, Emry Clark, PC, and baby miss, Claire Cooper, PC.

Malvern School Board hears

annual progress reports,

readies for homecoming

Tailgate News Editor
School Board members heard from administrators early Monday evening with annual progress reports being delivered before the official meeting.
Deputy Superintendent Janet Blair told the group switching to the ACT testing “will be an adjustment but it should help our students.”
Blair said Malvern scores were fairly solid in reading and literature but math scores were lower than needed “so we have a lot of work ahead of us this year.”
“Even so, I don’t see work sheets and mindless work anymore in the new testing material. I see good stuff to help the students meet the state standards in greater numbers. And it is getting better.”
Blair said 76 percent of the Malvern school population qualifies as poverty stricken. She admitted switching standardized testing methods “is harder on the kids than it is the rest of us.”
Superintendent Brian Golden said once the school has consistency in its testing and its standards, “it will allow us to make adjustments for students who may range from challenged to gifted and talented.”
Blair said, “A return to consistency in standards and in testing, year after year, will help the students.”
She said for many of the impoverished students the Malvern School System represents their only means to consistent educational growth.
Mary Meredith McCormack, principal for Malvern Elementary School, said on her level testing data has changed and this is the age of the Academic Improvement Packet (AIP). The program promotes goal setting in the first through fourth grades.
It is the digital age and these young people have Chrome Books and their own Google Accounts.
McCormack said parents seem to be saying mostly positive remarks about the Chrome Books. She said students are taught to “never give up, encourage others and do your best.”
Malvern will play Waldron tonight in a homecoming competition. A wall of honors presentation is scheduled for 6 p.m. with game time being at 7 p.m. The next School Board meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 9 with new officers presiding.

Coach Jackson praises team for Murfreesboro win,

has eyes on winning the conference


Tailgate News Editor
Homecoming is tonight for the Gurdon Go-Devils, when they will meet their fourth conference challenger, Spring Hill.
Coach Kyle Jackson said Spring Hill has a very good team this year as they are 4-2 overall and 1-2 in conference play.
Gurdon is 3-3 overall and 3-0 in the conference, still competing for a 2015 conference championship.
In the Murfreesboro game last Friday, the Go-Devils came out on top, 39-8, securing their third conference win in a row. Coach Jackson said his team was very focused and played one of their best games against the Rattlers, leading them 21-0 at the end of the first quarter, 39-0 at the half and 39-0 at the end of three.
“Our quarterback Parker Whitson, #8, threw the ball for completion that secured us three of our touchdowns,” Jackson said.
“David Sims, #2, caught two and ran those in for TDs. The third was caught by Jackson Kirkpatrick, #5, who ran it in as well.”
Coach Jackson said star runningback Jackie Harvell, #3, ran in two TDs. Harvell had a 91-yard punt return for a TD. Defensively, Jackson said the Go-Devils held the Rattlers to 68 yards when the first team was on the field.
Jackson said, “It was an overall good night. They had plenty of focus. The coach said he played several sophomores during the second half “and was glad to see the younger team members get some playing time.”
He called the Spring Hill Bears a quality football team and encouraged his team members to concentrate on the game and execute with all they have. “Tonight, we play, and it is an important game,” he said.

Sherry’s Corner

Gurdon Mayor
The Gurdon Forest Festival Pageant was a wonderful event filled with gorgeous girls of all ages in beautiful dresses.
There were about 40 contestants overall and several hundred in the audience at the Charles and Anita Cabe Auditorium. Pageant Director and Community Development and Entertainment Club Vice-President Heather Nolan said, “I think the pageant went really well. The girls all did great. It was a success over all.”
For a complete list of the winners, see John Nelson’s article in this community magazine. All of the contestants are invited and encouraged to ride in The Forest Festival Parade. The Forest Festival Pageant is one of the biggest fund raisers for the Gurdon Forest Festival.
This year’s pageant provided more than $2,000 for the free festival rides and attractions for the children. Those free rides this year are; the pirate ship, the tumble weed and the rock wall.
This year there will also be some rides that will require the purchase of a ticket. Those rides include a train and several super bounce houses.
By the end of the week we hope to finish the facade on the old First National Bank. Several other Main Street improvements should be completed by the Forest Festival on Saturday, Oct. 31.
We hope to put a fresh coat of paint on the benches and add a sign above The Market on Main. All of the above mentioned projects will be funded by grant money, at no cost to the city. Also on Main Street, Alex and Barbara Winfrey hope to have a large sign above their variety store; The Mossy Rock.
The Third Annual Monster Mash on Main Halloween Trunk or Treat Event will be held on Saturday, Oct. 31, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Main Street downtown.
The traffic will be blocked off and you can set up your booth, table, games, etc., anywhere you like beginning at 5 p.m.. Everyone is welcome to participate and set up. It’s all free, first come first serve for locations. But, there really isn’t a bad spot.
Several citizens are volunteering by picking up litter along the roadsides and streets in Gurdon. Their efforts are much appreciated. Litter pick-up it like housework. Your can clean it all up and a few days later it will need your attention once again.
When people make it a part of their routine it makes a big improvement. If you see trash in front of your house, pick it up and keep Gurdon beautiful. By the way, check out a local facebook page “Keep Gurdon Beautiful”. They would love to have your participation.
A special treat, Tav Falco aka Gus Nelson (Rita’s son) will be performing in Hot Springs on Friday, Oct. 16, Maxine’s in Hot Springs. Falco and his avant-garde band, Panther Burns are here from Europe on a two and a half week United States tour with stops that include; New York, Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago, Las Vegas, Tucson, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.
Although I’ve met Tav several times, I have never seen him perform live. I expect it to be a very unique experience.

Editorial: Trump or Clinton in 2016?

Despite many opinions to the contrary, it is obvious to us that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will most likely be our presidential choices in November of 2016.
We will be glad when this is official so we can get down to some real issues. Both are strong on domestic issues and also know their way around foreign policy. Both understand that hard work should equal success in our country. Both believe in the American dream.
Despite Clinton sticking up for fellow Democrat Barack Obama, we believe she, and her husband adviser, former President Bill Clinton, would probably lead the country in a direction that would be so far from the Obama socialism junk that it would make our Muslim sympathizer president spin his head in disbelief.
According to Internet sources, Bill Clinton talked Donald Trump into running for president and they have been friends for many years. We are voting for Trump. We are not saying Mrs. Clinton is a bad candidate. But we are for gun rights and believe as Trump has stated, gun violence is a mental illness problem in regard to senseless, mass shootings and that this crazy stuff would not go away just because we take guns away from law abiding citizens.
We also believe in Trump’s hard stance on legal immigration being the only way to go. America should accept anyone who wants to come here legally and can pass a basic background check. But we should not be forced to accept Islamic sympathizers who believe the answer to someone not wanting to abide by Sharee law is to kill them!
Clinton made us proud when she said Iran was her enemy on national television during the Democratic debate Tuesday. We do not believe she wants our country to go down in flames as far as being a Christian nation with a Constitution based on Christian principles of right from wrong. She was raised in Chicago, with basic Methodist Church values, not in Kenya by communists.
We do believe in a strong military. Democrats, as a whole, believe in shifting military money to other causes. We do not believe this is wise. We believe things like foreign aid to places like Pakistan and Iran should be drained for those domestic free programs Clinton wants so badly.
But free programs have never worked without careful monitoring and some sort of reasonable incentive for folks to get themselves off of them to become taxpayers, not tax drainers. We believe Clinton would monitor such “leg-up” programs. But we simply believe Trump is a better choice.
Trump wants to make America great again, known as a strong super power on a global scale and he is not scared to call a spade a spade as to who our enemies are. His personal business record proves Trump knows the basic truism that if a person’s workers are making a decent paycheck then the owner of the business will prosper in the long run. He is a financial genius, and his record proves it.
Getting back to immigration, we believe there are good Muslims in this world, but we also believe that extensive background checks should be done on each one before they are allowed to come to America. And we believe they should swear a loyalty to America law and our Constitution. You don’t hand a hungry dog your hamburger and expect anything to be left of it. And the history of Mohammed should be a pretty good indicator that these folks are not playing. They want to take over our country and eliminate our freedoms, they being the ISIS sympathizers.
America should be ashamed that Russia has to clean up the ISIS problem because our current president is on the ISIS side, if not in words, surely in action. The treaty with Iran on alleged nuclear arms reduction is a joke. Obama forced it down the throats of Congress and the Iranians are already bragging that they will put action to their threats to kill America and kill Israel. According to Christian radio programming, Iran has tested a verified nuclear bomb big enough to wipe out Israel and the treaty means the United States is paying for it.
Whether Trump or Clinton becomes president, we hope the repealing of the treaty with Iran is the first order of business. And we hope it is not too late. Obama stated this week he could win a third term in America if it was legal. We believe America has had it with this “worst president of all time” and we question the judgment of the American public for not having already impeached this non-leader of our United States. Obama continues to violate our Constitution and our checks and balances traditions to reach agreements with Congress. Our current president is a loose cannon and an embarrassment for our soldiers who have fought to preserve our freedoms for more than 200 years.
It is too bad this man can not be ousted so at least the next two years would not encompass even more loss of America jobs, American integrity and American ideals. Until our fellow Christians stand up for their rights in mass numbers, Obama will continue to slap them. We believe in freedom for all religions, but we also believe that when one religion starts killing others for their believes, like ISIS is so famous for doing, then another law should be enforced – the one involving putting a person in prison for murder.
ISIS is a real threat to our liberty. Being stupid enough to believe Iran will curb nuclear development over “diplomacy” is also a threat to our liberty and way of life.

Beauty Pageant Saturday night, 40 girls to compete


Tailgate News Editor
GURDON – The annual Forest Festival Beauty Pageant will be held at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10 in the Cabe Auditorium at Gurdon High School.
Admission for spectators is $5, which will go to help finance Forest Festival activities. Heather Nolan, pageant director, said 38 girls, ranging from babies to older teenagers, have paid their admission fee of $35 to compete “and most have went ahead and paid the $50 instead in order to compete in our extra categories.”
Nolan said at the Community Development and Entertainment committee meeting Tuesday a couple of other girls have been wanting to participate “and they may come up with their money and make it an even 40 competitors.”
Dress for the show will be formals, and/or “Sunday best” clothing. In addition to being judged on beauty and photogenic, other categories include: people’s choice, best dressed, prettiest eyes, prettiest smile and best personality.
Age categories have expanded this year and will include: 0-1 (Baby Miss), 2 (Teeny Miss), 3-4 (Tiny Miss), 5-6 (Little Miss), 7-9 (Petite Miss), 10-12 (Junior Miss), 13-15 (Princess) and 16-18 (Queen).
The winning queen will receive a $250 cash prize from the CD&E Club. Practices will be tomorrow morning at the auditorium, starting at 8 a.m. for those entering the queen category. Contact Nolan at: (870) 353-7080 to get your child’s practice time.
Tomorrow night, each contestant will be allowed one parent with them back stage. This parent will be admitted at no charge. If spectators bring children 2 and under, those kids will also get in free.
Nolan said there will be a winner, two runner ups and a photogenic winner selected in each category. Winners will receive a crown and a trophy.
Once the pageant is over, profits will be designated as needed for Forest Festival activities, planned this year for Saturday, Oct. 31, Halloween.
Angie Harper, secretary for CD&E, said at the Tuesday night organizational meeting that other sources of revenue are going well this year. She noted that T-Shirt sponsorships were up, with 22 buying ad spaces on this year’s shirts, which will be camo. T-Shirts will be on sale for $15 “as soon as our 300 shirts make it back from the printer.”
“We will be ordering shirts of all sizes,” she said, “but we plan to have plenty in extra large, as that has always been our most popular sale.”
Clayton Franklin, president of CD&E, said booth rentals and food space rentals have been going well. If you need a booth this year, they are $25 and you should contact Harper at City Hall. You may also contact City Hall for food vender information, as food vender spaces are $150.
Nolan has been instrumental in getting venders as well, so you may contact the pageant director’s number. She said 25 venders have confirmed they will be at the Gurdon Forest Festival so far.
Franklin said auction items are needed and those wanting to donate something should bring them to City Hall for storage.
The CD&E auction will be at 12:30 p.m. this year. A complete festival schedule will be published next week in Tailgate News.

Malvern horse therapy club

seeks background checks

from police for new mentors

Tailgate News Editor
MALVERN – A Malvern teacher and her husband, who is a local coach, approached the City Council during their agenda meeting on Monday, Oct. 5 with a request that the Malvern Police Department help their local horse-oriented, teen-help program by providing background checks on potential mentors.
Living Stones Ranch, owned by Debbie and Darryl Baker, is located 2669 Babcock Road in Malvern and was established in 2011 as a non-threatening help environment where working with horses is effectively used as a tool to teach troubled teenagers the value of living life with socially acceptable integrity.
According to Debbie, the Christian based program uses horses (equine) to assist them in “behaviorally based activities that encourage participants to recognize and confront ineffective behaviors in themselves.”
Darryl’s late father, Don Baker, was a mentor for local sports participants for years. Darryl said he and his wife Debbie have worked with LSR and Second Chance Ranch in Bryant, as well as troubled teens from Hot Springs, but they want to reach out to more troubled teens in the Malvern School System “who we see every day that are in need of a good mentor.”
Debbie has taught school for 29 years and has extensive training as a mentoring coordinator, a bullying prevention coordinator and a career development facilitator.
Debbie said, “Our mission is to create a link between Malvern youth and community leaders, concentrating on the impoverished youth.”
She said it is her belief that a goal of 90 percent of Malvern’s impoverished youth to graduate high school can be reached with proper mentoring. Graduation for the impoverished student in Malvern is now 85 percent.
Mayor Brenda Weldon and her council members took the proposition of city police performing background checks on potential mentors for Living Stone Ranch under advisement. City Council will hold its monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13.
Moreover, Weldon asked the council to consider contracting out city owned cemetery business and advised she would begin taking bids if such an option were voted on favorably Tuesday.

Gurdon to travel to

Murfreesboro for

third conference game

Tailgate News Editor
Gurdon took its second conference win Friday night in a home game battle that ended with the Go-Devils on top, 38-22.
Go-Devil Head Coach Kyle Jackson said Thursday Gurdon was ahead of the Hornets, 6-0 after the first quarter and 18-0 at the half.
After three, it was 31-6 Go-Devils and Jackson said he took most of his main force out of the game.
The Mineral Springs Hornets then began to score, but too little and too late, as the game ended with 38-22. Coach Jackson said his team lacked its usual intensity against Mineral Springs, “but I would rather have an ugly win than a beautiful loss.”
“It was nice to see that even when we were not playing up to our potential we could still win the game,” he said.
As for the scoring, Thomas Muldrew, #4, made a catch from a pass by Quarterback Parker Whitson, #8, and ran 43 yards for a TD.
The other five touchdowns were accomplished by linebacker Jackie Harvell, #3.
As for Murfreesboro tonight, the Rattlers are 1-4 overall and Gurdon is 2-3, but 2-0 in the conference.
Coach Jackson said his team’s intensity came back this week with several great practices. Jackson said he believes the Go-Devils will play with intensity against their third conference match-up – Murfreesboro.
Although a couple of linemen may be out tonight with minor injuries, the coach said he believes all 31 Go-Devils will be healthy when Gurdon hosts Spring Hill for Homecoming on Friday, Oct. 16.
“I watched the film, and Murfreesboro has talent this year,” he said. “I feel good about this game, but we will have to concentrate – and play the game with our very best intensity,” Jackson said.

Sherry’s Corner: Luncheon set

for new licensed practical nurse

Looking ahead to new treatment plant;

new Baptist Health APRN luncheon Oct. 15
By Sherry Kelley
Gurdon Mayor
Work is under way on Gurdon’s Waste Water Treatment Plant. Once the maintenance and upgrades are complete (scheduled for December of this year) our facility will have the capability to serve the city and industry for many years to come.
It is a real blessing to have a “like new” treatment plant that is funded completely by the one-half cent county-wide economic development tax at no cost to the city. This week a scuba diver is scheduled to work under water in the facultative lagoon, if you can imagine that. He will work on the installation of the new and improved aerating filter system and also on the installation of baffles to direct the flow of the water as it travels through the treatment lagoon.
That should be something to see! Moving forward. we will work diligently to keep our plant running in tip top shape and to maintain it properly. This important project is undertaken in support of the Georgia Pacific Gurdon Wood Products $37,000,000 lumber expansion.
By the time you read this, Amazing Creations, a new ceramics store and create treasures yourself venue will be open at 306 Highway 67 (more or less located across from The Pizza/Taco Barn). I, for one, plan on making a ceramic depiction of “The Gurdon Light!” It includes a headless figure with a lantern and an old fashioned locomotive. Perfect for my desk at city hall. They have lots molds and figures to choose from and the creative process is half of the fun. Check out their Facebook page and marvel at all the Halloween, Thanksgiving, Go-Devil and Christmas themed items.
The Gurdon Forest Festival Pageant is this Saturday night at the Charles and Anita Cabe Auditorium. It is always a special event with beautiful girls of all ages. Practice will be Saturday morning. This is the biggest fundraiser for the Gurdon Forest Festival, which features free rides and a free evening street dance. And much, MUCH more. For information on the pageant, call Angie in City Hall at 353-2514.
Mark your calendar for a delicious and free event. Thursday, October 15, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Baptist Health Family Clinic in Gurdon invites the community to meet Nurse Practioner Mandi Bohlen, APRN. She has more than 17 years of nursing experience and she is excited to be serving the Gurdon Community.
They will be serving hamburgers, hot dogs and all the fixings as their way of saying “thank you” for allowing Baptist Health to serve us in Gurdon. I have already had the pleasure of meeting Mandi and feel sure that you are going to like her. Let’s enjoy some good food and get together on Oct. 15.

School Board wants proof of recruitment

of minority students for teaching careers

Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon School Board approved a minority recruitment plan to encourage minority students with high grades to go into the education field at the board meeting Tuesday night.
Statistics were presented by program coordinator Jeremy Bell and indicated 89 percent of the current certified staff members in the district are Caucasian and 11 percent are Afro American.
“We do not have any teachers or administrators at this time who are Hispanic,” he said.
School Board member Bernard Hatley asked, “Are the counselors actually encouraging minorities to go into teaching?”
Hatley told Bell he would like to see some sort of verification that school counselors and teachers were actually encouraging academically gifted minority students to go into the education field.
Bell said, “We can add a verification of this encouragement easily as part of the Minority Recruitment Plan.”
The board then unanimously passed said plan.
In other business, School Board members elected a board of officers for the coming year. Mark Sanford is president; Bernard Hatley, vice president; Clay Britt, secretary and official delegate for the Arkansas School Board Association (ASBA).
Head Football Coach and Athletic Director Kyle Jackson addressed the board and told them three girls have qualified for state golf, Class 2A.
They are Kylie White, Kylie Wilkins and Kelly Miller.
The board approved: special education assurances and ESEA assurances; reviewed Act 1120 regarding a 5 percent increase report and approved a resolution in regard to that increase for both certified and/or non-certified personnel;
• Approved the 2015-2016 budget, which was cut by the government by $369,000 for this year because the Gurdon School District lost 15 students from year 2014 to 2015, according to Superintendent Allen Blackwell.
Blackwell said, “They gave us two years to absorb that cut from losing those 15 students from our district-wide population.
“We are graduating more students than we are bringing in through our kindergarten classes.”
The superintendent said Gurdon graduated 60 and the current kindergarten population is 41. He said Gurdon’s student population estimate for funding last was 693 “and we actually have 713 students now.”
This means the district will get back $121,000 of the lost money. Blackwell said the district will absorb $146,000 cut from last year’s revenue to this year.
He said overall district budgeting is based on $6,745,000 for the year. Blackwell said program budget cuts will be minimal because “we may very well get more tax money in than we budgeted.”
As to why the 15 students left the district, Blackwell said the most common excuse by parents was they were leaving to find work. Student gain or losses in the district will continue to change as employment opportunities go up or down, he projected.
Moreover, the board approved the 2015-2016 classified salary schedule and personnel package. The next meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 20.

Last weekend to enter Forest Festival pageant

Tailgate News Editor
The 2015 Forest Festival Beauty Pageant will take place at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10 in the Cabe Auditorium on the Gurdon High School campus and official entries, as of Tuesday, numbered 28.
Angela Harper, City Hall worker, told this reporter Wednesday that last year’s entries numbered nearly 50 and Pageant Director Heather Nolan has high hopes that last minute entries will make the field close to that number for 2015. Those living outside of Clark County may still enter.
Therefore Nolan has waived the entry fee increase, which will remain at $35 to sign up. Those with girls who want to be in the pageant can go to City Hall and pay Harper, go to Southern Gypsy Salon on Walnut and pay or call Nolan (870-353-7080) anytime today or tonight and make arrangements to meet with her to get an application and pay.
“This is going to be a really special pageant this year,” Nolan said. “The CD&E club has agreed to give $250 to the winning queen candidate and our new categories for babies will give an opportunity for you to show off your special daughter or grand daughter to the world.”
If you want your contestant to be in the special categories too, the fee will be $50. Money from the pageant goes toward rides and other entertainment for all ages at the Forest Festival itself. There will be a $5 cover charge at the door on pageant night for the general public.
“We are wanting to get a group photo of all entries this year for the local publications and a date for this will be announced,” Nolan said.
To enter the contest and get an entry form, you may call Nolan, again at: 870-353-7080, or you may go to Gurdon City Hall and ask office worker Angela Harper for a form and to pay. Harper said she may be easier to contact today than Southern Gypsy “but if you can catch them open, signing up there is fine too.”
Categories to enter will include: beauty/photogenic, $35; best dressed, $5; prettiest eyes, $5; prettiest smile, $5; and best personality, $5. Age categories have expanded this year and will include: 0-1 (Baby Miss), 2 (Teeny Miss), 3-4 (Tiny Miss), 5-6 (Little Miss), 7-9 (Petite Miss), 10-12 (Junior Miss), 13-15 (Princess) and 16-18 (Queen).
Dress for the pageant will be formal or Sunday best. Contest winners are encouraged to ride in the Forest Festival Parade at 10 a.m. on the last Saturday in October, Halloween, Oct. 31, in downtown Gurdon. Parade line-up is at the old Bell High School at 9:30 a.m. The winners will also be given the opportunity to help pass out auction items at 1 p.m. on the day of the festival.
CD&E President Clayton Franklin said the auction has been moved up in the day this year in hopes of drawing a bigger crowed. Those profits will go toward the Forest Festival in 2016.

Gurdon tops over Dierks, 32-13;

claims first conference win!

Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon Go-Devils traveled to Dierks on Friday, Sept. 25 and came away the victors, 32-13, in their first conference game of the season.
Head Coach Kyle Jackson said Thursday the team has had a much needed moral booster and he rewarded them in practice by cutting back a bit on the harsh physical drills.
“Don’t get me wrong,” Coach Jackson said. “We had our strong players back from injuries, even though they may not have been full speed, against Dierks and our defense held.
“Our offense kicked in just after the first quarter and we had a great second half. We are definitely not taking a win against Mineral Springs this Friday for granted. They are 0-3 and we are 1-3, but they have some fast talent.
“I have always told the boys to concentrate on their own game and whatever opponent you face is beatable. Even if our team loses, if they have done all we taught them and maintained that winning attitude so necessary to concentration and performance, then they can be proud of themselves and the coaching staff will be proud as well.
“To me, we are 1-0. The conference win we seek means we can not lose a conference game this year and the Dierks victory was a great start.”
Quarter by quarter against Dierks, the Go-Devils fell behind after the first quarter, 6-0, but came back to be ahead the rest of the game.
At the half, Gurdon led 13-6. After 3, they led 19-6 and then had a great finish, winning 32-13 against the Dierks Outlaws.
On offense #3 Jackie Harvell, senior, was one of the stars of the game with three touchdowns and 231 yards of rushing.
Quarterback Parker Whitson completed two passes to #2 David Sims, who ran in two more TDs. Sims earned offensive MVP with those catches and runs to TDs.
“It is always good to win the first conference game,” Jackson said. “Especially an away game. Our team is tired of being on the road and is looking forward to playing at the Gurdon Go-Devils Stadium on Friday against Mineral Springs. I do feel good about this game, but we will need our fans to come out and support us.”
Overall, the coach praised the Go-Devil defense but said to continue to win the offensive pressure needs to start earlier in the game.
He said defensive players Cole Harper and Jackson Kirkpatrick did an excellent job of leading the other players on defense and stopping Dierks.
On offense, the coach said those two big catches by Sims started some great momentum.
“The Dierks rivalry win, especially on the road, gave our Go-Devils a lot more pep in their steps this week,” Coach Jackson said. “We will have youth night after our pep rally on Friday.
“This game against Mineral Springs should be one filled with a lot of healthy Go-Devil spirit.”

Mayor says action speaks louder than words

Grant applications mean
hard work and a lot of faith
Gurdon Mayor
Actions speak louder than words, that saying rings true. While you can read about the progress on Gurdon’s projects, seeing and utilizing the end results is where the rubber meets the road.
When you have enough money to build a new home, remodel or add on a room; construction is often a lengthy process. There are many factors that come into play. That’s when you have the money.
If you have no capitol to begin with, the process is much longer and more uncertain. You have to find funding that fits your project, usually in the form of grants.
You have to work pretty hard to apply for the money, then wait and see if the funds are awarded before the first nail is ever hammered. That said, it is amazing the amount of positive change that can be made starting with nothing more than an idea.
I would like to tell you about a project that is a perfect example. This project has been in the works for several years and it will soon come to fruition. Anita Cabe had a dream of a community marquee sign. Her dream included a centralized information source for Gurdon citizens to be stay informed on local happenings and information. At the same time, the marquee would provide an attractive, prosperous and progressive image of our fair city.
After years of preparation, the new marquee will be installed at The Gurdon Plaza (the park in front of the mural on Main Street) by Christmas, if all goes smoothly. The LED sign will measure about 10 feet by 4 and 1/2 feet.
This will be a positive addition to our major gateway, one that will display useful information while welcoming people to Gurdon. Funding for the large, colorful, electronic sign is provided by the Horace Cabe Foundation, Sturgis Foundation, Dorothy Morris of Hot Springs, Gurdon Rotary Club, Gurdon Chamber of Commerce and Charles and Anita Cabe.
It’s great when hard work pays off to benefit so many. Most of the work goes on behind the scenes. It’s like a farmer that plants a crop and works the field without knowing if the seasons will allow him a harvest. When it does, it’s a beautiful thing.


Time to sign up for Forest Festival Pageant

Tailgate News Editor
The annual Gurdon Forest Festival Beauty Pageant has been scheduled for 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10 in the Cabe Auditorium.
The CD&E Club is encouraging older girls to enter the queen contest and will be giving $250 to the winning queen!
Pageant Director Heather Nolan said at the Community Development and Entertainment (CD&E) Club meeting Tuesday the deadline to enter the pageant will be Monday, Sept. 28 – which gives entries two weeks to prepare for the contest.
Nolan will be at Southern Gypsy Salon in Gurdon from 10 a.m. until noon on Saturday, Sept. 26 and asks that candidates come and pay their fees if at all possible. This year’s pageant will be open to girls in surrounding counties. Those from Prescott and Bismarck are given a special invitation to participate.
Those entering by the deadline will pay a $35 base entry fee. If they want to enter the optional categories, the fee will be $50 for the complete package or $5 to enter an individual extra category.
Nolan said, “If you enter the contest after the deadline, the base fee will go up to $45. If you sign up on time and pay the $50 to enter all categories, this will save you $5 from what it would cost to pay the base entry fee and $5 each for the four extra categories.
“We are wanting to get a group photo of all entries this year for the local publications and a date for this will be announced.”
To enter the contest and get an entry form, you may call Nolan at: 870-353-7080 or you may go to Gurdon City Hall and ask office worker Angela Harper for a form. Harper will be accepting payments on Monday, Sept. 28, which is the last day to pay without late fees.
Categories to enter will include: beauty/photogenic, $35; best dressed, $5; prettiest eyes, $5; prettiest smile, $5; and best personality, $5. Age categories have expanded this year and will include: 0-1 (Baby Miss), 2 (Teeny Miss), 3-4 (Tiny Miss), 5-6 (Little Miss), 7-9 (Petite Miss), 10-12 (Junior Miss), 13-15 (Princess) and 16-18 (Queen).
Dress for the pageant will be formal or Sunday best. Contest winners are encouraged to ride in the Forest Festival Parade at 10 a.m. on the last Saturday in October, Halloween, Oct. 31, in downtown Gurdon.

Gurdon Chamber of Commerce sponsors $50,000 downtown marque sign

Tailgate News Editor
A $50,000 electronic marque community message sign will be installed next to the Hoo Hoo Mural, at the edge of the Plaza on Main Street (Highway 53), just off of Highway 67, by December, if all goes as planned, “so our first message can be Merry Christmas!”
The sign project is sponsored by the Gurdon Chamber of Commerce. Kris Jester, an employee of Cabe Land Company, will be in charge of changing up the message board, after training from the company that created it, the Rainey Electronic Sign Company of Little Rock.
Jester said it will be visible, with color displays on both sides, by traffic coming and going on Main Street. The sign area itself is to be 10 feet wide and 4.7 inches high, with a pole holding it up at least 10 feet off of the ground.
Chamber of Commerce worker Anita Cabe came up with the brainstorm of a large community sign several years ago “and I want to thank our donors and those who worked to make this useful addition to our community possible.”
The lead donor was the Horace Cabe Foundation. Another five donors included: the Sturgis Foundation, Dorothy Morris of Hot Springs, the Gurdon Rotary Club, the Gurdon Chamber of Commerce and Charles and Anita Cabe.
Mrs. Cabe said the sign will contain community announcements and advertising.
“Our messages will usually be original, but if the school sign says something the community really needs to know there may be times when a school message will appear on the Chamber of Commerce sign as well,” she said.
Jester said the sign will be capable of electronically displaying color images on both sides and may very well have even more perks.
“I will not be sure of all of its capabilities until I get my training,” she said.
For example, Jester does not now know if the sign will have video capabilities “but I do know this marque is state of the art quality.”
The closest intersection to the soon-to-be erected sign in Gurdon is Front Street and West Main. The City of Gurdon has agreed to contribute some time from Street Department workers in order to get the sign installed and plugged into electrical current.
Advertisers will be hand-picked by Chamber of Commerce representatives in order to insure integrity. Politicians will be welcome.
In addition to being a communication asset, Mrs. Cabe said the sign will be a potentially ongoing revenue source for the Chamber of Commerce and its community projects.
Advertising prices and other specifics concerning the Gurdon message board will be available through Chamber of Commerce workers once the marque is installed and functioning.
“If anyone in the public would like to submit messages for the new sign or would like to run an ad, Kris Jester will be the director for the message board and the best one to ask,” Mrs. Cabe said.
Jester may be contacted through the Chamber via the Cabe Land Office at: (870) 353-4444.

Tommy J. Wells, bull rider, gets married,

says his body may not be fit to ride anymore…

Tailgate News Editor
Tommy J. Wells, 59, married Ginger Futrell Wells, 48, on Sept. 19 at the Gurdon Park.
Ginger, of South Carolina, has followed the rodeos from her youth. She said she remembers the posters put up in her own state about Tommy J. Wells, an accomplished bull rider back then, when she was about 10 years old.
Wells, who says bull riding was his living years ago, sites two instances where there is proof that he rode at the Clark County Fair in 1992 and 2014.
“Some say I was not a professional bull rider, but just because I choose to keep the proof of my accomplishments secretive, for my own reasons, does not change the fact that logic would suggest I had to have known how to bull ride or I could not have participated in the Clark County Fair bull riding rodeos on two separate occasions.”
The first time Tommy rode a bull at the Clark County Fair was in 1992.
Wells said profits from the ride were to go to a local battered women’s shelter. He said there are 100 points in a bull ride, with the cowboy getting part and the bull getting the rest. In 1992, Wells made 70 of the hundred points and his animal companion (the bull) had 30.
“Back then, an organization called Sheila put on the bull ride,” he said. “That was before Rocky U Round-up.”
In 2014, his showing was not nearly as good. He stayed on the county fair bull 4 seconds. Well said the rope to hold the bull was too short and therefore his ability to hold on was reduced.
Tommy J. got a scraped up leg out of that one. He considered riding again this year, but changed his mind due to the unexpected rain. The rain would have made even a proper length rope too slick for him to hold on effectively. Damage to his body over his more than 30 years of riding has left him with 40 percent of his previous strength to handle a bull.
His new wife Ginger said she likes the rodeo life and would encourage Tommy to continue if his body would allow it.
“I have a bad shoulder and a bad knee,” he said. “When the bull in 2014 tore the hide off of my leg that was also bad news. I love riding but now I will concentrate on finding painting work or the like that I can still do and on being a good provider for my new wife.”
As to ever bull riding again, Tommy is not sure at this point. A lot depends on his body as his spirit still wants to.
Ginger said, “I would love to see him happy at it again if his body could do it.”

Gurdon faces Dierks, needs win for another conference championship

Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon Go-Devils lost to Glen Rose on Friday, Sept. 18 in an away game battle that ended 56-20.
Head Coach Kyle Jackson said his team shined at times, but five key players being out for injuries or stomach flu left his defense in the hands of sophomores.
“They did their best, but their youth and lack of experience could not hold off a much improved Glen Rose team,” he said.
After the first quarter, it was 14-0 Glen Rose, then 35-7 at the half and 42-20 after the third.
Jackie Harvell, #3 for the Go-Devils and a linebacker, made two of the three Gurdon touchdowns. In one instance, Harvell ran it in from a kickoff and in the second TD he brought the score in after a 25-yard run.
The third TD was a result of a pass from Quarterback Parker Whitson, #8, caught by David Sims, #2, who then ran the ball in for 65 yards.
The Go-Devils will play their first conference game of the season tonight in an away game battle at Dierks, and the coach said key defensive players Jackson Kirkpatrick, #5 and Cole Harper, #78, should make a victory very possible.
“We want to win every game, but playing 3A schools sometimes makes that impossible for a young group of 2A players,” Coach Jackson said. “Even though we are 0-3, I still think we have a good chance at a successful season. If our players stay well and our defensive unit is there against Dierks, I believe it will be a good game for us.”
Jackson said the way the abilities in teams are going this year, the Go-Devils will probably have to win all of their conference match-ups to be the 2A conference champions.
Dierks is 2-1 for their season. Coach Jackson said the key to a Go-Devil victory is staying healthy and continuing to concentrate on what was learned in practice.

Big Pep Rally planned before Mineral Springs game Oct. 2

Tailgate News Editor
Go-Devil Stadium will be the site for a district-wide pep rally at 12:45 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 2 – just before Gurdon hosts Mineral Springs in a varsity football game that night at 7 p.m.
Athletic Director and Head Gurdon Football Coach Kyle Jackson said Thursday the homecoming court will be announced and track awards will be passed out.
Pee Wee Football players will be present so those in the third to sixth grade can be exposed to the older players. Mini cheerleaders will also line up with the senior cheerleading squad.
Jackson said any student wearing a 2015 sports booster shirt, saying “Greatness is Rented, Not Owned, and Rent is due Every Day,” will get into the Gurdon and Mineral Springs game for free that night.
The Gurdon Go-Devils 2015 Homecoming will be on Friday, Oct. 16 when the Go-Devils will host Spring Hill. That game time is also 7 p.m.
“The Oct. 2 Pep Rally will be a good opportunity to rekindle some winning Go-Devil spirit, and to show everyone that our school is still Great,” the coach said.

Fountain Lake students to perform Hello Dolly

Mikayla Terry
Venom Staff Reporter
Fountain Lake Charter High School (FLCHS) will be performing “Hello Dolly” for the third time, making this play the most performed play the FLCHS choir department has put on.
This play is about widowed Dolly Levi, whose job is matchmaking and helping people get in touch with someone to help with their problems, and needs.
Dolly spends the remainder of the play trying to make herself a perfect match for Horace Vandergelder, and setting people up with someone they would never expect.
Two of our very own Fountain Lake staff performed in “Hello Dolly” in Hot Springs. Mrs. Mary Sargo-Schapiro, performed at Hot Springs Arts’ Center Players, as Dolly Levi, in 1989.
Mr. Campbell also contributed to the play “Hello Dolly” as Cornelius. The main parts this year will be played by Emily D. Johnson as Dolly Levi, Ben McDonald as Horace Vandergelder, Cate Skinner as Irene Molloy, Katibeth Westerman as Minnie Faye, Ethen Lingo as Corneluis Hackel, and Dilan Holcomb as Barnaby Tucker.
Hello Dolly” will be held in the auditorium on Sunday, October 18, and Monday, October 19. The cost of tickets will be $5 for adults, and $3 for students.

Mayor promotes pageant, Curtis yard sale

By Sherry Kelley
Gurdon Mayor
The Gurdon Forest Festival Pageant is fast approaching, Saturday, October 10. This popular pageant is open to all girls in Clark County and the surrounding area.
The divisions this year are ages 0-1 to 18. To enter call pageant director Heather Nolan 353-7080 or pick up an entry form at The Southern Gypsy Salon and Boutique on Walnut Street in Gurdon next door to Nick’s Barber Shop.
Rehearsal for the pageant will be Saturday morning, Oct. 10. Members of the Community Development and Entertainment Club (CD&E Club) are working diligently to make this a great Forest Festival on the last Saturday in October which falls on Halloween this year.
Besides the hard work of the CD & E Club members, many generous sponsors are also ensuring a wonderful event.
There will be many free rides for all the children to enjoy, a street dance, a stunt bicycle show, petting zoo, vendors, children’s run, car show, parade, dunking booth, festival foods, a special luncheon, a visit from members of the Hoo-Hoo International, auction, Monster Mash on Main Trick or Treating and much, much more.
Speaking of great events, the Curtis Country Mile Yard Sale is coming up on the first Saturday in October 3, beginning at 7 a.m. until 3 p.m..
This is a sure fire money maker if you would like to have a spot along Highway 67 under the oak trees, call Joy Chitwood at 246-5664. If you are looking for bargains, collectibles or treasures you won’t want to miss this great annual event.
The new El Diamonte Mexican Restaurant is open and very busy in Gurdon on Highway 67. This family owned and operated Mexican eatery has a full menu and the restaurant is getting rave reviews from locals.
Another new business in Gurdon is set to open in early October. Amazing Treasures, also on Highway 67, is owned and operated by Mr. and Mrs. James McKa.
Amazing Treasures is a pottery store where customers have the choice to make and paint their own creations or make a purchase from the fine selection. I was impressed by the McKa’s pottery rendition of The Gurdon Light. They created an antique railroad engine with a headless man holding a lantern. Got to have one!
Things are still moving right along with our three major projects; The Market on Main, the facade of the old First National Bank and the new Pee Wee Football/Youth Soccer Field.
The First National Bank is getting a paint job face lift, so the Tailgate News editor noticed this week. See photo on page 1.
Clinic Nurse Practitioner at the Baptist Health Gurdon Clinic is Mandi Bohlen and Kelley Dotson is the pediatric nurse practitioner, who will be at the Gurdon Public Schools Wellness Center on Wednesdays. Welcome to these fine new members of our community.

Clark County Fair Rabbit Results;

Hard Working Kids excel in animal raising

Tailgate News Editor
Clark County Fair took place this week with the biggest and the best of animals, vegetables and crafts being selected by qualified judges.
Grace Leamons, long-time supervisor of the rabbits and poultry, said a livestock auction/sale will take place at 10:30 a.m. Saturday and top rabbits will be amongst critters up for bid in the annual George T. Sharp Junior Livestock Sale.
“We encourage everyone to come on out and support these hard-working kids,” she said.
An appreciation luncheon for premium buyers will take place immediately following the sale.
Rabbit judging took place on Tuesday evening with Colton Miller taking the grand champion ribbon in the single fryer show on what appeared to be a Californian rabbit.
Cannon Jacobs received best of show on his Senior Mini Rex rabbit. Lainee Schee received reserved grand champion in single fryer competition.
As for division winners, Emilee Davis took first place among six contenders for Junior Mini Rex; Cannon Jacobs took first place among five contenders for Senior Mini Rex; Drake Givens was first in the Angora English division; Brady Daniell took first of four contenders in Californian rabbit category; Carson Eddy had the first place New Zealand White of two contenders; Amelia Bryce was first of two contenders for Holland Lop rabbits; Blakely Thompson took first among two contenders for the Dwarf Hotot category; Cannon Jacobs took first of three contenders for Netherland Dwarf; Grace Rutherford was first of two competing with Loin Head rabbits; and Cannon Jacob was first of three contenders for Mini Satin rabbits.
Leamons said there will be a poultry sale at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Cannon Jacobs, who won overall best of show, said he intends to win that award every year and “this rabbit contest was a lot of fun.”
Cannon is the son of Elliott and Torri Jacobs of Gurdon. Elliott is an offensive line football coach for the Gurdon Go-Devils.
Gurdon’s bull rider, Tommy Wells, will compete again this year, bull riding in the county fair rodeo at around 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19. Wells will get married that day at 3 p.m. in Gurdon City Park to Ginger Futrell.

Malvern continues to debate

cemetery plot sales, seeks steady money

Tailgate News Editor
The Malvern City Council met in regular session on Monday, Sept. 14 and once again tabled the issue of the city selling cemetery plots for the three available acres at Oak Ridge Cemetery
Councilman David Cook did not believe the current plan “has good numbers” and once the agreed upon sites are sold it is just a matter of time before city mowing fees will once again have to come out of general funds. Those fees for maintaining the 16-acre cemetery run several thousands of dollars per year, but the city is not expecting an increase if the three acres in question are used for burial – as the entire 16 acres has to be mowed anyway.
Other Council members spoke their minds about how the selling of cemetery plots was never believed to be a continuous money making proposition, but rather a service to the community “where anyone is welcome to be buried.”
The City Council tabled the issue after Committee Chairman John Allen Funk said this issue of selling graves in three acres left of a 16-acre cemetery has been tabled for 19 years “and surely it is time we get on with selling these plots.”
Malvern City Council agenda planners met Aug. 3 and heard recommendations from cemetery committee spokesman John Allan Funk concerning the terms of sale of 820 city-owned grave spaces at the Oak Ridge Cemetery in Malvern.
Funk, along with other committee members Elizabeth Ball, Steven Bowdle, Sharon Wilson and Michael Smith, agreed with an ordinance draft which proposes selling each space for $500, creating a warranty deed that stipulates any change of ownership must be handled through the code enforcement office and then recorded with the circuit clerk of Hot Spring County.
Funk commented that grave depth for the newly readied plots would have to be 4.5 feet by law, not the mythical 6 feet under. He said the required depth was changed several decades ago.
“In regard to the 820 grave spots the city has ready to sell, selling them off in sections, as an option, might satisfy certain families,” Funk said.
Funk pointed out selling the grave sites would create more than $400,000 for Malvern’s cemetery maintenance coffers.
Funk said the money could be used to ready and open other sections for sale, pointing out Oakridge Cemetery has 2,800 spaces available all together. There are 9,000 graves in the old part of the cemetery.
Funk pointed out that ongoing grave maintenance could also be financed with an opening and closing fee of say $500 – with $300 to a grave digger and $200 for lawn care and other upkeep.
Funk said perhaps the grave opening and closing fee could pay for markers to keep more easily accessed grave location records.
As to monuments, he recommended all upright ones be limited to a certain area, as having mostly flat grave stones would allow for easier mowing.
“If you keep the majority with a flat monument requirement, you could bush hog that entire area,” he said.
Funk suggested the city might also consider a cremation burial fee, maybe selling a warranty deed to a traditional grave space and then burying three cremation remains there.
In other business, Council members accepted a bid of $98,025 to repair flooding damage on approximately a quarter of a mile on Walco Road.
Mayor Brenda Weldon said the work should take two to three weeks to complete.
Moreover, the Council voted to buy I-Pads for 11 government officials, including City Council members, in order to save money in the long run by going paperless.
Weldon said the I-Pads will cost approximately $329 each.
In addition, the Council passed an ordinance that will close an alley off Section Line; passed a resolution condemning 520 West Fifth Street and 108 Truman Street; and authorized Mayor Weldon to apply to Rural Development for a $195,000 grant to resurface Malvern Streets.
“The last time we resurfaced was in 2002 and the price tag back then was $182,000.
There was also a motion that passed to allow the Malvern Police Department to use debit cards.
The next City Council meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 13 because Columbus Day falls on Monday, Oct. 12.
Weldon said the Council agenda meeting will still be at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 5. Council members told Funk the cemetery plot issue will be ironed out by the next regular Council meeting.


Coach says Eight Starters should be back

for Go-Devils verses Dierks game Sept. 25

Tailgate News Editor
Gurdon Go-Devil Coach Kyle Jackson said that even though Gurdon lost 43-0 to Smackover last Friday, he is “very proud of the way we held them off during the first half.”
The game was 0-0 after the first quarter, 14-0 at halftime and 28-0 after three.
The coach said Jackson Kirkpatrick, who he refers to as the quarterback of our defense, did not play the second half because he is recovering from an injury, and younger players with less experience ended up getting more game-time play than they normally would have.
“I take full responsibility for that second touchdown that they got on us in the second quarter,” he said.
“Our biggest problem is we have a very young team and the maturity factor is very significant in football,” he said. “Even though we had several injuries during the Smackover game, I am optimistic about our season because we are told all of our players will be over their injuries by the time we play our first conference game against Dierks on Sept. 25.”
As for a final comment on Smackover, Coach Jackson said he does not see them losing the rest of their season.
In regard to the Glen Rose game tonight, Jackson said if the younger players who have to step up to key positions will concentrate and execute properly, we have a chance to win.
This editor ran late in publishing this week’s Tailgate News due to software problems and so has already taken photographs of part of the Gurdon/Glen Rose game.
At halftime, the Glen Rose Beavers led 35-7, but the Go-Devils came out ready to play in the third quarter, with the score changing to 42-20 and Gurdon picking up steam.
Jackie Harvell, top Gurdon running back, made a long run for one of those Go-Devil touchdowns with 8:25 left in the third. Jackson said he would like to see Harvell handle the ball about 25 times per game, rather than close to 40 times, like at Prescott..
Coach Jackson said Thursday,”We are going to Glen Rose without eight starters and that is a lot of folks out when you only have 31 players, but the good news is none of them will be out all season and we should be at full capacity again soon.”
The Go-Devils are 0-2 after the Prescott and Smackover defeats. The next home game will be on Friday, Oct. 2 against Mineral Springs. Game time for that will be 7 p.m.

Tailgate Traveler: Looking Forward to Deer Season, Fall Fishing and Fairs


Tailgate News Editor

Fall is upon us and my thoughts turn to county fairs, deer season and fall fishing.
And, of course, those thoughts also turn to football games and the photos I hope to get of area high school stars every Friday night.
Tailgate News has been in operation since May of 2007, but each year gets a little more exciting to this Indiana farm boy now living in Gurdon since 2004.
One of the guys in Gurdon is going to get married and ride a bull at the Clark County Fair on Sept. 19, which happens to be my anniversary to my wife Michelle as well. We have been married 17 years.
Tommy Wells, a Gurdon native, will be making his third bull ride at Clark County Fair and he tells me it may be his last attempt to out-point such a beast.
I admire his guts and enjoy watching, shooting photos as I can. I did this last year when he also rode a bull at the fair.
Football season, as this issue of the Southern Arkansas Tailgate News indicates, is in full swing. The Gurdon Go-Devils had a winning season last year, competing well in the playoffs. I expect them to do the same, or maybe even a little better this go around.
We are getting a slow start, as Prescott and Smackover are the first two contenders. Both are in 3A with a very good record, while Gurdon is in 2A. Those categories reflect size of school and therefore availability of players.
Still, if Gurdon can continue to compete with these challenging teams on the front end of the schedule, it makes conference play seem like a relief.
Malvern and Glen Rose seem to both have some pretty talented players this year. I hope to visit Malvern Friday night to shoot a few photos of the Lake Hamilton game.
Then I will go back to Gurdon to get some photos of the Go-Devil and Smackover match up. After that, it will be time to greet my three guests for the weekend.
They are my grandchildren – Josh, 9; Rayne, 4 and Daniel, 2. They are some of my favorite people in this whole world.
Josh loves hunting lizards, Rayne enjoys listening to nursery rhyme songs such as “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed,” and Daniel loves to play with basketballs, footballs, softballs etc. as his father Ryan loves sports and has already passed that love on to his son.
As to deer season coming up, which bow season is nearly upon us, I don’t regularly deer hunt, mostly for financial reasons and time management, but I love to put photos in Tailgate News of deer and the proud hunters who shoot them.
Not only does the sport provide a tremendous amount of fun and relaxation to many of my readers, it is very practical as most of us love the taste of deer meat.
As to fall fishing, I do participate in that. Assuming the weather will cool down, I already have a date to fish with my best friend Mike on Sunday, Sept. 27.
Mike is a disabled veteran in a wheelchair, but still loves to fish. He usually catches the biggest one of the day. We have been friends for 21 years, and he has been disabled from a truck running over him the past 15.
Like most seasoned friends, we have many pleasant memories and love discussing them. But after the conversation, in the quiet of an early morning fishing trip, is usually when we get our most bites.
Here is hoping you enjoy fall as much as I do. The Tailgate News will contain many photos of Southern Arkansas activities as we go along with fairs, football games, festivals and various other entertainment events.
If you want to share your photos with our audience, you may email me at: jay_nelson_72443@yahoo.com. Here is hoping you enjoy our magazine.

GPS takes two days to celebrate Grandparents Day

Tailgate News Editor
Gurdon Primary School had to split up its Grandparents Day celebration this year over two days, with breakfast served on Thursday and lunch on Friday.
School Counselor Melissa Franklin said Thursday GPS has participated in the national celebration of Grandparents Day (officially Sunday, Sept. 13 this year) by inviting Grandma and Grandpa to dine with their grandchildren for a number of years “but response last year was just too crowded for us not to take two days this year to do so, as we wanted to make sure everyone had a place to sit down and eat.”
Franklin said the main celebration would still revolve around lunch on Friday, “but we did get quite a few to come out for breakfast on Thursday.”
Traditionally, GPS has recognized the oldest and youngest grandparents to attend, and a program following lunch in the school gym is planned.
“We expect a large attendance for our Friday activities honoring grandparents and our grandchildren students,” she said. “And if it is anything like previous years, we won’t be disappointed.”

Malvern Kiwanis to host third annual truck and car show at park

Tailgate News Editor
Malvern Area Kiwanis will host the third annual Car and Truck Show at City Park on Saturday, Sept. 12.
Malvern City Park, on Martin Luther King Blvd., will be the site of musical entertainment, food vendors, plus fun and games for all ages. Judging will start at 1 p.m., with awards scheduled to be given out at 3 p.m. Registration will be at 9 a.m. for a $20 fee.
You are also invited to come on by and watch the first annual Malvern Area Kiwanis Arm Wrestling Tournament. Michael Todd, 17 time world champion, will referee.
Vehicles invited to participate include: jeeps, trucks, classic cars, hot rods, Monster Trucks, rock crawlers and motorcycles.

HSU says interest in aviation program is growing

Tailgate News Editor
Henderson State University in Arkadelphia is still the only college in Arkansas, and perhaps anywhere, to offer a bachelor of science degree in aviation and the director of aviation for HSU told Gurdon Rotarians that interest in aviation is growing.
Troy Hogue, who came to HSU from Piggott with a mass communications degree, graduated the Arkadelphia college with a four-year degree “and could have left many times as a professional pilot, but I like it here.”
Hogue said subjects stressed while taking the aviation degree include science technology, engineering and mathematics.
“We don’t just teach you how to fly, we go over why things work the way they do,” he said. “To be a successful professional at flying, you need to be able to take instruction. I tell the students they have to do something and they do it. If you hold them to a high standard, they will succeed.”
Hogue said he starts out explaining how to make a simple engine out of coke cans and a candle, but it gets more complicated.
He said the four-year degree at HSU in aviation officially started in 1972, with some able to participate in the first graduation ceremonies in 1974.
Students are exposed to modern day commercial airline scanner systems.
Although it may seem strange, Hogue said about 10 percent of his student body does not want to fly. They are taking the course to go into maintenance or management training.
The school uses Arkadelphia Airport on an as needed basis to log flight hours. He said job openings with commercial airlines are many and HSU graduates are very marketable after completing the course. There are approximately 170 students currently enrolled and each one will successfully complete their training on a flight simulator before they ever carry people on an aircraft.
“We encourage people to learn the fundamentals,” he said. “Your technical equipment could go down and you would still have to fly.”
Hogue said each graduate must meet Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) standards and know the regulations for new pilots.
Federal regulations require 1,000 to 1,500 hours of flight experience.
Hogue said first time job offers pay between $23 to $43 an hour. Most airlines top out at around $100 an hour.
Flying, he said is a working investment, with pilots now retiring at 65. Boeing needs pilots, he said.
He added that those with families should take note that most pilots work 1,000 hours a year. A pilot is gone three or four days at a time and then home three or four days.
“Many pilots tell me they actually have more quality time with their families because of the three or four days off,” he said.
As to anticipated changes, Hogue said he believes new technologies will create jobs for dispatchers who do flight planning for pilots. Right now the pilots do their own.
HSU also offers a shorter course to get interested individuals equipped with a private pilot’s license. This usually entails them flying two or three times a week so instruction will not have to be repeated from stretching out the flight training.
“And if you have glasses, come on and talk to us,” he said. “You can get what we call a SODA, which lets the law know you have corrected vision and are still qualified to fly.”
Hogue said an ideal age to fly as a commercial pilot is 32-36.

Mayor Kelley tries to organize finances

When you consider most any challenge related to services provided by or improvements for the city, part (if not all) of the solution nearly always boils down to money. That is why finance and budgeting are so important to a successful year.
When you factor in the loss of tax revenue due to the absence of an auto parts store and the lack of a major grocery store, the available money dwindles to the point of a largely “no-frills budget”. Every penny counts. That is why I am attending the Arkansas Municipal League’s 2015 Finance and Budgeting Workshop on Friday.
With our city recorder/treasurer on medical leave and as a new mayor, this training will be vital to setting our 2016 budget. Topics covered will include; Arkansas budgeting laws, analyzing budgeting sources, accounting, utilizing staff, advice from legislative auditors, long range planning and more. The Gurdon City Council, department heads and myself will begin setting the city’s 2016 budget at the end of this month.
Last Friday, Charles Summerford (Gurdon’s engineer for the upgrades to the waste water treatment plant) and I met at attorney Taylor King’s office. Summerford presented the contract for the nearly one-half million dollar project.
After King’s review of the contract, we signed the necessary papers and the project will begin quickly.
New aerators, lines, baffles, pumps, filtration systems and more will be installed at our water treatment facility. These improvements will secure our ability to treat waste water for many years to come.
This important and major project would not be possible without the funding from the 1/2 cent sales tax for economic development provided from the Economic Development Corporation of Clark County at no cost to the City of Gurdon.
This Godsend for Gurdon is in support of the $37,000,000 lumber expansion at the Gurdon Georgia Pacific Wood Products Mill. Last week’s tour of the lumber plant proved that technology has created ways to cut boards from logs with little to no waste of timber.
The new planer mill and dry kiln, which are currently under construction, will be state of the art and this is the largest single investment to a lumber mill in Georgia Pacific’s history.
A debt of gratitude is owed to the hard working and safety conscious employees at the Gurdon mill and to all who make timber the fantastic resource that it is here in Southwest Arkansas.
Another huge thank you goes out to the men and women of the Arkadelphia Regional Alliance and the Economic Development Corporation of Clark County for voting to fund this huge project for Gurdon. This is the largest single outlay of funds since the passing of the tax initiative more than eight years ago.
Back to school, Go-Devil Football, Labor Day Weekend and falling leaves herald the end of summer.
Thoughts turn to the Gurdon Forest Festival. Members of the Gurdon Community Development and Entertainment Club have been working hard to ensure a great festival this year.
The Gurdon Forest Festival Pageant will be held on Saturday, October 10, at the Charles and Anita Cabe Auditorium. The age divisions for the pageant this year are; 0-1, 2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-9, 10-12, 13-15 and 16-18.
Heather Nolan is in charge of the Gurdon Forest Festival Pageant, which is open to all girls in Clark County and the surrounding area.

Harvell breaks school record in football

Tailgate News Editor
The Go-Devils of Gurdon traveled to Prescott on Sept. 4 and fell to their arch rivals, 58-27.
Gurdon Head Coach Kyle Jackson said Thursday the Go-Devils trailed 13-0 after the first quarter, 31-13 at the half, but gained a little on the Curley Wolves in the third – ending that quarter with Prescott, 37 and the Go-Devils, 27.
Prescott took over after that, making the final game score 59-27.
Coach Jackson said senior Jackie Harvell, #3, and a running back, excelled with 38 carries and 353 yards of rushing.
“We got a wildcat snap to him and let him go,” Jackson said. “We had a couple of people out for injuries that hurt us against Prescott. Our more or less defensive quarterback Jackson Kirkpatrick had a lower back injury and our big blocker Cole Harper had a bad knee.
“Hopefully Kirkpatrick will be OK against Smackover Friday. Cole Harper is supposed to join us in week four, after his knee is well. Smackover is ranked at least as good as Prescott so we will have to minimize our mistakes and stay healthy to compete.”
The Go-Devils are at home this week against the Buckaroos of Smackover. Jackson said Harvell having to carry the ball nearly 40 times is too hard on the player, but the running back should get some help this week if Jackson Kirkpatrick is back in the game and everyone continues to work hard as a team unit.
“We play Glen Rose the week after that at Glen Rose and then we play our first conference game away as well – against Dierks,” Jackson said. “Once we get in conference play, I believe these boys will be the ‘Great” we have talked about. They scored more against Prescott this year than the crew did last year and I was proud of them for never giving up. Our 2015 Go-Devils fought hard and did not just look at the score and quit. They played with everything they had and that is what we have been telling them to do at practice.”
Jackson said Glen Rose has a better team this year than last, “but we will study their films and I believe we can beat them if we continue to concentrate and injuries don’t get in our way.”
Coach Jackson said the Prescott game was still doable in the third quarter, but defensively the Curley Wolves age started to show.
“Our Go-Devil defense will be a lot better once they have a little more experience. We are young and have eight sophomores on our defense,” he said.
“Those younger players will begin to click with experience. We did have 450 yards of offense and that would have been enough to win against most schools, but Prescott does have a great fundamental team this year, with lots of leaders who have had plenty of playing time.”
Smackover is a 3A school and Gurdon 2A. However, the Buckaroos are 0-2. They lost to Warren and Junction City.
Coach Jackson invites everyone to be there Friday night to cheer on the Go-Devils and maximize the home stadium advantage. Remember Greatness is rented and the rent is due every day!

Gurdon Forest Festival Pageant

set for Saturday, Oct. 10

Tailgate News Editor
The annual Gurdon Forest Festival Beauty Pageant has been scheduled for 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10 in the Cabe Auditorium.
Pageant Director Heather Nolan said at the Community Development and Entertainment (CD&E) Club meeting Tuesday the deadline to enter the pageant will be Monday, Sept. 28 – which gives entries two weeks to prepare for the contest.
Those entering by the deadline will pay a $35 base entry fee. If they want to enter the optional categories, the fee will be $50 for the complete package or $5 to enter an individual extra category.
Nolan said, “If you enter the contest after the deadline, the base fee will go up to $45. If you sign up on time and pay the $50 to enter all categories, this will save you $5 from what it would cost to pay the base entry fee and $5 each for the four extra categories.
“We are wanting to get a group photo of all entries this year for the local publications and a date for this will be announced.”
To enter the contest and get an entry form, you may call Nolan at: 870-353-7080 or you may go to Gurdon City Hall and ask office worker Angela Harper for a form.
Categories to enter will include: beauty/photogenic, $35; best dressed, $5; prettiest eyes, $5; prettiest smile, $5; and best personality, $5. Age categories have expanded this year and will include: 0-1 (Baby Miss), 2 (Teeny Miss), 3-4 (Tiny Miss), 5-6 (Little Miss), 7-9 (Petite Miss), 10-12 (Junior Miss), 13-15 (Princess) and 16-18 (Queen).
Dress for the pageant will be formal or Sunday best. Contest winners are encouraged to ride in the Forest Festival Parade at 10 a.m. on the last Saturday in October, Halloween, Oct. 31, in downtown Gurdon.

Wayne’s Floor and More believes

in making the customer happy

with a fair price and timely working

Tailgate News Editor
Wayne’s Flooring and More is Arkadelphia’s source for all of your flooring needs and the owner, Wayne Burdett, is ready to put you on his schedule to get the job done right.
Burdett said Tuesday, “I have 20 years experience in construction and took over this business in September of 2014.
“We can get you the material and install tile, carpet, vinyl, hardwood, lamination and more. If you have a need for new flooring, we can get you done right and in a reasonable time frame.”
Wayne said he and his wife Dana own the family business. They stand behind their work and will travel anywhere within an approximate 100 mile radius to serve the public.
“I can go further than that if need be, for a small travel fee,” he said.
When it comes to flooring jobs, Wayne said his philosophy is to strive to do exactly what the customer wants done and for them to be happy when he leaves the job site.
“We sell quality flooring material at a fair price. We all have to make money, but there is no reason to rip anyone off.”
The business is located at 2607 Caddo Street, Suite F in Arkadelphia. Wayne can be reached at (870) 403-0611 and will provide his customers with his cell phone number once a job is agreed upon.
“I have a big selection of flooring material and my attitude is no job is too big for me or too small.
“When we have a big job, I only bring courteous and professional crew members to help me complete the job in a timely manner.”
While interviewing Wayne, he took a customer call and dates were set. His comment to the customer was, “That job can be done in a few days once we get started. I will line out the right people and get on it so you don’t have to wait an unreasonable amount of time – and you will be satisfied with our quality.”
Wayne and Dana have three children, all in Arkadelphia. They are Katie, Danella and the Burdett football star for the Arkadelphia Badgers, Sam, 17.
Their three grandchildren are three little girls; Payton, 3; Harper, 2, and Jane, 1.
Wayne is involved with the Arkadelphia Badgers sports boosters and especially backs his son Sam, #70, who plays left tackle and his nephew, Brannon Rogers, #69, who is a left guard.
Both players are seniors on the offensive line for the Badgers. Wayne said he was very proud to watch them play for Coach J.R. Eldridge Monday night when they contributed to a 2015 Arkadelphia victory over Stuttgart, 23-12.
In addition to his flooring business and avid interest in football, Wayne has been a firefighter for the Camden Fire Department since 1991. He is now a fire captain.
Before hiring on at Camden, Wayne Burdett volunteered as a fireman for Caddo Valley and still does.
“If you have a flooring need, we can work out a lay-away program,” he said. “Come see me and we can do the work.”

Recreation Facility for the Intellectually Disabled

to have ribbon cutting in Arkadelphia

Arkadelphia Human
Development Center
The Arkadelphia Human Development Center will host a Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony at 10 a.m. on Thursday, September 10 for a new recreational facility for adults with intellectual disabilities.
The new recreational facility, along with AHDC, is located at #1 Prator Drive, Arkadelphia, Arkansas. AHDC is home to 114 adults with intellectual disabilities.
AHDC hosts several festivities throughout the year for their residents, such as “Fun Day” held in the spring, “Vacation Week” in the fall, a Fall Festival the last Friday in October and a Christmas “Open House” in December.
AHDC has been unable to gather a large group under one roof, until now, with the opening of the spacious new Multi-Purpose Building.
The new Multi-Purpose Building has a large area suitable for basketball practice. In the past, residents who have participated in Special Olympics have had to utilize the basketball courts at a local university.
The Multi-Purpose Building has a commercial kitchen, a large covered patio area, and several small office areas. On Sundays, it will host church services for residents.
AHDC specializes in services to adults, age 18 and over, who are in need of a stepping-stone between a residential setting and a more independent lifestyle. ADHC is the fifth largest employer in Clark County.

Gurdon passes water budget, strides for financial balance

Tailgate News Editor
Gurdon City Council met in special session on Monday, Aug. 24 to review the city’s water department funds and to pass a new budget for that department.
Council members Michelle Scott, David Buck and Danny Paul attended the meeting and voted unanimously to pass the water department budget.
Blake Rogers, who had audited the Gurdon Water Department, recommended the budget be passed, stipulating that $3,750 per month could comfortably be taken from the water department fund and transferred to the general fund whereas $2,500 per month had been transferred in the past.
Mayor Sherry Kelley said this would still not be enough for the city to comfortable cover their bills due from the general fund, “but it will be a step in the right direction to balancing our budget.”
The extra money for transfer became available because of a recent paying off of a bond order by the water department which even with the larger amount transferred into the general fund will mean the water department will still be money ahead of where it was before said bond order was paid in full.
According to the audit done by Rogers, paying off the water treatment improvement cost bond met the water department has available funds of $10,000 per month more than it did when making said payment.
Council members decided the other $6,250 per month should placed in an interest bearing account to build up the water department and be available for unforeseen emergencies in the future. This depreciation/reserve fund has been earmarked for needed improvements in the city’s water system.
Mayor Kelley said, “By taking the $3,750 a month, and the fact that Treasurer and Recorder Tambra Childres salary will at least temporarily not have to be paid, we are headed in the right direction toward a balanced city budget.”
Childress, she said, is on medical leave of absence and her salary is now being paid through insurance. Her physical ability to continue serving actively as the city treasurer and recorder will be reviewed at the beginning of 2016.
“When I took office, Tambra said we would be about $90,000 short on our city budget,” Mayor Kelley said. “In May of 2014, $84,000 was transferred from the water department to help cope with this shortage problem.”
Kelley said she has continuously worked to cut costs for the city of Gurdon and also worked to increase revenue, solving a portion of the over budgeting in that manner. Auditor Rogers said City Council members in Gurdon are responsible for continuing to keep their eyes on budgeting issues in the future “because this is a small town and Council members must double as watch dogs over all city funds since there is nobody else in a position to do so.”

Go-Devils to have secret defense against Prescott Sept. 4

Tailgate News Editor
Gurdon Head Coach Kyle Jackson said Thursday all 31 of his 2015 Go-Devils have worked hard and should be healthy and ready to play when it comes time to travel to Prescott on Sept. 4.
The Go-Devils took on the Fouke Panthers Tuesday at Go-Devil Stadium for the annual pre-season scrimmage. Gurdon came out on the short end, 35-14, according to the coach.
“Fouke is a lot better this year and I have to give them that, what with some talented and stocky players like they have,” Jackson said. “But we played by design. We told our main runner, #3 Jackie Harvell, to only carry the ball five times so he would be sure not to get hurt before the season rivaly against Prescott.”
Jackson said Quarterback Parker Whitson did complete several passes to Harvell and to #2 David Sims, both returning starters.
“We traded films with Prescott, as they had a scrimmage this week too,” he said. “A team can learn a lot by watching how an opponent moves. Against Fouke, we just used a basic defense. It will be a lot different this coming Friday night.”
Jackson praised his team for being eager to learn and dedicated at practices. He made no predictions on the Gurdon/Prescott game, but did say if the 2015 Gurdon Go-Devils will concentrate on what they can do and have been trained to do it should be a very good night.
Coach Jackson admitted this year’s Fouke Panthers are as big and stout as any team the Go-Devils will face this season, except maybe Prescott and Smackover.

Gurdon to pay nearly $80,000 in tax penalties immediately to IRS

Tailgate News Editor
GURDON – A called meeting of the City Council was held Aug. 18 to avoid an Internal Revenue Service federal lean against city vehicles and other properties to recover $78, 477.21 in tax penalties, which an IRS agent said would take place if the entire amount was not paid by Gurdon within 24 hours.
Mayor Sherry Kelley told the City Council members the money could be transferred from the water department fund and members present unanimously approved her recommendation to transfer the cash and pay the tax penalties and ongoing interest accumulation.
The penalties were a result of payroll taxes reaching the IRS late during seven payment quarters, specifically during the first, third and fourth quarters of 2010, the third quarter of 2011, the third quarter of 2012, the first quarter of 2013 and the third quarter of 2014, all during the tenure of Mayor Clayton Franklin and Treasurer and Recorder Tambra Childres.
Kelley said the nearly $80,000 in penalties also included IRS fines over civil matters discovered after tax year 2009. The mayor said IRS Little Rock agent Stephanie Ridgell came to Gurdon earlier that day to review the violations and offer a solution “and told me if we did not clear up the full amount in 24 hours she would begin the lean process to recover the money.”
Kelley told Council members the agent was not optimistic over any of the $80,000 being refunded after payment over the Treasurer and Clerk Tambra Childres missing so much work from having been stricken with serious health problems since 2012 “but Ridgell did invite us to apply for a partial refund.”
Council members authorized Kelley to try for the partial refund and also stipulated that the money for the penalties, to be taken from water department funds, would be paid back from the general fund as soon as possible. Mayor Kelley said she would secure the money for the IRS and mail it immediately.
In an interview with Mayor Kelley after the meeting, she offered the following details.
“I became mayor in 2015 and was therefore in no way involved with payroll taxes being filed late.
“I will say that Treasurer and Recorder Tambra Childres has been very cooperative with me in the learning curve involved with taking on this position and that I do not enjoy having to report these IRS penalties that occurred when she and Mayor Clayton Franklin were in charge.
“I also want to say, I was not present to understand the circumstances around the seven late filing quarters, or when whatever occurred in 2009 to merit IRS penalties took place. Therefore I blame no one for what happened and simply intend for my administration to continue a policy of transparency, get this issue behind us and proceed with our efforts to improve Gurdon and the lives of those who reside here.”
Kelley said to her knowledge there would be no criminal charges filed by the IRS on any specific persons involved in all of the late filings or on the city. Had the city not taken immediate action, penalties and interest would have continued to mount until this matter was resolved. Kelley said getting the money from the water department will in no way threaten city water services.
She said the problem with payroll taxes being paid late since 2010 and other IRS complaints about tax matters for Gurdon in 2009 had been in the scope of her personal knowledge for more than two months, but she had hoped payment arrangements and/or penalty reductions could be made with the IRS.
“I agree with the Council’s decision to pay these penalties in full so Gurdon can move on and hopefully turn our financial situation around by continued cut backs,” she said.
Kelley said between $40,000 and $50,000 in expenses have been cut from the city budget since she took office in January. She said it is her intention to continue applying for improvement grants, which do not effect the city budget, and to continue chipping away at the overall operating expenses until city funds are available on time in all departments for taxes and other bills.

Smooth kickoff to 2015 school year at Gurdon

Tailgate News Editor
Gurdon school children joined many others in the nation on Monday, Aug. 17 in a return voyage to the land of education.
For some it was the first time, but if you don’t happen to be a first-time Pre-K student or someone entering school for the first time as a kindergartner (if that is even an option in today’s world of ever changing rules), then you got yourself to a school house this past Monday for another adventure and a new school year.
Friends reunited, schedules were discussed and the dust from three months of vacation was blown off desks.
In Gurdon, Superintendent Allen Blackwell said the district-wide school population was 692 on the first day school, whereas it was 693 when school ended in the spring.
“This number may vary a little over the next couple of weeks as people get settled in,” he said. “But all in all, our student population, and the usual tasks of getting the school year off the ground are going well.”
Gurdon’s three principals; Harvey Sellers at Gurdon High School, Amanda Jones at Cabe Middle School and Rusty Manning at Gurdon Primary School, all reported a calm first day.
Beginning student populations at the respective schools were: GHS, 230; CMS, 198 and GPS, 276. The 12 more students than Blackwell mentioned overall are due to a new Pre-K class at GPS and common fluctuation of the start-up numbers.
CMS Principal Amanda Jones said the first stay of school on her campus “was smooth sailing.”

Little League park needs improvement at Gurdon

Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon Little League program supporters met Friday, Aug. 14 to discuss the future of the program and to come up with ways to accomplish physical improvements to the Cabe Little League and softball fields on Highway 67.
Mayor Sherry Kelley told the group she would apply for a general improvements grant through the state of Arkansas, like the one Representative Richard Womack helped secure last year for the new pee wee football and soccer field, city park tree house and miscellaneous other improvements at the park.
“I believe I can get the grant again and the Cabe Little League fields can be earmarked to receive up to $20,000,” she said.
Little League enthusiast Heather Nolan will also be applying for a smaller grant through the Cabe Foundation. Nolan said Charles and Anita Cabe were receptive to the idea of trying to secure funds for improvements and repairs on the fields, concession stand, bleachers or whatever is needed to host games in the future.
Supporters volunteered to provide much of the labor for improvements if funding can be secured for materials and/or equipment. Mayor Kelley said city equipment should be available and possibly some city employee labor.

Gurdon School Board considers raises for principals;

hears report on improvements to student center

Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon School Board met in regular session Tuesday and discussed the possibility of raising the wages of principals past those of other employees at a future date.
After an executive session to discuss personnel and a salary schedule for the current school year, School Board member Bernard Hatley made the motion to pass the 2015 salary schedule as is. Hatley had raised the question earlier if principals, being leaders in the district, should not have the biggest salaries?
During the discussion prior to executive session Hatley said, “I am looking at this salary schedule and I am not sure why an employee of this district, who is not one of our principals or our superintendent, should make higher wages than our principals. I mean we rely on them to take all of the problems that occur at this school as their ultimate responsibilities and I am just not understanding this picture.”
Superintendent Allen Blackwell said he agrees that principals are very important in the district and perhaps raises can be forthcoming at a future date, but said the higher paid employee that Hatley was concerned about had actually agreed to do a combination of jobs for his salary and was saving the district money by eliminating the need to hire another person.
In addition to passing the salary schedule, the School Board approved the selling of the old student center furniture that is no longer needed due to recent remodeling, approved the donation of used bleachers to the City of Gurdon for the new football and soccer pee wee field at city park, approved continued participation in the migrant program to help migrant children adopt to the school, plus board members approved the transfer of $100,000 to the building fund for anticipated costs this school year.
Blackwell said the opening operational budget for the school year was $1,227,000 and would therefore be close to $1,120,000 to begin school.
“This transfer will put our building fund up around $300,000 which we need,” he said.
During the executive session, GHS Principal Harvey Sellers told this reporter students will in for a treat this year with the improvements made at the student center. He said they can now eat there with snacks available on top of breakfast, which was served last year. Future plans include getting big screen televisions for the student hang out.
Superintendent Allen Blackwell said the student center remodeling was made possible by a $5,000 grant from the Cabe Foundation and around $5,000 more from the district.
Sellers said the student center now has a brand new tile floor and a large freezer for the snacks.
“It took eight parents and students to bring in the freezer,” he said.
Blackwell said a 2:40 p.m. community pep rally is planned for Friday, Sept. 11 in the high school gym to give out state track rings.The superintendent noted that next year Gurdon will move to 3A in sports.
Blackwell also mentioned Gurdon is no longer part of Park Association testing, but will be going to an ACT program.

Malvern holds first
Street Dance Festival
The City of Malvern had its first annual street dance and festival in the downtown area on Saturday, Aug. 15.
The event was sponsored by the Malvern/Hot Spring County Youth Council.
Tony Gatlin, owner of Malvern’s Strictly Art Photography, said participation was good for a first effort.

Malvern to redo new gym floor over sloppy art

Tailgate News Editor
Although Malvern Superintendent Brian Golden said the new gymnasium will be open for the new school year, there will be a delay in using it to its full potential due to some logo paintings on the gym floor not being up to specifications.
Golden told the School Board Monday, Aug. 10, “There is a floor painting issue. The logos were just not right. If anyone has any questions, you can see me after the meeting.”
No additional cost to the project was mentioned at the board meeting. Golden said some sanding and other techniques to remove and replace the inadequate logos would be started as quickly as possible so as not to hinder the new gym’s use any longer than necessary.
A spokesman for the board said the logos on the floor were drawn free hand. The superintendent’s decision to redo the painting on the new gym floor eliminated, and/or postponed a three on three basketball demonstration game scheduled to happen in the new facility.
In other new construction progress, Golden told the School Board the next board meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 14. in the new administration facility across the road from the current meeting place.
In other business, the board approved: the SubTeachUSA rate of pay; the wall of honor candidates, a resolution for a school board election; a tuition agreement with First Step; resignations for the school year, new-hires and transfers.
As to new hires, they are: Elizabeth Dial, MHS Quiz Bowl sponsor; Doris Johnson, MMS bookkeeper; Ashley Nelson, MHS parent involvement coordinator; Angel Owens, MHS secretary; Carrie Roedel, MMS classroom teacher and the following bus drivers: Burt Ashburn, Jennie Gray, Robert Hill, Richard Rogers and Kelley Williams as a bus route aide.

Gurdon Mayor to buy $9,000 in top soil for pee wee field

Tailgate News Editor
Gurdon Mayor Sherry Kelley said Thursday $9,000 of the $12,000 in restored grant money for capital improvements will be used to buy top soil for the new pee wee soccer and football field at the city park. The rest will go for appropriate field grass and goal posts, plus any unexpected finishing touches needed for the field.
The grant money came from West Central Planning and Development and efforts by Representative Richard Womack to get Gurdon around $25,000 to make capital improvements at the park.
Mayor Kelley said records indicate former Mayor Clayton Franklin spent about half of the grant building a tree house at the park, putting up a basketball goal and on other qualified park improvements, but the second half of the grant money was used for unrelated city bills during the Franklin administration in 2014.
City Council members voted to replace the missing grant money Aug. 5 by taking $12,000 from the water department and restoring the grant funds.
“We had the extra money in our water department and restoring the missing grant funds was a legal and realistic option,” she said.

Benton Beauty Academy to offer non-surgical facelifts

Tailgate News Editor
Benton Beauty Academy will soon offer to the public a non-surgical facelift technique called Power Derm Kinetic Dermabrasion.
Misty Wright, owner of the beauty college at 920 Edison Avenue, said Tuesday it involves facial resurfacing technology.
The treatment brings back the luster of a youthful face as it erases away dead, discolored, wrinkled and aged skin.
Wright said her students are training on this new technique and it will be offered to her public clients starting this September.
In addition to the Kinetic Dermabrasion treatments, the beauty school will offer chemical peelings, which are boosters and enhancements to the Kinetic Dermabrasion foundation peel.
Wright said, “We will be offering a 12-hour course to anyone licensed in cosmetologist or aesthetics, even if they did not go to our school.
“The training will be offered on Aug. 17 and 24. The chemical peels amount to a surgery free facelift.”
Once certified and licensed Kinetic Dermabrsion and chemical peel technicians set up shop at the beauty academy, Wright said the cost to clients will be $25 a session.
Wright said, “Most will have to have a series of sessions using the Kinetic Dermabrasion technique to get the desired results, but this facial improvement method is less abrasive than the chemical peel.”
Wright said the chemical peel goes further than dermabrasion, in that it can remove crow’s feet and push your facial appearance back to many years ago.
The dermabrasion gets rid of age spots, blemishes and more, giving you a much younger and vibrant look.
The chemical peel goes further and even removes wrinkles that come with the aging process. Wright said it is more abrasive, similar to a third degree burn, and thus takes longer to heal than the dermabrasion technique.
“Still, the chemical peel follow-up to dermabrasion can remove age lines and crow’s feet from your face that you thought would only get worse with time,” she said.
According to Wright, you can have a Kinetic Dermabrasion session once a week until you are satisfied. As for the chemical peels, it takes six to eight weeks before another session should be scheduled, due to the longer time it takes your face to heal. Wright offered further explanation of the two non-surgical techniques from “Spa Girl.”
As to Power Derm Kinetic Dermabrasion, it removes the impermeable surface layers of skin that prevent topical absorption and delivers vitamins, antioxidants and hyaluronic acid into the newly absorbant living skin cells. Resurfacing triggers the release of collagen and elastin peptides deep within the dermis, which supplies the structural materials of this type of facelift.
For those doing the chemical peels, they are boosters of enhancements to the dermabrasion foundation peel. AHA (glycolic acid) and chemical peel are the next step for someone seeking to reverse the effects of time.
Wright said a program about Benton Beauty Academy is currently airing on Fidelity Cable, Channel 6 “and is an excellent way to find out more.”
According to Wright, the academy currently has 15 students and expects more in the fall as potential beauty college students put their children back in school and have more time to pursue their own career goals.
The school was started in 2012 and has graduated 42 so far. All have been able to get the license they were after.
“We have a 100 percent passing rate in regard to those who train here and take the state board test,” she said.
“Ours is a school of personal attention and our instructor, Lannette Johnson, is very good at one on one.”
Senior citizen customers are held as special at the beauty academy, getting a 10 percent discount every Tuesday.
Wright said although the cosmetology program can be completed in nine months, most students take a year to graduate.
Wright said the cosmetology course involves 1,500 hours of training, but the Arkansas Board of Cosmetology will soon allow students to take the test after 1,200 hours of training, which gets them into the profession in a more timely manner.
“This is a new program starting in October. If you pass the state test at 1,200 hours, they will hold your license for you until you return to school and complete the final 300 hours,” she said.
Financial aid is available to go to Benton Beauty Academy.
“We are growing and known for teaching our students not just techniques but how to deal with the public in a respectful and effective manner,” Wright said.
To learn more about Benton Beauty Academy, go under “Older Issues” in this Tailgate News web site and review the page 1 article in the Nov. 28, 2014 issue.

Gurdon graduate to offer direct pay Combined Insurance to Country Clients

Tailgate News Editor
Have you ever wondered why health insurance does not pay the victim of the disease, but rather just ships the money to the health provider and leaves the individual out of the decision making loop?
Frankie White Davidson, agent in Clark County for the Combined Insurance Company, may have a different answer for you than you might expect. She represents a company that pays the insured person directly and quickly provides the family with $25,000 cash through a basic catastrophic illness policy.
That cash can be used any way the family sees fit. For example, it could pay deductibles on a major medical policy so benefits for the health problem could kick in right away. Part of that money could also pay a house payment, buy food or keep the lights on at your home.
Think of it. You have a heart attack. Your bills go on. You don’t die, but you need to survive financially while you recover. You are free to take the money from the AA+ rated company and pay anything that your family needs to survive the recovery until you can return to work.
The right Combined policy helps families put financial matters on hold for awhile so loved ones can concentrate on doing whatever they can to help the person who got sick or injured. Not only does the Combined philosophy make sense, it is the goal of local agent Davidson to make sure each one of her customers understands how to get paperwork filled out correctly and collect on benefits they are entitled to receive in a timely manner.
Frankie White Davidson, 57, is a 1976 graduate of Gurdon High School and has five years of experience in the insurance business. She earned a Bachelor of Science in business from Henderson State University in 1979. Raised on a farm in the Gurdon area, she understands the need for rural residents to have access to reputable health insurance and how important it is for them to be able to file claims quickly when a serious health problem occurs.
Frankie has a daughter in Gurdon, Amy Stroud, and another daughter in Greenbriar, Lindsey Davidson Angeline. She has six grandchildren. Having loved ones of her own has made Frankie realize just how important maintaining health can be. It prompted her to seek out an insurance company to represent that will be there when its needed. She chose Combined, where integrity is the rule, premiums are affordable and pay offs happen quickly.
“I sold insurance before I discovered Combined, but this company is different. Combined encourages explaining our products until each insurance buyer understands, and then walking them through the filing procedure in order for them to get the maximum benefits the policy allows for any given health problem,” she said.
“Medical problems in our country are the number one cause of bankruptcy in families and in business. I joined Combined because their stipulation of giving cash directly to the insured can keep a family from going under. I can show people a protection against financial ruin that they can afford. It is a solution that makes sense, and it is a tried and proven insurance company.”
Davidson said Combined was started in 1922 with $100 that the founder borrowed from his mother. She said W.C. Stone founded the company in Chicago, Illinois, and his original philosophy of “doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do” has stuck with Combined Insurance Company from its humble beginnings..
“Combined helps families with those out of pocket expenses and keeps them floating along while a wage earner recovers from whatever illness or accident has happened,” she said. “Combined is built on trust and we have an excellent record for our clients keeping their policies up year after year.
“Our founder started out selling newspapers when he was 6 years old. Then he took that $100 from his mother and build a multi-million dollar company,” she said. “I also have a personal philosophy build on old fashioned integrity. My first priority is to learn what I can about my customers, then make myself accessible to them and truly be there when a health crisis arises – or when they just have a question about their insurance program.”
Davidson said she enjoys helping the elderly. Many times, she said, they need someone to be patient with them and answer all of their questions so they understand their coverage.
“I am a patient person and don’t mind going over and over things if that is what it takes to make a client comfortable with their policy and what it has to offer,” she said. “And I enjoy helping the younger people be prepared for accident or illness, as most of them are just trying to make a living. Many have small children. Our policies help take care of things on the home front when a health issue occurs.”
Davidson said it brings her satisfaction when a Combined check is delivered that ends up helping a family avoid a well of debt from medical bills that could be very difficult to get paid once a bread winner goes back to work.
Combined offers life insurance and cancer policies that are paid up within 20 years, she said. This helps people make a plan to reduce insurance bills in the future, when retirement checks are normally not what a person can make during his or her employment years.
“I work a lot with rural people, but have customers from many walks of life,” she said. “If you have a Combined policy and there are questions, feel free to call me. I consider my policy holders family and want to be there for them any time they need me.”
Davidson said she wants those who live in the rural areas in and around Clark County to have access to Combined policies that they might need before they need them.
“I am just a country girl. My passion is to make sure those who live in my country areas have the best insurance offers there are, just like you would find in a big city,” Davidson said. “You can call me for an appointment. I will meet with you or come to your home where we can sit down at your kitchen table and go over an insurance needs analysis.”
To summarize what Combined Insurance can provide, it offers medicare supplements, available six months prior to turning 65; health, accident, disability and whole life insurance – and pays directly to you.
Davidson said Combined is a worldwide company and paid out more than $5 billion in claims in 2014. It is an Ace Group Company. AM Best has given it a AA+ rating, which means Combined has an excellent reputation for paying claims in a timely manner.
“Your rate is locked in at your purchase age,” the local agent said.
To contact Davidson, call her cell phone: (501) 218-6294 or reach her through her office at: (870) 260-2826.


City moves grant money,

Pee Wee field gets funding

Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon City Council voted unanimously in special session Wednesday to transfer $12,000 from general city funds to be used to complete the under construction pee wee football and soccer field next to the City Park on Highway 67.
Said monies came to Gurdon from the State of Arkansas as a general improvements allotment last year, with a requirement the money be used as grant funding for specified improvement projects.
Approximately $23,000 was given from the state to Gurdon through the efforts of Representative Richard Womack.
Former Mayor Clayton Franklin used $11,000 for general improvements at the City Park, with a large tree house for the youngsters as a primary example of said improvements.
Mayor Sherry Kelley said an auditor told her the remaining $12,000 needed to be earmarked for another specified general improvements project, rather than being left with the approximately $600,000 in the city’s general funds, which are used for Gurdon’s operational costs.
“Not only do we need funding to get the dirt work done at our new pee wee field to make it better for the children to play on next spring,” she said, “but the auditor told me if we can not account for that additional $12,000 being used for general improvements in Gurdon we could be charged with misappropriation of funds.”
Kelley said the charge would not only be costly and embarrassing for Gurdon, such an auditing charge would surely take the city out of the running to receive additional state general improvement funds in the future.
Councilman David Buck said he was in favor of the money transfer from the water department, as extra funds were there to cover the $12,000.
City Council members voted to move the grant money from whatever part of the general funds is most appropriate and to have it used on the pee wee football and soccer field, which needs cash to complete the all volunteer construction effort and meets the state general improvement requirement.

Malvern considers cemetery rules,

mayor notes cheaper way to fix Walco Road

Tailgate News Editor
Malvern City Council agenda planners met Monday and heard recommendations from cemetery committee spokesman John Allan Funk concerning the terms of sale of 820 city-owned grave spaces at the Oak Ridge Cemetery in Malvern.
Funk, along with other committee members Elizabeth Ball, Steven Bowdle, Sharon Wilson and Michael Smith, agreed with an ordinance draft which proposes selling each space for $500, creating a warranty deed that stipulates any change of ownership must be handled through the code enforcement office and then recorded with the circuit clerk of Hot Spring County.
Funk commented that grave depth for the newly readied plots would have to be 4.5 feet by law, not the mythical 6 feet under. He said the required depth was changed several decades ago.
“In regard to the 820 grave spots the city has ready to sell, selling them off in sections, as an option, might satisfy certain families,” Funk said.
Funk pointed out selling the grave sites would create more than $400,000 for Malvern’s cemetery maintenance coffers.
Funk said the money could be used to ready and open other sections for sale, pointing out Oakridge Cemetery has 2,800 spaces available all together. There are 9,000 graves in the old part of the cemetery.
Funk pointed out that ongoing grave maintenance could also be financed with an opening and closing fee of say $500 – with $300 to a grave digger and $200 for lawn care and other upkeep.
Funk said perhaps the grave opening and closing fee could pay for markers to keep more easily accessed grave location records.
As to monuments, he recommended all upright ones be limited to a certain area, as having mostly flat grave stones would allow for easier mowing.
“If you keep the majority with a flat monument requirement, you could bush hog that entire area,” he said.
Funk suggested the city might also consider a cremation burial fee, maybe selling a warranty deed to a traditional grave space and then burying three cremation remains there.
Mayor Brenda Weldon asked Funk if he would like to buy the cemetery spaces and manage them himself? Funk said no.
“The mowing and record keeping would not be something I would want to be doing on into retirement years,” he said.
In other business, Mayor Weldon told council members she has been researching how best to fix the spring flooding problems on Walco Road. Weldon consulted with 33 communities and found out “Malvern should be able to do the whole repair project on Walco in one long section for between $75,000 and $100,000, which is cosiderably cheaper than the original engineering estimates.”

CD&E Club hopes

for carnival at Forest Festival

Tailgate News Editor
The Community Development and Entertainment (CD&E) club at Gurdon met Tuesday and outlined a plan for this year’s Forest Festival celebration, which will take place on Halloween this fall – Saturday, Oct. 31.
Club President Clayton Franklin, who completed 17 years serving as the Gurdon mayor but chose not to run for re-election last fall, said he believes the festival needs carnival entertainment.
Heather Nolan, Forest Festival Beauty Pageant director, said she had ran into a carnival from Greenbrier that would come and stay Friday and Saturday night, talking a chance on making a profit and sharing a percentage with the CD& E club. Franklin told her to call them and confirm a deal if possible. The group plans a few free blow up rides for younger children, arm bands for the carnival and to try and get a zip line.
The festival beauty pageant will take place on either Saturday, Oct. 10 or 17. Franklin told Nolan the club has $5,147 in the kitty before fundraising for the festival “so go ahead and pay what you need to for the pageant.”


Season Kickoff Dinner Honors Go-Devil Ronnie Baker

Tailgate News Editor
The second annual Go-Devil pre-season kick-off dinner and auction was held Thursday at GHS and Head Football Coach Kyle Jackson said the team motto, “Be Great,” now has a team philosophy added; “Greatness is rented. It can not be owned, and rent is due every day.”
Coach Jackson said 13 seniors are on the varsity squad of 33 football players this year “and I would say they know how to work hard.”
As to September, Jackson said the schedule intensity and match-ups are about like last year, with home and away game contests being reversed.
“On Sept. 4 and 11, we will be playing two teams that both had 24-3 records in 2014. Then we get Glen Rose for a third game. We will face a Murfreesboro team with nearly all of their group returning and we will play Mt. Ida there with their home stadium edge.
“But I am not making excuses. We plan to work hard, concentrate on what we are doing rather than what other teams are up to, and we want to peak in November so our playoff record is great.”
Coach Jackson said succeeding in the 2015 playoffs is the goal this year.
Jackson said winning the conference will require that each player of his 33 gives a 100 percent and “pays the rent on their individual greatness” during every practice and game.
“That starts tonight, as after this banquet our players will be staying up until 6 a.m., with an especially hard work out starting at 5 a.m..
“Then Monday we start football camps and our players must pay the rent on their greatness again then,” he said.
Coach Jackson praised number one Go-Devil fan Ronnie Baker and said the 2016 football introductory banquet will be called the Ronnie Baker Go-Devil Kick-Off Dinner.
“Baker shows us what Go-Devil pride really means and that is what each team member must understand and assimilate this whole season,” Coach Jackson said.
The coach thanked Allen’s Barbecue for this year’s meal and thanked the crowd of more than 100 Go-Devil fans for attending the banquet and participating in the auction. “We need every one of you to continue to stand behind our teams,” he said.
The Junior Go-Devils were also on hand, serving meals and clearing tables right along with their senior team counterparts.

Mayor thanks volunteers for work on pee wee football and soccer field

Tailgate News Editor
The new Gurdon pee wee football and soccer field, located behind Evergreen Church off of Highway 67 and next to the City Park, has been under construction since the wet spring weather went away and is expected to be ready for the youngsters to play on by spring.
Mayor Sherry Kelley said without the help of volunteer city workers, Clark County Judge Ron Daniell and numerous other folk, this project would have been delayed for a lot longer than a few months because of excessive spring rains.
“This project has no budget,” Mayor Kelley said. “We thought we were going to have some funding left from general improvement monies but it turned out there was not any.
“I want to thank city workers, Ron Daniell and the Arkansas Game and Fish for helping to make this field possible. Also, the pee wee cheerleaders have been raising money to help.”
Kelley said trees were cut down at the instruction of Game and Fish officials and put into Gurdon Pond at strategic locations for fishermen.
Parking had been a concern of some who love to go to Gurdon Pond and City Park. Mayor Kelley said a parking entrance road is being created down by the field and an area designated for parking so park dwellers can still enjoy their playground, fishing or walking activities.
Brandy Crain, a young Gurdon mother who has a child participating in pee wee sports, said the coaching staff (which she praised), and cheerleading staff, for both pee wee football and soccer, are very excited about the new field and plan to make use of it for many years.
Kelley said Don Smithpeters has done a lot of volunteer work. Local welder David Williams will install the goal posts. The mayor offered her apologies to other volunteers not mentioned and offers her heart felt thank you to anyone who has helped. “This field is an example of Gurdon at work,” she said.

Clark County Alliance President says chicken plant will hire 130

Tailgate News Editor
A chicken plant, Hillstern Farms, opened about three months ago at the Clark County Industrial Park with an original staff of 40 employees.
Stephen Bell, president and CEO of Arkadelphia Alliance and the Area Chamber of Commerce, told Gurdon Rotarians Thursday the chicken plant manager has told him he plans to hire 130 more workers to help process his miniature chickens, going in majority to the Asian market.
“I really don’t have a time table on the additional hiring, but the owner has assured me it will happen.”
Bell also told Rotarians there are plans to partner with Mayor Sherry Kelley and Gurdon on other projects that should yield jobs locally in the future.
“The recent $37 million investment by Georgia Pacific toward the expansion of its lumber industry, and subsequent $250,000 refurbishing of the Gurdon Water and Sewer System (paid for by the alliance tax money), has made industrial expansion in the Gurdon area even more appealing to the Arkadelphia Regional Economic Development Alliance and Area Chamber of Commerce,” Bell said.
Bell mentioned the in-process refurbishing of four bridges on Highway 67 project, and its $9.3 million price tag. He said the bridges will be completed by 2017.
Bell said the Highway 67 bridge project is part of a larger area bridge improvement project amounting to $25 million.
“This is an example of your industrial tax dollars at work,” Bell said.
In other Clark County job news, Bell said Danfoss, who has moved a 207 employee production line here from Mexico, says they will hire 20 new employees soon at around $16 an hour.
Tiffany McNeal, director of communications for the alliance, will be key to the presentation of even more local employment opportunities, to begin in the Aug. 7 Southern Arkansas Tailgate News.

CADC to fix Gurdon senior center

after extensive weather damage

Tailgate News Editor
Central Arkansas Development Center (CADC) Executive Director Larry Cogburn said Friday the Gurdon CADC Senior Center may cost $200,000 to put back in operation, depending on estimates to rebuild and modernize the structure.
“We want to thank the Mt. Canaan Baptist Church for giving us the room to continue serving our senior citizens and organizations in Gurdon while we do these repairs,” he said.
“We would also like to thank the other churches in Gurdon who volunteered their buildings as well. Our seniors have been meeting at 410 Bell Street (at Mt. Canaan Baptist) since this weather incident happened on July 4.
“We are a people meeting organization and we are so grateful the Gurdon people still have a place to meet and eat.”
According to Cogburn, meals have continued to be shipped in from the Arkadelphia CADC every week day, as was the case before the storm damage.
“I have been getting insurance estimates, taking architectural bids on the rebuild and solidifying a few modernization changes to make sure workers have clear direction before they begin the reconstruction,” he said.
“We expect to start the work on the Gurdon center as early as next week and hope to finish before November. We may even have it done and in operation by September or October, depending on the circumstances.”
The Gurdon center received extensive structural damage due to rains of 4 to 5 inches that fell in the early morning hours of July 4, accompanied by high winds.
Cogburn said he got a call about 6 a.m. the day of the incident and came from Malvern to inspect the site.
“We were very grateful nobody was in the building and therefore the incident did not cause any injuries,” he said.
“Once again, I would like to thank not only the Gurdon churches who have stepped forward to help, but the people of Gurdon themselves for assisting us in this unfortunate situation.”

Gurdon kicks off football program with dinner

The second annual Go-Devil Kickoff Dinner will be at 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 30 in the Gurdon High School cafeteria.
There will be a meal provided by Allen’s BBQ as well as player introductions, and a live auction of various items.
The tickets are $15 each or $100 for a reserved table of six at the front. Limited seating is available. Tickets can be purchased by calling Head Football Coach Kyle Jackson at 870-353-4454, extension 145 or Debbie Clemons at 870-403-3630.
The Gurdon Go-Devils have 38 young men out for football this year. This editor was impressed at the Beans and Burgers game earlier this summer when the purple squad, including last year’s star quarterback Parker Whitson and Jackie Harvell (one of the best local running backs for touchdowns noted in the 11 years this editor has covered Go-Devil football) got defeated by new arrivals from last year’s junior high school team!
Since all of these players are Go-Devils, their combination should take them far in this year’s playoffs. According to Coach Jackson, the team got a three-week summer break and has been working ever since.

Editorial… Respect requested for our troops
We would like to know when respect became a thing of the past from a United States president? While we would like to keep politics out of the Tailgate News, sometimes things happen that just absolutely make no sense so we bring them to your attention to solve.
About a week ago, a handful of Marines and a Navy man, all from the U.S. Armed Forces, were gunned down and killed by yet another apparent Muslim terrorist. We must admit the Muslims must have been planning to attack America from within for many years, as apparently solid Muslim citizens keep ending up “going berserk” and shooting American soldiers or Christians who are simply practicing their faith.
What we want to comment on is the apparent lack of concern of United States President Barack Obama. Not only did it take him a week to offer condolences to families of the slain service men, who where shot at a recruiting station of all places, just after the incident he had it highly published that he was going to take a walk in Central Park with his family in New York City.
We simply want to know why Obama has no plan to de fang ISIS? He repeatedly lets these terroristic incidents go with no reaction. Wake up Mr. President. You represent our nation as the leader of the free world, so start leading. We want immigration rules returned to our country and for our borders to be closed to those who do not go through proper channels to get in.
We want our troops to quit going to countries where we are not wanted or needed, and we want those same troops to protect us against any further ISIS threat. We Americans have been called out by a bunch of anti-American haters and women abusers. We don’t care if they are Muslims and you have Muslim friends.
Do what it takes to eliminate the ISIS threat from this world so that freedom can ring in peace. You are always taking polls. Take one and see how many American men and women would volunteer to be trained and deployed to Sieria to wipe out the hub of ISIS and send them back into their caves where they belong?
At last report, there are 50,000 minimum ISIS troops terrorizing that area and the world with the Christian beheadings and other senseless hate crimes against religion and their mistreatment of women like they were less than dogs. We could send 200,000 troops to Sieria and clean house.
We believe such an action just might prevent ISIS Muslim extremists from getting so out of hand that another World War results. Come on Obama, you are a smart man, use your brains for something more than a seat cushion!

Malvern and Arkadelphia football teams

may be evenly matched this fall

Tailgate News Editor
and Hooten Magazine
The Arkadelphia Badgers football team will be at home hosting Hot Springs on Friday, Sept. 18.
The Badgers will host the Malvern Leopards at the last of the season, Friday, Nov. 6.
According to the Hooten Magazine evaluation, Malvern should have strong quarterback and running back effort this fall, with a strong defensive line. As to a weak spot, the offensive line is said to be inexperienced.
Hooten said the Arkadelphia Badgers are strong in skilled positions and weak in defense.
Last year, the Malvern Leopards had a 10-4 record and placed second in the conference.
Arkadelphia had a 9-4 record and finished fourth in the conference.
Last year the Leopards beat the Badgers, 44-37, at Malvern. The teams are 7-4A conference rivals.
Depending on whether you hail from Arkadelphia or Malvern, it is anyone’s guess who will win this year. Having given some details on the Malvern Leopard’s upcoming “Boys of Fall” in the July 17 issue of Tailgate News, details, as described by Hooten Magazine about the “Boys of Fall” of Arkadelphia, will now be revealed.
Arkadelphia advanced to the quarter finals the past two season, their first consecutive appearances since 1981 and 1982.
Badger Coach J.R. Eldridge said, “We are knocking at the door. We know what to expect and I like our mentality. But we have got to keep that mentality for 15 weeks.”
Offensively, Jeff Blake (5-11, 205) ran and passed for more than1,000 yards last season – Blake’s first season to be quarterback.
Blake started in the secondary as a sophomore and has an academic 4.0 GPA. The senior completed 9 of 15 passes for 174 yards and three touchdowns, and ran 18 times for 98 yards in his first start against Stuttgart.
“Jeff is into football. That is what he loves,” Coach Eldridge said. “He is a great leader.”
Senior Jathan Bowens (5-7, 150) and Junior Tajhan McKenzie (5-8, 165) split time at running back in the spring.
Bowens started at receiver a year ago. The coach said, “We have got to find ways of getting him the ball.”
Versatile Ty Kosters (5-10, 215) returns for his third season in the backfield. The coach said Kosters will probably become Arkadelphia’s first four-year letterman.
Kosters shifts between running back, full back, receiver and tight end. With a 4.7 speed, Kosters ran 21 times for 94 yards and two TDs and caught a 19-yard TD pass against Stuttgart. Coach Eldridge said Kosters does it all. He does not mind blocking and does something good “every time he touches the ball.”
“Kosters brings a calming presence to the huddle when we are in stressful situations,” the coach added.
As to Badger defense, seniors Cameron Breashears (6-0, 190) and Kameron Hall (5-11, 190) return at the end positions. Breashears developed into a leader during the off season. Coach Eldridge said, “Breashears plays with great technique.”
Of Hall, the coach said he makes a lot of plays in space and he is quick to the ball.
The Badgers will start the season on Monday, Aug. 31, when they host Stuttgart. Malvern’s season starts Friday, Sept. 4, when they host the Glen Rose Beavers.


Gurdon hosts first annual

downtown yard sale Saturday

Tailgate News Editor
The First Annual Downtown Gurdon Yard Sale will be held in front of the Hoo Hoo mural and new music stage from 6 a.m. until 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 18.
Angela Harper, City Hall worker, said Thursday she is expecting a big turn-out, as “our office has received numerous texts and calls to let us know folks will attend.”
Thye yard sale is the brain storm of Mayor Sherry Kelley, who was also instrumentsal a few years ago in launching the Curtis Annual Yard Sale. That sale occurs in early October.
“We are hoping our summer yard sale helps families make some money for school supplies and other needs,” she said. “Harry Blanton and other local talent will be on hand to play and sing from our new stage. Others are welcome to join in.”
Those who intend to participate may set up early Saturday morning or they may leave their sales items at their spot the night before, according to the mayor.
Royce Ann Barbaree, director of the Gurdon CADC Senior Center, will be selling soft drinks and snacks to raise money for senior activities at the center.
“This will be the first opportunity we have had to use the new Hoo Hoo stage and I am excited about that,” Mayor Kelley said. “We hope this sale grows from summer to summer and becomes a regular activity for Gurdon.”

Gurdon Council considers

grave markers at Rose Hedge

Tailgate News Editor
The Gurdon City Council met July 13 and discussed the possibility of financing some sort of permanent grave markers at Rose Hedge Cemetery to assist relatives and friends in finding where loved ones are buried and in making sure that new burial sites are not too close to existing ones.
Angela Harper, office worker at City Hall who generally sells burial sites at Rose Hedge for Gurdon, said, “Don’t get me wrong. We have plenty of spaces out there where I know there are no previous graves, but so many of our customers want to be buried next to relatives and friends. This creates clusters of grave sites and without a marker requirement there is always a risk of someone ending up buried on top of another casket!”
Harper said a rock with a name and date on it would suit her, just something to help in grave locations for site selection as funeral home markers disappeared with time.
Tambra Childres, treasurer and recorder, suggested the issue be tabled until next meeting to give her a chance to check on marker policies at other cemeteries. Council members agreed.
Councilman David Buck said that even though back years ago folks just put up a rock with an inscription the modern day solution might be something like a fiberglass cross or other such simple fiberglass marker.
“We just need something for clear identification that will stay there, as there are so many who can not afford a traditional monument,” he said.
Buck said one way to get markers on existing graves would be to use a GPS satellite to locate the current and future burial plots.
Mayor Sherry Kelley said she was not sure the GPS thing would work on existing graves with no markers, but “if we started doing the GPS locater procedure, we could keep the lost grave problem from happening in the future.”
In other business, the Gurdon City Council approved the current financial bills, but tabled Water and Sewer finances for closer inspection.
Kelley said the Water and Sewer Department water and treatment plan bond issue came off this year so there should be $122,000 more than usual in that fund since the bond is paid off.
Council members also tabled a request by Don Smithpeters for property easement.
Councilman Danny Paul said, “I don’t have any problem closing the unused ally ways, but we need to be sure there are no existing water and sewer items under them first.”
Councilman Buck said he believes the sewer line runs parallel to a creek and is not under the allies. The Council asked for confirmation about the possibilities of existing sewer lines, and where they are located, at the next meeting before agreeing to take action.
Council members did approve a city audit and heard explanations about financial discrepancies found in the books during the time treasurer and recorder Tambra Childres was off work due to illness.
“The main issue is there are no finances missing,” she said. “Between my being sick and Mayor Clayton Franklin having to make entries on the software, some amounts got entered in the wrong categories.”
Childres assured the Council corrections would be made and stressed that no monies are missing, just entered into the accounting records wrong.
Mayor Kelley said she would call a special finance committee meeting to go about handling problems with late fees and fines resulting from the audit.
Harper said Thursday the Council will tentatively meet at 6 p.m. on Monday, July 27, in regular session to discuss tabled items and how to go about straightening up the books – and hopefully getting late fees and fines waived that resulted from the audit.
“The City Council may wait until August,” Harper said.

Football teams gear up for fall

By Hooten Magazine
and John Nelson, editor, Tailgate News
Without looking at the Hooten Magazine article, this editor can tell you the Go-Devil “Boys of Fall” should be an awesome team.
I was really impressed at the Beans and Burgers game at the beginning of the summer when the secondary squad beat the one Parker Whitson, an excellent quarterback, and Jackie Harvell, one of the best local running backs for touchdowns I have seen in my 11 years of covering Go-Devil football, got defeated by a bunch of upcoming junior high school team members!
Now let’s see what the Hooten evaluation can add to this.
Hooten reports that McCrory knocked Gurdon out of the second round of the playoffs in 2014 because Gurdon lacked a powerhouse line. That could change this year with a field of 38 players to choose from instead of last year’s 23.
The Go-Devils finished 9-3 last season, with first year Head Coach Kyle Jackson at the helm. Long-time Head Coach John Pace retired after the 2013 season.
As for offense in 2014, quarterback Parker Whitson, 5’9, 182 pounds, completed 120 out of 188 passes (64 percent) for a school record of 1,600 yards and 16 touchdowns as a first-year varsity quarterback.
The senior passed for a season-high 272 yards and 2 TDs against Dierks. He completed 72 percent of his passes for 554 yards and seven scores with zero interceptions in consequecutive wins over Mt. Ida, Foreman and Carlisle.
Coach Jackson said he expects his quarterback to run the ball more this fall because he will be more comfortable “which will be the biggest thing that will help us.”
Two-time, all-state running back Jackie Harvell (5-11, 186) paced the Go-Devils last fall with 147 carries for 1,347 yards (9.2 yards per carry) and 22 touchdowns. The senior ran 20 times for 221 yards and two scores against Glen Rose.
Jackson said Gurdon will rely more on Harvell this fall. “He needs to touch the ball 20 to 25 times a game.”
The coach said he believes Harvell’s skill and attitude could spell scholarship. Last season Jackson told this reporter, “Harvell is something. I am just glad our kids are not playing against him.”

By Hooten Magazine and
John Nelson, Tailgate News Editor
Hooten Magazine recognized the Malvern Leopards had a sound victory of 13 points against Clinton last season in the quarter finals, but injuries stopped the mighty Leopards from pulling off another win against Mena in the semi-finals.
Malvern Head Coach Mike Scarbrough said the Leopards lost its top two runningbacks and a lineman to injuries in that Clinton game and ended up 19 points short againt Mena.
“That Clinton game was pivotal in our season because we came out of it so beat up,” Coach Scarbrough said. “It took its toll on us.”
According to the Hooten Magazine evaluation, Malvern should have strong quarterback and runningback effort this fall, with a strong defensive line.
As to a weak spot, the offensive line is said to be inexperienced.
Offensively, senior Trace Collie (5-11, 160) quarterback backed Malvern to 19 victories over the past two seasons.
The senior was the only Leopard to attempt to pass in the fall season of 2014, completing 193 of 333 attempts (58 percent) for 2,679 yards and 29 touchdowns with just 7 interceptions.
“He managed the game as a sophomore, but last year stepped up as our leader,” Coach Scarbrough said.
“His best asset is throwing the ball, but he can tuck it and run when necessary.”
And every good quarterback needs a runner with determination. Jamari McCollum (5-6, 200) ran 114 times for 9 TD’s last season, averaging 17 yards per reception.
Scarbrough said, “He is like a bowling ball. He runs vicious and gives great effort. He thinks he should take it to the house every play, and it takes more than one person to tackle him. He stays beat up because he looks to hit somebody instead of avoiding contact.”
Defensively, Senior tackle Wendell Cooper (5-10, 235) controls the interior with a 300-pound bench press.
Cooper earned the highest defensive grades of any Leopard last season.
Coach Scarbrough said, “He is a block eater. He is strong, holds his ground and allows other guys to make tackles.”
As to the first game of the season, the Malvern Leopards will host Glen Rose on Friday, Sept. 4 for the annual rivalry.

By Hooten Magazine staff
and Tailgate News editor
John Nelson
The Beavers had just two victories last season, beating Jessieville, 35-27 and Horatio 30-7, and endured the worst Glen Rose season since 2005.
Coach Mark Kehner had his team start off season work-outs just three days after a solid defeat by Episcopal at the last of the season, involving the mercy rule.
According to Kehner, the off season work-outs were very productive, but his team will still be fighting the fact that they are so young during the upcoming football season.
Offensively, Junior Aaron Weatherford (5-10, 185) and athletic sophomore Jared Rogers (5-10, 160) battled in May for quarterback.
Weatherford, last year’s starter, completed 12 of 32 passes for 191 yards and four touchdowns against Horatio.
Rogers played receiver for the 6-2 Junior High School Beavers.
Defensively, Britt Matlock (6-0, 205) could see more time at guard. Matlock, a two-year starter at end, reacts quickly to shed blockers.
Junior Garett Reed (5-9, 140) returns at free safety. Junior Jake Thompson (5-7, 125) returned an interception 70 yards for a TD against Jessieville.
The Glen Rose Beavers will travel to Malvern on Friday, Sept. 4 for their annual rivalry game against the Leopards.
With a productive off season behind the Beavers, and a year more of experience, perhaps Glen Rose will surprise fans with a winning season like the ones they had in 2012 and 2013.

By Hooten Magazine staff
and Tailgate News editor
John Nelson
Coach Jimmy Parker, and his dedicated coaching staff, have formed the Haskell Harmony Grove Cardinals football team from humble beginnings to winning more and more games each year.
In 2014, Parker and staff, plus the ongoing talent being developed, managed to have a winning 7-4 season, beating teams such as Magnet Cove, Glen Rose, Poyen and Bismarck.
The Haskell Harmony Grove Cardinals also managed to defeat Jessieville, Centerpoint and Horatio.
According to Hooten Magazine statistics, Parker will have five of his starters returning to the playing field in 2015.
Senior Dakota Rains (5-7, 144) succeeds all-league quarterback Colby Byrd. Rains took limited snaps last fall during the first three weeks of the season.
Sophomore Hunter Williams (5-7, 145) quarterbacked the 8-2 junior high school Cardinals to a league runner-up finish.
All-state running back Jon Johnson (6-0, 193) led Haskell Harmony Grove with 194 carries for 1,916 yards (averaging 9.9 yards per carry) and 20 touchdowns.
All-conference senior receiver Brinson Cornwell (5-7, 150) led the Cardinals last year with 17 catches with 221 yards for two touchdowns. Sure handed junior Dillon Hager (5-7, 157) averaged 17.4 yards per reception.
On defense, Van Dorn, an All-5-3A selection in 2014, racked up 26 stops at end. Junior Blake Gwatney (5-10, 152), who had 27 tackles, shifts from linebacker to end. Brandon Williams, an All-league linebacker in 2014, finished second on the tackle chart with 87 stops.
Parker’s team is said to be strong in depth, but weak in regard to unproven linemen.
Records show the relatively new football team had no wins in 2008 and 2009, but has been improving ever since.
The Cardinals had their first two wins in the 2010 season, four wins in 2011 and 2012, five wins in 2013 and seven wins this past season.
Coach Parker, an older and accomplished coach from football’s past, came to then Benton Harmony Grove to build a winning football team from a group of students with little or no football experience. With seven wins this past season, hats off to Coach Parker.

By Hooten Magazine staff
and Tailgate News,
John Nelson, editor
The Fountain Lake Cobras had another winning season in 2014, with a record of 6-4-1. Long-time Coach Tommy Gilleran said defeating Nashville 32-29 was a high spot for his Cobras.
Coach Gilleran has a 96-48-1 winning record at Fountain Lake in his efforts to continue improving his football team.
The Cobras beat Nashville for the first time last fall, powering them to the playoffs for the eighth straight season. Their four losses came to eventual quarter finalists with three (Dardanelle, Malvern and Mena) advancing to the semifinals.
Coach Gilleran said, “We peaked against Nashville. Later, some players got hurt and we couldn’t recover.”
For offense this fall, athletic senior Adrias Turner (6-0, 205) and juniors Hunter Bryant (6-0, 175) and Korey Wasson (5-10, 170) split snaps at quarterback this spring.
Parker Ross (6-0, 205) earned All-state honors last fall, rushing 205 times for 1,651 yards and 23 touchdowns.
Coach Gilleran said, “He (Ross) sees things develop, plants his foot and gets up the field.”
The Cobras return seven starters from a unit that held Jessieville to negative 26 yards and one first down in the first half.
The Cobras will be strong this year in runningbacks but will play unproven linemen.

By Hooten Magazine staff
and Tailgate News,
John Nelson, editor
Conway Christian kicked the winning field goal in the final minutes of week nine during the 2014 season to break a three-year-stronghold on the 5-2A title held by the Magnet Cove Panthers.
Head Football Coach Ronnie Efird touts an 8-4 winning season last fall and an overall winning record for his years as Magnet’s coach of 69-26-1.
The Panthers will very likely start another winning streak this fall, as starters will return to 16 positions.
Senior Harrison Wade (5-10, 165) completed 119 of 227 passes (52 percent) in the 2014 season for 1,733 yards and 22 touchdowns with 17 interceptions.
Coach Efird said, “Maturity will help him cut down on his mistakes.”
The fastest Panther, junior Jamil Tyner (5-9, 165), ran for 463 yards and five scores last fall.
On defense, Coach Efird calls senior Nathan Reynolds (6-0, 190), who had 96 tackles in 2014, “our best defensive player because he is aggressive and physical.”
Magnet is strong at quarterback, running backs and receivers. As for a weakness, the Panthers will have inexperienced linemen this year.


Malvern School Board to change ‘probation’ to ‘support’ to back true second chance

Tailgate News Editor
The Malvern School Board held their End of the Year (EOY) meeting on Tuesday, June 30, hearing positive financial news that the district will have approximately $1.4 million left in its building fund after the construction of its new gymnasium and $3 million in the operating fund.
Brian Golden, superintendent, said, “This is about where we are after all expenses to put the gymnasium in operation have been met, including inside accessories, and it is ahead of where we thought we would be.”
After the brief financial report, a discussion on the particulars of the Malvern School District handbook for 2015-2016 was held between the board and administrators about wording in discipline policies.
Results of the discussion involved being sure any student having to leave school and then being allowed to return would truly get a second chance to succeed. The term “probation” will be stricken from the handbook, in favor of the district offering behavioral and academic “support” to insure the returning student is on the right track to succeeding in the Malvern school system.
Superintendent Golden instructed principals to come to terms with the wording changes so he could approve them and get the handbook to the printers.
The discussion took place after school board secretary Debra Smith said she believed some of the discipline policies needed to be more specific in regard to expected consequences of specific inappropriate action.
Golden said all expulsion cases, or lesser disciplinary cases involving any suspensions or time from school, do come to his attention and the wording of the disorderly conduct policies etc. are the way they are so that similar offenses, as they come up, can be linked in punishment severity, to already dealt with specific situations for the purpose of determining justifiable discipline.
Golden told Smith specifics, like the consequences for wearing a Bud Light T-Shirt, are determined and added to the handbook the subsequent year.
In another example, the handbook now has a discipline policy for “pantsing,” which is the act of one student pulling down the drawers of another student during school hours.
Golden recognized the board wants consistency in discipline policies and he answered by assuring them that consistency is the goal but it is an evolving process.
The discussion touched on bullying and the school policies on paddlings, that is corporal punishment. Principals told the board it is their policy to contact parents before administering corporal punishment.
Assistant Superintendent Janet Blair, while delivering a state report card presentation, said Malvern seniors who took the ACT college admittance examination are ranked above state average in every category.
Blair said the Malvern school attendance rate is also better than state average.
Moreover, Jason Lavern gave a report to the board on progress being made toward giving the school web site a face lift. The site was created in 1998.
In other business, school board members approved a 2014-2015 year end financial report and a $4.36 million ending budget.
The School Board will meet in regular session for July at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, July 13. School district surveys will be reviewed.

Gurdon to have first annual

downtown yard sale July 18

Tailgate News Editor
The first annual Gurdon Downtown Community Yard Sale, in front of the new Hoo Hoo musical stage with entertainment promised, will take place from dawn until noon on Saturday, July 18.
Mayor Sherry Kelley said spots will be free and citizens are encouraged to enjoy profits from their yard sales as well as the browsing of what others bring.
Royce Ann Barbaree, site director the Central Arkansas Development Corporation (CADC) Gurdon senior center, will be selling snacks and sodas to raise money for senior citizen activities at the center.
“This event is free to the public,” Mayor Kelley said. “We hope it grows as the years go by. You are encouraged to get a spot, set up shop and make as much as you can for your families.”
Kelley said Thursday she was instrumental in setting up the annual Curtis Yard Sale, held in October, and intends for the summer time Gurdon Yard Sale to be similar in nature.
According to the mayor, local musicians Ashley White, Harry Blanton and Lindsey Shaver said they would be on hand to provide musical entertainment.
“We would also encourage anyone else who wants to sing to join in,” she said.
Mayor Kelley said if you have any questions, you can call her at: (870) 406-1396. Or you can call and let her know you would like to perform on the stage in front of the mural.
“If you want to set up your booth the night before, have at it,” she said. “We intend to get started at day break. Crafters welcome.”

Gurdon man to be sentenced

for grusome murder conviction

publisher of TXKTODAY.com
Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, has announced that Kevin Bolton, age 39, of Gurdon, pleaded guilty to one count of Kidnapping Resulting in Death. The Honorable Susan O. Hickey accepted the change of plea in the United States District Court in Hot Springs.
On January 29, 2014, a Federal Grand Jury issued an indictment against Bolton charging him with one count of kidnapping resulting in death. Bolton will be sentenced at a later date. The statutory penalty for the offense is life imprisonment.
U. S. Attorney Eldridge commented, “This was a horrendous, despicable crime. We will not tolerate acts of violence in our communities, and we will stand up for victims of crime and their families across Arkansas. I appreciate all of the hard work by Clark County Sheriff, Jason Watson and Clark County Prosecuting Attorney, Blake Batson in cooperating to see that justice was done in this case.”
“This was an extraordinary investigation conducted by Sheriff Jason Watson, his deputies, and Special Agent, Scott Clark with the Arkansas State Police,” stated Clark County Prosecuting Attorney, Blake Batson. “Their efforts and the work of U. S. Attorney Conner Eldridge brought justice to this case. We are hopeful the sentence will bring some closure to this family.”
“I believe justice has been served today for Cassie and her family,” said Clark County Sheriff Jason Watson. “I appreciate the work by U.S. attorney Eldridge, Prosecuting Attorney Blake Batson and everyone involved in this case. There were multiple agencies involved throughout Arkansas and North Carolina. Without their assistance this would not have been possible.”
According to court records, on March 12, 2013, the now deceased victim (and Gurdon native), visited an apartment in Gurdon, Arkansas, where she encountered the defendant, Kevin Bolton, a Gurdon resident. According to statements made by witnesses, the defendant and the victim left the apartment together around midnight in her vehicle.
The victim’s mother, after repeatedly and unsuccessfully trying to contact her daughter the next day, became alarmed and filed a missing person’s report with the Gurdon Police Department and Arkansas State Police. Because Bolton was the last person known to be seen with the victim, a Be On The Look Out (BOLO) was issued for Bolton, the victim, and her vehicle.
Law enforcement officials learned that Bolton had friends on the Cherokee Indian Reservation in North Carolina and sent the BOLO to the Cherokee Indian Police Department there. On March 20, 2013, Cherokee Indian Police officers located Bolton driving the victim’s vehicle and conducted a traffic stop. After smelling a strong odor, officer’s opened the trunk of the car where they found the victim’s body.
Bolton was arrested and taken into custody. He waived extradition and agreed to return to Arkansas for prosecution. Clark County Sheriff Jason Watson traveled to Cherokee, North Carolina to interview Bolton and transport him back to Arkansas.
After being read his Miranda rights, Bolton told Sheriff Watson that he had accompanied the victim around midnight on March 12. He admitted that he and the victim had argued outside her parked car and that he grabbed her around her neck and choked her until she fell to the ground.
He stated that he choked her until he believed she was dead and then put her in the back seat of her car. After he was arrested and returned to Arkansas, Bolton led Sheriff Watson to the place where he had choked her. That location is in Clark County, Arkansas, within the Western District of Arkansas, Hot Springs Division.
Bolton told Sheriff Watson he drove the victim’s vehicle until he heard gagging and choking, so he stopped the car, choked her again, and put her in the trunk of her vehicle.
Bolton stated that he believed she was still alive when he placed her inside the trunk and began driving out of Clark County towards Little Rock, where he claimed he spent time with strangers he met on the street.
Bolton said he next drove with her inside the trunk to Cherokee, North Carolina to visit a friend, where he parked the vehicle to hide the rear license plate, and told people the trunk of the vehicle could not be opened because it was bolted shut.
An autopsy conducted in North Carolina identified the victim through dental comparison, and ruled the cause of death was asphyxiation due to strangulation.
This case was investigated by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the FBI and the Sheriff’s Office of Cherokee, North Carolina. United States Attorney Conner Eldridge and Assistant United States Attorney Kyra Jenner are prosecuting the case for the United States.

Magician tells Cabe Library readers

your library card is best card for good future

Tailgate News Editor
Hot Springs Magician Scott Davis made his annual visit to the Cabe Library reading program Thursday, siting the super hero theme, saying “Captain America and Iron Man may be super heroes, but your local librarians are super heroes too.”
Davis told the crowd of about 20 in attendance that he learned his magic tricks from books and encouraged all of them to read up on whatever they aspire to be in life.
Davis did a card trick and produced a giant library card, siting that the magic words of life are “Reading is Fun” and the library card is his favorite card of all.
He encouraged his audience to 1) come to the library all summer long, 2) read everything you can, even the dictionary, 3) don’t run in the library and be quiet in the main part of the library out of respect for others.
Kristyn Walker, summer reading program coordinator, said the program for July 9 at 2 p.m. will be experimenting with floaters and sinkers.
On Thursday, July 16, workers from the Little Rock Zoo will bring animals to display and talk about them to the group.
The Cabe Summer Reading Program will end this year on Thursday, July 23 with an awards ceremony for those who have read the most books in their respective age groups.
Young readers are encouraged to come to Story Time at 10 a.m. on July 9 and July 16.
Walker said there will be no Story Time on July 23 and all participants are encouraged to come to the 2 p.m. awards ceremony.

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